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September 2008 Archives

The Runaway Jury?

The 7th Amendment to our United States' Constitution (ratified in 1791) states in its entirety that:

Texas Supreme Court Reduces Verdict

The lawsuit of Columbia Medical Center of Las Colinas, Inc. d/b/a Las Colinas Medical Center v. Hogue was a medical malpractice death case. In it, the hospital operated an emergency room without having an echocardiograph available on a "stat" basis. Further, it did not warn its staff and the doctors that there would be a delay when one was ordered. Because of that delay, the patient died.

Safer Alternative Designs For Windows And Occupant Restraint Systems Are Not Preempted - Tenth Court Of Appeals

In a recent ruling the Tenth Court of Appeals rejected claims from a bus manufacturer that claims of design defects stemming from lack of laminated glass and seatbelts on passengers buses are preempted by the federal law. Passengers involved in a bus accident had sued the manufacturer of the bus alleging the bus was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous because it was not equipped with three-point passenger seatbelts or with laminated glass passenger windows.

Medical Malpractice

Economist, Frank A. Sloan, a Professor of Economics at Duke University and Lindsey Chepke, a Research Assistant at the Center of Health Policy at Duke University explore in detail the present medical malpractice process from various angles such as legal, medical, economic and insurance perspectives with analysis on past efforts at reform, and other realistic, achievable approaches to policy recommendations. In this book, discussion is made of the five myths of medical malpractice such as:

Texas Supreme Court Does It Again

In a recent case titled Columbia Medical Center of Las Colinas, Inc. v. Athenahougue, the Texas Supreme Court has found another way to make it more difficult, if not impossible to recover monetary damages when your loved one is killed. Justice Wainwright wrote the opinion for the majority. The issue in the Athenahougue case was whether the plaintiffs submitted sufficient evidence to support the jury's award of money for loss of inheritance damages. As the court has done so many times in the past, they managed to review all of the facts in this case not in favor of supporting the jury's findings, but rather in favor of taking away a plaintiff's award. This review of the record clearly goes against the policy making purpose of the Texas Supreme Court.

Wrongful Death Bus Crash

Our clients, Taurino Bocanegra and Irma Patricio, lost their 19-year-old daughter on July 3, 2008 in a horrific wrongful death bus accident just outside Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Irma and Yani were passengers on a bus owned and operated by a U.S. company that transported passengers to locations within and outside the U.S. Irma and Yani purchased roundtrip tickets from Houston, Texas to Matehuala, Mexico-they were on a three-day trip for what turned out to be Yani's last visit with her aunt. The bus driver arrived in Matehuala after already driving for approximately six hours and needed to drive another twelve hours to reach Houston. The bus driver fell asleep and lost control of the bus. As the bus flipped, Irma struggled frantically to hold onto her daughter, but could only watch as Yani was thrown from her seat and out the window. Then, when the bus finally stopped rolling and came to a rest, Irma found Yani beneath the bus itself, crushed to death.

Jumping the "V.": Switching to the Plaintiff's Side of Bar

Just recently, I joined Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels & Friend. For the last two years, I was practicing as a civil defense lawyer. I was able to represent a wide range of clients and businesses and work with some outstanding lawyers. The law firm was top notch, the people were fun and energetic, and the hours were extremely manageable. Something was missing; let's rewind. Prior to law school, I was sure that I would be a criminal defense lawyer. Why? I truly feel that everyone deserves due process of law and representation by effective and competent counsel. That's all very true, but there was something more. During law school, I became convinced that I wanted to be a Plaintiff's Trial Lawyer. The common thread was that I wanted to help people, to make a real difference, and I was looking for the vehicle to get me where I wanted to go.

Choosing and Preparing Expert Witnesses is Crucial to Winning Cases

Expert testimony has become the critical element in many civil and criminal cases. The outcome of personal injury litigation can depend on just a few words from an expert witness whom the Court recognizes as a credible and reliable authority.

Spanish Speaking Attorney Immediately Gains Trust of Spanish Speaking Clients

Having been raised in Brownsville, Texas where the Hispanic population constitutes over 90% of the community, I was fortunate to have been exposed to both the Hispanic and American cultures. More importantly, I learned to speak Spanish and English.

"Defending the Profession"

In the last two weeks I was able to take some time off and go on vacation. The first part of my trip took me to the middle of nowhere in Mexico to go white wing dove hunting with a couple of close friends, but mainly with people I had never met. There were 8 of us from Houston. Once there, we met 6 other guys from Dallas. From the moment I stepped onto the small charter plane to fly into to Mexico, I found myself having to defend my profession. Amongst the land developers, an oil & gas tycoon, the president of a national battery company, and even a real estate lawyer, I was somehow the villain. I was a "trial lawyer."& nbsp;

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    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.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

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