• Importance of Medical Records Summaries in Mass Tort Litigation

      Mass torts cases are complex and often involve multiple plaintiffs who have suffered harm from the same product or action. In the USA, mass torts cases are increasing in number, with 17,242 cases filed in 2020. These cases involve extensive investigation, scientific analysis, and legal expertise to achieve efficient and consistent outcomes.

      One of the key challenges in mass tort litigation is coordinating the claims of multiple plaintiffs. As such, many mass torts involve a multi-district litigation (MDL) process, in which similar cases are consolidated and heard in a single court. The MDLs process allows plaintiffs to share resources, evidence, and expertise. However, MDLs can also be complex, time-consuming, and may involve significant costs and fees.

      Medical records summaries play a crucial role in mass torts cases, as they provide important information about a plaintiff’s injuries and medical history. In a study of 51 mass tort cases, it was found that medical records were the most frequently requested type of discovery. Medical records summaries are commonly used in mass tort cases to help attorneys quickly and efficiently review large amounts of medical records, identify key medical issues, establish causation, and develop effective litigation strategies.

      Medical records summaries can help attorneys build a strong case for their clients by providing a detailed overview of a plaintiff’s medical history, identifying key issues, establishing causation, and determining the extent of a plaintiff’s injuries and resulting damages. Medical records summaries can play a critical role in mass tort litigation by providing attorneys with a comprehensive understanding of a plaintiff’s medical history and identifying key issues that may be relevant to the case.

      Draft n Craft has been offering medical records summaries to law firms for over a decade now. Our team of experienced medical professionals is trained to review medical records and extract relevant information, such as diagnosis, treatment plans, and medication history. Different law firms may have different needs in terms of how they want to review the summary. There can be a specific format, some injuries or diagnosis may need to be highlighted so that attorneys do not have to look for those and they are readily presented in the summary.

      In conclusion, mass tort cases can have significant financial implications, with settlements often totalling in the millions or even billions of dollars. Given the stakes involved, the importance of medical record summaries in mass tort litigation cannot be overstated. By providing a detailed and organized overview of a plaintiff’s medical history, these summaries can help attorneys build a strong case and ultimately achieve a favourable outcome for their clients.

      To better understand what different formats can be produced or whether a hyperlinked summary be useful or not, feel free to reach out to me at danish@draftncraft.com or +1-646-367-6975

  • Care Plus and its Entities Agree to Pay $7.2 Million Against Anti-Kickback Allegations

      On April 13, 2022, Care Plus Management, LLC (“Care Plus”), its founders Paul D. Weir and John R. Morgan, MD, along with eighteen other anesthesia entities which were owned and operated by Care Plus, agreed to pay a whopping amount of $7.2 million as consideration to resolve allegations which claimed that they entered into kickback arrangements with referring physicians. It was alleged that Care Plus and its entities did so in exchange for the referral of the physicians’ patients for anesthesia services. Also, Weir and Morgan shared the revenue received from anesthesia services with the referring physicians and provided subsidies on drug supplies and equipment to the referring physicians’ outpatient surgical centers. United States ex rel. Douglas, et al., v. Care Plus Management, LLC, et al., No. 1:16-cv-4439-WRM (N.D. Ga. Apr 13, 2022)

      It is seen that anesthesia providers usually depend on hospitals and outpatient surgery centers for their income. If an anesthesia provider is able to enter into an exclusive agreement with such centers, it is guaranteed a steady stream of patient referrals. Thus, anesthesia providers compete aggressively for these contracts.

      The U.S. Government alleged that between the years 2012 and 2016, Weir and Morgan, through Care Plus, appeased physician owners of outpatient surgery centers to award these exclusive service agreements to them by offering partial ownership in the entities owned and operated by Care Plus. Under the terms of this agreement, the physician owners received compensation in the form of a portion of the revenue from the anesthesia services. The Government also alleged that Weir, Morgan, Care Plus, and its anesthesia companies subsidized the cost incurred by surgery centers for drugs, supplies, and equipment in order to induce the physician owners of those centers to grant exclusive anesthesia service agreements to Care Plus’s anesthesia companies. 

      As per the Government allegations, the arrangements violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b), and caused the submission of false claims in violation of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq. The Anti-Kickback Statute is a criminal statute that prohibits an exchange or offers to exchange of anything of value, in consideration to the referral of business reimbursable by federal health care programs. While under the False Claims act, a private citizen may bring suit for false claims on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery obtained by the government.

      The original complaint filed in 2016 included more than fifty medical entities operating across several states and numerous unnamed individuals. However, the U.S. Government and the State of Georgia intervened only against the Care Plus Parties. This case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The settlement agreed upon by the parties resolved a lawsuit originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.

      Research and Writing By: Team Draft n Craft

      Draft n Craft is a premier outsourcing firm that offers its legal, paralegal, and medical support solutions to law firms, insurance companies, and corporate and in‐house legal departments throughout the United States. The strength and openness in our relationship help our clients to maximize the benefits of outsourcing.

      Want to achieve maximum ‘ROI’ at minimum cost, provide 24 x 7 hours of work environment with the highest standards of integrity, maintain utmost confidentiality, and employ a diverse workforce that adds value to your day‐to‐day business?

      Visit: www.draftnctaft.com | info@draftncraft.com | +1 6463676958 & 75

  • Copper Creek (Marysville) | Washington Court of Appeals on Effect of Bankruptcy Discharge on Statute of Limitations

      On April 11, 2022, the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1 granted the motion for reconsideration and withdrew its opinion dated January 18, 2022. Respondents had filed a motion for reconsideration, seeking reversal of summary judgment quieting title in favor of the Appellants (Copper Creek). Copper Creek (Marysville) Homeowners Ass’n v. Kurtz, No. 82083-4-I (Wash. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2022). The Court held that the trial court erred in determining that the statute of limitations rendered the respondents’ deed of trust unenforceable.

      As per the facts of the case, in 2007, Shawn and Stephanie Kurtz bought a real property with a note of $303,472.00 which was secured by a deed of trust. Shawn was engaged in active duty in the United States military at that time and continued with the same till September 2020. The purchased property was within the Copper Creek (Marysville) Homeowners Association and Shawn and Stephanie Kurtz were obligated to pay annual assessments of $400. However, in January 2008, Shawn and Stephanie separated and the latter moved out of the property. Thereafter, the Kurtez did not pay on the note in either 2008 or 2009. In 2010, Stephanie filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and included the property. On the debtor’s statement of intention, she noted the mortgage and her intention to surrender the property. She thereby received a discharge, which included the property. A year later, in 2011, Shawn filed a separate Chapter 7 bankruptcy and surrendered the property as well. He included Copper Creek as a creditor holding a secured claim for homeowner’s dues in the amount of $1,826.50. The bankruptcy was discharged after a few months.

      In 2008, Copper Creek recorded a notice of claim of lien against the property in the amount of $15,278.68 in assessments, fees, interest, and attorney fees and costs that had accrued on the property, and filed for judicial foreclosure to recover the delinquent assessments. In April 2019, Copper Creek and the Kurtzes entered an agreed order with the court for the appointment of a custodial receiver. Copper Creek recorded the order appointing the receiver with Snohomish County Superior Court. The receiver spent $22,470.24 rehabilitating the property and began renting it at a fair market value. After completion of the repairs, the Quality Loan Service Corporation of Washington (QLS) tried to enforce the terms of the note as secured by the DOT through nonjudicial foreclosure which prompted Copper Creek to bring the action to quiet title.

      Upon refusal, Copper Creek filed a motion to restrain the sale, and a complaint against the Kurtzes, respondents, and QLS for lien foreclosure, restraint of the trustee sale, wrongful foreclosure, and quiet title. It then filed a motion for summary judgment. The same was opposed by the respondents and a motion for judgment on the pleadings was filed. The trial court concluded that the SCRA tolling provision did not apply to the foreclosure action, which allowed the statute of limitations to run on the DOT. The SCRA tolls statutes of limitations in lawsuits involving service members.

      However, the Court held that the SCRA applied and tolled the statute of limitations until Shawn no longer had personal liability on the note. That occurred on July 13, 2011, the date of the discharge of his personal liability on the debt. Therefore, the statute of limitation began on all of the past installments on July 13, 2011. Further, the bankruptcy eliminated only Shawn’s personal liability on the note. The debt, the note, and the payment schedule remain unchanged. The notice of nonjudicial foreclosure was given on October 20, 2019, prior to the November payment coming due. Any outstanding installments prior to November 2013, were not enforceable in the foreclosure action due to the six-year statute of limitations. But, enforcement of the DOT was not barred as to the remainder due under the note. Thus, the trial court erred by quieting title in Copper Creek.

      Research and Writing By: Team Draft n Craft

      Draft n Craft is a premier outsourcing firm that offers its legal, paralegal, and medical support solutions to law firms, insurance companies, and corporate and in‐house legal departments throughout the United States. The strength and openness in our relationship help our clients to maximize the benefits of outsourcing.

      Want to achieve maximum ‘ROI’ at minimum cost, provide 24 x 7 hours of work environment with the highest standards of integrity, maintain utmost confidentiality, and employ a diverse workforce that adds value to your day‐to‐day business?

      Visit: www.draftnctaft.com | info@draftncraft.com | +1 6463676958 & 75

  • Federal District Court, California Dismisses Class Action Suit for Lack of Specific Jurisdiction

      On April 01, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled in dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed against Netgain Technology, on the ground of lack of personal jurisdiction over the business. Lee v. NetGain Tech., 21cv1144-LL-MSB (S.D. Cal. Apr. 1, 2022).

      The lead plaintiff was a resident of South Carolina, while Netgain Tech is a Minnesota-based company. Plaintiff filed the class action alleging a data breach that affected personal and medical information of patients at Caresouth Carolina, a community health center. The Netgain Tech was the cloud-hosting service for the health center along with many other organizations. As a patient of Caresouth, Plaintiff was required to provide Netgain and Caresouth with personal medical information and was given the assurance that the provided information would be kept safe from unauthorized access. However, on December 03, 2020, network servers of Netgain and Caresouth were infiltrated and access was gained to such network servers. Netgain had to pay a significant amount of money in exchange for a promise that the attackers would delete copies of the data that had been stolen. The same was conveyed to the Plaintiff through a letter on May 17, 2021.

      As the matter came before the Court, Netgain filed a motion to dismiss the putative class action for lack of personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2).  The provision states that a suit may be dismissed by a district court for lack of personal jurisdiction.

      In response to the same, Plaintiff argued that it had filed the suit under specific jurisdiction. Specific jurisdiction exists where “the defendant’s suit-related conduct . . . . create[s] a substantial connection with the forum State.” Walden v. Fiore, 571 U.S. 277, 284 (2014). In order for a federal court to exercise specific jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant it considers following things: (1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or resident thereof; or perform some act by which he purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum, thereby invoking the benefits and protections of its laws; (2) the claim must be one which arises out of or relates to the defendant’s forum-related activities; and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction must comport with fair play and substantial justice, i.e. it must be reasonable.

      Plaintiff contended that Netgain conducted a major portion of its business in the state of California. Further, it also has an office and employees residing in California. Moreover, it circulates its advertisements and provides services to the residents of California. Therefore, Plaintiff argued that the District Court was the proper forum for the matter in hand.

      However, Judge Linda Lopez held that the Court was not an appropriate forum for the present matter. The Court stated that the complaint filed by the Plaintiff revolved around the allegation that Netgain failed to secure information of Caresouth patients. Therefore, the complaint had nothing to do with the company’s operations in San Diego, California. The Court also rejected the motion filed for jurisdictional discovery. It was filed with the reason to establish that the San Diego location was at least partially responsible for the alleged data breach. The same was dismissed by the Court for the reason that the Plaintiff had no evidence to support his claim.

  • Southern District of Florida Grants Motion to Dismiss in Mass Class Action

      On April 5, 2022, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has granted motion to dismiss in favor of defendant Huntsman Corporation in Andres v. Raytheon Techs. Corp & Others Civil Action,No. 21-61757-Civ-Scola (S.D. Fla. Apr. 5, 2022). The case was brought by the son of Plaintiff John R. Andres against 51 defendants. Mr. Andres died because of malignant mesothelioma. Plaintiff’s son asserted that over the course of working with defendants, Mr. Andres handled and contacted with number of products containing asbestos which were highly dangerous and contributed to Mr. Andres’s death.

      On the contrary, Defendant Huntsman Corporation filed a motion to dismiss contending that they were not subject to personal jurisdiction in Florida. Defendant alleged that Plaintiff’s complaint has not made specific allegations concerning Huntsman’s business or conduct, instead the Plaintiff pled jurisdictional allegations common to all Defendants. For instance, the complaint comprises defendants, who were either Florida residents or had conducted business in Florida.

      In addition to this, Joe Hamor, an assistant treasurer to Defendant Huntsman, filed a declaration in favor of defendant. He asserted that Huntsman Corporation is only a holding company incorporated in Delaware with a principal place of business in Texas. Plaintiff in its reply stated that Huntsman has proper jurisdiction in Florida. Defendants targeted sale of its product as well as possessed a physical facility in Pensacola, Florida. Huntsman also owned the trademark to two products that are sold in Florida. These products potentially contributed to Mr. Andres’ alleged asbestos exposure.

      Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), a plaintiff seeking personal jurisdiction over a nonresident bears the initial burden of alleging sufficient facts in the complaint to establish a prima facie case of jurisdiction.

      After hearing the arguments, the court found that plaintiffs failed to contend a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction over Huntsman and allowed Huntsman’s motion to dismiss. The court also said that the plaintiffs had failed to prove jurisdiction by affidavits, testimony, or documents while submitting reply to Huntsman’s rebut.

      Research and Writing By: Team Draft n Craft

      Draft n Craft is a premier outsourcing firm that offers its legal, paralegal, and medical support solutions to law firms, insurance companies, and corporate and in‐house legal departments throughout the United States. The strength and openness in our relationship help our clients to maximize the benefits of outsourcing.

      Want to achieve maximum ‘ROI’ at minimum cost, provide 24 x 7 hours of work environment with the highest standards of integrity, maintain utmost confidentiality, and employ a diverse workforce that adds value to your day‐to‐day business?

      Visit: www.draftnctaft.com | info@draftncraft.com | +1 6463676958 & 75

  • First Department Ordered New Trial in Personal Injury Damages Lawsuit

      On March 29, 2022, the Appellate Division, First Department, decided in Miller v. Camelot Communications Group, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 02091 (1st Dept. Mar 29, 2022) that the trial judge erroneously precluded the defendants from using the deposition transcript from the prior lawsuit and therefore ordered a new trial to be held on the issue of damages.  

      The facts state that on December 13, 2014, when Plaintiff Linda Miller, a pedestrian crossing the street on Broadway at an intersection, was struck by a van. She filed a case against the at-fault van driver and accordingly awarded for damages in the total sum of $4,030,000 for pain and suffering and for future medical expenses

      Approximately 18 months before this accident, Plaintiff sustained a head injury at Lincoln Center when an usher swung a door open and hit her in the head. Consequently, she filed a complaint against the Lincoln Center and claimed head-related injuries which included seizure and a concussion, dizziness and memory issues and pain in her neck and shoulder. The case was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2015.

      At trial in the new lawsuit, the defense attempted to introduce into evidence Ms. Miller’s deposition transcript from the Lincoln Center lawsuit (held just two months before the new accident). Plaintiff argued in favor of preclusion because the defense had failed to disclose that they intended to use the transcript. The judge in the new lawsuit precluded the defendants from using the transcript.

      Further, the defendant contended that most of the complaints (such as traumatic brain injury, right arm/shoulder, left knee – torn meniscus, right wrist – carpal tunnel syndrome; surgery, keloid scarring to face and leg, and depression – were largely due to impact on acting career) claimed by the plaintiff were related to her Lincoln Center lawsuit. On the contrary, Plaintiff asserted that after her prior accident she was physically and socially active. But the new accident greatly affected her health. She was largely sedentary, lost her career and was in constant pain, and was clinically depressed.

      Keeping all these arguments in mind, the appellate court ordered a new trial on the issue of damages and stated that the trial judge erred in giving the defendants a chance to use the deposition transcript from the earlier lawsuit.

      Research and Writing By: Team Draft n Craft

      Draft n Craft is a premier outsourcing firm that offers its legal, paralegal, and medical support solutions to law firms, insurance companies, and corporate and in‐house legal departments throughout the United States. The strength and openness in our relationship help our clients to maximize the benefits of outsourcing.

      Want to achieve maximum ‘ROI’ at minimum cost, provide 24 x 7 hours of work environment with the highest standards of integrity, maintain utmost confidentiality, and employ a diverse workforce that adds value to your day‐to‐day business?

      Visit: www.draftnctaft.com | info@draftncraft.com | +1 6463676958 & 75

  • Supreme Court of Georgia Rules out Product Liability due to Third Party’s Wrongful Behavior

      The Supreme Court of Georgia on March 15, 2022, decided in Maynard v. Snapchat, Inc., Case that a complaint alleging a product liability claim could survive a motion to dismiss when a third-party user of the product engaged in intentionally wrongful behavior.

      In this case, Mr. Maynard filed a complaint about the injuries he suffered in a motor vehicle accident when Christal McGee rear-ended Mr. Maynard’s vehicle while driving over 100 miles per hour. In an inquiry, it was found that Ms. McGee was using a “Speed Filter” feature of the Snapchat app to estimate her speed and wanted to post it on her social media apps including Snapchat. Mr. Maynard alleged in his complaint that such applications are poorly designed and neglect user warnings.

      However, the Georgia Court of Appeals had upheld the dismissal of Maynard’s complaint, concluding that a manufacturer had no duty to design a product to accommodate a user’s intentional misbehavior. [See Maynard v. Snapchat, Inc., 357 Ga. App. 496, 500, 502 (851 SE2d 128) (2020)]. In addition to this, the Supreme Court of Georgia in its certiorari review concluded that the complaint stated a product liability claim.

      The Supreme Court of Georgia stated that it is the duty of every product manufacturer to provide adequate information regarding the product and protect users against any kind of harm. The manufacturers are also obliged to invent sensible designs to avoid such harm. 

      The court’s decision says more about Georgia’s minimal notice pleading standard than about Georgia’s substantive product liability law. Mr. Maynard rightly pled that the driver’s misuse of the Speed Filter was reasonably foreseeable, that the Speed Filter was defective, and that the defect was the proximate cause of his injury. He had adequately pled a product liability claim. Therefore, his complaint survived a motion to dismiss. 

      Further, the supreme court of Georgia also mentioned that when the case reaches the summary judgment stage, and the case is better framed by the evidence of what happened, they will have a clear idea about what Georgia law needs from a manufacturer when a product user engages in intentional misbehavior.

      Research and Writing By: Team Draft n Craft

      Draft n Craft is a premier outsourcing firm that offers its legal, paralegal, and medical support solutions to law firms, insurance companies, corporate and in‐house legal departments throughout the United States. The strength and openness in our relationship help our clients to maximize the benefits of outsourcing.

      Want to achieve maximum ‘ROI’ at minimum cost, provide 24 x 7 hours of work environment with the highest standards of integrity, maintain utmost confidentiality, and employ a diverse workforce that adds value to your day‐to‐day business?

      Visit: www.draftnctaft.com  |  info@draftncraft.com  |  +1 6463676958 & 75

  • Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA): Employers fate to be decided in 2022

      On December 15, 2021, the United States Supreme Court announced to review the most consequential PAGA case Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, No. 20-1573 (Dec 15, 2021). The step has been taken after almost a decade. The Supreme Court repeatedly denied requests to decide the same issue and now finally agreed to review the rule prohibiting California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) waivers in individual arbitration agreements. In Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, since 2014, the PAGA-only representative actions have flooded the courts and frustrated employers.  The argument presented was that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) should have pre-empted the current situation, an argument that the California Supreme Court has rejected. 

      It sure seems likely that a newly formulated conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court prompted this move.  A decision is expected in mid-2022. In other words, the Court will decide whether employers may limit PAGA actions by way of employment arbitration agreements with representative action waivers, the same way they limit class actions through class action waivers.

      PAGA allows a Court to award a penalty for each pay period that includes a wage-and-hour violation.  It does not include the damages for the underlying violation, just the discretionary penalty, which starts at $100 per employee per pay period, and increases to $200, and even $250 (or in extreme cases of knowing violations, $1000).

      This change is also focused on various lobbying groups (including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Restaurant Association, the California New Car Dealers Association, and the Western Growers) who had made all the efforts to repeal PAGA so that no one can file a representative action in the shoes of the state and recover civil penalties (and hence related attorneys’ fees). This initiative entitled the Fair Pay and Employer Accountability Act of 2022, would place greater enforcement responsibilities on the DLSE (Division of Labor Standards Enforcement), and require sufficient funds for that purpose. The only purpose of this initiative is the attorneys who file PAGA claims or the state cannot recover any money. This initiative has a long road ahead, but if any employer would like to be proactive about PAGA, they can certainly support the lobbying effort or join the signature-gathering effort that will be required to get on the ballot in 2022.

      So, we can expect there may be some PAGA relief in 2022 and employers can only wish that this does not happen.

      Research and Writing By: Team Draft n Craft

      Draft n Craft is a premier outsourcing firm that offers its legalparalegal and medical support solutions to law firms, insurance companies, corporate and in‐house legal departments throughout the United States. The strength and openness in our relationship help our clients to maximize the benefits of outsourcing.

      Want to achieve maximum ‘ROI’ at minimum cost, provide 24 x 7 hours of work environment with the highest standards of integrity, maintain utmost confidentiality and employ a diverse workforce that adds value to your day‐to‐day business?

      Visit: www.draftnctaft.com  |  info@draftncraft.com  |  +1 6463676958 & 75

  • New Jersey Lawmakers Advance Bill To Allow Pandemic Insurance

      A New Jersey Assembly committee on Wednesday advanced legislation that would permit insurers to offer coverage to policyholders for losses stemming from a pandemic like the coronavirus outbreak under provisions that state regulators would have to review on an expedited basis.

      NJ Lawmakers Advance Bill To Allow Pandemic Insurance

      With businesses across the Garden State struggling to secure such coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee approved A.B. 4551, which would enable insurance companies to offer a policy “rider” that would extend coverage for “global virus transmission or pandemic, or both.”

      The legislation, which was introduced in August, tackles a coverage issue that has sparked litigation in New Jersey state and federal courts after insurers refused to cover pandemic-related losses for businesses that took financial hits in the wake of government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

      The legislation, which was introduced in August, tackles a coverage issue that has sparked litigation in New Jersey state and federal courts after insurers refused to cover pandemic-related losses for businesses that took financial hits in the wake of government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

      The legislation would take effect immediately and apply to insurance policies issued on or after the date when the DOBI commissioner approves such a rider.

      Source: https://www.law360.com/newjersey/articles/1390340/nj-lawmakers-advance-bill-to-allow-pandemic-insurance

  • Tech groups criticize Florida’s social media law as Unconstitutional.

      Tech groups criticize Florida’s social media law as unconstitutional, setting the stage for legal action.

      Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill Monday aiming to punish social media companies for their moderation decisions. The law would fine Internet companies if they suspend political candidates in the run-up to elections. It also would also make it easier for the Florida state attorney general and individuals to bring lawsuits when they think tech companies have acted unfairly.

      Legal experts say they expect to see lawsuits challenging the measure. Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School in California, described the bill as bad policy and warned that some of its provisions are “obviously unconstitutional” because they restrict the editorial discretion of online publishers. He said some aspects of the law also would be preempted by a federal Internet law known as Section 230 that shields Internet companies from lawsuits over posts, photos and other content shared on their services.

      The Texas Senate has approved legislation like Florida’s that would prevent large tech companies from blocking or discriminating against users based on their viewpoints or location within Texas. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed support for that bill. North Carolina and Louisiana state lawmakers have introduced similar measures.

      Florida lawmakers created a special exemption for companies that own theme parks, which could apply to websites operated by Disney. Disney World is a major Florida tourist attraction, while Comcast owns Universal Studios Florida.

      Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/05/25/technology-202-tech-groups-criticize-florida-social-media-law-unconstitutional-setting-stage-legal-action/

  • New York ‘HERO’ Act requires employers to establish airborne infectious disease safety protocols.

      New York ‘HERO’ Act

      The New York HERO Act (S.1034-B/A.2681-B), a critical bill requiring businesses to have enforceable safety standards to prevent further spread of coronavirus and other airborne diseases, was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Under the new law, employers are required to implement several workplace safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The NY HERO Act, or the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, requires the Departments of Labor and Health to implement enforceable minimum standards for workplace safety. The regulations must include protocols on testing, PPE, social distancing, hand hygiene, disinfection, and engineering controls. Workers would also be given a direct role in monitoring and reporting violations through workplace health and safety committees and employees would be protected from retaliation for utilizing their rights under the law.

      After the NY DOL issues its model standards, each New York employer must choose to either adopt the model standard that applies to its industry or establish its own airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan that equals or exceeds the model standard. Employers must also provide their airborne infectious disease prevention plan in writing to their employees, including their plan in their employee handbooks, and post their plan in a prominent location in the workplace.

      New York employers should watch for the NY DOL to issue model airborne infectious disease prevention standards by June 4, 2021, and should prepare to issue and post airborne infectious disease prevention plans and update their handbooks accordingly. In the meantime, New York employers should continue to comply with all state and local safety protocols as employees return to work.

      Source: https://www.lexblog.com/2021/05/25/new-york-hero-act-requires-employers-to-establish-airborne-infectious-disease-safety-protocols/

  • Cost-padding, profit shedding law firms! Are you one of them?

      Cost padding happens when a business deliberately inflates its costs than what it has incurred and then passes it over to its consumers. However, there are costs that get passed over by the businesses unintentionally due to the high operating expenses, can this be considered as cost padding as well?

      Legal Services - Draft n CraftEven if it is, yes, should your law firm really be worried if the additional expenses are anyways getting rolled over to your clients ultimately?

      In today’s time, operating costs has become inversely proportional to the profit. Higher the cost, the lesser the profit, and vice-versa.

      With the advent of technology and the increase in competition, it has almost become impossible to pass over these costs to the clients, as there is always a fear of losing them out to the competition. Therefore, cost-padding is eventually leading to profit-shedding because if you are not optimizing your expenses, your practice will be bearing the inflated expenses out of its profit margins, making it extremely difficult for it to survive in the longer run.

      Whilst managing the cost of operating business is easier said than done, it’s literally a serious challenge for law firms because it was not very long ago that they were just not being questioned on their costs by their clients at all.

      Outsourcing of monotonous and tedious tasks is one way of reducing your operating expenses. It will not only give you the cost benefits, but it will also lead to an increase in efficiency, help you operate in a 24*7 environment, and will help you manage the uneven work-flow effectively. Last but not the least, it will also allow you to accept more cases that you might have turned-down otherwise due to a lack of resources. All of this, however, will happen only if you collaborate with a reliable and experienced vendor.


      Draft n Craft has been serving US law firms for over 12 years and has collaborated with over 200 US law firms over the years. The company has been supporting both plaintiffs as well as defense law firms and is not only helping them manage their costs but has also been instrumental in developing credible processes which in turn is reducing their case cycles as well.

      So if you are one of those law firms who is looking to be a cost-shedding, profit-making practice, don’t just wait, please feel free to connect at info@draftncraft.com for a free consultation.

  • From Litigation Support to Business Strategy: The Multi-Faceted Role of Remote Paralegals

      In the dynamic landscape of the legal profession, paralegals have emerged as indispensable assets within law firms. Traditionally recognized for their vital role in litigation support, paralegals have evolved to take on diverse responsibilities that extend beyond legal research and document preparation. This article explores the multi-faceted role of paralegals in US law firms, highlighting their contribution to both legal operations and strategic business functions.

      Litigation Support: The Foundation

      Historically, paralegals have played a key role in litigation support, assisting attorneys in preparing for trials and managing case-related documentation. They conduct thorough research, draft pleadings, organize exhibits, and collaborate closely with attorneys to build compelling arguments. Paralegals’ meticulous attention to detail and organizational skills help streamline the litigation process, ensuring smooth proceedings.

      Client Interaction and Case Management

      The IPMA survey found that 74% of law firms reported paralegals taking an active role in client interaction and communication.

      Paralegals have become primary points of contact for clients, facilitating effective communication and ensuring exceptional service delivery. They serve as liaisons between attorneys and clients, answering inquiries, scheduling appointments, and providing updates on case progress. Paralegals’ ability to empathize with clients and address their concerns fosters stronger attorney-client relationships and enhances overall client satisfaction.

      Case management is another critical aspect of a paralegal’s role. They coordinate deadlines, maintain case calendars, and ensure that all necessary filings and documentation are completed promptly. By actively monitoring case progress, paralegals help attorneys stay organized, mitigate risks, and meet legal obligations.

      Business Strategy and Operations

      Beyond their traditional legal support functions, paralegals now contribute to the strategic management and operational efficiency of law firms. Recognizing the value of paralegals’ unique skill sets, forward-thinking firms have expanded their roles to include business-related responsibilities.

      A survey conducted by the International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA) revealed that 91% of responding law firms reported paralegals taking on additional non-traditional roles within their organizations.

      Firstly, paralegals often play a vital role in legal project management. They assist in developing project plans, tracking milestones, and allocating resources effectively. By employing project management techniques, paralegals enhance productivity, manage costs, and ensure timely delivery of legal services.

      Secondly, paralegals actively participate in knowledge management initiatives within law firms. They organize and maintain comprehensive databases, ensuring easy access to legal precedents, templates, and research materials. By systematizing information, paralegals contribute to improved workflow, knowledge sharing, and increased efficiency throughout the firm.

      Additionally, paralegals provide valuable support in business development and marketing activities. They contribute to the creation of marketing materials, draft client communications, and assist in organizing client events. Paralegals’ ability to collaborate with attorneys and understand client needs helps firms foster stronger client relationships and attract new business opportunities.

      Professional Development and Specialization

      According to a survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), 60% of respondents reported holding a professional paralegal certification, showcasing their commitment to advancing their skills and knowledge.

      To adapt to the evolving legal landscape, paralegals have embraced opportunities for professional development and specialization. Many paralegals pursue advanced certifications and specialized training in areas such as intellectual property, immigration, corporate law, or e-discovery. This specialization enables paralegals to offer enhanced expertise in specific practice areas, thus expanding their scope of responsibilities and contributing to the firm’s overall legal proficiency.


      Paralegals have evolved from their traditional role in litigation support to becoming versatile professionals with an expanded scope of responsibilities. They contribute not only to legal operations but also to strategic business functions, improving efficiency, client satisfaction, and the overall performance of law firms. As paralegals continue to adapt to the changing legal landscape, their multi-faceted contributions will undoubtedly shape the future of the legal profession.

  • Unleashing the Power of Legal Marketing and Business Development for Your Law Firm’s Success

      In today’s highly competitive legal landscape, simply relying on exceptional legal skills is no longer sufficient to ensure the success of your law firm. To thrive and grow in this challenging environment, attorneys and law firms must wholeheartedly embrace the power of legal marketing and business development. These two critical activities play a pivotal role in promoting your firm’s practices, attracting clients, and building enduring relationships.

      As a legal services provider and an experienced sales and marketing professional, I have had the privilege of working closely with attorneys and law firms of various sizes, including solo practitioners and small to medium-sized firms, across the United States. Through my interactions, I have been able to assist them in streamlining their operations and implementing more efficient and cost-effective ways to run their law firms. Part of this process involves sharing key insights on legal marketing and business development tools that can effectively promote their law firm’s practices.

      In this article, I have tried to include the fundamentals of legal marketing and business development, shedding light on how these strategies can significantly impact the overall success of a law firm’s practice.

      I. Understanding Legal Marketing

      Legal marketing encompasses a range of strategies, tactics, and activities aimed at promoting your law firm’s services to potential clients. The primary goal is to increase brand awareness, establish credibility, and ultimately attract clients who need your expertise. To embark on a successful legal marketing journey, it is crucial to consider the following key elements:

      Defining Your Target Audience: To effectively market your law firm, it is essential to identify and understand your target audience. By considering the specific industries, demographics, and legal needs of your ideal clients, you can tailor your marketing messages and strategies to resonate with them.

      Developing a Strong Brand Identity: Your law firm’s brand is the essence of its image and reputation. Building a strong brand identity is essential for instilling trust and setting your firm apart from competitors. It is worth investing in creating a compelling logo, a professional website, and other marketing materials that authentically reflect your firm’s values and unique selling points.

      Building an Online Presence: In today’s digital age, establishing a robust online presence is non-negotiable. Developing a professional website that showcases your expertise, highlights successful cases, and provides valuable information for potential clients is paramount. Embracing digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and active engagement on social media platforms, can significantly boost your online visibility and attract the attention of potential clients.

      According to the American Bar Association (ABA), there were over 1.3 million licensed attorneys in the United States as of 2021. As a solo attorney or law firm partner, competition for clients is fierce, and law firms must be proactive in their marketing efforts to stand out. Here are some statistics to consider:

      • Online searches are the most common way for clients to find an attorney. 38% of consumers looking for legal services start their search online. This means that your law firm’s website and online presence are critical for attracting new clients.
      • Social media is becoming an important tool for law firms. 74% of law firms had a presence on social media in 2020. Of those firms, 63% said that they had gained new clients as a result of their social media efforts.
      • Mobile optimization is crucial for law firm websites. Over 60% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, and this number is expected to continue to grow. Law firms must ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile users to avoid losing potential clients.
      • Email marketing can be an effective tool for client retention. 73% of clients would like to receive emails from their law firms, and 67% of clients said that email was their preferred method of communication with their attorneys.

      Leveraging Referral Networks: Referrals are an incredibly powerful source of new clients for law firms. Cultivating relationships with other attorneys, professionals in related fields, and satisfied clients who can refer business to your firm is crucial. Actively participating in networking opportunities, attending industry events, and joining legal associations can help expand your referral network and open doors to new opportunities.

      II. Business Development for Law Firms

      Business development goes beyond marketing and focuses on strategies aimed at growing your law firm’s client base, enhancing client relationships, and increasing revenue. Here are some essential business development activities to consider:

      Client Relationship Management: Building strong and lasting relationships with your existing clients is key to fostering loyalty and encouraging repeat business. Regularly staying in touch, providing updates on their cases, and demonstrating genuine interest in their legal needs can make a significant difference. Implementing a client relationship management (CRM) system can help organize and track your interactions, leading to better client service and improved satisfaction.

      Cross-Selling and Upselling: Cross-selling involves offering additional legal services to existing clients who may benefit from them. Identifying opportunities within your client base where additional legal services could be relevant and beneficial can lead to increased revenue and client satisfaction. On the other hand, upselling involves offering premium services or packages to existing clients who may require a higher level of representation. By proactively identifying the needs of your clients and effectively communicating the value of these additional services, you can not only enhance your client relationships but also generate incremental revenue for your firm.

      Thought Leadership and Legal Content: Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your practice area can significantly enhance your firm’s reputation and attract new clients. Sharing your expertise through legal articles, blog posts, and speaking engagements can position you as an authority in your field. By offering valuable insights on emerging legal trends, changes in legislation, and relevant case studies, you demonstrate your knowledge and expertise while providing valuable information to potential clients.

      Client Feedback and Satisfaction: Actively seeking feedback from your clients is essential in understanding their experience working with your firm. Implementing measures to ensure client satisfaction, addressing any concerns promptly, and continuously improving your services based on client feedback are key elements of successful business development. Positive client experiences not only lead to repeat business but also result in referrals and recommendations, enhancing your firm’s reputation and attracting new clients.

      III. Measuring and Evaluating Marketing and Business Development Efforts

      To ensure the effectiveness of your marketing and business development efforts, it is crucial to measure and evaluate their impact. Consider the following strategies:

      Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify relevant KPIs that align with your marketing and business development goals. These could include metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, client acquisition cost, client retention rate, and referral sources. Regularly monitor and analyze these KPIs to assess the success of your initiatives and make informed decisions for future strategies.

      Tracking and Analytics: Utilize various tools and platforms to track and analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns. Platforms like Google Analytics provide valuable insights into website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. By monitoring this data, you can identify successful marketing channels, refine your strategies, and allocate resources effectively.

      Client Surveys: Conducting surveys with your clients can provide valuable feedback on their experience with your firm. Ask specific questions about how they discovered your firm, what influenced their decision to choose your services, and their overall satisfaction. This information will help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.

      Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis: Evaluate the return on investment for your marketing and business development activities. Calculate the costs associated with each initiative and compare them to the revenue generated or the value of acquired clients. This analysis will help you determine which strategies are delivering the highest ROI and prioritize resource allocation accordingly.

      Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and assess your marketing and business development strategies to identify areas for improvement. Stay updated on industry trends, new marketing tools, and emerging platforms that can enhance your efforts. Adapt your strategies based on feedback, data analysis, and market changes to stay ahead of the competition.

      In today’s highly competitive legal landscape, the success of your law firm depends on more than just exceptional legal skills. By embracing the power of legal marketing and business development, you can effectively promote your firm’s practices, attract clients, and build enduring relationships. Understanding your target audience, developing a strong brand identity, establishing an online presence, and leveraging referral networks are essential components of a successful legal marketing strategy. Additionally, prioritizing client relationship management, thought leadership, and client satisfaction are key to successful business development.

      Remember to measure and evaluate the impact of your marketing and business development efforts by utilizing key performance indicators, tracking and analytics, client surveys, and return on investment analysis. Continuous improvement based on data-driven decisions will allow you to optimize your strategies and stay ahead of the competition.

      By leveraging the power of legal marketing and business development, you can position your law firm for long-term growth, increased profitability, and sustained success in today’s competitive legal landscape.

      About the author

      Sagar Pratap Singh

      Mr. Pratap Singh is a seasoned marketing and business development professional with over 13 years of experience in client acquisition, business consulting, social media marketing, and client relations. Throughout his career, he has helped Solo Attorneys, Small Law Firms, Managing Partners, Chief Executive Officers, General Counsels, in the USA and Canada to streamline their operations and maximize efficiency by implementing the right strategies and utilizing premium Legal, Medico-Legal, Paralegal and Administrative Support Solutions offered by Draft n Craft.

      Please feel free to reach him at sagar@draftncraft.com or call him at +1 646 367 6958 or visit www.draftncraft.com