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Recent Posts

17 WSHB Lawyers Honored as 2019's Rising Stars

Arizona Supreme Court Allows Court of Appeals Decision Expanding Defendants' Ability to Enforce Settlements to Stand

WSHB’s Jason Klein Breaks Down the Good, the Sad and the Funny Sides of Claims

Litigating Sexual Battery and Other Intentional Torts: Navigating the One Bad Apple in Medical Negligence

WSHB Partner Michelle Arbitrio to Moderate Panel on Insurance and Risk Management in the Age of Mass Shootings

WSHB Cannabis Attorney Finalist for "Lawyer of the Year"

Girl on Fire: The Price of Pursuing the Truth in the #MeToo World

Pragmatic Issues on Settlement Versus Trial for Legal Malpractice Cases

WSHB Partner Jade Tran Named to Lawyers of Color's "Nation's Best" List

WSHB Senior Associate Selected for 2020 Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program

A Withering Assault

The Natural Progression of Natural Disasters

Nevada’s Governor Signs Chapter 40 Reform Bill

WA Condo Law Changes Hope to Curtail Frivolous Defect Lawsuits and Stimulate Production

WSHB Co-Founder Stephen Henning Steps Into the Spotlight at this Year's West Coast Casualty Seminar

Professional Liability Expert Weighs In On Protecting Your Practice From Opioid Doc Arrest Fallout

Penalties, Punitives, and Granny Cams: The Escalating Lure of Elder Abuse Litigation

Are Structured Settlements Still Relevant

Game Changing Trends Affecting Construction

He's Not My Guy: The Joint-Employer Doctrine

WSHB Case Update: DOL Proposes Increase to Minimum Salary Threshold

WSHB and DWF Announce Exclusive Association

July 23, 2019

Seventeen lawyers from WSHB are recognized on this year’s list of 2019 Rising Stars®. The attorneys honored on this year’s list are 40 years or younger and demonstrate the finest qualities of a good lawyer: first-rate legal skills, preparation, judgment, creativity, dedication and ethics. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in each state are named to the renowned Rising Stars list....

July 17, 2019

On July 8, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an order denying plaintiff's Petition for Review of an Arizona Court of Appeals decision that expanded the ability of defendants to enforce settlements under A.R.C.P. 80(a). Section 80(a) allows Arizona courts to enforce settlement agreements (or other agreements) based on some written acknowledgement on the part of a party's attorney, but only where the attorney's authorization to act is shown by some manifestation of that authorization on the clients' part....

July 16, 2019

Jason Klein, Managing Partner of WSHB's Colorado office, will bring down the house at American Technologies Inc's event "The Comedy and Tragedy of Claims" on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place, Greenwood Village, CO 80111. At 10:30 a.m., Jason will share the stage with Terence Kadlec of Envista Forensics as they break down the good, the sad, and the funny sides of claims in a presentation titled "51 Shades of Gray, Ethics in Claims Handling."...

July 2, 2019

During the past year, multiple headlines and news alerts have captured the bad acts of an individual in the medical world which translates into high profile claims of sexual battery and other intentional act claims. In addition to navigating the publicity, political fallout and impact on reputation of the institutions involved, the aftermath of the litigation which ensues is huge. Constance Endelicato, a celebrated trial lawyer from the national law firm of Wood Smith Henning & Berman, will be tackling this difficult issue head on at a litigation conference of highly placed claim professionals, risk managers, general counsel and lawyers in the medical negligence area during the 2019 CLM Cyber, Management, and Professional Liability Conference which takes place at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on July 11, 2019. ...

July 1, 2019

WSHB's Michelle Arbitrio will take to the stage at the 2019 CLM Cyber, Management, and Professional Liability Conference at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on July 11, 2019 at 10:35 AM. This conference is a fully reinvented event that offers its participants unprecedented knowledge and access to leaders in the profession. Attendees will have a unique professional opportunity to share their expertise in partnership with other authorities from across the country while building relationships. WSHB is proud to be a Diamond Sponsor of this CLM event. ...

June 25, 2019

WSHB is proud to announce that Dominic Ripoli, Associate - Northern California, has been nominated for a California Cannabis Award, in the category of "Lawyer of the Year." A thought leader in the Cannabis legal world, Ripoli is the recipient of many accolades and is particularly well known for his passion for equity programs being rolled out by public entities. He is respected for his legal work and results helping cannabis companies establish business, navigate regulations and blaze new territory for this emerging industry....

June 25, 2019

In the past year, high profile cases have emerged throughout the nation discussing management responses to allegations framed within the #metoo world. Strategies, perils and pitfalls which give rise to or minimize liability will be discussed at length during a widely anticipated presentation at the CLM Cyber, Management and Professional Liability Conference on July 11, 2019. National thought leader, Kelly Waters, Managing Partner of the New Jersey office of WSHB, will moderate a vigorous discussion of hot issues and practice pointers for those handling management liability issues throughout the country. ...

June 21, 2019

A panel of national thought leaders will address the hot topic of settlement versus trial in the context of a legal malpractice claim at the upcoming CLM Cyber, Management, and Professional Liability Conference at the Boston Waterfront Hotel on July 11, 2019. "Attorneys on the receiving end of a legal malpractice action likely have a decided opinion on whether to try or resolve the case," explained Phil Grennan, a nationally acclaimed litigator with the Seattle and Portland offices of WSHB. Grennan, who will lead the panel of thought leaders, explained "as retention's erode and reputations are on the line, the inclination to find justice and absolution collide with accolades to settlement."...

June 19, 2019

WSHB Partner Jade Tran (Orange County) has been named to Lawyers of Color's inaugural "Nation's Best" list, which recognizes law firm partners and senior-level corporate counsel. Selection is based on noteworthy accomplishments and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Lawyers of Color is a 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to promoting diversity in the legal profession and advancing democracy and equality in marginalized communities. ...

June 19, 2019

WSHB Senior Associate Eva Sullivan (New York) has been selected as one of only ten members for the Professional Liability Underwriting Society's (PLUS) 2020 Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program (LAMP). LAMP is one-year leadership development training program for PLUS members from diverse and traditionally under-represented groups within the professional liability insurance industry. The curriculum focuses on leadership coaching and includes matching participants with senior-level PLUS members who have agreed to serve as mentors throughout the program....

Publications

A Withering Assault

June 14, 2019

In September 2018, we assessed the impact of the headline-grabbing $289 million verdict delivered by a San Francisco jury in DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company. Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, alleged that his occupational use of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We predicted that the verdict would lead to more glyphosate lawsuits and an increased focus on toxic torts, but concluded that this result would not make glyphosates the next asbestos. As expected, the Johnson verdict was reduced to $78 million by a trial court and is now on appeal. But in the meantime, Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG, was hit first with an $80 million judgment in federal court in the Northern District of California in Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, and then, more recently, with an eye-popping $2 billion verdict from the Alameda County Superior Court in Alva and Alberta Pilliod v. Monsanto Company. So the $2 billion question is, what does this mean for the future of glyphosate litigation and toxic torts in general? ...

June 14, 2019

Reports indicate that insured losses from the Southern California Woolsey fire will total at least $2.5 billion. The total economic loss from the Woolsey fire is estimated to be anywhere from $4 to $6 billion, according to Corelogic. The combination of expensive materials, a shortage in the construction workforce, and a high demand to rebuild will yield an expensive result. This event is shaping up to be another example of a trend: Because of the devastating amount of damage caused by fires, floods, and hurricanes, it will cost a lot more to rebuild than is covered under applicable insurance policies. When there is simply “not enough insurance,” the challenges to resolving claims successfully are exceedingly complex....

June 10, 2019

More than four years after comprehensive construction defect reforms were implemented in Nevada, Nevada's construction defect laws are changing again. On June 3, 2019 Governor Sisolak signed AB 421 into law. While AB 421 retains some of the 2015 reforms, a number of significant changes will go into effect on October 1, 2019. Here is a brief summary of the more notable changes which are likely to raise issues in litigated matters in the future....

May 31, 2019

The narrative regarding condo development in Washington State is well-known: It is almost universally accepted that the nearly 30-year-old condominium statute’s implied warranties provide unfair and uncertain standards that fueled near-certain litigation. Too often, these suits involve frivolous claims of "defects" in construction, which neither affected building performance nor were of material concern to any reasonable homeowner. Condo association board members feel pressured to sue or risk personal liability. Plaintiff attorneys capitalized on this low hurdle of a liability standard and seek heavily exaggerated repair costs. Developers, builders, and insurance carriers pay enormous sums for repair of technical violations, which often times are not repaired with the money paid to condo owners. All of this disincentivizes condominium developers and drives up the cost of condominiums for consumers. ...

May 8, 2019

WSHB co-founder Stephen J. Henning will take to the stage before thousands of builders, contractors, subcontractors, insurance agents and lawyers at West Coast Casualty’s 26th Annual Construction Defect Seminar, the biggest construction conference event in the country. Hosted at the Disneyland Hotel and Resort in Anaheim, California, Mr. Henning will be sharing his decades worth of construction litigation expertise alongside Matthew Kovacs of Markel Corporation and fellow attorneys Adrienne Cohen and Jannea Rogers in a panel presentation entitled, "Disaster in the Making – Litigation Impacts from Fire, Flood, and Hurricanes" on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 10:45 a.m. ...

April 19, 2019

[Practices] must have policies and procedures in place that specifically address the prescription of opioid medication. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opiods for Chronic Pain should be used as the model. A Quality Assurance program, including stand-up meetings among providers to discuss opioid patients, and a care coordinator specifically aimed at conducting monthly audits should be employed to monitor the prescriptions written by each of its members. ... The group must also carefully screen its members with ongoing checks as to disciplinary status, criminal and civil background, status of hospital staff privileges and personal health. ...

April 19, 2019

In the United States, 15% of our population is comprised of individuals over 65 years of age. That translates to approximately, 47.8 million people and as longevity continues to rise, so will that number. As an example, our aging population increased by 1.6 million between 2014 to 2015, alone. Over 5% of those over age 65 are residing in skilled nursing facilities or residential care facilities for the elderly. ...

April 15, 2019

WSHB's Sam McDermott will be speaking at CLM's Orange County Chapter Education and Networking Event on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Located at The Wine Artist in Lake Forest, McDermott will be discussing the use and applicability of structured settlements as a method of assisting in resolving claims and how IRS Code Section 104(a) excludes structured settlements from gross income that provides tax-free periodic payments to bridge a settlement gap when taxes reduce the total recovery. ...

April 4, 2019

Disruption in the construction industry, fuel for lawsuits in the future and perils and pitfalls for those handling litigation. This sentence captures what promises the content-rich presentation during the upcoming DRI Construction Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nationally acclaimed attorney Stephen Henning will moderate a panel of thought leaders as they discuss the game changers which are playing out in courtrooms, newspapers and project sites throughout the nation, which give rise to emerging theories of liability, areas of exposure and sage risk management practice pointers. Joining Henning on the panel will be Phyllis Modlin from Markel Corporation, Linda Pretzel from RiverStone and Maria Quantaro with Hinshaw....

April 2, 2019

WSHB Partner Alicia Kennon will be moderating a panel entitled "He's Not My Guy: The Joint-Employer Doctrine" at DRI's Construction Law Conference on April 12, 2019 at 2 p.m. On the panel will be Jeffrey Koonankeil of CapSpecialty and Jennifer Stancil of Beazley Group. Included among the topics to be discussed are the latest developments in the joint-employer doctrine and the impact the doctrine's current version has on construction operations. The industry has been primarily concerned with avoiding or managing defect based litigation but now developers and contractors have new risk in the EPL space including wage/hour based claims, discrimination claims, harassment, and whistleblower based suits. In addition to highlighting the risks, Alicia and her co-panelists will offer attendees some practical tools for mitigating those risks for their clients and companies....

March 22, 2019

Employees in salaried positions earning under $35,308.00 annually will become newly-eligible for overtime pay if a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor is enacted. Employers with salaried positions under that amount should begin preparing to perform an audit of exemption classifications to ensure ongoing compliance in the event this rule is enacted. ...

January 1, 2019

US law firm WSHB and international law firm and legal service provider DWF announced on October 1, 2018 that they have agreed to an exclusive association. Through this association, the firms seek to offer greater global reach and service for their respective clients while working closely to share best practices, innovative ideas and mutually beneficial opportunities....

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