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Bruce Stern’s Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog has been nominated for participation in The Expert Institute’s 2017 Best Legal Blog Contest.

Nominees were divided into nine categories ranging from criminal law to legal technology. With an open voting format that allows participants one vote per blog, each blog will be ranked within their category by the number of votes they receive. The three blogs that receive the most votes in each category will be declared the winners in those categories and will earn a permanent position in the Institute’s Best Legal Blogs Hall of Fame.

Voting began on September 25 and continues until November 4th.

Readers can submit one vote per blog, but can vote for as many blogs as they like across every category.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog’s voting page is here.

About The Expert Institute: Founded in 2011, The Expert Institute is a technology-driven platform for connecting qualified experts in every field with lawyers, investment firms, and journalists looking for technical expertise and guidance.

Lawrenceville, N.J. attorney Bruce H. Stern has been sworn in as the treasurer of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) at the organization’s annual convention in Montreal. AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar, working to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others.

Stern, a shareholder at Stark & Stark, specializes in traumatic brain injury litigation. He is the author of numerous articles on the subject and co-authored a book entitled “Litigating Brain Injuries” published by Thomson Reuters. Stern also serves on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the New Jersey Association for Justice, which awarded him its highest honor: The Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.

“I am excited to serve on the AAJ leadership team and continue to work toward our goal of protecting the civil justice system,” said Stern.

Stern is also a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and has been selected a fellow in the International Society of Barristers.

“Stern’s expertise and commitment to the association will be essential as we work to engage our membership and fight for AAJ’s mission in Congress, the courts, and in the arena of public opinion,” said AAJ President Larry Tawwater.

Stark & Stark would like to congratulate Accident and Personal Injury Shareholder Bruce Stern. Mr. Stern has been elected Parliamentarian of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) at the organization’s annual convention in Baltimore, Md. AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar, working to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others. Mr. Stern concentrates his practice in the area of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and wrongful death.

Bruce Stern, Chair of Stark & Stark’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, put together a video presentation entitled Concussions….Not to be Ignored. The presentation focuses on the importance of classifying concussions as traumatic brain injuries, and, making people aware of the fact that although a brain injury may have been classified as “mild” there are in fact serious potential dangers associated with these injuries. Mr. Stern also discusses the physical, cognitive and behavioral changes associated with mild traumatic brain injuries and how these changes can affect a patient’s life in the future.  

Last week, Bruce H. Stern, Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Accident & Personal Injury Group, was elected to serve on the Executive Board of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The AAJ is the collective voice of the trial bar on Capitol Hill and in court houses across the United States. It is the mission of AAJ to promote a fair and effective justice system for injured persons, safeguards victim’s rights, particularly the right to trial by jury and strengthens the civil justice system to education and to disclosure of information critical to public health and safety.

At its annual Board of Governors meeting, Mr. Stern was elected by the National Board of Governors to serve as one of their representatives on AAJ’s Executive Board.

At its annual meeting, the National College of Advocacy elected Bruce H. Stern, Shareholder and Chair of Stark & Stark’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group to serve on its Executive Committee.  The National College of Advocacy (NCA) is the educational component of the American Association for Justice charged with the responsibility to develop and provide continuing education for trial attorneys throughout the United States.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is continuing to adapt its programs to meet the needs of veterans from the Global War on Terror, with a variety of new services in place or underway.

The latest innovations for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the newest generation of combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan includes mandatory TBI training for all VA health care professionals, screening all recent combat vets for TBI and creating an outside panel of experts to review VA’s TBI services.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused without any visible injuries when explosives jar the brain inside the skull. VA has developed a TBI course that is mandatory for all health care professionals. The course teaches primary care providers ways to diagnose TBI in patients who might not otherwise be aware they suffer from it.

Also starting this spring is a program to screen all patients who served in the combat theaters of Iraq or Afghanistan for TBI. The new screening will be offered at all 155 VA medical centers.

To ensure VA is taking advantage of the latest technology, treatment innovations and diagnostic insights, the Department will establish a panel of outside experts to review VA’s complete polytrauma system of care, including its TBI programs.

“Polytrauma” is a term that includes TBI and encompasses the other injuries typically found in blast victims, including amputations, burns, hearing and vision problems and psychological trauma.
VA operates four major polytrauma centers — in Minneapolis; Tampa, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; and Palo Alto, Calif. — that have interdisciplinary teams of specialists working together on the complex medical needs of each patient. VA also has 17 regionally-based polytrauma facilities that provide specialized care closer to veterans’ homes.

Each of VA’s 21 regional health care networks is establishing polytrauma support clinic teams to further improve case management for veterans with TBI as they return home from the hospital, and to help them in their transition to their communities.

VA’s innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of TBI patients began in 1992, when four VA medical centers dedicated special facilities to treatment, rehabilitation, professional education and research regarding brain injuries. In March 2003, those facilities received their first patients from the Global War on Terror, and in April 2005, they were officially designated as polytrauma centers, featuring teams of specialists in various medical disciplines and case managers working together to help veterans overcome severe injuries.

“Inpatient care in one of our four polytrauma centers is the beginning of a long road to recovery,” said Dr. Michael J. Kussman, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health. “We are establishing an extensive continuum of care that will enable our patients to achieve the highest level of function and ability.”
Among the special adaptations VA is providing for the care of TBI and polytrauma patients are case managers assigned to each patient, a greater emphasis and understanding of the problems of families during the initial care and long-term recovery, and state-of-the-art video-conferencing that permits top specialists to take an active role in the treatment of remote patients.

VA treated more than 5.4 million patients last year, accounting for about 55 million outpatient visits and 600,000 hospitalizations. About 205,000 of the 630,000 veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have come to VA for health care, with fewer than 7,000 being hospitalized.

All combat veterans have access to free health care from VA for two years after their separation from service, bypassing rules that require determinations of service-connected injuries or income levels.

Readers of this blog are certainly aware of my concern about the number of brain injuries sustained by athletes, not only in the United States but throughout the world. It seems, every morning, when I log on to my computer and open my Google alert email about concussions, there seems to always be at least one story about some athlete having sustained another concussion.

In recent weeks and months, there has been a great deal of controversy directed to the National Football League concerning brain injuries in sports. Not long ago, it was revealed that Dr. Elliot Pellman, long-time chairman of the NFL’s research committee on concussions had misrepresented his credentials and qualifications according to the Baltimore Sun, ESPN and the New York Times. Yesterday, Dr. Pellman, a rheumatologist, resigned as chairman of the committee although surprisingly, he will remain a member of the committee.

Today’s Baltimore Sun article and New York Times report outline the controversy that has been surrounding the NFL and its research committee. Critics of the NFL assert that independent research widely contradicts the reports issued by the NFL’s concussion committee. Certainly, independent research is needed to protect injured athletes.