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New MestheliomaCircle.org Website Provides Easy Access to Meso Info

mesotheliomacircle.org

We are excited to tell you about the recent redesign of our health website MesotheliomaCircle.org. We sponsor this site in order to provide resources and information about mesothelioma, its treatment and causes as well as how to pursue legal remedies.

We provide this information at MesotheliomaCircle.org to everyone free of charge with no subscription, log-in or sign-up required.

At Kazan Law, we offer experienced legal help to mesothelioma patients and the other victims of asbestos exposure. But we understand that mesothelioma patients and their families need more than legal help. Mesothelioma is a ruthless cruel disease that lies dormant for many years. But when it emerges it moves quickly. Mesothelioma patients and their families suddenly need to know about all kinds of important things such as tests and medical procedures, how to prevent weight loss from chemotherapy, how to prepare for a hospital visit and what experimental treatments are available for free through the U.S. government’s cancer research agency. Mesothelioma families also very much need some upbeat fun ideas like how massage therapy, pets, funny movies and even a little bit of dark chocolate can be of some benefit to mesothelioma patients.

That’s why we started MesotheliomaCircle.org. We want to offer support for mesothelioma patients and their families in a comprehensive meaningful way that tries to address all their needs in one convenient place.

At Mesothelioma Circle, we have a team of professionals dedicated to helping mesothelioma patients and their families to get the information they need to make informed decisions about their health, financial, and legal care.

We take special care to provide you with the most current information with links to the most credible sources available on the wide range of topics we cover.

We hope our new design for the website makes all the information you need even more accessible. Please check it out and tell us what you think.

Kazan Law Chosen For 2015 Best Lawyers List

2015 Best Lawyers

Clockwise from top left Steven Kazan, David McClain, Denise Abrams, Dianna Lyons

What an honor it is this year as Kazan Law celebrates its 40th year to be chosen for Best Lawyers highly selective list for 2015.

For 40 years, Kazan Law has made it our number one priority to fight for justice for innocent people fatally poisoned with asbestos by those who thought they could profit by getting away with murder. In trying to balance the scales of justice, we seek to empower the powerless and through monetary awards in some way right the wrongs that were done to them and their families.

That is all. That is enough. Our legal wins on behalf of our clients gives us all the accolades we need. And yet it is very gratifying for Kazan Law to receive this esteemed professional accolade from our comrades at arms, our community of attorneys.

Selected for the Best Lawyers list for Oakland in the categories of mass tort litigation and class action on behalf of plaintiffs along with me are my longtime partner David McClain, recently retired partner Dianna Lyons and partner Denise Abrams. For me and David both, this year marks our tenth anniversary of being part of this elite list. We are delighted and also grateful to our colleagues for highlighting us as their choice for these categories.

For us, one of the most meaningful aspects of being selected for Best Lawyers is that it is strictly a peer-based list. It is not a paid for honor. It can’t be bought.

In the words of Best Lawyer: Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer-review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer-review survey is directly related to the quality of its voting pool.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

To our esteemed colleagues we say a humble thank you.

Kazan Law Summer Clerks Reflect On Asbestos Law Experience

asbestos lawSummer clerks at Kazan Law learn that asbestos law practice is different from most other types of law. Our historic stance on advocating on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure often pits us against the type of big companies that many law firms seek to represent. But we find that law students who choose to work with our plaintiff’s asbestos law practice for the summer are a special breed and passionate about serving the greater public good. As they leave us to return to school, here’s what this summer’s clerks had to say about their asbestos law experience with us:

Luis Landeros, third year law student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

I take away from my experience at Kazan a reaffirmation that even the little guy who has been wronged can obtain some form of justice.

Law school focuses on theory and precedent so you never have a chance to really understand or comprehend the amount of work it takes to take a case to trial. Working at Kazan definitely made that clear.   It was an extremely valuable experience to work on the different stages of a case and seeing the interplay of different factors.

Tenette Smith, third year law student at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

One of the most important things I learned at Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood is how fundamental the law is to ensuring safety in the workplace; the place we spend the majority of our time each day.

At times it was heartbreaking to hear the tragic news of clients that had ultimately succumbed to their diseases.  However, I have an immense sense of pride to have been actively involved in the litigation that brought the families that the clients left behind a sense of security as they move forward in their lives without their loved one.  As I continue to grow in my legal career, I will remember to always be critical, to be aware, to be involved, and most of all to be compassionate.

Anthony Caruthers, third year law student at the University Of San Francisco School Of Law

The many individual meetings I had with my supervising attorneys changed how I will approach litigation and the practice of law in general. Moving forward, I will always keep in mind the influence individuals can have on the world and people around them. Every person I interacted with this summer was an excellent person who diligently sought justice for their clients. I had not experienced real passion for a legal practice until I came to Kazan. Such realness is rare today, and I now know that I will not be satisfied until I am in an organization filled with great people who desire to make a real difference in their community. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to work at a place like Kazan.

Yuki Cruze Before working at Kazan, I had only heard rumors of how much work it takes to put on a trial, but to actually see the firm abuzz with everyone working diligently toward a common goal was truly eye opening. I have gained many practical skills from working at Kazan, but the most important thing I learned is how important it is to be a zealous advocate in all aspects of litigation.

East Oakland Youth Development Center’s Creates New College Scholarships

East Oakland Youth Development Center We are proud to announce that the Kazan Law Foundation helped support the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) in creating several new college scholarships. Through scholarships funded by our firm and others, 45 students were awarded funds for the 2014-15 academic year. EOYDC has provided more than $400,000 over the past 10 years to students.

For the first time, we are sponsoring three scholarships, at $5,000 each.  Our three recipients are: Bryce Bell who will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Marisa Jolivette who will attend Cal State East Bay; and Branden Vonderwerth who will attend Nichols College.

The scholarships to this worthwhile organization were presented at EOYDC’s 10th Annual “Something for Everyone” Art, Wine and Jazz Reception. The purpose of this wonderful event was to honor East Oakland students who pursue higher education.

EOYDC does a superb job of providing summer enrichment programs to traditionally underserved populations. For example, this summer in partnership with the African American Male Initiative at Oakland Unified School District, EOYDC helped send fourteen participants, nine high school and five college students, on two-week educational visit to China for cultural, educational, and science related  lectures and field studies.

It is no secret that college costs have been skyrocketing as the average person’s income has declined. Yet education remains one of the most powerful ways to help create change on an individual basis. Rates of poverty are closely correlated with an individual’s level of educational attainment: one – third of Oakland residents who did not complete high school live in poverty, compared to only 6% of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to a recent Oakland Youth Indicator Report.

Numerous studies have shown that academic success is linked to individual and societal benefits, from improved employment opportunities, increased earnings, reduced crime, and improved self efficacy. We applaud the efforts of EOYDC in this important endeavor and appreciate Kazan Law partner Gordon Greenwood guiding us in supporting this worthy cause.

Judge Decides Asbestos Lawsuit Should Go to Trial

asbestos lawsuitAn old laboratory parts catalog provided an Alameda County Superior Court judge with sufficient evidence to enable Kazan Law clients James and Louise Leonard to take a step towards justice with their asbestos lawsuit.

Judge Jo-Lynne Q. Lee decided that their case Leonard v. Avantor Performance Materials, Inc., et al., (Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG13684263) could move forward to trial. The Leonards were represented by Kazan Law attorneys Ted Pelletier and Autumn Mesa.

James Leonard, now 71, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2013.  He had worked as an operator in Dow Chemical’s research department from the early 1960s to the 1970s. There he built and operated laboratory tests that investigated whether new products were ready for mass production.

Mr. Leonard’s exposure to asbestos began half a century ago and continued for nearly 10 years during his work in test labs where he wrapped glass lab equipment with asbestos and then later scraped the asbestos from the lab’s glassware.  This asbestos wrap and other asbestos lab products were supplied by research laboratory product distributor VWR, along with other asbestos lab products.

At his deposition, defendants’ lawyers asked Mr. Leonard to identify the brand, manufacturer and supplier of the equipment and asbestos materials he used during the 1960s and early 1970s when he worked in labs. He couldn’t do it and said he could probably provide the information if he was shown a catalog.  But the defense lawyers did not show him a catalog.

VWR asked the court to throw out the asbestos lawsuit because Mr. Leonard did not have and could not obtain sufficient evidence necessary for trial.  But the judge agreed with us that defendants’ failure to show Mr. Leonard catalogs at deposition coupled with his later identification of asbestos products from VWR catalogs demonstrates that there is sufficient evidence for the case to be tried in court.

We applaud Judge Lee’s understanding that the public‘s safety is a serious matter that should not depend on a lawyer’s game of “Gotcha!” Manufacturers and distributors of dangerous products need to be held accountable for harming people even when those harmed cannot recall from memory all the 50 year-old details about each product.

Kazan Law Helps Sponsor USS Hornet Lunar Landing Anniversary

USS HornetWhen the USS Hornet picked up astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. and Michael Collins from the Pacific Ocean following the first lunar landing in July 1969, according to a local newspaper report, the crew welcomed them aboard with buttons that read “Hornet Plus Three.”

Now one of the three, 84-year-old Aldrin will return to the aircraft carrier this Saturday, July 26 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of what Armstrong famously described as “one giant leap for mankind.”

Kazan Law is proud to be one of the sponsors for this historical event as our way to honor the memory and service of our hundreds of clients who served in the USN and worked at US Naval shipyards all over the country.

“Splashdown 45” will take place all day July 26 and includes a talk by Aldrin, one of just 12 people to have walked on the moon and a lifelong advocate for space exploration.

The day’s activities aboard the ship, now a museum, also include a cocktail reception and dinner where attendees can meet the Apollo astronaut.

“President Richard Nixon was aboard the ship when Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins arrived wearing masks and jumpsuits because scientists feared they might have picked up “moon germs.” The astronauts were checked out in a mobile quarantine facility, a converted Airstream trailer in the ship’s hangar bay, where Nixon talked with them through a window as just about everyone across the world with a television watched,” the media article states.

The Hornet’s exhibits include the quarantine trailer used by the Apollo astronauts and the Sikorsky Sea King helicopter used to recover the Gemini 4 crew in June 1965, which carried out the first spacewalk by an American. The helicopter is featured in the 1995 film “Apollo 13.” The Hornet has been a museum at the former Alameda Naval Air Station since October 1998. Along with its role in the Apollo 11 and 12 missions, the aircraft carrier saw action during World War II and the Vietnam War. A registered state and national historic landmark, the ship is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5.

“Splashdown 45″ will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26 followed by an evening reception from 6 to 10:30 p.m. aboard the USS Hornet, 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda. For information, go to www.uss-hornet.org or call 510-521-8448.

Kazan Law Partner Frank Fernandez Honored By La Raza Centro Legal

Frank FernandezKazan Law is proud to announce that our partner and colleague Francis “Frank” E. Fernandez has been honored by San Francisco La Raza Centro Legal, a group he helped found in 1973 while he was still in law school. La Raza Centro Legal is a community-based legal organization dedicated to empowering Latino, immigrant and low-income communities of San Francisco to advocate for their civil and human rights, combining legal services, organizing, advocacy, and social services to build grassroots power and alliances towards creating a movement for a just society.

The nonprofit organization’s new Frank Fernandez Endowment was announced at their 41st Anniversary Gala, an event co-sponsored by the Kazan Law Foundation. “The Frank Fernandez Endowment will allow us to hire an immigration attorney fellow in the coming year. Such is only possible because of the many donors who believe in our work and more importantly believe in honoring our founder Frank Fernandez,” said Carlos Osorio, La Raza’s Senior Law Program Coordinator. “We are truly honored that the Frank Fernandez Immigration Attorney Fellow will be possible.

Back in the old days, Frank was a labor lawyer working with the United Farm Workers of America, the group started by Cesar Chavez in the 1960s to support and empower Latino agricultural field workers. Frank’s experience working with the UFW and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, the AFL-CIO, and the California Department of Occupational Health & Safety (Cal-OSHA), showed me he was a lawyer who like me also was passionate about protecting the rights of workers to work in safe healthy work environments., someone who not only would fight for justice for workers when their rights were violated but who also was skilled enough to win.

I knew Frank was a great fit for the kind of firm that we were trying to build. And I was right.  I did not realize then that by 2014, Latinos for would become California’s largest ethnic group, making up 39% of the state’s population, but that only 4.2% of the state’s lawyers would be Latino, as the California State Bar reported in a recent diversity study.  Diversity has always been one of the firm’s goals. We believe that our staff should reflect the people we serve.

I am proud of all that Frank has accomplished on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure through his work at Kazan Law. I am equally proud of his pioneering work on behalf of the Latino community in his founding and ongoing work with La Raza Centro Legal and of the support he has received from Kazan Law’s foundation for this vital organization.

Kazan Law Wins Precedent-Setting California Supreme Court Victory in Ford Asbestos Case

ford asbestosAs reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Supreme Court has rejected Ford Motor Company’s petition for review of a published appellate decision in favor of Kazan Law clients Patrick and Sharon Scott (Scott v. Ford Motor Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1492).  Mr. Scott’s mesothelioma cancer was caused by prolonged asbestos exposure from automotive brakes.

Ford desired a “nationwide shield” from punitive damages liability for all asbestos exposure, merely because Ford’s executive offices are in Michigan and that state’s law does not allow punitive damages.  But the correct rule is that when a company exposes people to the risks associated with asbestos — or any other toxic substance or dangerous product — in California, a California jury has the right to apply punitive damages law to the case.

According to the media article about this new favorable development in the Scott case, it is “also a precedent for future cases.”

This will not be the first time that Kazan Law has set legal precedents in the area of asbestos law. But what matters to us most here is the justice that we are helping to achieve not only for the Scotts but for every one of us.

Otherwise big companies with out-of-state headquarters would get a free pass to sell defective products in California and every other state without fear of punishment. That would be a nightmare not just for mesothelioma victims but for everyone injured by driving a car with defective parts, using appliances that malfunctioned or products containing harmful substances, when the manufacturer ignored the health and safety of its customers

A jury awarded Patrick Scott $1.5 million in damages and legal costs against Ford in November 2012 after the trial team, led by Kazan Law partners Justin Bosl and Joseph Satterley, presented clear evidence that Ford had known of the asbestos exposure risks in their products before Mr. Scott did, and failed to warn him. The former Bay Area service station owner had sought damages from Ford for exposing him to brake-lining asbestos.

In March, a California appellate court upheld the $1.5 million judgment for the Scotts. Kazan Law of counsel Ted Pelletier led our appellate team in that phase.

Kazan Law associate Michael Stewart, who headed this current round of the Scott asbestos case, aptly summed up the California Supreme Court victory by saying, “The Scott decision will help to protect all types of consumers in California because the availability of punitive damages will encourage all manufacturers to design safer products and share hazard information.  It should not matter whether a manufacturer is from California or some other state or country.”

Kazan Law Attorney Frances Schreiberg Honored with Annual Award

Frances SchreibergA passionate Kazan Law attorney just received a special honor from a workers safety group and all of us at Kazan Law feel honored and proud. Frances Schreiberg, a longtime Kazan Law Of Counsel attorney who works on pro bono cases for us, has just had a new annual award launched in her honor. It is aptly called the Frances Schreiberg Pro Bono Award.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines moral compass as “a naturalfeeling that makes peopleknow what is right and wrong and how they should behave.” In the workday world, where workers continue to be put at risk for death, disease and injury whether due to asbestos exposure, faulty machinery, chemical fumes or myriad other causes, Fran serves as a moral compass for the community. She gives a voice to those who are too fearful to speak up and she empowers the unempowered.

Before I convinced her to work for Kazan Law in 1991, Fran worked for:

  • the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, training administrative law judges, attorneys and investigators
  • the State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, and among other tasks, managed the criminal Bureau of Investigations at Cal/OSHA where she prosecuted companies when workers were killed or maimed as a result of unsafe or unhealthful conditions on the job.
  • the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, developed an occupational safety and health program for them, and was involved with a variety of construction trade union issues

Since 1984 she has been an active member of numerous Cal/OSHA regulatory advisory committees, including ones for asbestos, lead and other workplace safety hazards. In 1987, Fran and I were part of a concerned group trying to restore Cal/OSHA when powerful business interests temporarily succeeded in dissolving it. That group was the nucleus of WorkSafe and Fran has been involved with WorkSafe ever since.

WorkSafe, headquartered in Oakland, California, remains dedicated to eliminating workplace hazards. It is fitting that the group has created an annual Frances Schreiberg Pro Bono Award to be presented at their annual anniversary celebration. This year’s inaugural recipient at WorkSafe’s 31st anniversary celebration was Julius Young, a partner at the Oakland firm Boxer & Gerson.

Sophie Noero, Worksafe’s program administrator commented afterwards, “It was a wonderful event, and I am so thrilled that we were able to acknowledge and celebrate Fran’s and the firm’s invaluable support of Worksafe in front of so many members of our community.”

We are too.

Seven of Kazan Law’s Asbestos Lawyers Named to Super Lawyers 2014

 asbestos lawyers

Top left: Steven Kazan, David McClain, Joseph Satterley, Gordon Greenwood. Bottom left: Justin Bosl, Michael Stewart, William Ruiz

I am proud to announce that Super Lawyers, a national attorney rating service, has selected seven Kazan Law asbestos lawyers for their 2014 list:

Gordon Greenwood: Super Lawyer 2004, 2006-2014

Steven Kazan: Super Lawyer 2004-2014

David McClain: Super Lawyer 2004-2014

Joseph Satterley: Super Lawyer 2013 (Kentucky) – 2014 (California)

Super Lawyers recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in their Rising Stars list. The selection process for Rising Stars is the same as the Super Lawyers selection process, except to be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named to this list. We are very proud of the three Kazan Law attorneys named Rising Stars this year:

Justin Bosl: Rising Star 2011-2014

William Ruiz: Rising Star 2012-2014

Michael Stewart: Rising Star 2013-2014

Super Lawyers annually selects outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high level of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

The list is published in Super Lawyers Magazine which is distributed to attorneys and accredited law school libraries. The magazine is published in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers. Super Lawyers also publishes the list as a supplemental special section in many city and regional magazines across the country.

Although this is not the first time we have received this prestigious recognition from our peers, each time I feel it is a privilege and an honor. This year is no exception.

When I first started my career as a personal injury lawyer, asbestos law as we know it today did not exist. There were plenty of personal injury lawyers but no asbestos lawyers. After taking on and winning one of the first asbestos cases ever in the U.S., I was gratified to realize that I had helped achieve justice for people who previously had none – victims of asbestos exposure. I knew I had found my calling.

I hung out my shingle for Kazan Law in Oakland California in 1974 and was soon joined by David McClain. Today Kazan Law is still headquartered in Oakland. Kazan, McClain, Satterley  & Greenwood now has 22 attorneys, including me.  As Kazan Law celebrates its 40th anniversary, the firm continues to excel at pursuing justice for mesothelioma victims and others exposed to asbestos.  Kazan Law daily puts its 40 years of experience in pioneering asbestos lawsuits and setting precedents to work for its clients today with the same zeal for justice as when we first started.

While we are pleased at the many accolades we have received, including this latest one from Super Lawyers, our greatest satisfaction as asbestos attorneys continues to come from helping our clients and their families receive due compensation for their suffering.

Jack London Market, 55 Harrison Street, Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94607 | Toll Free: 1.877-995-6372 | Tel: 877-995-6372 | Fax: 510.835.4913
Serving Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and all of California.