It takes years of news and media experience to know when a small firm's legal case could be turned into big news that helps market the law firm, promote the attorney, and, of course, advocate for the client.
Our wire service and daily newspaper reporting, federal and state prosecutors' office press management, news organization marketing, and now legal media relations consulting to small firms with some of the biggest cases of their kind in the U.S., allows us to know how to maximize the potential of gaining media traction for civil litigation.
In this elder abuse case we were given just enough time to carefully review the just-filed Complaint, speak with the attorney, and receive a series of "nanny cam" videos. Immediately, we knew to zero in on the New York Daily News. At our suggestion the client agreed to an exclusive, which we offered with stipulations. The newspaper, on its website linked three violent videos showing the elderly, vulnerable client allegedly being abused by a home healthcare worker. Those videos first were edited and captioned by PRforLAW.
Once the Daily News article was online with the linked videos it didn't take long for our law firm client's phone to ring. That day he was interviewed on camera on by the ABC, CBS, and NBC TV local affiliates and independent stations. At least one news-radio interview also was given.
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorker readers, online readers across the U.S., and television viewers in the tri-state area have seen and heard the attorney and know about the litigation.
The challenge in the McDevitt case was developing a non-breaking legal story into compelling feature news with the greatest potential to reach print and online readers who might help the McDevitt family to learn more than the little they know about their son's death in a motel room rented by a human trafficker, five blocks from the room at which the young man was registered at the Tropicana Casino and Hotel.
This was old news never reported by authorities or local media. Over the eight months it took to develop the strategy and then execute it we traveled to upstate New York and down to Atlantic City. We spoke with public information offices at the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, and the New Jersey Attorney General's Office. Among private entities contacted were Rite Aid corporate headquarters and the company's outside counsel in Philadelphia; Verizon Wireless and other mobile carriers, and TD Bank. Using data provided by the McDevitts we created a 30-page spreadsheet that subsumed the logged times of phone calls, ATM usage (attempted and successful), Rite Aid purchases, TD Bank Card Management printouts, TD Bank Loss Prevention records, and the TD Bank account statement. (The Times Herald-Review used data from that spreadsheet to create a timeline sidebar in their exclusive report.)
In running down leads we spoke with offices of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Miami. In many cases we were able to disprove allegations and assumptions made by Mr. and Mrs. McDevitt against the lead defendant now facing two indictments in New Jersey. Over three years, on their own and with no help from the police or prosecutors, they attempted to do background checks on the alleged human trafficker, incorrectly assuming he had been imprisoned and somehow released early by federal authorities in Florida. Our research in PACER and using other sources disproved that assumption, along with their unfounded belief that the lead defendant was also in the federal Witness Protection Program, and perhaps a serial killer.
When we agreed to help the grieving family we warned them that, "the chips would fall where they may," but at this point (Sept. 3, 2014) they have yet to be provided any evidence their son was a drug abuser. Perhaps, when the three cases are resolved in Atlantic County Court, authorities will explain if they really did have any evidence the young man used drugs.
Using our decades of media experience we negotiated exclusive newspaper articles scheduled to run concurrent with the launch of a case-specific website we also created for the family. The response has been excellent. Online versions of both publications have received comments and the website, in three days, has had more than 5,000 unique visitors.
Dias Kadyrbayev, an exchange student from Kazakhstan studying at U Mass at Dartmouth, was taken into custody and then charged with obstruction in connection with the Boston Marathon aftermath.
For Kadyrbayev and other high-profile cases, PRforLAW, LLC provides when-needed media relations support for criminal defense attorney Robert G. Stahl, whose Law Offices of Robert G. Stahl, LLC maintains offices in New York and New Jersey.
For Stahl's small law firm and its high-profile federal and state clients, at his direction we coordinate media requests, especially when he is in court, or en route.
Besides maintaining an up-to-date media list with contact information for each member of the press who has contacted him for information, we also field and facilitate media calls when Stahl is unavailable. We also distribute or make available to media who have asked, any written statements Stahl provides to the press on-site, making sure any print, broadcast or Internet publications unable to be in court also have access to Stahl's written statements.
Stahl received a U.S. Department of Justice award when he prosecuted the largest excise tax case in history at the time he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of New Jersey. That case included Russian defendants.
In private practice, Stahl's list of clients includes individuals, government officials and corporations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Massachusetts, the United Kingdom, and the former U.S.S.R. After Kadyrbayev was charged Stahl was interviewed for a half-hour program on Russian-language RTVI by host Marina Levinson. We took the broadcast program and edited several segments which appear in, "Firm News" on the Stahl firm website, http://www.StahlEsq.com.
Another PRforLAW, LLC exclusive, then other news media followed. The New York Daily News featured in print and more extensively online a landmark Second Circuit case that slipped under the news radar until PRforLAW, LLC was retained. For the first time, court found that third-party data "in the cloud" had been converted by the wealth management division of the U.S. affiliate of an international accounting, legal, advisory firm with offices in 71 countries. The Wall Street Journal's CIO Journal and accounting news websites then picked up the story.
In a case of first impression, SDNY judge rules that CRM data owned by a veteran high-net-worth wealth manager in Manhattan for more than 10,000 of her clients was stolen from "the cloud.
Richard Lavinthal is the only legal PR expert in the U.S. with legal media relations successes on all sides of legal matters: federal and state, civil and criminal, government and private practice.
Key Amgen Whistleblower Goes Undercover for HHS;
Philadelphia – Amgen used illegal interlocking off-label marketing and pricing schemes to promote its multi-billion dollar anemia drug Aranesp. “It really was an ingenious, comprehensive, and very well coordinated series of marketing schemes that unfortunately endangered patients while enriching doctors for writing off-label prescriptions. There is no doubt that the schemes were wildly successful and significantly spiked Aranesp sales.
“What Amgen didn’t know after it launched the Aranesp schemes was that our client, Jill Osiecki, a long-time marketing rep, recognized the danger to patients and, on her own, reported her concerns to the Government. Later, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Special Agents asked her to work undercover for them,” said qui tam whistleblowers’ attorney Brian Kenney, of Kenney & McCafferty, P.C.
The Princeton Review Admits NYC After-School
New York City –The Princeton Review received millions of federal dollars for operating an after-school tutoring program for underprivileged students at underperforming schools by falsifying attendance – which continued even after its vice president in charge was alerted to the fraud – Princeton Review’s owners admitted today by settling fraud allegations, Qui Tam Whistleblowers’ Attorney Timothy J. McInnis announced.
For 46 months ending in June 2010 Princeton Review falsely billed the United States under the Supplemental Educational Services (“SES”) program. They submitted falsified attendance sheets, which included forged signatures, according to the Settlement Agreement among the United States, which filed its own fraud Complaint, the qui tam whistleblower represented by McInnis, and the corporate owners of Princeton Review.
Corporate Compliance and the CIA
GlaxoSmithKline’s (“GSK”) $3 Billion Whistleblower Settlement
Hospital and Corporate Parent Pay $9 Million
Additional Qui Tam Whistleblowers’ Allegations
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex reI.
"IRS keeps ignoring tax whistleblowers
Other Selected Major-Case Initiatives,
IRS Pays CPA $4.5 Million, First-Ever Whistleblower Reward
Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorney Eric L. Young
A CPA in-house accountant and auditor who discovered a $20 million-plus tax liability at a large national financial services firm, which the Fortune 500 company then declined to report, was given the third highest category of IRS whistleblower reward under the new law, 22 percent, Young said.
“This groundbreaking IRS $4.5 million reward originated like many of our government fraud whistleblower cases in healthcare, defense contracting, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and other sectors,” Young explained.
Egan Young Attorneys At Law Website: http://www.EganYoung.com
PHILADELPHIA – Despite thousands of recent print, broadcast and Internet reports about WikiLeaks, the renegade Web site's alleged whistleblowing activities and certain documents it has "published," qui tam remains the first name in whistleblower; "journalist" remains the first name in publishing; and Julian Assange is neither.
Under federal and state false claims acts, whistleblowers‚ who are known legally as "qui tam relators" from a Latin phrase first used in 13th century English law, reveal "inside" or otherwise secret information in an effort to expose corruption and fraud involving government purchases and contracts.
Daniel R. Miller, Esq.
Illegally Dumping 100 Million Pounds of Toxic
First-Of-Its Kind Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of 11 Plaintiffs, Living
WILMINGTON, DE – One of the world’s largest power generating companies caused horrendous birth defects, lung injuries, and other acute and chronic medical problems from illegally dumping 100 million pounds of toxic coal ash onto a pristine Caribbean beach front , according to a groundbreaking mass tort lawsuit filed late November 4th against Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corporation (“AES”). The eight-count lawsuit on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, living and dead, from the small rural village of Arroyo Barril in the Dominican Republic was filed in Delaware Superior Court.
Two of the children died after birth from catastrophic birth defects. Two boys survived: one with no arms; the other, born with his stomach outside his body, had to endure several surgeries. Another child was found -- in utero -- to have massive cranial defects and had to be aborted, according to Diane Paolicelli, Esq. of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP in New York City. Paolicelli, who leads the firm’s medical malpractice and catastrophic injury practice group, represents birth defect victims.
from the Law Offices of
Wired Undercover by FBI, Whistleblower Helps Government
MPC Products Corporation and MPC International “Reverse
CHICAGO – Wired undercover by the FBI to help expose his employer’s pervasive, interlocking and sophisticated schemes of brazen accounting chicanery, a qui tam whistleblower ‘s efforts resulted in today’s agreement by aerospace contractor MPC Products Corporation and MPC International, Inc. (“MPC”) to pay $22.5 million to the federal government. The settlement resolves procurement fraud allegations that the Department of Defense (“DOD”) was falsely billed over seven years, according to a Complaint filed under seal in 2003 by whistleblower lawyer Mark Allen Kleiman of Los Angeles, and employment lawyer Dennis R. Favaro of Palatine, Illinois.
Skokie-based MPC, acquired in October 2008 by Woodward Governor Co. and renamed Woodward MPC, Inc., will pay a total of $25 million to the United States, which includes $2.5 million in fines in related criminal prosecution, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Law firms with big cases, especially small to mid-size practices
Back when legal marketing meant hanging shingles and Yellow Pages ads for potential new clients to let their "fingers do the walking," reporters turned the pages of phone books, directories and the newsroom Rolodex to locate and contact attorneys.
But once high-speed Internet became ubiquitous in homes and offices, the analog age ended. Conventional shingles and finger walking are now passé. The Internet is now the starting point for every journalist and nearly three-quarters of Americans who seek information, goods or services, including legal services
Pfizer’s $2.3 Billion Settlement Today Is
PHILADELPHIA– Pfizer Inc. ignored a 2005 FDA Warning Letter to stop promoting its antibiotic Zyvox® as clinically superior to the significantly less expensive, generic vancomycin when its own FDA-approved label indicated otherwise. The drug giant also defrauded federal and state taxpayers by marketing Zyvox off-label, according to a qui tam whistleblower complaint filed by Sheller, P.C. attorneys and other documents unsealed with today’s $2.3 billion Pfizer settlement.
Richard Lavinthal's Legal News and Media Relations Newsletter
Half-Billion-Dollar-Plus Settlement, America’s Biggest Government Medicaid False Claims Case, Began With Whistleblower’s Allegations of Improper Speech Therapy Billing By One Upstate New York County, New York City-Based Whistleblower Attorney David A. Koenigsberg Reveals
SYRACUSE, NY — When New York State and City agreed on July 20th to repay the federal government nearly $540 million to settle whistleblower-sparked Medicaid false claims allegations, it ended a lone whistleblower’s long struggle to correct speech therapy billing problems in an upstate New York county and across the state. When improper billing wasn’t corrected, the whistleblower sued on behalf of the federal government under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), New York City qui tam whistleblower attorney David A. Koenigsberg of Menz Bonner & Komar LLP revealed.
“The information and cooperation that my client provided led directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ audits that ultimately confirmed the state-wide billing problems that are the subject of this historic settlement,” Koenigsberg said.
“As a result, New York State and City agreed to pay the seventh largest whistleblower settlement in the largest government False Claims Act Medicaid case in United States history,” Koenigsberg added. “The value of whistleblower law in repatriating federal dollars back to United States taxpayers should be crystal clear.”
Timothy J. McInnis, Esq. wins rare Third Circuit habeas
A unanimous three judge panel rules Ocean County
PHILADELPHIA — After 10 years of consummate litigation attorney Timothy J. Mcinnis, Esq, has won a rare habeas corpus writ for his client, businessman Paul Kamienski, telling today's Asbury Park Press that “An innocent man is going to be released.”
June 2, 2009 Update: Law.com, in its national legal bulletin sent to attorneys around the world today featured the New Jersey Law Journal article about this case.
Read today's Law.com Article
Visit the litigation Web-site created by PRforLAW, LLC for this case at
$1.4 Billion Eli Lilly & Company Zyprexa® Settlement
Philadelphia Attorney Stephen Sheller’s
PHILADELPHIA – Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company (“Lilly”) will pay federal and state governments more than $1.4 billion to remedy a wide-ranging, off-label marketing scheme for its prescription drug, Zyprexa®. This settlement is the largest qui tam settlement in the history of the False Claims Act.Stephen A. Sheller, a well-known mass tort and class action lawyer from Philadelphia, filed the first Complaint in the case in February 2003, bringing the off-label drug allegations to the government under seal as required by law. Today, after six years, the Department of Justice settled with Lilly the allegations that six former Lilly drug marketing representative whistleblowers brought to Sheller.
Uniquely Experienced Legal Public Relations Consultant
(PHILADELPHIA) ‑ A former journalist, federal and state prosecutors’ spokesman and online news editor set an enviable record recently when the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the top 10 civil fraud recoveries for Fiscal 2008. Richard Lavinthal’s PRforLAW, LLC, a unique niche legal public relations consultancy, had crafted and executed legal media relations strategy for attorneys with three of the top 10 cases.
When the DOJ trumpeted $1.34 billion in FY2008 civil fraud settlements and judgments nearly half the total dollars recovered for federal and state taxpayers were from three separate cases in which PRforLAW developed and executed media relations strategy. Six attorneys in five firms whose whistleblower clients helped recover more than $656 million had retained PRforLAW for case-specific legal media relations.
International Association of Chiefs of Police
PRforLAW, LLC proposed to editors at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and author Nathan J. Gordon, Director of Philadelphia-based Academy for Scientific Investigative Training, an academic look at current truth detection options. Police Chief is the authority for federal, state and local law enforcement senior executives across the U.S., and around the globe.
Richard Lavinthal, PRforLAW, LLC Managing Director, has been an Associate Member of The International Association of Chiefs of Police Member for more than a decade, beginning when he left the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice to serve as Director of Criminal Justice Programs for APBnews.com in New York City.
Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorney Brian P. Kenney
"Pa. can avert penalty with antifraud law"
As of January 2007, the federal government began penalizing states that had not enacted false-claims laws to combat fraud against their treasuries. The penalty is a 20-percent loss of reimbursements from Medicaid-fraud prosecutions under the federal False Claims Act. Because Pennsylvania does not have a state false-claims act, it gets a smaller share of fraud-prosecution proceeds than states that have such laws, potentially costing Pennsylvanians millions of dollars.
Not surprising, many more responsible state legislatures have passed false-claims acts. New Jersey, Delaware, New York and 17 other states have adopted such laws, avoiding the 20-percent penalty."
$425 Million Cephalon Civil Settlement, Criminal
PHILADELPHIA – Biotech drug manufacturer Cephalon, Inc. (“Cephalon”) flouted federal regulations on a grand scale for years by off-label marketing its first three prescription drugs far beyond the cancer pain, epilepsy and narcolepsy specialists for whose patients those drugs had been FDA-approved. Instead, Cephalon focused its national marketing muscle on unapproved uses, targeting medical specialists with bigger patient populations, according to a Complaint filed in 2003 by Philadelphia qui tam whistleblower attorney Brian P. Kenney, Esq. The complaint was unsealed today with Cephalon’s $375 million nationwide Medicaid fraud settlement and $50 million corporate criminal plea.
Kenney, lead partner of Philadelphia-based, Kenney Egan, McCafferty & Young, P.C., represents whistleblowers across the U.S. His whistleblower client is a former medical sales representative, area trainer and institutional representative for the Frazer, Pennsylvania-based drug manufacturer. In 2003, on her behalf, Kenney brought qui tam whistleblower Medicaid fraud allegations against Cephalon to the government.
Three Attorneys Who Represented Whistleblower In The $400 Million
Attorneys And Their Whistleblower Client Also Donate $250,000
WASHINGTON (Sept. 10) – Three nationally known qui tam whistleblower lawyers who represented a former Merck & Co, Inc. (“Merck”) district sales manager in a Medicaid fraud case that helped federal and state governments recover more than $400 million from the drug manufacturing giant in February were named 2008 Lawyers of the Year at the annual meeting of Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (“TAF”) here last night.
CBS Evening News
Congratulations to whistleblower attorney Michael Behn, co-founder of Chicago-based Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered. The CBS Evening News of April 13th featured Behn and the Walgreens case in a three-minute "Follow The Money" feature hosted by Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Atkisson. The video report can be viewed on the Web site PRforLAW, LLC developed for three of Behn's cases, http://www.PharmacyFraudSettlement.com.
Walgreens Settles Drug Switching Allegations,
Walgreens paid $35 million to 42 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to settle allegations it overcharged Medicaid by switching dosage forms in filling generic Prozac®, Zantac® and Eldepryl® prescriptions, according to Behn.
PharmacyFraudSettlement.com the litigation Web site developed with the attorneys from Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered for the CVS settlement was updated to include documents and information from the June 4th Walgreens settlement and the November 2007 and Omnicare settlement.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CVS, America’s Largest Pharmacy Chain,
CHICAGO ‑ CVS Corporation, which claims to be America’s largest pharmacy chain, has paid nearly $37 million to settle the nation’s first retail pharmacy drug switching case. CVS allegedly charged the government up to 400 percent more for Medicaid patients by illegally changing generic Zantac® prescriptions from tablets to higher priced capsules, according to a multi-state complaint pursued by whistleblower attorneys Michael I. Behn and Linda Wyetzner.
Reporters / Editors : Visit the reference Web site developed for this case, containing filed documents, allegations and information about the importance of pharmacy whistleblowers at http://www.PharmacyFraudSettlement.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
$30.3 Million Jury Verdict Believed To Be New Jersey’s Largest Mesothelioma Award; Family Members’ “Take Home” Asbestos Fibers and 50-Year-Old Victim’s Own College Summer Employment At GM Facilities In Bloomfield and Englewood Caused Cancer That Killed Rising-Star Advertising Executive, According To Mesothelioma Attorneys Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP
HACKENSACK, N.J. — Deadly “take home” asbestos fibers on work clothes his father and brother wore while employed at GM parts warehouses in Bloomfield and Englewood, and exposure to the carcinogenic material during his own GM summer employment caused the death of a 50-year-old rising star advertising executive, a Bergen County jury ruled yesterday. The wife and three daughters of Mark Buttitta, who died four days before Christmas 2002, will receive $30.3 million in what is believed to be New Jersey’s largest mesothelioma verdict, the mesothelioma law firm of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP announced.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Merck Pays More Than $400 Million To Settle
PHILADELPHIA -- One of the world’s largest drug manufacturers, Merck & Co., Inc. (“Merck”), has agreed to pay more than $400 million to the U.S., 49 states and the District of Columbia to settle qui tam whistleblower-led allegations that the pharmaceutical giant illegally defrauded Medicaid and other public healthcare programs across the U.S., according to a federal Settlement Agreement unsealed today. Merck employed four schemes to grab or maintain market share for drugs including Vioxx®, Zocor®, Cozaar®, Fosamax®, Maxalt®, and Singulair®, according to qui tam whistleblower lawyers Steven H. Cohen, Mark Kleiman and BethAnne Yeager, who represent the whistleblower, a former Merck district sales manager.
Reporters / Editors : The complete reference Web site for this case is at http://www.DrugFraudSettlement.com.
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