Plaintiffs Firms

We don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who hurt themselves in stupid ways. When we’ve featured personal injury firms in our lawyer advertising feature before, it’s usually been to make fun of them.

In this case, the personal injury firm, Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, is in on the joke:

Their commercials got picked up by the New York Times earlier this year. The firm’s other humorous commercial can be found over at Copyranter.

Apparently, humor pays dividends. According to its advertising agency, the Levinson Trachtenberg Group, the commercials and the buzz around them have increased client leads by 25 percent.

When lawyers advertise: NYC edition [Copyranter]
Lawyers Use Humor to Plead Case [New York Times]

Mark Lambert Cochran Law Firm.jpgWe mentioned this story on Friday (second item). But since we’re continuing to get tips about it, we thought it might merit further mention.
From today’s New York Daily News:

A lawyer got his nose bent out of shape during an altercation over an occupied bathroom stall — and retaliated by chomping off part of a man’s schnoz.

Mark Lambert admitted during an interview with WMC-TV to biting off a portion of Greg Herbers’ nose, according to a report on the TV station’s Web site. The bite occurred during a fracas at Memphis-area hot spot Dish.

Herbers is now reportedly suing Lambert, claiming he needs plastic surgery and might have to wear a prosthetic nose. He also claims Lambert swallowed what he bit off.

Silly lawyer! Noses are for picking, not for eating.
For the record, Lambert denies eating Herbers’s flesh — he claims that he spat, didn’t swallow.
More details, plus a gory picture, after the jump.

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John OQuinn.JPGWe wanted to give people an opportunity to reminisce about John O’Quinn, the legendary personal injury attorney, who apparently died this morning in a car accident. The Houston Chronicle reports:

Prominent Houston attorney John O’Quinn was one of two men who died this morning when their SUV slammed into a large tree on Allen Parkway after the driver apparently lost control, police said. …
It wasn’t immediately clear whether O’Quinn or the other, still-unidentified victim was driving.

O’Quinn is a huge name in Texas and around the country. He made his mark in PI work:

O’Quinn, who made his fortune largely in personal injury cases, most notably in successful breast implant cases in the early 1990s, was a local philantrhopist. He gave money to the Harris County Children’s Assessment Center, the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drugs and various Texas Medical Center institutions including St. Luke’s Hospital, which has a tower bearing his name.

R.I.P., John O’Quinn.
Attorney O’Quinn killed in car wreck [Houston Chronicle]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: John O’Quinn

ambulance chasing ambulance chaser.jpgToday we resume our series of open threads about small law firms focused on different areas of practice. For background on the series, see this post.
We’ve received lots of positive feedback on the series. Here are some representatives comments from the last thread, on insurance law:

54 – This is a GREAT GREAT GREAT thread – please do more. I’d be interested in seeing threads on immigration practice, real estate practice, prosecution and public defense (state/municipal, not federal – reality check here – the DOJ is not an option for 99% of attorneys).

86 – [K]eep open threads on small law like this coming! They’re informative for everyone, whether or not they are interested or not in working in such an area.

94 – This is a good thread. (I can’t believe it.) Thanks to the veterans who are providing substantive info and advice.

Our latest practice area for focus: PERSONAL INJURY LAW.
If this subject interests you, read more after the jump.

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Ignatius Loyola.jpgUPDATE / CORRECTION: After we noticed comments 34 and 41, we reached out to Loyola Law School for clarification. A Loyola spokesperson confirmed that the Chicago Tribune made an error: Loyola has renamed its main building for Philip Corboy, but NOT the school itself. For a correct account of what has taken place, see the law school’s press release.

We regret our replication of the Chicago Tribune’s error. Thanks to our commenters for bringing the mistake to our attention.


FURTHER UPDATE: The Tribune has corrected its story, but without noting the fact that it was corrected. Most publications, such as the New York Times and Slate, will note substantial corrections after they are made. Here at Above the Law, we will also explicitly note corrections that go to matters of substance (as opposed to, say, typographical errors).
We mentioned this already in Morning Docket, but the decision by Loyola – Chicago bears further discussion. We know that the overall economy has made things difficult on law schools. Tuition keeps going up, despite nearly record numbers of new applicants. So one should applaud a law school for getting a major boost to its endowment.
Loyola – Chicago received a huge gift, so massive that the school has decided to change its name its main building name in honor of the donor. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law will be renamed the Philip H. Corboy Law Center after the noted alumnus and prominent personal injury attorney who donated the largest single gift in the law school’s history, it will be announce Monday.

Some might argue that a decrease in the confusing proliferation of law schools named after St. Ignatius Loyola — we already have Loyola of Chicago, Loyola of Los Angeles, and Loyola of New Orleans — is a good thing. But was going with Philip Corboy the right move? Wasn’t Henry Walpole available?
More details after the jump.

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Ted Frank.jpgSome class action settlements are highly questionable. Think of a case where, say, the victimized consumers get a stupid coupon, so they can purchase even more goods or services from the company that victimized them — while the lawyers representing the plaintiffs walk away with a big payday.
One man is out to change all that. Ted Frank — lawyer and blogger extraordinaire, from Overlawyered and Point of Law (and also Above the Law) — has left his perch as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He’s starting a new public interest law firm that specializes in pro bono representation of consumers unhappy with class action settlements. Ted is already handling two class actions in California.
We caught up with Ted to discuss his new gig. Read more, after the jump.

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old shoes.jpgOur colleagues over at sister site Fashionista aren’t alone. Lawyers also get worked up over shoes.
Some, like former Enron prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler, show up to court in four-inch pink stiletto spikes. Others hate on commuter shoes and Crocs. Attorneys have strong opinions about attire, and that extends to footwear.
So we can’t say we’re completely surprised by a motion recently filed by plaintiffs’ counsel in the case of Lenkersdorf v. Sorrentino, now pending in Florida state court.
Motion to Compel Defense Counsel to Wear Appropriate Shoes at Trial — we kid you not — after the jump.

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sokolove_james.jpgThere is a great profile in the Boston Magazine about attorney James Sokolove, a guy that advertises his legal services on T.V. so often I just assumed he didn’t actually exist.

Apparently, he does exist, but his legal services don’t, at least not in the traditional sense:

Despite his prodigious success and his omnipresent image as a bulldog attorney, Sokolove hasn’t seen the inside of a courtroom in nearly three decades. Truth be told, he’s argued only one case before a jury; it was back in the early 1970s, and he lost. It wasn’t tenacious lawyering that allowed Sokolove to build a legal empire, but rather his prowess as a businessman and an innovator. He and his staff of 80 don’t try cases; instead they connect prospective clients to other lawyers, who pay Sokolove a cut of their fees for ginning up business.

Sweet. The only thing better then an unabashed “ambulance chaser” is an unabashed ambulance chaser who doesn’t know where the courthouse is located.

But after the jump, what’s really fascinating is that this guy really does have a system.

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Rick Laminack.jpg
[UPDATE on 04.03.09: Case dismissed.]
Paralegal-ing is a rough gig. Paralegals tend to get the legal drudgery similar to that done by first year associates, without the six-figure paycheck. And if you’re a paralegal for Richard Laminack, a titan of the Texas plaintiffs’ bar, you may also be asked to receive unwanted advances, fellate expert witnesses, and help defraud clients.
The American Lawyer reports on paralegal Angela Robinson’s complaint (PDF), filed against Laminack and the two firms at which she worked for him. (We have to wonder why she followed him to the second firm despite the workplace horrors. Cf. Anita Hill.)
Here’s a choice excerpt, available in full after the jump:
Robinson Complaint Short Excerpt.jpg
That is certainly above and beyond the paralegal call of duty.
The website of Laminack, Pirtle & Martines says that it’s their “honor and priveledge [sic]” to represent clients. And defraud them? According to Robinson’s complaint, Laminack “ordered checks on non-existent medical records for Fen-Phen clients and then docked the cost of the records checks from the clients’ settlement shares.”
(What is it with Fen-Phen lawyers and cheating clients? The WSJ Law Blog had extensive coverage of the Kentucky attorneys accused of bilking their Fen-Phen clients out of millions.)
Robinson put up with the sexual harassment for years; she alleges she was terminated when she confronted Laminack about the Fen-Phen scheme. She wants $55,000 for wrongful termination and back pay. A longer version of the salacious bits of her complaint, after the jump.

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Milberg 2 Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes Learch Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.GIFIn today’s Morning Docket, we wondered about what Milberg Weiss’s new name would be, now that Mel Weiss is on his way to becoming a convicted felon. The answer came more quickly than expected. From the WSJ Law Blog:

The firm formerly known as Milberg Weiss Bershad & Shulman LLP, then Milberg Weiss Bershad LLP, then Milberg Weiss LLP, will now be known just as Milberg LLP. According to a Milberg insider, the name change was announced at a staff meeting this morning, at which Mel Weiss gave a speech talking about the accomplishments of the firm. The audience reportedly applauded…..

“Hey everyone, I’m going to prison for 18 to 33 months. Give me a big hand!”

The WSJ reported this morning that Mel Weiss has struck a deal to agree to plead guilty in a case alleging improper kickbacks. Other former name partners David Bershad and Steven Schulman had previously pleaded guilty in the case.

The beauty of naming the firm after Larry Milberg? He dead.
More Milberg Weiss coverage, including a statement from Mel Weiss, at the WSJ Law Blog.
Introducing . . . Milberg LLP [WSJ Law Blog]

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