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Matthias Ehehalt (Ahalt) Genealolgy 1731-1775 -The Rest of the Story

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My life is best defined by grace. First, the Grace of my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Second by the grace of my family especially my wife Sandy and my ancestors without whom I would not be a citizen of the greatest country in the World – the United States of America.

My Great,Great,Great,Great Grandfather Matthias Ahalt (Ehehalt) immigrated to the United States on September 14, 1753 arriving in Philadelphia on the British ship, Edinburgh.What an act of courage this must of been for a 21 year old one week shy of his 22nd birthday. Matthias left the comfort and safety of his family and traveled from Linsenhofen Germany to Rotterdam; then from Rotterdam through Portsmith England to Philadelphia; then to Middletown Valley in Frederick County Maryland where he purchased a farm.

There are records of the Edinburgh, captained by James Russell, from Rotterdam through Portsmith. However,the ship manifest did not include the country and town of origin for each passenger. Tracing Matthias Ahalt’s genealogy in Germany has been at a dead end for many years.

Matthias settled in Frederick County, Maryland marrying Elizabeth Flook in 1757. Mathias died 18 years later on July 17, 1775 at the very young age of 44. Early church and court records in Frederick County use the spellings Ehalt and Ahalt interchangeably. Family members believe Matthias came from a village in Germany – Urspringen. It is located about 40 miles southeast of Frankfurt in the northwest corner of Bavaria. Family members who have traveled to Urspringen reported that the Ehehalts were the predominate family name in the village and were very friendly. The Ehehalts of Urspringen are all of the Catholic faith. No one had been able to document the birth of Matthias.

In 2015 I came across a reference to a Matthias Ehehalt’s family records on Ancestry.com. The record of his birth was in the town of Linsenhofen not Urspringen.Needing some local help to sort this out through local records I searched for a German genealogy consultant.Using good old Google I found Ralf.Stullich a senior researcher at Beyond History. ralf.stullich@beyond-history.com |www.beyond-history.com.

Linsenhofen is located about 217 km south of Urspringen. To make matters a little more difficult there is a small town Urspring about 20 km east of Linsenhofen.

Ralf first gave me a short education on naming conventions in Germany.

“Well in the time period in question children in Germany normally got three first names. One from the parents and the other ones from the god parents.Regarding the different writings of the first name: He (Matthias) was probably born as Matthias (Matthew in English), but in the church during his baptism the priest normally used the Latin form of the name, which is in this case Matthaes. The last name Ehehalt (in different writings) is a typical one in the area in question. Please remember that in those times most of the people were not able to read and write. They just went to the church and the priest or the clerk wrote down the name as he would write it, so you will probably find different writings in the church book entries in this family. As an example: If you would call me and mention your name is Ahalt, I would probably write it Ahhalt or Ahald or Ahhaldt or… There could be different writings of your last name and in German all sounds the same… By the way: The last name Ehehalt (normally “Ehe” means marriage and “halt” means stop) comes from the “middle high German” word Ehalt and that is nothing else but a domestic/servant.”

Since family reports had Matthias living in Urspringen while another reference had him living in Linsenhofen I asked Ralf to do a search of records in both Urspringen and Linsenhofen for birth and death records. If birth records existed then that would settle where Matthias lived. If death records existed then that would exclude Matthias from immigrating to the US. On the other hand if no death records existed that would probably confirm that Matthias had immigrated to the US.

There were no records of the birth or death of Matthias in Urspringen but there was a record of the birth of Matthias in Linsenhofen but no record of his death. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that Matthias was born in Linsenhofen and immigrated to Maryland in 1753. As we say in the courtroom – the evidence established this fact by “clear and convincing evidence”.

Matthias’ birth/baptism records in Linsenhofen were found in the St George Lutheran Church as were records of 5 more generations of Ehehalt’s dating to 1591.St George’s was built in 1425 and has undergone many renovations but has been pointing the way to Jesus for 7 centuries. That Jesus is a major part of the Ahalt/Ehehalt heritage is without question and well documented in the Baptism records maintained to this day.By grace I am the beneficiary of this heritage almost 600 years later.

I have now been able to trace the families roots in Germany back to the 1500’s and unlock the Urspringen road block. And in the words of Paul Harvey “the rest of the story”

Hans Ehehalt (1591 – )

Jerg / George / Georgius Ehehalt (1626 – 1683)

Michael Ehehalt (1651 – 1692)

Hans Martin Ehehalt (1679 – 1746)

Johannes Ehehalt (1706 – )

Matthias Ahalt / Ehehalt (1731 – 1775)

Jacob John Ahalt (1768 – 1834)

Matthias Ahalt (1803 – 1881)

Joshua Dawson Ahalt (1843 – 1933)

Alonza Ahalt (1878 – 1954)

Arthur Montraville Ahalt (1907 – 1958)

Arthur Montraville Monty Ahalt Jr (1942 –

And now we add two more generations blessed by the same grace that I have been blessed by – My sons Kevin Montgomery Ahalt and Brent Montraville Ahalt and his sons Justin Daniel Ahalt and John Patrick Ahalt.

In the summer of 2015 I was blessed to travel to Linsenhofen with my two sons – Keven and Brent and grandsons – Justin and John. We visited the
the St. George Lutheran church whcih is still functioning as a place of worship
Monty

Oh My Aching Back ! Tension Myositis Syndrome – TMS

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Oh My Aching Back !

Tension Myositis Syndrome – TMS

One of the most frequently tried personal injury case before a jury is the muscle strain to the neck or back which does not respond to traditional medical treatment and get better in 10 to 16 weeks. The plaintiff continues to have severe recurrent episodes of pain and goes through extensive diagnostic testing and pain management protocols and is still left with the same severe recurrent episodes of pain. All diagnostic testing is negative for permanent injury and the pain management protocols while providing temporary relief – the episodes continue to recur. It is not uncommon for the medical bills to total in excess of $30,000 and treatment to extend over several years. The plaintiffs usually are sincere individuals and family, friends and co-workers attest to the debilitating effect of the recurrent episodes of pain and changed life style of the plaintiffs. Yet juries rarely compensate these injured individuals more than several times medical expenses and frequently render verdicts of medical specials only. I have experienced these results in trials conducted in my court room well over 100 times. Typically the defendant has a highly qualified orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon testify that there are no objective tests which would support a casual connection between the accident and the plaintiff’s complaint of pain. To make matters worse for the injured plaintiff they are left with these painful conditions for perhaps the rest of their life. They feel tremendously let down by the system of justice and lawyers and many times become very bitter.
This same scenario troubled a young New York City orthopedic surgeon in the 1960’s – Dr John E Sarno. Dr Sarno then began a lifelong quest and study to provide help for these individuals. His study led him to a new medical diagnosis – Tension Myositis Syndrome or TMS. Basically this diagnosis was a recognition that tension is a cause of muscular pain. It should be noted that this diagnosis is distinguished from hypochondria and a purely psychological disorder. Thus while TMS is induced by an emotional phenomena it is a physical disorder. The muscles and tissues actually spasm and therefore cause pain. The medical community has difficulty recognizing and making the diagnosis. The psychologist may suspect that the patient’s symptoms are emotionally induced, but is untrained in physical diagnosis. On the other hand since very few orthopedic physicians are trained to recognize a disorder whose roots are psychological, TMS ″falls through the cracks″ and patients go undiagnosed. This leaves the patient vulnerable to being labeled – that the pain is ″all in the head″.
The lawyer then has an opportunity to help his client even though the system of justice seems to have failed by directing his client to TMS resources. After all the first objective of a lawyer is to make sure the clients gets the best possible medical care.
Fortunately, Dr Sarno has written several books and trained a subsequent generation of physicians – most notably Dr. David Schechter – who are capable of providing treatment for this perplexing and frustrating condition. Still, broad acceptance in the medical community does not exist and many individuals are ″left standing at the altar″ by the medical community. In the thousands of cases which I have evaluated and listened to testimony at trial I have yet to read or hear of a TMS diagnosis or referral. At best a physician will suggest that psychological counseling might help.
TMS treatment generally consists of a two pronged approach:

  1. The acquisition of knowledge and insight into the nature of the disorder.
    2. The ability to act on that knowledge and thereby change the brains behavior.

Dr Sarno suggests the following steps.

  1. Think psychological not physical. With good reason this is possible since the medical community has run all of the tests and concluded that there is no physical disorder. So why then does the pain not immediately disappear?
  2. “pity me that the heart is slow to learn – What the swift                mind beholds at every turn” ( last two lines of a         poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay)
  3. Talk to your brain.
    3. Resume physical activity.
    4. Discontinue all physical treatment
    5. Review the daily reminders.
    6. The pain is due to TMS, not a structural abnormality.
    7. The direct reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation.
    8. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my repressed emotions.
    9. The principle emotion is anger.
    10. TMS exists only to distract my attention from my emotions.
    11. Since my back is basically normal there is nothing else to fear.
    12. Therefore, physical activity is not dangerous.
    13. And I must resume all normal physical activity.
    14. I will not be concerned or intimidated by the pain.
    15. I will shift my attention from the pain to emotional issues.
    16. I intend to be in control – not my subconscious mind.
    17. I must think psychological not physical at all times.

The Mind Body Perscription
Here is a list of study resources that are a must.
See the Links at the Bottom of the Page

The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by John E. Sarno M.D. (Paperback – Oct 1,
The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders by John E. Sarno (Paperback – Mar 27, 2007)

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno (Paperback – Feb 1, 1991)

The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by John E. Sarno (Kindle Edition – Mar 15, 2001) – Kindle Book

The MindBody Workbook by David Schechter M.D. (Plastic Comb – Nov 1, 1999)
The MindBody Audio Program by David Schechter (Audio CD – April 15, 2001)
New Title 1 (The MindBody Workbook) by MD David Schechter (Kindle Edition – Jul 15, 2008) – Kindle Book
The MindBody Workbook with Patient Panel DVD by David Schechter (Plastic Comb – Oct 1, 2004)

Monetizing Risk

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Personal Injury Risk Evaluation is a multi step process. But the ultimate result of that multiple step process is to put a dollar value on the risk – monetizing the risk. The first step is to identify each issue that will be presented to the jury on a jury verdict sheet. So let us look at a frequently occurring verdict sheet – a rear end motor vehicle accident.

Here are the essential facts of our practice case.

REAR END

SOFT TISSUE DAMAGE

UNDER $1,000 PROPERTY DAMAGE

$4,000 MEDICAL TREATMENT

$2,000 MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIC

$8,000 PHYSICAL THERAPY

$1,000 WAGE LOSS

5% PERMANENT DISABILITY

 

Verdict Sheet

1.Was the Defendant negligent? Yes___ No___

2.Was the Plaintiff negligent? Yes___ No___

3.In what amount do you asses damages?

Loss Wages___________

Medical Expenses____________

Pain and Suffering____________

 

In order for the jury to consider damages the plaintiff must get a yes to the first question and a no to the second question.

 

The process of evaluating a case needs to be disciplined and organized. You want to accurately identify all RISK factors that will affect your recovery. There are positive and negative risk factors. Positive factors increase the value of your case, while negative factors decrease the value of your case. Both are important and you do not want to miss any. And then there are factors which would on the surface appear to affect the value but do not — the red herring factor. A word of CAUTION. You cannot — I repeat cannot – properly evaluate  a case until you know all of the facts which are relevant to the issues of liability and/or damages.

 

Liability factors should be evaluated first. The goal here is to determine what your chances are of getting a plaintiff’s verdict. Is it 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%? If it were less than 100%, prudence would dictate that you reduce the amount for which you would settle the case. In our practice case a rear end accident you can say that you have a 95% chance of a verdict on liability. Why not 100% – because you can lose that battle or rare occasions.

Now lets us look at our practice Case.

 

Liability. There is no evidence that the this rear ended was caused by other than the defendant’s negligence. So we can say that the plaintiff has a 95%- 100% chance of a verdict on liability.

 

Damages. The only question on damages is how much the claimant will be awarded for pain and suffering. Tracking jury results would reveal that in 8 out of 10 verdicts the pain and suffering award for this type of case would be about equal to the medical expenses or $14,000. So the range of a verdict would be $26,000 to $20,000. With regard to the permanency rating juries and judges generally are not persuaded that this type of collision causes a permanent injury even when a doctor gives a permanency rating.

 

Does it matter whether the case is tried in a  liberal or conservative jurisdiction? Generally there is very difference with 80% of the verdicts. The exceptions (the 20%) however break against the plaintiff in the conservative jurisdiction but against  the defendant  in the liberal jurisdictions.

 

Personal Injury Jury Trial Risk Evaluation

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Personal Injury claim formPersonal injury jury trial risk evaluation begins as a claim for personal injury is processed through the claim process with the insurance company.During this process a lawyer begins to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the claim. This process is mostly directed at finding accurate information about the claim – eyewitnesses, medical expenses, medical opinions and the like. When a claim matures to the point that all the relevant information is known a process of evaluation begins – what is the claim worth. Generally speaking a claim is worth what a jury will award the claimant.

Trying to figure out what six folks – the jury – will do seems so impossible that it is not worth the effort. After all we do not even know who the six jurors will be. Will they be young or old, conservative or liberal, employed or unemployed – it is just not known until the final six are in the jury box and the case begins.jury

My quest for this type of knowledge began in 1967 , the year I graduated from law school, when I began clerking for Judge Ralph W. Powers and Judge J. Dudley Digges in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Every trial lawyer wants to know what a jury might do in her next case – and a client desires to know to a greater extent.After clerking for Judge Powers and observing many jury trials I began to represent clients and actually try cases – some successfully and some not so successful. I was appointed as a Judge in 1982 and began trying cases in my courtroom. The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County had a very active settlement conference practice which I participated in – 5-7 conferences each day. Fortunately I had three much more experienced colleagues to guide me through this process – Judges McCullough, Blackwell and Levin. Every day at lunch we would discuss the day’s docket and I would ask them a thousand questions. Patiently, they would detail their collective experience.

Then in 1986 I began to record each verdict of our court – 13 judges( now 23) – several hundred verdicts each year. Over the years I have recorded over 5,000 verdicts and reported many of them to the bar.See Maryland Trial Verdicts.Very soon after I began this recording process it became very obvious that certain liability scenarios and personal Injuries were comprising the vast majority of the verdicts.

On the liability side these types were frequent – left hand turns, lane changes, snow and ice , slip and fall. On the injury side these types were frequent – sprains and strains, neck/back, pre existing conditions, knees/shoulders, broken bones, death.

Because these various types were frequently occurring it became pretty obvious that there were patterns of results. The patterns then served as a guide when trying to figure out how to avoid losing a case by entering into a good settlement. In future posts I will go into some of those patterns in detail.

Good lawyering also becomes a material part of the evaluation process. I often tell lawyers asking my advice on lawyering skills that usually  a bad lawyer cannot screw up good facts/law and a good lawyer cannot rescue bad facts/law. All though the great lawyers occasionally break this rule of thumb.

Recently the Grandson of one of those great lawyers appeared in a settlement conference and I told him a story of his Grandfather that occurred while I was clerking for Judge Powers in 1967.His Grandfather was trying a premises liability case where there was no evidence of actual notice to the landlord of a dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff to fall and be injured. During the trial a great deal of time had been spent describing the circumstances surrounding the condition that caused the fall. Circumstances such as how long the liquid had been on the floor, how visible the liquid was, how many people passed the liquid before the fall. At the end of the plaintiffs case the defendant moved for a directed verdict on the grounds that there was no evidence that the landlord knew that the liquid was on the floor – there was no actual notice. Judge Powers was about to grant the defendant’s motion and the plaintiffs lawyer from Baltimore, Marvin Ellin, pleaded with Judge Powers that while the current law favored the defendant the correct law was that of constructive notice. It was late in the day and Mr Ellin pleaded with Judge Powers to give him the overnight recess to provide a legal memorandum supporting his position. Reluctantly, Judge Powers agreed.

When I got into the courthouse before 7 AM the next day Mr Ellin was there in the hallway waiting for the door to be open with his freshly typed 20 page memorandum. Judge Powers arrived shortly and when he returned to the courtroom the defendants motion was denied. Later in the day a $50,000 plus verdict was returned for the plaintiff. Now that is great lawyering. It was several years later that the Court of Appeals of Maryland ruled that the doctrine of constructive notice was applicable in premises liability cases. (Regretfully, Marvin Ellin recently passed away)

Maryland Jury Verdict Report

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Maryland Jury Verdict ReportJury2

I am pleased to provide current Jury Verdicts in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County. You will find below the verdicts for recent months in 2015.

Prince George’s County

2015 PGCC Verdicts

Anne Arundel County


2015 AACC Verdicts

I have done my best to provide complete information but I need your help in correcting inaccuracies and filling in absent information. If you know of other verdicts from around the State send me the information and I will post them. All verdicts can be found on MontyAhalt.com by clicking here.

As many  know I have been tracking verdicts since the late 1980’s in an effort to help counsel and litigants understand the risk of actually trying a case.Trying to figure out what six folks ( the jury) will do in a given case might seem impossible to some. However, tracking and studying results in similar types of injuries or liability types does reveal patterns. It is understanding those patterns and applying them wisely which leads a wise settlement rather than a disappointing trial.

Please feel free to pass this report along to your colleagues. I plan to periodically update the report so if you know anyone who would like to receive the information please tell them to send me an email requesting the report.

You can book your next mediation or arbitration with my online calendar – click here

Contact Judge Arthur M. Monty Ahalt (Ret.)