Archive for February 2009

Billy Blanks Loses More Than Body Fat

In 2005, Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks won a $30 million legal malpractice verdict against Seyfarth Shaw based on allegations that the firm failed to file court papers on time in the right venue.  Earlier this week, a California appellate court found that the damage instructions were improper and sent the case back to the…

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Texas Two Step – Tort Reform Style

My friend Steve Lombardi, a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, had a great post today in his Injuryboard blog.  In the post, Steve looks at a Texas medical malpractice case where the plaintiff’s claim was devestated by the tort reform era cap on non-economic damages.  I can’t do the post justice so I just encourage all…

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Because they're an insurance company…

I just got off the phone with a defendant in a car wreck case.  We had served him with a suit a few days ago, and he’s been leaving harassing messages at off hours claiming he didn’t own a car and was out of town on the date of the wreck.  The messages also threatened he was going to…

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Penn. Judges Bribed To Send Kids To Prison?

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more appalling story about the judicial system. The Associated Press is reporting that two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with accepting millions of dollars in bribes to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.  And for petty crimes too.  The story mentions one young girl sent…

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An Example of Why Legal Malpractice Claims Are So Expensive

I often have the misfortune of having to explain to prospective clients that even though their previous attorneys had acted in a way that is almost unthinkable, I can’t help them because they weren’t hurt enough.  I have to explain that legal malpractice cases are expensive and that the damages have to be significant to justify the…

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I'm Going Back To School

Over sixty percent of the lawyers in the U.S. practice in solo or small firms, but U.S. law schools don’t do anything to help students actually practice law. Sure, schools teach us the law and how to think like lawyers, but they don’t teach how to be lawyers. A lot of people in the legal…

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An Unusual Criminal Proceeding With A Question About Eye Witness Testimony

We have a weird criminal proceeding occurring here in Travis County. In 1986, 26 year old Timothy Cole was convicted of rape by a Lubbock County jury and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Cole maintained his innocence throughout the trial. In 1995, another prisoner confessed to the crime, but no one really took notice…

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Lawyers – Avoid the Unintended Client

Part of my standard spiel to lawyers on “how to avoid malpractice claims” is for the lawyer to take steps to avoid becoming the unintended lawyer.  Any time there are multiple potential parties who think they may rely on the attorney’s advice, the attorney needs to clarify in writing who the attorney does and does not represent. This problem can occur in…

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