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5 posts from October 2010

October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Well, all I can say is "Be Safe" and enjoy!

 

October 27, 2010

Hug Your Lawyer: Good Stories About Lawyers

Hug a lawyer today             Contrary to popular belief, many people have positive experience(s) with their lawyers!  About a week or so ago I posted the following request on a fabulous website called Help a Reporter Out (check it out): 

I am looking for people who have been injured in an accident whether it be vehicle related (car, motorcycle, bus, boat, plane, as a pedestrian, bicyclist) or in a slip/trip and fall type case (falling down stairs, off of a ladder, tripped on sidewalk, slipped in store) and whose case has been settled already. How has the accident affected your life? The lives of people around you? Did you use a lawyer and what was your experience if you did? By way of introduction, I'm a lawyer who represents injured people and I write about personal injury in my blog. To be clear, I'm not looking for cases -- I'm looking for people whose cases are already over.

            Within hours I received several responses.  I particularly enjoyed the response below because it sheds a well-deserved positive light on the personal injury profession (it came in two e-mails which I’m combining here).  The links are supplied by me --if you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I love being able to provide access to further information.

             I hope you enjoy the story.  Feel free to submit comments and/or a story of your own.

 Jean’s Injury Story (Part One)

1975 mbz 450sl 002 Q:        What happened?

A:         I was injured in a car accident, not my fault. I had just put the license plates on my beautiful white, vintage Mercedes 450SL convertible and drove round the corner of my house and BAM!! Two cars smashed into me. Two minutes in my dream car mind you!  

Q:        How has the accident affected your life?

A:         My injuries were mostly emotional (there was smoke and I thought I was going to burn up and panicked trying to climb out of the car). I am very nervous driving and am now super, hyper-careful. I see how bad peoples’ driving habits are. I tailor my driving to accommodate rush hour, bad weather and night driving.

Crazy driver 002 Q:        How has the accident affected the lives of people around you?

A:         My husband gets impatient sometimes but understands. He too has realized the poor driving habits of other people.  

 
Q:        Did you use a lawyer and what was your experience if you did?

A:         Yes and he was awesome. Very compassionate and communicative. This was the second time I was a client of his.   I’ll flesh out more if you’re interested.

With Warmest Regards,
            Jean

 

Well, needless to say I did want her to flesh out her story.  Here’s part two of her story:

Jean’s Injury Story (Part Two)

    I have an awesome experience with my lawyer (David Singer from Hollywood Florida). Prior to attending law school, I was in an accident (not my fault) and he handled the case beautifully.

          Twenty years later the 450SL accident occurred and David was the only lawyer I called. Regarding both of my cases with him, the standout was the even though I was not the gazillion $$ case, he treated me like I was. I did speak with him a few times during the representation (otherwise with his very competent legal assistant) and I felt very attended to and completely trusted that everything was being taken care of. Once I secured his representation, I could focus on getting my life together post accident. I would say that my experience was so positive because I listened to my attorney--I understood that in order for him to help me, I needed to let him do what he does best--he did not need to "co-counsel" with me. When I decided to relocate from Florida to North Carolina., David was kind enough to be a reference for me--he certainly got to know me well enough over the years!

  Physical therapy        While my injuries were mostly emotional, I did have to get physical therapy for my back which still acts up occasionally. I saw a chiropractor and a massage therapist for several months. Regarding my emotional injuries, I did seek situational counseling for a few weeks to help me overcome the fear of being burned up in the car. Without the counseling, I would have been suffering from nightmares, lack of sleep and being unable to drive. Now, I sleep fine, but the imprint is still there for my driving. As I stated in my prior email, I do tailor my driving to avoid certain roads and times of day. I can drive in heavy traffic, like if I had to drive on the Long Island Expressway I could, but if I have another option that I can exercise, I will.

        I sometimes think that Personal Injury Lawyers get a bad rap as "ambulance chasers" but they perform a necessary function--otherwise what would injured people do to help themselves, protect themselves from being taken advantage of by the insurance companies and sent out a public policy message?
With Warmest Regards,

Jean
Jean Croughan Gillis, Esq.
Carolina Family Wealth Planning
Tel (local): 704-469-3525
Tel (toll free): 888-9-ASK-JEAN
Fax: 888-406-6937
Email: jean@carolinafwp.com
 
Meeting Locations throughout North Carolina including Ballantyne,
South Park, Lake Norman and the SC Suburbs

 

Questions? Concerns?

If You, Or Someone You Know, Was In an Accident

Call For Your Free Consultation

Please Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger Immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or toll-free (877) 487-8221

 lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

 "Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

October 22, 2010

Profound Anti-Bullying Message from President Obama

 

President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" by the recent suicides of several young people who were bullied and taunted for being gay. The President made the statements in a recent video message released by The White House. (Oct. 22)

October 17, 2010

Lawyer Horror Stories: Hitting on Vulnerable Client

Ethics 

    If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I oftentimes like to talk about the law in different contexts.  Recently I thought “gee, there are a lot of people out there who are unhappy with their (former) lawyer.”  I wondered to myself what people were thinking, what their negative experiences may have been and how that has impacted their view on lawyers. 

    So I put out an all-points-bulletin asking for peoples’ stories and, so far, have gotten several interesting responses.  I’m reprinting some of those stories in a series of blog posts, this being the first.  My goal is not to “out” any particular lawyer or alleged victim.  I will not identify any of the persons involved (lawyers, clients, etc.) by printing their real names.  I’m also going to mask locations when it seems that the location will give away the identity of those involved.

    The stories are not verified by me but, regardless, they are interesting by their very nature.  At the end of each story, I will post some relevant links and possibly offer a legal opinion based on California law.

    Feel free to respond with a story of your own and/or comments relevant to this series of stories.   

Lawyer Hits On Divorce Client with Aspberger's

    Belinda R. writes:

    When I was getting my divorce, I had what I feel was a bad lawyer.  I was 28 or so with three small children.   I have Asperger’s but at the time was not diagnosed.   However, it does make you naive (my husband says innocent like a child).   I was escaping an abusive relationship and my ex was stalking me. 

    I also didn’t have much money.  I found an attorney through a friend of a friend.  He had a good reputation for being aggressive, and as far as the attorney part went, he was good. Then he started making comments to me.  I did not understand many of them until I mentioned something to a friend and she told me that he was being suggestive and "making passes" at me.  He invited me to a pool party at his house but I did not go (my friend advised me against it - she was sort of my protector, she knew how innocent I was).  He took me out to dinner once and said that he wanted to talk about my case, but he kept ordering alcohol. I did not drink much then (and not at all now) but he kept trying to make me drink more and more. That did not seem right but I am not the best judge for what is right or normal in social interactions.  

    He made some statements that if I went out with him he could make my costs less. I did not really understand at the time, but my friend explained it.  It seemed like he wanted to trade dates and maybe more for his legal services.   I don’t really know, I never asked him to clarify but I never went out with him. Then one day he called me at work to tell me that he had "a hard-on and nowhere to put it."  I told my friend and she got really angry. I asked her if I should get another lawyer and she said, "Uh, yeah. You need to get another lawyer and report that SOB." (State Bar of California Complaint Form)  I did not report him but I did get another lawyer.  I have not been comfortable with lawyers since - and that was 14 years ago.

Analysis: Did This Lawyer Do Anything Wrong?

Aba logo     Hello?!?  I cannot make light of this situation.  Every California lawyer takes a sworn oath to act within the California Rules of Professional Conduct (i.e. ethics) and, if true, this lady's lawyer violated some very basic rules.  (Another excellent source is the American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct)

    The State Bar of California addresses this issue: California Rule 3-120, Sexual Relations with Client.

    The American Bar Association likewise addresses this issue.  It is fleshed out very well in a State of  Virginia Legal Ethics Opinion entitled Sexual Relationship With A Client.

    Sexual relationships between lawyer and client is a recurring problem and is the basis for lawyer discipline throughout the United States.  For continued reading on lawyer misconduct and the discipline that follows, I'd like to suggest that you read the Legal Professions Blog which discusses these issues and current disciplinary cases on a daily basis.

Do You Have A Lawyer Horror Story?

Scream    Do you have a lawyer horror story?  It can be a story about the mishandling of a loan modification, abusive attorneys (yours or the other party's), incompetence, disappointing results or?  Submit your story to me via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

Oh, One Last Thing: Can You Fire Your Lawyer?

    Can you fire your lawyer?  The simple answer to this question is "yes."  Read on here:  Firing Your Lawyer and Hiring A New One

October 04, 2010

Legal Briefs for October 4, 2010: Keeping You In The Know!

Verizon To Refund Up To $90 For Improper Data Charges

Verizon can you hear me now     Can you hear me now? Reuters reports that Verizon will pay refunds of up to $90 Million for improperly charged data usage!  Read Verizon's Official Statement and an in-depth article at The Tech Herald.

 

Would Mark Zuckerberg Win A Suit Against "Social Network" Makers?

Social Network Timberlake     Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog both reviewing "The Social Network" and editorializing as to whether Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, would win a lawsuit against the makers of "The Social Network" for defamation.  Read the article here

 

Six Things You Should Never Share On Your Social Networking Site

Social media dangers     Attorney David Mittleman of Lansing, Michigan wrote this very practical piece on the Injury Board Blog Network citing the Six Things You Should Never Share on Your Social Networking Site.

    Posting the following things, and others (use your imagination) poses a risk to you and your family! 

  1. Your birthdate and place
  2. Vacation plans
  3. Home address
  4. Confessionals
  5. Password clues
  6. Risky behaviors

Remember folks, once you've posted something on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, etc., it's there forever.  From my perspective as a plaintiff's personal injury lawyer, I prefer to discover things about my client FROM my client, not from the defense attorney who has done his or her due diligence by foraging through the social network sites!

Questions? Concerns?

If You, Or Someone You Know, Was In an Accident

Call For Your Free Consultation

Please Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger Immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or toll-free (877) 487-8221

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

 

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

 

Questions? Concerns?

If You, Or Someone You Know, Was In an Accident

Call For Your Free Consultation

Please Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger Immediately at

 

              (323) 852-1100       or (877) 487-8221 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (877) 487-8221      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (877) 487-8221      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

 

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

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