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Newsletter – Summer 2010

Summer Newsletter 2010
In This Issue


Bicycling Around Town


Homeowners Win Case in Court of Appeals

Devoti Presents Award of Honor

Casey Elected Councilman

Don’t Let Debt Collectors Abuse You

Did You Own Ralston Purina Stock on December 12, 2001?

Contact Details

Bicycling Around Town

It’s that time of year when parents chase after their young child after removing training wheels from her first bicycle, kids jump on their bikes after school and ride throughout the neighborhood, and families peddle together on local streets and trails on the weekends.

Cycling is an activity that every member of the family can enjoy. But, hazards do exist. Certain points must be remembered when you dust off your bicycle this Spring, you instruct your children about riding around the neighborhood or you enjoy your family outing.

First, wear a helmet. The single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is a helmet. And, make sure the helmet fits. Do not purchase a helmet that your child “can grow into”; find a helmet that

Second, teach the rules of the road to your children and obey all traffic laws. Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road when operating a bicycle on a public road. A bicycle should be driven on the right side of the road as near to the curb as possible. Obey all traffic signals, whether a sign or a light. And, remember to model, as well as teach, proper behavior.

Third, supervise your child until you are confident that she is capable of following the rules of the road and exercising good judgment.

For more information, please visit, and

Please call us if you or a family member are injured while riding a bicycle.

Homeowners Win Case in Court of Appeals

Homeowners represented by Casey & Devoti recently won their appeal of a verdict reached by a jury in Phelps County.

The homeowners sued the insurer of their home after a water pipe burst inside a wall. Water from the pipe pooled beneath the home, causing the home to settle. The homeowners made a claim for water loss with their insurer.

The case was tried to a jury in Rolla, Missouri, in January 2009. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the insurer based upon a faulty instruction submitted by the insurer. An instruction is the written direction given to the jury at the end of the case which directs the jury which facts the jury must find in order to render a verdict.

The family appealed the court’s submission of the insurer’s instruction to the jury. The appeal was filed in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, in Springfield. The Court of Appeals agreed with the family and sent the case back to Phelps County to be re-tried.

Devoti Presents Award of Honor

On April 24, the Lawyers Association of St. Louis bestowed the Award of Honor on Marcy Graham. The Award of Honor is given each year by the Association to a lawyer whose attainments as a trial lawyer and record of service to the legal profession and community merit recognition. The Association first presented the Award of Honor in 1946. Graham is a partner at the firm of Gray, Ritter and Graham.

Matt Devoti, the Association’s president, presented the Award of Honor to Graham during a dinner at the Sheration City Center in St. Louis. Devoti addressed the significance of the Award of Honor to the St. Louis legal community and his respect for Graham.


Casey Elected Councilman

Matt Casey was elected to the Richmond Heights, Missouri city council on April 6, 2010. Richmond Heights is located at the intersections of I-64 and I-170 in the heart of the St. Louis metropolitan area with a population of approximately 10,000 people. Matt will serve a four year term on the council.


Did You Own Ralston Purina Stock on December 12, 2001?

If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call Casey & Devoti for more information and to find out if you qualify.

Don’t Let Debt Collectors Abuse You

If you are behind in paying your bills, or a creditor’s records mistakenly make it appear that you are, a debt collector may be contacting you. If they do, do not let them abuse or harass you. Just because you are in debt and behind on payments does not mean that it is fair to harass you. You have rights.

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.

Under the FDCPA, the following practices are off limits for debt collectors:

Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:

  • use threats of violence or harm;
  • publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
  • use obscene or profane language; or
  • repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors may not:

  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
  • send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or
  • use a false company name.

Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge;
  • deposit a post-dated check early;
  • take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally; or
  • contact you by postcard.

If you believe a debt collector has abused or harassed you in violation of the FDCPA then you may have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered because of the illegal collection practices, like lost wages and medical bills. The judge can require the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, even if you can’t prove that you suffered actual damages. You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs.

In order to help establish your potential case, always document your communications with the debt collector. Keep detailed notes of your conversations or confirm your conversations with a letter. If possible, record all conversations with the debt collection agency. If you send a letter, make a copy of your letter and send the original by certified mail. Pay for a “return receipt”, so you will be able to document what the collector received. Keep all letters and documents (including envelopes) you receive from the debt collection company.

For more information or questions concerning the FDCPA, do not hesitate to call Casey   Devoti, PC.

Our Contact Information

Do you, a family member or friend need help? Please feel free to contact us at:

By Telephone
(314) 421-0763

By E-mail
Thomas J. Casey –

Matthew J. Devoti –
Matthew C. Casey –

We are happy to meet with you for an initial consultation free of charge.


10 South Broadway, Suite 825, St. Louis, MO 63102
Copyright 2009 Casey & Devoti


Casey & Devoti Welcome New Partner Anne Brockland

Matt Casey and Matt Devoti are pleased to welcome Anne Brockland to the firm as a new partner. The firm name will officially change to Casey, Devoti & Brockland, P.C. Anne joins the firm will over 10 years of personal injury trial experience with a special emphasis on medical malpractice. She takes great pride in helping people […] more

Casey & Devoti Collect Toilet Paper for Local Domestic Abuse Shelter

Casey & Devoti recently hosted a toilet paper drive to benefit St. Martha’s Hall, a shelter for abused women and their children.  Through the generosity of clients, colleagues, family and friends, the firm was able to collect over 150 rolls of toilet paper for the shelter. In late summer, a water leak in the shelter’s basement […] more

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When the sun goes down, extra dangers arise on the road. Dark conditions are not ideal for human eyes. As we age, our ability to see clearly at night deteriorates. The National Safety Council estimates that a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see comfortably over a 30-year old driver. Limited light […] more

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