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February 2015 Archives

Pam Menaker Writes Article for ABA Litigation News on Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Pamela Sakowicz Menaker, Communications Partner at Clifford Law Offices, wrote an article for the American Bar Association Litigation News for which she serves as a Contributing Editor. The article that was published Feb. 11, 2015, dealt with the issue of professional liability insurance coverage involving a False Claims Act case. In a complex case to come out of Pennsylvania, the court discusses the issues of professional liability insurance coverage that was precluded even when the insured is not served with an underlying sealed lawsuit during the policy period and had no formal notice of a potential claim. The case revolves around the definition of "claim" and lawyers are advised to be careful in their drafting of policies so that the contract clearly covers prior or pending litigation. If it means increased premiums because the language is broader, the cost may be worth it for some. To read the article in its entirely, please visit: https://apps.americanbar.org/litigation/litigationnews/top_stories/021115-insurance-exclusion-coverage.html Also, Menaker has been asked to serve on the ABA Host Committee for the 2015 Annual Meeting to be held in Chicago in July-August. It is expected to be jam-packed with events and a tremendous turnout. To view more about this week-long event, go to the ABA website at www.americanbar.org.

Bob Clifford Speaks on Closing Arguments at ITLA Seminar

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, was invited to speak on "Closing Arguments" at the annual Damages Seminar sponsored by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA). Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at the firm, was the program planning co-chair of this half-day seminar held this morning, Feb. 16, 2015, Presidents' Day and a court holiday. The program was approved for four hours of continuing legal education credit (CLE). The Hon. Elizabeth M. Budzinski, associate judge, Law Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, closed the program with "Observations from the Bench." The seminar was held at the Westin River North hotel, 320 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Pictured above is Bob Clifford speaking at the podium. Brad Cosgrove is far left. _____________________ For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices' Communications Partner Pamela S. Menaker at 847-721-0909 or 312-899-9090.  

Chicago Law Firm Sponsors Webinar on Ethics of Conflicts of Interest

Clifford Law Offices of Chicago is sponsoring a free two hour continuing legal education program webinar on "The Ethics of Conflicts of Interest" next Thursday, February 19, 2015. This is the eighth annual Clifford Law Offices Continuing Legal Education Series. The webcast will provide interested lawyers and judges answers to the following questions:

Chicago Trial Lawyer Talks Credibility in the Courtroom

In 2014 Robert A. Clifford, Senior Partner at Clifford Law Offices, spoke to the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation at a 3-day conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Clifford participated in a panel discussion during the all-day program titled "An Anatomy of a Trial." Clifford disseminated the following legal advice to a packed room where many of the attendants were law school students:
"Credibility is the most important thing you will ever have in a courtroom." ~Robert A. Clifford, Chicago trial lawyer, Senior Partner at Clifford Law Offices, Member of the Inner Circle of Advocates (one of 100 of the Best Plaintiff Lawyers in the United States)

Drug Manufacturers Underreporting Medication's Side Effects, Report Finds

According to a new study conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the main mechanism for tracking and documenting serious side effects associated with medications is deeply flawed, according to The New York Times ("Drug Maker's Data on Side Effects Is Called Lacking in a Report," Feb. 2, 2015). The study found that this problem is attributable to drug manufacturers themselves, alleging that these companies are submitting incomplete information in the reports to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The New York Times reported. It is not that medication manufacturers are not submitting such reports to the FDA, but that reports do not meet the basic standards for completeness in that they omit the patient's age, sex and the date of the event complained of, according to The New York Times. This information is critical to the FDA for proper evaluation of how drugs affect specific groups of people, according to the Wall Street Journal. Drug manufacturers are required to disclose to the FDA each and every instance that comes to their attention of an adverse event attributable to a drug they manufacture under FDA rules. However, less than half of reports filed are considered "complete" under FDA standards, the Wall Street Journal reported. While a few companies were commended by the FDA for consistently submitting high quality reports, many others were condemned for a complete lack of due diligence, according to The New York Times story. Manufacturers responded to these allegations by claiming that the lack of information is attributable to the fact that consumers and/or doctors are not directly filing reports to the manufacturers, but instead the companies are left learning of the complications from medical literature that does not always contain the information the FDA claims is lacking, according to The New York Times.

Indonesian Ministry of Transportation Plans to Publish Safety Ratings of all Scheduled Indonesian Airlines

Following a number of recent aviation tragedies in Southeast Asia, it is being reported that the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation plans to publish safety ratings of all scheduled Indonesian airlines perhaps as early as next month. It also is being reported that the Ministry of Transportation plans to encourage the entire airline industry to put safety as a priority, according to a statement by the transportation minister as reported by the Aviation Safety Network: http://news.aviation-safety.net/2015/01/29/indonesian-ministry-of-transportation-to-publish-airline-safety-ratings/ Indonesia's transport minister, Ignasius Jonan, reportedly said that airlines would be evaluated every three months and those that receive poor safety ratings would be punished, according to The Straits Times in a Jan. 27, 2014 story by Reuters. He did not elaborate on what the ratings systems or sanctions would be. The latest aviation disaster involved Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ 8501 that crashed into the Java Sea killing all 162 people on board Dec. 28, 2014. The transport minister has suspended AirAsia's Surabaya-Singapore license for operating flight QZ8501 on a Sunday, for which it did not have permission. The transport minister proposed a number of rule changes at a parliamentary hearing last week, including requiring daily health checks for flights crews and air traffic controllers. The odds of a person dying in a plane crash is about 1 in 11 million, three planes - two based in Malaysia and the third the AirAsia Flight that was an Indonesian affiliate of a Malaysia-based group - all have gone down with no apparent survivors. It has raised the serious question of whether flying in peninsular Southeast Asia is safe. A story released by Bloomberg News, "Why Air Disasters Keep Happening in Southeast Asia," by reporter Joshua Kurlantzick published on Dec. 29, 2014, examines this issue and concludes, "The air market in that region has embraced low-cost carriers, leading to a proliferation of flights throughout Southeast Asia, stretching air traffic controllers, and possibly allowing some airlines to expand too rapidly. Indonesian carriers, air traffic controllers, and Indonesian airspace in general have become notorious for weak safety regulations" To read the entire Bloomberg story, click here: http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-12-29/why-air-disasters-keep-happening-in-southeast-asia It awaits to be seen if the course of action announced by the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation will make a difference in that part of the world for those who fly.

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