On August 1, 2012, I became the Chair of Public Justice’s Investment Committee, tasked with overseeing the management of the Public Justice endowment, reserve and investment accounts. I will also continue as a member of Public Justice’s Board of Directors.
The Investment Committee aims to preserve capital and earn an adequate return in order to help Public Justice fulfill its mission.
This mission is to use creative litigation, public education and innovative work with the community to protect people and the environment, challenge wrongdoings and injustice, increase access to justice and inspire others to serve the public interest.
I enjoyed working on the Investment Committee this past year and helping it to redo the Public Justice investment policy for submission to the Board of Directors, which approved the new policy at its meeting last month. This will let me leverage my experience as an advisor to asbestos bankruptcy trusts (which currently manage over 20 billion in assets for the benefit of their asbestos victim beneficiaries) and apply it to a different context.
The issue of asbestos bankruptcy trusts came into focus during the summer of 1982, when manufacturers of the carcinogenic material began to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to avoid having to pay compensation to workers and other victims who had been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.
I have been involved in asbestos litigation since 1974, and during this period had to react to this significant change. This trend of companies seeking bankruptcy protection continued in the 1990s and increased heavily in the 2000s. I have been involved on creditors committees representing asbestos victims in nearly all of those bankruptcies. Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood and Harley was at the forefront in pushing the courts to protect the rights of mesothelioma victims in the Combustion Engineering bankruptcy, and led the reorganization efforts that produced the Combustion Engineering Trust Fund.
This experience will be a tremendous asset as I take over as Chair of the Investment Committee for the Public Justice Board, and I hope to use the knowledge I’ve gained working with asbestos bankruptcy trusts to continue to protect the best interests of the public and the environment.
Western civilization has held society members responsible for what they do and and the damage they cause for some 4,000 years. As early as the Book of Exodus, in addition to awarding damages to compensate people injured by the careless or malicious acts of others, the Bible also recognized that it was important to impose punitive-type damages to punish intentionally wrongful acts that interfered with society’s most important activities in a society that depended on agriculture and farming as its primary means for support and sustenance.
Please join me in my sixth and final short talk in a series of videos devoted to understanding the Bible as the basis for our civil justice system’s compensation of those who are hurt by the act of others, and the evolution of punitive damages to punish those who deserve it, as reflected in today’s American law.
During presidential election years in particular, there is much talk about what is wrong with our civil justice system. Yet many people don’t recognize that our tort law has its foundation in the Bible. Here in the fifth of my video series, The Bible and Our Civil Justice System, I discuss the evolution of modern products liability law from biblical times to today.
Today’s rules reflect the laws established to protect citizens from the risks presented by oxen in biblical times. l also discuss the Bible’s version of construction defect law and the origins of modern uniform building and construction codes.
Please join me as I trace the evolution of today’s product liability law over the past 4,000 years.
We are very proud to announce that Kazan Law attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for the ninth consecutive year.
What is Super Lawyers?
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
We are honored to have these Kazan Law attorneys included in this list which represents no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state of California.
Super Lawyers Rising Stars recognize the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state. Rising Stars are considered by their peers as the best attorneys under the age of 40, or who have been practicing law 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:
Our modern civil justice system has its foundation in the bible and reflects an evolution of beliefs and increased knowledge since the earliest development of western civilization, starting some 4,000 years ago.
Hammurabi, the first king of the Babylonian Empire, is known for one of the first written codes of law in recorded history and the initial presentation of the “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” philosophy.
Please join me in my third in a series of videos devoted to understanding the history of the bible and our civil justice system as I discuss the evolution of civil damages, the bible’s version of construction defect law and the first known evidence of uniform building and construction codes.
I often hear people say that something is wrong with our civil justice system. Yet most people don’t recognize that the bible provided the foundation for tort law beginning with the story of human society’s first family, Adam and Eve, and their sons Cain and Abel, in the fourth chapter of Genesis.
Please watch this second part of my video series, The Bible and Our Civil Justice System. I discuss how law was designed to incorporate the responsibilities we have to each other and the importance God ‘s plan places on ensuring that we all have access to justice.
In this first in a series of six videos, Steven Kazan lays the foundation for an understanding of the origins of law and its evolution over the centuries. Learn about the role of the Romans in the development of civilization and how the Romans’ adoption of Christianity led to the bible becoming the source from which our civil justice system operates today.
From left Steven Kazan, David McClain, Dianna Lyons, Denise Abrams, Francis Fernandez
We are proud to announce that five Kazan Law attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012 (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.):
David M. McClain (first listed 2006) Dianna C. Lyons (first listed 2009) Francis E. Fernandez (first year listed)
Best Lawyershas become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence since its inception in 1983. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.9 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Additionally, lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed. Corporate Counselmagazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
It is important to note that the lawyers listed in Best Lawyers have no say in deciding which practice areas they are included in. They are voted into practice areas entirely as a result of the votes they receive from their peers.
We are very pleased to announce that for the eighth consecutive year, attorneys at Kazan Law have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list.
Super Lawyers Selection Process
The Super Lawyers listing is developed as a resource to be used by attorneys and consumers searching for outstanding legal counsel. Super Lawyers attorneys are chosen through a rigorous, multiphase rating process which includes peer nominations and evaluations combined with third party research. We are honored to have these Kazan Law attorneys included in this list which represents no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state of California.
David McClain: Super Lawyer 2004-2011 Jim Oberman: Super Lawyer 2010-2011
In 1998, Super Lawyers launched Rising Stars to recognize the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state. Rising Stars are considered by their peers as the best attorneys under the age of 40, or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less.Two of the Kazan Law Super Lawyers named this year have been acknowledged as Rising Stars: