Recap of May 19 meeting

May 20, 2009

After a most pleasant hospitality time, President Allan Lloyd called the meeting to order with thirty two members and guests attending. There being no significant business to transact, we proceeded to a delicious lunch.

As dessert was served, Allan introduced our speaker of the day, Guy Gruppie of Murchison & Cumming. Our society has been called litigious. Guy presented statistics that did nothing to dispel that notion. The United States has more lawyers per capita than any other industrialized nation. The U.S. has 1 lawyer for every 265 citizens,  the comparable figure for China is 1 in 8000.

Accordingly, it is almost inevitable that anyone in business will be involved a lawsuit (or several of them) somewhere along the line.

Further contributing to the abundance of legal actions is the U.S. contingency fee system, with the attorney taking a percentage of any recovery as their fee. Typically, the percentage is one third to one half. Also, unlike many countries, the U.S. has no system where the loser pays the costs of suit, contractual provisions lacking.

Closer to home, there are certain areas designated as “legal hellholes” due to the proliferation of lawsuits. Los Angeles County is number one on that list and Clark County Nevada is number 4. Some others are Cook County, Illinois and Southern Florida.

Guy meticulously outlined the steps to protect against suits and what to expect from your lawyer in preventing, preparing for and defending them.

Thanks, Guy for your work in preparing such an excellent program just for our group. Thanks also to your able staff, associate Marianne Zakarian and IT expert Bob Leon. Great job!

Lastly, we had our raffle for a terrific group of prizes provided by Brian Gaa of CED, Steve Grainer of Mitsubishi, Tim Hawkins, Ed Trudeau and Gordon Simpkins of GMS. Mary Thomsic, John and Doris Brannon, Allan Lloyd of Draka, Jack Lawson, Patricia Howard of Janus and Leslie Malloy of Westcoast Pads.  SEE’s provided some very nice fabric tote bags for all attendants.

The raffle prize winners included:

Harvey Ledesma, Jack Lawson, Mike Barnum, Gordon Simpkins, Andy Duzich, Leonard Patito, Jo Wheeler, Ray Miller, Elizabeth Courtney and Woody Wright. This month’s attendance prize, a Fifty dollar gift card for Bev-Mo, provided by the group, went to Ray Miller