Ehrlich Law Firm wins reversal of defense verdict against stroke victim

Ehrlich Law Firm wins reversal of defense verdict against stroke victim

Cars speeding at night on a busy streetPlaintiff Mohamad Harb, MD, suffered a stroke while driving home from the hospital and was involved in a single-car accident. The Bakersfield police officer who responded to the scene was convinced that Dr. Harb was drunk or on drugs, and refused to allow an ambulance to transport him to the hospital. As a result of the delay, Dr. Harb suffered catastrophic brain damage. At trial, the City proposed a confusing, redundant police-immunity instruction, and also convinced the trial court to instruct on comparative fault. This allowed the City to argue that Dr. Harb alone was responsible for his condition, since he failed to take his blood-pressure medicine. The jury returned a defense verdict. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeal reversed.

The Court agreed that it was prejudicial error to give the police-immunity instruction, and that it was also improper for the court to instruct on comparative fault based on Dr. Harb’s pre-treatment negligence. In a case of first impression, the Court held that in California, medical providers and first responders cannot ask the jury to weigh their negligence in providing substandard care against the circumstances that caused the need for care in the first instance. Harb v. City of Bakersfield (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 606, 183 Cal.Rptr.3d 59,

20th Century Ins. Co. v. Sup.Ct. (Ahles) (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 1247

Published Appellate Opinions

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 3

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich, Certified Appellate Specialist
California Civil Appeals Attorney

California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District Los Angeles20th Century Ins. Co. v. Sup.Ct. (Ahles) (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 1247.

Summary

After widespread abuses by the insurance industry were reported, the Legislature extended the statute of limitations for policyholders to file claims arising out the Northridge earthquake. The insurance industry attacked the statute, and Mr. Ehrlich handled the principal briefing and argument on its constitutionality in the appellate courts. After the statute was held constitutional on appeal, Mr. Ehrlich successfully defended that decision in the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, which both declined to hear the decision.

Download Decision (.pdf)


Legal Writing for the Plaintiffs’ Trial Bar

Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience. His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating – but unappealable – trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.


Brehm v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 1225, 83 Cal.Rptr.3d 410

Published Appellate Opinions

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich, Certified Appellate Specialist
California Civil Appeals Attorney

California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District Los AngelesBrehm v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 1225, 83 Cal.Rptr.3d 410.

Summary

(1) Trial court erred in dismissing insured’s claim on demurrer based on the genuine-dispute doctrine.  Application of the doctrine was a factual issue that could not be determined on the pleadings.  (2) The insurer’s contractual right to arbitrate uninsured-motorist (“UM”) claims did not relieve it from its obligation to make reasonable efforts to assess and settle the claim, and its failure to make those efforts would support a claim against it for bad faith.

Download Decision (.pdf)


Legal Writing for the Plaintiffs’ Trial Bar

Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience. His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating – but unappealable – trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.


Kotler v. PacifiCare of California (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 950

Published Appellate Opinions

California Court of Appeals

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich, Certified Appellate Specialist
California Civil Appeals Attorney

California Courts of Appeal SealKotler v. PacifiCare of California (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 950.

Summary

On a motion for summary judgment, it was concluded there was a question of fact whether a delay of six weeks in arranging for a specialist was reasonable, in Kotler the health care services plan denied two appeals by the patient that sought reimbursement for a specialist the patient saw on his own because of the delay. (Id. at pp. 956-957.)

This was the first case in California to hold that an HMO could be sued for bad-faith for making its subscribers wait an unreasonable amount of time for medical treatment.


Legal Writing for the Plaintiffs’ Trial Bar

Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience. His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating – but unappealable – trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.


Smith v. Pacificare Behavioral Health (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 139

Published Appellate Opinions

California Appellate Decisions

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich, Certified Appellate Specialist
California Civil Appeals Attorney

Smith v. Pacificare Behavioral Health (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 139.

California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District Los AngelesSummary

Held that health insurers and HMOs in California were required to comply with California statutes that regulated the use of arbitration clauses in health-insurance contracts. Mr. Ehrlich later convinced other appellate courts to adopt the reasoning of Smith, in Imbler v. PacifiCare of California (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 567, and Zolezzi v. PacifiCare of California (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 573.

Download Decision (.pdf)


Legal Writing for the Plaintiffs’ Trial Bar

Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience.  His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating – but unappealable – trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.


Jeffrey I. Ehrlich retained as co-counsel in $10 million wrongful-death/products liability appeal

Ninth Circuit Appeals

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich retained as co-counsel in $10 million wrongful-death/products liability appeal

Toyota LogoDecember 2014

After her Toyota Camry was struck in a traffic collision by Olga Bello, Noriko Nori’s foot became trapped behind the brake pedal and was pressing on the accelerator pedal, causing her car to accelerate to 100 mph.

Ms. Nori was unable to control the vehicle and was killed when her car crashed into a tree. The jury awarded her heirs $10 million, and the defendants have appealed.


Why hire The Ehrlich Law Firm to handle your appeal?

Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich is certified as appellate specialist by the State Bar of California’s Committee on Legal Specialization.  In California, only lawyers who receive this certification can call themselves “appellate specialists.” In order to be eligible for certification, a lawyer must have handled a minimum number of appellate matters, must devote at least half his or her practice to appellate work, and must pass a one-day examination. Mr. Ehrlich was among the first attorneys in California certified as an appellate specialist. As of January 2015, there were only 282 certified appellate specialists in California, out of more than 170,000 California lawyers.

Mr. Ehrlich has briefed and argued hundreds of appeals, in the following courts: The U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th and 11th Circuits; the California Supreme Court; the Virginia Supreme Court; the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the Louisiana Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeal. In California, Mr. Ehrlich has handled appeals in the appellate courts sitting in San Francisco (First District), Los Angeles (Second District), Sacramento (Third District) San Diego (Fourth District, Div. 1), Riverside (Fourth District, Div. 2), Santa Ana (Fourth District, Div. 3), Ventura (Second District, Div. 6),,, and Fresno (Fifth District) – in sum, every appellate court in the State except for the Sixth District, which sits in San Jose.

Both the California and the federal appellate system dispose of the vast bulk of their civil appeals in unpublished decisions. Fewer than 25% of all appeals decided are decided by published decisions that have precedential value. Mr. Ehrlich has over 55 published appellate decisions in the state and federal courts. Very few appellate lawyers in California have comparable experience with civil appeals.

Our Legal Services

Ehrlich Law Firm obtains depublication of flawed appellate opinion on “duty”

Los Angeles Civil Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Law Firm obtains depublication of flawed appellate opinion on “duty”

California Supreme Court SealOn February 22, 2012, the California Supreme Court denied review in Gonzales v. Southern California Gas Co., but it also ordered that the decision not be published in the Official Appellate Reports of the state.  Hence, the decision in Gonzales will not be citeable as authority in California courts.  The appellate opinion in Gonzales held that the property owners were categorically exempt from liability for the placement of fixed objects on their property, even if the object was a natural-gas distribution facility that would cause a conflagration if struck by a car.

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich filed a letter requesting depublication of the Gonzales decision on behalf of the Consumer Attorneys of California.  It was the only depublication letter filed.


Our Legal Services

Southern California appeals attorney, Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich, is an appellate specialist certified by the State Bar of California’s Committee on Legal Specialization. He is the principal of the Ehrlich Law Firm, in Encino, Los Angeles County, California.

Ehrlich Law Firm wins a published opinion allowing punitive-damage claim to proceed against Kaiser health plan

San Bernardino Certified Appellate Specialist

Ehrlich Law Firm wins a published opinion allowing punitive-damage claim to proceed against Kaiser health plan

California Courts of Appeal SealOn February 15, 2012, the California Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Superior Court (Rahm)(2012) __ Cal.App.4th __.  The opinion holds that a health-care service plan like Kaiser is not subject to the protection of section 425.13 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which prohibits punitive-damages claims against health-care providers without prior court permission.

The court held that section 425.13 did not apply to claims against health plans, which are not considered health-care providers under California law.   The court also held that the allegations of the plaintiff’s complaint were sufficient to allege a bad-faith claim against Kaiser in its role as a health plan, and was not merely an attempt to hold the health plan vicariously liable for the medical negligence of the doctors it employed.  In the Rahm case, Anna Rahm, then 17, was complaining to Kaiser doctors for months about unrelenting back pain.  Her family repeatedly requested that Kaiser perform an MRI to determine the cause of the pain, but the Kaiser physicians delayed.  As a result, they did not discovery that Anna was suffering from osteosarcoma, and she lost her leg, and part of her pelvis and spine.

Download California Court of Appeal Opinion in Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Superior Court (Rahm)(2012) Cal.App.4th  (.pdf)


Our Legal Services

Southern California appeals attorney, Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich, is an appellate specialist certified by the State Bar of California’s Committee on Legal Specialization. He is the principal of the Ehrlich Law Firm, in Los Angeles County, Encino, California.

Ehrlich Law Firm wins published opinion affirming denial of motion to disqualify trial counsel

Southern California Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Law Firm wins published opinion affirming denial of motion to disqualify trial counsel

California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District Los AngelesOn April 26, 2011, Division 8 of the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District certified for publication its opinion in Liberty National Enterprises, LP v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., no. B222455. In the underlying bad-faith action by Liberty against its title insurer, Chicago Title, Chicago moved to disqualify Liberty’s trial counsel after the second phase of a three-phase trial. Chicago Title argued that Liberty’s trial counsel had formerly represented other insureds to whom Chicago Title had issued coverage, and was improperly using his knowledge of Chicago Title’s claims practice to Chicago Title’s prejudice.

The trial court denied the motion to disqualify, finding that it was not brought timely. The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding that it was not timely, and that Chicago Title was unable to show any basis for disqualification.

Read the Decision: Liberty National Enterprises, LP v. Chicago Title Ins. (.pdf)


Our Legal Services

Southern California appeals attorney, Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich, is an appellate specialist certified by the State Bar of California’s Committee on Legal Specialization. He is the principal of the Ehrlich Law Firm, in Encino, Los Angeles County, California.

Reply to Defense Counsels’ Assessment of California Supreme Court Decision in Cabral v. Ralphs

California Writs and Appeals Lawyer

Reply to Defense Counsels’ Assessment of California Supreme Court Decision in Cabral v. Ralphs

Ralphs LogoMay 2011 – Counsel for Ralphs’ does not acknowledge that their position was that truck drivers and their employers should be immune from civil liability for the driver’s decision to illegally park a 40-ton obstacle on the freeway shoulder so he could eat a banana and have a cup of tea.  Under Ralphs’ theory, truck drivers could park their trucks alongside California freeways anywhere they pleased, for any reason, and as long as they were not blocking a traffic lane there would be no recourse if a passing motorist momentarily swerved onto the shoulder and struck the illegally-parked truck.

In the Daily Journal article Ralphs’ lawyer is quoted as saying that, “after this decision there is no safe place to park in California.”  At oral argument the Justices asked this same attorney whether it would be ok for a truck driver to park 3 inches from the travel lanes, and she said that would be fine. If Ralphs’ position had been adopted there would have been no safe place to drive in California, and the Supreme Court recognized this.

It is important to understand that the Cabral decision does not impose a new duty of care on truck drivers, or on anyone else.  Rather, it holds that the duty to exercise ordinary care not to create unnecessary risks that is already imposed on everyone in California by Civil Code section 1714, applies to a decision to park a truck alongside a freeway.  Ralphs was arguing that the decision to park next to a freeway should be exempt from any duty of care.

When Ralphs’ lawyer says that now, it’s not “safe” to park in California because if your vehicle is stuck a jury will decide whether you had a good enough reason to park, the answer is, that’s generally how the negligence system works.  Negligence cases balance the utility of the conduct with the risks it creates.  If there had been a valid emergency no one questions that the Ralphs’ truck could have pulled off the freeway.  But as the Supreme Court acknowledged, whenever 40-ton big-rigs are parked alongside freeways they pose a risk to passing motorists.  If there is a collision between a motorist and a parked truck, it makes sense that the jury would consider whether the truck was parked where it was for a valid reason, and not simply because the driver did not feel like paying to park in a rest area a mile away.

Time Line for Cabral Appeal

 

Ehrlich Law Firm obtains reversal of order dismissing bad-faith and broker-negligence lawsuit

California Writs and Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Law firm obtains reversal of order dismissing bad-faith and broker-negligence lawsuit

California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District Los AngelesIn Koch v. Markel Ins., No. B213610, the Second Appellate District, Division 7, reversed an order sustaining a demurrer to the plaintiff’s claims against his insurance broker and his business insurer for negligence, breach of contract, and bad faith.

Read the Decision (.pdf)


Why hire The Ehrlich Law Firm?

Mr. Ehrlich has briefed and argued hundreds of appeals, in the following courts: The U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th and 11th Circuits; the California Supreme Court; the Virginia Supreme Court; the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the Louisiana Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeal. In California, Mr. Ehrlich has handled appeals in the appellate courts sitting in San Francisco (First District), Los Angeles (Second District), Sacramento (Third District) San Diego (Fourth District, Div. 1), Riverside (Fourth District, Div. 2), Santa Ana (Fourth District, Div. 3), Ventura (Second District, Div. 6),,, and Fresno (Fifth District) – in sum, every appellate court in the State except for the Sixth District, which sits in San Jose.

Both the California and the federal appellate system dispose of the vast bulk of their civil appeals in unpublished decisions. Fewer than 25% of all appeals decided are decided by published decisions that have precedential value. Mr. Ehrlich has over 55 published appellate decisions in the state and federal courts. Very few appellate lawyers in California have comparable experience with civil appeals.

Our Legal Services

LA Checker Cab Cooperative, Inc. v. First Specialty Ins. Co. Depublication Request Granted

LA Checker Cab Cooperative, Inc. v. First Specialty Ins. Co. Depublication Request Granted

LA Checker Cab LogoOn August 11, 2010, Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich, principal of The Ehrlich Law Firm filed a depublication request  (L.A. Checker Cab Cooperative, Inc. v. First Specialty Ins. Co.) on behalf of the Consumer Attorneys Association of California.  (Two other depublication requests were also filed.)   On October 27, 2010, the California Supreme Court granted the request for depublication of the L.A. Checker Cab decision.

Depublication of Court of Appeal decisions by the Supreme Court of California used to be a common practice, but in recent years has become quite uncommon.  In the last few years roughly 12 cases per year have been ordered depublished.

The significance of the depublication of LA Checker Cab is this:  the decision effectively eliminated all insurance coverage in California for any claims of negligent supervision or negligent hiring, because the court held that such claims did not qualify as an “occurrence” that is necessary to trigger coverage.   Depublication of the decision means that the decision cannot be cited as precedent in California courts, and therefore California trial courts are not required to follow it.

Read Depublication Request: L.A. Checker Cab Cooperative, Inc. v. First Specialty Ins. Co.; 186 Cal. App. 4th 767, No. B213948 (Second District iv. One); Order published: July 13, 2010


Why you need an attorney with writ petition experience

The lawyer who petitions for a writ must therefore be able to show the Court that the issue presented is (a) interesting, and (b) important. For this reason, the odds of being able to successfully obtain writ review often depend on the skill of the lawyer presenting the writ petition. At the Ehrlich Law Firm, we have experience with drafting persuasive writ petitions, and have enjoyed success in obtaining writ review for our clients at far higher than the overall success rate for writ petitions.

For example, in Elvira v. Superior Court (2007) B200184, we successfully obtained a writ challenging the trial court’s sustaining of a demurrer to plaintiff’s complaint.  In DeBruyn v. Superior Court (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1213, we convinced the Appellate Court to consider the issue of whether an insurance policy that purported to bar all mold-related claims, regardless of how caused, was consistent with California law.  And in Medeiros v. Superior Court (2007) 146 Cal.App.4th 1008, we obtained a writ for a client who had been enrolled in her employer’s health plan electronically, without being given the disclosure concerning the plan’s use of arbitration that were required on the application by state law.  In its published opinion, the court held that insurers could not circumvent this law by doing away with the application.

Contact our appellate law firm today to learn more about our legal writing services for attorneys.

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich obtains remand of bad-faith action removed from state court to federal court

California Writs and Appeals Attorney

Jeffrey I. Ehrlich obtains remand of bad-faith action removed from state court to federal court

US District Court Central District of California SealOn September 9, 2010, U.S. District Judge Steven V. Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted a motion to remand filed by Jeffrey I. Ehrlich for Shernoff, Bidart & Echeverria, LLP.  The insurer, Northwestern Mutual, had removed the case to federal court arguing that the insurance agent named in the lawsuit as a co-defendant was a “sham defendant” whose citizenship could be ignored.

Ehrlich filed a motion arguing that California law allowed actions against insurance agents in situations like those presented in the lawsuit, and therefore Northwestern Mutual’s removal was improper.  The court agreed, and remanded the case to state court.

Order Granting Remand (.pdf)


Los Angeles Writs and Appeals Attorney

Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience.  His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating — but unappealable — trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.

Our legal services for attorneys include:

People need lawyers because the law is complex. Busy plaintiffs’ lawyers need our help for this same reason. We can help you sort out the legal obstacles you must overcome in order to win your case, and prepare a powerful opposition to the following motions:

  • Motions under Daubert and Kuhmo Tires to exclude expert testimony;
  • Motions in limine;
  • Post-trial motions, such as motions for new trial, or JNOV;
  • Motions to compel arbitration; and
  • Where an insurer has refused to defend its policyholder in litigation brought by a third party;
  • Motions to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction

We can also prepare affirmative motions that can increase your chances to prevail, such as motions for summary-adjudication of issues; motions in limine, or motions to remand cases removed from state court to federal court.

Learn more about how we can help you in Why retain an appellate lawyer?

Ehrlich Law Firm wins reversal of summary judgment in sexual-harassment suit against LAPD

California Writs and Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Law Firm wins reversal of summary judgment in sexual-harassment suit against LAPD, where trial lawyer failed to submit proper opposition declarations

Mistakes Trial Lawyers MakeLAPD Lieutenant Corina Smith claimed that the LAPD had submitted her to a hostile work environment and retaliated against her. The City moved for summary judgment. Smith’s trial counsel submitted a lengthy opposition, but many of the opposition declarations failed to contain a proper jurat under Code Civ. Proc. section 2015.5 (because they failed to indicate that they were either signed in California, or under penalty of perjury under California law.)

The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the City had failed to show that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Smith v. City of Los Angeles B209861 (unpublished).


Los Angeles Civil Appeals Attorney

Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience.  His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating — but unappealable — trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.

Our Legal Services

Ehrlich Firm wins reversal of summary judgment in case by kindergartener who was sexually molested at elementary school

California Writs and Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Firm wins reversal of summary judgment in case by kindergartener who was sexually molested at elementary school

Mistakes Trial Lawyers MakeAC was taken from the multipurpose room at an elementary school by a school employee, led onto a stage that was part of the room, and molested. The stage area was effectively screened from view because the school had been using the area to store cartons of books. The trial court granted summary judgment to the district on the ground that the stage could not constitute a dangerous condition on public property, and that there was no proximate cause.

The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the manner in which the stage had been maintained created triable issues of fact about whether it was dangerous, and that the district had not negated proximate cause as a matter of law. (AC v. Pomona Unified School Distr. (2010) B.215607 (unpublished.)


Southern California Appellate Law Attorney

While we enjoy appellate work and welcome any chance to handle an appeal, all too often we see that if we had been brought into a matter while the case was still pending in the trial court – particularly to oppose a summary-judgment motion – we could have avoided the need for an appeal and set the case in motion to settle. People need lawyers because the law is complex. Busy plaintiffs’ lawyers need our help for this same reason.

We can help you sort out the legal obstacles you must overcome in order to win your case, and prepare a powerful opposition to the following motions:

  • Motions under Daubert and Kuhmo Tires to exclude expert testimony;
  • Motions in limine;
  • Post-trial motions, such as motions for new trial, or JNOV;
  • Motions to compel arbitration; and
  • Where an insurer has refused to defend its policyholder in litigation brought by a third party;
  • Motions to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction

We can also prepare affirmative motions that can increase your chances to prevail, such as motions for summary-adjudication of issues; motions in limine, or motions to remand cases removed from state court to federal court.

Our Legal Services