Tune into this week's episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review where host Jamie Bordas and guest Chris Regan discuss the Ed O'Bannon law suit against the NCAA that seeks to allow college players to be paid for use of their names, images and likenesses. In the second half of the show, Jamie and Chris discuss GM's difficulties with its defective switch that caused more than a dozen deaths across the country, in a variety of Chevy models. Learn about product liability, antitrust law, and a host of other interesting topics on this week's episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review.
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On Friday afternoon, a Wheeling jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty in the much anticipated Craig Peacock Trial. The trial, which focused on the death of Wheeling Jesuit student, Kevin Figaniak, who died after a fight with the defendant, was widely publicized. Within minutes of the jury returning a verdict, social media began to explode with posts and comments. Many of the local news outlets posted BREAKING:NEWS updates informing the public of the recent findings. People were quick to chime in with their opinions on the merits of the case and the decision of the jury. Many were stereotyping pipeliners, some poking fun at the justice system, yet others gently reminded the public that they were not part of the jury, and therefore, did not hear the facts of the case as presented. I, like everyone, was deeply saddened by this story. After all, I am a mother, and the thought of a phone call telling me that my college student child had gotten into a street fight and subsequently died, makes me sick to my stomach. I am also young enough to remember college and nights of drinking and partying and just how horribly alcohol can affect people- their minds, their judgment, their memory, their impulses. Nothing about the story of a young person losing their life is justifiable or excusable. Losing a child is one of the most heart wrenching things I can fathom. And when alcohol is involved, sadly, it is also the most preventable. All of these emotions- shock, sadness, confusion, got me thinking about the significant right and responsibility that we all hold as citizens of the United States.
A question that law students and attorneys are often asked is "so, what made you want to become a lawyer?" The answers to this question are limitless, and certainly a variety of factors influences one's decision to pursue a legal career, but one that I have heard from many of my friends and colleagues is that a family member or other respected person in their life is an attorney. This was not the case for me. Having said that, you may assume that this is because I was not closely acquainted with any lawyers during the time that I was figuring out my career path. Also not the case. My father, who is one of my biggest heroes and role models, is a lawyer, and a good one, at that. You may be wondering, then, how it is that my father's being an attorney did not influence me to become an attorney.
Bordas & Bordas was in trial and I was in a hurry, trying to file a document that had to be hand-delivered to the judge and to our attorneys who were in trial. I was in a very big rush, and one of the clerks asked me a question. When I turned to answer her as I was stepping into the elevator, my car key slipped out of my hand and fell though the small opening at the bottom of the elevator and disappeared into the shaft below. The hole was only about an inch wide. "Oh My Stars!" I said. The clerk looked at me and said "Was that your phone that dropped down into the elevator shaft?" "No," I responded, "It was my car key." Even more unfortunately, it was a car key belonging to my husband's car, and he was out of town. She looked at me and said, "What are you going to do?" I told her "I'll worry about it later, but right now I have to get back upstairs and deliver these documents to the judge and the attorney from our office in trial." The clerk was kind enough to call the building maintenance staff for me to get some help. This is when my story got really interesting. First, I had to call my husband and ask him where the extra key was for his car. He reminded me that I had just dropped the extra key down the elevator shaft, as he had his own keys with him. Things were really starting to look bad for me. The maintenance gentleman told me it was a one in a million shot to retrieve my key. He also said that they would have to call an elevator company out of Pittsburgh to come down to stop the elevator.
As I began to wind down from my weekend on Sunday evening, I chose to watch the 63rd annual Miss USA Pageant on NBC. Luckily enough I caught it right at the beginning and I, like many other women my age, was hooked and had to stay up late until the Miss USA 2014 was crowned. The competition was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the entertainment provided by Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly added to the show. With 51 women, one representing each state and one representing the District of Columbia all participating in the event, the competition seemed extremely tense. However, what truly amazed me was how the representatives from our tri-state area were three women from nearby towns. I believe that we live in the best area of the United States, and have always been fascinated by the fact that we can be in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in such a short travel time. When the three candidates were announced, their hometowns were all relatively close to my hometown of Wheeling, WV, as Miss West Virginia was a Parkersburg, WV native, Miss Pennsylvania was from Pittsburgh, PA, and Miss Ohio was from Massillon, OH. Although Miss Pennsylvania was the only one to make it into the top 20 before being eliminated in the next round, it is really exciting to know that these women were representing such beautiful towns so close to my home.
I recently had the pleasure of presenting the 2014 Public Servant Award at the annual meeting of the West Virginia Association of Justice. WVAJ is a group of trial lawyers in the state of West Virginia who have chosen to represent the interests of injured victims. I have been privileged to be on the Board of Directors for many years. The recipient of the Public Service Award was Joyce McConnell, who has been the Dean of the West Virginia College of Law since 2008. She is well educated, highly respected in her profession and a real God-send to the law school. In addition to teaching and running the law school on a daily basis, Dean McConnell has undertaken a huge expansion at the law school. New classrooms, practice courtrooms and talented faculty members have been added.
By now, I'm sure many of you have been subjected to the ongoing marketing blitz about testosterone therapy for treating "low T". Touted as a way to make men feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional, millions of American men are using a prescription testosterone gel, patch, or injection to boost testosterone levels. Although testosterone therapy isn't approved for age-related conditions and the natural, age-related decline in testosterone levels, a FDA loophole permits aggressive direct-to-consumer marketing urging men to talk to their doctors if they have certain "possible signs" of testosterone deficiency, including common things like feeling tired. As a result, testosterone replacement has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry over the course of the last two decades. In fact, according to researchers at UCLA, testosterone replacement has been marketed so successfully in recent years that sales of Androgel, a testosterone therapy, eclipsed sales of Viagra in 2013. However, a growing body of evidence has raised alarming concerns that testosterone treatment could be deadly.
Last evening I sat on my back porch admiring the peaceful skyline that formed above the trees as far as my eyes could see as the sunset on Pinewood Drive. The weather was finally comfortable again as summer began to set in. Everything was so calm. I tuned into the sounds of nature and the beauty of it all was so powerful. I thought about how lucky my family and I were. In that moment, I paused to remember that I must always be grateful for this beauty of nature while it's right before my eyes. This led me to think about how we don't really know where we're headed or when it's all going to end. There are so many subjects that may be uncomfortable to discuss, but, really should be addressed while you are able to now. Have intimate talks with your family so that they understand your wishes and you understand theirs in turn. The day may come when you least expect it that you have to make those decisions for each other.
Remember when we learned the VA was doing a horrible job taking care of our wounded veterans? People were angry , even on normally sedate media channels like NPR . For a few days, it was on the news all the time. But then the media suddenly forgot about it and decided that what we really needed to be angry about was the way Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was recovered from Afghanistan. What happened to the VA? Is it fixed? Or is this just another example of how the media seeks to keep Americans perpetually angry and afraid, without ever actually proposing any real solution? Well, I haven't completely forgotten last week even if cable news has, so here's a couple of ideas on the VA.
On Wednesday, May 28 th , I like many others, I was disheartened to hear of the death of Doctor Maya Angelou. I majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Wake Forest University where Angelou taught. I cannot speak for the English Departments at Duke, NC State, or any of the other fine schools in North Carolina, but at UNC we rallied around our local writers and boasted of their achievements as if their works were written by our own pen at hand! When I was in college, it was not unusual to see Doctor Angelou's name listed on the syllabus of every modern-day English class offered. As a matter of fact, it was pretty much a given. Her works such as A Song Flung Up to Heaven and, of course, the famous I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are phenomenal-her poetry beyond brilliant. To me, learning about her life and the obstacles that she overcame makes her works even more exceptional. She had endured rape as a young child and became a mother in her teen years. She lacked a college education yet was inundated in honorary degrees. She not only overcame her trials and tribulations, but she embraced them and put them into words to share with the rest of the world.