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David Lowe

Liability Insurance Hard to Find After Dog Attack

A column in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Jim Stingl describes a dog owner’s problem obtaining liability insurance following an incident in which her dog ran out of the yard and bit a neighbor. Because Wisconsin has a statute (174.02, Wis.Stats) that awards double damages to a victim of a dog that has bitten before, most liability insurers will refuse to insure a homeowner who does…

Paul Jacquart

Insurance Companies Accused of Fraud in Katrina Claims

The Associated Press has reported that the U.S. Department of Justice is contemplating intervening in a New Orleans lawsuit accusing several major insurance companies of fraud for paying off engineers in order to falsify claims. The “whistleblower” suit filed in the name of two sisters who worked for a company that contracted with State Farm, names State Farm, Nationwide Insurance Co.,…

Paul Jacquart

Collapsed I-35W Bridge Had History of Problems

While various government spokespersons have taken to the airwaves to calm the nerves of American drivers after the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, the media are already examining bridge inspection and maintenance records bearing upon whether officials knew or should have known that the bridge was in poor condition, with one early report making some rather unsettling…

Paul Jacquart

That's Not My Mortgage!

The Washington Post reports that a man in Arlington County Virginia was surprised to receive notice that he had overpaid his second mortgage http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20044213/ because . . . he did not have a second mortgage. It turns out that a thief had stolen his wallet a year earlier and had used his identity to buy a $419,000 house with no money down! Fortunately, this identity thief…

Jenny Albano

Pilots Killed at Two Air Shows

A stunt pilot died after he crashed during a Dayton, Ohio air show on Saturday, July 28. This occurred only a day after another pilot was killed in an accident in an air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.A pilot named Jim LeRoy died on the way to the hospital after his S2S Bulldog biplane crashed on the runway of the Dayton International Airport. The plane had been performing loop-the-loops to…

David Lowe

Legislator Seeking End to U.W. Law Support Is Experienced Pro Se Litigant

Declaring that Wisconsin does not need more “ambulance chasing lawyers”, Rep. Frank Lasee, Republican from Green Bay, has proposed a measure that would end public support for the University of Wisconsin Law School. The measure gained approval from the Republican controlled Wisconsin Assembly and became part of the recently approved Wisconsin Assembly’s budget bill.Appropriately, Governor Doyle…

David Lowe

Wisconsin Court Allows Clergy Abuse Victims To Sue For Fraud

Court decisions by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1995 and 1997 closed the door to the courthouse for childhood victims of sex abuse by priests, holding in John BBB Doe v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee that the statute of limitations had expired three years after the last incident of abuse and, in a case called Pritzlaff v. Archdiocse of Milwaukee, that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was not liable for…

David Lowe

Contingent Fee Lawyers In Public Interest Cases Face Real Risks

Today’s New York Times has published a piece by legal affairs columnist Adam Liptik raising questions about state and local governments’ use of contingent fee lawfirms to handle major litigation, such as tobacco and environmental pollution cases. Most of the criticism of the fee arrangements comes out of the mouths of lawyers defending the polluters and other corporate interests, who would…

David Lowe

Jury Service– Seeing It From The Other Side

Here I am, Monday morning in the Milwaukee County Courthouse– a familiar time and location. But this time I am sitting in the jury assembly room with a jury summons in my hand. This is my first opportunity for jury service, and one that I am looking forward to. We are sitting in auditorium type seating, unacquainted with one another, no one talking, all somewhat uncomfortable in these strange…

David Lowe

Pet Food Recall Raises Issue Of Remedies For Pet Owners' Loss Of Companionship

The recall of contaminated pet food manufactured by Menu Foods, Inc. of Streetsville, Ontario, Canada, will awaken the public to the fact that state laws give rather meager court remedies to owners who lose a pet due to negligence. The recall, announced March 17, 2007, involved 60 million containers of pet food of the “Cuts and Gravy” style. The food was sold in stores between December 3 and…