November 2017

Uber Delays Announcing Data Breach - Increasing Harm to Consumers and Drivers

Today Uber Technologies announced a massive data breach of approximately 57 million consumers and drivers.  Compounding the damage done by Uber's failure to secure customer and driver data Uber chose to cover up the breach - reportedly going so far as to pay $100,000 to the hackers responsible for stealing the data.  The failure to notify people affected by a data breach only compounds the problems caused by a breach, as the delay costs people the opportunity to protect themselves from identity theft or other scams.  That is why nearly every state has passed a Data Breach Notification Law, requiring businesses to tell affected people when their data has been compromised. These laws are important safeguards to protect individuals affected by a breach and Uber should be held accountable for violating consumers and drivers rights.  

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Gratitude Practice II

So, in this space and during this time of year I have written before on gratitude practice.  To me, as an attorney whose professional life centers on conflict, I have always tried to hold the traditional holiday season as a time to slow down a bit and spend some time in reflection on what the past year has brought and what I have done with the days that were given to me.  As I write this piece I am waiting for my son to arrive home from Boston to spend time with us during Thanksgiving.  My waiting for him reminded me of a time in his early life when he (and we) suffered a health scare that gratefully was only that---a scare.  But I remember that it taught me a lesson in gratitude.  It taught me to see the sacred in the outwardly mundane, and to know that in the sacred, nothing is mundane.

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Forever 21 Announces Payment Card Data Breach

Forever 21 has announced that it suffered a breach of its payment card systems, exposing consumer’s payment card information to hackers.  If you shopped at Forever 21 between March of 2017 and October 2017 you are potentially affected by this breach.  While Forever 21 has not advised the public or consumers which stores were specifically affected, consumers who used their credit or debit cards between March 2017 and October 2017 should monitor their accounts for fraudulent charges.  Consumers faced with fraudulent charges should immediately notify their banking institution of the charges, and freeze or cancel the affected cards.  

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Your Health Needs a Good Offensive Line

When it comes to your health, you have to be a fighter, not a lover.  I represent victims of medical negligence, and I hear far too often from my clients statements like:  "I wish I had known to ask that question," or "I didn't think I could question what the doctor was saying," or "What do I know about medicine?"  The days of Marcus Welby, MD are over folks.  No longer should the doctor in the white coat go unchallenged.  Everyone must have an advocate when they are undergoing treatment in a hospital, clinic, surgery center or doctor's office.  Since the person who is sick cannot always question and challenge and make sure the right care is being given, designate someone else to be your advocate. Whenever possible, bring a husband, wife, mother, father, friend with you to listen, to ask questions, to write down what the doctor is saying.  Find someone to be your offensive line.  In football, the quarterback has an offensive line that protects him from being hurt.  As a patient in the current healthcare system, you also need an offensive line.  Someone to look out for you and protect you when you are vulnerable.  That person does not need to know medicine. He or she just needs to listen and to ask even basic questions like "how do you know," "why did you make that diagnosis," "what can you do to find out what is wrong?"  In the hospital setting, if you do not have anyone that can come with you, ask the hospital for a patient advocate to see you.  Most hospitals now have patient advocate departments who will send someone to ensure you are getting proper care.  Do not be afraid to ask doctors questions.  They are human just like the rest of us and they make mistakes.  Ask the doctor to tell you his diagnosis and what tests can be done to make sure it is the right diagnosis.  Ask the doctor to explain all the treatment options available to you, and then ask her why she is recommending a certain treatment.  Find out what needs to be done to follow up after you leave the doctor.  Your health is vital and you must take an active role in protecting it.  Be an advocate or find an advocate.  

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Locks Law Firm Continues Participation in Civics Education in Philadelphia Public Schools

Once a month during the school year, attorneys at Locks Law Firm visit a classroom at Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), a Philadelphia public school, to lead a lesson on civics, legal systems and civic participation. This endeavor is in conjunction with the Advancing Civics Education (A.C.E.) program, a program launched by the Philadelphia Bar Association in partnership with public schools in Philadelphia to provide supplemental civics education to public school students.

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Dash-cam videos can be discovered in New Jersey


Police received a 9-1-1 call of an attempt to break into a car. The suspect drove away in a black SUV. The SUV was spotted and chased. The chase was at high speed through several towns. At one point, the SUV tried to ram a police car head-on. The driver of the SUV lost control and crashed into a guardrail on an overpass. Police surrounded the SUV. The driver tried to get free of the barrier by accelerating. An officer thought the SUV might hit him and another officer. Officers fired, hitting the driver, who was pronounced dead hours later.

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These were the words that shot through the air at me like a bullet at my at a recent meeting with my clients, the parents of a 4 year old girl who died in a local emergency room because the ER physician could not admit he did not know what was causing her illness, and his ego would not permit him to call the child's treating doctor for help.  The parents of this little girl asked me possible excuse he had for allowing her to die.  When I responded that the defense was that the "plaintiff" would have died regardless of the ER doctor's actions, that bullet came screaming at me.  "You tell them to stop calling her the plaintiff.  She is not the plaintiff.  She is our daughter," the mother of this little girl said as tears streamed down her face.  Still 6 years later, the loss of her child is just as raw as if it were yesterday.  

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My Journey from Clerkship to Practice

It has been almost one year into my time here at the Locks Law Firm as a practicing attorney, and it has been a fulfilling experience thus far.  Prior to Locks Law Firm, I was a judicial law clerk for several years.  I have clerked for a trial court judge.  I have also clerked for an appellate court judge.  Both judges are extremely intelligent and hardworking individuals, and I have learned a great deal from each of them.  My clerkship experience was definitely valuable and rewarding.  

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