Category Archives: Disputes

Morrell Caterers Sued in Three Lawsuits – Alleged Kosher Food Fraud, Top-Shelf Howard Fensterman Morrell, & Morrell Employees Tips

Under Jewish kosher dietary laws, you can’t mix kosher and non-kosher food at any meal or in any kitchen. If you do, then the kosher food becomes tainted and is no longer kosher.

Scott Morrell, head of one of Long Island’s largest kosher caterer, is accused by former employees of preparing and serving, over a number of years, non-kosher food in kosher kitchens – – food that he represented as kosher. This is a direct contravention of kosher dietary laws.

Two former employees of Morrell Kosher Caterers allege that as part of Morrell’s non-kosher catering business , Morrell brought non-kosher food into the kitchen of Temple Beth Torah. This food was placed on the same food preparation tables where kosher food was also being prepared, and the same pots and pans were deliberately used to cook both kosher and non-kosher food.

The result of this deliberate co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher food, pots and pans is the contamination of all the kosher food prepared in the same kitchen, from that first moment of contact onwards.

Examples of the non-kosher food introduced into the kosher kitchen by Morrell include shrimp, lobster, pepperoni, prosciutto, and sausage. Despite this, Morrell represented that the food being served at kosher events his firm catered was in fact kosher and, as such, customers were charged more money for the kosher affairs. Typically, Morrell contracts for kosher events included a charge of $800 for kosher food.
Class Action Lawsuit brought by Morrell Employees — A Second Lawsuit

But this is not all the bad news for Morrell.  A second lawsuit , a class action brought by hundreds of former Morrell employees , accuses Morrell’s company of, over a six year period, holding onto service charges included in the catering contracts — money that was earmarked for waiters, bus staff and maitre d’s. The employees said that the caterer also demanded that they give back to Scott Morrell any cash tips they received at events catered by Morrell’s company.

Howard Fensterman Morrell — A Third Lawsuit

Howard Fensterman Morrell — A third lawsuit against Morrell was by attorney Howard Fensterman. It alleges breach of contract and fraud by Morrell regarding a function hosted by Fensterman on May 29, 2010. That event was catered by Morrell’s firm. The suit accuses Morrell of substituting lower priced liquor for premium, top- shelf  liquor brands, as called for in Fensterman’s contract.

Via EPR Network
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Long Island Attorney Steven Cohn Clears Up Misconceptions About “Extortion” — Howard Fensterman Morrell

In lawsuits, when two parties are suing each other, it has been custom and practice for decades across the U.S. that in many instances the opposing attorneys informally exchange the suits with each other before they are formally filed with the clerk of the court.

The purpose of this long-accepted courtesy is to allow the attorneys to talk together and see if any or all parts of the parties’ lawsuits can be settled or resolved before going through lengthy and expensive litigation.

This is a key tenant that enables our civil justice system to move forward efficiently and not become bogged down in endless litigation of lawsuits that otherwise could be settled out of court.

In these instances, typically, the attorney for one or both parties get to the point where they say “it may well be in our mutual financial interests to terminate or resolve all or parts of these suits.”

A recent case in point where this happened involves Scott Morrell of Long Island’s Morrell’s Caterers, one of the largest catering services on Long Island . Importantly, in early 2012, Morrell faced three lawsuits for allegedly illegal and deceitful acts.

Background: Three Lawsuits Against Morrell Kosher Caterer

One was brought by two senior employees of his catering firm. Another was initiated by hundreds of former employees, and a third lawsuit against Morrell was brought by Long Island attorney and Morrell client, Howard Fensterman [Howard Fensterman Morrell]. Morrell is a long-time friend of Fensterman with whom Morrell had participated over the last ten years in separate, outside investments.

Specifically, according to numerous news media reports, including an article in the Long Island Press of February 16, the first lawsuit – – by two senior employees of Morrell’s catering business – – accused Morrell of deliberately bringing non kosher food into what was supposed to be a kosher catering kitchen, thus effectively “contaminating” both the food and kitchen in violation of Jewish law. Examples of the non-kosher food introduced into the kosher kitchen by Morrell include shrimp, lobster, pepperoni, prosciutto, and sausage. Despite this, Morrell represented that the food being served at kosher events his firm was catering was in fact kosher and, as such, customers were charged more money for that.

The second lawsuit, by hundreds of former Morrell employees, accused Morrellscompany of, over a six year period, holding onto the service charges included in the catering contracts that were earmarked for waiters, bus staff and maitre d’s. The employees said that the caterer also demanded that they give back to Scott Morrell, personally, any cash tips they received at events catered by Morrell’s company.

The third lawsuit against Morrell, by attorney Howard Fensterman, alleges breach of contract and fraud by Morrell related to a function Fensterman hosted on May 29, 2010 — an event catered by Morrell’s firm. The suit accuses Morrell of two dishonest actions — Howard Fensterman Morrell. First, the suit accuses Morrell of charging Fensterman apremium for top shelf brands of liquor and, instead, serving lower priced brands.Second, the suit accuses Morrell of encouraging Fensterman to pay, and receiving from Fensterman, an 18 % service charge above the cost of the affair, to assure more attentive service from the Morrell staff and a higher quality affair, without telling Fensterman that he, Morrell, was going to keep the money for himself.

Morrell Tries To “Switch The Topic” — Howard Fensterman Morrell

Howard Fensterman Morrell — In an attempt to deflect public attention from these allegations , Morrell’s response was to try to change the subject, alleging that the presentation of Howard Fensterman’s lawsuit to Morrell’s attorneys, prior to its filing in court, was an attempt to “extort” Morrell.

The facts are that Long Island attorney Steve Cohn, personally hand delivered the lawsuit to the office of Morrell’s attorneys to see if a pre-filing resolution might be achieved, avoiding the monetary and emotional cost of litigation for the parties.

Morrell’s desperate action was to cry “extortion” in the hope of diverting the attention of past clients , rabbis and congregation members from his alleged actions of breach of one of the most sacred duties of a kosher caterer — in essence, serving non-kosher food to unsuspecting clients and their guests. Morrell’s diversionary tactics were also meant to shift the media attention away from his alleged acts and to try to discredit Howard Fensterman’s good name.

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Top-Shelf Attorney, Howard Fensterman, Claims Liquor Served at Morrell Kosher Caterers Was Anything But — Howard Fensterman Morrell

Howard Fensterman, the well respected Long Island, New York attorney and successful businessman and investor, is feeling the pain of a victim as he deals with the unpleasant realization that his long-time friend and former investment associate, Scott Morrell, head of Morrell Kosher Caterers, fraudulently deceived him by serving less expensive brands of liquor instead of the premium, top – shelf brands contracted and paid for by Fensterman for a function he hosted on May 29th, 2010 [Howard Fensterman Morrell].

Howard Fensterman Morrell

Howard Fensterman Morrell — Fensterman is accusing Morrell of breach of contract and fraud in that Morrell’s kosher catering establishment charged Fensterman for premium, top-shelf scotch and vodka, but instead served lower price brands.

While Fensterman refuses to guess how long the alleged “bait-and-switch” practice has been going on under Morrell’s watch, Fensterman has been advised that this has been a long standing practice at Morrell Kosher Caterers.

•  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/09/morrell-caterers-accused-violating-kosher-laws-long-island_n_1265199.html

•  http://www.newsday.com/columnists/james-bernstein/caterer-morrell-sued-again-by-wait-staff-1.3539312

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PLS Secures Law Society Quality Mark

Cheshire-based law firm PLS Solicitors has been granted membership to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), having been adjudged to have met a number of standards as laid out by the Society.

The CQS was established to provide consumers with a guide of quality for residential home-buying practices, thereby reducing fraud and driving up standards by enabling consumers to make more informed decisions when entering into the conveyance process. Law Society president John Wotton explained that with so many solicitors offering conveyancing services, it can sometimes be difficult for consumers to find a suitable firm.

“CQS improves efficiency with common, consistent standards and service levels and enables consumers to recognise practices that provide a quality residential conveyancing service,” he said. “Buying a home is one of the largest purchases anyone will make in their lifetime, so it is essential that it is done to the highest standard by a solicitor.”

Aashim Dhand, Managing Partner of PLS Solicitors welcomed the development, citing it as evidence to his company’s commitment to providing would-be homebuyers with a consistently high standard of service and helping to ensure that property transactions pass through as smoothly as possible. He also noted the difference quality conveyancing can make to alleviate much of the stress that so often goes with buying property.

Solicitors have to undergo a strict assessment in order to earn CQS accreditation – which is only open to members of the Law Society – and the initiative is backed by bodies including the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Association of British Insurers, the Legal Ombudsman and the Building Societies Association. Compulsory training, random audits and self-assessments are all essential elements of securing CQS status, and must also undergo annual reviews in order to maintain it.

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But when will I see Granny?

Imagine a situation where both parents work and care is divided between both maternal and paternal grandparents. In an ideal world this arrangement would continue after a divorce or separation, but frequently all goodwill breaks down leaving children having to cope with new arrangements and often the loss or deterioration of a relationship with one or both sets of grandparents.

I often get asked ‘but what about my rights?’ by caring grandparents who are desperate to continue a relationship with their grandchildren. The sad, depressing, answer is that grandparents have no automatic right to make an application to the Court for contact or residence, unless the children have been living with them for at least 3 years.

Grandparents have an additional hurdle, of having to first apply to Court for‘leave’ to make an application. This application is sent to both parents, who have the opportunity to oppose, or agree to leave being granted. Only if the Judge is satisfied that it is in the child’s best interest for the application to be granted will the matter move to the next stage when a Judge will consider what, if any contact, there should be between grandparent and grandchild. That contact has to be viewed in context as often the children will be spending time with the ‘other’ parent. Frequently, the Court has to juggle complex arrangements to try to accommodate all members of the family (and the child’s school or social commitments).

The Government applauds grandparents for the vital role they play in shaping a child’s future, providing unpaid childcare so parents can return to work. However, since 1989 successive governments have so far refused to amend the law to provide grandparents the automatic right to make an application to the Court to preserve their unique relationship with grandchildren. Following the Family Justice Review, there has been a recommendation that Grandparents should be included in ‘parenting agreements’ setting out the time that children of separated parents should spend not only with Mum and Dad, but Granny and Grandpa too.

Whilst the judicial system may not be quick to help grandparents, I have used other dispute resolution such as mediation, collaborative law and family conferencing to assist in breaking the deadlock between family members and re-establishing contact.

Via EPR Network
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Cheshire Solicitors Proud To Be Awarded Conveyancing Mark Of Quality

Hale, Cheshire-based solicitors’ practice PLS Solicitors is proud to announce that it has been granted membership of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS).

The scheme is an initiative overseen by The Law Society, the main regulatory body which oversees and enforces standards of practice in all aspects of the legal profession. It is designed to help anyone selling a house to find a conveyancing solicitor who knows their area and whose work they can trust.

The Law Society itself says that the CQS is intended to “create a trusted community which year on year will drive up standards.”

Aashim Dhand, Managing Partner of PLS Solicitors, says his company’s admission to the CQS is an endorsement of the high standards which he and his colleagues in the company’s residential conveyancing department always aim to meet.

“A conveyancing solicitor plays a small, but absolutely vital, part in ensuring that any property transaction is conducted according to prescribed rules,” he said.

“But more importantly, the quality of their work and processes can make a big difference to how smoothly such transactions run.

“While buying property is still considered one of the most stressful things people do in their lives, sympathetic and thorough conveyancing solicitors can do a great deal to guide people through the maze of options associated with any property transaction, including equity release and lease options for purchases of properties with this type of tenure,” Mr Dhand added.

As a company proud of its standing as part of a select network of Manchester solicitors whose services are endorsed by the Law Society, PLS Solicitors is hoping that this approval will be seen as a sign of the trust they can have in getting the best possible service, no matter what the nature of their customers’ property law needs.

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PLS Solicitors begins work with Twenty Ten equity fund

Well-known law firm PLS Solicitors has announced plans to become a preferred supplier for the private equity fund Twenty Ten Capital LLP. PLS Solicitors provides many legal services, including residential conveyancingcompromise agreements and employment law advice.

Twenty Ten works with up-and-coming businesses and helps them to create value, as well as providing support for companies that are facing stressful situations and challenging environments. The company invests in all manner of sectors and has a number of high-profile portfolio companies.

As a supplier for Twenty Ten, PLS Solicitors will work alongside its portfolio companies and will help in providing advice and support in the area of employment law. The solicitors in Manchester will provide guidance with employment handbooks, service contracts and all other employment related issues for Twenty Ten’s businesses.

PLS Solicitors has already started working with one of Twenty Ten’s biggest clients, the Metropolis Group, to great effect.

“We have been impressed with the attitude shown by PLS Solicitors to date,” said Parminder Basran, Managing Partner of Twenty Ten Capital LLP “Our businesses have received good commercial advice on areas of concern so far and we see PLS Solicitors as an integral operational partner for our business going forward.

“Twenty Ten, like PLS Solicitors, are a driven and highly commercial organisation and we are pleased to surround ourselves with likeminded partners.”

Meanwhile, Adam Pavey, Partner at PLS Solicitors, has said: “We are really excited about the prospect of working with Twenty Ten Capital and their businesses. We have found them an extremely savvy and commercially aware fund – they are really going places and we hope as one of their preferred suppliers we can grow with them.

“To be working with high profile companies such as the Metropolis Group really excites us – especially as the companies are based in London and, as you are aware, we are seeking to move into this market next year by opening our first office there.”

To find out more about PLS Solicitors visit www.proplegal.co.uk now. For more information on Twenty Ten Capital visit www.twentytencapital.eu.

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Co-operative Legal Services Extends Its Personal Injury Claims Service

The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has announced that it is extending its range of personal injury claims services.

Already a specialist in claims arising from road traffic accident claims, CLS is now promoting its services in England and Wales for claims in connection with:
• Accidents at work
• Trips and slips
• Industrial disease claims
• Medical negligence claims
• Sports Injury claims

Eddie Ryan, managing director of CLS said: “It has been our ambition since we launched CLS in 2006 to offer a broader range of Personal Injury Claims services to our membership and the general public.

“We believe that The Co-operative’s values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others places us in a unique position to provide a different claims service, which is focussed on the customer and their recovery and not just their claim.”

CLS already offers a wide range of free injury claim advice, as well as Will writing services, Conveyancing and Probate and Estate Administration services to The Co-operative members and the general public.

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The Co-operative Legal Services Strengthens Its Offering to Customers with Landmark Information Group

• The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) are to use Landmark Information Group’s Anti-Money Laundering tool to assist in compliance with AML regulations

• CLS to also adopt Landmark Financial Asset Search to support its probate team in identifying potentially lost or forgotten assets that should be distributed as part of the administration of an estate
• CLS is part of The Co-operative Group, the largest consumer-owned co-operative in the UK with over 5.5 million members and over 21 million customers

Landmark Information Group today announced that The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) will be using its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Financial Asset Search (FAS) solutions to further strengthen its offering to its customers. As the leading supplier of property and environmental information, Landmark provides comprehensive solutions to assist legal professionals with their search obligations; as well as providing their clients with peace of mind.

James Sherwood-Rogers, Managing Director of Landmark Legal & Financial, said: “To secure this business from such a prestigious and industry-leading firm demonstrates the strength and credibility both Landmark and its products have within the legal sector. Money laundering is a significant issue that law firms cannot afford to overlook and CLS recognises Landmark’s AML is the most effective solution to ensure compliance with AML legislation. Similarly, our ground-breaking Financial Asset Search is a valuable aid for probate practitioners and executors in helping with their search obligations and provides complete confidence that searches undertaken are all-inclusive. CLS provides a comprehensive suite of consumer legal services and we are delighted they have selected Landmark’s Anti-Money Laundering tool and Financial Asset Search as their solutions of choice for their extensive client base.”

Launched in 2006 as part of The Co-operative Group, the largest consumer-owned co-operative in the UK with in excess of 5.5 million members and over 21 million customers, CLS is an industry leader in will writingprobate, conveyancing, employment law and accidents or injuries claims.

Eddie Ryan Managing Director of CLS said: “Championing our member’s interests has always been central to The Co-operative Group’s strategy. Landmark has proven expertise and a reputation for superb services. We are impressed by Landmark AML and Landmark FAS, which both add value to our current services and we have already seen fantastic results for our clients.

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The Sea Rarely Gives Up The Dead, Or That’s What Phil Harris Thought When He Tried To Throw Former Business Partner Glenn Coggeshell Overboard

On Monday August 09, 2010 Business partner and creator of the coffee lines “Deadliest Brew” “Captains Brew” and “Captains Reserve” was forced to bring suit to the Harris Estate after a year of trying to settle differences quietly and professionally.

Coggeshell who is considered the most innovative creator in his industry, marketing coffee lines as “Black Dot Coffee” “Hendrix Coffee” “Goodfellas Coffee” “Deadliest Brew” “Legends of Rock Coffee” and “Perfect Circle Coffee”, met Phil Harris in a grocery store parking lot. Phil approached Glenn about buying “Hendrix Coffee” for his boat.

In March of 2008 Phil Harris contacted Coggeshell wanting to endorse his “Black Dot Coffee” line, saying he was about to be the most popular captain on the hit show Deadliest Catch.

After an hour meeting in a “Buzz In” steak house and listening to Phil talk about his recent health condition. Coggeshell having a father who had just had a savier stroke also, thought it unfair given the state of his health to just have him endorse his product, started thinking of ways this venture could work for all parties.

In late April of that same year Glenn celebrated the birth of his daughter. There at the hospital he was making calls, organizing, planning and making sure things would move forward for his family and the new venture.

Coggeshell and Harris continued to move forward throughout the spring. Glenn started making important business contacts to launch the new coffee line “Deadliest Brew”, “Gourmet Coffee for the Working Man” and within sixty days found the product in over 65 locations in Washington State and growing towards the Oregon and California markets, one event on July 26th 2008 in Sedro Woolley, WA saw 250 in attendance an unprecedented coffee sales and fast growth.

During this time Phil kept assuring Glenn, who had funded everything to this point, that he would invest his share of the needed money to keep up with growing sales.

Around August of 2008 Phil’s on again off again manager Russ Hariot returned with the promise to finish a deal with a local energy drink manufacture who were also creating a line with Phil Harris. Glenn Coggeshell insisted Russ stay away from anything related to the coffee. Phil assured Glenn, Russ would stay away. During this time Glenn began to question actions and changes with Phil’s personality.

Glenn by now invested over $50 thousand from his own business & personal sources while being a father of two children, a son and an infant daughter.

By October with high online sales and almost 200 stores, Deadliest Brew was quickly becoming one of the fastest growing coffee companies in the US

In late November early December Coggeshells investment began to pay off and business started seeing substantial profits and with the addition of another 60-100 locations projected in 2009. The new Captains Brew Coffee line was becoming the fastest growing Coffee Company in the US and online sales where growing stronger each day.

Just in time for Christmas and with profits in the bank, Coggeshell began seeing e-mails, blogs and myspace postings, stating Coggeshell was “no longer a part” of his own business. Phil, Russ and employee Marsha Cruz began circumventing Coggeshell with suppliers, stealing accounts, crossing out contact information for Coggeshell’s Company “Northwest Blends Inc” on invoices. Changing mailing addresses, changing checks made out too Coggeshell and his company to Phil’s “new” company, and then the letter from Phils new Lawyer showed up at his door. (All in the Christmas spirit).

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Schillings Recommend Key Changes To Privacy And Reputation Protection

Schillings, the leading law firm protecting the privacy and reputations of businesses and high-profile individuals, has released the findings of its recent research entitled – ‘A private life in the public eye’. The research report sets out a ‘Blueprint for change’ to help people protect their privacy and reputation without compromising the vital principle of freedom of expression. The launch of the report coincides with the Government’s DCMS Select Committee’s comprehensive report into Press Standards, Privacy and Libel.

Schillings Recommend Key Changes To Privacy And Reputation Protection

The overarching aim of the research was to discover what it means to be in the public eye today and where the line should be drawn to separate the part of a person’s life that should remain private. The key areas of interest included: Attitudes towards privacy; Importance of legal measures; Due prominence of apologies; The effectiveness of the Press Complaints Commission; Dissatisfaction with press reporting; Prior notification and the future challenges facing reputation protection.

The research provides evidence that people are dissatisfied with the current position regarding reputation and privacy. The opinions of the audience presented in the report do not necessarily represent those of Schillings. An area of common ground is the view showing that whilst it is important to permit publication of matters that are genuinely in the public interest, too often reputations are damaged, and privacy invaded, by the publication of stories that are untrue, or where the main aim is to satisfy salacious curiosity about the lives of the rich and famous irrespective of the distress caused to them, their families and their friends.

Gideon Benaim, Partner at Schillings, who led the research project commented: “Schillings has been at the forefront of developing privacy law in this country and has set legal precedent providing everyone the right of protection in respect of their home life, their children and medical information, as well as other areas considered private. This means their private life should not be reported by the press unless it is truly a matter in the public interest. However, in some areas we find the media don’t make the correct distinction between ‘public interest’ and ‘of interest to the public’ which are quite different concepts.”

Schillings concluded that the aims of existing laws are sound. But in practice, they frequently fail to achieve a satisfactory balance between the public interest, the truth and privacy. The report recommends three key reforms to reputation laws under the proposal called the ‘Blueprint for change’; each of which are supported by the recommendations in the DCMS report.

– The press should have to notify people before publishing stories that will seriously invade their privacy.
– It should be easier to obtain injunctions preventing the publication of untrue allegations.
– Introduce a pre-publication system to resolve disputes.

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The Co-Operative Group Promotes Legal Services To Food Shoppers

The Co-operative Group today (15 April) launched a high profile campaign to promote the legal services offered by its own specialist division to shoppers in its food stores.

The in-store campaign aims to raise awareness of the wide range of advice and expertise available through The Co-operative Legal Services.

The campaign, which will last nine weeks, includes in-store radio and animated till screen displays.

Eddie Ryan, Managing Director of Bristol based Co-operative Legal Services, said:”The shoppers in our 3,000 plus food stores represent a huge market for us so we were delighted that during a similar campaign last year awareness levels of CLS jumped by more than 5 per cent.

“We are confident that this campaign will be equally successful as it is the first time we have promoted our legal services to the enlarged food estate following the acquisition of Somerfield last year.

The Co-operative Legal Services, part of The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest mutual retailer, provide a range of legal services to members and customers covering Will writing, Probate & Estate Administration, Conveyancing, Employment andPersonal Injury Claims. A wide range of free legal advice is also provided.

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Another Frivolous Atrazine Class Action Lawsuit Only Harms U.S. Farmers

After plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Monday in the Southern District of Illinois, Kurtis B. Reeg, attorney for defendant Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., said another frivolous atrazine lawsuit only harms U.S. farmers.

“In these tough economic times, one may wonder why anyone – other than class action lawyers – would seek to destroy what EPA estimates is a $2 billion annual economic benefit to the nation, and all of the jobs that go with it,” Reeg said. “This lawsuit has no merit because we know from EPA-mandated testing that no water systems since 2005 have exceeded the annual average guidance for atrazine. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”

Atrazine is a widely-used herbicide in the U.S. and 60 countries around the world to help grow safe, affordable and abundant crops, including corn, sorghum, and sugar cane. EPA re-registered atrazine in 2006, stating it would cause no harm to the general population.

“This suit is no surprise, as the same plaintiffs’ attorneys who have been trying a wasteful case in Madison County, Ill., have been shopping this around for years,” said Reeg. “Just last month, plaintiffs in Illinois voluntarily dismissed numerous damage and liability claims they had made in their case. With that disarray, it appears attorneys are scrambling to another venue in which to waste scarce taxpayer resources with junk science and false allegations for personal gain at the expense of U.S. agriculture.

“Filing in federal court appears to be a mis-step, given the Iberville Parish, La., case which was dismissed by Chief Judge Butler in Mobile, Ala., in 1999. Judge Butler ruled that removing safe and approved levels of atrazine from drinking water was unnecessary and that shifting the costs of such unnecessary removal was wrong. This decision was also upheld on appeal, and we hope the court will rely on this past verdict to guide future decisions.

“Everyone should bear in mind that if a 150-pound adult drank literally thousands of gallons of water with atrazine at three parts-per-billion every day for 70 years, she still would not reach the exposure level at which no adverse impact has been detected in the laboratory.

“We know these communities are strapped for cash, and suing companies to upgrade their decades-old water systems may seem like an easy way to raise money, but it only harms local farmers who rely on these safely-regulated crop protection tools for their livelihood and to help cost-effectively feed a quickly growing consumer public.

“The many statements by farmers and their associations attest to their support for atrazine and its safety in use. They have for half a century. EPA’s atrazine regulation is a model of sound science carefully applied in its mission of protecting all Americans and our environment.

“As a hallmark of good stewardship, my client worked voluntarily with stakeholders for years and since then also with EPA to monitor the water systems where minute detections of atrazine may occasionally occur. Since 2005, no water system has had an annual average atrazine level in its drinking water greater than the EPA standard, which itself carries a 1000-fold safety factor.

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The Coming King Foundation (TCKF), A Texas Nonprofit Reached A Settlement Monday With Mesa Vista Landowners, Settling A 15-Month Property Dispute

A last-minute settlement agreement was presented to State District Judge Keith Williams on Monday, March 1st, as trial was about to get underway in the lawsuit brought by neighboring landowners against The Coming King Foundation (TCKF), a Texas nonprofit arts organization. TCKF plans to build a first class Sculpture Prayer Garden on 23 acres overlooking IH-10 and Highway 16, highlighted by the cross on top of a hill. Mesa Vista landowners suit prohibited the raising of the cross within the prayer garden.

The settlement agreement reached Monday allows the cross to be raised as planned putting an end to the 15-month property dispute and bringing peaceful a resolution and healing to this Texas Hill Country community.

Last month the Mesa Vista landowners lost their bid to have the case dismissed in their favor and Judge Williams ordered the trial to proceed on March 1st. Shortly thereafter, settlement negotiations were initiated by the landowners, which for the first time included an agreement to allow the cross to be raised on TCKF’s lot.“Once that point was conceded, both sides moved quickly to resolve differences and eventually agreed to a compromise”, said Kevin Young, attorney for TCKF. “We’re thankful that both sides could put away their swords and solve this in a Christian manner,” said Fern Lancaster, TCKF board member and treasurer.

“The Coming King Foundation will realize its vision of a cross and sculpture garden and the Mesa Vista residents will realize their goal of maintaining the privacy of their neighborhood,” said Mesa Vista homeowners’ attorney, Richard Mosty, in a prepared statement.

As part of the settlement, The Coming King Foundation will construct a solid fence on the site where the $2M, 70-ton cross will be located. The settlement also allows for lighting of the cross that is non-intrusive for residents of the subdivision and limited private access to the cross from Mesa Vista Lane, keeping the main entrance to the Garden on IH-10. In addition, TCKF will also pay the Mesa Vista neighbors $25,000 over the next several months as part of the settlement. Each side is responsible for paying its own attorney’s fees and legal expenses.

When asked whether he had won the case because the cross will go up, David Brock, co-counsel for TCKF said, “Everybody won. This agreement is respectful of everyone’s property rights and is better than a trial victory for either side.” TCKF board member and Vice President, Jim McKnight, added, “A peaceful resolution has been our desire and prayer since the lawsuit was filed. This is a great day for our community and now we can move forward.”

TCKF plans to raise the cross and complete the Garden as soon as sufficient funds are available. “Although we have incurred significant expense in our legal defense,” said TCKF board member and President Max Greiner Jr., “we are confident that God pays for what He ordains, and we invite our community, neighbors, friends and the greater Christian community to unite in support around this God-given vision and Sculpture Prayer Garden.”

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Michael Simpson Elected Bristol Law Society Council Member

Michael Simpson, Head of Employment at Almondsbury based Co-operative Legal Services has been elected a council member of the Bristol Law Society.

Michael Simpson Elected Bristol Law Society Council Member

Michael who has been a member of the Society for 10 years was elected at the recent annual general meeting.

Michael has worked for The Co-operative Legal Services since 2007, representing clients with his considerable expertise in employment law and providing valuable help and advice to employment problems.

In a previous role Michael represented trade union members in their Employment Tribunal claims.

Commenting on his election Michael said:” I would like to see the membership of the Society expand by ensuring that it is providing a valuable support infrastructure for the full range of legal practices and businesses in the South West.

“There are already some exciting developments with the Society entering into a contract with Central Law Training to provide premier tier CPD courses for members at competitive prices.

“Bristol Law Society has also entered into a long-term relationship with the University of West of England which will provide a number of unique opportunities for member firms in addition to improved premises and facilities. The Society is also creating a corporate membership package that is designed to engage all individuals who support the provision of legal services within each firm in the city.”

A keen long distance cyclist and Marathon runner, Michael decided to take up the triathlon (swim, bike & run) in 2008 and completed the full ironman event (2.5 mile swim, 110 mile bike & 26 mile run) event at Sherborne Castle in Dorset.

The Co-operative Legal Services provide a range of legal services to members and customers covering Will writing, Probate services & Estate Administration, Conveyancing, Employment and Personal Injury Claims. A wide range of free legal advice is also provided.

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Keith Schilling Appearing At Cambridge Union To Debate Press Freedom

Schillings, the UK law firm dedicated to protecting the reputations of international corporations, brands and high-profile individuals, will be taking part in a Cambridge Union debate on press freedom.

Keith Schilling, one of Britain’s most sought after lawyers for his work in defamation and privacy, joins Max Mosley and James Price QC to complete a line-up of experts in what promises to be a thought provoking debate on the motion – ‘This house believes the British press has too much freedom’.

Opposing the motion will be David Leigh, Investigations Editor at the Guardian, author, Tom Bower, and Alex Thomsom, Channel 4 News Correspondent.

The Cambridge Union Society is the oldest and most prestigious student debating society in the world. Founded in 1815, it has welcomed speakers from across the world and across generations. From Prime Ministers to archbishops, from generals to Presidents, the Society has hosted giants from all walks of life.

The Cambridge Union is well known for its contentious debates with high profile figures who are asked to passionately defend what they believe in. The panel open themselves to discussion with union members on contemporary issues that often reflect what’s going on in the media.

Preparing for the debate Keith Schilling said: “I am really looking forward to debating this important and topical issue, particularly in such auspicious premises. Whilst freedom of expression is fundamental to any democracy, there are insufficient checks on the media’s freedom which can result in significant and often irreparable harm.”

The debate will take place at 8pm on Thursday 21st January at the Union building in Cambridge.

About Schillings:
Schillings is one of Britain’s top media law firms dedicated to reputation protection and safeguarding the rights of international corporations and brands, high-profile business people and those in the public eye. The firm’s 25 year track-record in defamationprivacy law and copyright cases together with family law, matrimonial and commercial dispute resolution is second to none, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a “spectacularly efficient media law firm”.

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Schillings Academy Welcomes Professor Gavin Phillipson

Schillings, the leading law firm protecting the privacy and reputations of corporates and high-profile individuals, has announced that privacy and freedom of expression expert, Professor Gavin Phillipson will join as a tutor at the Schillings Academy.

Schillings Academy Welcomes Professor Gavin Phillipson

Professor Gavin Phillipson will deliver the Advanced Privacy module over four months, covering topics including the philosophical values that underlie the notion of privacy as a fundamental right. He will also be covering comparative perspectives on privacy and freedom of speech.

A Professor at Durham Law School and a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University’s Centre for Media and Communications Law, Professor Gavin Phillipson is regarded as a leading expert on privacy. Mr Justice Eady recently recommended that attendees read Professor Phillipson’s recent article entitled ‘Max Mosley Goes to Strasbourg’ whilst speaking at a law conference in December 2009. Professor Phillipson is the author of several leading articles on civil liberties and the Human Rights Act, as well as co-author of two books and co-editor of a leading edited collection. His most important contribution has been in the area of the development of a common law right to privacy on which he has published several influential articles.

Speaking about his involvement with the Schillings Academy, Professor Gavin Phillipson said: “I am delighted to be invited to be part of this remarkable programme of development and am looking forward to working with some of the leading lawyers in the field of privacy. I’m particularly looking forward to exploring, in discussion during the Academy, some of the opposing arguments to those professionally advanced by claimant lawyers such as Schillings.”

Keith Schilling said: “It is a testament to the high quality of education the Schillings Academy is delivering that we have attracted such a well respected lecturer in privacy and freedom of expression to join our programme. The skills and specialist knowledge we are delivering through the Schillings Academy enable us to have the most talented, experienced and qualified solicitors practicing libel and privacy law.”

Keith also said: “We have continued to recruit solicitors whilst many other firms have had to downsize their businesses recently. The Schillings Academy is providing all our talent a unique programme and encouraging the very best to join our growing Firm, in addition to retaining our existing exceptional people.”

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Schillings Assist Earl And Lady Spencer In Winning Libel Action

Schillings solicitors has won their libel action against the Sunday Express on behalf of Earl Spencer and his daughter Lady Kitty Spencer.

The judgement has meant Earl Spencer and his daughter Lady Kitty Spencer have won an apology, Statement in Open Court as well as substantial damages and their legal costs from the Sunday Express after bringing a libel action in the High Court.

The Sunday Express article of 30 August 2009 entitled “The It girl making the Spencers glamorous”, made various false allegations concerning Earl Spencer’s divorce from his wife Caroline and was critical of his behaviour and that of Lady Kitty in connection with the divorce.

The Sunday Express has accepted that the allegations complained about were false. In an apology to be published on Sunday 6 December 2009 the Sunday Express will say:

“On 30 August 2009 in an article “The It girl making the Spencers glamorous” we published several false allegations about Earl Spencer and his eldest daughter, Lady Kitty Spencer. We regret the suggestion in that article that either of them acted improperly in any way in connection with Earl Spencer’s divorce from his wife Caroline, or in relation to the division of the family assets.

We would like to apologise to Earl Spencer and Lady Kitty Spencer for the distress and embarrassment we may have caused.”

The Sunday Express also joined with Earl Spencer and Lady Kitty Spencer in making a Statement in Open Court whereby Express Newspapers accepted that they should not have published the article as they did and formally apologised. Express Newspapers has also paid substantial damages and legal costs in full.

About Schillings
Schillings is one of Britain’s top law firms dedicated to reputation management and safeguarding the rights of international corporations and brands, high-profile business people and those in the public eye. The firm’s 25 year track-record in defamationprivacy law and copyright cases together with family law, matrimonial and commercial dispute resolution is second to none, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a “spectacularly efficient media law firm”.

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Schillings Grows Family Department To Meet Increasing Client Demand

Schillings, the leading law firm protecting the rights and reputations of corporate organisations, high-profile individuals and those in the public eye, has increased its family department to meet the growing demand from its clients, particularly those who want to ensure their family and matrimonial matters are not publicised by the media.

Schillings has recently recruited Davina Hay to join its family law department alongside Keith Schilling, Rachel Atkins and David Greer. A litigator with expertise in family law, Davina advises on separation, divorce and ancillary relief, jurisdictional disputes, multi-jurisdictional divorce cases involving significant assets and enforcement issues. Before she joined Schillings, Davina trained and qualified at a City law firm where she spent six years acting for a number of well known actors, successful entrepreneurs and international clients. She brings with her extensive experience as a litigator and enhances the firm’s provision of advice to high net-worth and high profile individuals in all aspects of divorce, relationship breakdown, ancillary relief, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and private children matters.

Schillings’ family department is led by Keith Schilling, the founder and senior partner of the firm, who represented Shan Lambert in her successful appeal in 2002, achieving the first 50/50 split of assets in a “big money” divorce.

Working alongside Mr Schilling is Partner Rachel Atkins who earlier this year, together with Associate David Greer, acted for a celebrity father in a test case following the introduction of new rules allowing media attendance in family proceedings, and succeeded in application to exclude the media from attending court hearings concerning his child.

When speaking about the growing family department Keith Schilling said, “In the last few years we have seen a significant increase in the demand for advice from high net worth and high profile individuals in connection with matters relating to divorce, often involving multiple jurisdictions, children and most notably pre- and post-nuptial agreements.”

Mr Schilling went on to say, “High net worth individuals and those in the public eye regularly discover their privacy has been invaded or their reputation defamed when details of their personal lives or the breakdown of their relationship are leaked to the press and publicised. It is logical, therefore, to respond to the demand from our clients by strengthening our team and combining our family and matrimonial advice with the firm’s pre-eminent experience in the area of reputation protection, so that we can ensure that press interest is managed to our client’s advantage.”

Speaking about the press interest surrounding high net worth individuals and those in the public eye Davina Hay said, “Clients, even those without a high public profile, are increasingly finding themselves the subject of intrusive press interest following relationship breakdown or in the event of disputes involving children. Aside from the unwanted emotional strain at an already stressful time, the financial consequences of the resulting reputational damage can be devastating. However, it is possible to manage such threats and give clients the space to resolve family issues free from unwanted media scrutiny.”

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The Co-Operative Legal Services Provide Will Writing Service

The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has teamed up with Emma’s Diary, the leading website for pregnant women and new mums, to provide an exclusive Will writing service.

Through extensive research amongst its members, Emma’s Diary understands what mums want and has recognised the need to provide further information on writing a will, which is one of the top things that parents do after having a baby. As a result, Emma’s Diary has chosen to work with CLS as its sole Will provider and will be promoting this service to all its members via the Money Matters finance section of the website.

Eddie Ryan, Managing Director of CLS said: “Emma’s Diary understands how writing a Will protects its members and their families.

“They wanted to work with a partner whose trusted, ethical and professional approach would ensure that writing a Will would be a positive experience whilst delivering the required legal expertise needed for such an important decision.”

Emma’s Diary has a membership base of just over 1.3 million members, which attracts appropriately 100,000 unique users on its website every month.

The Co-operative Legal Services provide a range of legal services to members and customers covering Will writingProbate & Estate Administration, Conveyancing, Employment and Personal Injury Claims. A wide range of free legal advice is also provided.

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