EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS AGAIN AND AGAIN
For more than 30 years, Hertz Schram has provided high-quality legal services to clients in Metro Detroit, throughout Michigan and across the country. During this time, we have obtained many notable results for our clients. We invite you to view the sample results listed below, and then contact us to discuss your legal needs in any of these areas of practice.
AUTO ACCIDENTS AND OTHER PERSONAL INJURY CASES
The firm has successfully represented numerous clients injured in automobile accidents, and has obtained many substantial settlements. For example, the firm obtained a settlement of over $1.4 Million in a trucking accident/wrongful death case in Clare County, Michigan, believed to be one of the largest settlements ever of a case of this type in that county.
The firm also represents clients in their effort to receive personal injury protection benefits directly from their own no-fault insurer as a result of injuries sustained in automobile accidents. Recently, the firm represented a man who sadly became a quadriplegic in an automobile accident, and gained a very favorable settlement from his no-fault carrier for necessary attendant care services.
Other Personal Injury Cases
The firm has represented numerous clients injured in:
- Slip and falls (parking lots, grocery stores, office buildings, etc.
- Workplace injuries (for example, hi-lo accident resulting in broken hip; unloading accident involving death; press accident resulting in thumb/finger loss)
- Victims of abuse or neglect. The firm obtained a substantial settlement for a young girl subjected to sexual abuse at a daycare facility. The firm currently represents the estate of a young girl who was tragically killed in a foster home setting, and has already received a significant settlement from one of the defendants.
BANKING AND BUSINESS FINANCE
Our attorneys recently assisted a major lending institution in revamping its procedures, systems and documents used in its commercial lending practices.
Recently we successfully defeated class certifications in two federal court securities fraud class actions alleging fraud by broker-dealers in the offer and sale of more than $180 million in mortgage-backed securities. Our subsequent motions to dismiss were granted, saving our clients potentially millions of dollars.
We have a group of attorneys who have successfully prosecuted class action cases involving discrimination claims.
We recently defended a leading national long distance telephone company against a claim that it mishandled and mis-billed a portion of the three million calls it carried for a pay telephone company. The case was decided after the presentation of evidence and argument during the course of over twenty arbitration sessions.
- A Financial Advisor charged with multiple counts of mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering acquitted of all counts in federal jury trial.
- Charge of criminal sexual conduct against prominent businessman dismissed at preliminary examination.
- Charge of manslaughter with motor vehicle reduced to misdemeanor reckless driving.
- Teenager charged with minor in possession following house party raid. Charge dismissed as a result of legal argument challenging breath test results.
- Arson charges avoided against client despite insurance investigation supporting charge.
- High school student charged with criminal sexual conduct 4th degree had charge dismissed at preliminary examination.
- Negligent homicide charge against truck driver dismissed following preliminary examination.
- Funds seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials from travelers at airport returned to clients.
- Client faced 17 counts of retail fraud (shoplifting) all of which were video recorded by a large national department store. We secured a plea based conviction to one count only, obtained a sentence of only 120 days probation and an agreement to set aside the conviction to avoid any criminal record. Subsequently, the arrest and fingerprint records were secured permitting the client to retain her professional license.
- Sentence of probation for client after IRS seized $1,000,000 in unreported cash income from his home.
- Not guilty verdict in a high profile first degree murder charge after a jury trial in Oakland County Circuit Court.
- Obtained declination of prosecution for a Clean Water Act violation involving discharge by a corporate entity of prohibited material into a local tributary.
- Not guilty verdict in a multi-count criminal sexual conduct case in Wayne County Circuit Court after jury trial.
- Dismissal of RICO charge for a marijuana dealer after appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Probation for a client in a case involving more than $3,000,000 in structured funds.
- Probation for an individual charged with RICO and various chop shop violations in Wayne County Circuit Court.
- Obtained declination of charges for a client alleged to have stolen over $250,000 from the estate of another individual.
- Obtained a declination of charges for an individual alleged to have defrauded investors of in excess of $5,000,000 in a Ponzi scheme.
- Obtained a declination and non-prosecution of an individual alleged to have sexually abused his minor daughter.
- Probation for a professional who is alleged to have sexually assaulted his minor daughter.
- Obtained a declination of prosecution for a school teacher investigated for sexual assault.
- Obtained a declination of prosecution for a health care practitioner investigated for manslaughter in connection with an investigation into health care facility operations.
- Not guilty verdict at trial in a negligent homicide prosecution brought by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.
- Obtained a ninety-day sentence for an individual charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering of in excess of $1,000,000
- Client was charged with OWI second offense resulting from a blood alcohol content of .37 and causing a vehicular accident with a police car. Notwithstanding a blood alcohol level in excess of 4 times the legal limit and the vehicular accident, due to creative and voluminous sentence submissions and documentation, defendant was kept out of jail and received probation only.
- Client had five prior OWI convictions. A sixth and new charge of OWI - subjected him to an OWI - Third Offense (3 convictions in 10 years) a 5 year felony. Based on a claim of a violation of due process, charge was reduced to OWI second offense - a one year misdemeanor. A sentence of probation was obtained, and no jail time imposed. A subsequent appeal to the Driver's License Appeal Division resulted in obtaining full reinstatement of driver's license privileges notwithstanding 6 OWI convictions.
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT
The firm has represented numerous employees wrongfully subjected to racial, sexual or age discrimination, and wrongful workplace harassment. Recently, the firm obtained a substantial settlement for a woman subjected to racial and sexual harassment at a major Detroit-area accounting firm. The firm also received large settlements for two women subjected to sexual harassment while working at a metro area automobile-related business.
Conversely, the firm has also successfully defended a number of business clients in these types of suits. The firm currently or in the recent past has represented several local real estate management companies, banks, professional practices and automotive-related businesses in the defense of unwarranted claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination.
Our firm successfully and amicably settled a case brought by our client against a major company, its ad agency and a television network regarding wrongful use of an academy award winning song in a commercial.
Our firm is nationally recognized for representing pension plan participants seeking recovery of improperly withheld pension benefits through ERISA class actions filed in federal courts throughout the country. Major pension plan class actions we have successfully litigated include:
- Zimmer v. Henry House, Inc., No. 1:95-cv-318 (W.D. Mich.)
- Ramsey v. Amfac, Inc., No. C-95-4317 (N.D. Cal.)
- Lyons v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. Salaried Employees Retirement Plan, No. 97-cv-0980 (N.D. Ga.)
- Crosby v. Bowater Inc. Retirement Plan, No. 1:05-cv-3478 (N.D. Ill.)
To date, we have recovered over $95 million in pension benefits for ERISA plan participants and their beneficiaries.
LONG TERM DISABILITY CLAIMS
The firm specializes in representing employees and policy holders who have wrongfully been denied long-term disability benefits to which they are entitled due to conditions that prevent them from gainful employment.
Recently in Adrienne Bennett v Lumberman's, the firm won an important, precedent-setting decision in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for a woman wrongfully denied disability benefits in connection with her inability to work due to Muscular Sclerosis.
The firm also successfully obtained benefits for a man unable to work due to a psychiatric disability; a woman prevented from working due to a disabling back condition; the owner of a business unable to work due to Parkinson's Disease; an oral surgeon forced to retire due to a disabling cervical condition; and a former school teacher unable to continue working due to the effects of Fibromyalgia.
- A pharmacist confessed to stealing $10,000 in drugs. Criminal charges of embezzlement dismissed and client avoided any sanctions by proving the confession was false and had been coerced.
- An innocent doctor accused of ignoring post-operative patient who died in recovery retained his license.
- A nurse accused of stealing a medical device received a reprimand and retained her license.
- A nurse failed to properly record a TB test and was fired from the hospital. She retained her license and received only a minor reprimand.
- A nurse accused of altering a medical record kept her license with no disciplinary action.
- Despite three drunk driving convictions, the license of another pharmacist falsely accused of stealing drugs, had the criminal charges dismissed.
- A dentist dispensing narcotics from his office without a license was able to retain his license.
The firm has successfully and frequently represented contestants with respect to will and trust disputes. Recently we were successful in setting aside a trust amendment on a theory of lack of mental capacity and undue influence when a 91 year old man divested his only son and daughter in favor of his new wife of only two years. In that case we were able to recover approximately $15,000,000 that would have otherwise gone to a woman the decedent had known only a few years.
Similarly we have successfully defended a trust from the claim of a disgruntled sibling when the deceased left her entire estate to her other brother. That case involved complex tax issues and an effort to impose a conservatorship upon our client by virtue of alleged past drug abuse.
We have also successfully defended against a claim by a decedent's sole heir when the decedent left her entire multi-million dollar estate to a distant relative and a variety of charities.
The firm has successfully pursued a variety of claims arising out of professional negligence, including claims against health care providers, accountants, pharmacists and other licensed professionals. For example, the firm obtained a multi-million dollar settlement in a case in which a client suffered paralysis as a result of a chiropractor's negligence.
PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS
The firm has represented numerous homeowners who have suffered property damage due to the negligent acts of others. Included in these cases have been claims for homeowners wrongfully denied benefits by their property insurance company.
Recently, the firm obtained a judgment for a homeowner whose property was wrongfully subjected to damaging flooding due to construction activities taking place on a neighboring property. The firm also obtained a large settlement for a homeowner whose property was environmentally impacted by contaminated groundwater. In recent years, the firm also settled several claims against homeowner's insurance companies refusing to pay for damage caused by home fires, or other property losses.
The firm recently represented one of the country's premier mall owners in the acquisition of a regional mall site in Macomb County.
The firm has represented a number of different developers in the acquisition development and syndication of a variety of multi-million dollar apartment developments. One of these also involved a corresponding $30 million dollar joint venture agreement with a union investment development fund.
In addition, we recently negotiated and closed upon the acquisition and/or sales of well in excess of $50 million in office, retail and industrial real estate projects. These projects frequently involved complex issues concerning multi-layered 1031 exchanges, syndications and other sophisticated business structures designed to address the unique needs of our clients.
We have had great success in representing banks and other lending institutions in the restructuring and collection of millions of dollars in non-performing loans. We also have successfully restructured the finances and operations of businesses in the manufacturing, construction, service, retail and health care industries, among others.
In our 25 most recent securities arbitrations, the firm obtained dismissals for our clients in 23 cases. In the remaining 2 cases, the arbitration awards were less than the settlements offered prior to arbitration.
Our firm served as national counsel for two international brokerage firms in the successful administration, processing and litigation of more than 800 arbitration cases in 36 states arising out of allegations of limited partnership fraud.
We also defended a Wall Street broker-dealer in a federal court securities fraud lawsuit filed by two major municipal pension funds seeking $14 million in damages in connection with the sale of research and development securities. The case was dismissed by the United States District Court, and affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court.
SECURITIES REGULATORY MATTERS
The firm successfully defended a Registered Investment Advisory firm and it's principals in a case brought by the Securities Exchange Commission. The client rejected the settlement offer presented by the SEC and the case was tried in Federal Court with a complete dismissal of all counts.