Blog : law

Univ. of San Francisco Bestows Honorary Degree on Dale Minami

On May 22, the University of San Francisco School of of Law bestowed an honorary degree upon Dale Minami, a partner at Minami Tamaki LLP.

Minami has tried numerous civil rights cases involving Asian Pacific Americans and other minorities on a pro bono basis, including Korematsu v. United States. Working with three USF law graduates and other experts, Minami served as lead counsel in this case that overturned Fred Korematsu’s 40-year-old conviction for his refusal to obey exclusion orders that sent Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II.

Minami said that the willingness of his Korematsu team to change course “brought us to this monumental case.”

“Life rarely unfolds in a straight-forward manner and as you change your dreams will change too in ways you never planned for,” Minami said. “The ability to deviate from a linear path will help you live those dreams. Each of us never quite knew where we were going when we started our law careers.”

Law school dean Jeffery Brand said that if Minami and his colleagues are powerful examples of what the law can do, the Class of 2010 is a reminder that a new generation of courageous, ethical lawyers are ready to take up the fight.

“Our honorees have demonstrated the simple truth that ordinary souls are capable of doing extraordinary things, and that an injustice, no matter how long it may fester, is worth fighting,” Brand said. “Our graduates have demonstrated the energy, passion, and drive to follow precisely the same path.”

Source: University of San Francisco, Office of Communications

$3.5M Settlement to Help Brain Injured Client with Care and Lost Wages

pedestrian-crossingDale Minami, Mark Fong and Seth Rosenberg in our Personal Injury practice recently obtained a $3.5 million settlement for a man who suffered brain injuries after being struck and knocked unconscious by a waste management truck while walking in a crosswalk in San Francisco.

The client, “George,” had to undergo emergency neurosurgery to relieve bleeding and pressure on his brain. Afterward, he required physical therapy and rehabilitation. The incident prevented him from continuing work as a mechanic for San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Authority.

The defendants, the company that owned and operated the truck, litigated the case for more than a year, claiming that George was not paying attention in the drizzling rain. They claimed the umbrella he was holding blocked his view of the right turning truck, as well as the driver’s view of him.

Lawyers for George were able to prove that he had suffered subtle, but significant mental and emotional changes and, using advanced technology, could demonstrate through a simulated video that the truck driver could have seen George despite the conditions and the rain.

The defendants eventually agreed to pay George $3.5 million dollars for his past medical expenses, lost wages, future care and residual brain damage. He will now be able to afford life care assistance for the rest of his life and not have to worry about his future medical care or providing for his family.

Dale, Mark and Seth felt the settlement sent a message to the truck company to pay more attention to the safety of the public and will donate some of their attorneys’ fees to the distribution of a pamphlet on pedestrian safety.

“I’ve seen so many auto/pedestrian accidents in San Francisco where drivers were simply not paying attention,” said Dale. “I’m glad we were able to help George’s family.”