One question lawyers get all the time is how a criminal defendant who "everyone knows is guilty" can plead not guilty and have a trial. Well, that's simply a function of how our system works. The criminal defendant, armed with the presumption of innocence, can "put the state to its proof" and require the government to put on a case that a crime was committed. A criminal defendant also has the "right to remain silent," guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, meaning that a criminal defendant does not have to take the stand or make any statements about the crime. In civil cases, things are different. In a civil case there is no presumption of innocence. There is also no right to remain silent. Even so, that doesn't stop corporations, banks and other types of defendants in civil courts from behaving as though they are in criminal court. This was shown recently in a Toledo Hospital case. A young woman named Sarah Fudacz was in need of a kidney transplant. Her brother had been found to be a perfect match and decided to donate one of his two kidneys to save his sister's life. But rather than handle the kidney properly after it was removed from Mr. Fudacz's brother, however, the hospital personnel simply threw it in the trash.
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Have you ever thought about creating a bucket list? I'm not sure I understand the difference between a bucket list and fulfilling a dream. However, not so long ago, I had an occasion to consider what I would do if I was told that my days were numbered? What was it I needed to get done on that bucket list? A bucket list I guess that I hadn't even created in my lifetime yet here on earth. I couldn't answer that question, because the bucket list didn't matter. What mattered to me was my family: they are my bucket list. As far back as I can remember I saw myself growing up and becoming a mom and a wife with enough to live comfortably, but I've never needed extraordinary riches. I've always wanted to travel different places in the world and I've done that - sure, not all, but enough places that made me believe I was in paradise on numerous occasions.
Bordas & Bordas is proud to have again been selected first in the attorneys category for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register's Readers' Choice awards. It is an honor to have been singled out by our community for this designation, and we thank each and every one of you who voted for us.
"We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small...gifts." These words were written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor, theologian and reformer. Beautiful words. Inspiring words. But they are all the more beautiful and inspiring when you consider the context in which they were written. When the Nazis rose to power, Bonhoeffer refused to surrender to their meddling in matters of faith. Taking a small band of faithful men, Bonhoeffer established a seminary in the remote German countryside--a secret, illegal seminary where the next generation of church leaders would live and learn together. Despite the ever-present Nazi threat, Bonhoeffer was thankful for all of the "ordinary, small...gifts" that he experienced every day from God's hand.
We are bombarded every day with television advertisements from insurance companies promising to respond and protect their policyholders when disaster strikes. These promises are made with the hopes of enticing more people to purchase policies from the insurer and increasing the premiums collected by the company. Insurance companies make money in two primary ways: 1) collecting premiums and 2) investment income, i.e. interest and dividends earned on the insurer's cash, stock and bond reserves. Paying claims reduces the insurer's cash on hand and, correspondingly, reduces the potential investment income which is realized. As a result, insurers are incentivized to delay paying claims and to minimize any amounts eventually paid and policyholders are left with unfulfilled promises.
A collection of letters rested, well preserved, in a green suitcase. On top of the pile was an open note, handwritten by a Navy man aboard the lead ship to Normandy on D-Day , my grandfather Dean W. "Hap" Polen, credited to the author Henry van Dyke: "To be glad of life because it gives you to chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars. To be satisfied with your possessions but not content with yourself until you have made the best of them. To despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice. To be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts; to covet nothing that is your neighbor's except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners. To think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God's out-of-doors. These are little guideposts on the footpath to peace."
Today is my wife Stacy's birthday. I have a hundred ways that I could wish her happy birthday. I could just say it to her -- after all, we live in the same house. I could text her like I do about so many other things in our daily lives. Heck, I could even send her an email. Maybe I will do all of those things. But, today she deserves more than that. She deserves for me to let her know how much I admire her. She is the smartest person I know. She has a memory like an elephant, is as quick-witted as they come, and can solve any problem. She put all of these traits to good use in getting her law degree -- a profession that would allow her to use them to the fullest.
In honor of Veterans Day 2013, Bordas & Bordas is proud to re-post the following blog entry from partner Geoff Brown, USMA 1994. Our thanks go to Geoff and all of our nation's veterans on this national day of remembrance. Today is Veterans Day, which always causes me to remember my own service with the United States Army. When I think back to that time in my life, I am proud to be able to say that I did a small part toward making sure that this world is a safer place. I consider myself very lucky to have served with some of the most dedicated young men and women any of us could ever hope to meet. These soldiers came from every corner of the country and from every imaginable background. Every one of them was able to put aside things that may have divided them at home in favor of serving the United States in uniform. We rightly call those who serve heroes for all of the right reasons. We rightly call them heroes because they make us safer.
I received a note on my front door this past weekend from Riesbeck's Food Markets about their sponsorship of the Boy Scouts of America's "Scouting for Food" project which will take place this Saturday, November 9, 2013. Maybe you received one too? Hopefully you did, and hopefully you will participate. It's really easy. Just place any canned goods or non-perishable items in a bag and place that bag on your front step by 9:00 a.m this Saturday. Members of the Boy Scouts of America will come door-to-door in your neighborhood and pick them up. The food is then donated to local food pantries. The Scouting for Food movement was founded in 1985, and has provided more than 47 million food items for families in need since its inception. Boy Scouts perform this service as part of their mission to do good deeds.
Chris and Stephanie Hallowich owned a 10 acre farm in Washington County, Pennsylvania where they were raising their two young children in a quiet, idyllic environment. However, all of that changed when Range Resources began massive gas drilling operations next to their farm, including four gas wells, gas compressor stations, and a water impoundment covering three acres. The effects of these operations on Chris, Stephanie and their little ones were immediate and devastating. Airborne contaminants caused a variety of ailments including burning eyes, sore throats, earaches, and headaches. More than that, the water supply was contaminated and their beloved farm devalued.