Law Firms – Does Size Matter?

Large and Small Legal Practices Serve Clients Well

Driving down the highway you see giant billboards for giant law firms with phone numbers in giant red numbers. Most people don’t give much thought to them until they have a sudden need for an attorney and they think “what was that 800 number I saw on I-95?”

Small law firms usually do their advertising by word-of-mouth, relying on clients to tell friends and family that they were well represented by a one, two, or three attorney law practice.

Which is better? The answer is both.

BIG_SmallThe legal profession is and has always been about the confidential relationship between a client and an attorney.  The concept of attorney-client privilege is defined as a US-American legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney and prevents the attorney from being compelled to testify to those communications in court.

What’s really important is the relationship as it pertains to an attorney’s commitment to remain understanding and responsive to a client during a very trying time. An attorney who is dedicated to addressing client fears and concerns and who always places the client’s rights and best interest first will serve that client well from a desk in a small office on Main Street or from a desk in the office of a 500-member firm in a big city.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus was founded by law partners Gary and Arleen Lazarus. Their belief is that with their unique skills, experience, and personalities they can best serve their clients as a small, family firm. And so for 25 years they have represented clients, mostly from south Florida, in personal injury cases from their offices in Fort Lauderdale and Weston.

The Firm has also chosen some very specialized areas of law to focus on, to the point where they are among a handful of attorneys known for their pre-eminent knowledge and experience in these fields.

You would think that Maritime Law would be a common area for attorneys in Florida because the state is surrounded by water and the number of boats and vessels. But it is actually a very complex area because of the international implications and various jurisdictions involved.

Pharmacy errors and negligence is another facet of the Lazarus Law Firm’s expertise and once again it involves very specialized knowledge. Pharmaceutical products available to patients have skyrocketed, and their proliferation is resulting in too many accidents and cases of pharmacy and physician errors. Gary and Arleen are dedicated to helping people who, through no fault of their own, are becoming victims of medicine that was supposed to help them.

Auto accidents kill and injure thousands of people each year, and the firm has always been at the forefront of handling cases for victims in south Florida. These cases require knowledge of laws pertaining to liability, medical costs, traffic statutes, and they require a real sense of compassion for people suffering devastating loss.

Calling 954-356-0006 will put in direct contact with Gary and Arleen who are always ready to schedule a confidential consultation and help.

You May Delay, but Time Will Not – Time Limit Statutes

Statutes of Limitations – Personal Injury and Malpractice Cases
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
Each state has different laws regarding the limitations on time for filing legal actions. Most of these are state statutes and are available online, but they are very complex and may leave even the brightest and most-educated reader bewildered and befuddled. Attempts to file an action after the expiration of time-limiting statutes are most likely doomed, so it’s very important to know and follow the law.

Chapter 95 of the State of Florida Statutes covers the “limitations of actions” and is an integral element of your case if you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or of professional malpractice.

The statute sets forth different time periods for different situations, for example:
Within Twenty Years: An action on a judgment or decree of a court of record in this state.
This means, for example, if you have a judgment against someone for money they owe you, you would be wise to enforce and collect before 20 years goes by. If not, the judgment is no longer valid.

Within Five Years: An action on a judgment or decree of any court, not of record, of this state or any court of the United States, any other state or territory in the United States, or a foreign country.

The section that pertains to negligence states, in part:

Within Four Years: An action founded on negligence.

And the section covering professional malpractice states, in part:

Within Two Years: (a) An action for professional malpractice, other than medical malpractice, whether founded on contract or tort; provided that the period of limitations shall run from the time the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. However, the limitation of actions herein for professional malpractice shall be limited to persons in privity with the professional. And (b) An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. The entire statute is here: Florida Statute 95

To a non-attorney, this is can be confusing. The critical lesson here is that if you have been the victim of negligence or professional malpractice it is important to have consulted with an attorney who understands and practices the pertaining statutes on a daily basis and who has a successful track record.

The Law firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been successfully representing clients who are victims of negligence by others. Gary and Arleen Lazarus are eminently qualified to deal with your case in a professional and timely manner. They may be reached by calling 954-356-0006.

Personal Injury Facts and Figures

When people think of a personal injury occurring, they always think it will happen to someone else….until it happens to them.

Then they scramble to deal with the care and treatment of injuries, the expenses, lost work, and the pain and suffering. It’s probably a good idea to be aware of the most common types and causes of personal injury incidents, and to have the name of a trusted, experienced lawyer who will protect your rights on hand all the time. It is likely that at some time in your life you or someone you know will need one.

The most common causes of personal injury incidents are accidents, negligence by another person or party, defective equipment, and unforeseen happenings or occurrences. There are also injuries that occur as a result of someone else’s deliberate actions which include physical battery.

(1) By far, the number one cause of injuries in the United States is traffic accidents.
In 2011 there were 32,479 people killed in traffic accidents according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2012 the number rose to 33,561 people killed.

According to the US Census Bureau, the population as of Dec 30, 2014 at 2 pm is 320,083,330 – by the way, here is an interesting website that gives to-the-minute population data: –

Now, if you consider that there are 320 million people, and 32,000 die in accidents, that is one in 10,000. This may seem a bit morbid, but that means if you go to a stadium with 80,000 people – statistically, 8 people will be killed in a roadway accident. In a year.

The number for injuries are obviously much higher: in 2012, there were 2,362,000 people injured in roadway accidents. That is one in every 100 people.

We don’t intend to frighten anyone, but it is good to be cautious and prudent when driving, or just riding with someone else in an automobile, truck, or motorcycle.
– Drinking and driving – an unconditional no-no.
– Texting and Driving – never.
– Driving carelessly or over the speed limit – don’t do it.
– Unsafe tires or other equipment – very, very dangerous.

(2) Negligence
Despite advances in training and technology, there are more and more cases of negligence each year. Business owners are required to use diligence to protect customers for example, but too often people are hurt by failure to safeguard food, screen employees, or follow generally accepted policies and procedures.

(3) Defective Equipment
Companies and individuals will often put off maintenance of equipment to cut costs, and people suffer injuries as a result. Poor lighting, slippery floors, loose shelves, improper wiring are just a few examples of equipment lapses that can lead to injury or death.

The bottom line on personal injury is: Avoid them! But you can’t live your life hiding under your bed, either. So the Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus urges everyone to be vigilant and cautious, using good judgment and knowledge to hopefully avoid injury.

If you are injured, in a traffic accident, due to negligence, or because of faulty equipment you should know that you have rights. The attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have earned a sterling reputation for defending their client’s rights, negotiating settlements, and proceeding to court to gain compensation whenever necessary. You can reach Gary and Arleen Lazarus and their dedicated staff by calling 954-356-0006.

JAMA: Oil Spill Has Direct Effect on Health of Workers, Residents and Seafood

Just days after President Obama swam in waters off the coast of Florida and tasted fish from the Gulf, the Journal of the American Medical Association published an online report detailing the affects of the Gulf oil spill on workers, tourists/residents and seafood in Florida.

The report, published August 16, 2010, states that the “oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico poses direct threats to human health from inhalation or dermal contact with the oil and dispersant chemicals, and indirect threats to seafood safety and mental health.” This statement is a strong position to take, given BP’s consistent denial of any known health risks posed by the oil spill.

The report also states: “Physicians should be familiar with the health effects from oil spills to appropriately advise, diagnose, and treat patients who live and work along the Gulf Coast…” To date, more than 300 people (75 percent of whom were cleanup workers) were treated for symptoms related to the oil spill. Complaints included headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, coughing, respiratory infections and chest pain.

Acute exposure to the oil and dispersant chemicals is to blame for these symptoms, according to the report. Further, prolonged exposure may also lead to long-term effects in the seafood we consume, such as high levels of toxic contaminants such as lead, mercury and cadmium.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also currently testing air quality in Florida and other Gulf states to produce statistics regarding the effect of the spill above water as well. If you’ve worked in the cleanup effort and have been having health problems, contact a personal injury lawyer in Florida immediately to find out your rights.

Defining Damages for “Loss of Enjoyment of Life” in Personal Injury Suits


In personal injury lawsuits, Florida attorneys often seek damages for victims for something called “Loss of Enjoyment of Life.” You may have heard of people recovering money through lawsuits for medical expenses, lost wages or pain and suffering, but you may not realize that compensation for loss of enjoyment of life is often possible as well.

Although it may sound similar to “pain and suffering,” damages for loss of enjoyment of life are different. Pain and suffering refers to the direct pain caused by the injuries you receive as a result of an accident. Loss of enjoyment of life refers to the emotional, physical and psychological loss you endure over the long-term as the result of an injury.

For example, if you lose your sense of sight after an accident, you can be compensated further due to the fact that you will never be able to work the same again, see your children or generally enjoy life the way you once did. Loss of a limb, disfigurement or other catastrophic injuries also often qualify victims for this particular type of compensation.

Damages for loss of enjoyment of life are quantified by figuring out both the percentage of lifestyle lost as well as the measurable loss according to your injury. Losing an arm versus losing your sight can mean completely different sums. It takes a skilled personal injury attorney to argue this type of case and to get you the money you deserve. An attorney who can work for your best interests can successfully recover damages that will help you lead a comfortable life after a devastating injury.

Gulf Oil Spill Continues to Affect Florida Tourism and Workers


Results from a new study of tourism in the Gulf region this week predict that the state of Florida will be the hardest hit economically in the wake of the BP oil spill disaster. According to the study conducted by consulting firm Oxford Economics USA and commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, Florida will have the biggest loss in travel spending amongst the Gulf states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Annually, visitors to Florida bring more than $22 billion to the state’s economy. The study estimates that Florida stands to lose $18.6 billion over the next three years, regardless of that fact that 90% of the states beaches remain unaffected by the oil spill. To help offset these predicted losses, BP has already funded a $25 million campaign to help boost tourism throughout the state, but its effectiveness remains to be seen.

Lack of Tourism and Employment Linked to a Rise in Work Injuries
Tourism all over the gulf region is expected to suffer for the next several years, says the Houston-based consulting firm. Across the region, more than 400,000 people depend on the Gulf for employment and the jobless rates in this region have already sharply risen. Many people are taking on temporary cleanup jobs to make ends meet, but reports of headaches, dizziness and nausea from chemicals, slip and falls and other injuries are increasing as the danger of the cleanup efforts begins to take its toll on many workers.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in cleanup efforts, its important that you hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to help you sort through any workers compensation paperwork and settlement offers before you accept them. Or, if you’re being denied benefits, a lawyer can pursue employers and third-parities responsible for your injuries.

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Sparks Legislation, Concern Over Health Impact for Workers


On July 8, 2010, the New York Times reported that the Florida legislature has called a special session in order to pass a constitutional ban on offshore oil drilling. The measure would be up for public vote on the November ballot in Florida, giving residents the ability to decide on drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico and other offshore locations near the state’s shores. Currently, offshore drilling is banned by Florida statute but not by constitutional ban.

In response to the growing concern for Florida residents and shores, the White House announced yesterday that the first lady, Michelle Obama, would be visiting Panama City Beach, Florida on Monday to meet with local officials and residents. She plans to discuss updates on the oil spill as well as how it is impacting the community thus far.

The Oil Spill’s Effect on Temporary Workers and Their Health Temporary workers being dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to clean up tar and oil deposits along the coastline are already complaining of flu-like symptoms, according to a June 4, 2010 article in USA Today. Dozens of workers have received treatment at local hospitals for symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, nausea and headaches.

Doctors presume these conditions are the direct result of exposure to chemical dispersants, solvents and other hazardous materials used in the cleanup process. After the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, workers complained of similar health problems. As the oil spill continues to grow, health officials cannot possibly predict the long-term effects on workers, so it is important that affected people seek legal representation for their injuries.

Fort Lauderdale Not Yet Affected By Gulf Oil Spill

As of June 17, 2010, the city of Fort Lauderdale’s website claims that all tourism-based businesses are yet unaffected by the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. However, there is real concern among residents, business owners and tourists alike that the spill may soon reach the South Florida coast and its beaches.

The Fort Lauderdale city website states that “Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County are not within the projected impact area” of the oil spill. However, officials also admit that winds, tides and continued leakages could drastically affect the path of the oil over the coming weeks.
Signs That the Spill May Affect Tourism
Many travel companies are also looking at this issue very seriously in South Florida. According to USA Today, the travel booking website Orbitz announced an “Open Beach Guarantee” on June 14, 2010 that offers travelers full refunds on hotel stays in South Florida through July 31st as the spill continues to grow. If the government closes a beach within 20 miles of the property at which you booked a room, you get a full refund. The same guarantee applies if the beach is declared “dangerous” for visitors. No announcements have been made on refunds for air, train or car travel.

If you have been affected by the oil spill in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas, you may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney regarding your situation. How this oil spill will affect residents, workers and tourists will remain to be seen over the coming months and years, but it is never too soon to talk to a professional legal representative about health risks or injuries you may have received as a result of the spill.