An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner's Blog

Professional Liability Insurance Disclosure

Process Leading to January 2010 Board VoteThe State Bar Board of Directors at its January 2010 meeting will vote to recommend to the Supreme Court of Texas a.) whether Texas should require lawyers to disclose whether they have liability insurance, and b.) if disclosure is required, the preferred method of disclosure. To ensure that the Board is well informed and that information about the process, discussion, and issues considered be part of the report to the Court, the Board will collect information from both lawyers and members of the public. The process, includes public hearings, opportunities for written comments, and online information about this issue. Public hearings scheduled as of Friday, Sept. 25, include:

"Working Together as a Team"

Currently two of my partners, one associate, and several other support staff are in trial here in Harris, County. The case technically began on September 10th with pre-trial matters taking place on that Thursday and Friday. Voir Dire began on Monday, September 14th and testimony started on Tuesday. Since then, all of my colleagues have dedicated their time, energy and focus on this trial. There is a possibility that the trial could last several more weeks. As a result, the rest of the firm has to come together and work as a team to help them with other matters which are going on here at the office. I will be the first to admit that sometimes I'm not as good of a team player as I could be. With the pressures of bringing in business, working the files, protecting the rights of your clients, and hopefully coming to a successful resolution helping out others sometimes is not in the front of my mind. However, in order for any business, and especially a law firm, those who are in firms together must work with each other to make sure that the clients' are the number one priority and that means helping each other out. At the end of the day, everyone wins if those who are focused on trial and keep that focus while the rest of us help carry the water for them back at the office.

Commercial Driver Fatigue and its Role in Crashes

In my last entry, I started to introduce the significant impact fatigue can have on drivers of 18 wheelers. The medical community, the federal and state governments and the trucking industry recognize the prevalence of drivers who push it passed the limits, and simultaneously decrease their attentiveness and effectiveness as professional drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently studied the cause of accidents in which big rig drivers were found at fault. The results of the study are clear on how fatigue plays a factor in almost every category of accident. NHTSA found:

Largest Company Vehicle Recall Ever

Toyota Motor Corporation announced it would recall 3.8 million vehicles in the United States -- the company's largest ever U.S. recall -- to address problems with a removable floor mat that could cause accelerators to get stuck and lead to a crash. The recall involves popular models such as the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, and the Toyota Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid. Toyota said owners could be notified about the recall as early as next week. Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said until the company finds a fix, owners should take out the removable floor mat on the driver's side and not replace it. A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop a vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death. The Toyota models being recalled include the 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma and 2007-2010 Tundra. The Lexus models facing the safety recall are the 2007-2010 ES 350 and the 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS 350.

Truck Accidents Seminar

Tens of thousands of people are injured or killed in accidents with big trucks -- 18 wheelers, big rigs, tractor-trailers -- every year. It is no surprise that when a fully loaded big rig (weighing as much as 80,000 pounds) collides with a passenger automobile (weighing 3,500 pounds), the occupants of the passenger vehicle are likely to fair much worse than the driver of the truck. I recently spoke at the "Fatigued Truckers -- From Crash to Closing Argument" seminar sponsored by the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America on the topic of Written Discovery. Over three days, there were over 25 nationally recognized experts -- including lawyers, doctors and engineers -- who shared their knowledge of prosecuting cases against truck drivers and trucking companies who negligently harm others while using our public roads.

South Texas College of Law Houston - Casino Night 2009

This past week, I attended South Texas College of Law Houston's (STCL's) Casino Night that it hosted at the Rice Hotel in downtown Houston. The event has proven to be a good fundraiser for the school and for the Advocacy Program, which is a perennial powerhouse in the world of mock trial and moot court. The event is held for the alumni and STCL provided several gaming tables where the alumni gambled for tickets that would be used later during a raffle. In addition, there was a silent auction where the alumni could make donations to the school and receive something in return. For example, items for auction included an autographed jersey of Yao Ming and a chance to throw out the first pitch at one of the Astros games. The alumni bid for the various the items and experiences, all in supporting STCL.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) Recalls 2009 Model D4500 And D4505 Buses

MCI IS RECALLING MODEL YEAR 2009 D4500/4505 COACHES EQUIPPED WITH THE MERITOR FH 946 14,000LB RATED STEERABLE TAG AXLE. DUE TO INSUFFICIENT CLAMPING FORCE OF THE CYLINDER LOCK PLATE, IT MAY MOVE FROM ITS NORMAL SET POSITION, WHICH IN TURN COULD RESULT IN THE TAG AXLE NOT AUTOMATICALLY LOCKING, OR LOCKING WITH THE WHEELS NOT IN A STRAIGHT AHEAD POSITION.

New Laws Passed Regarding Teen Drivers and Child Booster Seat Usage

Parents need to be aware of recent new laws that go into effect September 1 regarding driving and child passenger safety! Below is a very brief description of the recent changes and some recommendations as these new laws take effect.

  • $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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