Tag: Bus Accident Lawyers

Volunteers Needed to Judge AAJ’s Mock Trial Competition (STAC)


I have the honor this year of being appointed Regional Chair, for the New York Region, of the American Association for Justice’s Annual Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC).  I am pleased to invite you to serve as a Volunteer Juror, judging the students’ performance at a mock trial.  Each trial will consist of teams from 2 law schools, requires scoring judges (jurors) and a presiding judge who will run the trial and rule on objections.  Only real judges and experienced trial lawyers can be presiding judges.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with AAJ’s Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC), it is a national mock trial competition held every spring in 14 regional locations. Every year, over 150 law schools participate in making up 224 teams with 896 law students, all of whom become AAJ Law Student Members to compete. Over 1,200 lawyers from across the country volunteer to serve as competition judges and 30 AAJ members dedicate their time, energy, and expertise to help host these regional events. The New York City regional event will take place on March 1–3, 2019. The mock trials will take place in the Kings County State Supreme Court located at 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (parking in the judge’s lot will be on a first come/first served basis).

There will be 3 sessions of preliminary rounds, one session of semi-final rounds and one session of the final round.  Each preliminary round will consist of 8 trials (16 teams). Each trial requires three scoring judges, a bailiff, and a presiding judge.  So each of the preliminary round sessions require 40 lawyers and judges.

The first session will 4:00 PM. Friday afternoon, March 1, 2019, from 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  On Saturday and Sunday, March 2nd and 3rd there will be 12:30 PM sessions, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 12:30PM to 4:00PM.  Each session starts with a short orientation meeting on the main floor (second floor) followed by a three hour trial in a courtroom upstairs.

Please pick the session or sessions that are most convenient for you.  You may click on this link STAC ONLINE SIGN UP  to sign up and pick your sign-up, or you can print the form, fill it out, and fax or email it back to me.

The competition rounds are:

ROUND 1: Friday, March 1st, 4:30 PM-8: 00 PM (8 trials, 40 volunteers needed)

ROUND 2: Saturday, March 2nd, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM (8 trials, 40 volunteers needed)

ROUND 3: Saturday, March 2nd, 12:30 PM-4:00 PM (8 trials, 40 volunteers needed)

SEMI-FINAL ROUND: Sunday, March 3rd, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM (2 trials, 10 volunteers required)

FINAL ROUND: Sunday, March 3rd, 12:30 PM-4: 00 PM (1 trial, 5 volunteers needed)

This is a wonderful event, all of the students devote substantial time training to be good trial lawyers and spending your time in this endeavor will be very satisfying.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (212) 406-1600 or via email at rgurfein@gurfeindouglas.com .

Please feel free to share this invitation and the sign up form with your colleagues and friends, we always need additional volunteers, even non-lawyers.

I hope to see you all at the competition.

All the best,


Vehicle Pedestrian Accidents Prevention

Vehicle and pedestrian car accident due to distraction by smartphone.

In the United States, nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths were recorded in each of the years 2016 and 2017 – representing record fatalities in the past 25 years – according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). 
While the pedestrian death toll increased by 27 percent from 2007 to 2016, fatalities from other traffic accidents have decreased by 14 percent. Safety measures inside cars are protecting drivers and passengers, yet pedestrians face the same risks.

The elderly, poor and uninsured are most vulnerable. Florida is home to eight of the ten of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. The five most dangerous states are California, Florida, Texas, New York and Arizona. In New York state, only eight percent of the total traffic crashes involve pedestrians. This type of accident, however, tends to result in serious injury or fatalities. Urban areas account for the majority of pedestrian crashes. New York City accounts for 72% of the collisions with 59% of the deaths involving a pedestrian.

Common Causes of Vehicle Pedestrian Accidents

Following speeding and failure to yield, another cause of increased knock-down accidents is drivers distracted by electronic devices – particularly their phones.

Pedestrians are also at fault for being oblivious to traffic conditions. Most fatalities seventy-five percent of occurred in the dark, and in 72 percent of the victim was walking in or crossing a road and wasn’t in an intersection. Also using marijuana and alcohol that impair their abilities. Up to 33 percent of pedestrian fatalities involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol content above the legal driving limit, according to the most recent GHSA report. Seven states that legalized marijuana noted a 16.4 collective percentage increase.

It’s also worth noting that lower gas prices and a stronger economy result in more people and cars on the roads. Thus, every two hours, a pedestrian dies in a traffic crash.

Higher Risks for the Elderly in Pedestrian Vehicle Accidents

Thirteen percent of the U.S. population is 65 years or older, and 21% of all pedestrian fatalities fall into that age range. As mobility challenges increase with age, the elderly encounter more risks as they navigate streets that were built to move cars, not to keep pedestrians safe. Due to urban sprawl, arterial roads have been constructed but are often the grounds for speeding.

Improved design can protect pedestrians. For example, raised medians where pedestrians can wait as traffic dissipates and overhead lights enhance the visibility of dark crossings. City planners have taken to placing trees and buildings closer to the streets. Drivers slow down when they are required to pay attention to more variables.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Be Seen Stay Safe: Make yourself visible to drivers
Wear light or bright colored clothing or use reflective material.
When walking at night carry a flashlight 
Cross the street in crosswalk!
If there are no crosswalks, cross in a well-lit area at night.
Keep a distance from buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

New York
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