As the year approaches an end, I think back on some of the lawyers from other firms who I have had an opportunity to work with in a co-counsel capacity. It is always very humbling when another firm asks you to work with it to represent their client. This year was particularly special though as I think about some of the great relationships and friendships that I have formed over the past year or two.
West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Blog
Surely by now most, if not all, of us finally understand the dangers of social media. Not long ago Bordas & Bordas attorney Michelle Marinacci wrote an informative blog about how employers have used Facebook posts to justify employee firings. More and more stories keep popping up which showing poor social media decision making. A Facebook photograph recently cost one Virginia attorney his job, hundreds of thousands of dollars and his law license. The picture, however, was not of the attorney, it was of one of his clients.
The client was the surviving husband of a woman who was killed in a tragic automobile accident involving a truck owned and operated by a concrete company. Following his wife's death, the man retained an attorney and presented a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit. Sometime after his wife's death, and during the pendency of the lawsuit, the man was photographed at a party wearing a shirt bearing the phrase "I Love Hot Moms!" Of course, the picture was posted to Facebook. An attorney working for the concrete company was ultimately able to view the man's Facebook page when the man himself sent a message to the attorney. Not surprisingly, the attorney then followed up with formal discovery requests to be provided with copies of information and posts from the man's Facebook page. To prove that bad decisions are not limited to clients, the attorney representing the family of the deceased woman immediately advised his staff to have their client "clean up" his Facebook page to avoid such evidence from showing up at trial. The client subsequently erased several pictures from his page.-- article about the case
Catch this week's edition of the regionally beloved Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. Jamie Bordas and guest Chris Regan discuss important cases on worker safety decided by West Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals this last term. Find out if the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" defense worked out for one employer and whether or not employers can blame their own employees for on-the-job injuries, even where the employer knew that the employee had been subjected to an unsafe condition.
Naturally, the President would require the best accommodations including a plush hotel, food, and all of the amenities. Transportation would have to be provided. Security would obviously be a major concern. So would crowd control. Why? Because where the President goes, so does his entourage, the press and, of course, thousands upon thousands of onlookers.
But the situation was very different 2,000 years ago.
Over a year ago Bordas & Bordas, PLLC brought you information about the massive safety concerns surrounding exploding gas cans and how the manufactures of those gas cans could take a simple and inexpensive step to avoid catastrophic injury to their consumers. This story is now making national news. NBC News Investigations has prepared an investigative article about this issue. The story aired on the TODAY SHOW on December 4, 2013. The storyhighlighted that after significant testing and inquiries, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a statement calling on the consumer gas can industry to incorporate flame-arrester technology into gasoline containers. For your ease and enjoyment, we have republished attorney Jeremy McGraw's previous article on the topic below:
We've probably all heard Sergeant Shultz from Hogan's Heroes bellow out emphatically: "I see nothing!" In McComas vs. AFC Industries, LLC, No. 12-0548 (W.Va. October 17, 2013), the employer attempted to invent a Sergeant Shultz-type defense in deliberate intent cases. Thankfully, the West Virginia Supreme Court rejected this attempt to avoid an employer's duty to conduct mandatory safety inspections.
The plaintiff, David McComas, was a welder by trade. His employer, AFC Industries, was a company that built railroad cars. McComas, joined by two other welders, were assigned to a part of AFC's plant that had been out of operation and all electrical power had been shut off. When McComas attempted to restart the power at an electrical box, an arc blast occurred. McComas was thrown to the floor, and despite wearing all of the required safety equipment including hat, goggles and gloves, he suffered severe burns to 25% of his body. It turns out that the electrical box had been installed over 50 years before this tragic incident and, incredibly, that AFC had never inspected it.
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There is not a day that goes by that I don't hear a story in our office about telephone calls we receive by people in need. Many of the people who call don't really have a case that will be filed in a court of law, but rather have an issue that is bothering them that needs to be listened to, addressed and have suggestions offered for resolution. There have been numerous times over the course of my practice of law that people on the other end of the phone have thanked me simply for taking the time to listen. It still surprises me, even today, when I am thanked simply for listening. One would hope that most would listen even if they are not able to act on the problem that is being presented. Nonetheless, that doesn't seem to be the case. There are oftentimes things I would much rather be doing than listening to a person talk about a problem that I know will be a case that we will not be able to take. As a lawyer, I have a duty as a brother of lawyers to listen so that the public receives a good impression of me and lawyers in general. If for no other reason, I would encourage other lawyers to take the time to accept phone calls and listen even though you know from the first few seconds of the conversation that the caller is describing to you a case you will not be able to take, still pay respect to the individual by listening to the problems they are presenting you.
I have found this listening thing to be a lifelong quest. Certainly, I have had my wife tell me a number of times that she said something when I simply must not have been listening. That is a problem I've been working on since the day we got married. I am still not as good as I would like to be but I am much better than I was as a young husband.
As my children get in the car, I always say those two words as I back out of the driveway,-SEATBELTS ON? I check all the mirrors and am ever so cautious by looking into the rearview mirror every three seconds. I feel as though I am saving an important document on my computer, as I check for all possible problems in my way. After all, I am carrying some very special cargo.
Now, I must turn the wheel over to my son. I am on child two out of my four that's learning to drive. With the first child, I wanted no part of the training process. However, as their father's work schedule is insane these days, this time, it has become my duty to hone my son's skills.
As the Ohio Valley, like much of the United States, is facing serious winter storms this Thanksgiving holiday, we have decided to re-post the following entry about safe winter driving practices from attorney Zak Zatezalo for your use and enjoyment. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and please stay safe, wherever your travels may take you.
With the winter driving season again upon us, nearly all families will have reason to be out on the road in the dark, cold conditions of the next 3-4 months. Winter driving brings additional hazards, particularly in the more northern regions, like ours, that get a lot of snow and ice. Making time for a few preparations can help keep families safer and help motorists deal with an emergency.