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Working Difficulties

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Delays in workers’ comp system hold up treatments is the title of an article in Pilot Online. It tells the story of the difficulty that workers face in getting medical treatment and benefits, when they are hurt on the job. As a practice, we see these issues that these workers face, while handling their worker’s compensation claims.

The next time that you hear a politician brag about things that they have done to make Virginia so good for business, perhaps you will remember this article. It gives some explanation for what makes Virginia so favorable for the employer.

DID YOU KNOW that in the movie The Wizard of Oz, Toto the dog (real name in life was Terry) had a weekly salary of $125 while the main star, Judy Garland’s weekly salary during the movie was $500? Now here’s the kicker: the human actors who played the Munchkins were reportedly only paid between $50-$100 per week.


In a bit of a nod toward all those who went back to school recently, here’s pic o’

Dog ate project

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After Labor Day

Monday, September 1st, 2014

You might have had a hamburger or hot dog for Labor Day, or even an ice cream. Well, here’s an ESPN story about a baseball player who did not appreciate his ice cream.

Jesus Montero was considered to be a “can’t miss” prospect in the New York Yankees farm system. He was then sent to the Seattle Mariners in a deal that was expected to begin a long major league career in Seattle. Unfortunately for Montero, that has not developed.

The Seattle organization has been losing patience in Montero’s effort. They have changed his position from catcher to first base, to designated hitter. They have brought him to the majors, put him in the minors; and he is now all the way down in Class A. This occurred after he returned from a 50-game-suspension relating to his positive testing for a banned performance- enhancing drug(s).

The Mariners put him all the way in Single A because they have questioned his baseball preparation, and that he showed up for spring training almost 40 pounds overweight. Now to the ice cream.

Apparently, one of the Seattle organizational scouts was at a recent Montero baseball game. Reportedly, the player did not hustle out a ground ball to first base; Exactly what they have been saying about his effort. In response, the scout sent an ice cream sandwich down to Montero. He was trying to make a point. He did. Montero didn’t like it.

Montero left the dugout, armed with a baseball… and the ice cream sandwich. He charged the scout in the stands and hurled the sandwich at the scout. Before getting there with his bat, he was restrained by other players.

Should we say that the moral of the story is that it is better to send an ice cream sundae instead of a sandwich? Or, some gifts are just not well received! If you did have an ice cream yesterday, I hope that you did enjoy it. It really is not good for throwing.


And for pic o’ day we have Carl the cat giving himself a pep talk:

car the cat

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Charles Whittlesey: What Happened?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

     Wednesday’s Our Daily Bread , with a look toward Labor Day, briefly recited the story of Charles Whittlesey.


      Whittlesey initially graduated from law school and joined a law firm partnership. However, he felt a duty to join the military when the United States entered World War I. He left his partnership and shipped to France as a captain.

     At one point, he and his battalion were behind enemy lines as he commanded 554 soldiers. They were cut off from supplies. At one point, his unit was dubbed the “Lost Battalion” because all contact with the U.S. Army had been lost.

     On October 7, 1918, the Germans sent a blindfolded American prisoner of war carrying a white flag toward the battalion. He was carrying a letter that said the following:

 ”The suffering of your wounded men can be heard over here in the German lines, and we are appealing to your humane sentiments to stop. A white flag shown by one of your men will tell us that you agree with these conditions. Please treat Private Lowell R. Hollingshead [the bearer] as an honorable man. He is quite a soldier. We envy you. The German commanding officer.”

     Whittlesey would not allow his men to surrender. Instead, he ordered that the white sheets that had been placed as signals to the Allied troops be removed, just in case the Germans would think that they were surrendering. That night, a relief force arrived and rescued the Battalion. Whittlesey received a battlefield promotion to lieutenant-colonel and ultimately received three medals of honor.

     He was considered a war hero of heroes. .

     His Wikipedia story summarizes the ending of his life with the following:

In November 1921, Whittlesey acted as a pallbearer at the burial of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, along with fellow Medal of Honor recipients Samuel Woodfill and Alvin York. A few days later he booked passage from New York to Havana aboard the SS Toloa, a United Fruit Company ship. On November 26, 1921, the first night out of New York, he dined with the captain and left the smoking room at 11:15 p.m. stating he was retiring for the evening, and it was noted by the captain that he was in good spirits. Whittlesey was never seen again. He was reported missing at 8:00 a.m. the following morning. He is presumed to have committed suicide by jumping overboard, although no one reported seeing him jump and Whittlesey’s body was never recovered. Before leaving New York, he prepared a will leaving his property to his mother. He also left a series of letters in his cabin addressed to relatives and friends. The letters were addressed to his parents, his brothers Elisha and Melzar, his uncle Granville Whittlesey, and to his friends George McMurtry, J. Bayard Pruyn, Robert Forsyth Little and Herman Livingston, Jr. Also in his cabin was found a note to the captain of the Toloa leaving instructions for the disposition of the baggage left in his stateroom. He left the famous German letter asking for surrender to McMurtry.

     This life story of this hero is fitting as a remembrance, as we head into Labor Day. As Our Daily Bread referenced, Charles Whittlesey was publicly strong. Because he took his life, inwardly he must have been dealing with such emotions of despair.

     Maybe it’s a good reminder to us that just because someone says that everything is great, doesn’t mean that ”everything is great”. That they sure could use a word of encouragement. Also, that those returning from the battlefield many times need more than a welcome home.     


     I hope you have a great weekend. Back on Tuesday. 

     And for pic o’ day, I felt the need to go a bit on the light side… in changing places:

changing places

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Photo Traffic Tickets Dismissed

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Thousands of drivers in New Jersey can breathe a traffic ticket sigh of relief. ( The state Judiciary has asked local courts to dismiss tickets that were issued to  17,000 drivers who were caught on camera running red lights.

photo light

Under New Jersey law, drivers are supposed to receive notice within 90 days that they have been charged with the traffic violation of running a red light. That notice did not go out to the drivers. The company that has oversight for failing to send the notices is also under scrutiny as to whether they paid bribes and gave gifts to government officials, to  help secure these traffic camera contracts.

Ultimately, I suspect that losing the revenue from 17,000 traffic tickets has caused this attention. Isn’t it interesting that this would arise in New Jersey, the home of ”Bridgegate” and Governor Christie?

DID YOU KNOW that Napoleon was afraid of cats? History tells us that Napoleon apparently had a wild cat jump on him while he was still in the crib as a baby, and he never recovered.

And with that thought… our  pic o’ day :

see no evil


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Jesse Steinfeld’s Impact

Monday, August 25th, 2014

If I said the name Jesse Steinfield to you, would you ask me if that’s the lady with a recipe book… who is married to Jerry? Well, no. That’s Jessica Seinfeld… married to Jerry Seinfeld.

When I saw the obituary for Jesse Steinfeld, I thought his name sounded familiar… but not really. So, I decided to do my own research. What captured my attention in the obituary?

Steinfeld was the Surgeon General under President Nixon from 1969-1973.  According to his Wikipedia entry, he resigned at the beginning of the beginning of the second term of the Nixon Presidency. That was the official story. In fact, he was forced out of his appointment after campaigning against the harms of smoking.

Before his “resignation”, he is credited with changing the cigarette package labels to include a warning that clearly stated that smoking was hazardous to your health. He also called on a smoking ban in restaurants, theaters, planes and public places. Unfortunately, it took several years for those changes to become reality.

Dr. Steinfeld was on a mission to take on Big Tobacco. To that end, he issued a report that focused on the dangers of second-hand smoke. Unfortunately, at that time, the tobacco lobby was powerful enough to seek his removal from office.

Steinfeld may have been forced out of Washington, but he continued to impact tobacco through medicine. He later served as Director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and as a Professor at the Mayo Medical School. Steinfeld became President of the Medical College of Georgia, a position he held until his retirement. I’d say that Big Tobacco won the battle and Steinfeld won his war!

DID YOU KNOW that telephone companies first began to hire teenage boys as their operators? They then switched to adult women because the boys were constantly wrestling instead of working, and pulling pranks on the callers.

And our pic o’ day:


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The Dinosaur Threat

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Here’s a new blog topic for me. From Summerville, South Carolina, comes the news story of sixteen-year-old Alex Stone. According to WCSC TV (CBS-5), Stone was arrested by the Summerville Police, with a charge of disorderly conduct.

Stone’s arrest came about after he and his classmates were given the creative assignment of writing about themselves with a few sentences about their “status” on their Facebook account. So, Stone wrote a fictional story that included the words “gun” and “take care of business”. In this instance, he was writing a story about killing his dinosaur.

After writing about his pet dinosaur, Stone was also suspended from school. School officials claim that after Stone was arrested and placed in handcuffs, that he became very disruptive. This contributed to his ultimate school suspension and disorderly conduct charge.

As part of the incident report, after the word “gun” popped up, the administration searched his locker and book bag. I know what you are thinking… no dinosaur either. Does this stand for the premise that guns don’t kill dinosaurs,  flying pterodactyls do? The school system claims that there will be zero tolerance regarding guns.

DID YOU KNOW that in 1846, a New York Knickerbocker professional baseball player was fined 6 cents for swearing at the umpire?

And our pic o’ day:

new owners

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Some Communication

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

During the Civil War, it was not unusual for newspaper reporters to cover the war by sending stories back to be published, while at the same time bringing news from home to the soldiers. A good form of communication.  Here’s a form of bad wartime communication as described by attorney Paul Luvera.

     President Franklin Roosevelt sent ambassador Winant to meet with Russia’s Molotov during World War II. In presenting Roosevelt’s message he opened with a few words of his own. He said he was going to “talk turkey on this issue.” Molotov interrupted with: “Turkey? What does Turkey have to do with the Baltic states?” The ambassador tried to explain patiently that “talking turkey” was merely an American expression meaning to talk seriously, but the suspicious Molotov could not or would not understand, and the meeting ended without any useful discussion of the presidents message. The ambassador never regained Roosevelt’s confidence after that.

     In our work as lawyers, I have heard the following simple communication rules:

Be calm; Be slow; Be nice.

Pretty good reminders for life. I hope you have a great weekend!



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101 and Still Working!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Here’s a story of sticking with it. ( Herman “Hy” Goldman just turned 101 over the weekend. That’s pretty amazing.

herman-hy-goldman     More amazing is that he has worked at his same New Jersey job for the past 73 years. And, he continues to drive himself to work in his 1999 Ford Contour.

Hy Goldman now works four days a week. He specializes in rebuilding items that were damaged or unusable at Capitol Lighting. Except for his brief absence from work to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II, Goldman has worked at this same light fixture company during his entire work life. The store initially hired him to sell items and stock and clean the displays.


DID YOU KNOW that Ivory Soap was originally named P&G White Soap? Thereafter, Harley Proctor was in church, reading the 45th Psalm and read the verse, “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.”. New name!


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Cards and Numbers

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

One insurance company advertises that in 15 minutes you can save 15% or more on your car insurance. Another company named Esurance has decided to combat that kind of claim. Their ads say that getting a quote takes only 7 1/2 minutes to get a quote. Neither advertises how fast that they pay a claim. Here’s some more useless statistics that may only fascinate me:

There are 52 cards in a standard deck of cards. There are 52 weeks in a year. There are 4 different suits (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs). There are 4 seasons in a year. If you add the values of all cards in a deck,  with the numerical assignments of jack equals 11, queen equals 12, King equals 13 etc., you get a total of 365. Yep, the same as the number of days in a year. And a picture is worth a thousand words? Or how about that the average McDonald’s Big Mac has an average of 198 sesame seeds on its buns. I think about as useful as getting a fast quote.

DID YOU KNOW that 7.5 million tooth picks can be made from one cord of wood? Now that’s not useless!

And for pic o’ day, here’s more online fast stuff!


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Just Some Truth

Monday, August 18th, 2014

I cannot hide this site from you. Every now and then it has some funny “truth” pictures. The site is

For the blog, here are some of their samples of truth. First, living without:

Live without

Second, is their “biggest lies on the Internet”:


And finally, How about some grocery truth?



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