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Category Archives: News
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Class Action Lawsuits – Noteworthy Cases

By | News, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Class Action Lawsuit” on the news and in the media, but most people don’t have a clear understanding of them and how they can protect your rights. 

By definition a Class Action Lawsuit is…

Charges advanced in a court by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a large group of others who have a common interest.

There have been class-action cases that changed history. Most people are aware of civil action lawsuits as seen in the movies Erin Brokovich and A Civil Action. These are cases where a group of people – for example, the residents of a small town or workers in a certain plant – are suing a large company in a civil action that is also a class-action.

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There have been Supreme Court decisions that originated as civil lawsuits; in the state of Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes, a Tennessee law was challenged. This law made it unlawful to deny “divine creation” (Adam and Eve) and teach the theory of evolution. This law was called the Butler Act. Scopes was a biology teacher who, encouraged by the American civil liberties Union, agreed to teach evolution to his classes. Many subsequent civil action lawsuits followed and the Butler Act was eventually repealed in Tennessee in 1967.

Another notable case involved a massive civil settlement of $333 million in 1996. The case was brought by the residents of a California town called Hinkley. Pacific Gas and Electric Company was found to have knowingly dumped wastewater into the ground in this area. This wastewater contained chromium 6 — a known carcinogen. Interestingly, a new class-action was filed in 2011 because it was found that the chromium had been spreading, and in the end, Pacific Gas and Electric Company purchased some of the homes and properties in the town.

Another interesting case that affected US history is the Lois E Jensen versus Eveleth Taconite Company. This lawsuit was brought in 1988 and was the first sexual harassment class action suit in America. Lois Jensen along with 14 other female coworkers employed by the Taconite EVTAC mine in Minnesota presented that they were subjected to intimidation and extreme physical harassment from male coworkers and also supervisors of the mine.

The attorneys with the mining company managed to delay the case for a decade but the day before the jury trial was to take place, they settled and provided monetary damages to the group of women.

An example of a very large sum class-action was the Nortel Networks case that was settled in 2006. This class-action lawsuit was brought by investors who held stock in Nortel Networks, which at the time was a major supplier of fiber-optic equipment to new, up-and-coming Internet companies. You may remember the Internet bust – when that happened, sales drastically declined. The company created fake accounting entries that showed equipment sales that were not actually happening. This was uncovered and investors won their lawsuit to the tune of 2.4 billion.

Another big time class-action was settled in 2005 for the amount of $2.5 billion. This one also involved investors. Those who invested in AOL Time Warner stock brought the suit alleging that Time Warner had falsely shown revenue generation. What the company was doing was moving money around between accounts in the form of advertising transactions over a period of four years. They were designed to look like income when in reality it was just money shifting from one area to another. These false earning statements constituted fraud and the investors won their class-action lawsuit.

These types of cases are fascinating and we will share more of them in an upcoming article. As your McAllen personal injury attorney, we represent victims of big company negligence and recklessness. Call Tijerina Legal Group to discuss your class action lawsuit.

Source of some case information: InfoLaw

Class Action Lawsuit – Historic Cases and Large Cases

By | News, Personal Injury | No Comments

The definition of a class action suit is as follows:

Class Action Lawsuit – Historic Cases and Large Cases by Tijerina Legal GroupCharges advanced in a court by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a large group of others who have a common interest.

There have been some class-action cases that changed history. Most people are aware of civil action lawsuits like those covered in the movies Erin Brokovich and A Civil Action. Cases where a group of people – for example, the residents of a small town or workers in a certain plant – are suing a large company demonstrate a civil action that is also a class-action.

There have been Supreme Court decisions that originated as civil lawsuits. In the state of Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes, a Tennessee law was challenged. This law made it unlawful to deny the divine creation (Adam and Eve) and teach the theory of evolution. This law was called the Butler Act. Scopes was a biology teacher who, encouraged by the American civil liberties Union, agreed to teach evolution to his classes. Many subsequent civil action lawsuits followed and the Butler Act was eventually repealed in Tennessee in 1967.

Another case involved a massive civil settlement of $333 million in 1996. The case was brought by the residents of a California town called Hinkley. Pacific Gas and Electric Company was found to have knowingly dumped wastewater into the ground in this area. This wastewater contained chromium 6 — a known carcinogen. Interestingly, a new class-action was filed in 2011 because it was found that the chromium had been spreading, and in the end, Pacific Gas and Electric Company purchased some of the homes and properties in the town.

Another interesting case that affected US history is the Lois E Jensen versus Eveleth Taconite Company. This lawsuit was brought in 1988 and was the first sexual harassment class action suit in America. Lois Jensen along with 14 other female coworkers employed by the Taconite EVTAC mine in Minnesota presented that they were subjected to intimidation and extreme physical harassment from male coworkers and also supervisors of the mine.

The attorneys with the mining company managed to delay the case for a decade but the day before the jury trial was to take place, they settled and provided monetary damages to the group of women.

An example of a large sum class-action was the Nortel Networks case that was settled in 2006. This class-action lawsuit was brought by investors who held stock in Nortel Networks, which at the time was a major supplier of fiber-optic equipment to new, up-and-coming Internet companies. You may remember the Internet bust – when that happened, sales drastically declined. The company created fake accounting entries that showed equipment sales that were not actually happening. This was uncovered and investors won their lawsuit to the tune of 2.4 billion.

Another big time class-action was settled in 2005 for the amount of $2.5 billion. This one also involved investors. Those who invested in AOL Time Warner stock brought the suit alleging that Time Warner had falsely shown revenue generation. What the company was doing was moving money around between accounts in the form of advertising transactions over a period of four years. They were designed to look like income when in reality it was just money shifting from one area to another. These false earning statements constituted fraud and the investors won their class action lawsuit.

These types of cases are fascinating and we will share more of them in an upcoming article. As your McAllen personal injury attorney, we represent victims of big company negligence and recklessness. Call Tijerina Legal Group to discuss your class action lawsuit.

Source of some case information: InfoLaw

History of the United States Supreme Court – Part 2

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Us Supreme Court History - Tijerina Legal FirmIt is interesting to note that when the Constitution was written, the Supreme Court was created as a compromise – middle ground between states’ rights advocates and Federalists. In the first 10 years of operation, the Supreme Court only decided about 50 cases. How greatly it would be used and needed could only have been a point of slight wonder for the founding fathers. But in the years of 1801-1835, under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court would prove to be a major aspect of the United States justice system, as it became more involved, more united, and more productive.

It is doubtful that the original writers of our Constitution would have predicted that the Supreme Court would also become a source of great controversy, attack, and opposition.

During the meetings of the very first Congress for our country, congressmen worked to outline a workable national judiciary that would follow the constitution yet still address their concerns. Again, the Federalists and Anti-federalists made their arguments. The law that emerged from this debate was the Judiciary Act of 1789.

Under this historic act, a three-part judiciary was established:

  1. A Supreme Court, consisting of a chief justice and five associate justices (and would meet in Washington, DC)
  2. Three circuit courts, each having two justices of the Supreme Court and a district judge; and
  3. Thirteen district courts, each presided over by one district judge.

The middle tier of this new system — the U.S. circuit courts — acted as the principal trial courts in this newly adopted court system. Each justice was assigned to one of three geographical circuits, and attended the appropriate meetings within the districts of that circuit. The term “circuit riding” came about at this time. Judges usually spent more time on their circuit court duties than their district court duties.

As the ratification process of the Constitution was underway, many citizens voiced fears about the power of an independent federal judiciary. These questioners felt it could threaten state courts and restrict some civil liberties. So, the Judiciary Act responded accordingly, to bring these concerned citizens some reassurance. It allowed state courts to exercise concurrent jurisdiction over many federal questions. It also required federal courts to select juries according to the procedures used by the district’s state courts. Lastly, it guaranteed the right to trial in the district where the defendant lived.

At the same time that debates and decisions were underway involving the Judiciary Act, Congress was discussing the Bill of Rights, and this legislation provided still more assurances that the federal courts would respect certain liberties such as trial by jury.

It became clear that the three-tiered court system was being developed and accepted by the U.S. citizens. And so, to this day, we have a multi-tiered federal court structure that operates in conjunction with state courts—an arrangement conceived in 1789 and still in place today.

Tijerina Legal Group is proud of our country’s history and heritage, and takes the upholding of justice very seriously. We serve McAllen, Brownsville, and surrounding areas of Texas. Contact your dedicated McAllen personal injury attorney to speak with someone committed to your legal rights.

History of the U.S. Supreme Court – Part 1

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Us Court History - Tijerina Legal FirmAs personal injury attorneys, we are dependent on our court system to deliver justice to those who harm – or would harm – others. Our United States court system is vast and complex but it is also worthy of appreciation and respect. Despite its flaws, it is a far more effective and democratic justice system than most other countries have in operation. And, it is also a distinct part of our unique American identity.

Our multi-tiered judiciary protects individual rights through the supremacy of the federal courts and the work done by the state courts. This balancing act is not just happenstance. It is the result of countless hours of discussion among our country’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, to name a few. Read on to learn more about the history of the United States court system.

HOW IT BEGAN

To appreciate how our modern legal infrastructure works, it’s a good idea to first understand the origins of our national court system. Our courts came about due to three historic events:

The Constitutional Convention in 1787, the development of the United States Constitution itself (ratified in 1788), and the First Congress in 1789.

Four years after the end of the Revolutionary War, The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia took place. More than 50 delegates at this meeting undertook a fierce debate about how to frame the Constitution and how to structure a national justice system.

Excerpted from the National Archives and Records Administration: Those who did not attend included Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams and, John Hancock. In all, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention sessions, but only 39 actually signed the Constitution.

At this gathering, delegates fiercely debated how to frame the proposed U.S. Constitution. They also set out to structure a national judiciary.

There were two distinct groups in opposition regarding how the Constitution should be crafted. The Federalists were strong proponents of a mighty, powerful national government. They were suspicious of the parochial prejudice of state courts. Federalists and their supporters believed that the federal judiciary should consist of trial courts, appellate courts, and one supreme tribunal.

The Anti-federalists supported states’ rights. They feared that a dominant federal judiciary would destroy/undermine the states’ authority and that the federal government would be too powerful. They felt that the state should have both trial and appellate courts, and that the supreme federal court would exist to hear final appeals.

When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, it addressed this disagreement, but not in full. It sketched out a federal court system in general terms, and introduced a distinctly American concept—the Supreme Court.

Article III of the Constitution begins, “The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

Note that President George Washington chose the very first Supreme Court justices. More on these essential, landmark decisions and activities regarding our courts will be shared in Part 2 of this article.

The Tijerina Legal Group, McAllen personal injury lawyer welcomes your inquiries, and is proud to share this fascinating information about how our incredible justice system developed.

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Overview of Texas Court System

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Our court system is comprehensive, and interesting to learn about. Here is a bit of history:
In the Judiciary Act of 1789, the very first Congress established the Judicial Courts of the United States. They created the Supreme Court, choosing to have it consist of a Chief Justice and five ‘associate judges’. They created a middle tier of circuit courts (trial courts). The Judiciary Act was controversial at the time. It acknowledged the “official status” of state courts, yet reinforced the supreme authority of the Federal judiciary. Read More

09

Texas DWI no-refusal weekends – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

By | Blog, Criminal Law / DWI, News | No Comments

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! What you need to know about “Texas No-Refusal Weekends.”

The State of Texas has begun to tout it’s “no refusal weekend” campaign aiming to reduce incidents of drunk driving that may lead to serious injuries (click here for article).  Although the goal is a good one, it does it at the expense of misleading you into believing you are no longer protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. Read More

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Dog Bites and Other Disputes with Neighbors

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Many attorneys have handled cases where a neighbor is suing another neighbor. Texas is no exception. There are a number of issues that can cause a rift between neighbors. For example, a neighbor not maintaining trees and shrubs that encroach on your property;  easements and rights to use parking areas, driveways, and alleys; or water rights on a certain property. Another common point of dispute – neighbors having unappealing vehicles on their property such as campers, big trucks, fifth wheels, large vans and other commercial vehicles or even boats and buses.  Last but not least, many problems arise over pets and particularly, mean or unruly dogs. Read More

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Steps in a Personal Injury Case

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A personal injury case is a methodical and somewhat complicated process. Knowing what to expect and being informed about what happens in an injury case means you will be ready (and know what to do) should you ever find yourself involved in an accident or injury caused by another. Here we share the steps that a personal injury case follows. What you do after an accident or injury and how you handle these steps directly affects the outcome of your claim. Read More