Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lawyer Rodney R. Elkins Sues Law Firm and Wins Record Judgment

Lawyer sues law firm wins $1.4 million

Dallas (PRWEB) May 31, 2009 -- Dallas attorney Rodney R. Elkins took on the law firm of Pearson & Campbell of Beaumont, Texas, filing a lawsuit on the behalf of environmental research firm Risk Identity Group (RIG) of Boerne, Texas that resulted in a judgment of $1.4 million dollars, signed by Judge Ken Molberg of the 95th District Court in Dallas May 4, 2009. No. 07-03020-D

Pearson & Campbell had retained RIG to research the air quality in the Port Arthur, Texas area when the firm suspected the area's refinery smokestacks were releasing harmful pollutants. RIG worked for over a year creating air models and risk models, which show the emissions in the air in specific locations and at specific times, and the risks associated with the levels of emissions, turning away other assignments to complete the work for Pearson & Campbell. Not only were they working from a written contract with Pearson & Campbell, but also from additional verbal agreements made during the period RIG provided its services to the law firm.

As RIG continued their work creating air models and risk models in the Port Arthur, Texas area during designated time periods, Pearson & Campbell kept changing their legal strategies and were not paying for work done. "The Beaumont, Port Arthur area has been called the 'Golden Triangle' because of the lawsuits that have been brought against refineries located there. Several of the country's highest paid lawyers are located in this area, not in Los Angeles, Chicago, or Philadelphia, as you might think," Elkins says.

After Pearson & Campbell fell behind in making payments in accord with both their written and verbal agreements with RIG, the company decided to contact attorney Rodney R. Elkins.

"When I sat down with the four men whose business was destroyed by continuing to work for a client who was keeping them from other profitable assignments, and yet not keeping up with payments to them, I wanted to help," Elkins says. "I was hoping that we could get an acceptable judgment that would allow them to recover enough money to help rebuild their business. I'm pleased that the jury found the facts favorable to RIG, and Judge Molberg incorporated those findings into his judgment."

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Hurley Write, Inc. Launches Two New Online Writing Courses

Hurley Write, Inc. has launched a ten-week course, "Writing for Publication," and a five-week course, "Writing Fundamentals." The ten-week course is geared toward professionals and students interested in publishing their manuscripts, and the five-week course focuses on helping writers, especially those whose first language isn't English, hone their writing skills.

(Vocus/PRWEB ) May 31, 2009 -- Hurley Write, Inc., a company that specializes in providing online and onsite writing courses for engineering, healthcare, life sciences, and government organizations, has launched two new online courses. The first, titled "Writing for Publication", is a ten-week course that's geared toward helping professionals and students write and hone a manuscript for publication. Says Pam Hurley, PhD, the founder of Hurley Write, Inc., "I modeled this class on the one that I designed at Duke University in their Clinical Research Management program. In three months, students were able to develop an idea, write about it, and in about 75 percent of cases, get that manuscript published. We had a very good publication rate. In such a competitive marketplace, publishing can help the careers not only of academics and students, but others as well. A well-written article or two in a well-placed journal can boost careers." The second, a five-week course titled "Writing Fundamentals," is a more basic course, developed for those who want to hone their writing skills and/or for those whose first language isn't English. When asked about the need for such a course, Hurley said, "Well, we've found over the years that more and more folks are working as engineers and in the life sciences field whose first language isn't English. They need to write well, but sometimes they don't have a good grasp how to write readable documents. This class tries to address that." As with all of Hurley Write's online courses, these courses include several supplements that explain the concepts discussed in the courses, provide explanations and discussions and job aid, writing "assignments, and a certificate of completion. Participants can submit their work for written feedback if they choose, which, according to Hurley, is one of the things that makes Hurley Write's classes "unique."

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Claims of Wrongdoing Continue Against Advanced Equities Financial Corporation and First Allied Securities

Suits alleging fraud continue against Advanced Equities Financial Corporation, First Allied Securities including, for allegedly paying kickbacks to brokers who sold proprietary products that were egregiously marked up and overpriced in order to generate fraudulent profits.

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) May 31, 2009 -- The Mirch Law Firm announced today that it had filed 2 Securities Fraud Whistle Blower Law Suits naming Advanced Equities Financial Corporation, First Allied Securities, Adam Antoniades, Keith G. Daubenspeck, Dwight O. Badger, and Joel Marks. The first case was filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA) on behalf of Keith Gregg, the former President and CEO for First Allied Securities. Gregg v. Advanced Equities Financial Corp., et. al, case number 08-04999. Dave Carle, another previously high ranking employee has also filed suit with FINRA (Carle v. Advanced Equities Financial Corp., et. al. case number 08-04999). The complaints allege securities fraud including, but not limited to, paying kickbacks to brokers who sold proprietary products that were egregiously marked up and overpriced in order to generate fraudulent profits.

The San Diego law firm filed the law suits in order to recover millions of dollars invested in public and private funds. The Complaints allege that immediate administrative review is necessary to protect investors from being defrauded and future losses. Cited in the suits are several brokers, including but not limited to Radio Pitchman and Ray "Buckets of Money" Lucia, alleged to have knowingly received kickbacks from the President of Advanced Equities, Adam Antoniades

The Mirch Law Firm has been contacted by other potential victims after learning of similar actions being filed, pending lawsuits, and awards recently paid out and related to Advanced Equities and First Allied Securities (e.g., Timothy Sullivan ($750,000.00 FINRA ARB. NO. 07-01972; Denise Kappel, FINRA Arb. No. 06-01261, John Eugster FINRA ARB. NO. 09-00437). Mr. Eugster's Claim for $8,000,000 alleges that when he and his former Partner, Olympian Mark Spitz, were employed at Wachovia Securities they were fraudulently induced to join Advanced Equities and were subjected to fraudulent wrongdoing, as well as unethical, and illegal boiler room tactics.

These complaints against Advanced Equities and First Allied Securities confirm allegations against Advanced Equities previously reported in an September 2008, Forbes article entitled "Garbage In" The Forbes article depicted the two founders of Advanced Equities (Keith Daubenspeck and Dwight Badger) wearing orange jump suits taking out the trash. Further information can be obtained from The Mirch Law Firm at 619-501-6220 or

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Banner Mattress Emerges Successfully From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Banner Mattress was able to completely restructure its balance sheet, shedding itself of burdensome and unprofitable stores, restructuring all of its quality leases and eliminating millions of dollars of debt. The Plan of Reorganization proposed by Weintraub & Selth and accepted by Banner's creditors.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 30, 2009 -- Weintraub & Selth, APC ("Weintraub & Selth"), a West Los Angeles boutique bankruptcy firm, recently served as general bankruptcy counsel to Banner Bedding, Inc., a California corporation doing business as Banner Mattresses, ("Banner Bedding"). Less than one year from filing the chapter 11 petition, Banner was able to completely restructure its balance sheet, shedding itself of burdensome and unprofitable stores, restructuring all of its quality leases and eliminating millions of dollars of debt. The Plan of Reorganization proposed by Weintraub & Selth and accepted by Banner's creditors proposes to pay creditors three percent (3%) of approved claims over a period of three (3) years with the possibility of an additional one percent (1%) if Banner makes all of its numbers. "Our client, the judge and Creditors' Committee were thrilled to have this case emerge from bankruptcy so quickly!" says Daniel Weintraub, managing shareholder of Weintraub & Selth and one of California's Super Lawyers of 2009.

Banner Bedding, a mattress company founded by the Scorzeill family, commenced doing business in 1926 in Ohio. In 1964, the company moved to California and has been managed by three generations of the Scorzeill family to date. The company, which originally manufactured mattresses for the wholesale market, grew to encompass 37 retail stores to compliment its factory and production facility. The general economic downturn following Banner's rapid expansion created a need to revisit the company's operational methodology. On June 9, 2008, Banner filed its petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, choosing Weintraub & Selth to lead it through chapter 11's unchartered waters.

While writers and reporters often cite the low success rates for Chapter 11 debtors across the country, Wentraub & Selth, has successfully reorganized numerous middle market businesses. Banner's completion of the restructuring process in less than one year is a virtually unheard of accomplishment for a company of nearly forty stores and three hundred fifty employees. Banner is currently noted to be one of the largest operating companies to emerge from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Central District of California this year. In its success, Banner was able to save many employees from joining the jobless, maintain tenancies at several stores which otherwise might be dark and provide a distribution from future operations to its creditors.

The Chapter 11 process offers the opportunity to close poorly performing stores, restructure equipment, office and store leases, eliminate debt and restructure business operations for challenged organizations.

Today, under the management of Geno and Lisa Scorziell, Banner has 14 locations in Southern California and continues its commitment to offer its customers mattresses handcrafted to the highest quality.    

About Weintraub & Selth:

Weintraub & Selth, APC, combines the experience, sophistication and thoroughness of a large law firm with the cost-effectiveness of a small firm to get the best results for its clients. For more information, please visit

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NYC Attorney Expresses Safety Concerns Over New Broadway Traffic Patterns

Confusion over rerouting of Midtown traffic may cause car, pedestrian accidents, cautions personal injury lawyer Steven J. Schwartzapfel.

New York, New York (PRWEB) May 30, 2009 -- New York personal injury lawyer Steven J. Schwartzapfel is urging motorists to use extra caution when driving in the Midtown Manhattan area this summer.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing through September, Broadway has been closed to vehicles while traffic lanes are redesigned in an attempt to ease congestion at Times and Herald Squares.

While the Green Light for Midtown project is well-intentioned, I am concerned it is going to actually cause more traffic problems for vehicles and pedestrians alike
The Green Light for Midtown project, sponsored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, has closed Broadway to vehicles from 47th to 42nd Streets and 35th to 33rd Streets, turning those areas into pedestrian plazas. It is hoped that this will add to Midtown Manhattan's economic and cultural vitality while reducing the area's chronic traffic congestion.

"While the Green Light for Midtown project is well-intentioned, I am concerned it is going to actually cause more traffic problems for vehicles and pedestrians alike," Schwartzapfel said. He is a founding member of Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C., a leading NY personal injury law firm.

As the city returned to work after the Memorial Day weekend, New York newspapers reported on disgruntled drivers and cab operators, with rerouted traffic at a virtual standstill on some streets.

"These types of frustrating delays often lead drivers to speed through red lights and pedestrians to cross against lights, which will end up causing more accidents and injuries," Schwartzapfel said.

Also of concern, Schwartzapfel said, is that emergency vehicle drivers were confused as to what procedures to follow for calls in the new pedestrian areas.

"Without an effective plan for emergency vehicles, we could be looking at a real mess," he said.

The mayor has been commended by many for his innovative thinking, but he has also drawn criticism for the complexity of the plan. The Broadway district is serving as the pilot for the program, which will be evaluated for continued funding based on the success or failure in that area.

About Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C.

Steven J. Schwartzapfel is the founding member of Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C., one of the most prominent and well-respected plaintiff's personal injury law firms in New York. With over 150 years of combined experience and highly competent co-counsel throughout the country, the attorneys at Schwartzapfel Partners believe in protecting the rights of those who aren't able to do so for themselves.

If you've been injured in a car, pedestrian or other personal injury accident, or have a pressing legal concern, call 800-966-4999, or contact the firm through its free Case Evaluation form.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Top Trademark Attorneys Recognized in the CSC� Trademark Insider� Annual Report

Report also notes that while trademark filings in 2008 fell for the first time in four years as a result of the economic downturn, brand owners still filed for the second highest number of trademarks in over a decade.

Wilmington, DE (Vocus/PRWEB ) May 29, 2009 -- Corporation Service Company, a leading provider of trademark research and watching, brand monitoring, and domain name management, released the 2008 CSC® Trademark Insider® Annual Report. A quarterly publication on the trademark industry, the report provides a ranking of leading trademark practitioners, insight into overall trademark filing activity, and analysis of overall industry trends.

News Image

Being named one of the top trademark practitioners is an impressive accomplishment. We congratulate all those that achieved ranking on this year's list, particularly those that won a prestigious CSC® Trademark Insider® Award
The 7th annual CSC® Trademark Insider® Award recipients were announced in this year-end report. These awards are presented to the top 25 U.S. trademark law firms and individual attorneys. This year's list of award recipients includes some veterans along with some new faces. Greenberg Traurig remains in the number one national law firm spot for the third year in a row, with Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, K & L Gates, DLA Piper Rudnick, and Merchant & Gould rounding out the top 5 national law firms.

Lawrence E. Abelman of Abelman Frayne & Schwab leads up the top 5 individual attorney award recipients, followed by Xavier Morales, Christopher J. Day, Arturo Perez-Guerrero, and John Alumit of Patel & Alumit.

The report also provides the rankings for the Top 100 company filers. Topping the list of corporate filers was Mattel, Inc., followed by Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo, Nintendo Co., Ltd., and Johnson & Johnson.

"Being named one of the top trademark practitioners is an impressive accomplishment. We congratulate all those that achieved ranking on this year's list, particularly those that won a prestigious CSC® Trademark Insider® Award," said Bruce Winn, CEO of Corporation Service Company.

The 2008 CSC® Trademark Insider® Annual Report also identified trends in the trademark industry. 2008 began strong, with the first quarter posting the second highest quarterly filing volume since 2000. The second and third quarters showed signs of slowed growth, with the fourth quarter feeling the full effect of the recession.

Last year marked the first time in four years that the total number of trademark filings decreased over the prior year. Even with a weakened economy, however, the industry held its own. The 289,430 trademark filings in 2008 is only 5% behind the 304,407 filings in 2007. It also represents the second highest number of trademark applications filed in a calendar year since CSC began tracking the data in 1997.

"Many sectors of the economy receded significantly during the second half of 2008, but the trademark filing activity only marginally softened. This indicates that while companies pull back on their expenses they continue to protect their brands," commented Jim Stoltzfus, Vice President of Corporation Service Company.

Mr. Stoltzfus also noted that, "In these economic times, top trademark practitioners continue to rely on CSC as their trusted service provider. Our services are ideally suited for brand owners and their attorneys who are looking to for a cost-effective and comprehensive approach to managing and protecting their brands."

For a list of all award winners, industry rankings and analysis, or to sign up to receive the CSC® Trademark Insider®, visit or call 800-927-9800.

To view the entire 2008 CSC® Trademark Insider® Annual Report, visit:

About CSC
Corporation Service Company, a privately-owned service organization, provides corporate identity protection, matter management, and corporate compliance services to some of the largest law firms and most respected companies in the world. The corporate identity protection suite of services includes trademark screening, research and watching, domain name optimization and management, and online brand monitoring services. Founded in 1899, CSC has more than 1,100 employees located throughout North America and Europe. To learn more about CSC, please visit

Stephen Butler
Corporation Service Company
302-636-5401 x3444

# # #

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Sex Workers Convene for Cultural Festival: Speak Out on Craigslist Sex Panic

Erotic service providers, adult entertainers, dominatrixes, strippers and allies gather in San Francisco for a week of educational, political and cultural events from May 30th- June 7th at the 6th Biennial Sex Worker Film, Arts and Music Festival.Sex workers come together to address the current issues they face including human rights and safety in addition to attending screenings, performances and parties. A press conference will be held in San Francisco on Monday, June 1st at 11 am to discuss recent issues and announce this event.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- Sex workers and allies from various industry sectors and communities gather in San Francisco for a week of films, performances, parties, as well as educational and political sessions at this 6th biennial film and cultural festival. (Visit for details.)

Attendees will gather at cultural events, and meet to address the current issues that they face from 'the Craigslist Panic' to the human rights impact of anti-trafficking polices, from 'prostitution free zones' in Washington D.C. to media representation and stereotypes.

Times Square in its heyday
This year the festival takes places during a particularly difficult time for many participants as Craigslist, described as "Times Square in its heyday," recently shut down the erotic services section. See this link for a story about the effects of this panic.

"Sex workers from across the U.S., including many who are participating in this festival, are profoundly impacted by the shut down," says Acire Roche, director of SWOP, San Francisco. "It's horrible that our government chooses to waste money and focus on 'capturing' prostitutes. This is devastating to those who are trying pay our bills, to survive and to feed our families. The Craigslist shut down is another example of current repressive trends."

"This movement is a strongly cultural movement and through our video, performance and poetry, we share our unique perspectives," says festival director, Carol Leigh (AKA Scarlot Harlot). "This event gives us a chance to come together, to share survival strategies and organize to support our rights."

"The Center for Sex and Culture is glad to be able to support these voices which are rarely heard, from those who are often criminalized and denied representation," says Carol Queen, director of CSC and festival sponsor.

The festival, founded in 1999, provides an opportunity to recognize prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and others who have historically been a dynamic part of arts communities.

Press Conference:
Date: June 1st, 2009 11am
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission St, San Francisco
Contact: Carol Leigh (415) 751-1659

Festival Info:
Carol Leigh (415) 751-1659

SWOP-San Francisco
Acire Roche (916) 904-2058

SWOP-Los Angeles
Mariko Passion (310) 562-8201

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Verrill Dana Announces New Chair of Litigation and Trial Department

Verrill Dana Names Daniel L. Rosenthal as the New Chair of the Litigation and Trial Department

Boston, MA (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- Verrill Dana, LLP, is pleased to announce the new Chair of the Litigation and Trial Department and Trial Department, Daniel L. Rosenthal.
News Image
Mr. Rosenthal is a Partner at Verrill Dana, and is admitted to practice law in both Maine and Massachusetts. He has extensive experience handling a diverse range of complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts, as well as administrative tribunals, arbitration and mediation. Mr. Rosenthal is a summa cum laude graduate from Boston College Law School, and has been distinguished by peers as a "New England Rising Star" in General Litigation by New England Super Lawyers®.

About Verrill Dana:
Verrill Dana, LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 100 attorneys conducting a nationwide practice from offices in Portland and Augusta, Maine; Boston; Hartford; and Washington, D.C.

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Zip Conferencing Introduces New Low Rates for Conference Call Services

Zip Conferencing has introduced new pricing packages for conference call services that include rates as low as 2.5¢ per minute.

Whitehouse Station, NJ (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- Zip Conferencing announced today that it has introduced new low rates for its toll free conference call services. In addition to a Pay-As-You-Go conference call rate plan that allows users to only be billed for what they use, the company now offers Monthly Minute Plans that offer significant discounts for customers who use conference call services on a consistent basis.

ZIp Conferencing

Full featured, high quality conference calls are now available at rates normally reserved for only the highest volume conference call clients
For as little as $19.99 per month a customer can prepay for conference call minutes and receive rates previously reserved for only the largest customers. For $19.99 a customer will receive 515 minutes, an effective rate of 3.9¢ per minute. Any conference call minutes over the amount included in the plan are charged at 3.9¢ per minute.
Other plans for higher volume customers were also introduced. The rates for these plans range from 3.5¢ per minute to as low as 2.5¢ per minute depending on the plan. More Info.

"Full featured, high quality conference calls are now available at rates normally reserved for only the highest volume conference call clients," said Jim Miller, President of Zip Conferencing. "These new rates will make conference calls and their benefits available to businesses of all sizes."

Conference Call Features
The conference call services are provided with a number of standard features. The conference call services include a number of host controls from within the conference call such as call recording, muting participants and controlling volume. More Info.

In addition, customers have access to an online account management system that allows them to control all aspects of their account such as adding conference calls, customizing their conference call options and accessing usage information.

Zip Conferencing provides high quality, reliable audio and web conference call services combining easy to use, convenient features with affordable rates.


Jim Miller, President
Zip Conferencing

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U.S. Immigration Law Firm Launches Investor Green Card Website

Immigration law firm releases EB-5 website targeting foreign nationals both domestic and abroad looking to invest in the EB-5 investor green card program.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- Immigration law firm Ivener & Fullmer, LLP is pleased to announce the launch of a new website on EB-5 Investor Green Cards, found at: The EB-5 Investor Green Card site provides information to foreign nationals both domestic and abroad looking to invest in the EB-5 Green Card Program.

Foreigners interested in seeking U.S. permanent resident Green Card status through the EB-5 Green Card investor program can contact EB-5 Investor Green Card for investment immigration assistance or to discuss immigration needs.

The EB-5 Business Immigration Law Firm.
Via EB-5 Investor Green Card, managing partner Mark Ivener, Esq. provides information pertaining to EB-5 Green Cards, including: What is an EB-5 Green Card? Who qualifies for an EB-5 Green Card? What are the EB-5 programs? What are the steps to getting an EB-5 Green Card? How long does it take to get an EB-5 Green Card? And, what qualifies Ivener & Fullmer, LLP as a nationally recognized law firm for EB-5 Green Card applications?

Ivener & Fullmer, LLP and their EB-5 Investor Green Card team are available to help individuals pursue the goal of becoming a U.S. permanent resident through the EB-5 Green Card program, allowing individuals to work, live or retire anywhere in the United States.

EB-5 Investor Green Card offers legal information on both the regular EB-5 program as well as the regional center EB-5 program and services.

Ivener & Fullmer LLP has been branded as "The EB-5 Business Immigration Law Firm." Mr. Ivener was also the only immigration attorney named in the "Top 100 Wealth Advisors and Managers in the Americas" by Citywealth Magazine.

For more information please visit

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Debra S. Frank and Team Host a Successful Law Practice Management Program

Debra S. Frank, a Certified Family Law Specialist in Century City, California, led her team in creating and hosting a successful Law Practice Management program for the LACBA Family Law Inn of Court that was held May 5, 2009. The team included Anne C. Adams, Raymond R. Goldstein, Abbas Hadjian, Thomas M. Hall, Barbara K. Hammers, Merlyn Noure Hernandez, John A. Lazor, M. Teri Lim, Ed Poll, and Christine V. Twining.

Century City, CA (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- Debra S. Frank, a Certified Family Law Specialist in Century City, California, led her team in creating and hosting a successful Law Practice Management program for the LACBA Family Law Inn of Court that was held May 5, 2009. The team included Anne C. Adams, Raymond R. Goldstein, Abbas Hadjian, Thomas M. Hall, Barbara K. Hammers, Merlyn Noure Hernandez, John A. Lazor, M. Teri Lim, Ed Poll, and Christine V. Twining. The program gave the audience law practice management tips while playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The participants discovered what clients they should avoid, initial intake procedures that work, client trust accounting issues and Rules of Professional Conduct, how to effectively substitute out of a case, and more. Ed Poll, a nationally recognized law firm strategist, law practice management consultant, author of guides to practical profit, and coach to lawyers throughout the country, was on site to share his experience and advice with the audience members. The judicial officers in the audience were also called upon to give their opinions about the issues at hand.

This was one of the many educating and varied programs that the LACBA Family Law Inn of Court puts on every year. As an American Inn of Court (AIC), the LACBA Family Law Inn of Court is an amalgam of no more than 80 members including judges, experienced lawyers, law professors, less experienced lawyers, and law students in an organized and continuing structure designed to enhance directly the professional and ethical quality of legal practice in the community.

Debra S. Frank is a founding member and and a Master of LACBA Family Law Inn of Court. She is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee and its Secretary, editor of its annual Family Law Symposium book, and a mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law section. She regularly serves as a moderator and presenter for family law programs. She just completed three-year terms as a Commissioner for the Family Law Advisory Commission, Board of Legal Specialization and as the Chair of the Financial Issues South subcommittee of the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee. She is a Board Member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS) and its Newsletter Editor for the 2008-2009 term. She is also on the Board of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Family Law Section and the Century City Bar Association. Debra S. Frank was admitted to the California bar in 1977. She is also a member of the District of Columbia bar. She graduated from Boston University in 1970 with honors, Carnegie Institute of Technology (M.A., with honors, 1972), and Southwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1977).

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Gregory Wright Supporters Speak Out After "Dallas DNA" Show

Following the showing of episode 4 of "Dallas DNA" by Investigation Discovery, featuring the case of Gregory Wright, executed in October 2008, friends and supporters speak out against the conclusions of the Dallas Conviction Integrity Unit and question the approach to, and interpretation of, the available evidence.

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- "No person in the United States should face the death penalty either for suspicion of guilt, or for probable innocence." So say former friends and supporters of Gregory Edward Wright, who lost his life after losing an 11-year battle to prove his innocence and aim of a retrial.

A snapshot of the final weeks was played out in an episode of a new series "Dallas DNA", which takes viewers behind the scenes to see the workings of a progressive new Unit in Dallas County, set up on the instructions of Craig Watkins, District Attorney. Showing on the Investigation Discovery channel, this series has shocked viewers as the Unit has unfolded some remarkable finds of innocence - largely as a result of DNA testing, long after convictions and years of incarceration. In the first death penalty case tackled, the Unit evaluates DNA evidence, a fingerprint, and a written confession by a co-accused.

Friends, Peter Bellamy and Bente Hjortshøj, offer a searching critique to expose what they claim to be shortcomings and wrongful conclusions on the part of the Dallas Integrity Unit, which led to the execution of Wright in October 2008.

Read the critique in full at:

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Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard Obtain More Than $2 million in Damages for a Seriously Injured Santa Cruz County Public School Employee

The San Jose personal injury law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard obtained more than $2 million in damages for a seriously injured Santa Cruz County public school employee. An arbitrator rejected the Hanif, Nishihama, Katiushinksy and Greer defense and ordered Northern California Regional Liability Excess Fund to pay damages after the Fund refused to pay any benefits. The landmark decision is believed to be the first successfully litigated claim of its kind and a victory for public school teachers and employees who have been seriously injured while on the job.

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- The San Jose law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon and Allard announced today that San Jose arbitrator and retired Judge John Flaherty has awarded Scotts Valley Unified School District employee Shaun Egbert a gross award of more than $2 million for severe injuries sustained while on a school field trip in May of 2007 (Shaun Egbert vs. Nor Cal ReLiEF, JAMS #1110011923).

For 18 months the school district's excess coverage property and liability program, the Northern California Regional Liability Excess Fund (Nor Cal ReLiEF), refused to offer or pay any money for Egbert's injuries, wage loss or suffering despite the fact the school district was paying into the fund to cover accidents like Egbert's. Egbert, a behavioral specialist for mentally challenged children, was a passenger in a car driven by a school volunteer for a school field trip. Their vehicle was hit head on at a high rate of speed by another vehicle that crossed the center line.

Egbert was airlifted and hospitalized at Stanford Medical Center for an extended period of time for treatment of a shattered wrist, severed tendons in her ankle, broken upper leg and a frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis. After two surgeries were performed to put together her wrist and ankle, as well as grueling rehabilitation therapy, Egbert was finally released to return to work just about a year after the accident. She was left with significant residual pain and limitations in her daily activities, which her treating doctors determined would be life long in nature.

The driver of the at-fault vehicle did not carry adequate insurance to take care of Egbert's medical bills, wage loss and suffering. Attorney Bob Allard, of the law firm Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, then turned to the school district to pay for her massive injuries and medical bills learning in the process that they had been contributing to a "Super Pool" fund to pay for injuries and accidents like Egbert's.

By forming a "Super Pool", Nor Cal ReLiEF self-insures member districts. The Fund was created as an alternative to insurance so, instead of paying premiums, it simply pooled monies from what is now over 380 school districts and used these monies to satisfy claims.

Despite a clear case of liability, horrific injuries and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, the Fund never offered a penny in settlement and resorted to fighting Egbert every step of the way. The Fund even disputed its own Memorandum of Coverage (MOC) forcing Egbert to hire attorney and Insurance coverage expert Ronald J. Cook, Willoughby, Stewart and Bening, to represent her in conjunction with an arbitration to interpret the meaning of the MOC. Cook and Egbert prevailed in February of 2009 when an arbitrator ruled that the coverage afforded by the MOC was much more expansive in most respects and that the Fund was indeed responsible for paying this claim (

The Fund then claimed Egbert was not entitled to compensatory damages, forcing arbitration. This hearing was held before retired Santa Clara County Superior Court judge John Flaherty of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services ("JAMS") in San Jose. After two full days of hearings, Judge Flaherty issued an award providing that Egbert was entitled to a gross award of $2,056,000.00 which, after certain offsets, was reduced to $1,817,933.90.

Judge Flaherty rejected the Hanif, Nishihama, Katiushinksy and Greer argument used by the Fund's attorney that only past medical expenses paid or incurred could be recovered as opposed to the reasonable value of the services provided to Egbert. Judge Flaherty reaffirmed the collateral source doctrine and stated that the Hanif, Nishihama, Katiushinksy and Greer cases were wrongly decided and would not be followed. Flaherty added that special and general damages would be decided on the amount billed not the amount paid.

"The decision was just, as it took into account my client's extensive injuries and suffering, and for that we are most appreciative to Judge Flaherty for listening to all of the evidence and doing the right thing," said attorney Bob Allard. "It is unfortunate that Egbert had to go through all of this litigation, on top of what she had already been though, because of the unreasonable positions advanced by the managers of this Fund, which was designed for the very purpose of helping out public school employees who are injured while working."

The landmark decision is believed to be the first successfully litigated claim of its kind and a victory for public school teachers and employees who have been seriously injured while on the job. Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard law firm is online at

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Accident Advice Helpline Relaunch Resolusion Claims Platform

Accident Advice Helpline announce relaunch of the Resolusion fast track personal injury claims platform.

(PRWEB) May 29, 2009 -- Accident Advice Helpline (AAH), the UK's largest Claims Management Company, has announced the re-launch of 'Resolusion', the fast track personal injury service.

The move follows the acquisition of Resolusion from Elision Group - the specialist technology company who developed the system - to set an industry standard for faster and more cost-effective claims settlement in line with the Ministry of Justice claims process reforms.

The Resolusion system has already demonstrated significant cost savings to both insurers and litigant solicitors following extensive pilot testing over the last 2 years with leading personal injury law firms and insurers, and will change the landscape of personal injury claims ( ) by significantly reducing 3rd party costs and settlement times.

Commenting on the launch, Darren Werth - Managing Director of Accident Advice Helpline ( ) said, "The re-launch of the Resolusion platform will help proposed MOJ reforms in streamlining the claims process and provide cost savings to both insurers and personal injury law firms. We are planning to run some of our own claims through the system during the next few months and prove that the claimant still receives access to justice, still using lawyers where appropriate and still ensuring adequate compensation and medical assessment at a lesser cost and time."

An innovative part of the Resolusion service will be the initial medical assessment process, originally designed by Health & Case Management Limited (HCML) and Professor Mansel Aylward, and already used for medical assessments for the DWP Pathways to Work programme. The screening process immediately reduces the need for expensive Medical Reports and associated referral fees, and allows for the early use of rehabilitation where appropriate.

Darren Werth added, "The MOJ claims process reforms are here and we believe the Resolusion platform and service is crucial to the insurers if they are to meet these proposals, we have approached a number of insurers whose claims we capture on a daily basis and with them we hope to be able to lead the change in how personal injury claims are settled".

About Accident Advice Helpline
Accident Advice Helpline was established in 2000 following the removal of legal aid to accident victims with personal injury cases. The company was founded to provide access to justice for accident victims and, since its creation, has helped thousands of people claim compensation against the responsible parties.

Working on a no win, no fee ( ) basis, the injury compensation ( ) specialist is the UK's leading company of its kind and prides itself on quick and effective claims processing with high quality service and an admirable success rate. The level of customer satisfaction which Accident Advice Helpline is known for is characterised by television star Esther Rantzen's continued support for the company, which she has steadily provided since 2003.

Accident Advice Helpline PR Contact:
Richard Robins
Digital VP
Accident Advice House
Merrion Avenue
0208 416 2000

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New Research Exposes High Taxpayer Cost to Ban Pit Bulls

All bark, no bite, costs in the millions: Breed-discriminatory legislation that targets pit bull-type dogs is an expensive waste of tax dollars, according to an economic study commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society. The study, serves as core information for a new online "Fiscal Impact Calculator" that Best Friends says will help state and local governmental entities calculate the true cost of implementing and enforcing breed-discriminatory laws.

(Vocus/PRWEB ) May 29, 2009 -- Breed-discriminatory legislation that targets pit bull-type dogs is an expensive waste of tax dollars, according to an economic study commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society. The Utah-based national animal welfare organization has worked with American pit bull terriers for many years and in the past two years has been working to rehabilitate dogs from the Michael Vick dogfighting case.

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The study, completed by John Dunham and Associates and based on data from a variety of sources including the federal government, serves as core information for a new online "Fiscal Impact Calculator" that Best Friends says will help state and local governmental entities calculate the true cost of implementing and enforcing breed-discriminatory laws. Such laws exist in approximately 300 different U.S. communities and involve regulating or banning certain breeds of dogs based solely on their lineage, with no regard to the animal's behavior or temperament.

Bottom line finding: It would cost governmental entities in excess of $450 million to enforce a nationwide ban on pit bulls, which would include costs of enforcement, kenneling and veterinary care, euthanizing and disposal, litigation and DNA testing.

Among the other key findings of the study: There are approximately 72.1 million dogs in the United States, of which approximately five million (6.9 percent) can be described as pit bulls or pit bull mixes based solely on their appearance.

"Pit bull bans are enormously expensive and ineffective," says Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative analyst for Utah-based Best Friends. "And if breed discriminatory ordinances are passed, people who love their pets will fight the government's arbitrary identification of their dog, making them even more difficult to enforce.

"Many people view this as a property rights issue--'as long as I'm a responsible dog owner, I should be allowed to have whatever breed of dog I choose.' The key here is being responsible. Reckless or negligent owners should be prevented from owning any breed of dog."

The online calculator, designed for city, county and other governmental entities, allows anyone to estimate by state, county or town the costs for implementing and enforcing a breed-specific law. (

"It's a model that is based on specific factors within communities," said John Dunham, who led the study. "We realize that most communities don't have this type of law in place, but our methodology is based on what would be needed within that community if such a law did exist. Our analysis shows that many communities that try to enforce this type of law really don't have the infrastructure or resources to make it work."

Dunham noted what he called "an amazing paucity of real data on pets in general" in the United States, which is one of the reasons for the study, funded by the National Canine Research Council.

In some cities, such as Denver, animal control authorities can take a family's dog away because it is a pit bull or simply resembles a pit bull. Pit bulls usually include the pure breeds such as the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, or the Staffordshire bull terrier, but there are many mixed breed dogs that share lineage of the above-named pure breeds, along with many short-haired muscular dogs that are confused for pit bulls.

"If you take someone's property away," VanKavage said, "the burden of proof is on the government to prove that the pet is subject to the law, which means you must prove it is a pit bull. That becomes an extensive, costly battle that could require DNA testing to see if the dog actually is subject to the ban."

The study goes on to say that breed discriminatory legislation tends to exhaust limited resources in already under-funded animal control programs by flooding the system with potentially "unadoptable" dogs due to the ban. Costs to regulate or ban the animals can run into the millions and provide no help to prevent dog bites.

Key Quotes from the Study

  • "Breed discriminatory legislation, essentially canine racial profiling, is a misguided attempt to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by dogs. Identification of the breed make-up of a dog is highly imprecise due to the processes currently being used. DNA tests are available to identify breeds of dogs, but these are limited to the dogs who have been catalogued. For those not catalogued, there is no way other than through experience and observation of physical traits and characteristics to determine the breed of a dog."

  • "The nature of this method of identification allows for the possibility for error by allowing legally permitted dogs to be captured and euthanized based solely on a person's opinion on the dog's breed make-up. In addition to the difficulty identifying breed make-up, regulation of specific breeds for the reduction of dog related injuries is inherently flawed since there is no proof that violent behavior is hereditary."

  • "It can be argued, though, that a dog's tendency to bite could be affected by:
         - Socialization, or lack of, between the dog and people and other animals
         - Proper, or improper obedience training
         - Supervision and conditions of living for the dog
         - Victim's behavior
         - If the dog is spayed/neutered or unaltered …"

The Fiscal Impact calculator and associated study is part of Best Friends Animal Society's nationwide campaign: "Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dog," which is part of the society's ongoing effort to restore the breed's reputation and encourage humane treatment of all dogs, regardless of breed. For more information on this campaign visit:

About Best Friends Animal Society:
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009, Best Friends Animal Society advances nationwide animal welfare initiatives by working with shelter and rescue groups around the country with the mission of achieving No More Homeless Pets®. The society operates the nation's largest facility for abused, abandoned and special needs companion animals, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which is located in southwestern Utah. On any given day the sanctuary is home to approximately 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, and other animals. The society publishes Best Friends magazine, the nation's largest general interest, pet-related magazine. For more information on Best Friends Animal Society, visit:


John Polis
Best Friends Animal Society
435-644-2001 ext. 4858
johnp (at) bestfriends (dot) org

Barbara Williamson
Best Friends Animal Society
barbara (at) bestfriends (dot) org

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