Tag Archives: Manchester car accident case

Resolving your New Hampshire personal injury case

There are a number of different ways to resolve your New Hampshire personal injury case. They include:

    1.  Settlement negotiated between your attorney and the insurance adjuster
    2.  Trial
    3.  Mediation
    4.  Arbitration
    5.  Summary jury trial

New Hampshire personal injury

Settlement Negotiated Between the Attorneys

In many cases, after discovery is complete, and the insurance adjuster and attorneys from both sides have had an opportunity to review all the evidence, the attorneys can come to an agreement about the value of the case, who is at fault, and what is a reasonable settlement offer. If that occurs in your case, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman will contact you to convey the settlement offer. As the injured party, you are able to make a determination about whether or not you will settle for the amount offered. Your attorney’s job is to assist you in making an informed decision.  This means they will tell you if they believe you could receive more money at trial, or if your expectations about a certain settlement is unreasonable for your injury. If you agree to settle, the lawyers will notify the court and take care of the necessary paperwork for you.

Trial

Trials are available for cases that cannot be resolved by negotiation, or by using one of the many forms of alternative dispute resolution available to the parties. At a trial, the parties both make opening statements, witnesses are examined by both sides, evidence is admitted, and the lawyers make closing arguments. Then the case is given to a judge or jury, who will decide the case. Trials can be stressful for lay people. Trials also run the risk of a lack of finality. This is because, in addition to the uncertainty that comes with letting others determine your fate, if the insurance company doesn’t want to pay the amount awarded or otherwise believe that some injustice occurred during trial, they can appeal the verdict in certain circumstances. This makes an already long wait for resolution even longer.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
In New Hampshire, all civil cases must go to some form of alternative dispute resolution. Typically parties either go to a non-binding mediation or a binding arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings are confidential. Things that are said to attempt to resolve the matter at these hearings cannot be used against the other party if the case does not settle and ultimately goes to trial.

The Effects of an Agreement

If you participate in an alternative dispute resolution to resolve your personal injury case, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney, along with the lawyer for the other side, will execute a written agreement for the court, documenting the terms of the agreement. It has the same strength and is enforceable just as any other written contract would be.

Mediation

Mediation involves a mediator, who is a neutral third party such as an attorney or retired judge. The job of the mediator is to remain impartial during the proceedings. Mediators attempt to facilitate a discussion between the parties. The goals of mediation include promoting an understanding between the parties, reconciliation, and settlement. However, the mediator is not permitted to substitute his or her judgment for the parties’ own. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings are confidential. Things that are said to attempt to resolve the matter at these hearings cannot be used against the other party if the case does not settle and ultimately goes to trial.

If you participate in an alternative dispute resolution to resolve your personal injury case, your attorney, along with the lawyer for the other side, will execute a written agreement for the court, documenting the terms of the agreement. It has the same strength and is enforceable just as any other written contract would be.

Arbitration

There are two kinds of arbitration: binding arbitration and non-binding arbitration. Regardless of whether the arbitration in binding, both parties will present their position to impartial third parties called arbitrator(s). The arbitrator or arbitrators will issue a specific award. If the parties have agreed to a binding arbitration, the arbitration decision is final and will be enforceable like any other contract. If the decision is not binding, the idea is that the decision will provide a basis upon which the parties can negotiate further.

Summary Jury Trial

A summary jury trial is designed for early case evaluation and provides a way to develop realistic settlement negotiation. In a summary jury trial, attorneys for both sides present their position to a panel of six jurors. The parties can agree to more or less jurors if they are so inclined, but typically six jurors are used. After hearing the positions of the parties, the jurors make decisions about what damages might be reasonable, and who is at fault. This is also an advisory opinion, and as such, is not binding on the parties.

Injured? Contact the New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, it is essential that you have competent NH injury lawyers representing you from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 239-2459 today for a free initial consultation, send us an email to info@MZLawNH.com, or reach out to us using the “contact us” or the chat feature on our website.

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced • Knowledgeable • Committed to Justice

Stephanie, family member of a New Hampshire personal injury client

The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman were absolutely phenomenal when it came to helping our family. My husband got into a horrible car accident and they made everything so easy and the amount of kindness and professionalism shown was comforting. Anna and Brenda were such a good team and my family was truly lucky to have them all on our side. We were satisfied with the outcome and are eternally grateful. Thank you!!

James, a NH Personal Injury Client

NH Personal Injury AttorneysWe highly recommend the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman. Our case took about 18 months to resolve and throughout that time Maureen and Brenda were always professional, thoughtful and accessible. They answered every question, explained the process along the way and were attentive to our concerns. Maureen’s extensive experience and knowledge are impressive and my wife and I feel fortunate to have had her on OUR side of our case!

New Hampshire Personal Injury Law and Proportioning Fault

New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyers: “What is Negligence?”

Negligence is defined as “the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another” and is the crux of a New Hampshire personal injury case.  In order to receive compensation for personal injuries suffered in a motor vehicle collision, an injured person (known as the “plaintiff”) has the burden of proving negligence on the part the person being sued (known as the “defendant”) – usually, the other driver.

In order to prove negligence in a New Hampshire personal injury case, an injured plaintiff must show that the defendant driver owed him or her a duty; that this duty was breached; and that breach of this duty factually and legally resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages (including both economic and non-economic damages).

Duty and Breach

In New Hampshire personal injury cases, a defendant’s duty is measured by the standard of a reasonable person.  In the case of personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, the injured plaintiff must show that the defendant driver owed a duty to the injured plaintiff (and all other drivers on the roadway) to act as a reasonably prudent driver under the same or similar circumstances. “Same or similar circumstances” means that a defendant driver’s duty is “fluid,” depending upon environmental circumstances like traffic volume, weather, and other external forces.

For example, a defendant may have a duty to drive slower when road conditions are bad or if driving through an area where there are a lot of pedestrians or children present. These factors are taken into consideration when determining whether or not a defendant driver breached the duty of care owed to the injured plaintiff and other drivers on the roadway.  The injured plaintiff must ordinarily be able to prove this breach to prevail in a personal injury case and receive monetary compensation.

Defendant’s Admission of Fault vs. Taking Responsibility

In some cases where the defendant driver’s insurance company is not contesting fault (i.e. where the insurance company concedes that its driver caused the accident), it may “admit” to satisfying the duty and breach elements of negligence.  In many cases, a plaintiff’s lawyer will insist that the defense lawyer stipulate to this admission in writing – especially if the case has a good chance of proceeding to trial. Although a defendant may “admit” fault for collision, this is not the same at taking responsibility.

In fact, when this is done and the case proceeds to trial anyway it is because the defendant (or his/her insurance company) is still failing to accept financial responsibility for all the harms and losses which were caused by the defendant’s conduct. The admission of fault is often done simply because the defendant wants to avoid the jury hearing about what he or she did wrong, with the hope that this might result in a smaller verdict.

Causation and Damages

In a New Hampshire personal injury case, an injured plaintiff must ordinarily show that the defendant driver’s breach of duty was both the factual cause and legal (foreseeable) cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.  In addition to causation, the plaintiff must have suffered damages – usually in the form of personal injuries.  These damages are classified into two main types:  economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are those damages that can be measured numerically – such as medical bills, physical therapy bills, and compensation for missed time from work (also known as lost wages).  The injured plaintiff must demonstrate that the treatment, bills, and lost wages are the proximate result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering; aggravation and inconvenience, psychological and psychiatric harm, loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship or consortium (i.e. spousal support).  The value of these losses can be difficult to determine, but are often far greater than the non-economic damages as this is the category of damages within which the jury is compensating a plaintiff for the change in the plaintiff’s ability (whether for a period of time or permanently) to live and enjoy life in the same what that he or she once did. Again, the injured plaintiff must demonstrate that these damages were proximately caused by the accident.

Plaintiff’s Contributory and Comparative Negligence in New Hampshire

New Hampshire personal injury law penalizes plaintiffs when the evidence shows that they somehow caused or contributed to the accident in which they sustained their injuries.  Examples of contributing to an accident might include exceeding the speed limit, violating a traffic law, or engaging in some type of distracted driving, IF this conduct contributed to the accident.

New Hampshire, like most states in the country, uses a modified comparative negligence scheme – otherwise known as the “51% Rule.”  Under this rule, an injured plaintiff’s contributory negligence does not completely bar his or her recovery, so long as the plaintiff’s negligence was not greater than the defendant’s.  Under New Hampshire personal injury law, a judge will reduce an injured plaintiff’s damages (the total amount of the damages as determined by a jury) in proportion to his or her amount of negligence. For example, if a defendant driver was 75% at fault for the accident, and the injured plaintiff contributed 25% to the accident, then the injured plaintiff is only entitled to recover 75% of the damages found by the jury.

Contact the New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury and workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2427, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “request a free consultation” feature on our website.

NH Car Crash Attorneys Share Winter Driving Tips

NH Car Crash Attorneys Share Winter Driving Tips

Reduce Speed

* When it snows, the NH car crash attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law urge you to use your head – not your feet. Slow down for wet, snowy, or icy conditions; when visibility is poor; or when conditions are changing or unpredictable. Stay alert!

* Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These are all candidates for developing black ice – a thin coating of clear ice can form on pavement surfaces that may be nh car crash attorneys, nh injury lawyers, nh car crash lawyers, nh accident lawyerdifficult to see.

* Drivers should allow additional room between their vehicles and others. Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances.

* Don’t take chances when pulling out in front of approaching vehicles. Remember, they may not be able to slow down, and you may not be able to accelerate as quickly as on dry pavement.

* Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions. You need to be in control of when your vehicle accelerates based on road conditions – don’t let cruise control make a bad decision for you.

Driving Maneuvers

* Stopping on snow and ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, NH car crash attorneys urge you to give yourself plenty of room to stop.

* On snow and ice, go slowly, no matter what type of vehicle you drive. Even if you drive an SUV with four-wheel drive, you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction. Four-wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won’t help you stop sooner.

* When you’re driving on snow, accelerate gradually. Avoid abrupt steering maneuvers.

* When you’re driving on snow, ice or wet roads, merge slowly, since sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.

* It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in adverse weather conditions, so use your brakes carefully. Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes.

* Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.

* Avoid distracted driving – texting, eating, handheld devices, etc.

* Winter conditions call for different driving tactics. “When there’s ice and snow, take it slow” is sound advice from the NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC.

Safe Travel Around Snowplows

* Don’t crowd the plow. Snowplows plow far and wide – sometimes very wide. The front plow extends several feet in front of the truck and may cross the center line and shoulders during plowing operations.

* Don’t tailgate or stop too close behind snowplows. Snowplows are usually spreading deicing materials from the back of the truck may need to stop or take evasive action to avoid stranded vehicles. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it or use caution when passing. The road behind a snowplow will be safer to drive on.

* On multiple lane roads, watch for snowplows operating in either lane.

* Snowplows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Drive smart. Never drive into a snow cloud – it could conceal a snowplow.

* Snowplows travel much slower than posted speeds while removing snow and ice from the roads. When you spot a plow, allow plenty of time to slow down.

* A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them but they may not see you.

* Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room.

Trip Preparedness

* Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions. Safe drivers know the weather, and they know their limits. If the weather is bad, remember, ice and snow, take it slow, or just don’t go.

* Before venturing out onto snowy roadways, make sure you’ve cleared the snow off all of your vehicle’s windows and lights, including brake lights and turn signals. Make sure you can see and be seen. Always buckle up, and remember, when driving in winter, ice and snow, take it slow.

* Give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation, just to be on time.

* Winter conditions can be taxing on your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s tires, brakes, fluids, wiper blades, lights, belts, and hoses to make sure they‘re in good condition before the start of the winter season. A breakdown is bad on a good day, and can be dangerous on a bad-weather day.

* Wear your seat belt! Nearly three-quarters (71%) of all traffic fatalities in New Hampshire over the past 10 years have involved non-seat belt use.

Contact Experienced NH Car Crash Attorneys

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC. There are no up-front costs for our services.  All personal injury and workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 624-7200.

Source: https://www.nh.gov/dot/

 

 

How to Determine Liability in a Manchester Car Accident Case

Whether you win your Manchester car accident case depends on who is at fault or whether there was a condition or defect in the automobile that caused your injuries.  The majority of car accidents are caused by one or more of the following.

  • The negligence of a driver of a vehicle
  • Unsafe or poor road conditions
  • A problem or defect in the automobile

This is a summary of the ways in which another party besides you incurs liability in a Manchester car accident case.  Examples are provided.

Driver Negligence

The most common cause of car crashes is driver negligence.  These are some examples of situations where a driver may or may not be found liable for injuries sustained by the plaintiff (you) in a car crash.

  • Driver is impaired. This refers to situations when a driver is not capable or competent to operate a motor vehicle and does so anyway.  Some examples are driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a prescription drug or falling asleep at the wheel.  If a driver was under the influence or otherwise could not function while driving, and that condition led to the car accident which caused the plaintiff’s injuries, there is a very strong likelihood that the impaired driver will be liable for your injuries.  In the case of driving while under the influence, civil liability would be in addition to any criminal fines and penalties.
  • Driver fails to abide by the rules of the road. This refers to situations where a driver fails to observe traffic signals, speed laws, road conditions, pedestrian traffic, and other Rules of the Road.  Examples would be running a red light, failing to turn on headlights at night, driving too fast in a residential area, and swerving in and out of traffic.  In these instances, liability is likely going to be clear. If the driver’s failure to abide by the rules of the road caused the accident that led to your injuries, then the driver will be liable.
  • Driver does not pay attention while driving. This refers to situations where a driver is inattentive to the road while driving.  There are a variety of distractions for a driver on any given day.  Examples include calling or texting, checking on children in the back seat, looking through a glove compartment, putting on make-up, changing the radio station, and reading while driving.  If the driver of a vehicle fails to keep their eyes on the road and that failure causes an auto accident which leads to the plaintiff’s injuries, then the driver will probably be liable.

Poor or Unsafe Road Conditions

Road conditions often play a part in a Manchester car accident case.  In these situations, the fault is not always with the driver of a vehicle.  Whether you have a claim depends on the circumstances of your case.  For example, if a construction site around a curve is unsigned and poorly lit, you probably have a case. These are some examples of road conditions which could lead to auto accidents.

  • Poorly marked signs
  • Construction sites
  • Potholes or other items on the road
  • Uneven paving in the lanes
  • Bad instructions from a flag man

If you are injured as a result of unsafe road conditions, you might not only have a claim against another driver, but also against a governmental agency or entity if they failed to keep the road safe for drivers.

Vehicle in Poor Condition or Defective

Defective or badly conditioned vehicles can be dangerous.  If you are injured as a result of a defective or poorly maintained vehicle, you may have several defendants to choose from.

  • The owner of the vehicle. If a vehicle owner improperly maintained their vehicle and that led to an accident, then the owner of the vehicle will be liable for your injuries.  For example, if an owner of a vehicle knew they had improperly functioning brakes, neglected to repair those brakes, and did not stop in time which caused an accident, the driver will be liable for any injuries that you incur.
  • A mechanic or auto body repair shop. If you have your car repaired and maintained regularly, and get into a crash as a result of a mechanic’s failure to properly repair or maintain a vehicle, that mechanic or repair person could be liable for damages incurred by you and the driver of the other vehicle.
  • Defective product. This refers to situations where the vehicle was defective when it was delivered from the factory.  Some examples are improperly deploying air bags, faulty brakes or steering systems, or improperly affixed tires.  If any such defects existed in either your car or the other driver’s car and contributed to a Manchester car accident case, you could have a claim against the company that produced either the vehicle or the part of the vehicle that did not function properly.  If these conditions existed in the other driver’s car, then you could have a claim against the other driver as well.

If you are injured as a result of your car not functioning properly, it is important that you have your vehicle inspected immediately afterwards to determine what caused the accident.  If you are injured as a result of the other driver’s vehicle not functioning properly, it is essential that you take steps to ensure that their vehicle is promptly inspected to determine what condition caused the accident.

Contact a Manchester Car Accident Case Injury Attorney

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact a Manchester car accident case attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 624-7200.

NH Car Accident Lawyer Explains What to Do If Your Case Does Not Settle

NH Car Accident Lawyer Explains What to Do If Your Case Does Not Settle

NH Car Accident LawyerIf the insurance company does not meet the settlement range you and your NH car accident lawyer have determined would be fair to compensate you for your losses, you may decide to proceed with litigation. However, there are different strategies your attorney may recommend based on the particular circumstances of your case.

Waiting to File

Your NH car accident lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC may recommend that you wait before quickly pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible party. He or she may make such a recommendation for a variety of reasons, such as if you are about to have surgery and it is unclear what the full extent of your damages are going to be.

File Now

However, if your NH car accident lawyer and the insurance company are estimating the value of your claim at numbers that are in stark contrast to each other, litigation may be the only way to pursue a claim for the value you believe is fair. The lawsuit names the responsible party who was liable for the accident and caused your damages.

Factors Regarding Litigation

There are several reasons why a person may pursue litigation in a motor vehicle accident claim. For example, the insurance company may believe you were responsible for the accident, or at least partially responsible for the accident. Alternatively, the insurance company may believe you are exaggerating your injuries or asking for more money than your claim is worth. An internal company policy may resist paying on claims worth a certain value.

Legal Assistance from an Experienced NH Car Accident Lawyer

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, It is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

nh car accident lawyers

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New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney Explains Claim Investigations

New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney Explains Claim Investigations

The injury claims process can be complex, and an experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC can help.

Insurance Adjuster

The insurance adjuster is usually the first point of contact between the individual involved in the crash and the insurance company. He or she may call to set up a time to discuss the details of the crash with the individual. We suggest that you consult an attorney before meeting the insurance adjuster and before giving a recorded statement. Once he or she reviews the circumstances involved in the crash, he or she makes a determination whether the insurance coverage is applicable and the amount of coverage is available for the claim.

Documentation

In order to substantiate a certain amount of damages, you may be asked to provide documents regarding your losses. For example, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney may request that you provide medical records, medical bills, photographs of any car damage, the police report, etc.

Investigation

A New Hampshire personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC can explain that there are times when an insurance company may conduct a formal investigation particularly if the crash involves multiple vehicles and potential liability between multiple parties. The claims adjuster will try to assess the distribution of fault based on the evidence.

Report of Fault

The claims adjuster may complete a formal report of fault. The amount of coverage that will apply and potential increases in premiums may be based on this report.

Disputes

Each party involved in the crash may have a different opinion regarding fault and liability. In fact, insurance companies have an incentive to minimize how much money they have to pay out on a claim. In addition to providing legal assistance to individuals who are asserting a claim against another driver with his or her own insurance policy, a New Hampshire personal injury attorney may help clients who have disputes with their own insurance companies due to not receiving proper coverage.

Contact an Experienced New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 624-7200, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

 

Free eBooklet: Critical Evaluation Factors for 17 Types of Injury Cases

NH Personal Injury Attorneys Offer Free Injury Case eBooklet

NH Personal Injury Attorneys

If you are like many personal injury victims, you may be unsure of the civil litigation process and whether it is the best fit for you and your family moving forward. The NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC understand the hesitation many people feel about filing a lawsuit – we are here to help answer your questions and explain the process from start to finish. At Manning & Zimmerman, you can expect uncompromising persistence and professionalism as our lawyers work hard to obtain the best results possible as we fight to protect your legal rights.

We are pleased to present this quick-reading and informative eBooklet, loaded with helpful insights into how attorneys and insurers evaluate a wide variety of injury cases.  Find your case type and learn about:

Vehicle accidents

— Rear-end collisions

— Intersection accidents

— Parked or disabled vehicles

— Auto vs. pedestrian

— Auto vs. bicyclist

— Truck accidents

Premises liability

— Slips and falls

— Stairway falls

— Falling objects

— Animal-attack cases

— Inadequate security

Government entities

— Claims against a public entity

— Police misconduct

Other cases

— Children and minors

— Food poisoning

— Intentional torts

— Nursing home abuse and neglect

Download the eBooklet Now

Contact Experienced NH Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too! The experienced NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC offer free initial consultations to NH injury victims. Call us at (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced, Knowledgeable & Personally Committed to Justice

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced. Knowledgeable. Committed to Justice.