Articles Posted in Firm News

Medical Malpractice Attorney Bob Kreisman of Chicago’s Kreisman Law Offices was the featured speaker at the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) Seminar on November 12, 2010. The MAJ seminar focused on trial strategies for medical malpractice cases.

Chicago attorney Bob Kreisman presented on the topic of “The Reptile, Rules of the Road, and Overcoming Juror Bias.” The focus of his presentation was on how to personalize your trial strategy so that it works best for you, your case facts, and your selected jury. Attorney Kreisman also stressed the importance of building a simple case that highlights the defendant’s “excuses, not defenses.”
The focus of an Illinois medical malpractice case should be humanizing the plaintiff and reiterating that the hospital and doctors treating that patient had a duty not to harm him or her, a duty that they breached when they violated the acceptable standard of care for those specific circumstances. Plaintiff’s attorney should clearly set out the standards, or rules, guiding the medical malpractice’s case facts, and specifically show how the defendants knowingly violated each of those rules. By showing jurors how the rules were knowingly broken, plaintiff’s attorneys can demonstrate that the resulting harm was not simply a freak accident, but was the result of conscious decisions and medical negligence.

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The Union League Club of Chicago’s Public Affairs Committee and its initiative, Safe Youth Chicago sponsored the breakfast event, October 12, 2010, Violence Dismissed: The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Gun Policy, Education Reform Policy and Drug Policy On Youth Violence.

This important dialogue included a distinguished line up including Judge Paul P. Biebel, Jr., Chief Judge of the Criminal Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Kathie Kane-Willis, a professor and researcher at Roosevelt University of Chicago, Dr. Harold Pollack, co-director of The University of Chicago Crime Lab, and Dr. David Prasse, professor and Dean of the School of Education at Loyola University of Chicago.

The panel and guests sparked a wide-ranging discussion interlinking these important policy issues with violence on and by Chicago youth. Each of the guests and Judge Biebel gave opening remarks. Then the audience was asked to provide written questions to the panel.

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The American Association of Justice (AAJ) is an organization dedicated to supporting plaintiff trial lawyers. From September 23, 2010 through September 26, 2010, the AAJ hosted a case workshop for trial lawyers in Baltimore, MD. Chicago personal injury attorney Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices was selected as a faculty member for the Baltimore workshop.

The workshop focused on working up specific cases for trial. Trial lawyers in attendance were encouraged to bring their real cases for pending trials so that they could be fine-tuned by their peers. Along with other trial lawyers and trial consultants, lawyers from around the country brought their own cases to be tested, analyzed and sequenced for upcoming trials.

This legal education program has been a regular of the AAJ for many years. The program schedule began each day with morning presentations made by experienced trial lawyers and trial consultants who shared their vast knowledge on a range of topics. The afternoons then involved various workshops where small groups of three to four attorneys focused on specific cases and topics.

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Yesterday Chicago personal injury attorney Robert Kreisman attended a breakfast at Chicago’s Union League Club featuring Sergeant James “Eddie” Wright (USMC, Retired) as its speaker. The retired sergeant was wounded while serving on active duty in Iraq and has since become a spokesperson and fundraising advocate for Wounded Warriors, a program that assists wounded combat veterans as they adjust to civilian life.

Sergeant Wright comes from a military family and had dreamed of becoming a Marine ever since his childhood. He graduated from Boot Camp and Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry (SOI) and was deployed to Iraq in February 2004 as part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom II campaign.

Within two months of his deployment Sergeant Wright’s company came under heavy fire, leaving Wright severely wounded. His bravery and composure on that day earned him the Bronze Star. Wright spent a year recovering and rehabbing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before returning to complete two years of active duty. Wright instructed his fellow Marines in hand-to-hand combat as part of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Commitment of Excellence (MACE).

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The Union League of Chicago’s Public Affairs Committee presented a forum on money and free speech in American politics coming on the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-2005 (decided January 21, 2010).

Citizens United arose out of a claim that the conservative group’s funding of “Hillary: The Movie”, a rather scathing account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, violated the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. However, as the case progressed it came to stand for whether it was constitutional to ban corporations and labor unions from using their own general funds in support or in opposition to political candidates.

The Supreme Court ruled that corporations are allowed to spend freely in a supportive manner or in opposition to candidates for federal campaigns, including those for president and for the United States Congress. The Supreme Court’s ruling overturned a 20 year-old ruling that said that corporations could not use money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads.

Arguments both in support of or against the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding money and free speech in America politics were led by two local Chicago legal scholars. Robert W. Bennett, a member of the law faculty of Northwestern University School of Law since 1969, took the viewpoint that the decision was wrong on the law. The opposing point of view supporting the propriety of the decision was represented by Richard A. Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, who has been teaching at University of Chicago Law School since 1972.

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Like any urban setting, Chicago has its share of crime and violence. In just the last month over 30,000 various crimes have been reported in the Chicago area according to Every Block Chicago. While these numbers might seem overwhelming and the violence inevitable, certain groups are working towards making Chicago a safer place.

Safe Youth Chicago is an organization focused on finding ways to make Chicago a safer place for the city’s youth. Chicago personal injury attorney Robert Kreisman is a member of Safe Youth Chicago, a program affiliated with the Union League Club of Chicago’s Public Affairs Committee. On May 24, 2010, the organization held a luncheon to raise awareness about Chicago youth violence and open up a forum on possible ways to reverse the violence.

United States Marshal Darry McPherson addressed the issue of youth violence and discussed his department’s work with the superintendent of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department Gang Intelligence Unit. In addition, the Chicago Police Department’s Frank Diaz and Cook County Sheriff’s Criminal Intelligence Unit’s Franco Domma spoke about their personal experience dealing with Chicago youth. Their stories and knowledge provided invaluable insight into what is happening on Chicago’s streets and demonstrated ways we as individuals can become more aware of the warning signs of violence.

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Yesterday, General David H. Petraeus, the senior-most U.S. commander in Iraq, spoke to Illinois and Chicago residents at the Union League Club of Chicago. The question and answer luncheon was put together by the club’s Public Affairs Committee and was attended by Chicago attorney Robert Kreisman.

A 1974 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, General Petraeus is went on to earn a MPA and Ph.D. degree in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. General Petraeus received his current appointment to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in October 2008 following his command of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq.

The General has received many awards during the course of his career and service, including two Defense Distinguished Medals, two Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Superior Service Medals, four awards of the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star Medal for valor.

General Petraeus started the luncheon with a brief statement and then took an assortment of questions from the audience. The discussion focused on the ongoing efforts by the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq, and across General Petraeus’s command. General Petraeus spoke as to his effort to foster cooperation with the U.S., respond to ongoing crises, and deter further aggression in an effort to promote stability and security in the Middle East. Of particular interest were all the General’s comments and insight into the challenges and difficulties he faces on a daily basis.

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Yesterday Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor presented a lecture on “Ethics, Civility, and Public Service” as part of the Paul H. Douglas Education Lecture series. The lecture was hosted by the Union League Club of Chicago and the University of Illinois. Chicago personal injury attorney Robert Kreisman was in attendance.

Justice O’Connor received the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government in 2008. The Douglas Award was established by the University of Illinois in 1992 in honor of Paul H. Douglas, an Illinois lawmaker often called the “conscience of the Senate”. The annually presented award is given to a public servant who exemplifies ethical behavior in government.

At the end of Justice O’Connor’s lecture she took questions and comments from the audience. One attendee asked her opinion regarding Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagen, who is a non-judge. Justice O’Connor responded that the Supreme Court requires diversity of background and that she therefore welcomes a jurist to the Supreme Court who has no prior experience sitting as a judge.

Justice O’Connor’s judicial career began with her election to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1975, where she served until being appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979. In 1981 Justice O’Connor became the first female nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court when she was appointed by President Reagan in 1981 as a replacement for retiring Justice Potter Stewart.

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Yesterday the Union League Club of Chicago honored Judge Abner Mikva with its Distinguished Public Service Award. Judge Mikva is currently the senior director of the University of Chicago Law School’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. Chicago personal injury attorney Robert Kreisman was in attendance as he had served as a member of the Union League Club committee which was responsible for nominating Judge Mikva for this prestigious award.

The Union League Club’s Distinguished Service Award was created in 1955 and is given to individuals who have made a substantial contribution to either civic or public service. The award is not given annually as it takes a truly outstanding individual to warrant this honor. Past Distinguished Public Service Awards have been given to retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann McMorrow, George N. Leighton, a former U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois; and the late Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, who served on the federal bench in Chicago.

Judge Mikva received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1959. Following his Illinois bar admission, Judge Mikva began his legal career by clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton.

In the course of his career Judge Mikva has served on all branches of the federal government, working to promote civil rights and reduce segregation and prejudice in education, employment, and housing. He served on the legislative branch from the 1960’s through the 1970’s as a member of the House of Representatives for Chicago’s 10th District. He then served on the executive branch when he became legal counsel to former President Bill Clinton. In addition, he served 15 years on the judicial branch as a federal appellate court judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which included a stint as chief judge.

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The American Association of Justice (AAJ) is a national trial bar for plaintiff attorneys that fights to protect the rights of people who have been injured as the result of negligence or misconduct. Its members handle a wide range of cases, including personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability. As part of its mission, the AAJ hosts national conferences where plaintiff lawyers can meet to discuss new trends in their legal practice areas and learn new skills to apply to their practice.

This past weekend, the AAJ Mega College held such a program in Scottsdale, AZ, and selected Chicago lawyer Robert Kreisman to be a faculty member and speaker at its event. Bob Kreisman’s presentation focused on how to strategically plan trial strategies used in opening statement. His presentation referenced the popular trial lawyer tools Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability, Overcoming Jury Bias, Reptile: The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff’s Revolution, and David Ball on Damages: A Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Guide to Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases. The presentation was well-received and highlighted some useful strategies for crafting a convincing case at trial.

And while the AAJ Mega College had informative seminars that resembled other AAJ conventions, it was in fact the first of its kind. Trial lawyers from across the U.S. were in attendance and ready to sharpen their trial skills, many in preparation for upcoming trials.

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