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

Quad Cities Legal Blog

A bad outcome is not always 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.

Peter Thill to Present on Settlements at Annual IWAC Seminar

Attorney Peter Thill will be presenting on Workers' Compensation Settlements at the annual IAWC seminar in West Des Moines, IA on October 17-18, 2019. Pete

What should you include in your estate plan?

Our readers may have seen a recent post here that discussed the wide variety of options that Iowa residents may consider when it comes to putting together a comprehensive estate plan. No two plans are the same, as each will vary depending on the financial and family circumstances of each person putting a plan together. So, what should you include in your estate plan?

A recent article addressed some of the options to consider, including wills, trusts, power of attorney documents and living wills. For many people, all of these estate planning instruments will be part of their comprehensive estate plan. Most people already know that a will is intended to be a set of instructions for how to distribute assets from the deceased person's estate. But, for those with minor children, the document has another important function as well: appointing a guardian or guardians for those minor children. The recent post here about estate planning also mentioned how trusts can be used to avoid probate, but trusts can serve other purposes as well, including putting restraints on assets to avoid, as the recent article noted, "spending sprees" by family members who may not be all that responsible with the funds that will be inherited.

Building a case in civil litigation

Any Quad Cities resident or business entity named as a "defendant" in civil litigation may be taken back by the allegations against them and, therefore, may be struggling to put together a cohesive defense strategy. But, just like plaintiffs, defendants must carefully build their cases to present a comprehensive and persuasive argument to rebut the plaintiff's case in arbitration, mediation or even in a civil trial.

Once a civil case is filed, both sides may have a general idea of where the litigation is going to end -- either being settled or going to trial. The sides may even engage in preliminary discussions about the facts and law that support their respective positions. However, if it becomes obvious from the initial pleadings in the case and discussions with the other side that a quick settlement is not within reach, building the case must begin in earnest. That is when the "discovery" process comes into play.

Know your options when it comes to estate planning

If Quad Cities residents get overwhelmed at the thought of estate planning, that is completely understandable. After all, there is a wide range of potential options when it comes to estate planning -- no two plans are the same. However, there are some common estate planning instruments to consider, and our readers would benefit if they at least understand some of their potential estate planning options.

For starters, many estate plans have a will as the bedrock part of the plan. A will can dictate how a person's assets will be distributed among family members, or friends and charities, if that is how the person sets up the plan. A will is simply a step-by-step plan for family members and probate courts to follow.

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

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