Friday, February 15, 2013

Karlos Finley Addresses Issues Facing HD 97

Recently Karlos Finley a partner at BF&W and a candidate for House District 97 sat down with Reggie Copeland, Jr. of the South Alabama Trial Lawyers Association for an interview about his ongoing campaign for the open seat in House District 97. 

RC: On your campaign facebook page and at various forums and events, you have asked people and business owners in House District 97 about their concerns and what issues they feel need to be addressed. What has your inquiry revealed as the most important issue or concern and what will you do to address and fix that problem?
KFF: The overwhelming issues facing the citizens of our district are jobs and education. These issues are so interrelated its impossible to talk about one without the other. In order for our city grow in a healthy way, we must address economic development. Jobs and education are the key to this issue. We are all hoping for a bright future with Airbus coming to Brookley Field. I would like to also see some of the tier one and tier two suppliers located in some of the abandoned buildings on the north side of Downtown. There is good ingress and egress to these locations and the businesses would create jobs in our district as well as throughout Mobile. Also, that would help to rid the area of abandoned dilapidated properties. Bishop State Community College and Brookley Field Aviation College are excellent institutions for training skilled trades persons to fill the positions created by the new industry.

RC: In addition to the above issue or problem, what other issues and concerns did the people and business owners in House District 97 bring to your attention and what do you think can be done regarding those other issues?
KFF: In that the HD 97 is such a diverse district, there are many important issues facing us. Environmental issues such as water quality in the north and south of the district are important issues. The Dog River Watershed and the Three Mile and One Mile Creeks have pollution problems that need to be addressed. I attended a meeting of the Dog River Clearwater Revival and learned that they are testing a litter trap in order to catch debris running off into the river. There is a need to educate the people in our community and make them aware that many of the ditches and creeks that run throughout the city drain into the Dog River. As for the Three Mile and One Mile Creeks, there are environmental concerns with erosion to the cap that covers the old Hickory Street landfill/dump. This is an issue that must have continued monitoring. There is also the Mobile Gas, “Tar pit” located at the corner of MLK Ave. and Broad St. The area is fenced off, but we need in depth investigations in the nature of what contaminations are present there. Homeowners insurance has been an issue that many constituents have voiced major concerns about. I would urge all homeowners to take note of the recently passed Clarity Law and discuss it with their State Representative. Progress has been made in the area of insurance reform, but there is still a lot of work to do to make sure coverage is affordable and beneficial. Public safety is a real concern in the district. There are issues within some areas of the district regarding prostitution, drug infestation, theft and home invasions just to name a few. In response to these issues, I would like to work with community leaders to engage law enforcement to have more officers patrolling on foot and bicycles. This will foster a greater interaction and stronger relationships between patrol officers and residents in the community. Finally, the blighted properties across the district are also a significant problem. This issue encompasses both businesses and residential. This is a matter I would like to work with municipal and county officials to remedy. We could explore raising the minimum standards of the condition a property must be kept in.
Because of my experience in so many different areas, I believe as a representative of House District 97 I can help address these issues.

RC: A recent national poll showed that only about 25% of eligible voters participate in Statewide or local elections on a regular basis. Is this an important issue to you and what can be done to encourage more people to participate in the election process?
KFF: This is a very important issue to me! People have died and been maimed in order for our citizens to have the right to vote. I think the biggest thing that can be done to help is for public servants to act in ways that will restore confidence in the leadership. People want to feel that they can make a difference. We also need to educate our youth on the sacrifices that have been made for this right. For this reason, I have been a member of the League of Women Voters for the last three years. This organization does a tremendous amount of work toward educating the public regarding the election process as well as who the candidates are. We work from a non-partisan perspective in order to reach as many people as possible and try to help engage them in the political process. Each year League members come together for a strategic planning meeting in order to frame how we will address issues for the coming year. Greater participation in organizations like this will be an integral part of increasing voter participation.

To learn more about Mr. Finley and his campaign for House District 97, please click here. To read Mr. Finley's bio and qualifications, please click here.  Your vote can make a difference, please Vote Finley for House District 97 on Tuesday, February 26th!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mark Wolfe of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe Joins Elite Attorney Organizations

Attorney Mark Wolfe of the Mobile, Alabama law firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe was recently invited to join two of the most prestigious legal forums in the United States. In December of 2012 he was invited to join the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Membership is limited to those attorneys who have resolved a case in excess of a million dollars and/or a case in excess of two million dollars. Of the estimated 1.2 million lawyers in the United States (estimated by the American Bar Association) only 4,000 lawyers are members of these exclusive organizations. Mark is only the 14th lawyer from Alabama to become a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

BP Oil Spill Claims: Important Update

Many Gulf Coast and Alabama and Mississippi businesses have not yet submited a claim under the recent BP Oil Spill class action settlement because owners and/or management have misconceptions about the conditions and requirements for making a claim. While some businesses have already had their potential claim analyzed and submitted many businesses have not. A local claims examiner reported that, "so far business loss claims are signifigantly lower than we expected." He also stated that he believes the reason for this is because many business owners in Alabama and Mississippi do not understand just how favorable the terms of the settlement are regarding qualifying. Below is the body of a recent Memorandum to our business clients on this subject.


MEMORANDUM
DATE: August 3, 2012
TO: BF&W Current and Former Business Clients
FROM: Mark Wolfe
RE: BP OIL SPILL CLAIMS

I hope this communication finds you and your business doing well. I wanted to take a moment to advise you of recent developments in the BP Oil Spill litigation and business loss claims related thereto. As you may recall, Knox Boteler in our office has been involved in the BP Oil Spill litigation since shortly after the disaster occurred in April 2010. You may have heard there has been a recent class action settlement which includes potential business revenue loss claims and includes any business located in Alabama and Mississippi. What you may not know is that the terms of the settlement are very favorable for business loss claims and, under the new settlement agreement, many of the burdens imposed on claimants via the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) have been removed.

Knox reports that many of his business clients have been reluctant or hesitant to pursue a claim under the new settlement agreement because they do not believe they can “prove” their revenue decline after the oil spill can be directly attributed to the disaster. This is a common misconception and could result in your business missing an opportunity to make a financial recovery from the approximately seven billion dollars allocated by BP for claim payments under the settlement.

Under the new settlement agreement if your business suffered a decline in revenue after the oil spill it may qualify for a financial recovery. Under the terms of the settlement, if a business meets the revenue stream testing requirement, commonly called the “down and up” test, then the calculated loss is automatically presumed to have been from the oil spill. Simply put if a business qualifies under the new testing requirements there is no longer a burden to prove the loss was directly caused by the oil spill. These testing requirements are very favorable for area businesses and the closer your business is located to the Gulf Coast or to a roadway deemed a “critical corridor” the more favorable the testing requirements are. However, under the terms of the agreement, any business located in Alabama and Mississippi may qualify for compensation if the testing protocol is met.

Knox also reports that he has been able to qualify several area businesses for claims that have been previously told by accountants and/or other attorneys they “do not qualify” or that may have only received a partial payment under the old GCCF claim process. I believe this is specifically because of his long standing involvement in this matter and his detailed knowledge of the 1000+ page settlement agreement. This knowledge has allowed him to provide solid legal advice for our business clients regarding their various legal options under the current settlement agreement.  

There are some critical time deadlines approaching in October. The passage of these deadlines will not prohibit a claim in the future (claims can be presented until April 2014) but will close your opportunity to opt-out of the settlement agreement. There is no charge for analysis of the potential claim and claims will be processed and presented on a reduced contingency fee of 20-25% of the funds recovered. [Larger claims may qualify for further fee reductions.]
__________________________________________________________________________________

For further questions on having your business revenue loss claim analyzed, please e-mail Knox Boteler knox@bfw-lawyers.com or call 251 433-7766 or 1 866 975-7766. Also, for more information on BP Oil Spill Settlement Claims visit the Oil Spill Resource Center on our web site.


DISCLAIMER: To the extent this informational post may be considered an attorney advertisement, the Alabama State Bar Regulations require the following disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the legal services performed by other lawyers. If you currently have an attorney assisting you on the subject matter of this advertisement then you are encouraged to continue using said attorney. However, if you are not satisfied with the service and advice of your current attorney, you are entitled to seek a second opinion from another attorney.

The Mississippi Supreme Court advises that a decision on legal services is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney. The listing of any area of practice by a Mississippi attorney does not indicate any certification of expertise therein. See Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d), Rule 7.4(a), Rule 7.6(a) (1997).




Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Car Accident Claims: Important Information

DANGEROUS DRIVING DAYS. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the period from June 30th - September 14th is traditionally the most dangerous driving time of the year. NHTSA also reports that August is the most dangerous driving month of the year. It reports that this period is more dangerous because of more drivers on the roadways including summer vacation travelers, more teenagers on the roads because of summer break and more college students traveling back to college at the end of summer. If you have younger drivers in your household, please take a moment to remind them about this dangerous driving time, encourage them to use seat belts at all times and remind them to never text and drive.


CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM INFORMATION. The BF&W award winning publication for auto-crash victims has again been updated. This free publication can be downloaded at no charge from our web site. This publication was last updated in 2010 and the recent edition has been expanded to include more information for auto-crash victims. Since it was originally written by Mark Wolfe in 1994, this publication has been updated numerous times and over 50,000 copies have been published and distributed to the public. We recognize not every auto-crash victim may need or want an attorney, but we believe every auto-crash victim should know their rights under the law and have a basic understanding of how the insurance claim process works. If you, or a friend or family member, have been involved in a motor vehicle collision we would encourage you to order a free copy of this publication or download it from our web site (CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD).

CAR ACCIDENT RESOURCE CENTER. For more information about car accident claims, please visit the car accident resource center on the Boteler, Finley & Wolfe web site. This resource center incudes information and articles on car accident property damage claims, car accident insurance claims and car accident injury claims. It also has over 100 links to car accident resources on the internet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BP Oil Spill Settlement - update!

June 19, 2012. Knox Boteler of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe will be participating in several upcoming public discussion groups concerning the recent BP Oil Spill class action settlement. Knox is helping a number of Alabama and Mississippi businesses analyze and present business economic loss claims. He is also assisting Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) owners with claims as well as several medical claims for clean-up workers who suffered chemical exposure injuries during the clean up. Knox reports that many businesses will qualify for compensation under the recent settlement without having to prove a loss was directly caused by the oil spill. "When the settlement was negotiated, it was recognized that many businesses in the Gulf Coast states suffered indirect losses because of the negative economic impact of the spill on this entire region. The settlement recognizes this and provides a simple revenue loss testing procedure." He added, "if a business meets this revenue loss test, then the loss is presumed to have been either directly or indirectly caused by the oil spill."  For more information on BP Oil Spill claims, click here: Consultations about a potential oil spill loss claim are done at no charge and claims are handled on a fair contingency fee, meaning no fees are owed unless compensation is recovered. Call Knox at 433-7766 with questions or e-mail him at: knox@bfw-lawyers.com

Thursday, May 24, 2012

BP Oil Spill Settlement: Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) Claims


The recently announced class action settlement in the BP Oil Spill litigation includes claims for owners of vessels registered with the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program. The VOO program was initiated by BP after the oil spill and was intended to allow local vessel owners an opportunity to participate in the oil spill clean up operations. The registered vessels were required to be on "stand-by" and the owners had to complete extensive training in advance of receiving a VOO contract. However, many vessels that were registered with the program were either never called into service or used sparingly. Also, some vessels suffered damages in the clean-up operation. In the lawsuit VOO owners claimed that their contract with BP called for payment whether the vessel was put into operation or not and required payment for a specified "usage" period. They also claimed that BP had agreed to compensate vessel owners for any damges to the vessels incurred during the clean-up operations.

Under the proposed settlement, all vessel owners who executed VOO Master Vessel Charter Agreements and completed the initial VOO training program are entitled to compensation under the terms of the BP Settlement Agreement. The fact a vessel owner has previously executed a release of liability against BP or other responsible parties for other claims does not matter. Compensation is determined based on whether the vessel was placed “on-hire” and participated in the program or "on-standby". All VOO vessel owners will get a specified standard charter rate for a set number of days.

If you are a vessel owner and you signed up for the VOO program, you may have a claim for damages under the new class action settlement. For more information, call Knox Boteler at Boteler, Finley & Wolfe, 251 433-7766 or toll free at 1 866 975-7766 or e-mail Knox at knox@bfw-lawyers.com

[Notice of copyright: This summary is the work product of the law firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe and can not be copied or reproduced for monetary gain or benefit. It is protected from unauthorized reproduction via DigiCrypt.]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

BP Oil Spill Claim Information


The Boteler, Finley & Wolfe web site has been updated to include important information and resources for business owners in Mobile and Baldwin County and Alabama coastal property owners regarding BP oil spill claims. On May 2nd  the proposed class action settlement pending in the Federal District Court in New Orleans was approved. This class settlement will include an estimated pay-out by BP of $7.8 billion dollars to parties impacted by the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Every business located south of Interstate-10 in Baldwin and Mobile counties is in zone A, B or C of the economic loss geographic area. (Some businesses north of I-10 and east of I-65 are in Zone C) Businesses in those three zones will receive a favorable testing procedure to determine if a claim can be made under the settlement agreement. If the revenue loss testing protocol is met, then there is a presumption that any revenue decline after the oil spill was caused by the disaster.

Knox Boteler of BF&W has been actively involved in the litigation of claims since shortly after the BP oil spill and is now working with area business owners to determine if their business meets the favorable testing protocol under the settlement and evaluating the loss claim value. Knox has developed an integrated spread sheet program to help in the evaluation process. He can work with a business' own accountant or accounting firm to help finalize the necessary financial documents and reports needed for claim submission or we have access to accountants familiar with this process who can help. 

Business loss claims under the class action settlement are being handled on a contingency fee of 15% with a fee reduction available depending on the amount of the claim. A portion of accounting fees related to claim preparation and presentation are recoverable. For more information about the evaluation process for a business revenue loss claim, please contact Knox at knox@bfw-lawyers .