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2018 News and Events

Ivette Chow Announced Winner of Annual Benson & Bingham Scholarship

December 11, 2018
Source: Internal Release

Benson & Bingham is happy to announce that Ivette Chow has been deemed the grand prize $2,000 winner of the Annual Benson & Bingham Scholarship essay contest. Ms. Chow was admitted to the UC Hastings Class of 2021 and also received scholarships for being a member of the Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP), as well as a Chancellor's Scholarship recipient in recognition of her accomplishments to the UC Hastings community. While the firm received numerous well written essays, the partners chose Ms. Chow as the grand prize winner, with the runner prizes being awarded to Gabriel Boliou of William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV and Maria Spiridonova of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Participants in the 2018 scholarship contest had the option of choosing two topics with which to submit written essays, however the majority of entries chose to opine on the steps hotels and casinos should take to prevent or further mitigate the tragic events that unfolded at the Mandalay Bay Shooting this past year in Las Vegas. Partners Joe Benson and Ben Bingham believed Ms. Chow's essay proved most compelling due to some of her insights on hotel security post the October 1st, 2017 shooting at the Route 91 Festival. Managing Partner Joseph Benson stated:

"Once again, Ben and I had our hands full trying to select a grand prize winner for our annual scholarship contest. After the horrific events that happened so close to home last year, the essay written on improving hotel security in not only our region but the country is such a relevant topic. In the end, we deemed Ms. Chow's essay as the most thought provocative, especially in regards to her solution to equip staff and security employees with panic buttons that are tracked by GPS. As we learned from last year's events, when an alarm is sounded, every second counts when it comes to a timely and comprehensive response."

After Benson & Bingham received so many compelling essays in last year's first annual scholarship contest, the firm elected to offer two additional prizes for runner up submissions. While this was not intended, the firm wanted to reward additional law students who participated due to the amount of quality essays received. Accordingly. future scholarships will be awarded to one grand prize and two runner up prizes in the years to come. In the coming month, Benson & Bingham will publish the essay submitted by Ms. Chow and will post it on our website.

Established in 2003, Benson & Bingham is a Nevada injury, accident and workers' compensation law firm committed to client satisfaction. The firm has four law offices in the region: Downtown Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson and the newest addition in Reno, Nevada. Benson & Bingham is focused on client service, from the initial consultation to the final outcome, the firm communicates with its clients every step of the way.

Attorneys from Benson & Bingham attend 2018 Nevada Justice Association Meeting in San Diego

November 17, 2018
Source: Internal Release

Attorneys from Benson & Bingham attended the Nevada Justice Association's (NJA) 42nd Annual Convention/Seminar held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. The annual event provides continuing education credits to Nevada lawyers and keeps members abreast of new changes in the law; additionally the event marquees top speakers in personal injury issues and provides practice tips including trial preparation and marketing. The event is also a popular spot to mingle and socialize with the judiciary including Supreme Court Justices and District Court Judges. Next year the event will be held in Newport Beach, CA.

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The Nevada Justice Association is Nevada's premiere non-profit legal organization of independent lawyers with the common aim of improving Nevada's civil justice system, providing knowledge and advocacy to its membership.

Established in 2003, Benson & Bingham is a Nevada accident, injury and workers' compensation law firm with four law offices in the region: Downtown Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson and the newest addition in Reno, Nevada. Benson & Bingham is focused on client service, from the initial consultation to the negotiation process, the firm communicates with its clients every step of the way.

Benson & Bingham to Open Reno, Nevada Office in February

November 09, 2018
Source: Internal Release

Benson & Bingham has signed a lease to expand their practice to Reno on February 1st, the first Northern Nevada location to be opened by the law firm. The new law office will be centrally located on 1320 E. Plumb Lane, Ste 1320 - next to the Costco and mere minutes from Reno–Tahoe International Airport. Similar to the three Southern Nevada locations, Benson & Bingham - Reno will exclusively practice injury, accident and workers' compensation law, and will offer the same dedication to client satisfaction and service that have been the hallmarks of their law practice since its inception in 2003.

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Managing Partner Joseph Benson, who graduated from Earl Wooster High School which is directly across Plumb Lane from the location of the new law office, stated:

"Ben and I were eyeing a location in Northern Nevada for quite a while, just waiting for the right time and place to expand to Reno, our sister city to the north. With my ties to the region and familiarity with the city, expanding our law practice to the Reno market was an ideal fit; Benson & Bingham has represented many injury victims in Northern Nevada Courts, so it only made sense to open a fourth office in the area. I have fond memories of my early years in Reno/Tahoe, and opening a law office just across the street from my high school feels like we've really come full circle."

Benson & Bingham will expand it's service offerings to cater to clients in Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe, Carson City and the surrounding areas of Northern Nevada. With the addition of a Reno location, Benson & Bingham will now operate four personal injury law offices in the Silver State, with the other three offices in Downtown Las Vegas, Henderson and Summerlin, which will remain the firm's headquarters. For more information on the Reno expansion or to set up a free personal injury consultation, please contact our Reno law office at 775-600-6000 or fill out our contact us form.

Recent News and Events at Benson & Bingham, September 2018

September 21, 2018
Source: Internal Release

Benson & Bingham hires new Associate, Danielle Richardson Esq., a native of Las Vegas who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno and went to Law School in Oregon. Mrs. Richardson is working from the Summerlin location and has a very active case load handling exclusively personal injury matters.

Ida Ybarra Esq., celebrates her 2nd anniversary with Benson & Bingham as the supervising attorney of the Worker’s compensation division. Within two years, the workers compensation cases have grown to over 250 cases. Benson & Bingham is the exclusive local firm for national firms Morgan & Morgan, and Pond Lehocky Stern & Giordano whom refer their matters to Benson & Bingham.

Benson & Bingham announces intention to expand to the Reno market in Northern Nevada. Per Attorney Mr. Benson, “Its a natural fit for us to open an office in Reno as we currently handle cases in Northern Nevada from Elko to Douglas County, and a physical presence will only support those clients. Moreover, we have ties to the Reno/Tahoe area as I grew up in Incline Village and attended high school in Reno-we look forward to the growth potential Reno offers.” The office is expected to be opened 1st quarter of 2019.

Wooster High School designates scoreboard banner in honor of Benson & Bingham for its support of Wooster's football program. The banner was installed in August 2018 in recognition for the financial support for the program’s equipment needs. As a Hall of Fame football alumni of Wooster, Mr. Benson was excited to give back to the program that was so instrumental in his early success. Head football coach Bo Sellers is stepping into the family legacy of his father continuing the success of Joe Sellers’ stellar career at Wooster High School.

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Benson & Bingham Investigating whether Hotel Negligence Resulted in Tragic Deaths of Vietnamese Tourists

June 07, 2018
Source: Internal Release

Breaking News: A 31 year-old man named Julius Trotter has been arrested for the alleged killing by the Los Angeles Fugitive Squad.

Benson & Bingham is investigating the case involving the two Vietnamese tourists killed in their Circus Circus hotel room, an MGM property. It appears that a lone burglar traversed the premises gaining easy access to the elevators which were not protected with room key sensing and/or security monitoring. The individual stole a backpack and allegedly murdered the two guests stabbing them repeatedly. It appears this occurred at around 4:00 AM on Friday June 1, 2018 and is captured on video surveillance.

Las Vegas Metro Police Department released elevator footage of the horrific event that occurred at Circus Circus:


The two victims, Khuong Nguyen and Sang Nghia, as reported by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department were part of a Los Angeles tour group of twelve tourists visiting the strip from Vietnam, who had just arrived in Las Vegas. Their presence at a group outing last Friday to the Grand Canyon alerted concern when they didn't show up which led to the discovery of their bodies at their hotel room at Circus Circus. Apparently, the suspect had gained entrance to their floor, with hotel security footage showing the man going from door to door checking to see if any were open; it's possible he may have entered the room by just opening the door. The suspect is believed to be light-colored black man in his late twenties with a dragon or tribal tattoo on his neck. Police have asked that if anyone has any knowledge of the event to contact Las Vegas Metro Police Department or calling Crime Stoppers at 702-385-555. Additionally, Circus Circus has offered a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to the capture of the man's arrest.

Benson & Bingham represents victims of crimes and their families for negligent hotel security. While the facts are still being ascertained, Joseph L. Benson II, Esq stated:

“No guest of a hotel should be invaded by a stranger and certainly not murdered in their hotel room; the fact that a non-guest is able to traverse the property without being questioned at the early morning hours is inexcusable. It really calls into question the security measures in place from the door hardware to the elevator electronics to the security manpower—or lack thereof utilized at Circus Circus.”

This is not the first time crimes have been committed within the walls of Circus Circus. While considered a family friendly hotel and casino for tourists, in 2015 a Saudi airman was sentenced to 35 years to life for raping a boy in his Circus Circus hotel room during a New Years Eve kidnapping in 2012.

Established in the fall of 2003, Benson & Bingham solely practices personal injury and workers comp law, with three locations in Southern Nevada, including Downtown Las Vegas, Summerlin and Henderson. Call 702-600-6000 for answers to any legal questions regarding the potential civil liability.

UPDATE: The Las Vegas Review Journal reports door latch to victims room was broken: https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/homicides/las-vegas-hotel-room-of-slain-tourists-had-broken-door-latch-warrant-says/

Law Firm of Benson & Bingham Investigating Papillon Helicopter Accident Crash

February 11, 2018
Source: Internal Release

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Early reports of a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon on Saturday, February 10, 2018 give rise to questions surrounding the accident. Three people died and four were critically injured when an EC–30 operated by Papillon Airways went down in the Grand Canyon near Quartermaster Canyon. This is a popular sightseeing tourism area from the air. Military aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base assisted in the rescue of surviving passengers, however responders were confronted with difficult rescue conditions given the rocky terrain, lack of sun light and winds gusting at 50 MPH. Given these variables, rescuers were unable to transport survivors for almost 8 hours after the helicopter went down.

With 50 mile an hour winds roaring through the Grand Canyon, why did the helicopter depart for the sightseeing tour in the first place? This is an awful tragedy which likely could have been avoided. Lives have been lost and others critically injured. The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that one of the two rescue helicopters had to be grounded from rescue efforts due to strong winds. The helicopter tour pilot employed by Papillon saw fit to transport tourists in these conditions, but it was deemed too dangerous for rescue helicopters?

The Law firm of Benson & Bingham is investigating the helicopter crash in Peach Springs, Arizona near the Grand Canyon that took off from Boulder City, Nevada. The Eurocopter operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters went down in heavy winds, suspecting pilot error could be a primary cause of the accident. 50 mph winds suggest that the helicopter was operating in extreme conditions for a pleasure ride that should not have departed. Certainly a faulty component of the helicopter could be to blame necessitating a lawsuit against Eurocopter’s manufacturer, Airbus EC-130, a French company based in Marignane, France with annual revenues of $6.3 billion.

This is a stark reminder of the 2001 deadly helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon operated by Papillon in which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation ruled the crash was the result of pilot error. Joseph L. Benson II, Esq’s father, now retired, was an Air Force pilot and represented the last victims of the Papillon accident in 2001.

The Las Vegas based law firm of Benson & Bingham is keeping a close eye on the investigation which currently notes the cause of the crash as “unknown circumstances”. However, given the weather conditions, the writing is on the wall. Victims and their families are urged to contact Joseph L. Benson directly at 702-779-0801.

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Benson & Bingham Staff Member Amy Sulanke's Remarkable Son Corporal Angel Laurente

February 05, 2018
Source: Internal Release

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The following is a wonderful story from one of Benson & Bingham’s longest tenured staff members. Amy Sulanke is a litigation paralegal at the firm, and the following is a truly special story about her son, Corporal Angel Laurente.

Angel is the oldest of 6 children. During his freshmen year he decided to try wrestling. Angel went on to fight for and earn the Nevada State title during his Junior year. He injured his knee during the post-season and was required to have surgery to repair a meniscus tear. He remained determined, continued his rehabilitation, and came out strong for the beginning of the season during his Senior year. Through much strength and conditioning exercises, Angel battled his way through and won the Nevada State tile for his final year in high school. He graduated in 2014 with an Advanced Honors diploma. Angel had several college offers for wrestling.

In December 2015, Angel made the final decision to join the U.S. Army. He went through boot camp training in Ft. Benning, GA and found his permanent station in Ft. Drum, NY. He immediately adapted to the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, known for mountain warfare.

Angel discovered the Ranger training and began to discuss his interest with his leadership. He had to complete the Ranger Assessment and Selection, also known as RASP, before being able to go through the actual Rangel training. RASP is an intense 8-week course designed to test a Soldier’s physical and mental strength under extreme conditions. He passed!

In November 2017, Angel traveled back to Ft. Benning, GA and began the Raining training at Camp Rogers. The Army Ranger training is an intense combat leadership course oriented towards small tactical units. It is compiled of three phases: Darby, Mountain, and Swamp. Participants are typically allowed three recycles in each phase, but Angel completed each phase with no recycles. Angel was 1 of 4 graduates to go straight thru the training with no recycles. His training began with approximately 400 Ranger students; however, only 97 Rangers graduated, and we are proud to announce that Angel graduated in January 2018.

Angel has returned to Ft. Drum. He is recuperating before Airborne school in March 2018 and will eventually try out for a Ranger Regiment.

The partners at Benson & Bingham would like to extend our sincere congratulations for the determination and sheer will of Corporal Laurente and the other brave men in all our armed forces.

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