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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Superior Court Judge Alford Dies
The News Journal reported today on the sudden death of Superior Court Judge Haile Alford. The article notes that in 1992 Judge Alford became the first black woman to serve on the Superior Court. In fact, Judge Alford was Delaware's first black female judge. The first black female lawyer to pass the Delaware bar was Paulette Sullivan Moore...in 1977. Although Judge Alford most recently heard criminal cases, I recall that a few years ago (1999?) she presided over a groundbreaking toxic mold case involving Wilmington apartment residents. The jury found for the plaintiffs in an amount exceeding $1 million.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

delAWARE Website Gets High Marks
Check out the delAWARE website for a huge and comprehensive database on business, governnment, the arts and health, among other resources. And it won't cost you a dime. All it takes to gain access to this "digital library" is a valid Delaware public library card. I learned about delAWARE just last month on Richard Hermann's always helpful "Taming the Technology Monster."
No Delaware PI Firms On National Law Journal's Hot List
Last week's National Law Journal profiled a so-called "Hot 50" of plaintiff's law firms located around the country. Law firms? Not really, since the list excluded solo and small firms of two-five lawyers. Around the country? Not really, since the list basically covered only LA, NY and DC. Apparently, the National Law Journal missed the nearly 500,000 solo and small practitioners around the country who practice PI work. And I understand that there are Delaware PI lawyers who have hot practices.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Legal Writing Update
My "Write Now" column on lexisONE this month concerns proofreading for solo and small firm lawyers. Check out how PI lawyers can make writing and editing easier and more efficient.
Roundup Of July Court Decisions
OLSON v. MOTIVA ENTERPRISES, 02C-04-263 JRS (Del.Super. 07-10-2003)
C.A. Nos. 02C-04-263 JRS, Consolidated for discovery with: C.A. Nos. 02C-05-168 JRS, C.A. No. 02C-05-169 JRS, C.A. No. 02C-05-190 JRS.
Date Decided: July 22, 2003.
The explosion at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Delaware City gave rise to four separate lawsuits: one involves claims for personal injuries; two involve claims for property damage and related damages; and one involves a claim for subrogation following the payment of insurance proceeds for commercial losses incurred as a result of the fire. The Superior Court already consolidated the four cases for purposes of discovery and pretrial motion practice, then queried counsel whether the cases should not also be consolidated for trial. Because counsel disagreed on this issue, the Court invited a motion to consolidate.


Friday, August 01, 2003

No $$$ For Federal Jurors
The New York Times reports today that federal courts are running out of money to pay jurors. In a letter distributed Monday, the agency that runs the courts week urged district court judges to defer "noncritical civil trials" until October. According to the article, the federal courts are facing a $4-5 million shortfall and a request for more money was left out of a recent appropriations bill. Interestingly enough, the suggestion to defer civil trials is not unprecedented. Federal courts suspended civil trials for approximately one week each in 1986 and 1993 during budget crises.

Nowhere in the Times article is there any suggestion by anyone as to what constitutes a "noncritical civil trial." Unfortunately, there is much evidence that Congress isn't championing jury trials.
New DTLA President
Last month Randall Robbins, a partner with Ashby & Geddes in Wilmington, became President of the Board of Governors of the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association. Robbins replaced Bart Dalton. If you're wondering who's on DTLA's Board of Governors, you got me. DTLA hasn't updated its web site.
Welcome
I’ve created the Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers Blog as a means for lawyers and consumers to obtain up-to-date news, general information, links and commentaries relating to tort law in Delaware and around the country.

I live in Delaware. My law practice involves personal injury and consumer protection. Before opening my own firm, I practiced with some of the country's best known and successful class action and catastrophic loss firms. I have tried cases in state and federal courts, argued numerous appeals, and am admitted to several courts, including the United States Supreme Court. I have prepared briefs that have been filed in courts throughout the country.

In addition to my law practice, for over ten years I have taught at area law schools, including Widener Law School. Many of my legal writing students have become creative, responsible and hardworking personal injury attorneys. And occasionally they call…

I frequently lecture on legal writing and trial advocacy to lawyers and bar associations, and am on the legal writing faculty of the country’s largest CLE provider. I am also a legal writing columnist for lexisONE and the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Much of my writing involves the day-to-day concerns of personal injury attorneys.

And one more thing. I am the founder and president of Legal Writing Success (LWS), a company that provides legal research, writing and consulting to lawyers around the country. Through my work with LWS, I have met hundreds of solo and small firm personal injury lawyers, many of whom regularly communicate with me about developments in law, particularly tort law.

There’s a lot that I’ve learned about personal injury law over the past 15 years, including first-hand experience in Delaware and surrounding states. This blog is as good a place as any to keep my thoughts in order and, maybe, educate lawyers and consumers about resources. Thanks for visiting. I hope you find this blog useful.

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