Significant Cases & Publications

Hani W. Hashem
Areas of Practice:
Personal Injury Litigation; Defense Law; Products Liability; Medical Malpractice; Business Litigation; Banking Law; Complex Divorce Litigation

Significant Cases & Publications

First Commercial Bank v. Walker, 333 Ark. 100 (1998): The Governor of Arkansas appointed Mr. Hashem as a Special Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court to hear the appeal of this $8.2 million verdict against First Commercial Bank for lender liability. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bank, reversing and dismissing the award. Mr. Hashem filed his concurring opinion, clarifying why the Supreme Court’s decision was consistent with longstanding precedent.

Schmidt v. Pearson, Evans & Chadwick, 326 Ark. 499 (1996): The Governor of Arkansas appointed Mr. Hashem as a Special Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court to hear this appeal of a $4 million verdict against attorneys for legal malpractice. The Supreme Court upheld the trial judge’s dismissal of the jury verdict. Mr. Hashem wrote his concurring opinion stressing the need to have clear rules of procedure in civil cases, before attorneys can be held accountable for legal malpractice.

Dermott Special School District v. Johnson, 343 Ark. 90 (2000): In this claim, Mr. Hashem represented a school teacher, against her employer in a case under the newly enacted Arkansans With Disabilities Act. Mr. Hashem’s client became wheelchair bound as the result of an unavoidable disease process, but requested to continue her teaching duties. Part of her request included a request for a handicapped-accessible bathroom. The school district’s response was to delay the renovation of a handicapped-accessible bathroom, while it continued to commit funds to repairing and renovating sports facilities. Instead, the school district requested that other teachers, including a male physical education teacher, assist the Plaintiff with access on and off the commode, even though she was fully capable of making this transfer on her own with an appropriate handicapped-accessible restroom. A jury awarded the school teacher the maximum amount allowed by law.

Perez-Benitez v. Candy Brand, LLC, U.S.D.C Western District of Arkansas, Case No. 07-1048: This class action was one of the largest migrant farm worker cases in the United States, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and involved approximately 2,800 Mexican nationals. Mr. Hashem acted as lead counsel for the defendant employers. Under his guidance, Mr. Hashem’s clients were able to negotiate reasonable settlements, thereby avoiding devastating judgments and likely bankruptcy.

Willson Safety Products v. Eschenbrenner, 302 Ark. 228 (1990): Mr. Hashem represented a victim who was injured by defective hearing protectors and recovered a judgment of almost $600,000 for the client. The case dealt with numerous issues of product liability law, but more importantly, was the first known case in the nation to recover for the type of injury received by the victim.

Canal Ins. Co. v. Adams, 72 Ark. App. 440 (2001): In this case of first impression, Mr. Hashem convinced the Arkansas Court of Appeals that insurance coverage extended from a collision with railroad tracks.

Sadie Harding v. National Resources, Inc., USDC, Ark., 89-1130: In this product liability case, tried in El Dorado, Mr. Hashem represented the widow of a Potlatch employee who was killed on the job, when a defective toggle switch on a lumber car shifted into forward and crushed the worker. Even though the defendant boasted, before trial, of never having lost a case, Mr. Hashem was able to prove the toggle had no “Deadman’s switch”, which cost less than $1 and would have saved Mr. Harding’s life. The jury awarded a substantial sum to the family. The story that Sadie Harding told, during trial, of setting the dinner table for her deceased husband every night, when she heard the Mill Whistle blow, even 4 years later, has become the heart of Mr. Hashem’s lectures and war stories, on the subject of loss of consortium.

Western Gulf Savings & Loan v. Commercial Bank & Trust Company, 753 F. Supp. 270 (1990): Mr. Hashem defended an Arkansas bank against claims of fraud and tort, made by a high flying Texas S&L. The case was successfully defended at trial by Mr. Hashem, with the jury awarding only a small fraction of the claim against his client, while holding other defendants responsible for the fraud and sizeable loss.

Villines v. Harris, 362 Ark. 393 (2005): Mr. Hashem served as a Special Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court in this important case, clarifying jurisdictional limits of county courts under the Arkansas Constitution.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Trying the Toxic Tort Case After Daubert and Willamette, ATLA Docket, Summer 1999: In this article, Mr. Hashem helps trial lawyers navigate the complex evidentiary issues regarding expert witnesses in toxic tort cases. The article has also been the subject of a continuing legal education course taught by Mr. Hashem. His blend of humor and legal insight has attained the praise of both attorneys and judges.

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