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Law Firms Combine, Offer Affordable Rates
Law Firm Marketing | 2008/03/01 12:21
pThe San Diego law firm of Steigerwalt amp; Associates merged Wednesday with the Pacific Law Center, creating a new entity specializing in personal injury, bankruptcy and criminal defense litigation./ppThe new firm -- called Kerry Steigerwalt's Pacific Law Center -- will have 30 attorneys working out of offices in downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Escondido and Chula Vista, Steigerwalt said./ppHe said the company will provide effective and affordable representation for the average person who becomes involved in litigation, offering the services of experienced lawyers who have handled thousands of matters ranging from death penalty cases to traffic offenses./ppSteigerwalt stressed KSPLC's commitment to offering experienced and effective legal services at affordable rates, including free initial consultations./ppThe very rich can afford whatever lawyers they choose, Steigerwalt said. The poor are provided lawyers at public expense. The big gap in legal representation involves the average citizen who becomes involved with litigation and doesn't know where to turn. We're here to provide them that same access to justice./p


Law Firm Warns Of Looming Katrina Lawsuit Deadline
Legal Business | 2008/02/28 14:05
That's significant not only in it being leap year, but it's also exactly six months until the deadline for anyone with a Katrina insurance dispute to file a lawsuit against insurance companies. Now one law firm is launching a campaign telling people who haven't decided whether to take their claim to court, not to wait until it's too late. pThe Merlin Law Group has already fought for hundreds of people unhappy with how their insurance companies handled their Katrina claims. Attorney Chip Merlin says he worries about the thousands who have yet to join the battle./ppThere's a whole bunch of people who've filed claims and they've been paid, said Merlin. Sometimes they've been paid a little bit, sometimes they've been paid a lot. But they're still owed some more. Insurance companies bank on people just giving up./ppBeginning February 29th, the Merlin Law Group will start running print and television ads letting people know the clock it ticking down./ppThe deadline effectively stops people's ability to collect from the insurance company, Merlin said. You have to have a lawsuit filed by that time. It doesn't mean the lawsuit is over with. It just means you have to have it filed./ppMerlin says he's not concerned about where people who lost their homes and businesses go to find legal representation, just that they go and quickly. /ppI don't think it's right for insurance companies to cheat people and not pay the full amount that's owed, said Merlin. I've devoted my adult life to this and I believe that, regardless if they go to my law firm or any other law firm anywhere, it would be really wrong in our society if we allowed insurance companies to cheat people. They shouldn't just let the claim go away because they don't think it's worth the hassle./ppAttorney Chip Merlin says many attorneys don't charge to review the merits of a claim, and will work on contingency. He says as the deadline for Katrina suits loomed in Louisiana last year, people were lined up outside the courthouse./p


U.S. court orders Black to prison on Monday
Headline Legal News | 2008/02/28 13:47
pMedia mogul Conrad Black has lost his bid to be freed on bond and will have to report to a Florida prison on Monday./ppA U.S. federal appeals court in Chicago on Thursday ruled that Black must go to jail while his appeal of his fraud and obstruction of justice convictions moves through the court system.

/ppThe Montreal-born Black was convicted July 13 of obstructing justice and defrauding shareholders of his former newspaper company, Hollinger International Inc. He was sentenced to 6½ years in prison and ordered to start serving his time on March 3./ppThe U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday did, however, agree to free Black's two co-defendants on bond while they appeal their own fraud sentences./ppFormer Hollinger executive John Boultbee was sentenced to 27 months in jail while his colleague Peter Atkinson received a 24-month jail sentence./ppIn explaining the decision not to free Black, the three appeal court judges who ruled on Black's case noted that he was convicted of one offence that the other Hollinger executives were not — the obstruction of justice./p


eBay Settles Patent Dispute With MercExchange
Legal World News | 2008/02/28 11:17
peBay has agreed to settle a patent dispute with MercExchange. The online auction company told investors Thursday it would buy MercExchange's patents and MercExchange would dismiss all claims and appeals regarding a lawsuit it filed seven years ago. /ppWe're pleased to have been able to reach a settlement with MercExchange, Mike Jacobson, eBay senior VP and general counsel, said in a prepared statement. In addition to resolving the litigation, this settlement gives us access to additional intellectual property that will help improve and further secure our marketplaces. /ppMercExchange claimed credit for eBay's fixed price auction options through eBay's Buy It Now feature, saying the online auction infringed on three of its patents. According to records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, MercExchange filed for the patents in 1995, 1999, and 2001. /ppeBay tried to fight a judgment that would have cost the company about $30 million. The case went up and back down the U.S. court system. In December of 2007, a U.S. District Court ruling concluded in December that the court lacked authority to consider eBay's motion for summary judgment. /ppeBay claimed then that it did not infringe on MercExchange's '265 patents and that it owed no damages. /ppeBay said it will buy three patents, related technology and inventions, as well as a license to a search patent portfolio that is separate from the lawsuit. /ppThe companies did not disclose other settlement terms, which eBay said are confidential. eBay said the settlement should not affect its 2007 results or 2008 financial guidance from January's fourth quarter earnings release. /p


Court Denies Altria Motions To Dimiss Claims
Legal World News | 2008/02/27 13:57
pThe law firm of Broach amp; Stulberg LLP said the U.S. District Court denied orgAltria Group Inc.'sorgid value=NYSE:MO/org (MO) motions to dismiss an age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by a former Swiss-based employee against orgAltriaorgid value=NYSE:MO/org and Philip Morris International Inc./ppThe motions sought to dismiss the claims on the ground that the U.S. court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff, D'Arcy Quinn, was employed by a foreign employer not subject to the U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act./ppJudge personLaura Taylor Swain/person ruled that orgAltriaorgid value=NYSE:MO/org failed to raise a meritorious issue as to lack of subject matter jurisdiction./ppThe suit alleges that firing, hirings and promotions within orgPhilip Morrisorgid value=NYSE:MO/org illegally considered ages of candidates and employees./ppThe suit was filed in October in the U.S. District Court for the Southern district of locationNew York/location on behalf Quinn, a former Philip Morris brand integrity director who served as in-house counsel for international anti-counterfeiting and anti-smuggling matters./ppAn orgAltriaorgid value=NYSE:MO/org spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment./p


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