• Most Topular Stories

  • Albuquerque Police Department to undergo sweeping overhaul in DOJ settlement

    ABA Journal Daily News
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:30 pm
    The Albuquerque Police Department, under a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, will undergo a broad overhaul of its use of force policies and other…
  • New Hampshire Law Banning Ballots on Facebook Draws a Legal Challenge

    Law Blog
    Ashby Jones
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:18 pm
    A New Hampshire legislator and two others have sued the state, arguing that a new law banning voters from displaying their marked ballots violates the First Amendment's guarantees on free speech.
  • 7 steps to help overcome execution problems

    PLI SmartBrief
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:42 am
    The biggest reason that companies underperform is that they fail to execute, writes Art Petty.  -More- 
  • “Purple” Haze – NLRB Still Unclear on Whether It Will Stop Employers From Limiting Use of Company Email to Business Purposes

    Elijah Yip
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:28 pm
    Federal law clearly gives employees the right to communicate with each other and with unions about work-related matters for purposes of “mutual aid and protection.” Commiseration among co-workers about working conditions, work policies, wages, and the like are concerted, protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  But must an employer allow employees to use its computer equipment for such communications? Employers breathed a sigh of relief when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) answered “no” in its Register Guard decision issued in 2007. Under Register…
  • “So, what’s the best defense to a discrimination claim?…”

    Walter Olson
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:32 am
    “…Hire others in the same protected group.” [Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer's Law Blog] Wait a minute. Isn’t that discrimination? And if, as Jon Hyman argues with some show of logic, employers have a strong incentive to follow this advice in replacing a dismissed employee given the way courts currently handle bias complaints, should we be disturbed that the law is itself encouraging discrimination? Tweet Tags: discrimination law “So, what’s the best defense to a discrimination claim?…” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal…
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  • “Purple” Haze – NLRB Still Unclear on Whether It Will Stop Employers From Limiting Use of Company Email to Business Purposes

    Elijah Yip
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:28 pm
    Federal law clearly gives employees the right to communicate with each other and with unions about work-related matters for purposes of “mutual aid and protection.” Commiseration among co-workers about working conditions, work policies, wages, and the like are concerted, protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  But must an employer allow employees to use its computer equipment for such communications? Employers breathed a sigh of relief when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) answered “no” in its Register Guard decision issued in 2007. Under Register…
  • Employee’s Snarky Facebook Post Lands Employer in Trouble Under the ADA

    Elijah Yip
    21 Aug 2014 | 2:09 pm
    In the last few years, we’ve seen how the private social media activity of employees can get employers in trouble for violating a variety of laws. The National Labor Relations Act. HIPAA. Title VII. Now you can add the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to the list. In Shoun v. Best Formed Plastics, Inc., 2014 WL 2815483 (N.D. Ind. June 23, 2014), a federal judge held that an employer may be liable under the ADA for an employee’s Facebook comments about the medical condition of a co-worker. George Shoun, an employee at Best Formed Plastics, sustained a workplace injury and took leave…
  • Section 230 of the CDA: An Employer’s New Friend?

    Elijah Yip
    19 May 2014 | 9:39 pm
    Employees can get carried away on social media. US Airways learned this the hard way when its employee responded to a customer complaint on Twitter with an obscene picture of a woman and a toy jet. An apology and deletion of the tweet followed an hour later (an eternity in cyberspace). US Airways claims its employee made an “honest mistake,” and the incident has not spawned a lawsuit, but one can imagine situations in which the malicious online statements of an employee land the employer in legal trouble. So what’s an employer to do? Thankfully, employers can find some solace in Section…
  • Oh Snap! Lessons From the Snapchat Settlement With the FTC

    Elijah Yip
    8 May 2014 | 4:19 pm
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just announced that Snapchat agreed to settle charges that it deceived consumers about how its popular mobile message app worked and what personal user data it collected.  (Read the FTC’s press release here). Part of Snapchat’s appeal was a feature enabling users to control how long a message could be seen by the recipient. After the designated time limit expires, the message is destroyed, much like the mission briefings in Mission Impossible. At least that’s what Snapchat told users. According to the FTC, Snapchat misled consumers because the app…
  • NLRB Strikes Down Selective Enforcement of Work Email Policy

    Elijah Yip
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:20 pm
    Birth announcements. Girl Scout cookies fundraisers. Leftovers in the company lounge. We’ve all probably received an email at work on these or similar subjects. It’s uncommon for an employee be disciplined for sending an email of such nature. But would that limit a company’s ability to act when employees circulate emails on more controversial topics? This question was raised in a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision involving the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) affiliated with NASA.  In re California Inst. of Tech. Jet Propulsion Lab, 360 NLRB 63 (Mar. 12, 2014). Based…
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  • “So, what’s the best defense to a discrimination claim?…”

    Walter Olson
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:32 am
    “…Hire others in the same protected group.” [Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer's Law Blog] Wait a minute. Isn’t that discrimination? And if, as Jon Hyman argues with some show of logic, employers have a strong incentive to follow this advice in replacing a dismissed employee given the way courts currently handle bias complaints, should we be disturbed that the law is itself encouraging discrimination? Tweet Tags: discrimination law “So, what’s the best defense to a discrimination claim?…” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal…
  • Update: court rules against Noriega “Call of Duty” suit

    Walter Olson
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:29 am
    A California state court, interpreting the state’s “right of publicity” law, has ruled that the rights of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega were not infringed when he was turned into a character in the videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Eugene Volokh has details [earlier]. Tweet Tags: right of publicity, videogames Update: court rules against Noriega “Call of Duty” suit is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • October 31 roundup

    Walter Olson
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:05 pm
    “Government Is the Biggest Threat to Innovation, Say Silicon Valley Insiders” [J.D. Tuccille, Reason] Acrimonious split between Overlawyered favorite Geoffrey Fieger and long-time law partner Ven Johnson [L.L. Brasier, Detroit Free Press] Case against deference: “Now More Than Ever, Courts Should Police Administrative Agencies” [Ilya Shapiro on Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association; boundary between "interpretive" and "legislative" agency rules] “The Canary in the Law School Coal Mine?” [George Leef, Minding the Campus] Ideological diversity at law schools…
  • Our public servants

    Walter Olson
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:08 am
    Chicago police union sues to keep newspapers from seeing misconduct reports [Sun-Times; headline borrowed from @tpcarney] Tweet Tags: Chicago, labor unions, police Our public servants is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Houston mayor withdraws pastor subpoenas

    Walter Olson
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:49 am
    One instance of abusive litigation discovery down, 437,816 to go. [WSJ Law Blog, Houston Chronicle, City of Houston, earlier] More from Scott Shackford, Reason: “Oppressive subpoenas like this happen all the time, which is probably why Houston didn’t even realize it was poking at a hornet’s nest. Cities across the country fight back like this against citizens attempting to exert their right to influence municipal policy. … If the targets hadn’t been pastors, would we even had known about the subpoenas?” Tweet Tags: churches, discovery, Houston Houston mayor…
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    Solo Practice University®

  • 21 Pieces of Advice for Every (New) Lawyer

    Barry Seidel
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    When I started in practice back in 1982, I regularly received tips and advice from more experienced attorneys. Sometimes I asked, but very often it was unsolicited. I was generally receptive to this, though often skeptical about whether they really knew how things were now. After all, some of these attorneys had been practicing for 50 years, which means they started practicing in 1932!  Like, at the beginning of the Great Depression. So, I listened, knowing there were some truths being told, but doubting they would apply to me, in the here and now of modern day 1982.  Many, many times I…
  • Faculty Announcement – Joe Donnini

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Joe Donnini is an experienced attorney, entrepreneur, educator, and business consultant. He will teach a course called “Franchise Law“. Having a diverse background has positioned Joe to gain perspective in multiple industries on many matters. Joe has assisted clients in key areas of business creation, development, operations, and finance. But you can learn more about him here. Learn more about a new, innovative legal model – Legal Value Firm – by listening to a recent podcast with Joe hosted by Solo Practice University®. Syllabus – Franchise Law Franchise law is…
  • The Impact of Social Media on the Legal Process – Guest Lecture with Omar Ha-Redeye

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    28 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Oftentimes, when we discuss social media it is in the context of how every lawyer should be using it for marketing.  Not this time.  Today we have Omar Ha-Redeye (who also teaches a course at Solo Practice University) discussing social media in the context of the legal process. Let’s face it, if you don’t know about social media how can you advise your client during litigation how it can adversely impact their legal matter or how to prevent destruction of evidence?  What about how social media can be manipulated to create the impression of truths and why you need to get beyond…
  • We’ve Got Blowback: The 5 Dumbest Things New Solos Do

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    27 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    It seems Lee Rosen hasn’t lost his touch as his provocative post The 5 Dumbest Things New Solos Do generated a lot of blowback when I posted it to a LinkedIn Group I frequent.  (Feel free to join Solo Practitioners Forum). The biggest issue was whether or not to get malpractice insurance immediately upon getting your license.  This has always been a big issue because conventional wisdom is you need to get it right away along with your business cards.  Lee suggests otherwise and I’ve always maintained it’s not necessary the minute you are handed your bar card: 4. Buy…
  • The 5 Dumbest Things New Solos Do

    Lee Rosen
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    We’re thrilled to have Lee Rosen pen a guest post every now and then for our Solo Practice University blog.  Whether he’s in Bulgaria, Hong Kong or the remote hinterlands, he stays fully connected, practicing law and sharing his very worthwhile no-holds-barred advice. Here’s your first dose of Rosen-isms. When you go out on your own, you need to focus on getting clients. That’s it. A one-track mind is critical. Think of nothing else. Just go, go, go get a client. Once clients are hiring you, then you can worry about everything else. For now, do nothing but get…
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    Above the Law

  • Do Physician-Assisted Death Laws Deserve to Die With Dignity?

    Tamara Tabo
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:21 pm
    Even if an individual has a qualified right to determine what happens to her body, up to and including death, laws facilitating physician-assisted death (PAD) still might not be a good idea.
  • Non-Sequiturs: 10.31.14

    David Lat
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:47 pm
    * Thanks to Wonkette for pointing out that we were on this whole Ruth Baby Ginsburg thing last year. [Wonkette] * Speaking of our legally themed Halloween costume contest, please send us your nominations. [Above the Law] * Salacious allegations about a high-flying investment banker invite comparisons to The Wolf of Wall Street. [Dealbreaker] * The Second Circuit puts a stop to a legal challenge to the stop-and-frisk settlement. [How Appealing] * You’d expect a former lawmaker to have a better understanding of… the law. [Lexington Herald-Leader] * The Wall Street Journal reviews Paul…
  • 6 Horror Movie Villains That Do Not Belong In Jail

    Elie Mystal
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Even ghouls and ghosts are innocent until proven guilty.
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    Simple Justice

  • Come To Jesus; He’s At Drug Court

    1 Nov 2014 | 5:33 am
    My old prosecutor pal, Ken Lammers, explains why he thinks concerns about religious freedom, à la the First Amendment type, is overblown when it comes to the benefits offered by trend toward redemption in drug courts. Religious organizations put a lot of work into helping their fellow man. Any drug court out there would be insane to ignore the resources provided by groups such as Catholic Charities or The Salvation Army. Even groups which are not specifically attached to a religion use faith as a tool (AA/NA).  However, in the modern world, with its veto of one, it’s difficult for…
  • @RoomForDebate: Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?

    1 Nov 2014 | 4:38 am
    The New York Times Room for Debate series has, of late, ranged from the irrelevant to the presumptive, which is unfortunate given the size of its soapbox and its ability to offer meaningful insight into issues confronting society.  There are often good arguments on both sides of an issue, worth knowing if a thoughtful society is to make intelligent decisions. One of the problems reflected in the editorial choices made is their favoring advocates and academics as their “debaters,” the former bringing a woeful lack of doctrinal knowledge and the latter bringing a woeful lack of…
  • But For Video: Fear Factor Edition

    31 Oct 2014 | 4:43 am
    While I’m not usually inclined toward things that raise emotional or visceral reactions, this video does exactly that, and for a truly worthwhile reason. Via the Free Thought Project, the video shows Alejandro Natividad, who somehow had the wherewithal to start recording with his phone, stare at the business end of police pistols and yet refuse to lie down upon command because he had committed no crime. Natividad, had committed no crime, yet when police chose to interact with him, guns were drawn and he was told to get face down on the concrete. Natividad non-violently refused to lay…
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    Law and Magic Blog

  • A Remake of "The Illusionist"?

    15 Oct 2014 | 10:10 am
    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the CW Network is moving ahead with a remake/adaptation of "The Illusionist," the big screen version of Steven Milhauser's tale of a magician who sweeps his love off her feet with his conjuring abilities (as it were). The 2006 film starred Edward Norton and Jessica Biel and was part of a (sort of) slew of magician-themed movies during that period: remember Woody Allen's Scoop (2006) with Scarlett Johannsson and Hugh Jackman, and The Prestige (also 2006) and also with Mr. Jackman and Christian Bale. Says THR, "The…
  • I'll Take Five Powerballs, and Ten Scratchoffs, Please

    7 Oct 2014 | 7:27 am
    Ever wanted to know about lottery law? A lot about lottery law? And economics? And why people love them so much in spite of the fact that nearly everybody loses his money? And why legislatures continue to authorize them? Here's your article. Ronen Perry and Tal Zarkey, 'May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor': Lotteries in Law.  Here's the abstract. Throughout history, lotteries have been used in numerous legal contexts. However, legal theorists have rarely discussed the role of randomization in law, and have never done so systematically and comprehensively. Against this…
  • Northern Virginia Town Repeals Ban On "Magic Arts"

    17 Sep 2014 | 12:36 pm
    In spite of some opposition, the town council of the northern Virginia community of Front Royal repealed its ban (Fort Royal Town Code 110-17) on the practice of the "magic arts," which includes fortune telling, tarot card reading, "gypsies," and I assume encompasses palmistry, astrology, and other "crafty sciences." When a tarot card reader recently set up shop in the town (note that it was just for a day), other vendors got very upset. That's when local residents realized that the law was still in force. During the town council's meeting to discuss…
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    What About Clients?

  • Halloween: Meet me in the middle of the air.

    JD Hull
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:24 am
    Well, well, well, so I can die easy. Superlatives work here. Jimmy Page playing the first 3 numbers in shades and a grandiose, full Victorian morning coat is one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I may start a new religion based on his regal bearing and get-up alone. This is a 2007 concert with Jones, Plant and Page in their sixties and the late John Bonham's son Jason, on drums, maybe 40. I've never seen a live performance on video this good by any band, or seen 4 people having this much fun being excellent. If you're a Boomer who doesn't get this, you may be already dead.
  • 2014 List: Wild Men. Wild Women.

    JD Hull
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:50 pm
    Wild Men. Wild Women. The Rankings 1 through 100 as this blog sees them in 2014. Wild Men and Wild Women are people who listen only to the little voice in their head. They get things done. They build things. They don't care what you think. Uncertainty and turbulence--in the economy, stock markets, governments, the weather, bad odds, you name it--only get their juices flowing. True, they often have dark and self-destructive sides, but we seem to like giving them a pass. A few lawyers on this list--but not enough. Lawyers. Are we just risk-averse uber-weenies? Sideline players? Bag carriers?
  • November 16: NYC screening of "The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest", a film about criminal justice.

    JD Hull
    29 Oct 2014 | 11:46 am
    If you are criminal defense lawyer, this will interest you. Other screening locations, which include law schools, are below. The NYC screening of Gabriel London's documentary "The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest" is November 16, 9:30 pm, The SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street. About this film: See the NYC premier of Gabriel London's 's acclaimed film at DocNYC. Bring friends who are interested in the criminal justice system, and of course lawyers, judges, prosecutors, mental health professionals and the like. Gabriel's film captures the humanity of a non-violent but mentally ill prisoner, Mark…
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    How Appealing

  • "Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Why Judges Wear Black Robes; The Supreme Court icon breaks down the tradition"

    Howard Bashman
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:00 pm
    "Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Why Judges Wear Black Robes; The Supreme Court icon breaks down the tradition": Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has this essay in the November 2014 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.
  • "Federal judge hears arguments on Kansas same-sex marriage ban"

    Howard Bashman
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:45 pm
    "Federal judge hears arguments on Kansas same-sex marriage ban": Brad Cooper of The Kansas City Star has this news update. Bryan Lowry of The Wichita Eagle has a news update headlined "Federal court doesn't immediately rule on Kansas' same-sex marriage ban." The Topeka Capital-Journal has a news update headlined "Judge questions arguments against same-sex marriage during hearing; Judge promises to issue ruling soon." And The Associated Press reports that "Kansas urges judge not to rule on gay marriage."
  • "Why Some People See Ghosts at the Federal Circuit"

    Howard Bashman
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:11 pm
    "Why Some People See Ghosts at the Federal Circuit": Jenna Greene has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." You can freely access the full text of the post via Google.
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    Legal Juice

  • With A Face Like This, You HAVE To Behave Like An Angel

    John Mesirow
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:08 pm
    Why would your appearance require that you are always on your best behavior, or at least on the right side of the law? The answer will soon be abundantly clear.  As reported by The Northwest Florida Daily News: Kenneth Dewain Parker was in an argument with a woman on Oct. 26, according to the arrest report. Parker was in an argument with the victim when he allegedly hit her in the face. The victim also told Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies that she had bruises on her arms where Parker “forcefully grabbed her,” the report said. A witness, who had called deputies, described Parker…
  • Not The Best Time To Be Involved In A Car Accident

    John Mesirow
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:05 pm
    While there is never a good time to be involved in a car accident, as will be made abundantly clear, some times are definitely worse than others. As reported at A 2002 white Mercury Mountaineer rolled over into the center grass median and struck the guardrail on July 29, with police and emergency workers responding around 12:56 p.m. Driver Paulette Murray, 48, of Brooklyn, N.Y., told police she failed to control the SUV after another car cut her off, authorities said. Yikes, a roll over. Items that had been inside the car before the accident were scattered at the scene, and the…
  • Sure, It’s A Short Walk To Your Table. Still, “Parking” Here Was A Bad Idea.

    John Mesirow
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:05 pm
    At some point in your time behind the wheel, you found a great parking spot and said “Wow, we couldn’t get any closer than this!” Well, you were wrong, as this gent proved. As reported by This Is Lancashire: A driver has been arrested after his car ploughed into a pub in Bolton town centre. The male driver of the silver discovery vehicle was arrested and led away from the scene of the crash, which occurred just after 5pm at the Dog and Partridge pub in Manor Street. Onlookers said it looked as though people who were inside the building at the time of the smash kept the…
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    Ask the Lawyer @ Dear Esq.

  • Has My Divorce Been Granted?

    House Attorney
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:35 pm
    I got divorced several months ago and the judge ordered my ex to pay the fees to the district clerk, but she has yet to do so. Is my divorce final?
  • How Can I Enforce My HOA’s Declaration Provisions?

    House Attorney
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:07 pm
    My HOA wants to allow christmas lights to be hung on the balcony of our high-rise. I requested they not do this because it looks ridiculous. However, I looked into our condo declaration. The declaration 18.15 states the following: "Do not hang any laundry, garments or other objects, which are visible from outside of the unit, except for draperies, blinds, shades, or other suitable window coverings."
  • DId the Town Council Abandon the Easement?

    House Attorney
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:11 pm
    My town council here in Ohio wants to install a public walking trail through the front yards of the private property owners on my street. The map shows the original roadway as being 66' because it was originally intended to be a major roadway 100 years ago. The road is only 23' wide since it's installation decades ago and can't ever be 66' because there is creek running along the south side.
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  • Citizenship-Enhancing Family Law for All

    Guest Blogger
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:38 pm
    Clare HuntingtonFor the book symposium on Clare Huntington, Failure to Flourish: How Family Law Undermines Family Relationships (Oxford University Press, 2014)Robin Lenhardt’s critique—of my book and family law scholarship more generally—is spot on. In the book I explore the many ways that family law structures family life, often for the worse, but I do not apply these same tools to find the layer she identifies, where family law structures race. Her post is a reminder that when we talk about fundamental social phenomena like family and race, it is essential to be attentive not only to…
  • Structuring Families, Structuring Race

    Guest Blogger
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:38 pm
    R.A. LenhardtFor the book symposium on Clare Huntington, Failure  to Flourish: How Family Law Undermines Family Relationships(Oxford University Press, 2014)  Several years ago, I invited a lawyer and social worker from the Bronx Defenders’ family defense unit to speak to my family law class.  In outlining their work defending indigent parents accused of child neglect or abuse in New York City, the two women, both white, described their own, personal experiences with the child welfare system upon becoming new mothers.  The speaker trained as a social worker -- who…
  • Strengthening Families Close to Home

    Guest Blogger
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:02 am
    Clare HuntingtonFor the book symposium on Clare Huntington, Failure to Flourish: How Family Law Undermines Family Relationships  (Oxford University Press, 2014)I love Robert Emery’s challenge. These issues can feel overwhelming, and it is easy to think there is little that we can do as individuals, acting in our corner of the world. The first step is grasping the problem. We had to understand the dynamics and causes of climate change before we could begin to convince people that they needed to alter their behavior (an ongoing project). So we should be optimistic about the potential for…
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    Concurring Opinions

  • Poll Taxes and Voter IDs

    Gerard Magliocca
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:18 pm
    The voter ID laws from Wisconsin and Texas are sure to reach the Supreme Court at some point, and so I’m trying to think through how the Twenty-Fourth Amendment (banning poll taxes in federal elections) might apply to these laws. Let’s focus on folks who do not have an ID that a state considers valid.  (Maybe the person is elderly, for example, and never obtained a driver’s license.)  Suppose the state says that this person can get an ID for free, but to do so they have to go through some process.  If that process were onerous, then I think it fair to conclude that this…
  • FAN 38.1 (First Amendment News) FIRE bursts on out in NYC — Free speech celebration draws committed crowd

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:43 am
    EXPLOSIVE. That is as good as any a word to describe the high energy level at the 15th Anniversary dinner of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), the group founded by Harvey Silvergate and  Alan Charles Kors in 1999. People were yelling “FIRE” in the crowded hall all evening long. Some 280 people came together on Thursday evening last week at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC. They gathered to show their enthusiastic support for this non-partisan free speech group. Contrary to the mood of our times, liberals, conservatives and libertarians joined together in…
  • John Bingham and Thomas Jefferson

    Gerard Magliocca
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:04 am
    I think I’ve come across an interesting inflection point in constitutional discourse (or what others might call an example of intergenerational synthesis.) In 1871, John Bingham gave an address on the House floor in support of the Ku Klux Klan Act that offered a detailed explanation of his view that Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment extended the Bill of Rights to the States.  At one point, Bingham declared:  “Jefferson well said of the first eight articles of amendments to the Constitution of the United States, they constitute the American Bill of Rights.”…
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • NY bar on ethics of cloud computing – again

    22 Oct 2014 | 6:22 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "NY bar on ethics of cloud computing – again."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.  NY bar on ethics of cloud computing – again  New York state has long been on the cutting edge of addressing the ethics of using different technologies in the practice of law. So it was no surprise when the New York State Bar was one of the first to confront the ethics of cloud computing when the Committee on Professional Ethics handed down Op. 842 in 2010, which addressed the ethics of storing confidential client data online. In that…
  • Criminal and privacy implications of drones

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:21 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Criminal and privacy implications of drones."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Criminal, privacy implications of drones Every summer I work on the annual update for the book that I co-author with Judge Karen Morris: Criminal Law in New York. As part of my responsibilities, I review all of the cases about the substantive elements of the crimes to which I’ve been assigned and then write about the implications of the newest holdings. Of course technology has had an impact on New York’s Penal Law and is discussed in the…
  • Two U.S. judges allow service using Facebook

    9 Oct 2014 | 12:17 pm
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Two U.S. judges allow service using Facebook."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Two U.S. judges allow service using Facebook I think by now we can all agree that social media has affected all aspects of our culture, from social interactions and communication to business processes and even the practice of law. Mining social media for evidence and researching jurors using information available online is becoming increasingly commonplace.More lawyers than ever are using online social networks and tools for business…
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  • Starting Silicon Valley South? Atlanta Tech Village

    Usha Rodrigues
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:26 am
    Last week I visited Atlanta Tech Village, which opened last year in Buckhead and is founded and funded by David Cummings, a co-founder of Pardot who sold it for a reported $100 million.  Cummings is channeling a significant part of his money into ATV, which is basically a big cool office building for startups.  It's got standard Silicon Valley accoutrements: game rooms, snacks galore, 24-hour beer on tap, in-house coffeehouse open 7am-8pm (the signboard outside trumpeted that "extended hours" were coming soon!).  The idea is that it's a space for startups with 1-25 employees.  The lower…
  • What Does The World Series Mean For Baseball Analytics?

    David Zaring
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:36 am
    Congratulations to the Giants on winning the World Series, one of the two least statistically inclined teams in baseball, the other, of course, being the Royals.  Indeed, with the possible exception of the Red Sox, the teams that have won the World Series since the sabermetric revolution have all been rich (as are the Red Sox, so it is hard to characterize them as solely stats-driven), traditionally strong in scouting, or random. What does this tell us about baseball analytics?  Over the next week, I predict you'll hear: It tells us nothing, short series are random, and the fact that a…
  • The SEC's Anti-No-Admit Policy Only Goes So Far

    David Zaring
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:48 am
    It is one data point, but the cases where the the SEC would settle without requiring an admission of guilt or statement of facts were always likely to be those civil suits following criminal cases that did not go well.  Rengan Rajnaratnam, Raj's brother, proved to be the one inside trader defendant that the Manhattan USAO could not convict.  So the SEC is picking up sticks as well, in exchange for $840,000 bucks and a "let's just move on" kind of attitude.  It's the kind of case where seeking an admission would likely just make the defendants dig in their heels, as I suggested here.  And…
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    Ms. JD Blog

  • Transferring Law Schools : Why I Transferred-Up
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:18 am
    Getting into law school once is tough, but doing it twice presents its own set of challenges. I have been through the law school application cycle three times. The first time I applied, I didn’t get into a single law school. The second go-round, I got into the only law school that I applied to. The third time was the transfer application process. Once I got accepted into a law school, I went—no questions asked. I went and planned to excel. I also planned to transfer after my 1L year to a higher ranked law school. I get a lot of questions regarding why I transferred, how I…
  • Tips for Law Students and Future Personal Injury Lawyers

    30 Oct 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Even with the safest road conditions and regulated work environments of today, bodily injury severities continue to rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 37.4 million injuries that occurred in 2012 to people throughout the U.S. that necessitated a doctor’s care. The four leading external causes of medically consulted injury episodes were falls (13.4 million episodes in 2012), overexertion (4.9 million episodes), being struck by a person or an object (3.8 million episodes), and transportation (3.7 million episodes). As a result, the field of personal…
  • The Rule of 8: Gaining Control of the Unknowns

    Liz Vaysman
    30 Oct 2014 | 10:37 am
    Before heading to college, my best friend's dad gave us some advice.  He said you will succeed as long as you follow the 8/8/8 rule - 8 hours of school, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep.  I followed these rules to a "T" in college and it paid off.  I was able to balance academic productivity with health and maintain a social life.  Of course sometimes I strayed off course, but for the most part, this worked. Now, 8 years after starting college, I'm realizing that I need to set some similar guidelines for myself.  I've been in a strange…
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Wild In Cody

    Legal Profession Prof
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:53 am
    A Cody attorney has been censured by the Wyoming Supreme Court for litigation misconduct. The Missoulian has the details The Wyoming Supreme Court on Wednesday censured a Cody lawyer who represented a surgeon in a defamation lawsuit filed by another...
  • Affairs Of Court

    Legal Profession Prof
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:39 am
    A circuit court judge has been censured, suspended and ordered to pay costs by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. In this judicial disciplinary proceeding, a circuit court judge admits that she had an affair with a local man...
  • A Short Stay

    Legal Profession Prof
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:24 am
    An attorney admitted in 2011 has had his career end with disbarment by the Nebraska Supreme Court. The attorney had accepted retainers that he used as his own but had not been earned, mishandled cases and failed to respond to...
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  • Law Firm Sued Over Text Message Advertisements

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:58 am
    A Connecticut resident is attempting to bring a class action suit against a New York law firm for allegedly violating a consumer protection law by sending out unsolicited text message advertisements.
  • Flying in the Clouds: A Safety Checklist

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:57 am
    Law Technology News published an article that reviews ethical and technical issues to consider when using cloud services. (
  • Lawyer Reviewing Jurors’ Internet Presence

    6 May 2014 | 1:24 pm
    A lawyer may review a juror’s or potential juror’s Internet presence, which may include postings by the juror or potential juror in advance of and during a trial, but a lawyer may not communicate directly or through another with a juror or potential juror.  See ABA Formal Opinion 466 (April 24, 2014)
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    China Law Blog

  • China Counterfeiting: What’s Your Action Plan?

    31 Oct 2014 | 3:58 am
    Intellectual Property Magazine recently published an article by our lead intellectual property lawyer, Greg Buhyoff. The article is entitled, Action Plan for Asia, and it is described as follows: “Harris Moure’s Gregory F Buhyoff provides pointers on how to implement anti-counterfeiting and misappropriation investigations in China and Vietnam.” Greg practiced law in Vietnam for around ten years. The article is behind a firewall, but we were given permission to publish it and we do so below. Companies that sell or outsource their products to Asia should anticipate infringement of…
  • China’s Film Industry Online, Part 4. It’s About Copyrights.

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:28 am
    This is the final post in a series looking at developments in China’s digital ancillaries market. In this series we’ve seen that China’s ancillaries are still comparatively small despite explosive box office growth. In part 1, I looked at how China leads the world in online consumption and how China’s consumers prefer to use mobile devices to get online. In part 2, I discussed the online convergence of motion picture production and motion picture distribution in China. In part 3, I examined how China film production and distribution are converging in cyberspace. In…
  • China Copyrights: The Basics

    29 Oct 2014 | 10:20 am
    Every so often we get emails from people asking us to direct them to one of our posts on China copyright law and every so often I respond by saying that we will be doing such a post and then I will let them know. This has gone on for years. The big thing to know about China copyright law is that it is not all that different from US copyright law. And that is why we have been so slow to write much about it. Basically, in China, copyrights arise as soon as an original work is created, even (in most cases) if the work has been created outside of China. So if you write a song or a book in Newton,…
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    Patently-O » Patent

  • Supreme Court: A Web of Post-Issuance Licensing Restrictions

    Dennis Crouch
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:54 am
    by Dennis Crouch Last year I wrote about the patent licensing decision captioned Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises Inc. (9th Circuit 2013). Kimble involved a patent license agreement tied to Marvel’s web-shooter toy sales. On its face, the agreement appears to remain in force so long as Marvel sold the toys.  However, the 9th Circuit held that the license ended once the patent term lapsed.  The 9th Circuit decision was easy because there is a Supreme Court case on point: Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964) (licensing agreement unenforceable because it required royalty payments…
  • Patent Attorneys Face Multiple-Jeopardy

    Dennis Crouch
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    Earlier in the week, I wrote about the issue of “multiple-jeopardy“. This week, the patent-world has also faced “Double Jeopardy” with two patent attorneys competing and winning their rounds on the television show Jeopardy. Congratulations to Patent Attorney and Blogger Ryan Alley (Ryan Alley IP) on his Jeopardy win this week! Alley made it a “true daily double” by questioning the following answer: White House counsels John Dean & Kathryn Ruemmler went to this law school not far from Pennsylvania Ave. His two-day total is $39,800 and he will go again…
  • Software Patenting: Are you Smarter than a Fourth Grader

    Dennis Crouch
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:51 am
    by Dennis Crouch This morning I mentioned one bit of the ongoing software-patent debate to my 9-year-old daughter.  I told her that some people argue that the computer is a different machine when it is running Microsoft Word than when it is running her WarriorCat game.  As an old Newtonian mechanical engineer, that argument never sits well with me. (I think software is patent-eligible on other grounds).  I was surprised that she bought-in to the different-machine argument. Robin explains: Sure, the box is the same in both situations. But, Microsoft Word obeys me and the the game thwarts…
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    Patent Baristas

  • CEA Marketing Group Wants You To Tell the Senate to Stop Patent Trolls

    Stephen Jenei
    28 Oct 2014 | 11:21 am
    A marketing company is currently helping CEA and a coalition of other companies (and legislators!) in a project to raise awareness to fight “patent troll” issues and to petition the senate for Patent Legislation Reform. According to the site, their message is: Sign our petition now and tell the Senate to focus on patent reform during lame duck. No more excuses! However, the site does not tell you anything further without having to input all of your information, which we were not willing to do.  The CEA does have lots of anti-troll websites and campaigns and there is no…
  • What is Intellectual Property? A Student Guide and Definition.

    Stephen Jenei
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:54 am
    Innovate Product Design has created this infographic on “What is Intellectual Property? A Student Guide and Definition.” The infographic is intended to help people and students understand the importance of intellectual property and why it is also important for designers to protect their creative idea. © 2014 Innovate Product Design URL to Infographic: Related posts: Book Review Monday: The Business of Intellectual Property World Intellectual Property Day 2011: Designing the Future Book Review Monday: Intellectual Property Culture
  • Master a Rapidly Shifting Patent Law Landscape

    Stephen Jenei
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:22 am
    The Chisum Patent Academy is pleased to accept registrations for our next Advanced Patent Law seminar, to be held March 5-6, 2015. The venue is the award-winning 21C Museum Hotel in easily accessible and inexpensive Cincinnati, Ohio. The 21C was recently named the #1 hotel in the United States and #11 worldwide in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Why We’re Different: Because each Chisum Patent Academy seminar is uniquely limited to ten (10) participants, we offer an unparalleled opportunity for interactive roundtable discussion and debate. Our format is…
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    Religion Clause

  • GITMO Detainee Seeks End To Use of Female Guards In Transporting Him

    Howard Friedman
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:20 am
    On Oct. 16, lawyers for Guantanamo detainee Abdul Hadi al Iraqi filed an Emergency Motion (full text, redacted) with the Military Commission seeking an order to prohibit female guards from being used during al Iraqi's transfers to and from hearings and meetings with attorneys.  Al Iraqi's Muslim beliefs prohibit him from having physical contact with women, which occurs during guards' shackling and unshackling him.  In seeking relief, al Iraqi's attorneys cite RFRA, as well as the 1st, 5th and 6th Amendments.  A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Nov. 17. Reporting on…
  • Justice Alito Gets Award From St. Thomas More Society

    Howard Friedman
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:10 am
    The St. Thomas More Society of Maryland yesterday presented U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito with its "Man for All Seasons Award."  According to The Daily Record, Catholic groups have particularly praised Alito for his majority opinion earlier this year in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. The award was presented to Justice Alito at the Society's Red Mass Banquet.
  • Florida Supreme Court Removes Trial Judge For Promoting Her Faith-Based Business From Courtroom

    Howard Friedman
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:05 am
    In Re: Judith Hawkins, (FL Sup. Ct., Oct. 30, 2014), the Florida Supreme Court, imposing a harsher penalty than recommended by a Hearing Panel (see prior posting), removed a Florida trial court judge from the bench. One of the major charges against Judge Hawkins was that she used her judicial office to promote her business, Gaza Road Ministries, and her book based on Biblical stories. She sold her Gaza Road Ministry products to lawyers appearing before her, promoted the products online wearing her judicial robes, and used her judicial assistant to promote and produce the products. She…
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  • Roca rocked; Randazza revels

    Ron Coleman
    28 Oct 2014 | 3:56 pm
    Are we thin yet? You may have already read the previous post, only from yesterday, about the Roca Labs v. PissedConsumer follies. If you have, great.  If you haven’t… maybe you want to come back to it after you read this — in which our dashing hero, well… dashes some brains against some rocks, or some … Roca: Roca Labs vs. PissedConsumer Report and Recommendation Bottom line: Suing consumer review sites is just getting stupider and stupider.
  • Channeling Mr. Rogers

    Ron Coleman
    26 Oct 2014 | 4:37 pm
    Originally posted 2009-05-27 13:54:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,” crooned Mr. Rogers for all those afternoons. Well, evidentially it’s mutual, and then some.  Michael Kinsell, it seems, has always wanted to be a neighbor, just like — I mean, just like — Mr. Rogers: PBS is accusing a San Diego teenager of “falsely claiming association” with the network and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He is selling tickets for a May 31 gala event where, according to a news release by his publicist,…
  • Roca Labs: Until someone puts out an eye

    Ron Coleman
    26 Oct 2014 | 4:37 pm
    Are we confused yet? It has just been all too, too much to follow, especially from the distance I’ve had to keep from the whole thing — a small distance, mind you,  as I’ll explain.  But really, all the fun is taking place in Florida, a somewhat larger distance, excepting by email, see, and — Well, as I said.  It’s almost too much to follow.  The “it” is the rollicking litigation carnival brought to our good friends at by the world-famous Roca Labs.  And yes, it is too much too follow, but by the grace of the Internet…
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    Sentencing Law and Policy

  • New reduced federal drug sentencing guidelines about to become official

    Douglas A. Berman
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    Hard core federal sentencing nerds know that November 1 is a special day because it is the official date on which any proposed changes to the sentencing guidelines proposed by the US Sentencing Commission become official in the absence of...
  • "Shrinking Prisons: Good Crime-Fighting and Good Government"

    Douglas A. Berman
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:07 am
    the title of this post is the headline of this thoughtful new piece from The Atlantic. Here are excerpts: Liberals have long advocated prison reforms like reduced sentence lengths and alternatives to incarceration. Recently, however, conservatives have put these ideas...
  • New York Times editorial makes the case for California's Prop 47

    Douglas A. Berman
    30 Oct 2014 | 2:20 pm
    Today's New York Times has this editorial headlined "California Leads on Justice Reform: Prop 47 Could Take the State a Step Further in Reducing Overcrowding." Here are excerpts: For a long time, the conventional political wisdom was that no one...
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • Last minute oppo dumps in Harris DA race, y otras historias

    31 Oct 2014 | 7:20 am
    Here are several items which haven't made it into independent posts this week but which merit readers' attention:Blog vs. blog in Harris DA raceThe gloves are coming off as the blogosphere dukes it out over the Harris County District Attorney race. Read Big Jolly on Devon Anderson and Murray Newman on Kim Ogg. Murray's complaint seems to be that Ogg complied with a court order rather than defy a judge and go to jail for contempt of court. And here's Jolly's cheapest shot:Prostitute Court – Ms. Anderson wants to create a special court for prostitutes because “they are victims”. Yeah,…
  • Harris DA delayed notice to hundreds of drug defendants 'convicted in error,' some of them for many years

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Apparently the plea mills that constitute the Harris County criminal court system have become so efficient they can secure convictions even without evidence; the accusation in and of itself appears to be sufficient to coerce a plea, and the local defense bar does such a crappy job that nobody ever calls them on it.According to the Houston Press (Oct. 29), "In recent months the Harris County District Attorney's Office has sent out hundreds of notices to defendants convicted of drug offenses, telling them that forensic lab reports show they were 'convicted in error.'" The scope of the problem…
  • Union: 'Right on Crime' backers are 'bottom-feeders,' 'vultures'

    30 Oct 2014 | 7:57 am
    The less you have to sell, the harder you sell it!The less you have to say, the louder you yell it!The dumber the act, the bigger the confession!The less you have to show, the larger you dress it!You gotta get up!You gotta get up and be loud!"Loud!," Matilda London CastThere's a rather remarkable diatribe on p. 3 of the newsletter (pdf) from the state's largest police union, the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT) that deserves attention for both its detachment from reality and its use of hyperbole and demagoguery to stir up their members. CLEAT executive director Charley…
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    Drug and Device Law

  • Halloween and Broken Devices Don’t Make a Defect

    Steven Boranian
    31 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    San Francisco has become a sea of orange and black.  As we post this missive, hundreds of thousands of Giants fans are flooding into the city for the third World Series parade in five years.  The 2010 parade was unlike anything we have ever seen in terms of size and ebullience.  Truth be told, we are Oakland Athletics fans, so while we are delighted at the triumph of the men in orange and black, our delight pales by comparison to the euphoria that would accompany another World Series title for the green and gold.  We attended the 2010 Giants parade therefore not because we…
  • Guest Post on Adverse Event Reports & Updating Cheat Sheet

    30 Oct 2014 | 8:56 am
    It takes time and effort to keep all our scorecards and cheat sheets up to date.  So we fell all over ourselves when a Reed Smith associate, Kevin Hara, offered to update our cheat sheed on adverse event reports.  The result is this guest post.  As you might guess, Kevin works out of the RS San Francisco office.  As with all guest posts, Kevin is due all the credit (and blame, if any) for what follows.  The AER cheat sheet has been simultaneously updated to include the case descriptions in Kevin's…
  • FDA Alert based on Adverse Event Reports Admitted in Med-Mal Case

    Steve McConnell
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
     Bad news arrives in all sorts of vehicles, not just product liability suits.  For example, in a medical malpractice case, the E.D. of Tenn recently issued a ruling that admitted an FDA Alert into evidence.  Guthrie v. Ball,  2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148900 (E.D. Tenn. October 17, 2014).  That ruling displeased us, but since to be forewarned is to be forearmed, we share it with you in an effort to get all of the week’s nasty rulings behind us before we are halfway through humpday.   In Guthrie, the plaintiff’s counsel sought to use an FDA Alert sent to…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:28 pm
    Oregon High Court Upholds Death Sentence: The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a woman convicted of murdering her 15-year-old daughter in 2009.  Peter Wong of the Portland Tribune reports that Angela McAnulty starved, abused, and tortured the young girl for several years which ultimately caused her death.  McAnulty is only the second woman to be sentenced to death in the state of Oregon.  Convicted Killer Denied Parole: A Pennsylvania man convicted of murdering two young children in 1973 will remain behind bars after a judge denied his most recent…
  • Proposition 47

    Kent Scheidegger
    31 Oct 2014 | 10:24 am
    California's wine country is not exactly conservative territory, to put it mildly.  Napa County went 2-1 for Obama over Romney.  But the St. Helena Star has a scathing editorial on the "defining criminality down" initiative, Proposition 47:Carrying a stolen handgun. Possession of a date-rape drug. Carrying stolen credit cards. Financial elder abuse.If these sound like minor, misdemeanor-level offenses to you, then you'll be interested in voting for Proposition 47.But if they strike you as being the serious felonies that they are, then vote no on Prop. 47.In an Orwellian touch,…
  • Political Bias in Psychology?

    Steve Erickson
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:54 am
    In the latest issue of the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova has a story that asks, is the field of psychology politically biased?  As the popular saying goes, to ask the question is to answer it.  Anyone who has spent any time within the field of psychology knows, if they're being honest, that the answer to that question is an emphatic "yes" all around.  But what is the nature of the bias?  First, there's the pathetic belief that conservatives just can't cut it in academia:The critique started with data. True, there was little doubt that conservatives in the world of psychology…
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  • 4th Teen Dies From Washington H.S. Shooting

    1 Nov 2014 | 7:24 am
    Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, age 14, died Friday of her injuries from last week's Marysville, WA shooting. She is the fourth teen to die as a result of the incident. Jaylen's cousin Andrew Fryberg remains in critical condition. His other cousin,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Halloween Open Thread

    31 Oct 2014 | 11:24 am
    Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Theo Padnos' Remarkable Account of Captivity and Torture

    31 Oct 2014 | 7:55 am
    In the New York Times, Peter Theo Curtis, aka Theo Padnos, provides a detailed and fascinating account of his 2 years as an Al Nusra hostage in Syria. He is now home in Vermont, having been released in August, days after the James Foley execution,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • 7 Great Reasons Why You Should Start A Business In Brussels

    31 Oct 2014 | 10:10 pm
    As the capital city of Belgium and a cultural hotspot of Europe, Brussels is a strong contender for places to launch your startup. Their combination of support networks, international mindedness and location is hard to beat. Whether you're already living in the city or are looking for a great place to launch your business, Brussels startup ecosystem has a ton of resources available for you and your company.  In case you still need convincing, we've put together 7 top reasons why you should start a Company in Brussels: 1. Location Brussels is centrally located in Europe and offers easy…
  • LetsLunch highlighted in Forbes, Up Performa wins big at an Osaka event, and More Grad News

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:15 pm
    Since launching in 2009, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 1,310 new technology companies across 85 cities, 40 countries, and six continents. These companies have gone on to do great things, and create over 10,000+ new jobs. Over the past week, LetsLunch was highlighted in Forbes, Up Performa wins big at an Osaka event, Realty Mogul was featured in Digital Journal, CauseVox was mentioned on Crain’s New York, and more. Below is a roundup of recent Founder Institute Graduates in the news: LetsLunch featured on Forbes: 5 Tools For Developing Your Business Network (Forbes):…
  • How to Win Friends and Influence Bankers

    30 Oct 2014 | 9:50 pm
    Handling the finances of a growing startup can be an incredibly daunting task for most, if not all, founders. Luckily, Dawn Fotopulos, an experienced entrepreneur and small-business turnaround expert who has rescued hundreds of small business from financial disaster, has taken the time to delineate some basic concepts to help the budding entrepreneur traverse the world of startup finance. In addition to her role as associate professor at the King’s College, Dawn Fotopulos is the founder of Best Small Biz Help, an award-winning blog dedicated to helping struggling…
  • How to Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign, featuring FI All-Star Grads

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:30 pm
    By the end of 2014, crowdfunding is estimated to add at least 270,000 jobs and inject more than $65 billion into the global economy. In short - if you are an entrepreneur and are not yet paying attention to crowdfunding, you should.  Many Founder Institute Graduates across the globe are using crowdfunding, and on the upcoming "How to Raise a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign" webinar, you can learn the tips and tricks to launching a successful campaign of your own. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, Nov 5th at 6pm PT (see local time here). RSVP to the Free Webinar Today!
  • How Darma Raised $100K in the First Day of their Kickstarter Campaign

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:45 am
    Kickstarter campaigns are often employed by entrepreneurs to showcase their products online through videos, graphics, and text on one page. Founders can set funding goals and deadlines, obtaining backers (supporters) who donate money to help creators launch their product or creative project. Some campaigns fail miserably using this tactic to raise funding, while others soar pass their goals. However, the Founder Institute has birthed a rare Founder who falls into the latter category, raising $200,000 within a month of launching a Kickstarter campaign, rocketing far beyond the $40,000 goal.
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  • Argument preview: Court edges close to the Mideast cauldron

    Lyle Denniston
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:02 pm
    At 10 a.m. Monday, the Supreme Court opens its next public session with a one-hour argument on a core constitutional dispute over the powers of Congress and the presidency, in the case of Zivotofsky v. Kerry.  Arguing for a family whose lawsuit is at the center of that controversy will be Alyza D. Lewin of the Washington, D.C., firm of Lewin & Lewin.  U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., will argue for Secretary of State John Kerry and for the White House.  Each advocate will have a half-hour of time. ——————- Background In no area of…
  • Petitions of the day

    Maureen Johnston
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:14 pm
    The petitions of the day are: Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett 13-1421 Issue: Whether, under Section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code, which provides that “[t]o the extent that a lien secures a claim against the debtor that is not an allowed secured claim, such lien is void,” a chapter 7 debtor may “strip off” a junior mortgage lien in its entirety when the outstanding debt owed to a senior lienholder exceeds the current value of the collateral. Bank of America, N.A. v. Toledo-Cardona 14-163 Issue: Whether, under Section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code, which provides that “[t]o the…
  • Editor’s Notes

    Andrew Hamm
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:52 pm
    On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect the Court to issue orders from the October 31 Conference; we do not expect the Justices to issue any decisions on the merits. Our list of “Petitions to watch for that Conference is here.
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    Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog

  • Tools for Tomorrow's Lawyers CLE and Webcast

    Jim Calloway
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:18 am
    What if you were asked to design a complete continuing legal education program about a very important topic where you thought you knew a fair amount about the topic? Well, here's mine - Tools for Tomorrow's Lawyers -- and you...
  • Alternative Billing Comes to Main Street

    Jim Calloway
    15 Oct 2014 | 1:23 pm
    I was very pleased to have been interviewed for the cover story of the October 2014 Illinois Bar Journal titled Alternative Billing Comes to Main Street. It is available online. Patrick Lamb of Valorem Law Group in Chicago, the author...
  • Witness Preparation: Best Practices for a Successful Deposition

    Jim Calloway
    9 Oct 2014 | 7:54 am
    Witness Preparation: Best Practices for a Successful Deposition is a really nice article by Tulsa, Oklahoma attorney Robert P. Redemann. I strongly recommend it to any lawyer, even those who might not be involved with depositions. Sometimes it is good...
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • Special Edition of Lawyer2Lawyer Kicks Off Our 10th Year of Podcasting

    Robert Ambrogi
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    We recently hit our ninth anniversary of producing our legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, and we’re celebrating this week with a special edition of the show. Our guest this week was also our very first guest on our very first show. In August 2005, Mike Greco had just taken office as president of the American Bar Association. […] The post Special Edition of Lawyer2Lawyer Kicks Off Our 10th Year of Podcasting appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • More Info on Avvo’s On-Demand, Fixed Fee Legal Advice Service

    Robert Ambrogi
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    In a post earlier this week, I wrote about the launch of Avvo Advisor, the new service from Avvo that provides on-demand legal advice by phone for a fixed fee of $39 for 15 minutes. Yesterday, I spoke with Avvo’s founder and CEO, Mark Britton, who provided additional details. Cost of Service One question I […] The post More Info on Avvo’s On-Demand, Fixed Fee Legal Advice Service appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • An Upgrade for Merriam-Webster’s Law Dictionary iOS App

    Robert Ambrogi
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:59 am
    The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law has been available as an iOS and Android app for more than two years now, but the iOS version just came out in an upgrade that adds new functionality by taking advantage of the new extensions feature of iOS 8, which allows apps to talk to each other. I reviewed […] The post An Upgrade for Merriam-Webster’s Law Dictionary iOS App appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Friday, October 31, 2014

    Elysia Cherry
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:31 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Friday, October 31, 2014:Kingston lawyer John Farant first in Ontario to be disbarred over sexual harassment | Ontario | NewsJian Ghomeshi accusations can’t be investigated without a complaint, police say B.C. lawyers vote against accrediting Trinity Western law schoolPerjury trial hears of alleged meeting between MountiesUPDATE: Edmonton mall removes ban, apologizes to aboriginal outreach workerReferendum result on Trinity Western faith-based law school to be made public Is dot-lawyer domain a good idea? - Law TimesLawyer…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:16 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Thursday, October 30, 2014: Former Canadian citizenship judge jailed for illegally revealing citizenship examsNew Zealanders to vote on removing Union Jack from flag  Does LSUC have your current email address?Peter Feldberg elected managing partner of Fasken Martineau following contentious vote Lawyer Urges Ethics Panel To View Nude Photos Of Judge Lori Douglas What keeps family lawyers up at night? Managing your stress Don’t trample on civil liberties in fighting terrorism: privacy czarsHow many bound law…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:32 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Wednesday, October 29, 2014: Marriage between an uncle and his half-niece is legal, New York’s top court rulesJian Ghomeshi: CBC releases memo citing ‘claim of impropriety' Missouri execution halted by Supreme Court after plea from 15 judges Ousted CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi faces skepticism from the kink community - The Washington Post Ban Conrad Black from running Ontario public companies, lawyers urge OSC - Toronto StarNude photos should be returned to Lori Douglas, judge’s lawyer says  Jian…
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  • Reflections on 2014 College of Law Practice Management’s Futures Conference

    30 Oct 2014 | 7:03 pm
    A few weeks ago, I was honored to be inducted as a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management, joining a group full of people I have long admired and gotten the opportunity to speak, write and work with over the years.Even better, I got to attend the 2014 Futures Conference held at Suffolk University School of Law. Suffolk could not have been a better host and the program – a combination of TED-type talks and brainstorming sessions leading to a “Shark Tank” competition was quite fun, giving both the opportunity to learn and the chance to meet and collaborate with many…
  • New Blog Design

    29 Sep 2014 | 7:12 pm
    This post is a test of my new blog redesign. A big thank you to Aaron and Dylan Lopez at Inno Software for the redesign and revamping of my blog and website and for being so great to work with. There’s still work for me to do, but the redesign is now live.An even bigger thank you to Lance Long, who took care of my website and blog for many years before passing it on to Aaron and Dylan.
  • GC Research Club Interview about Legal Technology

    24 Jun 2014 | 6:32 pm
    William Barns Graham at the GC Research Club interviewed me a while back about technology as it relates to in-house counsel, some of my uses of technology, collaboration and other topics. The interview originally ran in two parts, but has been collected conveniently in one place, as “GCRC Interview: Dennis Kennedy, Vice President, Counsel at MasterCard Worldwide – Whole Interview” on the website, along with other interviews, all of which I would recommend. It’s nice to be able to reach an international audience with this interview.Ann Page, in her…
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    LawBiz® Blog

  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Selling Your Practice

    Ed Poll
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Will you be one of the 400,000 lawyers retiring in the next 10 years?  Today, Ed discusses what can be done when it’s time to move on.
  • Open letter to Fred Smith, Chmn & CEO of FedEx

    Ed Poll
    29 Oct 2014 | 1:18 pm
    A customer challenge and how to create customer ill will: I sent two framed pieces of art, one of them  a print by Salvador Dali, to my son in New York. I’m in Los Angeles. The representative at the counter of the Marina del Rey FedEx store assured me that FedEx packaging the prints would guarantee a) that they would be packaged well, b) if there were any damage, FedEx would not assert a claim of improper packaging. I paid extra for this service and was given a $1,000 insurance policy at no extra charge. The prints arrived in New York … with the cover glass broken and the outside…
  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Controlling Clients’ Legal Costs

    Ed Poll
    23 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Ed discusses how to estimate future costs by listing your assumptions. Most clients don’t complain about hourly rates; they complain about the totality of their legal costs.  In order to control legal costs, one help is budgets. How to estimate future costs: List your assumptions and make sure the client understands these and also provide for change-orders if any of these assumptions prove to be erroneous. That’s how you keep the costs down and that’s how you keep the client satisfied.
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    the [non]billable hour by Matthew Homann

  • The Weekender #1

    Matt Homann
    10 Oct 2014 | 7:44 am
    Welcome to the first edition of the NBH Weekender!  I’ve been saving up lots of stuff to share with you this week, so here you go: Five simple emails you should send every week. A better brainstorming method from Google that we’ve been playing with for a while. It really works better with introverts and in rooms with high status differentials:  Note and Vote.  Here’s how it works: Note:  Distribute paper and pens to each person. Set a timer for five minutes to 10 minutes. Everyone writes down as many ideas as they can. Individually. Quietly. This list won’t be shared…
  • Ask Better Interview Questions

    Matt Homann
    20 May 2014 | 5:58 am
    Online retailer Zappos is well known for its commitment to company culture and customer service, going so far as to offer new hires $2000 after their first few weeks on the job to quit if they don’t like their new jobs.  They also share quite a bit about how they hire so well, and have posted their Core Values Interview Assessment Guide (.pdf), which includes the interview questions they ask prospective hires. Here are a few of their interview questions related to customer service: What does great customer service mean to you? In your last job, how did you know if your customer was…
  • When do your biz clients update you?

    Matt Homann
    17 May 2014 | 5:01 pm
    There’s a web-based serviced called UpdateMyVC, which purports to automate a startup’s communication with its investors. What I really liked is the list of questions that get answered in the monthly update.  Here are a few: What milestones or accomplishments are you most proud of? What are the things you’re most disappointed about? How is the business / product performing? Did you close any notable deals / partnerships? What opportunities are in the pipeline? Were any key employees hired or fired? Any notable press mentions? Where do you need the most help from your investors…
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    Innocence Blog

  • Kansas Exoneree Releases Album

    31 Oct 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Kansas exoneree Eddie James Lowery is poised to release his debut album Can't Touch My Soul tomorrow, November 1. Since his exoneration more than a decade ago, music has been a constant part of Lowery's life and he's proud to have written every track on the album. In the years following his release, he's performed with other exonerees at Innocence Network conferences and benefits, and continues to express his freedom through music. The song "All in the Name of Justice," was inspired by the many wrongful convictions where police or prosecutorial misconduct played a role. In July 1981, Lowery,…
  • Study Reveals African-Americans Wait Longer To Be Exonerated

    30 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    A new report from a Loma Linda University biostatics professor reveals that African-Americans are exonerated at a slower rate than any other race in the country. The HuffPost reported that according to Professor Pamela Perez' data, blacks who are exonerated after a wrongful conviction have served an average of 12.68 years compared to 9.4 years for whites and 7.87 for Latinos. Perez' findings are based on an examination of the 1,450 exonerations listed on the National Registry of Exonerations through October 20, 2014. While she notes the racial disparity in years served, she concedes that she…
  • Murder Convictions Vacated for Two Washington, D.C. Men

    29 Oct 2014 | 11:33 am
    A decade after Gary Gathers and Keith Mitchell were convicted of murder, a Washington, D.C. appeals court reversed their convictions Wednesday, finding that prosecutors relied on false evidence at trial. The Legal Times reported that the pair was first found guilty in 1994 of the fatal shooting of Wayne Ballard while he was sitting in a car at a traffic light. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals upheld the convictions in 1997. This time when the case was reviewed by the appeals court, a three-judge panel found that prosecutors repeatedly made use of false testimony from a police officer…
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • July 2014 Bar Pass List

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    The names of the 7,264 candidates who passed the bar examination given on July 29 and 30. The passing rate for all candidates, including U.S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers, was 65%.          
  • Justice in the Voting Booth

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Voters will decide at least 10 ballot initiatives affecting the courts on Nov. 4 — ranging from raising a limit on medical malpractice damages to creating an intermediate appellate court.          
  • IRS Official Fights Video Depo, Citing Fear of Harassment

    26 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    An Internal Revenue Service employee caught up in the controversy over tax-exempt groups wants a federal judge to block a subpoena for her videotaped testimony. The official, Holly Paz, cites privacy and safety fears.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • July 2014 Bar Pass List

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    The names of the 7,264 candidates who passed the bar examination given on July 29 and 30. The passing rate for all candidates, including U.S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers, was 65%.          
  • Justice in the Voting Booth

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Voters will decide at least 10 ballot initiatives affecting the courts on Nov. 4 — ranging from raising a limit on medical malpractice damages to creating an intermediate appellate court.          
  • IRS Official Fights Video Depo, Citing Fear of Harassment

    26 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    An Internal Revenue Service employee caught up in the controversy over tax-exempt groups wants a federal judge to block a subpoena for her videotaped testimony. The official, Holly Paz, cites privacy and safety fears.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • July 2014 Bar Pass List

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    The names of the 7,264 candidates who passed the bar examination given on July 29 and 30. The passing rate for all candidates, including U.S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers, was 65%.          
  • Justice in the Voting Booth

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Voters will decide at least 10 ballot initiatives affecting the courts on Nov. 4 — ranging from raising a limit on medical malpractice damages to creating an intermediate appellate court.          
  • IRS Official Fights Video Depo, Citing Fear of Harassment

    26 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    An Internal Revenue Service employee caught up in the controversy over tax-exempt groups wants a federal judge to block a subpoena for her videotaped testimony. The official, Holly Paz, cites privacy and safety fears.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • July 2014 Bar Pass List

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    The names of the 7,264 candidates who passed the bar examination given on July 29 and 30. The passing rate for all candidates, including U.S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers, was 65%.          
  • Justice in the Voting Booth

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Voters will decide at least 10 ballot initiatives affecting the courts on Nov. 4 — ranging from raising a limit on medical malpractice damages to creating an intermediate appellate court.          
  • IRS Official Fights Video Depo, Citing Fear of Harassment

    26 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    An Internal Revenue Service employee caught up in the controversy over tax-exempt groups wants a federal judge to block a subpoena for her videotaped testimony. The official, Holly Paz, cites privacy and safety fears.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • July 2014 Bar Pass List

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    The names of the 7,264 candidates who passed the bar examination given on July 29 and 30. The passing rate for all candidates, including U.S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers, was 65%.          
  • Justice in the Voting Booth

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Voters will decide at least 10 ballot initiatives affecting the courts on Nov. 4 — ranging from raising a limit on medical malpractice damages to creating an intermediate appellate court.          
  • IRS Official Fights Video Depo, Citing Fear of Harassment

    26 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    An Internal Revenue Service employee caught up in the controversy over tax-exempt groups wants a federal judge to block a subpoena for her videotaped testimony. The official, Holly Paz, cites privacy and safety fears.          
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    UNDERDOG - Fairfax Criminal/DWI Attorney - Northern Virginia.

  • Converting three DWI's to reckless driving in seven days, against great odds and in the moment.

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 pm
    NOTE: CASE RESULTS DISCUSSED IN THIS BLOG DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY OUR LAW FIRM. Va. R. Prof. Cond. 7.1(b). By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia/Maryland/Beltway criminal defense lawyer Jon Katz. Defending DWI/ DUI/ Drunk Driving, drugs, marijuana/medical marijuana/cultivation, sex cases, felonies and misdemeanors. Fighting relentlessly for the best possible results for his clients. Throughout the 1994 National Criminal Defense College's Trial Practice Institute and 1995 Trial…
  • Meeting the pressure to convert a DWI charge to a DREAM Act-friendly result.

    11 Feb 2013 | 9:00 pm
    CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY OUR LAW FIRM.  Va. R. Prof. Cond. 7.1(b).  By Jon Katz, a criminal defense lawyer and DWI/ DUI/ Drunk Driving lawyer advocating in Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and beyond for the best possible results for his clients. http://katzjustice.comThe DREAM Act is still a dream, to bypass immigration law penalties against those who came to the United States as children. Praised be the Obama Administration for having directed…
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    The Legal Satyricon

  • The Roca Labs Order

    28 Oct 2014 | 3:08 pm
    There are plenty of articles out there on Roca Labs. I’ll just provide the order, without comment. Ok, one quote: As Plaintiff has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of any one of its claims, it is unnecessary to address the other requirements for injunctive relief. (Opinion). Alfonso Ribiero has not made […]
  • The Candy Bitch

    26 Oct 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I make no secret about the fact that I do consider open bloody class war to be an ok way to fix things. “Life is like a stew, you have to stir it frequently, or all the scum rises to the top.” I felt that way when I lived off $300 a month, $60 of […]
  • Oh…. Candada? Stop trying to be like us!

    26 Oct 2014 | 3:19 pm
    Dear Canada, You’re already pretty awesome. The weather sucks, but if you ever get around to that Turks and Caicos thing, you can have your own Hawaii. I don’t like to join in when Americans make fun of you. They do that because they don’t know you. (I do admit that I hum “Blame Canada” […]
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • July 2014 Bar Pass List

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    The names of the 7,264 candidates who passed the bar examination given on July 29 and 30. The passing rate for all candidates, including U.S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers, was 65%.          
  • Justice in the Voting Booth

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Voters will decide at least 10 ballot initiatives affecting the courts on Nov. 4 — ranging from raising a limit on medical malpractice damages to creating an intermediate appellate court.          
  • IRS Official Fights Video Depo, Citing Fear of Harassment

    26 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    An Internal Revenue Service employee caught up in the controversy over tax-exempt groups wants a federal judge to block a subpoena for her videotaped testimony. The official, Holly Paz, cites privacy and safety fears.          
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    Chicago IP Litigation

  • Improper Inventorship Case Transferred Because of Improper Venue

    R. David Donoghue
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:42 am
    Hester v. j2Global Comm., Inc., No. 13 C 6143, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 19, 2014) (Lefkow, J.). Judge Lefkow held that venue was improper in this patent inventorship dispute, but instead of dismissing, transferred the case to the N.D. Georgia. The Court lacked venue because: At least one defendant did not reside in Illinois; and The events giving rise to the claim did not happen in Illinois.  Furthermore, the location of the patent was not relevant, and even if it were, there was no evidence that the patent resided in Illinois. Because the Northern District was not a proper venue and because…
  • BitTorrent: Motion to Quash is Not a Proper Vehicle for Severing Does

    R. David Donoghue
    29 Oct 2014 | 3:18 am
    Site B v. Does 1-51, No. 13 C 5295, Slip Op. (N.D. Ills. Mar. 7, 2014) (Leinenweber, Sen. J.). Judge Leinenweber denied Doe 39′s motion to quash a pre-discovery subpoena in this BitTorrent case involving the motion picture “Under the Bed.” At the outset, the Court noted a split in the Northern District regarding whether a Doe had standing to quash a subpoena to its Internet Service Provider (“ISP”). Regardless, a motion to quash a subpoena was not a proper vehicle for challenging misjoinder as Doe 39 did. The proper method would be a Fed. R. Div. P. 21 motion to sever.
  • Fair Use & Likelihood of Confusion Doom Lanham Act Claims

    R. David Donoghue
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:13 am
    Sorenson v. WD-40 Co., No. 12 C 50417, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 9, 2014) (Kapala, J.). Judge Kapala granted defendant WD-40 summary judgment as to plaintiff’s Lanham Act and related state law claims regarding plaintiff’s THE INHIBITOR and related design marks (the “Inhibitor Marks”) and WD-40′s Specialist product line. WD-40′s use of the word “inhibitor” in connection with its Specialist products was fair use: It was not used as a trademark, as evidenced by the emphasis of WD-40′s well know marks on the front of the product over the use of the term…
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • WIRTW #343 (the “trick or treat” edition)

    Jon Hyman
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:26 am
    True confession—I do not like Halloween. I never did. As a kid, I tolerated the holiday because it brought a bounty of candy. As I aged out of trick or treating, however, whatever soft feelings I had for the holiday devolved to hardened ire. The only good thing about Halloween is that it makes way for the Godfather I and II of holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Here’s some stuff you need to know about Halloween and your workplace.   Employers Beware: Five Tips for Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace — via Employment Intelligence Halloween in the workplace? Bah!
  • EEOC files historic lawsuit challenging biometric testing by employers

    Jon Hyman
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:25 am
    It’s no secret that health insurance costs are out of control. To help combat this surge, many employers have turned to biometric testing for their employees. Biometric testing is part of corporate wellness programs where employees measure certain levels, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, for breaks on insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act. If the Affordable Care Act expressly permits this testing, then why is the EEOC claiming that Honeywell’s biometric testing program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act? On…
  • Court of appeals decision highlights risk of (mis)classifying employees

    Jon Hyman
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:40 am
    I once handled a wage-and-hour investigation in which the employer, before retaining my services, hired an HR consultant to help classify its employees as exempt or non-exempt. The DOL, however, disagreed, and reclassified half of the company’s employees (with corresponding back pay awards for unpaid overtime for those employees moved from exempt to non-exempt). FLSA exemptions are highly fact specific and highly subjective. One person’s exempt manager is another’s non-exempt clerk. Case in point? Little v. Belle Tire Distributors (6th Cir. 10/23/14) [pdf]. Little concerns a first…
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    Privacy Law Blog

  • FCC: The New Data Security Sheriff In Town

    David Munkittrick
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:57 am
    David Munkittrick Data security seems to make headlines nearly every week, but last Friday, a new player entered the ring.  The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) took its first foray into the regulation of data security, an area that has been dominated by the Federal Trade Commission.  In its 3-2 vote, the FCC did not tread lightly – it assessed a $10 million fine on two telecommunications companies for failing to adequately safeguard customers’ personal information.  The companies, TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc., provide telecommunications services to qualifying…
  • New Jersey bill to prohibit unsolicited text message advertisements pending Governor signature

    Charley Lozada
    16 Oct 2014 | 7:20 am
    Charley Lozada A New Jersey bill which prohibits unwanted text message advertisements has been sent to the Governor for final consideration.   A. 617, which passed unanimously in the Assembly June 26 and in the Senate Sept. 22, if signed into law, would make it illegal to send a text message advertisement to a New Jersey resident if it caused the recipient to incur a telecommunications charge or a usage allocation deduction. Sponsors of the bill noted an increasing number of complaints from consumers regarding unsolicited text messages advertising goods and services. The bill would also…
  • California Updates State Breach Notification Law, Expands Security Procedures to Entities that “Maintain” Personal Information

    Stacy Barrow
    7 Oct 2014 | 7:33 pm
    Stacy Barrow On September 30, 2014, California took further steps to protect the personal information of its residents by amending several sections of its breach notification and information security laws (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1798.81.5, 1798.82 and 1798.85).  The amended law, which is effective January 1, 2015, updates existing law in three significant ways: Under current law, businesses that own or license personal information about a California resident must implement reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information.  This requirement is expanded…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • Backfire!

    Robert Farley
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:09 pm
    My latest at the Diplomat highlights some recent work on how the Tu-22M Backfire affected US and Soviet naval doctrine: The Tu-22M Backfire bomber entered service in 1972, with the Soviets eventually producing almost 500 aircraft.  Theories about the plane abounded (some argued that it represented the USSR’s most serious foray into a strategic nuclear bomber force), but eventually it became clear that the most important use for the bomber would come as a maritime strike aircraft.  The Backfire gave the Soviet Navy a supersonic aircraft that it could use in mass to fire anti-surface…
  • The First Look Mess

    Scott Lemieux
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:05 pm
    I never really understood what Pierre Omidyar was doing with his non-Intercept project, which seemed to involve hiring interesting writers and not letting them write anything. Now we know: Matt Taibbi, who joined First Look Media just seven months ago, left the company on Tuesday. His departure—which he describes as a refusal to accept a work reassignment, and the company describes as a resignation—was the culmination of months of contentious disputes with First Look founder Pierre Omidyar, chief operating officer Randy Ching, and president John Temple over the structure and management of…
  • Heroes of the day

    31 Oct 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Kaci Hickox and Judge Charles LaVerdiere. LaVerdiere: “We would not be here today unless Respondent generously, kindly and with compassion lent her skills to aid, comfort and care for individuals stricken with a terrible disease. We need to remember as we go through this matter that we owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a debt of gratitude.” I know that after decades of the wars on terror and (some people who use some) drugs, the notion that the evidence used to justify restricting basic rights should actually have to meet some kind of quality standards might…
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    Avvo Blog

  • In Late

    Cristin Carey
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:51 pm
    Because all important communication should be in haiku form…an email received by the team earlier this week:   In late tomorrow Unanticipated thing I will miss standup - Matt The post In Late appeared first on Avvo Blog.
  • Introducing Avvo Advisor

    Tim Ahlers
    23 Oct 2014 | 4:22 pm
    Today we’re excited to announce Avvo Advisor!   With our free app and online service, consumers can get affordable legal help from experienced lawyers for a fixed-fee of just $39—anytime, anywhere, and on demand.   While the public launch is an exciting milestone, it’s amazing to think back on how much work has been done […] The post Introducing Avvo Advisor appeared first on Avvo Blog.
  • Step up to the plate

    Cristin Carey
    4 Sep 2014 | 3:11 pm
    Last week the Product team headed across the street to the ballpark for an afternoon at the Mariners game. With just 4 weeks left in the quarter, we needed some downtime before the last big push to wrap-up the quarter’s initiatives. I love hearing the walk-up songs because they show a bit of each player’s personality.   When […] The post Step up to the plate appeared first on Avvo Blog.
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  • OPM Medical Retirement: The Privacy Factor

    1 Nov 2014 | 4:13 am
    In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through one's agency, en route to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker is under whichever various retirement systems (FERS, CSRS or CSRS-Offset), the inherent dangers of revelation, violation or dissemination, whether intended or otherwise, becomes a focused concern for every Federal or Postal employee engaging the administrative process.  The idea that a stranger may view one's medical information is one thing -- for, in that event, we have become…
  • Family Medical Leave Act - Protection for Some Workers

    31 Oct 2014 | 10:13 am
    Over twenty years ago President Bill Clinton signed into law the Family Medical Leave Act. Intended to balance the needs of the families with the demands of the workplace, the Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to attend to the serious health condition of the employee, parent, spouse or child, or for pregnancy or care of a newborn, adopted or foster care child.To qualify for the leave, a worker must be employed by a business, public agency or local, state or federal government unit with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile…
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • Guest Post: When “Disruptive” Technology Hits Your Workplace, What Then?

    Daniel Schwartz
    30 Oct 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Today, I’m pleased to highlight a guest post from Steven Scheinberg, the General Counsel of the Anti-Defamation League. I’ve known Steven for several years and was very happy when he offered to share his thoughts on this important topic.  Steve actually practiced at a prominent plaintiff’s employment law firm in Connecticut many years ago now so he’s got the background to talk competently on employment law topics. My thanks to Steve for sharing his thoughts here. As you will see, it mirrors many of the issues I’ve been talking about lately on the blog —…
  • Watching Over Your Employees

    Daniel Schwartz
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:04 am
    With cameras on every smart phone and computers that can track your every click, it’s hard for employers to know what’s proper in the workplace when it comes to surveillance and monitoring. I’ve talked on the blog before about Connecticut’s Electronic Monitoring Act. But there are several other laws and theories that employers should be aware of before pushing the “power” switch on that hidden camera. Take, for example, Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 52-570d.  That law prohibits the taping of a private telephone conversation without the consent of all parties to…
  • Your Company’s Wellness Program May Violate The Law, Says the EEOC

    Daniel Schwartz
    27 Oct 2014 | 5:02 am
    I’ve talked about wellness programs from time to time here on the blog.  Robin Shea, on her great blog, first brought this up back in August. But since then, there are some new developments from the EEOC that employers should keep an eye out on.  Today, my colleague Marc Herman joins us for the first time to guest post on the latest and greatest on wellness programs, with a  warning that your wellness program may be more of a liability than a benefit. “I’m stuck in between a rock and a hard place.” You’re familiar with that phrase. So how about this one? “I’m stuck…
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    JD Supra Hot Docs - Newsworthy Legal Filings From the Source

  • Hugh Gerald Buffington, et al., v. U.S. Bank NA, et al.,: Federal Judge Sustains 8 Count Complaint Against US Bank, OneWest, Ocwen

    Barry Fagan
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:46 am
    Case Name: Hugh Gerald Buffington, et al., v. U.S. Bank NA, et al., Document Name: Federal Judge Sustains 8 Count Complaint Against US Bank, OneWest, Ocwen Post Date: 10/29/2014 Filing Date: 10/29/2014 Document Summary: In a carefully worded opinion a Federal Trial judge has analyzed the entire context of the loans, the documents and the money trail and concluded that the borrower has stated a cause of action for money damages and equitable relief against some of the top players, already in trouble on other fronts, for gaming the system without having any financial interest in the debts,…
  • Kimberlin v. National Bloggers Club et al.: Motion by Ace of Spades Blog to Dismiss Brett Kimberlin's Complaint

    Ronald Coleman
    27 Oct 2014 | 11:56 am
    Case Name: Kimberlin v. National Bloggers Club et al. Document Name: Motion by Ace of Spades Blog to Dismiss Brett Kimberlin's Complaint Post Date: 10/27/2014 Filing Date: 10/27/2014 Document Summary: Another blogger, another motion in the case described at length here: Contributor: Ronald Coleman [Full Profile | Docs Posted]
  • Drummond v. Herrs Food, Inc.: Opinion Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

    Swartz Swidler, LLC
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:29 am
    Case Name: Drummond v. Herrs Food, Inc. Document Name: Opinion Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment Post Date: 10/22/2014 Filing Date: 10/21/2014 Document Summary: Decision denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment regarding whether Defendant Herrs deliver drivers were exempt from overtime as outside salespeople under the FLSA. Per the Court's order, Herr's Route Salespersons (RSPs) who are drivers working for Herrs will be entitled to present their claims to a jury to determine if they are owed additional wages. Swartz Swidler, LLC is counsel representing…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Bullying of Kids With Disabilities - Part VI

    Jim Gerl
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    English: the picture consist of articles on bullying, I obtained it from public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Bullying remains the hottest of hot button issues in special education law.  In the first installment of this series, I explained the early cases laying the conceptual groundwork for the proposition that failure to react to bullying can constitute a denial of FAPE under IDEA.  In later installments, I have discussed the seminal decision of TK & SK ex rel LK v. New York City Dept of Educ 779 F.Supp.2d 289, 56 IDELR 228 (E.D.N.Y. 4/25/2011).  This case is…
  • Don't Call People Stupid

    Jim Gerl
    28 Oct 2014 | 11:16 am
     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I'm always looking for other resources about kids with disabilities.  Recently, my daughter told me about a blogger named Angie Jackson.  The following is a quote from one of her blog posts that I believe our readers might be interested in; NOTE these are not my words but they are quoted with permission from the author:The Word “Stupid” and Why You Shouldn’t Use ItThe word “stupid” exists to justify discounting and disenfranchising individuals and groups. The idea behind it is “Some people are inherently inferior, so I…
  • New Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:01 am
    We are continuing our series on bullying of kids with disabilities. What else should school districts do to prevent the serious problem of bullying?------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
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    Drug Injury Watch

  • Some Patients Who Stopped Taking Cymbalta Have Suffered From Extended And Severe Withdrawal Reactions Without Warning

    Tom Lamb
    27 Oct 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome / Symptoms Include "Brain Zaps", Extreme Mood Swings (anger, irritability), And Neurological Or Physical Problems (Posted by Tom Lamb at While generally thought of as an antidepressant drug, Cymbalta (duloxetine) from Eli Lilly and Company has been approved by the FDA for use by patients diagnosed with: Major Depressive Disorder;Generalized Anxiety Disorder;Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain;Fibromyalgia; and,Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Based on prescriptions for these several medical conditions and others -- by means of so-called…
  • Mirapex / Requip / Neupro: Significant Increased Risk Of Compulsive Behaviors -- Gambling, Shopping, And Sex -- For These Parkinsons And Restless Leg Drugs

    Tom Lamb
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:31 pm
    These Impulse Side Effects, As Seen In Adverse Drug Events Reports, Are Much Higher Than Previously Thought According To New Medical Journal Article (Posted by Tom Lamb at Moore, A.B., a senior scientist at the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), together with his fellow authors of a new medical journal article are calling for the addition of a so-called "black-box" warning to the drug labels for Mirapex, Requip, Neupro, and other medications used for Parkinson's disease and restless leg syndrome.  Based on their findings about impulse control…
  • European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee Recommends Further Restrictions On Use Of Depakote / Depakene / Depacon By Women Of Childbearing Age

    Tom Lamb
    14 Oct 2014 | 11:17 am
    Cites Higher Risks Of Neural Tube Defects Like Spina Bifida, Hypospadias, And Other Birth Defects As Well As Increased Risk Of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Posted by Tom Lamb at restrictions of the use of valproate drugs -- such as Depakote, as well as Depakene and Depacon, from AbbVie Inc. (formerly Abbott) -- by women who may become pregnant have been recommended by a European drug regulatory committee. From an October 14, 2014 Medscape news report, "Restrict Valproate, EMA Committee Urges": The European Medicine Agency (EMA)'s Pharmacovigilance and Risk Assessment…
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • What are the Steps for filing bankruptcy?

    27 Oct 2014 | 5:13 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, What are the Steps for filing bankruptcy? Filing bankruptcy is a big decision and can have serious financial ramifications. Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “What are the steps for filing bankruptcy and how do I know it’s right for me?” Steps to filing Chapter … Continue reading →
  • What are dischargeable debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    14 Oct 2014 | 5:20 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, What are dischargeable debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “If I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy what are dischargeable debts?” The good news is most debtors who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be able to have most of their unsecured debts, … Continue reading →
  • How Can I get a full-time job?

    7 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, How Can I get a full-time job? The best way to get out of debt and improve your financial position is to increase your income and make sure you earn more than you pay in necessary expenses. Although simply cutting your budget can help, at some point … Continue reading →
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    Asbestos HUB

  • Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer Cases Are Not Limited To Working Men Only, As Is Sometimes Thought To Be The Situation

    Tom Lamb
    31 Oct 2014 | 10:42 am
    Although it is out of the United Kingdom, this October 30, 2014 news article, “Asbestos legacy: The families fighting for compensation”, is instructive to people in the US insofar that it provides insight as to the various difficulties in getting legal compensation for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Moreover, this BBC Scotland report also demonstrates that mesothelioma asbestos cancer cases are not limited to working men, as is sometimes thought to be the situation among those with no personal experience. Consider the story of Mary Campbell, for example: Mary…
  • Five Basic Medical Facts About Bronchogenic Carcinoma or Lung Cancer Caused By Asbestos Exposure

    Tom Lamb
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:55 pm
    For some basic facts about asbestos-related lung cancer, or bronchogenic carcinoma, we will draw upon an article, “Asbestos: When the Dust Settles—An Imaging Review of Asbestos-related Disease”, which was published in the October 2002 edition of RadioGraphic medical journal. The link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer has been suspected since the 1930s but was proved in the 1950s. Amphiboles [(one type of asbestos fiber)] are more potent than chrysotile [(another type of asbestos fiber)] in inducing lung cancer (between 10 and 50 times greater potency has been quoted). The…
  • The Disturbing Story Of What Asbestos Exposure Has Done To The People Of Ambler, Pennsylvania, In The Past And Up To The Present Time, As Regards Asbestos-Related Diseases

    Tom Lamb
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:08 pm
    Today’s post is a follow-up to one we wrote back in July 2014, “Penn Medical School Will Study Cluster Of Mesothelioma Cases In Ambler, PA, The Site Of A Long-Closed Asbestos Factory”. In an October 19, 2014 article,  “Penn study seeks to track Ambler’s asbestos legacy”, reporter Sandy Bauers, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, brings to life the story behind this upcoming medical study and provides the human aspect of this most unfortunate situation. From that Inquirer news article: Joe Amento, a lifelong resident of Ambler, was 53 when he died of a rare…
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    Real Lawyers Have Blogs

  • Law firms need to identify their online rainmakers

    Kevin O'Keefe
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:06 pm
    The majority of law firms treat all lawyers as equals when it comes to their ability to develop business through online networking. Networking online through blogging and the use of other social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, is all about building relationships and word of mouth. The same as business development offline. Ideally, they’re done hand in hand. If you’re working with a non-rainmaker, what makes you think they’ll make rain online? Key for law firms, per business development executive, Alan Colman (@closersgroup), is distinguishing between a…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Virtual Currency, Contraceptive Coverage, Time Management

    Colin O'Keefe
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:30 pm
    This comes out as most of you—I imagine— are already out trick-or-treating your little ones but, for those who aren’t, time for the last Top 10 of the week. It wasn’t intended, but this one ended up with a lot of employment posts—including a good one from Robin Shea. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 191. Ebola: Individual’s Freedoms v. Community Health Concerns – Who Wins? – Dallas lawyer Drew York of Gray Reed on the firm’s blog, Tilting the Scales Alcohol Ads In the Digisphere – New-ish Guides In Town – Chicago lawyer Jamie Rubin on the…
  • Real Estate, Privacy and China Law: New Blogs Joining the LexBlog Network

    Colin O'Keefe
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:49 pm
    With the day winding down here—or done everywhere but the West Coast—we wrap things up here as we always do, by looking at how our network has grown over the past five days (or less, if there was a holiday, naturally). Today, that total is three, and a group that covers quite the diverse array of subjects. First off, we have a blog in an area that, as I’ve mentioned before, is drawing a lot of new bloggers—that area is privacy, and the publication is Quarles & Brady‘s Safe & Sound. That, the firm’s third publication with us on the LexBlog Network, takes aim at…
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    Digital Media Law

  • 'Citizenfour' Review: Quiet Moments in a Hong Kong Hotel Room as Edward Snowden, Journalists Fight to Save Democracy

    24 Oct 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Hong Kong has been ground zero this year in the fight for freedom, with students and Occupy leaders battling police for control of the streets in a desperate campaign to maintain the Chinese territory’s relative autonomy from erosion by the central Beijing government.But the city hosted much quieter freedom fighters a year earlier, not on the streets but in the confines of an international hotel room. When journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentary film maker / journalist Laura Poitras responded to emails from an intelligence community member who identified himself at first only as…
  • An Actor's Cautionary Tale: Cancer Diagnosis and a Drawn-Out Battle Over Residuals

    14 Aug 2014 | 12:58 pm
    Actors often complain about late residuals checks, although SAG-AFTRA has cut processing delays lately. But few stories compare to the battle waged by Alex Doe (a pseudonym), a voice actor who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and endured a 3-1/2-year residuals runaround from Warner Bros. and SAG-AFTRA that ultimately  threatened Doe's health insurance.(Residuals are royalties that are paid to actors, writers, directors and musicians when movies and TV shows are rerun or are released in other media such as DVD or the Internet. They're not small potatoes: residuals can amount to 40…
  • Review: NudeAudio Super-M and aiia SSSSSpeaker on Kickstarter

    7 Aug 2014 | 8:28 am
    Two new Bluetooth speakers offer a great reason to jet on over to Kickstarter.The NudeAudio Super-M ($99, campaign ending on August 15) offers great sound in a package thin enough to slip in a back jeans pocket. During my recent visit to the company’s South of Market offices, a head-to-head comparison showed that the unit delivered deeper bass and higher volumes without loss of fidelity than the Jambox Mini and was more rugged.NudeAudio is the same company that offers the delightful Move S, Move M (which I reviewed last year) and Move L speakers and the Studio 5 Lightning Dock with…
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    Securities Docket

  • Former SEC Chairman Roderick Hills Passes Away at Age 83 | Compliance Week

    Securities Docket
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    Roderick M. Hills, an influential former SEC Chairman from 1975 to 1977, passed away on October 29, 2014, at the age of 83. via Former SEC Chairman Roderick Hills Passes Away at Age 83 | Compliance Week
  • Securities Docket News Wire for October 30, 2014

    Securities Docket
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:55 am
    Whistleblower Complaints Lead to Stiffer Penalties – CFO -> Do the crime, do the time? Not if you're a banker in Australia — The Conversation -> There’s No Place Like Home: The Constitutionality of the SEC’s In-House Courts | Orrick Securities Lit. Blog -> $1.5 Million Sent in Error to Money Manager (Both Are Missing) – -> Wall St watchdog to bolster reviews of brokerage cybersecurity | Reuters -> SEC Charges Two…
  • SEC Charges Two Friends With ‘Audacious’ Insider Trading Scheme | Compliance Week

    Securities Docket
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:34 am
    A shoebox full of cash, prepaid “burner” cell phones, and dummy email accounts failed to prevent the SEC from uncovering and filing its latest insider trading case, the agency announced last week. via SEC Charges Two Friends With ‘Audacious’ Insider Trading Scheme | Compliance Week.
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    Furniture Law Blog

  • Plugged-In Furniture - What's Past Is Prologue

    8 Oct 2014 | 6:22 am
    As furniture becomes more and more tech-driven (e.g., USB ports, chargers, coolers, etc.) we can sometimes forget that claims to advancements in the basic sofa have been around for some time. Today's Westlaw's "Headnote of the Day" e-mail contained the case headnote "Sitting on a couch is not exercise." This got my attention and warranted a deeper look.The headnote comes from Stauffer Laboratories, Inc. v. F.T.C., 343 F.2d 75 (9th Cir. 1965). In Stauffer, the Ninth Circuit was asked to review a preliminary injunction directing Stauffer Labs and its principal officer from making claims that…
  • Amini Sues Yuan Tai Enterprises - Again

    7 Jul 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Amini Innovation Corporation ("AICO") filed suit on June 30, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California (AICO's home court) again Yuan Tai Enterprises, Inc., a Texas corporation. The lawsuit involves two of several tools available to furniture manufacturers to defend its designs: namely patents and copyright. AICO is suing Yuan Tai again after Yuan Tai allegedly violated a 2007 agreement that settled earlier litigation. AICO is suing on 21 copyright registrations and 14 design patents. This approach highlights the one-two punch that copyright registrations…
  • NC Begins Work On Patent Troll Bill

    27 Apr 2014 | 3:13 am
    Guest Authored by David BoazRecently, a joint legislative committee sent a report to the North Carolina General Assembly that recommended passing an anti-troll bill during the legislature’s 2014 Short Session.  A copy of the bill may be found here. The proposed bill, titled “Patent Abuse Bill,” would create a civil and criminal cause of action aimed at preventing bad faith assertions of patent infringement. The bill also make it extortion to obtain or attempt to obtain property through a bad faith assertion of patent infringement. Extortion is a Class F felony under North Carolina…
  • Michael Sullivan to Speak on Regulatory & Compliance Issues for Furniture Industry

    26 Mar 2014 | 1:27 pm
    HIGH POINT, N.C.—Womble Carlyle Mass Torts attorney Michael Sullivan will discuss “Compliance to the Letter of the Law” at the Furniture Today 2014 Regulatory & Compliance Summit. The event takes place April 23rdon the campus of High Point University.In his presentation, Sullivan will share steps that home furnishings companies should take now to demonstrate their commitment to safe products and a safe workplace. He also will discuss regulations, industry standards and warnings, with an emphasis on identifying what is truly important.Clients turn to Michael Sullivan for senior-level…
  • Federal Circuit Clarifies Test for Obviousness of Design Patents

    2 Oct 2013 | 10:35 am
    Who gets to decide when a design patent is obvious? There was some confusion on that topic until the Federal Circuit handed down its opinion in High Point Designs LLV v. Buyers Direct, Inc., No. 2012-1455 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 11, 2013) (a copy of the opinion can be found here).In the opinion, the panel of Judges O'Malley, Schall, and Wallach confirmed that the obviousness of a design patent is to be determined through the eyes of an "ordinary designer," not an "ordinary observer." What's the difference? A big one actually. The ordinary design test requires the court to engage in a more…
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    | Bachus & Schanker Attorneys

  • Bachus and Schanker Reviews

    Kyle Bachus
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:18 am
    Video Transcription Going through a car accident is an emotional up and down roller coaster, ride and experience. When you are going through it, it’s amazing to have somebody that’s there, who really can just take care of it. Because in hindsight, I couldn’t have done it myself. I would have gotten taken advantage of by the other side. It’s worth it to get somebody who knows what they are doing and can negotiate on your behalf. Everything that they have done, has been for me and I really appreciate that. When you go through an accident, so many people you find give up…
  • Car Accident Story: Kristina Crowley Bachus and Schanker Review

    Kyle Bachus
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Video Transcription It was a beautiful sunny day. I had been down that road, many of many of times. I was stopped for I don’t know what reason. I was hit from behind and he pushed me into two cars, and I took the brunt of the force of the accident. My seat-belt broke and I almost went through the windshield. I just remember it was such a beautiful day and that was the moment where a big part of my life changed. I just needed somebody to come take care of me and help me. When I was deciding on who I was going to give my case to I interviewed the heck out of the lawyer who came to talk to…
  • Car Accident Story: Olivia Armstrong Bachus and Schanker review

    Kyle Bachus
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:08 am
    Video Transcription My name is Olivia Armstrong, and I got hit by a school bus. At the point the accident, I was doing a U-turn, and the school bus didn’t stop at the red light, and hit me turning right, and after that I couldn’t pick up my son for many weeks. He was only a year old so that was difficult for me. I was scared that, you know, my car wasn’t going to work, I wasn’t going to be able to get to and from work, and that nothing was going to get done. It was going to be very difficult for me to get anywhere with the bus company. I knew that going right off, that…
  • Bachus & Schanker, LLC Client Review – Pedestrian Accident Case

    Kyle Bachus
    8 Oct 2014 | 4:54 am
    Video Transcription My dog and I were on our morning walk and we were crossing in a cross walk, when the traffic stopped and a car that was stopped across the way didn’t see us and hit my dog and I in the cross walk. It was a very unique experience it was something I would have never thought could happen. I went to the chiropractor and got checked out and tried to work with the insurance company. They were just impossible to work with, in fact they even told me that I could buy a new dog for $500 so they didn’t want to pay for her medical bills. It was really stressful situation,…
  • Bachus & Schanker Client Review – Molly Cain

    Kyle Bachus
    8 Oct 2014 | 4:48 am
    Video Transcription I fell down my stairs and was in a coma, but there wasn’t a hand rail. I had scratch marks from the top to the bottom, but there was nothing to grab to save myself. What was going through my head when I finally realized what was going on, was “Wow, oh my gosh, yeah I have to do this. Like this isn’t anything to do with I, or my land lord, it has to do with the safety purpose of the home not being up to code.” Bachus and Schanker will make it so much easier for you, taking stress just off your shoulders, and allowing you to live, the way a person…
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    P.I.S.S.D. -- Personal Injury, Social Security Disability. Dallas Texas Lawyers

  • Happy Halloween!

    Bob Kraft
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:31 am
    Today is my annual Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday To Me message. Happy Birthday also to my friends who share this birthday, such as Martha, Melissa, Marissa, Haidar, and Lisa. Stay safe out there.
  • Succeed in Court: How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim

    Bob Kraft
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:50 am
    Though an attorney will act as your advocate and do everything possible to help you win your personal injury claim, there are steps that you can take that will help your case succeed. It may seem common sense that you should receive payment for your pain, but unfortunately, the court system needs more than just your statement that you are in pain. You must be able to prove your injury. Get Medical Help and Follow Through Medical records are one of the best ways to document an injury. These records come from an official source and will support your claim that you were injured and were/are hurt…
  • Injury Induced By Robotic Surgery Increases With Advertising

    Bob Kraft
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:01 am
    Bloomberg News reports surgeries performed by robots are increasing, “fueled by aggressive marketing by doctors, hospitals and Intuitive Surgical Inc.,” the $1.5 million robot’s manufacturer. Advertising for the procedure was found on physician and hospital websites and other forums, claiming “fewer complications without proof,” and ignoring “contradictory studies finding no advantage in some cases.” According to a complaint made in April to the Colorado Medical Board, 10 patients treated between 2008 and 2011 by Warren Kortz, a general surgeon at Porter Adventist Hospital in…
  • Featured Link — What Do You Want to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    Bob Kraft
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    In our Social Security disability practice, we see many clients with bad cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a painful, disabling condition. The Healthline site has very good resources for those dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Please read the articles there. Here is a short statement from the site: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. The immune system normally identifies and destroys foreign substances in the body, such as viruses and bacteria; in an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes the body’s own cells for invaders. In RA, the immune system…
  • Is It Time to Reform Tort Reform?

    Bob Kraft
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:23 am
    Tort reform made sense to lots of people at the time, Stephen DiLeo included—that is, until a doctor removed his son’s brain tumor. That was the headline and subhead of a recent article in The Houstonia Magazine. And the answer is YES — it’s far past time to reform “tort reform” in Texas. This was a bad law at the time, and age has not made it any better. As intended, it has benefited insurance carriers and large corporations at the expense of ordinary Texans. Please read this important article. Here are a few paragraphs from it: “THE WAY OUR SYSTEM SHOULD BE…
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • Supreme Court Roundup Part One: McCutcheon v. FEC

    Edward A. Fallone
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:08 pm
    On October 30, I participated in a presentation entitled “Supreme Court Roundup” with Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute.  The event was sponsored by the Law School chapters of the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society.  We discussed three significant cases from the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term: McCutcheon v. FEC, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn.  It was a spirited discussion, in which Mr. Shapiro and I presented opposing views, but I want to thank Mr. Shapiro for taking the time to visit the Law School and for sharing his perspective with the students.
  • What Is the NBA?

    Bruce E. Boyden
    30 Oct 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Professor Nadelle Grossman has another forthcoming publication, “What Is the NBA?”, written for the faculty symposium issue of the Marquette Sports Law Review.  The abstract is below, and you can access the full article at SSRN: The NBA’s organizational structure is curious.  While courts at times refer to the NBA as a joint venture and at other times as a single entity, their analyses are conducted not for state organization law purposes but to assess the NBA’s compliance with federal antitrust law.  Commentators, too, consistently address the NBA’s organizational…
  • The Continuing Story of a Strongly Divided Electorate

    Alan J. Borsuk
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:44 pm
    And in the end, we are at the point where we started – a state that is narrowly divided when it comes to the total number of people on each side of its politics and deeply divided when it comes to how strongly people feel about key issues. That’s the way it was in 2011 and 2012 in the tumultuous events that led to a recall election for  governor. That’s the way it was in an analysis of voting patterns in Wisconsin, and especially in the Milwaukee area, by Craig Gilbert, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Washington Bureau chief, which was the cover story of the current Marquette Lawyer…
  • Casual Convergence in Unincorporated Entity Law

    Bruce E. Boyden
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:03 am
    Professor Nadelle Grossman has a forthcoming book chapter entitled “Casual Convergence in Unincorporated Entity Law” in the Research Handbook on Partnerships, LLCs and Alternative Forms of Business Organizations (Robert W. Hillman & Mark J. Loewenstein eds., Edward Elgar Publ’g forthcoming 2015).  The abstract is below. You can access Prof. Grossman’s full book chapter at SSRN. As seemingly uniform as the surface of the sea, unincorporated entity acts in most states are drafted from one of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law’s (NCCUSL)…
  • An Interview with Professor Linda Edwards

    Melissa L. Greipp
    28 Oct 2014 | 6:52 am
    This fall, Professor Linda Edwards joins Marquette Law School as the Robert F. Boden Visiting Professor of Law.  She is the E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law at UNLV. You have written a wonderful book on the great briefs. What are some of your favorite briefs and why do you like them? One of my favorites is the Petitioner’s brief in Miranda v. Arizona. Scholars, law teachers, and practitioners usually read judicial opinions rather than the briefs that produced those opinions. The Miranda brief is one of the few that has received attention in its own right. I took my turn to comment on…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • LEED v4 Delayed, Again

    Stuart Kaplow
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:24 am
    The U.S. Green Building Council has announced that projects will still be able to register under the current LEED 2009 through October 31, 2016. News of the extension of LEED 2009 began circulating yesterday and is being heralded and widely supported as positive across the environmental industrial complex.  This is arguably the third extension of the date when projects must use the new LEED v4. The date is an extension from the close date of June 1, 2015, announced in summer 2102 when the vote on “LEED 2012” (now LEED v4) was delayed. In USGBC’s announced 3 year cycle…
  • Greenbuild: Designing the Perfect Green People

    Stuart Kaplow
    26 Oct 2014 | 2:57 pm
    The USGBC’s annual Greenbuild Conference and Expo in New Orleans wrapped up last Friday and the question I am most asked is, “what was the highlight?” My response is that the highlight at Greenbuild was all the ‘green’ building people.  I was in an education session watching presenter on the LEED materials credits talk about ‘cradle to cradle’ while Bill McDonough (the author of one of the most important environmental manifestos of our time, “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”) was leaning against the wall in the back…
  • I have been trekking and mountaineering in Tibet

    Stuart Kaplow
    13 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    I am writing this blog post from the Yak & Yeti hotel in Kathmandu. As some regular readers of this blog have commented, there has been a brief hiatus in my postings. For the last many weeks I have been trekking and mountaineering in Tibet. At the beginning of this wonderful adventure, I had an opportunity to meet with green building clients and friends in Beijing and tomorrow I will meet with clients in Delhi before making my way back to Baltimore. China and India each are huge markets for sustainable building. Although admittedly, I spent most of the past month climbing on the highest…
  • Saint Paul has an Alternative to LEED

    Stuart Kaplow
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:56 am
    Much has changed, but much has remained the same, in the arena of green building law mandates since March 18,2002, when the city of Normal, Illinois enacted Ordinance 4825, the first ever mandatory green building law, requiring LEED certification in the Central Business District for public or private new construction of over 7,500 square feet. Many thought green building mandates would spread across the county. But today, with more than 89,000 local governments across the U.S., there are less than 200 green building mandates that apply to ‘purely’ private building.  Among the…
  • Attend Greenbuild: The Best Way To Grow Your Business

    Stuart Kaplow
    13 Aug 2014 | 4:20 pm
    I was delivering a lunchtime speech to a group of real estate professionals yesterday and the first question I received was “how can I expand my green building business?” I retell that because it is a variation of the question I receive most often these days about green building. My answer is simple. Attend the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild Conference and Expo.     This year Greenbuild is in New Orleans from October 22 - 24.  I am not a business marketing expert, but Greenbuild has been the number one source of new business for my green…
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    California Employment Law Report

  • Friday's Five: Five items employers need to understand about automobile and mileage reimbursement under California law

    Anthony Zaller
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:21 am
    Expense reimbursement may seem like a small issue in comparison with the other areas of liability facing California employers, but the exposure for not appropriately reimbursing employees can be substantial. In Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers, Inc., the California Supreme Court clarified the parameters of mileage reimbursement under California law, as well as the three different methods available for employers to reimburse employees for their mileage reimbursement.  This post discusses five issues employers need to know about automobile and mileage reimbursement under California law. 1.
  • Friday's Five: Five answers to common questions about severance pay and severance agreements

    Anthony Zaller
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:56 am
    Severance pay is not required under California law. However, employers who have potential disputes with employees that are leaving employment should consider whether offering severance pay in exchange for a signed severance agreement containing a release of claims against the company may be useful in avoiding costly litigation. Here are answers to five common questions about severance: 1. Are employees entitled to severance pay? No. If an employee is an at-will employee, and either the employer or the employee decides to end the employment relationship, the employer is not required to provide…
  • Five tips about tips under California law

    Anthony Zaller
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:06 am
    Today's Friday's Five provides a few points for employers to consider who have employees that receive gratuities. California law is very specific regarding gratuities left for employees, and since tips are property of the employee, employers must approach this area with caution. Here are five “tips” about tips in California. 1. Tips are employee’s property. The Labor Code section 350 states unequivocally that “Every gratuity is hereby declared to be the sole property of the employee or employees for whom it was paid, given or left for.” In addition, Labor Code…
  • Friday's Five: Five things California employers should not forget about meal and rest breaks

    Anthony Zaller
    3 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    Back to some basics with this Friday’s Five. This post revisits some meal and rest break requirements. It has been a couple of years since the California Supreme Court issued it groundbreaking ruling in Brinker Restaurant Group v. Superior Court, and it is a good time for employers to audit these policies and practices. Here are five things employers should not forget regarding about meal and rest breaks. 1. Timing of breaks. Meal Breaks The California Supreme Court made clear in Brinker Restaurant Group v. Superior Court that employers need to give an employee their first meal break…
  • Friday's Five: Five ways employers can receive requests for employees' personnel and wage records

    Anthony Zaller
    26 Sep 2014 | 7:55 pm
    Employers can receive requests for employment records of current and former employees though different ways. It is important for employers to first carefully review the request to understand what is being requested. It is important to understand who is making the request? Is the request only seeking a personnel file? Is the request only seeking payroll records? It is possible that a third party, such as a governmental agency or a party in litigation is seeking employment records for an employee. In this case, it is important for the employer to understand its obligations in protecting the…
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    Social Security Disability Lawyer

  • Columbus Day & the 5 Day Rule

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    Columbus Day is one of those stealth federal holidays that does not get the attention of Memorial Day or Labor Day. It is relevant for those of us practicing Social Security disability law in the Region 1 (the New England states), because we have a 5-day rule for new evidence. The 5 days excludes weekends and holidays. So if you have a hearing during the week following Columbus Day, you must take the holiday into account when figuring the deadline for new evidence. Our office will be closed for the holiday. But our evidence for the upcoming cases has already been filed.
  • Use of Videoteleconferencing (VTC) at Your Hearing

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    24 Sep 2014 | 8:31 am
    Social Security recently changed its rules regarding videoteleconferencing (VTC), and is now sending notices regarding VTC at an early stage of the hearing level. The new notice requires a decision within 30 whether or not to object to a video hearing. Previously, the objection to VTC was not made until the time a hearing was actually scheduled. By moving forward the date by which an objection can be made, the issue to VTC or not is separated completely the identity of your judge or the timing of the hearing. Which in my view, makes it much easier to say no to a video hearing. The SSA likes…
  • Characteristics of a great Administrative Law Judge

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    24 Jun 2014 | 8:23 am
    I had a hearing recently with a terrific Social Security administrative law judge. The experience got me thinking about the characteristics you want in a judge. Here are a few: Good listener - the purpose of a Social Security disability hearing is to take testimony from the claimant. You want a judge who is actively listening, and who has not pre-judged the claim based upon the written record. Empathy - this is such an important quality. A good judge will understand what effects claimants' symptoms have on their lives. By the way, this is an important quality for a disability lawyer, as…
  • Your diagnosis is just a first step to disability

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    4 Jun 2014 | 7:57 am
    I frequently talk to clients and potential clients, who say "I am diagnosed with x, y, and z" so I cannot work." I hear this statement almost every day (sometimes several times a day). Here is how I respond: "Well, x, y, or z can certainly be a basis for disability. But the issue in your case, and the reason your claim for disability benefits has been denied so far, is that Social Security needs to assess the severity of your symptoms from these ailments. Your diagnosis was a necessary step, but it is just the first step. The big issue is: what are your functional…
  • The 2013 Waterfall Chart

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    15 May 2014 | 8:29 am
    Each Spring, the SSA releases statistics from the previous fiscal year in an easy to understand format, the "waterfall" chart. The chart shows the percentage of claims approved and denied at the various levels of review. Here is the latest chart, for FY 2013: The chart shows that allowed claims are down at every level of review, and Appeals Council remands are down as well. I have been highlighting the annual waterfall chart on this blog for 5 years. Back in 2008-2009, ALJ allowances were steady at 63%. From that baseline, we now see a 15-point reduction to 2013.  2010 was similar…
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    The Rainmaker Blog

  • Learn to Significantly Increase Your Referrals in 90 Days on Nov. 5

    Stephen Fairley
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Today is Halloween and what could be scarier than trying to run a law firm with no referrals?  Attorneys love referrals, since they come pretty much pre-qualified and ready to do business with you.  So why is it that so many law firms have no process in place to generate referrals?  Referrals do not have to be happenstance.  There are procedures and processes that have been proven to significantly increase law firm referrals in just 90 days.  And we will be sharing that information during a FREE webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Please join me and…
  • Less Can Mean More When You Niche Your Practice

    Stephen Fairley
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:37 pm
    Very interesting read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal online about a small financial services firm that discovered fewer clients could mean a much more profitable practice -- and a chance at living a real life outside work. Two female financial advisors launched their own firm 12 years ago in a Kansas City suburb.  At that time, they admittedly took “anyone who breathed” as clients.  Within four years, they had 600 clients and $33 million in assets under management. And they were working themselves to death, never taking a vacation and rarely spending time with…
  • How to Measure Your Email Marketing Performance

    Stephen Fairley
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Email newsletters have proven to be one of the most effective methods for attorneys to market themselves to prospects, clients and referral sources.  Every year, email marketing service provider MailerMailer provides a report on email marketing metrics across 34 different industries, including Legal.  They have just issued their 2014 report, based on data gathered from 62,000 newsletter campaigns totaling 1.18 billion emails sent between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013.  Here are the results -- and what should be your new benchmarks -- for your law firm newsletter: Open rate…
  • Email Marketing Stats You Shouldn't Ignore

    Kelly Woodward
    28 Oct 2014 | 2:49 pm
    Some very interesting stats from email marketing software and services provider Emma recently hit my inbox and they are worth sharing with you: The average open rate for welcome emails is 50%, making those types of emails highly effective.  Whenever someone signs up for anything and provides their email address, an automated welcome email is a no-brainer and a great chance to engage your prospects. 51% of email is now opened on a mobile device, so always use responsive design email templates to ensure your emails look great on any screen. 80% of people just scan emails, so be sure you…
  • How to Hire Superstars & Let Them Take Your Firm to the Next Level

    Stephen Fairley
    27 Oct 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Is your firm full of Superstars?  I learned some time ago that hiring Superstars is the key to positive, steady growth and am proud that we have built our company together into the nation’s leading law firm marketing company. I could not have done this by myself.  And you can’t get the lifestyle law firm you’ve always wanted by yourself either.  You need Superstars in your organization to make this happen. Here are the measurements I use to ensure my company is staffed with Superstars at every level: Every person must either make the company money or save the…
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    Defending People

  • In Which Cultures Clash

    Mark Bennett
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:23 pm
    I recently had a discussion with a lawyer from another culture. One of my clients is a potential witness in one of his cases, and my client got tired of hearing from him. So I sent the lawyer a brief email asking that he not contact my client anymore. I said “please” and “thank you,” but otherwise didn’t mitigate my speech. Because the rule is very simple: in representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate or cause or encourage another to communicate about the subject of the representation with a person, organization or entity of government the lawyer knows…
  • RIP Brad Frye

    Mark Bennett
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:31 pm
    I just learned that Houston criminal-defense lawyer (and frequent Defending People commenter) Charles B. “Brad” Frye died about an hour ago of COPD. RIP, Brad. Take care of yourselves, everyone else. Copyright © 2013 Houston criminal-defense lawyer Mark Bennett. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, the page you are viewing infringes the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint: 9fddc86334d71f22cfdb4b70fe23bb0e ( .)
  • In Which We Find the Game

    Mark Bennett
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:23 pm
    I often say that criminal-defense trial practice is about playing “what’s really going on here?” At every phase of a trial case, we are dealing with people who aren’t telling us the whole truth, because they don’t know it, don’t know its importance, don’t want to tell it, or don’t want us to know it. The facts are usually, at first glance, bad for us (else the client wouldn’t be a client), but there is always more to the story than the facts reveal at first glance. So the criminal-defense trial lawyer’s job is to figure out…
  • In Which the News is Good

    Mark Bennett
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:35 am
    Dallas’s index Ebola Zaire patient, Thomas Duncan, was at home for four days while he was symptomatic with Ebola. His family were not infected with the virus. While Duncan infected two nurses at the hospital during his final days (when he was leaking blood from every available orifice) he didn’t infect the people who lived with him when he was very sick—sick enough to have gone to the hospital and been sent away. One of the commenters on my last Ebola post pointed out that Ebola has a very low basic reproduction number, R0, of about two. R0 is not an inherent characteristic of a…
  • In Which Math is Still Hard

    Mark Bennett
    18 Oct 2014 | 1:57 pm
    I’ve written here several times, under the category “math is hard,” about Americans’ innumeracy with regard to risk and danger. I have a theory: Americans overestimate the danger (risk times harm) of things that they are willing to do something about (terrorism!), and underestimate the danger of things that they are not willing to do something about (obesity!). The government, meanwhile, has an interest in overstating the danger of things that it is profitable for corporations to do something about (terrorism!) and understating the danger of things that it is…
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    a public defender

  • Fear the death of rights

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:39 am
    Human rights, individual rights. We all have rights. We all should have the same rights. Yet we often withhold those basic rights that we’d want for ourselves from others in civilization because we dislike or disagree with them. Why is that? Is that because we’re afraid of them? Some of them, undoubtedly, have forfeited the right to have those protections – either for a short period of time or forever – but the easiest road to stripping humans of their inherent rights is to treat them as inhuman. We are also incredibly selective in our willingness to recognize the…
  • Yet another example of unsanctioned prosecutorial misconduct

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:22 am
    I wrote last week about the double standard in sanctioning defense attorneys while scores of prosecutors nationwide engage in deliberate and willful misconduct that deprives individuals of their Constitutional rights without any consequences whatsoever. A helpful reader sent me a link to this CT Supreme Court opinion from 2012 that I’d missed, as a further example. In this case, the defense argued that in order to convict him of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping (both require the use of a firearm), the jury must be instructed that he actually possessed such firearm.
  • Not all child molesters

    24 Oct 2014 | 6:10 am
    Everyone who molests children is a horrible, evil person. Everyone who looks at photos of child pornography is the devil and deserves to die immediately, or slowly and excruciatingly, or deserves to be beaten up. Anyone who dares to speak up against the hysteria surrounding child abuse and child pornography is also a rapist, molester, creep, pervert, abuser. Until it happens to one of yours. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser addressed his staff Monday about the child pornography charges his adult son faces after being arrested Oct. 16 by federal agents. On Monday, Michael Gmoser told…
  • Rowdy Rioters

    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    If you don’t think there is a dichotomy in the way America treats its races, you’re an idiot. The incident at Keene and the treatment of it by the news media should be Exhibit A. Read this fantastic piece about why Keene is nothing more than a mob, while Ferguson is a protest. And then go buy this timely t-shirt.
  • If you don’t buy this t-shirt, the racists win

    17 Oct 2014 | 4:45 am
    I don’t normally plug things for sale on the blog, but a good friend has made this tongue-in-cheek, but very serious t-shirt juxtaposing the ways we treat black and white actions differently in this country and the way we view the differences between the two races. A major problem America faces is the existence (and often the denial) of Institutionalized Racism. There are countless studies and statistics that show minorities – especially black men – are disproportionately targeted by our judicial system. The criminalizing and villainizing of the black male greatly affects…
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  • Court denies request of plaintiffs in right of publicity suit to exhume the body of Aunt Jemima

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    22 Oct 2014 | 6:49 am
    The great-grandsons of Anna S. Harringon, whose image formed the basis for Aunt Jemima, sued Quaker Oats Company and others for $2 billion claiming that defendants failed to pay royalties to Harrington’s estate after her death in 1955. One of the allegations in the case is that defendants played a role in Harrington’s death. Apparently, in an effort to support those allegations, plaintiffs sought an order from the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (where the matter is pending) allowing them to exhume the body of their great-grandmother for evidence of this…
  • GitHub jeopardizes its DMCA safe harbor status by launching its new policy

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:54 pm
    GitHub has baked in some feelgood to its new DMCA takedown policy. The new setup features clearer language, a refusal to automatically disable all forks of an allegedly infringing repository, and a 24-hour window in which the target of a takedown notice may make changes. The mechanisms of this third point ought to cause one to consider whether GitHub is risking the protections of the DMCA safe harbor. If a DMCA takedown notice alleges that only certain files (as opposed to the whole repository) infringe, under the new policy, GitHub “will contact the user who created the repository and…
  • YouTube has been a billion dollar boon to big media

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:14 pm
    This NBC News piece reports that since 2007, YouTube’s ContentID program has enabled copyright holders to monetize content posted to the service and get paid a billion dollars in the process. (Also included in the report is the staggering statistic that ContentID scans 400 years of content every day — we live in content-producing world of crazy proportions!) So we see that with this kind of cash rolling in, it’s no wonder that Viacom finally came to its senses earlier this year when it decided to discontinue its litigation against YouTube. The billion dollar notion is also…
  • Copyright, not privacy, motivated Reddit to take down photos of nude celebrities

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    30 Sep 2014 | 8:34 pm
    This VentureBeat piece with Reddit CEO Yishan Wong brings up a number of interesting facts concerning Reddit in the wake of its receiving an additional $50 million funding round. One of those pieces of interesting information concerns Reddit’s decision to take down a subreddit devoted to the sharing of recently-leaked celebrity nude photos. Says Wong: If there’s any confusion: [Reddit] did not shut down /r/TheFappening due to content linking to nude celebrity photos. The subreddit was shut down because users were reposting content already taken down due to valid DMCA requests, and…
  • Microsoft letter to GitHub over DRM-free music software is not the first copyright-ironic action against an intermediary

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    4 Aug 2014 | 10:01 pm
    TorrentFreak has reported that Microsoft demanded that GitHub take the code repository of an app that provides access to unprotected Xbox Music tracks. Some are calling it ironic, given that Microsoft is offering access to DRM-free music through its API. The situation is reminiscent (though not legally identical) to the weirdness we observed way back in 2006 when YouTube asked TechCruch to take down a tool that allowed people to download video clips. We recognized early on that YouTube was a copyright renegade. So it was surprising that it would take such an aggressive tactic toward purveyors…
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    Federal Employment Law Articles

  • What Does the End of Daylight Saving Time Mean to Employers?

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    At 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2014, people all across the United States turn their clocks back one hour to end Daylight Saving Time (DST). For many, the change simply means an extra hour of sleep. However, for employers, the time change has unique and important implications. While most employers have developed protocols for dealing with the technological requirements of the time shift — such as adjusting the time in their computer systems, voice-mail, and time clocks — many employers may not be prepared for the other impacts of the time change caused by the end of DST.
  • Don't Let Your Office Halloween Party Unmask Racial Insensitivity

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Employers may view Halloween celebrations at work as a no-brainer: Annual October office parties are often great boosts to employee morale, encouraging community, healthy competition, and team-building as participants eat, drink, carve pumpkins, or vote on outfits in costume contests. But beware—any costume party puts employers at risk . . . and not just because of the occasional appearance of risqué costumes.
  • New IRS Guidance May Require Amendments to Section 125 ("Cafeteria") Plans

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Many employers permit employees to pay for employer-sponsored health coverage, on a pre-tax basis, under Internal Revenue Code section 125 (“cafeteria”) plans. These plans generally require employees to make an irrevocable election to participate before the beginning of the health coverage period. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules typically do not allow mid-year changes to cafeteria plan elections, unless the employer adopts special change in status rules and incorporates those rules in a written cafeteria plan document. Change in status rules apply in fairly limited circumstances and…
  • Employees Should Not Have Unfettered Recording Rights

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The National Labor Relations Board has held that employees have a broad right under federal labor law to discuss their “wages, hours and working conditions” on social media. But the NLRB has yet to deal with the convergence of next-generation recording technology and social media. Will the NLRB expand its social media doctrine to protect workplace recording so long as the employee intends to use the recording to discuss working conditions on social media?
  • NLRB Finally Finds Facebook Activity That It Doesn’t "Like"

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finally found a Facebook conversation it couldn’t bring itself to “Like.” In Richmond District Neighborhood Center, Case 20-CA-091748 (October 28, 2014), the NLRB held that a Facebook conversation between two employees was so egregious that it was not entitled to the protection of concerted activity afforded under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • Revocable Trusts and Asset Protection

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    Many times we get questions from clients asking if their revocable trust provides asset protection from creditors. The answer to this is the typical legal answer "It Depends". That is it depends on who owes the money. In Florida a revocable trust can provide some limited protection against the creditors of your beneficiaries through a spendthrift clause, but it will not provide protection from the creditors of the person who creates the trust. Upon your death, the assets in your revocable trust are available to your creditors. There is a new type of irrevocable trust that is similar to a…
  • Florida Probate Intake form

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:17 am
    Many of our clients have asked us to put our Florida Probate Intake form online so that they can easily download it. You can download the Florida Probate Intake form with the following link: Probate Intake Form.pdf
  • 4th DCA and Charging Order Protection for Florida LLC

    30 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    In Florida, a multi member LLC, has asset protection characteristics. Prior to 2011, Florida law was not clear on whether a charging order was the exclusive remedy for a creditor of a member of a multi member LLC. Assets in a Florida multi member LLC are protected from the reach of the member's creditors so that the debts of one member do not cause harm to the other members. Once a creditor receives a judgement, they can apply for a charging order and stand in line to receive distributions that are made to that member. The problem with this is that a charging order also subjects the creditor…
  • If a person dies intestate what proof must their children show the court to prove they are the heirs to the estate?

    29 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    Most Florida probate courts simply accept the information contained in the pleadings that are filed with the court. These pleadings are usually signed "under penalties of perjury". Some courts (such as Citrus Count and Miami-Dade County) often require an Affidavit of Heirs.pdf to be filed along with the pleadings. There really is no other independent evidence that is required to prove who the beneficiaries are. When a rightful heir has been omitted from the pleadings, it is important to act timely. Sometimes, there are people who are included that should not receive a ​portion of the…
  • Estate Planning: Dealing with your digital death instead of before

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    Portland company WebCease is making waves in the probate and estate-planning community by helping attorneys and grieving families locate the deceased's digital accounts. CEO Glenn Williamson aims to be the first to provide this service to the growing market of families and attorneys trying to track down digital accounts. Williamson is banking on the need for this service to continue to grow as people continue to use digital accounts for shopping, social media and traveling. WebCease searches across different vendors to determine if the deceased person had an account. WebCease then generates a…
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  • International Standard for Treating Personal Information in the Cloud

    John Gregory
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:25 pm
    The International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have adopted a new international standard for the protection of personally identifiable information by public cloud computer service providers. It is intended to set out best practices for companies operating in this area, such as Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine. Here is a description of the standard by a privacy advice site. Is this likely to be helpful to your clients, either those having their information stored and treated in the cloud or those who offer cloud services?
  • Net Neutrality Zone Trap

    Mark Lewis
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:10 am
    The dead puck era in the National Hockey began roughly in 1995 and lasted through the lockout of 2004. The dead puck era was marked by stifling defense and low scoring games as teams employed a defensive strategy known as the “neutral zone trap” (sub nom the trap). The basics of the neutral zone trap was that a team would dump the puck into the offensive zone and then mount little or no forecheck in the offensive zone in favour of placing all of their players in the neutral zone in order to impede the other team from advancing through the zone with the puck, which would hopefully…
  • The Friday Fillip: Fetch and Carry

    Simon Fodden
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:05 am
    Ever since things were invented, which is to say ever since the dawn of time, we’ve needed to take these things from one place to another. Using wheels to shift our stuff was a smart but later development and one that even now isn’t always available to us. So a great deal of the time we carry. This business of carrying is so fundamental that we use the term in a large number of metaphorical ways, too: we “carry” tunes, conversations, genes, resentments, and legal cases, among other things. But I thought we’d take a look today at how in fact we do or may carry…
  • A Different Take on ABS – Proponents and Opponents Both Miss the Point

    Malcolm Mercer
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    The Lawyers Weekly recently included an article by Cristin Schmitz entitled Study sounds note of caution in ABS debate. Ms. Schmitz discusses a thoughtful paper by Nick Robinson who is a research fellow with the Harvard Program on the Legal Profession. In an interview with Ms. Schmitz, Mr. Robinson said: “I’ve been amazed in this debate how much each side kind of talks past each other, dismisses the concerns of the other side, or the point of the other side. I am a bit cautious about non-lawyer ownership in the paper, but I can also see in certain situations how it could be beneficial.”…
  • Who’s Watching the Spies?

    Yves Faguy
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:57 am
    Much of the debate following the shootings in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu has turned on whether or not increased surveillance by Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies could have prevented the actions of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau. Then comes the follow-up: Must we adopt stronger measures and would they put our civil liberties at risk? To be clear, this has nothing to do with the recent tabling of Bill C-44, drafted months ago. For reasons well explained by Craig Forcese, these measures aim primarily to assist CSIS in obtaining warrants for overseas…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • Consumer Law Levels Up

    Stephanie Kimbro
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:22 am
    Two new options for consumer legal services entered the market in the past week. They are different in nature, but both provide alternatives for legal assistance and guidance. Both include different levels of legal guidance from licensed lawyers and some elements of self-help and unbundling of legal services. My stance on that has been that the value of a lawyer is great where the consumer can afford it, but some unbundled help even without a lawyer is better than leaving a consumer to flounder about on their own. First up, Avvo launched Avvo Advisor. Consumers can go online and connect to…
  • Meaningful Play & Legal Games Research

    Stephanie Kimbro
    17 Oct 2014 | 2:09 pm
    The annual Meaningful Play Conference (@meaningfulplay, #mplay) is being held this week at Michigan State University. This game conference takes an academic approach to how games can be used to educate and persuade the players. The conference explores how games can be designed and developed for meaningful purposes acknowledging that …games have the potential to impact players’ beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, emotions, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health, and behavior. I am unable to attend the conference, but my two fellow panelists, Lien Tran and Dan Jackson, are…
  • Teaching eProfessionalism to Law Students with Social Media

    Stephanie Kimbro
    29 Sep 2014 | 11:23 am
    Today I posted an article on the Legal Technology Blog, part of the Law Professor Blog Network, about the challenges of teaching eprofessionalism to law students in my Social Media and the Law course.  You can read the full post here. The trick with teaching social media to law students is that it is a personal choice the students have to make about finding the right balance between their personal lives, their friends and family and hobbies, and their soon-to-be professional lives. I give them my own choices in the use of social media as an example and teach them how to use the settings in…
  • Podcast: How to Provide Client Hand-holding in Virtual Law Practice

    Stephanie Kimbro
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:08 am
    Last month I joined in on a podcast for the ABA Journal with reporter Stephanie Francis Ward; Michelle Crosby, founder of Wevorce; and Fred Rooney, Director of Touro Law Center’s International Justice Center for Post-Graduate Development. The topic was “How do you provide client hand-holding if you run a virtual firm?” You can listen to the podcast on the ABA Journal site or read the transcript. Ward asked the three of us this question towards the end of the podcast: [C]an the three of you give me one tip on making that personal connection and doing it online? So combining…
  • Online Legal Services Gets a Boost from ABA & Rocket Lawyer Partnership

    Stephanie Kimbro
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:43 pm
    I was thrilled to hear the news today from the Wall Street Journal Law Blog that the ABA announced its partnership with Rocket Lawyer on a pilot project to help match up ABA members with online clients. I’ve been researching and writing about lawyer collaboration with branded networks like Rocket Lawyer for the past couple of years with a focus on ethics issues and best practices. I wrote a book about the best practices for lawyers who wanted to work with these companies and make connections with clients through them. I think this partnership integrates wonderfully with virtual law…
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • Revocable Trusts and Asset Protection

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    Many times we get questions from clients asking if their revocable trust provides asset protection from creditors. The answer to this is the typical legal answer "It Depends". That is it depends on who owes the money. In Florida a revocable trust can provide some limited protection against the creditors of your beneficiaries through a spendthrift clause, but it will not provide protection from the creditors of the person who creates the trust. Upon your death, the assets in your revocable trust are available to your creditors. There is a new type of irrevocable trust that is similar to a…
  • Florida Probate Intake form

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:17 am
    Many of our clients have asked us to put our Florida Probate Intake form online so that they can easily download it. You can download the Florida Probate Intake form with the following link: Probate Intake Form.pdf
  • 4th DCA and Charging Order Protection for Florida LLC

    30 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    In Florida, a multi member LLC, has asset protection characteristics. Prior to 2011, Florida law was not clear on whether a charging order was the exclusive remedy for a creditor of a member of a multi member LLC. Assets in a Florida multi member LLC are protected from the reach of the member's creditors so that the debts of one member do not cause harm to the other members. Once a creditor receives a judgement, they can apply for a charging order and stand in line to receive distributions that are made to that member. The problem with this is that a charging order also subjects the creditor…
  • If a person dies intestate what proof must their children show the court to prove they are the heirs to the estate?

    29 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    Most Florida probate courts simply accept the information contained in the pleadings that are filed with the court. These pleadings are usually signed "under penalties of perjury". Some courts (such as Citrus Count and Miami-Dade County) often require an Affidavit of Heirs.pdf to be filed along with the pleadings. There really is no other independent evidence that is required to prove who the beneficiaries are. When a rightful heir has been omitted from the pleadings, it is important to act timely. Sometimes, there are people who are included that should not receive a ​portion of the…
  • Estate Planning: Dealing with your digital death instead of before

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    Portland company WebCease is making waves in the probate and estate-planning community by helping attorneys and grieving families locate the deceased's digital accounts. CEO Glenn Williamson aims to be the first to provide this service to the growing market of families and attorneys trying to track down digital accounts. Williamson is banking on the need for this service to continue to grow as people continue to use digital accounts for shopping, social media and traveling. WebCease searches across different vendors to determine if the deceased person had an account. WebCease then generates a…
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    Native American Legal Update

  • Historical Artifacts Halt World's Largest Tunnel Project

    Greg Guedel
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:42 am
    The Seattle Times is reporting that workers on the Highway 99 tunnel project on Seattle’s waterfront, the largest underground road tunneling project ever undertaken, have encountered a collection of shells that could indicate the presence of historic activity from indigenous tribes. Archaeologists with the Washington State Department of Transportation noticed the deposit and ordered the tunneling contractors to stop work. An archaeological investigation will be undertaken to seek further evidence of historical settlements and activity by indigenous communities. Any such finds are to be…
  • Legal Battle Keeps Jim Thorpe's Remains Far From Home

    Greg Guedel
    23 Oct 2014 | 12:46 pm
      As reported in Sports Illustrated, the family of sports legend Jim Thorpe has lost the latest round in a protracted legal battle to have his remains returned to his homeland of the Sac and Fox in central Oklahoma. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by a U.S. District judge that authorized Thorpe's remains to be relocated to Oklahoma. His body is currently buried in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania – at town with which he had no connection during his lifetime, but which changed its name to “Jim Thorpe” after his death specifically so he would be buried…
  • Tribal Payday Loans Under Fire In Federal Courts

    Greg Guedel
    9 Oct 2014 | 10:15 am
      ( United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has denied a request by two Native American Tribes to stop New York State’s top financial regulator from cracking down on their online lending businesses. The decision comes more than a year after the Tribes sued Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, arguing that he had overstepped his jurisdictional bounds in trying to regulate business activity that takes place on Tribal reservations in Oklahoma and Michigan. The ruling upholds a…
  • Seattle Replaces Columbus With "Indigenous Peoples' Day"

    Greg Guedel
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:41 am
    The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a resolution designating the second Monday in October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” October’s second Monday also is Columbus Day, a federal holiday named for explorer Christopher Columbus and widely marked by the celebration of Italian-American history and culture. Washington is among the states that do not recognize Columbus Day as a legal holiday, and Columbus Day is not a Seattle holiday. Indigenous People’s Day won’t be an official Seattle holiday either — just a day to honor indigenous peoples.
  • Navajo Nation Agrees to $554 Million Settlement with U.S. Government

    Greg Guedel
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:05 am
      The US government has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation $554 million to settle a legal dispute regarding mismanagement of Tribal lands and trust resources. It is the largest payment ever made by the U.S. government to a single tribe. The settlement concludes litigation that has been ongoing for more than 50 years. The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribe in both population and land area, with more than 300,000 members and territory spanning four states. About 14 million acres of Navajo land is leased out by the U.S. government in a trust capacity for purposes including…
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    Technology & Marketing Law Blog

  • Equivocal Email Exchanges Don’t Transfer Copyright Ownership

    Venkat Balasubramani
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:32 pm
    The Tjeknavorians collaborated with Mardirossian to make a film about the Armenian genocide. They never signed a paper agreement, although they had a bunch of correspondence regarding the film. Mardirossian contributed funds to the project on an ongoing basis (up to a certain limit). Several years into the project, the relationship deteriorated and Mardirossian demanded the in-progress materials from the Tjeknavorians. The Tjeknavorians refused, and Mardirossian filed suit in state court. The Tjeknavorians filed a separate federal court lawsuit. The key issue in the federal court case was…
  • Hertz Faces Negligence Suit For Employee’s Facebook Bashing of a Customer–Howard v. Hertz

    Venkat Balasubramani
    29 Oct 2014 | 3:13 pm
    Maurice Howard is a Hertz customer who alleged that a Hertz employee (Shawn Akina) posted the following comment about Howard on Facebook: I seen Maurice’s bougie ass walking kahului beach road . . . n*** please! A number of Akina’s Facebook friends, all Hertz employees, allegedly posted comments on Akina’s page. Akina allegedly described Howard as: a broke ass faka who act like he get planny money .. The following exchange ensued: [co-worker:] run that faka over!!! lol. [Akina] i was tempted too, but nah, i had a white car, neva like u guys scrub da blood off. [a co-worker comment:]…
  • The New U.K. Online Gambling Law: Cyberlaw 3.0 – or a Return to Cyberlaw 2.0? (Guest Blog Post)

    Eric Goldman
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:42 am
    Photo credit: “United Kingdom High Resolution Casino Concept” // ShutterStockBy guest blogger Marketa Trimble The new amendments to the U.K. gambling law in the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 will take effect on November 1, 2014, following a U.K. judge’s rejection of a challenge to the validity of the Act earlier this month. With this new Act becoming effective this week, we might wonder whether it returns U.K. gambling law to cyberlaw 2.0 – to the legal order that Michael Geist in 2003 defined as (among its other features) “a shift from a borderless network…
  • Food Flavor Can’t Be Trademarked (Even If The Baked Ziti Is Delicious)–NY Pizzeria v. Syal (Forbes Cross-Post)

    Eric Goldman
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:09 am
    You may remember the advertising campaign for Coke Zero from almost a decade ago. The gag is that Coke Zero allegedly tasted so much like “real” Coke that one division of Coca-Cola threatened to sue another division for “taste infringement.” If you don’t recall the Coke Zero commercials, watch an example (embedded below) and a 2007 New York Times article recapping the ad campaign. In my world, ridiculous intellectual property overclaims aren’t very funny, even in fictional commercials. Yet, apparently Russo’s New York Pizzeria restaurant…
  • Android ID Isn’t Personally Identifiable Information Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

    Venkat Balasubramani
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Shutterstock / SoulCurry – I love My Privacy This is another Video Privacy Protection Act lawsuit. The Cartoon Network has an app on the Android platform. Plaintiff (not a minor) downloaded the app. He complains that The Cartoon Network’s disclosure of his viewing history to a third party analytics company named Bango (located in the UK) violates the VPPA. The court initially rejects the standing challenge, noting that the VPPA expressly creates a private cause of action. The court also rejects Defendant’s argument that plaintiff, not being a paying customer, is not a subscriber.
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

  • Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co.: Rejected Settlement Offer Does Not Moot Individual or Putative Class Claims

    Steven G. Pearl
    8 Oct 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Company, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. 9/19/2014) concerns an issue that has arisen more frequently in employment class actions: whether a rejected settlement offer moots individual and/or class claims. See Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1523 (2013) (discussed here). In Gomez, the plaintiff filed an individual and putative class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The defendant made a Rule 68 offer of judgment for the full amount of the plaintiff’s individual claim, and the plaintiff rejected the offer. After the…
  • Kao v. University of San Francisco: Employer Not Required to Enter into Interactive Process before Requiring Fitness-for-Duty Exam

    Steven G. Pearl
    29 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Kao v. University of San Francisco (8/2/14, pub. 9/2/14) --- Cal.App.4th ---, plaintiff John S. Kao alleged that the University of San Francisco (USF) violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and other California laws by directing him to have a fitness-for-duty exam (FFD) after faculty members and school administrators reported that his behavior was frightening them, and then terminating his employment when he refused to participate in the examination. He appealed from a judgment against him after jury trial, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding as follows: The law did not…
  • Jimenez v. Allstate: District Court Did Not Err in Certifying Off-the-Clock Class Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    26 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Jimenez v. Allstate Insurance Company ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. 9/3/14), the defendant, Allstate, appealed from an order granting Rule 23 class certification district court’s grant of class certification in an action alleging that it had a practice or unofficial policy of requiring its claims adjusters to work unpaid off-the-clock overtime in violation of California law. The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding as follows: The plaintiff satisfied the commonality requirement of Federal Rule 23(a)(2) by identifying common questions, the truth or falsity of which would "resolve an issue that is…
  • Castaneda v. The Ensign Group: Parent Corporation May Be Employer of Wholly Owned Subsidiary's Employees

    Steven G. Pearl
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Castaneda v. The Ensign Group, Inc. (9/15/14) --- Cal.App.4th ---, plaintiff John Castaneda sued The Ensign Group, Inc. (Ensign) in a class action lawsuit alleging wage and hour violations. He alleged that Ensign was the alter ego of the Cabrillo Rehabilitation and Care Center (Cabrillo), the nursing facility where he worked. The trial court granted summary judgment for Ensign, holding that it was not Castaneda's employer as a matter of law. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding as follows: Under Martinez v. Combs (2010) 49 Cal.4th 35, Castaneda raised a triable issue of material fact as…
  • Sheet Metal Workers’ Int'l Assn., Local 104 v. Duncan: Offsite Material Fabricators Not Subject to Prevailing Wage Law

    Steven G. Pearl
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    A very quick note on this case. In Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, Local 104 v. Duncan (Russ Will Mechanical, Inc.) (8/27/14) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the Court of Appeal held that the prevailing wage law does not apply to an employee of a subcontractor who conducts offsite material fabrication if the work "takes place at a permanent, offsite manufacturing facility and the location and existence of that facility is determined wholly without regard to the particular public works project." Slip op. at 24. The opinion is available here. 
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    The Securities Law Blog

  • Is Dodd-Frank Responsible For Market Volatility?

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:08 am
    Last week’s market gyrations sparked questions about whether bank regulations implemented after the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated price declines by limiting the ability of Wall Street banks to make markets.Read More - Did Bank Rules Kill Liquidity? Volcker, Frank Respond - Businessweek
  • Customer Hit with $80,000 in Respondents' Attorney's Fees

    17 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    It is not often that a public customer is forced to pay a respondent's attorneys fees, but in a recent FINRA arbitration, that is exactly what happened.According to the description in the FINRA arbitration award it appears that a public customer, representing herself, filed a claim against UBS for unauthorized transactions, unsuitable recommendations, negligent supervision and violation of FINRA's conduct rules, requesting 2.75 million dollars in damages. UBS denied the allegations and requested expungement for the broker.A hearing was scheduled, and the Claimant did not appear, and did…
  • Third Party Bene is Not a Customer for Arbitration Purposes

    16 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    A FINRA arbitration panel has dismissed a $32 million claim because the claimant was not a customer of the brokerage firms, and did not have an account with the Respondents.The Claimant had alleged that he was an undisclosed third-party beneficiary to the investment contract at issue, and was therefore entitled to arbitrate the claims. Without a written agreement, and an admission that he had no dealings with the Respondent, the claim was dismissed.See, FINRA Arbitration Award 13-02741 
  • The Need for Narrow SEC Subpoenas

    16 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Two common criticisms of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission have been the length of time investigations take and the enormous costs they impose on private parties. The issues raised by those criticisms have grown in significance in recent years as the SEC staff has used vague and overbroad subpoenas and requests for documents in the age of email and electronically stored information. Unduly broad requests for electronic documents slow the production process, extend investigations, and significantly increase the associated costs.Andrew Vollmer, the former Deputy Counsel…
  • New Computer Programs to Detect Insider Trading

    15 Oct 2014 | 8:42 am
    When you are accused of insider trading, it is not the time to try out a new attorney, or to contact your sister's divorce attorney for help. The SEC is serious about insider trading, and if they are looking at your innocent trades, you need to be able to respond in an intelligent, well thought out manner.This week the chief of the market abuse unit at the SEC acknowledged that the Commission is taking a trader-based approach to surveillance. “The way is to turn the approach upside down in a way that would reveal relationships,” Hawke said, adding that they look at the relationships and…
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  • Proceedings Under Trust Code (Rather than Probate Code) Not Appealable Unless Final

    Andy Taylor
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:41 pm
    In Bank of the Ozarks v. Cossey, 2014 Ark. App. 581, the Arkansas Court of Appeals addressed the question of whether an order that appears to be a non-final order is still appealable under Ark. R. App. P. (2)(a)(12), which permits an appeal from almost all orders entered in probate cases. Only a brief summary of the facts of this case is necessary.  In sum, there was a dispute about who was the trustee of the Hamilton Family Trust.  One of the beneficiaries of the trust, Ms. Cossey, filed a petition claiming that Bank of the Ozarks was the trustee and demanding an accounting from Bank of…
  • Arbitration Clauses Not Enforceable in Arkansas State Courts Where There is No Mutuality of Obligation

    Tasha C. Taylor
    28 Oct 2014 | 2:56 pm
    The Arkansas Supreme Court began its fall 2014 term with two decisions rendering arbitration clauses unenforceable in Arkansas state courts where such clauses contain no mutuality of obligation. Regional Care of Jacksonville, LLC v. Henry On September 11, 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the Pulaski County Circuit Court’s decision to deny a nursing-home facility’s motion to compel arbitration due to the absence of mutuality of obligation in the nursing-home facility’s admission agreement. See Regional Care of Jacksonville, LLC v. Henry, 2014 Ark. 361.  In Regional…
  • UPDATED: We Endorse Tim Cullen Over Robin Wynne for Arkansas Supreme Court

    Andy Taylor
    15 May 2014 | 7:57 am
    We Support Tim Cullen for Supreme Court This blog is mostly read by lawyers, but around election time, a lot of voters (who are not necessarily lawyers) visit our blog to learn about the candidates running for appellate court positions.  This year there is only one contested appellate court race. That’s the race between Tim Cullen and Robin Wynne for an open seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Before this election cycle, the Arkansas Appeals Blog had never endorsed a judicial (or any) candidate.  That changed when, in February, our good friend and mentor, Tim Cullen, decided to run…
  • Arkansas Supreme Court’s Procedural Ruling Has Practical Effect of Temporarily Stopping Same-Sex Marriages in Arkansas

    Tasha C. Taylor
    14 May 2014 | 4:16 pm
    Lack of Final Order Prevents Arkansas Supreme Court from Issuing a Stay of Pulaski County Circuit Court’s Ruling in Same-Sex Marriage Case The Arkansas Supreme Court handed down a decision late this afternoon dismissing without prejudice the appeal taken by the State from the Pulaski County Circuit Court’s recent decision declaring Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. According to the per curiam decision, the circuit court’s order was not final because it failed to adjudicate all the claims or to otherwise include a Rule 54(b) certificate, which would…
  • Arkansas Supreme Court Releases Election Decisions

    Andy Taylor
    14 May 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Two big decisions from the Arkansas Supreme Court today (actually several, but four of them are about the same issue).  We will update the blog with more information later, but summaries of the decisions follow.  We’re getting these out quickly, so please let us know if you read the opinions and have a different understanding. Supreme Court Holds Candidates for Judicial Office not Disqualified for Delinquency in Paying Dues The Supreme Court held that (1) a suspension for failure to pay dues is not the same as not having a license; and (2) that suspending an attorney without notice…
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    Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA

  • Changes to Pennsylvania Mechanic’s Lien Code

    Christopher G. Hill
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome Jim Fullerton.  Jim is the President of the law firm of Fullerton & Knowles, P.C.which has attorneys licensed in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, is a Martindale Hubbell Peer Rated Lawyer AV Preeminent.  The firm represents owners, lenders, design professionals, suppliers, subcontractors, general contractors and other members of the real estate and construction industries, filing mechanic’s liens, surety bond and other construction claims across all of the states in the Mid Atlantic…
  • The Registered Agent Advantage

    Christopher G. Hill
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    English: Logo of the SCC eFile website. Created by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In the Commonwealth of Virginia, as in most states, all corporations, LLC’s or other corporate style entities are required to have a registered agent if they are to do business in the Commonwealth.  The reasons for the requirement are many, but the main ones are taxation, service of process and communication from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (the “SCC”).  Without such a registered agent, many rights, for example the right to prosecute a…
  • Small Business Marketing for Contractors

    Christopher G. Hill
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    Originally posted 2009-11-27 09:00:07. For this week’s Guest Post Friday, Musings is  proud to welcome Jim Roman of the Business Owner’s Institute.  Jim is a friend and has been very helpful in growing my business, both as the owner of the Richmond BNI franchise and through his energy and enthusiasm.  He can be contacted at 804-938-TEAM (8326). Ever heard someone say: “My business just needs more business, we just need more exposure.” Inevitably, they may get more exposure, but often, no more business. Exposure is necessary, but it does not translate into more…
  • LEED Certification Challenges: What is “Close Enough”?

    Christopher G. Hill
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    Originally posted 2010-06-14 09:00:08. There have been many discussions lately regarding the Northland Pines challenge to the LEED certification of its high school facility recently rejected by the USGBC, notably at the Builder’s Counsel Blog and at the Green Building Law Update.  You can check out the Green Building Law Update link for the entire group of documents that the challengers used in their appeal.  The rejection was not the end of the road, however.  The challengers have appealed the ruling and issued the following statement on June 5, 2010: What is all the ruckus about…
  • Is Arbitration Okay Under the Miller Act? It Is if You Don’t Object

    Christopher G. Hill
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    Map of the United States District Courts in Virginia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have discussed both payment bond claims under the Miller Act and alternate dispute resolution (ADR) here at Construction Law Musings on many an occasion.  A question that is sometimes open is what to do when there is contractually mandated arbitration for claims “relating to the contract or the work.” While here in Virginia, as in most places, the courts will almost automatically send any breach of contract case with such a clause to arbitration, a question exists whether the claim against the bond…
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    CAFA Law Blog

  • Single Event Exception Includes Multiple Events Caused by a Significant Occurance (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Rainbow Gun Club, Inc. v. Denbury Resources, Inc., 2014 WL 869504 (W.D. La. March 5, 2014). In this action, the District Court affirmed a remand order finding that CAFA’s local “single event exception” can include mass actions involving manifestation of multiple events caused by a significant occurrence. The lessors and royalty owners of certain mineral leases in the Cameron Parish, brought an action against the defendants in the Thirty-Eighth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Cameron.  The plaintiffs, who numbered well over 100, alleged that they were owed money…
  • Only 25% of PAGA Penalties–Sufficient to Satisfy the Amount in Controversy? (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    23 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Controulis v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, 2013 WL 6482970 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 20, 2013). The plaintiff, employed as a bottler by the defendant, Anheuser-Busch, LLC, brought an action alleging that the defendant violated California law by including the value of free beer in the regular rate of pay. The terms of the plaintiff’s employment were governed by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”), which provided that the defendant would distribute two free cases of beer each month to each employee who met certain requirements in the previous month.  Supposedly, these free cases of beer were not to…
  • Defendants Must Demonstrate Factual Basis for Amount-in-Controversy Claims (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Sanchez v. Res-Care, Inc., 2014 WL 807997 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 28, 2014). In this action, the District Court remanded the case to the state court finding that the defendant failed to show by preponderance of evidence that the amount-in-controversy exceeded CAFA’s $5 million threshold. The plaintiff, a certified nursing assistant, filed a class action against her former employer in the state court claiming that the defendants violated the applicable Industrial Wage Commission Wage Orders, California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, and California Labor Code §§ 204 (“Unpaid Wages…
  • Defendant’s Speculations Will Not Suffice for CAFA Jurisdiction (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Woods v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 2014 WL 360185 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 30, 2014). A District Court in California remanded an action for failure to establish the amount in controversy holding that a defendant seeking removal of a putative class action must demonstrate, by a preponderance of evidence, that the aggregate amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional minimum. Plaintiffs are pharmacists who worked as “floater” pharmacist in Region 60 of defendants’ California retail stores.  A “floater” pharmacist is one who travels to different locations.  The plaintiffs filed this action in…
  • Plaintiff’s Facially Deficient Claims Cannot Be Considered for Purposes of the CAFA Amount in Controversy Determination (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    McDaniel v. Fifth Third Bank, 2014 WL 805508 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 28, 2014). In an action arising out of fraud and misrepresentation, the district court refused to retain subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA finding that it could not consider a facially deficient claim for the purpose of ascertaining the amount-in-controversy. The plaintiff filed an action in the state court asserting nine counts arising out of the defendant’s practice of charging non-account holders, who wished to cash checks at the defendant’s branch offices, a $4.00 check cashing fee.  After charging the fee, the…
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    Lowering the Bar

  • TSA Confiscates Ray-Gun-Shaped Belt Buckle

    29 Oct 2014 | 12:04 pm
    As I've said before, we can't just assume everyone at the TSA is an idiot and/or a petty bureaucrat drunk on his or her semi-power. This story confirms that. It suggests that only 40 to 80 percent of them are. Set phasers to stupid In an email to Reason magazine, Sean Malone reports that TSA agents at LAX stole his belt buckle, which apparently looked like this. He had it in a carry-on bag, so it's under-standable that they might want to take a closer look after a shape like this appears on the X-ray monitor. In a sane world the agent would look at it, see it's a belt buckle, and move…
  • Sheriff: We Need Armored Vehicles to Intimidate People

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    "People may not understand why," said Sheriff's Capt. Greg Bean, "but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now." Here's why he says he needed one: Looks can be deceiving, though, and in any event the man, at least, certainly looks very angry. So maybe we can assume that he was considered dangerous and— "[Bean] also said that while [he] was never considered dangerous, he was known to be argumentative." Oh. Well, we can't have that. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (both photos by Ryan Lister), the armored car was sent as backup for the 24 armed officers that had already…
  • Fight Over Alcohol Ban Ends When Town Learns It Doesn't Have One

    27 Oct 2014 | 1:00 pm
    It's too late to vote this year in Hanover, Manitoba, because Election Day was October 22. On the other hand, if your main interest was the referendum on whether to repeal the town's long-standing ban on alcohol sales, don't feel bad, because it turns out the town never actually had a ban on alcohol sales. Or, at least, nobody can prove it did. Following vote, alcohol is now still not illegal here Hanover is a rural municipality southeast of Winnipeg, comprised of about 14,000 people living in five townships and points inbetween. According to a 1982 history by local resident Lydia Penner, the…
  • Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Mad

    25 Oct 2014 | 12:24 pm
    There are many great lines Justice Fergus O'Donnell's opinion in R. v. Duncan (2013), which was an otherwise unremarkable case except that the defendant tried to run one of those "sovereign citizen" defenses up the flagpole. That didn't go so well: Thus it was that the trial began with Mr. Duncan objecting to us proceeding on the basis that I had no jurisdiction over him. Mr. Duncan provided me with an “affidavit of truth”, a rather substantial volume that appeared to me to be the result of somebody doing a Google search for terms like “jurisdiction” and the…
  • Guy Sues Legal System Again

    23 Oct 2014 | 12:27 pm
    Just the one in Illinois, at least for now. According to the Madison Record (thanks, Dave), Aaron Wemple has sued the Illinois State Bar Association and all of its members, alleging that ... well, that it and they have done and/or are doing something to him and/or others that requires compensation in an amount not less than $250,030,550,000. I wasn't able to get the complaint (for free), but here's how the Record describes it: According to the complaint, the [ISBA] "was engaged in the business of exclusively authorizing processes for sale to and use by members of the…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Custodial Interference: Effective Parental Action is Often Necessary

    Guest Contributor, Judianne Cochran
    31 Oct 2014 | 10:58 pm
    Guidance From A Qualified Family Law Attorney Can Be Key For The Successful Recovery And Return Of A Missing Child In Custodial Interference Cases Our guest contributor this week is Judianne Cochran a nationally recognized expert/consultant in the following disciplines: sex offender profiling; interstate and international parental abduction (custodial interference); interstate custody and parental alienation. Judi has been a guest contributor to the Ohio Family Law Blog since 2008. She has testified in numerous Courts throughout Ohio and the country. Judi presently resides in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Artemis Center Provides Assistance To Victims Of Domestic Violence

    Anne Shale
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:47 pm
    An Update on Dayton’s Domestic Violence Resource Agency – The Artemis Center in Montgomery County, Ohio As the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I chose to update an Ohio Family Law Blog article I had posted six (6) years ago on October 25, 2008.  Click here to read it. On Friday, October 10, 2014, I again travelled to Artemis Center to meet with and interview the new Executive Director, Judy Strnad.  Ms. Strnad is a graduate of DePaul University and received a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. The new Director has over…
  • Same-Sex Marriage Case Declined By U.S. Supreme Court

    Robert L. Mues
    18 Oct 2014 | 12:03 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court’s Refusal to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage Cases has Broad Implications The United States Supreme Court recently declined to take up an issue regarding same-sex marriage.  By declining to take these cases, the court has allowed men and women to have entered into same-sex marriages in eleven states that previously didn’t allow same-sex marriages. By refusing to take up the appeals of these cases, they have in essence upheld the rulings that all allowed same-sex marriage.  Those new eleven states that are now required to recognize and issue same sex marriage…
  • Foster Home Placement For Children: The Psycho-Legal Considerations

    Guest Contributor, Daniel Pollack
    11 Oct 2014 | 12:20 am
    Foster Care Placement For A Child – What Effect Will Other Children In A Foster Home Have? A healthy 3-year-old is placed in a foster home. A month later, a 16-year-old with a history of borderline personality disorder is placed in the same home. Without permission, the 16-year-old decides to give the 3-year-old a bath. Tragically, the 3-year-old drowns. Whatever the exact circumstances, and the foster parents’ behavior and liability aside, was it negligent of the agency initially to place the teenager in the same home as the young child? When a child is placed in a foster home,…
  • Bitcoins and Hiding Assets in a Divorce Action

    Robert L. Mues
    3 Oct 2014 | 10:31 pm
    Protect Your Assets – Talk To A Divorce Attorney To Avoid Being Ripped Off By Bitcoins Concealment Bitcoins are defined as a crypto-currency and are the first of their kind.  Crypto-currency is just a fancy term for “encryption” meaning only authorized parties can read it. This essentially allows individuals to store bitcoins without any link to themselves, drastically differing from bank accounts or stocks. Bitcoins, unlike traditional currencies like the US Dollar, aren’t backed by governments and aren’t influenced by monetary policy. This makes bitcoin more like gold…
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    3 Geeks and a Law Blog

  • Stop it with the Stupid Rules

    27 Oct 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Ryan has previously waxed poetic about how some mandatory bars are imposing odd and counterproductive ethics rules and opinions. This topic resurfaced for me recently as I have been asked to present to a futures committee of a mandatory bar in November. They are wanting me to give them a picture of all that is going on with pricing, legal project management and numerous other developments in the market. This is an opportunity to share my thoughts in a neutral environment - where I can speak quite freely. I had been giving some thought to how to best utilize such an opportunity. My mind…
  • CanLII Connects – A Canadian Content Success Story in the Making

    23 Oct 2014 | 8:10 am
    It is not often that my role in the world as the Canadian Geek Add-On enables me to write about things happening in the Legal Research world up here, north of the border. But today, I have the honour and privilege to share with all 3 Geeks Readers, who share my interest in technology, law libraries, and access to information about CanLII Connects. I am not the only one who has noticed, and it was recently profiled in the ABA's Legal Rebels cause you know that's how we roll up here. And, Connects, was also featured earlier in the year on Slaw with commentary by Connie Crosby. That…
  • The Next Target

    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Previously I posted on some knowledge gained at the Bridgeway Conference in Nashville. I wanted to add one more item to the list. Jeff Paquin, who now works with Bridgeway, gave a presentation called Legal Department 2050. He started by looking back at the evolution of legal departments and then projected forward on what the future might hold for them. In looking back he noted that since the mid 80's, legal departments have grown substantially. Back then about 5% of the legal budget went to pay the in-house team. A recent report shows this number is now approaching 50%. Quite a bit of this…
  • Listening to Clients

    14 Oct 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Last week I was able to attend the Bridgeway Customer Connective Conference in Nashville. Unlike many of the conferences I attend, this one is directed at clients, not law firms. One of the sessions I attended really got my attention. Pratik Patel and Peter Eilhauer of  Elevate presented on a Practical Data-Driven Roadmap for Spend Management. This was primarily a case study on how one client approached cost control for their outside counsel. Pratik gave an excellent presentation on how the client took a methodical approach to understanding its legal spend by analyzing how and…
  • The Exponential Law Firm - Part 4

    1 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The following is the final part of a 4 part post expanding on my short introduction to an ILTA session entitled, Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds? If you have not yet listened to the full session (and you have nothing better to do for the next 90 minutes), you should go listen to it now. If you would like to download and read the entire 4-part post you can get it here. What does an Exponential Law Firm that can survive in this type of environment look like? I would be lying if I said I knew for sure, but I think we can look to a number of trends and begin to get a…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • How Much Does It Cost to Obtain an EIN?

    28 Oct 2014 | 11:09 am
    This post about the cost to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) in the United States is an Advertisement under Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400, Standard 5. Recently I have received many inquiries from foreign owners of new companies in the U.S. They want to know how much it will cost to obtain an EIN. This post provides that information. If the U.S. entity’s responsible party (principal officer of a corporation, manager of a limited liability company) has a U.S. social security number (SSN), then the process is quick and easy. That party can obtain an EIN online in about…
  • Trade Dress Protection for Look and Feel

    27 Oct 2014 | 6:25 pm
    In How Can I Protect the Look and Feel of My Website?, I explained that the “look and feel” of a website – or a smartphone – can be protected as trade dress or by a design patent. This post examines a recent case that discusses the elements of trade dress protection in detail. That case is Ingrid & Isabel, LLC v. Baby Be Mine, LLC, decided by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Ingrid & Isabel v. Baby Be Mine Ingrid & Isabel and Baby Be Mine compete in selling maternity products. The claims and counterclaims in their…
  • What is Successor Liability and Why Should I Care?

    21 Oct 2014 | 3:54 pm
    This post about successor liability is prompted by a question that I answered recently on Quora. (See Can I dissolve my corporation and transfer its website to my personal ownership?) The following is oriented somewhat toward California law, but similar considerations likely apply in other states. When Successor Liability Typically Arises Let’s assume that you want to buy an existing business. If your entity purchases the selling entity’s equity interest (corporate shares or LLC membership interests) or merges with that entity, your entity generally will be liable for the…
  • Good Faith and Fair Dealing – Part of Every California Contract

    16 Oct 2014 | 6:00 pm
    This post discusses and explains the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. For decades, courts have held that this covenant is implied in every California contract. Purpose of Good Faith and Fair Dealing In 1942, the California Supreme Court stated that “in every contract there exists an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” The intent of this covenant is that “neither party shall do anything which will have the effect of destroying or injuring the right of the other party to receive the fruits of the contract“. (Universal Sales Corporation v. California…
  • Under RULLCA Operating Agreements Have Limits

    9 Oct 2014 | 4:41 pm
    At the beginning of this year, the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA) took effect. (See RULLCA Brings New LLC Laws to California in 2014.) This post discusses how under RULLCA operating agreements for LLCs have a wide variety of limits. RULLCA operating agreements‘ limits are addressed in Corporations Code Section 17701.10. Unfortunately, that section’s discussion of mandatory provisions is pretty difficult to understand for the following reasons. It is quite long and includes three levels of subsections. It rarely makes points directly. Instead, it…
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • To Help 'Em Be the Best They Can

    29 Oct 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Blawgs come and go with distressing speed.  Keeping one going requires, among other things, a certain amount of time.  That's especially true if the idea is actually to serve as a clearinghouse for developments in a particular field.  So I'm wary of putting too much hope in something promising just because it appears. But law professors, whatever else one might say about them, have the time and resources to do that. So I've got reason for optimism that David M. Siegel and Tigran Eldred, both on the faculty at New England Law will maintain The Continuing Duty, a blog and…
  • On Pissing Off the Powers That Be

    26 Oct 2014 | 7:20 am
    The problem was that I knew about this obscure case.  It was unreported, which meant that back in the day it was tricky to find, and even among the unreported it was obscure.   But it was from my particular intermediate appellate court, and while it wasn't exactly on all fours with the case I had ("all fours" is lawyerspeak for "just the same as in every significant way"), it was close enough to use for an argument.The thing is, it was a pure legal argument.  Follow your precedent, the argument would go, even though the precedent dealt with petty offenses and my client was…
  • On the Lawyer Who Should Hang His Head in Shame

    22 Oct 2014 | 8:10 pm
    On November 7, 2011, counsel for Gilbert filed a no-error brief pursuant to Anders v.California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396 (1967). On March 30, 2012, the majority ordered briefing on the issues of whether the trial court had the authority to grant the state's motion to vacate the plea. State v. Gilbert, lst Dist. No. C-110382, 2012-Ohio-1366.That's from the prosecutor's memorandum urging the Supreme Court of Ohio to hear its appeal in State v. Gilbert.Which the court did.  And Monday, in a 5-2 decision, the court affirmed the court of appeals.  Here's the Cliff's Notes…
  • Stonecatcher

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:58 pm
    So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.John 8:7 (King James Version)The scene: A courthouse hallway in New OrleansThe cast:The narrator:  A lawyer who'd just won the release of two men who've spent decades in prison for crimes they committed as childrenAn "older black woman" who'd been in the courtroom when one of those men  was ordered releasedThe story:I thought I'd seen her each time I'd come to the courthouse in New Orleans.  I assumed that she was related or connected…
  • Dissing the Heinous Crime Rule

    10 Oct 2014 | 5:02 am
    I'm at a gathering of criminal defense lawyers which just naturally gets me thinking about what criminal defense lawyers do.  And no, I'm not wading back into that thicket today, though if you're remarkably bored you can search the archives for a string of posts in the Who-We-Are-and-What-We-Do series.  Anyhow, this is just an opening (you gotta start somewhere) to get to the simple point (which is itself a set-up for where I hope to take this).We represent people charged with and convicted of crimes.  Some of the crimes are crimes only because the law says so.  (See…
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    VirtualMarketingOfficer Blog

  • My Steinbrenner Rule: A good pitching arm alone is not why you invest $28 million

    Jayne Navarre
    28 Oct 2014 | 9:38 am
    If you’re like me, you’ve pushed at least one costly project through your law firm that didn’t turn out as you had expected. But you learned something in the process—failure can be a good teacher. It happens to everyone. It happened to me. What I once learned is what I now call my Steinbrenner rule: A good pitching arm alone does not guarantee a win. George Steinbrenner, the legendary New York Yankees’ owner, re-signed Roger Clemens, who was near the end of his distinguished, albeit controversial, career, with a precedent setting $28 million contract in 2007. Although Clemens was…
  • Tips for Hiring a Law Firm Marketing Consultant: Part II – The Endgame

    Jayne Navarre
    8 Sep 2014 | 2:08 am
    My law firm administrator once said to me, in exasperation, “Consultants tell you what to do, not how to do it.” And he’s right. A consultant (from Latin: consultare “to discuss”) is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area or specialized field. – Wikipedia A consultant brings wide knowledge of the subject matter to a firm on a temporary basis. The overall impact of a consultant is that the client will have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be feasible for them to retain in-house, and may purchase only as much service…
  • Tips for Hiring a Law Firm Marketing Consultant: Part I – Specialization

    Jayne Navarre
    4 Sep 2014 | 4:15 pm
    October is “just around the corner,” which signals that wonderful month of the year when you are asked to prepare next year’s marketing budget. No such luck as a blank check. The temptation to procrastinate will be strong. Seriously, speaking from experience, get the gears turning as there is not enough holiday candy in the world to keep the bean counters, or your boss, off your back through the end of December. #FAIL It probably goes without saying, but, marketing encompasses (almost) everything a law firm does—what problems it addresses, how it solves them, what it costs, where it…
  • A Legal Thriller

    Jayne Navarre
    25 Jun 2014 | 6:20 pm
    If the swashbuckling criminal trial lawyer and oft times guest commentator on the CBS network, Paul Batista, had a blog, I’m pretty sure he’d write his own posts. But why waste time on a blog—here today, gone to the archive tomorrow—when you have enough within you to write a really good book? Not just a book, several; including the leading non-fiction treatise on the federal racketeering statute, Civil RICO Practice Manual, now in it’s third edition (Wolters Kluwer, 2008), and thoroughly entertaining fiction—legal thrillers—including the page turner, Death’s Witness.
  • “Ghostwriter? That is unethical,” says the law firm marketing director to the ghost.

    Jayne Navarre
    23 Jun 2014 | 3:09 pm
    Every writer knows that writing takes time. Behind what looks like a simple article, presentation, speech, memo, proposal, blog post, or legal brief may be hours and hours of researching, organizing and editing for improved accuracy, word choice and punctuation—clarity and flow. It takes practice, talent and time to write effectively; and time is a finite resource to be allocated with discretion. I believe we can all agree that reading a well-written article is much more enjoyable than slogging through a meandering one that never really gets to the point. “In your content marketing, you…
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    Technically Legal

  • “Program Recognition Device” Triggers Means-Plus-Function Analysis

    Ben Snitkoff
    14 Oct 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Patent laws in the US have long allowed inventors to claim their invention using “means-plus-function” language. But, for the last two-decades or so it has generally been a bad idea to do so. Means-plus-function language allows you to describe your invention using functional language: “a means for lifting a bar” or “a means for receiving a phone call.” If an inventor uses this language she is limited in what the claims cover to any corresponding structures in the disclosure of your patent. If she is claiming the means for lifting a bar, and only discloses a…
  • Do You Believe In Magic?

    Ben Snitkoff
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am
    Teller, of Penn & Teller, recently won a resounding victory in Federal District Court in Nevada. This case has stretched on for about two years, due mostly to the foreign defendant avoiding participation in the case, and representing himself. In 2012, Defendant Gerard Dogge posted a video on YouTube showing an improved version of Teller’s famous Shadows illusion (seen here with commentary). The improved routine consisted of the same effect, with nearly identical staging and progression. The main differences were that a clear vase was used, and water was poured from the vase after…
  • The Lighter Side of Patents

    Ben Snitkoff
    25 Sep 2014 | 4:35 pm
    Every once in a great while you come across a patent opinion that contains a little whimsy (not for the losing party, but for everyone else). Today was one of those days. In 2010, two inventors filed for a utility patent on a cover for a propane tank to be used during tailgating. Why, you ask, for such a specific purpose? Because it looked like this. The Patent and Trademark Office rejected the claims as obvious over prior art that included chemical tanks and a decorative beer koozie, as reproduced below. The inventors appealed, and the Federal Circuit affirmed. The court held that the…
  • Don’t Be Concerned About Being Served Papers Over Facebook

    Ben Snitkoff
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:33 am
    Slashdot, via the NY Post, have articles about a recent case from Staten Island where a judge allowed papers to be served over Facebook. The titles of the stories imply that this is a new day in service of legal papers. It is not. The judge in this case made an exception to the traditionally accepted modes of service because those all failed. It is not likely, as the Post says, that your, “next Facebook ‘poke’ could be from a process server.” (Unless you are friends with a process server who likes to poke you on Facebook. Then it’s decently likely.) More…
  • Massachusetts Dealers Can’t Sue Tesla for Operating in MA

    Ben Snitkoff
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:10 am
    This morning, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts held that unaffiliated automobile dealers in Massachusetts do not have standing to sue Tesla over alleged violation of Massachusetts Auto Dealer statutes. For some background on this topic, listen to this great Planet Money story that outlines the common statutes. In a nut-shell: states have laws that prohibit automobile manufacturers from selling cars directly to consumers. Affiliated dealerships are set up in each state, and have certain agreements with the car makers. Those state laws often have protections baked in that…
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    Rochester Bankruptcy and Debt Relief

  • Bankruptcy and Eviction

    25 Oct 2014 | 6:37 pm
    If you are behind on the rent and are hoping to buy some time, or wipe out the obligation to the landlord altogether, under appropriate circumstances, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a solution. Filing for bankruptcy will usually wipe out the balance due for past due rent as of the date on which the case is filed. Rent for any period after the case is filed won’t be discharged. If the filing of the case is done correctly, you may also be able to buy some more time in the place before you have to move out. The filing of a bankruptcy petition stops all efforts at collection,…
  • Bankruptcy and Judgments

    28 Sep 2014 | 7:57 pm
    One of the issues that periodically concerns my clients is the one of removing filed judgments after receiving bankruptcy discharge. Initially, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t remove a judgment that has been already filed. Whether or not the debtor will need to remove it after receiving a discharge in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy depends on each individual situation. When a debtor files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that debtor is trying to remove his or her personal liability for repayment of certain debts. If a creditor sued the debtor and obtained a judgment before the…
  • Banking After Bankruptcy

    7 Sep 2014 | 7:54 pm
    Most debtors are concerned about being able to open bank accounts after completing their bankruptcy and receiving their discharge. While most debtors will not have any difficulty opening new bank accounts, some debtors are unable to open a checking account after receiving their bankruptcy discharge. Typically, this is true for the debtors who have had a problematic history with their bank, involving bounced checks or excessive overdraft activity. As a result this negative information was reported to a check reporting company known as Chex Systems. Such negative information remains in this…
  • Executory Contracts and Leases in Bankruptcy

    5 Jul 2014 | 6:43 pm
    In Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, debtors have an opportunity to either continue or terminate any executory contracts or leases. That typically means that debtors will list their executory contracts and unexpired leases on the bankruptcy petition and declare their intention to either to accept or to reject those contracts. If such contracts are not timely assumed, they are deemed rejected, and debtors are released from further performance under those contracts. An executory contract is an agreement that has not been completed. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties…
  • Upcoming Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing Fees Increases

    3 May 2014 | 5:17 pm
    It seems inevitable that bankruptcy filing fees are going up again.  The Judicial Conference which determines the amount of various filing fees associated with bankruptcy cases has approved a fee increase which will be effective on June 1, 2014. The fees for filing a chapter 7 case will increase from $306.00 to $335.00. The fees for filing a chapter 13 case will increase from $281.00 to $310.00. This is a $29.00 increase in the filing fees for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies. The fees for filing an adversary proceeding will increase as well to $350.00. However, debtors are not…
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    The Jury Room

  • Male? Don’t watch comedy videos prior to trial presentations…

    Douglas Keene
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    Many have written about men being over-confident in comparison to women–although all of us may be more confident in our abilities than we generally should be. Prior research has shown us that men are more confident than women, and that happy people tend to view themselves more positively and happy people actually often perform better on quizzes and other tasks. So today’s researchers asked 107 undergraduates recruited from introductory courses required of all students (57 male and 50 female) to participate in their study. First, the participants completed a half-hour quiz containing…
  • Is that eye witness lying? Let’s just check those P300 brain waves…

    Rita Handrich
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    We’ve written before about the inaccuracy of eye witness testimony despite the familiarity of the saying, “I know what I saw!”. But here is newly published research purporting to have been “able to discriminate perfectly between 12 knowledgeable subjects who viewed stimuli related to their activities and 12 non-knowledgeable subjects who viewed only irrelevant items”. What does that mean? Well, let us tell you (and you can also see a more complete description of the experiments here). These researchers wanted to test eye-witness memory through the measuring of brain waves (called…
  • So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?

    Douglas Keene
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    We can hear the snickers and gasps now–and likely the immediate objection from (probably) the opposing counsel or (unquestionably) the judge. But not always. So why might this be something you want to know? According to new research in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a distinguishing characteristic of narcissists is that they watch more porn online. That actually makes intuitive sense since narcissists would want to avoid rejection and objectify others as sexual objects. We are not sure how you would get this sort of question in though–unless the case actually involved…
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    Karl Bayer's Disputing Blog

  • E.D. Texas Orders Guardrail Safety Case to Mediation Following $175 Million Jury Award

    Beth Graham
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:21 am
    Earlier this week, a federal judge in Marshall, Texas reportedly ordered a guardrail manufacturer and a whistleblower to engage in mediation by the end of the year. In U.S. ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Industries Inc. et al., No. 12-00089 (E. D. Tex.), a company competitor, Harman, claimed that Trinity Industries changed the design of its highway guardrail heads in 2005 without notifying the Federal Highway Administration (“FHA”). According to Harman, the undisclosed cost-saving measure placed motor vehicle drivers and passengers across the country at an increased risk of being injured or…
  • One-Third of Online Retailers in the U.S. Now Require Consumer Arbitration or Restrict Class-Action Lawsuits

    Beth Graham
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:21 am
    Online retailers in the United States are increasingly requiring consumers to arbitrate disputes through their terms-of-service rules. According to an article recently published in a New York Times blog, the Upshot, approximately one-third of the top 200 retail websites operating in the U.S. now uses clickwrap or browsewrap agreements to ban class action lawsuits or to require arbitration of consumer disputes. A similar percentage of the top 500 most visited websites also includes a class action ban or mandatory arbitration for consumers. According to the Upshot, The companies occupy all…
  • Texas Supreme Court Denies Petition in Alleged Arbitrator Partiality Case

    Beth Graham
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:35 am
    Last week, the Supreme Court of Texas declined to consider whether an arbitral decision should be set aside based on a member of an arbitration panel’s alleged evident partiality. In Port Arthur Steam Energy LP v. Oxbow Calcining LLC, No. 01-12-01165-CV (Tex. – App. – 1st [Houston], October 22, 2013), Oxbow Calcining initiated arbitral proceedings with Port Arthur Steam Energy (“PASE”) before the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) over a number of environmental compliance costs related to an industrial facility. The parties selected a three-member arbitration panel and…
  • Consumer Financing Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Developments

    Beth Graham
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:06 am
    Louis Del Duca, Edward N. Polisher Distinguished Faculty Scholar Emeritus and Director, Institute of Commercial Law at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, has published Consumer Financing Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Developments, Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal, Vol. 46, p. 71, 2014. In his article, Professor Del Duca discusses some of the possible implications raised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent findings on the use of mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements in business to consumer contracts. Here is the…
  • Federal Judge Orders Google Wallet Consumer Privacy Dispute to Mediation

    Beth Graham
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    A federal judge in California has reportedly ordered a consumer privacy dispute that was filed against technology giant Google to mediation. In In re: Google Inc. Privacy Policy Litigation, No. 5:12-CV-01382, a group of Google Wallet users filed a class action lawsuit against the company over changes that were made to its privacy policy in March 2012. According to the consumers, the revised privacy policy allowed Google to aggregate data that was collected about customers through a variety of Google products in order to generate marketing profiles. The information, which included consumer…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • Strange Bedfellows

    31 Oct 2014 | 11:05 am
    Politics makes for strange bedfellows and that's more than true this election cycle.The only thing social conservatives and LGBT activists in San Diego’s 52nd congressional district agree on is that they don’t want Carl DeMaio, the openly gay Republican candidate, to be their next congressman. Social conservatives have made a deal with the devil, urging voters to support incumbent Democratic Representative Scott Peters over DeMaio. Meanwhile, the candidate never managed to convince the local LGBT community that he was a strong advocate for gay rights. This week the National…
  • Airbag Failures R Us!

    South Florida Lawyers
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:40 am
    Sheesh, what a gasbag airbag!
  • True Story -- The Herald Was Interesting This Morning!

    South Florida Lawyers
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    Imagine my surprise, while perusing the car ads and health care plans in today's paper, that I learned something new:  it turns out Pam Bondi actually works for Dickstein Shapiro:Cases involving Dickstein Shapiro clients that fizzled in Florida include Accretive Health, a Chicago-based hospital bill collection company shut down in Minnesota for six years because of abusive collection practices; Bridgepoint Education, a for-profit online school that Iowa attorney general Tom Miller said had engaged in “unconscionable” sales practices; Herbalife, which had been investigated by federal…
  • More YES On 2

    29 Oct 2014 | 1:20 pm
    A great endorsement for Amendment 2 here from Florida Today.If we can expand personal freedom without creating a new public harm, we should do it. If we can empower the sick with an affordable, relatively safe option for treating pain, lost appetite or other chronic symptoms, we should do that too. And if it's right to expand personal freedom and health options for the hurting, then we must decriminalize the doctors, family members and suppliers who help them. This is our case for legalizing and regulating the use of medical marijuana in Florida. If you agree, vote "yes" on…
  • 3d DCA Watch -- One Thing Leads to Another Edition!

    South Florida Lawyers
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:01 am
    Hi kids, this week the Bunkerites elected to issue a few written utterances!It's almost as if a group of decision-makers thought through a legal issue and then decided to write their thoughts down so others could review their thoughts, and perhaps be guided in future cases by them, or potentially distinguish some future situation from a past situation if the facts or law are somewhat different.Imagine that! REWJB v. Bombardier:Lauri Waldham Ross puts another notch in her belt.Forbes v. Lehner Law:Statute of limitations defense does not bar clawback suit against lawyer.Sweetapple v.
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    eLessons Learned

  • Greater Rights in Contract Mean Greater Obligations in Discovery

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    In Haskins v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., the court was asked whether a title insurance company (the “Insurer”) is in “control” of documents that are in not in the Insurer’s possession, but where the Insurer has the contractual right to direct those with possession to produce the documents.  The district court found in the [...]
  • Independent Contractors Beware, You’re Not Protected

    27 Oct 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Richard Fraser was an independent contractor working for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company when he was fired in 1998. Although Fraser argued that he was fired for reporting illegal policies that Nationwide had implemented, Nationwide stated he was fired because he was disloyal to the company. Nationwide found that plaintiff had drafted (but not sent) two [...]
  • To Shred or Not To Shred

    22 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    “Follow the document policy!” Those were the words repeated many a time by Arthur Anderson to Enron’s employees during the pending SEC investigation. Those simple words led to a jury’s finding Anderson guilty of witness tampering through the act of persuading his employees to destroy relevant documents. The jury found Anderson guilty of violating 18 U.S.C. [...]
  • Defendant’s “Hands-Off” Approach Insufficient; Sanctions Ordered

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:48 am
    In this case, Peerless Industries, Inc.  sued defendants Crimson AV, LLC claiming patent infringement and design patent infringement arising out of defendant’s manufacture and sale of certain TV mounts. While not a defending party, Sycamore Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (“Sycamore”) is plaintiff’s former supplier of these TV mounts and played a vital role in the alleged [...]
  • New Age Technology: Brazilian and U.S. Courts “Scraping” the Surface of Legal Boundaries of Internet Use

    15 Oct 2014 | 2:49 pm
    This Article was originally published with Bloomberg Law Reports on November 9, 2011. The Internet has afforded anyone, anywhere, a wealth of information at one’s fingertips. Within the current and ever­expanding age of technology, Brazilian- and U.S.-based courts continue to draw legal boundaries within a seemingly boundless cyberspace. The boundlessness of the Internet, and its [...]
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    Simmons Firm

  • Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: October 2014

    Amy E. Garrett
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:03 am
    The asbestos attorneys at the Simmons Hanly Conroy are dedicated to providing the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news to keep you up to date. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from across the world. Curcumin, the Asian spice, helps fight mesothelioma when combined with other natural anti-cancer proteins Combined with certain peptide molecules, curcumin has been found to inhibit the progression of mesothelioma. The study, published in the Oct. 14 edition of Clinical Cancer Research, found that the…
  • The Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholders: Part 1

    Simmons Hanly Conroy
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Earlier this summer, the Simmons Firm announced it’s merging with Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes LLP to become the now Simmons Hanly Conroy, effective on July 1. Not only did the merger mean an additional office in New York, it also meant the addition of numerous shareholders and attorneys with experience, dedication and a passion for helping people. But who are these shareholders who now make up Simmons Hanly Conroy? Let’s take a closer look at the people behind our dedicated law firm: John Simmons John founded the Simmons Firm in 1999 and has overseen some of the…
  • Giving Back: Simmons Hanly Conroy and the National Park Trust

    Perry J. Browder
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:54 am
    Some people are aware of the nearly $20 million Simmons Hanly Conroy has donated to cancer research, as well as its support of mesothelioma organizations like the Meso Applied Research Foundation. But did you know that Simmons also supports other organizations across the country, like the National Park Trust? For the past few years, Simmons Hanly Conroy has made a financial donation to NPT in honor of Bruce A. Vento, a senator who died of mesothelioma in 2000 at the age of 60. This organization is dedicated to park conservation across the United States, as well as educating young Americans on…
  • Famous Mesothelioma Deaths: Warren Zevon

    Michael J. Angelides
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:35 am
    Born in January 1947, rock singer Warren Zevon was best known for his sardonic wit and dark humored songs. This famously outlandish star died from mesothelioma, a lung cancer from asbestos exposure. Some of his best known songs include “Werewolves of London”, “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” and “Johnny Strikes Up the Band.” Son of a Russian-Jewish gangster and a frail Mormon mother, Zevon’s love of music began with studying classical piano as a child. Although classical music served as a starting point, by the time Zevon was performing in Los Angeles, his music had taken…
  • Join the ADAO Mesothelioma Warrior Virtual Team

    Perry J. Browder
    18 Sep 2014 | 6:38 am
    Not everyone who supports mesothelioma awareness may be able to attend Miles for Meso on Sept. 27. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) provides a solution to this with its ADAO Mesothelioma Warrior Virtual Team. Although this is the race’s sixth year raising money for mesothelioma research and support organizations, this is the Mesothelioma Warrior Virtual Team’s first year. This virtual team allows those who cannot participate in the 6th Annual Miles for Meso to register a name that will be featured on other runners. This means that mesothelioma survivors, victims, or…
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    Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online

  • Intestacy Can Be A Nightmare In Blended Families

    Rania Combs
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:30 am
    I got a note yesterday from a woman whose husband had died without a Will. Her husband was also survived by two children from prior relationships. She and her husband lived in a home that her husband had purchased before they were married. She asked what her rights were regarding her husband’s property and the home in which they lived. Could her husband’s children force her to sell her home? Would his children be entitled to proceeds from the sale of her home? The Texas intestacy statutes control how property is distributed when a person dies without a Will in Texas. Many factors, such as…
  • Would You Choose Physician-Assisted Suicide If You Had A Terminal Illness?

    Rania Combs
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am
    While standing in line at the grocery store a few days ago, the cover of People magazine caught my eye. It was a photograph of Brittany Maynard, a 29 year-old woman with terminal brain cancer who has made a controversial choice to take her own life on November 1 of this year under Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide laws. Brittany Maynard’s condition was discovered after she sought treatment for debilitating headaches last year. Initially, doctors believed she was experiencing migraines, but a brain scan confirmed the worst – she had terminal brain cancer. She had surgery to remove part…
  • Who Are My Heirs If I Am Single And Die Without A Will?

    Rania Combs
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    I explained last week that an heir is a person who will inherit your property by virtue of a state’s intestacy laws if you die without a Will. The Texas intestacy statutes are essentially a Will that the state of Texas writes for you. They are rigid and inflexible and do not take into account your unique circumstances. If you are single and die without a Will, the identity of your heirs will depend on whether you are survived by descendants, parents, siblings or other relatives. If you are survived by descendants, your heirs will be your descendants. For example, if you are survived by…
  • Is There A Difference Between A Beneficiary And An Heir?

    Rania Combs
    10 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am
    The words “Beneficiary” and “Heir” are often used interchangeably, but each word has a very specific legal definition. A beneficiary is someone who benefits from the transfer of property, such as by a Will or a Trust. A beneficiary can even be the person who transfers the property. For example, in the case of a Revocable Trust, the grantor (the person who creates the trust and transfers the property to the Trust) is also the beneficiary. An heir, on the other hand, is a person who inherits when there is no Will or Trust by virtue of a state’s intestacy laws. Each state has specific…
  • What Are You Waiting For? The Blessing of Planning Ahead

    Rania Combs
    26 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    Most of my clients are healthy when they contact me. Estate planning is something in which they are engaging as a precautionary measure rather than because they expect to die within a short amount of time. But not always. Occasionally, clients contact me after they’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness when emotions are high and death may be imminent. I spoke to three new clients this week, two men and one woman, who were recently diagnosed with cancer. They’ve been told to make final preparations.  They need their estate planning done now. Making important legal and financial…
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  • When is a GOP candidate like a wedding dress?

    Dave Wieneke
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Its the point in the election cycle when a campaign grabs-on to some kind of creative work to be more culturally relevant. You know, like “America should be more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons”. Or when the McCain, Crist and DeVore campaigns grabbed music from Jackson Browne, David Byrne, and Don Henley sans licenses. The College Republican National Committee created a series of television ads (see six of them here) to help candidates in a string of races be “culturally relevant” to younger and female voters. The hook, a cocktail of wedding dresses and reality TV…
  • Digital Innovation Puts Us All In the Software Business

    Dave Wieneke
    29 Sep 2014 | 3:53 am
    Guess what? You’re not in the business you think you’re in. I don’t mean this like one of those these-are-not-the-droids-you-are-looking-for Jedi mind-tricks but as a statement of fact. No matter what else you may do, if you rely on digital technology – and who doesn’t – then you are in the software business too. Doubt it? Consider how your company does what it does. At how many points do your business functions pass through digital channels? It doesn’t matter if it’s back office, customer-facing, supply chain management or whatever, the answer is either “a lot” or…
  • Alibaba IPO Solidifies US / China Tech Duopoly

    Dave Wieneke
    20 Sep 2014 | 5:39 am
    Yesterday, the most anticipated tech IPO of the year established China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Holding group, as a Wall Street powerhouse. Its stock closed the  day at $93.98 – setting t he firm’s market value $231 billion dollars, making it larger than Procter & Gamble. This Spring my a set of my graduate students at Northeastern University were assigned to follow the emergence of Chinese firms as Internet leaders. Each week they’d brief the course on emerging companies. Since one third of my students are international, and many are from China,…
  • Ads by Enterprise, Comcast and MBTA show disregard for customers

    Dave Wieneke
    7 Sep 2014 | 7:33 am
    Advertising is a merging of customer experience, public relations, and art. But rather than ennobling clients, these brands have ads that suggest their clients are perhaps a bit lacking. Our clients are sub-standard, so is our reward programEnterprise’s customer experience is a one I hold up as an example at conferences on service design, but their ad department really missed it here. Why tell customers they don’t rent like VIPs as part of promoting your loyalty program? Who’d want to be let in to a “VIP” program that let’s everyone in. This just brings to…
  • More hours of sleep could be better for your career than extra work

    Dave Wieneke
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:30 pm
    Let’s face it, there’s only so much more that can be done with less. Fewer staff, working harder can only spike productivity so long, until diminishing returns sets in and leaves a team trashed. American’s have definitely increased their working hours In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week. According to the International Labor Organization, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”   More for less can only…
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    A Connecticut Law Blog

  • A Post About Lunch

    Ryan McKeen
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:46 am
    “Always plan your day around lunch.” – Judge Smith Coffee at Cafe Mantic One of the great blessings in my nine years of practice has been the willingness of experienced lawyers to share their insights. The practice of law is literally that. It’s a practice. Practice is best with coaches. I’m writing this to share Judge Smith’s advice about lunch. Why am I writing a post about lunch? Because, when Judge Smith told me to plan my day around lunch – I initially thought he was kidding. I’ve come to learn that he wasn’t. I met Judge Smith at…
  • Attorney Ryan McKeen Speaking To UConn Law Class

    Ryan McKeen
    30 Sep 2014 | 5:57 pm
    Eighteen years ago, on October 1, 1996, REM’s “Monster” tour rolled into Hartford’s Meadows Music theater.  Opening for REM that evening was a far lesser known band called Radiohead. On that warm early fall evening, I bought my first concert shirt. The shirt was a drawing of a bear in the woods with a question mark over its head. Below the picture was the following quote: I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion. – Jack Kerouac If I still had the shirt, I’d wear it to UConn Law School on Wednesday night.  I’m serving on a panel of…
  • One

    Ryan McKeen
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:53 pm
    McKeen Law Firm, LLC turns one today. It has been an amazing year. We’ve championed causes at trial, on appeal, and before the General Assembly. Many of our victories have occurred in resolving matters favorably for our clients in ways that don’t grab headlines. We’re proud of our work. This year I’ve spent a lot of time and money improving my trial advocacy skills. I’ve attended national seminars and have developed an extensive library of the most cutting edge trial materials available. I’ve invested time and resource into putting technology to work for…
  • A Little Labor Day Law

    Ryan McKeen
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:29 am
    Happy Labor Day! Labor Day marks the end of summer. And for many Connecticut students it means back to school. Here’s a little school law post for your holiday weekend. Connecticut General Statutes Section 1-4 is one of the more interesting statutes on the books.  Check this out: When any such holiday, except holidays in January and December, occurs on a school day, each local and regional board of education may close the public schools under its jurisdiction for such day or hold a session of the public schools on such day, provided, if a session is held, the board shall require each…
  • McKeen Selected For Hartford Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Class

    Ryan McKeen
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:58 am
    This morning, the Hartford Business Journal announced it’s 2014 – 40 under 40 class. I’m proud to have been selected. A year ago yesterday, I began building McKeen Law Firm. I didn’t know where my office was going to be, what my firm was going to be named, or when I was going to open. Life had given me a blank slate. While my name makes the Hartford Business Journal – my success wouldn’t be possible without the support of many people. I’m most grateful to my family for supporting me. When I needed it the most they were they helped and believed in me.
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    Legally India - News for Lawyers

  • Magistrate issues bailable warrant vs Digvijaya Singh for missing crim defamation hearing

    1 Nov 2014 | 5:32 am
    A court here Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh after he failed to appear before it in a criminal defamation case lodged against him by union minister Nitin Gadkari.Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha also warned Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari of dismissing his plea if he also fails to appear before the court on the next date of hearing, Nov 10.“Issue bailable warrant in the sum of Rs.10,000 with one surety of the like amount against the accused (Digvijaya Singh) for Nov 10. The complainant (Gadkari) is also directed to appear in…
  • Revealed: Nalsar had ‘better’ 2014 recruitments than NLS, while NUJS tied for 3rd with NLU-D (others lagged…)

    31 Oct 2014 | 9:17 am
    Nalsar Hyderabad performed better than all national law schools, including NLSIU Bangalore, in finding placements for its 2013-14 graduates of its class of 2014, according to Legally India’s new rating of law schools recruitment results.
  • Delhi HC judge slaps crim contempt on legal mag for son, nightclub & cops story [READ ORDER]

    31 Oct 2014 | 6:53 am
    A Delhi high court judge initiated contempt proceedings and ordered injunction against legal news magazine India Legal for a report that stated that the judge’s son had an interest in the Delhi nightclub Hype, which was allowed by police to allegedly remain open late beyond the licensed closing time, reported the Times of India. In his 10 October order serving notice on India Legal’s publishers, editors and photographer, the judge stated that his son had informed him that he held no stake in Hype. The order stated [view order]: “[…] under a separate heading 'Connections help' the…
  • JSA, BMR act on Superior, HDFC’s $10m investment in Bangalore-Whitefield gated community

    31 Oct 2014 | 12:09 am
    J Sagar Associates (JSA) advised Singapore-based Superior Investments and HDFC Investment Trust II on their investment of Rs 60 crores ($9.7m) in Sterling Gated Community for the development of a residential project in Whitefield, Bangalore. Sterling was advised by BMR Advisors. JSA Bangalore partners Vivek Chandy and Raj Ramachandran, senior associate Asok Chacka Thomas and associates KZ Kurian and Shefali Rajput acted for the investors. BMR advisors partner Abhishek Goenka and associate director Krishna Prasad acted for Sterling. As part of the transaction, JSA advised the landowner, SUDPL,…
  • Senior HS Phoolka wants anti-Sikh riot justice with zeal of 'Nazi hunter'

    30 Oct 2014 | 11:35 pm
    Like Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal who devoted his life to tracking down and prosecuting war criminals, senior advocate HS Phoolka says he will not give up in his fight for justice for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. He says though three decades have elapsed “we have to prove the law of the land is supreme” to punish the guilty and hopes the Narendra Modi government will do its bit.Phoolka, who has written to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding a memorial for victims of the carnage in New Delhi, said that in the past 30 years “at each and every stage attempts were…
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    Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

  • Doctors urge blood testing with Xarelto, despite Bayer’s claim it’s unnecessary

    Jared Fink
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:42 pm
    In recent years, a new anticoagulant drug called Xarelto (rivaroxaban) has been found by the FDA to increase the risk for major bleeding events over other drugs in its class.  And unlike other drugs in its class, the manufacturer does not recommend regular blood testing, a simple procedure which can lower the risk for major bleeding events by 40%.  Here, we discuss one piece of research titled “New oral anticoagulants in the treatment of acute venous thromboembolism – a systematic review with indirect comparisons.” on risks associated with Xarelto by an Austrian research team,…
  • Xarelto lawsuits cite studies indicating higher risk for bleeding than Bayer reports

    Jared Fink
    10 Oct 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Titled “The potential role of anticoagulant therapy for the secondary prevention of ischemic events post-acute coronary syndrome”, a piece by A.C. Camuglia et al. (published in Current Medical Research and Opinion – August, 2014) from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the University of Queensland (Queensland , Australia) reviews the safety of an anticoagulant drug called Xarelto.  Recently, a number of studies have indicated that this blood thinner carries a higher risk for major bleeding events than others in its class. The team writes, “The use of dual antiplatelet…
  • Study shows Xarelto carries higher risk for bleeding than industry standard

    Jared Fink
    10 Oct 2014 | 1:20 pm
    Here, we discuss a study titled “Clinical characteristics and outcomes with rivaroxaban vs. warfarin in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation but underlying native mitral and aortic valve disease participating in the ROCKET AF trial.”, published in European Heart Journal this year by G. Breithardt and a team of German researchers.  This study aimed to further evaluate the safety of Xarelto (rivaroxaban), an anticoagulant drug linked to increased risk for major bleeding events. [Click here to read safety communications regarding Xarelto from the FDA] The team writes, “Among 14…
  • 2014 – Researchers Cite Xarelto Bleeding Risk

    Jared Fink
    8 Oct 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Recently, studies have shown that the anticoagulant drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is linked to a dramatically increased risk for major bleeding events compared to other drugs in its class.  Here, we discuss one such piece of research, titled “New oral anticoagulants in acute coronary syndrome: is there any advantage over existing treatments?”, published in the September, 2014 edition of International Cardiovascular Research Journal by a team of Italian researchers led by A. Messori. This team states that their study “re-examined the studies published thus far on this topic to evaluate the…
  • 2014 – More Research Shows Xarelto Linked to Major Bleeding Events

    Jared Fink
    8 Oct 2014 | 12:48 pm
    In recent years, a number of studies have shown that the anticoagulant drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is linked to increased risk for major bleeding events.  Here, we discuss one such study, titled, “Anticoagulant-related gastrointestinal bleeding-could this facilitate early detection of benign or malignant gastrointestinal lesions?” and published in the August, 2014 edition of Annals of Medicine by A. Clemens et al. This team states “The higher incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding with the non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) may be related to pre-existing malignancies;…
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  • You Can Read Transcripts of the Salem Witch Trials

    Sam Glover
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:10 pm
    At the bringing in of the the accused severall fell into fits.—Trial of Mary Easty, executed September 22, 1692This is really cool. From Massachusetts Law Updates, links to original court records from the Salem Witch Trials.(h/t Bob Ambrogi)Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Social Engineering May Be a Greater Threat to Client Files Than “Hackers”

    Sam Glover
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:12 am
    After reading super-hacker Kevin Mitnick‘s book, Ghost in the Wires, about his escapades leading up to his imprisonment for hacking, what struck me was how much of his “hacking” was really social engineering. Quite often, Mitnick just called someone on the phone and asked them for what he needed, up to and including root account access, usernames and passwords, and proprietary source code.Mitnick did not just call up and say “hey, I’m Kevin Mitnick, the FBI’s most-wanted hacker, and I need a privileged login on your network.” He learned enough about…
  • Avvo Advisor: Can You Help a Client in 15 Minutes?

    Sam Glover
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:49 pm
    If so, Avvo Advisor might be for you. Here’s how it works for lawyers: If you’re available, Avvo notifies you via text when someone purchases a session in your state and practice area. Respond to the text to claim the session, then call the client back within 15 minutes for the consultation.You’ll collect $39 for each call (so far, Avvo is not taking a cut, to avoid fee-sharing concerns).Related“New from Avvo: On-Demand, Fixed-Fee Legal Advice”LawSites“Avvo’s 15 Minute Solution”Simple JusticeSince it looks like any lawyer can sign up to take calls and…
  • How To Serve Clients Pro Bono

    Alaina Sullivan
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:12 am
    The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct state that “a lawyer should aspire to render at least 50 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.” Most states also urge lawyers to provide legal services to those who cannot afford them.Yet many lawyers do not take on pro bono cases.In its “ABA’s Supporting Justice III: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America’s Lawyer’s (2013)” report, the ABA took a look at this problem. The good news? Almost no one who responded said they did not want to help pro bono clients. That is why legal aid agencies…
  • Year-End Tax Planning for Lawyers

    Sam Glover
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:45 am
    With two months left in the year, you still have plenty of time to do some end-of-year tax planning to minimize your tax bill in April. That’s why the end of October or beginning of November is a great time to figure out what you are likely to owe. Take a few minutes to run a set of financial reports to send to your accountant so he or she can estimate your tax liability for the year.There is nothing worse than getting to April and finding out you owe a big check to the IRS. Once you get to that point, it is too late to do much of anything about it. Right now, you have options.Year-End…
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Ebola and the Failure of Lawyering (Updated)

    Eric Turkewitz
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:08 am
    A member of Doctors Without Borders dons protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. (Photo: Cello Binani/AFP/Getty Images) Gov. Chris Christie was the US Attorney for New Jersey. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the Attorney General for New York. You’d think that, with those credentials, they’d be smarter. Each of them knows that a long view must be taken with respect to many, many issues, often with extensive evaluation of complex issues.  It took them years, sometimes, to accomplish things…
  • RIP: Prof. David Siegel

    Eric Turkewitz
    10 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Professor David Siegel, from his Albany Law School biography page Calling Professor David Siegel a giant of the New York legal world would not only be a bit trite, but would still be an understatement. His treatise on New York Practice, the bible of New York civil procedure, is a required text for anyone that works in this state’s courts on the civil side and is routinely cited by judges at all levels, both state and federal. He died yesterday. In an obituary at the New York Law Journal, former Chief Justice Judith Kaye is quoted thusly from a 2008 Albany Law School event honoring him:…
  • Loving Your Office

    Eric Turkewitz
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:16 am
    Photo by Chris Petsos Photography. Many more great shots at his site. Click on image above to get there. Lawyers have to make decisions on their offices: Make it nice? Or make it inexpensive? Rarely do the two concepts coincide. We spend a lot of time in our offices.  Other than our homes, this is it. This came to mind when I saw an article in the Sunday real estate section of the Times on my old stomping ground: The Woolworth Building. My office was on the 8th floor, overlooking Broadway (and ticker tape parades) and City Hall Park (and the people who’d shout and scream at Mayor…
  • Apple, Privacy and Law

    Eric Turkewitz
    10 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    Yesterday Apple had its massive product presentation and one of the products it announced was a new pay system for credit cards, Apple Pay. Load the cards into an iPhone, and then just wave them in front of a techno-gadget at the check-out counter and you’re done. Simple. Why might this be important? Currently, big business is tripping all over itself to gather as much information on you as possible, taking away big chunks of your privacy. A 2012 New York Times piece on Target explained how, based on the buying patterns of a teenager — unscented lotions, vitamin supplements and…
  • Joan Rivers Death and ‘Risk of the Procedure’

    Eric Turkewitz
    5 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Joan Rivers in 2010, via Wikipedia The phrase grates on me big time, that a poor medical outcome was a “risk of the procedure.” And so it is now that we see in a couple places with the death of Joan Rivers after she stopped breathing during an out-patient endoscopic procedure, that the phrase “risk of the procedure” is popping up, as if to excuse what happened. One leading possibility for death, of course, is that it was related to the anesthesia, which Ms. Rivers likely had numerous times considering all the jokes she made about her own plastic surgery.  A sudden…
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    The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!

  • Using Celebrity Stories Is A Great Way To Bring Up Estate Planning

    Danielle & Andy
    29 Oct 2014 | 11:01 am recently featured an interesting article about the benefits that families gain by having the estate planning conversation early.  Not only does it improve family relationships, it helps sets the stage and prepares family members for facing the difficult issues caused by a loved one who ages or passes away.    The article noted how a UBS Wealth Management study recently found that only 43% of affluent Americans felt that having this conversation with their heirs was a pressing issue.  That’s surprising because experts predict that between now and the year 2050, the…
  • Could The Amanda Bynes Dilemma Happen In Your Family?

    Danielle & Andy
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:26 am
    The struggles of former child actress, Amanda Bynes, have been well-documented.  She had numerous brushes with the law, including repeated drunk driving and other drug and alcohol-related charges, reported shoplifting attempts, and even more bizarre behavior — such as setting fire to her pants and dousing her dog with gasoline in the driveway of an elderly neighbor.   In 2013, her struggles culminated in guardianship/conservatorship proceedings in California, giving her parents the right to make decisions for her as her conservators.  Amanda lived with her parents for the year, and…
  • Dispute Over Where To Bury Casey Kasem Teaches Lesson

    Danielle & Andy
    7 Oct 2014 | 7:36 am
    The famed American Top 40 Countdown DJ passed away in June, at age 82, with a host of medical problems including advanced Lewy Body dementia.  Now, almost four months later, Casey Kasem’s remains still have not been laid to rest.  It’s a tragic story of a feuding family.  And unfortunately, it’s one that won’t likely end any time soon. Kasem’s wife of more than 30 years, Jean Kasem, wasn’t exactly close with his three adult children from his first marriage.  In fact, Casey’s daughter Kerri Kasem recently said in an interview with Howard Stern that Jean Kasem didn’t like…
  • Tom Clancy Estate In Family Fight Due To Poor Estate Planning

    Danielle & Andy
    30 Sep 2014 | 10:23 am
    Anyone who knows who CIA analyst Jack Ryan is likely appreciates the work of late author Tom Clancy.  Called the "father of the techno-thriller," Clancy's career took off with his first novel, The Hunt for Red October.  His career -- spawning movies such as Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger -- led to more than 100 million copies of his novels in print, with 17 books hitting the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list.  Tom Clancy passed away on October 1, 2013 from heart failure, at age 66.  He was survived by his widow, Alexandra Clancy, and their young daughter, as well…
  • As Prince Harry Inherits From Diana's Estate, Troubling Questions Remain

    Danielle & Andy
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:34 am
    Prince Harry celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this week. His mother, the iconic Princess Diana, passed away over 17 years ago, following the tragic crash as Diana and Dodi Fayed sped away from paparazzi in France.  What was so special about Harry’s 30th birthday (other than the fact that he’s still single, to the delight of eligible women throughout England)?  That’s the day Harry became entitled to receive the remaining half of Princess Diana’s assets.   After Diana passed on August 31, 1997, her mother, Frances Ruth Shand Kydd, and her sister, Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia…
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  • Trial Techniques: First, We Piss Off the Judge

    28 Oct 2014 | 7:35 am
    One day before a motions hearing, I sit my client down for a chat about strategy. “OK, so, tomorrow, I’m going to make this motion, but the judge probably won’t like it. After listening to each side, he’ll probably rule in favor of the prosecutors,” I begin. “So, what do we do then,” client inquires. “Well, that’s when I’ll make the same motion again. Except, I’ll act miffed.” “You’ll act miffed?” “Yes,” I respond. “I’ll get a little red in the face and ask for reconsideration,…
  • Azimuth Check: Giving You the Willies When You’re Well-Off

    22 Oct 2014 | 4:58 am
    It’s October–Halloween time. Time to give you the willies. “I just gave the copy a wet Willy.” Let’s just get straight to the story, via the Mankato Free Press. Armed with two freshly licked fingers, a former Kiester man home on leave from the Air Force thought it would be funny to give the officer the Willies. Riley Louis Swearingen, 24, of Goldsboro, N.C., was getting on the “drunk bus” after the downtown bars closed early Saturday morning when he allegedly licked a finger on each hand and stuck them into the ears of a police sergeant. The officer…
  • Solar Storm Survival Guide

    12 Sep 2014 | 2:29 pm
    Everything you need to know about the upcoming solar storm that is heading straight for our little blue marble is contained in this scientist’s facial expression. An unaltered screen capture from the USA Today mobile website.
  • Azimuth Check: Wow! That Person Has Medals!

    10 Sep 2014 | 7:07 am
    I’ve been meaning to write this post for several days now. They stem from a few choice headlines from the August 28 Early Bird (a daily digest of military-related news, published by the Military Times). Most days, I scroll through the headlines without seeing much of note. On that particular day, there were several headlines that caught my eye. Where to begin… Pursue, Or Else The former commanding general of US Army Japan will retire as a 1-star general after the Secretary of the Army determined that he did not satisfactorily perform in the rank of Major General (2-star). Why?
  • That Day When I Offended a Potential Client

    9 Sep 2014 | 11:49 am
    This is a tale of two conversations. Conversation 1 Me: Hello? Potential Client (PC): I just have a few questions… (A few questions ensue.) Me: (Answers questions. Somewhat. Well, not really. I didn’t give away the bank. I didn’t even reveal the cashier.) PC: Thanks. This has been really helpful. (Click) Three weeks pass… Conversation 2 Me: Hello? PC: Hi, this is (name) calling you back. Me: OK PC: We talked a few days ago. Me: (Flipping through call log.) Oh, you called me three weeks ago. You said (short summary of case). PC: Yes! That’s me! Me: What’s…
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    Planning Notes

  • 4 Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property

    8 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    In the United States, there are four principal ways in which a person or business can protect intellectual property, however, not all types of protection are available for all property types. The infographic below briefly describes each of the four (4) principal types of intellectual property protection, namely patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret, along with some of the benefits and advantages associated with each type of protection.  If you are interested in posting the infographic above to your site, please contact us via the form below. This brief post is by no means…
  • U.S. Federal Trademark Filings

    16 Sep 2014 | 8:58 am
    In 2013, more than 300,000 trademarks and service marks were filed across 45 different classes of goods and services with the United States Patent & Trademark ("USPTO"); however, less than 200,000 trademarks were registered by the USPTO office during 2013. In the United States, a trademark or service mark doesn't generally have any federal rights until that mark is registered by the USPTO in either the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register. Although both the Principal and Supplemental Registers are just that, registers, the rights associated with marks registered on the…
  • ALS Association Ice Bucket Challenge Trademark Filing

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:24 am
    The ALS Association has filed an application to register a federal trademark for "Ice Bucket Challenge", the viral sensation that has swept the nation this summer. Although most Americans likely associate "Ice Bucket Challenge" with the ALS Association, there is some dispute as to whether the Association was the first to use the term 'Ice Bucket Challenge' in combination with charitable fundraising. In particular, 'Ice Bucket Challenge' was used with lung cancer fundraising in early July of this summer, which use precedes the date of first use in commerce listed in the trademark filing,…
  • What is a Family Limited Partnership?

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:52 am
    A family limited partnership, or FLP, can allow a taxpayer to leverage two federal tax devices in conjunction with a technique known as “discounting” in order to reduce the amount of federal tax imposed at the time of that person’s death. Tax Devices Federal tax laws impose a tax, called the Estate & Gift Tax, upon a person’s right to give his/her property to others, without compensation, while that person is alive or after that person’s death. Fortunately, however, two federal tax devices can reduce the amount of the Estate & Gift Tax: the so-called…
  • The Aereo Decision & Cloud Computing

    27 Jun 2014 | 10:42 am
    In American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Aereo's service, which converts and subsequently (re)transmits over-the-air television broadcasts in near real time to Aereo's customers via the internet, effectively constitutes "transmitting performances of copyrighted works to the public", which in turn requires Aereo to pay over-the-air broadcasters a fee for doing so, pursuant to the Copyright Act. Although the ruling may seem fairly limited, and according to the text of the decision the ruling is indeed fairly limited, various commentators…
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  • Keeping your record clean after an arrest for retail theft

    Sami Azhari
    19 Oct 2014 | 11:42 am
    Getting arrested for retail theft can have serious consequences on someone’s future. If someone is caught committing retail theft, they will typically be approached by a loss prevention specialist or an agent of the store after they have completed a purchase of any other items, or walked by the registers without paying. Store agents will wait until the suspect has walked past the registers because they are the “last point of sale,” and the suspect’s last chance to pay for the stolen merchandise. After being approached the defendant will be asked to accompany the store agents to a back…
  • Summary suspension of a driver’s license after DUI arrest: an explanation of Illinois law

    Sami Azhari
    5 Oct 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Getting arrested for a DUI can be a scary ordeal. In most cases, a driver is driving late at night and suddenly pulled over for a traffic violation. Once the police officer approaches the vehicle and detects even a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage, a DUI investigation begins. In all likelihood, once the DUI investigation begins, the officer has already made up his mind as to impaired driving due to bloodshot and glassy eyes, and an odor of alcohol. Once placed under arrest, a driver faces severe penalties of their driving privileges, most of which will depend on whether it is their first…
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: a summary of Illinois law

    Sami Azhari
    22 Dec 2013 | 8:36 am
    While driving under the influence is a misdemeanor offense, the consequences may be more serious than a felony. This is because a conviction has additional penalties not seen for other crimes. A conviction for DUI results in a revoked driver’s license. And a revoked license can, hypothetically, last forever. The offense of DUI is codified in the Illinois Vehicle Code at 625 ILCS 5/11-501. The statute provides that an individual can be guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol in Illinois in two ways: First, a person is guilty if the alcohol concentration in his blood or breath is…
  • Illinois domestic battery prosecutions: reviewing the law and penalties

    Sami Azhari
    13 Mar 2013 | 1:02 pm
    Domestic battery is one of the most common criminal charges prosecuted in Illinois courts. The number of arrests is so large that most courthouses have a courtroom that is dedicated to hearing these cases only. All courthouses in Cook County have one or more courtrooms dedicated to hearing these cases. For examples, all Chicago arrests for domestic battery are assigned to 555 W. Harrison St, known as the Domestic Violence Courthouse. The building hears the following cases: orders of protection filed where no criminal charges are pending (750 ILCS 60/101 et seq) orders of protection filed…
  • Investigative alerts allow Chicago police to make false arrests without warrants or probable cause

    Sami Azhari
    6 Mar 2013 | 11:17 am
    With the help of local media, the public is learning more about a dubious practice by the Chicago Police Department of making warrantless arrests based on questionable information. The Tribune reported the story of Frank Craig, an Army veteran who sued the City of Chicago for his arrest in 2006. Police officers arrested him inside his residence without a warrant, but justified the arrest on the basis of an ‘investigative alert.’ Craig filed a civil rights lawsuit and reached a settlement with the City of $570,000 in 2011. The use of investigative alerts is legally questionable at…
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    Fashion Law | Fashion Lawyer | Fashion Law Firm |

  • REGISTER for the Upcoming #FashionLaw & The Global Runway Hosted by the Beverly Hills Bar Association

    6 Oct 2014 | 10:52 am
    Last week Friday, I closed my week with an informational interview from a student interested in knowing all about fashion law. She is just an example of the consistent inquiries I receive about the practice area. Thankfully, more and more events keep coming up that are responsive to the question of ‘what is fashion law’ and ‘what are the latest trends, cases et al. to know?’ Check out details of one such upcoming event below. Cheers, Fashion Law & The Global Runway REGISTER HERE. This program will discuss the latest developments in Fashion Law both domestically and…
  • Buy Your Tickets: United Colors of Fashion 4th Annual Gala, October 8th, 2014 – Paper Dreams: Writing New Runways #Fashionlaw #UCOFGala

    26 Sep 2014 | 5:03 pm
    Hey folks, I hope your week has been great. Mine has been great, busy but blessed. I wanted to bring your attention to this fashion event worth attending, which is produced with the help of some really cool fashion professionals in the business that I know i.e. Michael Palladino, Fashion Professor at LIM College and co-chair of host committee and Funmi Alaiyemola, fashion model. Please see details below and I hope you can make it. Cheers, Uduak “UCOF Annual Gala on October 8th, 2014 – Paper Dreams: Writing New Runways. Event: United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) is asking you to help…
  • #FashionLaw Attorney Uduak Oduok Featured on

    18 Sep 2014 | 4:27 am
    Hey folks, I was recently featured on as part of the ‘role models not runway models’ who walked designer Carrie Hammer’s show at the Fashion Law Institute’s Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015. Check on the writeup below. Cheers, Uduak Photocredit: Carrie Hammer
  • Sacramento Fashion Week Now Accepting Submissions for 2015 Presentation

    15 Sep 2014 | 6:45 am
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SACRAMENTO FASHION WEEK 2015 DESIGNER SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN Sacramento, CA – September (15th) 2014 – DMR Productions, the producers of Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW), is now accepting designer submissions for the 2015 Presentation of SACFW . Sacramento Fashion Week 2015 will take place the week of February 16th through the 22nd. The events for 2015 will showcase the talents of some of Northern California’s top designers and industry professionals throughout different fashion events and showcases. The mission of SACFW is to provide a platform for designers, models,…
  • Fashion Law Institute 4th Anniversary Show – Highlights, Video and Images

    9 Sep 2014 | 4:57 am
    UPDATE: Narciso Rodriquez and Fashion Law Institute founder Prof. Scafidi have a new op-ed on fashion design protection in today’s New York Times. After changing the landscape of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week runways with last year’s celebrated plus-size fashion show, the Fashion Law Institute once again demonstrated the power of fashion to make a difference in women’s lives with Friday’s show featuring designer Carrie Hammer. Walking the runway in the show were role models from throughout the business and nonprofit worlds, including Fashion lawyer, journalist and former fashion…
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    Law and Daily Life

  • Gay Marriage Update: Wyo. Says OK; Puerto Rico Judge Says No

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:11 am
    In case you missed it, Wyoming became the 32nd state to legalize gay marriage, with the state's attorney general giving his OK last week. According to Reuters, a federal district court struck down the Equality State's same-sex marriage ban in mid-October, but stayed its ruling to give the state time to appeal. But Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael decided against appealing the decision, allowing gay marriage to proceed last Tuesday. What does America's gay marriage picture look like now? Filling Out the Middle With same-sex marriage already allowed in many "liberal"-leaning coastal…
  • Can You Sue Anonymous Internet Trolls?

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    30 Oct 2014 | 1:22 pm
    One of the problems with the all-too-common Internet troll is that he or she is mostly anonymous, making it hard to pin down a person in court. And even if you are able to zero in on your particular troll, there may be little the law can do to compensate you. Sometimes "trolling" is just a very deplorable and infuriating (but legal) part of our Internet lives. So can you actually sue anonymous Internet trolls? Here are a few things to consider: Anonymity Isn't a Problem Internet trolls don't need to find antique bridges to hide under, they simply wrap themselves in the thick shroud of…
  • What Does 'Next Friend' or 'a/n/f' Mean in Legal Documents?

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    30 Oct 2014 | 10:39 am
    When involved in legal proceedings, it's always good to have a friend or two. But when a legal document refers a person's "next friend," it isn't talking about that person's social circle. Rather, the "next friend" is an individual appearing or appointed by a court to act on the behalf of a person lacking legal capacity, such as a child or a person who has been incapacitated due to illness or injury. What does the "next friend" do, and when is it used? Next Friend Is Not a Party to the Suit The next friend's name appears on a complaint or other legal document -- sometimes followed by the…
  • Stay-at-Home Moms: What Alimony Can You Expect After Divorce?

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    29 Oct 2014 | 12:21 pm
    Stay-at-home moms may need to reset their expectations about alimony after divorce; it might not be a given. A Forbes contributor writes that many women going through divorce are quickly finding that spousal support (also known as alimony) is not provided by default. Even if it is granted, alimony may be squeezed down to a very small window of time and/or for a fraction of what a divorcee might expect. This may leave many stay-at-home moms, who may have been out of the job market for years, in the lurch. So what should stay-at-home moms expect from alimony? You Can Still Get Alimony Not every…
  • Legal How-To: Proving You Paid for Something With Cash

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    28 Oct 2014 | 2:41 pm
    If you're fighting in court over a cash payment, how can you prove that you actually paid? Paying for things in cash may be becoming less common as technology marches on, but if you still use cash, you'll want to get some proof that you paid. In many cases, the person you paid may be reluctant or defiant about admitting that he's been paid. In order to get the law's help, you may need to prove that the cash in question actually changed hands. So how do you do this? Every case is different, but here are some potential ways to prove you paid for something with cash: 1. Save Receipts. This seems…
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    Pennsylvania Physicians' Lawyer

  • The Bottom Line of a Covenant Not to Compete for Physicians

    Dennis Hursh
    25 Oct 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Here’s all you really need to know about the enforceability of covenants not to compete in physician employment agreements. What Lawyers Will Tell You About Covenants Not to Compete in Physician Employment Agreements (Feel free to skip this section.  As noted below, the legality of a covenant not to compete in your physician employment agreement is all but meaningless). Most lawyers will tell you that, depending on state law, covenants not to compete in physician employment agreements are generally enforceable if they are reasonable in time and distance.  In other words, if a court…
  • “Our Standard Physician Employment Contract”

    Dennis Hursh
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:56 pm
    It’s the oldest trick in the book, because it works.  The individual that hands you the impressively typed agreement solemnly swears that this is the employer’s “standard physician employment contract”.  You are led to believe that an act of Congress (or maybe more) is required to change one iota.  If everybody else has signed this exact physician employment agreement, why shouldn’t you? The “Standard Physician Employment Agreement” is a Mythical Creature The reason you shouldn’t sign the “standard physician employment agreement”…
  • Selling Your Medical Practice

    Dennis Hursh
    27 Jun 2014 | 1:01 pm
    The private practice of medicine isn’t for everyone, especially for older physicians who are just tired of the grind of both managing a business (the practice) and practicing medicine.  In this post, I discuss eight things that physicians should be aware of as they enter into negotiations for the potential sale of a medical practice. This post assumes you are selling your medical practice to the hospital, but the same issues will apply if you are selling your practice to another physician. Letters of Intent Can Restrict You in the Sale of Your Medical Practice Letters of intent…
  • Letters of Intent in Physician Contracts

    Dennis Hursh
    26 Jun 2014 | 5:24 pm
    The contracting process for physician employment agreements and medical practice purchase agreements sometimes (but not always) begins with a letter of intent, so this seem like a logical first post for this blog. The Purpose of Letters of Intent in Physician Employment Agreements and Medical Practice Sale Agreements A letter of intent (“LOI”) is simply a very brief summary of the main terms of what the parties assume will be a binding formal contract (either a physician employment agreement or a medical practice sale agreement, or both, as the case may  be). The purpose of an…
  • Welcome to the Physician Contract Blog

    Dennis Hursh
    17 Jun 2014 | 9:59 am
    Welcome to the Physician Contract Blog. Here I intend to talk exclusively about issues related to contracts that physicians are involved in, such as physician employment agreements, managed care agreements, and medical practice purchase agreements. I’ll continue to make occasional posts to the Physician Prosperity Blog about topics of more general interest to physicians.  
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    William Carleton, Counselor @ Law

  • Alan Bennett's anthology of six English poets

    William Carleton
    26 Oct 2014 | 10:39 am
    Thanks to a London nephew, I'm reading Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin, an anthology of poems by Hardy, Housman, Betjeman, Auden, MacNeice and Larkin, chosen by the English playwright Alan Bennett, with commentary by Bennett between each presented verse. The commentary is more about the disposition of the poets and their subject matter, rather than the art of their verse. But it's breezy and entertaining, and interesting to try to situate the six poets Bennett chooses with one another as a group. Bennett's critical method is to end-run the cultivated pretensions of each. For…
  • Weight as Volume as Displacement of Space

    William Carleton
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:11 pm
    A brilliant, young sculptor has just arrived in Seattle. Her name is Francesca Lohmann. I saw these pieces at the Vignette gallery this evening on Yale Avenue in Capitol Hill. What a talent. The small-scale "sandbags" (I'll call them that; that's not a perfect name) are plaster casts, and it's amazing how the smallest differences in scale totally change what and how they project. The surface of the card table is gelatin, specially designed and installed for this show. A one-night-only show, alas!
  • Changing the rules for who is allowed to invest in startups

    William Carleton
    16 Oct 2014 | 4:53 pm
    By now, you've probably heard that the SEC is considering making changes to the accredited investor definition. The definition is important to entrepreneurs, angel investors, and the startups they work on together, because it defines the standards for who is, and who is not, allowed to invest in startups and private emerging companies. Right now, the standards are financial: if you earned more than $200,000 in each of the last two years ($300,000 in the case of a married couple), and have a reasonable expectation of achieving that income level in the current year, or if you have net…
  • Where I've been

    William Carleton
    25 Jun 2014 | 7:08 pm
    Friends, I want to thank you for all the support you've given this blog over the past three or four years. It's been a good run. Two or three years ago, I started blogging every day, and that was the ticket for making a vibrant community here. This blog became America's number one securities law blog, and number five IP law blog. We sustained that ranking for many months, perhaps well over a year. But my writing muse has taken me in different directions this year. You might say, back to my roots, writing in a manner reminiscent of how I spent my 20s, combined with the influence…
  • The world is not totally fucked up: Exhibit A

    William Carleton
    18 Jun 2014 | 8:12 pm
    Here is Exhibit A for the proposition that the world is not, in fact, totally and completely fucked up: sculpture being readied, as we speak, at Jefferson Park in Seattle. What's more, this public art is to be "skateable." I exchanged nods with the welder, and chatted with another bystander on how beautiful the work is. Imagine the satisfaction of being the person, or one of the persons, who put this sculpture together. Like the satisfaction of a poet who writes a verse that may someday unlock the strictures of another person's self-perception. There is no app for that.
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    But I do have a law degree...

  • A Few Firsts

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:55 am
    1) My first time taking a weekend vacation with my husband in a long, long, long time.  Definitely the first time since I've been a mom of 3.  I have been counting down the days until this weekend getaway to Miami, but yet, as I nursed my baby this morning before I left, I got tears in my eyes. What is with motherhood?  How is it that you can want a break so bad, but then when said break arrives, you are heartbroken to leave?  (Don't worry, I left anyway.)2) My first time blogging from a flight.  Did you know that you can get wi-fi on a plane now?  Is it weird…
  • Four Years Ago You Rocked My World

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:03 pm
    Quite literally. I thought I knew what it was going to be like having more than one child.  I was wrong. I thought there was no way I could love anyone as much as your older brother.  I was wrong about that too. Our first months together were HARD.  We both struggled.  We both lost a lot of sleep.  We both cried.  A lot. And then we bonded.  Big time.  And before I knew it, I couldn't imagine a time when you weren't there.  It's as if I had known you forever.  As if you had been here all along. I fell in love hard. And the awesome thing is…
  • Why did YOU leave?

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    6 Oct 2014 | 5:59 pm
    My very first post on this blog, a whole three and a half years ago (holy crap, that's crazy), was devoted to why I left a big law firm to stay at home with my kids.  (You can find it by clicking here). It was picked up by Above the Law, a legal news site/blog, which is why people actually started reading this blog.  It's still my second most popular post (behind my post on why lawyers are so miserable, which, who knew, is a very popular google term).  I occasionally reread my introductory post myself.  I'm not sure why.  I suppose it's a reminder as to…
  • Clinical Trials and Emotional Tribulations

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    2 Oct 2014 | 7:38 am
    For the past two weeks, I have been living, breathing, eating, sleeping, and existing in all things food allergies. I don't know quite where to start. I guess the beginning. A little over a year ago I wrote a post about how my son, Casey had been diagnosed with a peanut allergy.  (He has a RAST score of over 100 - the highest you can get.)  I haven't really mentioned it since.  In part because it's not always on the forefront of my mind, and in part because I didn't think it's the kind of thing that people want to read about. But it has become part of our daily lives and…
  • Three Things I Don't Get

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    I try not to get too political/controversial/contentious on this blog. But I am coming from a sincere place when I wonder the following:1) Why is this new Ray Rice video so explosive? A caveat - I don't follow or care at all about football.  I had never heard of Ray Rice.  But I do follow the news, and from what I understand, on February 15, 2014, Ray Rice was arrested on simple assault charges for assaulting his wife.  A few days later, we all got a glimpse of what happened, as a video surfaced of Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé from an elevator.  She…
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    Profit and Laws

  • Robin Thicke Has Got to Give It Up

    31 Oct 2014 | 10:57 am
    The first time I heard Blurred Lines, I assumed Robin Thicke had sampled parts of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up, not just because the feel of the songs is similar, I also heard common elements and grooves. Trouble is, the Gaye family also thought Robin Thicke took some from Got to Give It Up […] The post Robin Thicke Has Got to Give It Up appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • Behind Private Equity’s Curtain |

    31 Oct 2014 | 9:46 am
    Happy Halloween! The scariest goblin among us? Private Equity. The New York Times says that many Private Equity funds refuse to provide information on their fees and expenses to the people who get charged those fees and expenses, often without their knowledge. First, what is “Private Equity?” “Private Equity” means the companies owned by a […] The post Behind Private Equity’s Curtain | appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • This Cheat Sheet Will Make You Win Every Climate Argument

    Phil Fahim
    9 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    We’ve all had conversations with people who don’t believe the “hype” about climate change. Some people think it’s a liberal invention to make the government bigger and impose more regulations on big business. Other people just think scientists don’t have anything better to do than make stuff up about how the world is changing. Either […] The post This Cheat Sheet Will Make You Win Every Climate Argument appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • I’ve Read the Government’s Arguments to Screw Amazon Workers and I’m Furious

    9 Oct 2014 | 6:08 pm
    There’s a monumental case at the Supreme Court that has got me obsessed, bewitched, enraged and mildly despondent. Technically, it’s called Integrity Staffing v. Busk. It actually is Amazon v. Amazon’s warehouse workers. (Integrity Staffing is the subcontractor stooge hired by Amazon to employ its warehouse workers). After Amazon workers finish a 12 hour shift […] The post I’ve Read the Government’s Arguments to Screw Amazon Workers and I’m Furious appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • Chobani and Dov Seidman Wrestle Over Use of ‘How’ Trademark

    8 Oct 2014 | 6:50 pm
    I predict this is going to end badly for Dov Seidman. Seidman, who uses “How Matters” as his content calling card, is suing Chobani yogurt for its new “How Matters” ad campaign. Seidman can win if he can show two things; First, that his trademark is distinctive enough to not be generic or descriptive of the product […] The post Chobani and Dov Seidman Wrestle Over Use of ‘How’ Trademark appeared first on Profit and Laws.
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    Virginia Workplace Law

  • Virginia Dept. of Health offers Ebola advice for employers

    Phyllis Katz
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:45 am
     Many employers, particularly health care facilities, are concerned about the spread of Ebola through workplace contact(s).  There has been very little guidance until today.  The following link will connect you to the advice that the Virginia Department of Health has just released.  Before implementing any policy where an individual is excluded from employment (either as an applicant or continuing employment) based the responses to questions similar to those proposed by the VDH, an employer should contact an employment attorney. VDH Guidance on Ebola for Health Care Providers Sands…
  • Pregnancy Guidance Seems to Require Light Duty For All

    Karen Elliott
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    The EEOC’s pregnancy discrimination guidance issued July 14 affects more than just the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. Although nominally titled as an enforcement guidance regarding “pregnancy discrimination,”  the guidance potentially reaches beyond pregnant employees to employees with a disability regardless of cause. The EEOC’s guidance holds that impairments related to pregnancy may qualify for accommodation as a disability under the ADA, and if light duty is offered to injured workers, it must also be offered to qualifying pregnant workers as a…
  • Virginia Significantly Raises Worker Misclassification Fines

    Phyllis Katz
    14 Jul 2014 | 9:36 am
    Worker misclassification remains a number one target area for both state and federal review.  On July 1, 2014, the  Virginia Workers Compensation Act (the “VWCA”) significantly increased the civil penalties that the state can impose on a Virginia business owner who has failed to insure a worker who should have been insured.    The civil penalty is now up to $250 per day for each day of noncompliance, subject to a maximum penalty of $50,000, plus collection costs.”  The VWCA requires every business owner with more than two employees (a part-time worker is counted…
  • Are Work Centers Really Unions in Disguise?

    Annemarie Cleary
    18 Jun 2014 | 9:41 am
    Membership in labor unions is at its lowest point in nearly a century. But, that doesn’t mean that workers are not without their champions.  Worker advocacy groups, also known as work centers, have sprung up across the county to aid workers in low-wage industries, such as restaurants, big box retail and agriculture.  Work centers often focus on particular industries or underserved immigrant workers and provide a range of services, including, for example, English as a second language classes.  The Restaurant Opportunities Center (“ROC”), Organization United for Respect at…
  • The employer conundrum over conducting criminal background screens

    Mike DeCamps
    15 May 2014 | 10:46 am
    The war continues over the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process and employers are caught in the middle. A brief history here may be helpful. In April of 2012 the EEOC published its Enforcement Guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although the Guidance is not binding on Employers it unequivocally declared the direction the EEOC was taking in investigating Employers who were allegedly illegally using criminal history in employment decisions and recommended that Employers refrain…
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    The Risk Manager from Sands Anderson

  • SCOVA Refuses to Incorporate Prior Discovery Rulings from Previous Non-suited Action

    Terrence L. Graves
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:50 am
    In Temple v. Mary Washington Hospital, Inc., et al., Record No. 131754 (Sept. 12, 2014), the Supreme Court of Virginia opined on an obscure, yet significant, issue related to the common practice of incorporating discovery by court order in subsequent actions where the plaintiff nonsuited its original action. Jo Ann Knighten Temple, as Administrator of the Estate of Ellis Ethelbert Temple, filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful death and medical malpractice against Mary Washington Hospital, Inc. (“MWH”) and various other defendants.  During discovery, the plaintiff filed two motions to…
  • Harman v. Honeywell International

    Doug Winegardner
    18 Jun 2014 | 6:32 am
    The Supreme Court of Virginia’s recent opinion in Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., Case No. 130627 (June 5, 2014) contains a wealth of analysis on a number of evidentiary rules that every trial lawyer will likely encounter in his or her career.  This legal alert summarizes each of the Court’s rulings on those issues and discusses the potential impact this may have on insurance defense clients across a variety of industries. This case arises out of a single-engine airplane accident involving a father and son that occurred just outside of Chesterfield, Virginia.  The two…
  • Virginia’s Privity of Contract Defense Continues to Protect Defendants in Economic Loss Cases

    Will Watkins
    18 Jun 2014 | 6:23 am
    I am often told by clients that they are protected from a lawsuit because they have a corporation.  The advice I usually give them is that while the corporate shield is strong it does not protect them if they are negligent and cause injury or damage, even if it is during working hours.  While that advice is still correct, the answer to that question is not so simple in Virginia. Virginia has long held that a party must be in privity of contract to recover for contractual claims.  Privity requires that the party making the claim actually have a contract, whether written or oral, with the…
  • Selective Way Ins. Co. v. Schulle, Western District of Virginia 2/5/14

    Ian Lambeets
    28 Apr 2014 | 10:35 am
    Author:  Sarah Warren Smith The Western District of Virginia reaffirmed the standard for production of information during discovery, as well as the importance of fair mediation, in its recent decision of Selective Way Insurance Co. v. Schulle.  Selective Way filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of its obligation to defend or indemnify its insured, Lake of the Woods Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc., in a wrongful death action that had been brought by the decedent’s representative.  The underlying wrongful death action resulted from a boating accident…
  • Judge Sets Aside $3 Million Jury Verdict because Expert’s Testimony is Baseless

    Ian Lambeets
    13 Mar 2014 | 12:38 pm
    By: David Boyce Recently, in Cross v. Spears, CL 12-436, a Martinsville Circuit Court judge set aside a 3 million dollar jury award and ordered a new trial based on a ruling that the plaintiff’s toxicologist’s opinion testimony was “totally lacking in scientific factual foundation.”  After attending a NASCAR race in Martinsville, Virginia, the plaintiff, Cross, was struck by a vehicle while crossing a four-lane highway.  At trial, the defendant’s expert toxicologist offered a simple opinion, the plaintiff was drunk.  In support of his opinion the expert…
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    North Carolina Law Life

  • Starting with Employee 1

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    28 Oct 2014 | 11:28 am
    While many employment discrimination laws don’t apply until you have 15, 25 or 50 employees, there are several employment laws that apply when you hire your first employee: Immigration and Reform Control Act requires employers to verify employee eligibility to work and to retain form I-9. Fair Labor Standards Act and Equal Pay Act (FLSA and EPA) requires employees to be properly classified as employees vs. independent contractors and as non-exempt vs. exempt, so that they get all benefits and protections required under the law, including the same rate of pay for the same job. Uniformed…
  • What does the Redskins Cancellation Mean for My Business and Trademarks?

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    19 Jun 2014 | 12:41 pm
    The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently cancelled several Washington Redskins trademarks on the grounds that at the time these marks were registered, they were disparaging or offensive. This means the marks should have never been registered.  What this means for the Redskins: If this decision holds up after an appeal, the team will be able to use its marks but lose federal protections for its trademarks.  Federal registration benefits include the legal presumptions of ownership and of nationwide scope of rights in these trademarks, the ability to use the federal registration ®…
  • I Caught Someone Copying My Website. Now What?

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    16 Jun 2014 | 7:02 am
    You just discovered that a new entrant to your existing market copied your website FAQs, but changed them a little.  Your site has “© ABC Corporation 2009-2014″ on the bottom.  What do you do now. First off, this is probably copyright infringement An author or artist gets copyright protections as soon as the work is written or recorded.  Although registration gives some significant benefits, the owner has rights immediately without doing anything. Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a…
  • To Be a Franchise or Not to Be….

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    2 Jun 2014 | 6:58 am
    When starting a new business, many people toy with the idea of opening a franchised business. What is a franchise, exactly? Legally speaking, a franchise has three components: 1) license of trademarks and systems, 2) payment of royalties or other fees and 3) significant input by the licensor into how the licensee runs the business. What does this mean, exactly? The benefits of buying a strong franchise are that the business has an existing strong brand that customers will know and like; the business has tried and true methods; the franchisee will receive extensive training in these methods;…
  • Anatomy of a Commercial Real Estate Purchase

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    27 May 2014 | 7:31 am
    Once you have selected a property and have some idea of a fair price and market conditions, it is time for the real estate attorney to be involved. There are many protections for consumers purchasing real estate, but hardly any in the commercial arena, so it is important to have a trusted adviser to protect you.   The attorney will draft and negotiate the purchase contract, manage due diligence, search the title, review the bank documents, prepare the closing statement, hold the closing and disburse the money.  Often the attorney will form a limited liability company to hold the real estate…
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    Virginia Local Government Law

  • Seven Attributes of Good Local Government Leadership

    Andrew McRoberts
    22 Oct 2014 | 11:52 am
    As a long-time local government attorney, I have had the opportunity to study local government officials a lot.  Over the years, I have sat on the dais or in the meeting room or in a conference room and examined the traits of elected and appointed local government officials that help and those that hurt.  In this post, I’ll share seven that really help. First attribute:  Be willing to listen. Leaders do not lead in a vacuum.  They lead people.  When you stop listening, you stop learning.  Presumably you lead people you hope will help your local government or governing body or…
  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: September 12, 2014

    Andrew McRoberts
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:43 am
    The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning. After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term resulted in two both related to law enforcement — one tort case and one “gap” pay case.  As always, congratulations to the winners! The case summaries are taken from the Virginia Supreme Court opinions website. Click on the case number to read the opinion. 131162 Kohn v. Marquis 09/12/2014 In an action for the wrongful death of a police recruit injured by blows to the head…
  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions NOT Affecting Local Government Law: June 5, 2014

    Andrew McRoberts
    5 Jun 2014 | 11:35 am
    The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning.  After last term’s virtual feast of seven opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law, this term had none (at least not in this author’s judgment).  Unless you are interested in wrongful death, labor relations or criminal law, read no further. If you want to double-check my judgment, feel free to proceed to the case summaries on the Virginia Supreme Court opinions website.
  • Town of Greece v. Galloway: U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Legislative Prayer and the Establishment Clause

    Cullen Seltzer
    5 May 2014 | 2:02 pm
    Co-Authored by Cullen D. Seltzer and Andrew R. McRoberts. U.S. Supreme Court building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Today, the Court handed down its ruling in Town of Greece.  In a sweeping ruling, the Court upheld the local government’s religious invocations in a 5-4 decision.  The ruling pretty dramatically and explicitly broadens the scope of permissible religious invocations for legislative sessions. Virginia Locality Law Blog highlighted Town of Greece v. Galloway almost a year ago when the Supreme Court granted cert in this important Establishment Clause case affecting thousands…
  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 17, 2014

    Andrew McRoberts
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:54 pm
    The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning.  After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term’s opinions are a virtual feast.  Issues involving BZA discretion, nonconforming signs, FOIA, Fraud Against Taxpayer’s Act and more.  Some are cases involving Virginia local governments, others are cases without local governments as parties, but still involve issues affecting Virginia local governments.  As always, congratulations to the winners! The case summaries are taken…
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    New Jersey Debt Attorney - (201) 676-0722

  • Can you keep all of your stuff in bankruptcy?

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:50 am
    Can you really keep everything you own all the way through bankruptcy?  You can usually keep items that you own outright (on which you do not owe any money) and you can usually keep those items on which you are making payments to a creditor (like your home or car), IF you can meet certain conditions. Most people who file for Ch. 7 bankruptcy can keep what they own because of laws known as “exemptions.” Most people know that a they can get a discharge of debts in exchange for liquidating their assets – in other words, selling off your stuff.  BUT, don’t…
  • An old debt isn’t on my credit report – do I still owe it?

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:04 am
    What does it mean when an old debt is not on your credit report? So, you just checked your credit report and you couldn’t find an old debt you know that you owed. Or, a debt collector just contacted you about an old student loan they say you still owe, but you checked your credit report and it’s not there. If it’s not on your credit report, you don’t owe it, right? Wrong. There is no relationship between whether you owe a debt and whether that debt appears on your credit report. A lot of people think differently. Many people believe that if a debt is no longer on their…
  • Bankruptcy helps avoid tax due on forgiven debt

    27 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    When could you have to pay taxes on money that you owe? When someone, like a credit card company, forgives the amount that you owe. The IRS calls this “canceled debt” or “forgiveness of debt income” and it’s something that you need to watch out for if you owe money that you aren’t paying back. According to the IRS, you’ll know if one of your debts has been canceled if you receive a form called a 1099-C, entitled “Cancellation of Debt”. You’re supposed to report the amount of the cancelled debt on your annual tax return. So if you get…
  • In debt? You’re not alone

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
    A new study shows that a whopping 77 million Americans has debt that’s listed on their credit report as being “in collections.”  That’s 35% of adults who have credit files.  And this debt is spread around all over the country, even though a higher percentage of it is in the South. The student was released by the nonprofit Urban Institute. So if you have bad debt on your credit report, you’re not alone.  Millions of Americans have the same problem.  The difference boils down to, can you do anything about it? Is bankruptcy or debt settlement right for you?
  • Are you eligible for Ch. 7 or Ch. 13 bankruptcy?

    15 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Eligibility for Ch. 7 or Ch. 13 bankruptcy can turn on who is filing the bankruptcy, the type and amount of debt, the amount of income, and the amount of expenses. Who is filing the bankruptcy: Only a human being (or a human being and his or her spouse) can file a Chapter 13 case. Neither a partnership nor a corporation can file a Chapter 13 case, but it can file a Chapter 7, whether or not the business owner also files one individually. The type and amount of debt: If your debt is primarily consumer debt (a dollar amount of more than 50%), then you have to pass the means test to qualify for…
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    Law Firm Newswire » Legal News

  • During a Divorce, Tax Return Information Can Pose Challenges

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:10 am
    Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2010 – Obtaining an ex-spouse’s tax return is not always an easy task, and often, the other side ignores requests for information. Divorcing parties should first make such a request politely to increase the chances of receiving the requested material. Antagonizing the other spouse is usually counterproductive, even though it is his or her statutory duty to provide the information requested. Ignoring such a request may be viewed as stalling, and the spouse seeking to obtain a fair support amount may find it necessary to refer to the…
  • Genevieve Zimmerman, Jason P. Johnston join Minneapolis office

    Lisa Hirst Carnes
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:53 am
    Attorney Jason P. Johnston Minneapolis, MN (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2014 – Meshbesher & Spence announces the addition of two attorneys to its Minneapolis office. Genevieve Zimmerman and Jason P. Johnston will both focus on class action lawsuits, defective medical devices, and dangerous pharmaceuticals. Both attorneys have backgrounds in medical litigation. Zimmerman brings more than a decade of experience as a trial attorney to Meshbesher & Spence. In 2012, the Minnesota Association for Justice awarded her “Member of the Year” for her exceptional leadership and…
  • Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Fatal Illinois Crash

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2014 – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed after a January car accident on the Eisenhower Expressway in Forest Park killed an Illinois woman. // The lawsuit was filed by Mary Cruz, as representative of Krystle Hernandez’s estate, against Aaron Moore, who was charged with DUI in the crash. The owner of the car Moore was driving was also named as a defendant. “In terrible circumstances like these, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate so that the victim’s family is able to receive some…
  • SpaceX Lawsuit Alleges California State Labor Law Violations

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2014 – It does not require rocket science to follow existing California labor laws. SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) is now facing two lawsuits over alleged labor law violations. One suit alleges that the company denied workers breaks and demanded that they work off the clock and through meal and rest breaks because of overloaded work schedules. Allegedly, none of the workers were paid for missed breaks or other off-the-clock work, told to round their hours worked to the nearest 15-minute increment (losing wages in the…
  • Legal Consultation Helps Clarify Non-Compete Agreement Limits

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 30, 2014 – Non-compete agreements are not always well-received in court. If a non-compete agreement is thrown out, a person may not have to comply with it. “Non-compete agreements are quite popular with employers, but a person bound by one may not have to comply with it. Most non-compete agreements state that an employee may not compete with an employer’s business for a designated time period after leaving the job, They may restrict who you work for, where your future job may be located and even the industry in which you work. Sometimes,…
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    The L•E•Jer

  • United States v. Windsor: A Tipping Point in the Battle for More Inclusive Statewide Employment Discrimination Policies?

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:25 am
    by Sarah B. Wheeler The Defense of Marriage Act (hereinafter, “DOMA”), which became law in 1996, contains two main substantive sections.[1] Section 2, entitled “Powers Reserved to the States,” provides in sum that no state will be required to recognize a same-sex marriage that was legally performed in another state, if same-sex marriage is not […]
  • Is the Next NBA Lockout Looming?

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:31 am
    by Brandon S. Ross On October 6, 2014, the National Basketball Association (“NBA”) publicly announced that it had reached a nine-year exclusive media-rights deal with ESPN and Turner Sports, worth an eye-popping $24 billion.[1] Starting with the 2016-2017 NBA season, ESPN and Turner Sports will pay the NBA $2.6 billion per year – a 180% […]
  • EEOC’s Current Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:29 am
    by Neli Kharbedia To emphasize that it is unacceptable for employers to discriminate against their employees based on pregnancy, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released enforcement guidance regarding pregnancy discrimination.[1] According to the authorities of the EEOC, because more employees sued and prevailed based on pregnancy discrimination, the EEOC decided to explain employers’ duties […]
  • Women’s Equality: Truth or Illusion?

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:29 am
    by Amanda Ward Beginning in the mid-19th century, women began to organize and fight for their rights to be seen as equal to men.[1] When Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919, giving American women the right to vote, it was seen as a milestone win in women’s rights.[2] Women have […]
  • REGISTER for Our Symposium, October 24 2014 #LELJSymp32

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:59 am
    Registration for next week’s annual Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal symposium is open, so please click here to register if you have not yet done so. CLE credits are available for those who desire them. For more information, including pricing (free for current Hofstra students, faculty, and administration members) and the complete program, please […]
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    My Distribution Law

  • Could Amazon Possibly Be a Monopolist? (Updated) (Again)

    Howard Ullman
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:51 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Franklin Foer, at the New Republic, argues that the answer is yes.  The alleged “crime”: predatory pricing — if not express, than at least in spirit. In “There’s one huge problem with calls for anti-trust action against Amazon” at, Matthew Yglesias rightly points out that market share does not by itself a monopoly make, and further argues that One important hint about Amazon’s non-monopoly status can be found in its quarterly financial reports. That’s where you find out about a company’s profits. In…
  • Can you ever successfully Daubert an antitrust economist?

    Howard Ullman
    2 Oct 2014 | 2:24 pm
    The iPod family with, from the left to the right : the shuffle 4G, the nano 6G, the classic 6G and the touch 4G (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It’s really a very difficult thing to do — and query whether it’s worth the effort.  See, e.g., The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136437 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 26, 2014) (Gonzalez Rogers, J.) (denying Daubert motions all around).  At least that’s true when the economist is a well-known professor at a major university. The iPod litigation is, by the way, quite interesting . . . the court has refused to…
  • Ninth Circuit Holds State Action Immunity Doctrine Bars Claims Against Convention Center

    Howard Ullman
    17 Sep 2014 | 5:15 am
    The San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In United National Maintenance, Inc. v. San Diego Convention Center, Inc., No. 12-56809 (9th Cir. May 14, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the San Diego Convention center enjoyed state-action immunity from antitrust claims brought by a supplier of cleaning services whose business was negatively impacted by the convention center’s decision to be the exclusive supplier of cleaning services. The California Legislature specifically authorized San Diego (and other cities)…
  • N.D. Cal. Just Opened the Damages Umbrella

    Howard Ullman
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In County of San Mateo v. CSL, Limited, Case No. 3:10-cv-05686-JSC (N.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2014) (Corley, M.J.), the Northern District of California held that California’s antitrust law, the Cartwright Act, allows the recovery of umbrella damages.  If the decision stands or is upheld, it could stimulate a new wave of antitrust litigation. Umbrella damages are damages due to overcharges paid to non-conspirators who raise their prices because they are protected by the cartel’s price “umbrella.”  Federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit, have…
  • The Senate is Considering Minimum Resale Pricing for Contact Lenses

    Howard Ullman
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:45 pm
    NPR has the story.  Under federal law, of course, RPM is subject to the Rule of Reason.  Apparently the Senate is interested because a large portion of the contact lens market is subject to the restrictions. It is unclear to me whether the manufacturers have truly nationwide policies or whether they have excepted those states that still treat — or may treat — minimum RPM as per se unlawful. Update: After hearing a bit more about this, it sounds like these are Colgate unilateral pricing policies (no agreement; if retailers don’t abide, they don’t receive more…
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    Attorney at Work

  • Friday Five Trending: Terrifying Law Practice Trends

    Kandy Hopkins
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:06 am
    This is the time of year when the things that go bump in the night come out to play. In honor of all that’s spooky, here are some of the most terrifying issues that the legal industry’s facing today, including burnout, data security and … being female. 1. Burnout. On top of an already tough legal market, when you add shrinking support staffs, the recent record-setting legal sector jobs loss, and studies that say you’re either a psychopath or as trustworthy as a prostitute, it’s no wonder attorney burnout is an increasing problem. According to a CNN story, lawyers rank…
  • Take Time to Stand Out on LinkedIn

    Sayre Happich
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    You are probably too busy practicing law to spend a whole lot of time perfecting your presence on social media. But research shows that clients will hire you based on what they find — or don’t find — about you online, especially on LinkedIn. What can you do if your social media presence is lacking? At the recent Legal Marketing Technology Conference West, Brad Shepard discussed these simple strategies to help lawyers make a better impression on LinkedIn. Importance of Having the Right Online Presence Shepard is the founder and CEO of Kredible, a company that uses scientific…
  • Embarrassed About Your Elevator Speech?

    The Editors
    29 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Question: I need help with my “elevator speech.” When I begin to tell people about my practice, I tend to get flustered and embarrassed. Do you have any advice that would help me feel more comfortable telling people about my business? Lynne Franklin: Remember the goal of giving an elevator pitch. It’s to begin building rapport that can lead to additional conversations — and perhaps new business and referrals. You want to make a memorable, positive first impression on people in 20 to 30 seconds, so they ask, “Would you explain more?” or “How do you do that?” The other person…
  • Douglas Sorocco, Enterprising Lawyer

    The Editors
    28 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Who are these “enterprising lawyers”? Actually, they are easy to spot. Look for the more engaged and happier lawyers in the crowd. Deeply invested in the power of the work they do for their clients, they have ample interests beyond the practice of law as well. And they seem to have more energy for getting things done than anyone in the crowd. You probably know one or two — you may even be one yourself! Meet Douglas Sorocco, partner with Dunlap Codding, PC, in Oklahoma City. When Douglas spotted a 100-year-old warehouse in the city’s old “skid row,” he saw more…
  • Phoning It In: Why I Won’t Have a Smartphone

    Jared Correia
    27 Oct 2014 | 3:27 am
    Since I require a public confessional, I’ll just have out with it: I have developed a slight obsession with “Mad Men,” which is right in the medias res of its final season on AMC. I did not have even a remote interest in watching this show, however, until I came across a theory about how it ends. Since I have a long-standing interest in American history, the notion that such an audacious ending might be incorporated into a mainstream TV show (where series finales are, more often than not, cop outs) was immediately fascinating to me. Couple that carrot with the relative strength…
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    Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – October 17, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:31 pm
    In re Adoption of K.P.M.A., Oklahoma Supreme Court (10/14/14) Constitutional Law, Family LawThe issue this case presented for the Supreme Court’s review centered on the termination Respondent-appellant Billy McCall’s (Father) parental rights to K.P.M.A. (Child). Child was born out-of-wedlock to T.Z. (Mother) in 2012. Prospective adoptive parents, petitioners-appellees Marshall and Toni Michelle Andrews had had physical custody of the child since she was released from the hospital after birth. On appeal of his termination, father argued: (1) whether his due process rights were…
  • Oh Say Can You Pro Se? Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – October 3, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    3 Oct 2014 | 12:20 pm
    Zavodnik v. Harper, Indiana Supreme Court (9/30/14) Civil ProcedurePlaintiff was an abusive litigant. In this case, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant, which the trial court dismissed for failure to prosecute or comply with applicable rules under Ind. Trial Rule 41(E). The court of appeals dismissed Plaintiff’s appeal with prejudice for Plaintiff’s failure to file a timely brief and appendix. The Supreme Court denied Plaintiff’s petition to transfer jurisdiction and refrained from imposing sanctions or restrictions. This per curiam opinion also gave guidance to the state’s…
  • Catch a Falling Star – Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks September 5, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    5 Sep 2014 | 3:29 pm
    Levitt v. Yelp! Inc., US 9th Cir. (9/2/14) Business Law, Internet LawPlaintiffs, small business owners, filed a class action suit alleging that Yelp, an online forum, extorted or attempted to extort advertising payments from them by manipulating user reviews and penning negative reviews of their businesses. Plaintiffs filed suit against Yelp for violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200 et seq.; civil extortion; and attempted civil extortion. The district court dismissed the suit for failure to state a claim. The court concluded that…
  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – August 22, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    22 Aug 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Lodge No. 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Philadelphia, US 3rd Cir. (8/18/14) Communications Law, Constitutional LawThe Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), an incorporated collective bargaining organization that represents the approximately 6,600 active police officers employed by the Philadelphia, operates a political action committee, COPPAC, for purposes of distributing contributions to candidates for local and state office. FOP, COPPAC, and four police officers challenged the constitutionality of section 10-107(3) of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, which prohibits employees…
  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – August 1, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Bostic v. Schaefer, US 4th Cir. (7/28/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Family Law, Government & Administrative LawPlaintiffs filed suit challenging Virginia Code sections 20-45.2 and 20-45.3; the Marshall/Newman Amendment, Va. Const. art. I, 15-A; and any other Virginia law that bars same sex-marriage or prohibits the State’s recognition of otherwise-lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions (collectively, the Virginia Marriage Laws). Plaintiffs argued that these laws violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court…
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    BullsEye Blog

  • Daubert Decisions Not Just for District Courts Anymore

    25 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    There is a new gatekeeper in town. Or perhaps 179 of them. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari and hear an appeal challenging a federal ...
  • Apple Gets Another Bite at $368 Million Verdict

    19 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    You don't get two bites at the apple, it is sometimes said, but Apple Inc. is getting a second bite at defending itself against a massive damages award after the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a $368 million jury verdict in a patent infringement case.
  • Inventor Testimony in Patent Litigation

    10 Oct 2014 | 9:56 am
    The long-running technology and Internet boom has spawned extensive patent litigation as companies seek an edge over competitors by suing for infringement. Many of the entrepreneurial founders of technology companies are themselves extremely knowledgeable about the technologies on which their businesses are based. As such, parties often perceive
  • Regression Analysis in Litigation

    2 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    It is important for litigators to understand the fundamentals of regression analysis, particularly when direct evidence of harm is absent. Fortuitously, the District Court for the Southern District of New York recently provided a primer on regression analysis as background to its evaluation of expert testimony under Daubert.
  • Do Conflicting Experts Preclude Summary Judgment?

    28 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    Courts award summary judgment to a party when there is no genuine dispute of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. Can summary judgment be awarded if two experts have conflicting opinions about a material fact?
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    Hunt & Associates, PC

  • You Can’t Make It Up – A Homeland Security Panty Raid and Storage Costs for Homeless People

    Lawrence Hunt
    28 Oct 2014 | 2:06 pm
    The largest player in our nation’s entertainment industry, government, works hard to demonstrate that it can enhance the triviality of even the most trivial; as it recently did when the Department of Homeland Security conducted a panty raid on a Kansas City lingerie shop to seize “boy shorts”. The shorts’ bottoms exhorted the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series beneath an approximation of the team’s logo which the store’s owner had drawn. Ironically, the owner said that many police officers had purchased the apparently forbidden shorts until the DHS raid. See the full story…
  • Oregon Steps towards Marijuana Legalization

    Nathan Piers-VanderPloeg
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:38 pm
    Last month Oregon certified a ballot measure for the November election that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.  If passed, Oregon would become the third state to allow the recreational use of marijuana, following Washington and Colorado.  Until such a law is passed in Oregon, it remains illegal to use or possess the drug without a medical marijuana card.  In Oregon, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is not even a crime, but a violation, which is roughly the equivalent of a speeding ticket.  This means that if you are found by police to have less than an ounce in…
  • A Government Extortion Racket That’s Apparently Offensive to Everyone Except the Department of Labor

    Lawrence Hunt
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:29 pm
    A recent story by Jared Meyer summarizes how the U.S. Department of Labor extorts admissions of guilt, unproven damages, fines, and waivers of appeal rights from farmers by implementing the “hot goods” provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 against agricultural employers in a manner offensive to Republicans, Democrats, and, most recently, a U.S. District Court in Oregon. As the story points out, it also appears that the Department of Labor uses assumptions and methods of determining whether a violation has occurred in the first place. The story is here. The magistrate’s…
  • A Comic Caricature of the Corrupt Judge

    Lawrence Hunt
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:34 am
    If you thought the judge who decided your case was bad, you haven’t met the judge described in this story who was, literally, in bed with one party in an ongoing case before him. The judge’s response to the disciplinary complaint is a model of brazen stupidity and judicial narcissism worth a moment’s laughing contemplation. If nothing else, this story is a reminder that judicial corruption probably should be a capital offense. © 7/29/2014 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved. Facebook TweetThis Digg StumbleUpon You might be interested in…
  • We Say Good Bye, Hello to Kevin Tillson

    Lawrence Hunt
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:13 pm
    After more than 9 years Kevin Tillson will leave our firm on August 1 to pursue his career as a sole practitioner in Sandy, Oregon; closer to his home and focusing his practice on estate planning, probate, and protective proceedings such as guardianships and conservatorships. We wish him the best. At the same time we want to welcome Kevin Tillson back to our office in his new role as “of counsel” to our firm. Kevin will continue to meet with our clients in our downtown Portland office to provide his expertise and help in estate planning, probate and protective proceedings. In short, even…
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    Rozek Law

  • Marijuana Study Indicates an Increased Survival Rate for Patients

    Randy Rozek
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:48 am
    Visit us at According to research published in the American Surgeon, a scientific journal, patients who showed a history of cannabis use had a higher rate of survival than non-users. UCLA Medical students conducted a three-year review of brain injury trauma patients and discovered that 97.6 percent of those that tested positive for marijuana survived surgery. In contrast, patients who tested negative for pot possessed an 88.7 percent survival rate. Medical students examined 446 drug records for patients who suffered a traumatic brain injury. Doctors test for drugs to decide on…
  • Studies Find Brain Injury Increases Risky Behavior

    Randy Rozek
    9 Oct 2014 | 12:22 pm
    Visit us at New research has found that teen girls who survive a traumatic brain injury are at a higher risk for problematic behavior. In the study, researchers found that 13 risky behaviors increased for girls with TBI, such as binge drinking, suicidal thinking and smoking marijuana. On average, boys only engaged in 9 of the unhealthy behaviors. Survey across Ontario The research involved 9,288 students from grades 7 to 12 from across Ontario, Canada. In the study, surveyors defined traumatic brain injury as blows to the head that caused a five-minute knockout, or a minimum of…
  • Risk of Brain Injury Related to Helmets?

    Randy Rozek
    29 Sep 2014 | 11:36 am
    Visit us at An estimated 25 percent of retired football players have increased risk for developing a form of dementia. Additionally, studies have found that dementia forms much sooner for football players than in those who did not play. Dave Herman, a retired NFL player with more than a decade of playing for the New York Jets, increasingly had problems with memory and thinking over the years. Dr. Sam Gandy, one of Herman’s doctors and a neurologist for Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said that the group who viewed his case could not give a solid diagnosis. Gandy continued…
  • New Compound Protects Against Brain Injuries

    Randy Rozek
    23 Sep 2014 | 10:35 am
    Visit us at In a recent study conducted at the University of Iowa, researchers discovered that certain compounds could prevent brain cells from certain types of traumatic brain injury. In the experiment, the mice were treated 24 to 36 hours later for a traumatic brain injury due to a blast. During the trial, researchers discovered that the compound prevented the lasting effects associated with TBI. Traumatic brain injury is one of the most common health problems that men and women from the military face. Out of more than two million US soldiers, 10 to 20 percent experience a TBI.
  • Does Early Brain Injury Trigger Autism?

    Randy Rozek
    16 Sep 2014 | 10:46 am
    Visit us at When people think of the brain, they think of the cerebrum. The cerebrum, with its two hemispheres and a layer of gray matter, has come to be known as the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is known for higher functioning such as language and cognition. However, according to a paper published in the Neuron, a scientific journal, the cerebellum could play greater roles than that. It is possible that dysfunction within the cerebellum during vital points in time could contribute to autism disorders. Although the cerebellum only makes up 10 percent of the brain’s…
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  • Halloween Health and Safety Tips

    Robin Friedman
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:41 am
    Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety. Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for […]
  • Supreme Court to Protect Information on Cell Phones

    Robin Friedman
    24 Oct 2014 | 5:16 am
    The digital age has created a world in which over-sharing is the norm and electronic devices are capable of storing significant amounts of one’s personal information. However, in an important step to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens, the Supreme Court has declared information on cell phones and smart phones off-limits for warrantless searches. The […]
  • Is your Dog Playful, Rambuctious or Vicious?

    Robin Friedman
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    Not all dogs are created equal. Regardless of whether an animal is domesticated or not, it is still an animal, and even the friendliest of dogs are not exempt from the off-chance it may bite if provoked.  If a dog feels threatened, scared, or senses danger, it will bite.  Given this information, what is the […]
  • When is it Malpractice?

    Robin Friedman
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:18 am
    Many of us feel from time to time that we were not treated properly by a hospital or a doctor.  The question is: When is this treatment considered medical malpractice for which one can bring a lawsuit? All doctors are required to exercise that degree of care of doctors of their specialty when treating a […]
  • Assistance with Home Energy Costs – HEAP Benefits

    Linda Grear
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:07 am
    According to a recent New York Times article, the US Energy Department projects a warmer forecast this coming winter season. After enduring frigid temperatures and higher energy costs last winter, many American consumers will spend less this winter. Because temperatures are forecast to be warmer than last winter, that will mean less demand for heat. […]
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    bLAWgical Thinking

  • Five Tips for Exceptional 1L Performance

    30 Oct 2014 | 2:45 pm
    By Chris Nikitas, Esq., BARBRI Director of Legal Education Many people view 1L year as the most important year in law school, and it’s easy to see why. By May, you’ll know where you stand in comparison to your classmates. For many, it’s a year […]
  • #The2Llife: Love or Hate – Study Groups

    28 Oct 2014 | 3:28 pm
    GUEST BLOG Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law When I began law school, I found that people either love or hate study groups. I tried to make my own decision. At first, I began studying with a large group—roughly six of us, myself […]
  • #The1Llife: Outlining (Part 1)

    27 Oct 2014 | 12:30 pm
    GUEST BLOG By Lauren Rose, 1L at the University of Detroit Mercy Outline. Outline. Outline. It’s all everyone seems to be talking about but what exactly is an outline? Well, it’s essentially a study guide. You can buy outlines, receive them from upperclassmen, or you […]
  • #The3Llife: Resourcing Quality Outlines

    22 Oct 2014 | 12:29 pm
    GUEST BLOG By Shaun Sanders, 3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law Like many law students, I was encouraged to avoid using supplements and create my own outlines. Admirable as that may be, it is not how I learn. I learn by […]
  • #The2Llife: The Secret is Networking

    21 Oct 2014 | 12:32 pm
    GUEST BLOG Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law I had the pleasure of attending Law Preview—a law school “jump start program—as both a student and a student facilitator. I learned a lot, and I think it truly helped me do well my first […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • Friday Five Trending: Terrifying Law Practice Trends

    Kandy Hopkins
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:06 am
    This is the time of year when the things that go bump in the night come out to play. In honor of all that’s spooky, here are some of the most terrifying issues that the legal industry’s facing today, including burnout, data security and … being female. 1. Burnout. On top of an already tough legal market, when you add shrinking support staffs, the recent record-setting legal sector jobs loss, and studies that say you’re either a psychopath or as trustworthy as a prostitute, it’s no wonder attorney burnout is an increasing problem. According to a CNN story, lawyers rank…
  • Take Time to Stand Out on LinkedIn

    Sayre Happich
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    You are probably too busy practicing law to spend a whole lot of time perfecting your presence on social media. But research shows that clients will hire you based on what they find — or don’t find — about you online, especially on LinkedIn. What can you do if your social media presence is lacking? At the recent Legal Marketing Technology Conference West, Brad Shepard discussed these simple strategies to help lawyers make a better impression on LinkedIn. Importance of Having the Right Online Presence Shepard is the founder and CEO of Kredible, a company that uses scientific…
  • Embarrassed About Your Elevator Speech?

    The Editors
    29 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Question: I need help with my “elevator speech.” When I begin to tell people about my practice, I tend to get flustered and embarrassed. Do you have any advice that would help me feel more comfortable telling people about my business? Lynne Franklin: Remember the goal of giving an elevator pitch. It’s to begin building rapport that can lead to additional conversations — and perhaps new business and referrals. You want to make a memorable, positive first impression on people in 20 to 30 seconds, so they ask, “Would you explain more?” or “How do you do that?” The other person…
  • Douglas Sorocco, Enterprising Lawyer

    The Editors
    28 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Who are these “enterprising lawyers”? Actually, they are easy to spot. Look for the more engaged and happier lawyers in the crowd. Deeply invested in the power of the work they do for their clients, they have ample interests beyond the practice of law as well. And they seem to have more energy for getting things done than anyone in the crowd. You probably know one or two — you may even be one yourself! Meet Douglas Sorocco, partner with Dunlap Codding, PC, in Oklahoma City. When Douglas spotted a 100-year-old warehouse in the city’s old “skid row,” he saw more…
  • Phoning It In: Why I Won’t Have a Smartphone

    Jared Correia
    27 Oct 2014 | 3:27 am
    Since I require a public confessional, I’ll just have out with it: I have developed a slight obsession with “Mad Men,” which is right in the medias res of its final season on AMC. I did not have even a remote interest in watching this show, however, until I came across a theory about how it ends. Since I have a long-standing interest in American history, the notion that such an audacious ending might be incorporated into a mainstream TV show (where series finales are, more often than not, cop outs) was immediately fascinating to me. Couple that carrot with the relative strength…
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • What are you wearing?

    David M. Ward
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    So, what are you wearing? Your prospective clients want to know. When they go to your website or read your posts on social media, they want to see what you look like and what you do. It gives them a sense of what it would be like to work with you. But they want the real you. Doing the things you do every day as a lawyer. So, after you have added a decent head shot or two on your web site and social media profiles, it’s time to add some photos of you at work. Such as you Speaking on a panel or on stage At a networking event, meeting other important people Behind the microphone (e.g.,…
  • Get better results by asking better questions

    David M. Ward
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:30 am
    Yesterday, I spoke with an attorney who wants to increase his income and is transitioning into a new practice area. It turns out that if he had a choice, there’s something else he’d rather be doing career-wise and it’s not practicing law. I slammed on the brakes and asked him to write a one page, “ideal life” scenario dated five years from today. I said there were no rules, he didn’t have to follow logic to explain how he got there, “just describe your life as you want it to be five years from today.” Because you can completely re-make your life…
  • Thank you for reading this

    David M. Ward
    29 Oct 2014 | 11:05 am
    I don’t know about you but I get annoyed with people who don’t say thank you. As a kid, the importance of saying please and thank you was drilled into my head. Today, I wouldn’t dream of forgetting my manners. I expect others to be equally polite and appreciative. When they aren’t, I notice. Saying thank you isn’t just good manners. It’s also good for business, and for our personal relationships. When you say thank you, you make the other person feel appreciated. As a result, they are more likely to like you because you made them feel better about…
  • Who’s your favorite client?

    David M. Ward
    28 Oct 2014 | 12:42 pm
    Quick question: who’s your favorite client? You know who I mean. The one who pays you big money and hires you more often. The one who sends you lots of referrals, promotes your website, and shares your social media posts. The one who follows your advice and never causes problems. Bottom line, if you could clone him, you would be one happy camper. So who is it? What is his or her name? (I’m going to call him Jim.) What’s that? You have more than one Jim? Good stuff. You can do this with each of them (and trust me, you’ll want to). Okay, remember waaaay back where you…
  • Stop writing blog posts and articles and do this instead

    David M. Ward
    27 Oct 2014 | 12:50 pm
    Instead of writing blog posts and articles and emailing them (or a link thereto) to your email list, I suggest you consider doing the opposite: write emails first and then post them on your blog. Why? Because an email is faster and easier to write. You can write one in a few minutes. And because emails get more engagement and a higher response to whatever it is you’re asking your subscribers to do. Emails are short. They are personal, natural, and direct. They simulate you talking to your ideal client. Blog posts and articles tend to be longer and more formal, or so we tend to make…
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    Valensi Rose Law

  • Streaming for Dollars

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    17 Oct 2014 | 9:55 am
    By Michael R. MorrisI recently moderated a panel for the California Copyright Conference entitled “Streaming for Dollars,” that addressed the music industry’s current evolution from an “ownership” model to an “access” model.  Instead of purchasing CDs or permanently downloading songs via iTunes, Amazon, etc., a vastly increasing share of music listeners are choosing to stream music over the Internet via services such as Pandora, Spotify, and Sirius XM.  While these streaming services still pay royalties to artists, songwriters, music publishers, and record companies,…
  • Gold Diggers Beware

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    25 Sep 2014 | 3:19 pm
    By Lynda ChungIn the world of trust and estate litigation, claims of undue influence are nothing new. These suits usually concern a caregiver, mistress, or other interloper coercing an unfair share of an inheritance from the deceased.  However, far less common are undue influence cases brought against the wife of the deceased. That is … until a case earlier this year made it clear that marriage is not a license to steal. Indeed, all would-be “gold-diggers” should take note, as this decision is a potential game changer.In this case, the deceased took the defendant as his third wife…
  • Non-Profit Corporations Must Operate Pursuant to the Rules

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    10 Sep 2014 | 3:23 pm
    By Arlen R. GunnerI was recently asked to serve as an expert witness in a case that demonstrates the abuse that occurs when people form a non-profit for the sole purpose of personal gain. As an experienced attorney representing non-profits, I was hired by the plaintiff’s attorney to testify as an expert witness against the founders of a non-profit organization. Rather than using the money raised for the mission of the organization, they were using the entity as their personal piggy bank and had already pocketed large amounts of cash.They had no interest in running a charitable organization…
  • More Recent Tax Developments That May Affect You

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    By Michael R. MorrisThe following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. If any of these tax developments apply to you, please call me or one of the other attorneys in our Tax and Wealth Planning Group for more information on how to take advantage of or minimize the impact of these developments.No bankruptcy exemption for inherited IRAsA unanimous Supreme Court has held that inherited IRAs do not qualify for a bankruptcy exemption, i.e., they are not protected from…
  • When is a Property Owner also an Employer?

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    5 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    By Laurie MurphyIf a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? What if an unlicensed tree trimmer falls out of the tree, and the forest is your property? Are you liable?If you’re not careful, a $200 tree-trimming job can turn into a five-figure plus lawsuit. When landscapers, plumbers, handymen, etc., are injured while working in your home or on your commercial property, your liability depends on whether the law recognizes them as an employee or an independent contractor. Section 2750.5 of the California Labor Code states that any unlicensed…
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    Law Firm Internet Marketing Blog | Attorney Search Engine Optimization SEO | News & Tips

  • Does My Law Firm Need An App?

    Dustin Ruge
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:07 am
    A growing number of attorneys and law firms that I work and meet with are asking the same question: Do I need an App for my practice? When asked I always ask them 3 simple Questions:WHY would their clients want to download their APP? HOW would your App make your client engagements better and more efficient FOR YOUR CLIENTS?HOW REPEATABLE are the engagements with your clients and HOW OFTEN do they take place? As you can imagine, most attorneys are not fully prepared to answer these questions and therefore would be advised NOT to build an APP for their practice until then they are. There are…
  • Dustin Ruge Presentation: Emerging Technologies & Trends In Attorney Marketing (Colorado Bar Association)

    Dustin Ruge
    27 Oct 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Dustin Ruge will be speaking at the Colorado Bar Association Technology Expo on emerging technologies and trends in attorney marketing on October 27th For more information and registration:  Click Here  Date & Time: Monday, October 27th at 4pmLocation: 1900 Grant Street, Denver CO 80203Faculty: Dustin Ruge #cle  #lawyermarketing
  • AZ Bar Association CLE: Attorney Brand Management (1 Ethics Credit) Faculty: Dustin Ruge

    Dustin Ruge
    1 Oct 2014 | 2:56 pm
    Dustin Ruge will be speaking at the AZ Bar Association (Tucson Chapter) on the importance and strategies surrounding personal brand management for attorneys on October 9th @ 12 noon.For more information and registration:  AZ Bar Association CLE Programs  Date & Time: Thursday, October 9th at 12 noon CLE ETHICS Credits: 1Location: 270 N. Church Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701Faculty: Dustin Ruge #cle  #branding #lawyermarketing
  • Creating Attorney Videos That Convert

    Dustin Ruge
    11 Aug 2014 | 10:04 am
    One of the best ways that attorneys can compete and win online is by focusing on conversion. Despite all the focus on rank and search engine traffic, the vast majority of attorneys still get the bulk of their business from referrals. Since referrals tend to be given out in number (ie here are 2-3 attorneys you can contact), it is important to know how you stack up against your referral competition and how best to convert those referrals to clients. VIDEOS HELP YOU OUTPERFORM YOUR REFERRAL COMPETITORSThe majority of referrals are looking up attorneys online BEFORE and after they meet you. If…
  • Dustin Ruge Will Be Speaking On Social Media For Attorneys: Colorado Bar Association - August 16th

    Dustin Ruge
    6 Aug 2014 | 5:41 pm
    Dustin Ruge will be speaking again at the Colorado Bar Association's annual "Hanging You Shingle" conference on Saturday, August 16th at 10am on the subject of social media for attorneys. Date: Saturday, August 16thTime: 10am Location: Colorado Bar Association, 1900 Grant St, 3rd Floor  |  Denver, CO 80203CLE Credits (Full Program): 18 General Credits, 6 Ethics CreditsRegistration:  #attorneycle  #lawyermarketing
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    Estate Law Canada

  • Retirees' options for accessing home equity

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    I've come across a very good article at Caregivers Solutions Magazine (one of my very favourite Canadian publications), written by the Professional Chartered Accountants of Ontario, that talks about two ways that seniors can get cash flow based on the equity they own in their homes. Click here to read it. If you're wondering about reverse mortgages or lines of credit, check out this article for
  • Specialized drafting is best left to the lawyers

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:35 pm
    Recently lawyer Chris Staples, who blogs at Estates and Elder Law in Canada, posted an article about why the drafting of wills is best left to lawyers. The logic behind this is simple: the law is complicated and even the smallest of language mistakes can lead to an outcome not contemplated or wanted by the testator. Click here to read Mr. Staples' article. In the article, Mr. Staples discusses
  • Can you use your will to change joint ownership of property?

    26 Oct 2014 | 7:11 pm
    Below is a question that illustrates a question that arises frequently among those planning their estates. It involves trying to work around a joint property designation. "We are trying to draw up a will. If one spouse dies, we want to divide their portion of joint assets (50%) among the surviving spouse (50%) and two adult children (25% each). Our concern is will the assets (house, property)
  • Posts with more than 200 comments are "full"

    26 Oct 2014 | 5:43 pm
    Hello readers, A number of the posts on this blog have a couple of hundred comments on them. The system here only allows 200 of them to show up, though it doesn't prevent anyone from continuing to add comments even after 200 has been reached. When I see a post that has 200 or more comments, I add a note in bright red in the body of the post to do my best to alert anyone who wants to leave a
  • Preparing a final tax return

    24 Oct 2014 | 8:43 pm
    This article from contains information and detailed instructions to help someone file a tax return for a spouse or other loved one who has passed away. It is practical and useful information that any executor or widowed spouse will find essential. Click here to read it. However, in my experience, an awful lot of widowed folks find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to
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    AZ Attorney

  • Arizona mines and elections offer spooky possibilities

    31 Oct 2014 | 9:33 am
    You think elections have gotten personal? In Arizona, one candidate wields the wooden stake. (Happy Halloween!) Today is the Change of Venue Friday that precedes Election Day. And it’s also Halloween. So I am going to take a few scary risks: (1) This post could sway a major Arizona election, and (2) After reading this, your Halloween—and government—may be even more frightening than you had expected. The state race I’m discussing drills down to the core of who we are as residents of a Western state. Of course, I refer to the Arizona Mine Inspector race. I must declare a conflict right…
  • New Phoenix home for @dickinsonwright law firm

    30 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Conference room artwork, Dickinson Wright law firm, Phoenix, Ariz. On October 21, law firm Dickinson Wright held an open house to showcase their new space in the Viad Corporate Tower in midtown Phoenix. I stopped by to take a look. Congratulations to the firm and its managing partner, Gary Birnbaum, who made some terrific choices for the new offices (especially in flooring and lighting—nice work!). The event was impressive, and even included some culture. It was a pleasure and a treat to have live performances by talented young actors from the Valley Youth Theatre. They performed a…
  • Mobile devices in courtrooms divide justice system, reporters, free press

    29 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Panelists Hon. Joseph Welty, Bill Montgomery and Justice Robert Brutinel discuss mobile devices in the courtroom, Oct. 17, 2014, Phoenix Ariz. A recent panel discussion on mobile devices in courtrooms yielded surprising agreement on the role of those devices in the justice system. It took the lone media representative on the panel to throw a little cold water on that unified discussion. I mentioned before the October 17 event, held at the ASU Cronkite School. Tonight, as sad word emerges from the Arizona Republic of its latest round of forced journalist departures, let me give a synopsis of…
  • Arizona Black Bar honors leaders, hears from Connie Rice of @adv_project

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Today, I catch up with another Arizona legal event of note: the Arizona Black Bar’s Hayzel B. Daniels Scholarship Award Dinner. Held on October 16, 2014, at the Phoenix Art Museum, the event carried through on its theme of “closing the opportunity gap and building coalitions.” In the story of bridging the gap between communities, the keynote speaker was an inspired choice. Attorney Connie Rice is the co-founder of the Advancement Project, described by organizers as “an organization that was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal…
  • Fastcase tries to woo you in 90 seconds–Go

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Some easy watching for your Monday. Fastcase has been a free member benefit of State Bar of Arizona members since, well, for years really. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the Fastcase folks have created a video—90 seconds long—to urge you attorneys to make use of the member benefit. An aficionado of digital presentations, I’m pleased to see that the Fastcase people have used Prezi (I’m pretty sure) to create their offering. Here it is: Let me know if it pushes you over the edge and gets you to try it. Follow @azatty
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    Course and Scope: A Connecticut Worker's Compensation Law Blog

  • 27 Oct 2014 | 8:17 pm

    James Aspell
    27 Oct 2014 | 8:17 pm
    We have a page on our website, reproduced below, which explains what we can do for you in you are injured at work in Connecticut. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of lawyers and the Connecticut Worker's Compensation Commission to explain to injured Connecticut workers what our worker's comp law covers, misconceptions remain. I am often heard spouting my favorite phrase: "Worker's comp is a statutory benefit." A worker's comp case is not a car accident case. You cannot recover for pain and suffering even though you may have terrible pain from your work injury and be suffering greatly. You…
  • Choosing a Hartford, Connecticut Worker's Comp Lawyer

    James Aspell
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:43 pm
  • Connecticut Worker's Compensation Benefits

    James Aspell
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:38 pm
    Employees who are injured on the job in Connecticut may pursue benefits through the state's workers' compensation system. The Workers' Compensation Act states that all employees are covered, regardless of full- or part-time status, from the first day of employment. There are several different types of benefits that may apply. In most cases, the primary concern is the provision of medical treatment benefits. If medical treatment benefits are applicable, the employer is responsible for choosing the medical facility, and the employee designates the attending physician. Permanent partial…
  • Physician heal thyself

    James Aspell
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:54 am
    There is an epidemic of Connecticut orthopedists, primarily back guys, who do not wish to get involved in helping injured Connecticut workers if their injury is over a year old. I'm sorry. Did they tell you there was a one year limitation period on helping people when you went to medical school? If I ran the Connecticut worker's compensation commission I would send these practices a strongly worded letter indicating that if they wish to be allowed to treat worker's comp injuries, they need to take all comers. If I picked and chose my clients the way these guys do, most of them would find…
  • Connecticut Construction Site Accidents

    James Aspell
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:27 pm
    Construction sites are arguably the most dangerous work sites due to the type of work being done. Construction involves heavy duty tools and equipment and without the property safety precautions, accidents can result in devastating injuries. The site owner or manager is often responsible for making sure the workers are fully trained and provided with the proper safety equipment. Unfortunately, negligence of construction site owners happens and workers can suffer because of it. Some of the common types of construction accidents include: Slip & fall, trip & fall and other falls Machinery…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • How to stop your ideas being stolen by your supply chain

    28 Oct 2014 | 2:33 am
    If you’ve worked hard to build up a brand or come up with a new product or process, you have intellectual property (IP). You probably know that your IP is at risk; others may try to copy your idea or pass off their products under your brand. This is known as infringement and can cause financial and reputational harm. What you might not know is that members of your supply network can be one of the most common IP infringers. That’s right, incredible though it may seem, people you trust to make or sell your products can be among the most likely to steal your ideas. Upon further examination,…
  • Employee tattoos, employment law and your business

    8 Oct 2014 | 2:02 am
    Body art has become part of everyday life throughout western society. Long gone are the days when tattoos were considered a novelty favoured by specific social groups and subcultures. However, not all employers welcome tattoos, so, should body art enthusiasts be told to cover up their tattoos at work or would this be discrimination? With one in five people in Britain now having a tattoo, this is a relevant employment law issue for many UK businesses. Employer defence Employers insist they have the right to make employees cover up if their appearance compromises the company’s image. But…
  • Why many patent holders are being ripped off on their renewal fees

    25 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    More than eight million patents are held worldwide by thousands of businesses, many of which do not know they are paying far more than necessary to renew their patents. For each patent a business holds, a fee must be paid to the patent office every year to keep their intellectual property in force. If you hold patents in multiple regions, the costs can quickly spiral out of control. To manage the process, most of these businesses employ the expensive legal expertise of patent attorneys, believing that the renewal process is complicated. In fact, the process is very simple. So these patent…
  • Could pension-led funding enable your business to grow?

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:11 am
    A growing number of business owners are using pension-led funding (PLF) to expand their businesses. PLF is one of the newest forms of alternative finance available to companies that either cannot or do not want to access traditional bank funding. The CBI described PLF as: “A key form of alternative finance for growing businesses.” PLF allows business owners to make use of liquid funds held within a UK Registered Pension Scheme to finance their business in such a way that there are no undesirable tax charges. It is a business financing mechanism and not a method of putting pension funds…
  • Get ready for auto-enrolment pensions

    Fanny M
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:40 am
    Are you an employer in the UK? If yes, you need to be prepared for the new law surrounding workplace pensions. Maybe you’ve already heard of auto-enrolment but think it won’t affect you as you only have a couple of employees. Or, as it’s being phased in gradually, you don’t need to worry about it for ages. If you do nothing, though, you may be caught out. The Pensions Regulator will always try and work with businesses to help them become compliant but it will issue enforcement notices that can lead to financial penalties for employers that don’t comply with their duties. Staging…
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    Colorado Construction Litigation

  • KF-103 v. American Family Mutual Insurance: An Exception to the Four Corners Rule

    David M. McLain
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:22 am
    In Colorado, the “complaint rule,” also known as the “four corners rule,” requires an insurer to provide a defense when an underlying complaint alleges any set of facts that may fall within an insurance policy. This can result in a situation where an insurer has a duty to defend although the underlying facts ultimately do not fall within the policy.  In KF-103 v. American Family Mutual Insurance, 2014 WL 4409876, District Court Judge Richard P. Matsch recognized an exception to the complaint rule.  In doing so, Judge Matsch determined that a court may look beyond the…
  • HHMR Attorneys to Present at an Upcoming CRG Builder Lunch & Learn - Reserve Your Seat Now

    David M. McLain
    16 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    The Construction Resource Group will be hosting a Builder Lunch & Learn. If you are a Colorado builder and are interested in attending, you can visit the Eventbrite website to reserve your spot. Seating is extremely limited.
  • David M. McLain, Esq. to Speak at the 2014 CLM Claims College

    David M. McLain
    12 Aug 2014 | 9:38 am
    David McLain will be a speaker at the School of Construction.  The Claims College will be held from September 7-10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Mr. McLain is a founding member of Higgins, Hopkins,McLain & Roswell, LLC, a firm which specializes in construction law and construction litigation throughout Colorado.  Mr. McLain received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, graduating cum laude, and his law degree from the University of Denver, College of Law.  Mr. McLain completed the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance Litigation Management…
  • When Can a General Contractor’s Knowledge be Imputed to a Developer?

    David M. McLain
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:53 pm
    The Colorado Court of Appeals recently handed down an opinion clarifying when the knowledge of a general contractor can be imputed to a developer. In the case of Jehly v. Brown, 327 P.3d (Colo. App. 2013), the Court of Appeals held that a developer cannot be held liable for fraudulent concealment when the developer has no actual knowledge of the fact or facts allegedly being concealed even if the general contractor had knowledge.In this case, Brown, the developer, owned real property in Teller County and hired a general contractor to build a single-family house. Sometime before or during the…
  • Taylor Morrison v. Terracon and the Homeowner Protection Act of 2007

    David M. McLain
    10 Jun 2014 | 8:00 am
    On January 30, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided the case of Taylor Morrison of Colorado, Inc. v. Bemas Construction, Inc. and Terracon Consultants, Inc. 2014WL323490. The case addressed a substantial issue of Colorado constitutional law, as well as a variety of procedural issues of potential importance to construction litigation attorneys.  Of particular interest is the question of whether the provisions of the 2007 Homeowner Protection Act (“HPA”) are limited in application to contracts between residential homeowners and construction professionals, or whether they have…
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    Accellis Technology Group

  • Beware of Another Microsoft Office Zero-Day Flaw

    Accellis Technology Group
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:35 pm
    Microsoft Announces Vulnerability in Office that affects nearly all versions of Windows On Tuesday, Microsoft warned Windows users that cyber criminals are exploiting a recently discovered vulnerability in Microsoft Office. Users are sent an attachment that will open a Power Point or Office document (.pptx, .pptm, .ppt, .docx, .xls). The document opened will run other programs in the background, allowing the hacker gain access to everything on the computer. Users with administrator rights pose the greatest risk if infected. What is being done about it? Microsoft released a fix for this…
  • Amicus Attorney Keyboard Shortcuts

    Colleen Heine
    2 Oct 2014 | 7:02 am
    Amicus Attorney Premium Edition is a well-known practice management with over twenty years of designing legal software. Underutilized tools within the program include the use of HotKeys or those keyboard shortcuts that help users move quickly throughout the program. Firms familiar with the program may recognize a few off this master list of key combinations to make your Amicus office even more efficient. A few shortcuts include: CTRL+N – Create New CTRL+F – Quickfind CTRL+D – Generate A Document CTRL+T – Insert Timestamp CTRL+R – Copy Address CTRL+SHIFT+S –…
  • Accellis Technology Group Launches Security & Compliance Services for Law Firms

    Accellis Technology Group
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:54 am
    National Legal Technology Firm Expands Law Firm Cyber Security and Compliance Management Resources Download PDF Cleveland, OH – In an effort to help law firms improve security, remain compliant and guard against cyber-attacks, Accellis Technology Group, one of the nation’s leading providers of Managed IT Services and Legal Technology Consulting, has announced the launch of its Security and Compliance Consulting service department. This program is uniquely designed around the specific security needs of the legal industry. “Law firms and business law departments have become prime targets…
  • How to Cut Your Tech Support Call Time in Half

    Bret Surdock
    24 Sep 2014 | 10:59 am
    Let’s face it, no one likes when their computer or software applications are malfunctioning and therefore need to call in to the help desk or tech support for assistance. While Accellis is always happy to assist with any issues you may have, we understand that you would much rather just get on with your day and get back to work quickly. Here are some tips on how to cut the amount of time you are on the phone with tech support in half. Reboot your computer - Eliminate the obvious points of failure. If you cannot remember the last time you rebooted your computer, chances are it is way…
  • Password Safety: Tips for Securing & Managing Passwords

    Jeremiah Sorbera
    4 Sep 2014 | 9:13 am
    Passwords have become a permanent part of our day-to-day lives. Every year you must remember more passwords, and every year they get easier to crack. The recent theft of over a billion passwords by Russian hackers is just one of many incidents forcing us to take notice. Simply put, we need to do more to keep our passwords safe. Before we get into solutions, it is important to understand just how easily your password can be cracked. The basic methodology behind password cracking is simple: Step 1: Obtain encrypted file - Obtaining the encrypted files varies in complexity. It can be as simple…
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    The Litigation Consulting Report

  • Phone Surveys Aren't What They Used To Be

    Laurie Kuslansky
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:59 am
    by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.Managing Director, Jury ConsultingA2L Consulting Research has shown that a variety of individuals are not fully represented in telephone surveys, especially Democrats,[1] the young, nonwhite, and urban voters who can be the hardest for pollsters to reach.[2] In addition, the migration from landline phones associated with home addresses to portable cell phones unrelated to home addresses compounds the problem of reaching and surveying a representative sample using traditional approaches to phone surveys. And, not all venues were created equally. Some have more…
  • The 5 Very Best Reasons to Conduct a Mock Trial

    29 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    by Kaitlin Rothstein A2L Consulting Have you ever noticed that when you have someone else take a look at a problem or help edit a document, they find another way to address the issue or find additional areas that can be tweaked?  That is what mock trials serve as, a tool to put additional eyes and minds on a massive set of data and find out where it can be fine tuned and perfected.  The purpose of the mock trial is to educate the lawyers and clients on the case’s strengths and weaknesses and find where it can be enhanced. If you are on the fence about using a mock trial, think about…
  • [New and Free E-Book] Litigation Storytelling and Persuasion - 3rd Ed.

    28 Oct 2014 | 12:56 pm
    by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting A successful trial lawyer is one who is able to persuade a jury or judge of the truth of his or her client’s case. In order to do that, a lawyer must connect with people on an emotional level. The only way to do that is to tell a compelling story. Stories are the way in which people learn and the way in which they organize reality. Law school may prepare lawyers to build a case around the law, but it doesn’t teach the science or art of persuasion. Sitting in a jury and analyzing evidence is likely one of the most complex things a juror will ever do,…
  • And The Winner is . . . ?

    Laurie Kuslansky
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:27 am
    by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.Managing Director, Jury ConsultingA2L Consulting Nurse Kaci Hickox.  After she volunteered in Sierra Leone to treat Ebola patients, she headed to Newark airport to come home. Her timing was impeccable, because a mandatory quarantine was instituted on the ground while she was in the air. That day’s rule change was a reaction by New Jersey’s Gov. Christie to the frenzy caused by New York’s first Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer, who visited numerous public places in two boroughs since his return from Guinea, before he developed fever and went to the…
  • So Little Trust, So Much Double-Speak

    Laurie Kuslansky
    25 Oct 2014 | 11:02 am
    by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.Managing Director, Jury ConsultingA2L Consulting Funny how officials repeat how hard it is to get Ebola, that the NYC doctor did all the right things, that you can’t catch it when there aren’t symptoms, so there’s no need to sanitize the subway because there’s essentially no risk. New York’s health commissioner at the first press conference related that the doctor at issue kind of self-quarantined, but not really...  One online commenter said: “Self quarantine is useless unless one is symptomatic. the moment he became symptomatic, he notified health…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Workers Injured in New Jersey Factory Explosion

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Several people were injured at a New Jersey factory when a four-alarm blaze broke out following an explosion. According to a CBS New York news report, the factory accident occurred at Crest Foam Industries on Carol Place in Moonachie. Of the 17 employees in the factory, four were hospitalized with head injuries after the explosion. Officials worried that dangerous toxins may have been released into the air, but tests proved negative. An investigation is underway into the cause of the explosion, but officials know that workers were mixing hydrogen and oxygen to make polyurethane foam at the…
  • Teenager Killed in New Jersey Truck Accident

    13 Oct 2014 | 1:08 pm
    A 19-year-old Bridgewater man was killed in a New Jersey car accident when his 2005 Dodge Ram burst into flames after being struck by a 2015 Mack truck. According to a an Associated Press news report, the fatal truck accident occurred on Route 22 at Cramer Avenue in Green Brook. Officials say the pickup was stopped for a red light when the larger truck plowed into it. The teen's pickup burst into flames, and he was fatally injured. Whenever someone is killed in a New Jersey car accident, it must be determined who was at fault and how the crash could have been prevented. In many cases, the…
  • Grandmother Critically Injured in New Jersey Crash

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:22 pm
    An 85-year-old woman was critically injured in a New Jersey car accident when a delivery van struck her and her grandson as they crossed the street. According to an Asbury Park Press news report, the pedestrian accident occurred on Newman Springs Road in Red Bank. Officials say the woman was walking with her 4-year-old grandson from Burger King to her home when the delivery van struck them. She was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in critical condition and her grandson was treated and released.
  • New Jersey Firm Fined for Workplace Safety Violations

    9 Sep 2014 | 9:07 am
    After observing a number of fall hazards at three construction sites in Bloomfield, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a full investigation. According to an EHS Today news report, Concrete Systems Inc. now faces $52,470 in fines from the eight citations. OSHA officials cited the firm for one repeat and seven serious violations. The company was previously cited for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at worksites in Kearny and Cranford. OSHA cited the firm because workers were allegedly exposed to a 25-foot fall hazard without adequate protection. The…
  • Two Women Killed in New Jersey Crash

    5 Aug 2014 | 9:14 am
    Two women were killed and six others were injured in a New Jersey car accident involving a car and a truck. According to a news report in The New York Times, the fatal car accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway in Stafford Township. It is unclear from the report as to what led to the collision. The fatally injured women were in the front seat of the car. A boy and a girl, who were also passengers, were flown by helicopter to Atlantic City in serious condition. A man, a woman, a boy, and a girl in the pickup sustained relatively minor injuries. The investigation…
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  • Select a Reputed Personal Injury Attorney California

    31 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Have you come across situations that need legal help? If yes, then you would know how important it is to select the right lawyer for your case. Each case is different and needs to be handled accordingly. For example, consider a personal injury case wherein the victim got hurt in an accident due to other person’s negligence. Supposing, the victim is hospitalized and unable to attend office. The situation turns out to be worst when the victim is the sole earning member of the family. In such a scenario, not only the victim but also his family is at stake. Further, the soaring medical bills…
  • Choose a Suitable Law Firm in California for Car Accident Matters

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:09 am
    Personal injury matters are very vast in form. These matters involve case pertaining to motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents as well as dog bites. An injury lawyer in California is commonly known to handle matters pertaining to car accidents. However, the scope of an injury lawyer also extends in handling matters pertaining to negligence. It is important to choose a law firm in California that successfully helps clients dispose of their cases with efficacy. Prior to selecting your preferred law office, you have to check several factors that can play an integral part in giving you optimal…
  • Get In Touch With Reputed California Car Accident Lawyer Online

    29 Sep 2014 | 4:07 am
    Facing accidents is a common phenomenon and could happen to anyone. Most of the road accidents occur to due breaking of signal, changing lanes or over-speeding. You may get hurt even if you are not at fault. If you faced an accident while riding or get hit by a car, it is a devastating situation. It gets you in a fix as you do not know how to handle the situation. With injuries, your medical expenses go up. If you have to undergo a surgery, you may even have to take a leave from work for a few days and incur high medical expenses. This becomes a very stressful situation to be in. to able to…

    28 Sep 2014 | 10:09 pm
    The true ancestor of vehicles we see today was the petrol/gasoline powered auto-mobile the Benz Patent-Motor-wagon invented by Karl Benz in 1886. After that no one looked back. A new era of human transportation was initiated. But as with all other things advancements in technology often has negative effects which although are not seen clearly initially but in the long run turn out to be disastrous. Car accidents are the by-product of the evolution seen in motor vehicles. It was Henry Hale Bliss who was the first person to be killed by motor vehicle accident on 12th September 1899 in United…
  • Various Legal Services Offered By Law Firm in California

    27 Sep 2014 | 4:02 am
    Legal matters need to be handled well by the experts alone. People are seen to neglect many such issues. However, there are numerous instances that require their attention. There are a number of law firms in and around California and it is wise that you seek help from a reliable one. Ensure the firm you are hiring, offer services as described on the site. There are some firms who claim to offer the best legal representation but do not as expected. This can be very disturbing especially when they have charged you handsomely. To ensure you do not come across such a situation it is highly…
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    Alabama Workers Comp Blawg

  • Alabama Court of Appeals Reverses Itself in Attorney Fee Case

    13 Oct 2014 | 2:49 am
    On October 10, 2014, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released its opinion in the case of Arthur Barney v. Elizabeth Bell, as personal representative of the estate of Maurice Bell, deceased, and William Clay Teague. This case was before the Court for a second time, because Barney filed an Application for Rehearing after the Court ruled against Barney on July 18, 2014. A summary of the facts of the case and the Court of Appeals’ first opinion can be found here. On rehearing, the Court reversed itself and the trial court, holding that Barney’s attorneys were not entitled to…
  • The Alabama Workers’ Comp Blawg is Seven Years Old

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:16 am
    Today the Alabama Workers’ Comp Blawg celebrates another birthday. We would like to take this time to thank all of our readers who have helped to make a go to reference for Alabama workers’ compensation over the last 7 years!
  • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Reverses Permanent and Total Disability Award as Premature

    9 Sep 2014 | 5:36 am
    On August, 8, 2014, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released its opinion in Fab Arc Steel Supply, Inc. v. Timothy Dodd wherein it reversed a permanent and total disability award. Among the several issues on appeal, the Court considered whether there was enough evidence to support a finding that an L-1 herniation that was asymptomatic for more than a year following the accident was causally related to the accident. The Court also considered whether a determination of permanent disability could be made when the employee was not yet at maximum medical improvement (MMI). In addition, the Court…
  • Alabama Court Rules Exemption From Coverage Must be Revoked

    8 Sep 2014 | 8:17 am
    Hooks v. Coastal Stone Works, Inc. Released September 5, 2014 The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruled that an officer of a corporation must take action to revoke previous certification of exemption from workers’ compensation coverage pursuant to § 25-5-50(b). On May 24, 2006, Hooks, along with two other officers of Coastal Stone Works, Inc., signed a certificate of exemption to be exempted from coverage under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act pursuant to § 25-5-60(b). On November 23, 2011, Hooks was injured and sought benefits under the Alabama Workers’…
  • DEA Reclassifies Hydrocodone

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:26 pm
    In an effort to reduce painkiller abuse and misuse, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced last week that it is reclassifying hydrocodone as a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Under the new regulation, which will go into effect on October 5, 2014, doctors will no longer be able to call in prescriptions for drugs like Lortab and Vicodin. Additionally, patients will only be allowed one 90-day prescription per doctor visit, and will have to actually see their doctor in person before obtaining a refill. According to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, "Almost seven million Americans…
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  • Good Deeds Can Also Be Good Marketing for Lawyers

    29 Oct 2014 | 8:54 am
    There’s nothing quite like being able to market your law practice while also doing something wonderful for someone else.  Fall and winter are the perfect time to consider hosting a food or clothing drive, for example.  With the weather getting colder many people have difficulty affording weather-appropriate clothing, not to mention the added expense of heating their homes.  With the holidays coming up, many are also wondering how they will be able to purchase a few gifts for their children and other loved ones or to travel for family get-togethers. A great way to market your practice and…
  • Online Reviews…The Good, Bad and Ugly

    25 Aug 2014 | 12:14 pm
    There are so many ways for clients to tell everyone they know about you, and thanks to the Internet, they can even tell people they don’t know!  This is great if the things they’re saying make you look good.  If they’re posting negative reviews and comments, however, it can feel like a punch in the gut to someone running their own small firm. So, what do you do if someone is trying to sabotage your legal marketing plan by saying nasty things on Yelp, their blog, or your Facebook page? First, don’t panic.  This is a time to keep your cool, because how you respond is more important…
  • Marketing to Other Lawyers?

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:31 pm
    The idea of marketing your law practice to other lawyers might sound a little strange at the outset, but there is a method to the madness.  After all, you likely get a portion of your work via referrals from other lawyers.  (If you don’t, then you should REALLY start doing that.)  Just as you market to former clients in order to get repeat business and their referrals, you should also be marketing your practice to other lawyers in order to get theirs. Choosing who to target with your marketing is a first step.  The most obvious criterion is that they provide different services than you…
  • Could you use some individualized help growing your practice?

    4 Jun 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Summer is almost here, our team has expanded significantly and we have room this quarter to accept a few additional private clients who could use some more individualized help growing their practices. This is NOT exclusive to just Estate Planning and Elder Law attorneys. This is more than just receiving marketing materials that your team can implement on their own (if that’s what you need, check out our Done-For-You program here). Instead, this is OUR TEAM, doing your marketing FOR YOU, so that you can focus on what you do best: practicing law! We serve attorneys in the following areas:…
  • Gerry Oginski shares his PROVEN 7-Figure Video Marketing Strategies

    19 May 2014 | 11:29 am
    I’m still quite blown away by this… …but my friend Gerry Oginski took to the time to record an AMAZING video for my subscribers about the video marketing strategies he uses to acquire regular 7-figure cases from the internet. This was following a conversation that we had on the phone about my frustration that more attorneys are not doing video marketing when it so clearly and easily brings in business to a law firm! Our chat sparked some ideas and he recorded this video, just for me to share with you.? His stories and practical applications will blow you away and hopefully motivate you…
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    Pam Woldow's At the Intersection

  • Straight From the Horse’s Mouth – GCs Say What They Want From Outside Firms

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    15 Oct 2014 | 3:53 pm
      We recently attended a private meeting held in Panama with the General Counsel of 35 global corporations. Given the differences in their businesses, geography, cultures and operational envelopes, one would surmise that they saw their practices, priorities and peeves quite differently.  Not so: it would be fair to say that there were more areas of concordance in their thinking as there were differences and disagreements.  Plain speaking was the order of the day. Their responses were particularly telling – and particularly outspoken – when we propounded a broad meta-question: What…
  • Making Your Net Work

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    12 Oct 2014 | 10:35 am
    When we hear business development-oriented lawyers talk about all the wondrous things evolving social media technology can do to their (or their firm’s) market visibility and reach, we’re reminded of the story of the backwoods recluse who wins a new automatic dishwasher in a contest. When a neighbor runs into him in town and asks how he likes this life-changing bit of modern technology, the rustic shakes his head and scoffs, “well, it ain’t worth a tinker’s damn.  I’ve had it for two weeks now, and so far it hasn’t even cleared the table.” Skilled social media navigators…
  • Cutting Corners, Part IV: The Readers Speak

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    26 Sep 2014 | 9:40 am
    If one purpose of a blog is to provoke spirited debate, we surely succeeded in our recent posts on whether client-driven pressures for greater efficiency and cost control compel outside counsel to “cut corners” in legal service delivery.  Our premise that “an inevitable dog fight erupts whenever lawyers try to discuss quality and cost in the same sentence” proved to be true.  Passionate and pointed comments filled our email inbox. So now it’s time take the microphone out into the audience and let you hear different voices first hand. On Guard, Sir Unsurprisingly, we heard from law…
  • Skilled Scoping Diminishes Discord: Cutting Corners, Part III

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Note: Due to the numerous and passionate responses to the first two posts on Cutting Corners, we have added Part IV to the series in which we will highlight the insightful (but profoundly divided) points of view we received from In-House Counsel and Law Firms.   In the first two posts in this series, we considered the typical law firm complaint that such efficiency-producing disciplines as Legal Project Management (LPM) and Legal Process Improvement (LPI) may actually encourage legal “corner-cutting.” Does this complaint reflect a valid concern about threats to quality of service, or…
  • Perfection Is the Enemy of Good – Cutting Corners, Part II

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    23 Aug 2014 | 1:02 pm
    In this second of three related posts, we consider whether clients’ increasing efforts to control outside legal spend force their outside counsel to “cut corners.” Are firms being forced to compromise service quality and integrity in order to meet client price points?  Are Legal Project Management (LPM) and Legal Process Improvement (LPI), which are supposed to foster efficiency and cost-effectiveness, actually having the paradoxical effect of pushing law firms past “doing more with less” to the point where it becomes acceptable “to do less with less?” Maybe You’ve Got a…
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    Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

  • Fight that Ticket!

    Chuck Peterson
    7 Oct 2014 | 1:36 pm
      Peterson Lawyers associate attorney Will Young tells us to "challenge that speeding ticket! Speaking from experience, getting ticketed for speeding is not a fun experience. Seeing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror is not a good feeling. I realize speeding is not even close to the worst thing you can be accused of, it can still impact your life in many ways. Penalties for a speeding infraction include: steep fines, insurance rate hikes, and added points on your driving record. In the past, I have just paid the ticket and tried not to speed in the future. Recently I have…
  • "Can I be convicted of DUI if I blow less than .08?"

    Chuck Peterson
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:49 pm
     This weekend I received an inquiry from someone who had been convicted after the judge instructed the jury it could find him guilty of DUI even if it did not find he had a breath alcohol level above .08%. He complained that by instructing the jury on the alternate theory - that his driving pattern established he was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol - the Court had insured he would lose! Had it? There are two ways to convict a person of DUI - either proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's blood alcohol concentration was higher than…
  • Zach Neagle is Free - Now He Must Work to Stay Free

    Chuck Peterson
    7 Aug 2014 | 4:17 pm
     Back in June of 2009, I posted that Zachary Neagle had become a client. He was charged with murder - having shot his father in the head as he was asleep on a couch in their home. The case presented the ultimate challenge; convincing folks that Zach killed his father to protect his younger brother and sister from the sexual assaults he had been subjected to. Zach was charged as an adult, but the picture shows just how juvenile he was, wrapped in chains and clad in a yellow jumpsuit. He was just a kid. Idaho law provided that if Zach went to trial and lost - a jury not believing he had to…
  • THERE ARE NO SMALL CASES! Hire a lawyer for that misdemeanor charge and go to trial!

    Chuck Peterson
    23 Jul 2014 | 4:21 pm
     Attorney Will Young, an associate at Peterson Lawyers writes todays post on misdemeanor cases. So, you have been charged with a misdemeanor. You are probably feeling overwhelmed, nervous, and at least a little bit confused about the process ahead of you. What Is A Misdemeanor? A misdemeanor is defined as any “lesser criminal act.” Misdemeanors are punished less severely than a felony, generally including any crime punishable with jail time for one year or less (with some exceptions). This includes: petty theft, simple assault, disturbing the peace, trespass, vandalism,…
  • Our New DUI Website is up - DUI in Idaho

    Chuck Peterson
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
     We have been working on a new site specifically designed to provide more information for folks charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol - DUI. Click here to visit the site and learn even more about DUI in Idaho. The site is a work in progress, but it may help answer your questions with respect to this serious charge.  And if you need to talk - give us a call.     
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Workers Injured in New Jersey Factory Explosion

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Several people were injured at a New Jersey factory when a four-alarm blaze broke out following an explosion. According to a CBS New York news report, the factory accident occurred at Crest Foam Industries on Carol Place in Moonachie. Of the 17 employees in the factory, four were hospitalized with head injuries after the explosion. Officials worried that dangerous toxins may have been released into the air, but tests proved negative. An investigation is underway into the cause of the explosion, but officials know that workers were mixing hydrogen and oxygen to make polyurethane foam at the…
  • Teenager Killed in New Jersey Truck Accident

    13 Oct 2014 | 1:08 pm
    A 19-year-old Bridgewater man was killed in a New Jersey car accident when his 2005 Dodge Ram burst into flames after being struck by a 2015 Mack truck. According to a an Associated Press news report, the fatal truck accident occurred on Route 22 at Cramer Avenue in Green Brook. Officials say the pickup was stopped for a red light when the larger truck plowed into it. The teen's pickup burst into flames, and he was fatally injured. Whenever someone is killed in a New Jersey car accident, it must be determined who was at fault and how the crash could have been prevented. In many cases, the…
  • Grandmother Critically Injured in New Jersey Crash

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:22 pm
    An 85-year-old woman was critically injured in a New Jersey car accident when a delivery van struck her and her grandson as they crossed the street. According to an Asbury Park Press news report, the pedestrian accident occurred on Newman Springs Road in Red Bank. Officials say the woman was walking with her 4-year-old grandson from Burger King to her home when the delivery van struck them. She was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in critical condition and her grandson was treated and released.
  • New Jersey Firm Fined for Workplace Safety Violations

    9 Sep 2014 | 9:07 am
    After observing a number of fall hazards at three construction sites in Bloomfield, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a full investigation. According to an EHS Today news report, Concrete Systems Inc. now faces $52,470 in fines from the eight citations. OSHA officials cited the firm for one repeat and seven serious violations. The company was previously cited for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at worksites in Kearny and Cranford. OSHA cited the firm because workers were allegedly exposed to a 25-foot fall hazard without adequate protection. The…
  • Two Women Killed in New Jersey Crash

    5 Aug 2014 | 9:14 am
    Two women were killed and six others were injured in a New Jersey car accident involving a car and a truck. According to a news report in The New York Times, the fatal car accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway in Stafford Township. It is unclear from the report as to what led to the collision. The fatally injured women were in the front seat of the car. A boy and a girl, who were also passengers, were flown by helicopter to Atlantic City in serious condition. A man, a woman, a boy, and a girl in the pickup sustained relatively minor injuries. The investigation…
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    PA Workers Compensation Lawyer. » Articles

  • Workers Compensation Benefits: Common Questions Answered

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:57 am
    Injured workers have lots of questions about their workers compensation benefits. We have listed answers to a few of these questions below.  For answers to your specific workers compensation law question, feel free to call and speak to a Bulldog Lawyer at 866-462-8553 ( Se Habla Español ).  Types of Benefits Employment has its benefits. Generally we consider the following as parts of a claim: Lost Wage Earnings Specific Losses (e.g. loss of a finger) Death Benefits Minor’s Benefits when illegally employed Medical Benefits All of the above are considered when determining if their…
  • Partial vs. Total Disability

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:45 am
    Partial Disability If you are not totally disabled, then you must be partially disabled. That is how the workers compensation laws work. It is one or the other. The percent of your disability is based on the percent of loss in earning power. What is earning power? Earning power is determined what the work that is available that you are able to perform. It can also be determined by a labor market survey showing the wages for work you are able to perform. It could also be determined by returning to work to a job where you can not work full hours or by job performance that results in less paid…
  • The PA Workers’ Comp Process

    8 Jun 2014 | 11:03 am
    Worried About Losing Your PA Work Compensation Payments? If you suffer a workplace injury or illness in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. This step-by-step guide explains how to file a claim and how to appeal if your claim is denied. You report your injury.  If you are injured at work or suffer a work-related illness, you must report that injury or illness to your direct supervisor or employer within 21 days. Claims made after 120 days will be denied, except for claims involving progressive diseases, such as occupational lung disease, mesothelioma, and certain…
  • 2013 Client Appreciation Day

    19 May 2014 | 9:11 am
    These photos are from the two client appreciation days that were held in the summer of 2013. Shor and Levin has been holding at least one client appreciation day every year for many years. The 2013 client appreciation days were held at Knoebels Amusement Resort in upstate Pennsylvania. There was plenty of free food, drinks and rides for the entire family and everyone had a fantastic time. This year’s client appreciation day will also be held at Knoebels on July 25, 2014. Please contact Michele at 1-800-681-7000 for information. The post 2013 Client Appreciation Day appeared first on PA…
  • How to Decide Whether You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

    17 Mar 2014 | 6:17 am
    A Pennsylvania worker who is hurt at work or becomes ill as a result of a job has the right to be represented by an attorney throughout a workers’ compensation claim. However, the law does not require a worker to retain counsel. Deciding whether to pursue a claim with the assistance of an attorney is a personal decision. If any of the following circumstances apply to you, it is likely in your best interest to hire a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney: Your employer isn’t forthcoming with claim information. Your employer is required by law to provide information about workers’…
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    Simmons & Fletcher » Blog

  • Blind Spots and Maintaining a Proper Lookout By Truck Drivers

    Paul Cannon
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:05 pm
    Every driver has a duty to maintain a proper lookout.  This means that driver must exercise ordinary care and prudence to observe the obstructions and traffic on the road that may pose a hazard to them in such time that …The post Blind Spots and Maintaining a Proper Lookout By Truck Drivers appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Federal Regulations Regarding Drug Use By Commercial Truck Drivers

    Paul Cannon
    18 Oct 2014 | 6:11 am
    There are very strict rules that prohibit a truck driver from using or even possessing controlled substances while on duty. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in conjunction with the Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgate rules via the Code …The post Federal Regulations Regarding Drug Use By Commercial Truck Drivers appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries in Youth Football

    Paul Richardson
    8 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Football season is here, and it is undeniable that the residents of Texas love this sport. However, as children and teens get ready for battle on the gridiron, it is important for players and parents to understand the potential dangers …The post Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries in Youth Football appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • What is a Hospital Lien?

    Paul Cannon
    5 Sep 2014 | 9:27 pm
    A “Hospital Lien” is a special right granted to hospitals and emergency services providers by Statute enabling them to receive payment from the first monies recovered from a negligent third-party by the injured victim. It is a right that attaches …The post What is a Hospital Lien? appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • What Should I Do After Being Attacked by a Dog?

    Paul Cannon
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:07 am
    After you are attacked by a dog you should seek medical care immediately, follow the doctors orders regarding cleaning, report the attack, identify any possible witnesses document the injury and speak to a personal injury lawyer who regularly handles cases …The post What Should I Do After Being Attacked by a Dog? appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
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    Loyalty Law

  • How Do Road Traffic Accident Injuries Affect Whiplash?
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    There are many pre-existing conditions that can complicate whiplash injuries, and lead to a more difficult recovery. These range from physical conditions, such as arthritis, to mental conditions, such as...
  • What Are The Effects Of Chronic Whiplash?
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:41 am
    Chronic whiplash, also known as whiplash syndrome, is used to refer to whiplash symptoms that last longer than six months. The symptoms and long-term effects associated with chronic whiplash are...
  • What Other Factors Affect Whiplash?
    4 Oct 2014 | 8:08 am
    Whiplash is not just affected by speed of collision. Whiplash can also be made more or less severe by who you are, how your headrest is positioned, and even level...
  • Essential Procedures For Bike Owners: How To True A Bike Wheel
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:56 am
    Following on from our five simple procedures for new bike owners, here’s our guide to Trueing a bike wheel. Since this is intended as a guide for new bike owners,...
  • Whiplash At Different Ages
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:06 am
    Whiplash affects people with different conditions in different ways. For that reason, the amount of damage caused by whiplash varies greatly from person to person. Similarly, it affects people differently...
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    Strictly Business

  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 14: Representations and Warranties

    Alexander J. Davie
    30 Oct 2014 | 2:12 pm
    This post is the fourteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior thirteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 13: Drag-Along Rights

    Casey W. Riggs
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:55 pm
    This post is the thirteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior twelve posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions,…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 12: Preemptive Rights

    Alexander J. Davie
    7 Jul 2014 | 1:50 pm
    This post is the twelfth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior eleven posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions,…
  • Is it time for the JOBS Act, Part Two?

    Alexander J. Davie
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:26 pm
    When the JOBS Act was passed, a lot of people hoped that it would de-regulate startup finance, resulting in a boom of new startups being funded.  Through repealing the ban on general solicitation, allowing online angel investment platforms, creating the new “Regulation A+,” and allowing equity crowdfunding, the JOBS Act was supposed to make funding startups considerably easier.  But there have been some significant bumps in the road.  First, in my view, the equity crowdfunding exemption that was included in the bill was unworkable from the beginning. That continues to be true under the…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 11: Management and Information Rights

    Casey W. Riggs
    29 Jun 2014 | 11:29 am
    This post is the eleventh in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior ten posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions,…
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    Oklahoma Personal Injury Blog

  • Hydrogen Sulfide: The Invisible Killer in Oilfields

    Maples Law Firm
    27 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a highly toxic gas – both invisible and flammable – that naturally occurs at crude petroleum and natural gas fields. The dangerous effects of HS2 poisoning can be felt within as little as a single breath, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The sense of smell is not the most dependable barometer when it comes to detecting hydrogen sulfide. Although at low concentrations hydrogen sulfide is detectable by its rotten egg-like odor, the toxic gas dulls the sense of smell at higher concentrations, making it subtle yet deadly – a…
  • One Woman Killed in Edmond Intersection Accident

    Maples Law Firm
    13 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    According to a report in, on the afternoon of October 6, there was a fatal two-vehicle collision involving a red Corvette and a dark SUV on Danforth Road and Kelly Avenue in Edmond. The passengers of the red Corvette, a husband and wife in their mid-50’s, were transported to OU Presbyterian Hospital. The wife later died as a result of her injuries. At the time of the report, the husband was in serious condition with a head injury. The driver of the dark SUV was treated at a separate Edmond hospital. None of his injuries were life-threatening. Allegedly, the Corvette and the SUV…
  • Oklahoma Court Upholds Family’s Right to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of Nursing Home Resident

    Maples Law Firm
    6 Oct 2014 | 8:14 am
    The Supreme Court of Oklahoma recently found that a nursing home arbitration agreement is not binding to beneficiaries or next of kin in the event of a wrongful death claim. The opinion arose from a case involving clients of the Maples Law Firm, a family seeking compensation following the death of a loved one at an Oklahoma City nursing home. According to court documents, in 2010, a then 87-year-old woman was admitted to the Grace Living Center. As part of admission, the woman’s daughter, acting as her representative, signed a Dispute Resolution Provision stating that any legal matters…
  • Elder Care Advocates Outraged Over Lack of Charges against Abusive Aide

    Maples Law Firm
    6 Oct 2014 | 1:26 am
    On May 9, 2010, Virginia Hicks, a resident at an Oklahoma City nursing home called Epworth Villa, suffered a broken wrist when an aide allegedly grabbed her arm with much too force. After the incident, a lawsuit was brought against Epworth Villa. District Judge Patricia Parrish found the aide’s actions to be “atrocious” and “utterly intolerable.” She ruled that the nursing home was liable for the abuse and ordered them to provide $15 million in damages, effectively bankrupting the owners. However, criminal charges have not been brought against the aide who had injured the elderly…
  • Bicyclist Injured in Oklahoma City Intersection Crash

    Maples Law Firm
    29 Sep 2014 | 9:05 am
    A bike rider was injured in an Oklahoma car accident that occurred near an intersection. According to a News 9 report, the bicycle accident occurred at Sheridan and Western in Oklahoma City the morning of September 24. Officials have not released any information regarding how or why the accident occurred. The bike rider was transported to a nearby hospital in good condition. It is not clear if the driver will be cited for the crash. There are many reasons why so many Oklahoma bike accidents occur near intersections. It is common for riders to put themselves in danger by running through red…
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    » Blog

  • Premises Liability: Slip & Fall Accidents

    Jay Solnick
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:52 am
    When you go over to your friend’s house, you are there as a visitor. Usually, if you were invited that makes you a licensee. When you show up at a restaurant, store, or similar location, you are considered an invitee. These are legal words that simply dictate the level of responsibility an owner has to their visitors. Store and restaurant owners, places where people are constantly coming in/out for a particular purpose, have a high standard of care to their customers. This means they must keep their premises clean, clear of danger, and reasonably safe. This also means that they must…
  • Hard Hat Area: Construction Injuries

    Jay Solnick
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:50 am
    Construction accidents are among the most common and catastrophic of all workers’ compensation claims. Considered one of the most dangerous workplaces for American workers, over 20 percent of work-related injuries were in construction in 2013. Four primary causes accounted for more than half of construction worker deaths last year: falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and getting caught between items. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has worked hard to decrease workplace fatalities by nearly 70 percent over the last four decades. Despite these great…
  • Public Transit in Philadelphia: On the Rise

    Jay Solnick
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Offering an assortment of trains, busses, trolleys, and shuttles, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) seems to really have it together. Just this month, Philadelphia Magazine reported a four percent increase in ridership on regional rail trains this year and a fifty percent increase since fifteen years ago. Additionally, this summer, SEPTA decided to extend rider’s hours on the weekend service—now making subway service available 24/7 Friday-Sunday. Riders speculate this may eventually lead to 24/7 service 7 days a week. Safety Benefits of Public Transportation…
  • Social Security Claims in Pennsylvania

    Jay Solnick
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    When you are struck with illness or long-term disability, you may be unable to work. If injured while at work, you may have a workers’ compensation case—a legal claim that pays employees a portion of their salary from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The vast majority of the time, however, injuries and serious medical conditions are not a direct result from work, and people are not eligible for such benefits. The United States has a vast Social Security system designed to protect individuals that fall into this category. Through Social Security Disability (SSDI) or…
  • Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation 101

    Jay Solnick
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:42 am
    Workers’ compensation is the term for the insurance most employers are required to carry by law. This insurance serves to protect employees from financial losses that may occur due to on-the-job injury. While workers’ compensation claims can arise from nearly any type of physical injury, these claims are most commonly brought in high-risk occupations such as construction, factory, or manual labor work. For more information about Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims, click here or here. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary force…
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    Baron & Budd, P.C. | Protecting What's Right

  • Baron and Budd Files First Lawsuits Regarding Takata Air Bag Recall

    Baron & Budd
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:16 am
    Firm Pushes For Expedited Discovery, Questions If Recall Is Sufficient To Protect Public Safety LOS ANGELES–(October 27, 2014) –Today, the law firm of Baron and Budd, together with co-counsel Labaton Sucharow LLP and Podhurst Orseck P.A., filed the nation’s first lawsuits regarding the recent recall of Takata-brand air bags that were placed in nearly eight million vehicles. According to numerous consumer reports, the air bags, when deployed, can propel metal pieces similar to shrapnel, causing serious, and sometimes even fatal, injuries to drivers and passengers. The…
  • Baron and Budd Investigating Trucking Accident Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Thousands Killed, Many More Injured in Serious Truck Accidents Each Year DALLAS (October 16, 2014) – The truck accident lawyers at Baron and Budd are now investigating commercial trucking accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities. According to a news report that cited statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012, nearly 4,000 people were killed in accidents involving commercial semi-trucks and buses – a 4 percent increase from the previous year. In many instances, these accidents are caused by overworked truck drivers and poorly…
  • Baron and Budd Named to Inaugural America’s Elite Trial Lawyers List by The National Law Journal

    Baron & Budd
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Prestigious List Selects 50 Prestigious Law Firms That are Doing the Most Substantial, Influential Work on Behalf of Plaintiffs DALLAS (September 22, 2014) – This week, the law firm of Baron and Budd was named to America’s Elite Trial Lawyers by legal publication The National Law Journal in partnership with The list is comprised of just 50 law firms from across the nation that have achieved significant, groundbreaking results on behalf of plaintiffs within the past year and have an established track record of delivering impressive results. Firms…
  • Baron and Budd Proud to Support The Mesh Warrior Foundation for the Injured

    Baron & Budd
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Firm Makes Donation to Help Women Harmed by Transvaginal Mesh DALLAS –(September 18, 2014) –Baron and Budd, a law firm dedicated to protecting consumers who have been harmed by pharmaceuticals or medical implants, is proud to announce that the firm is a sponsor of The Mesh Warrior Foundation for the Injured. Baron and Budd is honored to be one of the first sponsors of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, as well as the first legal sponsor. "The mission of The Mesh Warrior Foundation is a perfect complement to that of Baron and Budd," said Stephen Blackburn, lawyer at Baron and Budd.
  • Dallas Jury Awards Transvaginal Mesh Patient $73 Million in Boston Scientific Lawsuit, Baron and Budd Reports

    Baron & Budd
    11 Sep 2014 | 3:11 pm
    First Loss for Boston Scientific Creates Positive Precedent for Other Injured Women DALLAS –(September 11, 2014) –Earlier this week, a Dallas jury returned a $73 million verdict in favor of a woman who has suffered serious health problems after being implanted with Boston Scientific’s Obtryx transvaginal mesh product. Baron and Budd congratulates Matthews & Associates, Freese and Goss, Edwards & de la Cerda and the rest of the trial team on their victory. The firm hopes that this verdict helps to pave the way for positive results in other transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
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    News From Dallas Appellate Attorney Chad Ruback

  • Legal commentary on CBS 6 o’clock news

    Chad Ruback
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:58 am
    The lead story on the 6 o’clock news featured Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and me. Here is the video:
  • Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett’s Thoughts on Amicus Briefs

    Chad Ruback
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:30 pm
    This afternoon, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Austin lawyer Don Cruse spoke at a continuing legal education seminar.  Among other things, they addressed amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court. The court requests a response to the petition for review in about 33% of cases.  However, when an amicus brief has been filed […]
  • Appellate Judges Education Institute seminar in Dallas, TX

    Chad Ruback
    29 Sep 2014 | 12:15 pm
    The American Bar Association’s Judicial Division and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law will be hosting a seminar in Dallas, Texas from November 13-16, 2014.  The seminar will be co-hosted by the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers and the ABA’s Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys. Among the many speakers will be U.S. Supreme Court […]
  • Five Judges from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Offer Pointers on Appellate Advocacy

    Chad Ruback
    10 Sep 2014 | 2:13 pm
    The Dallas Bar Association Business Litigation Section recently hosted an outstanding panel discussion with five judges from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  I have been attending appellate continuing legal educations presentations for seventeen years, and this one was among the best I’ve seen.  Judges Gregg Costa, Jennifer Elrod, James Graves, Stephen Higginson, and Catharina […]
  • “The Best Lawyers in America” list

    Chad Ruback
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    I am honored that my peers have once again voted to include me in “The Best Lawyers in America” list.  
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    Protecting What's Right

  • Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacement Implants Aren’t As Good As They Seem: News From The Front Lines of Our Hip Replacement Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:48 am
    Patients considering Metal-on-Metal (M-o-M) hip replacement implants are often told that M-o-M hip replacement implants cut down on time — on the time of recovery and the time it takes for you to get your life back. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, M-o-M hip replacement implants may involve serious complications that cut that “extra time” theory into pieces. For instance, these implants have a documented history of loosening, becoming instable, spontaneously dislocating and causing individuals to lose mobility. These M-o-M hip implants have…
  • Cancer: A Hidden Risk of Gynecological Surgeries? An Update on Our Power Morcellator Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    If you developed cancer after having gynecological surgery, it may not be a coincidence. Instead, a medical device potentially used in your surgery, known as a “power morcellator” may be to blame. Power morcellators are used in gynecological surgeries like hysterectomies or fibroid removals to cut into tumors and suck them away. Problem is, the device may not thoroughly remove the cells, tissues and tumors — meaning bits of a tumor could be cut away from one spot and, instead of being removed, move and settle down in another section of the uterine area. If the tumor in question…
  • “Black Box” Data – What You Need to Know, Part 1: What a Truck’s Black Box Could Reveal in a Trucking Accident Case

    Kirsten Soto
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:41 am
    When most people here the term “black box,” they think of airplanes. In fact, many people don’t realize that most passenger cars, and many trucks, buses and other commercial motor vehicles (“CMVs”) also have black boxes. These event data recorders (“EDRs”), commonly known as black boxes, often contain a wealth of information about the events that occurred immediately prior to and during a serious collision. Part one of this two-part series outlines some of the critical information that can be found in a truck’s black box when there is a serious…
  • Why I Don’t Ask “Why?” Anymore

    Aaron Horton
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:14 pm
    by Aaron Leigh Horton/The Mesh Warrior In March of 2011, I set out in earnest, with my mother to walk through the landmine that is transvaginal mesh. It’s now been well over three and a half years since that time and very close to five years since she was implanted with transvaginal mesh. The question I began with was simply, “Why?” but with a thousand iterations. WHY would a skilled, fellowshipped, female urogynecologist ever entertain the notion of inserting a permanent polypropylene implant, through a non-sterile field (the vaginal canal), with absolutely no thought put…
  • “Why Is This Still Being Prescribed?” A Look at Avelox and the FDA

    Baron & Budd
    13 Oct 2014 | 4:09 pm
    Given just how many patients have suffered at the hands of fluoroquinolone antibiotics — one of the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics in America — like Avelox and Levaquin, and given the work that many of these patients have done to speak up about the injuries attributed to these drugs, it’s hard to understand why antibiotics like Avelox and Levaquin are still commonly prescribed today for routine infections. We can’t say why exactly because, the truth is, we don’t know. What we can say is our Avelox and Levaquin lawyers are working to protect patients from…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Pedestrian Critically Injured in Northgate Car Accident

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    27 Oct 2014 | 12:23 pm
    A 42-year-old woman was critically injured in a Seattle car accident that remains under investigation. According to a report in the Seattle Press Intelligencer, the pedestrian accident occurred near Northeast 108th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast in Northgate. Officials say the female pedestrian sustained life-threatening head injuries in the collision. The driver of the vehicle was not injured and remained at the crash site. Whenever someone is seriously injured in a Seattle pedestrian accident, it is important for officials to conduct a detailed investigation. If the driver violated any…
  • Bike Lane Accidents Results in Additional Changes

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:51 am
    Now that the new Second Avenue bike lane is being used, Seattle officials are reviewing incidents that occur there to make it safer. One of the adjustments made to the newly designed roadway was the removal of some on-street parking to improve sight lines. Now that a couple of accidents have occurred at the same portion of the road, more changes are on the way. Two bike accidents occurred in the first week of October 2014 on Second Avenue near Union Street. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, one accident occurred when a car turned left in front of a cyclist and the other…
  • Child Injured in Seattle Hit-and-Run Crash

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    7 Oct 2014 | 5:03 pm
    A 7-year-old girl has been critically injured in a Seattle car accident involving an SUV that drove away from the crash site. According to a King 5 news report, the hit-and-run accident occurred near the intersection of Martin Luther King Way and Genesee Street in Seattle. Officials say the girl was walking home from Kimball Elementary School after a tutoring class with her older sisters when a red or maroon Chevy Tahoe ran her over and drove away. Witnesses say the girls had the right-of-way. The young victim improved from critical to serious condition overnight. Authorities are looking for…
  • What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Seattle Bicycle Accident

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    1 Oct 2014 | 8:07 am
    Immediately following a Seattle bicycle accident, you may feel panic or confusion. However, it is important to take a deep breath and to remember that your actions may affect your ability to receive financial compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you can take the following steps to ensure that you are safe and that your rights are protected: Get to safety. If you are physically able to move, get out of the street. You are at risk of being struck a second time as long as you are on the road. Check for injuries. When adrenaline is…
  • Changes Made to Second Avenue Bike Lane

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:06 am
    Recent changes designed to make Second Avenue safer for bicyclists have left many motorists befuddled. After only three days, Seattle’s Department of Transportation has already made a number of changes to reduce confusion. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, a green straight arrow replaced a solid green circle to indicate that drivers can only continue forward. They also replaced a sign that allowed turns only on a green arrow with a “No Turn on Red” sign. These changes are designed to protect bicyclists riding in the bike lane on the left side of Second Avenue.
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    Farah and Farah Legal Blog

  • Three Men Arrested Following Beating in Daytona Beach

    Farah & Farah
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:14 pm
    A former Flagler County deputy and two other men were arrested for the beating and robbery of a Nebraska man over the weekend. WKMG-6 reports the victim was assaulted outside of Lollipops Gentlemen’s Club in Daytona Beach late Saturday night. The three men, all bouncers at the club, were caught on surveillance punching, kicking and robbing the individual after he had been knocked to the ground. Charges against the three range from aggravated battery to robbery, with the victim insisting he will press charges. Witnesses to the incident including the manager, indicate however, that the…
  • Jacksonville Man Dies in Truck Accident

    Farah & Farah
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:31 am
    A Jacksonville area tow truck driver is dead and another trailer truck driver is in custody after a fatal crash on Interstate 10, between U.S. 301 Cecil Commence Center Parkway. Reports from WJXT News 4 indicate the wreck occurred shortly before midnight near Otis Road, just west of the Parkway. Florida Highway Patrol suggests that the semi-truck being driven east collided with the rear of the tow truck heading in the same direction. Upon collision the tractor-trailer driver lost control, crossed the median into the westbound lane before crashing into the tree line. The tow truck, driven by a…
  • Is The Worst Speed Trap in the Country In Waldo, Florida?

    Farah & Farah
    30 Sep 2014 | 12:30 pm
    It is a speed trap so notorious that the Automobile Association of America (AAA) named it one of only two “traffic traps” in the entire country. In fact, AAA was so incensed by the speed trap in the little town of Waldo, which sits on the junction of Highway 301 and 24 between Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida, that it actually erected a billboard outside the town, warning residents to slow down before entering. If you are driving through Waldo, you should be advised that the speed limit changes six times along the short stretch of highway that runs through the city. Is it a speed…
  • We’ve Been Assigned a Parenting Coordinator: What Does That Mean?

    Farah & Farah
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:19 am
    Sometimes in contentious divorce cases where parents cannot agree on a parenting plan for their children, a family law court in Florida will assign a parenting coordinator to help a couple resolve disputes regarding parenting decisions. A parenting plan is required for parents who are going to share joint legal custody of their children. The plan covers decisions in areas of visitation, vacation, education and other activities. A parenting coordinator must be qualified under Florida state statute and is held to strict standards as to what their roles are. A parenting coordinator essentially…
  • Waving for Safety in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Farah & Farah
    15 Sep 2014 | 12:03 pm
    The city of Fort Lauderdale is trying an experiment when it comes to augmenting the safety of pedestrians who attempt to cross Los Olas Boulevard in its entertainment district. The city is providing neon flags that pedestrians can wave while crossing in the crosswalk. The idea, says a spokeswoman for the city, is to make pedestrians more visible as they make their way across the boulevard. “The reasoning behind the process is to elevate public safety, make pedestrians visible at an intersection that is not signalized,” the spokeswoman told the Miami Herald. The concept behind this program…
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    California Criminal Defense Blog

  • Elko man given life sentence for several rapes

    27 Oct 2014 | 4:47 pm
    Last week a District judge in Elko sentenced 77-year-old Grady Fisher to life in prison. He had been found guilty of several counts of sexually abusing young step-relatives. The crimes occurred in his Ryndon residence, which is a few miles northeast of Elko. The three underage victims reportedly visited Grady's home during the summer, which is when the repeated rapes and sexual molestation transpired. He was ultimately convicted of 10 felonies and 4 gross misdemeanors. Grady refused to admit guilt even at his sentencing. Grady is not eligible for parole for another 35 years. Considering…
  • Under California Law, Even a Comment Can Be a Crime: Penal Code 647.6 Makes it a Crime to “Annoy” or “Molest” a Child Under 18

    13 Aug 2013 | 9:42 am
    California law is especially vigilant when it comes to protecting minor children. Under California Penal Code 647.6, annoying or molesting a child under 18, something as seemingly innocent as a comment can be a crime. All it takes is a prosecutor convincing a jury that the purpose of the remark was sexual arousal or gratification. Penal Code 647.6 also applies to adult victims, as long as you thought they were under 18. The fact that your “victim” was actually an adult is not a defense to this crime. Under this law, “annoy” and “molest” both refer to conduct or speech that could…
  • Travel Restrictions for a Felony Conviction

    17 Jul 2013 | 11:00 am
    Travel restrictions are often one of the consequences of a felony conviction in California. These can occur a number of ways. First, a judge may directly impose travel restrictions as a condition of probation. This may also include restrictions on going to certain types of places – such as schools or shopping malls – even within the city where the defendant is living.
  • New York City Cop May Have Coerced Confessions

    17 Jun 2013 | 3:54 pm
    Many people think that everyone who confesses to a crime is guilty. But coerced, involuntary and false confessions can lead to wrongful conviction and grave injustice. And some cops will go to unscrupulous lengths to make a case. As a case in point, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office is reviewing 50 homicide convictions to see whether the convictions were based on coerced confessions, The New York Times reports. The office’s Conviction Integrity Unit plans to reopen every murder case that resulted in a guilty verdict after being investigated by Detective Louis Scarcella, a…
  • People v Beltran: CA Supreme Court Clarifies "Voluntary Manslaughter" Law

    3 Jun 2013 | 4:19 pm
    In the case of People v. Beltran, the California Supreme Court said that provocation is adequate to reduce an unlawful killing from murder to voluntary manslaughter. However it must be one that would cause an emotion so intense… that an ordinary person would simply react, without reflection. In order for a crime to qualify as voluntary manslaughter in California law, Penal Code 192(a) PC requires that it be committed during a sudden quarrel or “in the heat of passion.” The proper standard, the justices held, is to focus upon whether a person of average disposition would be induced to…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law Blog - The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz

  • Money Can’t Buy Love or a Lasting Marriage

    Sheryl Rentz
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:27 pm
    When it comes to weddings, the popular opinion (at least as far as the wedding industry is concerned) is that bigger is better. A lavish ceremony, an oversized diamond ring, and an elaborate after party are all touted as the ideal beginning to happily ever after. However, according to a study by Emory University in Atlanta, the more money a couple pours into tying the knot, the higher the probability the couple will soon follow their “I do’s” with divorce. The study examined data contributed by more than 3,000 people throughout the U.S. who have been married and found the following…
  • Three Ways to Survive Your Divorce with Integrity

    Sheryl Rentz
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:34 am
    When it’s time to end a marriage, most people find themselves in a state of emotional turmoil. It’s important to honor your feelings during this time and to seek help from a doctor or therapist if necessary. But it is also important to keep your head and to be willing to focus on “business” matters – especially if yours is a high-asset divorce. Experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorneys recommend these three steps to helping you navigate the divorce process with integrity and give yourself the objectivity you need to ensure your needs and those of your children are met: Set…
  • Wife of Billionaire Asks to Void Prenup

    Sheryl Rentz
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:39 pm
    All divorces have the potential to become messy and stressful. This is especially true in a high-profile divorce cases involving millions and even billions of dollars. In one such divorce case, the wife of a multibillionaire hedge fund manager is asking a judge to dismiss her prenuptial agreement. If successful, she could have much greater access to her husband’s $5 billion-plus fortune instead of the one percent she is eligible for through the prenuptial agreement. If the prenuptial agreement stands, she will receive an estimated $50 million. This could result in the largest divorce…
  • Do Grandparents Have the Right to Child Custody in Pennsylvania?

    Sheryl Rentz
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:28 am
    Many Pennsylvania grandparents play a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren. Some are primary caretakers and many have regular contact with their grandchildren including long visits and holiday celebrations. During a divorce, the parents will have to negotiate custody rights and their terms may not include rights for the grandparents. It is important in these types of situations for grandparents to learn about their legal rights and options. The Child Custody Act went into effect in Pennsylvania in 2011. It allows grandparents to file for custody of a grandchild. For a…
  • How An Attorney Can Help You Navigate a High-Asset Divorce

    Sheryl Rentz
    8 Sep 2014 | 9:11 am
    No divorce is easy. A high-asset divorce is even more complicated than a standard divorce. Because the spouses in a high-asset divorce have retirement accounts, substantial investments, family businesses and other items they’ve acquired and worked on together, the help of an attorney who specializes in high-asset divorce questions is invaluable when the time comes to separate. How can an attorney become your best ally in a high-asset divorce? Your attorney knows business as well as divorce law. Choosing an attorney who specializes in high-asset divorce means choosing someone who understands…
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    About Florida Lawyers & Attorneys

  • Bradenton Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    1 Nov 2014 | 5:24 am
    The Best Bradenton Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Bradenton Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting Whenever you are looking for the Best legal firm in Bradenton, FL that will offer you the most outstanding service then look no further than the Legal Firm of Bradenton Florida. When you are in a bind and need assistance, everybody agrees that these Law Firm are the ones to have on your side. This legal firm wins cases and that is something that you can take to the bank!
  • Inverness Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    1 Nov 2014 | 3:21 am
    The Best Inverness Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Inverness Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Law Offices of Inverness Florida are by far the best law teams since they get the right results time and time again. Whenever you are in disorder and want a high caliber Law team to be behind you, then the Law Firm of Inverness Florida are the ones you need to phone. From high profile cases to fast motions, this team of lawyers have proven that they are the ones to…
  • Naked madman who stabbed 2 neighbors was insane: lawyer – New York Post

    Lawyer - Google News
    1 Nov 2014 | 1:18 am
    Naked madman who stabbed 2 neighbors was insane: lawyerNew York PostThe naked, knife-wielding madman who went on a bloody rampage in his own Washington Heights building nearly three years ago -fatally stabbing two neighbors and injuring three others – was legally insane, his defense lawyer argued Friday during …and more »
  • Port Charlotte Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:20 pm
    The Best Port Charlotte Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Port Charlotte Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Legal Firm of Port Charlotte Florida are by far the best law firms for they get the appropriate results time and time again. Whenever you indubitably want to win your case, the Port Charlotte Florida Legal Firm are the ones to meet. These lawyers have a remarkable track record of victories under their belt and are guaranteed to get the best result for you…
  • Newberry Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:10 pm
    The Best Newberry Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Newberry Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Law Offices of Newberry Florida are by far the best legal teams for they get the best results time and time again. Clients all agree that this Newberry Law firm and Associates are the attorneys to have on your side when you have a case the looks like a loser. From high profile cases to brief motions, this team of attorneys have proven that they are the ones to beat.
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    MacGregor & Collins, LLP Law Blog

  • Timothy Lance Lai Finally Arrested in Corona Del Mar Cheating Scandal

    Randy Collins
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:35 am
    Timothy Lance Lai, 29, the tutor that has been at the center of a cheating scandal that rocked Corona Del Mar High School in Orange County since last summer was finally arrested as he was trying to re-enter the country at LAX.  Officers arrested Lai on October 6 and charged him with four felony counts of computer access and fraud and one count of second-degree commercial burglary. The Background Story of Cheating at a Top-performing Orange County High School A student told officers that Lai entered a classroom to install a keylogger device on a teacher’s computer in April 2012 after the…
  • Charlie Sheen Sued and May Face Sexual Battery Charges

    Randy Collins
    11 Oct 2014 | 9:26 am
    Charlie Sheen has a “bad boy” image that leaves him vulnerable to accusations of misconduct. The star of Anger Management is being sued by a dental technician who claims that he punched her and grabbed her bra. Sheen maintains that the allegations are false. The case illustrates the risk that celebrities will be unfairly targeted in litigation that is designed to extort settlements. The Accusation Sheen was given nitrous oxide in a dentist’s office while undergoing treatment for an abscess in his mouth. The dental technician who was assisting him told police that Sheen ripped off his…
  • Man in Anaheim is Arrested for Allegedly Robbing Girlfriend’s Elderly Grandmother

    Randy Collins
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:55 am
    An Anaheim man was recently arrested and accused of robbing his girlfriends’ 82-year-old mother in her home. According to the police statement, the accused took “several jewelry items and coins” in addition to ransacking the home. While robbery is not a new notion, the thought that someone would A) rob their girlfriends mother, and B) rob an elderly person is not so taboo anymore. These crimes are occurring at increasing rates, which should be alarming to the public. However, just because someone is accused and arrested does not always mean that they are guilty, or that they will be…
  • Jail Sentencing for Assault on a Minor

    Randy Collins
    3 Aug 2014 | 1:49 pm
    There are three forms of assault that can be punishable in a court of a law: common assault, criminal assault, or aggravated assault. Common assault is almost any behavior that can be judged as offensive or threatening, which is done with the volition to harm someone else but fails in physical harm. For instance, if you try to hit someone with a punch, a kick, or an object and miss, you have committed a common attack against them. Even though no physical harm was done, the failure to commit a criminal attack may still be prosecuted as a common one. Criminal assaultis associated with battery…
  • Statute of Limitations for White Collar Crime

    Randy Collins
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    A statute of limitation is the time allowed for prosecutors to lay a charge against someone who is accused of committing a criminal offense. The period normally runs from the point at which the alleged offense has been disclosed or discovered. This period varies depending on the category of offense as well as the jurisdiction involved. California’s statutes of limitation for criminal charges are not exactly the same as other states and also differ from those of the federal government. Statutes of limitation allocated for white collar offenses are particularly complex, partly because of the…
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    PA Law Blogs

  • Finding a Xarelto Lawyer

    Anapol Schwartz
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:16 am
    Patients who experienced internal bleeding while on Xarelto and those who lost a loved one due to irreversible Xarelto bleeding after an injury may be eligible to file a lawsuit. A Xarelto lawyer can assist individuals who are interested in filing a Xarelto class action lawsuit. Selecting a Xarelto lawyer can be difficult for patients and families who are recovering from such a traumatic event. It’s important to choose an attorney with experience and success representing people injured by the negligence of pharmaceutical corporations. Greg Spizer and Miriam Barish are part of a team of…
  • Xarelto Internal Bleeding Victims Now Filing Lawsuits

    PA Law Blogs
    23 Oct 2014 | 8:23 am
    The blood thinner medication Xarelto, which is prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation and to reduce the risk of life-threatening blood clots, can cause irreversible internal bleeding that can lead to death or extended hospitalization. Patients were not advised by the manufacturers of Xarelto to monitor their blood levels while taking the drug. Many users have died or suffered severe bleeding as a result, and it can happen after just one dose. These unexpected deaths and injuries have led to Xarelto lawsuits filed against manufacturers Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Janssen…
  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration

    Anapol Schwartz
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Patients experience a Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) when an unintended injection into tissue underneath the shoulder’s deltoid muscle results in severe and persistent shoulder pain and restricted arm function. Examples of SIRVA include frozen shoulder from a flu shot and brachial neuritis. Frozen shoulder is commonly associated with the flu shot, but it can happen as an adverse reaction to any vaccine. Frozen shoulder symptoms include decreased range of motion as well as stiffness and shoulder pain that can last for years. Brachial neuritis also known as…
  • Pennsylvania Bus Accident Lawyers Assist Crash Victims

    Anapol Schwartz
    14 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    Parents entrust that the big yellow school bus will get their child to and from school safely.  Receiving a call informing them that their child was involved in a bus accident is every parent’s nightmare. For some parents, this nightmare is a little too real. Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers can obtain justice in this traumatic situation, and they can guide parents through the legal process so they can concentrate on helping their injured children recover. Jim Ronca, a car accident lawyer in Harrisburg PA, was voted one of the Top 10 Pennsylvania Lawyers because of his track record of…
  • Reporting a Vaccine Adverse Reaction

    Anapol Schwartz
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:31 am
    Vaccines prevent deadly diseases, but sometimes a rare but severe side effect can occur.  When a vaccine adverse reaction does occur, the injuries should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is a national safety surveillance program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that collects and monitors information about vaccine reactions to help identify important safety concerns. VAERS has received more than 200,000 reports about vaccine injuries since 1990, which range from mild side…
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    GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

  • Oversupply Litigation Milestone: FERC Approves BPA Oversupply Management Protocol

    20 Oct 2014 | 3:59 pm
    At its monthly meeting last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") approved the Bonneville Power Administration's "Oversupply Management Protocol," marking a major litigation milestone in Bonneville's controversial efforts to address those periods when the combined output of federal dams and wind generation in the Pacific Northwest exceeds electric demand in the region and in areas where power can be exported. While FERC's decision does not resolve the litigation, it is a major step toward final resolution of the matter. As we have previously discussed at length, the…
  • Governor Inslee to Keynote Washington Future Energy Conference

    17 Oct 2014 | 4:15 pm
    Please join us at the Washington Future Energy Conference on November 5. Gordon Thomas Honeywell is proud to be a major sponsor of this event. Now in its fifth year, the Future Energy Conference brings together energy innovators, utilities, scientists, investors, and many others to discuss the future of the energy industry in our state. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will present the keynote address at this year's conference. In addition, key officials from Gov. Inslee's administration will conduct a featured panel discussion entitled "Washington's Climate and Energy Future." The panel will be…
  • Navy Seeks Renewable Resources Through a WAPA RFP

    7 Oct 2014 | 11:25 am
    Last week, the Western Area Power Administration ("WAPA") issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") seeking renewable energy for Navy bases located in WAPA's California service territory. The RFP seeks bids for new renewable generation projects with up to 150 MW of capacity. Several details of the RFP are worthy of note. First, rather than seek to purchase renewable project output directly, the Navy has employed WAPA to purchase energy on its behalf. Because WAPA, rather than the Navy, is the purchaser, the Federal Acquisition Regulations do not apply, which should significantly simplify the…
  • Ninth Circuit Orders BPA To Reconsider Recovery of Improper Payments to DSIs

    26 Sep 2014 | 3:42 pm
    Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the Bonneville Power Administration to reconsider whether it should seek recovery of improper payments made to certain Direct-Service Industrial ("DSI") customers. The Court's decision (Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities v. BPA, 9th Cir. Nos. 11-71368 et al (issued September 18, 2014)) is an important landmark on the long-running battle between Bonneville's competing customer groups over access to low-cost federal hydroelectric resources. The DSIs are large, energy-intensive industries, primarily aluminum smelters,…
  • Join Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tim Lowenberg for APPA's Grid Security Summit

    25 Sep 2014 | 2:03 pm
    We cordially invite you to attend the American Public Power Association's Grid Security Summit on November 12-13 in Arlington, Virginia. Our colleague, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Timothy Lowenberg, one of the nation's leading experts on cybersecurity and terrorism matters, will make a presentation entitled "Emerging Threats and Vulnerabilities in the Electric Sector." Gen. Lowenberg recently retired after a 44-year career in the U.S. Air Force and, among many other accomplishments, was the longest-serving Adjutant General in Washington's history. In that role, in the wake of the September 11 attack, he…
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    SEC Lawyers Blog

  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Thomas Blair Johnson, Victoria, Minnesota

    27 Oct 2014 | 6:43 pm
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Thomas Blair Johnston (CRD #4375657, Victoria, Minnesota). Johnson recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent ("AWC") in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 45 days. See FINRA Case #2013037309201. Johnson was registered with Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC (August 2013-August 2014) and Thrivent Investment Management, Inc. (July 2002-June 2013). Thrivent is wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial Holdings Inc., which is a wholly owned…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Regarding AIC Promissory Notes and Stock

    23 Oct 2014 | 7:10 pm
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding claims regarding AIC promissory notes and stock. In a 2011 complaint filed by the SEC against AIC, Inc., Community Bankers Securities, LLC, and Nicholas D. Skaltsounis, the SEC alleged that Skaltsounis devised and orchestrated an offering fraud by offering and selling millions of dollars of AIC promissory notes and stock. The scheme occurred from at least January 2006 through November 2009, when Skaltsounis, directly and through registered representatives associated with Community Bankers Securities, offered and sold AIC promissory notes and stock…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Reginald "Reggie" Berthiaume, Orlando, Florida

    21 Oct 2014 | 6:18 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Reginald Maurice Berthiaume Jr. (CRD #2702903, Orlando, Florida) , also known as Reggie Berthiaume. Berthiaume recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent ("AWC") in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years. See FINRA Case #2012031368001. The suspension is in effect from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2016. Berthiaume was registered with Securities America from May 2011 until his termination in February 2012. Berthiaume previously was…
  • Sonn|Erez and Aldarondo & Lopéz Bras File Claim Against UBS for Elderly Brothers with More than $200,000 in Losses Related to Puerto Rico Bonds and UBS Funds

    20 Oct 2014 | 6:41 am
    Sonn|Erez and Aldarondo & Lopéz Bras recently filed a claim against UBS Financial Services, Inc. and UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico ("UBS") on behalf of three elderly brothers who suffered more than $200,000 in losses related to UBS/UBS-PR branded Puerto Rico Funds and Puerto Rico bonds. The brothers entrusted their inheritance and retirement savings to UBS, whose financial advisor recommended a dangerous and unsuitable concentration in high risk UBS/UBS-PR branded Puerto Rico Funds and Puerto Rico bonds, according to the Statement of Claim. The three brothers were conservative…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims of Selling Away Involving Houston Broker James "Jeb" Bashaw

    14 Oct 2014 | 2:45 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding James "Jeb" Bashaw (CRD #1251491, Houston, Texas). Bashaw was registered with LPL Financial LLC in Houston from November 2001 until his termination in September 2014. Investment News reports that Bashaw was terminated for several allegations including participating in private securities transactions without providing written disclosure to and obtaining written approval from LPL. Investment News also reports that Bashaw allegedly borrowed from a client and engaged in a business transaction that created a potential conflict of interest without…
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    New York & New Jersey Consumer Law Blog

  • Landlord-Tenant Settlements: Is Everything on the Table?

    18 Oct 2014 | 6:14 am
    All New Jersey landlord-tenant cases have a mediation requirement. This means that the Landlord and the Tenant must, at least, try to resolve their dispute before the case goes before a judge. Mediation is a great opportunity to reach an agreement that works for both Parties and avoids the harshness of a judge calling a winner and a loser. In general, there are three types of landlord-tenant settlements.
  • Landlords Beware: Residential Form Leases Do Not Cure All Ills

    16 Oct 2014 | 11:29 am
    Landlords Beware: Residential Form Leases Do Not Cure All Ills The word "lease" is a fancy term for a simple agreement: The tenant agrees to pay rent and the landlord agrees to provide a habitable living space. Some leases are lengthy and contain conflicting terms which affect both the landlord's and the tenant's rights. In a landlord-tenant case, the court will look at the content of a lease very closely. This is where Google causes more problems than it solves. Free form leases from the internet can be dangerous. Form residential leases are all over the internet for free. Like most things,…
  • Commercial Collections: The "Book Account" & Collection of Accounts Receivable

    12 Apr 2014 | 9:09 am
    Companies with on-going customer relationships often provide merchandise or services on regular basis. Invoices for services are sent to the customers while service continues. Ideally, each invoice is paid in full, but reality creeps in. Sometimes, customers let balances accrue and make slowly decreasing payments until payments cease. The company is left unpaid and outstanding invoices sit in accounts receivable. When legal collection on these accounts receivable is necessary, the law provides a range of causes of action. The "book account" is a simple and direct method of commercial…
  • Notice Eviction Cases & the "No Discovery" Rule: Landlord Notices Must Be Specific

    5 Feb 2014 | 2:25 pm
    New Jersey landlord-tenant actions (a/k/a "summary dispossession actions") are designed to be quick, efficient methods of disposing of landlord-tenant disputes. The efficiency of a landlord-tenant case lies in the prohibition of responsive pleadings and the "No Discovery" rule. NJ Court Rule 6:4-3 provides that interrogatories and other discovery methods are applicable in all actions except "summary landlord and tenant actions for recovery of the premises." The "No Discovery" rule poses a problem for landlords alleging wrongful conduct (for example, damage to the apartment or violation of…
  • Illegal Apartments & Contractual Consideration: Is a Tenant Entitled to Refund of Rent Paid?

    4 Feb 2014 | 9:43 am
    New Jersey landlord-tenant relationships are controlled by applicable statutes (the Anti-Eviction Act, NJSA 2A:18-61.1 et. seq., or NJSA 2A:18-53) and the terms of the lease. Lease terms are interpreted by typical contractual principles. The most basic contractual principle requires that agreements be supported by consideration (a legal term for something of value given to support a contract). In a landlord-tenant context, the tenant's payment of rent is consideration for the landlord providing a habitable apartment. For tenants living in illegal apartments, the analysis could be much…
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    Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Curtis v. Lemna - Golf Injury Work-Related, Co-Worker Lawsuit Barred

    30 Oct 2014 | 8:38 am
    A state supreme court decision in Arkansas underscores a fact that injured workers in many states come to find out: Injury lawsuits against co-workers are generally barred unless there is some evidence the action was intentional or outside the scope of employment. That means the primary question is whether the incident was work-related. For example, if a co-worker physically attacks you, he was almost certainly not acting within the scope of employment, and therefore the victim would have grounds to file a third-party injury lawsuit, in addition to seeking workers' compensation benefits.
  • Bufkin v. Felipe's - Pedestrian Injury Claim Countered by Open Obvious Doctrine

    20 Oct 2014 | 7:59 am
    A pedestrian was injured by a wrong-way delivery worker bicyclist on a one-way street. The pedestrian was crossing due to construction barriers blocking his path on the sidewalk. In a lawsuit he filed several months later, plaintiff alleged a large trash bin placed on street-level parking in front of the private building under construction obstructed his view and created an unsafe condition for anyone crossing the street. His lawsuit, Bufkin v. Felipe's Louisiana LLC, named as defendants the employer of the bicyclist, the construction company that had obstructed the sidewalk and the building…
  • Major v. City of Hartville - Constructive Notice in Premises Liability Lawsuit

    13 Oct 2014 | 9:05 am
    In order to sue a business or municipality for failing to address a trip-and-fall hazard, a plaintiff must first show defendant knew or should have known about the danger. If there is proof the defendant knew, that's called "actual knowledge." When the evidence shows instead the defendant should have known about it, this is called "constructive knowledge." The latter can be established with circumstantial evidence, showing for example the condition was recurring or that it would have been discovered had defendant exercised reasonable care. If a plaintiff can't prove some form of knowledge of…
  • Safeco Insurance Co. v. Beare - Bad Faith Claim Properly Abated, Not Dismissed

    2 Oct 2014 | 9:03 am
    In most bad faith claims against auto insurers, the "bad faith" lawsuit is filed separately from the liability portion, lest it be deemed premature and dismissed. However, in the recent case of Safeco Insurance Co. v. Beare, plaintiff counsel amended the original third-party complaint alleging liability for a crash to include her own insurer as a defendant for failure to pay uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. Injury attorneys are more frequently employing this strategy, as it saves plaintiffs the trouble of having to refile the case. The recent decision in Beare, handed down by…
  • Gallon v. GEICO - Negligent Misrepresentation Claim to Proceed

    24 Sep 2014 | 6:44 am
    An allegedly false statement by an auto insurance agent regarding stacked underinsured motorist (UM) coverage is at the center of a personal injury case before Florida's Second District Court of Appeal. Although other elements of the claim have been dismissed and affirmed on appeal, allowed to proceed is the question of whether this misrepresentation should mean the insured's injured son is entitled to double the UM coverage stated in the policy. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers know issues of negligent misrepresentation are generally rare in these cases, so it will be interesting to…
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    Chicago Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • U Visa Eligibility

    23 Oct 2014 | 11:39 am
    A U visa is a nonimmigrant visa that provides relief to victims of certain crimes by granting them temporary legal status and work authorization in the United States for four years. You may qualify for a U visa if you are a victim of a qualifying crime, have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse, have information about the criminal activity, and help law enforcement or government officials investigate or prosecute the criminal activity. Qualifying crimes include, but are not limited to: Domestic Violence Extortion Kidnapping Sexual Assault Stalking Trafficking You must also obtain…
  • New Executive Action on Immigration Coming Soon

    7 Aug 2014 | 10:30 am
    The President is preparing to announce a new set of Executive Actions he plans to take on immigration since Congress has yet to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package. Speaking during a press conference yesterday in Washington D.C., President Obama stated that he is working on ways to ease deportations of immigrants living in the country undocumented. While the President hasn't indicated what type of relief he plans to offer, many immigrations rights activists are beginning to speculate. The President announced earlier this summer that he would take Executive Action because Congress…
  • Evidence for Asylum

    5 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    As we've pointed out in previous blog posts, the Asylum process is a long and complicated one. In order for your asylum application to be successful, you will need a lot of evidence. This blog will focus on the kinds of evidence you will need for your asylum application. First, it is important to remember that in order to qualify for asylum you must have been persecuted or fear persecution because of one of these five categories: Race Religion Nationality Membership in a particular social group Political opinion Once you determine that you meet one of those categories, it is important for you…
  • Affirmative Asylum Process

    28 Jul 2014 | 12:50 pm
    The Affirmative Asylum process is a complicated, multistep process. Below are the various steps you must complete to have a successful asylum application, according to USCIS. 1) Arrive in the United States: In order to claim asylum in the US, you must be physically present in the United States. You cannot claim asylum in the US if you are not present here at the time. 2) Apply for Asylum: To apply for asylum you must complete form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal within one year of arriving in the US. There is no fee to fill out and file this form. 3) Background check…
  • Asylum 101

    21 Jul 2014 | 12:59 pm
    The Asylum process in the United States is a very thorough and in depth process. If you are interested in the asylum process or want to find out if the asylum process is right for you, please contact a skilled immigration attorney. This blog will outline some basic information about the asylum process, who is eligible for asylum, and what is required to be successful in your asylum application. In order to claim asylum, you must be physically present in the United States. You must also apply for asylum within one year of your last entry date into the US. Asylum can also be used as a defense…
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    Dallas Divorce Law Blog

  • Dallas divorce lawyer has unique perspective

    Michelle O'Neil
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:25 am
    Dallas divorce attorney Michelle May O’Neil has a unique perspective because she practices both litigation and appeals in the Texas family law area. This helps her see a case not only as an advocate for the client’s position to either a judge or jury, which most family law attorney share, but also from the lens of the appellate court who might review the case after it is over. She is in a position to “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” by knowing how the case will be analyzed when it is over. Appellate courts look at whether error was properly preserved and…
  • What can a family law appellate lawyer do for my case?

    Michelle O'Neil
    14 Oct 2014 | 6:34 am
    Yes, family law appellate lawyers handle appeals to the Texas court of appeals or the Texas Supreme Court. We read records, write briefs, and make oral arguments.  We research rules and analyze case opinions. But, adding an appellate lawyer to your trial team can be beneficial long before filing a notice of appeal. Pleadings Early in the case, the appellate lawyer can assist with complex pleading issues.  If jurisdiction is contested, the appellate lawyer can prepare and present the plea to the jurisdiction or special appearance and get the legal issues ready for mandamus (family law cases)…
  • Would living in Texas have been better for Mr. Hamm in his Oklahoma divorce?

    Michelle O'Neil
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:20 am
    The Harold Hamm divorce in Oklahoma is getting a lot of media attention right now. The divorce trial has started and the wife is making allegations that the husband’s company is rewriting history to downplay his role in the company’s success in order to increase the value of the marital estate subject to division. The trial has been closed to the media and interested onlookers and the lawyers have been placed under a gag order to prevent them from leaking interesting tidbits to the media, so we won’t know exactly what’s going on for a while. Hamm divorce Mr. Hamm…
  • No such thing as common law divorce in Texas

    Michelle O'Neil
    23 Sep 2014 | 6:36 am
    Once a party establishes the elements of a common law marriage, spouses are married until they are legally divorced under Texas law.  The recent case of McMaster v. Small, No. 14-13-00069-CV, 2014 WL 950471 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.], 2014, no. pet. h.) (03/11/2014) (mem. op.), illustrates this concept case, the wife petitioned for divorce, alleging common law marriage.  Wife alleged that she and Husband married in December 1991 and ceased to live together as husband and wife in August 2004. She provided her own…
  • Michelle O’Neil named to list of Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas

    Michelle O'Neil
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:55 am
    Michelle May O’Neill, Shareholder at Godwin Lewis, P.C., has been chosen for inclusion in the Texas Super Lawyers® listing for the fourth consecutive year. In addition to her selection for the 2014 list, Attorney O’Neil was honored with three Super Lawyers® top lists: Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas/Fort Worth. Only 5% of Texas Lawyers are honored to be named among the Super Lawyers®. Super Lawyers® is a nationwide rating service of outstanding lawyers from over 70 practice areas who have achieved a high-degree of peer…
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuit Is Sent Back to State Court

    13 Oct 2014 | 4:39 pm
    The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ordered that a drug defect lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline LLC over its Paxil antidepressant medication be sent back to a state court. The three-judge panel ruled that the second removal to federal court was not timely. They said that Pennsylvania’s Eastern District Court made a mistake when it denied the plaintiffs motion to remand. The Paxil birth defect lawsuit was brought by Sallee Miller and her child. They claim that the boy was born with congenital defects because Miller took the SSRI antidepressant while she was expecting.
  • Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson

    15 Sep 2014 | 1:46 pm
    Plaintiffs are starting to file claims seeking dangerous drug damages for injuries they sustained from using Xarelto, a blood thinner. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which jointly market the drug, are the defendants. According to the Xarelto injury lawsuits, users are experiencing internal bleeding so severe that they have been hospitalized. They believe that the companies are continuing to sell the drugs despite the health risks, of which they are neglecting to notify the public. Xarelto, unlike blood thinner warfarin (brand names Comadin, Marevan, Jantoven, and…
  • Boston Scientific Must Pay $73M Vaginal Mesh Injury Verdict

    10 Sep 2014 | 6:31 pm
    Jurors have ordered Boston Scientific Corp. to pay Martha Salazar $73 million for injuries she sustained from the Obtryx sling, which is a vaginal mesh implant. This is the first defective medical device award against the company over its incontinence slings. (The Massachusetts-based device maker won the first two cases to go to trial over the Obtryx sling.) It is facing over 23,000 more transvaginal mesh implant lawsuits. Salazar, 42, was implanted with the Obtryx sling in 2010 after she began to experience urinary leakage. She claims the medical device eroded in her body and that this has…
  • C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific Pelvic Mesh Cases Get Court Rulings

    26 Aug 2014 | 12:05 pm
    A federal judge has issued a ruling in a pelvic mesh injury case against manufacturer C.R. Bard from a plaintiff whose injuries occurred nearly two decades ago. Judge Joel H. Slomsky upheld the woman’s negligent manufacturing and failure to warn claims while dismissing other allegations, including those contending that the medical device had a manufacturing defect. Slomsky said that even if certain products cannot be made safe, this does not automatically mean they were made defective. C.R. Bard had sought to have the entire products liability case dismissed. The plaintiff underwent surgery…
  • More Zoloft Drug Injury Lawsuits

    12 Aug 2014 | 1:21 pm
    Plaintiffs recently filed at least 13 Zoloft injury lawsuits against Pfizer Inc. The women claim that their babies were born with birth defects caused from taking Zoloft. They say that doctors prescribed the antidepressant, which they took while they were pregnant. The plaintiffs believe that the drug maker either knew that Zoloft cause the birth defects or if not then they should have been aware that it did. They contend that the drug maker should have notified them about the serious risks to their children. The women are claiming that Zoloft is defective, dangerous, doesn’t come with the…
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    New York Real Estate Lawyers Blog

  • Happy Halloween: Haunted Houses, Zombie Houses, Ghosts and Other Scary Things

    31 Oct 2014 | 5:19 am
    Even Halloween gives rise to legal issues that may pertain to our blog readers. This blog post will address haunted houses, zombie houses, ghosts and other scary situations from a legal perspective. Unfortunately, a crime, suicide or other unpleasant event may have happened in a house prior to sale. Such a house may be considered to be "haunted". Does New York law require disclosure that the house is haunted to a potential buyer? The answer is no. New York is a caveat emptor state, meaning "let the buyer beware". Psychological issues do not require disclosure. It is the buyer's responsibility…
  • Surrender of Lease Agreements in New York

    24 Oct 2014 | 5:53 am
    Quite often, our firm is consulted by both landlords and tenants regarding the termination of a lease prior to its legal end date. For example, a lease may have a term which runs through December 31, 2020. In certain situations, the parties may agree to terminate the lease prior to this date. This can happen for several reasons. A tenant may need to move out for personal reasons, or because conditions at the premises are not acceptable. A landlord may decide not to hold a tenant to a lease term if they believe they can re-rent the premises at a higher rent. In commercial lease situations, a…
  • Have Your Home Improvements Been Properly Permitted?

    17 Oct 2014 | 8:48 am
    Often in a residential real estate transaction, unpermitted improvements to a house are present. The seller may find that purchasers are unwilling to enter a transaction with these conditions. The buyer may not want the responsibility for obtaining permits for work done by others. Our clients who are parties to residential real estate transactions often encounter legal issues when home improvements are not properly documented by the municipality where the property is located. When a renovation is conducted, an inquiry should be made of the municipality as to whether a building permit is…
  • Landlords, Tenants, and Pets in New York

    3 Oct 2014 | 6:17 am
    Our firm is often involved in disputes over pets in rental properties. We have represented tenants who have dogs or cats in their rented apartment or house, and whose landlords claim that this is a violation of their lease. We have also represented landlords who are concerned about potential damage which may be done to their property due to an authorized pet, or who are concerned that renting their condominium or cooperative unit to a pet owner may be a violation of the house rules, subjecting them to penalties. This blog post will discuss the legal issues relating to a pet's presence in a…
  • How Your Cooperative or Condominium Board Benefits from Hiring an Attorney

    26 Sep 2014 | 6:56 am
    Attorneys provide valuable legal services on behalf of cooperative and condominium boards. Some buildings with fewer than ten units and without disputes have managed without an attorney representing the board. Other buildings may continue with the attorney who originally represented the sponsor. The purpose of this blog post is to describe the services that can be provided by an attorney representing a cooperative or condominium board. Transfers of apartments will occur at some point. It is not unusual for the building's managing agent to conduct closings. While many managing agents conduct a…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • California Court Denied Father's Request for Custody

    28 Oct 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Whether parents are married or not, when they decide to split up or divorce, there will be matters of child custody to address. In an ideal situation, the parents will agree to a parenting plan that serves the best interests of the children. But because parents who no longer want to stay together are typically poised to argue over most issues related to their separation, they often fail to see eye to eye on what is best for their kids. And in certain severe situations, the juvenile court will have to get involved to ensure that the child's health and welfare are adequately protected. If you…
  • Same-Sex Couples Who Marry Could Encounter Obstacles to Divorce

    21 Oct 2014 | 1:51 pm
    Laws governing marriage and divorce vary from state to state, including whether the jurisdiction recognizes a same-sex union. Just recently, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear any cases on same-sex marriage from the lower courts, enhancing the momentum of the legalization of gay marriage. In fact, there is speculation that this inaction could lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage in 30 states throughout the country. But history has shown that not all marriages last, no matter what the orientation of the couple. And while the laws addressing the marriage of same-sex…
  • California Court Precludes Ex-Wife's Challenge of Child Support Arrearage and Attorney Fees

    14 Oct 2014 | 10:38 am
    The California Family Code and other portions of state law govern many aspects of a divorce proceeding. Courts in this state are empowered to issue any number of orders affecting the parties' rights to items such as marital property, spousal support, and child support. It should come as no surprise that couples who are going through the divorce process must adhere to many of the procedural and substantive legal requirements set forth under these laws. In order to best protect your rights, you are encouraged to contact an experienced family law attorney from the local San Diego area, who can…
  • California Court Addresses A Mother's Efforts To "Reunify" With Her Child

    7 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
    Many child custody issues arise within or are connected to a divorce proceeding. Courts will generally refer to what is known as "the best interests of the child" standard when making any rulings concerning a child's custody arrangement. There are other cases, however, that address a child's best interests, separate and apart from a divorce proceeding. Unfortunately, some parents have children under circumstances that are less than ideal, and they often display an inability to appropriately care for their children. When that happens, courts throughout the state of California will step in to…
  • California Court Upholds Stipulated Settlement Agreement in Divorce Case

    23 Sep 2014 | 9:21 am
    While divorce is a difficult process, there are many cases where the parties actually work together to come to an agreement on the significant issues that must be resolved, such as child support, division of property, and spousal support. By agreeing and stipulating to certain terms, the couple can avoid having a judge devise an order that will affect their family going forward. If the parties are able to come to an agreement, a court will simply need to approve the agreed-upon terms. In order to ensure that your negotiations appropriately address the necessary topics, while protecting your…
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    Maritime & Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

  • New Cruise Victim Information Website Won’t Provide Much Help, But It’s a Good Start

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    We’ve often discussed in this blog that a major problem with cruise safety is simply lack of cruise safety information. There is no one clearinghouse or database where potential passengers can check a cruise line’s safety record, or see if anybody has been injured or assaulted on a cruise. The department of Transportation, with the help of a Senator, has recently announced a plan that may at least take one step towards alleviating that problem. New Website Consolidates Information With urging from the International Cruise Victims’ Association, (ICV), the Department of Transportation has…
  • What is Maintenance and Cure?

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    24 Oct 2014 | 12:58 pm
    When we think of injuries at sea, we often think of injuries to passengers due to the negligence of a cruise ship. But maritime law goes far beyond that, extending to provide employees of ships with a wide range of benefits that they wouldn’t ordinarily be entitled to under state laws. Under state law, an employee injured on the job generally must make a claim for injury under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. In Florida, an employee who is afforded workers’ compensation is barred from bringing a standard negligence claim against their employer for anything other than the most…
  • Ebola Scare Highlights Cruise Ship Safety Concerns

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    17 Oct 2014 | 1:57 pm
    As if the ebola scare needed another angle, it now appears that someone who may have been exposed to the virus is aboard a cruise ship, of all things. It’s possible nothing will come of this, but if it does, it will call into play many of the topics that we have discussed regarding cruise line safety and standards previously on our blog. Exposed Passenger on a Cruise Ship It is well known that a patient in a Dallas hospital died from ebola, apparently after the hospital staff waited too long treat him. Nurses from that hospital are also now alleging that there were no safety standards in…
  • Death Aboard Cruise Ship Raises Questions as to Ship’s Duty to Secure Area

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    A young Clemson University college student died on a cruise ship recently after plunging 2 stories from an upper to a lower deck. The student had climbed a front mast with about 5 other friends, all to observe the sunset. There are no reports that the student was drinking; in fact, most accounts state that he was just talking about life with friends. The problem, however, was that he was actually standing in a restricted area, having climbed the ship’s mast, in close proximity to the ship’s radar. When the radar moved, as it often does, it apparently pushed the student off the ledge and…
  • Recent Cruise Ship Sexual Assault is a Reminder to Take Precautions

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    3 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    In a horrible incident, a cruise ship worker who plead guilty to charges that he brutally assaulted, physically and sexually, a cruise ship passenger on a Holland America Cruise, has now changed his mind, and wants a trial to determine his guilt. The Attack Inside the Passenger’s Cabin According to the assailant’s own confession at his initial plea hearing, he was motivated by what he believed to be insults to his mother. According to him, the passenger called him a “son of a bitch” on numerous occasions, when he was delivering food to her onboard cabin. He took that as an affront to…
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    Brian M. Mekdsy Legal Services, Massachusetts

  • Does Your Social Media Policy Put Your Company At Risk?

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    16 Oct 2014 | 6:36 am
    It should come as no surprise that small businesses can benefit greatly when they incorporate social media into their marketing efforts. But if not done properly, or if a company or its employees aren’t careful when using social media, there can be serious consequences – both legally and economically. On the surface, more and more [...]Related Posts:Is Your Social Media Privacy Under Attack?A Social Media Will Is No Longer OptionalHow to Plan for a Social Media Afterlife: Tools for ZombiesSuccession Planning For Your Family Business5 Items for your Estate Planning “To Do”…
  • Who the hell thinks of their online accounts as digital assets?

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:33 pm
    I mean, seriously: I bet you don’t think of your Facebook account as a “digital asset.” But truth be told, while you might not think of your online accounts that way, that’s exactly how they’re classified in the eyes of the law. And now that the Uniform Law Commission has published a draft law, called [...]Related Posts:Facebook, Instagram, Digital Assets and DeathProtecting Your Digital Assets With Google’s Inactive…A Social Media Will Is No Longer Optional8 Questions To Ask When Setting Up A Power Of AttorneyWhat Happens To Your Social Media Accounts After You…
  • Facebook, Instagram, Digital Assets and Death

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    11 Aug 2014 | 5:13 am
    Once upon a time, Al Gore invented the internet, and with it came the nearly universal accumulation of “digital assets.” In fact, digital assets are so commonplace today that more and more states are updating their laws to account for them. Now a nationally recognized group of lawyers has weighed in on the subject. In [...]Related Posts:Who the hell thinks of their online accounts as digital…Protecting Your Digital Assets With Google’s Inactive…A Social Media Will Is No Longer OptionalWhat Happens To Your Social Media Accounts After You Die?How to Plan for a Social…
  • This Fourth of July: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    2 Jul 2014 | 6:23 pm
    As the Fourth of July approaches and Americans get ready to celebrate independence by attending barbecues and firework displays, I can’t help but lament the current state of political discourse. This is, unfortunately, nothing new. In a Fourth of July-themed blog post last year appealing to the American sense of history, I tried to make [...]Related Posts:Why You Should Read The Declaration Of Independence This 4thBeware The Fiscal Cliff: Even Middle Class Estate Plans…Sick of Washington’s Games? Start a NonprofitIs the US Treasury Worthy of your ‘Charitable…Does…
  • Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    26 May 2014 | 8:50 am
    Last Memorial Day, I wrote about two great nonprofits dedicated to helping veterans and first responders, Homes for Our Troops and Wills for Heroes. This year, in keeping with that theme, I’d like to showcase two other organizations I’ve recently learned about that do similarly noble work on behalf of military families. Children of Fallen [...]Related Posts:A Memorial Day Expression Of AppreciationWhy You Should Read The Declaration Of Independence This 4th22 Things To Be Thankful For This ThanksgivingIs the US Treasury Worthy of your ‘Charitable…Your Estate Plan Reflects…
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    The Emplawyerologist

  • The U.S. Supreme Court Just Heard Another Overtime Case–Could it Affect You??

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    On October 8 the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on an overtime case. Now, before you yawn (I hope you didn’t yawn yet) this case, while it may seem to be a sleeper and may seem to turn on arcane, nit-picky laws and details could actually have far-reaching impact on employers and employees. The case is Integrity Staffing v. Busk et al, and the burning question is whether the employees are entitled to be paid for the time they spend at the end of their work day going through security clearances. If you are a retail employer the Supreme Court’s decision may be of…
  • Hearing Religious and Pregnancy Discrimination Cases Appeals to the Supreme Court

    23 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    The United States Supreme Court began its October 2014 term two weeks ago. Many of you may be thinking, “That’s nice, but why do I need to know that? Should I care?”  If you are an employer, manager or H.R. practitioner,the answer is a resounding “yes”.  Why? The High Court has agreed to hear appeals of six employment law cases, at least some of which could have an impact on you and your company. This week, The Emplawyerologist will focus on two employment discrimination cases–after the jump, of course! Sometime in the first half of 2015 Abercrombie &…
  • The Concluding Piece on Wal-Mart’s Employment Law Capers

    16 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    After 11 weeks of semi-intense focus on the world’s largest private employer, The Emplawyerologist is now wrapping up its series on Wal-Mart. Now, of course, we can still expect to hear more about Wal-Mart and its employment law woes in the news–unless of course, Wal-Mart does what we have been doing over here,  by learning from previous lawsuits. Notwithstanding Wal-Mart’s intentions, we have certainly learned some very valuable lessons. Where does that leave us now? After the jump, The Emplawyerologist will tie it all together for you!   We started this series by…
  • Safe Workplaces Don’t Happen By Accident – Just Ask Wal-Mart

    9 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Last week Wal-Mart was in the news again. Wal-Mart is also in court again. This time the case involves a celebrity. Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan sued Wal-Mart over the crash that killed comedian Jimmy Mack and injured Morgan and one other passenger of a limo bus rear-ended by a Wal-Mart truck. The case, Morgan v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc 14-cv-4388 (U.S. District Court, D.N.J., Trenton) has raised questions about Wal-Mart’s safety practices with its drivers in particular. However, this is not the first instance in which Wal-Mart has had to respond to allegations that its worker safety…
  • Has Wal-Mart Helped to Expand the Scope of Joint Employment?

    2 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    The Emplawyerologist has posted on co-employment before. (Click here, here, here, here, here, and here for review.) In keeping with our mini-series we can learn lessons from Wal-Mart here as well. If The Emplawyerologist has already posted on this topic six times, could there really be anything new–other than Wal-Mart being a named defendant? Actually, yes! This year a lawsuit involving allegations of co-employment liability — and Wal-Mart–has the potential to add a new wrinkle, to the topic of co-employment and for large companies that use large subcontractors to provide…
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    Atlanta Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in the News: Charity Walks and the Latest Technological Developments

    31 Oct 2014 | 2:31 pm
    Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD, CRPS Type 1), a condition that creates severe, chronic physical pain in its victims. There is no known cure for RSD, and its exact causes are yet unknown, although they are being closely examined by the medical community. RSD is a very rare disease; in fact, it is so rare that it does not have much occasion to appear in the news. However, some uplifting stories about RSD have been circulating through the news lately, and sufferers of RSD and their loved ones may take heart in the notion that, while no cure exists at the moment, communities appear to be…
  • Life After a Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Cognitive Difficulties and Returning to Work

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Earlier this year, we posted an article on coping with the emotional difficulties that typically follow traumatic brain injuries, which occur when one sustains a violent blow to the head or body that causes damage to the brain. Emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety, and irritability can occur not only because the part of the brain controlling emotions and behavior may have been affected, but also because a sufferer of a traumatic brain injury may simply be frustrated with the changes she has experienced post-injury in her cognitive skills. Traumatic brain injury patients typically…
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1) In Depth: Part II

    17 Oct 2014 | 3:08 pm
    After discussing in more detail the potential causes and symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), here, we turn to the treatment and diagnosis of the condition. At present, no single diagnostic test for RSD exists. Physicians will often refer to contextual clues such as the patient's medical history and common signs and symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, however, physicians consider certain procedures to be particularly helpful in seeking clues to diagnose RSD.
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1) In Depth: Part I

    14 Oct 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Throughout the year, we have posted several entries about reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) through the narrative of Kathy, a woman featured on "The Doctors" TV show who lives with a severe form of RSD. Today, we want to explain RSD more in detail--its causes, its symptoms, and its treatments.
  • Coping with Cerebral Palsy through Play Therapy

    10 Oct 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Earlier this year, a blog entry on activities, exercises and toys for children with cerebral palsy mentioned the concept of "play therapy," a concept in which children will play with toys and activities and, in the process, develop their mental and physical abilities. Play therapy is considered crucial to the growth of children with cerebral palsy. It is easy to see why; children are prone to want to play, and in the process, they can learn more about themselves and the world around them.
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • The Government Gets Slapped Back to District Court in a Fake Stash House Robbery Case

    4 Oct 2014 | 12:37 pm
    Fake stash house robbery cases are an embarrassment to a civilized society. Here's what happens. An undercover ATF agent finds a guy and does some deals with him. He then tells the guy he knows of a stash house where there are a lot of drugs and guns. Probably money too. Maybe a unicorn. Whatever it takes to get the guy interested. The guy gets some other guys involved. They get weapons and gear up for this robbery of someone they believe is a drug dealer. Then, with the undercover, they suit up, grab their guns, and plan to rob the stash house. All of this is on video. Then they're arrested…
  • Short Wins - The "Silence is Golden" Edition

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:30 am
    The most interesting case in the last two weeks, I think, is United States v. Shannon. There, the person accused of a crime simply didn't feel like talking to law enforcement - because, really, who would. The government crossed him on his decision not to talk and asked why he didn't come forward with his exculpatory testimony sooner. The Third Circuit reversed because this violated his Fifth Amendment rights - there's really no point in having a right not to talk if you hold it against a person when she doesn't talk. To the Victories! 1. United States v. Santaigo, First Circuit: Appellant was…
  • Short Wins - the Distribution of Child Pornography Gets (slightly) Limited Edition

    15 Sep 2014 | 7:34 am
    Child porn cases are turning out to be a surprisingly large portion of what's in federal court. Child pornography is gross and wrong, to be clear. But these cases are, I think, a symptom of a larger problem. All of us have times in our lives when we're in the wilderness, when we feel adrift and alienated and unsure of where we're going or where we are. Some folks in this time of life turn to alcohol, Some turn to drugs, video games, or other ways to keep themselves from facing the great chasm of dissatisfaction that their lives have become. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desparation"…
  • Short Wins - The Late August Edition

    27 Aug 2014 | 7:17 am
    It's been an interesting few weeks in the circuits (and, apologies for the gap in posting - pesky family vacations). Probably my favorite is United States v. Mergen, about whether an FBI agent's statements that what the guy charged with a crime was doing were ok and legal were admissible. I tend to think FBI stings that take advantage of how weak the entrapment defense is are one of the more loathsome things our federal government does - any time you can poke holes in that I think it's a good thing. Also of note is United States v. Bagdy - there, a guy who spent an inheritance on stuff that…
  • Short Wins - the Entrapment Edition

    1 Aug 2014 | 12:46 pm
    It is rare and wonderful to see an entrapment opinion. And United States v. Kopstein fits the bill. In other news, I was on TV last night talking about the trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. If you're interested, here's a clip (I start at about 2:15). To the victories! 1. United States v. Kopstein, Second Circuit: Appellant was convicted by a jury of transporting and shipping child pornography. During trial, Appellant's sole defense was entrapment. The conviction was vacated and the case remanded because the jury instruction on entrapment failed to consistently and adequately…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Making Sure Your Children's Halloween Costumes are Safe

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    It is that time of the year where parents are led to a costume store by eager kids wanting to purchase the year's hottest or funniest Halloween costume. While there is not a lot to worry about, parents still need to be mindful of their children's choice. Despite what one would expect, there are many costumes on the market that simply are not safe for children because, among many reasons, they are not flame resistant or are so dark that they put a child at risk to be struck by a car. It is hard to believe, but since 1980 there have been 16 reported incidents where a child under the age of 15…
  • Can I Sue My Town for Personal Injuries Caused by Defective Roadways or Sidewalks?

    21 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    Anyone who has walked or driven around Boston knows that the streets and sidewalks of the city are not exactly pristine. Cities and towns in Massachusetts are often old, historic towns which endure New England's rough winters and wet springs. Old trees grow underneath the streets and sidewalks causing them to tilt; frost heaves and potholes abound. As a result, injuries to drivers and pedestrians from defective streets and sidewalks are fairly common. And when they happen, people rightly ask: Can I bring a claim against my City or Town for personal injuries? From a legal perspective, the…
  • The What, Why, Who and When of Mediation in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:39 pm
    The What - Mediation is a voluntary procedure where a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties to a settlement. In a personal injury or wrongful death case, the procedure most often involves the parties and their attorneys meeting with the mediator for a one or one-half day session. Usually, this is held at the mediator's office. The session starts with both sides meeting with the mediator in a group session. During this session, often the attorneys for each party summarizes that party's position. There is no testimony. Massachusetts law provides that all communications during a…
  • Recent Verdicts for Victims of Defective Transvaginal Mesh against Boston Scientific and Ethicon

    24 Sep 2014 | 1:54 pm
    A federal jury in West Virginia recently returned a verdict of $3.27 million for a woman who filed suit against Ethicon, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, for injuries due to a defective transvaginal TVT-O mid-urethral sling. After a nearly two-week trial, the jury found in favor for the plaintiff, Jo Huskey, on her counts of strict liability, design defect, failure to warn and negligence. Ms. Huskey, now 52 years old, underwent the implantation procedure in 2011 for stress urinary incontinence and has suffered erosion of the mesh, which has caused severe pain and required her to undergo…
  • Boston's Proposed Safety Ordinance Geared Towards Cyclist Safety

    12 Sep 2014 | 7:32 am
    Earlier this week, the Boston City Council was expected to take up a first-of-its-kind ordinance geared towards bicyclist and pedestrian safety. On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh presented the City Council with an Ordinance to Protect Vulnerable Road Users. If passed, the ordinance would require the implementation of safety apparatuses on all city-owned and city-contractor vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds. Furthermore, only snowplows and emergency vehicles would be exempt from complying with the proposed ordinance. These safety apparatuses include protective side…
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    South Florida Criminal Attorneys Blog

  • Lighthouse Point Man Sentenced to Lesser Charge in First-Degree Murder Case

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:44 pm
    It was more than twenty years ago when Lynne Friend went to meet her estranged husband to pick up a check that was due for child support. After that evening, the then thirty-five year old Lynne Friend vanished. For eighteen of those twenty years, her ex-husband, Clifford Friend lived his life as a free man and continued with his life. He remarried in 1995 and together with his new wife they raised his son Christian the product of his first marriage. He opened a pawn shop and the couple bought a home in Pembroke Pines. Although he was the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance,…
  • South Florida Corrections Officer Sentenced for Federal Charges

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    3 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    Former Corrections Officer Jerry St. Fleur, 26, was sentenced to over four years in a federal prison after agreeing to a plea deal for charges of identity theft and wire fraud. Over sixty thousand dollars that was proceeds from his scheme will also be forfeited. He faced up to twenty years in federal prison before submitting to the guilty plea. But in 2014, St. Fleur was not alone when it came to officers from Florida’s Department of Corrections being arrested, accepting guilty pleas and being sentenced for their crimes. St. Fleur was the third employee of Florida Correctional…
  • South Florida Businessman Pleads Not Guilty in Baseball Star Human Smuggling Conspiracy

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:01 am
    Gilberto Suarez, a 40 year old businessman from South Florida pleaded not guilty after he was arrested for his part in a smuggling ring that allegedly helped Yasiel Puig, a star player for the Los Angeles Dodgers enter the country in 2012. The not guilty plea was in answer to an Indictment which gave away few details other than seeking forfeiture of any proceeds Suarez received from the illegal business deal that brought the baseball player, his girlfriend and spiritual adviser here from Cuba. Other than those details the Indictment was sealed. Specifically, the forfeiture demand recorded in…
  • Florida Man Acquitted of First Degree Murder Charges

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:50 am
    Cesar Limas made his living by selling cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Yet he became the prosecutor’s key witness in a first degree murder trial that led to fourteen months of jail time for Carlos Hiracheta Perez, 29, of Dade City pending trial. Limas told police that he and another man wrestled a Colt .45 semi-automatic pistol away from Perez outside an abandoned house in Dade City after two shots were fired inside the house. Within the residence lay the motionless body of Arturo Escamilla. Limas told Sheriff’s deputies that after he grabbed the gun away from Perez, the…
  • Jessie Lee Miller Freed After 15-Year First Degree Murder Acquittal

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    Otto Wright’s first trial for felony first-degree murder ended in a mistrial when a jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision. But his second trial ended with a guilty verdict when the previously self-proclaimed “look out” admitted that he participated in the robbery of a West Palm Beach Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Nicholas Megrath, the 18-year old manager of the restaurant that was located at the now non-operational West Palm Beach Mall was shot and killed by one of the other culprits. But Wright’s taped confession stated that although he watched the robbery unfold…
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    Darlingtons Solicitors

  • Fraud or dishonesty at work – employer options

    David Rosen
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:21 am
    D Rosen This blogpost presumes that the reader is someone within an organisation who is an owner, or in a position of responsibility. Firstly, how does your business define ‘fraud’? Some businesses adopt the case law interpretation as set out in Derry v Peek [1889] LR 14 App Cas 337. Other businesses have their own definitions of what is, and what is not fraud. Some businesses only consider fraud on a criminal basis to a criminal standard. That is a high standard to have sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person has committed such a crime. Some businesses consider…
  • Profiling Fraudsters

    David Rosen
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:54 am
    D Rosen  Q to James Bond  “I can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pyjamas before my first Earl Grey…” Skyfall I was inspired to write this blogpost, following my reading of ‘Countering fraud for competitive advantage, the professional approach to reducing the last great hidden cost’ (Button and Gee 2013).  I do not seek to find the current answer, but merely write to be thought-provoking.  Has developing technology changed the scope in which criminal profiling has previously identified classes or groups of people, likely to commit fraud?  Undoubtedly, yes.
  • David Rosen quoted as expert on private prosecutions by The Independent

    17 Aug 2014 | 4:25 am
    David was approached by the Independent newspaper and asked for his expert comments on the important and growing phenomenon of private criminal prosecutions in England & Wales. You can read the full article here. Alternatively, see below. If you have any questions about the law, process or advisability of a private criminal prosecution, please do get in touch with David for expert help.
  • Complex Commercial Fraud: Tracing and Following: Pens, Rulers, and Motorbikes

    David Rosen
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:48 pm
    D Rosen  I read recently, a fascinating chapter of ‘Commercial Fraud in Civil Practice’ by McGrath QC, 2014, relating to Tracing. Let me start by saying I am a firm believer that a proprietary claim, leads to proprietary relief, in the absence of any clarity that it arises from a claim of unjust enrichment.  Tracing is effectively the act of seeking and locating monies or monies worth for evidential purposes.  There used to be a common misconception that you referred to a tracing claim, or a tracing injunction. That is a colloquial referral, and not technically correct.  Tracing is…
  • How to avoid a breach of contract situation

    Ben Jones
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:23 pm
    Ben Jones – Partner & head of employment law It is important to have an agreement / contract in place to ensure all parties are aware of their obligations under the agreement but also to legislate for what happens if one party breaches the agreement. Get the right contract and act consistently Before considering remedies, it’s important to reflect on the topic generally. Whilst it is impossible to prevent the other party to a contract from breaching it, we see all too often that clients do not learn from mistakes and/or don’t understand how to minimise the chances of a…
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    Tampa Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

    22 Oct 2014 | 11:37 am
    Oscar Pistorius, renowned Paralympic sprinter was sentenced yesterday to five years in a South African prison for the shooting and killing of his then girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Mr. Pistorius was found not guilty of a more serious murder charge he stood trial for earlier this year but was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting Ms. Steenkamp several times in the middle of the night in what Mr. Pistorius claims was self defense out of fear that one had intruded into his home. South African prosecutors argued for a minimum of 10 years as a prison sentence for Mr. Pistorius but were…
  • Florida Cop Accused Of Getting Oral Sex In Exchange For Not Making Arrest

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:50 am
    Oh Florida, here we go again. Generally it's the average Joes and Janes making the news for crazy allegations, now it's the cops. 32-year-old Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Ted Arboleda is accused of foregoing a legitimate arrest of a woman in exchange for her offer of oral sex. Arboleda is said to have made routine contact with the woman at a local gas station where he found her to be without a valid driver's license, in possession of marijuana, and in possession of an unlabeled bottle of prescription medication, all while on felony probation. According to news reports, initially the woman…
  • Doctor Guilty Of Healthcare Fraud For Administering Chemotherapy To Patients Who Didn't Have Cancer

    7 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Dr. Farid Fata recently pled guilty to 16 Federal criminal counts including 13 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of receiving kickbacks. In a disturbingly unusual case involving a doctor fraudulently submitting requests for reimbursement from several healthcare organizations, Dr. Farid Fata went so far as to knowingly misdiagnose several patients with cancer and subsequently ordering that they receive cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. In doing this he was able to bilk several healthcare organizations out of a ton of money to his benefit. In…
  • Indiana Man Accused of Cannibalism

    17 Sep 2014 | 3:46 pm
    Jeffersonville, Indiana man, Joseph A. Oberhansley, 33, is accused of murdering his girlfriend and ultimately eating portions of her corpse. Oberhansley was arrested last Thursday after police came to his girlfriend, Tammy Blanton's home looking for her as she failed to show up for work. According to news sources, Oberhansley began acting suspicious when police questioned him as to Blanton's whereabouts. Police observed a fresh cut across Oberhansley's knuckles during their contact and then patted down Oberhansley for weapons, finding a knife in the accused's back pocket full of hair and what…
  • So You've Violated Your Federal Supervised Release... What now?

    20 Aug 2014 | 9:59 am
    Just about every Federal felony carries behind a term of incarceration a period where one is on a probation like status called supervised release. For all intents and purposes supervised release is just like probation in that you will be monitored by a Federal probation officer, will forego certain rights while on supervision, and will have to meet certain requirements laid out by the Court specific to your case in addition to those general requirements for anyone on supervised release. For the most part as long as you mind your P's and Q's you won't have an issue with a potential violation.
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    Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    27 Oct 2014 | 9:55 am
    Clanton Fleetwood, a Cadillac owner from Tyler, Texas, was driving his 2006 Cadillac SRX at an intersection in Smith County, Fleetwood on November 20, 2013 when he lost control of his Cadillac and continued through the intersection and ended up in a ditch on the side of the road. He said that, "for unknown reasons [I] lost control of the vehicle." Mr. Fleetwood said that he was sitting in his seat correctly and had his seat belt on securely, but he "suffered serious injuries when his vehicle failed to protect him." Mr. Fleetwood claims that General Motors LLC is responsible for his accident…

    20 Oct 2014 | 7:59 pm
    On Sunday, October 12, 2014, just before 6 p.m., the ferry boat Peralta crashed into a piling at Pier 41 in San Francisco, California. The ferry was carrying 230 passengers and heading to Oakland, California. Many of the passengers said they felt a strong jolt when the ferry hit the pylon. Many of the passengers were knocked off their feet and fell. One of the passengers, Darryl Pham, said, "I kind of saw it coming. A lot of people didn't, and it just hit the pylon and I saw kids flying and it was pretty bad." The injured passengers had mild to moderate injuries, mostly by hurting their necks…

    16 Oct 2014 | 1:51 pm
    Former Navy information systems technician first class and All Navy wrestler, Makimbo Mimms, was awarded $300,000 in a suit against a gym offering CrossFit classes. The gym breached their duty of care to monitor participants during the workout resulting in serious and permanent injury. During the CrossFit workout, Mimms quadriceps were repeatedly taxed without rest caused him to urinate blood and his legs to swell, he said. He was hospitalized for a week and diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis, the breakdown of muscle fibers that releases muscle fiber (myoglobin) into the bloodstream and often…

    16 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    Two young boys in Nashua, New Hampshire were rushed to the hospital after the bouncy house they were playing in blew away. They were in playing in the bouncy house at Sullivan Farm when it became airborne and blew over a fence, coming to a rest 50 feet from where it had been setup. The owner of the bouncy house, Gary Bergeron, says he purchased the inflatable a day or two ago and that it was not ready to be used. He says it was only setup for cleaning and doesn't know how the boys were able to climb in it. "It was missing spikes to go into the ground and it only had three tethers on it and…

    13 Oct 2014 | 12:34 pm
    On October 7, 2014 at approximately 10:30 a.m., a ventilation duct collapsed in a garage at Herb Chambers BMW of Boston at 1168 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. The Boston Police, the Boston Fire Department, and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived on the scene to survey the situation. The Boston Police reported that the ventilation system collapse, which was installed around 20 years ago, caused two injuries and damage to several cars in the garage. The air conditioning duct, which measures 80 to 100 feet long and made of thin metal, fell during a busy work…
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  • U.S. Circuit Court Strikes Down Another Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

    27 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    Recently the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th circuit ruled that another of Arizona's anti-immigration laws is unconstitutional. This law, referred to as Proposition 100, allowed the state to deny bond to undocumented foreign nationals who were charged with "serious" crimes. Proposition 100 Arizona's Proposition 100 was passed in November 2006, during a period that many have described as the height of anti-immigration and anti-immigrant public opinion in the state. What is interesting about this law is that it seems to have been incomplete at the time Arizonans voted on the bill. It…
  • Immigration Advocates Accuse ICE of Acting "Out of Control"

    27 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more commonly known by its concise acronym of ICE, is the enforcement arm of the federal government's immigration laws. ICE has been making headlines recently as immigrant rights advocates accuse the agency of acting "out of control" when executing its enforcement duties. ICE's Actions Critics of the agency state that ICE officers are aggressively pursuing deportation cases, many of which are against foreign nationals who are nonviolent offenders, even though President Obama has repeatedly promised that his administration will soon be implementing policies…
  • New York City Taking Steps to Institute its Own Version of Immigration Relief

    20 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    In the wake of President Obama's announcement that he will delay executive action on comprehensive immigration reform until after the Congressional November elections, many states expressed their disappointment with the President because the American people and foreign nationals have been waiting for years for any movement on this critical issue. It seems that New York City is tired of waiting and is taking steps to institute its own version of immigration policy in the coming weeks. New York City's Immigration Legislation According to its speaker, Ms. Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City…
  • U.S. Military to Allow Undocumented Foreign Nationals to Enlist

    13 Oct 2014 | 9:53 am
    Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Defense unveiled a new policy that will give certain undocumented foreign nationals the opportunity to enlist in the U.S. military. This is the first time in several decades that this immigrant population will be allowed to join the military. The policy is actually an extension of an existing program called Military Accessions in the National Interest, more commonly referred to as MAVNI. The MAVNI Program The purpose of the MAVNI program is to authorize military recruiters to specifically target and attract foreign nationals who possess skills that are in…
  • Congressional Inaction Spurs Churches to Open Their Doors to Immigrants

    9 Oct 2014 | 8:25 am
    Recently, President Obama disappointed hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals and immigrant rights advocate groups when he announced that he would not be taking executive action on immigration reform until after the November elections. In the face of this delay, the nation's religious leaders have taken up the mantle and are now offering undocumented foreign nationals protection from deportation in an initiative dubbed the Sanctuary Movement. The Sanctuary Movement The movement has its roots in medieval practices that prohibited the king's men from apprehending criminals within church…
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    Palo Alto Estate Planning Blog

  • Happy National Estate Planning Awareness Week!

    Liza Hanks
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:55 pm
    Who knew?! I honestly had no idea that there was such a thing as National Estate Planning Awareness Week, but, in fact there is, and it’s the third week in October, established by House Resolution 1499 in 2008. When I worked in the US Senate, I was particularly thrilled by National Ice Cream Day (the third Sunday in July) and when I worked in the California State Legislature there was one day when bikers from all over California rode around the capital to protest helmet laws (I’m not sure if that was an official day or not). But this, while not nearly as thrilling as either of…
  • State Inheritance and Estate Taxes

    Liza Hanks
    5 Oct 2014 | 3:41 pm
    California is a big state, and it’s easy to get near-sighted. Because California has no state-specific gift or estate taxes, it’s easy to focus almost exclusively on the federal estate and gift tax exemptions when planning for the taxes due after there’s been a death. But nineteen states and the District of Columbia levy their own state estate taxes or inheritance taxes, with widely varying exemptions and tax rates, and these taxes can come due, even to California residents–either because they own property located in another state, or because they inherit assets from a…
  • Taking Parents Off the Hook

    Liza Hanks
    23 Sep 2014 | 12:20 pm
    The New York Times published an interesting story this weekend on the expectations that parents and children have with respect to inheritances. The article summarized a study published in The Gerontologist last year, in which older adults and their children were polled on whether or not they expected to leave or inherit an inheritance. It turns out that 86.2% of the parents expected to leave their children something, but only 44.6% of the kids were expecting to receive anything.  Interestingly, the adult children who were getting money from their parents during life had a higher expectation…
  • Too Old to Drive?

    Liza Hanks
    3 Aug 2014 | 2:31 pm
    This week, an elderly driver lost control of his car and crashed into a cafe on University Avenue in Palo Alto, injuring six, including himself. News reports say that the driver was trying to park, and accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal. As we, or our parents, age, the question of when someone should stop driving is almost certain to come up.  While it is true that impaired driving isn’t always a factor of age, it is also true that as we age our reactions slow, our vision declines, our hearing decreases, our flexibility and strength decline, cognitive and…
  • Summer Time Is Here: Estate Planning on the Run

    Liza Hanks
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:34 pm
    Inevitably, in the summer months, I get phone calls from people who are about to take a trip somewhere, often within just a few days. Sometimes they have a Will or a trust that’s out of date; sometimes they have no estate planning documents at all; sometimes they have just finished getting divorced and are in a panic because they haven’t gotten around to updating their Will or trust. Much as I try to help everyone who calls, sometimes (often) there’s just not enough time to update their documents before that plane takes off or the road trip starts. What to do? Although none…
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    Florida Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Amazon Fulfillment - Customer Convenience or Sales Tax Disaster

    23 Oct 2014 | 6:01 pm
    Now more than ever Amazon has been a one stop shop for many consumers. Not only can you buy just about anything you can think of on the Amazon website, but you can also receive lightning fast delivery of whatever you buy. Over the past few years, Amazon has taken their company to the next level. Now, in addition to selling items, Amazon provides a fulfillment service to online retailers. As Amazon puts it, their fulfillment business "helps you grow your online business by giving you access to Amazon's world-class fulfillment resources and expertise." Simply put, the online retailer sends…
  • Florida Motor Fuel Tax Audits on the Rise

    9 Oct 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Over the past few years the Florida Department of Revenue ("FDOR") has launched several new campaigns. About 2 years ago, the DOR gained the ability to access the data tracking all tobacco and alcohol items sold to retailers. Armed with third party data, the FDOR did several thousands of audits on those that sold tobacco or alcohol items. With the downturn in the economy, times are tough for the State of Florida and they are launching a similar campaign against auto dealers using DMV records. It was also brought to our attention that the DOR is launching a new campaign by training its…

    1 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Many states, like my home state of Florida, have broad freedom of information laws. Known in Florida as the Sunshine Laws, the state's citizens can request a wide range of information from the government. Under the laws, so long as the information is not made confidential by a specific statute/law, then the government has an obligation to provide the citizen with whatever is requested. As a state and local tax ("SALT") practitioner, I often use this knowledge to my advantage. I often request documents and statistics from the state that I find beneficial to myself, my client, or my practice.

    24 Sep 2014 | 10:17 am
    As a Florida state and local tax attorney I live in the world of strange. Few attorneys or tax professionals are even aware of our peculiar area of the law. Even fewer attorneys or tax professionals have heard of, let alone practiced in the even stranger area of Native American Taxation. During my travels and while earning my LL.M. at NYU, I was one of the few fortunate souls to be exposed to this spin off of state and local tax. In fact, there are only two courses offered in the United States at the LL.M. level on this subject. Native American Taxation is poorly developed, the rules are…
  • Illinois Tries Again with Nexus Law

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:57 pm
    On March 28, 2013, Overstock and Amazon lost their challenge of a state tax on online sales in New York's highest court. Further, the the Supreme Court of United States declined hearing the case, because the court determined that such a law did not violate the federal Commerce Clause. Following the Amazon decision, we expected the states to follow New York's lead and enact its own click-through-nexus laws. In 2011, Illinois did just that. Specifically, Illinois has a nexus law that required any company with a place of business in Illinois to collect and remit tax to Illinois. In 2011,…
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    New Jersey CPA Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Tax Court Declares Woman's Art to Be a Business; Decision Hailed as Victory for All Artists

    15 Oct 2014 | 10:38 am
    In a ruling widely regarded as a success for artists of all varieties, from independent musicians to photographers and painters, the US Tax Court rejected an Internal Revenue Service decision that a well-respected painter and art professor's painting work was not an activity conducted for the purpose of making a profit. The court explained that the law looks at many factors for determining the nature of an activity, and the painter's clear proof of a business plan and maintenance of a "businesslike" record established that her painting was a for-profit activity. Susan Crile worked both as a…
  • Corporate Officer's Inability to Cash Bonus Check Trips Up Entity's Tax Deduction

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:13 am
    A corporation officer's handling of his year-end bonus check was a case of form over substance, the US Tax Court ruled, and that meant that the bonus payment was not eligible for a tax deduction for payments to corporate officers. The central problem was that the officer clearly did not have unrestricted control over his bonus payment, since the corporation did not had enough money in its bank account to cover the amount of the check. The dispute involved the corporate entity created by architect Robert Vanney. Vanney created Vanney Associates, Inc., a personal services C corporation, in…
  • Tax Code's Strict Rules Regarding Recreational Vehicles Stop Taxpayers' Business Deductions

    17 Sep 2014 | 10:35 am
    Sometimes, converting a beloved avocation into a business opportunity can be a master stroke. One California couple likely thought so when they began traveling to recreational vehicle events to sell RV insurance policies. Unfortunately, they could not deduct the expenses they incurred on their own RV because of the rules in the tax code. The US Tax Court upheld the Internal Revenue Service's deficiency ruling because, under the tax code's strict rules, the RV was a dwelling, and the couple used it for personal purposes for more than the allotted 14 days. Dellward Jackson owned and operated an…
  • Failed Cemetery Site Tax Shelter Leads to $187K Deficiency Assessment a Decade Later for Investors

    3 Sep 2014 | 10:40 am
    Charitable deductions can provide taxpayers with very valuable tax benefits in the form of larger deductions. In some case, though, when taxpayers invest in questionable tax deduction generating schemes, the drawbacks of these investments ultimately far outweigh the benefits. In one such instance, the US Tax Court recently upheld the Internal Revenue Service's assessment of deficiencies of a couple's 1996-99 tax returns, amounting to nearly $200,000. Even though the IRS notice of deficiency occurred more than a decade after the couple filed their returns, specific exceptions to the law's…
  • Taxpayer's Failure to Keep Contemporaneous Records Leads Court to Reject Documentation as 'Ballpark Guesstimate'

    20 Aug 2014 | 2:48 pm
    For any taxpayer, maintaining proper records is vitally important. This is especially true if you have millions of dollars in business expenses riding on whether or not you meet the tax regulations' standard for a "real estate professional." A technology business owner discovered a hard lesson regarding this matter when the U.S. Tax Court rejected his appeal and upheld the Internal Revenue Service's imposition of a tax deficiency well in excess of a half-million dollars. The ruling reminds all taxpayers that there is simply no substitute for records created and updated contemporaneously, as…
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    Securities Lawyer 101 – SEC Law & Direct Public Offering Attorneys

  • Going Public Blog l Securities Lawyer 101

    1 Jan 2101 | 6:23 am
      Securities Lawyer 101 Blog Going public is a big step for any company.  The process of “going public” is complex and at times precarious.  While going public offers many benefits it also comes with risks and quantities of regulations with which issuers must become familiar.   Despite the risks even in a down economy, the U.S. market remains one... Read More
  • Attorney Kenneth Eade Barred from Practicing Before the SEC

    29 Oct 2014 | 4:52 am
    Securities Lawyers Gone Wild Series On October 28, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced the settlement of an administrative proceeding brought by the agency against Kenneth G. Eade, an attorney licensed to practice in California, but living in Paris, France.  By agreeing to the suspension, Eade accepted a suspension from practicing law before the SEC for a period... Read More
  • Crowdfunding a Texas Intrastate Offering

    28 Oct 2014 | 8:05 am
    Texas is the latest state to embrace equity crowdfunding.  On October 22, 2014, the Texas State Securities Board approved proposed Rule 139.25, which exempts intrastate securities offerings using crowdfunding.  Rule 139.25 will become effective next month.   The new Texas exemption requires that offers and sales of an issuer’s securities be made exclusively through an Internet website operated by a Texas... Read More
  • Crowdfunding a Going Public Transaction

    28 Oct 2014 | 7:40 am
    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rules for crowdfunding remain in limbo, but 12 states have passed legislation allowing intrastate crowdfunding.  The SEC as well as state securities regulators have provided meaningful guidance addressing intrastate crowdfunding. One benefit of intrastate crowdfunding is that while it will not give a company public company status, if structured properly, it can serve as... Read More
  • Section 12 – Termination of Registration and Trading Suspensions

    22 Oct 2014 | 10:49 am
    Securities Law Blog SEC proceedings for registration revocations and trading suspensions have become somewhat common in the microcap markets since the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) started its Operation Shell Expel initiative.  Proceedings under Section 12(j) are frequently initiated when an SEC reporting company has a  history of delinquent periodic reports and filings.Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,... Read More
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    Employment News

  • FedEx “Independent Contractor” Misclassification: 9th Circuit Unravels Business Model

    28 Oct 2014 | 10:43 am
    Classifying employees as independent contractors rather than employees can give employers a significant advantage. In addition to avoiding certain responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation, health insurance, and providing other employee benefits, employers can also escape other legal liabilities. In a recent case, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that FedEx misclassified more than 3,000 delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.Read more about FedEx “Independent Contractor” Misclassification: 9th Circuit Unravels Business Model
  • Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:11 am
    Scroll through postings for tech jobs and you will see desired traits such as “recent college graduate” or “new graduates.” While at first glance, these employers are simply targeting entry level employees, the unfortunate reality is a discriminatory practice common in the tech industry. After recent determinations by the EEOC that such postings are unlawful, the industry-wide problem of age discrimination is no longer being ignored.Read more about Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry
  • EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

    3 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a spike in pregnancy discrimination cases prompted the agency to update its guidelines for the first time in 30 years. Failure to provide accommodations, adjust work duties, or forcing a woman into leave could be construed as discrimination. The purpose of the agency’s update is to clarify the law for employers and to curb future instances of discrimination.Read more about EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:07 am
    Minnesota recently became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, effective May 30, 2014.  The new law is a breakthrough for advocates and could improve opportunities for treatment, pain management, and research. It may however create issues for employers and employees in “drug-free” workplaces. What are employee rights to medical marijuana use and what does the new law mean for compliance under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA)?Read more about Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing
  • Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    Victims of sexual harassment usually don’t need to be told when the line was crossed. Flirting is not unusual in the workplace but can become harassing behavior when it develops into behavior that is unwelcome, has a negative impact on an employee’s performance or creates a hostile work environment.  When workplace banter shifts to sexual harassment, victims may feel bullied, abused and pressured by fellow employees or a supervisor.Read more about Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?
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    Dallas Justice » Criminal Law Blog

  • Will Media Coverage Finally Stop Government From Grabbing Your Property in Forfeiture?

    Michael Lowe
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:41 pm
     Finally, the public is waking up to the wrong that is civil forfeiture laws – something that we’ve been monitoring here since April 2010. There’s still lots to be done, but there is reason to be optimistic that the government’s ability to grab your property without any criminal wrongdoing even being alleged on your part may be stopped.   New York Times Expose Gets National Media Attention This week, there’s been lots of media coverage spring-boarding off of last Saturday’s New York Times expose by Shaila Dewan entitled, “Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No…
  • Carson County Money Laundering Case Dismissed

    Michael Lowe
    27 Oct 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Mr. Lowe’s client was stopped by Danny Dawson, 100th Judicial District of Texas (Carson County, Donley County, Hall County, Collingsworth County and Childress County) Peace Officer for District Attorney Luke Inman travelling Westbound on IH-40.  Officer Dawson was able to convince Mr. Lowe’s client to allow him to search the vehicle.  Mr. Lowe’s client was travelling in a vehicle was New Jersey license plates.  Officer Dawson found a secret compartment inside the floorboard underneath the passenger seat in the vehicle.  Officer Dawson ultimately recovered approximately…
  • Texas Millionaire John Goodman Retrial For Drunk Driving Vehicular Manslaughter: Lessons in Zealous Criminal Defense

    Michael Lowe
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:43 pm
    This story starts in February 2010 over in Florida, in a town about the same distance north of Miami as Austin is to San Antonio. John Goodman, a Texas native and heir to a huge family fortune built by his daddy down in Houston, was driving his convertible Bentley extremely fast when he crashed into a Hyundai driving by a 23 year old Florida man named Scott Wilson. The crash site tells us that the Bentley was going at a high speed. It also tells us that the impact of the collision was so fierce that Goodman’s car thrust Wilson’s car into a watery canal, where Scott Wilson, unable to exit…
  • Dallas County Marijuana Arrests: In 2015, Dallas Police Not Busting for Pot

    Michael Lowe
    15 Oct 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Dallas police officers stop people for being high or possessing pot all the time; often, these encounters result in arrests that are not based upon serious felony charges leading to significant jail time upon conviction. Lots are misdemeanor charges. Bottom line, many of the marijuana arrests in our area are for relatively small amounts of weed that’s clearly for personal use. We’re not talking a major cartel busts with pounds or kilos of marijuana here. For the person who has been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, no matter how small, there can be serious consequences.
  • Collin County Sexual Assault “No Billed”

    Michael Lowe
    13 Oct 2014 | 10:53 am
    Mr. Lowe got his client’s 2nd degree Felony Sexual Assault charged “no billed” in Collin County.  Mr. Lowe’s client (Texas State licensed armed security guard) was attempting to remove his live-in girlfriend from his home in Plano, Texas.  When Plano Police arrived at the scene, his girlfriend claimed that Mr. Lowe’s client sexually assaulted (“rape”) her and slapped her face shortly before Plano PD’s arrival on the scene. Mr. Lowe’s client was later arrested and charged with 2nd degree felony Sexual Assault (non-consensual sexual…
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Florida Appeals Court Holds Medical Malpractice Law Does Not Apply Where Organs Were Cremated Following Autopsy

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:34 am
    In Winter Haven Hospital, Inc. v. Liles, a 49-year-old Florida woman died after receiving treatment for shortness of breath in an emergency room at a hospital. Following the woman’s death, her daughter signed a form providing the hospital with permission to perform an autopsy. The form stated the institution was authorized to retain certain internal organs for further study. After the woman’s daughter sought a second autopsy, she learned that her mother’s internal organs were incinerated by the hospital. The decedent’s daughter filed a lawsuit against the hospital, the doctor who…
  • Tampa Federal Court Remands Medical Device Products Liability Case Back to Sarasota County

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    The Middle District of Florida in Tampa has remanded a products liability case back to state court. In Wier v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., a man was allegedly hurt by a medical device that was surgically implanted in his hip. As a result, he filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the device and the distributor in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in Sarasota County. In the man’s case, he asserted the two companies were negligent, failed to warn him, committed breach of an implied warranty, and should be held strictly liable for his harm. He also claimed that the medical device manufacturer…
  • Appeals Court Says Employer Who Failed to Comply With Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws Must Reimburse Hurt Employee

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:56 am
    In Fortune v. Gulf Coast Tree Care, Inc., a Florida man’s shoulder became dislocated after he was assaulted while making a work-related delivery to a customer in 2011. Following the incident, the man was treated in an emergency room at a local hospital. After realigning his shoulder, the treating physician reportedly advised the injured man to seek follow-up care. Although the man notified his supervisor regarding the incident, and the supervisor came to both the scene of the assault and the emergency room, the supervisor apparently failed to file a timely notice of injury as required by…
  • Appeals Court Overturns $5.9 Million Florida Wrongful Death Verdict Against Tobacco Company

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:52 am
    In Aycock v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a Florida woman filed a wrongful death case in the Middle District of Florida against a tobacco company over her husband’s 1996 lung cancer death. In her complaint, the woman sought both compensatory and punitive damages from the company that manufactured the cigarettes her spouse smoked throughout their marriage. According to the woman, his nicotine addiction caused her husband’s death. Evidence provided to the court suggested that the decedent was also addicted to alcohol. The man’s cancer was reportedly discovered when he was admitted to a…
  • Florida Appeals Court Overturns Denial of Benefits in Miami-Dade Workers’ Compensation Case

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:27 am
    Florida’s First District Court of Appeal has reversed a decision denying an advance in workers’ compensation benefits that was rendered by a Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”). In Bonner v. Miami Dade Public Schools, an employee who was out of work for about 18 months due to a work-related injury returned to work with a reduced salary. After returning to work, she sought a $2,000 advance from her employer under Florida Statute Section 440.20(12). This law allows an employee to request a workers’ compensation advance of up to $2,000 when the worker has suffered a “substantial…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • New England-Based Program to Help Homeless Get Disability Benefits

    30 Oct 2014 | 11:23 pm
    Disability can affect anyone no matter his or her level of education, amount of money made before becoming disabled, or social status. The reality is that when someone becomes disabled and can no longer work, if that individual did not have private long term disability insurance (most people don't), he or she will have a tough time getting social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits without the assistance of an attorney who regularly handles disability matters. According to a recent news article for the New Britain Herald, one new program in Connecticut is aimed at helping the…
  • Disability Benefits Application Process Extremely Difficult for Unrepresented Claimants

    26 Oct 2014 | 10:57 pm
    According to a recent news feature from, the Social Security disability system is virtually impossible to navigate without legal representation, according to applicants. One disability benefits applicant waited four years for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to approve her application. She had worked as a nurse for 13 years at a local hospital but began to suffer from severe gastrointestinal issues that required bypass surgery. It is thought that bypass surgery was the cause of her developing pancreatitis.
  • Moore, Jr. v. Colvin: On Discrepancies between Evidence Findings in Disability Cases

    23 Oct 2014 | 10:52 pm
    Moore, Jr. v. Colvin, an appeal heard in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, involved claimant who applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. At a hearing by an administrative law judge (ALJ) with the Social Security Administration (SSA), the ALJ determined that claimant was not disabled, because of jobs identified by a vocational expert (VE). These jobs were identified in response to a hypothetical created by the ALJ.
  • Proposed Changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Programs

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:48 pm
    In recent months there have been an increasing number of news articles that warn us that the funding for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits administered by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) will run out in less than two years, unless more money is allocated by Congress. This is what news commentators and politicians are referring to as the SSDI cliff, over which the program is poised to fall. One recent article from the Huffington Post looks at a new program that may be a partial solution to the problem with the SSDI system, known as the Achieving a…
  • A Look at the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Benefits

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:53 pm
    While many people have heard of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there is another option for some disabled residents of Boston known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSI program, also run the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), is designed to provide disability benefits for those who have never worked, or "paid into the system" to use the term SSA would use. In an SSDI claim, the SSA will look at the number of years that the claimant has worked and the amount of money that employee has paid into the SSA system in taxes prior to becoming disabled.
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • High Praise From US Military Members and Immigration Advocates for 'Policy In Place'

    20 Oct 2014 | 8:52 am
    Last November, a change in America's immigration policy was implemented by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Director which allows the undocumented family members of US military personnel to escape deportation. The change in policy is essentially a policy in and of itself that carries the unconventionally lengthy title "Parole of Spouses, Children and Parents of Active Duty Members of the US Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, and Former Members of the US Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and the Effect of Parole on Inadmissibility…
  • Several Undocumented Migrants in New Mexico Released from Detention Facility

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:23 am
    Dozens of undocumented migrants who were being held at a facility in New Mexico have been released, according to Philip Burch, the mayor of the city of Artesia. Burch recently told reporters that 68 of the nearly 500 detainees at the Artesia Family Residential Center were release last week with 14 of them being deported. Immigration officials working the facility said that there are still about 480 migrants being held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center - an annex of the Family Residential Center - with several more expected to arrive at the facility over the next few days.
  • Obama Petitioned to Give Undocumented Immigrants Access to Affordable Healthcare

    13 Oct 2014 | 7:51 am
    Last week, leaders within the nation's Hispanic community formally requested that President Barack Obama allow certain undocumented migrants to have access to Obamacare. They say that the justification for such an allowance stems from the fact that certain "dreamers" who have been granted temporary work permits are paying taxes and therefore should be entitled to certain government benefits. "Dreamers" is a colloquialism for the several hundred thousand young adults who were granted temporary legal status by the President two years ago but who were brought into the country illegally as minors…
  • Child Immigrants Facing Deportation In Desperate Need of Legal Counsel

    8 Oct 2014 | 8:12 am
    There is a crisis that is playing out in immigration courts across the country, particularly in large metropolitan areas like New York City where children from Central America who crossed the southern border into the United States without adult accompaniment await their respective hearings. More than 66,000 Central American youths have crossed the US-Mexico illegally border over the last 12 months, many of them in an effort to get away from what they describe as rampant gang violence in countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua. It is estimated that in New York City alone there are upwards of…
  • Frustration Among Immigrant Detainees Growing at Detention Center in New Mexico

    6 Oct 2014 | 7:51 am
    The small and isolated desert town of Artesia, New Mexico has recently become the home of a federal immigration detention center that includes such amenities as a soccer field, a basketball court, and video conferencing capabilities for detainees to have their cases heard by immigration judges in Denver, Colorado. The facility also included several trailers that have been put in place around the main building to serve as a makeshift school because the center itself is intended to serve as temporary housing specifically for women and children from Central American countries who have been…
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    Health Care Law Blog

  • Health Care Fraud Report: DOJ Obtains $389M From DaVita Healthcare to Settle Medical Fraud Allegations

    28 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on October 22, 2014 a resolution of claims that DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., a provider of dialysis services, engaged in a referral and kickback scheme that violated the False Claims Act (FCA). The DOJ announced that DaVita has agreed to pay $350 million to settle the government's case. The Government's case was not proven and was only alleged. Liability was not determined prior to the settlement and DaVita has not been shown to have engaged in wrong doing. Our Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia business and health care law firm represents health care…
  • Blowing the Whistle in Court

    21 Oct 2014 | 8:52 am
    The vast majority of physicians and other health care providers endeavor to provide services and bill for them in an ethical, legal manner. Trust is at the core of the federal government's provider reimbursement scheme under Medicare and other federal health programs. The federal government relies upon health care providers submitting accurate and truthful claims. The fact that some health care providers have exploited federal health programs for illegal economic gain has resulted in laws intended to combat fraud and abuse, improve patient care and protect tax payer money. Currently, there is…
  • Michigan Bill Would Benefit Direct Primary Care Doctors

    30 Sep 2014 | 2:24 pm
    A Michigan legislator's bill, SB 1033, sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck, would benefit direct primary care doctors in that State, and the idea may warrant consideration in other States. The purpose of the bill is to provide physicians who convert their practice to a direct primary care model with the assurance that their medical practice will not be treated as an insurer regulated under state insurance regulations. Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia Physician Practice Law Firm Among other legal hurdles some physicians may face in developing a direct primary (or concierge) care practice model is…
  • Physician Practices: Recent Survey Reviews the Effects of Expanded Patient Access

    24 Sep 2014 | 4:13 am
    A well-intended objective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to improve patient access to doctors. Sometimes this objective is artfully stated as "better" access to care, rather than "increased" access to care, perhaps to acknowledge the reality that as more patients become insured via the ACA, there may actually be less access to physicians. "Better" access may therefore be an argument that, even as an existing physician shortage worsens, new alternatives under the ACA nonetheless improve access to care for the population as a whole. For sure, millions of Americans have enrolled in new…
  • Health Care Fraud Report: OIG Alert Regarding Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians

    16 Sep 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Clinical laboratory payments to physicians in excess of the fair market value of services provided or that correlate to the volume or value of referrals can constitute health care fraud and trigger very serious civil and criminal penalties. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a Special Fraud Alert (the "Alert") addressing lab compensation to referring doctors and medical practices for blood specimen collection, processing and packaging, and for submitting patient data to a registry or database. Our Georgia health care law firm…
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • Corporate Shareholder May Be Held Personally Liable for Customs Violations, According to Federal Circuit

    30 Oct 2014 | 3:42 pm
    The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in September that could have significant implications for businesses involved in importing goods. The court allowed customs regulators to "pierce the corporate veil," which involves holding shareholders liable for acts of a corporation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claimed that a company, Trek Leather, Inc., failed to pay customs duties on goods that it had imported. The Court of International Trade (CIT) held Trek Leather and its sole shareholder, who also served as its president, jointly and severally liable for gross…
  • Lawsuits, Regulators Target Allegedly Deceptive Online Conduct by California Businesses

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:33 pm
    The internet offers a seemingly infinite number of ways for businesses to connect with current and potential customers, including directly via their own websites and various social media sites, as well as indirectly through customer review sites. This wealth of possibilities comes at the potential cost, however, of customers being deceived by fraudulent or misleading information, or by a failure to disclose conflicts of interests. Businesses who market their products and services online, people who write online reviews or endorsements of products, and companies that operate review websites…
  • New California Law Prohibits Homeowner Associations from Penalizing Homeowners Who Do Not Water Their Lawns During Droughts

    30 Sep 2014 | 1:17 pm
    California is experiencing a severe drought, which has resulted in substantial restrictions on water usage. This has led to a wide range of responses from homeowners looking to conserve water in regard to their landscaping. Some homeowners are replacing their lawns with hardier plants, gravel or sand, and other methods of xeriscaping. Other homeowners are simply allowing their lawns to go brown. A few homeowner associations (HOAs) around the state, however, have continued to enforce rules regarding lawn care and maintenance. HOAs can enforce their own rules, provided that they do not conflict…
  • Judge Rules that NCAA Rules Restricting Football and Basketball Players' Compensation Violate Antitrust Law

    15 Sep 2014 | 11:24 am
    A federal judge in Oakland, California ruled in favor of a class of college athletes in a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), finding that certain NCAA rules limiting compensation paid to players violated federal antitrust laws. O'Bannon, et al v. NCAA, No. 4:09-cv-03329, FFCL (N.D. Cal., Aug. 8, 2014). The dispute centered around the use of players' likenesses by the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), which handles trademark licensing and marketing for the NCAA, without obtaining players' permission or compensating them. The NCAA has faced…
  • Why Businesses Should Resist Any Temptation to Create Fake Online Reviews

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Consumers rely on online reviews to a significant degree in making decisions about products and services. Websites like Yelp host reviews for thousands of businesses and are visited by millions of users. Whereas reviews of businesses were once primarily left to professional writers, the internet has enabled nearly anyone with an internet connection to post information about their experiences. These reviews can have a direct impact, positive or negative, on a business' revenue. In this environment, some businesses may try to boost their own online standing by posting positive reviews about…
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  • NYC’s 25 MPH Speed Limit

    Matthew Weiss
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:27 am
    Question:  When there are no speed signs posted on a New York City street or stretch of roadway, how fast can you drive?  If you answered 30 mph, you’d be right until November 7th.  On that date, the un-posted speed limit will be lowered to 25 mph.  (This new un-posted limit, of course, does not apply to NYC highways which have a default speed of 50 mph). The lower speed limit is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign to make the streets safer, and is expected to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities.  Meanwhile, motorists can expect routine enforcement of the new limit…
  • Nassau County Speed Camera Locations Revealed

    Matthew Weiss
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:22 pm
    Nassau County recently launched its speed cameras program.  In total, 56 speed cameras will be installed by October, one in each of Nassau’s school districts.  Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano predicts that the cameras will generate an estimated $25+ million each year. By law, the cameras can only operate during public school hours (plus an hour before and after school) along with a half-hour before, during and after school events.  Each violation of 10 mph or more over the posted speed limit will carry a $50 fine, and there will be a $25 penalty for failure to pay (meaning a…
  • New York’s Red Light Camera Fines Among The Lowest In Country

    Matthew Weiss
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
    While no one likes receiving a red light camera ticket, there is one good thing about them.  In New York, they carry one of the lowest fines in the county … $50.00.  Compare this figure to other states in the chart below.   The other goods news is that they carry 0 points and do not affect your insurance rates. With that said, disobeying a red light is a very dangerous violation.  Motorists depend on other drivers to obey lights so that they can enter intersections without fear of being T-boned.  So whenever you approaching a changing light, err on the side of caution for…
  • Can An Out-Of-State Driver Take New York’s Driver Safety Class?

    Matthew Weiss
    6 Aug 2014 | 6:50 am
    We recently had a Florida resident that completed the New York defensive driving course.  He had a point problem in New York and, therefore, wanted to ensure that he received the appropriate credit for the class (i.e., that he received 4 points off his NY record). Our law office contacted the course provider who advised it will notify DMV only if the person has a New York Motorist ID number.  The trick is that, for an out-of-state motorist to have a New York Motorist ID number, he or she must first be convicted of, at least, one moving violation.  Upon conviction to a first offense,…
  • Nassau County Launches Speed Camera Program

    Matthew Weiss
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    Last week, Nassau County started installing speed cameras within local school zones.  The first three schools to receive these devices are Plainedge Middle School in Bethpage, Dutch Lane Elementary in Hicksville and Abbey Lane School in Levittown.  All three schools (which are open for summer school), each received a “mobile unit” — an unmarked van equipped with two cameras and a radar machine. In total, 56 speed cameras will be installed by October, one in each of Nassau’s school districts.  Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano predicts that the cameras will…
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    Spencers Solicitors Blog

  • Ashgate Hospice Spooktacular 2014 Fundraising

    Spencers Solicitors
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:29 am
    On Friday 31st October, Spencers Solicitors took part in Ashgate Hospice's Spooktacular event where staff were encouraged to dress up in spooky Halloween costumes to raise money for their local hospice. Ashgate Hospice are an independent Chesterfield based charity that covers all of North Derbyshire, providing specialist palliative care to terminally ill adults and their families, maintaining best quality of life throughout illness. All their services are provided free of charge and £4.3 million must be raised annually from voluntary giving. Many local businesses in the Derbyshire area…
  • The short school walk - keeping your child safe

    Spencers Solicitors
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    If you only live a short walk from your children's school, the day will inevitably come when they are trusted to undertake the short journey by themselves. As a parent, I understand that it can be difficult to let your children walk on their own to school, or even just to the bus stop, without constantly worrying about their safety. Charity Living Streets report that 44% of parents worry about their children's safety on the school run, but there are things that can be done to ensure their journey is as safe as possible. The benefits of walking to school Although it is natural to feel…
  • Spencers named among the top injury law firms in the Legal 500

    Spencers Solicitors
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Derbyshire based law firm Spencers Solicitors, have been named among the top personal injury practices in the region according to the 2014 edition of Legal 500. The Legal 500 is now in its 27th year of publication and is widely acknowledged as the world's largest legal reference on the leading law firms operating within the UK, with the 2014 edition being published on 10th October 2014. Spencers Solicitors are one of only thirteen practices in the East Midlands that received recommendation under the 'Claimant Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence' section with editorial comments of:…
  • Supporting the Macmillan Coffee Morning 2014

    Spencers Solicitors
    1 Oct 2014 | 8:02 am
    On Friday 26th September for the second year running Spencers took part in the world's biggest coffee morning as part of Macmillan Cancer Support's largest fundraising event. Macmillan Cancer Support strives to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. One in three of us will get cancer, we are all affected by it and we can all help. Last year over 154,000 people signed up to the event which raised a record £20 million, Macmillan are still yet to announce the grand total for 2014 but hopefully it will set a new record. As always Spencers employees and their families were involved…
  • Fraudulent claims - just how big an issue are they?

    Spencers Solicitors
    29 Sep 2014 | 8:49 am
    In my last blog I touched on the issue of fraudulent claims, which can regularly be seen hitting the British headlines - often alongside telling photographs of supposedly injured claimants obliviously pursuing high-octane activities. In tackling this I am most certainly in favour of ensuring that those fraudulently pursuing compensation or seeking to recover more compensation than they are entitled to are stopped. However claiming that this is a plague of modern times, tied up in accusations of 'compensation culture', is somewhat misguided. According to information released by Aviva in 2011,…
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    White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    27 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Following up from my blog on the famous "switch from hell" GM Fiasco, Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert was hired by GM. In an article of May 3, 2014, in the Journal News, it was reported that he met with a Texas lawyer, Robert Hilliard who represents 53 families who say their relatives were killed in the crashes due to the switch defect. He also represents 273 injury victims, 63 of whom suffered "catastrophic" injuries. Mr. Hilliard represents victims who were injured before GM's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization in July, 2009, and most who were injured after the bankruptcy. GM is…

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:52 am
    Over the past year there have been dozens of articles about GM's faulty ignition switch. The ignition switch is implicated in 13 deaths as of June, 2014. Prior to 2013, the switch did not meet manufacturing specifications. The engineer spent so much time dealing with the part's technical issues that he referred to it in a 2002 memo as "the switch from hell". The engineer who prepared the report was Ray DeGiorgio who was in charge of the faulty ignition switch. This scenarios set up a great products liability case. A part of the GM vehicle was defective when using the vehicle for the purpose…

    25 Sep 2014 | 2:07 pm
    According to an article by Larry Copeland in the USA Today for The Journal News in May, 2014, highway crashes create an enormous toll on the lives of Americans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that the annual price tag for these crashes are $871 billion in economic losses in 2010. This number includes $277 billion in economic costs ($900 per person in the USA) and $594 billion in societal harm from loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life from the injuries. The purpose of this article points out that the staggering societal costs of accidents…

    18 Sep 2014 | 2:04 pm
    In an article by Leif Skodnick in The Westchester County Business Journal, he points out that even with an increase in inventory, home sales were down for the second quarter of 2014. Westchester is one of the four counties for which Hudson Gateway tracks data. They conclude that there has been a 12% overall drop in home sales in the second quarter of 2014 as compared to 2013, and a 13.5% drop in sales of single family homes. Home prices stayed relatively stable in Westchester with a median sale price of $651,250 in 2014, just a 0.2% increase over 2013. Douglas Elliman in Katonah states they…

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:57 am
    In an article in USA Today, The Journal News on Friday, August 22, 2014 by Paul Davidson stated existing home sales climbed last month to their fastest pace since September 2013, which is evidence that the housing markets is bouncing back after a sluggish first half of the year. Sales rose 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million and has increased for four straight months, according to the National Association of Realtors. The total beat analysts' estimates although sales remain 4.3% below 2013. The Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun attributed the solid sales to growing housing…
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    Pinellas County Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Warrantless Searches and Your Personal Cell Phone

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    23 Oct 2014 | 12:01 pm
    In today’s modern world, cell phones have become nearly ubiquitous. With this in mind, privacy activists hailed the US Supreme Court’s 2014 Riley v. California decision this past summer, which ruled that law enforcement officers must obtain search warrants before searching the cell phones of persons under arrest. This decision, along with a similar one from the Florida Supreme Court issued last year, have greatly enhanced the privacy rights of accused persons in Florida, including a Polk County man who mounted a successful appeal to numerous criminal charges based upon evidence…
  • Improper Credibility Bolstering Testimony, Video Clip Evidence Wipe Out Sexual Misconduct Conviction

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    9 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    A sexual misconduct conviction was thrown out by the 2d District Court of Appeal recently because the accused man did not receive a fair trial. The man’s appellate counsel argued successfully that the trial court should not have allowed a police officer and the alleged victim’s teacher to testify about the girl’s credibility, and it should not have allowed the prosecution to play a movie clip that would tend to create improper prejudice in the minds of the jurors. Henry Keith Cavaliere was on trial for sexual misconduct with an underage girl. The alleged crime came to…
  • Supreme Court’s Ruling in Favor of Driver Puts Up Road Block Against Improper Traffic Stop

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:39 am
    A recent ruling from the state’s highest court served as a clear statement regarding the limitations of proper traffic stops. Namely, the Florida Supreme Court‘s opinion reminded that, for a traffic stop stand up in court, the police officer must not only have a suspicion that illegal activity has occurred, but that suspicion must be a “well-founded” one, and stopping a vehicle because its paint color did not match the color on file with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles did not meet this standard. The ruling stemmed from the drug trial of Kerrick Van…
  • Florida Appeals Court Upholds Search Warrant for Woman’s Home, Despite Delay, Omitted Information

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:39 am
    One of the constitution’s most basic protections is citizens’ right to be secure in their homes. That’s why the law imposes several hurdles for the issuance and execution of a search warrant for a person’s home. In one recent case, the 2d District Court of Appeal allowed a warrant to stand, ruling that the police presented enough proof to allow a warrant to issue, and that the 28-day delay prior to the warrant’s issuance was not so long as to make the warrant invalid. In the case, police began pursuing Artesha Williams after a confidential informant told them…
  • Judge Doesn’t Need Proof of Dept. of Corrections’ Inability to Meet Man’s Medical Needs to Issue Lesser Sentence

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:31 am
    While Florida’s criminal sentencing guidelines exist to help promote fairness, the law gives judges discretion to issue lesser penalties when the sentence prescribed by the guidelines does not meet the ends of justice. That can be especially true when the accused person suffers from serious mental or physical problems. In one such recent case, the Florida Supreme Court weighed in to confirm that courts do not have to make findings that the needed medical care is unavailable through the corrections system in order to impose a lesser sentence based upon that person’s medical…
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    Oakland Employment Lawyer Blog

  • Common Carrier Liability in San Francisco

    Liberty Law
    30 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Earlier this month, 10 people were hospitalized after receiving minor injuries when the ferry in which they were riding in the San Francisco Bay struck a piling at a pier. The accident occurred at 6 p.m. on October 12, and the ferry was carrying 230 passengers. The accident was described as a very strong jolt that knocked some people off their feet. Those who were injured are suffering mild to moderate neck and back injuries. It’s unclear why the boat backed into the piling. The Coast Guard said there were no mechanical issues, and the boat was cleared to go back into service.
  • Women Face Discrimination in Silicon Valley

    Liberty Law
    27 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Silicon Valley, which is home to high-tech giants including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, has a serious issue with gender discrimination. It seems nonsensical that in an industry on the cutting edge of society, women would be discriminated against in the workplace. However, statistics show that women in Silicon Valley make less money than their colleagues, and are also under-represented in the workplace. In 2013 in the U.S., on average women were only paid 78 percent of what men were paid, among full-time, year-round workers. In California, women were paid only 84 percent of what men…
  • What should I do if I have been injured in a train accident?

    Liberty Law
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:08 am
      Train accidents may not be something that you spend a great deal of time worrying about. You may believe that train travel is something that rarely occurs. There are actually 12 million cargo containers transported by train each year in the U.S. Fortunately, most railroad tracks pass through unpopulated areas. However, enough trains pass through cities and towns to make train safety a concern. Accidents with trains occur more often than you may think. About every three hours in the United States, a person or a vehicle is hit by a train. In 2013 alone, there were almost 12,000 train…
  • Wells Fargo Paying $5 Million to Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Allegations

    Liberty Law
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:05 am
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week that it reached a $5 million settlement with Wells Fargo to resolve claims that the company discriminated against pregnant women, new mothers, and women on maternity leave. The San Francisco company says that it is settling the case in order to avoid a long and expensive legal battle, but denies any wrongdoing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development says that Wells Fargo’s home mortgage unit was discriminatory in its issuance of loans. Wells Fargo is the largest provider of mortgages in the country. Allegedly,…
  • Can I sue if an ambulance comes too slowly in San Francisco?

    Liberty Law
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    The subject of emergency response time is a hot topic in San Francisco right now. Late last month, an ambulance responding to a car accident involving the wife of the mayor arrived after the 10 minute time standard set by the San Francisco Fire Department for that type of situation. The accident had Code Three status, which requires less than a 10 minute response. The ambulance arrived 14 minutes after the call went out. The mayor’s wife had minor injuries, and an ambulance took her to the hospital for treatment. The fire department union blames the response time on staff shortages. The…
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    Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

  • Deadly Bicycle Accidents on The Rise: What You Need to Know

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    30 Oct 2014 | 12:35 pm
    The number of fatal bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles is on the rise, and the state of Florida is just second behind California with the highest number of deaths. According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the number of U.S. bicyclists killed in accidents involving motor vehicles rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. During that same period, California had 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, and Florida had 329. Florida and California also had the largest increases in annual cyclist traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012.
  • Reduce Deaths and Increase Awareness: National Teen Driver Safety Week Awareness

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    22 Oct 2014 | 5:32 am
    This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, so this is a time to bring up the real dangers teens face when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. Moreover, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that almost half of teen drivers involved in a collision are killed. While the above statistics present a real problem in regards to teen drivers, a recent survey found that only 25 percent of parents have had a discussion with their teens stressing the…
  • Pregnant Woman Suffers Critical Injuries after Being Struck by Tow Truck in Downtown St. Pete

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:33 am
    Police are further investigating an accident that critically injured a 7 and a half month pregnant woman in downtown St. Petersburg Wednesday afternoon. The 36-year-old mom-to-be was struck by a tow truck near the intersection of 3rd Street North and 1st Avenue North around 2:30 p.m. According to police, the woman was crossing 1st Avenue North just west of the crosswalk when the truck attempted to turn left onto 1st Avenue North. The woman was halfway across the center lane when she was hit and knocked down, striking her head on the pavement, according to police. The light for the truck…
  • Tampa Teacher Arrested for Driving the Wrong Way Near Interstate 75

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    23 Sep 2014 | 9:38 am
    A Tampa high school teacher was arrested on Sunday for driving the wrong way near I-75, according to troopers. Reports indicate that the Florida Highway Patrol received a call around 3:50 a.m. regarding a wrong-way driver on State Road 618 near 22nd Street. Troopers were told a gold 2001 Saturn was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes and would eventually turn southbound in the northbound lanes of I-75. A trooper arrested the 24-year-old teacher as he exited at the northbound Gibsonton Drive entrance ramp. The social studies teacher was charged with driving under the influence and…
  • Student Biker Struck by Car near Riverview High School

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:31 am
    A 17-year-old girl riding her bicycle near Riverview High School on Tuesday morning was hit by a car. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the girl, who is a Riverview High student, was struck by an Acura sedan on Whispering Creek Boulevard near Balm Riverview Road just south of Boyette Road. The driver of the Acura, a 23-year-old man, waited at the scene for deputies to arrive. According to officials, the man won’t be cited in the crash. The crash occurred just before 7 a.m. The accident caused the roadway to be shut down for about an hour. Authorities said the…
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    Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Understanding adverse events and medical malpractice claims

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:38 pm
    In a previous blog post, we discussed how the simple act of engaging in routine surgery is never a guaranteed successful outcome. There are myriad ways in which even the most common of surgical procedures can leave a patient with permanent injuries or may even result in death. In some cases, these events may arise as completely unforeseeable events. However, far too often surgical complications and other patient injuries can be attributed to doctor or hospital errors. In medical parlance, actions that harm patients are known as adverse events. An example of such circumstances are wrong-site…
  • News for parents of children born with jaundice after birth

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Parents of newborns will likely face some of the most stressful times of their lives following the first few weeks of their child's life. For parents of children born with jaundice, that already stressful period can be especially harrowing. Jaundice is a condition that makes a newborn's skin appear yellow in color. This yellow discoloration is also frequently seen in the normally white portion of a baby's eyes. The yellowing effect is caused by a high level of bilirubin in the infant's bloodstream. Bilirubin is a naturally occurring yellow substance that the body creates whenever red blood…
  • What does no-fault insurance mean in a car accident?

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:10 am
    As far back as the 1970's, Minnesota legislatures have wrestled with the idea of how to apply an efficient administration of justice throughout the state with regards to car accidents. On one hand, the state has an interest in helping to protect citizens who are injured in car accidents yet remain uncompensated for their injuries. The state also has an interest in not allowing its courts to get bogged down in frivolous lawsuits from car accident victims demanding unwarranted compensation. In an effort to balance these two competing interests, Minnesota enacted a statute that is now known as…
  • An inspirational story about surviving spinal cord injury

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Each year in October, a now 57-year-old St. Cloud, Minnesota, man begins having nightmares about an incident back in 1974 that left him paralyzed throughout most of his body. The former high school football and hockey star described the haunting dreams as vivid, graphic reminders of his very athletic and capable self. In the dreams, he is running down the football field or skating on the rink when his legs suddenly turn rubbery and he is no longer able to control them. Although it is been more than 40 years since the man damaged his spine in the last minutes of a football game in his teens,…
  • Pursuing a Minnesota traumatic brain injury lawsuit

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    3 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    During most discussions about motor vehicle accidents, people talk almost exclusively about visible injuries. It makes sense too. Naturally, a broken leg or a bleeding gash to the forehead are injuries that are readily apparent and something that we all might normally expect to see after a collision. Unfortunately, recent advances in medical science as well as our increased understanding of the brain has revealed that many victims of car crashes sometimes also receive injuries that may not be so easy to spot. Often these injuries may also be even more long-lasting and debilitating than a…
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    CA Innocence ProjectCA Innocence Project | CA Innocence Project

  • CIP Client Roeling Adams Paroled After 28 Years Behind Bars

    Mike Semanchik
    10 Oct 2014 | 12:26 pm
    Today, CIP client Roeling Adams walked out of San Quentin State Prison after 28 years in prison.  Adams was wrongfully convicted of a shooting in 1986, despite providing an alibi at trial.  The main witness against Roeling at his trial subsequently recanted his testimony and identified the true perpetrators of the crime.  The only other evidence came in the form of a faulty eyewitness identification. CIP began investigating Adams’ innocence claim several years ago.  As with many of CIP’s clients, Adams continued to go before the parole board in an effort to be released while…
  • If you think a $101.7 million judgment for wrongful conviction will prompt the government…

    Zal Parson
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
     If you think a $101.7 million judgment for wrongful conviction will prompt the government to hold its prosecutors accountable—think twice!   In 2007, after a 22 day bench trial in a case involving one of the most bizarre and atrocious acts of prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner ordered a $101.7 million award for the wrongful conviction of four men, two of whom spent over three decades behind bars and the other two died behind bars for the crime the Government knew all along they did not commit. The award is believed to be the largest of…
  • Death Penalty Infographic

    Mike Semanchik
    29 Apr 2014 | 9:38 am
    Below is another Death Penalty Infographic sent over to us.  Given the 4% figure released yesterday, Texas should have granted clemency to more than 20 innocent people (not just 2).  The only way the US will find itself off the “Top 5 Countries” list is if people start educating themselves and speak up.  Do we really want to be on the shortlist with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq? The Death Penalty in the USA. Produced from
  • New Study: Death Row Sentences Likely Include 4% Innocent People

    Mike Semanchik
    28 Apr 2014 | 12:02 pm
    We have long thought about how frequent wrongful convictions are occurring in this country.  A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conservatively pinned death row wrongful convictions at just over 4%.  The percentage exonerated from this country’s death row over the same period of time was only 1.6% (see here).  What does that mean? It is likely many innocent people have been executed over the last four decades.  It also suggests we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the wrongful convictions movement. The study, titled The Rate of…
  • The Huang Case: A Tragedy in the Middle East

    Justin Brooks
    27 Mar 2014 | 1:49 pm
    The California Innocence Project represents the Huangs with the David House Agency. Today, the Qatari criminal justice system continued its absurd disregard for due process, equity, and common sense in the case of Matthew and Grace Huang, two Americans whose 6 year-old adopted daughter Gloria tragically died of complications relating to her early upbringing in impoverished Ghana. Qatari prosecutors accused the Huangs of murder, based on a theory of starvation in order to harvest and sell her organs, and were seeking the death penalty for Gloria’s death. They were sentenced to three years in…
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    Pensacola Florida Personal Injury and Social Security Lawyer

  • What Social Security Won’t Tell you

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    13 Oct 2014 | 9:23 pm
    When you apply for disability insurance benefits (DIB, also called SSDI or RSDI), Social Security does not tell you that you can (or should) hire a lawyer to assist you in your claim. The Right to Representation From the Beginning The Ortiz Law Firm is a disability law firm that was founded by Nick A. Ortiz, a Board Certified Social Security Disability Attorney. Mr. Ortiz advises claimants about how to get SSDI. Many claimants know they can hire an attorney to assist in the appeal process after a denial. However, many applicants are not aware that the applicant can have representation from…
  • Should I Hire a Disability Attorney to File a Claim for Disability?

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    13 Feb 2014 | 11:13 am
    Should I Hire a Disability Attorney to File a Claim for Disability or Go It Alone? Statistically, the majority (over 65%) of all Social Security Disability and SSI claims are denied at the initial application level. Approximately 88% continue to be denied at the Reconsideration level, which is the first level of appeal. Click here for a visual chart of Social Security’s allowance and denial rates for 2012 at each stage of the application process. An attorney can help prepare you case at each of these levels to help improve your chance of winning at each of these levels.  An attorney…
  • Encephalopathy and Disability

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    29 Jan 2014 | 2:18 pm
    Encephalopathy and Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability Encephalopathy is a general term for a disease that alters a person’s brain function and mental state. Some types of the disease include: Glycine encephalopathy – caused by a metabolic disorder (how the cells make energy); Hepatic encephalopathy – caused by liver damage; Hypoxic encephalopathy – caused by reduced oxygen to the brain; Static encephalopathy – permanent brain damage; Uremic encephalopathy – caused by toxins remaining in the body; Wernicke’s encephalopathy -caused by a…
  • Snow and Ice Accident Attorney

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    28 Jan 2014 | 10:41 pm
    Snow and Ice Accidents We are in the midst of a historic winter weather storm here in Northwest Florida. The sleet, snow, and freezing rain are causing ice to form on our roads and walkways and increase your risk of being involved in numerous accidents, including car accidents, premise liability accidents (such as slip-and-fall accidents) and fall accidents. Icy road conditions create deadly road conditions. The lack of traction on icy roads causes catastrophic injuries. Typically, such injury accidents occur because of the negligence of at least one of the drivers, or the failure of a…
  • Types of Claims After a Car Accident

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    25 Jan 2014 | 5:57 pm
    What claims can I make against the negligent at-fault driver? Below we will discuss the types of compensation that are available to injury victims after a car accident. Car Accident Damages After a car wreck, the accident victims may suffer a range of damages, including property damage losses and to medical bills expenses for personal injuries. These unexpected losses put a huge emotional and financial burden on those injured in the accident and forces them to spend time exploring their options to recover money to make them whole. The following is a list of some of the common types of…
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    Harrison County Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Injured Texans should talk to a lawyer

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:28 am
    Texans hit the road every day. That familiarity breeds comfort and a sense of safety. This is hardly a surprise. After all, drivers travel day after day without incident. But not every trip ends in a safe arrival. Sometimes things go wrong: a tire blows out, an accelerator jams, a brake cuts out. These malfunctions can cause an accident no matter how carefully Texans drive. When trouble strikes, Texans should consider partnering with skilled personal-injury attorney experienced in helping injured clients receive fair compensation for their lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
  • Texas businesses must keep their premises safe

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    When Texans go to a bank, a restaurant or a shopping mall, they expect the business to be safe. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. When unsafe conditions lead to a slip, trip or fall, Texans may have legal options. Falls are one of the most common causes of unintentional injuries. In 2011, falls led to nearly 9 million emergency room visits. Falls can also be fatal. In 2009, falls resulted in more than 25,000 deaths. The risk of injury and death go up with age. For example, the fatality rate from falls was four times higher for Americans 65 and older. But death is not the only…
  • Is drunk driving the only cause for erratic driving?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:34 am
    When Texans see other drivers driving erratically, drunk driving is often the first guess. But in many instances the erratic driver is not drunk. Instead, the driver is fatigued or sleepy. These drivers can be a serious danger to everyone else on the road. Indeed, drowsy driving leads to tens of thousands of crashes and thousands of lost lives every year. Among the groups of people that are most likely to drive drowsy are shift workers who work at night, or who work long or irregular hours. This often describes truck drivers who are under pressure to get their cargo from point A to point B as…
  • Improper maintenance leads to poisoning of customer?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    1 Oct 2014 | 12:17 pm
    When Texans treat themselves to a meal out, they hope their food and drinks will taste great; they take for granted that the food and drink will be safe. Usually they are right, but not always. Take, for instance, a recent trip to a restaurant t