Lynette Carrington 2013-01-03 23:43:08
When Lynn Hansen’s law partner of twenty-five years, James J. Jimmerson, Esq. noticed an upcoming ‘Women in Law’ feature for Attorney At Law Magazine, he agreed right away that the story of the very special and gifted attorney with whom he works, was a story to be told. “As a preeminent medical malpractice defense attorney, Lynn Hansen continues to have a proven track record of solid legal results for her clients” said Jimmerson. “She is unquestionably a leader in her field, as well as devoted to serving her community.” Born in Japan, Hansen lived in various locales growing up while her father was serving as a major general in the Air Force. All of her unique experiences led her to the legal success that she has today. “I got my baccalaureate degree in nursing from the University of Maryland in 1971 and I immediately went in the Air Force as a psychiatric nurse,” stated Lynn Hansen. After serving in the Air Force she went on to get her Master’s in psychiatric nursing. She continued working in the community while she put herself through graduate school. She then went on to teach nursing and psychology as a faculty member at Arizona State University. Remarkably, Hansen has been with Jimmerson Hansen since 1985. “It’s the first and only job I’ve had in law, other than my clerkship. When I graduated from McGeorge School of Law, that’s where I studied law, I wanted to clerk for a judge … and my father, who lived in Las Vegas at the time suggested, ‘Why don’t I come here?’ So I did, and I clerked for Judge Howard Babcock. And then I joined Jim and passed the Nevada Bar. In the interim, I had passed the California Bar the year before,” stated Hansen. In the mid-80’s, when Hansen had just joined the firm, she took on a case against The Landmark Hotel. An elderly woman had gone through the automatic door (the older “grocery store” open/close type) and the door closed on the woman. She fell down and hurt her foot. In the product liability case, The Landmark, the door manufacturer and the maintenance people for The Landmark were all defendants. “That case went to trial and we got a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. And then one of the defendants appealed it to Nevada Supreme Court,” Hansen explained. In a true David vs. Goliath lawsuit, Hansen, who had just been an associate of just a few years won a dramatic victory over a trio of seasoned partners in major law firms. “It was a little scary to be honest. Because I wasn’t sure I really knew what I was doing. Charles Thompson was our judge and he said that it was the first time he had given a res ipsa loquitur instruction to a jury and he had been on the bench for over twenty years!” said Hansen. The case now stands for the fact that the door was defective and should have operated correctly. “That case was my first trial alone and my first appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, and I won it. That was the most memorable case because it was my first. And not very many people can say that their first case now stands for rule of law in Nevada,” noted Hansen. Jimmerson Hansen Although Jimmerson and Hansen are partners in the firm, they mostly practice different areas of law. “I have my own work. I’m now helping Jim with some of his civil work, but for the most part, my clients are mine and Jim’s are his,” said Hansen. Her extensive education and work within the health care field has given her the strongest insight in defending the hospitals, doctors and nurses that call on Hansen for legal representation. The attorney has been representing many hospitals, HMOs, PPOS, nursing facilities, physicians, nurses, and even insurance companies, some since the 1980’s, giving testament to her longevity and legal and medical prowess. Hansen was recently involved in a high-profile ‘gastro crisis’ case, wherein approximately forty to fifty thousand patients were notified that they may have been exposed by improper techniques at particular clinic. She successfully defended her client, a physician, extricating him from many cases. As with many issues within the legal field, there have been challenges to her work. Tort reform enacted in Nevada in 2004 has affected medical malpractice cases. “It capped the non-economic damages such as pain and suffering at $350,000,”said Hansen. Where there used to be a joint or apportioned fault; that has changed. “…that has changed how the cases are tried and the interest of the plaintiff ’s bar in taking those kinds of cases has waned because they can’t get the large hits that they used to … so that‘s been probably the most significant thing in this area of law,” the attorney explained. Other cases on which she works are provider disputes with third party payers (insurance companies) and representing ambulance companies. “The facts of the case are not that interesting. I just like the kind of work. It’s always a challenge because every case is a different fact pattern,” Hansen explained. She always has her eye on the costs of her case to ensure her clients are being properly served. “You really have to balance it out as to the cost/risk benefit. Is it smarter to take to trial or to settle?” she noted. Professionally Dedicated and Community Minded “Her dedication to her community is outstanding and she is also honored to serve as a member of the board of directors of a national bank and has done so for quite some time now,” proudly states James Jimmerson of his partner. “She also served as a member of the Nevada Board of Bar Examiners for seven years.” Lynn Hansen is also very involved with the bar. “For eight years I was on the disciplinary committee and I was appointed by the board of governors of the State Bar. And, for seven years I was on the Board of Bar Examiners … I was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court, so we actually wrote and graded the bar exams…,” she explained. She enjoyed the company of a diverse group with whom she worked on those efforts. Lynn Hansen thoroughly loves her job, and feels that each job she has had along the way has enriched her. “I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve had. I like being a nurse as well. I love being on the faculty at ASU, in fact, when I got to Nevada, I actually taught at UNLV for about a decade. I like teaching. I’d like to go back to teaching at some point, but I still like practicing law better,” said Hansen. I enjoy working alongside my law partner very much. He is a terrific lawyer and I have learned a great deal from him. We still enjoy our work and often talk to each other about our challenging cases. With such a lengthy career at the firm, Lynn Hansen continues to find much satisfaction working with her clients. “I just think that it’s a challenging job. I like the area of medicine and because I have a unique background for that, the area is very easy for me … I know anatomy and physiology and I know medical terms, and no case is the same. It’s always something different,” finished the attorney.
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