Monday, December 31, 2018

International Clients: Somalia, Bhutan, DRC, Iran, Vietnam

Louisville is a awesome city for the fact I get to interact with a diverse population and as a result I have represented clients from these countries and others.  I find that a lot of the time my international clients are exceptionally thoughtful, hard working people.  I speak enough French and enough Spanish to communicate at a basic level, but often times we use translators to assist when someone doesn't speak English as their first language.

I feel like I'm constantly slamming insurance companies on this blog (and I assume an insurance adjuster blog would moan about personal injury lawyers so I'm good), but my experience with international clients is certain insurers low ball immigrant clients.  Someone is going to find proof of this some day.  The insurance company would tell you this is a result of what zip code someone lives in.   I would tell you it is based on name.  I have handled enough cases to know that John Smith that lives in area code 40213 gets better initial offers that Muhammad Abdullah living in the exact same area code.

My goal on each and every injury case is to get top dollar for my client, based on who they are as a person and not where they are from.  If you are the victim of a car crash or other injury in Louisville call me for a free case evaluation.

Advertising Material.

J'ai l'impression de claquer constamment les compagnies d'assurance sur ce blog (et je suppose qu'un blog d'expert en assurance gémirait à propos d'avocats en dommages corporels, alors ça va bien), mais mon expérience avec les clients internationaux est celle de certains assureurs immigrés. Quelqu'un va en trouver la preuve un jour. La compagnie d’assurance vous dirait que c’est le résultat du code postal dans lequel vit une personne. Je vous dirais qu’il est fondé sur le nom. J’ai traité suffisamment d’affaires pour savoir que John Smith, qui vit dans l’indicatif régional 40213, a de meilleures offres initiales que Muhammad Abdullah, qui vit exactement dans le même indicatif. Mon objectif pour chaque cas de blessure est d’obtenir le maximum pour mon client, en fonction de qui il est et non d’où il vient. Si vous êtes victime d'un accident de voiture ou d'une autre blessure à Louisville, appelez-moi pour une évaluation gratuite de votre cas

مجموعة متنوعة من السكان ونتيجة لذلك كنت أمثل عملاء من هذه البلدان وغيرها. أجد أن الكثير من الوقت لعملائنا الدوليين مدروسون بشكل استثنائي ، يعملون بجد. أنا أتكلم الفرنسية بما فيه الكفاية والأسبانية كافية للتواصل على المستوى الأساسي ، ولكن في كثير من الأحيان نستخدم المترجمين للمساعدة عندما لا يتحدث شخص ما الإنجليزية كلغة أولى.

أشعر بأنني أقوم باستمرار بإغراق شركات التأمين على هذه المدونة (وأفترض أن مدونة الضبط التأمينية تثير شكوى حول محامي الإصابات الشخصية لذا فأنا بخير) ، ولكن تجربتي مع العملاء الدوليين هي شركات تأمين معينة منخفضة الكروات. شخص ما سيجد دليلا على هذا يوما ما. سوف تخبرك شركة التأمين بأن هذا هو نتيجة للرمز البريدي الذي يعيش فيه شخص ما. أود أن أقول لك إنه يستند إلى الاسم. لقد تعاملت مع حالات كافية لمعرفة أن جون سميث الذي يعيش في رمز المنطقة 40213 يحصل على عروض أولية أفضل من محمد عبد الله الذي يعيش في نفس رمز المنطقة.

هدفي في كل حالة إصابة هو الحصول على أعلى الدولار لموكلي ، على أساس من هم كشخص وليس من هم. إذا كنت ضحية حادث سيارة أو إصابة أخرى في لويزفيل اتصل بي لإجراء تقييم حالة مجاني.

Louisville es una ciudad increíble por el hecho de que puedo interactuar con una población diversa y, como resultado, he representado a clientes de estos países y otros. Encuentro que muchas veces mis clientes internacionales son personas excepcionalmente reflexivas y trabajadoras. Hablo suficiente francés y suficiente español para comunicarme a un nivel básico, pero muchas veces usamos traductores para ayudar cuando alguien no habla inglés como su primer idioma.

Siento que estoy atacando constantemente a las compañías de seguros en este blog (y asumo que un blog de ajustadores de seguros se quejaría de abogados de lesiones personales, por lo que estoy bien), pero mi experiencia con clientes internacionales es que ciertas aseguradoras son clientes inmigrantes de bajo riesgo. Alguien va a encontrar pruebas de esto algún día. La compañía de seguros le diría que esto es el resultado del código postal en el que vive alguien. Le diría que se basa en el nombre. He manejado suficientes casos para saber que John Smith que vive en el código de área 40213 recibe mejores ofertas iniciales que Muhammad Abdullah que vive en el mismo código de área.

Mi objetivo en todos y cada uno de los casos de lesiones es obtener el mejor precio para mi cliente, en función de quiénes son como personas y no de dónde son. Si usted es víctima de un accidente automovilístico u otra lesión en Louisville, llámeme para una evaluación gratuita del caso.Louisville est une ville fantastique pour le fait que je puisse interagir avec une population diversifiée et, par conséquent, j'ai représenté des clients de ces pays et d'autres. Je constate que très souvent, mes clients internationaux sont des personnes extrêmement attentionnées et travaillantes. Je parle suffisamment le français et l'espagnol pour communiquer à un niveau élémentaire, mais nous avons souvent recours à des traducteurs pour aider les personnes qui ne parlent pas l'anglais comme langue maternelle.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Why Did My Lawyer Drop My Car Crash Case in Louisville, Kentucky?

I get a call about once a week from an person wanting a new lawyer.  I rarely pick up the case.  The reason is simple, I'm not a pro bono lawyer.  If your lawyer dropped your case there is probably a reason.

I drop cases occasionally.  I do this when 1) I don't think a lawsuit will help the client 2) the client wants more than what the case is worth 3) after further evaluation the case turns out not to be a case that is winnable in front of a jury or 4) the client does something that I think is questionable.

When I do drop a case I call the client and tell them straight up why I'm dropping the case.  I get calls from people stating "my lawyer says he is dropping my case because he isn't doing XYZ anymore and I"m XYZ."  Let me translate that for you that lawyer doesn't want the case and came up with a reason that sounded good as to not piss you off.  Lawyers don't drop "good" cases.

All that said, I have taken two cases other lawyers have dropped.  One was where the other lawyer presumably didn't understand under-insured motorist coverage.  The other was a fire case where the other lawyer didn't follow up on a freedom of information request that would have shown him the case was a good case.

#1 and #2 (above) reasons are similar.  I often get what I consider to be top dollar pre-litigation when you consider the costs of a lawsuit.  When I file a lawsuit clients have to pay me more money and the costs of the lawsuit are taken out of the eventual recovery.  What that means is that sometimes when you do the math there is good chance that all of the money will go to lawyers, doctors fees for testimony, and the costs of a lawsuit (like deposition transcripts).  I have heard of greedy lawyers filing suit just to bump up their fee.  That is a terrible business practice.  I don't want a pissed off client two years down the line telling me that none of the money is going to them.

If a client wants a lawsuit on "principle" or to teach them a lesson I'm not a "principle" lawyer.  My job is to get you fully and fairly compensated for your injuries.

#3 occurs when "facts" change meaning that testimony pops up that wasn't previously available or a client isn't as injured as originally thought.

#4 is a rare occasion.  One happened to me this week, I received a call from a debt collector asking me about whether or not my client had a check coming their way on a car crash case.  I told the adjuster I couldn't answer any of the questions, but it was clear that the client had tried to hold off a debt collector by relaying inaccurate information.  If I lose trust in a client I lose trust in a case.

The other issue is that the prior lawyer will have a lien for "services rendered."  Depending on who that other lawyer is they may think they are entitled to a significant fee and thus I'd be really working for that lawyer at the end of the day.

Lawyers don't share this information which is why I think its important.

Its not really Advertising Material.  but I'll write Advertising Material here :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Claiming "Board Qualification"...Not Board Certification

I had an interesting time deposing a "IME" ("Independent" Medical Examination) Doctor last week.  My client was rear ended by a jeep.   Moderate damage to my clients vehicle and no real damage to the jeep.  My client has a positive MRI finding an no prior issues with his back.  It was a trial deposition for the defense so they got to ask questions first.

After twenty something minutes of opining that my client wasn't hurt as a result of the crash I was given the chance to cross examine.   About four questions in the doctor told me that he wasn't comfortable providing opinions concerning the relatedness of the crash and the injury/medicine involved due to complications with law and ethics.  Huh?  My response was obviously "well you just spent twenty minutes discussing the exact same thing with the defense, but now all of a sudden you won't be providing any opinions?!"

He changed his tune and started answering my questions.  I thought it was good tactic on his part.  State that ethically you can't answer something the Plaintiff's lawyer is asking you, but answer all of the defense questions.

He did have some interesting things to say concerning his qualifications.  Doctors make a big deal about being "Board Certified."  Basically you practice medicine for a certain period of time and then you take a test to become Board Certified.  This doctor was asked if he was Board Certified and he stated he was "Board Qualified."  Board Qualified I asked him..."what exactly does Board Qualified mean?"  It meant that he was eligible to take the test, never did take the test,
and was not Board Certified.  I asked him if that was the same thing as going to law school, but never taking the bar examination.  He didn't like that question.  But CMON MAN! Just say you aren't Board Certified and move on.  No need to give some shady answer about being qualified. 

Side note, this doctor, for the past thirteen years, hasn't practiced medicine, but instead does these reviews for lawyers.  He does them for the defense, but doesn't keep a record.  He doesn't keep a record because he doesn't want Plaintiffs lawyers to know exactly how many he is doing.  This is a common trick "IME" doctors do.

I hope the jury sees thorough all of this guys nonsense.

Monday, November 12, 2018

"I do this all the time and nobody objects"

I went to a pre-trial conference a few weeks ago on a rear end collision case.  The judge is no nonsense and calls balls and strikes as she sees them.  The lawyer for the other side is a nice guy who talks really fast.  He is exceptionally proficient in cross examination, but his directs are basically him testifying about his position in the case and not really asking questions.  A lot of the questions are compound questions.  I had a decent amount of objections to his questioning.

The most interesting (objectionable :) questions he asked related to whether or not my treating physicians would respect the decision of the jury if the jury awarded my client zero money.  To me that is objectionable on two levels: 1) it invades the Provence of the jury and 2) its irrelevant.   Its the equivalent of me asking his doctor: so if the jury awards 14 million dollars for my client you are ok with that, right?  A jury shouldn't care what he doctor thinks about their award.  A jury should award or not award damages based on the testimony and evidence.  A jury shouldn't base their opinion on damages because some person in a white suit says they will be happy with whatever the jury does.  Happy the judge got this one right.

As I'm walking out the lawyer for the other side, who I genuinely believe is trying to help me in other cases, said I should use that line of questioning in other cases.  I'm not going to do that :)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Defense Doctor and Insurance

I was cross examining a doctor for the defense yesterday and asked her what percentage of cases she does for the Defense versus Plaintiffs.  She told me she doesn't keep track of it.  How convenient!  She did admit that she does most of her work for insurance companies.  I already knew that.

After the deposition the lawyer for the other side wanted to take out the testimony about the insurance company.  The law doesn't allow me to keep in the fact there is insurance so I agreed.  The theory behind it is that a jury knows there is insurance than a jury is inclined to award higher damages.  The reality is that insurance is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about and everyone knows is there.  From my perspective the lawyer on the other side is going to allege that this evil plaintiff's lawyer is out for gold and that his poor penniless client can't afford it.  That isn't true.  In this case the other side has $300,000.00 in coverage and won't pay my client for her injuries.  They would rather make her jump through hoops and try the case to a jury. 

The doctor also told me that she looked at photos of my clients damage to determine my client wasn't hurt.  I asked her if the lawyer for the defense send her photos of his clients damage for her assessment.  She told me no.  I asked her if taking a look at photos of the defendant's car would have made a difference in her evaluation.  She told me it wouldn't make a difference because she isn't a accident reconstructionist.  I didn't push it because I found it funny she looked at one photo and said my client wasn't hurt, but that looking at another photo (which shows more damage) wouldn't help in her evaluation.  Juries are smart.  They will figure it out.  This was also a catapult crash meaning the defendant rear ended a vehicle and slammed it into my client's vehicle.  I asked the doctor how many cars were involved in the crash.  She didn't know.  I wonder if the defense lawyer will pay her another 2K to testify in the future :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Earlier this month I met with a gentleman that was stopped waiting to take a left turn onto a main roadway.  To his left was a large bush.  In front of him was another vehicle facing the opposite direction at a stop sign.  The other vehicle "waived" him to take his left turn indicating it was safe.  It was not safe.  Coming the opposite direction was a vehicle that, according to the gentleman, had veered around a garbage bag in the middle of the street (you can't make this stuff up).  According to the police report the other driver was in his correct lane. Crash ensued.

I can't tell you how many times someone has come to my office wanting to sue the person that waive them through.  A really bad fractured ankle case comes to mind where my client was the victim of the incorrect waiving.  The first issue is that nobody ever gets the information on the person that waived them through.  They aren't listed on police reports because they leave the scene.  That, plus who is going to admit that they were wrong and waived someone into traffic?  That is the first problem.  The second problem is that you can't rely on a third party to make driving decisions for you.  As such, suing them would be a waste of time. 

The other thought this potential client had was suing the government for failing to make the bush trimmed.  The problem here is that suing people is expensive so you must be really hurt.  Suing the government is very expensive and there is the issue of sovereign immunity.  In this circumstance the damages would not have offset the costs of litigation thus making it a bad situation for the potential client.


Friday, September 21, 2018


I'm working on a case today where my client hired me eight months post crash.  In these scenarios I can't fix past damage.  For example, normally I can attempt to minimize my clients owed medical bills by putting them through health insurance if the provider takes health insurance.

Hospital bills are usually the issue here.  One visit can cost $8,000.00.  And Personal Injury Protection (PIP) usually covers the first $10,000.00.  If the hospital bill is submitted to PIP it is usually paid in full leaving $2,000.00 for future treatment. However, if you put that $8,000.00 bill through health insurance it averages out to $2,000.00 and PIP can be directed to pay that leaving you with $8,000.00 instead of $2,000.00.  If you have $8,000 for future treatment its going to make your payback on total medicals a lot lower and thus your recovery bigger (generally speaking).

The average person doesn't know any of that because they don't do this every single day so when a client comes to me eight months post crash and owes money to providers that eats into his or her recovery.

Another issue is insurance companies trying to pretend they are your friend.  My experience has been the adjusters aren't asking you questions to help you.  They are asking questions to try to create problems as far as liability and damages are concerned so when a client provides a recorded statement to a carrier it isn't the best of ideas (generally speaking).  They also want health records releases.  I worked on a case where my client had a lumbar (low back) spine injury 10 years ago, but no problems up until a crash with cervical (neck).  The adjuster wanted to make a big deal about the injury ten years ago.  Is that really acting in good faith?  From my perspective it is not, but they have a job to do in saving the insurance company money so they are going to take positions that are not substantiated.  Finally, the most offensive thing I see is pop out adjusters offering people between $1,000.00 and $1,500.00 right after a crash.  There is NO WAY a person can intelligently determine the extent of their injuries right after a crash.  I've seen an insurance company offer $1,000.00 to a guy with a torn rotator cuff.  That should be illegal.

Advertising Material.  Ranting Lawyer.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Dear Insurance Company, Pay the Deductible and Avoid the Personal Injury Lawyer

A former employee called me last week and told me her father was in a car crash and needed my help.  He had been rear ended by an uninsured driver and wasn't sure what to do.  After speaking to him I learned that he was mostly just pissed at his own insurance company for making him pay a $100.00 deductible on his property damage.  He understandably wanted to stick it to the uninsured driver as well.  Luckily, my client has uninsured coverage and can make a claim.  However, I don't think he would be making a claim if his insurance company just paid for his deductible.  I'd say at least 40% of what I do it related to insurance companies making stupid decisions.  I'm sure if some MBA evaluated this he would tell State Farm to pay the $100.00 deductible and hope this thing will go away.  Instead, I'm making an uninsured claim that won't resolve for less than several thousand dollars.  The insurance company will front that money and then attempt to collect it from the uninsured driver.  Catch is uninsured people don't have money so they will spend a lot of time chasing their tail. I'm not sad about it, but its an inefficiency in our system.

Opinion and Advertising Material for Brian Dettman

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Insurance Offer Three Days Post Crash

An Allstate Lawyer took my clients deposition last week.  My client was asked about who communicated with her after the crash.  Turns out that an Allstate adjuster called my client a couple of days post crash and offered her $500 for her injuries in exchange for closing out her claim.  My client has an injury that is going to last a lifetime.  The notion that an Allstate Adjuster would call her up a few days post crash and try to resolve her claim is offensive to me.  Here is a person involved in a big crash with serious injuries and Allstate is doing its best to screw the injured person over by resolving it quickly and for less than what the case is worth.

Lets pretend for a minute that my client is in a financial bind and $500 sounds pretty good.  They accept.  From that minute forward they are prevented from further compensation to pay medical bills.  What if my client needed a surgery and didn't have health insurance?  I can see a scenario where the client goes bankrupt on account of the medical expenses.  And all of this because of an Allstate "pop out" adjuster.

There are rules in place that prevent lawyers from communicating with injured persons post crash.  There should be a similar rule for insurance companies.  I might be ok with a rule that allows Allstate to pay 500 bucks up front but preserves the right of the injured party to re-open the claim at any point within the statute of limitations, but allowing unfettered communication to an unrepresented party by a sophisticated insurance company is absurd. 

Nobody ever hears about this stuff and it happens on a daily basis.

Lawyer Rant & Advertising Material by Brian Dettman

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Legal Inefficiency and Pro Bono Lawyering

Every once in a while somebody calls me with a criminal case and asks me to defend them.  Three years ago I stopped taking criminal defense cases, but a few months ago a hockey friend called and asked for help.  He was in the passenger back seat of a car that was stopped for illegal tint.  There was a stolen gun without a magazine under the front passenger seat.  There wasn't anyone in the front passenger seat, but the driver of the vehicle had the matching magazine in his jacket pocket.  Let me repeat that, the driver had the MATCHING GUN MAGAZINE IN HIS POCKET.  The driver denied it was his gun so the cops arrested everyone in the car and charged them with possession of a stolen gun.   The penalty for this is one to five years.  

As a prosecutor you never really think about the fact that defendants need to hire a lawyer.  If I was charging a stranger to defend this case my fee would be $10,000.00.  Catch is my friend doesn't have that type of money.  I'm not writing this because I'm a martyr, but this is a case that needs to be prosecuted against the driver with the magazine.  Its an interesting inefficiency because I can see why they don't want to let my guy out, but at the same time its not a case I would want to prosecute if I was on the other side.  One would hope the driver with the gun in his pocket (who was subsequently picked up on another stolen gun charge) takes this and lets everyone move forward.  We shall see.  If not I'll try it.

Side Note: the arresting officer looks like he belongs in the Sabotage Beastie Boys music video.  Amazing mustache.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Allstate Insurance, Again.

I'm headed to Court this morning because Allstate Insurance has decided they want to try to go around the law.  The Kentucky Supreme Court (KYSCT) decided in Adams v. State Farm (Aaron Murphy argued this case.  He is brilliant.) that an insurance company, when questioning personal injury protection benefits, is allowed to question their insured about the facts of an accident.  All of the medical bills and medical records are submitted to the insurance company for review of treatment.  In making the Adams ruling the KYSCT held that the insurance companies don't get to question about medical treatment/bills.  This makes sense because injured parties aren't medical professionals.  The reason this is important is that nobody remembers whether or not the massage therapist six months ago at the physical therapy clinic massaged them for twelve minutes or fifteen minutes.  In the past insurance companies were allowed to question about injuries/treatment which inevitably led to their clever lawyers trying to trick my clients and make a big issue out of something a lay person stated about medical treatment or something innocuous like whether or not an ultrasound was provided (I had one case where my client thought it was pregnancy ultrasound).  The KYSCT held that if there are questions about medicine that the law provides the insurance companies a means to investigate.  The means is an "independent" medical examination.  The problem from the insurance companies perspective is that the doctors performing these "independent" medical examinations are expensive and that the insurance company also has to prove to the court (aka hire lawyers) to show there is "good cause." This costs the insurance companies money and is more expensive than what they are currently trying to do.

Side note: I've spoken to my clients medical providers and they are willing to answer Allstate's questions about treatment.  Allstate refuses.  I've also had my clients in this case go over all of their medical bills and records.  They did so and submitted an affidavit to the court stating they received the medical treatment submitted to Allstate.  Nonetheless, Allstate won't hassling my clients.

What is really happening behind the scenes is defense lawyers are trying to strum up business and save insurance companies money they ought to pay out.  The way to do that is to hassle insureds and hope they will find a plaintiff's lawyer that won't fight them; or a judge that will allow them to disregard the law.  The worst part is that the insurance companies are fighting their own insureds and attempting to stick them with thousands in medical bills.  The way the insurance companies do this is to sensationalize their pleadings.  This particular insurance company has a lawyer (who I really like) that alleges Allstate has a duty to investigate fraud and that because they have a duty he must put my client through ANOTHER deposition (he already asked about what happened in the wreck).  The issue is that the insurance company lawyer puts nothing of substance in his pleadings.  It is all hunches and speculation.  The law requires fraud to be plead with specificity.  As a result my response is always put your money where your mouth is show us the proof.   I have hunches and speculations about whether or not Allstate insurance underpays minorities on bodily injury claims, but I don't get to put in a pleading and have a judge grant me depositions based on theories.  The issue we run into is that when a judge hears fraud they get understandably apprehensive about not granting the insurance company requests.

I think we can all agree that fraud is something that should be investigated.  The question is by who....should it be insurance companies and their lawyers trying to make a buck?  Or should it be the government authorities?  As a former prosecutor, I believe it should be the latter.

The request Allstate has made today is really on account of my clients traveling twenty minutes to get to a chiropractor for treatment.  My clients are hardworking, responsible people who already told Allstate under sworn statement that they decided to drive twenty minutes for treatment because a family member recommended the chiropractor.  I've driven an hour and a half to doctors in Cincinnati for treatment, but twenty minutes is too much for Allstate.  Its absurd and from my perspective really dishonorable corporate behavior from Allstate.  My guess is some MBA decided this is good corporate policy from a financial standpoint.  It's not good policy for their insureds.

Lets see what the Judge does.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Defendant Has Insurance

I'm prepping for two upcoming trials.

In 99% of the cases I have the defendant is insured and the lawyer representing the defendant was hired by the insurance company.  In the other 1% of cases the defendant has money.

The first, case I'm working on is a dental battery.  The lawyers from the other side, in an effort to be paid by the insurance company, are trying to change it into a malpractice case (insurance companies don't pay lawyers for solely battery claims as they are usually excluded from coverage). I've continued to tell them this is a battery case and I get why they are trying to argue otherwise $$$ :)  The defendant in this case has assets and this case is the exception to the rule. 

The second case I'm working on is a "he said he said" car crash case.  My client and the defendant both say that the other guy ran the red light.  What I find interesting about this case is the defendant did not go to the hospital post crash despite the fact the EMS personnel was telling him to go.  I don't think he went because I think he passed out at the wheel in a diabetic attack, he has had that happen before.   The defendant did go to the hospital later that day.  I think he didn't go initally because he didn't want records reflecting what happened.  He says his kids were scared that their dad would die so he went home with them.  That doesn't make sense.  Your kids would want you to go to the hospital.  My client fractured his spine in this case.  He has recovered as well as one could, but that is a terrible injury to go through and he still suffers.  I remember meeting him for the first time in his full upper body back brace.  He was wincing the whole time I spoke with him.  The defendant driver is insured which is the norm. The jury won't get to hear anything about the insurance company, but they are on the hook to pay, not the defendant driver.  I wish I had some explanation for this but the rules don't allow me to bring it up.

Advertising Material, but mostly thoughts, for and Brian Dettman

Friday, February 9, 2018

I'm working on another fire case.  I say another because it blows my mind that I've had two separate incidents where landlords and management companies fail to make their properties safe.  Side note: I come from a family of commercial realtors/property managers.

The first case I just resolved.  My clients were on the third floor of an apartment complex. The fire escape was padlocked.  Prior to the fire, my client told the landlord to fix the locked escape and his response was move out if you want.  You know where this is going, fire happens, client is forced to jump from third floor, severely injures herself.  Another client in that incident made it to the locked fire escape and dropped two stories instead of three wherein she fractured her foot.  Another law firm had the case before me and dropped it because they couldn't get info from the fire department.  I made a limited request for pictures of the fire escape and LMFD provided it which gave me enough information to move forward.

This new case involves a sophisticated property management company failing to respond to my clients repeated requests that the fire alarms be fixed.  They ignored it and guess what? A fire.  My client didn't have enough time to respond to the fire and fractured her ankle trying to escape.  Functioning alarms would have given her enough time to escape.  What is really surprising to me is that the property management company failed to call me back to discuss so now they are getting sued.  If you own property, hurt someone, and expect a Plaintiff's lawyer to just let it go that is probably a bad look.

Follow up: I sent the property management company a Complaint (Lawsuit) and they called me back the same day.  C'MON Man! Advertising Material.

Monday, February 5, 2018

What Normally Happens Day of Trial

I was set to defend a DUI trial this morning.  I prepped all Super Bowl Weekend.  Poor me, I know :)

In any case, I got up this morning and my client texted me that our witness in Lexington was sick and so was her six month old kid.  This witness is crucial to my clients case.  I told my client we would bring it up to the judge and prosecutor and see how they wished to proceed.  Just before I parked my car my client texted me that the witness could be there for the trial.  Great.  I'm ready to go.

Yet when I arrived at the courthouse and spoke to the prosecutor she was sick and needed to go home after the morning docket.  She has always been courteous to me so there was really no response other than ok.  This also gave me a chance to speak to the arresting officer and breath test officer about the case.  The judge in this case is exceptionally pleasant and understood the reason for moving the trial date. 

Seems like 60% of the time I get ready or set for trial the case either resolves at the courthouse steps or gets bumped to another trial date.  Reminds me of being a kid and preparing for an examination.  You spend all week studying and focusing on the test.   The information is constantly on your brain even when you are sleeping.  Nonetheless, the teacher comes in on Monday morning and says that the copy machine ate the test so we are going to move it two weeks down the line.  Clearly I can't control who is sick and when they get sick, but it is always something when you are in this line of work.

I'm hoping the two weeks will give the prosecutor more time to evaluate the case and potentially offer my client a resolution. 

Thoughts and not really Advertising Material, but I'll put ADVERTISING MATERIAL just to be safe 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bad Insurance Adjusting on Car Crash

I filed a lawsuit against a Shelter Insured in December of 2016.  My client had 20K in medical expenses and the insurance company offered me 3.5K.  I sued them.  They called back and offered 7K of their 25K policy.  A few weeks ago their lawyer called me up asking if I would take 15K of the 25K policy if she could get Shelter to pay it.  I told her no and my client was owed the entire policy.  On Monday I received an email letting me know they were tendering the entire policy.

There is a real problem if you are an insurance adjuster attempting to pay 3.5K on a case that eventually gets resolved for 25K.  Nothing changed as far as damages and it isn't the first time I have dealt with this adjuster.  Three months ago I resolved a case in litigation for 40K after the adjuster offered me 14K pre-suit. 

Now every time I see this adjuster on a file I'm filing a lawsuit.  She has lost all credibility and I feel bad for her insureds.  Rant over.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Your "Bulldog" Lawyer Is Terrible

I have a client that was referred to me by a lawyer in Florida (I'm licensed in both states).  The Florida lawyer needed co-counsel in Kentucky so we are both working on the case.  The client has a serious injury and her insurance company won't pay her enough...imagine that.  I've been called in to litigate the case in a rural Kentucky Community.

As I was initially discussing the case with my new client she told me that she hired the Florida Lawyer because he was a "bulldog" negotiator (he doesn't advertise as so and is a really nice guy/well respected lawyer).  She had seen him negotiate a real estate contract in Florida and thought he did a good job.  I guarantee the Florida Lawyer did do a good job on that that time in that manner with that opposing counsel.

As a result of the bulldog negotiation on the Florida real estate contract the client wanted the same type of scorched earth, yell loud, "really give it to the insurance company lawyer" stance from me.  This got me to thinking about whether or not it’s helpful to be a jerk as a lawyer.  It isn't.  

This does not mean that a lawyer should lie down or refuse to negotiate in a tactful, strong willed manner.  If I have a disagreement with another lawyer I'm going to state my case.  I'm not going to bend or move off what I believe to be correct and true.  

What it does mean is that calling up the defense lawyer and yelling at him about the value of a case and demanding he pay now or "face the consequences" is a complete waste of time.

Think about it this way: Do you respond positively to people that are absurd, rude, loud, or unreasonable?  Will you listen to someone and give in if they yell louder than you?  If your answer to the latter is yes, please don't become a lawyer :)

I can think of one lawyer working the defense bar that is a real piece of work.  His emails are borderline comical with the absurdity.  They are basically just threats without any backing.  I've asked him before if his emails are really his emails or if he is showing off for his clients.  He won't give me a straight answer.  I've basically stopped responding to him unless I have to and I'm more inclined to fight him because he is a jerk (maybe I have a tint of spitefulness).  His “bulldog” attitude harms his clients.   

I understand, it’s a marketing gimmick to argue you are a "bulldog" lawyer.  I have a feeling that a lot of the lawyers advertising like this really don't act like it.  Yet, there is a certain type of client that buys into this nonsense.  Here is a question for that type of client: What makes you think your bulldog lawyer isn't going to bully you into taking less on your case?  Does being a jerk only apply to others? 

In this case, I know the lawyer on the other side.  A "bulldog" lawyer isn't going to work.  Opposing counsel isn't a jerk and if I start yelling at him he's going to think I'm crazy.  I'm going to negotiate with him in a tactful manner without being a jerk.  This will lead to the best result for my client.  

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