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April 2009 Archives

Continuing Story of Stanford Financial Group

On February 17, 2009, United States District Judge Godbey granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) sought by the SEC, and appointed a Receiver to take control of the business of Stanford Financial Group and others. The TRO, later extended to a Preliminary Injunction, was drafted expansively: not only does it grant broad powers to the Receiver, but it purportedly prohibits investors from seeking legal remedies through their own litigation. As a result, many investors sought to intervene in the federal lawsuit in Dallas brought by the SEC.

The Texas Supreme Court Recently Released its Opinion on Rehearing in Entergy Gulf States v. Summers.

Previously issued as a 9-0 opinion, there were three justices (including the Chief Justice) who dissented, and two concurring opinions were written. The Court frames the issue in the first paragraph (as the majority sees the issue);

Family of Man Killed in Building Fire Has Their Day in Court

The Houston family of a 61 year old man received a bench verdict in their wrongful death lawsuit against the storeowners of an adult bookstore. After a one day bench trial, and careful consideration, the Court, Judge Michael Gomez, entered findings of fact and conclusions of law finding that the premises owners failed in their duty to properly warn and protect their patrons.

Safety First - Even In A Down Economy

On April 20, 2009, I am set to try the lawsuit of a client against his employer for failing to provide a safe working environment. The client is now quadriplegic and will never walk again. While working for his employer, he fell over thirty feet from an elevated position and fractured his cervical spine. His employer did not provide ANY safety equipment or instructions to my client prior to the fall. Rather, my client was sent to work on the roof of a large warehouse without any protection or measures to ensure his safety. As to be expected when the employer cuts corners on safety, my client suffered the terrible fall and resulting injuries.

"Miles and Miles of Danger"

Many of us never consider the fact that buried under the ground all around us are potential explosions waiting to happen. What am I talking about? The miles and miles of natural gas, oil, and propane pipelines that run through our neighborhoods. I have recently been retained to represent a family following a terrible explosion of a propane pipeline which runs from Texas to North Carolina. This case has opened my eyes to the number of pipelines which are buried in this country. As a result of the explosion in Mississippi, two people were tragically killed and several others injured. The area the rupture occurred looks like a bomb has been dropped. Structures were completely destroyed, timber and vegetation burned up, and cars melted to the ground. The pipeline which exploded was put in the ground in 1961. That's over 45 years of wear and tear when it finally failed. Other times, pipelines can explode when another person comes along and physically hits the pipe with a backhoe and/or other machinery. So if I can give one piece of advice, call before you dig. If you see, smell, or hear a leak, leave the area immediately and call 911. Next time you're in your backyard or driving through the neighborhood, stop and look to see how close you may be living to a ticking time bomb.

A Recent Volunteering Experience

I, along with other attorneys from the firm, recently had the opportunity to participate in the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program's Saturday Clinic held at The Ripley House in East Houston. HVLP provides pro bono legal services to low-income men and women of Harris County and to promote volunteerism among the legal community. We volunteered our time to help HVLP screen new cases and direct these clients to the appropriate clinic based on the type and facts of their cases. We volunteered for approximately several hours until every client was seen. The various cases ranged from divorces to guardianships of the incapacitated to help with handling debt and debt collection activities. I'd suggest that all lawyers looking for pro bono hours or a volunteer experience that is both rewarding and challenging to participate in this program. It was a rewarding experience to help those who truly need legal help but cannot afford it. But it was also challenging to screen and discuss cases we usually don't handle on an everyday basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or if you'd like more information visit the HVLP website at http://www.ehvlp.org/home/default.aspx.

46 Wrongful Deaths Blamed On Yahama Rhinos

The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels and Friend is investigating deaths and catastrophic injuries caused by defective designs characteristics of the Yamaha Rhino off-road capable vehicle. The accidents involve Yamaha Rhino 450 and 660 models manufactured since 2003.

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