Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How do I find a bankruptcy attorney in Charlotte?”
Yes, we have all heard the pitches day and night on network and cable television commercial spots. A law firm in a state far away is looking for people who worked in certain industries who developed mesothelioma. Some lawyer at this firm had an uncle who died of the disease, which makes the fight “personal.” He wants to fight for you.
Asbestos is an extremely durable fiber that is used in construction materials—mainly for insulation and as a fire retardant. Many people who have worked in the construction industry or in industries that use asbestos have suffered ill effects from breathing asbestos particles. Many have contracted a serious lung disease called Mesothelioma, and many have died of this and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure.
The early-to-mid-1990s featured what might properly be called asbestos hysteria, with schools and other public buildings embarking on costly and some say unnecessary efforts to eradicate the risk of asbestos exposure by tearing down walls, tearing out (and stirring up) asbestos, and replacing the fiber with other materials.
Then came the trial lawyers with their class actions and their endless search for asbestos-harmed claimants. They are still at it, and for good reason. Asbestos is still causing problems. At least one large company is trying to work its way through bankruptcy as a result of liability it is facing from asbestos claimants.
United States Bankruptcy Judge George Hodges held a closed trial last year in the Western District of North Carolina to determine just how much liability Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC was facing from asbestos plaintiffs. The evidence Judge Hodges used to make his decision was sealed. He ruled that past settlements between Garlock and asbestos plaintiffs were not a reliable gauge of the company’s liability because lawyers for plaintiffs had misrepresented the sources of asbestos exposure. In some cases, Hodges found, lawyers had alleged Garlock was the source of exposure, while in other cases, the same lawyers had alleged that the exposure came from other sources.
Media outlets and lawyers for defendants in pending asbestos lawsuits objected to the sealing of evidence, and last month United States District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. ordered Judge Hodges to conduct fact finding regarding the public’s right of access to the asbestos evidence. Judge Hodges indicated that he would determine whether documents should be sealed on a case-by-case basis, adding that he wanted to avoid “satellite litigation to the satellite litigation.”
In other words, Judge Cogburn wants to avoid a lawsuit over access to evidence in asbestos lawsuits which are themselves being litigated in the context of a company’s bankruptcy action.
Sounds simple enough, right? The bottom line is that nothing in the law—and nothing in bankruptcy—is simple. It is my job to make the complex understandable, and to help you find your way through a difficult situation. If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.
About the Author
Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.
A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.
Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.
In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.
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