Extraordinary Results, Again and Again
For more than 40 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.
To see what our satisfied clients have to say about the representation we have provided in a wide range of practice areas, please view our Personal Testimonials page.
- 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.
- Client was thrown into side wall of an elevator when it abruptly jerked up and down a couple of times. Client claimed he could no longer lift his arms rendering him unemployable. Insurance company vigorously contested that elevator malfunctioned or that insureds negligence caused elevator to jerk. Also contested causation and severity of injury as client already had a pre-existing condition of weak back muscular structure making him easily susceptible to injury. Insurance company offered $5,000 before jury selection to settle claim. Wayne County jury rendered a verdict of $2,300,000 in favor of Plaintiff, my client.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Not guilty verdict in a multi-count criminal sexual conduct case in Wayne County Circuit Court after jury trial.
- Probation for a client in a case involving more than $3,000,000 in structured funds.
- 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
- Represented former Treasurer of Detroit who was swept into the Mayor Kilpatrick scandal.
Walter Piszczatowski & Victor Norris
- 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.
- Client truck driver was issued a tractor trailer by a trucking company to transport scrap metal. Rear ended an auto stopped at a GREEN Light causing brain and back injuries to 2 occupants. Client charged with 2 counts of Moving Violation Operating a Vehicle at Excessive Speed Causing Serious Impairment of Body Function, a 93-day misdemeanor and lengthy driver’s license suspension. Counsel was repeatedly informed by Prosecutor’s Office charges would not be reduced as part of a plea agreement. Counsel appealed multiple times seeking a meeting with supervising prosecutor to demonstrate compelling mitigating factors justifying reconsideration to reduce the charges. A fact intensive investigation with the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert revealed the trailer tractor issued to my client had multiple defective brakes and tires rendering the unit unworthy for road travel and unable to stop safely as evidenced by a braking skid mark of some 400 feet. Client was permitted to plead no contest to a somewhat fictitious offense of driving while license suspended. With an extensive sentence memorandum and presentation to the presiding Judge, a modest fine was assessed, but no jail time, no probation (extremely rare given the charges and disposition), and restitution for any out of pocket medical expenses for the injured occupants were capped at $1,000.
- Referring attorney contacted me late in the afternoon informing me she was referring a client who was a long tenured orthopedic surgeon (without any criminal or license violations) who was alleged to have committed a sexual assault offense upon a patient by stroking her breasts during a physical examination of her KNEES. Further, that the supposed victim/complainant had contacted a TV news station which agreed to air an interview of her that evening ostensibly to deter this physician from ever repeating the alleged conduct. I frantically tracked down the reporter and challenged the newsworthiness of the story, it could potentially ruin the physician’s unblemished career, a police investigation had not been completed, no charges had been issued, and that last time I checked, the U.S. Constitution provided my client with a presumption of innocence. The reporter begrudgingly relented and indicated she would await the completion of the police investigation. Counsel along with his paralegal, conducted an extensive investigation of the complainant revealing she had filed multiple law suits seeking money damages with assorted allegations, that she was illegally receiving various government benefits as she was both working and not disabled, and multiple outlandish internet postings rendering this individual completely lacking credibility. All of these investigative findings were compiled, organized, and presented to the investigating detective. As a result, no charges were ever filed against my client. The mere allegation becoming public would have ruined and likely ended my clients distinguished career and caused untold emotional and financial distress. And, would have precluded him from continuing to take Residents to impoverished destinations in the world to provide free health services to both children and adults in need.
- Client was on supervised probation and in a half-way house as a result of a Federal criminal conviction. His status was revoked and placed back in prison for allegedly having ingested drugs that exceeded the Federal Bureau of Prisons system levels. Counsel filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus that was granted and released from Prison having established that no illegal drugs were ingested but a false positive had registered by client consuming a poppy seed roll working at a delicatessen. And, that the Federal Bureau of Prisons violated its own policies.
- Client charged with 5th drunk driving offense. BAC (blood alcohol content) was determined to be .42 some 4 times in excess of the then legal limit. Extensive sentence memorandum citing several compelling mitigating factors resulted in sentence of probation only. No jail time. Ultimately successfully won appeal of her suspended license restoring her right to drive.
- 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.
- Successfully won all but one driver license appeal before the Secretary of State’s Driver License Appeal Division restoring several clients’ driver’s license suspensions primarily imposed due to multiple alcohol related convictions, excessive points, and assorted other reasons.
- Numerous nollo prosequi based on evidentiary challenges to the stop, the arrest, the administration of the breathalyzer. Successful reversals at the circuit court level.
- 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 action filed in federal courts throughout the country. Major pension plan class actions we have successfully litigated include:
- Lyons v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. Salaried Employees Retirement Plan, No. 97-CV-0980-JOF (N.D. Ga.): recovered $67 million in past-due pension benefits for 20,000+ class members.
- Underwood v. Carpenters Pension Trust Fund – Detroit and Vicinity Pension Plan, No. 2:13-cv-14464 (E.D. Mich.): recovered over $39 million in past-due and future pension benefits for approximately 325 class members
- Humphrey v. United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, No. H-05-758 (S.D. Tex.): recovered over $6.1 million in past-due pension benefits for approximately 630 class members
- Ramsey v. Amfac, Inc., No. C-95-4317 CAL (N.D. Cal.): recovered $5.4 million in past-due benefits for approximately 2,435 class members
- Crosby v. Bowater Incorporated Retirement Plan for Salaried Employees of Great Northern Paper Inc., No. 1:05-CV-3478 (N.D. Ill.): recovered $3.2 million in past-due pension benefits for approximately 350 class members
- Zimmer v. Henry House, Inc., No. 1:95-CV-318 (W.D. Mich.): recovered $1 million in past due benefits for approximately 93 class members
To date, we have recovered over $120 million in pension benefits for ERISA plan participants and their beneficiaries.
- 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 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.