Santa Fe Agrees To a $36M Settlement With the Firms Responsible For Constructing Its Water Project

The board of the Santa Fe city and county’s joint Buckman Direct Diversion agreed to a $36 million settlement last week in a lawsuit against firms responsible for designing and constructing the water project, the agreement shows.

The settlement wraps up a portion of a case the board filed in 2018 after a variety of issues were discovered with the river diversion, including concerns over piping and raw-water pumps.

The settlement was between CH2M Hill/Western Summit Constructors, referred to in the settlement as Joint Ventures Parties, which handled construction and design for the decade-old project.

According to the settlement documents, neither party admitted wrongdoing. The agreement does not include CDM Smith Inc., the firm that handled the project’s engineering work.

Read the source article at santafenewmexican.com

Health Net Repaid $97.2M To Settle an Investigation Confirming It Over-Billed the U.S. For Veterans Care

A Rancho Cordova health insurance company has repaid $97.2 million to settle an investigation into inflated claims submitted to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Health Net Federal Services LLC agreed to the settlement after an audit by the VA Office of Inspector General revealed that Health Net had filed duplicate claims under a veterans healthcare contract. A follow-up investigation “confirmed the conduct,” the U.S. attorney’s office said. Health Net repaid $93.7 million-plus $3.5 million in interest.

“Providers must be held to the highest standard of care and must rigorously comply with their contractual obligations,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert in a prepared statement.

Read the source article at sacbee.com

Sessions at the 2021 Trial Lawyers Summit

On May 4 – 7, 2021, The National Trial Lawyers will present the 10th annual Trial Lawyers Summit, hosted at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami, FL. This conference will provide attorneys, paralegals, students, and firm administrators with outstanding educational opportunities and the chance to grow their vast legal network.

The Trial Lawyers Summit is packed full of informative sessions, compelling speakers, and networking events that help attorneys perfect their practice while reconnecting with new and fellow trial lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers has worked diligently to create a fun and safe environment for this year’s Trial Lawyers Summit so that the trial community can be together again.

Attendees at the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit enjoying one of the many informative sessions offered at the conference.

To kick-off the Trial Lawyers Summit, there will be a Trucking & Automobile session on Tuesday, focusing on juror perceptions, common mistakes for plaintiffs to avoid, and the use of examples and analogies in summation. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn the latest changes in trucking and automobile litigation from speakers like Brent Goudarzi, Diane Marger Moore, Shean Williams, John Givens, and many more.

Following the Trucking & Automobile session, the NTL Digital Marketing Master Class will help attorneys discover the latest digital marketing trends to take their business to the next level.

We will wrap up the first night with the much anticipated Summit Kickoff Party, sponsored by Broughton Partners. Unwind after a day of informative sessions with live entertainment and cocktails. This party will include an evening with Ghaleb and a pair of vibrant flamenco dancers, along with an excellent opportunity to mingle with some of America’s most distinguished attorneys.

Musician Ghaleb and a pair of vibrant flamenco dancers perform during the Summit Kickoff Party at the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit.

Wednesday and Thursday morning will begin with the session Courtroom Playbook: Trial Skills, sponsored by Consumer Attorney Marketing Group. Be sure to join us as we will dive deep into the fundamentals of creating and growing a practice, featuring speakers like Lisa Blue, Mark Lanier, John Romano, and more.

Following Wednesday’s Courtroom Playbook session, the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, sponsored by US Claims, will be held featuring keynote speaker Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an American neurosurgeon, Emmy award-winning medical reporter, and writer.

Later in the afternoon, there will be the first installment of the Business of Law session, where you will have the opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s biggest law firms about business principles and what it takes to build a successful company. The second part of the Business of Law series will take place on Thursday afternoon, focusing on general ideas and practices of case acquisition, and running law firms by utilizing the latest technology.

After the in-depth sessions on trial skills and building a lucrative law firm, Trial Lawyers Summit attendees and their guests are welcome to enjoy a lively night of entertainment featuring the band The Ice Breakers at the President’s Reception, sponsored by Velawcity.

Attendees of the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit enjoy a fun evening of entertainment at the President’s Reception.

We will be wrapping up the Trial Lawyers Summit with the Traumatic Brain Injury session with featured speakers Elizabeth Zwibel, Jeff Mitchell, Karen Evans, and Stephen Smith. This session will cover how to try a TBI case from intake to verdict, including strategies for:

  • Avoiding defense traps.
  • Cross-examination of experts.
  • Jury persuasion.
  • Meaningful settlements.
  • Winning your case at trial.

Though we do not know what requirements will be in place on May 4, 2021, we anticipate certain precautions during the 2021 Trial Lawyers Summit. Please view our anticipated COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For the first time, we are offering a special combination offer to attend both the Lanier Trial Academy and the Trial Lawyers Summit for an exclusive discounted price. After you take advantage of everything the Trial Lawyers Summit has to offer, you can join us for the Lanier Trial Academy Master Class 5.0 held June 2 – 4, 2021, in Houston, Texas. The Lanier Trial Academy will be featuring the 5th Annual Golf Scramble, Theological Library Tour, and brand-new material like how we use technology and how it will change the next time we try a case.
If you are interested in attending both events in Houston and Miami, you can save $640 by registering now at an NTL member-exclusive price of only $1,750!

If you are interested in attending both events, but you are not an NTL member, you can still save $890 by registering now for $2,000!

Special thank you to our event sponsors. Our 2021 Trial Lawyers Summit Partners are Counsel Financial, The Sentinel Group, and Digital Law Marketing. The Lanier Trial Academy Master Class 5.0 Big As Texas Partners are Consumer Attorney Marketing Group, Archer, and Trusted Legal Partners.

The U.S. Settles the 1800s Land Grabs With the Pembina Band of Chippewas for $59M

FARGO — A delegation that negotiated a treaty to obtain a large swath of the Red River Valley from the Ojibwe showed up with added persuasion: almost 300 soldiers and a Gatling gun.

Under the treaty negotiated at the “Old Crossing” of the Red Lake River in 1863, the Ojibwe would surrender 11 million acres in Minnesota and North Dakota. In return, they were to receive $20,000 annually for 20 years, while Native American traders who pushed for the treaty to open up the coveted Red River Valley would receive up to $100,000.

After the Senate significantly amended the treaty, some Ojibwe signers refused to endorse the revised agreement, forcing negotiation of a new treaty with somewhat more generous annual payments to the Natives the following year.

In spite of the revisions, Bishop Henry Whipple called the treaties “from beginning to end a fraud.” Those treaties, together with an agreement reached in 1892 that would compel the Ojibwe to sign away millions of more acres in North Dakota, would lead to more than a century of legal challenges and appeals to Congress.

Read the source article at Perham Focus

A Settlement With the Department of Agriculture Will Bring $715M in Food Stamps To Pennsylvania Households

(Pittsburgh) — A legal settlement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and two Pennsylvania women who are food stamp recipients will result in $712 million in additional food stamp benefits for more than 650,000 of the lowest-income Pennsylvania households.

The settlement, which was announced Wednesday, follows months of litigation as well as a change in leadership at the federal agency after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in November.

At the center of the lawsuit was extra assistance for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients included as part of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a bill passed by Congress in March 2020. However, the USDA, which administers the program, interpreted the law to mean the extra aid could only bring recipients up to the maximum benefit amount. That left those who were already receiving the maximum benefits – the lowest income families and individuals, representing about 40% of households in the program – with no additional aid during the pandemic.

Read the source article at witf.org

Seattle School District Agrees to a $4.25M Sexual Assault Settlement

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — A suburban Seattle school district this week agreed to pay $4.25 million to settle a lawsuit that accuses a former middle school teacher of sexually assaulting his student for nearly a decade.

According to the lawsuit, drama teacher Richard Buckley started “grooming” Courtney Dennis, when she was about 12 years old in the late 1990s at Issaquah Middle School.

Buckley was never criminally charged, and the statute of limitations has elapsed. In 2003, he was convicted of molesting Dennis’s younger sister.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Dennis told The Seattle Times in an interview Friday. “I’m so thankful to (my attorneys) — they fought so hard to seek justice for my family and I.”

Filing the lawsuit, she said, has been an important part of her healing process.

Read the source article at lmtribune.com

USC Agrees To $1.1B Settlement for 710 Women Alleging Abuse by Gynecologist

The University of Southern California has agreed to pay more than $1 billion in settlements to those who accused former student health center gynecologist George Tyndall of repeated sexual assaults on female patients.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court approved a deal Thursday that would give 710 women who alleged that they were abused by Tyndall an $852 million settlement. That is in addition to a $215 million settlement that was given final approval last year as part of a different federal class-action lawsuit.

Tyndall was arrested in 2019 and charged with 18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud in cases involving multiple young women. Prosecutors also charged him with five counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and one count of sexual battery by fraud last year.

Read the source article at NBC News

Federal Trade Commission Sends $50M of the 2019 University of Phoenix Settlement to Eligible Students

The Federal Trade Commission secured a record $191 million settlement with the for-profit University of Phoenix in 2019 over deceptive marketing claims and announced on Wednesday that it is sending nearly $50 million in refunds to eligible students.

The FTC had sued the university for advertising partnerships with corporations including Yahoo and American Red Cross that in reality had no curricular ties to the school. The university did not acknowledge wrongdoing in the settlement, an FTC record for a for-profit educational entity. 

In the Wednesday press release, the FTC said it will be sending payments to more than 147,000 students “who may have been lured by allegedly deceptive advertisements.”

Read the source article at Business Insider

Boston Scientific Agreed to Pay a $189M Settlement With the U.S. Over Surgical Mesh Devices

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Boston Scientific Corp agreed to pay $188.7 million to settle claims by most U.S. states that it deceptively marketed its surgical mesh devices to consumers.

The settlement with 47 states and Washington, D.C. was announced on Tuesday by several state attorneys general. Boston Scientific also agreed to describe more accurately to consumers the safety and risks of using mesh.

Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon unit reached a similar $117 million multistate settlement over the devices in 2019, while Becton Dickinson and Co and its CR Bard unit reached a $60 million accord last September.

The devices have also been the subject of widespread litigation by women against manufacturers. Lawyers for some of the plaintiffs have estimated that settlements between the industry and more than 100,000 women may reach $11 billion.

Read the source article at reuters.com

Networking at the 2021 Trial Lawyers Summit

On May 4 – 7, 2021, The National Trial Lawyers will present the 10th annual Trial Lawyers Summit, hosted at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. This conference is a unique gathering of America’s top civil plaintiff and criminal defense lawyers. Offering various networking opportunities and informative sessions, the Trial Lawyers Summit provides attorneys with the chance to improve their trial skills and business management. This conference is consistently packed with compelling speakers, valuable conversations, and exclusive social functions.

Attorneys, paralegals, students, and firm administrators from all over participate in our unique, family-friendly conference each year to experience the most relevant legal sessions and engaging networking events.

Each day is packed with networking opportunities where attendees can reconnect with new and fellow trial lawyers while learning the latest post-COVID practices. The National Trial Lawyers has worked diligently to create a fun and safe environment for this year’s Trial Lawyers Summit so that the trial community can be together again.

Alexander Shunnarah and Sara Williams, members of The National Trial Lawyers, networking at the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit.

New to the Trial Lawyers Summit? Don’t miss out on the chance to expand your network at our Tuesday evening First Time Attendees Happy Hour, sponsored by Persist Group. This is the perfect event for new attendees to meet trial lawyers from across the country over some delicious cocktails.

First-time attendees can receive an exclusive discount of $200 off their registration. Contact The National Trial Lawyers to receive your discount or visit our website for more details.

Jump-starting an event as lively as the Trial Lawyers Summit calls for entertainment. The Summit Kickoff Party will bring the first night to a close, with dozens of attendees safely celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Trial Lawyers Summit under the stars. Sponsored by Broughton Partners, this party will feature exceptional music and an excellent opportunity to mingle with some of America’s most distinguished attorneys.

Attendees of the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit enjoyed beautiful guitar skills, played by musician Ghaleb, and a pair of vibrantly entertaining flamenco dancers during the Summit Kickoff Party.

Wednesday is for the ladies! The Women’s Leadership Forum & Cocktails, sponsored by CARDINAL LifeCare Consulting, focuses on inspiring leadership among women, providing tools for stepping into powerful roles with authenticity, and creating a network of women working to innovate and impact the profession. With topics such as sincerity and women’s influence in the legal field, this social forum will surely radiate inspiration to those in attendance.

Following the Women’s Leadership Forum & Cocktails, attendees are welcomed to end their night at the Mix & Mingle. Sponsored by Prevail, this networking opportunity is ideal for building on new connections established on Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Ashley Peinhardt, a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, socializing at the Women’s Leadership Forum & Cocktails during the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit.

Thursday is packed with various networking events for attendees to develop professional and social contacts. Our Networking Lunch, sponsored by Consumer Attorney Marketing, is a perfect start to that development. Attendees can help themselves to a grab-and-go lunch and find a spot in the Exhibit Hall to build new relations safely.

Carlos Moore, Jacques Cooper Esq., and J. Wyndal Gordon, members of The National Black Lawyers, enjoy drinks and fellowship at The National Black Lawyers Cocktail Reception during the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit.

Young attorneys and members of The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 attending the Trial Lawyers Summit will also have the chance to safely socialize and have a drink with other motivated, budding attorneys at the Young Lawyers Happy Hour, sponsored by Stratejic Relationships.

To harmoniously end Thursday’s events, Trial Lawyers Summit attendees and their guests will revel in a lively night of entertainment at the President’s Reception, sponsored by Velawcity.

An attendee of the 2020 Trial Lawyers Summit enjoys a night full of dancing and live music by Kool & The Gang at the President’s Reception.

If you are determined to enhance your legal processes and perfect your practice, registering for the Trial Lawyers Summit is the first step. Register today to join the trial community in safely celebrating our 10th Anniversary. For complete details on each event and session offered at the Trial Lawyers Summit, please view our full agenda.

Though we do not know what requirements will be in place on May 4, 2021, we anticipate certain precautions during the 2021 Trial Lawyers Summit. Please view our anticipated COVID-19 safety guidelines.