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Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Even without any first-hand legal experience, I’ve always been suspicious of “ambulance chasers” – lawyers accused of using clients for their own personal gains.With bigger fish to fry, ambulance chasing has become petty compared to the opportunities lawyers now have to be “crisis chasers.” Just like Rahm Emanuel’s advice to President Obama, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”Certainly, the suffering, but surviving World Trade Center workers represented a tremendous opportunity for a major crisis chasing law firm.Consequently, the firm of Worby, Groner, Edelman & Napoli Bern has become notorious in its success in representing 10,000 stricken World Trade Center Ground Zero workers by achieving a whopping $600 million payoff. Following criticism voiced regarding the firm’s $200 million fee, apparently, these “big-hearted” lawyers agreed to a reduced fee of a measly $115 million.It is not really clear if this had any affect on the victim’s settlements. It may have meant the firm merely put less money in its pocket, not necessarily more for their clients.Here is a case in point. According to a recent New York Post report, a cancer-stricken 51-year-old worker, Elvis Galvis, finally received a $0 settlement check. His $10,005 award was subject to the firm’s 33.3 percent fee of $2,124, $2,579 in unitemized legal expenses, and a $352 fee for the attorney who referred him, and the remaining $4,950 was withheld for unspecified “liens.” On the local front, the Aspen law firm of Thomas Genshaft and its New York partner firm, Napoli Bern Ripka and Associates (yes, the New York-based Napoli Bern) have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 5,000 residents against Antero Resources, alleging that the company’s gas drilling activities in Battlement Mesa threaten the health and well being of residents.I don’t know how those who are being officially represented feel, but as a bystander resident of “Bafflement” Mesa, being represented without my approval, I will refuse to accept any more than the settlement that Elvis Galvis received. Richard DoranParachute

The Post Independent editorial of July 27 regarding the Xcel Energy tower misses the bigger question. How did it get built without anyone noticing it? People living along Seventh could see the construction every day last summer.A local architect questioned the size of the tower. In fact, there was an article in the Post Independent referring to his objection.Why, a year later, are the local landowners complaining? Doesn’t anyone on the City Council drive around and see what’s happening in their town? Where were the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission? What happened to the city building inspectors?Again, it would appear that city government has no idea what they are doing. People complain about Washington. Maybe we need to start making changes locally.Richard L. RoseGlenwood Springs


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