Central New York Injury Lawyer Blog

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If you are like us, about 90% of your conscious life these days can be summed up in one word: coronavirus.  President Trump has declared a national emergency.  New York State is just about in total lock-down. Our office, just like all other offices, has been ordered physical “closed” by Governor Cuomo.  No staff is there.  Our doors are locked.  But we are not resting idle!  Read on! Call us! We are not at the…
If you are like me, about 50% of your conscious life these days can be summed up in one word: corona-virus.  President Trump declared a national emergency yesterday.  We are urged to engage in “social distancing”, to avoid crowds, wash our hands thoroughly and frequently, and to refrain from touching our face. What is Michaels & Smolak doing to keep its staff, clients and others safe?  Here’s our current policy, which is still evolving to…
Our senior lawyer, Lee Michaels, has been teaching trial practice at the Syracuse College of Law for decades.  Many of Lee’s former students keep in touch with him well into their law careers.  Lee continues to mentor many long after they have graduated.  Recently, Lee got a letter from a student, Steve Kim, who took his class nine years ago.  Here it is, abridged somewhat.  We publish it with the Kim’s permission.  At…
Our senior lawyer, Lee Michaels, has been teaching trial practice at the Syracuse College of Law for decades.  Many of Lee’s former students keep in touch with him well into their law careers.  Lee continues to mentor many long after they have graduated.  Recently, Lee got a letter from a student, Steve Kim, who took his class nine years ago.  Here it is, abridged somewhat.  We publish it with the Kim’s permission.  At…
Our senior lawyer, Lee Michaels, has been teaching trial practice at the Syracuse College of Law for decades.  Many of Lee’s former students keep in touch with him well into their law careers.  Lee continues to mentor many long after they have graduated.  Recently, Lee got a letter from a student, Steve Kim, who took his class nine years ago.  Here it is, abridged somewhat.  We publish it with the Kim’s permission.  At…
This Syracuse car accident lawyer keeps getting too many rear-end collision cases.  This uptick in my rear-end collisions case load has nothing to do with me. The same uptick is experienced by all Syracuse car accident lawyers, and in fact by auto accident attorneys everywhere in the USA.  This has been a trend for at least a decade, ever since smart phones really took off so that everyone and their mother has one.  Not only…
Attorney and client walking up the steps of a courthouse New York personal injury lawyers usually charge on a “contingency fee” basis.  The contingency fee allowed in a personal injury case varies from state to state, but generally it is either 1/3 (33 1/3%) or 40%.  In New York it’s at most 1/3.  It is often less where the lawyer is representing a minor and in medical malpractice cases.  For the purposes of this blog…
Believe me, getting injured is not worth the money you can get in settlement or at trial with a personal injury like me.  It never is.  I have represented hundreds of clients over the years, and every single one of them would have gladly returned the money in exchange for turning back the clock to their pre-injury life.  Although obviously no one can turn a clock back (well, except for Marty McFly in “Back to…
Photo of newest roundabout in Ontario County Before I explain why roundabouts (also called traffic circles) are popping up all around us, let me digress.  I lived in France for five years back in the 70’s and 80’s and I never once came across a four-way stop.  That’s because they don’t exist there.  In fact, I recently had a French visitor driving my car in Geneva, New York, with me as passenger.  When we approached…
The City this Central New York personal injury lawyer calls home, Geneva, New York, recently amended its sidewalk law.  Many local homeowners are concerned about the effect this might have on their “liability” for snow and ice on sidewalks. Before the amendment, the City Code had said, and continues to say, that homeowners (and business owns) “shall at all times keep the sidewalk (abutting their property) free from ice, snow, grass, weeds, rubbish and other…