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Keeping His Voice Alive

Toy Drive

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?" 

That’s an easy question to answer for Angela Davis and Glenda Jackson, two staff members of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, who attended parades commemorating Dr. King for the 10th time. And, it all had to do with educating the children.

“When I speak of Dr. King to my kids, I describe him as a great, fearless man who taught us to fight for what we believe in” explained legal assistant Davis who participated in the Long Beach festivities. “My 8-year-old daughter reads a lot of books about Dr. King and she understands how he has helped different cultures come together; it’s not just an African-American parade, it’s for everybody.”

File clerk Jackson braved the torrential rain in Los Angeles to participate in the parade. “I feel like a role model for the younger generation,” she said. “If the children see something positive coming out of it, it’s a good thing.” And what is that something positive? “Keeping his voice alive and learning to stand up for your rights instead of sitting around and letting everybody else do the talking for you.”

Toy Drive

Keeping Dr. King’s voice alive is exactly what the parade participants did, regardless of what Mother Nature had in store for them. “The rain was coming down so hard, you could hardly see in front of you,” Jackson explained. “But all those in the parade—the marching bands, drill teams, dancers—they were out there with smiles on their faces and participating as if it were a bright, sunny day.”

“This parade gives me such a feeling of pride to see how far we have come and to realize all that this man did so that we can have this togetherness,” said Davis. “Dr. King died so we can have all of this. He didn’t see it in his lifetime; I’m blessed to be seeing it in mine.”

Personal Injury Attorneys Share Knowledge and Experience as Exhibitors at California Applicants’ Attorneys Convention

Toy Drive

Attorney Roger Gordon in the firm’s booth at the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Convention.

Personal Injury Attorneys Roger Gordon, Howard Krepack and Eugenia Steele were on hand at the recent California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) Convention in Rancho Mirage, discussing third-party claims with their Workers’ Compensation counterparts.

The trio, partners in the law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, has 30 years of experience handling these types of cases—civil lawsuits brought against a party other than an employer who bears at least some fault for a person’s work-related injury.

“Having a booth at the CAAA convention was an ideal way to reacquaint some of the  attorneys present with the full spectrum of our services and introduce others to the wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience we bring to the cases we handle—third party or otherwise,” says Gordon. “It was also a learning experience for us as we discovered the breadth of resources available to help injured workers recover as fully and quickly as possible.”

Toy Drive

Soon-to-be Speaker of the California Assembly John Perez (D-Los Angeles) and Attorney Adam Dombchik, CAAA President.

The plight of injured workers was front and center at a fundraising event in which soon-to-be Speaker of the California Assembly John Perez (D-Los Angeles) was presented with an official iWAR (Injured Women After Reform) T-shirt. Perez was introduced by Adam Dombchik, a Workers’ Compensation partner at Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, and President of CAAA.

“The entire convention was anoverwhelming success for everyone in attendance,” says Dombchik. “In terms of our firm, our Workers’ Compensation attorneys gained a great deal of beneficial information, keeping us on the cutting edge of the changes in Workers’ Compensation Law, and our Personal Injury attorneys shared useful insights into how they can be of service to California workers.”

Meeting With Stewards at the UFCW Local 770 Conference

Toy Drive

Attorney Steve Scardino visits with Luisa Estes of UFCW Local 770.

Solidarity was the theme that ran through all of the speeches and presentations at the recent UFCW Local 770 Stewards Conference. The audience—600 members strong—listened intently as President Rick Icaza, Secretary-Treasurer Rod Diamond, Executive Vice President William Donough and others discussed the economy, health coverage, pensions and so much more, all the time focusing on the need to present a united front.

“You are the advance guard, protecting the families of those you represent,” Attorney General Jerry Brown said as he first addressed the crowd. “You need a powerful union to protect your rights. I understand why solidarity is important; if you join together in unity, you have power.”

Protecting the rights of union members injured on or off the job was precisely why attorneys Steve Scardino and Noah Green from Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein were at the event. 

“It’s vital that the stewards understand the full range of benefits to which injured workers in California are entitled so they can share that information with those in their stores,” said Scardino. “As advocates for a safe and healthy work environment, we feel fortunate for an opportunity such as this where we can speak with members of Local 770 and share our knowledge and our educational materials with them.”

This idea of joining forces for a common good was echoed by Brown as he touched upon his bid for the governorship. “It will be great if we can work together because there will be some tough times ahead. But, California will be an even greater place when we all pull together.”

Joining In on the Holiday Cheer

Toy Drive
Attorney Sherry Grant and SEIU staff member Alexa Lucchese stand among the hundreds of toys donated to the Toy Drive.

SEIU Local 721 turned into the North Pole, complete with Santa and his “elves,” as union members hosted their 29th annual toy drive for children in foster care throughout Los Angeles County. This year more than $25,000 worth of toys, electronics and other gifts were donated by public service workers and others.

“We are pleased to donate to such a worthwhile cause,” says Sherry Grant, a partner in the law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein. “It’s wonderful to see the children getting into the holiday spirit with all the games and presents and, of course, Santa. SEIU employees really care about these children, as evidenced by the delight they took in watching the kids enjoying themselves.”

The SEIU Toy Drive and Christmas party began in 1980 by Alexa Lucchese, an SEIU staff member, who grew up as a foster child in Los Angeles. “I’m proud to have been a foster child,” she told the children and their chaperones.

SEIU Local 721 represents more than 25,000 social services workers throughout Los Angeles County, many of whom interact with children every day.

Attorneys Discuss Workers' Compensation Benefits With Local 1442 Store Stewards

Workers’ Compensation Laws are not only confusing, they’re also constantly changing.  Because partner Richard Felton and associate Amy Leung from the law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein understand that the fluid nature of this area of law can be disconcerting to some, they detailed the specific Workers’ Compensation benefits available to those injured on the job during their presentation at the recent UFCW Local 1442 Store Steward Conference in Manhattan Beach.  

  Attorneys Discuss Worker's Comp Benefits

Attorneys Richard Felton and Amy Leung at UFCW Local 1442 Store Steward Conference

“We keep abreast of the changes and trends in Workers’ Compensation Laws because that’s the only way we can provide the very best representation for our clients,” says Felton. “The conference was a great forum because we were able to share our knowledge with a hundred or so people at one time, and answer questions that were on the minds of many.”

One of the latest changes Felton shared with the group was the recent signing of SB 186 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, which enables workers injured on the job to continue to pre-designate a physician in the event of a future work injury. “This is a huge win for California workers; if the governor had vetoed this bill, this right would have been eliminated as of December 31, 2009. When injured workers are cared for by a doctor who knows their medical history and with whom they have built a relationship, they are usually able to return to work more quickly.” 

Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP Address Issues Faced by Peace Officers

Attorneys from the law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein recently spent two days discussing Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Law with peace officers attending the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) convention in Reno, NV.

“It was an honor to meet and speak with so many dedicated officers who had important questions and concerns regarding their rights and benefits if injured on the job,” says partner Adam Dombchik.

  Law Firm Donates $10,000 toScott Bleifer Scholarship Fund

Attorneys (from left) Howard Krepack, Eugenia Steele and Adam Dombchik at the Peace Officers Research Association of California Convention in Reno, Nevada. 

“Peace officers have unique jobs that pose unique challenges to their health and safety, and it is imperative that they fully understand the range of benefits to which they’re entitled. For instance, because of the extraordinary nature of the issues they face, Labor Code sections have been developed to address these concerns specifically.”

Gordon Edelstein is committed to explaining the legal parameters involved when a person is injured on or off the job. “We are firm believers that knowledge is power, and provide training for members of groups or associations who want to gain a firmer grasp on the ever-changing legal landscape. Many of the peace officers at PORAC expressed interest in having us speak with their members; we look forward to these opportunities.”

If you would like training in Workers’ Compensation and/or Personal Injury Law, please contact info@geklaw.com or call 213-739-7000.

Law Firm Donates $10,000 to Scott Bleifer Scholarship Fund

Keeping Scott's memory alive: Attorney Howard Krepack (in white shirt) hands a $10,000 check to Velo Club La Grange President Duncan Lemmon. With them, from the left, are Velo Club Sponsorship Director Dan Weinberg, Dr. Selvyn Bleifer (Scott father), Karen Bleifer (sister), and attorney Eugenia Steele.

  Law Firm Donates $10,000 toScott Bleifer Scholarship Fund
Howard Krepack Obtains Significant Settlement in Cyclist’s Wrongful Death

LOS ANGELES – The law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP recently donated $10,000 to a college scholarship fund established in memory of Scott Bleifer, a cyclist who was struck and killed by a truck in September 2005. Personal Injury partner Howard Krepack, who is also an avid cyclist, successfully settled a complex wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of Bleifer's family against multiple defendants, including the California Dept. of Transportation.

Scott Bleifer was a longtime member of Velo Club La Grange. The Union Bank of California, where Bleifer worked as a Vice President, donated $25,000 to La Grange to establish an educational scholarship program in the cyclist's honor. La Grange, one of the largest and oldest clubs on the West Coast, plans to raise additional funds to provide an annual scholarship or internship to a college student studying public policy or urban planning. Visit the club's website at www.lagrange.org for more information.

Through his work with the Bleifer family, Krepack was inspired to join La Grange, where he is active in the club's Public Policy Committee. The committee's goal is to enhance the relationship and respect between motorists and bicyclists so that everyone can safely share the road.

Firm Sponsors a Grand Prix Race

Personal Injury attorney and avid bicyclist Howard Krepack was on hand at the Brentwood Grand Prix Bicycle Race as his firm—Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP—sponsored the Men's Category 3 Race.

"Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in representing those who have been seriously harmed in bicycle accidents. In addition, we are committed to advocating for the rights of bicyclists, from elite athletes like the men and women who competed in the Grand Prix to those who enjoy a leisurely bike ride."

  Firm Sponsors a Grand Prix Race
Attorney Howard Krepack stands with Category 3 winners, from left, Andrew Ramage (2nd place), David Santos (1st place) and Cory Williams (3rd place).

"There are so many incidents and accidents that happen simply because some people don't know how to share the road. By educating bicyclists and motorists alike, eventually bicycling will expand from the realm of sport and recreational enjoyment into a viable mode of transportation."

Meeting with Trade Contractors

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous, with one out of 10 construction workers injured every year. And so it was fitting that attorneys Mark Edelstein, Howard Krepack and Joanna Sacavitch from Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP recently met with trade industry representatives to discuss changes in workers' compensation law and claims as well as third-party cases. The presentation was part of a day-long seminar hosted by the law offices of Ellyn Moscowitz.

"It was great to see so many trades represented–ironworkers, plumbers, electricians, steelworkers..." says Edelstein. "We focused on the drastic cuts in workers' compensation benefits resulting from Senate Bill 899 that was signed into law five years ago and continues to affect workers negatively."

  Attorney Mark Edelstein addresses trade union representatives Attorney Mark Edelstein addresses trade union representatives Attorneys Joanna Sacavitch and Howard Krepack discuss Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation issues
Attorneys Joanna Sacavitch and Howard Krepack discuss Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation issues

"It was obvious by their questions that these workers are feeling the effects of the cuts in benefits, literally and figuratively. Our goal was to educate them on how to best protect themselves and how we can help them. It's not all bad news; with our more than 25 years of experience in this field, we are adept at obtaining the full range of benefits for injured workers."

As part of the session's educational process, Krepack discussed how the firm's Personal Injury attorneys join with the Worker's Compensation team in third-party cases. Such cases are civil lawsuits against someone–other than the employer–who is somewhat at fault in a work-related injury.

"Construction sites are ripe for third-party cases," says Krepack. "Everything from lax safety protocol to defective machinery can result in a serious or catastrophic injury."

Paying Tribute to Injured and Fallen Workers

Paying Tribute to Injured and Fallen Workers

Workers and their families gathered together with community groups, labor unions, policy makers and advocates recently at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center for the annual Workers' Memorial Day sponsored by the Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health.

The purpose? To pay tribute to workers who have been injured or killed on the job, and to share a wealth of information on a variety of topics, from environmental and occupational health to legislation and workers' compensation.

Attorneys Adam Dombchik and Amy Leung from Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP participated in the event. "Our firm is proud to play an active role in the community by educating workers about safety and injury prevention," says Dombchik.

A community dialogue took various forms, including featured speakers and family and worker testimonies commemorating fallen workers. There was also a funeral procession, which honored workers who died on the job, and highlighted sobering statistics about work-place injuries and fatalities. It served to solidify how vital it is to keep workers safe.

"The funeral was very sad," says Leung. "I left there feeling pretty down, but then I got to thinking about how important the event was in terms of advocating for workers' rights, and that maybe next year there will be fewer injuries and fatalities."

Walking for a Cause

Glenda Jackson, a workers' compensation legal file clerk for Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP since 1990, and her granddaughter, K'lema Burleson, were among the 30,000 people who took part in the 2009 AIDS Walk in Los Angeles recently.

Jackson is a veteran of the event, having walked in it for the past 14 straight years. "The first time I didn't fully understand why I was participating as the walk began," she explains. "I thought of it as a way to get exercise, but I began to figure it out while I was walking. I saw the backs of so many people with 'In Memory of...' signs. I woke up while I was walking.

  Walking for a Cause
K'lema Burleson and her grandmother, legal file clerk Glenda Jackson, participated in the recent AIDS Walk Los Angeles

"We have to keep giving and keep being involved. Donating is wonderful, but it's not enough. You need to show up and learn about this disease. Every time I walk, I learn more and more."

This year marks the 25th anniversary of AIDS Walk Los Angeles, which benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles and other local AIDS service organizations. Since its inception, the AIDS Walk Los Angeles has raised more than $63 million for local AIDS charities, and has become one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in the country. Jackson raised $350 from her colleagues at the firm for her latest fund-raising effort.

"This year so many more people participated and showed their support. A lot of people brought their children to introduce them to what's going on.

"My granddaughter asked if we could do the walk again next year. Now she understands that this is not a parade; it's serious. But, it's a happy thing; it's not a depressing walk. Everybody is so optimistic, and to know that you're part of it is awesome."

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