Clarence Darrow: The Man and the Legend

Darrow the injury lawyer

PI lawyer Clarence Darrow

What other man can take on a former Presidential candidate, crowds of angry citizens, and the law system itself? Clarence Darrow is for many the quintessential American attorney: he built himself from the bottom up, never backed down from a fight, and gained fame across the country as a personal injury warrior. In fact, I know of only one other man who has become a personal injury lawyer prior to getting a law degree in modern times, and that would be Michael Ehline, out in California.

But in the far past, one normally interned to become a profession, underneath a professional. Prior to government sanctioned law schools, we had John Jay and Abe Lincoln, for example. But Darrow became one when law schools existed, yet he decided he would rather learn by doing, than learning from someone who decided to teach rather than make a name and money by practicing. An interesting fellow indeed.

Rise to Famous Attorney

Born in 1857, Darrow’s bloodline had a deep connection to reform. His father had been an abolitionist and had ancestors that had served in the Revolution. On two different occasions he attended college for just one year. He realized that he would gain a far better education working in a law office directly. After studying in a law office, rather than attend law school, he took and passed the Ohio Bar Exam.

After this, he opened his first office in the rural farming town of Andover, Ohio. After serving the members of the community with their needs, he moved on to a larger city. Here he became involved in politics and became the town attorney. After he married he moved to Chicago and built up connections. He spoke ardently on behalf of the Democratic Party in the city, where he gained a reputation. He was even asked to become an attorney for the city itself, which he did for two years.

The next part of his life took many turns, leading him to defend organized labor. After working for a major railroad company, he defended Eugene Debs, a labor leaders and presidential candidate after Debs was prosecuted by the federal government for leading the Pullman Strike. Darrow quit the rail line and a paycheck to defend Debs– winning one case but not another that sent him to jail.

Darrow gained a reputation for defending the downtrodden, from those accused of murder to the labor movement. He would help to try to reshape politics, assisting in the formation of the Populist Party in Illinois. He ran for Congress under the Democratic ticket in 1896 but lost. Darrow would then become involved in many causes, including the Anti-Imperialist League, defedning mine and wood workers after strikes. In one case, he represented two labor leaders accused of murdering Idaho’s former governor– and got them acquitted.

Of course, he was not just an injury lawyer, he also defended accused criminals. Darrow had a connection to Southern California, as well. He defended John and James McNamara, who were accused of dynamiting the Los Angeles Times building in 1910, killing 20 people. He was able to prevent either one from being executed in a lengthy and difficult trial. He was even accused of attempting to bribe the jury, which with Darrow’s defense in court, was never proven.

Darrow then became a well known defense attorney, defending dozens charged with murder. However, his most famous case was one that had both major ramifications and little legal precedent. Of course, Darrow is still revered by trial attorney Gerry L. Spence, and many other modern greats to this day and certainly will be considered so by the next generation of greats.

The Scopes Monkey Trial

In 1925, Darrow became the attorney for teacher John Scopes, who taught evolution in school. In the resulting trial, Darrow represented Scopes while the state of Tennessee was represented by former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. The case came to trial as Scopes was accused of violating the Butler Act, which did not allow evolution to be taught in public institutions. The battle was pitched and can be seen in many books and films about the event. The trial resulting in Scopes being found guilty and charged the minimum fine of $100. The case was overtured a year later due to a technicality.

Later Career

Darrow continued his reputation of defending those that had difficulty defending themselves. He represented a black family that was attacked by a mob of whites in Detroit. He successfully got all eleven defendants off the hook for self defense. He would later retire but take on several cases. He stayed in the limelight and debated the role of religion in society. Darrow’s legacy has shined over the last century as one of the best defense and labor attorneys in American history. And it all started by working at a law firm and taking the bar– the same was Abraham Lincoln did it.

Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Claims

This treatise is based upon California law. Your statute may be different depending on jurisdiction and venue. When bodily harm is suffered by an individual due to the actions of another person or entity, they may have the right to bring a legal claim against the responsible person to hold them financially accountable for damages their actions caused. Filing a personal injury claim in the United States will have a statute of limitations, which is a time limit in filing the claim, whether it is for harm sustained in a car accident, slip and fall, motorcycle collision, construction site incident, workplace injury or dog bite. Personal injuries can be expensive and have long lasting effects for the person who is hurt, since there can be medical expenses, ongoing medical care, physical rehabilitation, loss of income and other costs directly associated with the incident that costs.

These expenses warrant filing a personal injury claim, but what should be understood is the statute of limitations or time limit to file the claim. This time limit begins running from the date the harm was suffered and if the statute of limitations runs out, before filing a legal claim the lawsuit will not be able to be filed and the plaintiff may give up their right to obtain financial compensation. Common Law and Procedural Rules When filing a personal injury claim in the U.S. judicial system there are procedural rules that will apply to the action. This will include the statute of limitation that will entail the maximum amount of time the plaintiff has to file the claim with the appropriate court, after the date of the incident resulting in harm. If the case involves medical malpractice there will be additional rules and discovery for the personal injury. The procedural rules for personal injury states that bodily harm cases must be brought in civil court and provide reasons why this rule applies.

  • The plaintiff must have good cause to pursue an injury case and with reasonable diligence.
  • The defendant may use lost evidence to dispute or disprove the claim brought against them.
  • A claim that is left inactive is more harmful, than it is just for the plaintiff.

Standards of Common Law

The standards of common law involving the statute of limitation in a personal injury claim have certain common law standards that cross several areas of law in the United States in judicial proceedings.

  • There is a prescription rule, which is a limitation rule applying to civil court or criminal court applying to move lawsuits.
  • Injuries that involve a specific level of prosecution rising to a misdemeanor offense may have a two year statute of limitations applied.
  • Injury cases that rise to an offense level over a misdemeanor or to a felony level can have a five year statute of limitations for bringing prosecution.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits have a statute of limitations, which may differ depending on the party or entity and it may also depend on the state laws. The range of years for filing a claim can be from one year to six years and stale claims, which are claims late in bringing the claim to court may be unsuccessful. This could be due to various reasons, including diminished evidence in the case or witnesses that cannot be located.


Statute of Limitations:

What is Personal Injury Law?

Jury Nullification

John Jay, First Supreme Court Justice and Supporter of Jury Nullification

Many people think that lawsuits for injuries like being burnt by hot coffee, are frivolous, etc. But in fact, there are many safeguards built into the ancient tort law system to prevent frivolous lawsuits. First of all, a tort is defined as a “injury to an individual that was caused or created when another person violated their duty of behaving reasonably, and the victim was injured in their mind body, or mental faculties.” Examples of modern negligence law cases are dog bites, helicopter accidents, drowning children in unsupervised pools, etc. Everyone has a duty to act reasonably. And when someone improperly pilots a vehicle, or lets their animal attack someone, they are in breach of their implied contract. This is also called a social contract. Tort law is modernly labeled “negligence law”, but both semantics can be used interchangeably.

When a big corporation, or even a small person does something that harms another citizen and that hurt individual, was in the “zone of danger”, and it was foreseeable that the victim, or a bystander, for example would be harmed, then the person hurt can sue the evildoer, for the wrong. There are some variations in how this all works, but this is how it is laid out in a nutshell. This is all a common law scheme that is derived from the ancient tort law of England that expanded over time to award money, instead of setting off blood feuds. Only Louisiana was historically under the French, or Roman Civil Law system, so its tort laws vary.

With that lone exception, America, even Canada is an English Common Law jurisdiction, from whence we came. The only real difference, is that American colonial states recognized Natural Law and Natural Rights and they recorded some of these rights in a document, called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights did not create any new rights, it simply memorialized that the newly freed states and “limited federal government”, would afford and enshrine all rights, including enumerated rights that were bestowed upon us by our Creator, and not a king, or government. In fact, the state Constitutions and laws had already enshrined these rights for themselves.

The founders were very frightened of “democracy”, and recognized that would ultimately lead to a majority being able to strip the minority of the people of their property and related rights, under the guise of the “greater good”, etc. Thus, a Republic was established, wherein there were supposed to be certain “unalienable” rights, that could not be “infringed”. (incapable of being “liened”.) Therefore, the Founding Fathers felt it best to have a “limited government” that protected commerce, trade, provided for a national defense, and left the people to govern themselves at a local level. Washington DC and most federal power was to be confined to an area “ten miles square”, and a tri-partite form of government was set up, where no one chamber was to be more powerful than the other. A legislative, judiciary, and executive.

The Jury and Nullification and Tort Reform

Also built into the judicial branch, was a jury system. Also enshrined in the ancient rights passed down, is the right of the jury to nullify bad laws, or ignore them.

It is not only his right, but his duty… to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court… – John Adams

That many modern courts refuse to recognize, or dismiss jurors who rely upon this God granted right, shows us how far the un-American state governments have fallen away from a true, sovereign run government. It was always the case that a freedom loving individual, also had a say in what laws are, or are not just. In this era of big business, and powerful public employee unions, it is relatively easy to hold a lawmaker’s votes hostage with “contribution” money to help keep him or her in power. It is also noteworthy that modern lawmakers have passed laws that they themselves have exempted themselves from. For example, “insider trading”, which allows legislators to commit what would be a felony for you or me, if you are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Obviously, they are getting very wealthy once they are lured by the trappings of D.C.

John Jay even said:

“The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” (Read more.)

Ultimately, it would appear that following the facts of the case, and words of the lawyers would be enough to decide if a hot coffee lawsuit has merit. When we hear stories about tort reform, or frivolous lawsuits, we must take them with a grain of salt. Who is behind all this bad press? Who pays money to the media to advertize? In any event, when the news media says, that one can vote to “change” things, we must remember that most of the media is bought and paid for by big corporations, and run primarily by left wing, pro “democracy” people. Thus, this is more than likely mere propaganda, and not really valuable information.

The jury box is one of the few and last vestiges that allows unbiased, sovereigns, “we the People”, to decide if a case has merit and what a personal injury is and in not. When a court or the government tells us we do not have the right to nullify bad laws, we must look at history and the underpinnings of the Revolution. Remember, that King George and his public officials also exempted themselves from the very laws they held the colonists liable for. So our founders and past courts recognized the common law right of a jury, as well as “nullification”. In fact, the Nurnberg trials actually applied nullification principles when sentencing former Nazi officials to death. When these “war criminals” said they were following orders, the jury and court found these were “bad laws,” that should not have been enforced.

It has been said that citizens are entitled to the voting box, the jury box, and when all else fails, the [rifle] cartridge box. Before we digress into the Second Amendment and its guaranteed recognition that the People have the right to throw off unjust government by use of arms, we will stay on target here with a discussion on general negligence law. First off, in a personal injury case, a judge can actually throw out cases that are patently frivolous. And they do this often in California by use of the Summary Judgment Motion filed by a defendant, or the judge can actually dismiss cases on his or her own in the interests of justice, substantive, or procedural law. So above, we covered what a personal injury case is, the history of negligence law in the U.S.A., and rights of the jury to decide if a case should stand or fall based upon the law, or nullification. Reducing the amount of money damages, or saying a case is frivolous only hurts legitimately injured victims. We the People have certain rights. And rights not claimed are considered waived.


First, I want to thank patriot attorney Michael Ehline for contributing some thoughts and definitions.

1770-1774: Increased tension between the British and the Colonies leads to violence, governmental action and revolutionary prose

Insider Trading Rules That Don’t Apply To Congress

Jury Nullification and the Rule of Law they were to honestly admit as much, and hold themselves powerless to disobey unjust and morally despicable laws, they should be told that “obeying orders” was not accepted as a defense in the Nazi war crime trials at Nuremberg.

Civil Rights and Marijuana Festival

With many progressives arguing that all the “progress” they made under comrade Obama will be lost with a new president, civil rights lawyers are apparently no deterred about the here and now. The attorney representing the Oregon Hempstalk Festival has claimed that Portland’s denial for the 2015 permit involves a civil rights issue.

No joke, he is really making an argument that is right out of the Benjamin Rush playbook. Portland attorney Ann Witte has filed paperwork with the Multnomah County Circuit Court requesting the court review the Parks Bureau’s denial of the permit for Hempstalk. Stating the city had no right in requiring the organizers of the festival to monitor marijuana use.

Witte’s filing is an attempt to stop the appeals process that would involve a Portland City Council hearing for the festival and founder Paul Stanford. The attorney claims the permit was denied in part or whole due to speeches made at a free speech event permitting the city to dictate what was allowed to be said in the free speech debate.

Parks officials denied the claim based on marijuana use claiming the organizers were complicit at the late September Hempstalk event held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Witte claims the Parks Bureau is overstepping its authority and is unfair in targeting Stanford in their requirement to police marijuana use at Hempstalk. The attorney stated the DA said the marijuana use is not a public safety issue as well as police not doing anything about the situation then for the Parks Bureau to claim it is Stanford’s responsibility she believes they have no right.

As recent as this month the Oregon voters have approved the recreational use of marijuana and in an announcement by the Multnomah County DA Rod Underhill, their office will be dismissing pending possession cases that would be legal amounts under the new law July 1.

Witte has accused city officials of lying about the marijuana use at the festival that advocates hemp and marijuana legalization for medicinal, recreational and industrial purposes. The lawyer has referred to this as a civil rights movement comparing it to Rosa Parks seating on the bus.

Source: Oregon Live.

First Steps to Take in the General Injury Claims Process

Annually there are millions of people that are injured in mishaps such as car collisions, workplace incidents, outdoor and indoor mishaps and other types of accidents. In some of these injury cases another person’s actions that are considered negligent or responsible for the victim being hurt and in these cases the party that has been harmed has the right to seek compensation. Common questions by the parties affected by injuries typically involve the queries like, “what are the most important steps for a victim to take?” The answer in a nutshell is, “it depends”, but generally speaking, when you have been involved in a motoring accident, slip and fall incident or any other kind of mishap that results in injury it can seem overwhelming to deal with filing a personal injury claim. If the harm has been suffered due to another person’s negligence and resulted in causing financial expenses, physical or mental damages it is in your best interest to file an injury claim to recover financial damages. Therefore some steps can be taken can make filing this claim successful and reduce the stress of the legal process.

  • File a Police Report: Filing a police report is essential after an accident, since this will provide written evidence by an authority who is a third-party of the important events that occurred immediately prior to the incident and during the incident. It is important to have as much information recorded in this report, such as the names and contact information for everyone involved. This is an official document and you should not provide opinions about what you think may have happened. This police report will be one of the major factors in improving a personal injury case, because it is documented at the scene and while memories are still fresh.
  • Immediate Medical Attention: When an accident occurs it is important to get immediate medical attention, especially if there were obvious injuries from a medical professional. There are two reasons to obtain immediate medical treatment. (1) The first reason is that not all injuries can be seen, if the injuries are internal there may not be immediate symptoms. (2) The second is that it could hurt your overall case. It will make it very difficult to prove there were injuries if they are not documented by a healthcare provider and the person that has been hurt may be partially blamed for being at fault. In the end it could be possible without medical documentation the amount of compensation sought could be reduced due to lack of medical documentation for the severity of the injuries
  • Never Sign Documents: It is important not to sign any documents without having legal advice after being involved in an accident, in which someone else’s careless actions caused the mishap. If the unfortunate occurrence resulted in minor damage or injuries then it is crucial to read the documents thoroughly to make sure you understand what they entail. Generally this is an insurance company release, which they will offer a settlement and once the document is signed then it will release the insurer of any obligation. It results in limiting the liability of the negligent policy holder and ends your rights to further claims in the same incident, such as bringing a lawsuit. The best thing to do is to consult an injury attorney when the accident causing harm has taken place in California, and most other states presumably, before signing any release documents from the insurance company.
  • Expense Detailed Documents: It is important to keep a detailed account of expenses that are directly related to the tragic situation that gave rise to the event. This will include medical costs, lost wages from being unable to work and the expenses related to replacing or repairing damaged property. It is also important to have official receipts and documentation for these expenses and any others.
  • Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney: These cases can be overwhelming for someone who has been wounded, and they can be complex. This is why it is often the best choice to hire counsel close by location the accident occurred. While not every case will require the assistance of a legal advocate, if the harm that has been sustained is moderate or severe then it is advisable to have the representation of a legal professional, who will be able to ensure the proper insurance claim process is followed (Read more about insurance claims here), or post litigation verdict, or compromise is obtained. It is also a good idea to hire counsel even in a claim where minor injuries occurred, if there is a problem recovering a fair settlement. It is always smart to consult a PI lawyer even with minor harm to learn about your legal rights and the best course of legal action to take. Consultations should be free, and also should be an educational experience. Without the information that can be learned from a legal professional, the claimants may accept the first offer they are given by the insurance company that is typically much lower than they deserve, and they will not have a recourse at a later time when it is realized the settlement does not cover all of the incurred expenses.

What a Personal Injury Attorney Does to Help

Hiring a well prepared and knowledgeable legal beagle if you have been harmed due to negligence is very important. This is because they will typically investigate all of the elements of the incident and determine all of the liable parties. The consummate legal professional will prepare a strong case that can be used during insurance company negotiations and in the event a settlement cannot be reached, in order to bring a strong lawsuit against the negligent party. If you have sustained harm as the result of the reckless or non-feasant actions of another party consulting with a professional should enable you to determine if your case has validity, and what you can expect in filing a claim. The answer to your questions as a victim can normally be received when seeking out and having free consultation to learn about your claim, and the course of legal action that will provide the windfall like compensation that you deserve.

Ehline Law Firm PC
When you need a master faster, Ehline Law is there to respond to your disasters.
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 596-9642

Local Wrongful Death Attorney Information

Here is some local wrongful death attorney information we are gathering to improve the local aspect of our encyclopedia. When a serious accident has occurred because of another person’s wrongdoing or negligence, the first thing a person will want to do is gain as much local wrongful death attorney information as they possibly can. This will help to ensure the attorney they file a claim with has the skill and knowledge necessary to fight for the rights of their lost loved one.

When another person’s negligence has caused a tragedy that resulted in the loss of life of an innocent victim, it is a situation that can involve quite a few different legal issues that are very complex and quite varied. For this reason, it is vital to only consult with a wrongful death attorney that has specialized knowledge in the specific cause that a wrongful death has occurred. If the loss of a family member was due to an automobile accident, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, or workplace accident, it is important that they have a long line of expertise in handling the specific situation that you face.

In most cases as a person is obtaining local wrongful death attorney information they will find that a large majority of these attorneys work on what is referred to as a contingency basis. One such attorney I found online is actually a well know car accident lawyer. But he has a lot of death cases and info on his Ehline Law Firm PC website. This simply means that the family of the victim will not be responsible in paying for legal fees until a settlement is recovered. At this time a small percentage of the settlement is usually required for payment. This benefit alone can be a huge advantage when family members are already struggling to pay hospital, doctor bills and other expenses for medical care that may have been required. Paying for unexpected expenses like this can be extremely difficult on any family, and this is especially true if the wrongful death results in the loss of the family’s regular income.

A caring and compassionate wrongful death attorney knows the hardships and emotional difficulties that a victim’s family members go through when a wrongful death occurs. They strive to take great care when communicating with loved ones that have suffered the loss of a member of their family. They also take extra steps to keep the lines of communication open, ensuring the family is aware of the legal plan of action and strategies that will be used in recovering the settlement they deserve.

Anyways, here is that information. His name is wrongful death attorney, Michael Ehline at 213.596.9642. Nice guy and his map is below.

View Larger Map

21250 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
(424) 233-0709

Considerations in Truck Accident Claims

Trucking accident attorneys at Ehline Law Firm PC

Ehline Law Firm

All too often you will notice certain attorneys looking at one truck accident like it is simply any other motor vehicle case. While a lot of automobiles may tend to weigh close to the same weight, this is certainly not true of semi 18 wheelers, and it is not a factor that should always be considered as merely black and white. There are a large variety in sizes of trucks these days, and how heavy they are, is an important element that should certainly be factored in on truck accident compensation claims.

Many Tractors Are Overweight

While it may seem too high, there have been estimations that out of the huge number of tractor trailers that continuously drive on our city streets and highways, as many as 30 percent of them are overweight. Nonetheless, an excessive number of truck accident cases involve tractor trailers that are in fact overweight. Truck accident attorneys say this is likely due to two different reasons. Undoubtedly, the weight of large trucks carrying cargo causes them to be less safe, which results in more accidents. Another reason for these accidents is trucking companies and drivers that have no qualms about breaking rules on weight limits likely have no problems with other risks, like driving trucks that aren’t maintained properly and repeatedly overusing exhausted drivers. In many cases, the suspects breaking these rules are those hauling such items as coal, lumber, and oil.

It’s a known fact that 80,000 pound tractor trailers do not have the ability to turn or stop as easily or as quickly as an automobile. Now just imagine how difficult these actions are for trucks that are overweight. With the increasing problems of the economy, this is a serious issue that has continued to get worse. It almost seems that the rule to follow across the board is to carry more cargo by keeping the trucks overloaded.

Having a lack of resources in most states only means that they are not able to police trucks and enforce rules on weight limits. This equation only leads to tragedy. While we know victims filing truck accident claims suffer a great deal, infrastructure and the companies that strive to be honest do as well. While this problem may not be easy to resolve, it will certainly help if more truck accident lawyers working for victims of these claims would make certain they fight for answers to the following concerns.

  • Specific type of cargo hauled
  • The cargo’s weight
  • The way the weight was distributed in the trailer
  • Were the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations followed in regards to the weight and distribution cargo.

This article was written to protect consumer rights by a personal injury lawyer, named Michael Ehline, at the Ehline Law Firm PC, at 633 West 5th St, #2890, Los Angeles, CA 90071. 213.596.9642.

Traumatic Brain Injuries & Life Changes

Traumatic brain injuries change lives and require treatment, including traumatic brain injury rehabilitation treatment. After suffering this type of injury it will mean ongoing medical treatment that can change the life of the injured victim permanently in many cases. This is a type of injury that can occur during a car accident, bicycle, motorcycle or bus crash and many other types of accidents.

The types of traumatic brain injuries are in classes:

  • There is the minor brain injury that the victim normally completely recovers from within a short amount of time and does not require further medical treatment.
  • The moderate is caused by a non-penetrating blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head that can cause consciousness lasting from a few minutes to a few hours, there can be confusion that can also last a few days or weeks.
  • Severe brain injuries are the type of injury that can occur due to a blow to the head or there can be a penetrating wound.

This is an injury that injures the brain tissue and has the highest rate of brain injuries mortality rates.

Brain injuries physiopathology and breakthrough treatment of traumatic brain injuries are important for the health and treatment of the injured victim and the studies that are conducted help to advance treatment methods. This is an injury that does not discriminate by age or sex, since there can be traumatic brain injuries in children and traumatic brain injury symptoms can include:

  • Loss of consciousness for minutes, hours or days, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

There can be other symptoms depending on the class of injury and this will also be the deciding factor in the type and length of treatment the victim will undergo. This treatment can be costly and when it has occurred due to the negligence of another person, workplace, manufacturer or government agency the victim and their family have the legal right to hold them accountable. The best way that the injured victim can protect their rights to recover compensation from the negligent party is with the assistance of a brain injury attorney, since they specialize in this area of the law and can provide the best possible representation and have heard traumatic brain injury stories.