Monday, June 30, 2008

Progress Marks 10-Year Anniversary of First Court-Order Statutes for the Sale of Structured Settlements : Successful alignment of the interests of consumers and business under the judiciary's review and oversight, J.G. Wentworth says

BRYN MAWR, Pa. (Business Wire EON/PRWEB ) June 30, 2008 -- Ten years after the first court-order statutes governing the sale of structured settlements went into place, the result has been a remarkable success for consumers, according to J.G. Wentworth.

There was a concerted effort among several constituencies to advocate for the development of the Model Act, which is now the basis for laws in 46 states, said Michael Goodman, CEO of J.G. Wentworth. A decade later, its clear that this legislation passed universally with the support of the structured settlement industry has been a real success for the consumer. The development of this legislation represents one of the rare occasions when the interests of the judiciary, state regulators, business and consumers lined up nearly perfectly.

News Image Goodman added, The framers of the initial laws had the foresight to understand and balance the needs of the consumer as well as the judicial, financial and insurance communities and the result is a win for all. While less than 5% of structured settlements recipients have needed liquidity, the sales that have taken place are usually of vital importance to the consumers who made them. Debt elimination, medical expenses, new homes, businesses, and tuition costs have been funded with these sales and have made material impacts on the lives of the individuals, Goodman said.

The model act format requires that any consumer wanting to sell all or part of the income stream from a structured settlement the proceeds of a legal settlement paid over time demonstrates to a judge that the transaction is in their best interests.

While the model act, supported by both the National Association of Settlement Purchasers (NASP) and other trade groups, has been modified over time by individual state legislatures, changes have been more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Our support for judicial review remains as strong as ever, said Goodman, and our experience across tens of thousands of transactions is that consumers, once they are educated on the value of that review in protecting their own interests, agree.

For more information about structured settlements as well as individual state statutes governing their sale, go to J.G. Wentworths Structured Settlement Resource Center ( Settlement-Information/Default.aspx).

About the J.G. Wentworth family of companies

J.G. Wentworth, Inc., based in Bryn Mawr, PA, is the nations largest and most respected buyer of deferred payments for illiquid financial assets like structured settlements, annuities and, through dedicated subsidiaries, life insurance policies. Since 1992, J.G. Wentworth has purchased over $3 billion of future payment obligations from consumers and is also the nations largest securitizer of structured settlement and annuity backed notes. The company's notes are rated AAA by Standard & Poor's and Aaa by Moody's.

For more information about J.G. Wentworth, go to

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[Via Legal / Law]

IceLock Legal Alert: What Happens When a Lawyer Loses a Laptop?

Fewer than 10% of laptops today are protected by encryption solutions. Encrypt laptops now before a loss, or face the consequences.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- Millions of laptops will be lost or stolen this year. While replacing equipment and software takes time and money, attorneys who lose a laptop face an additional headache. What happens to the contracts, briefs, and other confidential information stored on the lost machine? If privileged information becomes public the damage can be catastrophic.

Large firms use expensive, complicated and time consuming encryption schemes to secure data on their laptops. These systems require significant IT resources and impose a heavy burden on attorneys and staff.

Other firms rely on solutions that delete data after a computer is stolen. Unfortunately, these remote data deletion schemes protect data only if a computer is connected to the Internet after it is stolen. The data is unprotected until this Internet connection, creating significant risk of data disclosure.

What's needed is a simple system that protects data on laptops, is cost effective, easy to use and easy to manage. HyBlue's IceLock protects laptop data with an intelligent agent that seamlessly integrates with our web based management servers. Key benefits include

  • Simple setup - Configuration and installation are measured in minutes instead of hours with other systems.
  • Simple operation - Users enter one password and their data is available, automatically.
  • Web-based management - All IceLock computers are managed centrally allowing companywide policy control and reporting. Management is performed from HyBlue's website so you don't need to buy, build or maintain complicated servers.
  • Military strength data protection - HyBlue's patent pending, dual layer encryption continually protects data from hackers regardless of where a laptop is, whether it's on the Internet or off.

IceLock's encryption is so easy to set up that you can download it from the web in minutes. To get started, try IceLock out with a free, 30 day evaluation license for up to 3 systems.

Legal professionals rarely have the long lists of credit cards or social security numbers on their laptops that make headlines. However, their responsibility to protect information is higher than most users. IceLock's 7x24 data encryption ensures that when a lawyer's laptop is lost or stolen, the worst liabilities, damage to reputations and damage to clients, can be avoided.

About HyBlue
HyBlue provides security and management services through its Software-as-a-Service infrastructure. HyBlue is the creator of IceLock, a patent-pending service that protects data on laptops. Founded in 2003, HyBlue is privately held and based in Seattle, Washington.

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[Via Legal / Law]

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD - War Trauma)

It has been estimated that 30% of Vietnam war veterans, 10% Gulf war veterans, 6% to 11% Afghanistan war veterans and 12% to 20% of veterans of the Iraq war have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress disorder. This is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more terrifying events.

The history of PTSD date back to the early 1800’s where military doctors began diagnosing soldiers with "exhaustion" following the stress of battle. This "exhaustion" was characterized by mental shutdown due to individual or group trauma. Around this time there was a syndrome in England called ‘railway spine’ or ‘railway hysteria which bares a resemblance to what we call PTSD today. This was found by people who had been in the catastrophic railway accidents of that time.

In World War I and II the term ‘shell shock’ and combat fatigue’ were terms to describe veterans who exhibited stress and anxiety after being in combat. The official designation of "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" did not come about until 1980 when the Third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published.

This anxiety disorder occurs when you are afraid and your body activates the fight or flight response. This reaction to fight releases adrenaline, which is responsible for increasing your blood pressure and heart rate as well as increasing glucose to muscles (to allow you to run away quickly in the face of immediate danger). However when this danger has gone your body begins to go through a process that shuts down the stress response and this process involves the release of another hormone known as cortisol. If your body doesn’t generate enough cortisol to shut down the stress reaction you may continue to feel the effects of adrenaline. Trauma victims who develop post-traumatic stress disorder often have higher levels of other stimulating hormones (catecholamines) under normal conditions in which the threat of trauma is not present. These same hormones kick in when they are reminded of their trauma.

Military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a very serious disorder with symptoms such as self harm, anger, violence and drug addiction as well as depression. All of these are common symptoms of Military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and sadly affects thousands of soldiers every year who have serviced in the armed forces. Treating Military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is done through psychotherapy and basic counselling but can take a lot of time and patience.

Sadly a number of people who are experiencing and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as ‘war trauma’, is said to hugely increase in the next few years due to the number of soldiers who are fighting in areas such as Helmand and Basra. There are concerns that the Iraq war is producing more cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than any other conflict in decades, one of the main reasons for this is that the violence has been so widespread and exposure to it so constant over long periods of time. The suicide bombers, roadside mines and the constant threat of attack within the Iraq war poses a unique challenge to the mental health of the soldiers who are serving in it.

If you are one of those suffering and are thinking of claiming compensation for you suffering then you should do so right away. It is your civil and legal right to claim compensation for injuries psychological and mental. No-one should suffer in silence.

About the Author

Carolyn is the webmaster of Accident Consult Ltd, specialists in Claiming compensation for PTSD.

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MRSA Compensation Claims

MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It is also better known and referred to as the ‘superbug.’ It has been around since 1961 despite popular belief. It was only in the early 90’s that it spread quite dramatically and caused health problems and even death to many people in the UK. According to the UK office for National Statistics, they sadly reported 1,629 MRSA-related deaths in England and Wales during 2005.

The virus can be easily spread by merely being in contact with someone who has it, but it can also be spread through contact with towels, sheets, clothes, dressings or other objects. The MRSA virus can also survive on objects and surfaces such as door handles, sinks, floors and cleaning equipment. You can diagnose MRSA through blood and urine tests

The baceria is called Staphylococcus Aureus and apparently 1 in 3 of us carries it on the surface of our skin or in our nose. This generally causes no harm if the carrier is healthy; however if a carrier comes into contact with a vulnerable patient, i.e. someone with lowered immune system, a person with open wounds or someone who has just had surgery the they can pass the infection onto these people.

If the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus gets into your body through a break in your skin it can cause infections such as boils, abscesses, or impetigo. If the bacteria gets inside into your bloodstream it can cause more serious infections such as the blood poisoning, septic shock, severe joint problems, bone marrow infection, internal abscesses anywhere within the body, inflammation of the tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord, lung infection or infection of the heart lining.

Trying to prevent the spread of MRSA is a tricky business. The measures to prevent the spread of organisms from one person to another are called isolation or infection control. The most important type of isolation is called contact isolation where everyone in contact of the MRSA sufferer has to wash their hands after touching the patient or anything to do with the patient. If there are a number of patients infected with MRSA then moving them to an isolation unit is the safest way to minimise the spread.

Unfortunately more and more people are going into hospital for minor illnesses or ailments only to catch MRSA and end up far sicker than previously. It is worth pursuing a compensation claim if this happens to you as you shouldn’t have caught this virus and suffered in this way. You are well within your rights to make a claim for compensation even though it can be difficult to prove clinical negligence. A professional lawyer should be enlisted to help you. There is no need to worry about lawyers fees as there is the ‘no win no fee’ agreement that allows anyone to take on a compensation claim. The lawyer will be working for free and only in the event of the winning case will the lawyers fees be paid via the insurance of the losing party. If the case is lost there is insurance to cover fees.

About the Author

Carolyn Clayton is the webmaster for, experts in claiming compensation for MRSA.

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City Cars Leave Drivers More at Risk of Whiplash Injuries

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, better known as Thatcham, released figures recently indicating that in the event of low speed rear end collisions it is popular ‘City Cars’ which are the least effective in saving the occupant from debilitating whiplash injury.

Whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) represent a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck - the consequences of whiplash can range from mild pain for a few days to severe disability caused by restricted head or cervical spine movement, sometimes with persistent pain.

Symptom analysis shows that neck pains occur in between 62% to 100% of whiplash cases. Headaches in the suboccipital region occur in 82% of cases. Paresthesia of the upper extremities occurs in 45% of cases and overt neurological symptoms occur in between 12% and 20% of cases. Symptoms can appear directly after the injury, but often are not felt until days afterwards. Of 600,000 claims for bodily injury per annum in the UK, 80% (480,000) involve whiplash. Whiplash claims cost UK insurers some £1.6 billion per annum with insurers in the USA paying out over US $10 billion dollars per annum.

Best known by motorists for testing vehicle security systems and for work in testing seats for whiplash prevention, Thatcham also provide some 70% of the data that insurers use to define a car’s insurance grouping. Their report reveals that in an increasingly popular sector, motorists who in invest in economical, greener and easy to park ‘town’ vehicles are finding themselves more vulnerable to injury.

Consumers trying to reduce their environmental impact of their vehicles are being short changed. When it comes to safety no 'City Cars' achieved a 'good' in Thatcham's recent safety tests. What’s more, most rear end collisions tend to occur when driving slowly in urban areas, with light cars proving a higher risk. Small city cars are simply not equipped to protect their occupants’ from whiplash type injuries when they have to absorb the crash energy from larger, heavier vehicles. This lack of protection combined with poor seat design makes whiplash far more likely.

The news regarding whiplash injuries isn’t all bad though, with seat designs improving all the time and around 75% of all new seats achieving good or acceptable safety ratings. The problem seems to lie in the fact that the ‘good’ ratings at the moment only apply to higher value cars. Thatcham have given their seal of approval to three vehicle manufacturers - Audi, Volvo and SAAB - who each having achieved an 'ALL GOOD' rating across their range are to be congratulated.

It is hoped by industry safety professionals such as Thatcham that this research revealing the ineffectiveness of smaller cars to cope with low speed rear end collisions safely will inspire manufacturers to work hard at improving seat and headrest design. That good design and the associated safety benefits should only apply to higher value cars will hopefully soon be a thing of the past.

About the Author

We deal in a range of claims, including whiplash claims and compensation.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Legal Personnel Specialist Strategic Staffing Associates (SSA) Acquired by Library Associates Companies (LAC)

Merger Enables LAC to Expand Service and Staffing Options for Corporate Legal Departments and Law Firms Nationwide

Denver, CO (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- Library Associates Companies (LAC) is pleased to announce that it has acquired Strategic Staffing Associates (SSA), formerly a corporation co-owned by Deborah Schwarz, LAC's president and CEO, which will be merged into the organization as a wholly-owned division of LAC.

"We are delighted to include Strategic Staffing Associates as part of our parent company. We are confident that the synergies in staffing, recruiting and outsourcing of legal personnel, which has grown to include attorneys, paralegals, law librarians, knowledge managers, marketing, competitive intelligence and other professionals, will position LAC to better serve its law firm and corporate legal department client base both in the Rocky Mountain region and throughout the United States," says Ms. Schwarz.

Based in Denver, Colorado, SSA provides quality legal personnel to law firms and corporate legal departments. Known for its expertise in staffing large scale attorney document review projects, SSA also places legal secretaries, paralegals and attorneys in temporary, temp-to-perm and direct-hire positions. "We pride ourselves in taking the time to make 'on point' placements," states Sharon Davis, SSA's Director of Legal Staffing, who has been involved in legal recruiting for more than 19 years. Working with Ms. Davis is a former senior litigation paralegal and litigation support manager, Lynn Montagne, SSA's Client Services Manager.

Among its client base, LAC works with global to mid-sized law firms, academic and public law libraries, Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, and more. LAC's business lines include consulting, recruiting and staffing, outsourcing, and on-site or off-site management of discrete projects. Consulting services include information resources audits (fee-based databases and services, print versus electronic media, etc.), analysis of contract structure for information services, strategic planning and staffing audits. LAC also provides direct-hire, contingent-based recruiting, temporary staffing, and outsourcing of library and information functions. LAC is at the forefront of special project management, from start to finish, on-site or off-site, providing the leadership and staff necessary to complete client projects on time and under budget.

About Library Associates
Library Associates Companies (LAC) provides recruiting, consulting and project management within the rapidly-evolving information industry. With over 200 employees, more than 55% of whom are information professionals, we provide a full range of services to a client base that ranges from billion-dollar government agencies to global law firms, from leaders in the technology and automotive industries to public, academic and special libraries.

For more information contact:
Sharon Davis, Director of Legal Staffing
SSA /Strategic Staffing Associates

Keith Gurtzweiler, Vice President, Recruiting
LAC /Library Associates Companies

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[Via Legal / Law]

US Drug Watchdog Expands Its National Investigation Into The Drug Called Digitek, And Would Like To Talk To Possible Victims

Americas Watchdog's US Drug Watchdog has expanded its national investigation of the drug called Diditek. In April 2008, Actavis Towtowa recalled all lots of Bertek and UDL Laboratories Digitek (digoxin tablets, USP, all strengths) for oral use, due to a manufacturing defect. Since that time many consumers or their families have received notification of the drugs recall. The US Drug Watchdog wants to talk to any consumer who took this drug and suffered any side affects or complications to include death. Consumers who were exposed to this drug can call the US Drug Watchdog anytime at 866-714-6466.

(PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- Americas Watchdog's US Drug Watchdog has just expanded its national investigation into the drug called Digitek. According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), "the Digitek defect could expose users to twice the amount of active ingredient, which could cause serious and even fatal reactions". The best known side affect of this drug is death. If you or a loved one suffered an injury after taking Digitek, the US Drug Watchdog wants to talk with you. A victim or a family member can call the group anytime at 866-714-6466.

News Image

What Kind Of Drug Is Digitek?

Digitek is a form of digitalis, a chemical derived from the foxglove plant that has been used as a heart medicine since the 18th century. The medication is sold generically as digoxin by several companies.

The Digitek defect could expose users to twice the amount of active ingredient, which could cause serious and even fatal reactions.
Digitalis medicines strengthen the force of the heartbeat by increasing the amount of calcium in the heart's cells. When the medicine reaches the heart muscle, it binds to sodium and potassium receptors. These receptors control the amount of calcium in the heart muscle by stopping the calcium from leaving the cells. As calcium builds up in the cells, it causes a stronger heartbeat. Again if you have taken this drug or were exposed to it please call the US Drug Watchdog at 866-714-6466.

Consumers who took this drug can visit their web site at

So What Happened?

On April 25, 2008 Actavis Towtowa recalled its Digitek tablets because there existed a possibility that tablets with double the appropriate thickness may have been commercially released. The FDA deemed the Digitek recall a Class I recall, meaning that the defective Digitek tables could cause serious health problems or death. Most if not all US consumers have now been told not to take Digitek by their physician or pharmacist. If a family member of a person who was taking Digitek & then died received the recall letter, please call the US Drug Watchdog at 866-714-6466. The recall letters should have been received in early May 2008.

What Are The Risk Health Risks Associated With Digitek?

A double-strength Digitek tablet poses a serious risk of digitalis toxicity in those patients suffering from renal failure. Digitalis toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, cardiac instability and irregular pulse, heart palpitations, and bradycardia. Bradycardia is a slower than normal heartbeat rate.Vision changes such as halos or light rings around objects, seeing lights and bright colors, experiencing changes in color perception, blind spots in vision, and blurred vision can also occur. Patients suffering digitalis toxicity can also experience decreased urine output and excessive nighttime urination, overall swelling, decreased consciousness, and difficulty breathing when lying down. At its most severe, death can result from excessive Digitalis intake.

Both Actavis and the FDA said retailers who have Digitek tablets in stock should return the product. Consumers with medical questions should contact their health care providers. Consumers were also can obtain more information on the Digitek recall by calling the US Drug Watchdog at 866-714-6466.

If a family member died or has suffered other side affects related to the possible use of Digitek Americas Watchdog is available to consumers or their family members 24-7 at 866-714-6466

Americas Watchdog and its US Drug Watchdog is all about consumer protection and corporate fair play.

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[Via Legal / Law]

Biscom Delivery Server (BDS) Named a CRN Emerging Tech Vendor

BDS is a Web-Services Based Secure File Transfer Application that Reduces Costs by Leveraging Existing Hardware and the Internet, to Send Files as Easily as Email

Chelmsford, MA (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- Biscom Delivery Server (BDS), "The Trusted Solution for Enterprise Secure File Transfer," today announced it has been selected by Everything Channel as a CRN Emerging Tech vendor for its secure file transfer solution. CRN's Emerging Tech list captures companies that are delivering high margins for solution providers with innovative and easy-to-use technology that undercuts industry giants.

Biscom Delivery Server is an enterprise-class file transfer applicationthat protects enterprises from data breaches by enabling users to send files, documents, and messages securely while maintaining a complete transaction and audit trail of the deliveries. As easy-to-use as email, but routes attachments around the mail server, BDS is an ideal email attachment management solution. BDS also frees up the IT department from managing unsecure and cumbersome FTP servers. BDS is a pure Java application capable of running on any J2EE application server.

According to the CRN Emerging Tech Survey, the top reasons solution providers add emerging technologies include technology superiority to other products in the market segment; the technology compliments a solution provider's existing practice areas; emerging vendors provide better services opportunities; emerging vendors pay better attention to partners; emerging vendors offer higher margins; customers want alternative product choices; and emerging vendors have better joint marketing programs. In addition, 61 percent of solutions providers surveyed plan to increase the number of emerging technology vendors they partner with in the next twelve months.

"New and innovative vendor partners can help spur profitable new ideas that Solution Providers can use to build revenue and customer loyalty, and the CRN Emerging Tech list is where Solution Providers go to find these vendors," said Robert C. Demarzo, senior vice president and editorial director, Everything Channel.

Vendors who make the CRN Emerging Tech list must have an established solution provider program and formal guidelines for recruiting channel partners. They must demonstrate that its direct sales mix is trending down as evidenced by the company's revenue history, a channel positive or channel neutral strategy for internal sales compensation, and not be a dominant market share player. Final selection to the Emerging Technology list was made at the discretion of the CRN editorial team after a review of the submitted information and conversations with current or targeted partners.

"It's an honor to be chosen by CRN's editorial staff as an emerging technology provider for our secure file transfer solution," said Richard Orlando, Biscom's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "BDS has developed a channel-friendly solution that allows partners to help their customers protect against data breaches, replace unsecured methods of file transfer such as email attachments and FTP servers, and eliminate courier and overnight services. BDS Partners can now offer an open-architecture Managed File Transfer software solution as added-value for existing customers and an improved competitive offering for new customers - both requiring protection against data breaches for sending data files externally."

About Biscom, Inc.
Biscom Delivery Serveris a division of Biscom with a focus on secure file transfer solutions; BDS resolves the security, compliance, and file attachment problems of email and FTP. Since 1986, Biscom has been enabling enterprise document delivery and workflow solutions for Fortune 1000 companies. BDS can be found on the web at For further information about the partner program, please contact

About CRN
CRN provides solution providers and technology integrators with the crucial information and analysis they need to drive their company's sales. As an advocate for and voice of the IT channel, solution providers turn to CRN first for immediate information. Celebrating its 25th year, CRN is the most trusted source for channel professionals. CRN can be found on the web at

Everything Channel (,
Everything Channel, formerly CMP Channel, is the global leader in technology sales and serves as the one stop shop for the sales channel that drives 75 percent of technology sales throughout the world. IT suppliers and Solution Providers turn to Everything Channel to manage and accelerate their business. Everything Channel provides the answer to strategy and branding, online marketing, research/market intelligence, lead generation, branded and custom events, education and workflow tools targeted to those who buy and sell through the Channel. Everything Channel is a subsidiary of United Business Media (, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

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[Via Legal / Law]

Joe Stephens and Richard Howell Win $8 Million for Families of Sexually Abused Boys

Nearly 18 months after winning the much publicized Clara Harris wrongful death trial, Joe Stephens and Richard Howell win another verdict for their clients.

Houston, TX (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- Attorneys Joe Stephens and Richard Howell recently won an $8 million civil suit on behalf of four boys who were sexually abused over a period of two years.

The eight-day trial in County Court No. 4 of Montgomery County (Case No. 02-07-01967), concluded on June 25 with an 11-1 verdict. The jury found that Jason Newsom sexually abused four boys for a period of two years. Three of the boys were nine and one was 14 at the beginning of the abuse. His dad Hal Newsom, who promoted his son in his business as safe, bonded, and licensed, was also found liable because he endangered the children by enabling his son to carry out his deviant acts.

It is expected that Judge Mary Ann Turner will enter judgment affirming the verdict finding that Hal Newsom, Jason’s father, has to pay 20 percent of the $8 million verdict because he knew about the abuse and didn’t alert the families or the proper authorities.

“These 4 boys had great courage to tell the police, and to tell their story. True American Heroes in my view,” said Stephens, their attorney. “Hopefully, it will make someone think twice before keeping secrets like this, in order to make a buck and in the process endanger our country's most precious assts.”

While Stephens stated the father has the assets to pay, the prominent lawyer said, “We hope the Court of Appeals upholds this verdict against Hal Newsom, which the jury committed a criminally negligent act. My God, he enabled his son to harm the children. Shamefully, many Judges on our courts of appeal in Texas will not hold people financially accountable for the most despicable acts. I am hoping that the Judges who look at this case do what is right for Texas children.”

This is not the first highly publicized case that Joe Stephens has handled. Stephens and Howell were the same attorneys who received international attention in the Clara Harris wrongful death trial in January 2007. Clara Harris was found liable for the wrongful death of her husband David Harris (Harris County, Texas District Court No. 2004-34761). Clara Harris was found guilty of running him over with her Mercedes after finding him in bed with his mistress. Stephens won the lawsuit on behalf of David Harris’ parents, winning $3.75 million in damages.

About Joe Stephens
Joe Stephens is a prominent trial lawyer in the Houston area with 23 years of trial experience. He has received acclaim as a Texas Super Lawyer by a blue ribbon panel and state wide vote. Fewer than 5% of Texas lawyers have achieved that stature. He is a double-board certified attorney. Fewer than 1% of lawyers in the America have attained two levels of certification. He is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law.

In addition, he is a Civil Trial Advocate, as recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In 1999, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America awarded Stephens as its “Most Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer in America Award.” He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, thought by some to be the most prestigious group of trial lawyers in the United States. He also has attained recognition as a "Warrior" in the Trial Lawyer's College, an intensive training program sponsored by the hands-on training of famed trial lawyer Gerry Spence. He specializes in helping people who have suffered from extraordinary loss from catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one. He represents those who need a high caliber lawyer to help them get justice. Fmore information, please visit

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[Via Legal / Law]

Leading New York City Trial Law Firm / Personal Injury Lawyers Go Online Using as the Internet Brand

New York Trial Attorneys - Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo, launches New website to provide citizens with access to convenient, prompt, legal assistance.

Manhattan, NY (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- For many personal injury victims, searching for legal assistance in times of need only increases their feelings of stress and adds to the heavy burden that accrued damages often leave them with. The attorneys of leading New York based personal injury firm, Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo have launched a new website to assist these and other individuals who seek the convenience of online case submission, and accurate answers to their legal questions from qualified, experienced attorneys. New York Injury / Trial Law Firm New York Injury / Trial Law Firm

Protecting Rights, Providing Answers:
The attorneys of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo are taking the initiative to ensure that the objectives of the legal system are met by providing a useful outlet to get answers to legal questions and ensure the protection of the legal rights of citizens. With the launch of their new website, the firm is able to assist prospective clients and others in the manner most convenient for their needs. By visiting the web site individuals with a personal injury cause of action can submit their information online and receive a free evaluation of their case.

Our Leading New New York - New Jersey Long Island Attorneys:
Commitment. Dedication. Excellence. The law firm consists of more than 37 highly qualified lawyers. Each has practiced in their field with distinction and is dedicated to one goal: The securing of full and appropriate compensation for those who have been seriously harmed and for the surviving family members of those who have been fatally injured. Collectively, they have been responsible for the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. The Firm's membership has distinguished itself with many years of service, zealous advocacy on behalf of clients, and innovation in practice areas.

Bob Sullivan, the Firm's Senior Member is one of the outstanding trial lawyers in the State of New York. He has been with the Firm for over 30 years after starting there as a law clerk for one of the legal luminaries of the day, Harry Lipsig.

Nick Papain, one of New York's prominent negligence and products liability trial attorneys and the Firm's Managing Member, has been with the Firm throughout his entire legal career of 30 years.

Mike Block, counsel to New York City Uniformed Firefighters Association and head of the Firm's Fire Litigation Unit, started with the Firm over 30 years ago.

Chris McGrath, President of the Nassau County Bar Association for the 2005-2006 term and one of the Firm's leading trial lawyers, has spent his entire legal career of 25 years with the Firm.

Vito Cannavo, an outstanding trial attorney who tries cases in all areas of the Firm's practice while heading one of our General Negligence departments, has been with the Firm for 20 years.

About Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo:
Headquartered in the historic Equitable Life building in lower Manhattan. All forty-five thousand square feet were designed for a quiet and professional working environment and with the comfort and privacy of our clients in mind.

The Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo firm has assisted clients with their personal injury cases for over 75 years.

The Firm has served as Lead Counsel in some of the most well known cases in New York and New Jersey involving multiple victims.

Record of Verdicts & Recoveries:
More than 300 of our clients have recovered a million dollars or more over the last ten years.

The firm has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients with cases related to medical malpractice, negligence, products liability, construction accidents, 9/11 litigation, and other areas of New York personal injury law. Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo is encouraging those who believe they have a valid personal injury claim, or have related legal questions to visit them online to obtain a free consultation.

For more information about the Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo law firm, please visit New York Personal Injury Law Firm.

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[Via Legal / Law] 2.0 - A Website For Troubled Times

Site Aggregator Integrates 40-Plus Verticals Into Single Brand Solution

Los Angeles (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- After years of practicing law, Henry Dahut was convinced that helping his clients solve their legal trouble was only a part of the solution. Clients in legal trouble needed much more. They needed to get their lives back in order. Often this meant having to borrow money, face foreclosure, relocate or find a new job. And rarely were clients ever prepared for the emotional side of trouble.

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Dahut soon realized that people in legal and financial trouble required a variety of services and resources - not just legal or financial - and that sounded like an opportunity as well as a challenge.

Henry envisioned a site that was upbeat, supportive and non-judgmental, a place where people in trouble could share experiences, insights and have instant access to a wide variety of helpful services - all from a single resource.

On July 4, 2008, exactly eight years to the day of it's founding, 2.0 will finally be released and according to some industry experts, the timing for this company couldn't be more perfect. combines over 40 different vertical markets into a fully integrated, one-stop, easy-to-remember brand solution. Branding by "event" remarks Dahut, rather then by a discreet service or product, encourages a more comprehensive and informed search experience for the consumer in trouble.

The new and revamped resembles the original version, but on steroids. "The music video above reveals a brand that is both serious and playful," Dahut said.

The user experience is still event-centric, but now the presentation and business model have evolved substantially. The new offers breakthrough visual capabilities, social networking features and for many types of smaller advertisers, listing opportunities that are both profitable and compelling. It's a business model, in short, designed to avoid trouble.

Another advantage is that advertising dollars spent by one type of service provider gets aggregated with the advertising dollars spent by a totally different type of service provider. For example, someone searching under the event of divorce will find not only local divorce lawyers, but also local locksmiths, moving services, storage, therapists and short-term lenders.

What's more, smaller advertisers like locksmiths and therapists get charged different rates based on the advertisers specific industry. It's a variable pricing approach that encourages smaller budget advertisers to participate with the bigger budget advertisers within the same bundled solution. pulls together the best web technologies and business models for people in crisis and the companies that serve them. "It's a supportive community experience combined with a richly resourced directory," Dahut says. "It's three different business models seamlessly integrated into one comprehensive brand solution."

See the original CNN segment on here

Press Contact:
Henry Dahut

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[Via Legal / Law]

With the UBS E-Mail Americas Watchdog Advices All Auction Rate Securities Victims to Call Them About Arbitration Attorneys Now

Americas Watchdog has been trying to provide help for every U.S. victim of the auction rate securities disaster with free high quality advice and assistance, for the last four months. According to Americas Watchdog, "The UBS e-mail reported by the New York Times demonstrates how deceptive the auction rate securities were. However, now is not the time to fall asleep at the switch thinking the SEC or state governments are going to come riding in for a late rescue. It will not happen in time. Further, with the U.S. economic crisis getting worse, now is the time to get the best arbitration attorney and get ready for a fight." Victims of the auction rate securities disaster are encouraged to call Americas Watchdog anytime at 866-714-6466 for some honesty, or visit their Web site at

(PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- For the last four months Americas Watchdog has been conducting a national investigation into the U.S. auction rate securities disaster. During this time, Americas Watchdog has been trying to help every victim of the auction rate securities mess, with high quality free help and advice.
News Image
According to Americas Watchdog, "The revelation of a UBS executive's e-mail's on Thursday June 26 should be one more reason for the 100,000+ U.S. victims to be outraged, and for all U.S. citizens to demand justice for the victims." However, even with the UBS e-mail; Americas Watchdog says, "If you want your money back, most of you are going to have to fight for it through arbitration, because the economy is tanking, and most Americans have their own problems, and could care less about yours."

Auction rate securities (ARPS or ARS) victims can call Americas Watchdog anytime at 866-714-6466 or visit their Web site at

"If you own auction rate securities, do you think the problem is about to get solved by the bank or stock brokerage firm that cheated you because of a State Regulatory Agency or by the SEC because of the UBS e-mail? Or do you think a class action will help you? Think again." According to Americas Watchdog, "We think the problem is about to get much worse, more complicated and more confusing, the economy is getting worse, so now is the time for some honesty, and now is the time to act." Victims can call Americas Watchdog anytime at 866-714-6466 or visit their web site at

If you have an action rate security called a ARPS or ARS, Americas Watchdog says, "you need to get the best securities arbitration attorney to help you get your money back, and we can help identify them for you" (there are only a handful in the entire US). Call Americas Watchdog at 866-714-6466 to explore realistic options.

"What You Were Told by a Stock Broker or Your U.S. Bank (All lies)":

  • Auction rate securities are safe
  • Auction Rate Securities Are Just Like Cash
  • ARPS or ARS are 100% Liquid

There is one hero of this mess: Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times
  • Had it not been for Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times and her relentless pursuit of the truth, Americas Watchdog doubts there would have been any pressure to even have state investigations, like the one that uncovered the now famous UBS e-mail.

Here is a little honesty:
  • Stay away from class actions unless you want ten cents on the dollar.
  • Do not believe your broker or banker that everything is ok--it is not
  • Do not think for one second the UBS e-mail revelation changes the game. A year ago, Americas Watchdog helped expose the CEO of perhaps the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S. for going on CNBC, and promoting his company's stock, while at the same time he was dumping his stock in his company. According to Americas Watchdog, "Its pretty similar to the UBS e-mail, and in this case the CEO is still walking the streets".
  • Even if the states or SEC get involved, the result might be the same as a class action -- $0.10 cents on the dollar

More advice:
If you have a student loan or a municipal auction rate security, you could be looking at 20 years before you get your money back or more.

Americas Watchdog and their Auction Rate Securities Complaint Center is recommending that most auction rate shares or auction rate preferred shares victims talk with an arbitration law firm that has a specialty in securities law as opposed to joining a class action. The group will make some very good suggestions with respect to the top securities arbitration law firms in the U.S. According to Americas Watchdog, "Call us at 866-714-6466 and we will give you their names and phone numbers."

Every auction rate securities victim needs to understand the secondary market. The secondary market is a place that has been created to buy investors out of the ARPS or ARS investment. While the secondary market will involve a discounted sales price, a good portion of the discount could be recovered in the arbitration process. All auction rate securities victims should call Americas Watchdog at 866-714-6466 to learn more about the auction rate securities secondary market.

So who is the typical auction rate securities victim (in auction rate preferred shares or auction rate shares)? According to Americas Watchdog, the typical victims are as follows:

  • Retired people
  • People who did not want their money at risk in the U.S. stock market
  • People who were about to buy a home
  • Parents who had a trust fund for their kids
  • Disabled people who need the money so they can pay bills.
  • People saving for retirement
  • Young people saving for their first home
  • Working people saving for retirement
  • In many cases a husband or a wife has not told their spouse about getting cheated on a auction rate securities out of fear of divorce.
  • In thousands of cases stock brokers put US consumers into auction rate securities or auction rate preferred shares with out permission.
Anyone who purchased an auction rate shares or an auction rate preferred share should call Americas Watchdog at 866-714-6466 or visit their web site at in order to get high quality free information about what to do about their auction rate securities.

Americas Watchdog and its ARS Watchdog are all about protecting consumers in what will turn out to be the single worst case of fraud in U.S. history.

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[Via Legal / Law]

Do You Need A Permit For Bathroom Remodeling?

For some bathroom remodeling projects, you need more than just the right skills and a well thought-out plan—you need your town’s permission to start and complete the renovation. Often, a permit is required to ensure that any changes will meet current building, electrical, plumbing, and fire codes. This helps protect the homeowner from unscrupulous contractors, or violations of safety regulations that may result in accidental property damage or injury, or liability when the house is sold.

The building permit is obtained from your local municipal planning department and works in two stages: (1) approval of the initial remodeling plan; and (2) certification that all work has been done satisfactorily.

How do I know if I need a permit in the first place?

This is the major question most people have when it comes to bathroom remodeling. If you're making minor changes that can be easily reversed, or if the building’s infrastructure and systems are not significantly altered, a permit probably isn’t necessary. Major improvements, however, such as re-wiring, new plumbing, construction or demolition, generally require official permission before work begins. If in doubt, talk to the planning department first: in many municipalities, the building inspectors are more than willing to explain what’s needed to do the job correctly.

To obtain a permit, you or your contractor will be asked to complete some forms, and supply sketches or architectural drawings, that detail the work to be done and materials used. This plan will then be reviewed by the planning department to see if it's structurally sound and up to code. If not, you will be asked to revise it. Permit fees vary according to the project’s size and projected cost.

How to create a plan that will pass inspection

If you’re a relative novice doing the work yourself, discuss your ideas first with a bathroom-remodeling professional, or someone at the planning department, or a knowledgeable neighbor who’s already been through the process. Once you’ve worked out the details, get cost estimates for your materials and any needed tools by checking out prices with local or online merchants. Any cost cutting your budget requires should not be at the expense of satisfying code requirements. Otherwise, your permit will not be issued.

If you hire a licensed contractor to do the work, he or she can help you fill out the permit application, or on large renovations, file it for you as part of the job.

The second stage of the approval process comes before the finishing work begins: the major alterations are complete but still exposed to view. An inspector comes to the site to see if everything has been done according to plan. If not, further modifications will be necessary before the project is approved.

At the end of your project, you’ll hopefully have added beauty, convenience, and value to your home. You’ll also have the security, obtained through the permit-approval process, of knowing that the safety of your loved ones and possessions has been assured as well.

About the Author

Dave Robert is a district sales manager at Discount Bathroom Vanities Publishing, and an avid fixer-upper who’s been restoring old houses for more than twenty years. Readers can tap into Dave’s knowledge about home remodeling, and kitchen and bathroom design, at:

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Why You Should Make Sure The Contractor You Hire Has Insurance

Californians spend more than $39 billion on residential construction each year. Many homeowners have discovered, especially in light of the current real estate market with declining home values, that improving their current home with an updated kitchen or bathroom, an additional room, new windows or a new roof can be a better investment than trying to sell their home and buying a new one. However, the cost of adding a room or remodeling can be substantial, so consumers need to take some time and care in planning a home improvement project.

One of the important issues in selecting a contractor is to make sure he has various types of insurance coverage. It just makes good sense to demand that your contractor has the necessary types of insurance before you go forward with a home remodeling project.

Make Sure the Contractor Has Workers' Compensation and Liability Insurance Coverage

It is a state law in California that all contractors must have Workers’ Compensation insurance, unless they have no employees and do all the work themselves. Contractor certificates of insurance need to be currently filed with the Contractors State License Board and a record of that can be found at

If a contractor’s employee gets hurt and the contractor IS covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance, then that liability is covered by the insurance carrier, not by the contractor or homeowner. Since such major injury claims can go on for years and cost large amounts of money, it’s vital when hiring a contractor to ensure that he has this coverage.

The cost of Workers’ Comp insurance has risen dramatically over the last decade due to fraud and other factors. The Governor and California state legislature have instituted effective reforms several years ago, but the cost of this insurance is still high. Some contractors try to avoid carrying this type of insurance so they can be more competitive in price. But they also may cut corners on the quality of work to your home, and they will probably carry through with this low level of professionalism in everything they do for you. A true professional will carry insurance--period.

In order for a General Contractor to hire a sub-contractor, the sub-contractor must provide proof of Workers’ Comp insurance. General Contractors are audited each year by their carriers to ensure that no uninsured sub-contractors were hired.

Liability insurance is not required by law, but it’s vital for many reasons. This type of insurance pays for damages that might occur to a property based on errors made by the contractor. Once again carrying this type of insurance is an indication of the professionalism of the contractor.

Liability coverage helps to ensure that the quality of the work done will be good for years to come. If a problem crops up with the work done, even years later, Liability insurance is the method to gain relief.

If your contractor damages your property and doesn't carry general liability insurance, you or your insurance company could end up paying for damages.

Lack of this insurance would prevent a contractor from working on more upscale projects that require certificates of insurance prior to starting any work.

Verify your contractor's insurance coverage before hiring him. It’s just an indication of professionalism and you should make it a requirement for your home remodeling project.

About the Author

Roger Perron is President of Fine Designs by Roger Perron, Inc., General Contractors (, offering Architectural Design, Home Remodeling and Additions of all types, as well as Custom New Home Construction in the Los Angeles area. He can be reached at:

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gallup & Shaefer Attorney Featured as One of the Best Lawyers in Nebraska

William Gallup, one of the partners with Gallup & Shaefer, was recently featured in Omaha Magazine as one of the Best Lawyers in the Omaha area.

Omaha, NE (PRWEB) June 29, 2008 -- One of the founding partners of the Omaha-based Gallup & Shaefer, William Gallup, was recently featured in Omaha Magazine, the local lifestyles magazine, for being one of the Best Lawyers in the Omaha area.

Gallup, who was ranked as one of the best criminal attorneys, is just an example of why the attorneys with Gallup & Shaefer are known for their emphasis on criminal defense, representing many high profile cases in the Omaha area.

The strength and breadth of the law firm's expertise, its network of reputable correspondent legal practices and strong links with the community allows for the work it undertakes to be handled quickly and efficiently with the aim of providing the optimum level of service to the client at a fair and reasonable cost.

The civil law field is of ever increasing importance to the law firm. It practices in all related disciplines such as advising clients on the establishment, structure and use of business entities and trusts and estate planning.

For more information about Gallup & Shaefer, go to

About Gallup & Shaefer:

The law firm of Gallup & Schaefer is one of the oldest and best known law firms in Omaha and was established by the founders, J. William Gallup, and James E. Schaefer, in 1982. Gallup & Schaefer has, since its foundation, established an enviable reputation as a broad based legal practice with particular emphasis on litigation, both civil and criminal. The ten attorneys in the firm cover all areas of practice in all state and federal courts, both trials and appeals. Each of the attorneys concentrates in an area of specialized expertise, including Criminal Law, Personal Injury, Probate, Real Estate, Business Planning, Contracts and Domestic Relations.

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[Via Legal / Law]

Lacerte Receives National Public Power Award

Kissimmee Utility Authority vice president and general counsel Arthur J. "Grant" Lacerte, Jr. has received the American Public Power Association's Robert E. Roundtree Rising Star Award. The award recognizes future leaders of public power systems and includes a $2,000 scholarship to attend any APPA-sponsored program.

Kissimmee, FL (PRWEB) June 29, 2008 -- Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) vice president and general counsel Arthur J. "Grant" Lacerte, Jr. on June 24 received the American Public Power Association's (APPA) Robert E. Roundtree Rising Star Award at the association's national conference in New Orleans, La. The award recognizes future leaders of public power systems and includes a $2,000 scholarship to attend any APPA-sponsored program.

Grant Lacerte
Grant Lacerte

Lacerte has more than 17 years of experience in public utility, regulatory and legislative practice, including serving as an attorney advisor to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC.

Lacerte currently serves as vice chairman of APPA's legal section and will assume the post of chairman later this year. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on topics including ethics, municipal entry into the broadband industry, patent law development and the impact an avian flu pandemic could have on municipal utilities.

In addition, Lacerte serves as chairman of the Grievance Committee for the Florida State Bar's Ninth Judicial District (Osceola and Orange counties) and chair-elect of Family Services of Metro Orlando, an organization that oversees the management of services provided to abused and neglected children under the auspices of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The Florida Municipal Electric Association in 2005 awarded Lacerte its Member of the Year award for his work in drafting legislation to govern Florida's municipal broadband industry.

Lacerte holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in New York, N.Y. and a J.D. degree from Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

Award Background
Established in 2003, the Robert E. Roundtree Rising Star Award honors retired City Utilities of Springfield (Missouri) CEO Robert E. Roundtree for his more than 50 years of service to public power. Award recipients are considered future leaders of public power systems who have demonstrated a dedication to the goals and principles of public power and an interest in improving management and operational skills through continuing education.

About APPA:
The American Public Power Association ( is the service organization for the nation's more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities that serve more than 45 million Americans.

About KUA:
Founded in 1901, KUA ( is Florida's sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

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[Via Legal / Law]

How to Find Cheap Insurance With a Bad Driving Record

Okay, so you’re not the best driver in the world. Maybe you’ve got a few speeding tickets or other moving violations. Perhaps you got that one DUI that night coming home from the party, and it added two or three points to your license. As long as you don’t have a maxed out driving record, you can always find cheap insurance if you know where to look.

First, you need to know where to look. There are hundreds of insurance companies online that offer free quotes and comparison shopping services for your insurance needs. Companies such as and will help you to find the cheapest deals on insurance, no matter what your driving record looks like. They offer comparisons on insurance rates from some of the top companies in the industry. In less than five minutes you can get a myriad of quotes, saving you time and the effort of searching with multiple companies.

Once you’re aware of the different options you have for insurance shopping, you need to know your driving record. You might not be aware of how many violations you have on your record, but you can obtain this information from your state or local DMV, in order to understand why you’re paying a certain rate for insurance. For example, if you get quotes that are higher than you expected, knowing your violation history will help you to understand why you have to pay more for insurance than average, and vice versa. Visit your state’s specific DMV website for more information.

Finally, it is imperative that you compare your insurance options, and don’t focus specifically on the cheapest insurance quote. Instead, you need to compare the policies and coverage that you are offered versus the rates you’re quoted. This will ensure you get the best deal on your insurance, and that you have adequate insurance coverage, should you ever need it. To get the best insurance rates, keep these things in mind:

• Less violations equal lower rates; be a safe driver and save money for it.

• Opt for traffic school when you can; this looks better on your record than just paying the fine

• Look for companies that offer discounts. Many car insurance companies will offer discounts on your rates for multiple vehicles, or even if you have your car insurance and other types of insurance, such as home or motorcycle insurance, with the same company.

• Shop around. Each company will offer something different, and if you don’t consider all of your options, you may wind up paying more than you have to for car insurance.

Remember these tips when you are shopping for car insurance and your quest should be a simple one. Also, keep in mind that all traffic violations only stay on your record for three to five years, depending on the offense and your particular state’s laws, so you need to periodically have your insurance re-quoted to see if any violations have been removed, which will lower your rates. Drive safe and good luck in your insurance search!

About the Author

Rob Skubiak has appeared in courtrooms all over Florida defending his Florida traffic ticket clients. Official Website of Skubiak and Rivas, P.A. Florida Traffic Ticket attorneys / Florida DUI Lawyers.

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Driving Distractions 101: Top 5 Reasons Drivers Don't Pay Attention

Driving was once an efficient means of transportation, with strict rules and regulations to keep motorists safe and help them to be courteous to other drivers. In today's fast paced, time-crunching society, driving has become more like a battlefield, where drivers are pitted against each other to see who can make it safely to their destination. So many people multi-task while driving that motorists have never been at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. You see them on your morning commute all the time; people on cell phones, PDAs, even shaving, reading the newspaper, and eating breakfast while driving to work. This creates a hazardous environment for everyone involved. The most common driving distractions are listed below, to inform you of what to watch out for.

#1- Cell Phones

You're driving down the highway, and suddenly you get cut off, nearly causing an accident. Then you notice that the driver is on his cell phone, and not paying attention to the road. You toss a few expletives out the window and honk your horn at him, but he doesn't even notice you. Ten minutes later, you're driving along, and your phone rings. It's your boss, you better answer it. But you aren't like that jerk that cut you off, right? Wrong. No matter how competent you think you are at driving and carrying on a phone conversation, taking that focus away from your mind can always cause a distraction and lead to traffic violations or accidents.

#2- Kids

Oh, how we love our children. Thanks to modern technology, many children are kept peaceful in the car by means of televisions and DVD players, so that mom or dad can focus on driving. Unfortunately, kids are kids, and whether they are entertained or not, they can be a distraction. As soon as Jimmy starts picking on Susie, or Susie has to "go potty," your brain is once again taken away from the task at hand: operating your vehicle. The main reason kids become a distraction, and a dangerous one at that, is because too many parents turn around to talk to them, pick something up for them, or to take something from them, while driving down the road. If you are looking in your backseat, you aren't paying attention. Reaching for things and turning around while driving is a main cause of vehicles winding up in ditches and in minor fender-bender accidents. NEVER turn your back on the road.

#3- Getting Dressed/Putting on Makeup

For every person that gets up an hour early to get ready for work or school, there are another three or four people who simply don't have the time, and do all of their necessary primping while driving. We've seen just about everything, too: men shaving on their way to the office, women putting on a full face of makeup (including eye makeup), people getting dressed, fixing their hair, and so on. If it can be done by getting up a little bit earlier, please do it. Nothing is mroe frightening than to be driving next to a car where the driver is more focused on their appearance than the road. Take the extra fifteen minutes and do it at home, and make the road a little bit safer for all of us.

#4- Eating While Driving

In today's go-go-go society, you're lucky if you get through a fast food drive thru in less than ten minutes, but what do you do once you get your food? Some people park and eat, while others take it home to enjoy, or to share with their familes. Unfortunately, too many people simply chow down while driving, which again distracts them from the task of driving and increases the risk for accidents and traffic violations. Snacking on some fries or even a burger isn't necessarily that bad, but we've all seen people attempting to eat more complicated things while driving. If you've never encountered someone attempting to down a burrito or a salad while driving, consider yourself lucky. Even though most of us have been eating on our own since the early stages of toddlerhood, it's still not a good combination to eat and drive. Especially when you're more focused on your meal than you are on driving. Is it really worth the trouble of causing an accident or risking a traffic violation to save ten minutes? Next time you think about eating while driving, take ten minutes to park and enjoy your food instead.

#5- Stress

This may sound like the odd man out on this list, but if you have a lot on your mind, you're not going to drive as carefully and as focused as the next guy who is only concerned with driving. We all have stresses in life, from bills, to work, to the kids, and so on. Although it's hard, if you can work on shutting down your brain while you drive, you'll decrease your chances of dangerous driving by allowing yourself to focus more on the road and less on your thoughts. We've all sat behind the zoned out driver that sits at a green light for ten or fifteen seconds until someone honks and brings them back to reality. Believe it or not, when many people get in fender benders or run stop lights or signs, the most common response is "I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't paying attention. I had a lot on my mind." If you're that stressed, try yoga, or writing in a journal. Even take ten minutes everyday to sit down and process all of your stresses and thoughts, so that you don't have to focus on them when you should be focused on driving.

Anything that you do in combination with driving is bad. It doesn't matter if you're on the phone, thinking, eating, getting ready, or tending to the children; it's all a distraction to what should be your only priority: driving safely. The more distractions you allow yourself to have while driving, the more likely you are to end up getting in an accident because you're not paying attention to the road. We all think that we're the best drivers in the world, and that we are fully capable of multi-tasking while driving. Whether or not this is true, you shouldn't do it because you can. Just don't do it because it's safer not to.

About the Author

Rob Skubiak has appeared in courtrooms all over Florida defending his Florida traffic ticket clients. Official Website of Skubiak and Rivas, P.A. Florida Traffic Ticket attorneys / Florida DUI Lawyers.

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