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6 posts from January 2008

January 31, 2008

First Woman Jury, November 1911: What a Photo!

First_woman_jury_2 The Library of Congress has posted over 3,000 copyright free photographs on Flickr.  The LOC's announcement describes their joining forces with Flickr who has created the Library of Congress Photo Page Link which has 1500 copyright-free photos from News in the 1910s and 1500 copyright-free photos from 1930s-40s in Color.

Naturally, since I practice law in Los Angeles, I was fascinated with the picture of the First Woman Jury, Los Angeles 1911 taken in the early 1900s.  I was originally directed to this photo by   Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites, a fascinating blog whose tagline reads "Tracking New and Intriguing Web Sites for the Legal Profession."

Jurors_playing_cards_2 Another great picture from the collection is that of Jurors Playing Cards.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

January 27, 2008

Videos of Surgical Procedures: Not for the Faint Hearted

Operating_room  Medline Plus provides links to literally hundreds of surgical procedures ranging from heart surgery to brain surgery to orthopaedic surgeries to name a few.  Here are links to just a few:

Minimally Invasive Repair of the Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Robot Assisted Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart Transplant

Hip Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Penile Implant

Birth by Cesarean Section

and more, much, much more.

This fascinating site is not for the faint-at-heart.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Legalese Unmasked: Legal Terms and Definitions

Legal_definitionsEver wonder what the heck your lawyer is talking about?  Get annoyed at legalese?  Well, here are a couple of websites that will give you the inside track as to just what it is we're trying to say.  Legal Definitions and Legal Terms are generously defined at U.S. Legal.com.  For example, have you ever wondered what the term Legally Dead really means?  And what is First Degree Murder, anyway? How about something that's near and dear to my heart, Personal Injury?  Oh, and what is the difference between Arbitration and Mediation?  These and a plethora of other legal terms are easily found and concisely explained on U.S. Legal.com.

Another worthy site is Legal-Explanations.com.  Its writers and researchers are not shy about providing definitions and explanations of a zillion different legal terms such as Statute of Limitations, Trust, Fraud and, my all time favorite, Fruit of the Poisonous Tree.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

January 26, 2008

Personal Injury Settlement Offers in California

Law_book_and_gavel  Please read the following article regarding Personal Injury Settlement Offers in California.  This article explains one of the most powerful negotiating tools in California Personal Injury Litigation.   I received this article, via e-mail, from the Los Angeles County Bar Association and wanted to share it with you.
Section 998 Offers of Settlement
by Cheryl Johnson-Hartwell

What is a Section 998 Offer?
Code of Civil Procedure Section 998  provides that if a party makes a settlement offer no less than 10 days before a trial or arbitration and the offer is not accepted before the earlier of the commencement of trial or arbitration or the passage of 30 days from the time of the offer, the party making the offer may be entitled to certain benefits if the rejecting party fails to obtain a more favorable result at trial or arbitration. For example, if a plaintiff rejects an offer made by the defendant but does not obtain a more favorable judgment or award, the plaintiff cannot recover any costs he or she accrued after the offer and must pay the costs incurred by the defendant after the offer was made. The court also has the discretion to order the plaintiff to pay a reasonable sum to cover the costs of the services of an expert witness used by the defendant. The converse is true for a defendant who rejects a reasonable offer from the plaintiff.
What Must a Section 998 Offer Contain?
Section 998(b) states, in part, “The written offer shall include a statement of the offer, containing the terms and conditions of the judgment or award, and a provision that allows the accepting party to indicate acceptance of the offer by signing a statement that the offer is accepted.”  The statute goes on to say, at Section 998(b)(1), “If the offer is accepted, the offer with proof of acceptance shall be filed and the clerk or the judge shall enter judgment accordingly. In the case of an arbitration, the offer with proof of acceptance shall be filed with the arbitrator or arbitrators who shall promptly render an award accordingly.”
Is a Court Judgment or Arbitration Award Required?
Can a defendant submit an offer under Section 998 or agree to accept an offer under Section 998 without having a judgment entered? Those who may consider arguing that an offer is not valid without an entry of judgment should know, however, that more than one court has interpreted this language as not requiring entry of judgment for an offer to be valid under Section 998.
Section 998 was enacted to encourage settlement by providing a strong financial incentive to a party to present a reasonable settlement offer and an opposing financial disincentive for the offeree to reject such a reasonable settlement offer.1 To further these purposes, the offer must be clear and specific. A clear offer allows the offeree an adequate opportunity to meaningfully evaluate the offer and determine whether it should be accepted or rejected. In addition, an offer must be specific because the court lacks the authority to adjudicate a dispute over the terms of the offer and subsequent agreement, and can only perform the ministerial task of entering the judgment according to the terms of the offer. However, despite this preference for clear and specific terms, there is no requirement that the offer contain a particular method by which the case will be resolved—judgment against the defendant, entry of an award, or dismissal with prejudice. 2
In Goodstein v. Bank of San Pedro, the plaintiff challenged an order granting the defendant’s motion to recover expert witness fees and other fees and costs based upon a settlement offer that the plaintiff had rejected. The plaintiff argued that the offer was ineffective as a Section 998 offer because it proposed a voluntary dismissal with prejudice and did not allow judgment to be taken. The court rejected the plaintiff’s distinction and found that a voluntary dismissal proposed in a settlement offer operated as the equivalent of a “judgment” within the meaning of Section 998.3
There was a similar result in American Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, in which the defendants submitted a settlement offer that proposed payment of funds by the defendants in return for dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice. When the plaintiff failed to obtain a more favorable judgment at trial, it disputed the defendants’ right to obtain reimbursement for costs and expert witness fees because the Section 998 offer did not specifically provide for entry of judgment as a condition of settlement. The American Airlines court rejected the plaintiff’s argument and held that if the settlement offer addressed some disposition of the lawsuit that functioned as the legal equivalent of a judgment, then actual entry of judgment was not required for the Section 998 offer to be effective.4
In 2004 in Berg v. Darden, the court even noted that the legislature’s amendment of Section 998 after the Goodstein opinion indicates legislative approval of the result in that case and the intention that Section 998 cover any termination of an action between the parties to an agreement. Thus, it appears that there is no magic language required to make an effective Section 998 offer as long as it is a clear, written offer that is intended to result in a final disposition of the action.5
1 Bank of San Pedro v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. 4th 797, 804, 12 Cal. Rptr. 2d 696, 838 P. 2d 218 (1992).
2 Berg v. Darden, 120 Cal. App. 4th 721, 727, 15 Cal. Rptr. 3d 829 (2004).
3 Goodstein v. Bank of San Pedro, 27 Cal. App. 4th 899, 903, 32 Cal. Rptr. 2d 740 (1994).
4 American Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, 96 Cal. App. 4th 1017, 1054, 117 Cal. Rptr. 2d 685 (2002).
5 Berg, 120 Cal. App. 4th at 730 n.1, 731-32.
Cheryl Johnson-Hartwell is an attorney with the firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.  This article was first published in Los Angeles Lawyer in May 2005. 

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

January 25, 2008

Eli Lilly settles Claims over Zyprexa

Zyprexa  IndyStar.Com, Indiana's Number 1 Local Media Site, reports the following:  INDIANAPOLIS -- Eli Lilly and Co. has settled another 900 personal-injury claims against its antipscyhotic drug Zyprexa, including five set to go to court next month, thus avoiding what would have been the first trial in the U.S. The Indianapolis drug maker confirmed the settlement Wednesday but declined to reveal the amount. With the latest agreements, Lilly has settled more than 25,000 claims, leaving about 1,100 unsettled. Many of the plaintiffs have claimed Lilly underplayed the drug's side effects, including weight gain and elevated blood sugar. Lilly has set aside $1.2 billion to pay claims. (Star report)

A google search on Zyprexa Litigation will refer you to a plethora of relevant links.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

January 17, 2008

Honda To Recall 40,000 ATVs

Honda_atv

Thanks to Bob Kraft's blog, P.I.S.S.D., for the following information:

From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission comes this announcement of a recall of Honda all-terrain vehicles:

The following product safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using the product immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Model Year 2007 Honda TRX 500 ATVs

Units: About 40,000

Manufacturer: American Honda Motor Co., Inc. of Torrance, Calif.

Hazard: Water can enter the throttle position sensor and freeze, causing permanent damage if the rider forces the throttle lever. This could cause the throttle to stick open, posing a risk of injury or death to riders.

Incidents/Injuries: Honda has received two reported incidents of the throttle sticking, no injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Model Year 2007 Honda TRX 500 ATVs, also known as the Honda Foreman and Foreman Rubicon. The adult-size ATVs are designed for use by riders age 16 and older. The 2007 model year ATVs are available in red, black, blue, olive, and camouflage. The Honda name and wing logo are printed on the fuel tank and the model name is printed on the side panel just below the seat.

Sold by: Honda ATV dealers nationwide from June 2006 through December 2007 for between $6,500 and $7,600.

Manufactured in: USA

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled ATVs and contact any Honda ATV dealer to schedule a free repair. Registered owners of the recalled ATVs have been sent direct notice.

Consumer Contact: : For additional information, consumers can contact Honda (866) 784-1870 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.powersports.honda.com

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

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