Cubbon and Associates, Co., L.P.A.
Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation
Toll Free : 800-648-1911
Phone : 419-574-9284
Blog Navigation

September 2010 Archives

AVANDIA Settlement

September 24, 2010Avandias Legal Settlement Saves LivesTheres isnt too much to add to the news yesterday about Avandia, the dangerous diabetes drug, the sales of which the FDA finally restricted in the United States and Europe suspended entirely - except to note again the important role that litigation played in this long-awaited result. As the New York Times noted in its article today:The Avandia story also begins a new and unsettling period for pharmaceutical companies because Avandias risks became known only after [Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steve Nissen] analyzed data from clinical trials that GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of the drug, had been forced to post on its Web site as a result of a legal settlement. Such public postings are increasingly the norm, which means that drugmakers can no longer easily hide or control scientific information about their medicines.In Avandias case, GlaxoSmithKline engaged in a massive 11-year cover-up of these health risks. Dr. Nissen told the Times, the decision brought an end to one of the worst drug safety tragedies in our lifetime, adding that it was essential to fully investigate what went wrong with the regulatory process to prevent this type of tragedy from endangering patients in the future. One study estimated that from 1999 to 2009, more than 47,000 people taking Avandia needlessly suffered a heart attack, stroke or heart failure, or died.Of course, unlike Europes decision to ban the drug, the FDAs actions still reflect the FDAs willingness to compromise with the drug industry. As Dr. Sidney Wolfe, Director of Public Citizens Health Research Group, put it, the FDA again caved to industry pressure. Although the FDA has made progress highlighting the risks of using Avandia by severely restricting the drug, it did not go far enough. Too many people could still be exposed to this dangerous product.

Law school programs advance pro bono ethic, spirit of volunteerism among students

Students apply legal knowledge, skills to help those in need

Giving back to the community is a vital part of life as an attorney and a professional obligation. More importantly, it can be one of the most rewarding parts of a lawyers life. Just ask Emily Plocki, Natalie Powers or dozens of other very busy law students who spent hours working with lawyers and legal organizations to help the community and obtain real-life legal experience.Dean Douglas Ray launched the Pro Bono Commendation Program in January 2007. It builds upon and encourages student interest in helping the community, supplements the legal services provided byCollege of Law clinics and provides a way to recognize those who perform significant public service. In Rays view, "this program gives students the opportunity to work with wonderful role model attorneys in legal aid and the Toledo Bar Associations Pro Bono Program, the opportunity to learn legal skills and build confidence, and, most importantly, to learn the difference a lawyer can make in a persons life."By all accounts, the program has been a smashing success, helping the law school become more involved in the community and boosting its reputation for community service. Over the last three years, law students provided nearly 10,000 hours of law-related services to the poor and disadvantaged of Toledo and northwest Ohio through the program.Students provide help in pro se juvenile, bankruptcy, expungement and family court clinics administered by the Toledo Bar Associations pro se legal-services program; facilitate "know your rights" seminars at community centers; advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children through the Lucas County Juvenile Courts court appointed special advocates program; staff the Domestic Violence Resource Center housed at the Family Court; and help pro bono attorneys in a wide range of private cases. Students also work at agencies such as Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Toledo Bar Association, City of Toledo Law Department, and the Lucas County prosecutor and public defender offices.Students who commit 30 hours a semester to volunteer law-related public service projects receive commendation certificates at an annual Public Service Awards Reception held each spring. They are also listed in the honors graduation bulletin. James E. Yavorcik 79, resident of the Toledo Bar Association, spoke at the Awards Reception and explained that public service helps fulfill attorneys idealism and professional responsibility to give back to their communities. "What drives us as lawyers are not nice cars or nice salaries, but the feeling that we can make a difference in the lives of others," he said.Plocki, Powers and seven other law students were recognized for their public service at this years Award Reception. Others honored were:Thomas Marino, a second-year student and recipient of the Cooper & Walinski Fellowship. He worked at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland;Cassia Pangas, Mia Gonzalez, Allma-Tedeam Spencer and Miranda Vollmer, recipients of UT Law/Public Interest Law Association fellowships;Andrew Howard, recipient of the Joel A. and Shirley A. Levine Fellowship in Alternative Dispute Resolution; andBrooke Stokke, recipient of the Levison Alternative Dispute Resolution Award.A native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, and Kenyon College graduate, Plocki received the Patrick M. Burns Memorial Outstanding Clinical Student Award. She served as a legal intern with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, the College of Law Legal Clinic, Washtenaw County (Mich.) Probate Court, and Legal Aid of Western Ohio/Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. She helped clients in tax preparations, child adoptions, contentious divorces, and estate filings and assisted State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) in researching and drafting Senate Bill 126 to address the problem ofcyberbullying among Ohios school children. She will begin the one-year LL.M graduate program in taxation at Georgetown University this fall.She said her pro bono work was one of the most rewarding parts of her studies. It provided context to her studies and helped her understand how the law can aid people struggling for justice and see a problem in a broader community context. It also provided her with a great deal of personal satisfaction in helping those who could not afford legal services."It helps you to take the course material and implement it in real life," she said. "It helps you go from ground zero and to become lawyer."Natalie Powers, a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College and a native of Seven Hills, Ohio, near Cleveland, received the Universitys coveted Jefferson Award, a program that UT began last year to recognize volunteerism at the University.During her three years at Toledo Law, Powers worked in the TBAs pro bono legal-services program, the Toledo Legal Aid public defenders office and the College of Law Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. She also worked with the Reentry Coalition of Northwest Ohio, a group that helps ex-offenders reintegrate into the community by finding housing, getting a job, reuniting with their families and clearing up past legal issues.Working with the organizations was a huge confidence booster for her that also helped her better define her career path."It helped me realize that I can do things on my own," she said. "It helped my confidence in meeting with clients, my confidence with different areas of the law and with speaking with other attorneys when I needed help."She also enjoyed the role of problem solver, which attracted her to the profession in the first place. "Clients come to you with a problem and you have to come up with a resolution that they're happy with," she said.Pro bono short for pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good" is of growing importance in legal education for several reasons, according to Clinical Professor Robert Salem, who directs the law schools Legal Clinic. He applauds the law school's new emphasis on public service and on the need to educate students about "the service aspects of the profession." The Clinic has trained students and helped low-income clients in cases involving discrimination, housing disputes, domestic violence, divorce and child custody, civil rights, and consumer rights for some 40 years.Recent studies underscore the need for law clinics and law school pro bono programs. Surveys by the American Bar Association and other organizations conclude that 80 percent of the legal needs of low-income families are not being served."What I've seen is that many students come to legal clinic thinking they are going to learn practical skills," Salem noted. "And certainly they do. But the most important thing they learn, I think, is something far more intangible and that is an appreciation for the service aspects of our profession, an appreciation for the needs of the community they serve and an increased motivation to go out and practice law. I think they get more excited about going out there and practicing law because they have had the experience of helping people, of getting that personal satisfaction."In addition to expanding their legal skills, Salem said students grow in "empathy, understanding and temperament that they are going to need to be effective lawyers.""We really try to teach students to stand in the shoes of their client," Salem explained. "We teach them to be client-centered as opposed to lawyer-centered. We tell them that lawyer-centered lawyers are not effective attorneys because they are not seeing through the eyes of their clients."The appeal of pro bono work to young lawyers goes beyond just altruism, acknowledges Pat Intagliata, Esq.,'79, director of the Toledo Bar Association's pro bono legal-services program. The program, which began in 1981, operates pro se family, juvenile and bankruptcy law clinics as well as an expungement clinic and draws from a pool of more than 680 Toledo area attorneys who provide their services free of charge.The pro bono experience, she said, is an important part of legal education because it allows students to see the real, raw legal needs of the community and gives them a chance to develop a variety of practical lawyering skills interviewing clients, gaining their trust, conducting research, drawing motions, preserving attorney-client confidentiality, problem-solving and negotiating as well as learning compassion and empathy."It is important for law students to see what the law looks like in the courtroom," said Intagliata, who became director in 1985, and who oversees the work of law students at the TBA. "It also shows them that there are a lot of less fortunate people who need help."She thinks clinic and pro bono experiences are invaluable because they let students see close up what the law can do, even for someone unable to afford an attorney. She said that she would like to see every student have such an experience. Once students develop a strong respect and taste for public service, the less likely it is that they will dismiss their pro bono responsibilities once in practice. Often, the experience is satisfying enough to cause students to shift their career paths toward legal aid and public service.Download this article (PDF)

Passing the torch

Legal education at Toledo Law is a three-generation family affair for Toledos Cubbon family

After watching her grandfather, father, mother and several other relatives all graduates of University of Toledo College of Law have successful legal careers, Jocelyn Cubbon DeMars, a member of law school's Class of 2010, is ready to make her own mark on the legal world."I've loved my three years in law school, but I cant wait to move to Cincinnati and start to practice," said Jocelyn, who is moving with her husband, William, a pilot with regional air carrier American Eagle, to Cincinnati, where she will become an associate in the corporate department of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. "I have so much to learn beyond what I learned in law school."Her grandfather, Frank W. Cubbon Jr. '53, was a prominent Toledo personal-injury attorney for six decades before retiring in 2005. Her father, Stuart Cubbon '81, now heads the firm his father founded, and her mother, the Honorable Denise Navarre Cubbon '81, is a Lucas County juvenile judge. Denise and Stuart met in law school and later married An aunt, Kyle Cubbon '84, married to Toledo criminal defense attorney Spiros P. Cocoves '85, is a member of the Cubbon firm, as is her uncle, Thomas J. McArdle '87. Aunt Barbara Cubbon- Beale '88 is also a graduate. They all share an amazing loyalty to the law school.Jocelyn, a magna cum laude graduate who served as editor-inchief of the Law Review this year, said that as she was growing up she wasn't specifically encouraged to enter law. Because it was such a big part of her parents' lives, however, it was easy to gravitate toward the profession. And she appreciates the historical significance of her graduation and the pivotal role that the law and the law school haveplayed in her family's life."They never pushed it, but the law was something that I was fascinated by because that's what my parents did," she said. "It was something that I grew up with."The oldest of four children, she recalls evening meals at home, where lively conversations among siblings and parents often focused on local politics, current events and cases her parents were working on that piqued her interest.Jocelyn was always welcome to visit her mother, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor for 23 years before being elected judge in 2004, at work or on an occasional trip to the police station or crime lab to gain insight. She also found occasional work as a temporary receptionist or file clerk in the office with her father, a past Toledo Bar Association president and past president of the College of Law Alumni Association.After graduating from Toledo's St. Ursula Academy and the University of Notre Dame, Jocelyn spent two years in Atlanta as an executive recruiter before enrolling in fall 2007.Jocelyn, who made the Dean's List five times, says that the most important thing her parents taught her was that "family comes first, no matter what." She learned from her grandfather and grandmother the values of hard work and determination."They worked so hard and had so much success and have always been so humble and generous with everything they did," she explained. "So I have pretty good role models to follow.""When I finally decided to go into law, what really inspired me about my parents and grandfather is that they are people whom the community needs," Jocelyn explained. "Lawyers help people with serious problems,they are so essential.""We have had a dedicated allegiance and loyalty to the College of Law," said Frank W. Cubbon Jr. '53, the family patriarch who, along with late Bernard Rice, established Cubbon & Associates Co., L.P.A. in 1953. Over the years, the firm has employed 22 Toledo Law graduates, and Frank Cubbon was a positive force in the lives of hundreds of other attorneys. Mark V. Spix '77, an Atlanta based attorney who teaches Sports Law at Georgia State credited Frank Cubbon's loyalty to the family of a deceased friend for his admission to law school. Spix said that when he applied to law school, Frank "took the trouble and wrote about the son of his friend who had been gone for 15 years and did so with passion and conviction." Cubbon's impact on the hundreds of lawyers he mentored is legendary. Robert W. Pike '66, who later went on to serve as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for The Allstate Corporation, had the opportunity to work with Frank for three years at the start of his career. He said he "probably learned more about how to manage both myself and others than I have since I left his firm. He was able to make you feel good about yourself by quite frankly putting greater confidence in you than you had in yourself." Pike adds that Frank was a role model whose mentorship encouraged his associates to put forth their best efforts and Frank relied on "hard work, honesty, a zest for life, and giving those like me a chance to succeed." Pike concludes "no one could have asked for a better mentor or, more importantly, for a better friend."Cubbon said his decision to attend Toledo Law served him well, and he was gratified that the law school education he received allowed him to do what he wanted. He established himself as a skillful litigator a public figure with an established name and his legal skills earned him a solid living. To show their gratitude, Frank and Barbara Cubbon provided a substantial donation to the law school in 1996 for renovation of the moot court room that today bears their names. The Cubbons said their granddaughter's graduation reinforces their sense of appreciation for the values of a Toledo legal education.Rather than feeling intimidated by such a legacy to follow, Jocelyn exudes an air of confidence and excitement about what the future holds. "Im so grateful for the legal education and foundation that Ive received at Toledo. I know it will serve me well as I start to practice."Download the article here (PDF)

Supreme Court Argument

Bluffton Bus Crash

Jim Yavorcik, one of our attorneys, argued before the Ohio Supreme Court in September on an insurance coverage case stemming from a 2007 bus crash that killed 5 members of the Bluffton University baseball team and injured several others. At issue was whether the universitys liability policy covered the driver of the bus under the hired vehicle clause of the policy.

Office Location

Toledo Office
P.O. Box 387
Toledo, OH 43697-0387

Map & Directions

Toledo Office
405 N Huron St
Suite 500
Toledo, OH 43604

Toll Free: 800-648-1911
Phone: 419-574-9284
Fax: 419-243-9512
Map & Directions

Mailing Address