Top 40 Under 40 President Stephen Burg obtains $146K verdict for rear-end collision victim

National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 President Stephen Burg secured a verdict plus interest and costs of $146,000 for the victim of a rear end collision in Colorado. Burg says his client, David Jimenez-Santana was driving his pickup truck and was rear-ended by the defendant, Robert Baker in December 2014 in Grand Junction. Although there was no visible physical damage to the plaintiff’s truck, the plaintiff was injured. The plaintiff had a prior worker’s compensation back injury to the same area injured. Burg reports Jimenez-Santana sustained a disc injury at L4-5, and had to undergo a discectomy at the L4-5. Burg says the verdict plus interest and costs was $146,532.67 and 18 times greater than the $7,500 defense offer. The verdict was handed down on June 8, 2018. Burg tried the case along with David Crough of Burg Simpson before Judge Kenneth Plotz. Burg is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.

Case Name: David Jimenez-Santana v. Robert Baker

Case number: 17 CV 30484

Case Type: Jury Verdict

Verdict for: Plaintiff

Verdict Date: 06/08/2018

Amount: $83,788.76

Best offer from defense:$7,500

Area of Law: Personal Injury

Court: Grand Junction, Colorado

 

NTL Top 40 Under 40 President Stephen Burg obtains $1.6M verdict for motorcycle accident victim

Stephen BurgNational Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 President Stephen Burg secured a $1.6 million verdict for a Colorado motorcyclist injured in a 2014 collision. According to Burg, the plaintiff was riding his motorcycle eastbound on Highlands Ranch Parkway in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on August 16, 2014. At the same time and place the defendant was driving west on Highlands Ranch Parkway. The defendant turned left directly in front of the plaintiff’s motorcycle. The front of the plaintiff’s motorcycle collided with the passenger side of the defendant’s vehicle. Burg says his client suffered a broken nose, separated shoulder, non-displaced fracture of the tibia, non-displaced fracture of the patella, as well as $10,000 in lost wages. Plaintiff had a left shoulder scope surgery and left knee scope surgery. Burg handled the case along with attorney David Crough of Burg Simpson before Judge David Stevens. Burg says the defense’s best pre-trial offer was  $265,000. The verdict plus interest and costs was $1,668,365.80, and was handed down on May 24, 2018.

Case Name: Moon v. Gooden

Case number: 16 CV 30907

Case Type: Jury Verdict

Verdict for: Plaintiff

Verdict Date: 5/24/2018

Amount: $1,300,000.00

Best offer from defense:$265,000

Area of Law: Personal Injury

Court: Douglas County, Colorado

 

How texts can help keep people out of jail

mobile social mediaA simple solution could help keep defendants from failing to appear in court: texts. Court date reminders sent via text in pilot projects are proving to be a good way to bring down the number of bench warrants that can end in arrests, the ABA Journal reports. The Pretrial Justice Institute says that pretrial arrests cost taxpayers about $14 billion a year. Software by a company called Uptrust helps public defenders notify and remind defendants about upcoming court appearances. In addition to reducing the number of arrests, the text notification software can help defendants avoid having their bail revoked or forfeited. The software is being used in jurisdictions in four states, with plans to expand to two more. Uptrust’s CEO says most defendants aren’t flight risks; they’re attendance risks, and the software sends them two text reminders about upcoming court appearances.

Video: Georgia cops used app to decide whether to arrest

police sirenTwo Roswell, Georgia police officers are on administrative leave after bodycam video showed them using a coin toss app to decide whether to arrest a woman they caught speeding, according to WXIA-TV and Think Progress. Officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson had pulled over Sarah Webb for speeding at 80 mph in April. The coin flip app actually recommended that Webb be released, but the officers arrested her anyway. According to WXIA, Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant issued a statement saying he was “appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision making process of something as important as the arrest of a person.”

Podcast: How to be a better associate

legal toolkitAssociates at law firms face many challenges, not the least of which is balancing marketing themselves while also giving their best to their firms. In this edition of Legal Toolkit from Legal Talk Network, host Jared Correia talks to attorney and author Jay Harrington about how young associates can build their brands while also being accountable to their firms. They talk about the advantages of certain types of marketing as well as the importance of finding your identity both in and out of the law office.

Rating the cops

smartphoneThanks to commonality of online ratings and reviews, it’s fairly easy to find out what others think about a restaurant, a product, or even a law firm. But what if you could let others know what you think about the police in your neighborhood? That’s exactly what the New York City Police Department is doing with its “sentiment meter.” The Marshall Project calls it a sort of “Yelp for Cops.”

Precincts now receive a monthly “trust score” along with rankings that measure overall satisfaction with police performance and how safe residents feel. The data is culled from questionnaires administered through about 50,000 smartphone apps, including Candy Crush and WeatherBug, as well as traditional landline calls. Facebook and Instagram began to advertise links to the surveys in June.

It’s not just New York City, either; police departments in Los Angeles, Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan are also getting involved. Read more about it at The Marshall Project. 

Judge rules scientific evidence shows Roundup can cause cancer

RoundupA federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that plaintiffs have put forth reliable scientific evidence that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller can cause cancer. Andrus Wagstaff partner and National Trial Lawyers member Aimee Wagstaff is national co-lead counsel of that federal litigation and says she “is pleased [her] clients will have their day in court to hold Monsanto liable for their injuries.” The Honorable Vince Chhabria of the United States District Court of Northern California issued an order denying Monsanto’s requests to dismiss the case. Wagstaff says this is a huge victory nationwide for people harmed by Roundup exposure.

Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, the company which developed Roundup almost 40 years ago, with complaints that Roundup exposure caused their Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood borne cancer. All of those lawsuits which were filed in federal courts throughout the United States were consolidated before Judge Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2741). Under the federal rules, Judge Chhabria is charged with conducting all pre-trial proceedings in the combined litigation. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs in that litigation include Aimee Wagstaff, of Andrus Wagstaff, Denver, CO; Robin Greenwald of Weitz and Luxenberg of New York City, NY; and Mike Miller of the Miller Law Firm, of Alexandria, VA.

The proceedings before the Court involved the Court’s obligation under the Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merrill to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that expert testimony offered at trial is founded upon sound scientific methodology. In an extensive written ruling, Judge Chhabria declared that plaintiffs proffered scientific testimony founded upon sound scientific principles and certain testimony that Roundup can cause Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma would be allowed to go to the jury in future trials. “Today’s ruling marks a significant victory in the fight for justice on behalf of our clients who were injured by exposure to Roundup,” said Wagstaff. “We look forward to our day in court and the opportunity to hold Monsanto accountable.”

Additional lawsuits have been filed in state court in Missouri, California, Montana, and Delaware. Those cases are following independent tracks to trial.

NTL member Bryan Neiderhiser named president of Western PA Trial Lawyers Association

The Law firm of Marcus & Mack is pleased to announce that National Trial Lawyers member Bryan S. Neiderhiser has been named president of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association (WPTLA).  WPTLA strives to be a voice for injured victims and to uphold and defend their rights under the American legal system, including trial by jury.

Attorney Neiderhiser is a partner at Marcus & Mack, P.C., which is a regional law firm devoted to representing the interest of injured people in cases involving catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, industrial accidents, motor vehicle collisions, premises liability and other injury producing incidents.  Neiderhiser joined the law firm as an associate in 2006.  Marcus & Mack represents injury victims throughout western and central Pennsylvania.

A graduate of Grove City College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Neiderhiser is licensed to practice law in all of Pennsylvania’s state courts as well as the Federal Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Federal Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

As a member of WPTLA’s Board of Governors for more than a decade, he has progressively served as its Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President Elect.  Neiderhiser is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers, the American Association for Justice, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Indiana County Bar Association and the Allegheny County Bar Association.  In the past, Neiderhiser has also served on the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and he also served on the Judicial Evaluation Commission for the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Because of the excellent service and results that Attorney Neiderhiser has provided to his clients, the victims of injuries caused by others, Neiderhiser has been selected for membership into the National Trial Lawyers  – Top 100 Trial Lawyers for the past six years.  “Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile.”  Additionally, Neiderhiser has been recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as a member of the “Nation’s Top One Percent.”  The members of that organization consist of less than 1% of the attorneys in the United States who exemplify the highest ideals of the legal profession.

The significant results that he has obtained for his clients have also earned Neiderhiser a lifetime membership in both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.  Membership in these organizations is limited solely to attorneys who have attained million and multi-million dollar results for their clients.

 

Podcast: How to safely delete data

ntl, aaj, atla, top 100 trial lawyers, search and seizureWhen FBI agents raided the home and office of Trump attorney Michael Cohen earlier this year, they found a treasure trove of documents, data and recordings that could prove crucial to their case. What are the best ways to make sure that data you’ve deleted is well and truly gone? In this podcast from the Legal Talk Network, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about the best practices to follow to ensure that unwanted data doesn’t come back to haunt you.

NTL member Michelle Simpson Tuegel Representing Former Olympic and USA National Team Gymnasts Respond to Walker County Indictments Related to Sexual Abuse at Karolyi Ranch

Michelle TuegelAttorneys Mo Aziz of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz and National Trial Lawyers member Michelle Simpson Tuegel, who jointly represent a number of former Olympic and USA National Team Gymnasts who attended and were abused at Karolyi ranch from approximately 2000 to 2015 respond to the indictments and statement from Walker County Officials:

Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said, “The Walker County DA said they have no corroborated evidence that the Karolyis did anything wrong, yet they indicted Debbie Van Horn for felony sexual assault of a child. Walker County agreed, USAG totally failed to protect children and athletes and Steve Penny did not cooperate. They claim that Karolyi Ranch and USA Gymnastics were completely separate. Yet, at one point during the period of abuse, Karoyi Ranch was branded the official ‘USA Gymnastics Olympic Training Center.’ Some of our clients were abused during that time period, and to those little girls who had the nightmare of a their doctor coming into their rooms to abuse them under the guise of treatment, with Van Horn sometimes present, the Karolyis, Nassar, Vanhorn, USAG—it was all one in the same, adults who failed to protect them, hurt them, and turned a blind eye towards their pain and suffering. Bottom line, Walker County appears to have no intention of holding all of the adults who failed, such as the Karolyis, accountable, that’s why we recently asked the Texas AG to get involved. At this point, it is up to the Federal Department of Justice to hold the ALL of the adults who failed these children and covered up the abuse accountable. It is clear Texas will not.”
Attorney Mo Aziz also added, “The fact that Walker County needed the Governor to push them into investigating the alleged wrongdoing of these other adults is concerning. This also points to the need to change the statute of limitations for reporting sex abuse in Texas as Michigan has done.”