Thursday, December 01, 2005


Any thoughts regarding bartering of legal services?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tort trials fell by 80% from 1985-2003

There has been a vast amount of press regarding the "tort crisis." However, a survey conducted by the Department of Justice has found that tort trials have actually fallen by 80%. more...>

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Car rental companies no longer vicariously liable in New York

States are no longer able to hold rental car companies vicariously liable for accidents that occur in their leased cars. more...>

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Malpractice rates climbing, the amount insurers paying for claims remain steady

Doctors have been complaining about skyrocketing malpractice rates for years. Their primary scapegoat has been large jury awards. However, a recent study released by the Center for Justice & Democracy has found that even though insurance rates have climbed 120%, money paid on claims have risen only 5.6%. more...>

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

New rules for Straphangers

Thinking about drinking a cup of coffee on the subway? Perhaps you should wait until you reach your destination. more...>

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Social Purpose of Tort Law

What does "tort reform" mean, and why does it provoke such controversy? more...>

Monday, June 27, 2005

Handicapping the next Supreme Court Justice

Slate reviews the views of the candidates likely to replace Justice Rehnquist.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Update on Federal Tort Reform

After two wins on "legal reform" legislation, the tort reform lobby has taken a pause. Next on their agenda, the "Law Suit Reduction Act" which sanctions lawyers for filing frivolous lawsuits. more...>

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Federal Trademark Basics

Looking to file a Federal Trademark? Before contacting my law office, this article, published by the American Bar Association, provides the basics.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Best in class

If studying does not work, why not sue? more...>

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

How to protect your business from lawsuits

For some key observations on how to protect your business from lawsuits, read this article that contains some quotes from a very good friend of mine, Marshall R. Isaacs.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Blawg of the Day

The Blawg of the Day is Bob Kraft's P.I.S.S.I.D. Its focus is personal injury and social security disability law. Thanks to Ernie the Attorney.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Social Security numbers for Immigrants for sale.

The New York Times reports today that immigrants are being offered social security numbers by expatriates. more...>

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Free legal tip of the day - Buy Sell agreements

Don't forget to write a business prenup, formally known as a buy-sell agreement, before putting money in a venture. more...>

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Two immigrant stories

As part of the "Class Matters" series, the New York Times focuses today on the plight of two immigrants, one Greek diner owner, one Mexican short order cook. more...>

Friday, May 20, 2005

Site of the day

Are you looking to start up a business? Check out

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Think tank finds the "tort crisis" overblown

According to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute, the "tort crisis" is overblown. For example, tort lawsuits have actually fallen significantly, despite continuing population growth. more...>

Immigrant success in Math

In one high school, Asian's represent 22 percent of the population, but 94.4 percent of the math club. Why?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Read this before selling a family business

Keep it. Sell it. Liquidate it. These are three alternatives available to owners of closely held businesses. Here is guide about the key issues regarding the sale process.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Legal History Site of the Day

The legal history site of the day is The Avalon Project at Yale University. The site contains a treasure trove of historical documents in law, history and diplomacy. For instance, follow this link to the Camp David Accords.

Friday, May 06, 2005

20,000 new H1-B visa bonus

The USCIS will be implementing 20,000 bonus H1-B visa's for graduates of US graduate degree programs. more...>

Blawg of the Day

The blawg of the day is ... Between Lawyers (thanks to the Blawg Channel). Today, the author's (this is a group blawg) discuss the value of blogging within the legal community.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Insurer posts record profits

Insurance companies have been calling for tort reform. They state that there is a litigation crisis. Here is a piece of interesting news: St. Pauls/ Travelers Insurance company has posted record profits for the First Quarter. more...>

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Stricter immigration reforms on the horizon

Congress is ready to enact a stricter law that would outlaw driver's licenses for illegal aliens and it would make it tougher for immigrants to seek asylum. more...>

The USA is a nation of immigrants. Many (including my ancenstors) have sought refuge here to escape persecution. Unfortunately, in times of "war" we tend to limit immigration because of a perceived security risk. As an immigration attorney, it is my belief that the laws that are currently on the books regarding asylum are sufficient. What is needed to help limit the scope of the security problem that we here in the US is to provide more funding for BCIS so that they can investigate each case properly.

The new law calls require asylum seekers to provide written proof of persecution. This law, as currently drafted, is simplistic, overbroad and narrowminded. During World War II, the Nazi's burned down Jewish shtetls in Eastern Europe, destroying everything. What kind of written proof would one expect such Jewish refugee's to provide? An SS order written on a bialy? How about those escaping the genocide in Darfur? Many of these people are illiterate. What types of written documents are immigation officials expecting?

Perhaps Congress would have acted the asylum law differently if the State of Texas was in fact located in Rwanda and the Hutus were killing White Anglo Saxon Protestants. It is my belief that anyone who is been the victim of persecution has the right to shelter in the United States.

The risk that we have as a nation by enacting such a law is that we are not showing enough interest in the plight of other people. As Dale Carengie said, one of the best ways to influence people is showing that we care about them. This new immigration law is another way of showing the world that we have less interest about their problems and are more interested in our own. This is the blacklash that helped create Bin Laden in the first place.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Immigrant crackdown on Long Island have snared those without a criminal past

Efforts to deport immigrants who are thought to be gang members or sexual predators have snarred those with no criminal record. more...>

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Lo-tech businesses are booming

There is a plethora of hype regarding the growth of hi-tech businesses and its effect on the US economy. However, the biggest opportunity for entrepeneurs are mundane ventures that have existed for decades. more...>

Monday, April 25, 2005

Are blogs overrated as a marketing tool?

Business Week, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal even have been urging everyone to blog. Is the hype regarding blogs as a marketing tool warranted?

I have been posting to my blog for over a year and it is my belief that blogs are overrated as a marketing tool. This blog has received thousands of hits, has an rss feed and has been mentioned in numerous blogs. However, I have never directly received even one inquiry regarding my law practice from this blog.

Nevertheless, this blog does serve a useful purpose. It allows me, the blogger to keep informed with the happenings within my areas of legal practice. Each post requires approximately 30 minutes of research which allows me to keep abreast of the changes in the law. It also demonstrates to potential clients that I am technologically savvy. However, these potential clients are driven to my blog through networking and referrals, not by readers of blogs.

My primary source of referrals is through networking. It is my belief that in an increasing wired world, people still have a need to actually talk and meet with people.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Doctor operates on the wrong eye and held not responsible

The New York Post reports today about the dismissal of an action brought against the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. The article, entitled "Court can't see eye to eye with suit" states that the hospital was found not liable for negligently removing the wrong eye from a patient because the patient signed a waiver. more...>

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Does outside legal financing need to be reformed?

Some plaintiffs finance their expenses before their lawsuit is settled. Are these "investments" in lawsuits loans? If they are loans, should they be regulated by usury statutes? more...>

Thursday, April 14, 2005

How do immigrants pay for large smuggling fees?

A Chinese deliveryman who was stuck inside an elevator paid $60,000 in smuggling fee's to enter the country. How do these poor immigrants pay such a large fee to smuggler's when they only make $300 a week? more..>

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Best marketing bang for the buck: take a client to a ball game

Although this article is geared towards lawyers, its lesson is clear. There is great bang for your marketing dollar by entertaining clients at sporting events. more...>

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Top defense wins of 2004

The National Law Journal lists the top defense wins of 2004. The top win was awarded to Latham & Watkins for an antitrust victory. more...>

Monday, April 04, 2005

What is it about men bloggers?

Since anyone can write a blog, why is the blogoshere dominated by white males? more....>

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Judge Braun, lighten up!

I appeared in court yesterday of counsel in Judge Richard Braun's courtroom in Supreme New York County for a simple preliminary conference. For those who do not practice law in New York, at a preliminary conference, the parties set a basic discovery schedule. Most lawyers believe that this conference is completely bogus. If the court system would like to save resources, they should set a scheduling system by computer because the time line is nearly always the same.

The matter before the court was a subrogation claim where the insurance company that I was representing was suing for approximately $200,000 in damages to recover payment to its insured due to a gas leak. In Kings, Bronx and Queens County, these conference are held before a clerk and the parties simply check in with the clerk when they are ready to proceed. Most conferences are held at 9:30. The parties can agree before hand to appear any time before 11 a.m. If, for some reason, a party is not in the courtroom before 10:30 you are simply told to contact your advesary. This system appears to work because it allows attorney's to cover more than 1 case in a courthouse. For solo's, this system is necessary because they cannot be in two places at once.

Judge Braun on the other hand does not appear to understand the plight of solo's (even though he was one). Yesterday, I was late by ten minutes because I was delayed by a clerk in the Court of Claims who appeared at 10:15 for a 9:30 conference. When I arrived, at Judge's Braun's part, I was told that he dismissed the case because I arrived at 10:40 for a 10:30 conference. Incidentely, two of the defendants were missing. Thereafter, Judge Braun, called the parties before the court and asked the parties if they would be willing to consent to vacate the default. Thankfully, all parties agreed. Thereafter, we conferenced the case before one of the judges clerks. All parties agreed on the particulars of the conference. The clerk then asked me for a demand (the amount of money that my client was willing to settle for). None of the defendants have offered a penny. I stated that our demand was specific and was based on how much the insurance company paid to its insured for each item. I told the clerk that it was our intention that the insurance company be made whole for its loss. Additionally, I stated that we were willing to negotiate, however, it would be on an item basis (i.e., if they did not agree on the price of a damaged desk, we may lower the amount). The clerk then stated that the judge wanted an automatic lowering of our demand and that we would be punished by a delay in the case if we did not do so. I held my ground. However, it appears that Judge Braun did not delay the case.

Anyway, my suggestion to Judge Braun is to be more liberal and allow solo's to check in with the clerk on conferences. Additionally, the court should not dictate an arbitrary settlement demand.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Tenants sue FDNY over fire

Tenants of a burned out building where two people died haved sued the New York Fire Department because they were slow to arrive. more...>

Friday, March 25, 2005

New York's Highest Awards in 2004 at a Glance

Although it is not the custom of this blog to list large awards because they are frequently misused by proponents of tort reform, here is a list from the New York Law Journal of New York's Highest Awards for 2004.

Class Action Lawsuit by Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange is dismissed

Is the random poisoning of a large number of people, if it is a side-effect of the deforestation of a battleground, a crime against humanity? more...>

Thursday, March 24, 2005

One year anniversary

I have been blogging for over a year!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bruce Springsteen and the American Lawyer

Do American lawyers have anything to learn from Bruce Springsteen? Widener School of Law seems to think so. more...>

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Another large award against Ford's Explorer

Another jury held Ford liable due to a malfunction in its Explorer model. This time, a jury found the seat belt and roof system to be faulty when the vehicle flipped five times. more..>

Friday, March 18, 2005

"Green Card" Nightmare

Lun Bao Zheng, a Chinese Immigrant who became a US citizen, became enraged by his wife whom he thought married him only for a green card, went on a murder-suicide rampage yesterday. more..>

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Closure of "money service" accounts to hurt Immigrants

The New York Daily News reports today that JP Morgan Chase and North Fork banks will close "money service" accounts by the end of the month. These accounts are used to send funds from the US to other nations. The move will likely hurt millions in other nations who are dependent on US immigrants sending funds abroad for basic needs. more...>

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Visa Politics

Reforms to US immigration law in the late 1980's and early 1990's- part of a "Free Trade of Ideas" campaign were ment to end the practice of ideological based visa denials. Unfortunately, it appears that the use of an ideological litmus test has been revived. more...>

Monday, March 14, 2005

New York Car Accident News

The New York Post reports on two car accidents today. In one accident, an elderly man, Donald Hennessey, was killed by a hit-and-run driver. In another accident, a 18 year old volunteer firefighter was killed when a speeding car plowed into him.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Texas study concludes no tort crisis

Malpractice reform is a high priority for President Bush, who contends that juries have run amok, multimillion dollar lawsuits are on the rise and greedy trial lawyers are filing frivolous lawsuits. His solution: cap malpractice awards. His problem: after studying a database maintained by the Texas Department of Insurance that contains all malpractice claims from 1998 to 2002, there is no evidence of a tort crisis. more...>

Monday, March 07, 2005

Will a cap on damages for medical practice lawsuits have any meaning?

President Bush has proposed limiting "pain and suffering" damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. Will such a cap actually limit the total amount awarded? more...>

Friday, March 04, 2005

Culture articles of note

Religion may be a survival mechanism. So are we born to believe? more...>

We are what we buy at the mall, see at the multiplex, and hear on our iPods. Is that a good thing? more...>

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ford held liable again for Explorer rollover

A Texas jury found Ford liable for the death of 2 women who were killed in an Explorer rollover accident. more...>

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cellphone use while driving increases

It may come as no suprise to learn that there has been a sharp increase in cellphone use by drivers. more...>

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

42nd Street Shuttle derails

A 42nd Street Shuttle train pulling into Grand Central Station overshot the end of its track. more...>

Monday, February 28, 2005

Next up on Bush's war on attorneys: Malpractice lawyers

Following victory with class action lawsuits, the Bush admistration is now targeting Malpractice lawyers in his crusade on tort reform. more...>

Thursday, February 24, 2005

New York State appealing decision regarding renewing immigrant driver's licenses

Last Thursday a New York judge halted a Department of Motor Vehicles crackdown on giving New York State licenses to noncitizens. New York State officials announced yesterday that they are appealing the ruling. more...>

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

City of New York paid $570 in Personal Injury lawsuits for 2004

Newsday reports that the City of New York paid $570 million in Personal Injury lawsuits last year. more...>

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Special Section: Small Business

For all you small business owners, the New York Times contains a special section on Small Business. more...>

Why are medical malpractice rates so high?

President Bush, speaking in a St. Louis suburb a few weeks ago, blammed high medical malpractice prices on malpractice lawsuits. But for all the worries over higher medical expenses, legal costs do not seem to be the root of the most recent increase in malpractice premiums. Last year malpractice claims against doctors dropped 8.9%. more...>

Friday, February 18, 2005

Should a case be dismissed because of an incorrect date?

Yesterday, I appeared of counsel on an Order to Show Cause before Hon. Jonathan Lippman, at 80 Centre Street in New York County. The plaintiff was a 64 year old man who fell in a hole in the roadway because a New York City Transit Bus stopped at a significant distance from the curb. The plaintiff was seriously injured due to the accident. The plaintiff improperly told his attorney that the accident occurred on March 17, 2003. Plaintiff's counsel recently received a hospital report that stated that he actual date of the accident was March 15, 2003, a mere two days earlier. It appears that Judge Lippman feels that the case should be dismissed because the New York City Transit Authority cannot properly investigate the incident because of the incorrect date. Do you think this argument is valid or is this just a harmless error?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lexus SUV subject to safety inquiry

The New York Times today reports that the 2004 Lexus RX330 is under federal inquiry after receiving complaints regarding its power brakes. more....>

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Why are American's so successful in business?

Are American's so successful because they are nuts? Are we a nation of Crazy Eddies? more...>

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

New tort reform bill would have limited impact

The New York Sun posts this article about the new class-action tort reform bill that recently passed in the Senate. It quotes a Yale law professor who believes that the Bush administration will have a hard time passing other tort reform measures.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Bush wins first tort reform bill in Senate

President Bush won his first tort reform victory as the Senate approved a bill that would limit class action lawsuits. more...>

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Asylum seekers treated poorly

The New York Times reports in its front page today that thousands of people seeking asylum in the United States are treated poorly. Cuba has the highest precentage of applicants approved for asylum. more...>

Monday, February 07, 2005

Two men are arrested for making lawyer jokes

The New York Times reports on this odd story about two men who were arrested for disorderly conduct for telling lawyer jokes outside the Nassau County courthouse. more...>

Friday, February 04, 2005

Tips for starting up a business

Are you looking to start up a business? Findlaw lists ten suggestions to get your business off to smooth start. more...>

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tort Reform in the States

Blog 702 posts its analysis of Tort Reform in the states.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Budget Rent-A- Car held liable in automobile accident

Manhattan Justice Milton Tingling awarded 29 year old Ethan Ruby a large judgment against Budget Rent-A-Car. The ruling is based on state law that holds rental agencies responsible for the the negligent acts of its customers. more...>

Monday, January 31, 2005

Lawsuit myths propelling tort reform

Insurance companies are the driving force behind tort reform. They have influenced many in the Republican party (including the President), corporations and physicians that the reason for the steady increase in insurance premiums is due to large tort verdicts. Because they do not have facts to back up their assertions, they have relied on myths. more....>

Friday, January 28, 2005

Tort Reform outlook for 2005

Lawyers Weekly takes a look at medical liability reform, class action reform, frivolous lawsuit sanctions, asbestos trust fund and "fast food" lawsuit legislation in Congress for the coming year. more...>

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tort reform bill limiting "frivolous" lawsuits introduced in Congress

A new tort reform bill has been introduced in Congress that would impose sanctions on lawyers for "frivolous" lawsuits. The bill would also attempt to reduce forum shopping. more...>

On the topic of tort reform, New York State should enact a stronger good faith law. If, for example, an insurance company fails to pay a claim in which they do not have a good faith defense, they should be subject to sanctions. For example, one high profile insurance company has an unofficial policy of not offering compensation to plaintiff's who are injured in auto accidents prior to jury selection in New York State. How would you feel if you were a passenger in a car waiting at a traffic light when an Allstate insured vehicle came into contact with your vehicle in the rear and they waited until jury selection (as long as three years) to compensate you for your injuries?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Running red lights cited as a leading cause in car crashes

It may not come as a surpise that a study conducted by the Farmers Insurance Group has found that running a red light is a leading cause of car accidents. A staggering 36% of all drivers admitted to running a red light in the past year. The study also concluded that women are more observant of traffic lights than men. more...>

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

What is Tort Reform?

I have been blogging about tort reform extensively. However, how many people really know what tort reform is? Check out Whatistortreform, a site billing itself as a user-friendly guide to tort reform.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Immigration is changing the makeup of NY neighborhoods

The New York Times reports that immigation in New York is at record levels. 60% of all babies are born to at least one foreign born parent. What effect does immigation have on NYC's neighborhoods? more...>

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Do judges make their decisions in a blink of an eye?

How do judges reach their decisions? Do they use intuition or logic? Judge Posner has written a book on this subject. more...>

Actually, he reviewed the book blink. ... thanks for the comment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Should orphans from the Tsunami be permitted to immigrate?

The tsunami catastrophe has created thousands of orphans. Should these orphans be allowed to immigate into the United States? The USCIS doesn't think so. more...>

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Survey: Malpractice suits are of low priority

The A.P. reports that reducing malpractice awards ranked 11th out of 12 on a list of items people thought should be health care priorities in Congress. President Bush has focused on tort reform as the main priority in reducing health care costs. more...>

Thursday, January 13, 2005

New York Daily News weighs in on tort reform

Following President Bush's symbolic appearance in Illinois last week kicking off the tort reform debate for the New Year, there has been much reaction to the issue in the press. The New York Daily News posts this editorial which calls for revoking the licenses of doctor's have lost a substantial number of malpractice verdicts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New York Times editorial "Tort Mythology"

The New York Times on Sunday, posted this editorial entitled "Tort Mythology," which attacks the Bush administration's view of "tort reform."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Boys fall from chute ruled accidental

Yesterday I blawged about a boy who was killed after he fell down a chute. Newsday reports today that the fall was ruled an accident.

Nevertheless, I still feel strongly that there must be some action against "ambulance chasing" attorneys.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

9 year old retarded boy killed in hospital fall

A 9 year old retarded boy was killed yesterday when he fell down a Harlem nursing home chute. The family blames the accident on inadequate supervision. more...>

Has anyone from the press contacted the family regarding the number of law firms that have approached them? I could almost guarantee that 10 runners, (independent contractors who receive a fee upon a personal injury referral) have contacted Azeana Jones, the mother of the boy, in violation of ethics rules. I call on the OCA (Office of Court Administration) to investigate each and every retainer statement filed by law firm's that has been retained following press coverage.

It is my belief that law firms employing runners are a cancer in the legal profession that must be dealt with harshly.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Bush plans to declare war in Madison County

President Bush is planning to fire his first shots in his war to reform tort law in Madison County, Illinois. The county is known for its heavy docket of tort cases. more....>