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Washington Legal News

Date: 7/28/14

The Brett Murphy Law Firm is very pleased to announce the recipient of the Brett Murphy Future Leaders Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Congratulations Joshua H. Ontell!

We received scholarship applications from deserving candidates from across the country. We were truly impressed with the academic breadth of experience and interests displayed by our diverse group of applicants. We sincerely wish we could award all applicants with a scholarship!

Joshua H. Ontell was selected, based upon his impressive academic record and strong personal connection to the area of personal injury law. Joshua will be attending the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School while continuing his work for a leading human rights and international development non-profit organization.

A hearty thank you to all applicants for this scholarship. The Brett Murphy Law Firm plans on offering this scholarship again for the 2015-2016 academic school year, and we encourage eligible applicants to watch for that announcement through their university scholarship/financial aid departments.

Date: 7/23/14

I just returned from the annual WSAJ convention in Skamania, Washington.  Amongst a vast number of interesting talks, the issue of “making the ask” for money from a jury came up several times.  In a discussion with a colleague during a break, we chatted about another instance where you have to make an ask – when you discuss claim value with your client for the first time. 

This is a crucial aspect of handling a claim, since client expectations of a claim’s value can be wildly overestimated, sometimes leading to difficulty negotiating a fair settlement, and a dissatisfied client.

To resolve this issue early, it is important for the client to understand the real claim value, but approaching this topic in an effective way is challenging, because you are essentially asking them to value their own claim in a way very similar to what a jury does. 

So, when do you make “The Ask”?

You should discuss this topic the first time you meet with a client, before they have even retained you. 

This serves several important purposes.  The first and probably most important is that this is information you client wants to know, perhaps more than any other aspect of a potential claim. They have no idea what their claim is worth, and do not know whether following through with their claim will be worth the effort. 

So tell them immediately - it’s a valuable service to provide, even to people you later determine are not folks you can help.

Secondly, having this money conversation immediately gives you critical information about what your client’s expectations are.  There is an old saying - the case you didn’t take is the best money you ever saved.   Oftentimes, unrealistic expectations form the foundation of a difficult attorney-client relationship. 

When you discuss money with your client from the beginning, you have an early preview of how they will evaluate their claim.  If your client’s expectations do not match up with your evaluation of the claim, it is better to know that immediately and think twice about taking on a particular case. 

Finally, it allows you to frame your client’s expectations from the very beginning.  It can be a real hurdle to deal with a client who, several weeks after retaining you, says, “I looked at how much cases like mine are worth on the internet and…” There are so many ways for clients to search for claim value information on the internet that if you don’t guide them, some website of unknown accuracy will, and this inaccurate valuation of a claim will cause problems down the road.

So, we know we need to discuss money with the client right away – but how?

I discovered some time ago that the most effective way to bring up the discussion of claim value with a client is to use the common insurance policy amounts to help gently frame the claim value.  In Washington State, the minimum for liability coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, 25/50.  The other insurance amounts you will see on Washington policies are 50/100, 100/300, and 250/500.  So depending on the nature of the case, I can talk about the different outcomes depending on what coverage the defendant may have. 

For instance, I might say “Well, we know that unless something changes dramatically in your medical condition, if the other driver has a $50K we should be ok, but if its only $25K we should talk about possibly making a UIM claim.”  Here I just told my client that their claim is worth between $25K-$50K without having to hammer them over the head with it, or suggest that their injuries are not highly valued.  

And I make sure to include in my answer that a change in their medical condition could change the value of the claim.  I feel that this does a good job of calming the normal fears that the client will left financially exposed if their injuries require additional treatment or result in permanent disability.

 I also use this opportunity to warn clients about the risks of overtreatment.  Many things affect claim value, but for many types of soft tissue injuries the value of the claim does not change, even if the client  underwent $4,000 in massage or $15,000 in chiropractic treatments.  When they know how much a claim is worth, it helps put perspective on how much money they want to spend on so-called “soft treatment” knowing that much of that may ultimately be unreimbursed and come out of their own recovery.           

People come to me after a collision seeking answers to the many questions that come up after they are hurt.  One of the determinative questions is the value of their claim.  I hope this quick piece has given you some tips on how to talk to your client about the true value of their case, and to empower them to make good decisions about how to handle their claim.

- David Brown

If you have been injured in an accident and need information about your rights and options, give us a call today at 1-800-925-1875. You can also complete our confidential contact form.

Date: 7/21/14

Brett Murphy attorney Paula McCandlis discusses her recent experience volunteering for the Street Law Program of Law Advocates.

Street Law is coordinated by Law Advocates, an extraordinary local non-profit organization that provides free legal help for low-income people and families facing non-criminal legal problems. The Street Law program is a free legal advice clinic offering people consultations with volunteer attorneys.

It can be easy to overlook the value that a program like Street Law provides the low income population. But Paula's day working with Street Law, communicating with people who truly need legal assistance and who are grateful for the support they receive, showed her how rewarding her volunteer effort proved to be for herself as well. We encourage all attorneys to consider volunteering for this or a similar organization. It just takes a day and provides invaluable help for the community.

Go to Paula's blog to learn more about her experience.

Date: 7/18/14

One of my great frustrations in representing injured people is the cost of medical records, a cost which is ultimately passed on to the client.[1]  In a recent blog post by attorney Max Kennerly of the Beasley Firm in Philadelphia, Mr. Kennerly discusses that although clients have the right to obtain their medical records and should be able to do so in an inexpensive and prompt manner, there has arisen an industry around charging high fees to provide medical records from hospitals and other medical providers.

Mr. Kennerly does a good job of describing several ways that federal law has attempted to limit the abuses of hospitals and medical insurance companies who have attempted to turn medical records requests into another profit center for the organization.  Mr. Kennerly states:

“Federal law is quite clear: a patient has the “right to obtain from [their health care providers] a copy of [their medical records] in an electronic format,” 42 USC § 17935(e)(1), and that health care provider is allowed to bill “only the cost of … [c]opying, including the cost of supplies for and labor of copying,” 45 CFR 164.524(c)(4)(i)."

Unfortunately, these organizations have gone to great lengths to avoid these regulations.  In Washington State where I practice, a bill sponsored by the Washington State Association for Justice attempted to regulate this practice at the state level, but was defeated by powerful corporate interests seeking to maintain a profitable side business. SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2074 would have allowed patients to receive their medical records for free so they can pay an outstanding bill, but the bill failed to move out of the Senate Health Care Committee in time, despite having no opposition.

The other issue that we cope with, as lawyers representing injured people, is that oftentimes we want these records certified and Bates stamped, to satisfy the defendant’s insurance company or risk management department.  This requires the use of a records retrieval and copying service, which adds even more to the cost.  This is translated to our clients, who pay the costs out of their settlements and verdicts.

In his blog article, Mr. Kennerly includes a sample letter that an attorney can use when requesting clients’ medical records, and it is extremely well worded. I encourage attorneys to read it, as it is comprehensive, cites all related legislation and law, and is designed to deal directly with the delays and run-around often used by large medical facilities.

My office spends a great deal of time and money obtaining our clients’ medical records. Attorneys and the public need to constantly push lawmakers to regulate the cost of medical records, so that our own medical histories are no longer used as profit centers for corporations.    

- David Brown, Brett Murphy

1-800-925-1875



[1] The Washington State Bar Association Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(e)(1) requires that the client must be ultimately responsible for litigation costs which include the cost of obtaining medical records.

 

Date: 6/25/14

Brett Murphy attorney Dean Brett gave a fascinating interview recently to South Fork Law, a radio show that focuses on local, regional, and national legal topics. The interview was not lengthy, a mere half an hour, but in that short time Dean covered topics including:

  • How his experience growing up poor in a family that had lost everything in the Great Depression resulted in Dean’s distaste for economic injustice, which influenced his decision to become an attorney;
  • Why the infamous Hillside Strangler case, for which Dean was appointed defense attorney to Kenneth Bianchi, drove Dean out of criminal law forever;
  • How the practice of law has changed over the years;
  • What separates a lawyer from a good lawyer;
  • How Dean helps his personal injury clients deal with the fact that the money recovered from a claim cannot take away the pain from injuries, often lasting a lifetime.

The interview will be of interest to any attorney who would value the insight of one of Washington State’s most successful attorneys. Go to the South Fork Law site to listen to the interview. Also at the site are interviews with many other regional attorneys from a wide range of legal practice areas, which promise both entertainment and valuable insight into a variety of legal topics.

Learn more about South Fork Law at their Facebook page.

Learn more about Dean Brett and his background at Dean’s Biography page.

Date: 6/13/14

We would like to congratulate Brett Murphy attorneys Dean Brett, John Murphy, and David Brown for their selection by Washington Super Lawyers Magazine as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

The Super Lawyer program was created in 1991 as a way to establish a credible, objective and comprehensive listing of outstanding attorneys, to be used as a resource by both attorneys and those seeking legal counsel. The program relies on a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by Super Lawyers' attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.

Dean Brett has been chosen as a Super Lawyer every year since 2000. Please go to this link to see Dean's profile on the Super Lawyers site.

John Murphy has been selected each year since 2011. You can see John's profile by clicking here.

And for the second year in a row, David Brown has been selected as a Rising Star. To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less. While up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars. You can view David's Super Lawyers profile here.

The experienced attorneys at Brett Murphy work solely in the area of personal injury and wrongful death law. If you have been injured or need legal services in these areas, contact us for a no cost consultation.

 

Date: 4/7/14

As the devastation of the Oso landslide becomes more apparent with each passing day and the disaster appears to clearly involve dangerous logging practices, attorney Dean Brett recalls similar landslides in the past where he handled the legal claims for the families of the victims. Similar to the Oso mudslide, the horrific landslides from which Dean handled five lawsuits were the result of unsafe logging practices and governmental negligence.

Landslides don’t just happen.  They are caused by a combination of steep slopes, recurrent heavy rainfall, unstable soils, and defective logging practices.  In five cases similar to the Oso slide, Dean successfully recovered significant damages for downhill owners inundated by landslides.  Four of the five lawsuits settled out of court, and the fifth resulted in the largest verdict ever rendered by a Skagit County jury at the time – a record which stood for 22 years until Brett surpassed his own record in a later Skagit County case.

The effectiveness of these landslide cases is often hinged on building a team of expert witnesses who could explain how each landslide was caused.  In the trial of Wilson, Smith and Bower v DNR and Georgia Pacific, Skagit County Cause # 86-2-00164-9, Dean built exactly that, and the resulting verdict enabled surviving family members to recover financially, even though they would never fully recover emotionally from the loss of their loved ones.

Early one November morning following heavy rains, a massive mudslide roared down Lookout Mountain into Cascade River Park, a recreational development in eastern Skagit County. Bill Bower, 74, Alice Bower, 73, and Betsy Jean Wilson, 63, were killed instantly. Claire Wilson, 64, was buried alive for 13 hours before he was pulled from the debris; he died 13 days later.

Their attorney Dean Brett faced a significant challenge:  since the mudslide originated from an old logging road that had been abandoned for 23 years, would a jury hold the state liable for a defect in a road built in the 40's and not used since 1962?

Brett focused on the Department of Natural Resources' practice of not inspecting or maintaining old logging roads that had been abandoned before the 1974 Forest Practices Act. The central liability theme was presented in the question: is the Department of Natural Resources' practice of refusing to inspect or maintain pre-1974 logging roads, even above established residential communities, negligent?

The DNR admitted to the lack of inspections but argued that since there are thousands of miles of old logging roads, it would be impractical or impossible to inspect or maintain all of them. The claimants countered with a team of four experts who documented the danger associated with this practice.

First, a geomorphologist testified that landslides such as this occur when four interrelated conditions are present: steep slopes, recurrent heavy rainfall, unstable fill at switchbacks on logging roads, and defective drainage. The fourth critical factor, defective drainage, is particularly within human control; thus, DNR's failure to inspect and correct the defective drainage was found to be a direct cause of the landslide. 

In the Darrington Oso landslide, the DNR approved clear cutting on the hillside above Steelhead Drive even though they knew the steep slopes were composed of unconsolidated sediment, mostly sand and silt.

Second, a climatologist analyzed the weather data to demonstrate that the mudslide was not caused simply by an unusually massive rainstorm. By analyzing all of the rainfall data ever obtained in the surrounding area, he estimated that the four inches of rain that fell in the 24 hours preceding the mudslide would have a probability of recurring once every 13 years and consequently could not alone be blamed for the mudslide.  A similar statistical analysis of the rainfall preceding the Darrington Oso landslide could be generated from publically available data.

Third, in the earlier case of Wilson, Smith and Bower v DNR and Georgia Pacific, a noted forest hydrologist demonstrated that the blocked drainage had effectively rechanneled a natural stream onto the logging road at an area of instability. There the water saturated the unstable soil, increased its pore pressure, increased its mass and decreased the forces resisting a landslide to a point of disequilibrium. 

Fourth, a consulting forester pointed out that simple drainage control devices, well known in the logging industry at the time the road was abandoned in 1962, could have been installed so as to prevent the diversion of water that ultimately caused the mudslide. 

There has been significant work done on the soil condition of the Darrington Oso hillside – work that was completed before the tragic slide but not taken into consideration by the DNR in granting forest land clearing permits.

The DNR blamed the Cascade River Park mudslide on channel changes so recent that reasonable inspection could not have been expected to find them. But Brett’s team had created videotapes of the site, aerial photography, and professional photography which demonstrated that the drainage diversion had existed for more than 10 years.

In the Darrington Oso landslide, the best forest practices were not used, helping to accumulate the water that super saturated the area of the landslide.

A landslide is usually not just a natural disaster that is unavoidable, but often involves an aspect of negligence. These are tragic cases, with devastated families and communities, and well-funded at-fault parties who will vigorously defend all claims.  Only by putting together a team of experienced lawyers and experts can the survivors hope to recover appropriate compensation for their massive losses.

- Dean Brett

To donate to the victims of the Oso landslide, please go to the American Red Cross site at this link. There is also a great resource page to learn the many ways to help the Oso mudslide victims at this Northwest Justice project page.

Date: 3/18/14

We are all shocked at the story this morning of the helicopter crash in Seattle that has taken two lives and has left one person in critical condition. While folks are accustomed to hearing about car accidents and the toll they take on victims, we never expect to hear about helicopter and airplane accidents, much rarer events.

This tragic accident really hits home for the Brett Murphy legal team, which has handled other helicopter and aircraft accidents over the years. One in particular was an intensely challenging and difficult case, with multiple victims, dozens of family members looking for answers and for justice, and a years-long, complicated legal process that we fought across multiple courts and jurisdictions.

The news this morning is extraordinary, and at this writing is still unfolding. A helicopter, being used by the local Seattle television station KOMO, crashed immediately after take-off from the station’s helipad on the building roof, right next to the world-famous Seattle Center and Space Needle. The two occupants of the helicopter have died but have not yet been identified to the public. One man who was in a car that was hit by the crashing helicopter was critically injured with extensive burns and is being treated at a local hospital. There may be other victims who have yet to be found.

This crash today has some similarity to a case that the Brett Murphy team tackled recently. In that case, a group of nine young skydivers were returning from a weekend trip in a small rented aircraft flown by a hired pilot. As the plane climbed in altitude over a mountain range, the craft developed ice on the wings and instruments, and was unable to function properly. It plunged to the ground, instantly killing all 10 people aboard.

Based on our experience, Brett Murphy was chosen to represent all of the nine passengers’ families, and we began to carefully uncover the facts of the case.

Because there were substantial issues of pilot error, we chose not to represent the pilot. Weather data had predicted icing conditions in the plane’s flight path. The pilot of the plane was at primary fault for failure to maintain an adequate airspeed to avoid an aerodynamic stall while maneuvering. There were also substantial issues regarding de-icing systems and a stall warning device.

In combination, these errors resulted in the deaths of nine people, all in the prime of their lives. This tragic accident is the largest plane crash in the U.S. since 2007. The resulting confidential settlement of the wrongful death claims could not in any way reduce the loss felt by the surviving family members, but it helped the families move forward in their lives and believe that justice had been served.

Learn more about airplane and helicopter accidents at our Aircraft Accidents page.

The case also illustrates how difficult these claims are, both emotionally for the victims and their families, and legally for attorneys who need to use all available resources and invest vast amounts of time to finding out the facts of what led to the accident. Brett Murphy Law Firm had an advantage because its attorneys had managed aviation claims several times in the past, and understood the processes and legal issues they would face as they worked to recover what they could for the victims’ families. The case took several years to conclude, and required vast resources to efficiently handle its size and complexity.

The crash in Seattle today could have also been caused by a number of factors, which will take considerable time and effort to identify. Sometimes crashes like these are caused by unforeseeable forces like weather; but through our years of handling aviation accidents, we have found that there is usually a factor that could and should have been avoided. As the investigation continues, these factors will begin to emerge.

Airplane and helicopter crashes are almost always devastating, and the victims and their families have a long, painful road ahead as they struggle to deal with the unexpected and tragic loss of their loved ones, as well as injuries, medical treatment, and recovery. Our hearts go out to everyone involved, as we have seen first-hand the challenges and heartaches that they face.

UPDATE: The two deceased men have been identified as KOMO News photographer Bill Strothman and pilot Gary Pfitzner. The person injured on the ground is Richard Newman of Seattle. For more details on the crash, please go to the KOMO News website.

Date: 3/12/14

In 2011, I changed my practice dramatically.  I became a partner in a personal injury law firm.  My prior legal experience consisted primarily of family law cases with some criminal law cases sprinkled in here and there.  I knew that many of the skills I had developed as a family law practitioner would translate well into personal injury work.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by one skill in particular that helped a great deal: tracking income and looking at tax records. Specifically, tax records of defense experts.

A successful cross-examination is about telling a true story about your case. In a personal injury case, when defense experts testify, they usually pretend to be medical treatment provider, but the truth is, they are hired guns. The goal of the cross is to show how a defense expert earns his or her living.  The tax records expose the truth and the truth is that their opinions are bought.

Here is a step-by-step description of what to look for on a defense expert’s 1099s, what questions to ask, and my recent trial experience.

Step 1: I obtained a copy of the defense expert’s 1099s, going back four years.  This can be done with either a subpoena duces tecum or a stipulated discovery order.  In my case, I used both to obtain the documents. 

A 1099 is an IRS form that is used to disclose income, interest, rents, royalties, sales, dividends, etc. There are many types of 1099s but a defense expert will most likely be disclosing 1099-misc.  A 1099-misc is for rents, royalties, and non-employee compensation.  Go to this link to see an example of what a generic 1099-misc looks like.

Step 2: When you take the defense expert’s deposition, make sure you ask them how much time they spend working as a medical treatment provider and how much time they spend as a paid witness.  Ask the defense expert what percent of their practice is spent providing medical treatment to actual patients.  Find out who pays them to treat medical patients.  Ask the same questions for independent contractor work.  Make sure you know all names and businesses they may be working under, and who else they might be working with.  In my case, the defense expert had three business entities that he received payments through, but in each he worked alone. 

Step 3: After you have deposed the expert and collected his income information, take the time to look at what you have.  In my case, the income information came on a zip-drive, so I didn’t know what I had until after the deposition ended and I went back to my office to print-out the produced material.  After printing out 364 pages of 1099s, I knew I had a goldmine. 

Not all 1099s look alike and often two to four will fit on a page.  The key characteristic is to look for the date, the name of the payer, the recipient, the box number with correlating income information.  Cross-out duplicates on a page.  Make sure that you only have one 1099 per page so make additional copies if multiple payers are on a page and cross-out the extras.  You want to work with just one payer per page.

Step 4: Organize the 1099s by Box numbers.  Take a look at the IRS definitions for each Box number.  Here is a site that explains them: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf.   For my purposes, I looked for money listed in Boxes 6 and 7.  Put all the Box 6’s together and all of the Box 7’s together.  Some payers will pay a defense expert for both medical treatment (Box 6) and as an expert witness (record reviewer, IME exams, or as a hired gun (Box 7). Those with more than one Box are kept together.  If you have time, make sure that the highest dollar amount is on the top of the pile and the lowest dollar amount is on the bottom. 

Step 5: Add the money up.  ALL OF IT! Get a total for each year.  Then add each Box up separately. Have someone competent check your math.  Make sure you both come up with the same numbers.  When you have those numbers you can figure out the percentages. 

Here is an example of what I found for my expert for 2012.

BOX # TOTAL AMOUNT PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL INCOME
1 - Rents $2,110.00 .15%
3 - Other Income $162,064.72 11.19%
5 - Fishing Boat Proceeds $2,445.00 .17%
6 - Medical & Health Care Payments $425,919.00 29.4%
7 - Nonemployee Compensation $855,623.54 59.06%
14 - Gross Proceeds Paid to an Attorney $700.00 .05%
TOTALS $1,448,862.26 100%

 

Step 6: Pull out specific 1099s you will most likely use at trial.  For instance, in my case the expert was hired by a company called MES Solutions to perform a CR35 exam.  I looked for the MES Solutions 1099.  I found it and indeed, MES paid $431,373.32 in Box 7.  This amount is 30% of his total and practically half of his Box 7 income.  I pulled the 1099s for the insurance companies who were defending the case (Allstate and State Farm).   I also pulled the 1099s for the hospital and surgery center the doctor had bragged about working for. 

Step 7: Get your cross-examination ready.  When the defense expert brags that “70% of his practice is for treating patients,” or that “he works as a surgeon for a local hospital,” be prepared to show the truth.  Pull out the huge pile of 1099s.  Most people, and by this I mean jurors, only get one or two 1099s at the most.  Many people just get one W-2.  Let the expert know that you did the math.  Ask the defense expert how much he earned last year gross.  Most people know how much they earned the previous year.  If the defense expert hedges, then ask if he can guess within $100,000.00.  If he still can’t say, then ask, “when I add up your income from these 1099s my total is $1,448,862.26, do you disagree with that figure?”  Write in big print on a board for all to see the totals.  “Doctor, you would agree that in 2012, you were paid $855,623.54 for consulting work?” The defense expert may say, “I am often paid, for instance by Allstate, for both consulting work and treatment.”  At this point, pull out the Allstate 1099.  Mark it into evidence.  Have the defense expert identify the category of that Box 6.  Have the expert look at Box 6.   “Doctor, you would agree with me that Box 6 is for Medical and Health Payments?”  If the defense expert balks that he doesn’t know anything about 1099s, make sure they read the title on the box as it says, “Medical and Health Care Payments.”  If the defense expert plays dumb then go over the IRS definition of Box 6.

Here is the applicable portion of the definition from the IRS instructions for 1099 misc.:

Box 6. Medical and Health Care Payments

Enter payments of $600 or more made in the course of your trade or business to each physician or other supplier or provider of medical or health care services. Include payments made by medical and health care insurers under health, accident, and sickness insurance programs.

Again, make sure the defense expert agrees with you.  In my case, Allstate listed $10,400.00 for Box 6.  Have the defense expert identity Box 7.  Box 7 is for non-employee compensation. Ask, “Doctor you would agree with me that Box 7 represents money you were paid for consulting work?”

In my case, Allstate listed $52,175.00 in Box 7.  So when the defense expert states that some of the 1099s combine income for both treatment and consulting work the truth is that they don’t. Tell the defense expert you added up all of his Box 6 income and then ask the defense expert if they know what that amount is.  Write that figure on the board and then ask the defense expert to agree that this amount represents an actual percentage of his income.  In my case, the truth is that the defense expert earned 29.4% of his income from treating patients.  Now let the defense expert know you added up all of the income in Box 7.  In my case the defense expert agreed that 59% of his income comes from consulting work.  If the defense expert mentions any employer be ready to find that 1099.  In my case, I pulled out the 1099s from the two hospitals the defense expert stated he performed surgery services for and the amounts were very small compared to the true income earned as a defense expert.

Step 8: Have fun.  I’m looking forward to crossing paths again with the expert.  I am eager to see how he did for income in 2013. 

When the truth is shown to the jury, that a defense expert’s opinion has been bought and paid for, the jury will clearly understand the value and reliability of the opinion is questionable.

- Paula L. McCandlis

To learn more about Paula and her practice, please go to her biography page.

Date: 1/28/14

Brett Murphy attorney Paula McCandlis was recently interviewed on South Fork Law. The interview was fun and fascinating!

Paula was interviewed by former Bellingham attorney Jill Berstein, and was joined by Bellingham attorneys Doug Hyldahl and David Nelson. Paula talked about her unique legal background, and about her transition from solo family law practice to personal injury and wrongful death law practice with Brett Murphy. Paula recalls some major life experiences and lessons that brought her to her current place with a succesful law practice.

Hear the full interview at the South Fork Law site.

Paula's background in the Pacific Northwest, her years putting herself through college and law school, and her early days as a new family law attorney trying to learn her true role as she tried to help her struggling divorce clients, make for a fascinating interview. Her insights into the most effective methods to truly help her clients will be valuable to any attorney in any practice area.

Learn more about Paula and her experience at her biography page. Paula also maintains a blog, called Paula's Page, where she keeps us all up to date on her travels, social functions, and work as the Whatcom County Bar Association President 2014.

If you have questions about a personal injury claim or have been injured and need information, contact Brett Murphy today by calling 1-800-925-1875 or by completing our easy contact form.

 

 

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