Spokane Personal Injury | Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

It was only a matter of time before the Washington State budget crunch started to seriously interfere with the court system. A Grays Harbor judge is threatening to close superior court unless the county commissioners infuse superior court with $75,000.

Superior Court Judge Gordon Godfrey is asking the court to mandate that Grays Harbor County commissioners provide an additional $75,000 to his court’s budget. Otherwise, he said in a declaration filed with the injunction, the budget cuts imposed on the court can only be met by requiring 31.65 mandatory furlough days of the court’s four employees. And the court will run out of money on Nov. 16 “and will have to close until the new budget year begins on Jan. 2, 2013.”

You can read more about Grays Harbor’s problems here.

Posted in Personal Injury, Trial/Litigation | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Spokane Personal Injury | Another Police Brutality Case Settles

The City of Seattle has settled with Martin Monetti for $150,000 arising out of civil rights violations. According to Monetti, a Seattle police officers “stomped” on his hand and insulted his mexican heritage. You can read more about the case here.

Posted in Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Spokane Personal Injury | Facebook Is Evidence

Every lawyer recognizes that destroying evidence prior to trial is wrong and unethical. But what about destruction of a Facebook page prior to trial? Turns out, removing photographs or altering a Facebook page can result in the trial court issuing heavy sanctions.

In Lester v. Allied Concrete Co ., a wrongful death lawsuit pending in Virginia state court, lawyer Mathew Murray instructed his client to remove 15 photographs from his Facebook page. His client, likely not knowing better, removed the photographs. Compounding the issue was the fact that Murray’s client denied having a Facebook page under oath when the defense took his deposition.

When the trial court found out about the removal and Murray’s involvement, it issued one of the heaviest sanctions I have ever seen. Murray was ordered by the trial court to pay a $522,000 fine for instructing his client to remove the photographs. His client, who did not escape the court’s wrath, was ordered to pay a $180,000 fine.

To date, I have not seen much discussion about Facebook pages as evidence in Washington court opinions. At this point, the best practice would be to treat Facebook pages like any other piece of evidence.

Posted in Personal Injury, Trial/Litigation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spokane Personal Injury Lawyer | What Is A Life Worth?

In our legal system, individuals who are injured or killed due to the negligence of others are compensated with an award of money. As Paul Luvera writes in his blog, justice “can only be done by comparing the harm done to a sum of money which reasonable and fairly equals the harm.”

But what is a life worth? Many personal injury lawyers and juries have grappled with this question since the creation of our civil justice system. Despite the difficulty of this question, many federal agencies have assigned a money “value” to a human life. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency values life at $9.1 million. The Food and Drug Administration values life at $7.9 million. The Department of Transportation values life at $6 million. You can read more here.

The civil justice system appears to be on par with federal agencies with regard to the value of life in wrongful death actions. For example, in Michaels v. CH2M Hill, the estate of Mike Cmos was awarded 7.6 million for the wrongful death of Mr. Cmos.

Posted in Compensation and Damages, Personal Injury, Trial/Litigation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting post from West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers.

West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers

A new study from Universite de Montreal neuropsychologist Dave Ellemberg found that the kinds of injuries caused by sport-related concussions affect adolescents’ working memory, the brain function that allows us to process and store short-term information and is essential for reading and mental calculation.

“For a long time, we believed that the brain of a child was more plastic and could therefore better recover from an accident or stress,” Ellemberg said.  “In recent years, we’ve realized that quite to the contrary, a child’s brain is more vulnerable.  Our research shows that children are as afflicted as adults by a concussion.”

In his research, published in the journal Brain Injury, Ellemberg says that the frontal regions of the brain are more susceptible to concussions.  These parts of the brain oversee executive brain function and develop rapidly during adolescence, which makes them more vulnerable to stress and trauma, Ellember said.

Ellemberg and…

View original post 93 more words

Posted in Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Spokane Personal Injury Lawyer | The Power of Silence

Recently, I was reading my new favorite blog (Keenan Trial Blog) when I stumbled upon a post about the power of silence. In the post, entitled “Silence is Golden,” Keenan opines that a great trial lawyer must “master the art of silence.” One area that Keenan believes silence can be effectively used is in a deposition.

Charles Allen, the best deposition taker in the country, will tell you that one of the biggest mistakes that lawyers make is not respecting silence.  The first witness stops and the plaintiff’s lawyer feels obligated to start moving their mouth.  Silence and a long stare will often times trigger a fountain of great information.

Understand that when someone stops talking they expect the other person to pick it up as if in a relay race and when they don’t the silence is awkward.  This isn’t preferable in everyday life; however, in a deposition, it implicitly puts the burden on the witness to say more and it’s usually more than they really want to.

Click here to read the entire article.

I think Keenan has a great point. Thoughts?

Posted in Personal Injury, Trial/Litigation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting article from Spokane Physical Therapy about the relationship between a physical therapist and a chiropractor. As a Spokane attorney that represents clients who suffered serious personal injuries, I cannot stress enough the importance of having health care providers work together to treat and care for a patient.

Posted in Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Accident Lawyer | More Surprises From The Trial Survey Group

In a previous post, I discussed the findings from the Trial Survey Group that young people (35 and under) have a propensity to award damages below the national average in personal injury lawsuits.

Another surprising find by the study was the fact that individuals who, politically, identify themselves as “Independents” have a propensity to award damages 17% below the national average. To put this finding in context, Democrats have a propensity to award damages 33% above the national average whereas Republicans have a propensity to award damages 15% below the national average. I am at a loss to explain why individuals who identify themselves as independents are the most guarded of the political groups in awarding money for personal injury lawsuits.

Posted in Compensation and Damages, Jury Verdicts, Negligence, Personal Injury | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment