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Mesothelioma Research Presented by Kazan Law at iMig 2014

I am pleased that our firm was chosen to present three research abstracts at the International Mesothelioma Interest Group 2014 conference in Cape Town, South Africa. In this video I provide an introduction to the mesothelioma research abstracts and explain how they are presented at the world’s leading conference on mesothelioma.

Kazan Law to Present at World’s Leading Mesothelioma Conference

We are very excited to be heading off to Cape Town, South Africa for the twelfth biennial meeting of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig 2014).

We are particularly honored that Kazan Law has been chosen to present some of our own research work at this conference. Like the Boston conference in 2012, this year again in Cape Town we are the only law firm in the world whose work has been accepted for presentation.

Kazan Law Attorney Helps Pass Sweeping Worker Safety Law

worker safety lawThanks to over a decade of hard work by Kazan Law Of Counsel and pro bono attorney Fran Schreiberg and others dedicated to worker safety, California just became the first state in the nation to pass a comprehensive toxic protection worker safety law.  It will protect workers from toxins in the workplace as new scientific information about the harm they cause comes to light.

Calling the new worker safety law “groundbreaking,” Fran excitedly reviewed for me in an email when California Governor Jerry Brown officially signed the law, why it is so important.

“It is the first law in the country that requires manufacturers and those in the distribution chain to inform a government agency exactly where they are shipping a toxic material or a mixture containing a toxic material, including the quantity, and the proportions, when there is new scientific or medical information that the substance may pose a hazard in a work place and potentially poses a serious new or unrecognized health hazard, including but not limited to, cancer, reproductive or developmental harm, organ system impairment, or death,” Fran explained.

This information will make it possible for the Hazardous Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) to target workers known to be at risk, thereby protecting employers from increased liability and employees’ health from harmful exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace.

The downside is that the worker safety law does not take effect until January 2016. Fran explained, “The delay is because HESIS will be asking for the preceding year’s information, and it was necessary to give industry notice so they would have customer information available.”

Also the new law does not cover all industrial chemicals, just ones that have been newly found by scientific research to be toxic. But given the power of industry to conceal and cover up misdeeds that put people’s health and the environment at risk – as we in the asbestos litigation field know only too well – the passage of this worker safety law is a major step to be celebrated.

The new toxic protection law formerly was known as Senate Bill 193. It was brought forward by State Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel). But Fran and other labor advocates worked tirelessly behind the scenes for many years to put together all the necessary information and explain it to other legislators.

Fran reminded those who worked on the lobbying effort, “The initial version of this bill – AB 816 by then- Assembly Member Sally Lieber – was vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2005.  But with your support, we refused to give up.”

“Now it’s over to HESIS to use this power and save lives!!  I am certain they will do that.”

Key Scientists To Meet During Mesothelioma Research 50th Anniversary

mesothelioma research

Table of Contents for the series of papers that were the result of Biological Effects of Asbestos, a conference held by The New York Academy of Sciences on October 19, 20, and 21, 1964.

A conclave of leading scientists working in mesothelioma research happens this month under the auspices of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig). The 12th International Mesothelioma Interest Group Conference. The world’s premier medical congress on mesothelioma – will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, October 21 – 24. We are proud to be the major financial supporter and also a participant in this important symposium.

This year’s iMig conference comes at a special time in the history of mesothelioma research. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first ever international asbestos conference held by the New York Academy of Sciences in October 1964.

That first conference and awareness of asbestos as a lethal health hazard came about primarily because of the pioneering efforts of one man, Dr. Irving Selikoff. His work is largely responsible for driving the regulation of asbestos today.

Although Dr. Selikoff was not the first to identify the connection between asbestos and cancer, he played a key role in publicizing the danger to workers.  The results of his epidemiological research were so startling to him that he felt he needed to take action. His research is credited with having pressured the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to limit workplace exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos was widely used by American industries even though its dangerous health effects were already known.  When a local asbestos workers union asked Dr. Selikoff to add their membership to his practice in Paterson, New Jersey, he noticed something that alarmed him. The asbestos workers were being diagnosed with lung disease and cancer at a much higher rate than his other patients and had cases of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare cancer. Dr. Selikoff did more mesothelioma research on this with other workers, including shipyard workers. The results convinced him that asbestos was causing the workers’ fatal illnesses and made him determined to make sure that the dangers of asbestos would not be ignored.

In October 1964, Dr. Selikoff organized a conference on the “Biological Effects of Asbestos” through the New York Academy of Sciences.  The conference was a turning point in public and scientific awareness of the hazards of asbestos.   The discussions even included presentations showing that wives could develop mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos dust on their husband’s work clothes.

The asbestos industry and its lawyers did not take this threat to their industry lightly and retaliated with full fury in attacking Dr. Selikoff and his work.  But he never backed down or gave up.  The momentum started by the 1964 conference helped lead to asbestos losing popularity as an industrial material and its being banned for many types of uses. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Selikoff several times and I can tell you he was a nice guy.

Today as asbestos persists in the environment, we are proud to support both efforts to ban asbestos and research to cure mesothelioma.

Honoring Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2014 by Supporting Medical Research

mesothelioma awareness day 2014Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2014 is September 26. But here at Kazan Law, in a way every day is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Because our work in asbestos litigation brings us close to those whose lives are forever impacted by mesothelioma, we seek not only justice for mesothelioma victims and their families, but also advances in mesothelioma medical research. Through our firm and our firm’s foundation, we help support mesothelioma research at leading medical facilities all over the world. But we place special emphasis on two here in the Bay Area: the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University. Not only are they top notch, they also have helped care for many of our clients.

Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, scientific medical research involves finding many small intricate pieces that in the end will fit together to solve the puzzle. We are proud to support scientists in trying to fit together all those parts on a microbiological level to advance knowledge about mesothelioma.

Here are ten recently published research papers where our foundation’s support is noted in the acknowledgements section:

1.The expression of Dishevelled-3 and glutamine metabolism in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Researchers: Tong Li, Sheng-Cai Hou, Jian-Hua Mao, et al.

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Journal of Clinical Pathology   Citation: J Clin Pathol 2012 65: 855-858

2.Cul4A is an oncogene in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Researchers: Ming-Szu Hung, Jian-Hua Mao, Zhidong Xu, Cheng-Ta Yang, Jau-Song Yu, Chansonette Harvard, Yu-Ching Lin, Dawn Therese Bravo, David M. Jablons, Liang You

 

Research Institution: University of California San Francisco

Publication: Journal of Cell Molecular Medicine   Citation: J. Cell. Mol. Med. Vol 15, No 2, 2011 pp. 350-358

3.Gli as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Researchers: Hui Li , Natalie Lui , Tiffany Cheng , Hsin-Hui K. Tseng , Dongsheng Yue, Etienne Giroux-Leprieur, \\

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: The Public Library of Science (PLOS) Citation: PLOS ONE | www.plosone.org 1 March 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 3 | e57346

4.The homeobox gene EMX2 is a prognostic and predictive marker in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Researchers: Etienne Giroux Leprieur, Tomomi Hirata, Minli Mo, Zhao Chen, Junichi Okamoto, Genevieve Clement, Hui Li, Marie Wislez, David M. Jablons, Biao He

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Lung Cancer Journal   Citation: Lung Cancer (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2014.06.018

5.Inhibition of activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway in malignant pleural mesothelioma leads to G1 cell cycle arrest

Researchers: Iwao Mikami, Fang Zhang1, Tomomi Hirata, Junichi Okamoto, Kiyoshi Koizumi, Kazuo Shimizu, David Jablons and Biao He

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Oncology Reports   Citation: Oncology Reports 24: 1677-1681, 2010

6.SMO expression level correlates with overall survival in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma

Researchers: Yi Zhang, Jianxing He, Fang Zhang, Hui Li, Dongsheng Yue, Changli Wang, David M Jablons, Biao He and Natalie Lui

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2013, 32:7 http://www.jeccr.com/content/32/1/7

7.The expression of CXCR4, CXCL12 and CXCR7 in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Researchers: Tong Li, Hui Li, Yucheng Wang,Chansonette Harvard, Jia-Li Tan, Alfred Au,7 Zhidong Xu, David M Jablons and Liang You

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Journal of Pathology  Citation: J Pathol 2011; 223: 519–530

8.Targeting Gli transcription activation by small molecule suppresses tumor growth

Researchers: G. Bosco-Clement, F. Zhang, Z .Chen, H-M Zhou, H. Li, I. Mikami, Hirata, A. Yagui-Beltran, N Lu, H.T. Do

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Oncogene   Citation: Oncogene (2014) 33, 2087–2097

9.Transgenic Mice for Cre-Inducible Overexpression of the Cul4A Gene

Researchers: Tong Li,Ming-Szu Hung,Yucheng Wang,Jian-Hua Mao, Jia-Li Tan,Kenneth Jahan, Hannah Roos,Zhidong Xu, David M. Jablons and Liang You

Research Institution: The University of California San Francisco

Publication: Genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development     Citation: genesis 49:134–141 (2011)

10.miR-1 Induces Growth Arrest and Apoptosis in Malignant Mesothelioma

Researchers: Yue Xu , PhD ; Ming Zheng , PhD ; Robert E. Merritt , MD ; Joseph B. Shrager , MD ; Heather A. Wakelee , MD ; Robert A. Kratzke , MD ; and Chuong D. Hoang , MD

Research Institution: Stanford University

Publication: Chest   Citation: Chest 2013; 144(5):1632–1643

Kazan Law Asbestos Attorneys Chosen for National Trial Lawyers Top 100 List

asbestos attorneysI am proud to announce that two partners here at our firm have been selected for the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 list for this year. The two asbestos attorneys singled out for recognition at our firm are me, Steven Kazan and Kazan Law principal partner Gordon Greenwood.

Membership in The National Trial Lawyers is limited to the Top 100 civil plaintiff and criminal defense lawyers in each state or from highly-populated regions of states. The criteria for membership include:

  • Reputation among peers, the judiciary and the public
  • Achievements, settlements and verdicts as a trial lawyer
  • Board certification as a trial lawyer
  • Nominations from leading trial lawyers, current members and Executive Committee members
  • Leadership and membership in other national and state trial lawyer organizations
  • Rankings and ratings by leading national evaluation organizations

Since joining Kazan Law in 1998, Gordon Greenwood has represented hundreds of people who worked with or around asbestos containing products, or whose families did. In addition to representing victims of asbestos disease, Gordon also maintains a caseload of pro bono cases. Prior to joining Kazan Law, Gordon spent eight years as a trial lawyer in the San Francisco Public Defender’s office personally giving quality legal representation to those accused of crimes without means to defend themselves.

I am proud of the expert team we have built here at Kazan Law over the past 40 years. Whenever we win a case for our clients, it is partly because of the thorough intelligent work that has been done in previous cases by our colleagues and the generous sharing of experience and knowledge here that we encourage. In helping each other we help our clients. And that’s the goal we all strive for here.

New Kazan Law Asbestos Attorney Talks About Her Work on Death Row

asbestos attorneyDawn Withers, a new asbestos attorney here at Kazan Law, already has a track record for helping to balance the scales of justice by providing legal help to those who need it most. During her years as a student at Golden Gate University’s School of Law, where she graduated with honors in 2013, she worked with the California Appellate Project, assisting clients on death row; and the Homeless Advocacy Project, representing indigent clients facing eviction.

“Performing public service is part of a healthy functioning democracy,” Dawn said when we spoke about her work with these two San Francisco legal nonprofits.

At Golden Gate, Dawn participated in the Honors Lawyering Program in which students attend intensive classes during the summer and then work full-time at a legal non-profit for the fall semester.

“I wanted experience in the criminal justice system,” Dawn explained, ”so I chose to work with prisoners on death row for those four months.”

Dawn assisted a team of attorneys and investigators who worked with death row inmates, including those at San Quentin. Located in nearby Marin County, San Quentin is home to the state’s only gas chamber and death row for male condemned inmates.

“I learned how important it is to work with a prisoner when they first arrive,” said Dawn. “It can be three years before they are assigned an appellate counsel and a lot can happen in that time. As a student, I was able to help the California Appellate Project attorneys to gather documents and interview the client to gather evidence for their appeal.”

At the Homeless Advocacy Project, Dawn spent several months assisting the group with the case of an indigent client who was facing eviction.

Working with the California Appellate Project and the Homeless Advocacy Project was a good fit for Dawn.

“It was a very fulfilling part of my law school experience to assist the attorneys at both these groups who provide legal services to people in crisis who otherwise wouldn’t have access to legal help.”

We are sure that Dawn will work diligently on behalf of asbestos victims and are proud to add her to our roster of asbestos attorneys at Kazan Law.

Meet Kazan Law Asbestos Attorney Irena Kin

asbestos attorneyKazan Law is proud to introduce our new asbestos attorney Irena Kin. Irena, who graduated cum laude from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2013 where she was a senior member of the Moot Court Honor Society, has a special affinity for the work we do here at Kazan Law as asbestos lawyers: empowering the powerless and speaking up for those whose voice is not heard. When Irena was three years old, she and her family left Tashkent, Uzbekistan as refugees and settled in Chicago.  They had to adjust to life in a new country with an unfamiliar language where they had no professional or social network, and no jobs. As Irina’s English skills flourished, she became at a very young age the voice for her dislocated family.

“I became their translator and as a result I also became their advocate and had to be involved in adult decisions and responsibilities,” Irena explains.

She went on to graduate summa cum laude from DePaul University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies prior to starting law school. Irena is a member of both the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Illinois.

Her early experiences inspired her to become a determined advocate for asbestos victims and we are pleased that she has come to the Bay Area from Chicago to join Kazan Law. Now, let’s talk a little more with Irena:

Why did you choose to go to law school?

Attorneys communicate persuasively, advocate for the injured, and fight to balance the scales of justice.  That sounded like a perfect match for my skills and goals.

How did you become interested in working with asbestos and mesothelioma cases?

Individuals suffering from mesothelioma are victims of corporate irresponsibility.  I wanted to help them seek compensation, and in doing so, send a message to companies that profits cannot be gained at the cost of worker health and safety.

Why did you choose to work for Kazan Law?

The people at Kazan are hard-working, passionate, and at the top of their game.  That’s the team I want to play for.

How do you hope your work at Kazan Law will help mesothelioma victims?

Unfortunately, the legal system cannot award improved health or bring back loved ones, but it can help to right injustice through compensation.  I hope to help mesothelioma victims achieve a sense of justice and cope with the financial burden of illness.

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.

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