Attorney Blogs


Exposure to Benzene in Gasoline in Louisiana


By Glenn C. McGovern, Attorney
Metairie, La.

The other day I opened the gas tank of my motorcycle to refuel it. The gas tank has a race style large opening. The gas pump handle did not have any covering to prevent emissions of the gasoline while filling the gas tank. I got a good whiff of the gasoline vapors that made me throw my head back to avoid more fumes. I notice in other states gasoline pump handles have large flexible covers to stop vapors from going in the air. (Some states, like California, require these to reduce the gasoline fumes from going in the air.) Benzene is a known carcinogen that causes Leukemia including the rare acute myleogenous leukemia (AML) and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Exposure levels as low a 5 years can cause cancers. Benzene may affect bone marrow and blood production. Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), had issued a report on benzene. The ATSDR paper de...

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10 Things You Need to Know about Motorcycle Helmets by Glenn McGovern, atty. MSF motorcycle instruct


By Glenn C. McGovern, Attorney
Metairie, La.

Motorcyclists are vulnerable to head injuries. A helmet cannot guarantee protection in all crash scenarios. Often in motorcycle cases, the issue of helmet use arises as to whether the helmet was used properly, whether the helmet was defective or whether would have prevented the injury and its effect on comparative negligence are issues of a motorcycle crash case. The science of helmets is complex area. This article cannot fully cover all aspects of helmets but, here are ten things you should be aware of in handling motorcycle cases. Different types of motorcycle helmets offer different levels of protection for certain injuries and not for other types of injuries. There are other variables as discussed below.

1. In the United States, there are two recognized standards. They are the DOT certification and Snell Foundation certification standards for motorcycle ...

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How Do Judges Decide Which Parent Gets Custody of a Child?

When parents cannot agree on how they are going to raise their children after separation, judges or arbitrators have to decide which parent should have custody. That is unfortunate because judges usually have a very limited amount of time to spend with the family. They may not see the children at all, and yet the judge is making critical decisions about the rest of the children’s lives. It is almost always better for the parents to decide what plan will work best for their children because they know the children and themselves better than a judge will ever likely get to know them. Arbitrators can sometimes get to know families a little bit better, especially when they act in the role of mediator/arbitrator. But still, their knowledge of the family will never be as good as that of the parents.

When deciding which parent should have custody, judges and arbitrators give almost no weight, perhaps no weight at all, to what the parents want. The law requires that when a judge or arbitr...

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When Should You Consider Bankruptcy?


The decision to file bankruptcy is a difficult one because it means admitting a loss of control in the area of personal finances. Often it takes a catastrophic event like a tax lien or a lawsuit for money owed before one proceeds with a very reluctant bankruptcy filing.

However, sometimes bankruptcy is unavoidable and the peace of mind of having debt discharged is worth the impacts to credit and pride. If you find debt, stress, and collection calls basically rule your life with impacts to health and work quality (if you are employed), bankruptcy may be the best option to eliminate stress and get your life back.

Struggling to Finance Necessities

If you are using credit cards to cover food, heat, and other utilities, that is the first sign of financial struggle. It also further increases your debt burden which raises minimum payments and interest charges, only digging your hole deeper.

This situation may not be horrible if you only have to do this for one or two months. However, if t...

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The Pros and Cons of Pro Se Divorce


Whether the reasons involve mistrusting attorneys, high fees, or the belief of the "easy" case, pro se divorce filings are increasing. This trend is likely to continue as form availability increases and online document services such as LegalZoom grow.

However, divorce is an area with the greatest life impacts. It affects future relationships with children, the handling of assets, and if one spouse is self-employed, the way the business and its assets are managed. A poorly executed divorce results in more than inconvenience. It can even ruin lives.

Like anything, pro se divorce has its advantages and disadvantages. However, keep in mind that there are some circumstances where pro se divorce is not recommended.


Cost Savings. A mediated divorce case can start at $3,000.00 for fees and costs and litigating in court can cost up to $30,000.00 per party. Filing pro se means paying filing fees and a document company, which amounts to only a few hundred dollars.

If you have no j...

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Determining the Validity of a Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice has become increasingly common, despite legislation passed to cap the most that plaintiffs can collect in their suits. The purpose of this legislation was intended to protect doctor’s from people who just wanted to get rich off an innocent mistake. However, even so, legitimate claims develop frequently. Before filing suit, it’s important to determine whether you have a valid claim.

Common Situations Involving Medical Malpractice

At a medical malpractice law firm, the attorneys often provide lists of the kinds of cases they take or have special expertise in. The basic form involves a doctor, nurse, or other professional harming the patient through some means. This harm may come through an actual action or through the failure to provide the adequate or otherwise proper treatment. The most common ones are misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, prescription and medication errors, surgery errors, and anesthesia errors. A minor mistake does not count as medical ma...

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The Importance of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy has increased in frequency over the years. Most consumers who choose bankruptcy do so when they feel that they have no other option but without considering alternatives or the implications of bankruptcy. In many cases, they make certain assumptions about what bankruptcy can do for them without consulting an attorney. This can lead to no end of troubles as bankruptcy law among the most complicated laws consumers run into, second only, perhaps to tax law.

Why You Should Get a Lawyer

Bankruptcy law is not as simple as traffic court. The laws are complex, and they change regularly as the requirements are updated and new forms are released. Often times, these laws can seem contradictory, and yet they are all valid. Bankruptcy lawyers specialize in this form of law. They understand the complexities as well as the necessary requirements when filing bankruptcy to ensure that as many of your rights and possessions are protected as possible. In most cases, these attorneys have recei...

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Personal Injury/Accident Basics

Generally, personal injury/accident cases involve a scenario where someone is injured and wants to determine who is responsible for those injuries. The overarching principle behind personal injury/accident cases is that if a person acts negligently, or outside what an ordinarily prudent person would do in that situation, and that negligent act causes damage to someone else, then the negligent person should have to compensate the injured party. However, in order to be liable, the person injured must have been a foreseeable injury as a result of the negligent person’s actions.

A Basic Scenario of Liability

For example, a person working on a farm is driving a tractor. A child playing baseball in a nearby field hits the ball into the farm. If the child goes to retrieve the ball and is injured when the person driving the tractor fails to see the child, who is liable to the child or the child’s family? The person driving the tractor is only liable if he was not paying attention a...

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Labor and Employment Law's Primary Focuses

Labor and employment law is a narrow and a broad field of law at the same time. It deals with disputes between employees and either employers or labor unions. Even though labor and employment law is quite focused in its clientele, it covers employment contracts, wages, union membership, hirings, firings, and accusations of discrimination and harassment. However, most situations require labor and employment lawyers and law firms to fully represent the employee’s interests.

Labor Unions in Labor and Employment Law

One of the most influential labor cases involves the firing of an employee for failure to pay union dues or to join a union. In fact, labor unions are generally credited with the development of the labor and employment law as a whole, both from those for unions and against them. Legally, a labor union cannot compel membership per se. If an agreement between the employer and the labor union requires that all employees be part of a union, then that agreement is binding un...

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You may not be required to treat with the "Company Doctor" after work injury in Pennsylvania

One of the biggest abuses of the workers compensation system by employers in Pennsylvania is forcing their injured workers to treat with the company chosen doctor when they do not have the right to control the injured workers medical care.

Laws Regarding Medical Care After a Work Injury

In general the law permits the employer to control the injured workers initial medical treatment for 90 days after he/she suffers a work injury. However, in order to do so, the employer is obligated to do the following:

  1. Establish a list of designated health care providers.
  2. The list must contain at least 6 DIFFERENT health care providers, including at least 3 different Physicians and no more than 4 Coordinated Care Organizations.
  3. The list must be prominently displayed in a readily accessible place at the work site;i.e., on the employee bulletin board or near the time clock.
  4. The employer must have the injured worker sign the required Notice of Employee Rights and Duties at or about the time the i...

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