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The Recent Airline Events

The recent airline events remind us all of how fragile life is. The December 20, 2008 Denver, Colorado "ground crash" of Continental flight 1404 was the start of the major airlines' episodes. And while this airplane crash ended without a significant number of major physical injuries and no loss of life, the lives of those on board were forever changed by the event. The Boeing 737-500 was accelerating down the runway when an unusual bumping was felt and rattling was heard. Then the plane traveled out of control, veered off the runway, crashed in a ravine and broke apart. There is no doubt many of those passengers and crew members thought their lives would be over. To survive this type of crash was a blessing, but the trauma suffered by those involved should not be downplayed.

Then, the Miracle on the Hudson occurred on January 15, 2009. The US Airways Flight 1549 was involved in a double bird strike which incapacitated both engines causing the crew to resort to well-practiced skills that allowed the Airbus A320 to be glided into the Hudson River. The 155 passengers and crew reacted remarkably to the situation and again there were no lives lost, and relatively few major physical injuries suffered. But one can imagine the fear that went through the passengers' minds when they were told to brace for a crash landing. We do not normally expect to escape with our lives when we are involved in a crash landing of a commercial airliner. Again the post traumatic stress those survivors must be suffering through is unimaginable for those who have never experienced the disorder first hand -- either through suffering from it personally, or witnessing another suffering from it.

And finally, the Continental Connection Flight 3407 (operated by Colgan Air) heading from Newark to Buffalo ended with the catastrophic tragedy that often occurs when a major airliner crashes. Forty-nine people on board, along with one victim on the ground, perished on February 12, 2009 when the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 fell out of the sky striking a house in Clarence Center, New York. By current accounts, the plane reacted violently to some unknown condition and for 26 seconds the plane flew out of control until it crashed and exploded in the early evening. Two family members in the house that was struck survived the crash and explosion, but for all of those two, as well as for the families touched by this calamity, there must be terrible angst and anxiety that is running through each person.

Our firm is no stranger to air crashes. Besides successfully handling aviation litigation involving both commercial and private aircraft for decades, one of our partners and an associate were killed in a private plane tragedy that never lets us forget the pain that not only affects those directly involved suffer -- but also the pain those who are not directly related to the victims suffer. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected by these airline catastrophes.

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  • 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.

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    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.

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    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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