The Harper Law Blog

The Harper Law Blog offers news, announcements, thoughts and articles on life, law and our practice areas of emphasis.

Announcement of Harper Mediation

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2018 by Ed Harper

Harper MediationI am pleased to announce the expansion of my business to include Harper Mediation. Harper Mediation will be focusing on mediating personal injury and insurance claims. Our goal is to provide compassionate support and extensive legal experience to help guide the mediation process.

Over the past 27 years dealing in personal injury and insurance matters, I have engaged with a wide variety of people and claims. I have learned that everyone involved with a case has a story to tell. Each side has their own perspective. My gifts and skills as an empathetic counselor and understanding listener for both sides will be integral to the process. Throughout my career, I’ve dealt with difficult, heart-wrenching fact patterns. I know the agony on both sides of the table and as a neutral party, I will work tirelessly toward resolution. The experience of practicing in both California and Washington gives me insight into creatively getting a case to resolution.

Our website has more details about my vision, our firm and my fees:(

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Posted Monday, May 21, 2018 by Ed Harper

A significant skill a person can have is the ability to set a goal, and then accomplish that goal. These seven (7) steps are a good starting place for anybody who hopes to achieve their goals.

  1. IDENTIFY YOU GOAL – You must have a target for what you are going after. As Harvey Penick, the famed golf coach to Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, said – “Take Dead Aim” and you may hit it.

  2. IDENTIFY THE BENEFITS FROM REACHING THE GOAL – This provides the personal motivation to accomplish your goals.

  3. LIST MAJOR OBSTACLES OF REACHING YOUR GOAL – Think through the problem(s) you may encounter and even ask a trusted friend or loved one to help.

  4. LIST THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED TO REACH YOUR GOAL - There is a direct relationship between knowing and doing. Successfully accomplishing a goal requires both to occur.

  5. IDENTIFY THE INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS TO WORK WITH – People work better when they can share with each other and offer valuable advice.

  6. DEVELOP A PLAN OF ACTION –Think through the details of how to achieve the goal. This is the hardest part.

  7. SET UP A COMPLETION DATE – If there is no set a deadline, there will be no personal accountability or to the calendar.

One might ask: how this pertains to personal injury claims? Claimants must have a clear vision of what they are going after before the claim is settled. If money is all the other side can provide, then there is a business decision to make at the culmination of the negotiation. Does it make sense financially to settle or take it to trial? That is the key question claimant’s must answer before settling.


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Head Injuries and Mary Seau Foundation

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 by Ed Harper

Head Injuries and Junior Seau FoundationRecently the family of Junior Seau, a prolific and successful linebacker from a Super Bowl contending team, and my alma mater USC, had a symposium on head injuries. It has been now confirmed by Boston University scientist Ann McKee MD that Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012, at 43, had CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Seau tragically took his own life by shooting himself in the chest; the cause was later discovered to be due the ramifications of his brain injury. It was also found he shot himself in the chest to allow scientists to study his brain regarding the effects of CTE.

Seau had been an outstanding football player and multi-sport start since early in his life. He played linebacker, one of the more physically traumatic positions in football. He graduated with a 3.6 GPA from Oceanside High School in Oceanside California in the late 1980’s. Ultimately he had a very successful college career at USC and was later drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the NFL draft. He had a long and distinguished career in the NFL ultimately playing for the New England Patriots, and the Miami Dolphins. He was a 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection, a member of the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team, and he was named to the NFL Hall of Fame after his death.

Studies have shown that repeated brain trauma, especially at an early age prior to high school, severely injure the brain, and football organizations are paying the price. The movie League of Denial movie is informative regarding the NFL and its unwillingness to offer the truth regarding concussions and their effect on players. Pop Warner Youth Football is also being sued in the Southern California federal court regarding two young people who committed suicide in their early 20s. Their parents are bringing claims against Youth Football for allowing their children to continue playing amidst violent head trauma.

There have also been proposals to ban youth tackle football until high school. This will give young football players to grow through adolescence and have their brains more developed before participating in this violent endeavor.The Mary Seau Foundation, started by the sister of Junior Seau, is in the process helping to illuminate this problem that has taken countless lives.

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Horrific Injuries can Lead to Bankruptcy

Posted Monday, April 02, 2018 by Ed Harper

Recent studies have shown that the need for one to have health and auto insurance is a vital 1st step in the preparation one must take to be prepared for misfortune. When a long-term chronic medical condition arises, it poses a significant financial burden on injured persons. Personal injuries to an uninsured person or family member can lead to catastrophic results following an accident.

Medical bills and an interruption in one’s ability to work have dire financial consequences as many people live paycheck to paycheck.

“Families bankrupted by medical problems include things such as trauma/orthopedic/back problems for nearly 1/3 of all those who file bankruptcy after an accident.… And 51% of the medical problems involved ongoing chronic illnesses.” (Illness and Injury Contributors to Bankruptcy, December 3, 2004). As a result of financial decisions made during tough economic times, people have been forced to reduce or even eliminate health and auto insurance.

Further, of those who have filed bankruptcy after an injury, many initially had health insurance. This study showed that 20% of those injured that filed bankruptcy had insurance but lost the insurance coverage because of their inability to work.

I’ve represented many personal injury clients with uninsured or underinsured motorist claims when an individual has been injured. Unfortunately, the other driver – the at fault party – failed to have adequate coverage, yet one still recouped for some, if not all, of the effect from the detrimental injuries and damages. To avoid this problem, the UM portion of your policy is vitally important to review and consider adding.

Just as the Boy Scout motto states, “Be prepared.” Have good health insurance and also have good automobile insurance with special attention paid to uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage applies if you are struck by an uninsured motorist, who is at fault, so that you can still be protected from their negligence.

Call Harper Law if you have any questions regarding your insurance benefits.

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The Purpose of Mediation

Posted Monday, March 26, 2018 by Ed Harper

Mediation is, “The act or process of mediating; especially intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.” (

Conflict resolution is a skill everyone should have, or at least seek to have. Seeing the view of the other side, and seeing their perspective is an integral part of resolving one’s disputes. As the Bible says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18).

As a personal injury lawyer I have often been a participant in mediation. Typically, a person will have an injury claim, and an insurance company will attempt to place a value on that claim. The injured person is offered and then ultimately provided compensation in exchange for a release of all claims. Often during the mediation for a personal injury claim, the mediator will explain the risks compared with the benefits of going forward to trial. The risks may include the possibility that a jury will not have the same value of the injury and thus provide a lower amount of compensation due to facts the injured person did not consider. This effort by the mediator is to have the injured person see the perspective of jury and/or the insurance adjuster on the other side.

Today, in our modern society, obtaining justice, and establishing “my rights” is the ultimate ideal. Justice is vastly important, and I think when there has been injustice, wrongs should be addressed. However, true resolution can only be reached when both sides are not only worried about their own well-being, but also attempt to see how the other side may benefit.

Healing, both emotionally and physically, from an injustice can only begin after one sees the perspective of the other side. In essence, there is not always a right or wrong opinion, so one must not become myopic and self-absorbed. They cannot see the whole picture when they cannot see both sides of the coin. I am a proponent of mediation as it always sparks the beginning of the healing process. Seek peace and resolve your disputes. Be a catalyst for reconciliation.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. “As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man or woman. There will still be business enough.” - Abraham Lincoln.

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Harper Law PLLC
826 6th Street South, Suite 101, Kirkland, WA 98033-6740 US
Phone: 425.284.3333
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