Thursday, November 20, 2014

What happens when a Medicare Beneficiary obtains a Personal Injury Settlement?

CMS recently withdrew a proposed rule on Medicare Secondary Payer and Future Medicals.  The proposed rule was planned to give guidance on allocations in liability cases.  This would be the first official guidance delivered by CMS regarding allocations in liability cases.  Prior to this proposed rule, the last guidance was given in a one page memo from 2011.

According to the American Association for Justice, “CMS withdrawing the proposed rule called ‘Medicare Secondary Payer and Future Medicals’ has absolutely no impact on the underlying statutory text—the Medicare Secondary Payer Act; 42 U.S.C § 1395y(b)—that provides the parameters for reimbursing Medicare in Medicare Secondary Payer situations. To the extent reimbursement was required before the rule was withdrawn, reimbursement is still required. The rule being withdrawn has not altered any obligations in the statute.” Linda Lipsen, For All Trial Lawyers: Future Medicals Rule Withdrawn (Am. for Justice 2014), https://www.justice.org.

Lipsen went on to explain that, “[m]edicare was in the process of promulgating and which was poised to become the law of the land would have required that EVERYONE, both Medicare beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries alike, pay in full for all medical care that might be billed to Medicare in the future without taking into consideration whether or not the individual made a full recovery. More specifically, the rule as drafted by CMS stated:

‘If an individual or Medicare beneficiary obtains a “settlement” and has received, reasonably anticipates receiving, or should have reasonably anticipated receiving Medicare covered and otherwise reimbursable items and services after the date of “settlement,” he or she is required to satisfy Medicare's interest with respect to “future medicals” related to his or her “settlement” using any one of the following options outlined later in this [proposed rule].”’ Id.

Lipsen urged that this rule would have a severe impact on ability to recover claims stating “It would have significantly reduced [] recoveries and made it impossible for many of them to bring claims at all, because there would have been no recovery after Medicare was paid. Eliminating this hugely unfair rule is highly beneficial to you and your clients.” Id.

What this means for now is that nothing has changed. There is no upcoming medical rule.  The lawyer and the claimant are still obligated to protect Medicare’s future interests if you are settling for future medicals.  If a party does not protect Medicare’s future interest, an injury victim is at risk of losing the ability to treat their injuries arising from the claim.  This means that Medicare could deny paying for a client's future medical care if they fail to appropriately calculate and protect its interest in their settlement.

Medicare Set-Asides and the Medicare Secondary Payer Act

When a third party is responsible for injuring a Medicare-eligible person and Medicare pays  for the subsequent medical care, the payment is considered conditional and repayment to Medicare is mandatory.  Jeffrey R. Kuchel, Comment, FRUSTRATED SETTLEMENTS: COMMON PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONS in LIABILITY SETTLEMENTS INVOKING the MEDICARE SECONDARY PAYER STATUTES, 73 Mont. L. Rev. 395 (2012).  Medicare is normally billed first and compensate for the beneficiary's care, but when another party is liable, Medicare has the right to recover these “conditional payments” from the responsible party pursuant to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (“MSP”). Id.   “Medicare Secondary Payer” is the phrase used when Medicare does not have primary payment responsibility, which is when another entity has the responsibility for paying before Medicare.  Medicare Secondary Payer , 2014 CMS, Jan. 30, 2014 available at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordination-of-Benefits-and-Recovery/Coordination-of-Benefits-and-Recovery-Overview/Medicare-Secondary-Payer/Medicare-Secondary-Payer.html (last visited Nov. 12, 2014).

Worker’s compensation insurance, liability insurance, and no-fault insurance claims are all situations where other entities will be the primary payer.  Medicare Secondary Payer , 2014 CMS.  If someone is entitled to Medicare and they were in an accident where no-fault or liability insurance is involved, no-fault or liability Insurance is the primary payer and Medicare pays secondary.  Id.   If the primary payer legitimately pays only a portion of the beneficiary's bill, Medicare may make secondary payments to supplement the primary payer's payment.  42 C.F.R. § 411.32.    

When someone is entitled to Medicare and they are in a workers’ compensation accident, workers’ compensation is the primary payer.  Medicare Secondary Payer , 2014 CMS.  Medicare will typically not pay for an injury covered by workers’ compensation.  Id.  If a claim is denied by workers’ compensation because it is not covered, a claim can be filed with Medicare.  Id.  Before settling a workers’ compensation case, parties to the settlement should consider Medicare’s interest related to future medical bills and whether the settlement should include a worker’s compensation Medicare set-aside arrangement.  Id. 
   
When there are signs that the no-fault insurer, liability insurer, or workers’ compensation plan is not going to pay on time, Medicare might make a conditional payment.  Id.  A conditional payment is a disbursement Medicare makes for bills another party may have to pay for. Id. Medicare makes this conditional payment so that the recipient will not have to use their personal cash to pay the bill. Id.  The payment is “conditional” because it must be refunded to Medicare when a settlement, judgment, or award is made to the beneficiary.  Id. 

A person who is a Medicare recipient, or soon to be Medicare recipient, involved in accident where other insurance is liable for the bills, must “set-aside” money to look out for the interest of Medicare.   “The leading question preceding formation of a Medicare Set-Aside and pursuing authorization thereof include: what is the present and future medical condition of the claimant as opined by a qualified physician to a reasonable degree of medical certainty; and what has been the claimant’s health care usage history associated with the compensable event which will, to medical certainty, continue for a specified time in the future or, if no time is specified, his/her lifetime?”  Tamela J. White, David A. Stackpole & , MEDICARE SET-ASIDES and FUTURE DAMAGES CONSIDERATIONS in CIVIL LIABILITY MATTERS, LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH the WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SET-ASIDE PROCESS, [78 ] Def. Counsel J. 429, 433 (2011).

The amount allocated to future medical expenses must be placed in a Medicare Set-Aside account. William L. Winslow, Medicare Set-Aside Requirements, Which Lay Dormant for Two Decades, Have Recently Been Revived in the Workers' Comp Arena. Personal Injury Cases Are Next, but Plaintiff Lawyers Needn't Panic. the Law Is on Their Side, 2008 Am. Ass'n for Just. 57 (2008).  If the parties receiving the settlement do not specify what dollar figure signifies “future injury-related medical expenses”, CMS asserts that it will mandate repayment of former medical expenses covered by Medicare and additionally treat the rest of the settlement as cash allotted “to pay the plaintiff's future medical expenses.”  Id.  Accordingly, the plaintiff will be forced to deplete the full settlement before Medicare coverage is accessible. Id. 
Recently, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA).  42 U.S.C.A. § 1395y(b)(8).  The MMSEA is the latest legislation strengthening the government's goal of guaranteeing that Medicare is always “treated as the payer of last resort.” Medicare As Secondary Payer, 5 West's Fed. Admin. Prac. 6305 (2014). MMSEA requires that Medicare is alerted of any claims or settlements concerning a Medicare beneficiary where the payer is a workers' compensation or a liability insurer, or a no-fault or self-insurance program. Id. 

“A failure to make a timely report can result in penalties, including a fine of $1,000 for each day of noncompliance for each individual for which the information should have been submitted.”  William L. Winslow, Medicare Set-Aside Requirements, Am. Ass'n for Just. 57 (2008). If you have a Medicare-Eligible client, it is important to go to great lengths to appropriately report and calculate the future expenditures for all medical services. 

800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900



Friday, November 14, 2014

State Farm Aggressively Battles in Court to Deny Coverage and Save Money

State Farm is Florida’s leading auto insurance provider; free quotes, great prices, and wildly popular. However, since around 2012, they haven’t been the friendliest of neighbors, growing to become the most aggressive, persistent, and courtroom desk-cluttering defendants for PIP claims in Florida’s county courts today.

The personal injury protection attorneys that represent State Farm policyholders—like you and I—explain that State Farm makes it an unreasonable or rarely beneficial option to pursue them in court.

Traditionally, an insured patient would receive treatment from a medical provider. The medical provider would later seek payment from the insurance provider based on insurance information given by the patient; for example, an insurance card.

State Farm, according to Ross Abramowitz, Florida PIP attorney from Fort Lauderdale, he “first noticed a change in State Farm’s legal tactics in 2012.”

He further explains how they would purposely draw out trails, depositions, and so on, making a timely trial unachievable for plaintiffs.

To top it all off, courts in the southern region of Florida were getting bombarded by these PIP cases involving State Farm. The attorneys that were representing the interest of policyholders (by bring forth lawsuits to pay medical providers for services rendered) seemed to gravitate towards those regional courtrooms, regardless of where the original accident took place.

According to Michal Brower—the spokeswoman for State Farm—“State Farm has always decided whether to defend or settle a case based on the individual merits of a particular claim.”

The conflicting interests of medical providers’ attorneys and auto insurance providers have proved difficult to tame for many years now. Some of the most recent changes in PIP operations were in 2013 when providers capped the amount of coverage they would provide to policyholders unless diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition” by a licensed medical provider.

Insurance providers used to cover PIP patients for up to $10,000 in medical treatment, but now, only $2,500 is allotted unless a licensed physician declare that a seriously debilitating injury has been sustained in the accident—in which case, a patient would once again be eligible to receive the full $10,000.


In one case, Abramowitz tells sources that State Farm requested 7 depositions in court and ended up taking 5 of them. The amount of money being disputed was for a $354 medical bill. Each deposition transcript costs $800, rendering the plaintiff powerless. It appears that State Farm would rather spend well in excess of the amount of the medical bill in order to punish the physician. 

By making their opposition fight for a null cause, State Farm is strategically reflecting any PIP claims filed against them and saving boatloads of money by doing so.

Brower explains that most of the PIP claims are “filed by medical providers who have received partial payment and are seeking more.”

Of all the personal injury protection claims in Florida (most of which filed by medical professionals), 20 percent of them are against State Farm.

I would guess that an equal amount of State Farm PIP cases were sprinkled over the state’s courtrooms, but this is not the case for Broward and Miami-Dade counties. According to Broward Country Court Judge Robert Lee, almost half of their pending PIP cases involved State Farm—that’s around 7,100 cases.

Likewise, the Miami-Dade courts are jam-packed with 21,837 PIP cases—44 percent of all of their cases—that are related to or directly associated with State Farm.

Licensed massage therapist Larry Fishman was forced to end his practice and pursue a more sustainable career when, in 2013, PIP law was altered to prohibited the coverage of massage therapists when used as a form of treatment. Many patients who would have gone in to his business were only going in because they were covered by PIP and needed medical attention.

He took State Farm to court pertaining to an unpaid bill of $374 and was hoping for reimbursement. What he didn’t expect was the vigorous attempt at sweeping the bill under the rug made by the opposition.

Despite clearly stating that he had to leave shortly after to bring his sick daughter to her doctor’s appointment, State Farm turned an expected 2-hour deposition into a lengthy two hours and forty-five minutes.

Fishman was furious and took it upon himself to take action, saying

"We're going to end this, first of all. Secondly, you guys are trained at what you do, OK? You are very trained at how to manipulate the situation, how to ask questions that put words in people's mouths, and you keep asking the same question over and over and over hoping that I say things differently,"

Fishman continued his rant.

"These are the same answers that you got, not your company, but every time that I've been deposed you get the same answers every single time. I don't know what the problem is. You're making money, you're making money, and I'm sitting here waiting for $300 with a daughter sick at home going through this."

Fishman was then recommended by the State Farm attorney to come back for another deposition to settle this once and for all; he wasn’t alright with that.

His attorney demanded a protective order to stop the case and the judge moved to declare the deposition as “witness harassment”, effectively defaulting the case’s verdict in Fishman’s favor.

For more information on personal injury protection and claims, your legal rights, bad faith insurance practices, and what you should do to protect yourself from the wrongdoing of others, contact the experienced personal injury protection lawyers at Clearwater’s Dolman Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation.

If you are a medical provider and you are facing the misguided scrutiny of an insurance carrier, Dolman Law Group will advocate on your behalf.


Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900

Practice Area: 
Personal Injury Protection

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cruise Line Appeals $2.5 Million Judgement Awarded to an Ex-Worker

On Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal has decided to reconsider and reopen a case that—in September 2013—awarded plaintiff Vicente J. Fernandes a $2.5 million compensation to be used for damages arising from injuries that he sustained while on the job as a seaman.

In 2009, Fernandes was working on a cruise ship owned and operated by Celebrity Cruises Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., when he was seriously injured by a co-worker.

There was an alleged confrontation at the linen closet on the cruise line. Both workers needed towels and bedding to appease the passengers on board, but there was a shortage of said materials. The co-worker, who was likely insistent on securing the last of the linens, attacked Fernandes and sent him hurdling into a part of the ship, fracturing his right leg.

The next day, because of the location of the cruise ship, Fernandes underwent extensive surgery in Spain, around 6,000 miles from his hometown of Goa, India.

The day after, however, he was sent home with no compensation for the necessary means of living such as “food, shelter, medical care, therapy, or medication.” Because he was no longer able to work, he hadn’t a way to obtain the money for said necessities.

These actions—or lack thereof—by Celebrity Cruises Inc. are what led Fernandes to open a negligence case in his defense. Instead of pursuing the co-worker directly for the sustained injuries, he aimed to hold the company liable for the poor maintenance and treatment of employees.

With little to no questioning of the opposing party’s story, a low-level court awarded Fernandes an astounding $2.5 million default judgment and closed the case.

Celebrity Cruises Inc. argued that Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge
David C. Miller was wrongful in his actions by sending the case directly to the jury and rejected the defendant’s pleadings.

This caused a court of higher authority, the Third District Court of Appeal, to give Celebrity a second chance at a proper, fair case for another shot at defending themselves adequately. 

Fernandes—alongside his attorneys—is ready for another legal battle. Ervin A. Gonzalez, one of the primary lawyers fighting for the plaintiff, is confident in receiving the same, or possibly greater, verdict after the new jury “hears the way Mr. Fernandes was treated by Celebrity.” 

On the other hand, Celebrity Cruises Inc.—who is being represented by Rodolfo Sorondo Jr. and Christopher N. Bellows of Holland & Knight LLP—is planning to win the jury’s approval when presented with the proper chance to pitch their defense.

Florida has the second highest amount of coastline of any state in the country and boasts 5 major cruise ports.  As such, millions of passengers embark upon vessels each and every year. If you are injured or assulated on a cruise ship you have rights and may be entitled to compensation for your damages.  Maritime Law cases may be extremely complex for a litany of reasons.  Trust your representation to the experienced litigation team at Dolman Law Group. For more information on this case, or for a free consultation and case evaluation by an experienced personal injury attorney, contact Dolman Law Group or visit our website at www.dolmanlaw.com.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900

Practice Area: 
Maritime Law



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Falling Asleep While Driving

The factor that makes drowsy driving so dangerous is this: usually you’re already out of the comfort of your home when you become tired, and the only way to rest is to get back to your home.

A good friend of mine is famous for making crazy decisions that severely hinder his attentiveness while driving. It’s a great example of exactly what we should be avoiding on the roadways.

He would wake up early, fit in as many errands during the day as he possibly could, hang out with a big group of loud, fun friends at night, and then drop everyone off at their respective destinations before finally heading home himself. He was like a taxi for all of us; a pretty dangerous taxi, now that I think about it…

Is It A Big Problem?

You probably wouldn’t think of drowsy driving as a serious problem. When I think of the common causes of car or motorcycle crashes the most prominent ones that comes to mind are phones, radios, or other distractions in the car that divert the driver’s attention long enough to send them barreling into the back of another car.

Next, I’d have to say driving under the influence. That seems to be the most funded campaign of them all…we’ve all heard it before: “Don’t drink and drive!”

There are a few others that come to mind as well, like applying makeup, eating, fixing your hair…petty things that you wouldn’t consider being as risky and possibly fatal as they are.

So how serious is drowsy driving? According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, tired drivers have cause around 21% of fatal crashes.

Statistics can sometimes be misleading. They apply to the variables of the test, not necessarily the entire world, they change constantly, and they can never be 100% accurate. The cool thing about them, though, is that they give us an idea of what could be close to the real numbers.

That means that 1 in 5 crashes involve a sleepy vehicle operator. That seems like a pretty big deal to me!

Driving under the influence is somewhere around 2 in 5 crashes. Texting while driving is the same as drowsy driving, accounting for 1 in 5 crashes as well.

Want to hear something even crazier? It’s not uncommon for all 3 of these dangerous driving habits to be combined.

A tired, texting driver who is on their way home from a bar crawl.

It may seem like I’m making light of this situation, but trust me, I’m not. This is a real problem causing seriously injuries—sometimes fatal—that I hope will be addressed in the near future.

How Can I Prevent This?

You may not be able to control the decisions of the thousands of people who, every day in the United States, drive while they’re tired and cause a car accident, but you can certainly control your own decisions! Here are some ways you can avoid drowsy driving.

·        If the night is going slow and you’re feeling that shroud of gloom slowly wash over your tired brain, call it a night! Don’t be scared to tell your buddies you’ve got to go!

·        If you were their transport and they’re relying on you for a ride back home, tell it like it is. Safety is more important than staying at the club for an extra hour. They’ll find another ride home if they don’t want to leave when you’re ready.

·        Get more sleep. Go to bed on time and aim for at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Anything less is seriously pushing it, and anything more could be benefiting you greatly, so PLAN YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE WISELY!

·        If you’re in a situation where you’ve absolutely got to drive, make a quick stop at a convenient store or gas station. Pick up some sweets, a coffee, soda, or anything else that may help keep you awake. Blare the radio and jam out to your favorite song to keep your mind working, but be sure not to play any slow jams! Maintain the little alertness you have left if you’re forced to drive while tired.

CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS

I would never be able to forgive myself if I fell asleep at the wheel and injured another person(s) in an accident that I caused. I personally take steps to ensure my maximum alertness while driving, but not everyone does.

Innocent people are injured every day due to someone else’s negligence. Drowsy driving accidents may not occur on purpose, but they can still be avoided! Be a responsible driver and only get behind the wheel if you’re sure you can handle it.

If you or a loved one has suffered in a car accident resulting from another party’s lack of care, you may be eligible for compensation. Here in Clearwater, Florida, Dolman Law Group focuses on personal injury cases in which a true victim needs true help. We offer our clients a free consultation and case evaluation and we run our firm with high standards, personable morals, and determined care. Don’t wait any longer, contact us today and receive the helping hand you deserve!

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/distracted-driver-attorneys/





Monday, November 3, 2014

Florida Amendment 2 is a Simple Decision

Remove politics and use common sense.

This is how a dream world would be governed, and the exact opposite of how our current world is.

It’s shocking to me that it’s normal to consider the legalization of medical marijuana a “political battle”, but I too am guilty of just that.

The opposition certainly puts up a vigorous fight, but what else would you expect when a majority of the opposition is pharmaceutical companies that benefit from marijuana remaining illegal?

These companies—along with private funders like Sandy Adelson—make it seem like the legalization of medical marijuana will produce only negative effects.

They make it hard to see the good that such a change could make for the health of our state. The numbers are crunching and tomorrow’s voting will finally reveal the decision.

Here at Dolman Law Group, we are absolutely for the legalization of marijuana for the purpose of medical treatment. Allow me to explain.

Why Should You Vote Yes?

·        While it has many beneficial effects on the user, it’s relatively harmless, with the rare case of someone getting “too high” and panicking and/or becoming temporarily ill until they sober up.

Marijuana is a gift from Mother Nature; a natural pain reliever that has no carved-in-stone lethal dose. And those narcotics doctors are prescribing currently for pain? A dosage error could cause irreparable harm up to and including death.

When treatment devices and/or medications (like morphine shots) are in the house, special measures need to be taken to ensure that everyone you live with understands the risks and dangers of improper use of said devices and/or medications.

If a child were to consume a parent’s prescribed Percocet, the resulting side-effects could be catastrophic.

Florida residents are being punished with harsh penalties for the possession of medical marijuana, but for some, it’s the only way they can maintain a pain-free day-to-day life.

“Deal with it!” some of you may say.

“If marijuana didn’t exist, you’d have to live with the pain anyway!”

Those of you who say that would be correct if that was the case, but marijuana does exist. It’s just being kept from citizens that could benefit from its use tremendously.

Ask any legitimate medical marijuana patient how they would feel if you were to permanently restrict their use of it from now on.

They would probably snicker and giggle at you, explaining that life without medical marijuana would be torturous and inhumane.

A stubborn, close-minded individual may recommend moving to a state in which medical marijuana is legal if you rely on it to continue a comfortable life, but I strongly disagree with that approach.

By doing so, we’re losing forces to fight against the corruption; our “legalization taskforce” is withering away and moving to states that have already smartened up.

·        We’re enabling the rapid and corrupt growth of the pharmaceutical companies that we claim we despise by keeping medical marijuana illegal.

People need to realize just how lopsided the scale is between pharmaceutical companies and patients.

Why prescribe a relatively low-cost, easy to grow, completely natural, cure-it-all PLANT, when you can prescribe very profitable synthetic pills that were formulated in a lab and produced in masses in a factory?

If medical marijuana becomes illegal, many level-headed patients who were previously on expensive prescriptions will make the switch to cannabis (with a doctor’s consent, of course) and not only save money, but feel better.

Without customers buying their poisonous pills, a good majority of their income is lost.

Why Would Anyone Vote No?

One of the first reasons that come to mind is this:

·        Everyone will suddenly become public “potheads”. Parent’s precious children will be polluted by the drug which is now “legal”.

Please don’t forget that the legalization of medical marijuana has absolutely no affect on the recreational use of it.  

If your teenage son wasn’t smoking marijuana before the law changed, it’s not going to get any easier and/or harder for him to do so after the law changed.

Patients must receive written and signed consent from a doctor, and minors must receive parental consent on top of that. If you haven’t those papers, the laws against marijuana use will be identical to how they’ve always been in Florida.

While there would be a general increase in the amount of marijuana in the possession of Florida residents, the only growth in possession we’d see is from patients who were prescribed it for medical treatment. It’s unlikely that they’d be sharing their rationed amount with friends.

·        They just don’t know about marijuana.

When I was younger, I had absolutely no idea exactly what marijuana was. I didn’t know what shape it came in, how you consumed it, what it was used for, and how much you could get charged for having such.

Frankly, I didn’t care at all. I knew it was bad because my parents and teachers told me constantly, I knew it was a “drug”—those are bad, right?! I knew it was green and it was a plant.

These are the simple terms that everyone seems to robotically repeat to today’s generation.

“Don’t do drugs! You’ll either die or go to jail!”

Spend a little time researching just how bad something is or is not before taking someone’s word for it.

Parents and teachers who are influencing the developing minds of today’s children: practice what you preach!

Go read up about marijuana history, facts, effects, benefits, regulations, laws, rights and decide whether or not you really support what everyone has always told you is right or wrong.

Tomorrow, November 4th, is Election Day. It’s our chance to stand up and turn the tables on the greedy pharmaceutical companies that destroy our economy, hospitals, and health.

Let’s support the health of our family, friends, and fellow Floridians who could benefit from the ability to use medical marijuana.

Vote “YES” on Amendment 2; there’s no reason good reason not to.

800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900




“Kill All The Lawyers!”: An Ironic Misconception

“First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

This line was part of Shakespeare’s famous play titled “Henry VI (Part 2)” and is taken out of context so often that even I feel overwhelmed with negativity…and I just heard about!

So what is it about this line that’s kept it so controversial and relevant since its birth over 400 years ago? No one seems to know whose side Shakespeare is on.

Straight To The Point…

Many people that have read the play or witnessed a live performance, may have gone too far with it and turned it into a mindset instead of a story. As if 400 years ago, Shakespeare was trying to bring awareness to his audience about corrupt lawyers. There’s very rarely a good reason to argue about something that is fictional, unproven, or subject to change…but especially fictional.

This line is taken straight from a conversation that a corrupt leader, Cade, is having with the audience alongside his also-corrupt sidekick Dick the Butcher. Cade is describing what sounds like a “perfect” world in which his citizens will live in for a small cost; they must worship Cade as their lord.

He lures the audience with tempting promises, claiming that “there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel to them all in one livery that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.”

If that doesn’t sound corrupt right from the start, I don’t know what does. I quite certain Americans would be rioting if a sitting President said something like this:

“My fellow Americans,

As of tomorrow, our currency that we’ve worked so hard to maintain will be irrelevant.

“But food for my family?!” you may wonder…

I see it as no issue, for under my new set of laws, each and every one of you will be treated as my own. Food banks will replace all of our supermarkets, ration cards will replace all of your debit cards, and poverty in the United States shall be abolished at once.

On Monday, we will be holding a public vote for the nation’s uniform. All citizens are to wear identical attire whose appearance is to be determined by said vote, however; don’t stress, my minions! The government and I will continue to bear our distinct attire to ensure your ability to tell us from the general public. Remember though, no good deed comes free of charge; I expect an overwhelming amount of praise sent my way, for I am your lord.”

What kind of backup would a president need to pull something like that off? Better yet, what would he not need? The answer is “interference”. Who’s the first person that would interfere with unlawful actions being pushed onto the general population?

Well, you’d probably hope the answer was “the Police”, but I’d imagine if the President was corrupt they would be right there with him…so who comes next? Lawyers…

Perhaps the sub-header of this section was misleading…let’s get back on topic, shall we?

The Majority…

You can quickly see how easy it could be for that single line to spread around and stir up commotion. You’d have those who take it at face-value rejoicing, you’d have those who read the original statement in its entirety vigorously arguing with the majority, and you’d have those who sit back and shake their head in disappointment.

The original Shakespeare line must be one of the most taken-out-of-context quotes ever known to man.

“Kill all the lawyers!” says Dick the Butcher,

Because people may think lawyers are too expensive for their line of work, or that some lawsuits are frivolous, they choose to take this quote at face value.

“Yes! Do kill all the lawyers! Those darn guys are too expensive for me!”

The Truth!

Read just a little bit further into the dialogue and you’ll soon realize that these men are corrupt officials trying to steal the rights of their citizens. Lawyers are seen as an obstruction for these people to gain ultimate power and authority over the citizens.  By removing the obstruction their accountability is drastically diminished. The citizens would be rendered powerless if there was nobody to stand up for them.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has recently been quoted at a private fund raiser event stating that his first goal is to take out the Trial Lawyers.  Some other topics that he discussed are the following:

·        Judicial appointments will have a mandate to reverse favorable plaintiff’s verdicts. 
·        House Bill 1 this year will be caps on damages in all cases and Senate Bill 1 will be the abolition of Bad Faith.  He expects that by the time this issue reaches the Florida Supreme Court, his handpicked majority of justices will have no problem deferring to the wisdom of the Governor and the Legislature.
·         He will also seek to create a limited fee schedule for all letters of protection for Florida medical providers. 

And here we are…“One Nation, Under God”, standing by the sides of the only real enemy; criticizing those who are only trying to help; jumping to discover the deep meaning of a quote written by a famous playwright over 400 years ago. 

What happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? Can we not assume that Shakespeare was trying to make a positive point in his story?

Do we—as a nation—truly believe that lawyers are only in it for the money? As the wise Carl Grimes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” said…

”Everyone can’t be bad.”

800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900