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Shoddy reporting or an April Fools’ joke? Medical malpractice specialist Jack Olender is known for parlaying courtroom victories into favorable press coverage. Now it looks like his firm is getting credit for another lawyer’s win. Last week, Olender e-mailed a copy of a news article that he said was posted on The York Dispatch‘s Web site on April 1 (note the date). That article says one of his firm’s attorneys, Kim Keenan, was the lead counsel in a civil suit filed in Morgantown, W.Va., on behalf of a 9-year-old girl against a local hospital. The girl allegedly suffered brain damage during her delivery, and the family was awarded $17 million in damages. One problem: Keenan had no part in the case. “I started getting congratulatory notes from bar association members from across the country,” she says. “I can’t figure out how this happened.” Neither can The York Dispatch. “The only info that I have is what the lawyer told me,” says Dispatch editor Bill Parkinson, referring to Keenan. “She says she was quoted and her picture appeared on the Web site. But we have no record of her being in our paper. This sounds like a hoax to me.” An article nearly identical to the one sent by Olender was filed by the Associated Press on March 28 — though that article correctly identified the lead attorney as Geoffrey Fieger, best known for representing Jack Kevorkian. A Google search shows the AP article appeared on the paper’s Web site, but a Lexis-Nexis search reveals no matches to an article quoting Keenan. “I just want people to know that I don’t deny winning money,” says Keenan. “I just didn’t win this money.”
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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