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Heard On The Street

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DEPOSE THIS. Associated Industries of Missouri is one of the driving forces in founding Missourians for Civil Justice, a group seeking tort reform in the state. A brochure from the organization cites statistics on jury awards for punitive damages throughout the Show-Me State. MCJ said the 96 jury-awarded punitive damages from January 1991 to April 1997 totaled $5.8 billion. And 95 percent of tort suits settle before trial, settlements the group said are driven upward by the jury awards. To help solve the problem, the MCJ folks suggest "Don't sue thy neighbor" but seek mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes. Report the illegal solicitation of clients by attorneys. Support legislative change and, of course, join Missourians for Civil Justice.

JOHNNY DEEREST. The season of mowing grass is upon us and Dr. Oscar Ingram, University Extension agronomy specialist in Marshfield, has a few tips to keep you from becoming a statistic. A release from the extension service said more than 25,000 people are injured every year while operating a riding lawn mower. Among the tips Ingram has for those who ride while mowing: no MWI (that's mowing while intoxicated, bub), no passengers, no turning on slopes and no mowing near dropoffs, ditches or embankments. Do, however, watch for traffic when crossing the road, read the operators manual and mow while the sun shines (or at least while it's light enough so you can see what you're doing).

WHAT'S IN A NAME? A survey by Rivkin & Associates Inc. revealed that 80 percent of all companies created a new name during the last two years. The new names were for products, services, corporations and subsidiaries. The survey of marketing and communications execs from 400 U.S. companies said it's getting harder all the time to come up with new names. (Not so coincidentally, Rivkin & Associates does naming consultation.) In 1997 more than 192,000 new trademark name applications were added to the 1.2 million active trademarks registered in the country, according to a release from the company. The survey revealed that internal task forces are the most common way to come up with a new name, used by 72 percent of respondents. Advertising agencies were used 34 percent of the time to come up with a new moniker, while 39 percent of those seeking a novel name extended an existing name. The survey revealed 20 percent picked a nom de nouveau by means of an employee contest. The survey was conducted in March of this year among companies with more than 200 employees.

FOLEY. Continuing with the survey theme, Accountemps reveals that Tuesdays are the most productive day of the week, according to business executives. Just more than half of the survey's 150 respondents, 51 percent, chose Tuesday as the most productive day of the work week. Friday, as in Thank God It's É, was chosen by a majority as the least productive day of the five. "In today's corporate climate É companies may long for a week of Tuesdays in order to keep major initiatives on track," said Lynn Taylor, vice president and director of research of Accountemps. Fine by us. A week of Tuesdays would mean never having a deadline on Thursday.

BRAIN BUCKETS. As SBJ staffers can attest, it is a very good idea to always wear your helmet, especially when riding a bicycle. Aaron Wm. Sachs and Associates law firm is offering helmets at $5 a lid. A release from Sachs said fewer than 5 percent of children wear helmets, even though doing so can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85 percent. "No child should be without the protection of helmets because of cost," Sachs said. Appointments for helmet fittings (proper fit is key to complete safety) can be arranged by calling 889-1400. The law firm is running the program in conjunction with Traffic Safety Alliance of the Ozarks.

SLICE OF NICE. The History Museum for Springfield-Greene County, the Springfield Area Arts Council and 46 local visual and performing arts organizations and individuals have opened an exhibit titled "Artistic Springfield, Then and Now." The exhibit opened April 17 and will run until Sept. 12. It can be viewed at the History Museum for Springfield-Greene County during its operating hours 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Artistic Springfield is a year-long, comprehensive, multiple venue and element exhibition celebrating the history of the visual and performing arts in Springfield and their contribution to the present and future culture of the community. For more information, call the History Museum for Springfield-Greene County at 864-1976.

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