Williams & Connolly Sues Washington Metro for $50M After Falling Pole Hits Associate

, The National Law Journal

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A Williams & Connolly partner is representing the associate, who says he can no longer do legal work because of the incident.

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  • Matt

    Of all the people a falling pole could strike, an associate at Williams & Connolly is probably the worst. It‘s in WMATA‘s interests to settle this one quickly.

  • Evangeline Shaw

    I feel very sad for Mr. LoVecchio and any other lawyer who suffers a head injury. The problem is that once a lawyer has suffered even minor or moderate brain injury, every legal employer in sight is afraid to take the risk that the lawyer will malpractice because they lost some part of their cognitive skills or memory because of the wack on the head. The problem is made even worse if the lawyer‘s injury requires "speech therapy" to allow the lawyer to overcome brain related injuries to their speaking ability arising out of the injury to the head or arising out of the lawyer being unconscious for many hours while emergency surgery is done on them. Legal employers are afraid that the injured lawyer will embarrass them by being at a loss for words in court or in a critical negotiation because of the slight and/or temporary injury to the lawyer‘s brain as a result of the accident. The other problem permanently physically injured lawyers suffer is that their injuries pretty well insure that the lawyer cannot put in the usual 10 to 12 hour day anymore. When one‘s body is permanently injured, even though one‘s brain, eyes, ears and speaking ability still work a permanently injured body simply cannot take the punishment it used to take in a 10-12 hour work day. Loss of ability to "burn the midnight oil" means a physically injured lawyer‘s billable hours will be reduced, and as everyone knows that negatively affects the injured lawyer‘s compensation and chances for advancement to partnership. And then there are the law firm clients who are very uncomfortable dealing with a permanently injured lawyer, regardless of the client‘s relationship with the lawyer prior to the injury. Even more heart-breaking for the suddenly physically, permanently injured lawyer is the practice law firms follow in having another lawyer in the firm supervise the disabled lawyer‘s relationship with the client, to make sure that the clients is getting the same top-notch services as the client received from the injured lawyer before the accident. While the ADA compels a law firm to make reasonable accommodations to a permanently handicapped lawyer, the reality is that clients can take their business elsewhere and the law firms know it. It‘s probably uncomfortable for a legal employer like Williams & Connolly to try a case which admits that part of an injured lawyer‘s permanent damages are that most legal employers will not trust the lawyer‘s judgment, reasoning or speaking ability again because of the fear that the recovering injured lawyer will malpractice or at the very least not be the fantastic lawyer they were prior to the accident. Very few physical, occupational or speech therapists have a clue how to rehabilitate a lawyer‘s brain after an accidental brain injury. The best advice I can give a lawyer in that situation is to subscribe to a legal news source, like National Law Journal, and ask the injured lawyer‘s friends and family members to discuss cases with them every day, in person or over the telephone, so that the injured lawyer exercises the legal side of his/her brain and his/her ability to speak eloquently.

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