Spotted again in the wild is my recent article in the American Bar Association’s Litigation News. The article addresses flat fee arrangements. What at first blush may seem to be a simple alternative fee arrangement is actually more complicated and may vary from state-to-state and whether it is applied to a civil or criminal case.
In civil cases, flat or minimum fees paid in advance may be acceptable if the fee is in exchange for something done or to be done by the attorney. “A careful attorney would, in the engagement agreement, point out that all or a portion of a nonrefundable fee is deemed earned at the outset by virtue of the lawyer no longer being able to represent competitors of the client on other similar matters” says Hanthorn. He cautions, however, that states have differing views on minimum fee arrangements. “In some states, such as Texas, for a fee to be earned at the outset the full amount of that portion of the fee has to be attributable to representing one client and foregoing others.”
Carolyn Moser of McQuaide Blasko’s Hershey office recently took part in the Tour de Chocolate Town bicycle event. Not only did the proceeds from the event benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, it also provided Ms. Moser the opportunity to mock her more sedentary colleagues’ lifestyles. Carolyn rode the 17.5 mile tour and vowed to tackle the 35 miler next year during the annual event.
Notwithstanding our feelings of physical inferiority, we are very proud of Carolyn and her support of the Children’s Miracle Network, which purchases state-of-art equipment and funds vital programs at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
Help us support McQuaide Blasko Litigation practice group attorney Suzette Sims, who is participating in the Pink Zone Online Auction Committee for the Fifth Annual WBCA Pink Zone. The Pink Zone event will take place at Penn State at noon on Sunday, February 27, 2011, when Penn State’s Lady Lions will play a game against Northwestern. The WBCA Pink Zone is an initiative by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) to assist in raising breast cancer awareness.
The Online Auction Committee was responsible for developing online auctions to assist in fundraising efforts that will benefit breast cancer charities, including Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, and JC Blair Memorial Hospital. The auctions, which can be accessed using the links below, are now open and will remain live through March 2, 2011. Please support these vital charities by bidding now!
The online auctions are available at http://www.charitybuzz.com/auctions/pennstate and http://gopsusports2.cstvauctions.com/gallery.cfm. More information on the Pink Zone can be found at http://www.gopsusports.com/pinkzone.
Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to this next year from both a legal perspective, regarding what will surely be interesting developments in the field of health law and policy, and from the perspective of administering Defense of Medicine. With the mid-term elections of 2010 and shift in the balance of power on both the federal and state level, I think we will see considerable debate and likely attempts to undo health-related initiatives passed over the past two years. Those developments might be discouraging to those who have established a plan or strategy founded on those initiatives but they may also be encouraging to others who wanted to see different policy decisions. Regardless of your perspective, we look forward to this New Year and the opportunity to deliver you timely updates and our analysis of the continuing changing field that is the business of medicine.
I am also personally energized by the development of Defense of Medicine and its expansion in readership. I launched this blog in July 2010 as a means to communicate better with clients and friends who might be interested in the intersection between law and medicine. Over the past six months, readership has steadily grown to just short of 1,000 views per month (910 last month, to be exact) and the reach of this site is world-wide, with readers from across the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Australia, to name a few . I’m looking forward to building on what I and my colleagues who have contributed to this blog have learned over these past months so that we may continue to deliver content that is relevant, timely, and interesting. You can help by emailing us with your comments, criticisms, ideas, etc.
Now on with 2011!
On Saturday night, my wife and I, together with several of my McQuaide Blasko colleagues, attended the Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Ball at the Harrisburg Hilton. The Children’s Miracle Network at the Penn State Children’s Hospital and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a great organization that provides funds and support for children with medical needs and their families. McQuaide Blasko has been pleased to serve as a sponsor for many CMN events and this year was honored to be both a “Spirit to Survive” and “Fan Club” sponsor. Every year at the Miracle Ball, CMN features a child and family who exemplify the medical struggles and needs faced by the many children whose funds the CMN benefits. This year was no exception and we heard the compelling story of a child who was fighting cancer. Hearing these stories and about the care provided to these children by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center physicians provides a special meaning to the services that we provide to health care providers and serves as a reminder of the high level of care the Medical Center and its staff makes available to Central Pennsylvanians.
One of the donation options available at the event is directed to providing children with comfort toys, such as stuffed animals and blankets, and games. My wife and I particularly enjoy supporting that seemingly trivial component of the services CMN provides because we have a daughter who has suffered her share of bumps and bruises. One day, when my wife was out of town, my daughter — a little more than 2 years old at the time — and I were playing. She fell off my back and hurt her arm. After she wouldn’t move her arm for awhile, I called the nurse available through the hospital and she suggested we go to the Emergency Department. The ED is not the most comforting place for an upset and hurt child, but one of the nurses gave my daughter a stuffed animal, a mama bunny with an attached baby bunny. It meant the world to my daughter and distracted her from what ended up being something very minor. To this day she still has that bunny, knows where she got it, and why she was at the hospital. If that bunny meant that much to my daughter, I can’t imagine how comforting a stuffed animal given to a very sick child might be. Because we have seen how comforting something as trivial as a stuffed bunny can be, my wife and I particularly enjoy supporting the comfort toys CMN makes available.
McQuaide Blasko’s news article that provides more details is available here.
Yesterday afternoon I had the chance to get out of the office and try my hand at some construction work with the Hershey Rotary siding project at Camp Catherine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Camp Catherine sits on property owned by the Milton Hershey School and is named after Milton Hershey’s wife, Catherine. The location is serene, near the Swatara Creek. The school has apparently not used the camp in a number of years and it is now being rehabilitated for use by various non-profit organizations. Members of the Hershey Rotary Club are helping with the re-siding of the camp.
Community service is good for the soul, but apparently not so good for the back, legs, and arms of a desk-jockey lawyer. It was great to get out there yesterday and help remove old wood window trim to help prepare for new aluminum window trim, close up some holes to deter nesting birds during the construction, and move several boxes of siding. Doing work like that certainly makes you appreciate the people who work in construction or labor for a living. Below are a couple pictures of the old camp, waiting for house-wrap and siding, and the old stone chimney.
On June 7, 2010, McQuaide Blasko was honored to serve as a “Top Flight Sponsor” for the Penn State Children’s Miracle Network golf tournament. The tournament was a huge success, although the McQuaide Blasko golf team didn’t bring their “A” game. Members of the McQuaide Blasko’s Health Law and Litigation Practice groups Mike Mohr and Jon Stepanian were carried by McQuaide Blasko paralegal Liz Wilson, a winner in previous year’s ladies long drive competition.
Although we are not proud of our golf score, we were proud to participate in this great annual event held to raise money for the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The hospital helps thousands of children and their families in the Central Pennsylvania area and is currently undergoing an expansion to a free-standing hospital at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
Image – Penn State Hershey Children’s Miracle Network