Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler April 14, 2016


The Supreme Court has heard personal injury cases on everything from tort law to international personal injuries committed on international flights. Photo by Aero Icarus (Flickr)

When people think of personal injury cases, one of the last courts they would expect to see get involved would be the Supreme Court of the United States. But the Supreme Court, or SCOTUS, has stepped in on issues involving state disputes, insurance problems, and even international law as it applies to decades-old treaties. It is no small feat to get a case heard in front of SCOTUS, and the decisions that this court makes cannot be appealed.

The Warsaw Convention and Psychic Injuries

The Warsaw Convention of 1929 outlines a set of rules dealing with the handling of luggage and carry-on items for international travel. In 1998, a passenger on an El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. flight named Tsui Yuan Tsen had her case argued in front of the court, and it was the Warsaw Convention that took down her case. Tsen claimed that associates of El Al conducted an illegal search of her and her baggage that wound up resulting in what she called a false arrest, psychic injuries, and a case of assault.

Under the Warsaw Convention, bodily injury is something that a passenger can sue for, as long as there is some sort of verifiable evidence of the injury. Tsen asserted that she did not receive any physical injuries but that her psychic injuries should be valid grounds for a suit under the convention. Initially, a federal court ruled against Tsen and referenced the Warsaw Convention as the reason for dismissing the case. But a New York Court of Appeals reversed the decision and said that El Al was responsible for Tsen’s injuries. That is when El Al appealed to Supreme Court for a final decision.

SCOTUS ruled that if a personal injury does not meet the guidelines of the Warsaw Convention, then a local court cannot rule against an international airline in a personal injury case. Had Tsen suffered physical injuries, the court may have made a completely different decision. But since her injuries were psychic in nature, the court ruled in favor of El Al.

The Direct-Injury Requirement of State Disputes

The Supreme Court often refuses to get involved in incidents that involve disputes within state lines, but it has jurisdiction when states start arguing about activities that cross state lines. The direct-injury requirement of federal law states that a state cannot be held liable for harming another state if that state only permits certain actions but does not engage in those actions itself. For example, if Texas enacted a law that allowed citizens to own military fighter jets, then Texas cannot be sued by Oklahoma because Texas citizens are using Oklahoma for target practice. Those individual Texas citizens would be subjected to criminal laws associated with mayhem, personal injury, and property damage.

When the state of Colorado legalized marijuana, it concerned the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma. After some back-and-forth banter, Nebraska and Oklahoma decided to sue Colorado because Nebraska and Oklahoma contended that their states were being damaged by citizens in Colorado who were high. Nebraska and Oklahoma did not have an issue with Colorado legalizing marijuana for medical personal use, but they did object to the state producing, storing, and distributing the drug.

When Nebraska and Oklahoma indicated their intention to sue Colorado to stop Colorado’s distribution of marijuana, the justices indicated that Nebraska and Oklahoma had no case because of the direct-injury requirement. The court indicated that Colorado’s actions may have enabled problems for its neighbors, but the state itself is not directly harming anyone. Nebraska and Oklahoma are currently seeking other ways to stop what it calls “Colorado’s marijuana scheme.”

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, and it makes some very controversial and important decisions. When SCOTUS decides to hear a personal injury case, it is usually a case with broad-reaching implications. When the court speaks, the legal world must listen. When it comes to personal injury cases, the Supreme Court continues to change the way law is practiced in other parts of the country.

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I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
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My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
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I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
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Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
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01:20 06 May 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.read more
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Bernard Orozco
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Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.read more
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Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
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