By all accounts, Susan Holden has found success.
As an attorney, she's achieved just about every distinction and honor available in the profession including serving as President of both the Minnesota State Bar and Hennepin County Bar. She's a partner in her law firm, SiebenCarey, where she specializes in personal injury, product liability, dram shop liability, auto accident and insurance litigation.
Trial attorney Susan Holden was honored with the Fidelis Apparitor Award at the College of Saint Benedict.
The award, which means "faithful servant" in Latin, is given to individuals who have been good and faithful servants of the law. Holden is a partner in the SiebenCarey law firm and she has years of experience as an advocate representing injured people. Holden is receiving this award because of her tireless commitment to her community.
This week, the families of the four young adults who died when a freight train slammed into their car, were awarded $4 million when a Washington County judge ruled the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company tried to cover up evidence during the trial.
In that trial, which ended a year ago, a jury awarded the families $21 million and placed 90 percent of the blame for the crash on Burlington Northern. The additional $4 million is a sanction against the railroad for what Judge Ellen Maas called "staggering" misconduct during the trial.
William Bongard represented the family of one of the four teens killed in a train crossing accident in 2003.
When the families and their attorneys took the case to trial, a jury awarded them $21.6 million in damages. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation appealed that decision and refused to pay.
Then the attorneys for the families filed sanctions against the railroad, to punish them for their attempts to cover up their responsibility for the accident; because the crossing gate wasn't working properly and because they destroyed evidence, fabricated evidence, interfered with the investigation and lied.
"She's made a miraculous recovery but she still has risks of future complications."
The parents of an 11-year-old Minnesota girl who spent more than a month in the hospital because of an illness caused by an E. coli-contaminated hamburger have reached a settlement with Cargill, Paul Downes, the family's attorney said.
The girl became ill in 2007 after eating contaminated hamburger supplied by Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation. The hamburger meat was linked to an E. coli outbreak that led Cargill to voluntarily recall about 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties.
News Makers - Paul Schweiger
The law firm of SiebenCarey is proud to announce that attorney Paul F. Schweiger, a member of the Duluth office, has been honored with a "Best Lawyers in America" distinction. He was voted one of the best in Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation.
Paul is one of the leading wrongful death lawyers and personal injury attorneys and in cases involving auto accidents, medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury and product liability.
Sieben initiated the “Know Your Rights” campaigns that brought personal injury law to the people.
Some lawyers have cases that have changed the law, and some are able to affect the political climate. Harry Sieben has done both, and in spades. And he has done something else: he changed the very way the business of law is conducted in Minnesota, all while building one of the state’s premier law firms, SiebenCarey.
"Know Your Rights" has been the motto under which Harry Sieben has led a Minneapolis personal injury law firm for half a century.
For his part, Sieben knew it was right earlier this year to have longtime partner Jim Carey succeed him as managing partner of SiebenCarey.
"This law firm's been around for 56 years, and we'd like to have it be around for another 56 years," Sieben said. "It was time for somebody else to take over management of the firm."
Police Officer Assisting Trooper at Accident Scene Hit by Passing Car
Roads were icy and a vehicle had slid into the ditch off U.S. 52 South near Rochester, Minnesota. Officer Berhane, then a four-year veteran with the Rochester Police Department, responded to the accident to help.
A State Patrol trooper was already on the scene. Berhane went back to his squad car to get his traffic vest and gloves and had just closed the door and was near the front bumper of his squad car when he heard an approaching car. The squad car was hit and then Officer Berhane.
Too much pain, not enough money: How three lawyers divided state funds to I-35W bridge collapse victims
How do you put a dollar figure on someone's pain? That was the job of the three lawyers who allotted compensation to victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse.
The three personal-injury lawyers, chosen as the special masters panel, divided $36.6 million in state funds among 179 claims. In the more than four months they spent hearing the details of the victims' problems, Chairwoman Susan Holden and panel members Mike Tewksbury and Steven Kirsch were profoundly moved by the victims' stories.
The verdict of $21.6 million to the families of four young adults killed in a 2003 train-car accident was among the largest wrongful-death awards ever in Minnesota.
But the case is bigger than that, the families' attorneys said Tuesday. Maybe $45 million bigger. Claiming that Burlington Northern Santa Fe fabricated, destroyed and withheld evidence that prevented the families from recovering punitive damages, the families' lawyers asked a Washington County judge for sanctions against the railroad of $45 million or more.
Summing up the 35W panel's $36.6 million job, survivors and victim's families said it was handled well.
When they added up all the losses incurred by survivors of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse and the families of those who died, the compensation panel came up with a number exceeding $99 million. That was almost three times the size of the available state fund -- $36.6 million.
"I didn't see it coming at all," Sarah Shelley said of the accident that changed her life forever.
Sarah was the passenger on a motorcycle involved in a hit and run accident. The driver, Aaron Liimatainen, had his right leg amputated after the crash.
Sue Holden is chairwoman of the Special Master Panel set up by the Legislature to figure out how much money should go to each survivor of the I-35W bridge collapse.
Susan Holden and her team of lawyers have been working out a daunting math question: How much money should each survivor get from the state's 35W bridge collapse fund?
The city of St. Paul and a consulting firm were sued after a worker was swept away during a sudden downpour.
It was a quiet courtroom Monday when a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the heirs and next-of-kin of Joe Harlow was officially settled.
Harlow, 34, was one of two sewer workers swept to his death when a sudden downpour flooded the St. Paul sewer system on July 26, 2007. Harlow and Dave Yasis, 23, the other victim, were employed by Lametti & Sons of Hugo, which did the actual sewer rehabilitation work.
It's extremely gratifying to garner a $6 million verdict for the family of someone who died due to the negligence of someone else. But, the best part is knowing that an opponent who chose to ignore the rules is facing tough sanctions.
So say a group of five Twin Cities lawyers who represented four families following their children's deaths after a Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company ("BNSF") train crashed into their car on Sept. 26, 2003.
"It's been very intense to listen to the stories."
The "war room" is a conference room at SiebenCarey. Susan Holden is the general - the head of a special master panel appointed to oversee the distribution of $37 million in compensation to survivors of Aug. 1, 2007, the day the I-35W bridge fell into the Mississippi River. It's been daunting task for Holden, joined with Steven Kirsch and Michael Tewsksbury, who made the awards after reviewing and holding hearings on 179 claims.
Many say the process has helped them heal.
Victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse finished telling their stories to a special panel this week. In the past three months, a panel of "special masters" - chairwoman Susan Holden, Steven Kirsch and Mike Tewksbury - have immersed themselves in the lives of people who were profoundly affected by the Aug. 1, 2007, bridge collapse. The three experienced personal injury lawyers were appointed to evaluate each victim's circumstances and divide $36.6 million among 179 claims.
William Bongard was nominated as Attorney of the Year (2008) by Minnesota Lawyer, a legal publication.
The recognition, he said, stems from a case in Anoka involving a group of teenagers whose vehicle was struck by a train. There was a dispute over whether the teens, all of whom died in the incident, had driven around the traffic arms that come down when a train approaches. Bongard called the court case a "tough battle."
Minnesota Lawyer 10th Annual "Attorneys of the Year" Award
The award is reserved for a select group of attorneys who distinguished themselves in 2008 with their exemplary work. The criteria for selection include leadership in the profession; involvement in major cases or other newsworthy events; excellence in corporate or transactional services; and public service.