Tip Of The Week: Do Not Miss Doctor Appointments After You Are Injured

When you’re injured by the actions of another person and a lawsuit ensues, it is extremely important that you do not skip any of your medical appointments. In this week’s #TipofTheWeek video, Gathings Law Attorney and Senior Partner, Lloyd Gathings, talks about why attending all of your doctor’s appointments after being injured is so crucial. “If you miss your doctor's appointments,” Lloyd says in this week’s video, “then the jury will either think that you weren’t hurt that badly or that the problems you’re having now are because you missed doctor’s appointments.” Not only that, but it is also important to attend every medical appointment after being injured in order to receive proper treatment and heal correctly.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an injury, give Gathings Law a call. We love what we do and we truly care about our clients. We are here for you and will be with you every step of the way.

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube @GathingsLaw.

Too Little, Too Late

It is heartbreaking when I have to tell a client that the limitations period for filing suit expired before they consulted me. It is even worse when the client previously retained a less than stellar lawyer who did not recognize the liability and failed to file the appropriate legal action.

About a year ago, I was retained by two clients who had invested in a condominium project at a beach in Florida. The developer failed to obtain hurricane insurance on the properties and some of the involved properties were destroyed by a hurricane. The project went into bankruptcy and my client investors lost millions of dollars. Both of the clients consulted Florida lawyers who failed to file a lawsuit with the correct legal claims to recover their losses. Years later the clients were talking to a Birmingham lawyer who referred them to me because I am also licensed in Florida. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations had expired; both on the original fraud action that should have been filed and on any malpractice action against the Florida lawyers initially consulted.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to choose the best lawyer for a small business action. The large firms who represent the very large corporations are often just too expensive for most small businesses. That is where a smaller law firm, like mine, sometimes referred to as a boutique firm, comes into play. We have handled many small business cases with great success. And we do it on various types of fee arrangements so our clients don't lose due to their legal fees being too high for the recovery. Let's be clear -- it is not about the total amount recovered; it is about how much goes into the client's bank account when it is all said and done. That is the yardstick by which to measure success.

 

Lloyd W. Gathings

Tip Of The Week: What Is My Duty To Preserve Evidence?

When you are involved in a lawsuit, it is to your benefit to you keep anything that may be used as evidence to help your case. This includes digital records such as text messages, pictures, social media posts, and much more. In this week's Tip Of The Week video, Lloyd Gathings advises to preserve all records that may be relevant to your case. Nowadays with so many aspects of our everyday life rooted in digital technology there is so much more than just physical evidence that can benefit your case.

If you or a loved one are in need of a lawyer, give Gathings Law a call. We are here for you and will fight hard for best interests.  

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube @GathingsLaw.

What Can A Shareholder Derivative Action Do For You?

I finished a shareholder derivative action last week with a settlement very favorable to my client.  The suit involved two corporations, which I will call corporation A and corporation B. My client was a 50% stockholder and the President of corporation A in addition to being a minority stockholder in corporation B. My client, and the President of the corporation B, the corporation in which my client was the minority shareholder, each thought that the other was not paying the earnings of the corporations to the shareholders, but were keeping all of the earnings personally.

Although convinced that my client was right, or at least had paid herself far less earnings than the President of corporation B had paid himself, I undertook the case.  My first action was to request an examination of the records of the company my client was not running, corporation B.  This request was made pursuant to Ala. Code § 10A-2-16.02(b).  The President of corporation B, of course, refused to produce the documents which would provide evidence of his indiscretions, so we filed suit pursuant to the section above.  When we did get the documents, I knew that I would be able to prove a shareholder derivative action for my client.  The purpose of the action is to bring the ill-gotten gains in the pocket of the President of corporation B back into the company, where it could be properly distributed to all of the stockholders.  The derivative action is also available to recover from the President the damages he caused to the corporation by his malfeasance. Again, the recovery would then be available for distribution to all stockholders, including my minority shareholder client.

The President of corporation B, like most people caught with their hand in the cookie jar, acted very righteously until I called him to testify at a hearing.  The prospect of all of his misdeeds being put on a public record, along with potential tax consequences and the possible proliferation of other suits against him, softened his righteousness and we were able to reach a very favorable settlement for my client, approximately doubling what she was offered before retaining us, which was a very large number.

The scenario painted above is very common, particularly among closely held corporations or corporations in which the majority of the stock is held by one family.  We can often cure the inequities resulting from such situations by a stockholder derivative action.

-Lloyd W. Gathings

Tip Of The Week: Let Your Lawyer Get To Know You

When you need a lawyer, you want someone who will represent you passionately and fight for your best interests. But how can a lawyer do that if they don’t know you? Here at Gathings Law, we take the time sit down with our clients and really get to know them so that we can work in their best interests. In this week’s Tip Of The Week video, Gathings Law Attorney, Don Carroll, talked about the importance of letting your lawyer get to know you.

Just like Don said in this week’s video, after we have the facts of the case, we like to invite our clients in and kick back, sit around, and talk like we are sitting around the porch on a Sunday afternoon. We genuinely want to get to know you. Here at Gathings Law, we know that getting to know our clients personally helps us better represent them. If you or a loved one are in need of a lawyer, give us a call. We are here for you and will do our utmost to fight for your best interests.

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube @GathingsLaw.

 

Tip Of The Week: How Soon Do I Need To Contact A Lawyer After A Wreck?

When you are injured because of someone else's actions, you should not hesitate to call a lawyer. It doesn't matter if it was the result of a car wreck, an accident at work, or just someone else's wrongful act, call. Gathings Law Attorney and Senior Partner, Lloyd Gathings, shared this advice on Wednesday in this week’s Tip of the Week video. When you need a lawyer, you need a lawyer. The best time to get started on your personal injury case is not long after it’s happened; the sooner the better.
If you or a loved one is currently suffering from an injury, give Gathings Law a call. We are here for you and have extensive experience with personal injury cases. Like we always say, we have the resources to fight and the experience to win. Don’t hesitate to call us today, we’re here for you.
As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube @GathingsLaw.

Tip Of The Week: What Do I Do If I Am Injured On The Job?

Don't wait to report an on-the-job injury, that's this week’s Tip of the Week from Gathings Law attorney and Senior Partner, Lloyd Gathings. Lloyd says that even if you think you might recover, you need to report it to your employer as soon as you feel any pain from an on-the-job-injury or a potential on-the-job-injury. That's true not matter if it is the middle of the night, during the week, or on a weekend. Find out why in this video.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a work-related injury, give us a call. Here at Gathings Law, we truly care and will fight for you. It’s like we always say, we have the resources to fight and the experience to win.

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube @GathingsLaw.  

Tip Of The Week: What Is An Appeal?

This week’s Tip of the Week video, featuring Gathings Law Attorney, Will Lattimore, talks about the appeals process. If you are unsatisfied with the result of a trial you can appeal. This means that your case will be sent to a court with a higher authority in the hopes that they will reverse the decision of the original court. When your case is tried in a state court in Alabama, your case would be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. When your case is tried in Federal Court in Alabama, Georgia, or Florida, your appeal would first go to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and any further appeal would be to the Supreme Court of the United States.

We here at Gathings Law do everything we can for our clients to get the best final result for our clients whether that is a trial or an appeal.

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube @GathingsLaw.  

Birmingham Is Reaching Out To Hurricane Victims

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The South has recently endured two massive storms, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The storms have left paths of destruction in their wakes through Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina. Tens of thousands of people have been left without homes, and many others will have months of work to do to get their homes fixed up. Hurricane Harvey alone has destroyed an estimated 30,000-40,000 homes in the Houston area. Across the nation people everywhere are rallying together to donate money and supplies to those affected by the storms.

Birmingham is rallying together to contribute to the relief efforts. Mayor William Bell’s office has designated Boutwell Auditorium as the drop-off location for the hurricane relief efforts. The city is collecting bottled water, donated supplies, and canned goods until the end of this week from 8am to 6pm. They have emphasized that school supplies and diapers are especially needed.

The mayor's office says Birmingham has collected and shipped 12 trailers full of supplies to Texas and Louisiana, with another eight trailers designated for Florida.

To help spread awareness of donation drive, the public can use the hashtag #bhmcares on social media.

 

Tip Of The Week: Listen To Your Doctors When You Are Injured

Always listen to your doctor. Not just for medical reasons, but also for the sake of your lawsuit. That's the key message in this week's Tip of the Week video from Gathings Law's Senior Partner, Lloyd Gathings. That means that if a doctor tells you to take a certain medicine for a period of time, do certain stretches everyday, stay in bed and rest, etc., that you follow their instructions to the letter. Why? Because if your case goes to a trial, a jury will hear those recommendations. If you were injured because of a car wreck, an on-the-job injury, a defective product, or someone else's actions, you can be awarded damages because of those injuries. However, if jurors hears that you did not listen to your doctor, they may decide that your pain and suffering was worsened because you did not take the necessary steps to help your recovery.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury due to a car wreck, on the job injury, a defective product, or the wrongful acts of another person, give Gathings Law a call. We are here to help.

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @GathingsLaw.

 

Tip Of The Week: Keep All Medical Devices From Your Injury

This week’s Tip of the Week video featuring Gathings Law attorney and senior partner, Lloyd Gathings, talks about your duty to preserve evidence and saving your medical devices. When you are involved in a personal injury case, regardless whether your injury is due to a car wreck, on the job injury, a defective product, or the wrongful acts of another person, make sure to save any medical devices that you use during your recovery process. This includes casts, braces, wheelchairs, crutches, etc.Your medical devices can be introduced into evidence for your case and can be quite compelling to a jury. A jury can more easily comprehend the level of pain and suffering you have experienced from your injuries if they can physically see what type of medical treatments you’ve gone through.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury due to a car wreck, on the job injury, a defective product, or the wrongful acts of another person, give Gathings Law a call. There is no need for you to suffer more than you already have. We are here to help and will fight for you. It’s like we always say, we have the resources to fight and the experience to win.

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @GathingsLaw.

Hurricane Harvey Scammers

As we all now know, Hurricane Harvey was a terribly destructive hurricane that first came ashore in Texas and eventually dumped devastating amounts of rain on Houston and much of coastal Texas. It is now a tropical depression sending rain and strong storms across the Southeast. An estimated 30,000-40,000 homes have been destroyed thus far due to flooding just in and around the Houston area. Many people are rallying together to help and people from across the United States are sending supplies, money, and certainly thoughts and prayers to the victims of the storm.

Unfortunately, as there often are during times of need, there are scammers who prey on the victims and see this tragedy as an opportunity. USA Today talked about the scammers are using the internet to con those in need and those trying to help. One way they take advantage of people is by creating websites using the names of the storms and ask people to send money. The donation scams can also come to you through email and unfortunately that money doesn't make it to the victims.

Walt Green, the former director of the Justice Department's National Center for Disaster Fraud, says that you should never donate or give money through any link that you receive through email. Even if the email comes from a trusted source, they could have been scammed as well.

You should be wary of organizations that can not give you proof of whether your donations are tax-deductible or not. Do not donate to organizations that pressure you into making donations immediately and rush you. Do not give money to an organization that asks you to send cash or asks you to wire them money.

Our thoughts are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you are wanting to help and donate to the relief efforts, please make sure that you are donating through a trusted and well-known organization, such as the Red Cross

Tip of the Week: You Do Not Have To Take On Insurance Adjusters Alone

This week’s Tip of the Week featuring Gathings Law attorney Don Carroll is that you don’t have to take on insurance adjusters alone. After a wreck there will be negotiations with insurance adjusters; however, you do not have to do this by yourself. Insurance adjusters are trained to negotiate the lowest settlement amount possible to save the insurance companies money. Here, at Gathings Law, we call those low-ball offers. Having an attorney on your side will significantly increase your chances of getting a higher settlement amount. Attorneys have the skills and know-how to help you negotiate with insurance adjusters and get you more money.

 

If you or someone you know is currently struggling with negotiations with insurance adjusters, give Gathings Law a call; we are here to help. Lloyd Gathings always says, “When we enter the litigation arena we significantly level the playing field for our clients.”.

 

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @GathingsLaw.

Early Settlement Of A Case Can Be Expensive

There are law firms in Birmingham and the State of Alabama that appear to place a premium on settling their cases without working them up and filing them in court.  There is nothing wrong with that in some cases, while in others, settlement without filing costs the client a lot of money -- perhaps 3-4 times the amount of the settlement.

If the value of the case is small, i.e., under $50,000, then an early settlement is often the best route, since the out-of-pocket expenses to file and prepare the case for trial will consume most of the expected recovery.

If the case is a products liability case or a medical malpractice case, the value has to be in the hundreds of thousands for a products liability case and about a million dollars for a medical malpractice case to justify filing these cases in court.  Crashworthiness cases or auto design cases also have to be in the million dollar range to justify filing them in court. If the values are less than this the best course of action is to attempt an early settlement.

However, in those cases that are large enough to justify filing and preparing, an early settlement is rarely to the advantage of the plaintiff.  Absent a problem with insurance coverage or a solvent defendant, an early settlement of these cases can easily cost the plaintiff 3-4 times the amount of the settlement.  Unfortunately, it appears that this may be happening more and more.  Individuals with potential personal injury and death claims should question any attorneys they consult about their settlement/litigation practices to be sure an early settlement does not cost them large sums of money. 

If you have a potential case, talk to us first. We will sit down with you to talk about your specific case and let you choose the option that works best for your individual situation.

 

-Lloyd Gathings, attorney and senior partner at Gathings Law

Tip Of The Week: Do Not Talk About Your Injury On Social Media

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This week’s Tip of the Week featuring Lloyd Gathings, a senior partner at Gathings Law, is to not talk about your injury on social media. These days, people use social media to stay connected with their friends and family and share bits and pieces of their lives online. However, if you are injured because of a car wreck, an on-the-job injury, defective product, or any wrongful act of another person, be very careful talking about it online. If that injury may lead to you being involved in a lawsuit, the other side will try to use whatever they can against you, including your social media posts; whether you post about your injury or not. As Lloyd says in this week’s video, it’s probably better to stay off social media all together until you talk to your lawyer about what is and is not appropriate for you to post. If you or a loved one has been injured and you need a lawyer to help you with your next steps, call Gathings Law. We truly care about our clients and will work hard in your best interest

As a reminder, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next; we’d love to hear from you. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @GathingsLaw.

Today Is Election Day

Election day doesn’t just come around every four years in November. Today is one of Alabama's election days and for much of the state, the main item on the ballot is Alabama’s special election primary for a seat in the US Senate. A US Senator’s job is to represent the people in their state while writing legislation and voting on bills that may or may not become laws. Each state has two senators, so there are 100 seats total in the Senate. The position currently open was once held by Jeff Sessions, who made the position available when he was appointed Attorney General of the United States. He was replaced temporarily by Luther Strange, who is one of the people on the ballot this time around. Alabama’s other Senator is Richard Shelby, who has held his seat in the US Senate since 1987.

There are many candidates in this special election primary on both the Republican and Democratic side. The outcome of today will help determine who will be the candidates in the general election for the US Senate seat. AL.com has written profiles for both the Republican and Democratic candidates. If you are unfamiliar with the candidates, take a look a look at the profiles so you be a more informed voter.

For the Republican candidate profiles click here. 

For the Democratic candidate profiles click here.

The polls will be open today from 7am to 7pm. You can find out your polling place and information here. We encourage you to go out and vote today so that you can be a part of helping determine the future of our state and country.

Tip Of The Week: Be Mindful Of What You Say After A Car Wreck

The Tip of the Week this week featuring Gathings Law’s Senior Partner, Lloyd Gathings, is to be mindful of what you say after a wreck. Living in the South, we were all raised to say “Please”, “Thank you”, and “I’m sorry”. However, if you are involved in a wreck with another person and you apologize to them, even though you’re not at fault, it can be used against you in court as an admission of fault. If ever there was a time to drop your southern manners, it would be after a car wreck. However, even if you don’t plan on apologizing to the other person be mindful of what you say because whatever you say, whether you are apologetic or angry, can be brought up in court during a trial.

Starting this week, Gathings Law will be posting different legal tips every week on social media. If you have any questions that you want answered, tell us what you’d like to hear about next. Go to our Facebook page, @GathingsLaw, to cast your vote for next week’s topic. To make sure that you don’t miss any Tips of the Week, follow Gathings Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @GathingsLaw.

Gathings Law Fights For A Man Injured On The Job

We are working on a case with a truck driver who was injured on the job. Our client was severely injured as the result of another employee removing a safety device from a truck. That incident has forced our client to undergo a number of surgeries and has had his life and mobility drastically altered. Since we always want to ensure that our clients are receiving the best possible service from us, we researched how our client’s injuries could affect him in the future. We  worked with medical experts to document the expected surgeries and other complications he will face down the road as a result of his injuries. We are now not only fighting for our client to receive the compensation he deserves for his immediate medical expenses, but we are also fighting to make sure that he is compensated for his future discomfort and future medical expenses as well.

In this case, and every case we handle, we do our utmost to make sure that the companies or people responsible for the problems are held accountable. For this particular case, we also hired investigators to serve copies of the complaint on the defendants.

We understand that a life-altering injury is a traumatic experience that doesn’t stop just because the initial pain goes away. The impact can continue for years. In this case, we are litigating aggressively and setting depositions to push the case to trial as fast as possible so that we can quickly get our client the compensation and justice that he deserves so that he can feel secure again.

If you or a loved one is injured on the job, do not hesitate to call us. We will work hard to seek the justice to which you are entitled.

Safety Precautions For The Water This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to go swimming at the pool or take a trip to lake. Besides the typical safety precautions for swimming, such as flotation devices for small children and waiting 30 minutes after eating to go swimming, there is something else you should be weary of-electric shock drowning. Unfortunately this is a very real danger in bodies of water where there is electricity near or in the water. Electric shock drowning occurs when electricity, possibly from defective pool lights or loose wires on docks and boats, is released into the water. The electric current paralyses any swimmers in the area making them incapable of swimming, which can result in drowning.

We here at Gathings Law want to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe this summer. In order to help prevent you, your friends, or your family from possibly drowning due to electric shock please make sure that the electricity around or in your pool, dock, or boat is secured. Make sure that there are no loose wires on any sources of electricity in or near the water. If someone is suddenly paralyzed in the water due to electric current, turn of the power to the electricity sources immediately. Do not go in the water to assist anyone until the power has been shut off.

If you or a loved one is harmed this summer, please know that our lawyers at Gathings Law are here to help.

Bill Blocking Patient Rights Moves to Senate

Yesterday, H.R. 1215 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 218-210.  Not one single Democrat supported the bill, and 19 Republicans opposed it.  The bill now passes to the Senate for consideration, before receiving an ultimate up-or-down vote there.

As we’ve explained in a previous blog post, H.R. 1215, the “Protecting Access to Care Act,” does almost nothing to protect Americans’ access to care.  Make no mistake.  Yesterday’s House passage of H.R. 1215 protects no one except big pharmaceutical companies, and negligent nursing home caregivers.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of American families lose loved ones as the result of avoidable medical errors, defective drugs, and poor nursing home care.  There’s no replacement for the loss of a loved one.  And nothing can assuage the feelings of grief and frustration that consume a family who knows that it didn’t have to be this way.

But throughout our country’s history, there has been some recourse, some way in which these families can take action, to fight so that the wrong that was done to them is less likely to happen again in the future.  It’s been the legal system—judges, juries, and lawyers—who have provided that recourse.  Justice has been a right we’re all allowed to pursue.

H.R. 1215, frankly, seeks to undermine that right to an extent that is unprecedented in our country’s history.  By capping non-economic damages at $250,000, the bill essentially makes it impossible for an individual to punish a pharmaceutical company in any way that is meaningful.  Hitting a pharmaceutical company with $250k in non-economic damages is like hitting Lawrence Taylor with a fly-swatter.  He isn’t going to bat an eye.  This bill’s cap on damages will allow Big Pharma to literally budget for the harm they know their defective drugs to be capable of.  Greedy pharmaceutical companies already do this, to a certain extent.  But with the cap, many more defective drugs will project as profitable, and you can expect a lot more of them to hit the market.

The bill also protects nursing home caregivers who don’t treat their patients like they should.  It is heartbreaking to see, but the sad fact is that these people exist.  Not every nursing home in our country provides senior citizens with the decency and care they’re entitled to.  If H.R. 1215 passes, a nursing home with horrific conditions is more likely to remain in business.  If this is the type of care Congress thinks they’re “protecting access” to, then I guess the bill is accurately named.

The bill’s passage in the House was troubling.  But it’s not too late.  The close vote in the House suggests the bill could be divisive when it is introduced in the Senate.  Please take the time to write, call, or email your Senator today.  Easy instructions are available at http://takejusticeback.com/protectpatients.  Make your voice heard.  Tell the Senate to vote NO on H.R. 1215.