A certain firm (I won’t link to them) has been flooding the Iowa airwaves with TV ads featuring William Shatner. We all love Shatner, right? He’s Captain Kirk! He’s Denny Crane! He was on that episode of the Twilight Zone where the Gremlin attacks the plane!
So if this firm could get William Shatner’s support, they must be pretty good, right?
Well, here is William Shatner shilling for some other law firms:
Some firm in Bakersfield California
This one in Virginia
This one in Detroit
You get the idea. There’s a company that cranks these ads out for law firms all over the country. Sometimes they claim to be “local” and say the name of your community when they are in, say, Wisconsin.
That’s not to say that firms who use these ads are bad lawyers. Or good lawyers. I’m sure some are good, some are bad – all have a good advertising budget.
Just know what’s going on. Do your research when picking a lawyer.
(Howard Zimmerle is an attorney with Warner & Zimmerle. We have offices in Rock Island Illinois and Davenport Iowa. We don’t claim to have other offices. William Shatner has never said our name, to the best of our knowledge. You can reach us at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com).
Interesting Iowa Supreme Court decision today. The essential holding is that a party to a civil action does not necessarily have to show up for trial if they can prove their case otherwise. Of course, in most cases, I’d strongly recommend that your client show up.
The real takehome lesson for lawyers here is to make sure to subpoena the opposing party for trial if you need/want any of their testimony. In Illinois, one would do something similar with a Rule 237 notice.
(Howard Zimmerle is a trial lawyer practicing in Iowa and Illinois. He represents people who have been injured in car accidents, by medical malpractice, or in many other ways. He can be reached at hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com or 309-794-1660).
I assume the law on vehicle damage is pretty much the same in every state, right? The general rule is that the plaintiff gets the reasonable cost to repair the vehicle or the value of the vehicle, whichever one is lower.
In trial, the proof should go as follows: Plaintiff proves the value of the repair. Defendant either accepts the value, presents evidence that the real value of the repair is lower or that the value of the repair exceeds the value of the vehicle. If the defendant doesn’t do that, and liability is clear, the plaintiff should win.
Emphasis on “should.” In Iowa, this apparently isn’t the case. The case of Phipps v. Boone County requires the plaintiff to prove both:
A. The reasonable value of repairs, and
B. The value of the vehicle immediately prior to the collision.
Even if there is no objection.
I disagree with this… but Iowa lawyers need to be aware of this when handling property damage in car accident cases.
(Howard Zimmerle is a personal injury lawyer who handles auto accident cases in Iowa and Illinois. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com)