An Anchorage trial in late April dominated the news for ALO. The case involved a legal malpractice claim against the law firm of Cooke Roosa, a firm well known in Alaska because of it claims against the Catholic Church which settled for enormous sums in recent years. That firm had an office in Bethel for a while, and the case for which they were sued started in their Bethel office. A young man asked the firm to bring a suit against the Bethel hospital for the death of his mother. Cooke Roosa contacted the young man's step father, and a suit was filed. At first, the claim included the step-father and the surviving son, who was 21 years old and without siblings at the time. Eventually the case settled for $650,000 and none of the money went to the son, at which point he hired ALO. The jury found that the son was in fact dependent on his mother and was also a client of Cooke Roosa. They awarded half the proceeds to him. Cooke Roosa made a claim against their former client, the step father, who now lives in Alabama, and indicated they expect him to pay the amount awarded by the jury. This was the first notable win for ALO in front of an Anchorage jury. The only previous jury trial was a victory, but a very small amount of damages was awarded.
ALO had two major trials scheduled that same week, the other set for Kotzebue. That case settled very late, which allowed ALO to avoid a serious bit of last minute of calendar juggling. The Kotzebue case involved a teen age driver who ran over a young girl biking along the side of a city street. Once again an insurance company wasted a ton money defending a case with high risk. The young girl had a badly fractured pelvis, and most rural Alaska drivers know they have to see and avoid kids playing in or near the roads. ALO jury research in Kotzebue revealed that many folks in that community observed that rule. This case is not over, as an additional claim is being made against the under insured motorist coverage maintained by the injured girl's family.
A small traffic accident case was settled in Nome, where ALO represented a passenger in a cab. These three cases cleared the calendar for ALO and most of the remaining cases are in their early stages, with the next civil trial scheduled for August and then a several month break after that. Many criminal cases are pending however, to fill the calendar.
Speaking of criminal cases, this video of an arrest in Kodiak sure got some attention. This event is unusual only because it was taped. Many similar events have been reported by ALO clients, and some have resulted in law suits. Cops should be better than that.
A trip to Europe occupied the free time in April. A boat trip down the Danube River allowed visits to several countries. The first stop was Prague, not on the river, and from there the stops included Germany, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. Many pictures from that trip were posted on Facebook, but for those readers not on Facebook, here is a shot of four fellows who apparently spent the night on a Vienna park bench.
There was no mandatory moose last month, and many folks commented on that fact. Thus, we have two photos. There is also a reserve supply for next month.
Bethel's poet laureate Don Rearden published a poem a day in April, and they are worth checking. Of course he doesn't live in Bethel anymore, but is still claimed here, and he proudly proclaims his roots. His poet laureate title was awarded by ALO, by the way.
Two other Bethel products made the news in April. Randy Hanson is a Minnesota Gopher wrestler, and was honored for academics while his sister Natalie set some impressive records. Both have played on the OFDF softball team. Natalie's video serves as a reminder that times have certainly changed.
Remember when women who lifted weights were mostly from the Soviet Union, and needed to have a sex test before competing?
and the third concerns the Susitna Dam. The other Alaska dam proposal, near the Angstman cabin, stalled in the legislature but will likely be revived in the next session. A key legislator advised ALO that strong opposition next time might kill the proposal because many in Juneau believe the dam is not economically feasible.
Finally, two pictures which demonstrate how to get by with what's available. The first is an aerial shot of a town in Switzerland
and the next is a "rebuilt" snow machine in an Alaska village..