Betty, Neuman & McMahon, P.L.C.

Quad Cities Legal Blog

Understanding all the crucial steps in a personal injury trial

Quad Cities defendants in a personal injury trial need to have a plan. These types of cases can involve significant emotional affect and thousands -- if not millions -- of dollars. To have a solid plan, it is important for defendants in a personal injury case to understand all of the crucial steps in a trial.

The first -- and, some will say, most crucial -- part of a jury trial is the selection of the jury who will listen to the facts and applicable law in the case. During this process, both sides -- plaintiff and defendant -- will be able to ask questions of the potential jurors, seeking to select jurors who will be able to be fair and impartial when listening to all aspects of the case. Of course, there is a lot of analysis of the personalities of the potential jurors as well, as both sides look for advantages in the case.

Is your employee justified in filing a wrongful discharge claim?

You may not feel surprised to learn that a former employee has filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination. No matter how carefully you followed company policy, employment law and your own sense of fairness, the thought of facing a lawsuit may have you second-guessing yourself as a business owner or manager.

The termination of an employee is certainly one of the most delicate matters you have to deal with in your position. It is not unusual for a terminated employee to feel persecuted or unfairly treated. However, with the right legal assistance and a thorough gathering of the facts, you may find you can successfully defend against the unfounded accusations.

Defense approaches to personal injury claims

Being named as a Quad Cities defendant in a personal injury lawsuit can send an individual, business or municipality into full-on evaluation mode. What is the source of the claim? Is there any validity to the claim? What is the extent of damages that is being claimed? These questions, along with many others, are usually the first to pop up in the mind of a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.

But, after those initial reactions, it is time to start planning a defense strategy. In some cases, a quick settlement may be possible. In others, protracted litigation may be the only option to attempt to achieve a realistic goal. Whatever the case may be, defendants need to have the right approach to a personal injury claim.

Investors allege fraudulent misrepresentation over funding of energy project

Investors in an Iowa biogas project are claiming that developers didn't have the funding -- $15 million -- they claimed they had. The investors' lawsuit alleges fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract and theft, among other allegations.

Reports about the pending litigation indicate that some of the infrastructure for the $25 million facility in question was indeed constructed, but at some point the developers simply did not have the money to proceed, which was news to the investors. 

Estate planning: What are the basics of a trust?

Of all of the available options in estate planning, trusts are one of the most vexing components for many people.

So, what can a trust do? Well, for starters, it is important to clarify your own goals, then decide how to structure the trust to achieve those goals. For example, if you want to minimize your estate's tax obligations, structure how your family members or other beneficiaries receive trust assets, or protect the interests of a loved one with disabilities, then creating a trust may be the best option.

Defending employers in workers' compensation cases

Some people in the Quad Cities may believe that the workers' compensation process is almost "automatic." However, that is far from the case. Just because workers submit claims that they were injured on the job does not mean that workers' compensation benefits will be paid to those individuals. An application for workers' compensation benefits will be scrutinized to make sure it is a valid claim.

Now, most of these types of claims are usually, in fact, valid, at least to some extent. But, there are some that need a bit of push back from employers, whether they are large or small employers. The severity of the injury in question may come into doubt, as might the duration of time that the injured worker is expected to miss time from work. The circumstances of the accident that caused the injury may even be called into question. Facts and details, as in all legal matters, are crucial in a workers' compensation claim.

A bad outcome is not always medical malpractice

In your work as a physician, not every case turns out as you would hope, and some patients simply cannot find the healing they are seeking. This may be because they wait too long to seek help, their symptoms are not immediately discernable, they are not truthful when answering your questions or they do not follow your advice for whatever reason. Often, a bad end is simply because the patient's unique physiology does not respond to treatment.

When things do not go well for patients, it is common for them to blame the doctor. While this may seem a reasonable assumption to the patient, in the eyes of the law, a negative outcome does not necessarily translate to medical malpractice.

Addressing sensitive issues in joint ventures

A joint venture between two companies can be a positive and profitable experience, but the underlying structure of the relationship, as well as the expected goals to be achieved, must be carefully outlined in advance. Addressing sensitive issues in joint ventures is a crucial part of the negotiation process.

Joint ventures involve significant planning so that the parties can attempt to anticipate how they would address any eventuality or contingency that occurs throughout the course of the business relationship. The planning process usually starts at determining how the joint venture will be governed and managed. The legal implications of the various options should be carefully considered, as this choice will likely impact all others, as well as the outlook for a successful outcome for the joint venture.

Recent Decision: Notice Defense Successful to Iowa Employer in Workers' Compensation Action

Attorney Peter Thill obtained a favorable decision for an Employer upholding a notice defense before the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commission.

Recent Decision: Grant of Summary Judgment to Employer in Bad Faith Action Upheld before Iowa Court of Appeals

The Iowa Court of Appeals affirms a decision of the district court granting summary judgment to the employer and third party administrator in a bad faith action. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court ruled in favor of the Defendants finding that the employee could not prove that the employer lacked a reasonable basis for denying workers' compensation benefits. The underlying defense and appeal for the employer and third-party administrator was handled by Amanda Richards assisted by Brandon Lobberecht.

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Betty, Neuman & McMahon, P.L.C.
1900 East 54th Street
Davenport, IA 52807

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