The Joel Bieber Firm

Call 1-800-451-6393

Archive for The Human Spirit

Watching the Lions

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

There are just some things that you can’t take your eyes off. Going to the zoo, you can laugh at the monkeys. You might marvel at the giraffes. You might even wonder if they ever have sore throats, with their long necks… and do they make cough drops for a giraffe?

You don’t wonder about the lions. You just can’t stop watching them! Right?


That’s my lead to our Wednesday pic o’ day. (Went blog light today, since we sent out our April newsletter email) Some animal analysis. This is more ”animal” department. Part wreck… part dinosaur humor.


Ok… you don’t like T-Rex humor? How about some medical humor?


Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

A Document Worth

Monday, April 25th, 2016

What is it worth? Documents detailing some of the original “Laws of Base Ball” sold for $3.26 million on early Sunday morning, It set a new record for the highest-priced baseball document. (ESPN)  .

The same auction house in charge of this sale also noted that a 1920 New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth jersey sold in an auction for $4.4 million in 2012. That same year,  the Naismith Rules of Basketball sold for $4.3 million.

According to the ESPN article, The original rules of baseball, as written by Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, stipulated that the ball could not weigh less than 5¾ ounces, and the bat could be of any length; but no more than 2½ inches at its widest part. The rules also stated that there would be four bases, 30 yards apart, with each base being one square foot.

I always believe that auction items make for a good jury argument, when discussing an injury case. If we put such value on a document and paper, what is the worth of a permanent injury to a leg that causes a lifetime of pain, or a lifetime of worry.

What is it worth to be able to put on an outfit and feel so good… that you don’t even have to look in the mirror?  No scars or pain. Just to feel happy. Emotional value! What is the worth of not having to worry about making that next house payment? Real life values.  Just a thought!

And for pic o’ day…


Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

More Legal Drama

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

If you missed the FX show The People v. O. J. Simpson, you can still catch the 8 episodes on demand. Because of its viewing success, it shouldn’t surprise you that Hollywood is now racing to copy this success.

NBC is currently planning a series that is based on the Menendez brothers. Erik and Lyle Menendez were tried and convicted in 1989 for murdering their parents. They are both currently serving life sentences.

CBS is working on a series about the unsolved killing of JonBenet Ramsay. She was the 6-year-old who was killed in her Colorado home in 1996. You may remember that her mom was considered a suspect and that both parents were greatly criticized for all that beauty pageant contestant footage.

The series is expected to feature investigators from the original investigation to discuss the possible suspects, as well as experts to comment on the original findings and discuss the evidence in the case. A Whodunit.

The common theme to this new genre of TV series is murder. I guess  a series on cupcake sales just doesn’t get the viewers.

And since the weekend is not just another day… here’s some music humor for our pic o’ weekend:



Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Comments Comments Off

Monumental Waste of Time

Monday, April 4th, 2016

I can be accused of sometimes wasting time. However, I have never had a judge in open court make a determination that I was wasting time. Not so for some California lawyers.

A federal judge in San Francisco has showed his loss of patience with lawyers in a pending antitrust lawsuit. In the suit, the plaintiffs are claiming that credit card companies were slow to certify chip readers to assist in the fight against credit card fraud.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup declared the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction “a monumental waste of resources” in a March 16 court, while denying their motion for an injunction. The judge was so ticked off with their motion that the judge ordered the  lawyers to explain how they will provide opportunities in their litigation for “the next generation of practitioners.”

According to the Recorder, the judge wrote that “In reviewing the file, the court is of the view that the pending motion is so deficient that it would be a monumental waste of resources to require the 18 defendants to respond and oppose the motion.”

I don’t even care about the facts of the lawsuit. I am just fascinated with the judge’s order. It’s real! “Stop wasting time” is basically a good mantra to live by.

And for our pic o’ day… I couldn’t stop laughing about this when it was sent to me. Think about “Robert”.



Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

The Hearing Aid Example

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

And to get us started for the Monday blog…




A look-back at my summer employments brought me this memory. The previous summer, I had worked as a pipefitters helper at Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock (Norshipco) and decided that for this college summer, I was  going to look for a sales job. Yes, I admit it, I was looking for something easier!

I landed a job down near Sandbridge, selling timeshares. Looking back, I probably couldn’t have found a job with more stress. So much so, some mornings I would wake up and long for that long walk, through the dirt, to the Pipefitter’s shop.

Each morning before our sales day began, there was a sales meeting in the timeshare office and conference room. The General Sales Manager would go over the previous day’s sales and then give us some motivational speech.

I don’t remember many of his “speeches”; but one particular day, I specifically remember one speech about focusing on the positive and not the negative. He began pounding on the table. Then his voice went into an amazing high-pitched crescendo. Then he screamed, ” I will not listen to any of your excuses, it’s just negativity”.  At that point, he ripped his hearing aid out of his ear. Then he exclaimed, “See, I can’t hear your negative excuses for not selling”.

At that point, I don’t think that I was motivated, as much as fascinated. A hearing aid just lying on the table.  Part of me wondered if he had a wooden leg and if that would come flying off next. Maybe with some kind of screaming, “See, your excuses have no leg to stand on!”. OK… I don’t really remember that last part.

Thinking back on his focus on positive thinking does have some good life application. However, it isn’t totally relevant to our practice of law.

Instead of ignoring the negative, it’s best to look at reality. Rarely is there a perfect case. Most of the time, there are issues of fact or something related to the injuries of the client that make for a possible jury problem or adjuster argument, when the case is presented.

Rarely, do I find someone in perfect health. So, it’s not unusual to find a preexisting condition that gets aggravated by the crash. Rather than pretending that there’s no prior issues, it’s better to look closely at the prior medical history and let doctors describe how the crash made them worse. Now, a negative becomes a positive because we have focused on the prior medical history instead of ignoring it. Sometimes a preexisting injury is the reason that a minimal crash or little property damage can cause a person real problems.

Today is the start of major league baseball. Each team has 162 regular season games in front of them. I suppose that some of those teams are best not to focus on the reality of their chances for winning. Their true reality… not contending for first place.

For me I like to positively look at reality. I think that Abraham Lincoln had a good way in looking at life, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”.


And for pic o’ day, a bit of Disney…



Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Best Day Ever… And Some Planning

Monday, March 21st, 2016

 Yesterday’s blog was on planning and preparation. That brings me to a story from college at Bob Jones University.

At the time, I was a Radio and Television major. I knew that I was going to transfer for law school purposes, but I wanted to garner as much training as I could in that area.

That major gave me the opportunity to work at the university radio station appropriately named WBJU.  Every morning, I would get myself to the station and pull the sports report off the Associated Press machine. Then, I would choose stories for a 5 minute sports report during the 6 and 7 o’clock news reports.

There was another student that worked in the sports department named Timmy.  Now that should have put me on guard right there. Anyone who voluntarily introduces themselves as Timmy… well… there’s nobody home upstairs, if you know what I mean? The elevator only has one floor. Trying to put M&M’s candy in alphabetical order. Yep!

Anyway, Timmy would brag to me that he didn’t need to do preparation for the reading of the morning sports. He actually thought it was a bit beneath him to read sports. He was a news man. Just waiting for the opportunity. His lack of preparation meant that he didn’t preview his read before going live on the air.

One morning, I was in my dorm room getting ready, and our friend Timmy was doing the sports report on air. He had come to a basketball story and was describing future Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Any basketball fan knows Abdul-Jabbar. But “lack-of preparation” Timmy didn’t need preparation for the lowly sports report. Needless to say, he came to that name in the sports report and went on to say “Karrom Abber Jabber”. Yes… exactly. It wasn’t funny as much as just head shaking. Abber Jabber?

Timmy was also majoring in aviation and wanted me to fly with him to Atlanta, as he got his flight hours for his minor. I just decided that lack of preparation had no place for the sky. As the Matthew 28:20 reminds us, “Lo, I am with you always”. I’m not sure that applies to being in an airplane with Timmy!


I titled this with a reference to our pic o’ day. I have posted this one before, but it cracks me up! How can you be negative when you see this grin?


Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Planning… and Some Ben Franklin

Sunday, March 20th, 2016


This just seemed to be a good starter pic o’ for Monday, if you had a weekend of busy!

The following represents three examples of preparation and planning. A reminder that to get somewhere… it doesn’t just happen.

The base of the Great Pyramid in Egypt measures larger than ten football fields. Ancient Greek historian Herodotus tells us about the planning. He wrote that it took 400,000 men more than twenty years to build it.

I am told that the Japanese have a special plan to grow amazing melons. First, they plant a seed; Then, allow it to sprout and form buds. They pick all the buds except for one. That bud is left to grow into a full melon.

This single melon is now receiving all the nutrients that originally was being supplied to all the melons that were growing. The result is an amazing tasting melon.

Anthony Hopkins, famous for such roles that range from Nixon, to Hitler and Picasso, to Hannibal Lecter; was asked how he prepared for a role. This as part of an interview with Total Film. His answer gives an insight into preparation:

I’m meticulous about learning the script. I always make sure I really know it, go over it and over it and over it until I feel comfortable with it. People say “How many times?” and I say, “Well, I go over it maybe 200 times,” just to scare the hell out of them. And I only use that number because then I trick my brain into saying, “I know it, I know it, I know it,” and once I feel comfortable, I can go along and act it and there’s no strain, no “What do I say next?” I know it so well that I can just let it happen.

In thinking about planning and preparation, I can’t help but to think about our trial work and about law firm planning. Ben Franklin succinctly said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail“.

Of course, Frank Underwood, in House of Cards, has a different outlook on planning, “If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table“.

And for pic o’ day, when I received this one… I just kept looking at it and smiling:


Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

The Phone Jamming Charge

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

I guess he would say that he just needed some peace and quiet.

The Chicago Tribune tells us the story of a Chicago certified public accountant who is facing a felony charge because he “allegedly” was using a jamming device to prevent the others on the city train from using their cellphones.

In court, Judge James Brown called Dennis Nicholl the “cellphone police” and set his bail at $10,000 in the Cook County Circuit Court, after Nicholl was charged with unlawful interference with a public utility.

Apparently, other riders repeatedly on several trips could not use their cell phones or other devices and alerted officials on the train.  After repeated complaints, an undercover police officer caught Nicholl with a device in his hand, with multiple antennas.

The officer then took out his phone and attempted a call. The signal was abruptly dropped. The plainclothes officer then arrested Nicholl and took him into custody.

In the arrest report, police wrote that Nicholl told investigators that “He’s disturbed by people talking around him,” His lawyer said after his bond hearing that “He might have been selfish in thinking about himself, but he didn’t have any malicious intent.”

I am posting this because I found this to be a curious remedy by Nicholl, that every time he got on the train… no one’s phone would be able to make calls. I wonder how long this had been going on and whether others actually were enjoying the ride!

And for our Friday pic o’ day… warning???? (another one sent to me that made me laugh) Have a great weekend!




Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Munchkin Evidence

Monday, March 7th, 2016

Is it forensic evidence… not so much! It’s how the internet can get a story started and then somehow it becomes real.

Here’s what the internet started as a story about the Wizard of Oz.  ”In the original Wizard of Oz, during the scene in the forest, you can see a body hanging from a tree in the background. This is real. He was an actor that hung himself after he didn’t get the part of the Tinman. They cut it out of the later versions, but if you have a movie from before the golden age of film editing, you’ll see him.”

So, here’s the copy of the movie that shows the forlorn Munchkin that hung himself:



As you watch it, especially when it plays in slow motion, it makes for an amazing story. A hanging Munchkin?

No… it’s all a hoax!  Once people started to really watch the clip of The Wizard of Oz on video, they noticed that in the background of that scene, you can see something moving. Something crazy there!

Unfortunately, the resolution of the clip is not very good to make out exactly what is going on there. But it does look as if it could conceivably be a munchkin, suspended from a branch and slowly turning as though he had hung himself.

The rumor gained momentum, that a munchkin had been driven to suicide by his misery of either not getting a key part in the movie, or his misplaced passion for another munchkin.  Judy Garland  (Dorothy) might have fueled the notion of the heartbroken munchkin by telling stories on talk shows of the conduct of the munchkins on the set.

To this day, people still claim that there was a suicide on the set, and that it was covered up by Hollywood. Just google it, and you will see the argument for it, despite the craziness of the actors dancing toward a supposed hanging body on the set.

The reality is that it is nonsense. It’s probably something related to a bird’s wing, and then someone just decided to “doctor” the movie a bit.

It’s somewhat like crazy forensic evidence without proper support. The story doesn’t make sense, but I guess we see what we want to believe.

I have been watching the TV show The People v. O.J. Simpson on FX Network. In it, the defense lawyers are trying to figure out a way to explain the evidence away. Finally, Johnnie Cochrane blurts out that it doesn’t matter what the evidence is, if you can get people to believe the trial story. That was Hollywood’s quote, but he was basically saying that once people make up their minds, the rest is ignored.

The Munchkin suicide story is all over the internet and people defend it. In reality, it really is a crazy story… but it’s Hollywood!

And for pic o’ day, I thought I would include something that Ronald Reagan wrote to Nancy, in one of his love letters. There’s something truly touching about such emotion, as we say goodbye to Nancy Reagan.



Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Comments Comments Off

The 911 Call

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

This is a quick story about one of our cases… and not taking no as no!

Our client said that he was driving down the road and got rear-ended by another driver who was not paying attention. Our client pulled off the road as close as possible to the side, to properly get his wrecked car off the roadway.  The other driver slowed down, and then just gunned it and raced away from the scene. It was a hit and run crash.

Now to make matters worse,  Our client went on to say that within a minute or so, a truck driver came down the road and swerved and clipped the back of our client’s car, causing it to spin around…and more injury to our client   Not good!

We initially filed a claim for both crashes. The first against the driver who left the scene. That claim was filed under our car’s uninsured motorist for the car that took off. That is known as a John Doe claim because that driver is unknown.

The second claim was against the truck driver. Soon, we learned that the insurance company for the truck driver was claiming a different story. The insurance adjuster said that their truck driver/insured said that we (our client) had swerved into the trucker’s lane. He couldn’t help but hit us.

It was our client’s word against the truck driver. As the insurance adjuster put it in denying the claim against the truck driver, “we have to believe our insured”.

Meanwhile, the John Doe claim only has $25,000 minimum limits, and that company offers its limits because of the significance of the injuries. The crash with the truck had caused significant medical bills unrelated to the John Doe claim… but we were at a standstill. What to do? What to do?

We did a Freedom of Information Request for the emergency dispatch records. Jackpot! Another driver coming up the road had saw the truck hit our car on the side of the road. That person called… and it was recorded. That unknown caller simply told the 911 dispatch operator that “a truck just hit a car on the side of the road” and went on to describe the car and truck.

Later… the truck driver’s insurance company just said, “Our insured lied to us”. They paid on the claim. Without that 911 call, it would have been uphill sledding! Our client had been hit by two different drivers without the character to accept responsibility.

And for pic o’ day that was just sent to me, no matter where you fall politically, this still is funny!


Please click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to let others know you enjoyed reading it. Thanks!