01 Aug Homeowner’s Flood Insurance Alex Jones Trial CA Vacation
Welcome to the Newsletter
Rana Law Group Newsletter
In this issue:
- Homeowner’s Insurance Review
- Alex Jones Civil Trial
- California Vacation
Homeowner’s Insurance Review
After all the flooding in the area, it was heartbreaking to see the Nextdoor posts from flood victims asking for help when they realized home or renter’s insurance would not cover their damages. I wrote about flood insurance back in 2018 when some hurricanes and tropical storms hit North Carolina. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not realize their insurance policy does not automatically cover flood or sewer events. It is typically something optional which many customers may not realize is not automatically included. Sometimes, insurance agents may cut coverages someone may not think or notice they need in order to provide a cheaper premium. The only time someone discovers a problem is when the person gets a denial from the insurance company.
People also drastically overestimate the amount of governmental aid (FEMA, Red Cross, etc.) they will receive if they are victims of a disaster. It is tough to know exactly when aid will come and to what extent. It is better to be proactive and obtain flood/sewer insurance before you need it. Flood insurance in low risk areas in the Midwest is relatively cheap to add to a policy, typically because most people will not need it (hence why it is relatively inexpensive). However, IF you need it, you will be happy you have it. Adding sewer backup coverage is also a good idea since it is considered a separate event that flood insurance does not cover. I offer free insurance reviews through my newsletter annually and, due to the recent flooding, I am offering them again now. If you need help selecting the amounts of coverage (auto, home, renters) based on your specific needs, let me know and I am happy to offer my advice, free of charge!
Alex Jones Civil Trial
Since I did not get an opportunity to share my thoughts on the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial, I thought I would give my thoughts on a more recent newsworthy case involving Alex Jones. I do not want to go into any political discussions here – this is solely about what this type of case involves so you can discuss around the “water cooler”.
The jury rendered a compensatory verdict of $4.1 million to the parents who sued Alex Jones for defamation. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the plaintiffs (the parents) for the harms (damages) they alleged Jones caused. The jury heard evidence from both sides and made a fair market appraisal of what was taken. Essentially, the jury’s job is to balance the scales of justice.
The punitive damages of $45.2 million will be reduced because of Texas’s cap on this type of damages but it is still a strong message. Punitive damages are meant to punish and deter this type of conduct by this particular defendant (Jones) and others like him. This is an important distinction – the jury heard the evidence and clearly and convincingly felt Jones’ conduct was unacceptable and they wanted to send him a message.
A huge bombshell was when the lawyer for the parents was cross-examining Jones and it came to light Jones’ attorneys messed up by accidentally sending over ALL of Jones’ text messages (instead of what was likely going to be just a few, relevant texts). Typically, the recipient of accidental disclosure (the parents’ lawyer) has a duty to notify the other party (Jones’ lawyer) he made a mistake and Jones’ lawyer is supposed to advise the parents’ lawyer to immediately discontinue reviewing and discard/delete the information. Moreover, in this particular case, Jones’ lawyer should have invoked the attorney/client privilege and notified the other side of the accidental disclosure, in which case the judge would likely have ruled the texts are not admissible. Instead, by failing to do anything, Jones’ lawyer opened up Jones to cross-examination which impeached (showed he lied) prior statements on the stand. This also opened Jones up to liability in other cases which are currently pending. Jones’ lawyer is almost certainly in trouble ethically and may be open to a legal malpractice case, as well as reputational harm.
I attended a family friend’s wedding last week in Northern California and had the opportunity to see the redwood trees. It was my first time seeing these majestic trees in-person and I recommend everyone add it to their bucket list. We even paid $10 to drive through a redwood on U.S. 101 along the “Avenue of the Giants”. Since I have a very hectic trial schedule coming up for the rest of the year (six trials over the course of three months!), my wife and I decided to use this trip to enjoy some time in Napa/Sonoma (another first). It was fun visiting some great wineries with some beautiful scenery. That being said, we prefer our Missouri lakes/rivers and the Atlantic far more than the Pacific ocean. After several delays at the airport (both ways), we are happy to be back home!
From time to time, clients call and ask which type of cases we handle. My practice is built on referrals from satisfied clients. I know that if I work hard and do a good job for my clients, they will tell their friends about me. The best compliment from a former client is that client entrusting me with the potential case of their friends and family. Our office specializes in the following cases:
- Personal Injury (auto collisions, trucking, motorcycle, slip and fall)
- Work Injuries
- Traffic tickets and DUI/DWI
If you know someone that meets these criteria, please have them call my office. If someone does not quite fit the above criteria, please still have the prospective referral give me a call as I can usually help them find the right attorney via a referral.
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