GIVING BACK

We believe in helping our communities beyond the confines of the courtroom.

Morgan & Morgan Hunger Relief Center Dedication

Morgan & Morgan Hunger Relief Center Dedication

On March 6, 2013, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s fight to end hunger took a major step forward with the dedication of the Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Hunger Relief Center. The new, 100,000-square foot facility—more than double the size of its predecessor—is equipped to handle millions of pounds of food the organization had to previously turn away due to a lack of adequate coolers, freezers, and general infrastructure space.

“This is one of the best things we’ve ever done,” Mr. Morgan said of he and his wife Ultima’s generous $2 million donation to the cause. “Other than the four children, this is one of the best things we’ve ever done.”

By the organization’s estimates, the value of the food stored in the Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Hunger Relief Center over the next 20 years will exceed $1.4 billion.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization spearheading the fight to end hunger by collecting and distributing food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies throughout Brevard, Orange, Lake, Seminole, Osceola, and Volusia counties in Central Florida. In addition to gathering and distributing food to those in need, Second Harvest Food Bank strives to raise public awareness on the “invisible problem” of hunger and poverty, as well as develop county-specific solutions to hunger in Central Florida.

If you would like to get involved with or donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, please visit their website.

Visit Their Website

For The People Scholarship

For The People Scholarship

Morgan & Morgan is committed to helping out those students looking to get into law as a career. To help out, we formed the For The People Scholarship. Through this scholarship, we've already helped pay for law school for a first-year law student who was committed to making his or her community a better place.

John Morgan places a big emphasis on giving back to the community, and has built the firm to reflect his values of charity and public service. Many of our firm’s partners holds at least one leadership position in a charitable organization, for example.

We seek to inspire these values of charity and public service beyond our firm, and encourage aspiring lawyers to approach their careers as our attorneys already do.

Find Out More

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

In 2013, John Morgan partnered with United for Care in campaigning to legalize medical marijuana on behalf of sick and suffering Floridians. It took nearly four years, two elections, and cost John millions of dollars, but medical marijuana was finally legalized in 2016.

John’s support for medical marijuana is personal; it helped relieve the pain of his father, who had emphysema and esophageal cancer, and his brother, who is paraplegic. Another reason he supports medical marijuana is because of the damage he’s seen caused by the powerful prescription pain medications his clients are often given by a doctor following an injury.

The initial campaign began by writing an initiative and hiring an “army of angels” to collect the nearly 700,000 signatures required to get it on the 2014 ballot. While collecting signatures proved challenging, the initiative eventually qualified for the ballot but faced a consistent and well funded opposition throughout the campaign. In the end, 58 percent of voters were in favor of the initiative, but it required at least 60 percent to pass.

Undeterred, and further inspired by Floridians who urged him to try again, John launched another campaign to legalize medical marijuana. The second time around Florida had no doubts about medical marijuana and the initiative passed with a resounding 71 percent of the vote.

boys town usa

Offers access to foster homes and guidance for at-risk youths.

harbor house

Provides help for abused women and children.

the miami project

Conducts neuromuscular and spinal injury research and testing.

united cerebral palsy

Provides vital therapy and services to children with special needs.

Firm News

Morgan & Morgan’s success over the last three decades was made possible by the talented attorneys on our team, all of which are committed to going the extra mile for the clients who depend on them. Miguel A. Dominguez, a South Bronx native, is one of those very attorneys, as his unique skill set allows him to communicate persuasively with tact and compassion in the courtroom. Beginning as a social worker in Atlanta, Mr. Dominguez found his passion for helping others. He enrolled in law school to earn a position where he could prevent the systemic cycles that prevent communities from enjoying a safe environment, much like what he witnessed in his childhood. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of roles, but his mission remains the same: helping the victims of civil rights violations and personal injury cases find success in their legal challenges and move on from the situation towards a better future. 

Affectionately referred to as “the Denominator” by his colleagues, Miguel Dominguez has proven to be an undeniable asset to both Morgan & Morgan and victimized individuals everywhere. We had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Dominguez, and our conversation is transcribed below: 

This interview was lightly edited for clarity.

What Sparked Your Interest in Becoming an Attorney? 

As a kid, I didn’t plan on becoming an attorney. I came from very humble beginnings in the South Bronx, which was a war zone back in the early ’80s. If you’ve ever heard the expression, “the Bronx is burning,” that was my neighborhood. There weren’t many role models, and there was nothing positive about the school system at the time, so not many people were dreaming of becoming personal injury attorneys. There wasn’t anyone that I surrounded myself with back then who would have imagined I would end up becoming an attorney.

It wasn’t until years later, after witnessing police brutality and corruption in the South Bronx firsthand, that I began to take an interest in civil rights and civil rights violations. Additionally, my mother was involved in a terrible car accident that she never truly recovered from, which was only made worse by our family’s lack of insurance. For us, it was a decision that most poor people have to make to survive financially: do you buy adequate insurance or feed the family? The combination of my neighborhood environment and my family’s legal struggles ultimately made me interested in law, personal injury, representing people, and advocating for justice. 

What Is It About Personal Injury and Civil Rights That’s Made You Dedicate Your Life to Helping Others?

For me, personal injury and civil rights are my main focus. Personal injury can look very different between cases, but not many people know that it also includes negligent security cases. These situations involve landlords who own property that is dangerous due to crime, who do nothing to make it safe and profit from those suffering in these living conditions. Whether it’s a rundown motel or an apartment complex in a dangerous area, these are the situations I’m interested in.

On the other hand, civil rights involve all kinds of injustices and terrible living conditions for those who are locked up in detention centers, jails, and prisons across the country. Some of the worst injustices happen in these environments, and unfortunately, not many people care about the victims. Many of these individuals are sentenced to a few years for a minor crime, yet they leave the facility in a body bag due to the unsafe conditions. There are also sexual abuse cases that occur at these government and community facilities, which are designed to be safe havens for the vulnerable. All of these terrible circumstances that our people face interest me because it’s an opportunity to make a positive change for those who are suffering. 

How Have Your Clients Impacted You Personally And How You Practice Law?

From my vantage point as a trial attorney and minister of justice, you need to be emotionally invested in the lives of the people you serve. I wasn’t the architect of my own life experiences, but I know that I’ve been uniquely prepared to do the work I do and serve humanity in a positive way. In criminal law, the emotional stakes are extremely high whether you’re defending or prosecuting. Each case concerns someone whose life hangs in the balance between going to prison or not, and on the prosecution side, you’re representing the family of a victim who might not be able to speak for themselves. These families are looking for justice, closure, and are in pain from the travesty or violence that they’ve collectively experienced, making it even more important to help them find solace in their case. 

I bring all of those experiences, whether good or bad, into my civil cases today. For example, I just recently had a trial where we recovered $1.2 million for a young man that was involved in a car wreck with a decorated Atlanta detective. The young man’s injuries were severe, and we were going up against the city of Atlanta because the detective was dishonest about his actions and denied responsibility for the accident. Long story short, the city refused to adequately value our client’s losses, which resulted in a $40,000 pre-trial offer. My client was terrified, as we both understood how government agencies and corporations will use their size advantage to bully the little guy. I used the courtroom to level the playing field, and relying upon my former experience as a prosecutor and my experience as a criminal defense attorney, I was able to help my client recover from his unfortunate circumstances. In the end, you’re not going to beat me when you’re on the wrong side of the issue, especially when I’ve emotionally connected to my client and their story.

What’s the Worst Advice You’ve Received or Heard Given to Another Attorney?

I think that the worst advice is given to young attorneys fresh out of law school. People will say, “Hey, you can do this on your own. You look good in a suit, and you did well in the mock trial, so go hang out in your own shingle and make a living for yourself,” rather than giving them the opportunity to grow and develop as an attorney. This can seriously hinder young lawyers, as the speed at which they develop and the quality of their skills is going to vary significantly based on their initial experience in a given learning environment. Law firms are workplaces with a lot of different levels of experience, and when you’re surrounded by all that expertise and talent, you’re ultimately going to reach your goal a lot sooner than if you kept your head down and tried to figure it out on your own. Young lawyers should surround themselves with opportunities to learn every day, not seclude themselves in a cubicle and attempt to take on the world by themselves.

What Change Do You Want to Make in the World of Law in the Next Five to Ten Years? 

Some of that work can be accomplished through the struggle for civil rights, but I think that we have a lot of legislative work to do first. We need judges on the federal bench who can make the right decisions and operate from a people-first perspective, a common-sense lens, and see how the laws affect the common person. Right now, these judges have more of a desire to be respected scholars than they want to do the right thing, and it’s become a dangerous epidemic within the legal industry. It’s the reason why the common man is often exasperated, exhausted, and frustrated by our system of justice; it’s all a result of politicizing the bench.

On a smaller scale, I’d like to bring about a positive change in how the public views the legal profession. One client at a time, I can show that I do what I do for all the right reasons. I feel for the attorneys and judges that don’t, but it’s hard sometimes because their behavior is the reason that people question the integrity of law in the first place. In fact, I won’t repeat lawyer jokes because they perpetuate the negative stereotype that I’ve aimed to change. There always needs to be someone representing the little guy, and I want myself to become the voice for this voiceless minority. That change comes by doing the right thing every day, even when it’s difficult.

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 06:08

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious illness affecting newborns. The result of inflamed tissue in the large intestine, NEC damages and kills tissue in a baby’s colon. NEC can also cause a hole in the intestines that allows bacteria to spread from the intestinal tract to the abdomen and, in some cases, throughout the body. 

Physicians aren’t exactly sure what causes NEC, but it is strongly associated with premature births and formula feeding. Feeding premature babies human milk can reduce the risk of NEC. Conversely, preemies fed cow’s milk-based formulas, such as Enfamil and Similac, are at higher risk of developing NEC, studies have shown. The parents of babies diagnosed with NEC are alleging in lawsuits that formula makers like Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson and Company knew of the links between NEC and formulas derived from bovine milk, but failed to warn about this serious side effect. 

We’ve put together some resources to help parents understand the disease and get medical help. 

NEC Society

The NEC Society is a nonprofit research, advocacy, and educational organization whose mission is to build a world without NEC. Its website has resources for families, including information to help parents make informed decisions for their baby, navigate the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and find support. There are also opportunities to get involved with and support the NEC Society. 

National Institutes of Health 

The NIH, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the largest medical research agency in the world. NIH links to a number of websites and groups that provide information about NEC. This is a good starting point for parents wanting to know more details about the disease and how to care for a premature infant. There are also links to resources that give a more scientific perspective on NEC and preterm babies. 

Cleveland Clinic

One of the nation’s top hospitals, Cleveland Clinic has a comprehensive summary of NEC-related issues, including symptoms and causes, tests used to diagnose the disease, possible complications and how to manage them, treatment options, prevention, and questions to ask your healthcare provider. A references section has links for further reading on these topics. 

UNICEF

Curious about the research linking breastmilk to lower rates of NEC? This is your one-stop link for studies that explore the connection. The earliest study on the subject, which dates back to 1990, found that formula-fed preterm infants were 6 to 10 times more likely to develop NEC than those receiving breastmilk. The most recent link is to a 2020 study that found intake of mother’s milk is associated with lower rates of NEC and other conditions. 

BMJ

The BMJ, a highly-respected peer-reviewed medical journal, published a 2021 review that looks at what it describes as an attempt to normalize infant formula feeding. BMJ attributes this normalization, in part, to “aggressive marketing of formula products.” However, it concludes that scientific trials supporting these marketing claims—which are almost always reported as favorable—lack independence and transparency. The formula industry plays a large role in formula trials and has a financial incentive to promote formula over breastfeeding—a point that is raised in infant formula NEC lawsuits. 

Morgan & Morgan, the nation’s largest injury law firm, has put together its own resources on baby formula and NEC. You can find them here and here. And you can click here to schedule a free consultation with a defective product lawyer, who will be your best resource for learning your legal options. 

 

Mon, 01/10/2022 - 13:26

Kelli Lester, a southern Kentucky native, dedicated her career to advocating for the rights of car accident victims, who have experienced some of the most traumatic moments of their lives. She’s the Managing Partner of Morgan & Morgan’s Nashville office and also oversees the daily operations of our Bowling Green, Kentucky office, making her an integral part of our mission here at Morgan & Morgan. Her degree from the University of Kentucky School of Law, in combination with her years of experience as a talented litigator, has allowed her to help hundreds of people in need, often recovering large settlements when the pre-trial offer was $0.

Mrs. Lester is an undeniable asset to both our firm and the clients who depend on her. We had the opportunity to sit down with her, and our talk is transcribed below:

This interview was lightly edited for clarity.

Can you share some insight into your journey as a lawyer?

Kelli: I came from a very humble background. I did not grow up with money. I grew up in a very rural area in south-central Kentucky, and my parents worked paycheck to paycheck to provide for my family. More than anything, the experience made me realize that I wanted more, so I went to law school and became the first person in my family to receive a doctorate degree. My background has become my most powerful tool, and I’m so incredibly thankful to have grown up in such a humble household. Now, I fight for clients who are in the same position that I was as a child, which shows you just how far hard work will take you.

Is there a specific reason you chose to focus on auto accident cases?

Kelli: Before I came to Morgan & Morgan, I practiced auto law and was well-versed in auto car wreck cases. Unfortunately, some of the most catastrophic injuries surround car wreck victims. Once I heard Morgan and Morgan would be opening an office in Bowling Green, Kentucky, I basically beat down their door to work for them. I had read all of John Morgan’s books; I knew I wanted to work there, as our backgrounds are very similar in how we grew up. My dream was to be a trial attorney, and that is where he wants his attorneys most in a courtroom.  

What would you say is the biggest challenge for your job? In other words, what’s the hardest part about the work that you do for your clients?

Kelli: One of the hardest things about what we do in our auto cases is handling the many times we’re limited to the amount of insurance that the at-fault party has on their vehicle. In some cases, an individual will get into a catastrophic car wreck with someone who only has a $25,000 policy on their vehicle and no collectible assets. The victims in these situations can only recover that $25,000 from the at-fault party’s insurance company, even if they were paralyzed or lost a limb as a result of the wreck. Now, if our client has car insurance, which many times they do, they’ll also have a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, this is often an additional $25,000 or $50,000, which is nothing close to the price of their pain.

The difficulty comes when we have to explain to our clients that they’re going to be limited in their recovery if there’s not a company, employer, or excess coverage involved. We knock down every door to find coverage for these clients, and sometimes, we’re able to find additional coverage, but it’s not guaranteed. Then, the real battle begins with their health insurance company and the medical facilities where they treat our clients, as they’ve already gathered hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills at this point. We battle with these facilities to negotiate the medical bills down to an amount that we can pay off and maximize what the client will get in their pocket as many times they will be unable to work for months. The settlement doesn’t fully compensate them for the catastrophic injuries that they’ve sustained, and that’s definitely the most difficult and most heartbreaking part of my job. 

On the flip side, what’s the most positive aspect of your fight For the People?

Kelli: The most rewarding part of my job, sincerely, is the end of it, as we’re able to tell the client that we’ve won and they can finally move on from the situation. We have paid all of their medical bills, and collection agencies won’t beat down their door any longer. These people are forced to go through years of litigation with insurance companies who fight them on the silliest defenses, all the while refusing to compensate them for their injuries. It may have taken two years to get it done, but seeing the client satisfied that justice has been done on their behalf is the most rewarding part of any case. 

I will also add that Morgan & Morgan is unique compared to other firms. Not every firm will tell you to do “whatever it takes” to help your client recover a fair settlement, but here, we spend as much time and resources as we need to get the job done. I’ve worked with other organizations, but Morgan & Morgan is the only one that provides us with every resource we need to fight for our clients, regardless of the size or severity of their case.

Kelli Lester family

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in the last 10 years?

Kelli: The best advice that I’ve ever received came from a female attorney who I would consider one of my mentors. She said, “Be yourself,” and I think that’s important because female attorneys often try to fit themselves into a certain box or act a certain way because they’re a woman. Honestly, I think it’s all nonsense. One of the most powerful tools that I have as an attorney is being a female, as I feel it gives me a set of tools to be empathetic and compassionate in a way that men can’t be.

Keith Mitnik, another one of Morgan & Morgan’s talented litigators, gave me some really good advice when I started here as well. He said to me, “There is nothing more powerful than a good, female trial attorney. They’ll kick a male trial attorney’s butt any day of the week.” His sentiment stuck with me because, well, it’s true. You have to practice the craft and work hard every day, but once you figure out how to do it, there’s nothing that can stop a female attorney. 

Would you say that your job is more emotionally difficult than the average job? 

Kelli: Absolutely. I will tell you that I’m an empath, so I carry a lot of emotional responsibility with me as I go through life. In other words, I can feel the pain of my clients when I meet with them. Hearing their stories and seeing what they’ve been through is emotionally taxing because, at the end of the day, that client could potentially lose their home. Personally, I try to treat every client like they’re my own family member to really understand the situation they’re going through. It allows me to put myself in their shoes and truly believe in the case that I’m fighting for. If you don’t believe in your case, you can’t express that feeling to a jury, and they won’t believe in it either. 

Kelli Lester child

 

Thu, 12/23/2021 - 11:47
See More Firm News

For press or sponsorship inquiries, please contact 212.738.6254.