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

Caitlyn Jenner Sued for Negligence by Grammy Nominated Composer

Caitlyn Jenner is being sued for negligence by a family who suffered injuries in the fatal February crash that killed Kim Howe.

Los Angeles personal injury attorneys Panish Shea & Boyle filed suit against Jenner on behalf of grammy nominated Peter Wolf-Millesi, his wife Lea, the couple’s two minor children, and Lea’s mother Elga Maurer.

According to the firm’s site:  On February 7, 2015, Peter Wolf-Millesi was driving a Hummer H2 southbound on Pacific Coast Highway on the way to his eldest son’s tennis tournament. His wife Lea was seated beside him in the passenger seat, while his two sons and mother-in-law rode in the backseat. At the same time, Caitlyn Jenner, driving a Cadillac Escalade and towing a trailer with an all-terrain vehicle on it, was traveling northbound when she rear-ended a Lexus LS 430 driven by Howe. The Lexus was launched into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with the Wolf-Millesi’s vehicle. Jenner’s SUV continued forward, rear-ending a Toyota Prius driven by Jessica Steindorff before coming to a stop.

“All of a sudden a car comes into our lane from oncoming traffic and rushes onto our hood. We were shocked and terrified we were all going to die,” says Peter, recalling the crash. “When you’re involved in an accident that claimed the life of someone, you’re just not the same anymore. So many lives have been changed forever,” adds Lea.

In the suit, Peter Wolf-Millesi claims to have suffered sever nerve damage to his wrists and hands and – as a composer – has been unable to work.  Lea has suffered orthopedic trauma to her legs, neck, knees and back and will continue to have pain and physical limitations.   It also indicates that Maurer – Lea’s mother – suffered a C-spine “hangman’s fracture” in her neck.

In the suit, Wolf-Millesi claims he suffered nerve damage to both hands and wrists and has been unable to work. Lea allegedly suffered orthopedic trauma to her legs, neck, back and knees; she continues to have ongoing pain and physical limitations. The suit also states that Maurer suffered a C-spine “hangman’s fracture” in her neck.  A hangman’s fracture occurs when the neck is hyper extended and typically happens in car accidents when a person’s chin is slammed against the steering, dashboard, or windshield.

While investigators found that Jenner was traveling at a speed unsafe for traffic conditions, no vehicular manslaughter charge was filed.

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.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: JESSE JACOBS

Jesse JacobsJesse B. Jacobs is a Vancouver personal injury lawyer at the NW Injury Law center, but before returning back to his hometown to practice law, he began his career as avid traveler and teacher abroad. After graduating from Washington State University in 2007 with a degree in Business Administration, Jesse returned as a lecturer to Nantong University in the coastal Chinese province of Jiangsu, where he had studied abroad during his undergraduate years. Proficient in Chinese, he stayed here as an instructor for 3 years, where he taught multiple subject s for up to six classes a semester.

Upon returning to the United States in 2010, Jesse began attending the Seattle University School of Law where he served as both a Teaching Assistant for courses in Contract and Criminal Law and as secretary for the Law and Development Institute. He returned to China briefly to study law in the country’s financial hub of Shanghai where he obtained his certificate in Comprehensive Chinese Law from a joint program between Willamette University College of Law and East China University of Political Science. In his last few months of school before graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jesse served as a legal intern in the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.

Before joining the team at the NW Injury Law Center in 2014, Jesse worked as a solo practitioner in Seattle where he focused on plaintiff personal injury claims and became an active Eagle Member of the Washington State Association of Justice. Currently, he practices alongside his father, Don Jacobs, who founded the NW Injury Law Center in 2002. When not practicing law, he enjoys spending time outdoors in Vancouver by hiking, fishing, and perusing the famous Vancouver Farmer’s Market.

If you have been the victim of negligent behavior or were in an accident in Vancouver, Washington, contact an experienced law firm that has been helping injury victims in the Pacific Northwest for over 35 years today for a free case evaluation.

NW Injury Law Center

514 West 9th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 695-1624

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: JAMES W. KNOWLES JR.

James W. KnoInt_profile_jamesjrwles Jr. is an Omaha personal injury attorney at Knowles Law Firm in Nebraska but the legal community and city of Omaha have been staple parts of his life since birth. As his name implies, Jim was born to James Knowles Sr. who returned from military service to receive his law degree from St. Louis University in 1954. By the time Jim was a young child, his father’s legal career was growing quickly enough that he eventually decided to open his own practice, Knowles Law Firm, in 1967. Today, Knowles Law Firm remains one of the preeminent personal injury firms in Omaha with Jim and his brother Robert as the managing partners.

Jim’s personal career, however, began at the University of Miami where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration in 1978. He then went on to attend Creighton Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1981. Also while in law school, Jim passed the CPA exam and received his Certificate of Public Accountancy which he still holds. After then passing the bar exam, Jim joined his father at Knowles Law Firm in 1981 and began working primarily on insurance defense matters. Over the last 20 years, Jim has shifted away from insurance defense and works primarily on the plaintiff side of personal injury cases with a focus on car accidents, wrongful death, and product liability. He has experience trying cases at both the state and federal level as well as in the Nebraska Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

In his personal life, Jim and his family are also well accustomed to the field of law. He met his wife Rjean while they were both students at Creighton Law School and afterwards she practiced for several years until retiring to raise their three children. Continuing the legal lineage, two of those children, Matthew and Benjamin, currently practice as personal injury lawyers at Knowles Law Firm after also attending Creighton Law School. Aside from his law practice, Jim enjoys breeding and racing horses while spending time on a family farm in Kentucky.

If you need legal assistance from a law firm that brings almost 50 years of legal experience to the table, look no further than the team at Knowles Law Firm. Contact them today for a free consultation.

Knowles Law Firm

First National Bank Building
11404 W. Dodge Road, Suite 450
Omaha, NE 68154
(402) 431-9000

Five New York Students Charged in Connection with Hazing Death

According to authorities, five fraternity brothers face third-degree murder charges in the wrongful death of a New York City college student. The five Pi Delta Psi members also face charges ranging from hindering apprehension to providing false information to law enforcement in connection with the 2013 hazing death of Baruch College freshman Chun “Michael” Deng, Pennsylvania police said. Additionally, charges are pending against 32 other frat members, as well as the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, including assault, hazing, and criminal conspiracy, officials stated.

Deng, 19, died two years ago from “complications of traumatic brain injury” during a hazing incident in the Poconos, according to court documents. He was fatally injured while participating in a fraternity ritual known as the “glass ceiling” in which a pledge navigates toward someone who calls his name while blindfolded and wearing a backpacking containing a 30-pound bag of sand. Other fraternity brothers then physically prevent that from happening by repeatedly tackling and hitting the pledge.

According to police, Deng fell backward, struck his head, and was unconscious and unresponsive immediately following his fall. “A minimum of at least two hours went by before he actually received any type of medical care,” Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis said after the incident. Forensic analysis found that the delay in treatment “significantly contributed to the death of Mr. Deng” and resulted in neurogenic shock, police said. Upon his arrival at the hospital, Deng remained unresponsive and was in critical condition. According to the district attorney’s office, physicians determined he had suffered major brain trauma.

“Michael was a wonderful, beloved young man, and, in his honor, the family will also continue pursuing its wrongful death case against the fraternity to cause it and other fraternities to change so that other parents will be spared the loss of a precious child,” his family said in a statement. If somebody you love has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: JOE LOPEZ

Jose Luis ‘JJoe Lopezoe’ Lopez is an experienced personal injury attorney in Austin who opened his own practice in 2015 with the goal of becoming one of the premier injury law firms in Texas. Joe’s story began in El Paso where he was born and raised seeing the plight of injury victims throughout various communities in Texas. With a diverse background and bilingual skills, Joe knew that he could help build strong relationships and become an advocate for all injury victims that needed assistance.

Graduating from St. Edward’s University in 2000 with a degree in business finance, Joe attended St. Mary’s University and received his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University in 2003. He began practicing in Austin shortly thereafter in order to build up his experience litigating all different types of personal injury claims. Today, he is admitted to practice in Texas county courts as well as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

As the lead trial attorney at his firm, Joe Lopez Law, he specializes in all types of claims, ranging from spinal and brain injuries to wrongful death and workplace hazards.  In 2013, he was selected to be a member of the invite-only National Trial Lawyers Top 100 while also being asked to join the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates which honors experienced attorneys who have recovered $2 million or more for an individual client. Most recently in 2015, Joe was selected by Super Lawyers as one of their Rising Stars in Texas and belongs to numerous other attorney groups, including the American Association for Justice and Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

In his free time, Joe enjoys driving his 1977 Ford Bronco, fishing with his son, and staying involved by volunteering for community events in Austin.

If you need legal assistance from an attorney with a proven track record and personal approach, contact Joe Lopez Law today for a free consultation.

Joe Lopez Law
1502 West Ave.
Austin, TX 78701
512.580.9962

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: THE MERRIGANS

Sweeney Merrigan Law LLPIf imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then there is a lot of respect between the legal team at Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP. Co-founded by brothers, Peter and Tucker, and their father, Thomas, the Merrigan family has dedicated both their lives and legal practice to becoming some of the most respected personal injury lawyers in Boston.

Although all three are licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, each member of the Merrigan family found their own way to achieving the same goal of opening a family owned and operated injury firm. After receiving his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Thomas Merrigan attended the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he graduated in 1976 and returned back to Massachusetts immediately thereafter to practice. In addition to many years as a litigator, Thomas has twelve years of experience serving as a First Justice in the Orange District Court and has won numerous awards, including the Warren Burger Trial Court Judge of the Year Award. Furthermore, he has also been trained as a mediator, earning certificates from the Harvard Law School Negotiation Project and MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, thus giving him a unique combination of skills when it comes to all aspects of litigation.

Peter Merrigan began his journey at James Madison University in Virginia and then attended the New England School of Law where he graduated Cum Laude. During his time in law school, he received the Cali Excellence for the Future Award for his work in the study of negotiation and Constitutional Law as well as serving as an assistant District Attorney at the West Roxbury District Court. For his achievements after passing the bar, Peter was recently named a 2015 “Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorney” by National Trial Lawyers and belongs to the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys.

Tucker Merrigan received his bachelors in political science from Tufts University in Medford, where he was captain of the lacrosse team, earning both All-American and Scholar All-American honors. Following in his brother’s footsteps, he attended the New England School of Law where he served as a member of the Student Bar Association and graduated with Dean’s Honors. Also like his brother, he was named a “Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorney” by National Trial Lawyers for his excellence in the courtroom.

If you need assistance from a dedicated team of lawyers who build trust and strong relationships, contact Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP today for a free case evaluation.

Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP
268 Summer Street, LL
Boston, MA 02210
contact@sweeneymerrigan.com
(617) 391-9001

Risperdal Breast Growth (Gynecomastia) in Teen Boys


As media coverage on Risperdal continues to unfold more lawsuits are surfacing in court uncovering the drug’s potent side effects. If you are one of the thousands looking for a Risperdal lawsuit lawyer, you are not alone. The pharmaceutical mogul Johnson & Johnson’s unit Janssen manufactures Risperdal which is an oral antipsychotic medication used to control severe mood disorders of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, while treating mental illness the drug is also causing physical body changes on male adolescents who consume it such as gynecomastia (the development of breast in males) and galactorrhea (abnormal lactation) causing emotional and psychological stress on the young men.

After testing the drug in the lab it was found that Risperdal increases the levels of prolactin, a hormone that causes the enlargement of breast tissue and production of milk. Studies link up the correlation of Risperdal to gynecomastia dating as early as 1999. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16633146) The manufacturer has been accused of omitting essential information at the time of distributing the drug to doctor’s and the printed label fails to be clear on the harsh side effects when consumed.

The topic of male breast growth among both young and older men is not an easy discussion since most find it emasculating and shameful. Although it is a sensitive subject it is important to create awareness for those who are currently living with gynecomastia. Data shows this condition is estimated to occur in 48% to 64% of boys going through puberty, first appearing as early as 10 years of age, with a peak onset between ages 13 and 14. (http://www.gynecoma.com/gynecomastia-in-teenagers/) Adolescent boys who currently are living with abnormal breast growth are physically and psychologically fragile. When it comes to exercising activities such as running, jogging, curl-ups or jumping jacks the up and down movement becomes difficult with the excess mass around the chest area. The breast also become tender therefore not too much weight or pressure can be placed. Apart from the physical toll on the body emotional distress grows exponentially. In our society breasts are considered to be a feminine attribute and because the growth is not subtle boys can be constantly concerned with their appearance. The awkwardness of having to explain to others what is going on with your body leads to adjustments in social behavior leading to isolation from social interactions. Ultimately the young men’s self-esteem plummets generating other mental disorders to surface.

 

One of the solutions to gynecomastia is undergoing a mastectomy. However this surgery comes with its own set of tribulations. Most of the times the surgery leaves males with prominent scarring and absence of the nipples. Some young men may not be mentally or emotionally prepared to make the decision and commit to surgery. So for those not ready to get under the knife there are other resources that can help you through the process.

 

  • Counseling: alleviating the confusion and anxiety through the help of a counselor can be essential, sometimes a stranger can bring in some perspective rather than a family member
  • Psychiatric therapy: seeking a professional can help circumvent and also provide alternatives to surgery such as male breast reduction pills.
  • Support group: connecting with others either at an in person meet-up or an online forum who are undergoing or have gone through this process is a great way to coping with your own personal condition as well as a helpful resource for networking

As more families of young men continue to speak up the Risperdal lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical unit Janssen continue to pile up, so far over 1200 cases are being reviewed. In February of this year a recent settlement in Alabama of $2.5 million was awarded to 20 year old Austin Pledger , an autistic man, who as a side effect of Risperdal grew 46DD breasts. The jury concluded the boy who was 8 years old at the time the drug was prescribed was not given warning of gynecomastia being a possible result of his drug intake. As of today Austin still has not undergone a mastectomy. Another case in late December of 2014 a mother from Louisiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of her 21 year old son Aaron Banks. According to the article on Forbes.com, “he suffered psychological trauma after growing breasts while taking Risperdal between 1999 and 2004, starting when he was nine years old, says Sheller, who added that the antipsychotic was not approved for use in children in the US at the time.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/edsilverman/2012/09/11/jj-sees-male-breasts-and-quickly-settles-risperdal-suit/ ) Johnson & Johnson settled, however the terms have been kept confidential. Not all lawsuits have finalized in wins but small steps are being taken to make justice for all the children and teens impacted by this condition.

 

Resources:

  1. http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/11/25/risperdal-can-have-troubling-side-effects-in-boys/
  2. https://www.i-lawsuit.com/risperdal-lawsuit/
  3. http://www.gynecoma.com/gynecomastia-in-teenagers/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16633146
  5. http://www.forbes.com/sites/edsilverman/2012/09/11/jj-sees-male-breasts-and-quickly-settles-risperdal-suit/

 

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: KENNETH TROMBLY

kenneth tromblyKenneth Trombly is a seasoned Washington DC personal injury lawyer and civil trial attorney whose practice is dedicated to catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation in both state and federal courts. Licensed in the District of Columbia and in Maryland, he has handled countless noteworthy cases on behalf of severely injured victims of negligence, including those that have resulted in seven-figure settlements, and well-known cases that have gained local or national attention. For many years, Kenneth has been one of an elite group of Washington DC catastrophic injury attorneys who are members of both The Best Lawyers in America and “Super Lawyers.”

Kenneth obtained his law degree from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in 1973 where he held positions as a staff member of the Law Review and a student coordinator of the school’s legal services clinic. He earned his undergraduate degree at The George Washington University in 1970.

As a young lawyer, before his legal practice took on its current focus, Kenneth was an active criminal defense attorney who regularly accepted court appointments to represent impoverished defendants. It was during this time he attended the National College of Criminal Defense at the University of Houston Bates College of Law and was the recipient of a U.S. Department of Justice grant for his work with indigent defendants.

In the early 1980s, Kenneth began representing victims of car accidents and other accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. He found the work to be both intellectually and emotionally fulfilling, and within a few years, his law practice switched its focus on representing seriously injured individuals and their families.

If you need assistance from a dedicated and experienced team of Washington DC personal injury attorneys, contact Trombly & Singer today for a free case evaluation.

Trombly & Singer, PLLC
1825 K St. NW,
Washington, D.C., 20006
(202) 775-8888