Currency Reporting on International Flights.

By Bonnie J. Jackson, Shareholder

Like most travelers, you probably do not fly with a carry-on bag full of cash. However, some people transport large sums of currency when travelling, for example, to the country of their native origin for use as gifts, for spending, or for investment purposes.  Simply carrying large sums of cash for travel outside the United States is not illegal.  However, transporting currency or monetary instruments over $10,000 must be reported or you are in big trouble.  To report the currency or monetary instruments when travelling to a destination outside the United States, simply complete Form 105 obtained from the Department of the Treasury and/or the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection office.  The completed form may be submitted to the U.S. Customs officer in charge at any port of departure.

Federal law imposes strict penalties against those who evade currency reporting requirements by knowingly concealing more than $10,000 in currency or monetary instruments and transporting or attempting to transport such currency or monetary instruments outside the United States. These reporting requirements were enacted to stem the tide of money laundering and drug trafficking, which are illegal activities commonly associated with international travel and the transportation of large sums of currency.

If a U.S. Customs agent has a “reasonable suspicion” that a currency reporting violation is occurring, then the agent may conduct a warrantless search. Just like a TSA agent has the administrative authority to temporarily restrict your movement and search for weapons and/or explosives that could result in harm to fellow passengers, so too can the U.S. Customs agent conduct a search for currency reporting violations.  A reasonable suspicion to perform the search requires a “particularized and objective basis for suspecting” a violation of law.  This type of warrantless search is permissible under the Fourth Amendment provided that the agent does not exceed the scope of the search and it is no more intrusive than necessary to determine the existence of a violation.  That is not to say that law enforcement may search all passengers as a condition of boarding a commercial aircraft, because the search must be calibrated to a risk or justifiable need.  In other words, TSA cannot read the contents of the papers in your carry-on bag, but it may require an electronic scan of your carry-on bag for air traffic safety.

As a final thought, be sure to check the requirements of your destination country. Not all countries will allow entry to travelers carrying large sums of currency.

Safe travels.

© The Jackson Law Firm 2016

German Exchange Student obtains $5,000,000.00 settlement in complicated medical malpractice case.

Medical malpractice, German exchange student, litigation, international law firm

German exchange student achieves $5,000,000.00 settlement.

By Michael R. Jackson, Shareholder

The Jackson Law Firm achieved a $5,000,000.00 settlement on behalf of a German exchange student in Minnesota after a physician and hospital failed to properly diagnose a devastating injury to his leg. The student, Lukas (his name has been changed in order to comply with the case’s Confidential Settlement Agreement), had been sent to the United States at the tender age of 16 to study for a year in Minnesota.  Shortly before the end of his exchange program, Lukas was taken to the emergency department of a local hospital after sustaining a knee injury in a water-skiing accident.  In the emergency department he was seen by hospital nurses and an emergency physician and examined.  Lukas informed the nursing staff that he had been injured water-skiing and that he had felt his knee “pop out, then in”.  Lukas was noted to have pain of “10” on a scale of “1-10.”  He was documented as having “tingling” in his foot by the physician, even though the nurses had initially charted the foot as being “numb.” The physician recorded that he was able to put Lukas’ leg through a normal range of motion – meaning that his movement was not limited by the injury.  While this German exchange student did not know the English word for dislocation, he explained to the physician, too, that he had felt his knee “pop out” and added that it had “popped in again.” No translator was provided for Lukas during his stay in the emergency department.

Basically, through the impact with the water, Lukas had dislocated his knee, but before arriving at the hospital the dislocation had spontaneously reduced or corrected itself. The emergency physician told Lukas that he did not believe that the knee had dislocated, but did order x-rays.  After diagnosing an avulsion fracture, which is a small fracture that is most often treated non-surgically, Lukas was sent home with his host parents for follow-up during the week with an orthopedist.  However, unbeknownst to Lukas, the avulsion fracture was the least of his medical problems.  As it turns out, Lukas had also experienced 1) a subtotal tibial avulsion tear of the anterior cruciate ligament; 2) a posterior cruciate ligament tear; and 3) a left medial meniscus tear (posterior horn). This meant that his knee was incredibly unstable and could not possibly have been put through normal range of motion exercises in the emergency department. This fact was but one issue that called the examination in the emergency department into question.  However, these additional injuries also set the stage for Lukas to develop a far more significant medical emergency.

Most of Lukas’ injuries are not visible on simple x-rays. The crux of this case, therefore, turned on the fact that the mechanism of the injury, i.e., the high-velocity impact, and the patient’s complaints should have alerted this physician that there might be a more significant danger for this patient.  In fact, this type of injury is considered to be a vascular emergency because of the risk of arterial compromise, i.e., damage.  In this case, the patient’s history and mechanism of injury should have been enough to raise the concern for a dislocation in a prudent medical doctor.  That concern then leads the prudent physician to think popliteal neurovascular injury.  If so, additional testing is warranted or, at minimum, the patient should be been kept overnight for observation.  Instead, Lukas was discharged.

Within the course of that evening, Lukas’ pain continued. The host parents called the hospital’s nurse-advice line, but were told it would get worse before it became better.  However, the additional injuries caused progressive ischemia (insufficient blood flow) to lead to the development of compartment syndrome in Lukas’ lower leg.  The host parents chose to take Lukas to a different hospital after his problems persisted.  The doctors who examined Lukas there immediately recognized the significance of his injuries.  Lukas remained hospitalized for several weeks.  As a result of the physician’s failure to timely intervene in this process, the inadequate circulation to the leg was woefully insufficient to maintain tissue viability and by the time the nature of Lukas’ injuries were truly appreciated by the physicians at the second hospital, the damage was done and the physicians urged an amputation of Lukas’ leg.  Ultimately, at the insistence of Lukas’ mother, Lukas was sent by air ambulance back to Germany, where he was treated for an extended period of time by German doctors who were able to save his leg.  However, he underwent 14 surgeries to attempt to correct the severe damage to his leg.  Despite these efforts, the damaged muscle tissue in his leg was beyond repair and left him with what doctors there referred to as a “stork leg.”

Lukas was an avid tennis player. Before the accident, he played soccer and also jogged, skied, engaged in in-line skating, and rode his bicycle.  All of these activities became difficult to impossible for Lukas due to his injuries.  Obviously, so much of Lukas’ life has been impacted on a daily basis.

The Jackson Law Firm hired ten experts to help properly prepare this case for trial, including an emergency room physician, a pediatric emergency room physician, an orthopedic surgeon, a German orthopedic surgeon to address the care in Germany, a vascular surgeon, a physiatrist, a psychologist, a life care planner, a German business and occupational expert, and an economist. Lukas was flown to the United States so that most of the hired experts could evaluate him in person.  The reports from these experts were comprehensive and painted a picture for the defense that trial presented a significant risk to them.  While Minnesota allows health care providers to opt out of mediation, ultimately it was the defendants – when faced with the overwhelming evidence that would be put before a jury – who requested the mediation.  Ultimately, The Jackson Law Firm achieved a $5,000,000.00 settlement for this German exchange student.

When you hire a law firm to represent you, consider two important factors: 1) does this law firm have the experience to handle my case and 2) will they be able to properly prepare my case for trial, so that the defendant[s] fully understand the risk of actually going to trial. These two factors will go a long way toward ensuring your success in your case.  While other firms may claim to have such skills and ability, take the time to verify the truth of those claims.  Lukas’ family did take the time to fully vet this law firm, and now have the peace of mind of knowing that they achieved a significant settlement for Lukas.  In fact, the size of the settlement exceeded norms within the Minnesota medical malpractice community.  The nature and size of the settlement has allowed Lukas to pursue a new career path in the field of engineering.  A bright young man, Lukas – through the resolution of this difficult chapter in his life – has been able to make peace with his life.  In fact, I and two other attorneys within the firm have visited Lukas and his family several times in Germany since the resolution of the case, and still hear from them on a regular basis.  It is a reflection of how we see our clients –an extended family for whom we diligently strive for success.

The nature of this case underscores another point which lies at the core of this law firm. We routinely represent German clients in lawsuits throughout the United States.  A generic American attorney / law firm simply cannot understand a German client’s needs, based upon language and cultural differences, on the same level that The Jackson Law Firm is able to offer.  Our ability to handle these nuances often is the key to a successful outcome.   Similarly, in those firms that use a German attorney inexperienced in such matters to bridge the gap for their U.S. counterparts, mistakes are bound to creep into the process.  Insist on someone not only capable of speaking the language but also experienced in your type of case – we look forward to serving your needs.

We encourage you to explore our website to learn more about The Jackson Law Firm, its attorneys, and the firm’s practice areas.  Our international experience allows us to assist clients in international matters, and the firm looks forward to the opportunity to put that experience to work for you.  Feel free to contact us via email to discuss your matter.

Please remember that we do not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until we enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement. If we do not respond to your inquiry or are unable to take your case, please contact another law firm immediately to have your case assessed.

© The Jackson Law Firm 2016

Pursuing Legal Action in Germany: Finding German Attorneys and German Law Firms

German attorneys, German law firmsBy Michael R. Jackson, Shareholder

Finding German attorneys and/or a German law firm to address your legal needs in Germany does not need to be complicated.  The Jackson Law Firm has firm roots in Germany, inasmuch as the majority of its clients come from Germany and are pursuing legal recourse in the United States. In the course of representing both German individuals and German companies, our law firm has developed strong connections with German attorneys and German law firms throughout the Federal Republic of Germany.  These connections, in turn, have resulted in more and more individuals and companies coming to us to help them pursue their legal matters in Germany.  We are able to assist in the sense that we bring together these individuals and companies with well-regarded German attorneys and German law firms throughout the Federal Republic of Germany.  Typically, we are asked to remain involved on the U.S. side in order to facilitate the representation by the Germany attorneys and German law firms of our clients.

If you are in need of pursuing a legal matter in Germany, and need a competent and trustworthy attorney anywhere in Germany, please contact us to discuss your matter. Frankly, the same can be said for the German-speaking countries of Austria and Switzerland, as our network in those countries is also fairly established.

We encourage you to explore our website to learn more about The Jackson Law Firm, its attorneys, and the firm’s practice areas.  Our international experience allows us to assist clients in international matters, and the firm looks forward to the opportunity to put that experience to work for you.  Feel free to contact us via email to discuss your matter.

Please remember that we do not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until we enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement. If we do not respond to your inquiry or are unable to take your case, please contact another law firm immediately to have your case assessed.

© The Jackson Law Firm 2016

An International Approach to Litigation

An international approach to litigation.

An international approach to litigation.

By – Michael R. Jackson, Shareholder

Jackson Law International offers representation to prospective clients in a broad range of litigation matters, and often such disputes arise in the international context, requiring an international approach to litigation.  Such cases, which consist of cross-border disputes among parties, are referred to as International Litigation or Transnational Litigation.  This type of litigation involves the handling of lawsuits in connection with disputes that arise among businesses or individuals which/who are based or reside within different countries or, at minimum, are located in a different country than that within which the lawsuit is to be prosecuted.  The attorneys of Jackson Law International are experienced in handling complex jurisdictional, procedural, and substantive issues that can arise in these international disputes.  These types of international disputes range from business / commercial disputes to personal injury lawsuits, and the firm’s attorneys are prepared to bring their diverse experience in handling International Litigation matters to bear in the handling of your particular issue.  The attorneys of Jackson Law International are particularly sought after in such disputes where additional language skills in German, Russian, and Spanish are required.

International Litigation requires from the outset particular attention to issues of personal and subject matter jurisdiction, forum selection, and service of process.  Not utilizing experienced attorneys can result, for example, in a party needlessly subjecting itself to a court’s jurisdiction and/or can lead that party to have to litigate in an inconvenient forum.  Choice of law issues often require careful legal analysis, and the determination of which jurisdiction’s law to apply in the lawsuit can well dictate the outcome of the case.  Once a lawsuit is under way, it is similarly important to be able to rely upon counsel experienced in obtaining evidence from abroad to properly prosecute or defend the case.  In some instances, a judgment may already have been obtained, and the need to domesticate and enforce a foreign judgment requires experienced counsel within the United States.  The attorneys of Jackson Law International are experienced in these areas of Private International Law, and the International Law division of this firm draws heavily from the significant experience its lawyers have achieved in the underlying substantive areas of law upon which the attorneys must depend in order to pursue their clients’ legal interests.

When it comes to litigating matters within the United States, the attorneys of Jackson Law International are licensed in multiple jurisdictions such as California; Colorado, Florida; New York; Texas; and Washington, D.C.  Moreover, we have a vast network of lawyers around both the United States and the world with whom we work together in such matters – our local counsel – to ensure you receive exemplary representation.  Presently, this firm is involved in cases throughout this country either directly or in a coordinated fashion with other leading firms to provide the best possible representation to our clients.

International Litigation typically presents the courts, attorneys, and parties with unique challenges that fall outside of the general experience of law firms that have not routinely handled such matters.  Our international experience allows us to provide a level of service to our clients that is, in most instances, simply too difficult for the typical American law firm to duplicate.  Jackson Law International takes pride in its international experience, and looks forward to the opportunity to put that experience to work for its clients.

Please remember that we do not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until we enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement. If we do not respond to your inquiry or are unable to take your case, please contact another law firm immediately to have your case assessed.

© Jackson Law International 2011