Williams is Named Chairman of the Houston Bar Foundation

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Lawyers | 0 comments

One of the top personal injury lawyers in the country was named pro bono chairman of the Houston Bar Foundation. John Eddie Williams Jr. is known best for his success in several landmark cases, including the case against Chevron for the negligent death of two of its workers and against the tobacco industry, both of which resulted in significant awards to his clients.

However, he is also a noted philanthropist, which makes him the ideal person to chair the Houston Bar Foundation for 2014. It is the pro bono division of the Houston Bar Association, which funds free legal assistance and representation through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. For people who cannot afford to pay a lawyer, this is an important resource for them, and the foundation helps many veterans as well.

When asked about the work done at the Houston Bar Foundation, Williams says they have regular clinics to grant access to people who need a lawyer. He explains that “indigent people need health care, but people need legal help, too. Whether it’s putting together a will, dealing with landlord-tenant issues. And, of course, veterans have all kinds of problems getting benefits.”

Among the public services that Williams oversees include:

  • Dispute Resolution Center
  • Domestic Violence Services
  • Elder Law Services
  • Fee Dispute Committee
  • Houston Lawyer Referral Service
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers
  • Saturday Legal Advice Clinics
  • The People’s Law School
  • Veterans Legal Initiative

The position is for one year, so Williams is nearing the end of his term. His main goal was to raise as much as he could so that they could help as many people as possible while continuing to build the endowment, which he calls a “rainy day” fund. Williams represent lawyers who care about people who have legal needs, and do what they can by donating their time and money. The Harvest Party, which is the biggest fundraising activity of the foundation, was held at River Oaks Country Club. Almost 1,000 lawyers attended the event, which brought in about $670,000 for the endowment.

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Legal Issues Facing Bobbi Kristina Brown’s Possible Passing

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Probate | 0 comments

The people of this world sang her off in the February of 2012 with “I Will Always Love You”, following the tragic loss of Whitney Houston as she passed away due to accidental drowning in a bathtub with heart failures and drug use as contributing factors. How eerie are the circumstances now that her only daughter and sole heir, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was put into a medically induced coma on the 31st of January 2015 after being found in a way almost identical to her mother’s death.

It is a trying time for the Houston and Brown family, as the Queen of Pop had divorced her R&B singer husband, Bobby Brown, in 2007 but she still retained custody of the girl. The divorce had nullified Mr Brown’s claim to the fortune that Houston left behind but even the 21-year-old heiress cannot come into full acquisition of her fortune until she is 30. There are current disputes that are surfacing in the event that Bobbi Brown does pass as she is the only heir to the departed singer’s fortune.

Nick Gordon, an unofficial ward of Whitney, has been living with them since he was 12 – and only recently did it come to light that he and Bobbi were in a relationship and even claimed to be married, to many negative views from the public and the Browns and Houstons alike. Lawyers have claimed that the pair has never been married but should the marriage be considered legitimate, Gordon stands to inherit Houston’s fortune.

Further inspection of Whitney Houston claims that if she has no child to survive her, her next heir is to be her own mother, Emily “Cissy” Houston and her son, leaving the elder Houston to possibly claim nearly $20 million in inheritance. The contents of this will are, however, subject to litigation should the Browns claim for a case. Probate litigation, following the definition found on the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, involves the contesting of wills and further deliberation as to who will inherit the estate of the late famed singer.

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Chapter 11: Business Bankruptcy

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Business | 0 comments

When a business firm becomes insolvent, but would not want to cease operations, one legal means it can employ to save itself from overwhelming debts and regain control of its finances is Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Insolvency puts any business firm’s existence at risk, but business owners should know that while they are legally bound to pay their creditors, the law can also save and protect them from being harassed by creditors and loan collectors, as well as allow them to design a scheme that will make settlement of debts more affordable. And, as stated above, one way is by seeking protection from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Majority of business firms shy away from Chapter 11, as much as possible, because it is complex, time-consuming, risky and very expensive; however, it is also the only bankruptcy chapter that will allow firms, with loan amounts exceeding the limit set in Chapter 13, to restructure their debt payment and continue operations at the same time.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy, also known as business bankruptcy, may be filed by limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships. Both small businesses and giant corporations can be eligible to seek protection from it.

This reorganization type of bankruptcy requires firms to design a payment plan, which the court will then approve. There are even instances when the court would reduce the firm’s liabilities, such as through the discharge of unsecured debts, to make payment easier and profitability, achieved faster.

Chapter 11 can also be considered a liquidation bankruptcy since the debtor or company can choose to sell some of its assets and properties, instead, to be able to pay its creditors. A debtor, however, who has already filed chapter 11 in the last 6 months or 180 days, wherein this application resulted in a dismissal or the debtor either failed to comply with the court’s mandates or failed to appear in court, is prohibited from filing another case.

It is necessary that businesses intending to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy understand everything about this chapter, in particular, and about bankruptcy, in general. The website of Ryan Ruehle can provide debtors with the vital information that they need to know.

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Important Considerations when Installing New Commercial Roofing

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Roofs | 0 comments

Cost is always an important factor when deciding on purchasing anything, but it should not always be the deciding one. Instead, one should consider value for money, and that includes long-term consequences. This is true when making decision in commercial roofing and whether or not to shell out extra money for a professional roof contractor such as Black Slate Roofing, LLC. Here are some reasons why you should.


Reputable roof material manufacturers and contractors will give you a warranty on the product and the work. Of the two, the latter is more important because it indicates the contractor’s confidence in the way it was installed. Try to get an extended warranty as defects in the installation may come out some time after.


Roofing is much more than just the cover; the component that will drive up your cost will be the amount of insulation you need depending on the location, purpose and design of the building. Adequate insulation will drive down long-term costs of heating and cooling, but excessive amounts will only increase your upfront costs. A roofing contractor will be able to give you a breakdown of why X amount of insulation is recommended to help you decide.


When an existing roof is to be replaced, a roofing contractor will be able to identify points of weaknesses in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) of the existing structure during roof replacement. Business owners will be able to upgrade them at the same time as roof replacement if desired, saving on some costs in the process.

Building Repairs

When a roof is replaced in older buildings, the roofing contractor will be able to bring the building back to top condition by recommending replacement or repair of roof deck installations such as metal decks, perimeter wood blocking, roof drains, and skylights.
When the roof requires major repairs or replacement, the costs can be prohibitive, but the outlay is necessary for the continued good condition of the whole building. As a building owner, you need to consider it a long-term investment, and resolve not to cut corners so that you will not have to spend much more money making additional repairs later on.

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Chemical Peel: Types of Treatment

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Hair and Beauty | 0 comments

In 2012, more than 13 million minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures (a total of 14.6 million if surgical procedures were added) were performed in the US, as shown in the statistical data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). While Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) has always been the top procedure for the past years (6.1 million performed in 2012), Chemical peel had 1.1 million procedures, making it the third most sought cosmetic treatment by Americans.

Chemical peel, otherwise called derma peeling or chemexfoliation, is one of the many form of cosmetic treatments; it is specifically intended to improve the appearance and texture of the outer layers of the skin that has been damaged through exposure to the sun, or which has become wrinkled, scarred, spotted, or unevenly toned due to aging. Specifically, the procedure aims to treat the skin from scars, scaly patches, irregular skin pigmentation, liver spots, freckles, wrinkles, acne and/or acne scars; it cannot be the solution, though, to deep scars and sagging skin, or the means to change the size of pores, or remove broken capillaries.

Chemical peel treatments involve the use of chemical solutions, like alphahydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid and phenol. Each solution, according to an article on the website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery, is adjusted by the licensed cosmetic doctor to meet the patient’s specific needs.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists three types of chemical peel procedures, which include:

  • Light chemical peel – recommended for those with fine wrinkling, acne, dry skin or uneven skin pigment. This treatment usually takes 1 to 7 days healing time. Around 3 – 5 treatments (each spaced between 2 – 5 weeks) may be required until desired result is achieved. This type of peel targets the epidermis, that is, the skin’s outer layer. The mildest chemicals combined and used in this procedure are alphahydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids (maleic acid, salicylic acid and glycolic acid)
  • Medium chemical peel – is for those who have uneven skin color, deeper wrinkles and acne scars, but wants visibly fresher and smoother skin. After the procedure, skin will turn red and become swollen; swelling of eyelids may also occur plus the formation blisters. During the healing period, which can be between 7 -14 days, taking an antiviral medication and total avoidance of the sun are required. Medium peels treat both the epidermis and the dermis (the upper part of the skin’s middle layer). Trichloroacetic acid, which may be used with glycolic acid, is used in this procedure.
  • Deep chemical peel – recommended for those with deeper facial wrinkles, blotchy skin areas, pre-cancerous growths on skin, scars and skin damaged by the sun. Treated area/s will need to be bandaged and healing time takes up to 21 days. An antiviral medication will need to be taken by the patient for 10 to 14 days and exposure to sun should be totally avoided for about 3 to 6 months.

This procedure may require an 8-week pretreatment, during which retinoic acid cream or gel may be used to thin out the surface layer of the skin. Actual treatment involves the use of phenol, a very strong chemical solution, to be able to penetrate the skin’s lower dermal layer; anesthesia and a sedative (to put patient to sleep) are also used in the treatment, which should be in a surgical setting. Deep peel may take as long as three weeks to heal, but its results are truly remarkable.

Before getting a chemical peel treatment, it is very necessary that the patient makes sure that: the person who will perform the procedure is a licensed doctor or plastic surgeon, who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery; that the surgical facility has been previously accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized in the state or nationally, or Medicare-certified; and, that he/she knows what needs to be expected before, during and after the procedure.

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Levels of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Injuries | 0 comments

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are all caused by physical violence, whether accidental or intentional, and all are serious. The brain is a delicate structure with a lot on its plate when it comes to human function, so even relatively minor trauma can have significant effect on the injured individual. However, there are levels of severity that have a direct impact on the prognosis of the patient.


As the term suggests, mild TBI is the least severe, and registers between 13 and 15 in the Glasgow Coma Scale.
Mild traumatic brain injury occurs when:

  • Loss of consciousness is very brief, usually a few seconds or minutes
  • Loss of consciousness does not have to occur—the person may be dazed or confused
  • Testing or scans of the brain may appear normal
  • A mild traumatic brain injury is diagnosed only when there is a change in the mental status at the time of injury—the person is dazed, confused, or loses consciousness. The change in mental status indicates that the person’s brain functioning has been altered, this is called a concussion

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (Glascow Coma Scale core 9-12)

Most brain injuries result from moderate and minor head injuries. Such injuries usually result from a non-penetrating blow to the head, and/or a violent shaking of the head. As luck would have it many individuals sustain such head injuries without any apparent consequences. However, for many others, such injuries result in lifelong disabling impairments.

A moderate traumatic brain injury occurs when:

  • A loss of consciousness lasts from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Confusion lasts from days to weeks
  • Physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments last for months or are permanent.

Persons with moderate traumatic brain injury generally can make a good recovery with treatment or successfully learn to compensate for their deficits.

Severe Brain Injury

Severe head injuries usually result from crushing blows or penetrating wounds to the head. Such injuries crush, rip and shear delicate brain tissue. This is the most life threatening, and the most intractable type of brain injury.

Typically, heroic measures are required in treatment of such injuries. Frequently, severe head trauma results in an open head injury, one in which the skull has been crushed or seriously fractured. Treatment of open head injuries usually requires prolonged hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation. Typically, rehabilitation is incomplete and for most part there is no return to pre-injury status. Closed head injuries can also result in severe brain injury.
TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions.

TBI can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.

Repeated mild TBIs occurring over an extended period of time (i.e., months, years) can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficits. Repeated mild TBIs occurring within a short period of time (i.e., hours, days, or weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal.

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Birth Injuries and Disability

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Injuries | 0 comments


There are probably few things more tragic than an otherwise healthy baby being subjected to birth injuries that have long-term consequences. Aside from the fact of the immediate pain and suffering of the child, the emotional (not to mention financial) impact on the parents are often considerable.

According to the website of Goings Law Firm, LLC in South Carolina, birth injuries occur more often than most people believe even in these days of modern medicine. On average, it is believed that as many as three birth injuries occur each hour in the US alone. This is not so strange if one thinks about it. After all, childbirth remains one of the most traumatic experiences of humans, and it does not take much for something untoward to happen. It could be due to poor prenatal care, prolonged labor, breech birth, cephalopelvic disproportion, or medical negligence. One birth injury which occurs in as many as 2 out of every 1,000 live births is Erb’s Palsy, also known as Brachial Plexus Nerve Palsy.

Erb’s palsy is not automatically a serious birth injury. When the birth is difficult because the baby is too large or in a breech delivery, injury may occur when there is pressure on the brachial plexus, a network of nerves located in the neck area, from excessive pulling during birth.

Erb’s palsy is essentially a type of paralysis; movement is restricted because the brachial plexus is damaged. The brachial plexus mainly controls voluntary movements in the arm and hands. However, in most cases Erb’s palsy is a temporary condition, and the baby may regain movement in the affected limb within three months.

In cases where the damage to the brachial plexus is severe, such as when some portion is avulsed or completely torn, then partial or total disability of that limb for voluntary movement becomes permanent. Because the injury occurs at birth, the development of the affected limb is arrested, so the affliction is physically apparent. In these cases, the weakened limb is something the victim of the birth injury will have to live with their entire life.

Birth injuries are certainly unfortunate incidents, but when it is due to medical negligence, it becomes nearly criminal. It is the right of the parents to seek compensation for their child from the responsible parties, not only for the physical pain and suffering and medical expenses, but also for the emotional and psychological impact. Consult with a birth injury lawyer in your area get started on getting justice for your child.

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Corrective Color for Gray Hair

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Hair and Beauty | 0 comments

One of the most common hair problems is going gray, although in general women mind it more than men, on whom gray hair can look “distinguished.” This is most apparent for those with dark hair such as redheads and brunettes, although it also looks a bit funky on lighter colored heads. Graying hair is often associated with aging, which is the main reason why most people would like to just make it go away.

The reason that hair goes gray most probably has something to do with the way melanin is produced. Melanin is the pigment produced by certain cells in the body called melanocytes which gives color to our hair, skin, and eyes. When melanin is not present or in inadequate quantities in the follicles, the new hair that grows out has little or no color. The slowing or halting of melanin production may be due to heredity or the environment, or a combination of both.

Women who are genetically predisposed to early loss of melanin in the hair often have a choice of politely declining the senior citizen discount or covering the gray up. The lucky ones have gray hair growing in clumps, so stylish streaks may be produced, which can look cool. But most women get gray hair growing unevenly, which makes the face look old and tired in consequence.

The easiest way to cover hair that has gone (prematurely) gray is to have corrective color applied. If you have the gray hair problem, go to your favorite salon and place your hair in professional hands to have the job done right. You can choose a shade that approximates your natural color, or you could take the opportunity to be adventurous and try another shade or even a different color altogether.

It will not do to overdo the coloring though; a reputable hair colorist will advise you on how often you can safely color your hair and what are the best products for your hair type and condition. In between coloring sessions, you can use rinses and hennas to cover up tell-tale roots that may show up.

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Options for BP Oil Spill Claims

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in BP & Oil Spill Claims | 0 comments

The statute of limitations for filing a BP claim appeal expired on April 20, 2013. This is in keeping with the maximum time allowed by federal law under the Oil Pollution Act to file against the oil producer and its associates in the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill incident.

This is bad news for those who have yet to file a claim or have been denied a moratorium by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the now-defunct organization that was supposed to handle compensation claims for individuals and businesses affected by the oil spill. Claims are now being handled directly by BP under a Court Supervised Settlement Program, and these include not only OPA claims but also those who participated in the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement, Seafood Compensation Programs, and Medical Benefit Settlements as well as appeals for denied claims.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there is extensive scrutiny from the courts as BP continuously challenges all claims and actually denies about 75% of them, sparking off protests and allegations of bad faith from claimants who are four years delayed in getting compensation. This is the pattern observed in the management of claims against BP, such as with the Medical Benefits program, which had already significantly delayed compensation to those whose health was affected by taking part in the clean-up operations in the aftermath of the explosion as well as residents of the affected areas. Most recently the Medical Benefit Settlement program was approved, and the deadline for making a claim under this category is now on February 14, 2015 barring any further legal wrangling.

There is no denying the BP has the legal muscle and financial capability to escape liability for a significant number of the affected populations. Claimants and appellants must have competent legal representation with experience in handling BP oil spill claims, and must act fast before time runs out.

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Types of Burn Injuries

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Burns | 0 comments

There is a kind of cavalier attitude that most people have about burns. Everyone has at one point been burned, deliberately while daring each other to touch the smoking tip of a match, or accidentally while ironing. These are minor burns and do not usually require a trip to the hospital or doctor, so one can afford to shrug it off with a wince and a smile. But when a burn is serious then it not only requires immediate and extensive medical attention, it can be life-changing if not fatal, so should be taken very seriously.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and is primarily designed to provide a protective layer between the body and the outside environment. Breaching the skin by burning can have significant effects on the integrity of the body’s immune system as well as other systems, depending on the cause. A burn can be caused by heat, chemicals, radiation, friction, and electrical current, and when it is serious enough, it can go all the way to the bone. There are four types of burns based on its severity.

First degree (superficial) burns are the most minor of burns and involve only the top layer of the skin (epidermis). A good example is sunburn, which can be uncomfortable and painful but is easily treated with over-the-counter topical creams and perhaps mild pain medication. First degree burns are usually dry. The effects usually pass after a couple of days, and the skin almost always heals completely.

Second degree burns are more serious and much more painful, penetrating into the second layer of the skin or the dermis. Severe sunburn may be considered a second degree burn. This type of burn is usually moist and red, forms blisters, and needs professional medical attention to make sure it is properly cleaned. A second degree burn, if left untreated, can lead to infections. It takes longer for a second degree burn to heal but usually leaves no scars, unless it penetrates deep into the dermis.

Third degree burns penetrate straight through the dermis and kills off most of the nerves in the affected area, which is why it is less painful than a second degree burn. However, because the affected area is effectively dead, all the tissue, including damaged skin and muscle, needs to be removed. Extreme third degree burns may necessitate amputation. It takes a long time for a third degree burn victim to recover.

Fourth degree burns are when the damage is so extensive that it goes all the way to the bone. In most cases, this means amputation of the affected area, and often leads to death.

Burns are one of the common complications of accidents. According to the website of Sampson Law Firm, this can have traumatic consequences. When serious burns result from the negligence of a third party, it is just right to seek compensation. Consult with a burn injury lawyer to know your rights and legal options.

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