Bob Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, recently moderated a program in conjunction with the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. The topic was jury selection and three prominent judges from the Cook County Law Division participated in the afternoon seminar. Left to right are: Judge Tom Lyons, Judge Donald Suriano and Judge James P. Flannery, Jr., Chief Judge of the Law Division.
Surgical rooms' sterile environments are being contaminated by air-borne pathogens, according to a recent study published by the Journal of Hospital Infection. Forced-air patient warning systems appear to be presenting a problem that may have previously gone overlooked, according to the study. For example, at least three orthopedic-implant patients have sued 3M for its market-dominating Bair Hugger after these patients suffered deep-joint infections in cases that were previously rejected for lack of proof of causation, according to Stop Surgical Infections, a group dedicated to educating healthcare professionals about the risks and consequences of surgical infections. The article, "Infection Control Hazards Associated with the Use of Forced-air Warning in Operating Theatres," appears in the Aug. 26, 2014 issue of the Journal. The authors summarized the findings of 10 peer-reviewed studies regarding infection rates of forced-air warnings and found that one study showed a three-fold decrease in deep joint infections when air-free warnings were used. Another study showed a 217,000 percent increase in contamination over the wound site when the forced-air warning was used. Another study reported 96 percent of the systems emitted "significant levels of contaminants." One patient reportedly created a website to warn people of these dangers: http://www.rosiesdream.com/blog. In that blog, she writes about envisioning a world without the deadly virus MRSA.
A Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two rocket plane exploded and crashed during a test flight Friday, Oct. 31, killing one crew member and seriously injuring another, according to authorities. The fiery crash was captured on video and played on media outlets across the world as the plane dropped away from its carrier airplane and fired up its hybrid rocket engine. The blast scattered debris across a two-mile area of the desert north of Mojave outside of Los Angeles, according to NBC News. One pilot was killed at the scene and the other was able to parachute to the ground and was transferred to Antelope Valley Hospital, according to Kern County Deputy Fire Chief Michael Cody. Both pilots reportedly worked for Mojave-based Scaled Composites, according to reports by NBC News. The test flight was important because Virgin Galactic had planned to use this SpaceShip Two to fly passengers on suborbital trips to the edge of space as early as next year, according to media reports, which also have indicated that a nearly identical rocket is already under construction with more than 700 customers, including celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber having paid as much as $250,000 to take a ride. The pilots on the plane from which the SpaceShip dropped away from called WhiteKnightTwo were able to land safely. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) team has been at the crash site over the weekend to determine the probable cause of the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also reportedly is investigating the crash. The fatal flight on Halloween was part of SpaceShip Two's years-long test program by Virgin Galactic, a company founded by billionaire Richard Branson who it is said was hoping to be on the first commercial flight next year. He told the media that "'We are determined to find out what went wrong.'" He reportedly flew to the crash site and said that he still "'would like to see the dream living on,'" according to NBC News. Branson said that anyone who wants their money back for a future flight will get a refund, NBC News reported. Friday's crash was the second disaster in less than a week suffered by a private space company. Last Tuesday (Oct. 28) an Antares rocket built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp. Exploded after liftoff from Wallops Island, Virginia, destroying a cargo ship full of supplies bound for the International Space Station.
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the fifth consecutive year, announce the 2015 "Best Law Firms" rankings and Clifford Law Offices of Chicago ranked a Tier 1 in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Plaintiffs' Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs' Product Liability Litigation. It ranked a Tier 2 in the area of Plaintiff's Medical Malpractice Law. Firms included in the 2015 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. "For 30 years, U.S. News has provided consumers with accurate, in-depth information and rankings of a wide range of institutions," said Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report. "Law firms are an integral part of our rankings and a natural accompaniment to the law school rankings." The 2015 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. More than 17,000 attorneys provided almost 600,000 law firm assessments, and almost 7,500 clients provided more than 40,000 evaluations. "For five years, we have combined massive amounts of hard data with peer reviews and client assessments to develop our law firm rankings," said Steven Naifeh, CEO and Co-Founder of Best Lawyers. "Increasingly, clients tell us that ours are the most thorough, accurate, and helpful rankings of law firms available anywhere." Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity. Awards were given in 74 national practice areas and 120 metropolitan practice areas. One "Law Firm of the Year" is named in 73 of the nationally ranked practice areas. The 2015 "Best Law Firms" list will be featured in two publications, distributed later this month. The national first-tier rankings will be featured in the second edition of the "Best Law Firms" Legal Issue, which will be distributed to over 30,000 C-level executives. National and metropolitan first-tier rankings will be featured in the "Best Law Firms" General Counsel Publication, which will be distributed to more than 30,000 in-house counsel and in digital format to more than 60,000 private practice lawyers worldwide. The 2015 "Best Law Firms" rankings can be seen in their entirety by visiting bestlawfirms.usnews.com.