Blog

The Pennsylvania Right to Know Law is a Great Tool

Police stop a person. A dispute ensues. The person is injured by the police. As recent tragedies in our country have shown, the police dash cam video can be a more trustworthy account of what happened then subsequently-written police reports. Counsel for the person stopped wants to obtain the video as well as written police records.

 
A city or a town raises the valuation of a home or business immensely, which results in a significant tax increase. The owner wants to challenge the increase. Counsel for the owner wants to obtain the government’s file justifying the increase in valuation.

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New York Legislature Extends Time To File Lawsuits for Toxic Exposures From Superfund Sites

 

The New York State Legislature has come to the aid of victims exposed to toxic substances at Superfund sites by extending the time a lawsuit can be brought, known as the Statute of Limitations. Senator Kathleen Marchione, Republican from the 43rd Senate District, introduced the bill (known as the “Hoosick Falls” bill) as a result of her constituents’ concerns over the continuing water contamination in their town.  For those victims of toxic exposure at Superfund sites, the remedy is not limited to Hoosick Falls, but has statewide impacts.

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Did You Know the Most Dangerous Driving Season is Summer?

Most people think winter is the most dangerous because of the snow covered icy roads and limited visibility. Although winter driving is dangerous, according to the Department of Transportation, it is not as dangerous as summer.

Driving down the road during a summer heat wave gives you that easy feeling and seems quite serene compared to the stress of driving through a winter whiteout, but it is the most dangerous time to operate a motor vehicle. The summer season is responsible for the greatest amount of fatal car accidents out of every other time of year.

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Mom Was Right - Don't Talk To Strangers (Especially if you have a lawsuit)!

When a new client retains any of the lawyers in the Locks Law Firm we are careful to explain to them that from that point forward, they are not to speak with anyone whatsoever about any aspect of their case and they should direct any inquiries that even seem remotely case-oriented to their attorney. A case was recently decided in federal court in New York which illustrates how far defense counsel will go to obtain information which they believe to be helpful in defending a case.

 

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What Took You So Long, America?

 

 

I was twenty years old when I first voted in a general election. It was 1990 and I was a college student studying law at University College Dublin, Ireland. Unlike in the United States, the office of the Irish President is largely ceremonial. The President is the official head of state, but executive authority is vested with the cabinet, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, or Taoiseach. Accordingly, the Irish presidential election does not typically hold the same significance as it does in the U.S. In fact, prior to the 1990 election, there had only been six presidents, three of whom had served two terms, with five elections uncontested.

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The NHL Still Denies Links to CTE

 

Recently, United States Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), sent a series of questions to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman regarding the effects of concussions in hockey and the league’s position on C.T.E.  Mr. Bettman’s response, 24-pages long, was filed in the US District Court in Minneapolis as part of the ongoing concussion class action case against the league.  Unbelievably, Mr. Bettman wrote, “The science regarding C.T.E., including on the asserted ‘link’ to concussions that you reference, remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes C.T.E. and whether it can be diagnosed by specific clinical symptoms.”  Senator Blumenthal’s inquiry came following a round-table discussion with the NFL’s Sr. VP for Health and Safety Policy, Jeff Miller, was asked if there was a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like C.T.E.  Mr. Miller’s response: “The answer to that is certainly, yes.”  While the current settlement with the NFL still remains on appeal and does not require the NFL to admit fault or knowledge of the claims filed against them, the case has brought attention and a greater understanding of the harm and long term effects caused by repeated blows to the head, whether through hits in football or fights in hockey.  More and more administrators, coaches, owners, players and any others involved in sport have begun to look for ways to keep the athletes safer and healthier.  The fact that the Commissioner of the premier hockey league in this country fails to understand these dangers is not only surprising, but disappointing.  We know too much about these dangers and although Locks Law Firm is not involved in the NHL concussion case, we are deeply involved in the case against the NFL.  We have worked hard to bring to light the science and have seen all too many times, the long term consequences of these hits.  Mr. Commissioner, I suggest that rather than worry about the pending lawsuits against your league, you look to the future of it and how to protect those that make the game great – and ultimately ensure you have a job.

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"Don't Boo. Vote!"

 

Though not specifically outlined in the United States Constitution, the right to vote was originally defined by the states and was typically a privilege only afforded to white, property-owning, Protestant men.  Over time, several constitutional amendments, including the 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments, expanded the pool of eligible voters in America.  Amazingly, it has been less than 100 years since women were first allowed to vote in this country, and it’s been just over 50 years since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, prohibiting racial discrimination in federal, state and local voting practices.

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Discovery From Private Individuals in The United States

 

 

I had the privilege of addressing the AAJ 2016 Annual Convention in Los Angeles.  I discussed the rules of discovery in the United States, with a focus on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the five discrete discovery categories.  See the attached for my paper and lecture.

Discovery From Private Individuals In The United States

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“A Republic, Madam, If You Can Keep It!”

 

That was the response of Benjamin Franklin to a woman who asked him whether the newly formed United States of America was to be a republic or a monarchy.  As he was leaving the last day of deliberation at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Franklin was concerned about the future of the new nation. Like many of us today, others present at the Convention were also doubtful.  In a letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

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Locks Partner Marc Weingarten Publishes Article on Legionnaires' Disease On the 40th Anniversary of its First Outbreak

 

Marc Weingarten, a Partner at Locks Law and expert on Legionnaire's Disease, has written an article about the disease's first outbreak, which took place forty years ago today. Published by Philly.com, the article recounts the initial investigation into the then-mysterious disease while summarizing what we know about it today.

 

The full piece can be read here.

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