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Another Example of Facebook and the Legal System June 13, 2012

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Milwaukee Litigation Attorney, Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Cimpl has recently made some headlines with a Facebook post.  Judge Cimpl commented about Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch stating, “Can you say Acting Governor Rebecca Kleifisch!”

The Landmark Legal Foundation has called for an investigation into whether Judge Cimpl violated the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct.

Without commenting on the substance of the comments or the charges of Judicial impropriety we believe it is important to continue to tell the story of how Facebook can have an impact on everyone, their job, personal injury case or personal life.

You can find a story about the Facebook post here.

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Attorney Jonathan Groth selected as “Top 40 Under 40” January 31, 2012

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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Attorney Jonathan Groth was recently selected by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the “Top 40” attorneys under 40 in Wisconsin.  According to the The National Trial Lawyers Association:

The National Trial Lawyers Association: Top 40 under 40 is a new professional organization comprised of America’s top young trial attorneys. Membership intoThe National Trial Lawyers Association: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. The result is a credible, comprehensive and impressive list of young attorneys chosen to represent their state.

Groth Law Firm Featured in Brookfield Now Newspaper October 25, 2011

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Milwaukee Litigation Attorney, Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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Thanks to reporter Aaron Martin for this nice story about our firm:

You won’t see attorney Jon Groth touting his expertise in personal injury lawsuits in television commercials with celebrities standing at his side.

Still, the Milwaukee native’s reputation and knack for litigating intricate cases has brought growth to the law firm he started last year with his wife, Erin.

In nine short months, Groth hired four full-time employees and moved from one basement office to another basement office before settling into his new Bluemound Road location (with windows, he notes) in September.

It’s rare for start-up businesses to see that kind of growth, but perhaps even more rare in the world of personal injury litigation, where revenue comes in the form of contingency fees from settling sometimes lengthy cases.

“You might not get a settlement for two or three years, and all the while we are fronting all the costs for that client,” he said. “The growth plan was to wait until we had some money and then move on, but in the first nine months we have been swamped with new clients and new cases.”

After graduating from Marquette Law School in 2000, Groth developed a talent for handling complicated cases while working for law firms in Milwaukee and Chicago.

“Cases that other attorneys can’t or won’t handle, they refer them over to us,” he said.

Much of Groth’s caseload has come from referrals, but he’s also among the most-reviewed personal injury attorneys in the state on websites.

That has become a recipe for fast success.

“This is where we thought we would be in five years,” he said. “We didn’t expect it to happen this fast at all.”

Attorney Groth Named to Top 100 Trial Lawyers – Wisconsin July 26, 2011

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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Thanks to the National Trial Lawyers Association for honoring Attorney Jon Groth of Groth Law Firm, S.C. as one of Wisconsin’s top 100 Trial Lawyers.  The National Trial Lawyers Association consists of attorneys from across the United States:

The National Trial Lawyers is a national organization composed of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state. Membership is obtained through special invitation and is extended only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and profile as trial lawyers, both civil plaintiff and criminal defense.

It is the mission of The National Trial Lawyers to provide news, information, and education to attorneys who practice or have an interest in trial work, including civil plaintiff and criminal defense law.

The National Trial Lawyers is a professional and business organization designed to provide high quality, relevant, and innovative legal programs which are essential in dealing with current issues facing the trial lawyer.

 

Wisconsin Personal Injury Settlements for Minors March 21, 2011

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Milwaukee Litigation Attorney, Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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Under Wisconsin law settlements for a minor may not be enforced without the appointment of a guardian ad litem and the approval of the court.  Supreme Court Justice Gordon put it best when he said “we are aware that settlements are sometimes made in cases involving the claims of minors wherein releases are taken from the parent, but court approval is not sought.  This practice is ordinarily found only in cases in which the injuries are modest and the settlement is correspondingly small.  Since it is clear that a minor cannot be bound by an extra judicial settlement, a calculated risk is taken in striking a bargain without the benefit of judicial approval.”  In re: Matter of Lee O. Anderson, minor, et al. v. Mutual Service Casualty Insurance, 17 Wis.2d 380, 382, 117 N.W.2d 360, 361 (1962).  In Anderson a minor child was represented by an attorney at a summit hearing at which a settlement was approved in the Circuit Court of Douglas County.  The minor settlement took place without there having been a guardian ad litem appointed.  The Supreme Court held that even though an attorney had represented the minor, the settlement was not valid because a guardian ad litem had not been appointed for the benefit of the child.  The court went on to say that “the legislature has wisely directed a guardian ad litem be appointed for a minor who does not have a general guardian.  This is a desirable way of assuring that in every case the infant’s rights will be fully protected.”  See Id.  The logic behind the legislature’s actions is strongly in favor of protecting a minor.

The most common situations in which minor settlements are needed is that of a motor vehicle accident or dog bite case where a minor was injured and the insurance company asks for a minor settlement hearing.  Because it is the insurance company’s neck that is on the line, it is their prerogative to ask for a minor settlement hearing.  Again, they assume the risk set forth in Anderson.

When a settlement has been reached involving a minor and the insurance company requires the settlement to be approved by a circuit court the ball is usually in the attorney’s court to get the settlement approved.  It is important to ask the insurance company to pay for the filing fee for the petition for approval.  These fees change from county to county but they are usually approximately $155.00.  The documents filed with the court are pretty standard.  If you don’t have copies of these documents, please feel free to contact me and I will e-mail them to you.  My standard letter to the Clerk of Circuit Courts in the county where the injury occurred encloses an original (1) Petition for Approval of Minor Settlement, (2) Affidavit from the attorney in support of the Petition, and (3) an original and a copy of an Order for Approval of the Minor Settlement.  I always ask the clerk to contact me if a settlement hearing is not necessary.  Sometimes the court will review the petition, pictures, medical records and bills or any other documents attached and sign the Order and forward it back.  That’s why it’s important to ask to avoid the extra expense of court time.  Be sure to call the court about a week after sending the documents just to make sure that the court understands the matter and to explain why you think the matter needs to have a hearing or whether you would like the court to read the documents and approve it without a hearing.  If the court requires a hearing, then it is very important to have the client present along with the client’s parents or legal guardian.  When it comes to people present at the hearing, the more the merrier.  If father and mother are divorced and both have custody of the child I strongly encourage both parents to attend the hearing.  The last thing we need is a battle after the fact if only one parent came.  Also, you don’t want that embarrassing question from the judge about why only one parent is in attendance.  If because of work or other conflict only one parent can attend, it is a good idea to get a written consent by the absent parent and bring that with you so the court is aware that the other parent has read through the documents and consents to the approval of the minor settlement.

Minor settlement hearings themselves don’t change much injury to injury.  Hopefully the judge you are appearing before will have enough time on his or her calendar to make the child feel at home.  I have had judges allow the child to play with the gavel and ask questions of anyone on the judge’s staff.  Court reporters seem to get the most questions.

The purpose behind a hearing is to make sure that everyone is aware of the ramifications of the settlement.  Evidence needs to be presented so that the court is aware of the extent of the injuries.  That is why it is important to forward to the court in advance of the hearing documents that substantiate the injury.  A motor vehicle accident report, pictures, medical bills, and records are a good start.  I usually send everything that I sent as a demand to the insurance company to the judge in advance of the hearing.  Be sure to prepare the minor client for a few questions about how the accident happened, his or her past injuries and present injuries, and how the injuries affected their life since the accident.

Next, one should ask questions of the parents or legal guardians of the child who are present.  Again, if someone cannot attend, it is important to have an Affidavit to present to the court to show the court that everyone is in agreement about the settlement.  The parents/legal guardians need to set forth that they understand that a settlement has been reached regarding a certain injury.  They need to state that they understand that this settlement is full and final.  For example, “do you understand that this is a full and final settlement for all of the injuries that your child has suffered on the injury date and he/she can never again claim compensation for those injuries?”  They must state that they are aware and approve that the funds will be placed in a “secure” bank account until the minor reaches the age of 18 or older.  Recently I have heard of judges being very concerned about the type of account that a minor’s funds are placed.  I am not going to tell you where to place your client’s funds other than be sure to place them in an insured interest bearing account.  Again, structured settlement companies like the ones that advertise in The Verdict are highly recommended.

For your sake and for the sake of your client it is important to confirm on the record that the parent/legal guardians understand that they will not have access to the funds.  It’s often a good idea to make them aware that they will only be able to get access to those funds if they petition the court at a later date for certain things.  At this point you can use the court to tell the parents/legal guardians about what things they can ask for.  Judges will usually be helpful in this matter by stating that it is only for extreme situations that they will release funds for the benefit of a minor prior to that minor’s 18th birthday.  Asking for a new pair of socks or a new keyboard for a computer (these are things that I have heard clients ask judges and me about) will most likely not be allowed prior to that child’s 18th birthday.

For your benefit and the benefit of your minor client, it is important to ask the parents about every item on your settlement disbursement form.  Be sure to have copies for everyone present and go through it with them line by line asking them if they understand and agree with the settlement disbursement form.  For example, “Do you realize that the settlement amount is $15,000.00?  Do you consider this to be a faire and reasonable settlement for the injuries your child sustained?  Do you know that our firm’s fees are this amount and the costs are this amount?  And do you feel that the fees and costs are fair and reasonable?”

In the end a minor settlement hearing is the government’s way of insuring that minors are not taken advantage of.  It also has the ancillary benefit of making sure that minors or their parents are fully aware of the settlement and in that matter protects trial lawyers who represent these victims.  Finally, don’t forget to do your duty as guardian ad litem.  You must state to the court that you approve the settlement for the minor based upon the documents presented and testimony given.

 

 

Attorney Jackie Chada Nuckels Joins Groth Law Firm, S.C. March 7, 2011

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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Personal Injury Attorney Jackie Chada Nuckels

Personal Injury Attorney Jackie Chada Nuckels

Everyone at Groth Law Firm, S.C. is excited to announce the addition of Attorney Jacqueline Chada Nuckels to the litigation team.  Attorney Nuckels brings experience from the defense and plaintiff’s bar to Groth Law Firm, S.C.   Attorney Groth commented, “We are lucky to have her.  Attorney Nuckels brings a wealth of experience on complex briefing issues and, most importantly, knows how to try a case before a jury.”

Attorney Jackie Nuckels’ bio illustrates that this award winning lawyer is a credit to the profession and a fantastic advocate for her clients:

Jackie was born in Greendale, Wisconsin. She attended Greendale public schools, before heading to DePere, Wisconsin to attend St. Norbert College. While in college, Jackie was an active member of various community service groups and student government. It was during a service trip to Washington, DC that Jackie decided to pursue a career in law to advocate on behalf of those without a voice.

Following her graduation from St. Norbert, cum laude, Jackie attended Marquette University Law School, where she was again involved in volunteer organizations and student government. While in law school, Jackie gained invaluable experience as an intern to the late Honorable Ted E. Wedemeyer of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee. Throughout her law school career, Jackie also maintained employment as a law clerk at a successful Brookfield law firm. Jackie graduated from Marquette University Law School with her Juris Doctor.

Attorney Jackie Nuckels  is a member of the Wisconsin State Bar, Wisconsin Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, National Association of Women Lawyers, Association for Women Lawyers and the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association. Jackie is also a member of the Brain Injury Association of Wisconsin and proud supporter of the American Cancer Society.

In 2008, Attorney Nuckels was named in Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs. She has also been a speaker at the Wisconsin Association for Justice Tort & Technique Update Seminar and the Professional Association of Wisconsin Licensed Investigators.

Jackie currently lives in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, with her husband, daughter, and dog. Jackie enjoys golfing, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

New Testimonial for Attorney Jon Groth January 18, 2011

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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I’m always very grateful for the former clients who take the time to rate my services and comment at www.Avvo.com.

Jonathan and his secretary worked as a team!  I don’t just hand out these high marks if he did not earn it!  The last attorney I had was really bad and I marked it as such.  I never tell some one to see Groth if I did not think he could help you and get the job done!  Try him I think you will be pleased!  And this is no B.S. Larry

Larry

Two Rivers, WI

Fall Injury 2010

Merry Christmas! December 24, 2010

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth.
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Click here to track Santa via NORAD.

The Best Christmas Tree

The Best Christmas Tree

Happy Thanksgiving! November 25, 2010

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth.
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Thanks to everyone for helping Groth Law Firm, S.C. reach our goals for 2010.  We are very grateful for everyone’s help.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

Attorney Jon Groth Interviewed at Wisconsin Bar Association Conference November 4, 2010

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth.
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The Milwaukee Bar Association and Wisconsin Bar Association recently held their Solo and Small Firm Conference.  Attorney Jon Groth, Chair of the conference, was interviewed about its speakers and events.