Lott vs. State Farm

Perhaps a some readers don't see the hypocrisy referred to in my last post. If that's the case, think about the good Senator's State Farm lawsuit and then check out his tort reform quotes at Sirotablog.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


State Farm Insurance sued by Senator Lott

State Farm Insurance is being sued by Senator Trent Lott. Back on Sept. 16th, I referenced how insurance companies were showing their true colors in the wake of Katrina. Does anyone else see the irony here? Another Senator, who claims to want to deter lawsuits and votes for "tort reform," brings his own lawsuit. It's like the hypocrisy of Senator Rick Santorum. And the hypocrisy of doctors bringing class actions against health insurers. They all claim to want tort reform and claim to think lawsuits should be deterred, but when it comes to their rights, don't stand in their way.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Chamber of Commerce buys results in Illinois

Lawyers and civil justice take a beating from propaganda put out by the Chamber of Commerce, insurers and huge businesses. They advertise atypical verdicts, e.g. McDonald's case, and play down cases where Courts rule in their favor. They also want you to think trial lawyers control the system, but they really do. Cases in point:

2004: Chamber & Co. dump MILLIONS into the campaign for Illinois Supreme Court. Its candidate, Lloyd Karmeier wins, and the Chamber touts victory.

2005: Chamber & Co.'s investments pay off! Today, in the "Lights" case, Karmeier gets Philip Morris off the hook of a $10.1B judge's verdict (note: not a jury). Earlier this year, Karmeier helped out friends at State Farm getting State Farm off the hook of $1B.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Governor Doyle Vetoes Medical Malpractice Bill

Governor Doyle's press release on the medical malpractice veto lays his rationale out. Moreover, I would add to the following facts:
- In each of the last 2 years, patients only won 4 jury verdicts against Wisconsin doctors in ANY MALPRACTICE CASE!
- In 10 years, Wisconsin juries awarded more than the cap in only 9 cases.
- The Injured Patients & Families Compensation Fund that pays malpractice claims GREW from $336 million in 1995 to $741 million in 2004.
- From 1995-2005, Wisconsin doctors saw medical malpractice premiums reduced 71%.
- Despite the plunge in malpractice costs (the lowest in the U.S.), Wisconsin has some of the highest healthcare costs and the 2nd highest health insurance premiums in the U.S

Thus, contrary to the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce propaganda, the evidence shows the real reasons why Wisconsin health care costs are out of control.

You don't need to believe politicians, talk radio hosts, or special interests, just check the facts for yourself and you will see that medical malpractice has nothing to do with Wisconsin's health care costs. Therefore, there is no just reason to punish a minute number of patients victimized by negligent Wisconsin doctors.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


O.J. Simpson For Tort Reform

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and asbestos makers will be happy to know that they have something in common with O.J. Simpson.

O.J. Simpson wants tort reform too.

O.J. Simpson, like Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and asbestos makers, doesn't think he should be subject to a valid civil lawsuit. They don't like it when personal injury lawyers hold them responsible for their conduct. They don't want their victims to get justice. They want their legal rights maximized and preserved, but not their victims. And they want their wrongdoings to go unchecked. That's tort reform. Perhaps O.J. will start doing some of the WMAC ads.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce goes too far

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce goes too far in its recent propaganda campaign attacking trial lawyers. The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce ad uses a photo of portly 60-year-old man cowboy with smerking yellow teeth, a lit cigar and dark sunglasses standing in front of an oil tank and labeling him "Billy Bob Jones, Esq." In the ad, Billy Bob says he's "up on his way to Wisconsin and fixin' to make a killin'."

As ridiculous as it is, this is what WMAC wants you to believe. Why are all their ads about personal injury lawyers? Because Wisconsin personal injury lawyers are much easier targets than those we help in Wisconsin.

Recall the "how to" on demonizing personal injury lawyers and recognize that WMAC is working off the Frank Luntz, Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers' playbook. They hate personal injury lawyers because we make them pay you when you need justice. Per the handbook, they want you to:
~ Think "creeps, bottom--feeders, overpaid, and evil" when you hear "personal injury lawyers,"
~ Not think personal injury lawyers help "Individuals who have been wrongly injured [to get] their day in court," and
~ Not recognize that personal injury attorneys help individuals get "justice and fairness."

Personally, I think the Wisconsin B.S. meter is high enough to see through WMAC's.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Senator Rick Santorum exposed by ABC News

Senator Rick Santorum's hypocrisy on medical malpractice and tort reform was discussed here. But I was happy to see recently that ABC News' Primetime also exposed Santorum.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

American Family Insurance wrongly denied claim

American Family Insurance has been raking in the profits, but a recent bad faith lawsuit against American Family shows how accepting customers' premiums but not their claims can get a car insurer in trouble after a car accident.

American Family now has a $3,000,000 bad faith verdict against it after a jury found in favor of a University professor who's car insurance claim for 85% of his lost wages was denied. The man was involved in a car accident and sustained a brain injury and severely injured arm. Evidence showed American Family was pressuring claims adjusters working on car accidents to reduce personal injury payments. Evidence also showed that American Family was trying to reduce car accident payments by 28%. The jury found that American Family willfully and wantonly denied the professor's claim for the car accident.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Conservatives against "Tort Reform"

Here's more great stuff on medical malpractice from the Center for a Just Society. Ken Connor, it's founder, is former president of the Family Research Council and attorney for Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


People Over Profits

People Over Profits is a grassroots group fighting against bogus ads like those from the Sick of Lawsuits outfit and those in Wisconsin we hear from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. In fact, the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce ad attacking personal injury lawyers is aired often on WISN, the station airing Bob Dolan's recommendation of me.

People Over Profits aims to protect civil justice and the right to trial by jury. It wants to make sure that when you or a family member are injured or killed by negligent conduct or defective products, you can hold the wrongdoer accountable. Corporate interests are trying to buy politicians and use them to take away the rights of regular Americans like you, but we must put People Over Profits.

I hope it works, but unfortunately my experience reveals that most people don't care what their rights are until they need to exercise them. It's only then that they get angry about a $350,000 cap on wrongful death damages or a wrongdoer having been given legal immunity.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Samuel Alito is the Nominee

Here's the Samuel Alito wiki and a thorough blog piece. Judge Alito's key opinions argued a city should be able to display a nativity, menorah, Santa Claus, and a banner favoring diversity; a woman asking for asylum could show she had a well founded fear of persecution in Iran; a school district needs to protect a student from bullying by other students; a state law could require married women to give husbands notice of (not "consent for") an abortion; and a university may suspend a campus cop without pay and a hearing upon learning of arrest for drug crimes.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Diane Sykes - If she's the nominee, she's in

Diane Sykes may be the next nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if she is, I think she's in.

Wisconsin Lawyer profiled Sykes in June 2000. Sykes is a nominee similar to Chief Justice John Roberts. She is a 2004 appointee to the Court of Appeals (Roberts was 2003) , young at 47 (Roberts is 50), involved in the Federalist Society, Catholic, has a corporate law background and extensive judicial experience, and is sharp as a tack. Based on this, I have no doubt as to her appointment if nominated.

Sykes, however, will be objected to by some, see the National Council of Jewish Women's statement and Feminists'. The Alliance for Justice stated:

Diane Sykes has not demonstrated during her years on the bench that she can put her personal views aside and rule fairly and independently on cases involving reproductive freedom, lawsuits by individuals against corporations or insurers, or issues involving the rights of the accused.

Wisconsin Democrats Senator Russ Feingold and Senator Herb Kohl, however, are limited in their ability to oppose Sykes since they supported her Court of Appeals nomination, see Sen. Leahy's 2/04 statement.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Sick of Lawsuits

Sick of lawsuits is an outfit using advertising to attack injured persons and the lawyers seeking them justice. Sick of Lawsuits ads are the antithesis of the touchy feely insurance company ads previously noted here, but like those insurers trying to weasel out of covering hurricane victims, Sick of Lawsuits has similar goals:
~ Deter you from seeking justice
~ Make you think there's a constant fight against bogus lawsuits
~ Create a society that hates lawyers
~ Have people feel guilty for making legitimate claims
~ Contaminate juries with people who presume a person filing a lawsuit is dishonest, etc.

The truth however is shown in recent reports, including one from the Bush Administration's Department of Justice, that show:
~ Federal tort trials have steadily declined 80% since 1985
~ Civil trials in state courts dropped by 47% between 1992 and 2001
~ Personal injury cases decreased 31.8% during the same period
~ Inflation-adjusted compensation in all tort cases dropped 56.3% between 1992 and 2001
~ Medical malpractice payments nationwide have fallen 4% per year since 2001

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Legal Ethics Issue for Attorney David Boies?

Attorney Boies, a lawyer hired by some on the darker side of corporate America, may face legal ethics issues. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal has an article entitled Boies Office Sent Clients To 3rd Firm With Family Ties. The article says Boies and lawyers at his law firm sent clients to an expert witness co. four of his kids owned 1/3 of. The sticky situation involves the lawyer, his kids, some are attorneys, clients of the lawyers, and millions in attorneys and experts fees. It may soon involve the New York office regulating lawyers and perhaps Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a legal hero of mine, who's fought corruption including that in insurance.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce claims to represent Wisconsin businesses, but recently it's engaged in scare tactics similar to those Sykes wrote about with respect to health care costs and medical malpractice. WMC's Capital report is replete with propaganda out of the handbook on how to demonize trial lawyers.

Wisconsin businesses that want to reduce health care costs should first look at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and remove from WMC's Board of Directors: Reed E. Hall, Executive Director Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield; Kevin R. Hayden, President & CAO Dean Health Systems, Inc., Madison; Larry Rambo, CEO, Wisconsin & Michigan Markets Humana, Inc., Waukesha; and John Toussaint, M.D., President & CEO ThedaCare, Inc., Appleton.

As documented numerous times here, these companies are why Wisconsin health care costs are out of control. High health care costs have nothing to do with malpractice insurance as Wisconsin has the lowest premiums in the U.S., but Marshield Clinic, Dean Health Systems, Humana, and ThedaCare want you to lose sight of their self-interest and blame someone else, e.g. lawyers.

Some in the Wisconsin business community see WMC does not fairly represent Wisconsin business. As proof, I offer part of a letter written to a Wisconsin lawyer from the President of the Steven's Point Association of Downtown Businesses:

"Thanks for your letter and concerns about the WMC’s ad campaign responding to the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions. Our Association of Downtown Businesses does not have any ties to the WMC. Interestingly, Worzalla Publishing (his employer) has severed ties with the WMC because of their disregard for small businesses, their limited and arrogant political scope, and the big business club that they have established. I don’t know that our association would have much clout if we contacted them, especially since they’ve had deaf ears on issues that have been addressed by our President and CEO Chuck Nason. You definitely can use this letter to show the dissatisfaction that I have personally experienced...."

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


FELA Trial & Justice

The FELA trial settled in the Judge's Chambers minutes before picking a jury. The settlement amount is confidential because the railroad doesn't want other employees of the defendant Wisconsin railroad to file FELA cases. The outcome proves my opinion though that 99% of the time you must have a personal injury lawyer handling your personal injury case to get justice. Do-it-yourselfers don't get you justice. General practicioners don't get you justice. And insurance adjusters will never give you justice. What gets you justice? A lawyer who focuses on the area of law you require, knows the applicable damages, subrogation, and insurance law, and is ready and willing to take your case to trial.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Wisconsin Railroad Employee (FELA) Injury Case

Wisconsin railroad employee injuries are governed by a federal law known as FELA. Tomorrow, I start a trial in such personal injury case here in Wisconsin. I will provide an update on this railroad employee's FELA trial afterwards.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurer Sues Notorious Ex-CEO

Insurance executive and Ex-AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg is notorious and has been discussed here many times. Hank's an insurance guy who wants ridiculous sums of money at about any cost. He's a vocal proponent of exchanging your rights for insurer profits ("tort reform"), accused of corrupt business practices, called lawyers terrorists, sued is own son, and worth about $4,400,000,000.00 (FOUR BILLION FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS).

Insurer AIG has apparently realized that Hank's profit motive extends to taking what it claims is its. A story in Friday's Wall Street Journal "AIG Is Raising Stakes in Battle With Greenberg" discusses the insurance company's lawsuit against its Ex-CEO. Apparently, Hank wants control of a related AIG entity and certain art, antiques and property. Like all insurance companies do when they're not bashing lawyers, Hank hired his own attorney, who's recent clients include the equally notorious Enron CFO, Adelphia, and Tyco, that is David Boies, a New York lawyer.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Touchy Feely Insurance Company Ads

Wisconsin, notice all the touchy feely ads airing from insurance companies? I'm sure it wasn't my last post that inspired it, but perhaps it's the bad press insurers are getting from Niagra Falls to the United Kingdom and from the Boston Globe to the Christian Broadcasting Network:

Insurance companies sued for Katrina 'con'
Katrina Homeowners Face off with Insurance Companies
The Battle Begins Over Flood Losses
Insurance Companies Scam Victims

Give it a month or so 'til they start gouging insurance rates and when they do they'll blame lawyers.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurance Companies Show True Colors in Tragedy

Insurance Companies are now accused of trying to take advantage of Katrina victims denying insurance claims, reducing insurance coverage, and pushing property owners to sign releases and documents adverse to their interest. Companies accused include Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, and USAA.

Insurers advertise how you're in good hands (Allstate), they're like good neighbors (State Farm), they're on your side (Nationwide) and ready to help (USAA), but when the claims start coming Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide and USAA, like nearly every other insurer, don't want to pay claims. Whether it's Wisconsin car accidents or Gulf Coast hurricanes, insurers want:

~ Your premiums but not your claims
~ You not to file lawsuits against them that are valid
~ Voters to think they constantly fight bogus lawsuits
~ Everyone to hate lawyers so they never hire one to get justice
~ People to feel guilty for making legitimate claims
~ You to have guilt so you tell your attorney "I'm not the kind of person who files a lawsuit"
~ Jurors to think a person who files a lawsuit is a sham or dishonest
~ Juries minds made up before evidence is heard
~ Your legal rights minimized or removed
~ Their legal rights maximized and preserved
~ Wrongdoing on their part to go unchecked
~ People to feel juries give money away in a lottery jackpot justice system
~ Verdicts for damages to be far less then what is fair
~ Caps on damages to minimize how much justice a person can get
~ And judges who will avoid holding them accountable

After the 9-11 terrorist attack, insurers did the same thing and Katrina again shows on a grand scale insurers true colors. Insurers will wrongfully deny claims whenever debatable and try to get quick settlements that don't pay victims their full damages.

What's next? Well, after the 9-11 terrorist attack insurers engaged in Wartime Profiteering using the tragedy as an excuse to jack insurance rates up while at the same time calling for "tort reform" and blaming it on "evil trial lawyers." Surely we will see this soon even those of us insuring cars and homes in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Wisconsin Health Care Costs Out of Control

This table shows how ridiculously high health care costs are in Wisconsin. With the lowest medical malpractice insurance premiums in the country, perhaps those calling for "tort reform" out to look at the real reasons why health care is so expensive.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Hurricane Charity vs. Politics

It's one of the greatest tragedies in modern America so I write about it to ask that you help. I chose to give through Catholic Charities USA. Other personal injury attorneys I know gave through Trial Lawyers Care. Others are donating frequent flier miles or whatever to the Red Cross. Whatever it is, do something charitable and ignore the political blame games. Now is hardly the time for the latter.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Wisconsin Nursing Home Injuries

Wisconsin nursing homes regularly cause severe injuries to the elderly. In my opinion, huge nursing home operators, like Extendicare, Inc. and Beverly Enterprises, Inc., are out looking for quick money and are too willing to take shortcuts and skimp at the expense of nursing home residents and our elderly. It's really a horrible commentary on our health care system that trial lawyers are one of the few voices, not bought and paid for by the nursing home industry, working on behalf of those suffering from nursing home abuse.

Wisconsin Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer


Wisconsin Gas Prices Tip

Wisconsin gas prices are getting quite high. If you're interested in saving some money, see Wisconsingasprices.com, Madisongasprices.com or Milwaukeegasprices.com to find the best price. For getting the most for your money, also see the Milwaukee site's Top Ten Fuel Saving Tips.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Vioxx Justice Amen! (for now)

Vioxx was recalled by Merck 9/30/04 even though the AMA warned in AUGUST 2001 about big troubles with Vioxx, like ischemic stroke. Today, a Texas widow got justice and her word was "Amen!"

Merck does what? Merck issues a pre-prepared Vioxx verdict release. Why does Merck appeal the Vioxx verdict? Because big business is strongly supporting State Supreme Court Judges, like in Illinois, which got State Farm and maybe Phillip Morris results.

Ischemic strokes are bad news and the evidence shows Merck knew of the Vioxx problem. $253,400,000.00, Amen! Then again, Merck's was worth nearly 1000 times that in 2001 so the jury just slapped Merck's wrist for Vioxx.

Wisconsin Vioxx Lawyer


Personal Injury Trials Fall By Almost 80%

Personal injury tort trials fell by almost 80% from 1985 to 2003 according to a federal study from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs.

Throw in the fact that insurance companies made $38.7 BILLION DOLLARS in 2004 and perhaps you too will correct anyone claiming there's a "a litigation explosion" or "insurance crisis."

Wisconsin Car Insurance & Umbrella FAQs


Janesville Gazette Get the Malpractice Facts

Janesville Gazette on Sunday published this ridiculous op-ed beginning "If you're tired of skyrocketing health care costs, you'll agree that Wisconsin must do something to rein in potentially damaging medical malpractice risks." What?

Janesville Gazette needs to do research. If it did, it would see that:

- In each of the last 2 years, patients only won 4 jury verdicts against Wisconsin doctors.
- In 10 years, Wisconsin juries awarded more than the cap in only 9 cases.
- The Injured Patients & Families Compensation Fund that pays malpractice claims has grown from $336 million in 1995 to $741 million in 2004.
- From 1995-2005, Wisconsin doctors, like OB-GYNs and neurosurgeons, saw malpractice premiums reduced 71%.
- Despite the plunge in malpractice costs (the lowest in the U.S.), Wisconsin still has some of the highest healthcare costs and the 2nd highest health insurance premiums in the U.S.

Janesville Gazette has some explaining to do.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Navy & Asbestos caused Mesothelioma

Previously, I wrote about mesothelioma killing thousands and so-called reformers of asbestos laws who would adversely effect many families. Big business continues to lobby the President and Congress with millions of dollars to get an asbestos bail out and take away the rights of those dying from mesothelioma. However, I hope one thing these politicians will not forget is the thousands of service men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces whose lives have been destroyed and taken away by asbestos, especially veterans from the U.S. Navy effected by asbestos.

Mesothelioma Lawyer in Wisconsin


Charlie Sykes article on Malpractice Caps

Charlie Sykes wrote this piece Thursday in CNI Newspapers, so I submitted this reply Sunday, which may or may not be published:

As a trial lawyer, I read with interest Charlie Sykes’ comments on the medical malpractice damage caps that were recently struck down by Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. Sykes premise that “Wisconsin is about to be a very popular place for lawyers who want fat malpractice awards without caps” is wrong. In the last 10 years, Wisconsin juries levied only nine awards exceeding the caps. Sykes and others who disdain trial lawyers want people to believe that we are most affected by caps, but the truth is that caps sadly affect the most disfigured and disabled people whose injuries include lost limbs, paralysis and brain damage. Due to caps, nine such patients did not get their day in court and did not collect what a jury of their peers felt was fair.

Legislative history shows that the caps were enacted in 1995 to “keep health care affordable and accessible.” However, we know this did not work as despite the lowest medical malpractice insurance premiums in the U.S., Wisconsin has the 2nd highest health care insurance premiums. Health insurance is expensive because, according to a report released by Rep. Paul Ryan, we have one of the most expensive health care systems in the country.

Fortunately, Justice Patrick Crooks recognized that people who have been wrongly injured deserve their day in court and that the “ceiling adopted by the legislature is unreasonable and arbitrary because it is not rationally related to the legislative objective.” Sykes calls this judicial activism and labels Crooks, who’s been supported by Republicans including Brookfield Rep. Scott Jensen, “a one-time conservative,” presumably because Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce disagreed with Crooks’ decision. However, Crooks was entirely consistent with conservative values.

Those who understand our civil justice system recognize that tort law is pro-life and pro-justice. Tort law affirms human dignity and the sanctity of life and promotes responsibility by holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions. At times, big businesses don’t want to be held accountable for damaged lives, but then again businesses in the U.S. file 400% more lawsuits than private citizens, so they are hypocritical in this. Thus, those who truly value human life and accountability see the hypocrisy and recognize that damage caps wrongfully take away an individual's right to get justice that improves the dignity and quality of life. Thankfully, Justice Crooks recognized this as well.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Bill Hurts Families

I can't stop raving about Center for a Just Society. This public policy group gets it! Tort law is a life issue that both political parties should support. Taking away an individual's right to get justice that improves the dignity and quality of life is wrong.

Misbranded Bill Will Hurt Families and Pro-life Cause is the 3rd article from the Center that shows how wrong some Republicans are when it comes to tort law. Note, the Center is not anti-Republican, in fact the article posted prior to this was Judge John Roberts: A Stellar Nominee. Please read Misbranded Bill Will Hurt Families and Pro-life Cause and CALL your Congressman at (202) 225-3121 and ask him or her to vote against H.R. 5.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Justice caught in tort deform crossfire

With Wisconsin's malpractice cap overturned, Court Justice Crooks, supported by Wisconsin Republicans, looks to be caught in crossfire since his vote to overturn the cap is viewed as a swing vote. I just read Justice Crooks to seek re-election and Enough crooks on the bench and some comments demonize trial lawyers as I expect. These posters ignore the unimpeded right of doctors to sue insurers and insurers to sue doctors and evidence from insurers' journals and federal reports. Justice Crooks did what was just.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Cap Ruling

Wisconsin Medical Malpractice

Wisconsin's Supreme Court has caught on to Insurers' big scam having just ruled unconstitutional the cap on non-economic damages for pain, suffering and disability in Wisconsin medical malpractice. The Court recognizes that “A $350,000 cap on non-economic damages is arbitrary and creates an undue hardship on a small unfortunate group of plaintiffs” finding such a “ceiling adopted by the legislature is unreasonable and arbitrary because it is not rationally related to the legislative objective of lowering medical malpractice premiums.” The Wisconsin medical malpractice decision is correct given all we know about medical_malpractice insurance costs and the lack of any rational relationship between insurance costs, tort reform and medical malpractice.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurers' Big Scam

Insurers have been scamming Americans with calls for "tort reform" and claims of "crisis" for years. Insurance companies profit heavily when they can convince politicians to help them escape justice by passing laws capping damages. The Justice Capped report shows how despite the fact that Wisconsin medical malpractice insurance premiums are the lowest in the U.S., Wisconsin still has the 2nd highest health care insurance premiums in the U.S. However, the tide may be turning as officials are catching on to insurer's price gouging game. See what the Connecticut Attorney General, Michigan Insurance Commissioner, and Missouri Attorney General recently had to say.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Trial Lawyers & True Justice

Trial lawyers are demonized and stories of lawsuits and jury verdicts even made up, but the most frivilous claims are those "lawsuit abuse" claims of corporate America, which assert that our civil justice system is unfair and broken.

Trial lawyers get individual citizens justice in civil courts and today's news regarding WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers exemplifies this. There are thousands of smaller less high-profile cases in America, but a common theme among them is that individual citizens are represented by trial lawyers who seek justice and a fair trial before 12-peers. Far more often than not the civil justice system works extremely well, and in some cases where the criminal system appears to have failed civil cases have succeeded. For example, ask Ron Goldman's family about trial lawyers.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Fourth of July Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July! Please be safe with fireworks and don't let young children play with any fireworks. Fireworks accidents and fireworks injuries are awful. Sparklers are far more dangerous than most people believe. Older children must be closely supervised. Keep fireworks far away from people, houses and dry grass. Don't re-light or touch defective fireworks. Keep a hose and large bucket of water nearby. I've been involved with lawsuits involving fireworks accidents caused by negligence and resulting in tragically horrific burn injuries, so please be careful.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Best Attorney

Best Attorney

I am honored by the recent feature story in CNI Newspapers that named me Best Attorney. It is a great pleasure to believe that I have effected the lives of people in such a positive way so as for them to believe me to be the best attorney in the Milwaukee area. I will always try to keep in mind these words from Mother Teresa:

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier."

Thank you.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Pennsylvania can do better than...

Pennsylvania can do better than Senator Rick Santorum by electing Bob Casey. Santorum is hypocritical on life issues pushing a big business agenda against mesothelioma victims and has a complete misunderstanding of civil justice in the U.S. Even worse, Santorum is a total hypocrite on medical malpractice.

Bob Casey however has a much more consistent life ethic and is widening the big tent of Democrats. He's the kind of Senator Pennsylvania and many of us need and one that the Center for a Just Society and you should to fully support. Donate to Bob Casey

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Society Seeks Justice & Crosses Political Lines

Center for a Just Society is a public policy group that looks to seek justice while taking political positions that cross traditional party lines. Readers may recognize my feeling that one party can ignore the dignity of life and civil justice, while another overemphasizes privacy rights to the detriment of life. I criticized efforts on mesothelioma legislation as unjustly limiting the rights of the dying and gun advocates who claim to be pro-life. Thus, I'm enthusiastic about the Center for a Just Society especially after reading Preserving the Right to Trial by Jury and its article explaining The Social Purpose of Tort Law.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Records Laws

Wisconsin personal injury litigation often involves a variety of records kept in the ordinary course of business. Generally, one waives certain rights when bringing a personal injury lawsuit. Nevertheless, the following laws may be of interest:

Arrest or conviction records Wis. Stat. 111.335
Cable television Wis. Stat. 134.43
Credit reporting & investigation Wis. Stats. 423.402
Credit card information Wis. Stat. 423.401
Electronic surveillance Wis. Stat. 968.29
Employment records Wis. Stat. 103.13
Insurance records Wis. Stat. 631.89
Library records Wis. Stat. 43.30
Medical Records Wis. Stat. 146.82
Access to patient health care records Wis. Stat. 146.83
Privacy statute Wis. Stat. 895.50
Privileged communications Wis. Stat. 885.205
School records Wis. Stat. 118.125
Tax records Wis. Stat. 71.78

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


Doctors Class-Action Lawsuit Against Insurers

Just so you understand the hypocrisy, doctors can sue insurance companies when they feel there's been an injustice and insurers can sue doctors similarly, but both doctors and insurers want goverment to pass laws limiting your rights and ability to seek justice.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Bus Accident - How to protect yourself

Today, there was a tragic tour bus accident in Waupaca,Wisconsin involving at least one wrongful death. It appears that this bus accident may not have been the fault of the tour bus driver involved but was likely caused by an 18-year old driver. Since it's unlikely that the 18-year old has enough car insurance to cover her liability, this is precisely why everyone needs to carry a significant amount of underinsured motorist coverage for protection in a Wisconsin car accident. See my Wisconsin car insurance page to find out more about what protects us from bad drivers, why a $100,000 limit isn't high enough, and more including a discussion of “umbrella” insurance.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurance Journal: "Tort Crisis Overblown..."

Insurance Journal, one of the insurance industries' major periodicals, published this story May 17, 2005. The story discusses a new study by a totally independent think tank, the Economic Policy Institute, which shows "There is no credible evidence to link the tort system either to the economic ills its critics claim or to the benefits they argue would be produced by altering it." The story describes how the study finds that the "so-called tort litigation crisis is based on 'wildly overstated cost estimates that have been widely cited by lawmakers and the media as support for calls for legal change.'"

The study further states: "The insurance consultants have spun a few high-profile but unrepresentative incidents into a horror story that is almost entirely unsupported by the facts." For those interested in the details, the actual study is mandatory reading especially for lawyers like me who want to get the truth out to the public.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Lawyers Justice Capped Report

Wisconsin lawyers recently co-published the Justice Capped report confirming the truth regarding medical malpractice in Wisconsin. The report sets forth facts showing that:
(1) Medical Malpractice insurance premiums in Wisconsin are the lowest in the nation at just 40 cents out of each $100 spent on health care; and
(2) Despite this tiny cost, health care insurance premiums in Wisconsin are the 2nd highest in the nation.
The report again confirms big businesses and insurers' endless lies for profits and the ceaseless effort to deter legitimate victims' lawsuits and jury verdicts while demonizing personal injury lawyers.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Avoid Telemarketers

If you get as annoyed as I do by telemarketers, then go to www.donotcall.gov a federal "Do Not Call" list and register the numbers you don't want them calling.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Scaphoid Fractures, Colles Fracture & Broken Hands

Scaphoid Fractures, Colles Fracture & Broken Hands

In researching scaphoid fractures - because a client broke his wrist bone in a car accident - I ran across E-hand, which discusses broken wrists, scaphoid fractures and colles fractures. E-hand is a good resource for personal injury attorneys and others researching traumatic wrist and hand injuries like fractures, dislocations, ligament injuries, tendon ruptures, nerve damage, avulsion injuries or amputations.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Herniated disk, who's the doctor reading your MRI?

Doctors jobs are now being outsourced to foreign countries. It could be that the herniated cervical disk caused by that car accident was diagnosed by an overseas physican. Before undergoing that cervical fusion for the herniated disk in your neck, you may want to look into whether your hospital outsourced like this one. What's next, remote controlled spine surgery?

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurance Industry ad on Lawyers

Insurance Industry Ad Makes Fishy Claim About Lawyers is from Factcheck.org, an independent non-partisan think tank (e.g. recent articles are Rigged "Calculator" talking about Democrats using false assumptions in discussing privatizing Social Security and Recycled Exaggerations dealing with conservatives overstating Social Security's shortfall). Some may think I overstate things with respect to attacks on personal injury lawyers, but the article is another example of how insurance companies and their political allies try to get you to give up your legal rights to help them profit.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney


How to Demonize Personal Injury Lawyers

How to Demonize Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers are easy targets if you know how to propagate the infomercial. Here's the seminal "how to" on demonizing personal injury lawyers. It's by Frank Luntz, strategist for Corporate America's Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, which hate personal injury lawyers:

- Think "creeps, bottom--feeders, overpaid, and evil" when you hear "personal injury lawyers;"
- Don't think personal injury lawyers help "Individuals who have been wrongly injured [to get] their day in court;" and
- Don't think personal injury attorneys help individuals get "justice and fairness."

Fortunately, as Luntz notes, "The B.S. meter of the average American voter is high" and they seem to have recognized that Corporate America tends to "overstate the impact of lawsuit abuse." Now that's an understatement.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurance Companies Post Record Profits

Insurance companies are making incredible sums of money these days. Insurers profits are up 29% over 2003 with insurance companies posting profits of $38,700,000,000.00. That's $38.7 BILLION DOLLARS for insurers.

So, the next time your hear someone, like this guy, The Manhattan Institute, or other Tort Reform groups ramble on about "horror stories" involving "skyrocketing costs of insurance," "parks closing due to the costs of liability insurance," "a litigation explosion," and "liberal judges" or hear a claim that "This nation faces a liability insurance crisis" and needs to "reform the civil justice system," "limit non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, or punitive damages)," "reduce awards," and curtail "the litigious nature of the American public," you better just laugh out loud as I do.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog Nominated

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog was nominated for "mke blog of the week" so if you're inclined go vote for it. I may myself, but I'm considering a vote for The Provincial Emails published by Wisconsin attorney, Terrence Berres, employed by American Family Mutual Insurance. I'm sure we have differing opinions on some subjects but admire his web savvy nature and strong faith. I also like his Wisconsin Safe Place Law, which may be helpful to Wisconsin lawyers.

P.S. I hope Terrence got a cut of that $564,400,000.00 raked in by American Family last year!

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Train Crash shows dangers of unguarded crossings

A train crash involving a minivan and Canadian Pacific train Sunday killed four Wisconsin residents showing the danger of unguarded railroad crossings. For 5 years, Rodney Kreunen, Wisconsin's railroad commissioner has apparently been trying to close this unguarded "humper" train crossing according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article discussing the train crash. With current technologies, it seems clear that negligence caused the deaths resulting from this train accident.

Wisconsin Train Accident Lawyer


Lawyers & Web Matching Companies

Lawyers on the Internet are frequently contacted by sales people from web outfits offering to "put them in contact with" prospective clients. See, for example, an extensive interactive discussion of www.legalmatch.com on attorney Matthew Homan's Nonbillablehour Blog.

Today (April 6th), I was contacted by a sales person, Robert Yokum of Los Angeles, on behalf of one such organization known as www.legalfish.com, which he said is based in Chicago. When I asked Mr. Yokum about the potential legal and ethical implications of legalfish's "pay if you accept a case" approach, all he said was that there were "many others out there doing this." I found no comfort in this response and find it hard to believe anyone would, especially lawyers.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog isn't interactive so I thought it only fair to note that I was contacted today (April13th) by legalfish VP Randy Revoyr who told me that legalfish's model is better described as "month to month advertising with a guarantee" - the guarantee being you'll get a case from using legalfish or they'll waive that month's fee. I'm still not comfortable with it, but post this for the information of other lawyers.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Send Letters

Wisconsin personal injury lawyers sometimes advertise to potential clients sending those involved in accidents direct mail. I recently read a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article commenting on this and though the writer had one or two fair points, he went too far describing law firms sending those letters as "bloodsucking." I agree with the comments of one Wisconsin attorney who said "This has all become a big marketing circus."

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


American Family Insurance Raking in Profits & Premiums

American Family Insurance rakes it in!

American Family Insurance is a Wisconsin insurer selling liability insurance such as car, boat, homeowners, motorcycle and umbrella insurance policies as well as business insurance and other insurance. American Family Insurance is the largest liability insurer in Wisconsin.

American Family Insurance yesterday reported net profits of $564,400,000.00 for 2004. That's up 263% compared to American Family's 2003 net profit of $155,400,000.00. American Family's net profits in prior years were $58,200,000.00 in 2002, $100,400,000.00 in 2001, and $236,700,000.00 in 2000. Media spin is found in Milwaukee's Business Journal article or the Wisconsin State Journal article or you could even read propaganda by American Family.

What you will likely never see is:
~ It admit there's no litigation explosion or insurance crisis
~ A confession that "Tort Reform" only increases insurer profits
~ Premiums go down despite huge profits year after year
~ Legal rights restored after "Tort Reform" is passed
~ How minute the true number of "frivolous lawsuits" is
~ That there's no "jackpot justice" or "lottery" in Wisconsin
~ $$ anti-justice politicians get from American Family & insurers
~ Insurers stating how unfair damage caps (juries are not told about) are in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin Jury Verdicts, Class Actions & CEOs

Rather than limiting class actions that protect consumers from bad CEOs - e.g. Enron, Worldcom, etc. - perhaps the government ought to work on laws limiting CEO compensation. Today's news shows '04 CEO compensation at $4,419,300.00 a year. Work 10-15 years and you too can have $44,193,000.00 to $66,289,500.00. Bottom line CEOs, don't come whining about a Wisconsin jury verdict award of $17,000,000.00 to a quadriplegic or a jury verdict award of $3,900,000.00 to a woman suffering chronic pain from a herniated disk.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Injury Treatment Comparison Shopping?

Wisconsin's PricePoint lets Wisconsin residents compare hospital charges for procedures. Charges shown don't include physicians fees, like surgeons or anesthesiologists, but it's somewhat helpful for those with high-deductibles to cost-compare hospitals.

Trauma patients would need to know hospital prices ahead of time and be in an urban area to have a choice, but it may be helpful for elective surgery. For example, one may cost compare major surgery, like hip replacement surgery, knee surgery, ankle surgery and foot surgery at Waukesha County hospitals like Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; Elmbrook Memorial Hospital in Brookfield, Wisconsin; Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital in Oconomowc, Wisconsin; and Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha, Wisconsin.

PricePoint is a nice idea but the reality is healthcare isn't a commodity that's easily shopped, but a complex and expensive service we all pay for through private health insurance and taxes, like Medicare and Medicaid, and according to recent studies, health insurers and government healthcare dictate costs more than anything.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer



Wisconsin lawyers for wills, estates, probate & trusts

Wrongful death cases sometimes lead me to work with Wisconsin lawyers that focus on probate and estate work. I also get personal injury clients referred to me by attorneys who handle Wisconsin wills, estates, probate and trusts. More often though, I get calls from clients or friends who need help probating a Wisconsin will, trust or planning for the future. So for those who need direction I created Wisconsin wills, estates, probate & trusts.

Wisconsin Attorney


Asbestos Trust Fund Can't be Trusted

Mesothelioma lung cancer continues to kill thousands in Wisconsin and the U.S. Asbestos in Wisconsin has touched many families who's loved ones have died but it has also touched big business and insurance corporations, which have been forced by trial lawyers to take responsibility for the deaths.

Mesothelioma cases cost these companies a lot of money, which they don't like to pay families of the victims of asbestos. Thus, to avoid responsibility big business lobbied the President and Congress with millions to get an asbestos bail out and take away the rights of those dying from mesothelioma.

It's likely most won't care until it's their mom, dad, grandpa or grandma who dies, but I urge all to take a little action here before it's too late and tell your Senator not to trust the "asbestos trust fund."

Wisconsin Mesothelioma Lawyer


Wisconsin Tax Law

Wisconsin personal injury lawyers don't like taxes too high either and since Wisconsin property taxes are in the news here's some data from a non-partisan source comparing state taxes. Tax Foundation publishes state tax information and shows Wisconsin had the 6th highest tax burden of all 50 states in 2004. Note to those political types, it's not a Blue vs. Red state issue. Among the Top 20 states with the highest taxes, these are split 50-50 Blue-Red, and Illinois, a Blue state very close to Wisconsin, which also has a Blue legislature and Blue governor, only has the 32nd highest tax burden.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Insurers Denying Tsunami Claims

While "tort reform" advocates yap about trial lawyers trying to convince Americans that those dying a suffocating death from mesothelioma should not recover damages from asbestos companies or that those mamed by a negligent doctor should not recover all their damages, insurance companies pushing for tort reform are busy denying tsunami claims.

Today, Charles Kuralt and Sunday Morning updated viewers on the tsunami catastrophe in Southeast Asia. One hotel owner explained how his insurer denied his flood insurance claim. The claim denial was based on the fact that the flood was caused by a tsunami that was caused by an earthquake hundreds of miles away and the hotel had no earthquake insurance. Soon enough people will see that insurers' profits, failure to pay valid claims and high rates, are the real threat to small business and the public rather than trial lawyers who really protect the public.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer


Wisconsin car accidents

Milwaukee's weather forecast calls for the season's first winter snow storm. During winter, car accidents in Wisconsin are quite common. Avoid your own Wisconsin car accidents by:
~ carefully managing and controlling your car;
~ making sure you car is maintained well and its equipment working properly;
~ keeping a careful lookout; and
~ avoiding driving too close and too fast.

Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer