LAW NEWS Quarter 1 2019
OUR BOOK, LARRY BRICK’S NEW STATUS, AND JACK’S NEW TITLE
Keeping You Up to Date
The year 2019 has brought with it some updates and changes to the Law Offices of Paul Levin. The first important update is that our newsletter is going quarterly instead of monthly. We want to make sure that you, our readers, know you didn’t miss an issue! We’re still going to keep you updated on everything going on in our office. Our book, “ Life Altering Personal Injury Cases in Connecticut ,” is available to buy on Amazon.com, and copies are going fast. For friends and clients, there is a link on our website under the resource guide tab where you can download a free PDF copy of the book. Our book can give those who have experienced a compensable injury access to our firm’s experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation law, and we hope that it empowers our clients, their families, and friends.
Of course, we can’t forget to update everybody on what Jack has been up to. Jack and Kelly had a busy year in 2018 with their volunteer work, and Jack now has another title in his repertoire: He is now a part of the Healers with Halos Therapy Dogs Crisis Response Team . Our unofficial mascot has now moved up the ranks of therapy dog life after the team underwent extensive training in the community, classroom, and emergency room/trauma department at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Kelly had to have FEMA training and take psychological first-aid
“WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO ANOTHER YEAR AT THE LAW OFFICES OF PAUL LEVIN AND TO A YEAR OF NEW SUCCESSES, NEW DEVELOPMENTS, AND NEW WAYS TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY!”
classes, while Jack remained in the thick of the action throughout it all. As part of the process, Jack and Kelly trained and became members of a municipal Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), as well as of the Office of Emergency Management. The training was long and extensive, for both handler and hound. Jack was a trooper, and we are so proud of him for stepping into these new responsibilities. But don’t worry, he hasn’t let his new title go to his head. He’s still the same loveable boy who attaches himself to your hip until you give him all the attention he wants. Belly rubs are still preferred! We are all looking forward to another year at The Law Offices of Paul Levin and to a year of new successes, new developments, and new ways to serve our community! Please stay in touch and let us know what we can do to assist you, your friends, and family members. –Paul, Kelly and Larry
We are very excited to announce that Larry Brick, our friend and colleague on all things workers’ compensation, is now officially Of Counsel at the Law Offices of Paul Levin. When an attorney is formally “Of Counsel”, it means they are part of the law firm and continue as a practicing attorney in a guidance or advisory capacity. If you recall our newsletter from September, Larry has practiced law in Hartford County for 40 years, and our office has collaborated with him for over 2 decades. Over his career, Larry has become a highly valued and respected attorney in the Hartford County Bar and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and capable practitioner, focusing his entire career on fighting for injured workers. While this change will not look much different in practice, it is still an exciting development, and we are happy to formally re-welcome him to the team!
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SUPERHEROES AND PROPERTY DAMAGE “Make a face like that, and it’ll stay that way forever.” You may have heard something like this from Mom’s book of wisdom. Maybe you never disputed the idea that mother knows best. But as you grew up, it slowly became clear that hair doesn’t grow back faster and thicker if you shave it, cracking your knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis, and gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for months after you swallow it. After a whirlwind of wives’ tales over the years, many common claims have been put under scrutiny. Wives’ tales have been known as pseudoscience and blind intuition, but even as many were disproved, some surprisingly proved to hold weight. Here are three wives’ tales that have proven to be true. Garlic Cures Colds For decades, moms have professed the healing properties of garlic, suggesting it can cure colds and help the body fight sickness. It turns out they were absolutely right. Garlic has antiviral properties that strengthen the immune system and nutrients that help combat illnesses. The effects of garlic can actually be more effective than over-the- counter flu medications. Some studies show that regular consumption of raw garlic lessens the likelihood of getting a cold, so if you feel a tickle in your throat, try a clove before you open the medicine cabinet. Mom Really Does Know Best With all the recent hype over the new Marvel and DC Comics films, superheroes like The Hulk, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Batman are entertaining millions with their extraordinary strength and ability and their witty repertoire. As viewers watch them speed through the city throwing cars and tearing down buildings to catch an evil villain, they are swept up in the chase. All that matters is that their group of heroes defeats the miscreant and restores peace to the planet. While attorneys can watch these films and feel the excitement along with everyone else, many can’t avoid taking note of the property damage sustained during these battles royal — especially when The Hulk is involved. This begs the question: Would Bruce Banner be liable for The Hulk’s damage? Are there special loopholes for you once you choose capes and Batmobiles over the typical nine-to-five shift and 401(k)? Are mutants a protected class? Who foots the bill when The Hulk gets angry and damages property while fighting a villain? When considering any possible property damages sustained by Banner once he turns into The Hulk, attorneys would have to keep in mind that mental state is always important for both criminal and civil liability. When it comes to The Hulk’s mental state, the waters Can I Sue the Hulk?
Heartburn Means a Hairy Baby It’s hard to list wives’ tales without bringing up one about pregnancy. Many are solely based on intuition, but a few that sound odd are legitimate. In 2007, a study done by Johns Hopkins attempted to debunk the myth that heartburn during pregnancy would mean a hairy baby at birth. Instead of proving it wrong, they found that 82 percent of women with severe heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to hairy babies. Turns out the hormones that cause heartburn in pregnant women also affect fetal hair growth. Joint Pain Predicts the Weather Did you ever look at your mom with skepticism when she would predict rain because her knees hurt? If so, you might owe your mom an apology, because there is a scientific connection. The drop in barometric pressure that’s common during storm weather causes pain in arthritic joints.
can get murky. First and foremost, you have to consider whether you are evaluating the more mindless Hulk from the early comics, when Banner had no control over his transformations and The Hulk’s actions, or if you are dealing with the later versions, when Banner was in complete control at all times. If attorneys are evaluating the modern Marvel hero, the court would likely consider Banner liable for
the damages because his personality, behavior, or actions would not be analyzed separately as two different people. In this way, Banner could be sued for the property damages sustained during his transformation. Due to all the protection he provides, though, perhaps some courts would let the lawsuits slide due to his sacrificial good behavior.
Attorneys Paul Levin & Kelly Kasheta
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Is Yelp Extorting Businesses?
SOME OWNERS SAY SO
When you think of extortion, odds are that a billion-dollar company located in Silicon Valley doesn’t come to mind, yet that’s exactly what many small businesses across the country have been claiming Yelp is doing. Companies just like ours thrive on reviews as a way for people to hear word-of-mouth information about the trustworthiness of a local company. But what if that information could be manipulated by the medium through which it’s presented? Who’s on Top? Google, Avvo, and other online platforms that host reviews mostly filter comments by date, broadcasting the most recent observations about local businesses. On all accounts, it appears to be the fairest way to go about the process, but Yelp does not follow this practice. They filter their reviews by an algorithm that assesses their reliability. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea, but in practice, many owners are crying foul play. You Shall Not Pass Business owners across the country have gone on record stating that Yelp will showcase negative reviews instead of positive ones, but why? Well, the argument is that to display praise, Yelp allegedly requires payment for their advertising services. Once payment is confirmed, the reviews are allegedly reprioritized.
What Does the Law Say? The accusations started in 2014 with the class action suit Levitt v. Yelp, which resulted in an investigation by the FTC. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found no extortion or wrongdoing by Yelp and dismissed the case, and the FTC closed the investigation without taking action. Whether Yelp is extorting small businesses or not, we’re thankful for your reviews. Our firm prides itself on serving our community, and we look forward to continuing that for years to come.
and Berry French Toast PEANUT BUTTER
Jack and Kelly are a certified therapy dog and handler team with Healers With Halos Therapy Dogs. Jack is a 6-year-old rescue collie adopted from Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. He is certified by the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program and attained his CGC title from the American Kennel Club. Jack works many venues, bringing comfort and happiness to the young and old.
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • 2 cups cornflakes • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • 2 cups mixed berries • Powdered sugar, to sprinkle • Maple syrup, for serving
• 8 slices brioche, 1/2-inch thick • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter • 2 large eggs • 1/8 cup heavy cream
1. On a large baking sheet lined with wax paper, place 4 slices of brioche and spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each. Cover with remaining slices, creating sandwiches. 2. In a pie plate, beat eggs with cream and vanilla. In another, coarsely crush the cornflakes. 3. Lightly soak sandwiches in the egg mixture, then dredge in cornflakes, pressing to adhere. Return to baking sheet. 4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Once melted and up to temperature, add sandwiches, cooking on one side until golden and crisp, about 2–3 minutes. 5. Return sandwiches to baking sheet, add remaining butter, and repeat on other side. 6. Top sandwiches with berries, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with maple syrup.
JACK AND KELLY AT A CERT DRILL
Attorneys Paul Levin & Kelly Kasheta
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40 Russ Street | Hartford, CT 06106 860-560-7226 www.connecticutinjuryhelp.com Inside THIS ISSUE • What Is Happening With Us So Far This Year
3Wives’ Tales That Are True
Superheroes and Property Damage
Is Yelp Manipulating the Truth?
Peanut Butter and Berry French Toast
The Most Hated Cinderella
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ANewsletter for Clients and Friends FromAttorneys Paul Levin, Kelly Kasheta, and Larry Brick
The Cinderella Everyone Loved to Hate
THE 1990 UNLV RUNNIN’ REBELS
The early ‘90s was a contentious time in college basketball, full of pure amateur competition. The days of the “one and done” player were far ahead, which meant that all the top-level talent was bred in the hotbed of the NCAA. Players like Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and David Robinson had to prove their NBA mettle in the grueling basketball tournament we all know as March Madness. It has always showcased the best of the best, but America has always loved an underdog. Last year, audiences adored Loyola Chicago as they made their way to the Final Four. Cinderella teams fill our hearts with hope and optimism, but not all of them are loveable. Perhaps no small school is more polarizing than the UNLV squad that was put together by the late, great Jerry Tarkanian. The team was nasty, flashy, and, most importantly, downright impossible to beat. “The Runnin’ Rebels” ran the court like no team before. Reports have the 1991 Tarkanian squad referring to the Arkansas Razorbacks’ “40 minutes of hell” as “40 minutes of vacation” when it beat the then second- ranked team on its home court. The team embodied swagger and wasn’t afraid to create a splash everywhere it went. Most of the noise wasn’t positive, but when you win the national championship the year prior, a little arrogance is necessary to maintain your “bad guy” image.
Formally a small state school known to locals as “Tumbleweed Tech,” UNLV wasn’t even a Division I school until 1970. When Tarkanian took over in ‘73, the school went from an institution most acclaimed for its hospitality program to an NCAA basketball tournament regular. After making their first Final Four appearance in 1977, the team started down a path that would take them to four Elite 8s in five years, and there would be no greater success than the season that came to pass in 1990. Most games are back-and-forth, with drama centering around every possession. That was not the case during the 1990 national championship game. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski guided his team to the final through steady stellar performances throughout the tournament, and all was well until the legendary program met UNLV’s rowdies. The opening tipoff was about as close as Duke ever got to controlling any part of that game. Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon, and Larry Johnson ran the Blue Devils off the court, and the Cinderella team everyone came to hate won 103–73 in the biggest blowout in NCAA tournament history.
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