New York structured settlement expert Jennifer D'Andrea-Terreri discusses settlement planning

New York structured settlement expert Jennifer D'Andrea-Terreri joined Speaking of Settlements to discuss her structured settlement planning practice, based in Western NY, but covering the entire NY State area, including NYC and the surrounding area. This conversation, part one of a three part series on settlement planning, structured settlements, special needs and planning for clients looks at her special emphasis on working with addiction litigation, military families, special needs planning and other matters of interest to trial lawyers.

New York structured settlement expert Jennifer D'Andrea

This series looks at not only her professional work as a settlement planner, but also her expanded role as a certified mediator. Her holistic view of the process of dispute resolution, settlement planning and caring for the needs of injury victims is an excellent illustration of how the professionals, in what was once a profession that was focused exclusively on structured settlements, has expanded to provide comprehensive planning services for trial lawyers and injury victims. The Settlement Channel will be doing a series of profiles, interviews and news segments this fall looking at the changing nature of the structured settlement profession as the next generation of professionals begin to expand the scope of services and the profession responds to the changing needs of trial lawyers and injury victims. 

Jennifer's, who is the newest member of the Structured Settlement Expert Directory,  is located in Lockport, NY and you can learn more about her by going to her profile on the structured settlement expert directory and looking under the NY listing. 

Chimp Attack Lawsuit

The brother of a woman mauled by a 200-pound chimpanzee in Connecticut last week has been appointed her conservator, and is taking legal steps to prepare a possible lawsuit on her behalf. Stamford Probate Judge Gerald M. Fox Jr. appointed Michael Nash as temporary conservator to his 55-year-old twin sister, Charla, on Tuesday. Charla Nash was critically injured in a Feb. 16 attack by a chimpanzee owned by her friend, 70-year-old Sandra Herold of Stamford. Neither Nash nor the family's attorney, Matthew Newman, would comment on who they might sue. "We're pursuing all potential legal avenues," Newman said.

Herold, who owned the 14-year-old chimp for nearly all his life, fed Travis the finest foods, including steak, lobster, cheesecake and wine. She said Travis combed her hair and slept with her. When he was younger, the chimp starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola, made an appearance on the "Maury Povich Show" and took part in a television pilot.


Herold asked Charla Nash to come over the day of the attack to help lure Travis back into her house. Herold has theorized that the chimp attacked to protect her because he didn't recognize Nash, who had changed her hairstyle, was driving a different car and was holding a stuffed toy in front of her face to get Travis' attention.

Herold stabbed Travis with a butcher knife and struck him with a shovel in unsuccessful attempts to get him off Nash. Police, who shot and killed the chimp, said Nash's face appeared to have been ripped off in the 12-minute attack.

Four teams of surgeons operated on Nash for more than seven hours to stabilize her before she was transferred three days later to the Cleveland Clinic. The family is gathering photos of Nash to send to the clinic for possible reconstructive surgery, said Capt. Richard Conklin.

Herold has made conflicting statements about whether she gave Travis the anti-anxiety drug Xanax before the attack. She has also said he suffered from Lyme disease. A test for rabies was negative, and results from a necropsy are pending.

Authorities have not said whether Herold will face criminal charges. Connecticut law allowed her to own the chimp as a pet. On Tuesday, the House passed a bill, 323-95, to ban the transport of monkeys and apes across state lines for the purpose of selling them as pets. The measure now goes to the Senate for a vote.

Scott Drake talks with Animal legal Defense Fund Founder Joyce Tischler

Tough Time for Girls in the Juvenile System, Featuring Judge Eugene Hyman

There is a big hole in the system with respect to juveniles, as once they enter, they don't necessarily exit, says retired Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara, California, Eugene Hyman.  He adds that there is an infinite amount of money when it comes to building facilities but not rehabilitation.

Hyman believes that young men and women have different needs when it comes to rehabilitation and the system as a whole, whether it's adult or juvenile, is oriented more towards males in terms of rehabilitation.  Young women have different experiences with respect to trauma, he notes, such as more sexual assaults and more exposure to violence and "the intervention needs to reflect those problems."

It is important to deal with the genders differently but Hyman says services that are provided need to be constitutionally equal, meaning it would be inappropriate to have more services for women than men because that would be discriminatory.  That being said, it doesn't mean it can't be gender-specific with regards to the intervention, notes Hyman.

Early intervention is key, says Hyman, and a lot of states, like California, are getting away from incarceration with respect to truancy.  The problem, he adds, is more in terms of dealing with the families and holding the parents accountable and that there needs to be more counseling services to get to the root of the problem.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Florida Case Questions Use of Dog Searches Without a Warrant, Featuring Judge Eugene Hyman

A Florida Supreme Court says a police officer may need a search warrant before having a dog search for odors.   Referring to a recent case, retired Superior Court Judge Eugene Hyman of Santa Clara, California, says there are two separate issues.  The first issue asks whether a warrant is necessary for a house and the other asks whether a warrant is necessary for a car, and further, there are questions about the qualifications of the dog.Source:

The general rule, says Hyman, with respect to qualification is that the police officer would have to testify to foundational qualifications; the officer’s qualifications in terms of using a specialized dog and training with respect to the dog.

In the case in Florida with regards to the house, it involved an anonymous informant saying someone was selling  or growing marijuana.  A police officer went up to the house with the dog and knocked on the door, went in and the dog alerted after some time.  The case was thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court and Judge Hyman says the court analogized the dog to a device similar to thermal imaging technology and said you need a warrant.  The dog, says Hyman, was being used as probable cause to get the search warrant and the argument is that it’s illegal to use the dog because the dog is like a special technology.

The U.S. Supreme Court says that thermal imaging requires a warrant and that thermal imaging can’t be a probable cause to get the warrant, as it’s an intrusion.  The defense, in the Florida case, is saying the same thing, however the state of Florida is saying no- that the dog used had a heightened sense of smell and that’s the dog’s ability and that is considered different.Source:

Hyman wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Florida’s decision by saying that using a dog requires a warrant and that going up to a house with a dog is the same thing as thermal imaging, which is used to detect grow lamps, which detect heat.

Cars are treated very differently constitutionally than houses because cars are very transient and the intrusion time is a lot less, says Hyman.  Generally speaking, he says, a warrant is not required to search a car.  He believes the evidence in the Florida case with regards to the car will be admissible and the house will continue to be excluded.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Computer Privacy in the Workplace, Featuring Attorney Wendi Lazar of Outten and Golden, LLP

In a private workplace, an employer has control over its communications, mobile devices, computer systems and phones.  This is not new case law, as it's been this way for quite a while, says Wendi Lazar, attorney in employment law at Outten and Golden, LLP in New York.  What's changed over the past few years, she says, is that we now have communication devices and mobile devices that are working all the time and so the lines are blurred.
Lazar says that what the courts have made very clear is that employers need to set very clear, concise policies that let the employee know what they can or can't do, such as accessing private emails throughout the day, shopping online, emails that are confidential or text messaging on a device that belongs to the company.  It is important for an employer to have set policies.Source:
It is very hard to tell an employee, for example, who is involved in a lawsuit that they cannot contact their lawyer or access medical records via email or get a prescription from a doctor, Lazar notes, as these conversations or emails may need to get done at work.  
The courts have given some freedom to employees to protect employee privacy in the context of attorney/client privilege and certain states say that if you talk to your lawyer on a company computer, it's not confidential, says Lazar.
In New Jersey, they have made it clear that an employer should not be looking at an employee's confidential communications with his or her lawyer.  In fact, emails are not discoverable in a court of law and the courts have gone as far as to sanction counsel for the employer for looking at emails, says Lazar.
The employer has the right to protect all of its confidential information and some states allow employers to make complete mirror images of their data on their server.  On the other hand, Lazar says, there are states that say an employer cannot without authorization access any personal email, as it is a violation of the Stored Communications Act.
Sending trade secrets or proprietary data from your current employer's computer or company email to a possible future employer or recruiter can result in trade secret violation and can be criminal and very serious.  Lazar cites the car industry and financial industry as having this situation arise.
Lazar says that it is best for an employer to have clear, written policies that describe in detail what an employee can and cannot do on a workplace computer and what an employee can and cannot use.  Also, employers need to understand that there are certain limited privacy rights that employees do have and they can't use employees' private passwords to get into their email accounts.  An employer cannot monitor without advising the employee that they're doing so, Lazar adds.
As for an employee, Lazar says "if you have private issues to deal with, do it on a private device and don't involve the company in your private life."
For more information about Wendi Lazar and Outten and Golden, LLP in New York, click here.  She is a contributor on the Employment Law Channel, hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network.