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Politics

ICE gets colder by detaining girl with cerebral palsy awaiting surgery

How far is too far when it comes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rounding up undocumented immigrants? That point likely varies from person to person, but to the mother of 10-year-old Rosamaria Hernandez, who has cerebral palsy, it’s chillingly clear: it’s the moment when ICE agents stopped them at a Border Patrol checkpoint east of Laredo, Texas while rushing to a hospital for emergency gall bladder surgery. According to Time, the agents “escorted” Rosamaria to a hospital in Corpus Christi for her operation. After being medically cleared, the girl was taken to a federal facility for processing refugees in San Antonio and processed. Needless to say, both Rosamaria and her mother, Felipa de la Cruz, are terrified, and Rosamaria faces deportation. Their attorney, Alex Galvez, told Time, “She said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to see each other soon. Everything’s going to fine. Hang in there.’ She was trying to make her smile,” Galvez recalled. “Her daughter said, ‘Mom, where are you? I miss you. Why aren’t you here? And they start crying.” Galvez says it’s the first time Rosamaria will be separated from her mother, who brought her into the US illegally. Her parents have been living here for more than ten years and have no criminal history, according to Galvez.

It’s cases like these that make you wonder if ICE’s heart is colder than a stone, even than absolute zero. Galvez says as soon as Rosamaria is released from the facility in San Antonio, she will face deportation. Deporting a little girl with cerebral palsy who needed emergency gall bladder surgery? I don’t know if ICE can get any colder than that. All we can do is hope that Congress will do something soon to help Rosamaria and other families like hers gain a path to citizenship. The Trump administration killing DACA was cold; but ICE taking a disabled girl into custody on her way to surgery is coldest of all.

Categories
Politics

Laying out the case that Trump obstructed justice

The Brookings Institute has released a report that outlines the case that President Donald Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey. Authors Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen “break down and analyze” whether the president may have obstructed justice, and what ramifications may follow. The Washington Post says the report amounts to “an amicus brief for use by special counsel Robert S. Muller III and his team.” The authors state that “the public record contains substantial evidence that President Trump conspired to obstruct justice with senior members of his administration although the public facts regarding conspiracy are less well developed.”

You can read the Brookings Institute report here.

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Raising The Bar

Raising the Bar, Fall 2017

Hupy and Abraham, S.C., personal injury law firm, announced that firm president and National Trial Lawyers member Michael Hupy has developed a unique long-term fellowship involving Marquette University Law School students. The five-year commitment will support students in the Public Interest Law Society (PILS) and will act as an important resource for the continuity of the fellowship program.

PILS is a student-run organization committed to creating opportunities for students intending to dedicate themselves to providing assistance to those who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal system. The Michael F. Hupy Fellowship will allow one student to be placed at the Milwaukee Justice Center (MJC). Additionally, the fellowship enables students to contribute an entire summer to public interest legal work in local and global communities.

The Milwaukee Justice Center strives to provide legal aid for persons who do not qualify for government-issued services and cannot afford an attorney. The center is a combined partnership between the Milwaukee Bar Association, Marquette University Law School and Milwaukee County.

A principal benefactor of the MJC, Attorney Michael Hupy has said, “The legal profession exists for the benefit of the public. I am very proud of the contributions of the Milwaukee Justice Center volunteers who provide legal services to those who would otherwise not have access to it and am happy to be able to help. I am proud to support these students dedicated to working for the common good.”

Hupy and Abraham, S.C. also partners with several other legal nonprofits that work to provide free and/or low-cost services to those in need.

National Trial Lawyers member Brian G. Miller of Brian G. Miller Co., LPA in Columbus, Ohio recently won a $34 million verdict in a lawsuit with energy provider FirstEnergy, et al. On June 29, a jury in the Union County Court of Common Pleas found in favor of Miller’s client, Lisa Jones, who sued the utility over its response to a downed power line. The jury found that the defendant electric companies fell below the ordinary standard of care with respect to their response to an emergency situation on July 13, 2012 involving their downed electrical line. As a result, transfer of the injured plaintiff to a hospital was delayed and necessary surgery was also delayed. Because of the delay, the Ms. Jones’ heart stopped and the flow of blood and oxygen to her brain also stopped. As a result, she suffered an anoxic brain injury and has been left in a permanently disabled state unable to care for herself or her child. Plaintiff has approximately $9.7M worth of future care according to her life care plan, necessitated by her condition and she has suffered an income loss of approximately $3.6M. The jury also awarded $20M in noneconomic damages and $1M toward a consortium claim for Ms. Jones’ young child. The total verdict came to $34,317,636.00, and Judge David C. Faulkner presided over the trial.

Have you recently made a notable achievement either inside or outside of the courtroom that you’d like to share with your fellow National Trial Lawyers members? If so, please send it to us at or you can submit it through The Trial Lawyer magazine website at this address: https://www.thetriallawyermagazine.com/contact-us/

Categories
Politics

Isn’t it time?

gun and bulletsJust a year and a few months after the previous deadliest mass killing in America, 59 more people are dead and at least 527 are recovering from gunshot wounds at the latest deadliest mass killing in our nation. 49 were killed and 58 others wounded in the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016. The latest happened the night of October 1, 2017, when Stephen Paddock, armed with 23 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas.

As investigators search for clues as to why Paddock would open fire on innocent people, many Americans are searching for answers as to why this keeps happening. Republican lawmakers claim “it’s too soon” after the mass killing to begin debate on strengthening the nation’s gun laws. Others say, “if not now, when?” Prayers and public vigils will not prevent this from happening again. How high does the body count have to get before Congress stands up to the National Rifle Association and says “enough!”

“Thoughts & prayers are NOT enough,” Tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The numbers of those killed by madmen will keep climbing until we, as a nation, finally get so angry and frustrated that we demand action from our elected officials. When will that time come? Isn’t it time? Are we resigned to the notion that the all-powerful NRA will continue to prevent passage of reasonable gun control laws that could keep semi-automatic weapons out of the hands of people like Stephen Paddock?

If you’ve been saddened, angered and moved by this senseless massacre, please do whatever you can to convince Congress to have the courage to stand up to the gun lobbies and enact gun control that can save lives. Call or write your representative or senator and demand action. It will take relentless pressure to make this happen. It has worked for Australia and other civilized nations around the world. It can work in America, but only if we insist upon it. One more person killed by the likes of a mentally-deranged assailant is too many.