Recently in General Category

April 15, 2015

Crazy Lawsuit. Or Not . . .??? Just Ask Mickey Mouse . . .

images.jpgExtra, extra read all about it: West Virginia woman files lawsuit against Walt Disney Corporation claiming Disney planted a rubber chip in her body without her knowledge or consent!

She filed the complaint last month in Kanawha Circuit Court, West Virginia. The lady is seeking for monetary damages and for the chip to be removed from her body. Can you blame her?

She is representing herself.

You might be thinking "frivolous lawsuit"! You'd be wrong. This is not a frivolous lawsuit. It is a crazy lawsuit. The difference is that in a frivolous lawsuit something happened to the plaintiff, but it really should not be the grounds for suit, while in a crazy lawsuit, nothing happened to the plaintiff, except in her head.

I tell this story to point out a truth about our legal system: Anyone can sue for anything. If the suit has no merit, it will later get dismissed. But actually filing a lawsuit is easy. Any crazy can do it. No police officer or court attendant stands at the courthouse checking to see whether lawsuits being filed are frivolous or crazy.

But wait. There is a possibility - no matter how remote - that I am wrong about this Disney suit. One has to keep an open mind. Maybe I am the crazy one and the West Virginia woman is not. After all, some weird stuff does go down in Disney. For example, last time I was there a dwarf (there were seven of them) asked me for my ticket while I waited for the Space Mountain ride. Then I saw a human-sized talking mouse walk by! Weird? Well, who's to say that some space alien employed by Disney did not in fact plant a rubber chip in this poor West Virginian's body? Par for the course in Disney.

Hey, maybe I'll call that West Virginia woman and ask her if she wants me to represent her. In Disney terms, I'd be her Knight in Shinning Armor.

Naa. I think I'll pass . . ..

Keep safe .. and sane!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

February 3, 2015

The Mental State Of "Negligence" In New York Personal Injury Cases

just because you did it.pngI came across this lawyer advertising billboard on the web and couldn't convince myself NOT to post it on my blog. So now I have to justify posting it. I am going to somehow tie this sign into New York personal injury stuff. Just wait and see!

When you think about it, the sign is not just funny, or a sad statement about sleazy lawyering, it is actually true. You may have done the act you are accused of doing, but nevertheless be "not guilty" of the crime for a variety of reasons. For example, Bob Marley may have shot the sheriff, but if it was in self-defense (or if he was insane, or if the gun went off by mistake) there may be no "crime".

When deciding whether a defendant committed a "crime", the law looks not only WHAT he did but WHY he did it. What was going on in his head as he did the act? That's what lawyers call "the mens rea", i.e., the mental state. If the defendant kills someone deliberately with premeditation, that's a more serious crime than if it was just careless. And if it was in self-defense, then it was no crime at all.

Ready? Here comes the tie-in to New York personal injury law: The concept of "negligence" - the heart of most personal injury law cases -- also looks into the defendant's state of mind. Was he trying to be careful? Was he looking out for the safety of others? If so he was not "negligent", no matter the harm he may have caused.

For example, if a motorist crosses over into the oncoming lane of traffic and crashes into an oncoming vehicle, that is normally "negligence" because he was careless. If, however, he crossed over to avoid a deer that jumped in front of him and he had only a split second to make that decision, a jury might find he was not "negligent", and therefore is not liable. That's because his mental state was different in each instance.

On the other hand, if the motorist was racing and crossed over to pass another vehicle at break-neck speed, his state of mind could be found to cross over from mere "negligence" into the mental land of "recklessness". That means he was mentally indifferent or wanton or deliberate in putting the public at great risk. This is also called "gross negligence". In New York personal injury law, the jury can award a victim of gross negligence not only compensatory damages, but also punitive damages (make him pay additional money beyond what it takes to compensate the victim in order to punish the offender).

So there you go. Do you agree I have fully justified posting this crazy lawyer billboard? Hope so.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central & Syracuse NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

January 29, 2015

Emoticons Can Be Important Evidence! CNY Personal Injury Lawyer Explains.

th.jpgA spurned man was recently on trial for posting threats against his ex on FACEBOOK. His defense? The "threats" were just a joke, and she should have known it. To support this claim, he pointed to certain emoticons (a facial glyph, used especially in e-mail and online posts, indicating an emotion or attitude) that accompanied the "threats". For example, there was one of a face with a tongue sticking out. This emoticon meant the "threats" were in jest, he claimed.

The prosecutor wanted the threatening posts "read" to the jury, but the man's lawyer - wisely - wanted to bar any open court "reading" of the posts. He wanted the jury to only SEE the posts so they could take into account emoticons. The man's lawyer argued that it would be unfair to merely read in court the posts because the accompanying emoticons could not be "read" aloud. The jury would hear the "threat" without "hearing" the accompanying (and mitigating) emoticon. The posts had to be SHOWN and only SHOWN to the jury!

The lawyer had a point. Certain forms of writing -- like repeated question marks ("???"), distorted words (like "soooo") and emoticons -- can't be reliably or adequately conveyed orally. To do so distorts the meaning.

How did the judge rule? The Judge allowed the posts to be read in open court, but also instructed the jury that the messages had not been communicated that way to the ex. The ex, like everyone else in the FACEBOOK world, would have SEEN the postings with the accompanying emoticons. "The jury should read them," the judge said. "They are meant to be read. The jury should note the emoticons."

Think of how an emoticon can change the meaning of a sentence. "I'm going to kill you!" followed by a wink, tongue out, or a smiley is not same message as a bare "I'm going to kill you".

Fellow lawyers, if you have a case where online postings or emails or texts are coming into evidence, and they were accompanied by emoticons, and the emoticons change the tenor, tone, or the meaning of the post, fight like hell to have the post SHOWN to the jury on a big screen, or at least passed onto the jury at the same time or shortly after they are read aloud in court.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central and Syracuse NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293


January 9, 2015

How To Avoid A DWI Arrest At A Sobriety Checkpoint: CNY Injury Lawyer Explains (Kind of)

DUI flyer.jpgI don't do criminal law. I'm New York personal injury lawyer. But I came across an interesting article about a controversial way to avoid getting "busted" at a sobriety checkpoint. This is criminal defense lawyer stuff. I am not recommending this, or even saying I agree with it. But I just find the technique interesting and wanted to pass it on to my readers.

Here's how it works: As you approach a sobriety checkpoint (a/k/a drunk trap), put your license, registration, proof of insurance and a "note" like the one depicted above in a plastic baggie attached to the exterior of your driver's side window and then roll up the window as you approach the checkpoint.

Then just remember to shut up. Don't answer any questions. Don't talk. The officer outside won't be able to say he smelled any odor of alcohol from behind your closed window, nor will he be able to say he heard you slur words (if you keep quiet). The cop will thus have no "probably cause" to arrest you.

Worried he might get pissed off at your sealed-in silence? You have the right to remain silent! What if he asks you to open your door or window? You have a right to keep them locked and closed! You have a Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches!

Unless the officer can say he saw you driving erratically, or you happen to have a bottle Jack Daniels in your hand, he won't be able to find probable cause to arrest you. Or to make you open the door to search your car.

A video of this technique being tested by a brave Florida driver this past New Year's Eve has gone viral on the internet. How did the cop react? He waved the car on! Will you be so lucky? What if the cop challenges you? What if he threatens to arrest you for failing to obey his order to open your window? In Florida, where this technique has emerged, certain sheriffs have threatened to arrest motorists for "obstruction"- if they try the technique. Yet Constitutional experts say the technique is probably perfectly legal.

I am asking my brave New York readers to drive into a sobriety check point (sober please!), and try this technique. Let me know if it works. Film it for me. Remember, this is not legal advice. In fact, it might be illegal advice. But I'm dying to know how it turns out for you. And if you call me from jail, remember, I am not a criminal defense lawyer!

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Syracuse & Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

December 24, 2014

Funniest / Tackiest Lawyer Commercials Of The Year

Well it's that time of year again. The end. We know you have been waiting breathlessly for our compilation of the funniest / tackiest lawyer commercials of the Year. You need wait no longer. Just click the links!:


And here are some oldies but goodies:


Funny Lawyer TV Commercial by funnycommercial


And don't forget to look up at billboards as you drive along the nation's highways:

http://www.barnorama.com/funny-lawyer-billboards/

Happy New Year everyone!

December 6, 2014

New New York Rule Requires Lawyers to Redact or Omit Identifying Information From Court-Filed Papers.

slience.jpgNew York State has a new rule -- §202.5[e] of the Uniform Civil Rules of the Supreme and County Courts -- requiring attorneys to omit or redact "confidential personal information" from court-filed papers. The "confidential personal information" includes social security numbers (except the last four digits), the dates of birth (except for the year), the full name of a minor (except for the minor's initials), and financial account numbers (except the last four digits). Compliance with the new rule is voluntary until Feb. 28, 2015 at which point it becomes mandatory.

Why this new rule? Identity theft, a growing problem. Identity thieves might conceivable go to the Courthouse or County Clerk's office to peruse publicly available litigation papers in search of enough personal identifying information to get a hold of bank accounts, etc. Further, court-filed papers are soon going online, which will make identity theft even easier.

This new rule makes perfect sense. New York personal injury lawyers like me often file in courthouses and county clerk offices "motions" attaching "pleadings" and deposition transcripts, which traditionally contained private identifying information (client's date of birth, ss number, etc). At Michaels & Smolak we have been proactive in protecting our clients' personal information. For several years now we have refused to disclose our clients' social security numbers in any "pleadings" or other publicly filed documents. When we are required to disclose such information to our opponents, we do so "off the record" so that the information won't inadvertently show up in any public filings.

Attorneys will from time to time inadvertently violate this new rule. When that happens, is the lawyer punished? The rule doesn't say. But bad consequences - including a lawsuit against the lawyer - are likely to result if an identity thief lifts a clients' personal information from court papers filed by their attorney, and then empties the clients' bank accounts. Cautious lawyers thus have a personal incentive to comply with the rule.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

November 29, 2014

Let Me Tell You A Story . . . .

tell story.jpgA good personal injury trial lawyer is a good story teller. That's what it takes to win a trial. A trial is really about competing stories. Whichever side tells the best, most compelling, and most believable story, wins.

That's why a good personal injury trial attorney shuns boring power point presentations with bullet points. Charts, graphs and bullet points are ok to a certain extent. But they had better be quick, colorful, and add to the story.

Why are stories so powerful at persuading juries? That's just the way us humans evolved. Ever since we learned to speak we have been sitting around the fire telling stories that explain everything: The beginning of the universe, the cause of thunder, the creation of us humans. We are hard-wired that way. Our brains "perk up" when we start to hear a story. We pay attention. We get emotionally involved.

If your lawyer thinks a jury trial is just about the facts or the law of your case, then you should probably switch lawyers. Ask your lawyer, "what story are you going to tell at trial"? If his face becomes blank, fire him!

A winning case is always about a winning story. A personal injury lawyer's job is to find the story of the case and breathe life into it at trial.

For example, a slip and fall in a busy store entrance way is not about, "the store owner breaching his duty of care to the customer by failing to salt". The story is about human greed. It's about an owner who wanted to cut costs, and thus pocket more money, at the expense of his customers' safety. It's also about a hard-working family provider who, because of the defendant's greed, can no longer provide for his loved ones.

A good trial lawyer starts looking for the "story" in his case from the time he opens the file. Before trial, he boils the story down to a "theme" - a strong one liner he can repeat over and over again at trial. It's his "hook" for the jury's attention. For example, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit". Or, in our slip and fall case, "the store owner put his profits above our safety".

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

November 11, 2014

Central NY Injury Lawyer's Second Circuit NYC Courtoom Appearance.

images.jpgLast Friday I argued an appeal in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals at 40 Centre Street in Foley Square in downtown Manhattan. I had not done that I quite a while (a decade?).

When you are used to arguing appeals in State court, a Federal appeals court is somewhat intimidating and awe inspiring. But what first impressed me was the security. It is much stricter even than an airport. I flashed my attorney I.D. to the guards, fully expecting to avoid having to subject my possessions to scanning via the conveyer belt. I was wrong. My attorney I.D. was worthless in that Courthouse. Worse, I was told I had to leave my I-pad, I-phone or any other electronic device with Security. No exceptions.

My heart raced! I had my Brief, my notes, and even the entire Record on Appeal for my case in my I-pad. Then I remembered I had outlined my arguments the old-fashioned way on a yellow legal pad, too. I checked to make sure the yellow pad was in my brief case. Whew! It was there.

It was disconcerting to be thrust into the Stone Age in a modern Courthouse. I am hardly ever electronics-free these days.

I stepped into the elevator with my now virtually empty brief case (except a yellow pad and a pen) and pressed "17" to take me to the Courtroom. My opponent was already waiting in the antechamber. When the Courtroom doors finally swung open, my opponent, I, and four other lawyers were ushered in. The calendar consisted of only three arguments that day, so six lawyers.

No sooner had the six of us sat down when what seemed like an army of well-dressed very young lawyers - judicial clerks all of them - marched into the Courtroom and sat in a semicircle around the back of us. I counted twelve of them. Since only three judges sat on the panel, that meant four clerks per judge. They each wielded a legal pad and pen. I wondered what their notes would say about my argument.

The three judges entered through the portico behind their seats. "All rise". The first lawyer to argue had hardly said a word when the judges began peppering him with questions. The panel was "hot", the questioning incisive. The judges knew the issues and the strengths and weaknesses of each position and were itching to flush out all sides of the arguments.

When my case was finally called, my opponent (representing the appellant) climbed up to the podium first. One of the judges immediately began burning a hole right through him with tough and sarcastic questioning about one of his positions. But he held his ground, refusing to cede the point, even though the judge (and I) clearly thought his position was untenable.

My turn came. I got hit by a few tough questions, too, but my positions were easier to defend. It was the luck of the draw. I had the good fortune of having clients with a better legal position. Their arguments made more sense and were better supported by case law. I was glad to be me and not my opponent.

I was also glad to get my I-Pad and I-phone back on the way out of the Courthouse.

The Decision will come out in a few months.

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

October 7, 2014

Why I Write This Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Blog.

fishing (2).jpgWhen I started writing this blog a few years ago, I'll admit I was fishing for new cases. I figured that since the internet was where more and more potential clients were looking for New York injury lawyers, blogging about New York injury cases would bring those surfers to my portal. They would then pick up the phone, call me, and - voila - a new case!

Well, I was wrong. I have not gotten a substantial number of direct new cases from this blog. Every once in a while, yes, I do get a case from my blog posts. But that's not a significant part of my intake. I still get most of my cases from my traditional sources: referrals from prior clients, word of mouth, and from a network of very loyal referring attorneys who love our work product.

So why do I keep blogging? Good question. Let me think about that. Hmm. Ok, I have the answer: I have actually come to enjoy it, at least when I'm not too busy with my cases. And I do get a lot of emails about my posts, sometimes from prospective clients, sometimes from other lawyers. I enjoy discussing the issues raised in my blogs with these folks.

Some New York personal injury lawyers post blogs about recent local accidents, hoping that the victims will see the post and hire them. I'll admit I did that a few times early on. But it didn't feel right, at least not for me. I felt it was too tacky, too aggressive. It felt too much like ambulance chasing. I'm not saying it is wrong or unethical, but it just is not for me.

So I'll keep blogging about New York personal injury issues -- but not about specific local accidents -- when I can find the time. And I hope you will keep reading, when you can find the time. Thanks for that.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

October 6, 2014

Should You Sue Your Best Friend For Your Personal Injuries? CNY Injury Lawyer Explains.

car crash.jpgScenario 1: You're a passenger in your mother's car when she crashes and injuries you (her fault). A year later, you're still not back to your construction job. Should you sue her? But wait, she's your MOM!

Scenario 2: Your best friend's dog bites and mauls you, leaving you with a permanent facial scar resembling a map of Indonesia. Should you sue him? But wait, he's your FRIEND!

There are two problems with suing a close relative or friend for personal injuries: (1) How your relative or friend might react and (2) how the jury might react.

The first problem can be easily addressed. Here is how I address it:

Client: "I don't want to sue my (relative, friend) but I'm really hurt, can't work, and need some money. Can you help me without hurting my (relative, friend)?"

Me: "Yes, and we can limit your claim to the available insurance coverage so that your claim won't hurt your (relative, friend). It will only 'hurt' their insurance carrier. We need to explain to your (relative, friend) that this is a 'friendly' claim, and that you absolutely will not go after any of (his/her) personal assets and that we are seeking only the available insurance coverage."

Most relatives and friends will understand. There will be no hard feelings. If there are, and you want to "call off" the claim, there will still be time to do so.

What about the jury? That's a tougher nut to crack. We are not allowed to tell the jury about insurance. Insurance is just plain "off limits" when talking to a jury or putting in evidence. Thus, some jurors might think you are actually suing your own mother for her money! They may hate you for that!

But in my experience, at least a few jurors will "get it". At least of few of them will know that homeowners' or auto or business insurance is likely to be "behind the scenes" and that we are really going after that. I help them "get it" by asking, in jury selection, whether any of them work for an insurance company. (I am allowed to ask this question, but not allowed to talk directly about whether there is insurance or not in the case). Many jurors will conclude that since I am asking who works for insurance companies, there must be insurance in the case.Those jurors will generally "educate" the others.

Bottom line: When those who love you hurt you, they should want you to get their available insurance money to help compensate you. Don't be afraid to "sue the ones you love". Have your New York personal injury lawyer help you explain to them that the claim will in no way hurt them, and will help you in a big way.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY and Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

September 30, 2014

Central New York Injury Lawyer Finshes Up Trial

photo.JPGI just finished trying a case in Federal Court in Syracuse. It was an unusual case for me. I normally try only New York personal injury cases. But in this trial I represented a fellow lawyer who got fired from her job as Cayuga County Assistant Attorney. We claimed she was fired in retaliation for taking time off under the Family & Medical Leave Act, which would be illegal. Her employer claimed she was fired for job performance issues. I won't have a result for several months; the judge reserved decision.

As with any trial, I put everything I had into it. I took this photo after I had delivered my "blizzard" of exhibits to the Courtroom tables. I had to put together and manage about 125 exhibits. I called about 10 witnesses to the stand -- several of them fellow Cayuga County attorneys -- and cross-examined almost as many. It was a busy trial!

Whatever the result, I am proud of the job I did. My client was pleased with my courtroom performance, as was my "second chair", retired Cayuga County Judge Peter Corning. Judge Corning had handled the case through discovery, and then asked me, with the client's consent, to try it for him.

I am especially proud that a retired Judge whom I have appeared before countless times selected me to try this case for him. I am also proud that a fellow lawyer wanted me to represent her in Court. There is no higher honor for a lawyer than being a lawyer's lawyer.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

June 20, 2014

Auburn NY Personal Injury Law Firm Honors "Hometown Heroes" Again!

doubledays.jpgunited way-thumb-300x125-69782-thumb-250x104-69783-thumb-270x112-69787.jpgFor the second year in a row, the Michaels & Smolak Auburn New York Injury Law Firm is honoring United Way of Cayuga County volunteers as "hometown heroes" at all 38 Auburn Doubledays home games this year.

Here's how it works: At each home game, one United Way volunteer is publicly recognized and honored as a "hometown hero" and receives four game tickets and food vouchers for his or her family and friends. A different volunteer is honored at each home game and the Michaels & Smolak Auburn New York Injury Law Firm funds the program, including the free tickets plus food for the "hometown heroes".

"It's a wonderful program and I am thrilled that they are generously continuing it again this year," said Carrie Collins-Fadell, Executive Director of the United Way of Cayuga County.

The unique aspect of this program is how it recognizes that volunteering is not just an individual effort, but a family, community one. In a United Way press release, Michaels & Smolak attorney Dave Kalabanka, who started and runs the program, explained, "if family and friends aren't right next to the volunteers while they are giving of their time and talents, then they are often helping them balance things at home and work, so that they can volunteer". That's why we at Michaels & Smolak Injury Law Firm are treating not only the volunteers, but their family and friends, as well."

Jan Smolak, another Michaels & Smolak partner, was also quoted in the same press release saying, "there are amazing volunteers in our community that are doing all the things - little and big - that help us remain a successful community. We are happy to recognize and celebrate them for their volunteer efforts."

Judy Lepak, a 16 year United Way volunteer, was the first honored "hometown hero" at last Friday's season opener, followed by Melissa Flask, also a United Way volunteer, who treated her father and friends to the game on Father's Day. Tim Donovan, a Human Services Coalition volunteer is off to the ballpark this weekend to receive his award. A list of all honorees will be available at the conclusion of the 2014 Auburn Doubledays' season.

So readers, if you know of any Cayuga County United Way volunteers who deserve recognition, just email me your nomination. I'll pass it along to the Cayuga County United Way.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Auburn NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

June 12, 2014

Judge Beating Up Lawyer In Court Teaches Us All A Lesson About Our Justice System

boxing lawyer.jpgMany moons ago, before we humans invented a civil justice system, we resolved our disputes by brute force. Might made right. In the words of Thomas Hobbes, life was "nasty, brutish and short."

Then trials and courtrooms evolved. We put down our fists and swords and let judges and juries hear our stories and resolve our disputes.

We've come a long way, baby.

Well, not all of us.

I've been is some pretty hot courtroom battles, and I've seen some angry lawyers and judges, but in my many years in the courtroom I've never seen a lawyer or judge come to fist-a-cuffs. But that's what happened in a Brevard County Courtroom in Florida the other day.

You can see what happened by viewing the video imbedded below. Quick overview: The judge apparently gets angry with the public defender because he won't waive his client's "speedy trial" rights. The Judge angrily tells him, "if I had a rock I would throw it at you". Then all hell breaks loose. The Judge tells the lawyer, who has refused his instruction to sit down, that "if you want to fight let's go out back and I'll just beat your ass." The lawyer then eagerly heads to the back corridor. We then hear the judge yelling, "do you want to fuck with me", and some noise that appears to be blows landing.

Now here's the most disturbing part of the video: The judge comes back into the courtroom, takes his seat, the lawyer never reappears, and the courtroom erupts in applause. Apparently, the public wanted to congratulate the judge for beating the lawyer up.


Moral of the story: Our justice system is a superficial coat of civility which conceals the brutish animal lurking underneath, the one that prefers to take justice into its own hands, and the one that applauds those who do.

In the end, though, civility prevails. The pugilistic Judge has been forced to take a leave of absence for anger management. He will probably lose his job. In the end, justice prevails.

Keep safe (and Civil!)

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

April 13, 2014

Central NY Injury Lawyer's Advice To Young Lawyers

old and young lawyer.jpgAdvice to a young personal injury lawyer:

Hey there young fella. Look at me! Grey hair is creeping up the side of my scalp. I am within shouting distance of 60-years old. I am now a veteran New York personal injury litigator. My running stride is slower, and aches and pains sometimes plague me, but hey, I'm wiser, too. So listen up young whippersnapper! Here's a few lessons I've learned about life in this high-stress, time-consuming job you've chosen.

(1) Keep learning. No matter how good you are, someone else is always better. So be humble. You need to keep learning this trade until the day you die. Never think you know too much.

(2) Keep caring. Try to keep on caring about those you serve. After you have represented a few hundred seriously injured clients, you can get jaded and stop feeling for them. There are two reasons not to let this happen to you: (1) you can't effectively represent seriously injured people if you don't "feel their pain"; (2) your humanity barometer will go crashing to the floor if you let it. Do you want to be a good human? Then care. Really care.

(3) Keep giving back. Even though our job is stressful-as-all-hell, and even though we sometimes have to put in ungodly hours, we are so damn lucky to have a job that pays well and is interesting and exciting at times. 95% of humans are stuck in a rut of boring, oppressive jobs, or worse, have no job at all and live in dire poverty. If you don't think you need to give back, ask yourself where along the road you lost your humanity. Get on a few boards, give generously to not-for-profits, and go volunteer at something. Side benefit: You might get some clients that way, too.

(4) Keep a balanced life. Family and friends matter even more than your job, especially family. Being a good dad, or a good husband, wife or partner, will give you more satisfaction in the long run that just being a good lawyer.

(5) Keep outside interests. Read, travel, play the kazoo in a punk band - whatever floats your boat. But, geez, don't just be lawyer.

(6) Keep in shape: It's the best stress therapy besides sex and beer. Oops - did I just say that? Seriously, Ride a bike, jog, jazzercise - whatever. You and your heart really need this. Side benefit: I can't tell you the number of brilliant case strategies that have occurred to me during those lonely runs.

See ya in Court, kiddo.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

April 8, 2014

Suing For Compensation Beyond Workers' Compensation For New York workplace Injuries.

Picture of Michael Bersani .jpgCan you sue for compensation beyond your workers' compensation benefits if you are injured on the job in New York? Maybe. Find out how by watching my new video about New York personal injury lawsuits for on-the-job injuries.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I'd love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293