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$10 Million Verdict in Mesothelioma Case for Pipefitter

CertainTeed Corp. Misrepresented and Concealed the Health Risks of Handling and Working with its Product

Mr. Michael Burch was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in May of 2016 when he was 64 years old. A lifelong California resident, he and his wife Cindy raised four daughters and have four grandchildren.

Mr. Burch was exposed to asbestos in the 1970s when he worked as a pipefitter handling asbestos cement (AC) pipe manufactured by CertainTeed. His work involved cutting and beveling AC pipe using various hand tools and a 12-inch abrasive disc saw, which created extremely dusty working conditions. The dust contained the cancer-causing mineral asbestos. Day after day, he unknowingly breathed deadly asbestos dust at work and was never warned that the dust could cause him to contract the incurable disease mesothelioma.

A member of the Laborer’s Union Local 220 and the plumbers and pipefitters union Local 403, Mr. Burch performed underground utility work on water mains, sewer mains, laterals, and gas lines. He worked in mobile home parks in towns throughout California, including mobile home parks in Hayward, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Cambria, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Valencia, Carson, and Corcoran.

Mr. Burch’s symptoms started with pressure in his chest and shortness of breath. Soon the act of eating intensified his chest pain, and he began to lose weight. Doctors discovered excess fluid around his lungs, and following a biopsy, he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.

Kazan Law represented Mr. Burch and obtained a $10 million mesothelioma verdict in a personal injury case against CertainTeed Corporation. The jury found the Company knew the health risks of its product but failed to warn of those risks, and fraudulently misrepresented and intentionally concealed the health risks.

The jury heard evidence that CertainTeed was aware asbestos caused cancer as early as 1962, but did not begin warning about cancer hazards on its pipe until 1985. On the contrary, CertainTeed advertised that its pipe was a “nonharmful use of asbestos” despite its knowledge that this was false.

Kazan Law’s Asbestos Litigation Landmark Decision

asbestos litigationA landmark asbestos litigation decision that offers justice to victims of secondary asbestos exposure was recently won by Kazan Law in the Supreme Court of California. The victory was won by Kazan Law partner Ted Pelletier. Thanks to this important new court ruling, companies that exposed workers to asbestos can be held liable for exposing people living in a worker’s home who become sick from asbestos the worker unknowingly brought into the home on clothes, hair, tools etc.

Kazan Law is pleased to announce that the state supreme court decision upholds an appeals court decision allowing a suit to proceed against Pneumo Abex, a manufacturer of asbestos brakes. The suit was brought by Johnny Kesner, who was exposed to asbestos dust brought home from the Abex plant by his uncle, a plant employee. But the state supreme court decision will have ramifications beyond this case.

We talked with Ted Pelletier about the state supreme court decision and what it means for asbestos litigation.

What is the significance of this asbestos litigation victory?

Ted Pelletier: This asbestos litigation decision by the Supreme Court of California removes what had been an unwarranted obstacle to genuinely injured people seeking justice in the court system.

This is about helping people who have contracted and are dying of asbestos-caused diseases. It has removed an obstacle for these people. That is really important to note. To hear people opposed to this litigation describe it, they are trying to convince everyone that we are creating new rights; that this is an expansion. In truth all this does is restore California law to what it has long been.

This state supreme court decision doesn’t mean that anyone is automatically liable for anything. It only means that people who were exposed to asbestos have a right to seek justice for their exposure.

Does this state supreme court decision mean this is now a law?

Technically it is an opinion of the Supreme Court of California about an existing state law. In our system the laws are written by the legislative branch. The job of the courts is to interpret the laws. So in this case of asbestos litigation, the California supreme court is interpreting what the legislature has already done.

Over 100 years ago, the legislature enacted a law requiring everyone to act with reasonable care toward one another. The reasonable care law is Civil Code 1714, enacted in 1872. What it means is that we all have to take care of each other and be careful.

If you aren’t careful, and act unreasonably and hurt someone or damage their property, you can be responsible for the damage.

The law says everybody needs to exercise reasonable care so as not to hurt others.

In some states this is part of the court-made “common law,” but in California our legislature intentionally made this law part of the Civil Code. Because our legislature has said this, the courts can’t just decide to change it. Absent some compelling reason, it is up to state legislature to change it.

How does asbestos litigation enter into it?

Ted Pelletier: The California Civil Code says that everyone is supposed to be careful and take care of each other, in the management of their “person” and “property.” So now you take that concept into the world of industry. Pneumo Abex Corporation was a company that made automobile brakes. Asbestos was used in brakes. For a long time, Pneumo Abex knew very well about the dangers involved, but it wasn’t warning people who used or worked with their products. Under the Civil Code, Pneumo Abex was not careful. It exposed people to material it knew was poison.

How did secondary asbestos exposure become part of asbestos litigation?

Ted Pelletier: Asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma develop over ten to 30 years. People exposed to asbestos in the 1950s start getting sick in the 1980s. Around that time, we began to see a rise in illness in people who never worked at places like Pneumo Abex. We began to see it in the wives and kids of people who worked there.

A worker would come home in his dusty clothing and hug his wife and play with his kids. His wife would take his dusty clothing and shake it out and put it in the washing machine. That dust doesn’t go away. That is secondary asbestos exposure. And the sad reality is that you don’t have to be an industrial worker to get sick.

Why did this case go to the state supreme court level?

Ted Pelletier: The state supreme court gets involved when there is a conflict in the lower courts about how a law is interpreted. That is what happened here.

As cases of secondary asbestos exposure came up, companies argued, “We didn’t know we were exposing those people too.” Basically they knew they were poisoning people who worked for them but claimed they did not know they were poisoning more people back home. So they claim they were not acting without reasonable care in these cases.

The businesses say that they are willing to pay damages for their former workers but not for the other people they exposed off the worksite. The businesses say it is too much and it will put them out of business. Some courts around the country have been sympathetic to that, so some states do not allow secondary-exposure cases.

Several years ago, one California appeals court agreed with this position. It said that secondary asbestos exposure is an exception to the Civil Code, and companies can’t be liable to people exposed at home for not being reasonable. The appeals court in our case disagreed, raising a conflict.

Now, the California Supreme Court has ruled in our favor, upholding the Civil Code. The judges ruled that it doesn’t matter whether the exposure took place on the job or at home. These people who have been made ill by careless asbestos exposure deserve justice. And now they will be able to get it.

Do you anticipate a lot of other asbestos litigation cases now for secondary exposure?

Ted Pelletier: Honestly, no. One of the big arguments that the other side made is that this state supreme court decision is going to open up the “floodgates” of litigation and put them out of business. That was their asserted justification for keeping people out of the courts. People are dying of a horrible disease, but they are only worried about their business.

One of the things that the supreme court found compelling in our case was taking a look around the country at how other states have approached this in different ways. Some states are very pro-business, but other states have rejected the defense’s position. And what has happened in those states – Tennessee, New Jersey, Louisiana and Washington – in the last ten years since they allowed secondary-exposure cases to proceed? Nothing. There has been no increase in cases. Nor will there be any increase in California.

How prevalent is secondary asbestos exposure?

Ted Pelletier: For the past ten years, there have been about 2,500 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed annually in the United States. About 10 percent of those are in California. So that means approximately 250 mesothelioma diagnoses in California every year.

Of those 250 mesothelioma cases in California, about seven percent or eight percent involve a secondary or take-home component. Usually people who get mesothelioma worked in industry-related jobs. But a small percentage were exposed through asbestos unknowingly brought home by someone in their household who worked with asbestos. That’s about 20 people a year. It is awful and it is tragic but it is not going to bankrupt any major company or bring down the courts as business interests have implied.

As I said earlier, the state supreme court’s decision simply removes an obstacle to people who are undeniably sick and dying, and their families, to seek justice.

How did you and Kazan Law become involved in this asbestos litigation?

Ted Pelletier: This case was originally filed by another firm. The trial court dismissed the case. It was appealed and pending in the courts. They turned to Kazan Law for help and had me take over the case as lead counsel because I have the expertise needed at this level. I had worked for over 15 years in the appeals courts before joining Kazan Law. I argued the case in the appeals court, then did all the briefing and argument in the state supreme court with the support of my firm – with the support of the whole Kazan firm of course!

To put it simply, when it was time to tee up this big important statewide issue, they came to Kazan Law. We took over as lead counsel brought home this landmark decision. We are very honored to be able to help the victims of this terrible asbestos tragedy.

Congratulations!

Ted Pelletier: Thank you.

Kazan Law Interviewing Product Identification Investigators

asbestos lawsuitKazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, a Professional Law Corporation, has represented thousands of people suffering from the effects of asbestos related illnesses, particularly mesothelioma, since 1974. We are nationally recognized pioneers in asbestos litigation and currently interviewing Product Identification Investigators to join our Oakland, California based team.

The Product Identification Investigator (PID) provides support to supervising attorneys and paralegals by researching client exposure to asbestos products. Direction is given by PID Manager and Supervising Partner.

Job Requirements

  • Ability to work under pressure due to time and content sensitive deadlines.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills essential; computer literacy required.
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Detail oriented with the ability to think and problem solve logically and creatively.
  • Pro-active approach to workload.
  • Some local travel necessary, with occasional possibility of travel elsewhere in California or out-of-state.
  • Must be able to establish and foster working relationships with attorneys, paralegals, investigators and support personnel.

Training/Experience

  • Prior experience working in asbestos litigation strongly desired.
  • Prior experience working in a legal, investigative, research or labor union environment desired.
  • Experience with research and interview skills and techniques preferred.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Research

  • Interview clients about their work history and exposure to asbestos;
  • Locate and interview witnesses;
  • Research clients’ work sites to determine how they functioned and what asbestos products were present;
  • Perform library and on-line research;
  • Develop other sources of information as needed;
  • Attend and perform document reviews to identify relevant and useful documents.

Writing

  • Prepare summaries of witness interviews;
  • Prepare product identification summaries;
  • Word-process documents pertaining to on-going investigations;
  • Assist in preparing subpoenas;
  • Assist paralegals in formulating questions for interrogatories and RPD’s;
  • Assist in answering discovery.

Case Management

  • Monitors and evaluates progress in identifying products and locating witnesses for multiple cases;
  • Interacts with clients as needed;
  • Keeps the case team members informed of research progress.

Clerical

  • Maintains in-progress investigative case files;
  • Assists in the building of the firm’s product identification library;
  • Prepares pertinent correspondence as required.

Other Duties as assigned

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a resume to the attention of the Human Resources Manager at HRM@kazanlaw.com.

Equal Employment Opportunities

Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

 

Kazan Law Chosen for U.S. News Best Law Firms List

best law firms We are proud to announce that our firm has been selected for the new 2017 Best Law Firms listings released by U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with Best Lawyers, a professional law publication.

Our firm Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, A Professional Law Corporation, not only has been chosen for this prestigious list but we have been ranked as a top tier firm for our metropolitan area of Oakland, California for mass tort litigation and class action suits on behalf of plaintiffs. Hard work, dedication to detail, and a determination to help asbestos victims in need all contribute to our success at Kazan Law.

What the New U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers Ranking Means

According to the information we received about our selection as a top tier firm, “Firms included in the 2017 Best Law Firms list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.  Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.”

The 2017 rankings involved the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. Over 10,000 attorneys provided more than 800,000 law firm assessments, and over 10,000 clients provided more than 90,000 evaluations.

“U.S. News is the global authority in rankings,” said Tim Smart, executive editor of U.S. News & World Report. “Evaluating law firms is a natural extension of what we do best.”  Many people are familiar with U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of many important American institutions, including colleges and universities. In addition to education, U.S. News now provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis in areas including health, personal finance, travel, cars as well as its traditional coverage of national and international news.

Selection for The Best Lawyers in America Required for Best Law Firms Ranking

To be eligible for a ranking in the Best Law Firms in America, a firm must have at least one lawyer currently listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S.

Kazan Law attorneys consistently appear on The Best Lawyers in America list. This year, favorable evaluations from other lawyers resulted in three of our partners being selected for the highly regarded list. This year’s inclusion marks the tenth time that founder Steven Kazan and partner David McClain have appeared on the prestigious list and the fifth time for partner Denise Abrams.

It is a point of pride with us that lawyers cannot pay for their names to appear on the Best Lawyers list. It is truly an honor that only can be earned through an outstanding level of achievement that is recognized by our professional colleagues in the legal field.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world. For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the attorneys best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers lists are published in leading local, regional and national publications across the globe. The Best Lawyers in America list recognizes the very best lawyers in each practice area and metropolitan region in the country.

Kazan Law Continues to Achieve Justice For Asbestos Victims

Kazan Law was founded over 40 years ago by partner Steven Kazan with the goal of fighting for justice on behalf of everyday working people. We helped pioneer the field of asbestos litigation to bring to account businesses that knowingly exposed innocent people who trusted them to lethal asbestos. That we have been and continue to be successful in this important area is rewarding. We are very grateful for the recognition from our colleagues and our clients.  However our joy is tempered by the tragedies we have encountered of lives lost to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

We continue to work hard every day to achieve justice for our clients not only through the courts but through efforts to improve workplace safety on a state and national level. But as exposure to asbestos continues into the future, we also fund through our firm’s foundation many medical research programs to try to find improved ways of diagnosing and treating the diseases caused by asbestos exposure.

How the Best Law Firms List Is Shared In addition to individual firms like ours that have been chosen for this prestigious list sharing the news with clients and colleagues, there will be other avenues for disseminating this information.  The national and metropolitan First Tier list, which includes Kazan Law, will be featured in the Best Law Firms General Counsel Publication. This will be distributed in December to more than 30,000 in-house counsel, and in digital format to more than 60,000 private practice lawyers worldwide.

The 2017 Best Law Firms rankings will also be available in its entirety online at bestlawfirms.usnews.com. More than 37 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance in making informed choices, according to company information.

The Careful Methodology Used in Creating the Best Law Firms List

The U.S.News – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms rankings used a careful evaluation process that involved collecting client and lawyer evaluations and peer reviews from leading attorneys in their field. Clients were asked to provide feedback on firms, including expertise, integrity, responsiveness, cost-effectiveness, civility, and whether they would refer another client to the firm.

“Lawyers also voted on whether they consider a firm a worthy competitor. We asked this group to vote on law firms that have a preeminent national presence within specified legal practice area(s) they know well,” the summary reports about the new listings.

For the fourth year, a Law Firm Leaders Survey was implemented to provide personal insight on the legal landscape surrounding the nationally ranked practice areas. In addition to information from these surveys, the rankings incorporate 7.3 million evaluations of 54,463 individual leading lawyers collected by Best Lawyers in its most recent annual survey.

All of the quantitative and qualitative data were combined into an overall “Best Law Firms” score for each firm. This data was then compared to other firms within the same metropolitan area and at the national level. Because firms were often separated by small or insignificant differences in overall score, we use a tiering system rather than ranking law firms sequentially. The first tier in each metropolitan area includes those firms that scored within a certain percentage of the highest-scoring firms.

 

 

Kazan Law Seeking Experienced Associate Attorneys

Kazan LawKazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, a Professional Law Corporation, has represented thousands of people suffering from the effects of asbestos related illnesses, particularly mesothelioma, since 1974. We are nationally recognized pioneers in asbestos litigation and we are currently interviewing Associate Attorneys to join our Oakland, California based team.

Experienced Associate Attorneys will work in our Case Management department along with other members of an assigned team under the supervision of a senior Attorney or Partner. Qualified applicants with at least 3-4 years’ experience managing complex cases from Intake to Trial Prep are encouraged to apply.  Personal injury and product liability experience preferred.  Asbestos litigation experience a plus.  Bilingual English/Spanish a plus.

California bar admission required.

Competitive salary and excellent benefits.  Send letter of application, resume and writing sample to: HRM@kazanlaw.com.

Syndicated TV Show Spotlights the Benefits of Hiring Veterans

hiring veterans Military service builds a range of skills that make veterans ideal employees, but employers and vets sometimes need help translating those skills to the civilian workforce. Hiring America, a half-hour television show sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), helps veterans navigate the work world after their return to civilian life.

Hiring Veterans: Filling a Need to Connect Veterans to Jobs

Hiring America is currently in its third season. It has recently reached the milestone of being syndicated on close to 200 television stations across the United States.

As Middle East deployments ended and the US Armed Forces downsized, more military personnel, even some who planned to make the military their career, have needed to find jobs in the civilian sector. The mission of the show, according to its website, is “to help veterans and members of the Armed Forces connect with companies that have jobs available and organizations that support the military community.”

Bill Deutch, a media entrepreneur based in New York City, came up with the idea of a television show to connect returning service members with companies interested in hiring veterans several years ago. With support from the VFW, as well as media and business partners, Deutch, who is the executive producer of Hiring America, launched the show in the fall of 2013. Since then, the television show has created and aired over 50 episodes.

Good Jobs for Veterans

Hiring America covers a lot of ground in its mission to connect military personnel looking for employment with companies hiring veterans. Host Lauren Wanko interviews managers from a range of industries to provide insights about the ways that military experience can translate into skills that civilian employers are looking for.

The show also features interviews with veterans about the ways that their service prepared them for the jobs they hold now. On a recent episode, the mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, discusses how his own military service influences his style of governing and his commitment to help other vets.

The show has featured interviews with companies in all sectors of the economy, from retail to energy to technology to transportation to banking. Employers seek out the talents of veterans to fill jobs as truckers, mechanics, pilots, engineers, administrators, and more.

Many of the companies featured have special programs that promote the hiring of veterans. Companies as diverse as engineering giant Siemens USA and Wells Fargo Bank have instituted initiatives to bring in more veterans as employees. These companies recognize the value that hiring veterans adds to their workforce.

Veterans as Entrepreneurs

Hiring America has also featured interviews with veterans who have created their own startups, talking about their paths to business success. One featured entrepreneur created a junk removal company that only licenses its franchises to other veterans, giving them a leg up in the business world.

The show has provided information about business incubators and boot camps tailored to the special needs and abilities of veterans who want to grow their business ideas into thriving enterprises.

Veteran Advocates

Departments of the United States government have gotten into the act as well. Hiring America has run interviews with personnel from the Department of Veterans Affairs who focus on veteran employment issues. The show provided information on the assistance available to veterans at the VA, to build awareness and help vets take full advantage of the benefits they are due.

Nonprofits that help veterans, such as Afghanistan Veterans of America, have also come on the show to talk about resources they provide to assist veterans in finding success in the work world after they leave military service.

Voices of Veterans

Despite its title, Hiring America doesn’t feature only content about jobs and employment. The show has also included interviews with veterans about their experience serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and how that service has influenced their choices once they return home.

Resources for Hiring Veterans

Hiring America is one of many resources available to help veterans make a smooth and successful transition to civilian employment after they leave the military. More and more, in recent years, individuals and organizations in the business sector and beyond have created projects and programs that recognize the added value that veterans can bring to a wide range of jobs. These individuals and groups believe that hiring veterans should be seen as a benefit that any company would want.

 

Kazan McClain Partners’ Foundation Supports Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund

Chronicle Season of Sharing Sharing could be considered an overused word today. We talk about the “sharing economy” when we really mean individuals selling services to other individuals. We use the word “sharing” to describe communicating our thoughts, feelings and news to others through social media.

But at Kazan Law, we firmly believe in the traditional meaning of the word sharing – to give a portion of what you have to others.  That is why we are proud to be a major contributor to the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund through the Kazan McClain Partners’ Foundation this year and every year.

Our firm’s foundation has made our annual $20,000 donation to this very worthwhile wonderful cause. We are proud to see that we are the only law firm donating at this level.

Sharing Locally Through the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund

Sharing locally is important to us as we consider all the frightening things going on in the world around us.  There may not be anything most of us can do to impact global events but we can make a difference for someone who needs help right in our own community.

Since 1986, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund has raised more than $98 million to help thousands of Bay Area families. The Fund provides one-time grants to help families in crisis so they can pay for housing and emergency needs. Through a network of more than 120 community service agencies, the Fund works to identify families in need and provide short-term, critical assistance grants.

The people whom the  Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund provides temporary assistance to live in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.  We are grateful for the opportunity the Season of Sharing Fund gives us to help our neighbors.

Here are three additional reasons why we choose the Season of Sharing Fund for our annual holiday sharing:

  • The Fund’s overhead costs are covered by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the San Francisco Chronicle. So 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to those who need it.
  • The Fund helps families in many ways, including paying the rent so people are not evicted, covering a security deposit to help a family transition out of a homeless shelter, or purchasing a wheelchair or other essential medical equipment that people couldn’t otherwise afford.
  • The Fund supports food banks and distributes nearly $1 million each year to assist individuals and families at risk for going hungry.

Mesothelioma Law Practice Cultivates Compassion

For over 40 years, Kazan Law has won justice for victims of asbestos exposure and their families.  Through no fault of their own, our clients are stricken with diseases such as mesothelioma that will cause them great suffering and premature death. Yet in spite of everything, they have been some of the kindest warmest people we have ever known.

Although we are the legal experts who have helped them, they have helped us too. Our mesothelioma law practice constantly cultivates compassion for others in all of us who work here. We have learned that if you have your health, you are fortunate.  If you have your health and are doing well, you are even more fortunate.  And if you have your health and are doing well by helping others as we are able to do at Kazan Law then you are truly among the most fortunate and owe it to the world to share – to give to others and do so with generosity.

Sharing Is Important All Year Long

Sharing rightfully takes center stage during the holiday season.  Everyone focuses for a short time on giving gifts and cheerful seasonal greetings to the people in their lives – family, friends and colleagues. Happily, many people also realize that at this time of year, sharing the joys of the season extends to those in need.

In a recent study, the Center on Philanthropy found that most charitable organizations in the United States receive over half of their contributions during the last few months of the year.

At Kazan Law, our focus in our practice of helping those in need has inspired us to making sharing something we actively do all year long.  We created the Kazan McClain Partner’s Foundation to identify and facilitate sharing on an ongoing basis on behalf of all us at Kazan Law.

Over the last 20 years our foundation has given over $20 million in grants to a diverse list of community and civic organizations.  This includes organizations that help immigrants, prisoners, and students from low-income backgrounds. We also share the legal expertise of our staff by providing pro bono services to state legislative measures to protect the health and safety of workers and to refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries.

With our keen awareness of the tragedy of mesothelioma, we have made the quest for better treatment a focus of our sharing as well. Our foundation has provided over $6 million for mesothelioma research. This is one way we can help give back to the community of mesothelioma patients and families whose rights we fight for as asbestos litigation attorneys.

All of us at Kazan Law wish you a happy, safe and healthy holiday.

 

Kazan Law Interviewing Marketing Specialists

marketing specialistsKazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, a Professional Law Corporation, are nationally recognized pioneers in asbestos litigation. We are currently seeking a Marketing Specialist to serve as the primary internal point of contact for all marketing related to firm activities and personnel.

Working in our Administration department, the Marketing Specialist will report to the Managing Partner and assist the firm’s management in its overall marketing program.

 Marketing Specialist Job Requirements

  • Ability to communicate effectively orally, in writing and in person; interviewing skills a must.
  • Must be able to demonstrate initiative due to time-sensitive nature of work.
  • High level of project management skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Partners, attorneys, and other firm staff.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a high degree of professional judgment around sensitive and confidential issues.
  • Ability to organize, document and prioritize a large amount of details.
  • Ability to multi-task.
  • Knowledge of office and record keeping methods, practices and procedures.
  • Ability to adhere to prescribed routines and practices.
  • Ability to create reports with accuracy.
  • Must be able to demonstrate flexibility in regard to willingness to perform the many duties of the Marketing Department.

Marketing Specialist Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist in the development of marketing best practices and processes.
  • Continue to improve processes and procedures to create efficient systems and deliver high quality work product, ensuring the department operates efficiently and effectively.
  • Develop and maintain accurate, current database(s) of clients, experts, industry and referral sources.
  • Develop and improve the reporting of statistical information related to effectiveness of marketing efforts.
  • Acts as liaison with external vendors and other advertising and web providers.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with past and present clients.
  • Provide in-house video and still photography as needed.
  • Develop and maintain client newsletter.
  • Initiate and produce video and text content regarding case work and legal developments.
  • Create content for use on all social media platforms with focus on SEO.
  • Act as liaison between Intake department and external marketing.
  • Develop speaking/networking opportunities

How to Apply for the Marketing Specialist Position

Interested candidates should send a resume to the attention of the Human Resources Manager at HRM@kazanlaw.com.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Kazan Law Seeks New Associate Attorneys

mesothelioma attorneysKazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, a Professional Law Corporation, has represented thousands of people suffering from the effects of asbestos related illnesses, particularly mesothelioma, since 1974. We are nationally recognized pioneers in asbestos litigation and currently interviewing Associate Attorneys to join our Oakland, California based team.

New Associate Attorneys will work in our Case Management department along with other members of an assigned team under the supervision of a senior Attorney or Partner.

Mesothelioma Attorneys: Job Requirements of a New Associate

All Associates must be active members in good standing of the California State Bar. Other requirements include:

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing (including email), with colleagues, court personnel, co-workers, clients and defense lawyers and law firms.
  • Knowledge of legal research methods, legal principles and their application.
  • Ability to analyze facts, and apply legal principles and precedents to legal problems.
  • Ability to effectively handle discovery matters.
  • Ability to present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically.
  • Ability to prepare correspondence involving the explanation of legal matters.
  • Ability to analyze situations accurately and plan an effective course of action.
  • Possession of basic trial skills.
  • Ability to work collegially with partners, associates and staff.

Mesothelioma Attorney’s Job Duties and Responsibilities

Depending on the job level and applicant’s experience, the Associate Attorney may perform all or any of the duties described below.

Associate Attorney Level I

  • Conducts litigation activities, advises clients as to legal rights and practices other phases of law.
  • Gathers evidence in civil cases to formulate, initiate and prosecute legal action.
  • Conducts research; interviews clients and witnesses; drafts legal documents; prepares lay and expert witnesses; and handles, where necessary, all other details in preparation for trial or hearings.
  • Prepares legal briefs interpreting laws, rulings, and regulations, develops strategy, arguments, and testimony in preparation for presentation of case.
  • Develops ability to manage a case and handle discovery.
  • Represents clients in court.
  • Participates as a member of the legal team, to ensure quality performance of the team.
  • Employs interpersonal skills to build good working relationships with staff and other attorneys.

Associate Attorney Level II

In addition to the above, an Associate Attorney Level II will be expected to:

  • Take and defend depositions
  • Manage a caseload, independently, with minimal or no supervision.
  • Fill in for Supervising Attorneys, if necessary, and manage the work of other Associate Attorneys.
  • Possess advanced trial skills, law & motion, and/or appellate advocacy expertise.
  • Move cases from pre-trial to trial readiness.
  • Participate in trials as second chair.

How to Apply for a New Associate Position

Interested candidates should send a resume to the attention of the Human Resources Manager at HRM@kazanlaw.com.

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Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Asbestos in Toys Found – Again

asbestos in toys

Asbestos in toys seems impossible to believe. Who would put asbestos in toys and put young children at risk for inhaling asbestos fibers?  Microscopic asbestos fibers once inhaled can lodge in the lungs and within a few years or a few decades cause a fatal cancer called mesothelioma.  There is no safe level of asbestos exposure.  Yet asbestos in toys has been an ongoing problem and was just reported again by an environmental consumer watchdog group.

Asbestos in Toys Imported From China According to New Report

Asbestos in toys was the focus of a new detailed report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Action Fund.  EWG found asbestos in several brands of children’s crayons and fingerprint kits made in China and sold in the U.S.  This is the third time in 15 years that the cancer-causing substance has been detected in crayons or fingerprint toys marketed to children—apparently, due to the use of asbestos-contaminated talc.  China a leading manufacturer for many products imported to the US, remains one of the biggest users of deadly asbestos in the world today. China also has lower environmental and safety standards compared to the United States and Western European countries.

The toys were purchased by EWG staff at national retail chains or through online retailers and then sent for testing to two government-certified laboratories, according to the EWG report.

EWG Action Fund purchased the crayons that tested positive for asbestos between February and May 2015 at Bay Area stores of two national chains, Party City and Dollar Tree. The fund ordered the two crime scene fingerprint toys that contained asbestos online through Amazon and ToysRUs.

Asbestos Found In Toys Promoted With Popular Characters

EWG’s tests detected asbestos in four of 28 boxes of crayons tested.  Several of these featured the use of popular children’s characters including Mickey Mouse, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is unclear whether the companies who control the licensing of these characters were aware the Chinese manufacturers were using asbestos in the toys.

Two of the 21 crime scene fingerprint kits were found to be tainted with asbestos, one with black fingerprint powder and the other with white fingerprint powder.

No asbestos was found in 19 other crime lab kits or 24 types of crayons, including those made by the well-known Crayola brand.

Asbestos in Toys Sadly is a Recurring Problem

This latest discovery of asbestos in toys has a very disturbing sense of déjà vu to it. In 2009, our firm helped raise awareness about the discovery of Chinese- produced asbestos-contaminated toy fingerprint kits, called CSI kits or Crime Scene Investigation kits, for sale on Amazon.com.  Our firm’s foundation and Kazan Law clients Paul and Michelle Zygielbaum helped fund the lab testing that found as much as 7.2 percent asbestos in the powder of 6 out of 8 kits tested. We personally alerted Amazon’s legal counsel about this. Our complaints helped spur the removal of these kits from Amazon.

At that time, asbestos in those toys was uncovered by a consumer testing program sponsored by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.  It became a scandal and a class action case was brought against the companies that made and distributed these dangerous products. The case was resolved by an order filed in the United States District Court for the Seventh District of New York on February 23, 2010. The kits were recalled as part of the legal settlement. Full refunds were given to anyone who had one of these contaminated kits and they could be sent back at the defendants’ expense for destruction in accordance with the highest standards of industrial hygiene and environmental safety.

Back in 2000, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was made aware of asbestos in crayons, when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper commissioned testing of well-known US crayon manufacturers.

The CPSC said the risk of children inhaling asbestos fibers from crayons appeared to be ‘’extremely low” but got major manufacturers to reformulate their crayons. The “CPSC will continue to monitor children’s crayons to ensure that they do not present a hazard,” the report said.

Asbestos in Toys Pose Risk at Any Level

EWG’s test results finding asbestos in toys is especially horrific because  a child exposed to asbestos is 3.5 more likely than a 25-year-old to develop mesothelioma, according to the U.K. Committee on Carcinogenicity.

Some industry apologists have tried to argue that the asbestos fibers in the crayons are embedded in wax and pose no danger. Asbestos fibers inhaled primarily as asbestos dust are the primary cause of asbestos-related diseases.  But we do not know how crayons break down as they are used. If 24 out of 28 crayon producers can avoid asbestos, the others can too.

No defense has been offered for the fingerprint kits which work by brushing asbestos-containing powder from the finger-print image.

Latest Asbestos in Toys Report Prompts Renewed Response

The new asbestos in toys reported by the EWG has prompted a new outcry from government officials and a swift response from some of the companies involved.

News media accounts report that the toy fingerprint kits have already been pulled by ToysRUs and Amazon as a result of the report but are still being sold on eBay. Dollar Tree sells three of the tainted crayon brands and declined to report whether they would stop selling them.

Only one state out of 50 – Connecticut – bans asbestos in children’s products, including toys and other articles marketed for children under the age 16.  As long as asbestos remains legal, we can expect this negligent situation to recur.

In the meantime, we applaud Amazon and ToysRUs for voluntarily removing these dangerous products. We call on Ebay, Party City and the Dollar Tree to do like-wise as  well as any retailer who is selling asbestos-containing toys.

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