ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: LEONARD HILL

leonard_hillLeonard Hill is a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer and founding partner at Hill & Associates, P.C., a premier accident and injury firm. Coming from humble beginnings, he graduated Cum Laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he was a Golden Key Honor Society member and Dean’s List student multiple semesters. Upon graduating college, Leonard taught middle school for eight years and was featured in the New York Times for his determination to educate and inspire inner city school children in Philadelphia.

While teaching, Leonard attended Temple University School of Law, where he participated in the “world-renowned” Temple University Nita Trial Program. He graduated in 1996 and then obtained an LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from the same university in 2006 – a prestigious degree that less than one percent of all attorneys in the United States have obtained.

Leonard founded Hill & Associates in 1999 and has since helped recover over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients. A proud member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and American Association for Justice, Leonard has tried hundreds of cases in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has represented clients in various jurisdictions throughout the United States. His practice areas include car accidents, product liability, police brutality, medical malpractice, and other personal injury matters.

If you have been injured as the result of another party’s negligence or were involved in an accident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contact a reputable law firm home to a team of attorneys with over 20 years of combined legal experience today for a free legal consultation.

Hill & Associates, P.C.
123 S. Broad St. Ste 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19109
(800) 737-4687

Attorney Spotlight: Remembering Waldo De Castroverde

As the two-year anniversary of Waldo De Castroverde’s passing approaches, we remember him for more than just his legal success. His legacy portrays a fighter who stood up for his people and a visionary for the future of his community.

Waldo De Castroverde’s Past

What made Waldo De Castroverde shine above other lawyers in Las Vegas who promise to stand behind their clients? His dedication to others has been displayed far before his desire to become a lawyer. Waldo De Castroverde moved to the US from Cuba in 1960 and immediately enrolled in the military. As a paratrooper and one of 1400 Cuban exiles, De Castroverde played an active role at the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, which ultimately landed him back in Cuba. At only 19 years old, being held captive in Cuban prison with a 30-year sentence for his Bay of Pigs involvement, Waldo De Castroverde didn’t stop advocating for Cuba’s freedom and democracy. Little did he know that his efforts would land him face-to-face with Fidel Castro, negotiating freedom. Waldo’s vision for advocacy didn’t seize after his release. Moving back to the states, he channeled his passions and pursued his Juris Doctorate from Nevada School of Law, Old College, in 1985. Using his personal experience as an immigrant and prisoner, he chose to specialize in Nevada criminal defense and immigration law. His background and stride for advocacy

Continuing His Legacy

Waldo’s legacy continues to be present in his family lineage. Both Alex and Orlando De Castroverde graduated from law school and are now running their family’s law firm De Castroverde Law Group, based in Las Vegas.

Orlando De Castroverde received his undergraduate degree from California State-Fullerton and was a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling qualifier. He then graduated from the University of Mississippi, magna cum laude with his Juris Doctor. While there, Orlando earned the America Juris Prudence awarded in three of his courses and obtained the highest MBE score on the Nevada State Bar exam in 2000. Right out of school, Orlando joined Waldo’s law firm and immediately the two tried a case together involving a seven-count felony. The verdict? Not guilty. For the remainder of Waldo’s life, the two successfully won various criminal defense cases and became a well-known name in the Reno legal community.

Then, Orlando partnered with his brother Alex to open De Castroverde Law Group, with the goal to carry on the legacy of their father. Whether a client faces criminal charges or has suffered from an injury caused by negligence in Las Vegas, the firm knows that each person deserves aggressive and promising representation. Holding onto the family name, the specialize in personal injury, criminal defense, and immigration cases.

 

Attorney Spotlight: Deepti Asthana

asthana-profileLess than a decade ago she was living amongst skyscrapers and taxi-polluted streets of Canada’s financial district, foregoing sleep to reach the top floor. Today, she’s a sought-after tax attorney in Foley, AL with Caldwell, Wenzel & Asthana, P.C thanks to hard work and a few chance encounters.

When Your Hometown Grows Foreign

Born in Canada, Asthana moved to her parent’s birth country of India at three months old. She grew up outspoken and opinionated- or “rude” as she describes it for a woman in New Delhi. Unbeknownst to her, these traits would go on to make her a successful business owner, but as a child her personality stood out in a neighborhood enveloped in traditional societal roles. One of these roles calls for Indian fathers to make professional decisions for their daughters. Asthana academically excelled early-on – education being one source for her opinions- so her father decided she’d return to Canada’s McMasters University, where he taught during her birth, to study chemical engineering. Admittedly not passionate about the subject, she respectfully agreed. In hindsight, it was a major stepping stone to becoming a partner at Caldwell, Wenzel & Asthana, P.C.

During her final year she attended a conference about engineering opportunities for recent graduates. There she listened to a woman share how she transitioned from engineering to law. By the end, this chance encounter sparked a passion in Asthana. The following year she enrolled at the University of Western Ontario where she received her Juris Doctorate with an emphasis in tax law. With a long list of accolades at graduation, she was an ideal job candidate winning awards for best paper, highest average in tax law courses, and academic excellence. She also found some time to meet her now husband and fellow law student, Drew Wenzel.

Balancing the Scales of Justice

Determined to climb the competitive rankings of tax attorneys, she landed her first job with a law firm on Bay Street, Toronto’s financial district. Her mind set on owning her own law firm in the future, she was working extended hours, living in the heart of the hustle and bustle, money-making city and skillfully maneuvering through the male-dominated profession. But while her career goals were on track, she says she worried about her other dream- starting a family and managing it with her hectic schedule in a major, expensive city.

Despite these trepidations, Asthana married Wenzel and shortly after gave birth to their daughter, Ava. Six months later, the three visited Wenzel’s family in Foley, Alabama. They snuck away for a lunch with one of his childhood friends and fellow attorney, Randall Caldwell, who proposed a way for Asthana’s work and family life to cohesively collide- the three of them should open their own firm. Equal partner, family nearby, and more control over her career, Asthana says it was one of her easier decisions.

The Final Move

Six months later the family of three left Canada for a one-way trip to Foley, Alabama and opened Caldwell, Wenzel & Asthana P.C. Today, the firm is well-known throughout Baldwin county. While all three attorneys have international experience – and Asthana can still practice in Canada- they also boast their commitment to the community, noting the Caldwell and Wenzel names have resided in Foley for over 100 years. Asthana says the firm excels in two main arenas: strategically preparing for trial and crafting creative solutions to complicated legal disputes. And keeping in tune with her graduate days, she has a history of winning cases to back this claim up.

Most notably, Asthana took lead counsel to a confidential seven figure acquisition of Glenlakes Golf Club located in Baldwin County. She represented the group of investors and after six months of negotiations, she won the war of attrition against the owners of a Fortune 500 company. She is now the buyer’s ongoing counsel.

Already making Asthana a staple name in Foley as well, she says she’s happy with her decision to make Alabama her home. The focus is on family, from spending more time with their daughter to their family owned law firm.

At the firm, Asthana specializes in estate planning, estates and trust litigation, business matters, probate, and of course, tax. Caldwell, Wenzel & Asthana P.C. is a full-service firm with other practice areas in personal injury and accidents, elder laws, general litigation, family law and misdemeanor criminal defense.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: LLOYD LONG

lloyd_longLloyd Long is an accomplished Pennsylvania criminal appeals lawyeradvocate for the accused and convicted, and partner at Krasner & Long, LLC, one of Philadelphia’s premier criminal defense law firms. At the firm, Lloyd handles each and every appeal or post-conviction proceeding, representing clients throughout the entire state in a variety of matters ranging from murder to robbery to sexual assault. Handling over 200 appellate cases to date, Lloyd’s extensive familiarity with the very complicated rules of procedure on appeal is unmatched and has made him an invaluable legal advocate for his clients.

A Philadelphia native, Lloyd grew up and was educated in the area. He graduated from St. Joseph’s University and Rutgers Law School, where he was the law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office in Camden and gained experience drafting legal memos, briefs, and motions for federal prosecutors. Lloyd excelled at Rutgers, graduating with honors in the top 10 percent of his class and was given the Richard Barbour Memorial Award for Public Service. Additionally, he was the Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Public Policy.

After graduating law school, Lloyd took a position as an appellate prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where he handled a large number of appeals to both the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Court, and litigated many post-conviction relief cases.

In addition to being selecting as a Super Lawyer, Lloyd has a perfect 10 AVVO rating, and was selected as a Top 100 Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. A self-proclaimed law nerd at heart, he reads all of the published criminal decisions by Pennsylvania’s appellate courts, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court weekly.

I chose this area of practice because it gives me the opportunity to help people and protect constitutional rights.”

If you have been convicted of a crime, timing is imperative. There are deadlines in appellate and post-conviction practice that the law refers to as “jurisdictional in nature,” meaning if you miss a filing deadline, your opportunity to appeal or file for post-conviction relief may be forever gone. If you lose your direct appeal, you have a very limited time in which you may file for post-conviction relief under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act or federal habeas statute. Because these deadlines are the most unforgiving, getting Lloyd involved early is extremely important. To learn more, contact Krasner & Long, LLC today for a consultation.

Krasner & Long, LLC
239 S Camac St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 731-9500

Test Page

When looking for an attorney, it is important to keep in mind a few factors. A good indication of the quality of the firm, lawyer, and people working there is the design of their website. A modern website with quick load times, high resolution photos, and slick design generally indicates that the attorney is an upstanding member of the legal community. If you ever come to a law firm’s website and are on the fence about them, just do what I do and say the phrase receiver wasp beard giggle pregnant seven times into the mirror. Not only does this ancient chant embody you with the strength of 12 wolves, it will also give you the clarity to pick an appropriate law firm. Whether you need representation in the field of personal injury, bankruptcy, business formation, divorce (uh oh!), or criminal, remember to take a long deep look at their website.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: CHRISTOPHER ESKEW

chris eskewChristopher Eskew is a talented Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer whose passion for his home state of Indiana, dedication to his clients, and courtroom experience have all translated into a successful track record that speaks volumes to his strong work ethic. He has handled various criminal defense cases ranging from drug crimes to burglary and established Eskew Law, LLC with the single goal of helping the people of Indiana who are struggling with issues they cannot handle on their own.

In 2000, Chris received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from DePauw University, where he was an active member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and played football all four years for the Tigers. After graduating from college, he took an interest in criminal law and developed a passion for helping people who were unfairly or wrongly accused of crimes, which led him to enroll in law school at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, IN. While attending law school, Chris helped at the Criminal Defense Clinic, acting as a student attorney and assisting real clients. Additionally, his participation in Moot Court allowed him to refine his legal brief writing and oral argument skills.

Chris graduated from law school and took the Indiana bar in 2006; he was admitted to practice law in Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana later that year, and is licensed to practice criminal defense in all federal, appellate, and county courts in the state of Indiana.

Although he founded Eskew Law, LLC in 2011, Chris has focused his legal career on criminal defense for nearly a decade. In 2007, he began his legal career at the Marion County Public Defender’s Agency and then went on to work as a partner at three different firms from 2008-2010 before opening his solo practice, Eskew Law, LLC in 2011. His firm has since grown and now houses several full-time lawyers.

Chris remains active in both the local and national criminal law communities and has devoted his professional focus to criminal law, with 100% of his practice dedicated to criminal and DUI defense. He is a member of the Indiana Bar, Indianapolis Bar, and the American Bar Associations, and continues to further his knowledge of legal issues by attending relevant seminars like the National Criminal Defense College’s Trial Practice Institute held in Macon, GA.

Since earning his law degree, Chris has been awarded numerous prestigious accolades including The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Advocacy of DUI Defense’s Top 100 DUI Attorneys in the State of Indiana, and Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, among others.

If you are facing criminal charges in Indianapolis or anywhere else throughout Central Indiana and need aggressive representation you can count on, contact Christopher Eskew and his team today for a free consultation.

Eskew Law, LLC
1 N. Meridian Street, Ste 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 974-0177

Attorney Spotlight: Craig Knapp

Knapp & Roberts is a personal injury law firm based in Phoenix, Arizona with extensive experience helping victims retrieve the compensation they deserve after an accident.

Who Is Craig Knapp?Craig Knapp

Craig Knapp, the founder of Knapp & Roberts has been wildly successful throughout his entire career and has accomplished numerous achievements. The Phoenix personal injury attorney has over 20 years of experience handling complex injury matters and has successfully litigated multi-million dollar, high profile cases in Arizona. He was recently recognized as 2016 Lawyer Of The Year by Best Lawyers for his work in personal injury litigation for plaintiffs and was named a Southwest Super Lawyer from 2011-2015.  In the legal community, Craig is highly active in the Arizona Association for Justice, where he has served as a State Delegate, the Vice President as well as the President for the board. He also frequents the campus of Arizona State University, where he graduated from in 1986, and he speaks at lecture halls on mass tort litigation as well as continuing legal education.

Giving Back

Aside from being highly recognized in the legal community, Craig Knapp and his team at Knapp & Roberts have taken major strides to get involved in the and disabled community. Developmental disability has personally affected the families at the firm and they have collectively made it a goal to give back to this community whenever they can. Knapp & Roberts has taken on various pro bono cases associated with children being neglected or injured because of their disability. Recently, an elementary school student with and ADHD attended an overnight school field trip to a science camp in Arizona, and while at camp, the student was physically harassed and bullied. Knapp & Roberts didn’t hesitate to take on this case, representing the parents of the student and filing a claim against the school. The lawyers also participate in various fundraising events that support disabled organizations throughout Arizona. Generation Rescue, Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, and Zoowalk for Autism Research are just a few of the charities they work with that support the autistic community.

Now they have gone a step further; Knapp & Roberts has created two opportunities that benefit those who also dedicate their time to the disabled community.

Students with Autistic Siblings Scholarship

A child’s autism diagnosis affects all family members in various ways, including their siblings. That’s why Knapp & Roberts is offering a $2,500.00 scholarship for college students who grew up with a sibling with autism. Our firm knows the financial struggles a family can endure- medical costs, assisted classes, specialized care, etc.- so we want to help give back. For the full prompt and submission information, visit the Siblings with Autism Scholarship page.

Scholarship for Students Pursuing a Special Needs Education Degree

Are you planning on or currently pursing a degree in special education? Not only do the lawyers at Knapp & Roberts appreciate your dedication, but we want to help. Our firm is offering a Special Education Degree Scholarship, a $2,500.00 opportunity for students who best embody why pursuing this degree is so important to them.

With the goal to raise awareness and support the special needs community, Craig Knapp & the personal injury lawyers at Knapp & Roberts have really set themselves apart from the rest. Their dedication to the courtroom parallels their advocacy efforts and community initiatives, which is commendable and truly valued.

For more information about the firm, contact Knapp & Roberts at (480) 991-7677

Knapp & Roberts

8777 North Gainey Center Drive, Suite 165

Scottsdale, AZ 85258

New Oregon PIP Insurance Changes Benefit The Injured Victim

Late last year, Oregon legislature passed a bill to drastically alter and improve Oregon Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which went into effect January 1, 2016. There are two main changes we will see take place; a Portland accident attorney Travis Mayor claims the Oregon PIP insurance changes are significant for personal injury cases for various reasons. Because, not all damages for medical bills and lost income have been incurred within the current defined time limits, extending the time of the Oregon PIP insurance benefits up to 24 months after the accident and delaying insurance company reimbursements will allow drivers to recover proper resources from serious accidents in Oregon.

What Exactly are the Oregon PIP Insurance Changes?

Before this bill, if you were in a serious accident in Oregon, an insurance company is dubbed first in line to be reimbursed, before non-economic damages are paid, which reduces the amount of money for the injured victim drastically. With the new Oregon PIP insurance changes, PIP carriers are now reprioritized; the PIP Make Whole rule policy will require that the insurance company be paid on the victim’s behalf after all economic and noneconomic damages have been defined and paid. Ultimately, an injured victim will only reimburse the PIP carrier if the recovery amount exceeds both economic and noneconomic damages. The goal with this is to change in priority from the insurance company to the injured victim.
Secondly, changes in the Oregon PIP insurance extends medical coverage expenses from 12 months to 24 months after an accident. After a minor motor vehicle accident in Portland and throughout Oregon, a 12 month medical coverage period is generally a sufficient amount of time for an injured victim to be covered. However, catastrophic events that result in devastating injuries, like TBI or spinal cord injuries, have a much longer recovery processes. Medical expenses for these accidents can far exceed 12 months, which leaves the payment responsibilities on the injured victim. However, extending the PIP medical payments allows additional time for patients to recover.

What is Next for Oregon Drivers?

Lawmakers are taking the necessary steps to protect drivers in Oregon with Oregon Senate Bill 411, but as a driver, there are a few things to do in order to benefit. While most Oregon PIP carriers say companies will implement these Oregon PIP insurance changes automatically, Travis Mayor, a trusted personal injury attorney in Portland, advises Oregon drivers to reissue or renew their policy immediately because exclusions will remain in the policy until a driver actually renews it. If you were involved in an accident after January 1, 2016, the Oregon PIP insurance changes apply to your case.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: NAFIZ AHMED

Defense Attorney Nafiz AhmedNafiz Ahmed is a top San Jose criminal defense lawyer and partner at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law. Prior to founding Ahmed & Sukaram with professional partner Shari Sukaram, Nafiz was an avid high school athlete, competing in both Junior Varsity and Varsity football as well as leading the varsity wrestling team as captain. He then went on to attend the University of California, Davis where he earned a degree in Economics in just three years. During his time as a UC Davis Aggie, Nafiz served as a justice on the university’s Supreme Court before earning his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

While attending law school, Nafiz participated in Honors Moot Court, a program that allows students to compete both internally and against other universities to showcase their research and legal writing skills as well as their oral advocacy talents. It was during his time in legal competition that he developed a strong interest in constitutional and criminal law. This passion for defending the rights of others is what lead Nafiz to practice criminal defense and represent clients facing criminal charges including theft, domestic violence, gang crimes, and homicide.

Nafiz’ dedication and passion for law makes him stand out among other defense lawyers in California. He is also on the NRA referral list for his work defending clients against firearms charges and has advanced DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training to better defend clients facing DUI charges in California. Since forming Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, Nafiz and Shari have successfully defended over 2,000 clients in criminal cases in the San Jose area. Due to his true love of law and successful practice, Nafiz has won a number of awards including being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in both 2012 and 2013, as well as a Top Lawyer in California in 2013. He also has a perfect 10 out of 10 AVVO rating.

If you’re facing criminal charges in San Jose, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law at: (408) 217-8818

Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint

Fair DUI FlyerDespite the 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that DUI checkpoints do not count as a violation of a person’s fourth amendment rights, the legality of these checkpoints has been constantly challenged by drivers, attorneys, and privacy advocates since the ruling. Earlier this year, Florida attorney Warren Redlich gained some attention after creating the fair DUI flyer, which provides a legal method of getting through a DUI checkpoint by without speaking to the police or even opening the window. According to Redlich, aside from the clear violation of protection from unlawful search and probable cause, it can have unfair consequences for innocent people. For example, in 2013, a sober driver in Arizona was pulled over and charged with DUI even after the breathalyzer revealed a BAC of 0.00.

Although the flyer worked successfully in the video he posted last year, Redlich cautions that it does not work in every instance or state, depending on the law. For example, in California, V. C. Section 2814.2 states that drivers must stop and “submit” to a sobriety checkpoint inspection when there are displays requiring a stop, but doesn’t elaborate on whether showing a license through the window qualifies as compliance. Therefore, with the complexity of the law and lack of consistency when it comes to DUI checkpoints, what rights do drivers have when they get pulled over?

In most cases, an officer needs reasonable cause to pull you over, such as reckless driving behavior or a broken taillight, but DUI checkpoints are an exception to that rule as stated above. Once you have been pulled over or approach a checkpoint, an officer may start asking you questions. According to criminal lawyer George Gedulin in San Diego, while you may not be legally required to answer these questions, not complying may lead to even further evaluation or even arrest. If you suspect that you are over the legal limit, it is far better to say nothing than lie because it can be used against you later in court.

The officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle for a field sobriety test, but you are not required to take any field test. Not taking a field test may lead to an arrest; but again, it could also save you from incriminating evidence down the road. Officers are also prohibited from searching your vehicle, but any shady activity may give them reasonable suspicion to pat you down or inspect your car. If you do refuse to take a test and are arrested, even an affirmative blood test may not be enough evidence to secure a DUI conviction because any mistake that either law enforcement or forensic analysts make can impact the credibility of evidence.

While DUI checkpoints advocate for a noble cause, it’s easy to see how invasive they can be, especially if you have done nothing wrong. Compounded with loose definitions of what constitutes probable cause, reasonable suspicion, and lawful search, an officer can seemingly overstep their bounds at will. If you or a loved one has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, be sure to contact an attorney who can protect your rights under the law.