Archive for March, 2017

Bankruptcy Filed by T. Robert Hill Law Firm

Monday, March 27th, 2017

On March 15 a press release from the Law Offices of T. Robert Hill note that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A longtime stockholder Ricky Boren and a former employee of  Hill attempted a take over of The Law Offices of T. Robert Hill and in the release the law offices made they stated the take over attempt caused “financial chaos” and said the bankruptcy was the result.

“Boren and Boyd filed a lawsuit in December 2016 in an attempt to takeover total control of Hill Boren PC (now known as The Law Offices of T. Robert Hill),” as stated by the release. “Making false and derogatory allegations in the lawsuit papers. The distraction and financial drain on the corporation led to majority stockholder and President T. Robert Hill seeking Bankruptcy Reorganization (Chapter 11).”

The bankruptcy was confirmed by the Tennessee Western Bankruptcy Court. Law firm president T. Robert Hill according to the release state the Chapter 11 is not personally included in the up coming litigations.

In order to prevent any harm to clients, vendors, and creditors the release states Hill filed chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

“The law firm bearing my name has enjoyed a great reputation for exceptional legal work dating back to 1970,” according to Hill’s release. “I do not want the legacy of Hill Boren PC to end in chaos after my retirement. Therefore, I chose to wind down the firm in an orderly, acceptable manner in response to Boren’s hostility.”

In December of 2016 Boren and Boyd separated from Hill Boren and opened their own law firm.

The listed property of  the Law Offices of T. Robert Hill are on 1269 N. Highland Ave.

The building has been on the market already for the last 3 months.

Although, law offices have been listed for a while Hill states the selling and the bankruptcy are not related to each other he is just the president of both.

“The building is owned in a general partnership consisting of two individuals, and has been since 1980,” stated Hill. “That’s not in the Chapter 11.”

The listed building which is brick is listed for $980,000 for 14,688 square feet specified by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

New Training for Utah Police as a result of Tougher DUI laws

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Utah’s new law which is the strictest DUI limit in the country has caused some concern for their local law enforcement. The new procedure would change the way officers screen DUI suspects especially when someone’s blood alcohol level is over the new limit of 0.05 percent.

“The manual’s going to have to be rewritten,” said Salt Lake City  Detective Greg Wilking. “There’s going to have to be a retraining so that we all understand what those thresholds are and what we’re looking for.”

Sam Gill the Salt Lake County District Attorney said that currently drivers can be found guilty of drunk driving is they have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent. Furthermore, they can be convicted even if they have a blood level below 0.08 percent if they show signs of being incapacitated such as swerving and slurring their speech.

The new limit will take effect in December of 2018 and Gill believes DUI stops will become a hassle, and he said, “it’s probably going to create some challenges in the field.”

The 0.05 percent limit is supported by National Transportation Safety Board, the National Safety Council, and the Advocates for Highway and auto safety. They support the new law because they believe people become impaired and should not drive after one drink.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a person with a blood alcohol level 0.05 percent is impaired enough that it affects the operating of the vehicle, their response to emergencies, and lack of coordination.

Gill questions how an officer will find a reason to have a person perform a DUI test when they are acting completely normal, but admit to having drink and may or may not smell of alcohol. At that moment the driver could be violating the 0.05 percent but no established probable cause.

Gill also states the officer may be obligated to let them drive away because they are not in direct violation of the new law. The driver may admit to having a drink but if they are not showing signs of being intoxicated they are free to go. If DUI tests are given to everyone who admits to having a drink even though they do not seem under the influence there may be more cases of drunk driving because of blood alcohol levels at 0.06 or 0.07 percent.

Utah’s hospitality industry opposes the new law and state it will affect, tourism, restaurants, and those who drink responsibly.

One third of Utah DUI arrest are handled by the Utah’s Highway Patrol. They supported the new law and believe it wont make a difference in the way they handle drunk drivers because they base their arrest on signs of someone being impaired. There will be some training administered to the officers however they will need to have a reason for a person to get out of their car and perform a sobriety test.

According to Tom Ross, the president of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, there will be changes officers will encounter. For example, they way they administer sobriety tests will change and what signs to look for to determine if the driver is over the new limit.

Their annual conference will be held next week and according to Ross the police chief’s association plans to discuss it then.

Although, the new law will save lives according to Utah Governor Gary Herbert the law is not ideal. He would like if the lawmakers would revise and review the current law to make sure Utah has time to prepare and implement. Gov. Herbert also would like lawmakers to strengthen punishment for repeat DUI and to boost laws that will prevent people from texting and driving.

RadioShack Bankruptcy Makes It to Indianapolis

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

The remaining four RadioShack’s stores in Indianapolis are scheduled to shut down as the bankruptcy continues for this retailer who has been in business over 90 years.

In court documents, General Wireless, RadioShack’s parent company stated its most recent plan of closures. General Wireless filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in March with the U.S. Bankruptcy court in Delaware.

The filing documents state 187 stores will be closing immediately while the first week of April expects to see 365 stores closed.

On the list of closures was the city of Indiapolis’s 4 stores and seven other stores in the state of  Indiana.

Clearance sales were launched at the four Indianapolis stores before closing, however the store locator for the website indicated the Sprint locations would remain open.

Surrounding Indianapolis area stores that have steered clear of the closure list so far are in Brownsburg, Mooresville, Franklin, Lebanon and Anderson.

Stores located in Schererville, Seymour, Bloomington, Lafayette, Auburn, Frankfort and Plymouth are scheduled to be closed.

Sprint Corporation and former RadioShack owners formed General Wireless. They hope was to restore the once great consumer electronics chain. The partnership was formed to help revive the RadioShack name after the Bankruptcy of 2015.

Sprint Stores among others store are franchised by the company within the RadioShack locations.

Two years ago when RadioShack initially filed for bankruptcy, they closed 2,000 stores which was about half of their locations. Standard General LP teamed up with Sprint from General Wireless and RadioShack sold them 1,700 stores.

The creation of 1,400 mini stores and franchising units were due to the deal.

Initially the company stated they would close 200 store or so immediately and examine alternative options on the 1,300 stores that remained. However, last week the company increased the number of closures to 552, which is 36 percent of their stores.

The stores being liquidated have the “lowest sales velocity and highest rent,” according to the Company.

According to the company the fate of the remaining stores is still being assessed.

When the bankruptcy was filed, Sprint said they planned to transform “several hundred”  RadioShack stores into corporate-owned Sprint locations.

Before the 2015 bankruptcy RadioShack managed about 45 stores in the state of Indiana, which included about 25 more in the central Indiana area.

Police Officers ready for St. Patrick’s Day weekend drunk drivers

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Saint Patrick’s Day festivities across the state of Indianapolis have police strengthening their patrols and DUI Checkpoints. The hope is to put a stop to drunk driving.

“If you get behind the wheel of a car tonight and you’re intoxicated there’s a pretty good chance we’re gonna get you, we’re certainly gonna be looking for you,” said the DUI unit supervisor Sgt. Michael Duke.

There was a check point in downtown Indianapolis that started at 6pm as drivers began to make their way to partake in Saint Patrick’s day shenanigans.

Roaming patrols that started around noon and check points spread through out the state resulted in five DUI arrests by 10 p.m. according to IMPD officers.

Michael Duke said, “We’re trying to keep people from running into other people, running over people, we’re trying to stop tragedies.”

Between the years of 2001 and 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day has resulted in 250 deaths related to car crashes during this holiday.

In 2015 according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about 10,200 people died in drunk driving crashes. They also state that the chance of being involved in an alcohol related crash is on in three over a life span.

The police want to decrease those statistics.

“You know we’d rather hopefully save some lives than ruin some nights,” according to Duke.

As always the police aim to remind you to plan ahead. Always have a designated driver, make accommodations for a car service, prefer to walk to your location and pay attention to the road an pedestrians.

Upcoming SCOTUS Case on Jurisdiction Is the Center of Attention Due to an Increase in Stay Requests in Mass Torts

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Usually, attorneys will seek stays when a higher court is taking into account key issues in relation to their case. However, there has been a decent increase in these motions in consolidated actions throughout the country. Attorneys now find it unusual since the motions have all been citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to take up a key jurisdictional issue. They see it as a sign of the future significance the case holds.

The case at the foundation for the justices review is Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, it reviews out-of-state plaintiffs that can sue out-of-state defendants even though the state is not related to the plaintiffs claimed injuries. Many cases include out-of-state plaintiffs  and attorney’s predict the ruling on the issue can possibly result in a decrease of consolidated actions throughout the United States.

Some defendants have filed motions for stays in cases involving out-of-state plaintiffs due to the Supreme Court granting certiorari in a case in January. The motions seeking stay are using the  decision made by the Supreme Court to appeal in Bristol-Myers Squibb as the base of the stay.

“It surprised me with some of these motions, they’re envisioning that the Supreme Court is really going to totally overhaul personal jurisdiction.” said attorney Max Kennerly on the plaintiffs-side mass torts of Kennerly Lautner in Philadelphia.

Multiple lawyers are expecting an increase similar motions being filed, although many declined to speak for the article.

Case filings have been made in consolidated actions and individual product liability according to Kennerly.”This is all new ground, and the defense sees an opportunity to bring things to a halt, frankly,” Kennerly said.

On February 6th the Boston Scientific filed what may be the first motion directed to the certiorari grant in state court in Philadelphia. The filing made by the Boston Scientific was made in the mass tort litigation over its transvaginal mesh products claims.

The motion deals with personal jurisdiction issues similar to the rulings in the Bristol-Myers Squibb and a case called BNSF Railway v. Tyrrell and it claims it will, “will fundamentally change the court of this litigation.”

“Indeed, those decisions will definitely determine the precise issues Boston Scientific continues to raise with respect to personal jurisdiction here: whether non-Pennsylvania plaintiffs whose claims have no connection to the state of Pennsylvania can bring claims in a Pennsylvania court against non-Pennsylvania defendants,” according to the motion.

The motion was filed by Joseph Blum of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, they did not provide a comment.

There are 165 cases estimated of the transvaginal mesh tort pending. Boston Scientific’s  motion for stay was for six out-of-state cases.

The Ford Motor Co. in Santa Fe County filed a similar motion on February 16th. The Court of Appeals of the state of New Mexico was involved in the litigation which included 20 consolidated cases on interlocutory appeal.

There have also been many motions filed Missouri state court against the birth control device Mirena. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, states that out of 306 cases pending in the state action about 18 involve plaintiffs from Missouri. The motion characterized the plaintiffs bar having “funneled hundreds of nationwide claims into this single city court system, and packaged these claims together in carefully structured filings in an attempt to avoid diversity or class-action removal to federal court.”

Staying the litigation would encourage judicial coherence according to a reiterated point made by Bayer in regards to the brief.

“The company has moved for stays in these cases pending the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case that would require dismissal of claims brought by the vast majority of plaintiffs, who are not residents of Missouri,” said Steven Immergut from an email statement.

Although, many of the attorneys handling these cases are not responding to various calls for comment, there is a response from the plaintiffs.

In an emailed statement from an attorney involved in the first two pelvic mesh trails, Shanin Specter, he noted the only motion seeking stay citing Bristol-Myers Squibb, was Boston Scientific’s. Specter said, “wouldn’t be surprised to see copycat motions filed.”

The Bristol-Myers Squibb case, attorneys agree it will change the threshold for establishing personal jurisdiction. Although not all Pennsylvania’s Attorneys are worried, even though it could have serious effects on several states that have large court record of out-of-state plaintiffs.