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Settlement of Death Case Seeks Social Change

The firm's recent settlement of the wrongful death claim brought by the family of 18 year old Jack Phoummarath has resulted not only in a monetary recovery, but also has an added educational program and scholarship opportunity seeking to save the lives of teenagers and young adults. Jack Phoummarath was a freshman at the University of Texas when he died as the result of alcohol poisoning following a fraternity initiation party. Survived by his parents, brothers and sisters, the family filed suit against the fraternity, its members and others who attended the party.

The difference in this case is that besides the monetary settlement that occurred, Jack's family and his lawyers ([email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]) developed an educational video on the dangers of hazing. Dan O'Rourke (President of Twin Lion Communication) wrote and directed the video geared towards the 17 to 25 year old, and it can be found on the website inmemoryofjack.com. Hazing and binge drinking have become far too common on college campuses and this video will be an eye opener for those who watch it.

From this tragedy the family also set up a scholarship through the University of Texas to focus on hazing and binge drinking. The details are still being worked out, but it should be in effect starting in the fall of 2009. Also, an award winning film on the life and death of Jack Phoummarath, entitled "The Pledge" has been produced.

We encourage you to visit inmemoryofjack.com and StopHazing.org - a site devoted to educating to eliminate hazing.

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    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

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