• Most Topular Stories

  • "Under pressure from nervous Democratic Senate candidates in tight races, President Obama is rethinking the timing..."

    29 Aug 2014 | 4:19 pm
    "... of his pledge to act on his own to reshape the nation’s immigration system by summer’s end, and could instead delay some or all of his most controversial proposals until after the midterm elections in November, according to people familiar with White House deliberations."The NYT reports.I wonder who the "people familiar with White House deliberations" are and what they are trying to achieve. Something principled? Is anyone familiar with White House deliberations principled?
  • 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…
  • Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

    Religion Clause
    Howard Friedman
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:08 am
    In Smart v. Aramark Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113266 (D NJ, Aug. 15, 2014), a New Jersey federal district court reaffirmed its prior holding that an inmate, who variously claimed his relgion as Muslim or Jewish, did not have his ability to practice his religion affected by his inability to have his beard at the prison's kitchen.In Fields v. Martin, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114224 (ED MI, Aut.18, 2014), a Michigan federal district court accepted a magistrate's report and rejected an inmate's claim that his Buddhist religion required him to have a vegan diet.In Nelson v. Jackson,…
  • Murder & Mystery in Michigan

    CLEWS Your Home for Historic True Crime
    Laura James
    3 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    (Ed. note: Proving again that oil has always been a bloody , awful business, true crime author Robert Knapp unearthed a gem of a murder case from the 1930s and has just released a book on it, Mystery Man--Gangsters, Oil, and Murder in Michigan. It concerns murder victim Isaiah Leebove—gambler, oil speculator, lawyer for the Purple Gang. The press release was so prettily written that I'm pinching it entire for the many fans of true gangster stories replete with larger-than-life makers of mayhem.) Murder & Mystery in Michigan by Robert Knapp   “Did I get him?”    “You got…
  • We have a new look!

    ABA Journal Daily News
    30 Aug 2014 | 4:21 am
    Welcome to the new We’re excited to present a fresh new look and feel, with added functionality and easier navigation. This is a complete…
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  • 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…
  • Hawaii Judiciary Proposes to Address E-Discovery With Rule Amendments

    Elijah Yip
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:45 pm
    The Hawaii Judiciary is proposing amendments to the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure (HRCP) to address e-discovery issues.  The deadline for submitting comments is April 17, 2014.  The proposed amendments are available here. Some of the more notable changes being proposed are: The addition of references to “electronically stored information” (ESI) to Rule 26 (general discovery provisions), Rule 30 (depositions), Rule 33 (interrogatories), Rule 34 (document requests), Rule 37 (discovery sanctions and motions to compel), and Rule 45 (subpoenas) Amended Rule 26 expressly permits…
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  • Writer observes misery of tow impound lot

    Walter Olson
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:17 am
    And thinks to blame economic inequality, but not municipal coercion [David Sheff, Time] For a Northern California tow-and-impound saga that makes even San Francisco look mild, see earlier coverage here, here, and here. Tweet Tags: San Francisco, traffic laws Writer observes misery of tow impound lot is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Rule against children playing on grass leads to $80K payout

    Walter Olson
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:42 am
    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a Fremont, Calif. apartment building’s rule against children’s playing in grassy common areas amounted to “family status” discrimination. Resulting settlement: $80,000. [DoJ complaint, press release] Tweet Tags: Department of Justice, housing discrimination Rule against children playing on grass leads to $80K payout is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • In Houston, grand jury frequent fliers

    Walter Olson
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:15 pm
    Revelations that a single senior Houston police officer served on at least ten grand juries have been an eye-opener to those who might have assumed that the grand jury as constituted in Harris County (Houston) was random or representative in its composition. Radley Balko: …critics allege that the “key-man” system that many Harris County judges use to pick grand jurors selects for law enforcement officials and their friends, family, and acquaintances. Critics say it’s too easily manipulated, and results in grand juries continually picked from the same pool of people — cops,…
  • Banking and finance roundup

    Walter Olson
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Following public furor, are feds backing off “Operation Choke Point” program discouraging banking services to lawful but disfavored enterprises? [Daily Signal] Or does the choking continue? [Washington Business Journal (Capital One cuts off check-cashing firms)] FATCA challenge: “Ontario women sue Ottawa over compliance with new U.S. banking law” [Winnipeg Free Press, earlier] Corporate tax inversions: yes, journalist Jonathan Alter really did recommend “McCarthy-era loyalty oaths” [Taranto/WSJ] Obama admininstration was for them (in Delphi case) before it…
  • In print on police militarization

    Walter Olson
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:40 am
    Three columns to read on the subject: Gene Healy, Glenn Reynolds (linking this site), and Nat Hentoff (like Healy, a Cato colleague) in his syndicated column (thanks for mention). I had a letter to the editor yesterday in the Frederick News-Post drawing connections with local lawmakers (as well as a blog post at Free State Notes with similar themes) and the Arizona Republic quoted me Tuesday on the federal subsidy programs that drive militarization, including transfers to the ever-controversial Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of Joe Arpaio. Earlier here, here, here, here, here, etc.
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    Solo Practice University®

  • Stay Focused and Read This Post

    Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Stay focused on this article for just five minutes. In a recent Time magazine article,The Art of Being Mindful by author Kate Pickert (Time Magazine. February 3rd, 2014 edition, pg. 40-46), I read about the benefit of mindfulness on people’s focus and success.  In the article, Ms. Pickert pointed to a number of studies, including one by the National Institute of Health, that showed American’s spent in excess of $4 billion dollars in 2007 on mindfulness training and alternative medicine. She also described her own foray into the study of mindfulness.  Pickert participated in a eight…
  • Is This The One Client You Should Never Have?

    Suzanne Meehle
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    I recently broke the Cardinal Rule of accepting new clients: I sat there and listened to this guy go on and on about how poorly he thought of his previous attorneys, and I still let him hire me. Why on earth would I do that? Usually I would have run. The rationale for never taking on a client that complains about his previous lawyer is simply that you will be the next lawyer about whom he will complain. Unsatisfiable, always looking for a better deal or a better outcome, the complainer is the prototypical bad client. Worse yet, my client was complaining about some pretty big-name lawyers in…
  • Saying ‘No’ to Malpractice Insurance – The True Cost of “Going Bare”

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:40 am
    I will admit that I honestly don’t understand why a lawyer would ever make a decision to not buy a malpractice policy but many lawyers do and the reasons I hear are many. Some believe the premiums are beyond affordable. They’ll tell me “just look at what Docs have to pay.” Others have decided that if they ever get sued they’ll just declare bankruptcy to avoid the loss. Some choose to self-insure thinking that the savings on premium will more than offset any possible loss. I’ve even had attorneys tell me they’ve chosen to protect their assets in others ways. And then there’s…
  • Working from Home: Dream or Nightmare?

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Working from home sounds like a dream, but comes with its own set of challenges which can quickly turn the dream into a nightmare. I’m not going to get into the client issues. This post is more about you, the challenges of working from what is supposed to be your sanctuary – home – and which now becomes your 24/7 space for all things known as your life. There is no denying that being able to practice from your home has a lot to offer on the upside, no duplicative overhead (instead, actual home use tax deductions), no dress code unless you are meeting clients, hours saved…
  • Don’t Type. Talk.

    Debra Bruce
    14 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    I’ve previously written here about “Leveraging Dictation Technology to Save Time and Overhead.” I’m a big fan of dictation and I often dictate on my iPhone for emails, texts, searches on Google or a map app and to ask Siri a question. If you do that too, you are already using Nuance speech recognition software for free. It’s a less powerful version Than Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking program for PCs or the Dragon Dictate program for Macs. The smartphone apps I mentioned do not train to your accent, but they are still surprisingly good. My opinion of Siri improved considerably…
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  • Who Owns the Copyright on a Photograph Taken by a Monkey?

    Brett Trout
    22 Aug 2014 | 11:28 am
    The Case of the Monkey Photographer Back in 2011, photographer David Slater found himself in a national park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, taking pictures of critically endangered crested black macaque monkeys. After taking some pictures of the monkeys, Slater set his camera down, where one of the monkeys picked it up. The monkey then began taking hundreds of pictures. Although most of the pictures were out of focus, a few turned out to be quite impressive, like the selfie you see to your right. The Caters News Agency claimed copyright in the photos, but critics questioned how anyone could…
  • Brett Trout Designated Des Moines Patent Law “Lawyer of the Year”

    Brett Trout
    9 Dec 2013 | 11:54 am
    Five Years Running For the fifth year in a row, Brett J. Trout has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the annual edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. For 2014, Mr. Trout has been selected for inclusion in the area of Patent Law (Tier 2). The Best Lawyers in America® publication is the oldest peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Since 1983, Best Lawyers® continues to be regarded, by both professionals and the public, as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Lawyer of the Year For 2014, The Best Lawyers in America® has also designated…
  • The Right of Publicity

    Brett Trout
    10 Jun 2013 | 11:34 am
    Hey, That’s Me! You spend months working on your cosplay outfit, and it turns out perfect. You are the hit of the con, with everyone taking your picture. Then, all of a sudden, you see you and your outfit on all kinds of merchandise, ranging from coffee mugs to posters. Is that legal? What can you do? The Right of Publicity Unlike constitutionally protected rights, like the freedom of speech, the right of publicity is a hodge-podge of state and common laws. To be sure what is and what is not allowed under the right of publicity, it is important to check the laws of the state in which…
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    Above the Law

  • Flashback Friday: Billable Hours In The 1990s

    David Lat
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:38 pm
    How hard did Biglaw associates work back in the day?
  • Non-Sequiturs: 08.29.14

    Joe Patrice
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:44 am
    Ed. note: Due to the Labor Day holiday, we’re on a reduced publication schedule today. We’ll be back to our normal Saturday schedule tomorrow. But you don't care about that. More importantly we’ll be off on Labor Day and back to normal on Tuesday. A restful and happy Labor Day to all! * Jesus, this Elle Woods fascination just won’t die. [Law School Lemmings] * Lawyers seek to ruin something beautiful: ALS Association wants a trademark on the concept of an ice bucket challenge. [Washington Post] * Ah, fun tales of the Streisand Effect. [Popehat] * UC Davis Law saw increased…
  • From The Career Files: Want Better Law School Grades? Take An Iterative Approach To Learning

    Alison Monahan
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:14 am
    Alison Monahan offers some advice for improving your law school performance.
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    Simple Justice

  • Dead, But With Official Explanation

    30 Aug 2014 | 5:08 am
    There are a few things that no one disputes.  Martin Olin, a 65-year-old lawyer and music industry guy who was riding his bike in the bike lane, was dead.  Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Andrew Wood ran Olin down because he was on his computer while driving.  And Martin Olin is still dead. Wood was returning from a fire call at Calabasas High School and was on patrol when the accident occurred. ‘He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed,’ the letter from the prosecutor’s office stated. ‘Since Wood was acting within the…
  • But For Video: The Ordinariness of Force

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:23 am
    Christopher Lollie was like most of us.  A father who arrived a bit early to gather his kids from school, the New Horizon Academy, so he had ten minutes to kill.  A weird phrase, time to kill.  So he sat down in the skyway in St. Paul, Minnesota.  That’s what good guys do. Someone apparently didn’t care for his looks.  According to Conor Friedersdorf, Lollie had dreads, and the skin to go with them, so the police were called because there was a guy sitting there, black and all, and who knows what terrible things that can mean.  And the police came. He was polite. He was…
  • Because The Internets Need A New Takedown Regime

    29 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    An academic has called for an amendment to a major US law to help victims of revenge porn: the online posting of nude or sexually explicit photographs or videos of a former lover without his or her consent. Memo to Taylor & Francis Group:  A third-year law student is not an academic.  Generally, there are few voices less worthy of note than a law student’s.  That said, University of Missouri Law School’s Allison Tungate’s note, “Bare necessities: the argument for a ‘revenge porn’ exception in Section 230 immunity” is better than most of what’s…
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    Law and Magic Blog

  • Houdini Comes To the Small Screen

    25 Aug 2014 | 11:36 am
    The Hollywood Reporter's Allison Keene reviews The History Channel's miniseries Houdini, starring Adrien Brody, here. Houdini premieres Labor Day (September 1st) at 9, 8 Central time. 
  • Law Vs. Magic

    11 Aug 2014 | 5:53 pm
    I came across this review/discussion of Edith Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle by Emily Croy Barker, published in the New York Times last year. Says Ms. Barker,  As disciplines, magic and the law are usually considered to have little in common. One is mystical, otherworldly, associated with phenomena that reason can’t comprehend; the other is anchored in the affairs of this world and at least aspires to be governed by logic and principle. And yet, as literature shows us, if you want to dabble in magic safely and successfully, it helps to have the advice of a good attorney. Hmmm. When I…
  • Legal Magic

    11 Aug 2014 | 5:36 pm
    More lawyer-magicians: Bill Evans, current President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and David Cohen of Reed Smith. Check out Mr. Cohen's videos: he uses magic to explain some discovery issues and other interesting issues that arise in legal practice today.  Key Discovery Predictive Coding Litigation Costs Quality Vs. Value Days of Paper We could say that Mr. Cohen's use of magic to illustrate his points is just so much eye candy. But I think what he does here is first to get our attention, which is immensely valuable, and second, make his comments memorable, whie…
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    What About Paris?

  • Labor Day:

    Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk)
    30 Aug 2014 | 7:49 pm
    Scots are Useful Celts who are good with money. AWB are Boomer Scots with an attitude. Bonnie Bramlett, a Druid Goddess, named them.
  • Pantheon: Charlotte Rampling.

    JD Hull
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:34 am
    Cannes Film Festival 2001 Circa 1975
  • NYT op-ed: 24/7 workplace email is Bad Craziness. How about time-outs evenings and weekends?

    JD Hull
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:35 am
    In the New York Times yesterday, contributing writer Clive Thompson, also the author of "Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better”, suggests that Americans should strive to be more like our suddenly more-mellow cousins in Germany (yeah, Germany) and end the tyranny of 24/7 emails. We should have regular--yes, daily--off-periods or "time-outs" for workplace email. In America, would such a regime be wimpy, sane or something in between? At WAC/P, we like and support the idea. The Western preoccupation with constantly checking business and workplace email has…
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    How Appealing

  • "Court revives lawsuit in fatal police shooting in Anaheim; Appeals court says jury must decide whether officers acted reasonably in the death of Caesar Cruz in 2009"

    Howard Bashman
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:28 am
    "Court revives lawsuit in fatal police shooting in Anaheim; Appeals court says jury must decide whether officers acted reasonably in the death of Caesar Cruz in 2009": The Orange County Register has this report. Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Appeals court revives suit against Anaheim police in fatal shooting." And Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Family's lawsuit over killing by cops reinstated by U.S. court." Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a unanimous three-judge…
  • "Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 billion SAP verdict, could get new trial"

    Howard Bashman
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:16 am
    "Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 billion SAP verdict, could get new trial": Jonathan Stempel of Reuters has this report. And Bloomberg News reports that "Oracle Offered Reduced Damages or Retrial in SAP Case." You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
  • "Supreme Court Beach"

    Howard Bashman
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    "Supreme Court Beach": Artist Todd Crespi has posted this painting online, with annotations.
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    Legal Juice

  • Yeah, Lots Of Electric Bicycles Can Outrun Police Cars

    John Mesirow
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:07 pm
    Running away from a problem rarely works.  This is especially true if your problem is a police car chasing you, and you are on an electric bicycle!  As reported by The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario): At around 11:45 p.m. Halton police officers, patrolling on bicycles, saw a man on an E-bike in the area of Kerr Street and Lakeshore Road West who they allege was not wearing the required helmet. When you are doing something illegal (see below), why would you draw attention to yourself by breaking such an obvious law like a helmet law? When the officers called on the man to stop he allegedly…
  • Can Dutch Guy Call Cop An Ant-F*cker?

    John Mesirow
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:05 pm
    In a country where past cases have made it quite clear that one may not insult police officers with impunity, this would seem to be a no-brainer. But what is considered an insult is unclear, as this case demonstrates. As reported by A homeless man has been cleared by the High Court of insulting a police officer by calling him a mierenneuker – literally ant-fucker – a term used in popular speech to describe people who stick obsessively to the rules. The court said it depended on the context in which it is used whether or not the word should be considered swearing.
  • Oh No You Didn’t Just Call Your Client That

    John Mesirow
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:08 pm
    Can you believe that a sexual harassment claim could arise from a cocktail waitress’s employment at a strip club? Well, suspend your disbelief, and take my word for it. Or click here to read about it in the Gothamist. Anyway, that’s not the point of the post. The point of the post is the caption of the Complaint: LOURDES GARCIA, on behalf of herself and hose similarly situated, PLAINTIFFS [emphasis added] So, just in case you missed it, the law firm for the strip club cocktail waitress referred to its client and her peers as “hose.” Sure, you can quibble and say that…
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    Ernie the Attorney

  • Who is censoring your information?

    Ernie Svenson
    3 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    Are you aware that someone is censoring your incoming mail? Okay, it’s not your mail exactly. It’s all of the information you receive. Someone is tampering with it, and you’ll be surprised who it is. The culprit is you. Or more precisely: your brain. Your human brain is constantly filtering out useless information. What kind of information is “useless”? Well, that depends on how your brain has been programmed. If you grew up in a community of religious fundamentalists you’ll filter out opposing messages that challenge the tenets of that religion. That’s a “worldview…
  • Virtual assistants that are affordable and super helpful

    Ernie Svenson
    27 Jul 2014 | 6:55 am
    What kind of virtual assistance can you get for $25 a month? Until I tried FancyHands I would have said “nothing worthwhile.” But my friend Chad Burton persuaded me to try them, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Under the “starter plan,” FancyHands virtual assistants will handle 5 tasks per month. Five tasks for $25 per month may not seem worthwhile, but that’s the surprise. At least if you’ve never used a virtual assistance service before. First of all, you can get more than 5 tasks your first month. FancyHands offers incentives options that, if you agree…
  • The voice in your head

    Ernie Svenson
    13 Jul 2014 | 3:03 pm
    Have you ever noticed the little voice in your head? Every human who has learned to speak a language has a little voice in their head. Thinking is possible only because of that little voice. If you notice yourself thinking, as you are thinking, then you’ve noticed the little voice in your head. So what? Well, it might be important to know how that little voice operates. What kind of effect does it have on your life? Does your little voice send you encouraging thoughts? Or, does it dwell on pessimistic things? Usually the little voice sends you messages based on things that happened in…
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    Ask the Lawyer @ Dear Esq.

  • Can I Refuse My Son’s Father Custody Due to Drug Use?

    House Attorney
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:48 pm
    I have a 6-month-old son. His father and I are currently separated but on good terms.
  • Did I Violate the Child Custody Order?

    House Attorney
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:43 pm
    My ex-husband and I have set visitation ordered by the court. My ex never sticks to his visitation. I filed a motion to have his visitation reduced again. Now he calls today and wants his daughter this weekend. Well I just found out he is planning on having my 6-year-old daughter stay with him at his girlfriend's house he has been dating for only 3 weeks.
  • Can I Relocate My Children Without Their Father’s Permission?

    House Attorney
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:28 pm
    I live with my boyfriend and we have two children and we live in Indiana. He is verbally abusive. He is on the birth certificate but nothing has been done through the court.
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  • What's in a Name

    Mark Graber
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:56 am
    My down and dirty research indicates that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has more than doubled while President Obama has been in office.  The Dow began the day at 17,044.  When Obama took office, the Dow was at 7,949. The result is unprecedented gains for anyone slightly above middle-class or better.  Is there any reason why no one refers to the remarkable returns on investments (include 401(k)'s) as "the Obama Market?"
  • Overruled: A (Third) Response To Professor Adler

    Guest Blogger
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Rob Weiner In the hopes of capping the increasingly tedious (not to mention snarky) contretemps with Professor Jonathan Adler, I think it worth reviewing a few of the instances where his responses to my blog posts on Halbig have ignored, elided, or misconstrued my points. For example, I observed that a threat, to be a threat, must be communicated and understood.  In this case, the alleged coercive purpose of the language at issue in Halbig was lost on both the legislators who supposedly communicated it and the states that supposedly understood it.  Among the evidence I cited that…
  • Disturbing reversal of hate-crime convictions in Amish hair-cutting case

    Marty Lederman
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:36 am
    Yesterday a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned the convictions of 16 members of the Bergholz Old Order Amish community in Ohio under the 2009 federal hate-crimes law, even though it was undisputed that over a three-month period in 2011, the assailants--under the direction and approval of the Bishop of the Bergholz community, Samuel Mullett--attacked nine other Amish individuals by forcibly slicing off the men’s beards and cutting the women’s hair.  A critical part of the majority's decision is based upon its conclusion that the evidence…
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  • "The problem is I'm black.... No it really is because I didn't do anything wrong."

    30 Aug 2014 | 7:46 am
  • "And you may find yourself in a beautiful Oval Office..."

    30 Aug 2014 | 7:13 am
    And you may find yourself in a beautiful Oval Office...— Doktor Zoom (@DoktorZoom) August 28, 2014 From "Twitter Nation distracted by president's suit."I'm not distracted by the tan suit. I'm distracted by the distraction over the suit.They say Obama said he had no strategy, but the suit was a strategy.It's always showtime/Here at the edge of the stage....Stop making sense, stop making sense, stop making sense, making sense/We've got a boyfriend that's better than that/And nothing is better that this....
  • "Under pressure from nervous Democratic Senate candidates in tight races, President Obama is rethinking the timing..."

    29 Aug 2014 | 4:19 pm
    "... of his pledge to act on his own to reshape the nation’s immigration system by summer’s end, and could instead delay some or all of his most controversial proposals until after the midterm elections in November, according to people familiar with White House deliberations."The NYT reports.I wonder who the "people familiar with White House deliberations" are and what they are trying to achieve. Something principled? Is anyone familiar with White House deliberations principled?
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    Concurring Opinions

  • Soft launch of historical website — Calendar of civil liberties

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:34 am
    There is a new website: Today in Civil Liberties History, which has five or six events for each day. Each event includes learning materials: books, reports, web sites, Youtube videos, and more. It covers the full range of civil liberties issues: First Amendment, racial justice, reproductive rights, lesbian and gay rights, national security, and more. The official public launch will be on Constitution Day, Wednesday September 17th, but you can view in now. For more information about Today in Civil Liberties History, click here:…
  • Tim Wu for Lt. Governor

    Gerard Magliocca
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:46 am
    We normally avoid partisan politics at CoOp, but I did want to note that today the New York Times endorsed my friend (and Columbia Law Professor) Tim Wu in his primary race for Lt. Governor of New York.
  • FAN 29.1 (First Amendment News) — Florida Bar Joins Petitioner in Urging Court Review of Judicial Elections Case

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Barry Richard, counsel for Florida Bar As difficult as it is to obtain review in the Supreme Court, sometimes a case comes along that makes it hard for the clerks and their bosses to ignore. Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar may be just such a case as the stars seem to be aligning in favor of the Petitioner, Lanell Williams-Yulee, having her case ruled upon by the Justices. In a post a few weeks back, I flagged the Williams-Yulee case in which review was pending in the Court. The issue in the case is whether a rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from…
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • Online tools to streamline your email

    15 Aug 2014 | 8:05 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled " Online tools to streamline your email."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Online tools to streamline your email These days we spend an awful lot of time sorting through and responding to emails. Oftentimes, email ping pong can take up a tremendous amount of time as we attempt to schedule meetings or phone calls on dates and times that work well for a group of invitees. Another problem often encountered is that, for many of us, our email operates as a “to-do” list, which can sometimes become overwhelming since email…
  • Will lawyers embrace wearable tech, and the future?

    8 Aug 2014 | 7:02 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled " Will lawyers embrace wearable tech, and the future?"  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Will lawyers embrace wearable tech, and the future? Technology is changing at a rapid clip. Devices that were once a marvel less than a decade ago, like e-readers, smartphones and tablets, are now commonplace. Cloud computing is on the rise and social media use and postings, whether by parties, witnesses or jurors, is now a factor in the vast majority of cases being litigated in courtrooms across the country. The times the are a…
  • Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers

    1 Aug 2014 | 10:35 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled " Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.  Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers Every year I write about different legal technology surveys that are released. Many focus on how lawyers are actually using legal technology, such as the ABA’s annual Legal Technology Survey. But it’s also helpful to know how solo and small-firm lawyers envision using technology in their practices.That why the results of two legal technology surveys about lawyers’ plans to use legal technology…
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  • The Price of Corruption

    Usha Rodrigues
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Please don't think me a hypocrite, but despite being a proud, dyed-in-the-wool corporate type, I have penned a con law piece.  In my defense, I came up on the story honestly, while doing empirical work in securities.  And it's just an essay!  Hopefully it won't cost me too much in corporate street cred. Here's the abstract: The Supreme Court recently held that campaign contributions under $5200 do not create a “cognizable risk of corruption.”  It was wrong. This Essay describes a nexus of timely contributions and special-interest legislation.  In the most noteworthy case, a CEO made…
  • Are the Reports of the Cupcake Craze Death Greatly Exagerated?

    Lisa Fairfax
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:28 am
    Last month when Crumbs, America's first public cupcake company, announced it was closing most of its stores after its stock was delisted by Nasdaq, and it had defaluted on some $14.3 million in financing, many viewed the annoucement as a sign that the cupcake industry bubble had finally burst. In the past decade, cupcakes appeared as if they were taking over with businesses sprouting up everywhere.  Not only had cupcakes come to replace traditional cakes at weddings and birthday parties, but people were willing to stand in ridiculously long lines and pay sometimes as much as $5 for a single…
  • 2014 Aspiring Law Professors Conference at Arizona State University

    Christine Hurt
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:07 am
    It is that time again!  Time for appointments committees, FAR forms, and the AALS hiring conference!  If you are going to be on the candidate end of those things this year, or (even better) going to be a candidate next year (or so), then you should definitely make an effort to attend the 2014 Aspiring Law Professors Conference at the Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law at Arizona State University on Saturday, September 27, 2014. I am being completely honest in saying that this conference has to be the most useful eight hours that you will spend if you are interested in going into law…
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    Ms. JD Blog

  • Press Release:  Election of New Board Member Akunna Cook

    Heather Asher
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:34 pm
    Katie Larkin-Wong, Chair of Ms. JD’s Board of Directors, announced that the Board unanimously voted to appoint Akunna Cook to the Board.  "Akunna brings a wealth of experience to Ms. JD's Board," Katie stated regarding Akunna joining the Ms. JD Board.  "We were impressed by her commitment to fostering diversity, her past success promoting institutional change to remove barriers to women's promotion in the foreign service, and her international experiences. We are excited to welcome her to the team." Akunna graduated summa cum laude…
  • Choosing Law Schools

    25 Aug 2014 | 5:15 pm
    When it comes to law schools, there are so many great choices. How do you even begin narrowing it all down? In this post, I hope to shed some light on how to choose law schools that will be a good match for you. HOW MANY SCHOOLS SHOULD I APPLY TO? I recommend applying to six to eight law schools. You could apply to fewer or more, but if you’re applying to more than ten schools, you should take a close look at whether you are serious about attending every one of your schools or if you’re just applying for the sake of applying. Don't be a karmic thief. Only apply to the schools…
  • Save-the-date: Ms. JD Global Education Fund Boston Cocktail Hour, September 13, 2014

    25 Aug 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund Presents: First Annual Boston Cocktail Hour Save the Date! SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 1238 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138 Harvard Square On Saturday, September 13, 2014, Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund will host its 1st annual Boston Cocktail Hour to raise money for its eight women law scholars at Makerere University in Uganda.  The Global Education Fund (GEF) enables women in developing countries to pursue legal educations who would otherwise lack access to higher education. GEF partners with Makerere University in Uganda,…
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Hello You Must Be Going

    Legal Profession Prof
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:38 am
    An Oklahoma attorney found to have engaged in unauthorized Colorado practice has been disbarred in Colorado. The attorney had purchased two Colorado accounting firms in partnership with a Colorado accountant. Over a three-year period, he set up multiple law offices...
  • Life Without Parole For Juveniles Prohibition Given Retroactive Effect

    Legal Profession Prof
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:24 am
    The New Hampshire Supreme Court has held that decision of the United States Supreme Court prohibiting mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders must be applied retroactively to persons convicted prior to the high court's decision....
  • Clear And Convincing Evidence Required For Revocation Of Disciplinary Probation

    Legal Profession Prof
    28 Aug 2014 | 2:10 pm
    The standard of proof for a violation of disciplinary probation is clear and convincing evidence, according to a recent decision of the North Dakota Supreme Court. The court found that the attorney-probationer had charged excessive fees and failed to supervise...
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    China Law Blog

  • China Employment Offer Letters: Be Careful.

    29 Aug 2014 | 4:20 am
    In China, an offer letter (录用通知书) is a written document delivered by an employer to an employee stating the employer’s intent to enter into a labor relationship with the employee. An offer letter typically proposes the employee’s work title, work location, wages, and the term of the employment arrangement. Despite the relatively common use of employment offer letters in China (especially by state-owned enterprises) no Chinese law specifically addresses them. For that reason and for the reasons set forth below, employers should be careful in using them. To begin with, despite…
  • China Joint Ventures: A Warning

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:38 am
    The most common ways that companies start doing business in China (legally) is by forming a WFOE (A Wholly Foreign Owned Entity) or by partnering with an existing Chinese business through some form of joint venture. Media reports to the contrary, China remains  quite open to foreign investment and in the past several years WFOEs have become the most common vehicle for foreign investment, partly because of investor skittishness as stories about problems with Chinese equity joint venture partners have made the rounds. Yet many foreign investors still wish to enter the Chinese market through…
  • China Compliance: Don’t Rely On Your China Staff, Part IV

    27 Aug 2014 | 5:44 am
    In Part 1 of this series, I discussed how Chinese staff of foreign companies operating in China typically view China compliance very differently than the foreign company itself. In Part 2, I talked about how the views of Chinese staff can negatively impact the foreign company’s China compliance efforts. In Part 3, I discussed one aspect of what often happens with the local Chinese staff when the foreign company starts to enact real changes in its operations. Today, I focus in on how Chinese staff will seek to undermine those who it sees as behind the foreign company’s seeking to…
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    Patently-O » Patent

  • Case dismissed as sanction for misrepresentations

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:20 pm
    Judge Keith Ellison issued a scathing order dismissing a patent case after it had been tried to verdict.  Tesco Corp. v. Weatherford Int’l., Inc. (S.D. Tex. Aug. 25, 2014).  Four days into a three-week trial over infringement of some patents relating to drilling rig equipment, an inventor testified that a brochure that constituted 102(b) prior art showed his invention.  The following day, a Friday, patentee’s counsel told the court he would spend the weekend getting to the bottom of the facts about it (there was even a dispute over whether the brochure had been produced to…
  • Recent Patent Transfers

    Dennis Crouch
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:10 am
    Sandisk transferred a handful of patents and applications to newly formed company known as Sudek Technologies. The patents stem from the work of MusicGremlin – which was bought by Sandisk several years ago. How much would you pay for the following claim with a 2003 priority date? 1. An electronic device comprising: an interface through which to communicate with a network; a memory; and processor in communication with the interface and the memory, wherein the processor is operative to: receive subscription information from a user, wherein the subscription information includes (i) a…
  • What to do About All These Invalid Patents?

    Dennis Crouch
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:37 pm
    By Dennis Crouch The recorder-of-deeds here in Boone County Missouri is pretty good at her job. Although there is an occasional error in the records, those errors are quickly remedied once found.  The property records are regularly relied upon and their correctness is important to ensure smooth operation of the real property marketplace. Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has uncovered a few glaring errors in the patent records.  Namely – hundreds of thousands of patent claims have issued that are – in fact – not patentable.  These problematic claims either lack eligible…
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    Religion Clause

  • Another Controversy Over Religious Symbols and Public Schools

    Howard Friedman
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:23 pm
    Two elementary schools in Midlothian, Texas are the latest focus of controversy over religious symbols on public property. As reported by today by Courthouse News Service, the plaques, featuring two crosses, read: "Dedicated in the Year of Our Lord 1997 to the Education of God's Children and to their Faithful Teachers in the Name of the Holy Christian Church." Freedom From Religion Foundation complained about the plaques two months ago. The Dallas Observer yesterday reported on what happened next:The district, advised by its attorneys that it would lose any lawsuit regarding the plaques,…
  • Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

    Howard Friedman
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:08 am
    In Smart v. Aramark Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113266 (D NJ, Aug. 15, 2014), a New Jersey federal district court reaffirmed its prior holding that an inmate, who variously claimed his relgion as Muslim or Jewish, did not have his ability to practice his religion affected by his inability to have his beard at the prison's kitchen.In Fields v. Martin, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114224 (ED MI, Aut.18, 2014), a Michigan federal district court accepted a magistrate's report and rejected an inmate's claim that his Buddhist religion required him to have a vegan diet.In Nelson v. Jackson,…
  • Bolivian Evangelical Group Sues To Challenge New Rules Imposed On Religious Groups

    Howard Friedman
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:05 am
    In Bolivia last month, the National Association of Evangelicals of Bolivia filed a Petition of Unconsitutionality with the country's Constitutional Tribunal challenging new provisions regulating churches. The Protestant group is challenging Law 351 ("Granting of Juridical Personality to Churches and Religious Groups") passed in March 2013 and Supreme Decree 1987 implementing the law. The petition argues that various provisions of the law violate Art. 4 of the country's constitution protecting religious liberty. As reported by Morning Star News:Decree 1987 imposes a list of burdensome…
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  • Nailing the arm and hammer trademark

    Ron Coleman
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:11 am
    Armed and dubious? It’s the eve of Labor Day — what better time to talk about that great symbol of  militant labor and refrigerator deoderizing, the ARM & HAMMER? I have in the past wondered about a certain trademark and found, to my surprise, that as well known as it was, the trademark story itself had gotten scant attention from the world.  This was certainly the case regarding the now-defunct trademark, BATES STAMP.  Not so, however, regarding the Hammer. When you see this symbol you probably just think of baking soda. But, comrades, to bake a few eggs, you know,…
  • A certain NFL team is on the warpath

    Ron Coleman
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:21 am
    Sorry about the pun — but then again, I’m not the PTO; then again, too, my attitude toward “scandalous and offensive” ethnic marks is different from that of lots of people, too. This one, in particular, has long rubbed me the wrong way. Regarding the Redskins appeal of the REDSKINS cancellation, here, courtesy of The Trademark Blog, is the complaint in Redskins v Blackhorse: Unsurprising:  Great reliance on the issues raised by the dissenting TTAB judge regarding the serious evidentiary problems with the TTAB ruling.  This is the core argument in our Federal…
  • The key to the kingdom

    Ron Coleman
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:52 pm
    Originally posted 2007-08-17 13:36:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Sooner a later, “the courts” are going to decide whether or not keyword advertising is a trademark infringement. Here’s the latest sortie taking off, via David Fish.
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • Taser's business model on police body cams

    30 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    Grits observed earlier this month that the most successful wearable tech businesses so far have been in the corrections industry - e.g., police body cams, GPS trackers, and alcohol monitors - and dominated by a few companies narrowly focused on law enforcement tech. I'd argued that in the wearables market, "The more significant profit potential comes when you can find ongoing, real-world uses for wearable-generated data." So I was interested to see a recent New York Times piece ("Police cameras can shed light but raise privacy concerns," Aug. 20) describing Taser International's services and…
  • Texas should fund mental health diversion instead of border surge

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:13 am
    Here are a couple of recent stories about jail diversion programs for the mentally ill in San Antonio and Houston being touted as models (even though the latter hasn't launched yet):Kaiser Health News (Aug. 20): Wrestling with a Texas county's mental health systemHouston Public Media (Aug. 21): Pilot jail diversion program for mentally illThe Bexar program deserves its kudos and I certainly hope the pilot in Harris County fulfills expectations. But one notices that whenever local agencies in Texas do stuff they always want their program to be a "model" for the state and nation. We do this a…
  • Litigation heating up over summertime prison conditions: 5th Circuit may rule in Louisiana case by end of year

    27 Aug 2014 | 4:29 am
    At Texas Monthly's website, Annie Melton reflects on the looming question: "Will a ruling on extreme conditions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary influence lawsuits pending in Texas?" She's talking about a federal court's ruling in favor of death row inmates in the Angola unit in Louisiana which may soon cause our Bayou State neighbors to "join the long, still-growing list of states that have established temperature regulations for their prisons," just like Texas requires for county jails. (See prior Grits coverage.)The state prison system has asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which…
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    Blonde Justice

  • Gee, Thanks.

    Blonde Justice
    4 Aug 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Judge, to my client, as part of the plea colloquy: And are you satisfied with the representation you have received from your lawyer?Asshole client, who has wasted a ton of my time being an asshole client:  Well, I mean, I have some critiques to offer her...
  • Running Wild

    Blonde Justice
    2 Jun 2014 | 9:47 pm
    One of the interesting things about working in a new court is learning the new lingo.  You say continuance, I say adjournment. You say FTA, I say bench warrant.But today I heard my new favorite localism. My client was telling me about what happened with his cases in another county. "Judge gave me thirty days running wild." (Note there is no article "the" here, always just "judge" instead of "the judge," "prosecutor" instead of "the prosecutor."  If I want to assimilate, I'll have to give up the "the.")Anyway, where was I?  Oh, I followed up with, "30 days on each case? You had…
  • Meeting the Best People

    Blonde Justice
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:37 pm
    One thing I really like is meeting other public defenders.  As my clinic teacher used to say, "Public defenders are the best people in the world." If not the "best," they're at least usually like-minded.  And in a world where our chosen profession is often misunderstood, that is no small thing.If you are a public defender having some doubts, or experiencing "burn out," I would suggest going to a PD conference, maybe even in another state, and making some new friends.  It helps to realize there are people going through the same (or worse) challenges, and people you can swap war…
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    Drug and Device Law

  • Help With California’s Learned Intermediary Doctrine . . . From West Virginia

    Steven Boranian
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:14 am
    While we are often critical of federal courts that reach out to make new state law, today we commend a far-away judge for bringing California’s learned intermediary doctrine law back to its basics.  The case is Sanchez v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 2:12-cv-05762, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114122 (S.D. W. Va. Aug. 18, 2014), which is one of many cases in the various pelvic mesh MDLs currently ongoing in West Virginia.  In Sanchez, the defendant surgical mesh manufacturer moved for summary judgment with mixed results, but we like the district court’s no-nonsense approach to the…
  • Guest Post - Not Quite a One-Two-Three Punch

    28 Aug 2014 | 7:27 am
    What follows is another of our occasional guest posts, this time by fellow Reed Smith attorney Danielle Devens.  As always with our guest posts, the author gets all the credit, and any blame, for the contents of his/her work.******************            This week, a panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an opinion allowing a plaintiff to maintain a small subset of warning-related claims against a generic drug manufacturer.  It also dismissed the claims against the brand name manufacturers, albeit reluctantly, pointing…
  • ECF: Ignoring It Means Entire Case Fails

    Steve McConnell
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Luddite.  Technophobe.  Fogey.  Fossil.  Geezer.  We’ve been called all of those.  We plead guilty.  We prefer matches to lighters, manual transmission to automatic, fountain pens to uniballs, and wind-up watches to quartz.  We refuse to (that is, cannot) redline documents.  When it comes to computers, we are an easily confused fogey.  We leave the court’s electronic case filing system, charmingly known as ECF, to our secretary.  But at least we have someone attend to ECF.  Not doing so, it turns out, can be fatal. The case of…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • Judicial Nominees and Practical Experience

    Kent Scheidegger
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:27 pm
    Five years ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated former state Senator Charles Poochigian to the state Court of Appeal.  He was evaluated by the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and given the lowest rating, Not Qualified.  This was not because of his personal characteristics.  On the contrary, reported Kenneth Ofgang in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise at the time, JNE Commission Chair Jonathan Wolf of San Francisco wrote to the chief justice that the nominee "is intelligent, diligent, and an independent thinker, courteous,…
  • Oklahoma Murderer Died From Execution, Not Heart Attack

    Kent Scheidegger
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:56 pm
    Remember Clayton Lockett, the Oklahoma murderer who supposed died of a heart attack rather than the lethal injection?  Well, never mind.  An independent autopsy found he did indeed die of the lethal injection drugs, Tim Talley of AP reports.An autopsy on an Oklahoma inmate who died after his troubled execution was halted concluded that he was killed by the lethal drugs, but it doesn't explain why he writhed, moaned and clenched his teeth before he was pronounced dead about 43 minutes after the process began.This execution still counts as "botched," in my view, but it is the only one…
  • Mauro on Supreme Court Clerk Reorganization

    Kent Scheidegger
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Tony Mauro has this article at National Law Journal (registration required) on the reorganization of the Supreme Court Clerk's office, previously noted here.Jordan "Danny" Bickell will serve in the new position of deputy clerk for practice and procedure, which will carry out some of the functions of the chief deputy. Those includes "the preparation of weekly conference lists, taking action on extensions of time to respond to petitions for writs of certiorari, and service as the primary point of contact for members of the Court's bar with respect to questions of practice and procedure,"…
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    CLEWS Your Home for Historic True Crime

  • Murder & Mystery in Michigan

    Laura James
    3 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    (Ed. note: Proving again that oil has always been a bloody , awful business, true crime author Robert Knapp unearthed a gem of a murder case from the 1930s and has just released a book on it, Mystery Man--Gangsters, Oil, and Murder in Michigan. It concerns murder victim Isaiah Leebove—gambler, oil speculator, lawyer for the Purple Gang. The press release was so prettily written that I'm pinching it entire for the many fans of true gangster stories replete with larger-than-life makers of mayhem.) Murder & Mystery in Michigan by Robert Knapp   “Did I get him?”    “You got…
  • An Ode to The Borowitz Collection

    Laura James
    2 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    (The Borowitz Collection is the greatest private true crime library ever amassed. This year the current owner, Kent State University, geared up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the donation of the entire ensemble. In addition to all kinds of special events, the university put together a catalogue for a special exhibit of the gems of the collection. They asked me to write an introduction for the catalogue, which pleased me to no end, so this is what I came up with to introduce Albert Borowitz and his books.)   Thanks to the lawmakers and the industry of our criminal courts and mass…
  • Two-Dollar Terrors

    Laura James
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Ed. note: This press release found its way onto my desk, and I'm running the gem as-is, replete with the journalist's sign-off. I admire the author's very traditional approach to, ironically enough, ebooks in our favorite genre, and I can already tell that he has unimpeachable taste in murder cases, so I subscribed to his blog. I'm also looking forward to his first actual-book book, which comes out this fall. If a non-fiction book title includes the words savage shocking, and scandal, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.) HAMILTON, OHIO -- In the spirit of the…
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  • Friday Night Open Thread

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:07 pm
    It's the last weekend of summer. Sure went by fast. President Obama visited Westchester, NY today and the Secret Service reported they are investigating a threat against him and searching for a 2014 Volkswagon Jetta. Obama then went to Rhode... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • AQAP's New Magazine Urges Attacks in U.S. and Britain

    29 Aug 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Is AQAP (al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) getting jealous of ISIS? Its new magazine, an offshoot of Inspire by Al-Malahem English Production, is called Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience. It urges lone wolf attacks in the U.S. and... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Pentagon Says Cost of Current Iraqi Operations is $7.5 Mil a Day

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Via Reuters, we have been spending $7.5 million a day in Iraq since mid-June. That's a total to date of about $532 million. U.S. military operations against Islamic State in Iraq have cost an average of $7.5 million per day since they began... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • The Rise of Female Entrepreneurs in Washington DC

    30 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Primarily known for its influential scene of bureaucrats and politicians, Washington DC is now transforming into a hub for entrepreneurs and startups with government ties. If you’re teetering on the thought of launching a business in the DC area, we’re here to provide you with exclusive insights, laying out the benefits and drawbacks of starting up in Washington, DC. Recently, we spoke with Dede Haskins, the Director of the Washington DC Founder Institute. In addition to coaching some the most dynamic companies in the Metro DC area, she has also acted as the President of Women in…
  • Why You Should Launch a Startup in Washington DC

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Primarily known for its influential scene of bureaucrats and politicians, Washington DC is now transforming into a hub for entrepreneurs and startups with government ties. If you’re teetering on the thought of launching a business in the DC area, we’re here to provide you with exclusive insights, laying out the benefits and drawbacks of starting up in Washington, DC. Recently we spoke with Dede Haskins, the Director of the Washington DC Founder Institute. With more than 20 years of experience working with some of the most powerful and fastest growing companies on…
  • First Jobs of Successful Entrepreneurs

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:00 pm
    While the achievements of successful entrepreneurs are usually what make the headlines, it is too often overlooked that they started somewhere, often working typical blue-collar jobs. So if you think your current job is holding you back from launching that dream company of yours, don’t despair, because we have a list of industry leaders who managed to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur: Warren Buffett Widely considered to be the most successful investor of the 20th century, Warren Buffett is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people. However, this…
  • The Eating Habits of a Successful Entrepreneur

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:00 pm
    So much has been written about the traits and skills one must have to be a successful entrepreneur that it’s easy to forget that sometimes it is the little things in life that lead to the greatest success. In Entrepreneur Habits, we provide you with simple yet effective habits that any fledgling founder can employ in their daily -- or nightly -- routine. With advice from top entrepreneurs and innovative practitioners, these creative customs can help put you on the path to progress. For this installment, we take a look at some helpful, and healthful, eating habits that every…
  • Founder Institute Officially Launches in Costa Rica, our First Program in Central America

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Today we have some very exciting news - we are officially launching our newest chapter in San Jose, Costa Rica! Although the Founder Institute operates across over 65 cities and six continents, the new Costa Rica Autumn 2014 Semester will actually be our first in Central America. Applications to the program are open now, and anyone interested in launching a technology company is welcome to apply to the Costa Rica Founder Institute at  In order to celebrate the launch, the Costa Rica Founder Institute will host a “Pre-Curriculum” of free startup…
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  • Petition of the day

    Maureen Johnston
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:20 pm
    The petition of the day is: Kolon Industries, Incorporated v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company 14-77 Issue: Whether, under 28 U.S.C. § 455(b), the federal recusal statute, a federal judge is relieved of his mandatory statutory duty of self-disqualification simply because neither party filed a timely motion to disqualify the judge. In association with Bloomberg Law
  • Last of first-round same-sex marriage cases is in

    Lyle Denniston
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:14 am
    The last in the first round of new same-sex marriage cases to reach the Supreme Court — an appeal by a county clerk in Virginia — was filed on Friday, and it offered the Court a variety of options for confronting the constitutional controversy.  While making a plea that this case be the one chosen for review, it also accepted being put on hold if the Court were to choose to move ahead with another case instead. A key facet of the new petition, McQuigg v. Bostic (not yet assigned a docket number), was a suggestion that the Court put its primary focus on the basic issue of state…
  • Petition of the day

    Maureen Johnston
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:11 pm
    The petition of the day is: Bonner v. City of Brighton, Michigan 14-63 Issue: (1) Whether certiorari should be granted to resolve the conflicting decisions between the Michigan Supreme Court and other states’ courts as to whether an ordinance violates substantive and procedural due process when it creates a presumption that an unsafe structure shall be demolished as a public nuisance if the cost to repair the structure would exceed its value and when the ordinance does not afford the owner an option to repair as a matter of right; and (2) whether the Brighton code of ordinances §…
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    Nuts & Boalts

  • Hanging By An OCI Thread

    8 Aug 2014 | 4:53 pm
    UPDATE 8/10/2014: READ AND FOLLOW RULES 2 AND 3.  Folks, I get the impulse to just jump on and post the offers and dings at hand.  But you're killing me.  It really does add to my workload exponentially to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Worst of all,, this is really not making Boalties look all that great at following directions.  So pretty please, with sugar on top, follow Rules 2 and 3.***Next Friday will mark 10 years to the day that I created this blog as a way of chronicling my experience in law school.  It has served well beyond its initial, humble…
  • John Yoo for Dean? WTF?

    Melvin Belli
    30 Jan 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Last week, students at Berkeley Law received a series of emails from the Berkeley Law Dean Search Committee announcing four candidate visits to campus in the coming days.This afternoon students received an email from a "Berkeley Law Dean Search" account inviting them to a last minute (presumably for security reasons) town hall in Booth Auditorium to consider a fifth candidate: our very own Professor John Choon Y*o. The email was formatted similarly to previous emails announcing candidate visits and many students believed it to be real. need to chain yourselves to anything in…
  • Who wants to be...Dean?

    Melvin Belli
    23 Jan 2014 | 6:03 pm
    And then there were four. Today all students received an email announcing the Dean Search Committee (including representatives from the faculty, main campus and a student) has selected four candidates, who will visit campus in February, to replace Dean E*ley.Whoever is chosen will have some big shoes to fill. I am an unabashed, if anonymous, Dean Edl*y supporter. Dean Edl*y came in facing a recent sex scandal, crumbling facility, a minuscule endowment compared to our peers and declining support from the state. During his tenure, Edl*y succesfully completed an ambitious 125 million dollar…
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    Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog

  • Perfect Headline is Six Words Long

    Larry Bodine
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:11 pm
  • Death of the Web Conference - New Research from

    Larry Bodine
    12 Aug 2014 | 3:55 pm
    As virtual meetings become more commonplace, legacy web conferencing software is wasting an unacceptable amount of time, according to a new study from Ovum and It is based on a survey of more than 3,900 full-time professionals worldwide, regarding their collaborative behaviors and activities. The key findings from this report: Late start times are costing executives 5 days and 19 hours per year in lost time and productivity. Technical difficulties with web conferencing software is the number one cause of delayed meetings. More than 50 percent of employees report that the number…
  • The Best Subject Line to Get Your Email Opened

    Larry Bodine
    12 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Believe it or not, the best subject lines start with "Re:" "RE: Follow Up" "Re: update" "Re: Introduction" and "Re: Checking in" 
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    Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog

  • Some suggested iPhoneJD reading

    Jim Calloway
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:02 am
    I'm a big fan of Jeff Richardson's iPhone JD blog and with the recent Apple new product announcement date scheduled on September 9 in a much larger-than-usual venue, you don't want to miss out on Jeff's in the news roundup...
  • Recent Technology News and Developments for 2014

    Jim Calloway
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:53 am
    Get your technology news update here. Recent Technology News and Developments for 2014 is my column for the August "Back to School" issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal. I cover lots of tech developments with some serious and some not-so-serious...
  • Reading Online News Items (2014 Edition)

    Jim Calloway
    20 Aug 2014 | 1:00 pm
    How many times do you see "Visit my blog!", "We have great news articles online here" or "See our website for more"? How often do you actually follow up just to see what is there? My guess is the honest...
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • A Brief Note About Browning Marean

    Robert Ambrogi
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:33 am
    Eloquent remembrances about Browning Marean have been written by those who knew him well. See the posts by Craig Ball, Tom O’Connor, Chris Dale, John Tredennick, Ralph Losey, Monica Bay and Josh Gilliland. These folks built friendships with him over many years, traveled to conferences with him, sat on panels with him, shared meals with […] The post A Brief Note About Browning Marean appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • UMass Law’s ‘Justice Bridge’ Pairs New Lawyers with Needy Clients

    Robert Ambrogi
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:41 am
    The University of Massachusetts School of Law has launched what it is calling an incubator designed to help new lawyers start their careers while serving modest-income clients who might not otherwise afford a lawyer. Justice Bridge is described as a legal access center and law practice incubator that will help enable new lawyers to deliver high-quality, […] The post UMass Law’s ‘Justice Bridge’ Pairs New Lawyers with Needy Clients appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • Microsoft Launches Document Management System for Legal

    Robert Ambrogi
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:32 pm
    At the ILTA annual conference in Nashville today, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of a preview version of a new document management and collaboration platform designed for law firms and legal departments. Called Matter Center for Office 365, it works with Office 365 and allows legal professionals to securely find, organize and collaborate on files […] The post Microsoft Launches Document Management System for Legal appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • 140 Law is Taking a Break

    Garry Wise
    20 Aug 2014 | 3:06 pm
    We will be taking a short hiatus from 140 Law, in furtherance of that elusive work-life balance thing we keep hearing so much about (not to mention the domestic bliss that will undoubtedly emerge as I spend a bit less time with my nose buried in my iPad while on vacation).There may still be the occasional tweet @wiselaw, so have a look there if you are in uncontrollable withdrawal.Enjoy the rest of the summer. We will be back after Labour Day. - Garry J. Wise, TorontoVisit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.netVisit our website:
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Wednesday, August 20, 2014:Heavy Meta: Maine Man, 19, Poses For New Mug Shot Wearing T-Shirt With Photo Of His Old Mug ShotJulian Assange will not leave embassy until assured there will be no US extradition Report into deadly Lac-Mégantic, Que., train derailment finds 'weak safety culture' Court Reduces Notice Period, Employee Should Have Known Better Why law firms need R&D investmentJustice of the peace Alfred “Budd” Johnston suspended for dismissing 68 cases at once  Georgia judge to sex abuser mom: ‘You…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:27 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Tuesday, August 19, 2014: Despite Supreme Court turndown raw milk activist won’t pay fine | Better Farming Report into Lac-Megantic tragedy to be released today Dershowitz: Gov. Perry’s indictment is an example of ‘criminalization of party differences’Judge OKs retaliation suit by Pennsylvania ex-police chief demoted after reporting cop’s sex abuse photos  A Criminal Mind: Do harms of criminalization outweigh the benefits? Iowa GOP rep. arrested for having sex with incapacitated wife after judge…
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    Law Technology Today

  • In Brief: Cloud Computing for Lawyers

    Gwynne Monahan
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:12 am
    The phrase “cloud computing” is ubiquitous. Instagram. Dropbox. Google Apps. Evernote. Netflix. There is little in every day life not touched by cloud computing. That’s increasingly true for the practice of law and running a law firm as well. Here’s what you need to know to get the most of cloud computing applications, with an eye on ethics and client confidentiality. The Basics of Cloud Computing Cloud computing, broadly defined, is a category of software and services delivered over the Internet rather than installed locally on a user’s computer. Cloud…
  • Mobile Videoconferencing for Depositions: Good to Go

    Kenneth Zais
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    The question started popping up five or so years ago, and it was a reasonable request. Litigation attorneys wondered, “can you set-up videoconferencing equipment at my witness’s home or office for the deposition?” It would come up if the witness was homebound, or if travel to a court reporting firm, business center or law firm proved out-of-the-way, say, for an expert witness. The idea of installing a portable videoconferencing system for an afternoon (along with on-site tech support to connect to legal team members at distant videoconferencing locations), had appeal. In practice,…
  • Ditching Paper Signatures: Are All Electronic Alternatives Equal?

    Eliya Fishman
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    More than 90% of the world’s digital data has been generated within the last two years. Everything around us is moving faster. Our on-demand, in-an-instant mindset has zero tolerance for bandwidth limitations and mobility constraints. And then, we suddenly find ourselves facing a stack of paper that should have been signed yesterday… Paper might be dying, but the tried and true process of ‘printing to sign’ continues to linger. In fact, according to a recent ALM Media online reader survey on signature-dependent processes and the use of digital signatures, 49% of all documents…
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    Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices

  • Can You Be Too Nice?

    Gerry Riskin
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    To most of us, courtesy and consideration are almost second nature. However, Michael Fertik — founder of — says that when we assume a leadership capacity, being “too nice” can actually be detrimental to our organizations. In a guest blog for the Harvard Business Review Fertik says: Many yield to [the instinct to be nice], because it feels much easier to be liked. Few people want to be the bad guy. But leaders are also expected to make the tough decisions that serve the company or the team’s best interests. Being too nice can be lazy, inefficient,…
  • Asking the Right Question

    Gerry Riskin
    18 Jul 2014 | 6:27 am
    In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, journalist Warren Berger discusses the importance to effective leadership of asking the right questions – with the emphasis on the word “right.” “How you question is critical,” says Berger. “Questions can be great for engaging and motivating people, but they can just as easily be used to confront or blame, and can shift the mood from positive to negative.” By way of example, Berger  – author of A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas – offers five common questions that can get discussions off…
  • “Competitive Intelligence” and the Practice of Law

    Gerry Riskin
    3 Jul 2014 | 4:55 am
    The Legal Intelligencer has launched a series of articles that focus on “competitive intelligence” in the context of legal practice. The term “competitive intelligence” refers to the ways in which one company makes itself aware of what other companies in the same field (i.e., its “competitors”) are doing. This may include tracking their business practices, assessing their client bases and fields of practice, monitoring their promotion and marketing initiatives, and other tactics. The first installment in The Intelligencer series points out that competitive intelligence…
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    LawBiz® Blog

  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Why Marketing Matters for Lawyers, Part 1

    Ed Poll
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:02 am
    Factors to Consider When Marketing You Firm: -Have a Marketing Plan -Consider the commonality between you and prospective clients. -Play the Numbers Game -The more people you can get in front of; the better the chance of someone engaging you. -Build a quality referral sources -Understand that people learn differently -Connect with other professions who share your market
  • A global market reacts

    Ed Poll
    24 Aug 2014 | 2:17 am
    As we begin to look at how the profession will change in 2015 and beyond, we must look at the Australian market. Here, large accounting firms are  adding major law practice components to their stable of professionals. In at least two instances, more than 100 lawyers were engaged by accounting firms. Multi-disciplinary connections are back on the table. While this will not happen overnight in the U.S., it’s clear that we cannot ignore these changes outside of our borders. This is especially true for the larger law firms that want to compete in the Asia-Pacific market; I’m sure…
  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Tips for Increased Revenue

    Ed Poll
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Ed offers 5 ways to increase your law firm’s revenue. 1. Emphasize collections. 2. Hire lateral lawyers to meet specific demands, a new practice area, a new need. 3. Leverage technology. 4. Create a cooperative compensation model that emphasizes the law firm as an institution. 5. Outsource functions that are better done by others. Delegate.
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    Innocence Blog

  • Massachusetts at Forefront of Reforming Treatment of Eyewitness Identification Evidence in Court

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:10 am
    By Eric Pilch, Paralegal, Strategic Litigation Today's Innocence Blog features a post by guest blogger Eric Pilch, who works for the Innocence Project's Strategic Litigation Department, identifying promising test cases, evaluating case materials, and conducting research. Eric's post is a follow-up to the article featured on the Innocence Blog yesterday about the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's evaluation of how eyewitness testimony is handled and presented to juries. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) appears poised to reform the way eyewitness evidence is treated in…
  • Massachusetts to Evaluate How Eyewitness Identification Testimony is Presented and Evaluated in Court

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:30 am
    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear from defense attorneys next month about adopting changes in the way eyewitness identification testimony is presented to juries. The Boston Globe reported that four cases will be considered in the push to implement stronger instructions to advise jurors that eyewitness identifications are not always reliable. Among the cases is the conviction of Jeremy Gomes who was not picked out of a police photo array by the victim of a box cutter slashing, but who was later identified by that victim when he saw Gomes in a gas station a week…
  • Louisiana Exoneree Seeks Compensation

    27 Aug 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Nearly three years ago, Michael Williams was exonerated of second-degree murder in Louisiana. According to the American Lawyer, Williams is now seeking compensation from New Orleans and the state for the more than 15 years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit. In 1996, a young woman was stabbed to death and then dumped onto a road. A single eyewitness testified that he had seen Williams and the victim arguing in Williams' car on the night of the crime, and that he saw Williams push the victim's body out of his car and onto the street. The eyewitness - whose testimony served as the…
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    Charon QC

  • Judicial wear

    Charon QC
    30 Aug 2014 | 3:07 am
  • Summer silly season coming to an end in triumph!

    Charon QC
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    Solicitor-advocate hits back at judge’s ‘Harry Potter’ criticism   I just have to quote the article in full…. Lancashire solicitor-advocate has hit back at what he describes as judicial bias against solicitor-advocates after a Crown court judge criticised him for dressing ‘like something out of Harry Potter’. Alan Blacker, a solicitor-advocate at the Joint Armed Forces Legal Services in Rochdale, had been representing Andrzej Wojcicki, who was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and jailed for five years. At the end of the trial, after the defendant had been…
  • The Times we live in…. bring back hanging? Dear gawd….. whatever next?

    Charon QC
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:54 pm
    [I thought it was worth digging this post back up from the past] #Hackgate continues with coverage of possible computer hacking in the papers this morning.  Yesterday Christopher Jefferies, the man ‘monstered’ in some tabloids as the suspect in the Yates murder, has won substantial damages from eight newspapers and The Lord Chief Justice has handed down a very critical judgment holding The Mirror and The Sun in contempt of court The Guardian reports: Earlier on Friday, Jefferies accepted substantial libel damages from eight newspapers – including the Daily Mirror and…
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    UNDERDOG - Fairfax Criminal/DWI Attorney - Northern Virginia.

  • Staying connected to why I attended law school in the first place.

    26 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Jon Katz, a criminal defense and DWI defense lawyer advocating in Fairfax County/Northern Virginia and beyond for the best possible results in drug, sex, DWI, felony and misdemeanor cases. Law school is not for everyone. I found law school in large part to be a necessary, time-consuming and money-consuming pain in the ass -- and sometimes worse -- for finding a way to use the law to help make the world a better place. Law school had its good moments -- including the immigration law clinic, where I got a chance to represent clients at two critical administrative…
  • Musical chairs of calendaring criminal trials.

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Jon Katz, a criminal defense and DWI defense lawyer advocating in Fairfax County/Northern Virginia and beyond for the best possible results in drug, sex, DWI, felony and misdemeanor cases. Prosecutors and public defender lawyers in the larger counties in Virginia typically always appear in the same courthouse. Prosecutors can lose sight that busy private-practicing lawyers need to juggle their schedules around multiple courthouses. When I am setting a jury trial, I need to set aside enough time in my calendar in case the trial takes longer to start and go to the…
  • Was Maryland judge justified in ordering electric shock for defendant's not clamming up?

    24 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    By Jon Katz, a criminal defense and DWI defense lawyer advocating in Fairfax County/Northern Virginia and beyond for the best possible results in drug, sex, DWI, felony and misdemeanor cases. The saying goes that a party who represents himself or herself in court has a fool for a client. How many of those pro se litigants get electric-shocked by judicial order for not going silent when the judge says to stop talking? Criminal defendant Delvon King certainly got shocked last month, purportedly for not quieting down when Charles County, Maryland, Judge Robert Nalley…
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    The Legal Satyricon

  • A loss, is a tie, is a win.

    Jay Marshall Wolman
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:07 pm
    The Connecticut Bar Association voted on whether to sign onto a brief in support of a firearms law. The House of Delegates voted yes, 2-1, but there was a referendum petition. A vote was taken. By a vote of 734-729 (5 votes), the members voted to join the brief. Those opposed to signing the brief […]
  • That’s one way to do it

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:33 am
    It is a pretty common story — “christians” protest other people having fun. In this case, a church in Ohio decided that it is their business to protest a strip club and to harass its patrons. What makes the story uncommon — the strippers decided to protest the church. Filed under: misc
  • California Considers “Affirmative Consent” Requirement for Sex at Colleges

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:30 am
    The motivation for this law is noble – who doesn’t want college kids to consent before sex? If SB-967 passes, then California colleges will be required to adopt policies that require “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision” by each participant. If one of them is silent or expresses no resistance, that’s not enough. If the […]
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    Chicago IP Litigation

  • Alleged seeding of copyrighted material on BitTorrent is not Copyright Misuse

    R. David Donoghue
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:37 am
    Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 13 C 3648, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 9, 2014) (Kennelly, J.). Judge Kennelly granted in part plaintiff Malibu Media’s motion to dismiss Doe defendant’s counterclaim and certain of its nineteen affirmative defenses in this BitTorrent copyright infringement case. Doe’s counterclaim was not appropriate because it sought no affirmative relief, just a determination that its affirmative defenses were meritorious.  The counterclaim was, therefore, dismissed. Doe did not properly plead copyright misuse.  Doe pled that Malibu made a business out of…
  • Stay Pending Inter Partes Review Warranted by Plaintiff’s Delay in Filing Suit

    R. David Donoghue
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:08 am
    Ignite USA, LLC v. Pacific Market Int’l, LLC, No. 14 C 845, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 29, 2014) (Holderman, J.). Judge Holderman granted defendant Pacific Marketing International’s (“PMI’s”) motion to stay plaintiff Ignite USA’s patent litigation case pending the results of PMI’s Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) seeking to invalidate Ignite USA’s asserted patent regarding a drinking container. Ignite USA would not be prejudiced by a stay.  PMI promptly filed its IPR petition and the litigation was in its early stages.  Ignite USA’s…
  • Permissible Repair Doctrine Applies Where Patentee Recommends Changing the Accused Part

    R. David Donoghue
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:56 am
    Robert Bosch LLC v. Trico Prods Corp., No. 12 C 437, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 21, 2014) (Grady, Sen. J.). Judge Grady denied defendants’ (collectively “Trico”) motion for summary judgment of noninfringement with respect to Trico’s Duralast Flex Blade windshield wiper blade in this patent infringement dispute.   As an initial matter, the Court held that a first sale in the United States is still required for patent exhaustion, even if a US first sale is not required for copyright exhaustion.   To the extent that plaintiff Robert Bosch (“Bosch”) sold some wiper…
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • WIRTW #334 (the “these go to 11” edition)

    Jon Hyman
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:10 am
    Today is my 11th anniversary. I love my wife. That is all. Here’s the rest of what I read this week: Discrimination Gee Whiz! Sexual Harassment Claims Abound at Archie Comics – By Both Males and Females! — via Employment Discrimination Report 5th Circuit Weighs In On Religious Discrimination — via Michael Fox’s Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer Understanding Gender-Identity Discrimination — via Molly DiBianca’s Delaware Employment Law Blog Is AGE the hidden area of discrimination? — via Mike Haberman’s Omega HR Solutions Why the majority and dissenting opinion in the Ninth…
  • What does the ADA have to say about employer inquires about prescription drugs

    Jon Hyman
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:36 am
    Employers with employees working in safety-sensitive positions have an obligation to ensure that their employees are not impaired while engaged in their jobs. For example, earlier this week I discussed Blazek v. City of Lakewood, in which the 6th Circuit concluded that the ADA does not protect a drunk snowplow driver. We also know that the ADA does not protect employees under the influence of illegal drugs. What about legally prescribed drugs? As an employer, can you test employees for prescription medications packaged with warnings about operating heavy equipment. And, if an employee tests…
  • Hear what I had to say on @WCPN about #BanTheBox

    Jon Hyman
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:47 am
    Yesterday, WCPN’s The Sound of Ideas was kind enough to invite me to speak about criminal background checks in employment and the “Ban the Box” movement. Did you miss the live broadcast? 1) shame on you; and 2) today’s your lucky day because WCPN archives all of its broadcasts on its website. Here you go. Thanks Mike McIntyre for having me on. Let’s do it again soon.
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  • Apologies for the hiatus in blogging

    3 Aug 2014 | 2:26 pm
    I have not been active here due to a death in my family. And I will be back soon.
  • Yoga for Lawyers: Who are the lawyers who wrote the book?

    19 Jun 2014 | 5:43 am
    A new book on yoga written for lawyers has been published by the American Bar Association. The coauthors are lawyers from New Mexico. Hallie Love's Web site includes this description of the book: Written by lawyers Hallie Love and Nathalie Martin, Yoga for Lawyers - Mind-Body Techniques to Feel Better All the Time, published by the American Bar Association 2014,  is a gentle introductory approach grounded in scientific studies, scholarly research, and clear instructions. Proven to relieve stress, energize, and improve sleep, the featured easy-to-learn and easy-to-do meditative…
  • Can drawing improve lawyering and mediation skills? Art is helping some members of the medical profession

    15 Jun 2014 | 8:50 am
    Although this article uses the neuromythology of right brain/left brain, and is focusing on the medical profession, it nevertheless includes some observations that could prove useful for lawyers and other conflict practitioners. From an article in Philadelphia's The Inquirer "Restoring left-brain activities to medical school" (a title that is puzzling as it does not fit the article even if one uses the neuromyth of the brain being divided in function): Medical education is in a crisis. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, half of 4,287 students surveyed at…
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    Privacy Law Blog

  • Capital One to Pay Largest TCPA Settlement on Record

    Margaret A. Dale
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:49 am
    Margaret A. Dale Capital One Financial Corp. (“Capital One”) and three collection agencies have agreed to pay one of the largest settlement amounts in history — $75.5 million — to end a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the companies used an automated dialer to call customers’ cellphones without consent in violation of the twenty-two-year-old Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Judge Holderman of the Northern District of Illinois preliminarily approved the settlement in late July.  TCPA Allegations and the Proposed Settlement In 2012, separate…
  • Microsoft Ordered to Hand Over Data to the U.S. Government

    Rohit Dave
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:20 am
    Rohit Dave In April, Microsoft tried to quash a search warrant from law enforcement agents in the United States (U.S.) that asked the technology company to produce the contents of one of its customer’s emails stored on a server located in Dublin, Ireland. The magistrate court denied Microsoft’s challenge, and Microsoft appealed. On July 31st, the software giant presented its case in the Southern District of New York where it was dealt another loss. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, after two hours of oral argument, affirmed the magistrate court’s decision and ordered Microsoft to hand…
  • PCI Council Issues Biz Tips to Reduce 3rd Party Security Risk

    Jessica Goldenberg
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:51 am
    Jessica Goldenberg On August 7, 2014 the PCI Security Standards Council issued new guidance to supplement PCI DSS Requirement 3.0 and help organizations reduce the risks associated with entrusting third-party service providers (“TPSPs”) with consumer payment information.  More and more merchants use TPSPs to store, process and transmit cardholder data or manage components of the entity’s cardholder data environment.  A number of studies have shown that breach is tied increasingly to security vulnerabilities introduced by third parties.  To combat such risk, a PCI special interest…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • Cushing and Gettysburg

    Erik Loomis
    30 Aug 2014 | 5:20 am
    President Obama is granting Lt. Alonzo Cushing, who played a critical role in repelling Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, the Medal of Honor. It’s pretty amazing he didn’t already have it since had Pickett taken the hill, it’s possible at least the war would have ended differently. Personally, I tend to not believe the world changes that much with an individual event, but I’ll grant the possibility. Certainly defeating the Confederates at Gettysburg did kill their chance of moving the war into the North and forcing a peace, something that would have kept millions…
  • Erasing Labor

    Erik Loomis
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:56 pm
    A minor detail in this article on the history of Tabasco sauce, but one that is telling about how, when we are talking about “innovators,” we forget who actually does the work: Accounts differ as to when exactly McIlhenny acquired the seeds for those Capsicum frutescens peppers. But in the years after the war, he began using them to make pepper sauce, a popular Louisiana condiment. His method was a laborious one that involved crushing the peppers with a potato masher and mixing them with rock salt from the island’s own salt mines, then aging the mash twice, adding vinegar in…
  • Creatures Feature

    29 Aug 2014 | 6:19 pm
    Been a looong time since I had a proper space to make art. I’m still pressed for time, unbelievably pressed, but.. Did you miss my art? Well, I'm back in the saddle, folks. — bspencer (@vacuumslayer) August 29, 2014 More substantive posts coming soon.
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  • Federal Disability Claim: Standard Forms and the Proverbial Blank Slate

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:18 am
    The paradigm of a tabula rasa is a frightening one.  It implies a complete negation of historical context, of evolutionary influence, and therefore denies instinct, nature, and pre-conditional implications.  But clearly there are confines and parameters of behaviors, and different species of animals will act in specific ways peculiar to the individuality of the entity, while taking on certain imprinting models if surrounded by members of other species.  To assume, however, that no context exists, either in prefix or suffix form, is to deny a fundamental truth at one's hazard in…
  • Avoiding Classroom Accidents

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:29 pm
    Parents of school aged children have “back to school” on their minds. There will be adjustments as children meet a new teacher and get back into the routine of daily lessons. Principles, school district employees, and teachers will also be thinking about how to avoid classroom accidents. The best ways to avoid classroom accidents are to create a safe environment, supervise appropriately, and teach safety skills. Removing potential hazards from the classroom environment ranks as the most critical factor in avoiding classroom accidents; a safe environment also frees the teacher to…
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • Connecticut Bar Has Trouble with the NLRB’s Curveball on Social Media

    Daniel Schwartz
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:03 am
    As our big Labor Day weekend kicks off, it seems appropriate to bring back a “labor” topic, particularly when mixed with one of our favorite topics here: Social Media. Today, my colleague Jarad Lucan returns with a case straight out of Connecticut with national implications. As most readers of this blog have read before (here, here, here — you get the point), Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the statutory right to “improve terms and conditions” of employment or otherwise improve their lot. The NLRB has said in recent years that this…
  • Guest Post: A Law Professor’s — and Mother’s — Perpsective on Race

    Daniel Schwartz
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:24 am
    After my first year in law school, I clerked for Professor Kimberly Norwood at Washington University in St. Louis Law School during the summer. (If editing a law review article on statute of limitations is your thing, the experience was nirvana — I even made it to a footnote.)  We’ve kept in touch since then and have shared holiday cards and notes as our families have grown. Earlier this week, I came across a column that Professor Norwood wrote for CNN about her family’s experiences in St. Louis.  I was touched by that article and reached out to her to see if I could…
  • Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Employment Screening

    Daniel Schwartz
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:13 am
    You just finished interviewing a great candidate for a manager-level position at your company.  She looks great on paper and interviewed well. But you’re wondering: What dark secrets about her loom on Facebook? After all, you did see that tattoo on her arm and she mentioned a fun time at Bonnaroo 2013. “Maybe there are some pictures?”, you think to yourself.  And so, in your curiousity, you conduct some searches and find out a lot more than you’ve bargained for. Now what? If you’re down in the Stamford area, my colleagues, Robin Frederick and Christopher Parkin…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Bullying of Kids With Disabilities - The Series - Rides Again

    Jim Gerl
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:22 pm
    English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, the first class day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Before I get to our newest bullying series, I want to thank our readers for the overwhelming response to my notice that my 2012-2013 caselaw outline is for sale.  We appreciate your ongoing support.  If you need information about the legal update, please shoot me an email at Bullying remains the hottest of hot button issues in special education law. We are going to be running an updated version of our previous series on Bullying in the coming weeks.  The series is one of…
  • Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    I hate it when all violations of IDEA are described as a denial of FAPE. What other violations of IDEA can you list off the top of your head?------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
  • My 2012-2013 Summary of Special Education Caselaw Is Now Available

    Jim Gerl
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:55 pm
     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I have a legal update I want you to buy.Our main goals in establishing this blog seven plus years ago were to provide a discussion of special education law issues from an impartial perspective and to put special education stakeholders and practitioners in touch with other available resources.  In view of these goals I have so far resisted the temptation to advertise products on the blog. I am rethinking this policy and would appreciate your thoughts.Another purpose of the blog, however, was to inform people of the services I offer in the field of special…
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    Drug Injury Watch

  • End Of Summer 2014 Update: Fosamax - Femur Fracture Lawsuits In The New Jersey Consolidation / Multicounty Litigation

    Tom Lamb
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:19 pm
    State Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson Now Presiding Over About 2880 Cases, According to Merck SEC Report Filed In August 2014 (Posted by Tom Lamb at There is some news but not much to report about the New Jersey Multicounty Litigation where the Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits are centralized. Judge Carol Higbee, who was moved to a New Jersey appellate court position in the spring of 2014, has been replaced by the Honorable Nelson C. Johnson, of the New Jersey Superior Court in Atlantic County. According to the New Jersey Courts web site page for this Fosamax…
  • Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Cipro, Avelox, And Levaquin Linked To Peripheral Neuropathy In First Large Epidemiologic Study

    Tom Lamb
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    Neurology Medical Journal Article Reports Two-Times Increased Risk For This Nerve Damage Side Effect For New Users Of These Antibiotics (Posted by Tom Lamb at The popular antibiotics Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin) are in a class of drugs called "fluoroquinolones". These antibiotics are commonly used for a verity of community and hospital acquired infections. In recent years case reports have linked Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox with peripheral neuropathy, or serious nerve damage. As a result of the large number of cases of peripheral…
  • July 2014 Boxed Warning For Linzess: Irritable Bowel Syndrome / Constipation Drug May Be Unsafe And Cause Diarrhea In Children

    Tom Lamb
    18 Aug 2014 | 12:00 pm
    FDA Drug Alert Warns That Linzess Should Not Be Used In Children Under Age 6 And Neither Safety Nor Efficacy Established For Those Under 18 Years Old (Posted by Tom Lamb at (linaclotide) was approved by the FDA in 2012 for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation.  It is from Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., who has advertisements for this relatively new drug on television and in magazines. As announced by the FDA by means of an August 15, 2014 MedWatch Safety Information email alert, in July 2014 there were several…
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • Medical bills will they be gone if I file Chapter 7?

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:44 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Medical bills will they be gone if I file Chapter 7? Given the increased cost in medical care and the new push for businesses to cut worker’s hours so they do not have to pay for medical insurance there are millions of U.S. citizens who have medical bills they cannot pay. … Continue reading →
  • Will bankruptcy keep me out of jail?

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:45 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Will bankruptcy keep me out of jail? Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “Will filing bankruptcy keep me out of jail?” Not only do most debt collectors not have the right to send you to jail, federal and state consumer collection laws, including the Fair … Continue reading →
  • New judgments can they be filed after bankruptcy?

    11 Aug 2014 | 8:39 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, New judgments can they be filed after bankruptcy? What a great feeling- you have completed your bankruptcy and received notice from the bankruptcy court that all your unsecured debts have been finally discharged! No more avoiding creditor calls, no more judgments, and no more lying in bed late … Continue reading →
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    Asbestos HUB

  • More Learned About Role Of CD157 As Regards Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Which Could Be Useful In Planning Mesothelioma Treatments

    Tom Lamb
    26 Aug 2014 | 12:12 pm
    We are always on the look-out for developments that may advance the treatment options for mesothelioma patients. In mid-August 2014 we found this news report, “CD157 important in malignant pleural mesothelioma”, from which we get this recent research information: CD157 plays a pivotal role in the progression of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and may be useful in the stratification of patients into different prognostic groups, Italian research suggests. CD157 is known to contribute to tumour progression in ovarian cancer by promoting mesenchymal differentiation, and parallels…
  • August 2014 Report About Clinical Trial Options That Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Offers For Patients With Pleural Mesothelioma

    Tom Lamb
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:56 pm
    This August 7, 2014 article, “Clinical Trial Roster Shows Breadth of Ongoing Research”, gives us an idea about the current state-of-the-art as regards various new malignant mesothelioma treatments, at least those being pursued be the Mesothelioma Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York. From that article, by Lee M. Krug, MD, a thoracic oncologist and Director of the Mesothelioma Program: At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we offer a variety of clinical trials for patients with mesothelioma at all stages of their disease. These trials focus on a range of topics,…
  • July 2014: Texas Supreme Court Expands Substantial-Factor Standard Of Causation Rule From Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores To Mesothelioma Cases

    Tom Lamb
    17 Jul 2014 | 1:59 pm
    In mid-July 2014, in the case Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., the Texas Supreme Court held that the Plaintiff failed to prove that Timothy Bostic’s exposure to Georgia-Pacific’s asbestos-containing products was a substantial factor in bringing about his fatal mesothelioma. In more detail, the Court stated: In multiple-exposure cases the Plaintiff must establish the measured “dose” of asbestos fibers to which the mesothelioma victim was exposed by his working with and/or around the Defendant’s asbestos-containing product; A Plaintiff cannot prove substantial-factor standard…
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    Undercover Lawyer

  • New Hostile Workplace Book Cover Reveal: How You Voted

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:31 pm
    Thank you all so very much for voting on which cover to use for the new, greatly expanded version of my book.  Without further ado, here’s the winner: The book cover image that I liked best and would have chosen came in third place!  The cover that came in first place by a wide margin and won the contest was “Breaking free of shackles”, as pictured above.  Second place in the cover voting was “Stressed worker”, which is the current cover on the book and is pictured here: This surprised me too. It obviously works as a cover, since the book as sold well over time. But, it looks…
  • The Hostile Work Environment That Brought Down Paula Deen

    22 Jul 2013 | 8:07 pm
    Many people do not realize that Paula Deen’s troubles do not just stem from her admitting that she used the N-word, but that she admitted using the N-word during a hostile work environment lawsuit filed against her.  Even if you are a huge Paula Deen fan, you probably have more in common with the employee than you have in common with Paula Deen.  Do any of these things sound like something you’ve experienced at work? You suffer through work days under a supervisor who: Makes sexual comments Utters racist remarks Looks up dirty jokes and pictures on his office computer Promotes…
  • Do Nurses in a Hostile Work Environment Have a Duty to Second Guess the Doctor?

    15 Jun 2013 | 4:46 pm
    When a patient sues a doctor, the patient often wants to sue the nurses too. Why? Because if the patient can convince the jury that not only the doctor, but also the nurses, made a mistake then the doctor’s insurance and the hospital’s insurance are on the hook. It’s about finding as many deep-pockets as possible. Often times, the nurses didn’t make any mistakes. The nurses are supposed to follow the orders given by the doctor. And they usually do. So how can a patient and his/her lawyer sue a nurse who simply followed doctor’s orders? One of the most frequent tactics is by claiming…
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    Real Lawyers Have Blogs

  • Will Twitter redesign entice more lawyers to join?

    Kevin O'Keefe
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:48 pm
    As reported Friday evening by the Wall Street Journal’s Yoree Koh (@YoreeKoh), Twitter, in the hope that more users will sign up and stick around, has redesigned its signup process. The redesign includes a number of new features. Christian Ostlien (@christianism), in product management at Twitter, tweeted that the redesign, in the works for months, is the first in three years. Lawyers and others commonly complain that they cannot figure out Twitter. To some extent, their gripes are legitimate, Twitter is not intuitive to new users. Will the redesign work? Here’s what you have. A…
  • Blogging and social media for lawyers is not a zero sum game

    Kevin O'Keefe
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Marketer and author, Seth Godin, asks this morning why is it that authors don’t compete where as other companies would kill to own a category in a store. …[N]ot only do authors get along, they spend time and energy blurbing each other’s books. Authors don’t try to eliminate others from the shelf, in fact, they seek out the most crowded shelves they can find to place their books. They eagerly pay to read what everyone else is writing… Can you imagine Tim Cook at Apple giving a generous, positive blurb to an Android phone? And yet authors do it all the time.
  • Google authorship eliminated

    Kevin O'Keefe
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:49 pm
    In a post by John Mueller (@JohnMu) a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, Google announced it was eliminating Google Authorship. If you have any doubt about Authorship being eliminated in entirety, read the discussion in the comments to Mueller’s post. Google Authorship enabled blog authors to connect the blog posts they published to their Google+ profile. It wasn’t tagging posts to a Google+ profile, per se, that was important for bloggers, it was the ability to tag content to an author to measure a blogger’s degree of influence. For lawyers this was pretty slick. As Google…
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    Digital Media Law

  • 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…
  • How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’

    1 Jul 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Driverless cars are on the road now – Google’s fleet has logged about 700,000 miles of autonomous driving – and the California DMV will be issuing regulations in a matter of weeks allowing self-driving cars to be sold to the public, possibly setting the regulatory pattern for the rest of the country (video). Google has predicted 2017 for first commercial availability, while Nissan and Mercedes say it will be 2020. The cars are highly complex systems whose sheer quantity of software surely exceeds the hundred million lines of source code in today’s non-autonomous vehicles. They weigh…
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    Securities Docket

  • Securities Docket News Wire for August 29, 2014

    Securities Docket
    30 Aug 2014 | 5:55 am
    SEC Issues First Whistleblower Award to an Audit/Compliance Employee | Compliance Week -> Madoff Trustee Looks To Recover More for Victims Following Legal Rulings – Law Blog – WSJ ->
  • SEC Issues First Whistleblower Award to an Audit/Compliance Employee | Compliance Week

    Securities Docket
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:58 am
    The SEC announced today that it has awarded more than $300,000 to a whistleblower employee who reported wrongdoing to the SEC after the whistleblower’s company failed to take action when the whistleblower reported it internally. The SEC noted that the award was the first the agency has made to a whistleblower who performed an audit or compliance function at a company. via SEC Issues First Whistleblower Award to an Audit/Compliance Employee | Compliance Week
  • Securities Docket News Wire for August 28, 2014

    Securities Docket
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:55 am
    IR Exec Charged With Insider Trading Makes Barefoot Dash From Cameras | Compliance Week -> What the SEC's New Chief Accountant Needs to Worry About – Financial Executives International Daily -> Canada: Baffinland case shows why fishy doesn’t cut it in insider trading allegations | Financial Post -> Freedom to Retaliate against Foreign Whistleblowers May Not Be as Much Fun as It First Appears | Cady Bar the Door -> Civil Case Against Former SAC Head Cohen May be Delayed Again…
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    HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog

  • Health Care Conferences This Fall

    David Harlow
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:31 am
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
  • Massive data breach. Time for sports analogies?

    David Harlow
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:02 pm
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
  • Practice Pointers in the Wake of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Privacy Settlement

    David Harlow
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:14 pm
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
  • Solving Sovaldi: David Harlow Talks Value-Based Payment with Cyndy Nayer

    David Harlow
    8 Aug 2014 | 8:03 am
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
  • A Sunday bike ride with 5700 of my closest friends

    David Harlow
    4 Aug 2014 | 8:11 am
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
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    P.I.S.S.D. -- Personal Injury, Social Security Disability. Dallas Texas Lawyers

  • Friday Fun

    Bob Kraft
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:24 am
    In this video of Stuff Southern Women Say, I’ve heard every one of them except the two comments about Clemson University.
  • How to Appeal if Your Social Security Claim is Denied

    Bob Kraft
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:35 am
    Image Source: If your Social Security claim has been denied, you have options. Deciding to appeal may get your claim approved or, if you’ve previously had Social Security benefits, have your benefits reinstated. Here’s what you need to know when pursuing an appeal. Deciding to Appeal The appeal process can be long and draining, both emotionally and physically. Before you appeal, ask yourself these questions: Are you willing and able to commit to the time requirements of the appeal process? Unlike most kinds of court decisions, Social Security decisions may be appealed…
  • All About Personal Injury Lawyers

    Bob Kraft
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    Personal injury lawyers specialize in fighting for compensation on behalf of people that have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Examples of culprits can include employers or government authorities. People may seek personal injury claims after being involved in a medical, road or workplace accident to give just a few examples. They turn to personal injury lawyers in order to get the justice that they deserve. The compensation arising from a personal injury claim can cover various things, including loss of earnings, money spent on rehabilitation and the pain and…
  • Does Boehner Have a Case? Six Key Points to the Obama-House of Representative Lawsuit

    Bob Kraft
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:02 am
    Recently the U.S. House of Representatives voted 225 to 201 to sue President Obama over allegations that he overreached his Constitutional authority when he made changes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) without congressional approval. Here are six key points to consider about this historic lawsuit: Goes Further Than Previous Lawsuits According to, individual members of congress have sued the executive branch at least 14 times in recent decades, such as in 2011 when Democrat Dennis Kucinich sued President Obama on war-powers grounds, claiming that his intervention in Libya…
  • Toyota in Talks With Justice Department Over Final Car Recall Settlements

    Bob Kraft
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    The New York Times reports that Toyota “is moving to resolve the last major legal issues related to the unintended acceleration of its vehicles, which has already cost it billions of dollars and prompted the recall of millions of cars in 2009 and 2010.” Toyota “is nearing a deal with the Justice Department to settle a criminal investigation over the way the automaker disclosed complaints stemming from the sudden acceleration of its vehicles, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.” The Times notes that the discussions, “with the criminal division of the United States…
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • US Supreme Court Review: Two Employee Benefit Cases (Dudenhoeffer and Hobby Lobby)

    Paul M. Secunda
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:10 am
    (This is another post in our series, Looking Back at the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 Term.) This blog post is the third of three on labor and employment law cases by the United States Supreme Court in the last Term. This post focuses on two employee benefit law/ERISA cases: Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. First, a disclosure: Along with six other law professors, I co-wrote an Amicus Curiae brief in support of the Dudenhoeffer plaintiffs. Dudenhoeffer involves so-called ERISA stock-drop litigation, which has been rampant in the federal courts for…
  • US Supreme Court Review: Two Labor Law Cases (Noel Canning and Harris v. Quinn)

    Paul M. Secunda
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:16 pm
    (This is another post in our series, Looking Back at the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 Term.) Last month I commenced a series of posts of the United States Supreme Court’s labor and employment law decisions last term by blogging on the Court’s decision in the First Amendment public employee free speech case of Lane v. Franks, No. 13-483 (June 19, 2014).  In two separate blog posts, I will comment on two labor law Court decisions (NLRB v. Noel Canning and Harris v. Quinn) and two employee benefit/ERISA decisions (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Fifth Third Bancorp v.
  • The Likely and the Less Likely — Insights from the New Law School Poll

    Alan J. Borsuk
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:49 pm
    The Registered and the Likely – maybe that could be the name of a political soap opera, although I doubt it would attract high ratings in the general public. But it would attract high ratings among those involved in election campaigns and those eager to understand those campaigns and politics overall. New results from the Marquette Law School Poll, released Wednesday, put the Registered and the Likely in the spotlight. Among 815 registered voters across the state, Republican Gov. Scott Walker led Democratic challenger Mary Burke 47.5 percent to 44.1 percent in the race for governor. But…
  • Prox and the Poll

    Mike Gousha
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:49 pm
    He died more than nine years ago, but the spirit of the late U.S. Senator William Proxmire lives on in Wisconsin. The proof can be found in the latest Marquette Law School Poll, which suggests that someone like Proxmire, a political maverick if there ever was one, might play well in Wisconsin today. More on that in a moment, but first a couple of thoughts on what this latest survey tells us. Today’s Marquette Law School Poll tends to complicate the national narrative about Wisconsin: that we’re a hyper-polarized state with voters split almost equally between Republican red and Democratic…
  • Learning the “Old-Fashioned Way”: Study Says Taking Notes by Hand Better for Recall

    Lisa A. Mazzie
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:54 am
    These days, it’s hard to find a law student who doesn’t come to class with a laptop or tablet of some type. Even if the student avoids the temptation to access the Internet during class and simply uses his laptop to take notes, it’s likely his recall of concepts will be not as good as a student who takes her notes by hand. According to a post in The Chronicle of Higher Education, researchers have found that taking class notes by hand helps students better recall concepts in the lecture. The researchers asked students to take notes using “their normal classroom note-taking strategy.”…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • 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…
  • Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Being Updated

    Stuart Kaplow
    10 Aug 2014 | 4:39 pm
    In 2015 the use of LEED v4 will become mandatory, a new 2015 International Green Construction Code will be available, an updated ASHRAE 189.1 will be published, the new ICC 700 National Green Building Standard will be approved, and there will be a 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.  In the arena of green building standards, green rating systems and green codes among the widely respected residential rating systems is the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. While the Criteria was developed by Enterprise to “provide a clear, cost-effective framework for all affordable…
  • Litigation Over First Ever LEED Platinum Building Tarnishes Green Building

    Stuart Kaplow
    4 Aug 2014 | 5:48 pm
    Last week, a federal appeals court brought back from the dead, a more than $6 Million lawsuit filed over materials supplied in 2000 for the first ever LEED certified Platinum building. Despite that the unpublished opinion is not binding precedent, it will have a chilling effect on green building and in particular on the selection of new or untried materials and products that are the keystone of many sustainable projects.  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation v. Weyerhaeuser Company arose from the construction in 1999 of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • Lawsuit Over LEED Documentation

    Stuart Kaplow
    27 Jul 2014 | 1:48 pm
    A case filed last week in a California court is a prime example of the importance of contract documents in a LEED project. Earlier this year the City of Palo Alto gave notice firing Flintco Pacific, Inc., the general contractor responsible for construction of the Mitchell Park library, a proposed LEED Platinum project. With a performance bond in place, the City and the surety announced in early March that they has negotiated a takeover agreement that will allow a new contractor to complete construction.  But the current dispute playing out in letters between counsel for Palo Alto and…
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    California Employment Law Report

  • Friday's Five: Top Five Points To Understand About Mediation

    Anthony Zaller
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:44 am
    Five items parties need to understand about mediation. 1. Mediation is non-binding. Mediation is a voluntary process in which litigants (or even parties prior to litigation) agree to use a private third-party to help settle the case. People sometimes confuse mediation with arbitration. Arbitration is when parties agree to use a private third-party to hear their case, much like a judge, to make decisions about the case, and eventually decide the case. Arbitration can be binding on the parties, and the arbitrator actually decides who is right and wrong as a matter of law. On the other hand, a…
  • Friday's Five: Five areas of liability facing California employers

    Anthony Zaller
    15 Aug 2014 | 6:25 pm
    1. Meal and rest breaks. If you did not know of this exposure already existed in California, can I recommend some reading here, here and here? 2. Exempt vs. non-exempt classification of employees. The default under California law is that every employee is entitled to overtime pay at a rate of time and a half or double of the employee’s hourly rate of pay. An employee is not entitled to overtime if the employer meets its burden in establishing that the employees qualifies under one of legally proscribed exempt positions (the positions are called exempt because the employee is exempt from…
  • Friday's Five: More than five required items that should be included in a new hire packet

    Anthony Zaller
    1 Aug 2014 | 4:13 pm
    Here is a list of some of the required notices employers must provide to new employees in California. Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with five rules or items for the Friday’s Five list, but not this time – I blew through five items (it is California after all):  Document Title Link to Document Notice to Employee (Wage Theft Prevention Act) (for non-exempt employees) Download here I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification Download here Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits pamphlet Download here State Disability Insurance Provisions pamphlet - DE…
  • San Diego City Council moves closer to raising minimum wage and mandating paid sick leave for San Diego employers

    Anthony Zaller
    1 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    The San Diego City Council approved an ordinance that increases the minimum wage required to be paid to workers within the city to $11.50 per hour by 2017. In addition the ordinance calls for the minimum wage to automatically increase every year after 2018 by indexing the minimum wage to inflation. Currently California's minimum wage is set at $9.00 per hour, which increased from $8.00 per hour in July 2014.  San Diego Proposed Minimum Wage Increases Current Minimum Wage $9.00 per hour January 1, 2015 $9.75 per hour January 1, 2016 $10.50 per hour January 1, 2017 $11.50 per hour…
  • Friday's Five: Five California Labor Code provisions employees cannot waive

    Anthony Zaller
    25 Jul 2014 | 8:35 am
    Here is a list of five rights provided to employees under the California Labor Code that the employee may not waive by agreement with an employer. 1. Minimum wage Labor Code Section 1194 provides a private right of action to enforce violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. That statute clearly voids any agreement between an employer and employee to work for less than minimum wage or not to receive overtime. 2. Overtime In Gentry v. Superior Court, the Supreme Court explained: [Labor Code] Section 510 provides that nonexempt employees will be paid one and one-half their wages for hours…
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    The Rainmaker Blog

  • Grow Your Email List for Free in 5 Simple Steps

    Stephen Fairley
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:44 pm
    Lots of law firms struggle with compiling and maintaining a robust email marketing list, and they really struggle with how to keep adding qualified names to help them build a better list.  If you are recognizing yourself as you read this, then the good news is that you can actually build a great list for your firm and it doesn’t need to cost you a dime. Here are five simple steps you can take to keep growing that important list of people you want to market to: 1.  Provide something of value.   Take the top 5 or 10 questions that clients ask you most often, write down…
  • Why Mobile is a Must for PI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

    Stephen Fairley
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:57 pm
    Last November, something momentous happened in the world of marketing and you may not have even noticed: mobile platforms surpassed desktop computers in terms of where consumers access online content. According to digital research firm comScore, American consumers now spend 60% of their time online accessing content from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.  They are reading emails on mobile, accessing maps, social networking and checking websites.  And if you do not have a website that is optimized for mobile, then you are letting leads fall through your fingers.
  • 5 Great Ideas That Answer the Question: What Do I Write on My Law Firm Blog?

    Stephen Fairley
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:12 pm
    Former practicing attorney Larry Bodine, the law blog guru at, knows firsthand the struggles many attorneys face when trying to consistently create great content for their blog posts. Editor Cindy Greenway recently interviewed Larry, who provides five ideas that are a goldmine of inspiration for blog posts.  Here are his tips for ferreting out blog post subject matter: I would add that client questions are another great source of inspiration for your posts.  Pass an email around the office and ask everyone to chip in at least three questions they get…
  • 3.7 Million Americans Use Legal Self-Help Centers: ABA Report

    Stephen Fairley
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:26 pm
    The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has released a report that finds 3.7 million Americans use legal self-help centers because they cannot afford to pay for an attorney: The study gathered data from 222 of the nearly 500 legal self-help centers around the U.S., finding that most centers have less than five staff members and rely heavily on volunteer help provided by attorneys, paralegals, law students and others.   Even with external help, most of the centers have had to turn people away because the volume of clients exceeded their ability to help. …
  • How to Perfect Your Ability to Persuade

    Stephen Fairley
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:06 pm
    Whether we realize it or not, we spend a lot of time negotiating our way through life.  As an attorney, your ability to influence and persuade is critical, not only to prevail for your clients but to attract clients in the first place. My background in psychology makes me hypersensitive to the ways people make decisions.  I’ve been a student of human behavior for many decades, and once you understand the factors that motivate your target market to take action  (i.e., hire you), you will begin to increase your lead conversion rate. The infographic below from Everreach…
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    Defending People

  • On Twitter, Be Your Own Censor.

    Mark Bennett
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:33 pm
    When I saw this Polygon post last month, about how Twitter “gives so little attention to the now-routine harassment experienced by so many members of the service” because “it drives engagement,” I thought, “surely there’s a market solution”: I’ve done some Twitter scripting, and the three proposed tools would, I think, be easy for a third party to implement. — Mark W. Bennett (@MarkWBennett) July 31, 2014 The three proposed tools were allowing a user to block all users whose accounts are less than 30 days old, allowing a user to block all…
  • Texas Criminal First Amendment Action

    Mark Bennett
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:45 pm
    Here’s a survey of what’s going on in Texas with regard to the First Amendment in criminal cases: Texas Penal Code Section 33.021(b) (online solicitation by explicit communication) was held unconstitutional by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Ex Parte Lo. In Ex Parte Chance the Court of Criminal Appeals granted relief on habeas to someone who hadn’t raised the unconstitutionality of the statute either in the trial court or on direct appeal. Concurring, Judge Cochran stated that the petitioner was actually innocent (not argued by the petitioner). Dissenting, Judge…
  • The Psychology of Expensive Paper

    Mark Bennett
    25 Aug 2014 | 10:01 am
    I use 28-pound printer paper for my pleadings. Have done for years. Judges and prosecutors often notice the paper: it’s heavy, stiff, and smooth. It also costs almost four times times as much as cheap paper (2.3 cents, vs. 0.64 cents per page), which can add up; my justification for using it has been that the things I’m filing with the court are important, so they should look and feel important (I put some effort and money into typography as well). Yesterday Sarah “Bennett’s Former Brain” Wood sent me a link to a Psychology Today post that supports that…
  • Victimocracy Because Reasons

    Mark Bennett
    24 Aug 2014 | 4:38 pm
    In There’s No “Ick” in Victim, in which she lauds victims for speaking up, Brooklyn lawyer1 C.A. Goldberg turns her truly dizzying intellect my way: Then you have the George Wills and Mark Bennetts of the world who argue that society is victimized by victimhood. The former famously claimed that victims revel in their victimness and that “victimhood” is a “coveted status that confers privilege,” and results in the “proliferation” of victims. In a post called “Victimocracy is for Sociopaths,” Mark Bennett, a criminal defense attorney and blogger in Texas,…
  • Where Improv and Lawyering Meet

    Mark Bennett
    24 Aug 2014 | 3:42 pm
    I’ve started taking improvisational theater classes again, now at The Station Theater, about halfway between my house and my downtown office. (I took classes at ComedySportz and at Bay Area Theater Sports several years ago, but neither theater is as convenient as The Station.) One of the perks of taking classes at The Station is free admission to shows at the theater. So I’ll be seeing, as well as doing more improv. Last night Jen and I went to the show by Nice Astronaut, a visiting troupe from Austin. At the door, I told the guy taking money that I was a student (saving me $6,…
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    a public defender

  • Dash cam exonerates another man; reveals cops’ thuggery

    27 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Nothing that I can write will replace the impact of watching this 4 minute video, produced by ABC News 7 of a Bloomfield, NJ police department’s arrest of Marcus Jeter: Particularly rich were the repeated warnings to stop resisting while subdued by three officers, the allegation that he was going for their gun when his hands were clearly nowhere near them and the completely bizarre ramming of his car by the second police vehicle. Maybe they forgot that these cameras had video and not just audio or maybe they just figured that they could hide the video and no one would be any wiser. Two…
  • A shocker in Maryland

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    I was shocked to read the story of Delvon King, 25 year old pro-se defendant in Maryland, who was facing gun charges and about to represent himself at trial. Here’s what happened: King began jury selection in front of Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier, the chief administrative judge in Charles County Circuit Court. Apparently Judge Bragunier has a very short fuse and she quickly got irritated with the defendant’s citing to legal precedent1, so she interrupted jury selection2 and sent it over to retired Judge Robert C. Nalley to complete jury selection. Judge Nalley…
  • AQA: A conversation about the Fourth Amendment

    25 Aug 2014 | 5:49 am
    Dan Klau – lawyer, blogger and Connecticut resident – and I engaged in a lengthy back and forth conversation last week on the importance of the Fourth Amendment, searches and seizures, the recent CT Supreme Court opinion in State v. Kelly and the mess in Ferguson. This is, we hope, the first in a series of conversations about pressing legal issues. DAN:  Gideon, on August 12, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court officially released its decision in State v. Kelly [PDF].  The defendant challenged his arrest and conviction (on a conditional plea of nolo contendere) for narcotics…
  • Unethical for lawyers to make clients forgo claims against them

    22 Aug 2014 | 6:13 am
    From the “You Don’t Say” chronicles, a still-groundbreaking opinion1 [PDF] from the KY Supreme Court this week has ruled it unethical for plea agreements between the prosecution and the defense to include “waiver of ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC) claims” clauses. For those who don’t know, everyone is guaranteed the effective assistance of counsel, pursuant to the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution. This means that every time you have a lawyer in a criminal case, that lawyer must perform to a reasonably competent standard. He doesn’t…
  • Anything you don’t say will be used against you

    21 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    Everyone knows the familiar refrain: “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you…” Now, if you’re in California, you might have to add a new phrase to that: “Anything you don’t say will also be used against you”. Last year, in Salinas v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court held that if the police ask you an incriminating question (“did you kill X?”) before they arrest you and you simply keep silent, the prosecution can argue that your silence means you are guilty. The really flawed rationale…
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  • 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…
  • One must conscientiously and systematically perform abstraction-filtration-comparison test in software copyright infringement matters

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    In all copyright infringement cases, a plaintiff must prove, among other things, that the defendant copied elements of plaintiff’s work that are protected by copyright. This is key because not all copying is infringement – some of what is copied may be merely ideas, processes, facts, in the public domain, or scenes a faire material. It’s not illegal to copy those things. So a successful plaintiff has to show more than “copying in fact”. It must show “illegal copying”. Software infringement cases present some nuance for this analysis. A computer program has…
  • What should we do when trademarks offend?

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Trademarks are symbols that convey meaning, and ostensibly that meaning is ontologically linked to the purveyor of the goods or services with which the trademark is connected. But those symbols can relate to different ontologies as well, be they freighted with racism/prejudice, religious offense, or plain old poor taste. Take for example the ongoing Redskins dispute, Muslims protesting a sacred symbol on perfume, and the weird attempt by a Malaysian company to get an Australian trademark for MH17. The law and social advocacy step in to critique these brand owners’ selection of marks. For…
  • Lawsuit against Yelp over how it marketed its review filters can move forward

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Plaintiff restaurant owner sued Yelp under California unfair competition law, claiming that certain statements Yelp made about the filters it uses to ascertain the unreliability or bias of user reviews were misleading and untrue. For example, plaintiff alleged that Yelp advertised that its filtering process “takes the reviews that are the most trustworthy and from the most established sources and displays them on the business page.” But, according to plaintiff, the filter did not give consumers the most trusted reviews, excluded legitimate reviews, and included reviews that were…
  • When is news reporting fair use under copyright law?

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Blogger claims fair use supports his challenge to DMCA takedown of YouTube video. But “news reporting” aspect of fair use can be tricky. An embattled California pastor sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube over a video clip that a blogger used “to report accurately the relationship” between two organizations. The blogger sent a counternotification and explained that he believes copyright fair use protects him against the takedown (and apparently against infringement as well). The blogger invokes, among other things, the news reporting aspect of fair use, which one…
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • 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…
  • Three Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign

    18 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    As most young adults are about to return to college, most parents do not think about the fact that not that their child is 18 they are an adult in the eyes of the law. Deborah Jacobs has written an article on this in Forbes outlining two documents that are needed. Most professionals would agree that there are actually 3 that are needed. Now that they are an adult, parents can no longer make health care of the financial decisions for their children without the legal authorization to do so. If a child or young adult is injured or needs help with a financial matter, a parent cannot speak with…
  • Do I need to go through a lawyer to make a will in Florida or can I use a website like legalzoom?

    14 Aug 2014 | 11:19 am
    You can use a website or create your own will in Florida, but we find that some people do not create valid wills, or create wills that do things other than what they want. We only charge $200 for a will so an online will does not save very much considering the risks. If you want to create your own will be sure that you sign the will at the end and in front of two witnesses. There are benefits to using a self proving affidavit, but one is not required under Florida law. Of course, most lawyers will include a self proving affidavit with the will that they prepare for you. Many online wills or…
  • Dangers of Relying on Joint Accounts for Estate Planning in Florida

    29 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    Many people see joint accounts as a cheap and easy way to avoid probate, since joint property passes to the join owner at death, but these accounts can actually be quite risky when it comes to estate planning. Joint ownership of accounts can be a great way to easily pass assets to another owner at death. Joint ownership is also a great way to plan for an elder person's incapacity, since the joint owner of the account can pay bills and manage investments if the primary owner falls ill or suffers from any other sickness. There are some potential downsides to joint ownership of an account. The…
  • Banker Suicides indicate Stress of the Profession.

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    If your family works in a high stress profession is a good idea to make sure you and your family keep their estate plans up to date. The unexpected deaths of finance workers in the past few months by suicide around the world have raised concerns about mental health and stress levels of the banking profession. JP Morgan executive director Julian Knott, 45, killed himself after shooting his wife Alita Knott, 49, to death with a shotgun. Julian worked for JP Morgan until July 2010, before he and his wife moved to the United States. Before the move, Alita had opened a nursery in Southwick, West…
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  • Best of Breed v. Integrated v. Piecemeal v. Outsider

    Simon Lewis
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Just as the business of law is at the start of a revolution, the platforms supporting firms, Practice Management Systems (PMS), are facing similar challenges. There are the traditional PMS brands that have been around for decades, and others that seem to have sprung up almost overnight. Some with many thousands of users, and a maturity that deserves more attention than a feature checklist comparison typically provides. Just this week I received a phone call from a firm that has tried/used 4 PMS’s in the last few years. Experience ranged from “awful” and “incomplete” for two local…
  • The Friday Fillip: Shoes That Talk

    Simon Fodden
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Now, if shoes could tell where they’ve been When you say you’ve been visiting a friend Ain’t you glad? Hey hey hey, ain’t you glad? But ain’t you glad, glad that shoes don’t talk? Ry Cooder, “If Things Could Talk” Trouble is, it turns out that things can talk — in a manner of speaking. Seems that when a sound is emitted the vibrations of the air don’t rest when they’ve hit our eardrums but continue radiating out, causing, well, most everything to oscillate in sympathy. This isn’t — or shouldn’t be —…
  • Alternative Business Structures and Access to Justice … for Whom?

    Steven Matthews
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The Canadian legal profession is currently engaged in a much-needed debate about the future of legal services in general and whether to allow the use of so-called alternative business structures (ABSs) more particularly. Thankfully, the issue of access to justice is figuring prominently in the general debate, as evidenced by the recently released CBA Legal Futures report and the ongoing work of the Action Committee on Access to Justice. Beyond that, the potential for ABSs to improve access to justice is being put forward as a key reason for allowing them, as can be seen in Slaw columns of…
  • A Look at Unionization Rate in Canada in Light of This Year’s Labour Day

    Yosie Saint-Cyr
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Labour Day originated in the labour union movements of the 1800s as a way to celebrate the social and economic advancements and to pay tribute to the driving force of our economy. The history of Labour Day continues to be connected with organized labour. Initially, the first unofficial “Labour Days” in Canada were actually protests against a law that made it a crime to be a member of a union. In 1872, this law was abolished, but various union protests and parades continued, and there was pressure to make Labour Day a national holiday. In 1894, the federal government declared Labour Day a…
  • Thursday Thinkpiece: Dodek on the Death of Legal Icon Heenan Blaikie

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form. CANADA: DEATH OF A LEGAL ICON, DAWN OF CHANGE? Adam Dodek* Legal Ethics, Vol 17, No. 1, June 2014, pp. 135-137 Excerpt: pp.135-136 When the end came for the storied national law firm of Heenan Blaikie, it came abruptly. On 5 February 2014, the firm issued an understated three-paragraph Press Release that tersely…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • Online Legal Services Gets a Boost from ABA & Rocket Lawyer Partnership

    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…
  • ILTA Article – Teaching Tomorrow’s Lawyers Legal Tech Skills

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:10 pm
    An article I co-authored with Ron Dolin entitled Course Correction: Teaching Tomorrow’s Lawyers Legal Tech Skills, was published in the newest edition of the ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine. Ron developed the syllabus for and taught the first course on legal informatics at Stanford Law School. Several of his students from that course have gone on to find innovative paths in the legal industry, including Margaret Hagan, his co-founder in the Program for Legal Tech and Design. Ron writes about the changes he believes are critical in the law school curriculum to prepare future lawyers for…
  • LegalTech Startup Weekend – San Francisco

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:33 pm
    If you are in the San Francisco area, consider checking out the LegalTech Startup Weekend. I’ll be one of the mentors for the event along with several other founders of legal tech companies, including LawPal, Ravel, One400, Judicata, LawGives, Casetext, and more. Teams form Friday evening, August 15th and final presentations with be on Sunday, August 17th. The teams will tackle four challenges listed on the event site and compete for prizes. The intersection of law and technology presents unique challenges and exciting opportunities for growth and creativity. Recent years have seen…
  • Top Take-Aways from GSummit for the Legal Profession

    13 Jun 2014 | 3:34 pm
    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein I attended GSummit in San Francisco this week. (The “G” stands for gamification.) This annual conference looks at ways to increase user engagement through gamification and games. With all of the online “noise” surrounding us and the invasiveness of mobile technology pulling people in many different directions, no industry – not even the legal profession - is immune from the problem of getting the public’s attention long enough to…
  • Second Edition of Virtual Law Practice Book

    5 Jun 2014 | 11:09 am
    I am updating the second edition to the Virtual Law Practice book that I wrote back in 2010. The book needs to be almost completely re-written based on the way that technology has changed since I wrote about the set up of online delivery in law firms only four years ago. I am expanding the book to include my newer experiences working with law firms and lawyers to integrate online delivery of legal services into different law firm business models. Over the past four years, I’ve taught law school courses on the subject of virtual practice and related topics, such as unbundling of legal…
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • 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…
  • Three Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign

    18 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    As most young adults are about to return to college, most parents do not think about the fact that not that their child is 18 they are an adult in the eyes of the law. Deborah Jacobs has written an article on this in Forbes outlining two documents that are needed. Most professionals would agree that there are actually 3 that are needed. Now that they are an adult, parents can no longer make health care of the financial decisions for their children without the legal authorization to do so. If a child or young adult is injured or needs help with a financial matter, a parent cannot speak with…
  • Do I need to go through a lawyer to make a will in Florida or can I use a website like legalzoom?

    14 Aug 2014 | 11:19 am
    You can use a website or create your own will in Florida, but we find that some people do not create valid wills, or create wills that do things other than what they want. We only charge $200 for a will so an online will does not save very much considering the risks. If you want to create your own will be sure that you sign the will at the end and in front of two witnesses. There are benefits to using a self proving affidavit, but one is not required under Florida law. Of course, most lawyers will include a self proving affidavit with the will that they prepare for you. Many online wills or…
  • Dangers of Relying on Joint Accounts for Estate Planning in Florida

    29 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    Many people see joint accounts as a cheap and easy way to avoid probate, since joint property passes to the join owner at death, but these accounts can actually be quite risky when it comes to estate planning. Joint ownership of accounts can be a great way to easily pass assets to another owner at death. Joint ownership is also a great way to plan for an elder person's incapacity, since the joint owner of the account can pay bills and manage investments if the primary owner falls ill or suffers from any other sickness. There are some potential downsides to joint ownership of an account. The…
  • Banker Suicides indicate Stress of the Profession.

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    If your family works in a high stress profession is a good idea to make sure you and your family keep their estate plans up to date. The unexpected deaths of finance workers in the past few months by suicide around the world have raised concerns about mental health and stress levels of the banking profession. JP Morgan executive director Julian Knott, 45, killed himself after shooting his wife Alita Knott, 49, to death with a shotgun. Julian worked for JP Morgan until July 2010, before he and his wife moved to the United States. Before the move, Alita had opened a nursery in Southwick, West…
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    Native American Legal Update

  • Tribal Crypto-Currency MazaCoin Gaining Recognition

    Greg Guedel
    20 Aug 2014 | 10:14 am
      Newsweek is reporting on how the virtual currency Mazacoin has joined the ranks of alternatives to Bitcoin now trading in the “Wild West” of 21st century digital currencies. The brainchild of Payu Harris, a Cheyenne with Oglala Sioux heritage and a mysterious programmer known only as “AnonymousPirate,” Mazacoin announced its ambition to replace the U.S. dollar as the official currency of the Oglala Sioux nation, historically known as the Oglala Lakota, and its 46,855 members. Some 507,185,000 Mazacoins are now on the market, trading in a handful of obscure…
  • Rising Oceans Threaten Native American Historical Sites

    Greg Guedel
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:49 am
      The Los Angeles Times is reporting on the threat rising sea levels pose for coastal Native American archaeological sites, like those found on Santa Cruz Island off mainland California. "We're standing on a living history book, and we're losing pages from it every day." Gil Unzueta (Chumash), who is monitoring the survey effort to catalog and preserve Native artifacts on Santa Cruz. 
  • ABA Opens Full Membership To Tribal Court Practitioners

    Greg Guedel
    13 Aug 2014 | 9:25 am
    The American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates has unanimously voted to amend the ABA Constitution to permit Tribal Court practitioners to be full members of the ABA. “We commend the ABA for recognizing that there are three sovereign court systems in the United States (federal, state and Tribal) and for amending its constitution to permit Tribal Court practitioners – who are not currently eligible to be ABA members – to become full members of the ABA,” said Mary Smith, National Native American Bar Association President. “This constitutional amendment will…
  • Tribal Federal Recognition Comment Period Extended To 30 September 2014

    Greg Guedel
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    The Bureau of Indian Affairs has extended the public comment period on Part 83 reforms to the federal recognition process, which are designed to improve and streamline the often decades-long effort Tribes must presently undertake to achieve federal recognition. Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn said the proposed regulation has received "significant" attention, and additional comments are being accepted until September 30, 2014. "With this extended comment period, the [Interior] Department is providing more opportunities for comment and suggestions from tribes and the public…
  • Marijuana Wars: Yurok Tribe Battles To Reclaim Its Lands

    Greg Guedel
    22 Jul 2014 | 10:59 am
      The Los Angeles Times reports that with the assistance of federal and state agencies, the Yurok Tribe in California is taking the offensive in a battle to drive renegade marijuana growers off the Tribe’s native lands. For years, illegal marijuana growers with out-of-state license plates came to the upper reaches of the Yurok Indian Reservation, followed by dump trucks of fertilizer and heavy equipment that punched roads into tribal land. Runaway marijuana cultivation had made it unsafe for Tribal members to hike, pray, gather medicine and materials for baskets, or prepare sites…
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    Technology & Marketing Law Blog

  • Lawsuit Against Google Over In-App Purchases By Minors Squeaks Past Motion to Dismiss

    Venkat Balasubramani
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:13 pm
    This is a lawsuit against Google over in-app purchases made by minor children, reminiscent of a similar lawsuit against Apple. Plaintiff on behalf of a putative class alleged that, among other things, Google allowed someone to make a purchase for thirty minutes (as opposed to Apple’s 15 minute window) after entering their account information and this meant her children racked up purchases. Disaffirmance/contracts with minors: Contracts with minors can be disaffirmed, but the minor has to be the one who disaffirms the agreement. Here, plaintiff didn’t bring claims on behalf of her…
  • Online Marketplaces Facilitating Gun Sales Don’t Kill People. People Kill People (Forbes Cross-Post)

    Eric Goldman
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    We’re seeing increasing attempts to hold online marketplaces responsible for illegal user transactions on their site. A recent federal appellate ruling rejected one such lawsuit involving an online gun marketplace transaction that led to a murder. What Happened After his romantic overtures were spurned, Demetry Smirnov shot and murdered Jitka Vesel. For this crime, Smirnov was sentenced to life in prison. Smirnov acquired the murder weapon via Armslist, a website that runs classified ads for guns. Through Armslist, Smirnov found the gun seller, Ladera. Ladera’s gun sale to Smirnov…
  • Judge Koh Dismisses the Bulk of the Yahoo Email Scanning Class Action

    Venkat Balasubramani
    26 Aug 2014 | 12:51 pm
    Plaintiffs are non-Yahoo email users who sent messages to Yahoo users. They allege that Yahoo’s email scans violate federal and state wiretapping laws and invade their privacy. ECPA: This claim alleges that Yahoo “intercepts” the emails. ECPA is subject to two exemptions as relevant here. First, it’s a one-party consent statute; the consent of one of the parties is a defense. Second, interception must occur through a device, and the definition of device excludes the equipment used to transmit the message when used in its ordinary course. Yahoo argued that there’s no…
  • It’s Not Possible To Steal Facebook ‘Likes’–Mattocks v. BET

    Venkat Balasubramani
    22 Aug 2014 | 7:50 am
    In 2008, Plaintiff Stacey Mattocks developed an (initially unofficial) Facebook page focusing on “The Game,” a television series initially aired on CW and later acquired by BET. In 2010, BET contacted Mattocks and hired her as a part-time worker, paying her $30 per hour. Her duties included maintaining the aforementioned Facebook page. After BET hired Mattocks, it turned the Facebook page into an official one by displaying logos and trademarks, and it encouraged viewers to like the page. Mattocks was the main content contributor to the page, but other BET employees contributed on occasion…
  • Primer on European Union’s Right To Be Forgotten (Excerpt from My Internet Law Casebook) + Bonus Linkwrap

    Eric Goldman
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:10 am
    Photo credit: “An eraser from a pencil is starting to erase the word data” // ShutterStockI haven’t yet written about the ECJ Right to Be Forgotten ruling directly, though I’ve already referenced it on the blog a few times. The ruling itself came out during a business trip when I was tied up, so I missed the initial news cycle and the voluminous number of articles on the topic. Since then, I simply haven’t had a chance to organize my thoughts cohesively. As part of updating my Internet Law casebook, I finally put something together. Although I don’t…
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

  • Patterson v. Domino's Pizza: Franchisor Not Responsible for Acts of Franchisee's Employee

    Steven G. Pearl
    28 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, --- Cal.4th --- (8/28/14), an employee, Patterson, alleged that her supervisor subjected her to sexual harassment. She sued her direct employer, a franchisee of Domino's Pizza, as well as Domino's itself, the franchisor. Patterson alleged that Domino's was liable because it was her joint employer and because the franchisee was its agent. The trial court granted summary judgment for Domino's, the Court of Appeal reversed, and the California Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, holding as follows: Potential…
  • Weaving v. City of Hillsboro: Police Officer's ADHD Did Not Constitute Disability Under ADA

    Steven G. Pearl
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, ___ F.3d ___ (8/15/14), a police officer, Weaving, sued his police department and the City of Hillsboro (City), alleging that it terminated him in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because of problems associated with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A jury returned a verdict in his favor, and the City appealed from the ensuing judgment. The Ninth Circuit reversed. The Court first reviewed the applicable law under the ADA: The ADA forbids discrimination against a “qualified individual on the basis of…
  • Hager v. County of Los Angeles: Court of Appeal Affirms Whistleblower Retaliation Judgment for Deputy Sheriff, Reverses on Damage Award

    Steven G. Pearl
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Hager v. County of Los Angeles (8/5/2014) concerns the standard for proving retaliation under Labor Code section 1102.5. Plaintiff Darren Hager worked for the County of Los Angeles as a sheriff's deputy. He sued the County and Sheriff's Department (County) alleging that the County retaliated against him for reporting alleged unlawful conduct by another sheriff's deputy. After a jury reached a verdict for Hager, the County appealed from the judgment, and Hager appealed from a post-trial order denying his motion for attorney fees. The Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part,…
  • Rhea v. General Atomics: Employer May Deduct Vacation Pay from Exempt Employee for Partial Day Absences

    Steven G. Pearl
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Rhea v. General Atomics (7/21/14) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the plaintiff filed a putative class action challenging the employer's policy of requiring exempt employees to use annual leave hours to cover partial day absences from work. The plaintiff alleged that under this policy, exempt employees were not being paid on a salary basis for purposes of California law and could not be exempt. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding as follows: California law on the issue is patterned after federal law, which…
  • Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service: Employer Must Reimburse Employees for Work-Related Use of Cell Phones; Individual Questions as to Damages Do Not Justify Denial of Class Certification

    Steven G. Pearl
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. (8/12/14) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the plaintiff filed a putative class action alleging that the defendant failed to reimburse its employees for expenses arising out of the work-related use of their cell phones. On the plaintiff's motion for class certification, the defendant argued that common issues did not predominate because some employees had unlimited data plans and thus did not incur additional expense from the use of their personal cell phones. The trial court agreed, holding that common issues did not predominate and a class action was not…
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    Brent Britton

  • Embaggen the cat, or let it out? (to NDA or not to NDA)

    11 Aug 2014 | 8:39 am
    When first conceiving of a new startup idea, lots of entrepreneurs experience a measure of paranoia about it and start demanding that everyone with whom they discuss it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). My opinion is: Don’t use an NDA until you must in order to protect highly sensitive, non-public information. NDA’s protect actual secrets, not things anyone can just look up online or read about in the news. Once you’ve written some key code or developed a secret sauce that no one else has thought of, then consider assaulting people with an NDA, but not before. It turns…
  • The Company You Keep

    13 Nov 2013 | 7:32 am
    With few exceptions, all business should be conducted from within a company that is properly formed and organized as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), a limited partnership (LP) or the like. Why? Four basic reasons: a. Asset Protection. Deservedly or not, almost all businesses get sued. Forming a company around the business can shield the owners’ personal assets (and other business interests) from being attached to satisfy the company’s liabilities. b. Asset Creation. A “d/b/a” does not a company make. If you’re doing business without a company,…
  • Bi-polar IP Strategy for Startups: Protect What You Can, then Tell Everyone

    8 Aug 2013 | 8:02 am
    If you’re starting a company, you may wish to begin in stealth mode, keeping your business idea and plans secret for a little while. During this stealth phase, consider doing the following to protect your intellectual property: Think of a name for the company. Do a trademark search before you form a company. If it’s clean, form your company with that name and file a federal trademark application at the USPTO. Also file a state trademark application in your state. If you think you’ve invented something that’s never been done before, file a provisional patent on your…
  • Copyright Duration: How Disney Moved the Finish Line

    6 Aug 2013 | 2:26 pm
    This post is excerpted from Ownability – How Intellectual Property Works, now available for pre-order at a 20% discount at In 2002, Steam Boat Willy, the first major film in which the venerable Mickey Mouse character appears, was about to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its release. Under the copyright law in force at that time, which dictated a 75-year duration for copyrights held by companies, the copyright for Steam Boat Willy was set to expire on the 75th anniversary of its release.This would have thrust the movie into the public domain for all to copy and enjoy.
  • The Light Within

    3 Aug 2013 | 10:25 am
    The word “namaste” roughly translates to “the light within me honors the light within you.” Beautiful, right? A really awesome way to view the world and everyone in it. But what is this light within? Can we find it? Can we become the light within? There are voices in your head, incessantly chattering at you. They narrate your day; they have an opinion about everything. Your parents are in there somewhere, I bet. And your exes. But mostly the voices are yours. There are Oscar the Grouches in there too, always threatening to drag you into their garbage cans. They are…
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    The Securities Law Blog

  • Record Number of FINRA Enforcement Cases Expected

    26 Aug 2014 | 6:04 am
    Last month we learned that FINRA Enforcement fines were up, and set to surpass last year's fines. If you need any more convincing that now is the time to insure that your policies and procedures are compliant, FINRA is saying that it is on pace to file “a record number of cases this year.”According to FINRA the top compliance failures are in the areas of suitability, cybersecurity and anti-money laundering andFINRA continues to see a “significant” number of single broker malfeasances, including petty theft, dishonesty, forgery and failure to report on their U-4.FINRA enforcement…
  • California-Based Telecommunications Equipment Firm and Two Former Executives Charged in Revenue Recognition Scheme

    25 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    The SEC announced charges against a Newport Beach, Calif.-based telecommunications equipment company and two former executives accused of improperly recognizing as revenue more than a million dollars’ worth of inventory that was shipped to a Florida warehouse but not actually sold.They’re also accused of defrauding an investor from whom they secured a $2 million loan for the company based on misstatements and omissions associated with the inventory shipments.The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that AirTouch Communications Inc., the former president and CEO, and former CFO…
  • Bank of America Admits Disclosure Failures to Settle SEC Charges

    25 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The SEC announced a settlement in which Bank of America admits that it failed to inform investors during the financial crisis about known uncertainties to future income from its exposure to repurchase claims on mortgage loans.Bank of America also is resolving securities fraud charges that the SEC filed last year related to a residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) offering.Bank of America has agreed to settle the two cases by paying $245 million as part of a major global settlement announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice in which Bank of America will pay $16.65…
  • SEC Charges Former Bank Executive and Friend With Insider Trading Ahead of Acquisition

    22 Aug 2014 | 11:18 am
    The SEC charged a former bank executive in Massachusetts and his friend with insider trading in advance of the bank’s acquisition of another financial institution.The SEC alleges that the former executive, then a senior vice president at Eastern Bank, learned through his job responsibilities that his employer was planning to acquire Wainwright Bank & Trust Company.  He tipped his friend, a fellow golfer with whom he socialized at a local country club.  In the two weeks preceding a public announcement about the planned acquisition, the friend sold his shares in other stocks to…
  • Securities Fraud Cases Can Be Criminal Cases

    21 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    Defending a SEC securities fraud case is not simply about the civil charges and penalties. Most securities law violations are also criminal violations, and violators can be charged both civilly and criminally.As securities litigators, we are aware of the issue, and sometimes the cases are not brought together. When resolving an SEC case, or even a FINRA enforcement case, we are always mindful of the potential for a criminal case, or  an enforcement proceeding from a state agency.In the usual case, if a criminal case is going to be filed, it is filed at or about the same time as the civil…
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    New Jersey Attorney Law Review Blog

  • NJ Judge Slams Mortgage Lender With $26,000 in Attorney's Fees for Violating New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

    Glenn R. Reiser
    5 Aug 2014 | 3:53 pm
    In a July 31, 2014 unpublished decision, a Bergen County judge fined a mortgage lender $26,125 in legal fees for duping a 70-year old borrower into a refinance transaction that benefited only the lender.   Finding that the lender committed an unconscionable commercial practice by charging the borrower over $11,000 in mortgage closing costs that would have taken her 5+ years to recoup based on the paltry savings of $63/month from her monthly mortgage payment, the Court chastised the lender for acting in its own self-interest.A more detailed analysis about this case appears on our…
  • Vauling Closely Held Businesses Under New Jersey Law - What's it Worth?

    Glenn R. Reiser
    24 Jun 2014 | 10:47 am
    What is my business worth?  You say $100,000, she says $1,000,000.  Whether arguing with an irate spouse in the context of a divorce case or a business partner in a partnership dispute, the answer is often difficult and expensive to determine.As the New Jersey Supreme Court observed in Balsamides v. Protameen Chemicals, Inc., 160 N.J. 352, 368 (1999) (“Balsamides“), and Lawson Mardon Wheaton, Inc. v. Smith, 160 N.J. 383, 397 (1999) (“Lawson“), valuation of a closely-held business is not an exact science. See also Bowen v. Bowen, 96 N.J. 36, 44 (1984) (quoting Lavene v.
  • New Jersey Appeals Court Clarifies Requirements for Debt Purchasers Suing on Credit Card Debts

    Glenn R. Reiser
    10 May 2014 | 9:03 am
    In an unpublished decision, a New Jersey appeals court clarified the legal requirements that credit card debt purchasers must meet in order to pursue collection from consumer account holders. Main Street Acquisition Corp. v. Nemeth (App. Div., April 1, 2014).Click here to read the full post.
  • Mortgage Lender Whacked for $54,000 in Legal Fees in Botched Foreclosure Case

    Glenn R. Reiser
    1 May 2014 | 4:11 pm
    In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld a trial court's sanctioning HSBC more than $54,000 due to the bank's filing of a foreclosure suit without being able to prove that it holds the proper chain of title to the underlying mortgage and promissory note. HSBC Bank vs. Nini, A-1941-11T1 (App. Div. , Unpublished, April 30, 2014). The irony of this decision is that despite claiming to be owed more than $700,000 on a property valued at only $361,000, the lender was forced to foot the bill for about half of the mortgagor's legal fees and expenses. Talk about…
  • New Limited Liability Company Statute Takes Effect on Existing LLCs Filed in New Jersey

    Glenn R. Reiser
    30 Mar 2014 | 11:15 am
      Effective April 1, 2014, all limited liability companies (“LLCs”) formed in New Jersey will be governed by the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, N.J.S.A. 42:2C-1 through N.J.S.A. 42:2C-17 (the “Revised Act”). The Revised Act became effective as to newly formed LLCs on March 18, 2013. Starting on April 1, 2014, the Revised Act applies to all previously existing LLCs filed in New Jersey.The Revised LLC Act differs from the predecessor limited liability company Act in several substantial respects, of which current operating LLCs and those individuals deciding whether…
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    Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA

  • Wow! An Interview Over at ClaimKit

    Christopher G. Hill
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:12 am
    Thanks to my pal Chris Cheatham (@chrischeatham) over at ClaimKit and his blog The Electronic Claim for a great opportunity.  Chris and I have been friends for a while and he decided to interview me over at his blog.  Here’s the opening paragraph of flattery: This is the third post in our construction law business development series.  Chris Hill is a wild man — he has published thousands of construction law blog posts over at his site, Construction Law Musings.  As a result, if you search “construction law Virginia,” his blog is at the top of the list.  So I recently reached…
  • Reminder: Just Being Incorporated Isn’t Enough

    Christopher G. Hill
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:32 am
    Construction Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have discussed why contractors need to incorporate previously here at Construction Law Musings.  Among the many reasons to incorporate are possible tax benefits and the protection of personal assets (like your house and your dog) from judgement and collection actions.  This latter reason is key in the construction world in which Murphy can look like an optimist and projects have so many moving parts that something is likely to go wrong. The reason incorporation works as at least a partial shield is that the company and the owners are separate…
  • Changes and Claims: Make Sure You Actually Ask for What You Want

    Christopher G. Hill
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    Originally posted 2009-06-19 09:00:00. For this weeks Guest Post Friday, Musings welcomes Matthew DeVries. Matt is the author of, is a construction attorney in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a father of five energetic children and he often uses his family experiences to shed light on the green building, sustainable design, technology and project management issues discussed in his blog. You can reach him at (615) 742-8577,, or on Twitter: @matthewdevries You’ve already met my eleven year old Princess. Many months ago, I was teaching…
  • The New Jersey Construction Triangle – Compelling Arbitration Without a Contract Provision Between Subcontractor and Owner/Developer

    Christopher G. Hill
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome Bennet Susser.  Bennet is a founding member and shareholder of the New Jersey law firm, Jardim, Meisner & Susser, P.C. He has over 25 years’ experience in representing clients in all types of complex (and not so complex) litigation, including those involving construction actions. His Construction Law Practice Group has deep experience in the representation of property owners, developers, homeowners, design professionals, materials manufacturers, contractors and subcontractors in connection with construction of…
  • Did the 4th Circuit “Tarnish” Sustainable Construction in the CBF Case?

    Christopher G. Hill
    11 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    English: The Philip Merrill Environmental Center -Headquarters for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) About a week ago, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “parallam” lawsuit.  Since that unpublished ruling on procedural grounds, much discussion has ensued.  One particularly interesting headline, found at the well respected Greed Building Law Update, states Litigation Over First Ever LEED Platinum Building Tarnishes Green Building.  After describing the reversal, the GBLU post then states its opinion…
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    CAFA Law Blog

  • Vogle v. Archstone Communities, LLC, 2014 WL 463532 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2014) (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Vogle v. Archstone Communities, LLC, 2014 WL 463532 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2014)  A District Court in California refused to exercise federal jurisdiction by aggregating the claims against two defendants.  The District Court found that, under CAFA, aggregation of claims against the defendants is permitted only when the defendants were one legal entity, and there was no pleading in the complaint to show that the two defendants in question were a single unit.  Seeking to represent a class of former tenants, who leased apartments from the defendants, Archstone Builders Inc., Archstone Property…
  • Western District of Kentucky Analyzes CAFA’s Jurisdictional Requirements And Exceptions In Order Denying Remand (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Brown v. Paducah & Louisville Ry., Inc., 12-00818, 2013 WL 5273773 (W.D. Ky. Sept. 17, 2013) In this case, a Kentucky district court held that defendants in a putative class action arising out of a train derailment satisfied their burden of establishing CAFA’s minimal-diversity and amount-in-controversy requirements.  The court also found that, because two thirds of the proposed class members, in the aggregate, were not citizens of Kentucky, plaintiffs failed to satisfy their burden of establishing that CAFA’s home-state and local-controversy exceptions defeated removal. On October…
  • Dissent in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens Paves Way For Third Supreme Court CAFA Decision (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 730 F.3d 1234 (10th Cir. 2013), cert. granted, 134 S.Ct. 1788, 188 L.Ed. 2d 757 (2014)  In this appeal, four circuit judges – Judges Hartz, Kelly, Tymkovich, and Phillips – dissented from the Tenth Circuit’s refusal to grant rehearing with respect to a Tenth Circuit panel’s previous denial of  defendants’ request to appeal a district court’s remand order under 28 U.S.C. § 1453(c).  In the dissenting judges’ view, the district court’s underlying remand order contravened the principles that a defendant seeking removal under…
  • Local Controversy Exception, Not Home State Exception Wins the Day (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Vodenichar v Halcon Energy Properties Inc., 733 F.3d 497 (3d Cir. Aug. 16, 2013). In this action, the Third Circuit affirmed the remand of the case based on a local controversy exception rather than the applying the home state exception as the basis for the district court’s remand. The plaintiffs, individuals along with the Grove City Country Club, filed a suit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated landowners who sought to lease the oil and gas rights in their land in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.Defendants Morascyzk & Polochak (“M & P”) and Co-eXprise, d/b/a/…
  • Approved Settlement of Federal and State Wage Claims Did Not Implicate CAFA (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    15 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Juvera v. Salcido, 2013 WL 6628039 (D. Ariz. Dec. 17, 2013) A District Court in Arizona granted approval to a $157,000 settlement holding that the Settlement Agreement reflected a fair and reasonable resolution of wage issues in the action. Current and former cashiers who were employed with the defendants brought this action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Arizona’s minimum wage laws.  Their grouse stemmed from the cashiers having to reimburse the defendants when the cash drawer or till did not add up correctly; and from the employees having to repay the defendants…
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    Lowering the Bar

  • TSA: Timely Sword Advice

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:59 pm
    I can't say that every video on the TSA HQ Public Affairs YouTube channel is stupid, because I'm not going to watch them all. I do feel safe saying that they are all probably stupid, and am on fairly solid ground saying that this one is actually stupid. In this video (thanks, Zach), a TSA agent has some helpful advice for those who may not be aware they are armed with a sword:   Of course, anyone who does not know their cane conceals a sword or dagger (almost certainly an elderly or disabled person with a second-hand cane) poses no threat, while anyone…
  • Again, Goodwill Does Not Accept Skull Donations

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:43 am
    Quick reminder: unwanted human skulls should probably be dropped off at the medical examiner's office, not Goodwill. I thought we had settled this last month when somebody donated three skulls to a Goodwill in Bellevue, Washington, but another one just showed up at a Goodwill in Austin (thanks, Matt). At this point, Goodwill organizations might want to update their websites, which as a general rule don't seem to mention human skeletal remains. Until then I will try to help get the word out. As in the Washington case, police in Austin said they had no reason to suspect foul play in…
  • Mullet Gang Convictions Reversed

    27 Aug 2014 | 11:47 am
    Before people start checking their beards into the witness-protection program, I should point out that the hub of this conspiracy, Samuel Mullet, Sr., is not about to be released. He and four other members of the Mullet Gang did not challenge their convictions for concealing evidence and lying to the FBI. But the Sixth Circuit did hold today that the convictions of Mullet and 15 other gang members under federal hate-crime laws cannot stand. As you may recall, the 16 defendants were convicted last year for a series of attacks on other members of their Ohio Amish community, in a crime spree…
  • Sovereign Citizen's SUV Loaded With Chickens & Ammo

    26 Aug 2014 | 11:52 am
    First, credit where credit is due. I got this on Twitter from @xarph, who says he has a Google news alert set up for "sovereign citizen" and reports that the results are "always amazing." Credit also goes to Raw Story for its headline: "Dog's escape attempt causes 'sovereign citizen' to crash SUV full of weed, guns, and chickens."  Exactly what this gentleman was up to is not yet known, but he was well prepared, that's for sure. That came to light after he crashed his SUV at about 3:30 a.m. on I-79 in West Virginia. Police said the man's dog apparently tried to jump out the window,…
  • Assorted Stupidity #65

    25 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Bad places to hide: (1) ponds, (2) bushes in which wasps have previously hidden. List will likely grow. Did police refer to the latter case as a "sting operation"? Of course they did. That happened in the UK, as you might have guessed, since most of the law-enforcement humor over here at the moment involves chortling at the idea that citizens have rights. Another difference between the UK and the US involves the number of police bullets that go into people. Is it a big difference? Well, The Economist reported that last year British police officers fired their weapons three times. Not…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • An Interview with Michael Newsom, Fatherhood Coordinator for the Montgomery County Child Support Enforcement Agency

    Anne Shale
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:15 am
    Let us first look at some important statistics published by the National Fatherhood Initiative. The Effects of Father Absence in the Home of Minor Children: Children of Father-Absent homes are: Five times more likely to live in poverty. Three times more likely to fail in school. Two times more likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems. Two times more likely to abuse drugs. Two times more likely to be abused and neglected. Two times more likely to become involved in crime. Three times more likely to commit suicide. Compare the facts with children having Father’s involved in their…
  • Divorce: Sudden Divorce Syndrome in Ohio

    Robert L. Mues
    23 Aug 2014 | 1:10 am
    Can Sudden Divorce Syndrome Impact You Both Emotionally And Legally? What You Need To Know Sudden Divorce Syndrome (SDS) refers to a situation that occurs, most often in a man’s life, where his spouse, without any signs, wants a divorce.  Perhaps the most publicized SDS (Sudden Divorce Syndrome) case involves Mr. Martin Paul, who told his story in a recent MSN living article.  Mr. Paul discusses how he was nearing retirement, wasn’t having any ill feelings towards his wife, and had even been planning numerous vacation and relaxation events for himself and his wife together.
  • Divorce: Dividing Property, Assets & Debts in Ohio

    Robert L. Mues
    16 Aug 2014 | 12:55 am
    Property Division in Ohio Can Be Complicated In Marriage Breakup – Hire A Experienced Divorce Lawyer Early Depending upon the issues in a marriage breakup, dividing assets and debts is usually a preliminary topic of conversation.  This can be a complex and lengthy discussion depending upon the nature of the assets, length of the marriage, and title of the property. The first aspect of analyzing how the court may divide property pertains to whether or not the property was acquired before or after the date of marriage. If the property is separate pre-marital property, that property…
  • School Year Preparations For Child And Parent

    Robert L. Mues
    9 Aug 2014 | 12:36 am
    How To Prepare For A Successful School Experience – 10 Practical Back To School Tips for Parent And Child Transitioning Into A Separation or Divorce School is right around the corner for many children and their parents.  This time of the year, while always somewhat stressful for children, can bring even more anxious unknowns for a child when their parents are separated.  Regardless of your relationship with your former spouse there are some steps you can take to ensure your children, and their teachers are prepared for the coming year. The first thing to remember is even if you’re…
  • Fine Art of Listening So Kids Will Talk

    Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
    2 Aug 2014 | 12:43 am
    Communicating with your kids is all about talking in a way that they will listen, but also listening in a way that they will talk. Listening isn’t easy, as many parents ignore the Law of Moderation, either talking too much or not saying enough in response to their kids’ comments. If you say nothing, youngsters don’t know if you really understood them. If you respond too aggressively, kids feel like you may be dismissing their concerns. Here are the five keys to effective listening. Give your full attention.Conversations with kids often seem to happen at inconvenient times, such as when…
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    3 Geeks and a Law Blog

  • Let CI Be Your Guide

    12 Aug 2014 | 8:39 am
    Someone asked me recently why I think more and more law firms are creating CI roles or increasing their CI capacity, encouraging their BD and Library staff to work more closely so forth. I didn't really have a good answer on the spot, "cause it makes good business sense, or because market competition and consolidation is increasing" seemed all to obvious and do not address this specific moment in the evolution of the modern law firm.  Last month, I participated in a webinar presented by Ann Lee Gibson, long time law firm CI consultant as a part of the IntelCollab webinar series and…
  • The CIO Brain And Music… Not As Strange As It Sounds

    29 Jul 2014 | 12:14 pm
    For those of you that attend the ILTA conferences, you may be aware of the (in)famous band called Legal Bytes. Legal Bytes is the world's only band made up entirely of current and former Chief Information Officers from law firms. At this year's ILTA conference, Legal Bytes will actually be releasing a 12-song CD of original material called "Bright Lights… Big Data." The August 17th release at ILTA, presented by Recommind, will talk about the joys and pains (mostly pains) of managing technology in the BigLaw world. Our very own 3 Geeks' contributor, Scott Preston, is the…
  • Whither Change?

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Image [cc] Moyan Brenn Three posts recently caught my eye. One was on the imminent demise of BigLaw. The other was on how small firms are about to have their day. In the third one Thomas Sager, the GC for Dupont takes GCs to task for not pushing hard for change from outside counsel. In his words, "Until that happens, I don't know how you are going to beat this." Right ... on all accounts? The impending doom and demise of BigLaw is getting to be a very old story. Old enough, we should all be asking; So when is this actually going to happen? The rise of small law post brought…
  • Texas Scold 'Em

    17 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    They say that everything is bigger in Texas.  Apparently that even includes self-deluding opinions. Yesterday, a friend pointed me toward an article in Texas Law Book entitled Get Wall Street Out of the Practice of Law. (Subscription Required) In this opinion piece, the author, a former Big Law partner and current Legal Communications Advisor, offers her own opinion on the Texas Bar Opinion No. 642.  Opinion 642 is the one that says that "Texas Law Firms" (Is that any firm with an office in Texas? Firms with offices only in Texas? Or, firms with headquarters in Texas?) cannot have…
  • Jeff Carr, Project Management and Procurement

    15 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Jeff Carr in his Race Car Jeff Carr announced his retirement from his GC role at FMC Technologies recently. For those who follow the legal change landscape, Jeff has been a consistent beacon, advocating for change for quite some time. His model at FMC is one of (if not THE) most successful client implementations of legal cost savings in the world. His recent Forbes article noted how the company has grown significantly since he took on the role, while his legal spend has decreased. Fortunately Jeff has stated that even though he is leaving FMC, he will not be leaving the fight for change. We…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • Browsewrap Agreements Must Be Brought to Users’ Attention

    25 Aug 2014 | 3:57 pm
    In Online Terms can be Binding, even if You don’t have to Click!, I compared the enforceability of clickwrap and browsewrap agreements. This post discusses Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently examined notice requirements for browsewrap agreements to be enforced. Plaintiff Nguyen filed a class action lawsuit against Barnes & Noble because it had cancelled his online order for a Hewlett-Packard Touchpad tablet computer. Defense Based on Arbitration Provision B&N stated that plaintiff’s suit should be dismissed because…
  • A DBA is not a Legal Entity

    29 Jul 2014 | 4:33 pm
    This post is based on a question that I answered on Avvo. The question illustrates a common misunderstanding concerning DBAs. (DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as” – i.e., a fictitious business name.) The questioner did not realize that a DBA is not a legal entity Q. Can someone sue a DBA for breach of contract by the parent corporation? Why a DBA is not a Legal Entity Analysis: The questioner owned a corporation that apparently was created for investment purposes. That corporation also owned a restaurant, which it operated under a fictitious business name. A…
  • Can I Walk Away from My Suspended LLC?

    15 Jul 2014 | 6:41 pm
    This post addresses a question that arises frequently from founders of California limited liability companies that have been suspended: Can I walk away from my suspended LLC? A suspended LLC is the result of a founder who has neglected to file Statements of Information with the Secretary of State, or file returns with or pay amounts due to the Franchise Tax Board, or both of the foregoing. Please see Why was My Corporation / LLC Suspended or Forfeited? Forgotten LLC = Suspended LLC Frequently this happens because the LLC did little or no business, so the founder forgot about it. (This…
  • What Does Non-binding Mean and Why Should I Care?

    2 Jul 2014 | 3:44 pm
    This post discusses the meaning of non-binding with respect to a letter of intent (LOI) or a memorandum of understanding (MOU). (Non-binding has a similar meaning in other legal contexts, such as legislation or arbitration, but I will not discuss those contexts here.) Although I will refer to solely an LOI in the remainder of this post, the following pertains to an MOU, as well. The purpose of an LOI is to summarize the basic terms of a relationship into which the parties wish to enter. It also specifies that the parties will enter into negotiations to prepare a definitive agreement…
  • Entity Conversion Can Be Easy – If You Know What You Are Doing

    18 Jun 2014 | 4:01 pm
    This post about entity conversion is an expanded version of an answer that I provided on Quora yesterday. (How do I convert a Delaware LLC to a California LLC?) In my experience, entity conversion typically occurs for either, or both, of the following reasons. The need to convert a limited liability company (LLC) to a corporation to accept an investment from an institutional investor, such as a venture capitalist. The need to move an entity from one state to another. This typically occurs because the founder relocates, or because an investor prefers to invest in a Delaware corporation.
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • Ferguson and Spokeo

    29 Aug 2014 | 8:53 am
    Rejecting the notion, floated by some so-called "progressives" and members of the Congressional Black Caucus that we need a Police Czar to prevent what happened to Michael Brown.  Or maybe what happened afterwards.  You know, to make the police friendly (just as the [war on] Drug Czar did such a fine job making the drug war genial and the Homeland Security Czar made TSA screenings warm and fuzzy and the Russian Czar made A FUCKING REVOLUTION), Scott Greenfield suggests that we already have the tools in place to reign in the police war on the citizenry.But there is nothing sought for…
  • Because He's Not Above or Below the Law

    17 Aug 2014 | 12:01 pm
    What should he do if it's true?  If he actually beat his wife?That's what Judge Kopf asks at his blog, Hercules and the Umpire.  He's asking about Mark Fuller. That's The Honorable Mark Fuller, Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.  Jay Reeves in the Montgomery Advertiser.Atlanta police arrested Fuller, 55, early Sunday and charged him with misdemeanor battery after his wife called 911 from a hotel and said he was beating her. Mark Fuller told police that his wife became violent as she confronted him with allegations of cheating.Judge…
  • On Drug Dogs, Rafael Montero, Thalidomide, and Florida v. Harris

    15 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    The Mets are going nowhere fast.  Terry Collins, the manager, said the other day that he expects them to be in the post-season.  Either he was either lying or he's delusional.  The team (and I'm trying to be gentle about this) sucks.Their superstar hitter, David Wright, is slugging an anemic .384.  He's got a 13-game hitting streak going, but during the streak he's managed only once to hit for extra bases.  That was a double.  Still, and with more than a few glitches along the way, their pitching - especially their starting pitching - has been pretty good these…
  • Really, It Was the Other Guy

    10 Aug 2014 | 11:48 pm
    Whatever you think of the criminal justice system, it suffers from an unavoidable flaw.  It's operated by human beings.  That means it won't be perfect.Whatever ought in some platonic sphere of ideal justice (whatever that might be), it won't always be what gets meted out.  Some folks will be treated more harshly than they should.  Others more leniently. Some number of factually guilty people will walk free because, for whatever reason, the jury didn't find the evidence sufficiently compelling.  Some number of factually innocent people will be convicted because, well,…
  • It Seems Competence Isn't Enough

    29 Jul 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Turns out that it wasn't incompetence.  Which is maybe the bad news.  AP reports.Intravenous lines were placed correctly during the execution of an Arizona inmate whose death with lethal drugs took more than 90 minutes, a medical examiner said Monday.Incorrect placement of lines can inject drugs into soft tissue instead of the blood stream, but the drugs used to kill Joseph Wood went into the veins of his arms, said Gregory Hess of the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office.That's happened before.  Most recently, apparently, in Oklahoma where the folks trying to kill Clayton…
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    Technically Legal

  • Video King Wins at Bingo

    Ben Snitkoff
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    In 2002, based on a patent application filed in 2000, Melange Computer Systems was awarded a patent on a bingo playing machine (and method). The term “bingo playing machine” immediately evokes an image of an elderly person huddled over several bingo cards, stamping them manically or laying down plastic chips as the numbers are called. And therein was the problem for Planet Bingo, the current owner of the aforementioned, and another, patent. Planet Bingo sued Video King for infringing two patents related to electronic bingo. After claim construction, the district court found that…
  • A More Enforceable Terms and Conditions

    Ben Snitkoff
    19 Aug 2014 | 5:51 am
    After the news yesterday of the Ninth Circuit holding that Barnes & Noble’s Terms of Service were never agreed to, I wanted to highlight the “Terms and Conditions” on the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. site. The Terms and Conditions are never explicitly agreed to by the customer, but that’s OK, because they don’t require agreement by the customer. They are reproduced in full below: Customer Service Bottom line, we are a small company, and we are positioned to ensure your experience with us is pleasant. If it isn’t, give us a call. We’ll answer. Privacy Notice We…
  • 9th Circuit: Users Have to Agree to TOS to Be Bound By It

    Ben Snitkoff
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:43 pm
    In 2011, retailers across the country steeply discounted the ill-fated HP Touchpad. After being inundated with requests for the short-lived WebOS device, retailers including Barnes & Noble cancelled many of the orders. One spurned customer filed a class action lawsuit against Barnes & Noble in state court, which then removed the case to federal court, and sought to compel arbitration, as required in Barnes & Noble terms of service. But, as in many cases, there was a rub. Barnes & Noble’s website did not require users to assent to their terms of service at any time,…
  • Inequitable Conduct Not Dead Yet

    Ben Snitkoff
    16 Aug 2014 | 10:16 am
    Unenforceability of a patent through inequitable conduct is a equitable defense to a claim of patent infringement. It exists when a defendant can prove that the patent they are being accused of infringing was obtained through misrepresentations or omissions to the Patent Office, intentionally committed by the patentee with an intent to deceive. In 2011, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided Therasense v. Becton, Dickenson, and Co., a case that was hailed by some as the death of inequitable conduct. There have been only a handful of cases since 2011 finding, or upholding findings of…
  • Federal Circuit Lacks Jurisdiction on Consumer Protection Action

    Ben Snitkoff
    11 Aug 2014 | 10:50 am
    MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC (MPHJ) is the owner of several patents relating to scanning documents on network-attached hardware. MPHJ has forty wholly-owned shell subsidiary companies. Each shell company purported to be the exclusive licensee of MPHJ’s patents with respect to certain geographic areas, or commercial fields. These companies identified business in Vermont and around the country that they thought infringed the MPHJ patents and would then send a form letter stating that they believed there was infringement, and requesting that the businesses confirm they do not infringe,…
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    Bitter Lawyer

  • Seven Tricks of Law School Networking 101

    Bitter Contributor
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Across the country, law students are entering their august institutions. We here at Bitter Lawyer are happy to guide these students through the perils of their epic quest for a J.D. by reposting helpful tidbits provided by those that came before them. Stand on the shoulders of bitter giants, students. Originally posted: July 28, 2014 It’s that time of year again. Time for political science, philosophy and women’s studies undergraduate majors from across the country to delay real world responsibility for three more years as they enroll in law school. As young people embark on their…
  • 7 Deadly Sins of Law School

    The Northwest 3L
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Across the country, law students are entering their august institutions. We here at Bitter Lawyer are happy to guide these students through the perils of their epic quest for a J.D. by reposting helpful tidbits provided by those that came before them. Stand on the shoulders of bitter giants, students. Originally posted: April 10, 2013   Everything has its own special variations on the classic seven deadly sins and law school is no different.  The sins, of course, are always the same, but the manifestations vary. Lust – The old classics work here, 3Ls trolling the 1L class for…
  • Making Friends in Law School

    Not an Elle
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:50 pm
    Across the country, law students are entering their august institutions. We here at Bitter Lawyer are happy to guide these students through the perils of their epic quest for a J.D. by reposting helpful tidbits provided by those that came before them. Stand on the shoulders of bitter giants, students. Originally posted: March 5, 2013 One of the things I didn’t think of when I was thinking of going to law school was how I would have to make new friends. I recognized, of course, that I wouldn’t recognize anyone there. But I forgot that I’d have to remember how to make friends, that this…
  • The 5 Types of People Who Apply to Law School

    The Northwest 3L
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    Across the country, law students are entering their august institutions. We here at Bitter Lawyer are happy to guide these students through the perils of their epic quest for a J.D. by reposting helpful tidbits provided by those that came before them. Stand on the shoulders of bitter giants, students. Originally posted: March 14, 2012 You can tell a lot about a law student by what he or she was doing before coming to law school. In fact, knowing how a person made it to law school can often tell you which type of student they will be. Forewarned, as they say, is forearmed. The Straight-Through…
  • Empire State Of Mind

    Joline Zepcevski
    20 Aug 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Despite long term claims that Bitter Lawyer is being revamped, this time it really is. Turns out, our favorite un-lawyer Lisa Needham, aka snipy on the twitters and a writer for the far more respectable Lawyerist, decided that she was done with this nonsense and is taking over. And snipy isn’t alone, because she somehow suckered our dearest not-academic Joline Zepcevski, aka gigglebyte, into joining in on this three ring circus and creating an empire. A very bitter empire. Yes, for your reading displeasure, we are bringing you the Bitter Empire. Except not right now, because we’re not…
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    The Jury Room

  • Trial Skills: A new issue of The Jury Expert is up!

    Rita Handrich
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:02 am
    The August issue of The Jury Expert is up and we think you’re going to want to see this. Here’s a rundown of the articles you’ll find at the website. Demographic Roulette: What was once a bad idea has gotten worse. Authored by Doug Keene and Rita Handrich with a response from Paul Begala, this article takes a look at how the country has changed over the past 2 decades and our old definitions of Democrat or Republican and conservative or liberal are simply no longer useful. What does that mean for voir dire? What should it mean for voir dire? Two very good questions those. If it feels…
  • Just how diverse is this group, really?

    Douglas Keene
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:02 am
    We often make assumptions when discussing diversity that we all perceive a group’s diversity in the same way. Today’s research shows that simply isn’t so. That is, you and I (depending on our racial in-group) can look at the same group and you might say it is diverse while I say it is not. What makes the difference? It’s an intriguing question. These researchers discuss how diversity means different things to different people and yet, we often discuss diversity as though “everyone ought to know it when they see it”. In other words, we often conceptualize ‘diversity’ as…
  • Women are easily misled so why not lie to them in negotiations?

    Rita Handrich
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:02 am
    Back in 2012, we wrote about which gender was the more moral in negotiations. (Spoiler alert: it was women.) Now we have a new article on why women get lied to in negotiations. Not when or if–but why. Basically, people believe women are more easily misled than men and people believe women to be less competent than men. Therefore, “negotiators deceived women more so than men, thus leading women into more deals under false pretenses than men”. The researchers completed three separate studies and (to add insult to injury) these were not experiments using the ubiquitous undergraduate.
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    Karl Bayer's Disputing Blog

  • Summary of Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution (Part III)

    Renee Kolar
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:13 am
    In part III of Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution, Professor Stipanowich highlights “five trends that are likely to have a growing impact on our lives, on law practice and the management of conflict.” Those five trends are: increasing use of technology, increasing globalization, expanding understanding and insights through behavioral science and “big data,” longer productive lives (active retirement), and increased opportunities for ADR education and credentialing in the professional practice. He starts with some examples of the…
  • Summary of Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution (Part II)

    Renee Kolar
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    In Part II of Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution, Professor Stipanowich discusses which of the dispute resolution methods from the end of the twentieth century are still used today and describes the current situation of dispute resolution in the construction industry. He first explains that partnering (explained in Part I) never really came into general use and “is typically a feature of public construction programs…” He notes, however, that “some studies have indicated that the use of partnering has resulted in more projects being completed on…
  • Summary of Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution (Part I)

    Renee Kolar
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:47 am
    Professor Stipanowich has recently completed another article for The Construction Lawyer titled Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution which discusses the evolution of different dispute resolution methods in the construction industry. While his paper focuses on the evolution of these methods in the construction industry, several of his findings are also indicative of trends in ADR evolution more generally. In the following days we will be highlighting the different parts of his paper so stay tuned for more info on Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished…
  • Arbitrability Decisions Before, During and After Arbitration

    Beth Graham
    23 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    John James Barcelo III, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law and Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director, Leo and Arvilla Berger International Legal Studies Program at Cornell University Law School, has authored Arbitrability Decisions Before, During, and After Arbitration, Liber Amicorum (2015), Forthcoming; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-24. In his publication, Professor Barcello examines the three principal stages of the international arbitration-litigation process. Here is the abstract: The arbitration-litigation process respecting international…
  • Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution

    Renee Kolar
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:12 am
    Thomas J. Stipanowich, Academic Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution, and Professor of Law at the Pepperdine University School of Law  just completed yet another article for a special issue of The Construction Lawyer titled: Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/22. Here is the abstract: Two decades ago many believed we were experiencing a “Quiet Revolution” in the way conflict was managed, and nowhere was this more true…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • Addicted to Email?

    South Florida Lawyers
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:43 am
    This article on the "tyranny of email" had me thinking this morning:White-collar cubicle dwellers complain about email for good reason. They spend 28 percent of their workweek slogging through the stuff, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. They check their messages 74 times a day, on average, according to Gloria Mark, an authority on workplace behavior and a professor at the University of California, Irvine.And lots of that checking happens at home. Jennifer Deal, a senior research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership, surveyed smartphone-using white-collar workers and…
  • Rejected!

    28 Aug 2014 | 7:40 pm
    More good news here!A state appeals court on Thursday rejected Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's request to hold off on deciding the constitutionality of Florida's gay-marriage ban until after the U.S. Supreme Court someday rules on the issue. “Upon consideration, appellant’s motions to stay briefing are denied,” the Miami-based Third District Court of Appeal said in a terse ruling Thursday. “That is the best news of the day. We would have been sitting in limbo for an undetermined amount of time,” said attorney Bernadette Restivo, who represents Aaron Huntsman and…
  • Practice Tip 101 -- Remember to Notice Your Video Deposition!

    South Florida Lawyers
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
    Surprise surprise surprise!(Boy do I miss Gomer.)Are you required to notice your videotaped deposition in federal court?What if you just "forgot" and you elicited something delicious (one-minute delay in responding to critical question) that can only be seen on the videotape?Doesn't matter, kiddies:Here, Dr. Ferré was first alerted that his deposition would be videotaped when he appeared for the deposition and saw video equipment and a videographer present. (ECF No. 53 at 4). Over MAKO’s objection, Plaintiff proceeded with the deposition. Id. at 5. It is undisputed, however, that the…
  • Gay Divorce?

    27 Aug 2014 | 4:56 pm
    Is the savior of gay marriage in Florida gay divorce?  Maybe.Earlier today, the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal sent a request to the Florida Supreme Court asking them to take on a Hillsborough County marriage case and rule on the constitutionally of Florida's ban. If the Florida Supreme Court decides to take on the case, it will be a huge step forward in the fight for marriage in Florida. In an unusual decision, the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to settle the question due to "great public importance." If the high court takes…
  • 3d DCA Watch -- Bring Me the Head of Downtown Reporting!

    South Florida Lawyers
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    So I've been looking around for a new court reporting service, and someone mentioned Downtown Reporting.Anyone have any intel? Downtown Reporting, LLC, has offices in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Its business is the transcription of legal proceedings in both civil and criminal cases, ranging from depositions taken outside the courtroom to hearings and trial proceedings held in court. The company is one of several court reporting companies that have contracts with the State of Florida to serve as “official reporters” for all proceedings in the criminal division of the Eleventh Judicial…
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    eLessons Learned

  • California District Judge Allows Infringement Charts as a Response to Interrogatories

    27 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    This particular dispute revolved around ProconGPS, Inc.’s, the plaintiff, desire to introduce infringement charts or alternatively to amend its infringement contentions pursuant to Patent Local Rule 3–6 so the contentions were consistent with its infringement charts.  The Northern District of California issued an opinion without oral argument granting the plaintiff’s motion to compel. These charts [...]
  • Must Parties Agree On the “Seed Set Documents” Used in Predictive Coding? Your Guess Is As Good As Ours.

    25 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    United States Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio dismissed the plaintiff’s motion to compel defendant to meet and confer on ESI protocol for the defendant’s predictive coding due to the fact that the defendant was willing to meet with the plaintiff and their respective ESI consultants, minus any consultants that had previously worked on the the [...]
  • How Can You Check if Your Insurance Customer is Faking an Injury? Get Evidence Before Requesting Access to Their Social Media!

    22 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    A growing trend in insurance disputes is a demand for insurers to have access to the claimant’s social media content. In January 2013, the District of Montana had to consider whether to compel a woman to produce all of her social media photos. The court did not grant this request and the decision serves as [...]
  • Preserve Immediately or be Sanctioned!

    20 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    In this case, the plaintiff, an inmate at Rikers Island, brought a motion for spoliation of evidence and alleged the defendants breached their duty to preserve evidence. The evidence in question is video footage relevant to the litigation regarding the assault on the plaintiff which occurred on May 24, 2011, by other prison inmates in [...]
  • Court Denies Motion to Compel Forensic Computer Examination Based on Proportionality Grounds

    18 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    A common problem in e-Discovery is what to do when your adversary is withholding relevant information.  An even worse problem is when you know your adversary is withholding relevant information, but you are not precisely certain what that information is.  This was the problem for the defendant in NOLA Spice Designs, LLC v. Haydel Enterprises, [...]
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    International Business Law Advisor

  • 4 Reasons Why a Lawsuit Over Flight MH17 Will Not Succeed in U.S. Courts.

    Santiago A. Cueto
    4 Aug 2014 | 7:56 pm
    “I opened the door and it was raining people. One fell in my vegetable patch” –Irina Tipunova, Rozsypne, Ukraine That horrific account captures only part of the tragedy that ended the lives of 298 passengers aboard Malaysia Flight MH17 last month.  Several hundred feet from Ms. Tipunova’s home, dozens more ravaged bodies lay in the wheat fields where the airliner came down. Upon learning of such a scene, the knee-jerk reaction for many international plaintiff lawyers is to rush lawsuits into U.S. courts to take advantage of it’s generous tort system. Indeed, it was only…
  • 35 International Business Etiquette Rules that Might Surprise You.

    Santiago A. Cueto
    12 Jun 2014 | 12:45 pm
    Besides that one time in Switzerland that I yodeled my lunch order, I’ve had a good stretch of luck with not running afoul of any major rules of etiquette when doing business in other countries. Whether I’m at Breakfast with a banker in Brazil, at lunch with a lawyer in London or at dinner with a dealer in Denmark, I’m always uneasy about violating some unspoken rule of etiquette in the country that I’m visiting. I’ve found that the best way to the right thing is to follow the local rules of etiquette is to simply follow the lead of my hosts. This has worked-out just fine for me.
  • 4 Steps to Effectuate Service of Process Under the Inter-American Service Convention

    Santiago A. Cueto
    23 Mar 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Out of the hundreds of articles I’ve written for this blog, one of the most widely read has been 7 Steps to Effectuate International Service of Process under the Hague Service Convention. That’s hardly a surprise given the complex nature of international service of process in general. This post is a logical follow-up to that one because the Inter-American Service Convention (IASC) provides an important supplement to the Hague Convention when United States litigation implicates parties located in Latin America. What follows is a general is a general overview of how to effectuate service…
  • How Safe are the Sochi Olympic Games?

    Paul Crespo
    7 Feb 2014 | 1:53 am
    A special guest post by Global Security Consultant and Political Risk ExpertPaul Crespo. This is the latest post in the series. Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters The 2014 Olympic Winter Games began today in Sochi, Russia. Numerous U.S. multinational corporations such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble and Visa are sponsoring or participating, and 10,000 Americans are expected to attend. But former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell recently stated that these are the “most dangerous Olympics” he has experienced in his adult life. So what are the risks to international…
  • The World’s First Bitcoin Lawsuit—in the United States?

    Santiago A. Cueto
    12 Dec 2013 | 11:24 am
    Have you ever received an email that is so fascinating that you have to read it out loud to make sure you that you read it correctly? I received one of those several days ago. The email asked the following question: “This past summer I purchased [factory equipment] in [Country X] with Bitcoin.  I never received the equipment and [the supplier] won’t respond to my messages. Is it possible to file a lawsuit against [the supplier] even if I used bitcoin? Wow. I had to re-read the email several times to make sure I understood what I was reading. I have heard of people buying all kinds of…
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    Compliance Building

  • Dog Days of Summer

    Doug Cornelius
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    It’s time for some vacation. I may lay around on the porch and not think much about compliance. Don’t expect any posts for the next few days.
  • Weekend Reading: Capital

    Doug Cornelius
    23 Aug 2014 | 5:07 am
    In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty argues that if the rate of return on capital is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future. The theory is that wealth accumulated in the past grows more rapidly than output and wages. It’s a great macroeconomics book, rich with data and insight. But it’s still about macroeconomics. So it’s not going to keep you up late into the night turning pages to see what happens. I came to the book with some base beliefs. I think inequality is a good thing. I…
  • Compliance Bricks and Mortar for August 22

    Doug Cornelius
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
      These are some of the compliance related stories that recently caught my attention. Ebola tragedy is also a story of graft by Richard L. Cassin in the FCPA Blog One reason the fatality rate is so high — up to 90% in some regions, according to WHO — is because intensive care facilities are needed to administer treatments but are “rare in west Africa.” Although an estimated $3 trillion is spent worldwide on heath services every year, WHO said the money “is a powerful magnet for corruption.” How Do I Respond to a Wells Notice? in The Securities Law…
  • SEC’s Municipal Advisor Exam Initiative

    Doug Cornelius
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:35 am
    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new examination initiative directed at newly regulated municipal advisors. The examinations are designed to establish a “presence” with the newly regulated municipal advisors. We’ve seen this blueprint before. It looks a lot like the presence exam initiative for newly registered private fund managers and the never before examined initiative for unexamined advisers. The SEC is trying to knock on as many doors as they can. The SEC is working with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and the Financial Industry…
  • Another Tale of Golf Course Stock Tips Ending Up in a Sand Trap of Insider Trading

    Doug Cornelius
    19 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    The Securities and Exchange Commission brought another insider trading case where the tips were allegedly traded on the golf course. “Country clubs or similar venues may give people a false sense of security that leads them to think they can get away with trading on unlawful stock tips,” said Paul G. Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office. “But as in any social setting, people who trade securities based on confidential information they receive are taking a huge risk that their illegal tipping and trading will be identified by the SEC.” Robert Bray triggered the FINRA…
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    Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online

  • What is the Tax Consequence of Selling Property I Inherit or Receive As A Gift?

    Rania Combs
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a client whose elderly mother owned several pieces of real estate in an exclusive part of town. She had purchased the property decades ago for very little, but since then, the property had appreciated more than a hundredfold. What would be the tax consequences if my client sold this highly appreciated property after her mother died? Today, I’m delighted to welcome my friend and accountant, Ranjana Batra, as a guest blogger and appreciate her willingness to share this informative post about the tax consequences of selling property that one…
  • Growing Number of Americans Choosing Cremation

    Rania Combs
    13 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    If you have decided to be cremated when you die, you’re one of a growing number of Americans making that choice. I came across an interesting infographic today titled Ashes to Ashes, which illustrates how cremation has increased in popularity, the average cost of cremation, and the states with the highest cremation rates. The infographic also illustrates where cremains can be scattered, and some odd things some people have done with cremains, such as making vinyl records, teddy bears, and stained glass windows. Check it out below:
  • Don’t Keep Your Heirs in the Dark

    Rania Combs
    6 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    If you or someone you know has been a beneficiary of an estate, you may have been exposed to the frustration and disagreements that can occur when details of an estate plan are kept secret until a parent dies. The frustration may have resulted from an unequal distribution of the estate, or a large asset, like a family home, passing in an unexpected way. Additionally, there was likely to have been more dissatisfaction if the beneficiary was part of a blended family. According to a recent USB Investor Watch Report, about half of beneficiaries in blended families report dissatisfaction with the…
  • Wacky Will Wednesday: Wills That Make You Go “Hmmm…” — Rona Scroratow

    Rania Combs
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    NB: This post is part of a series highlighting wills that contain some interesting, and sometimes bizarre, bequests and stipulations. You can see all these posts here The great thing about having a Will is that it gives you the power to decide how your property will be distributed when you die. For example, if you are married, you may direct that all your assets should pass to your spouse. If you have children, you’d likely want to make provisions for them. Some people even make provisions for their furry family members or bequests to various charities that they support. But what if…
  • How Can I Protect an Inherited IRA from Creditors?

    Rania Combs
    21 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    If you’re like most Americans, one of your largest assets is your Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”). Your IRA is considered a “retirement fund” and the money it contains is  protected from creditors who seek to recover debts in bankruptcy. An owner of an IRA can pass it down to a beneficiary when he or she dies by making a proper beneficiary designation. If the beneficiary is a surviving spouse, the IRA can be rolled over into the surviving spouse’s IRA and can remain protected. But what happens if the spouse doesn’t roll the assets into his or her own IRA, or if someone…
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  • 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…
  • Admiral McRaven to Become Chancellor of U Texas System at Record Salary

    Dave Wieneke
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:15 pm
    Just this morning I dug in to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s brand new annual almanac. Once a year this small tome arrives with updates everything from enrollment data, to college financial data and faculty pay. I have to admit that I stopped briefly checking on the backgrounds on this year’s new college presidents. Over 1/3 of presidents appointed this year are women. Nearly 70% were promoted from within their institution. 8% of them came from a “noncollege” position.   That caught my imagination — were these former state officials taking taking plumb…
  • We’re Not Digital Marketers, We Market In a Digital World

    Dave Wieneke
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:46 pm
    Live from Boston – I’m posting just some of the highlights from the first day of Scott Brinker’s Marketing Tech Conference. Six and a half years ago, Scott Brinker started a blog about the intersection of marketing and technology. His idea grew from an early profound insight that for digital marketing to thrive, it will have to develop its own “layer of software”, or as he’d say it, “turn marketing into software. This was nearly three years before Marc Andreessen famously came to a similar conclusion about business overall. Nobody is quicker, kinder, or better able…
  • Hapless Airport Advertising Reaches New Heights with Boston’s Convention and Visitors Bureau

    Dave Wieneke
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:12 pm
    I’m having a hard time getting past the non sequitur which is at the heart of a bad ad in Boston’s Logan Airport presented by the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Summer Selects…BostonWhat does this even mean? Did Summer select Boston like the GOP selected Cleveland, or like the Olympics will select any city other than Boston if they’re rational? And talking about the time of year before getting to the real message just feels like tactic more suitable for a PTA newsletter than a display ad. Look how long its taking us to get to the point of this ad. You…
  • Tantrum Over Irrelevant Facebook Research Reveals Gaping Digital Naivety

    Dave Wieneke
    3 Jul 2014 | 9:33 am
    Better controversial than inconsequential?The media tantrum complex — those who fill continuous air time with breaking news and acrimony have no incentive to point out that the findings of Facebook’s controversial research are all but meaningless. Facebook too has a sort of perverse incentive to encourage hand wringing over the power of their newsfeed, even though the actual published results suggest its impact is at best a rounding error.  Histrionic headlines, such as Atlantic Monthly’s  “Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment” inflate routine…
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    A Connecticut Law Blog

  • 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.
  • McKeen Moderating Connecticut Landlord-Tenant Law Seminar

    Ryan McKeen
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:13 am
    “You’re going to look back and think this was one of the best things that’s happened to you professionally.” It surely didn’t feel that way at the time. Those were the words of a partner to me in my first year of practice. I was in the middle of one of the nastiest and most difficult cases that I’ve encountered in my nearly 9 years of practice. It was a commercial eviction. I am representing the landlord. The tenant is represented by two law firms. The tenants lawyers file every motion in the book seeking to delay and/or deny my client possession of their…
  • Helping Those In Need of Pro Bono Foreclosure Counsel

    Ryan McKeen
    13 Jul 2014 | 5:43 pm
    About five years ago, I stopped taking foreclosure defense cases. Defending a foreclosure action is always both frustrating and time intensive – banks lose documents. I made the decision to focus my practice on other areas of the law. I’ve never lost my desire to help homeowners in a time of crisis. So many people are an illness or job loss away from being a defendant in a foreclosure action. Those who find themselves facing foreclosure are confronted with overwhelming stress. In 2013, I signed up for the Hartford Judicial District’s volunteer attorney program to assist…
  • What Do You Need For A Paperless Law Office?

    Ryan McKeen
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:52 am
    It’s easy to overlook the small things. I spent two years designing and improving on my paper-less firm. Yet…..just last week, I purchased a low tech piece of equipment that makes a big difference. A power cord. Click here to view the embedded video. Taking notes on my laptop is great. However, until battery life significantly improves or wireless charging hits the market – power will always be an issue. While you are busy deciding on hardware and software it is easy to forget about power on the road. Watch the video below for a $4.99 low-tech must buy tool for your…
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    Legally India - News for Lawyers

  • Breaking: Clasis London office with Mumbai team & Sakate Khaitan break away into new Indo-UK firm

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:44 am
    Clasis Law co-founding partner Sakate Khaitan and three Clasis senior associates have started Khaitan Legal Associates, a law firm with offices in Mumbai and London.
  • Verus for UBI on Kingfisher Airlines Rs 400 crore default battle

    29 Aug 2014 | 5:24 am
    Verus advised the United Bank of India (UBI) which won in the Calcutta high court yesterday against Kingfisher Airlines. The high court dismissed Kingfisher’s appeal against a lower court order disallowing Kingfisher’s request for legal representation in wilful defaulter notice served on the Airlines by UBI. Verus partner Krishnayan Sen and associate Prantar Basu Choudhury acted for UBI having briefed senior advocate Hirak Mitra. Kingfisher was represented by senior advocates Sudipto Sarkar and Siddharta Mitra. UBI’s “committee of identification of wilful defaulters” had told…
  • AIL Mohali places 35 out of 80 graduates, powered by in-house & LPOs

    29 Aug 2014 | 4:55 am
    Army Institute of Law Mohali placed 35 out of 80 students who graduated this year with the biggest chunk of the recruited class taking up corporate house roles, followed by Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) jobs.
  • NUJS registrar suspended after report highlighting financial mismanagement

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:15 am
    NUJS Kolkata registrar Surajit Mukhopadaya was suspended today over allegations of financial impropriety that were raised by a judicial inquiry into NUJS and its management. Vice chancellor Ishwara Bhatt said that “the order of suspension has been delivered on the registrar”, and that Mukhopadaya would now have to reply to it. Bhatt added: “A disciplinary committee has been constituted. Inquiry is pending and it will come out with its observations against the others [named in the report].” The suspension order was issued from the vice chancellor’s office, to ensure that the…
  • SC proactively backs CCI: DLF to stump up full Rs 630 cr anti-trust penalty pending appeal

    28 Aug 2014 | 2:33 am
    A Supreme Court bench of justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and NV Ramana told real estate developer DLF that it should deposit with the court the entire penalty of Rs 630 crore that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had imposed on it in 2011, pending the outcome of its appeal against the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) order of May of this year. DLF should pay Rs 50 crore within three weeks, Rs 580 crore within three months, and should undertake to pay another Rs 170 crore in interest if its apex court appeal should fail, reported IANS. DLF was fined for “highly abusive”…
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    Associate's Mind

  • No Navigator, No Parachute, No Problem: Flying Solo – July 2014

    Florida Esq
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:41 am
    Sorry about the delay, folks.  The end of July was a little nuts, and it’s taken me a few days to make sure everything’s squared away. Here are the slightly-delayed numbers for July: Clients Referral from other attorneys: 5 Found me online: 2 Referral from area businesses/professionals: 4 Referral from local bar lawyer referral service: 1 Came to see me after speaking engagement: 1 Already knew me: 1 Total clients: 14 Expenses Advertising (new rack cards, Google Adwords buy): $179 Office supplies (including payments to business credit cards & $200 for funding escrow accounts with…
  • The Great Conversation: Brunelleschi, Failure, and Invention of the Renaissance

    David L. Smith
    18 Aug 2014 | 12:01 pm
    Keith has talked a lot in this blog about the difficulties in establishing oneself in practice coming out of law school, the insecurity and/or feeling of failure that young lawyers experience, the dedication and ethic(s) required to succeed, etc. Recently, and from this angle, I’ve been thinking about a historical anecdote (the subject of this post) and how it might relate to you, not only in law but also in life. It’s a story about naive confidence, great expectations, competition, humiliation, retreat, re-engagement, and rebirth. It’s a story that every human can…
  • 4-Year Blogiversary

    Keith Lee
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:57 am
    It’s been all quiet on the Western Front here the past month due to being too busy with work and other projects to keep updating, though I have still been writing my weekly column at Above The Law. But things have started to quiet down and we’ll now return to regular posting. Also of note, it’s been 4 years since I started Associate’s Mind back in 2010. Wild to think how long I’ve been at it. While it was a bit of a crazy idea at the time, starting Associate’s Mind has been of the best things I’ve ever done. It has led to numerous opportunities and…
  • What Did One Math Book Say To The Other?

    Keith Lee
    17 Jul 2014 | 7:31 am
    Law schools have traditionally done one thing with their students: taught them to “think like lawyers.” Through the Socratic method and study of case law, students are given the tools to analyze and understand the law. But as we all know, it doesn’t exactly prepare to students to practice as lawyers. But it’s also worth pointing out that law students come at their understanding of the law from the backend. Here is what a judge decided was the law in this particular situation. But that is not where things start. Things start when a client walks through your door, sits…
  • The Secret Ambition of Every Brief

    Keith Lee
    9 Jul 2014 | 11:18 am
    While researching something completely unrelated, I came upon a brief article by Justice Maria Rivera (First District Court of Appeal, Div. 4, CA) regarding writing briefs for appeals entitled: The Ten Commandments of Brief Writing. Before delving into the “Ten Commandments”, Justice Rivera leads off with the following quote from Mortimer Levitan from the article, “Confidential Chat on the Craft of Briefing.” Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2002): The secret ambition of every brief should be to spare the judge the necessity of engaging in any work,…
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    Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

  • 2014 – FDA Recalls DePuy Craniomaxillofacial Distraction System, Cites Fatal Risk

    Jared Fink
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:44 am
    Recently, a craniofacial distraction implant by DePuy Orthopaedics was recalled.  This device, called the Craniomaxillofacial (CMF) Distraction System, “is a modular family of internal distraction devices that are used to gradually lengthen the mandible body and ramus” and indicated as “a bone stabilizer and lengthening (and/or transport) device for correction of congenital deficiencies or posttraumatic defects of the mandibular body and ramus, where gradual bone distraction is required,” for children less than one year old. However, the FDA writes that “Infants are at the highest…
  • 2014 – Benicar linked to severe gastrointestinal disease

    Jared Fink
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:32 pm
    In May 2014, Hélène Théophile and a team of researchers published an article titled “Five cases of sprue-like enteropathy in patients treated by olmesartan,” which further demonstrated that exposure to Benicar (olmesartan) is linked to an increased risk for severe gastrointestinal disease. Here is the abstract for that article: “We describe five cases of sprue-like enteropathy during treatment with olmesartan, [a drug] indicated for the treatment of hypertension. Patients presented severe diarrhoea, significant weight loss or dehydration, with or without intestinal villous atrophy.
  • Benicar linked to severe gastrointestinal disease

    Jared Fink
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:32 pm
    In January, 2013, an article by Stephanie E. Dreifuss and a team from University of Pittsburgh published an article in Case Reports in Gastrointestonal Medicine titled “Spruelike enteropathy associated with olmesartan: an unusual case of severe diarrhea.”.  There, the connection between the high blood pressure drug Benicar (olmesartan) and sprue like enteropathy was again made clear. In their paper, the team describes the case of a “64-year-old male with a history of hypertension [who] presented with worsening diarrhea and 25-pound weight loss over the preceding three months.”…
  • 2014 – Birth defects risk increased 250% with Depacon / Depakene / Depakote

    Jared Fink
    8 Aug 2014 | 2:22 pm
    In recent years, dozens of studies have been published illustrating an increased risk for birth defects linked to antiepileptic drugs containing sodium valproate such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote.  While these drugs are effective in the mitigation of seizures, the risks posed to developing babies cannot go overlooked.  Here, I will summarize one such study by G. Veiby et al., first appearing in the March, 2014 edition of Journal of Neurology.  This study was titled “Fetal growth restriction and birth defects with newer and older antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.” and comes…
  • SSRIs linked to “abnormal development” of fetus

    Jared Fink
    8 Aug 2014 | 1:47 pm
    In 2012, C.M. Nijenhuis and a team from University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands) published a study titled “Disturbed development of the enteric nervous system after in utero exposure of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants. Part 1: Literature review.” in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.  There, the link between gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and poor birth outcomes was further explored. The team states “The increase in selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) use during pregnancy,…
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  • Good Luck Obeying These Parking Signs

    Lisa Needham
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:12 am
    Let’s face it: even when you can understand them, No Parking signs suck. They are like a finger wagging no every time we try to park on a street. However, when we are faced with a No Parking Wednesdays from 4pm–6pm sign, at least we can rest assured that we actually understand the thing.Not so with this crop of traffic signs, which make it nearly impossible for you to comply with whatever laws might be behind them.
  • Dropbox for Lawyers and Law Firms: the User Guide

    28 Aug 2014 | 5:11 am
    Related“The Dropbox Q&A, Tips & Tricks Thread”Lawyerist LabDropbox is popular with lawyers. According to the ABA’s most-recent technology survey, 58% of lawyers use Dropbox, making it the most popular online file storage option among lawyers. Here is everything you need to know about Dropbox, from how to install it to securing your client files.IndexInstalling DropboxFeatures, Add-Ons, and PricingSyncing, File Versions, and PackratSharingCamera UploadExtra StorageBusiness PlansUsing DropboxSecurityTerms of ServiceWho Should Use DropboxUpdatesInstalling…
  • The One Secret to Online Legal Marketing

    Aaron Street
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:12 am
    Many law-firm websites are designed like business cards or thick brochures. They either have too little information (just a single page with the firm name and contact information) or way too much (page after page listing specialties, experience, and biographical details). Whatever the designers of such sites are thinking, they are missing the single most important concept in online marketing:Design your site for the action you want your readers to take.If the goal of your site is to find clients (and I assume it is), you should make sure that every design, navigation, and content decision is…
  • How to Write More Effective Opening Paragraphs

    Sam Glover
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:51 am
    “By replacing formulaic openers with forceful arguments,” says Burlingame, “lawyers can capture the judge’s attention, enhance their credibility, and show from the outset why their clients should win.”Here’s a typical opening paragraph from a brief: NOW COMES PLAINTIFF BELCOM COMPUTER COMPANY, INC. (“Belcom”), and files this its Opposition to Defendant Worldwide Telco, Inc.’s (“Worldwide’s”) Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, to Strike Pleadings Based on Plaintiff ’s Violation of This Court’s June 13, 2003 Order…
  • Paperless Tip: Never Ever Send Word Files as Correspondence

    Todd Hendrickson
    24 Aug 2014 | 7:11 pm
    Never ever ever send a Word file as “correspondence.” A Word file — or a WordPerfect,, or Pages file — is not a document. PDFs are documents. Word files are drafts. And sending a draft that includes your digital letterhead and signature to anyone is just plain stupid. Here’s why.I frequently receive “correspondence” attached to an email from an attorney involved in one of my cases. Nothing is unusual about that. While I think an email with a professional-looking signature block is plenty formal, there are times when a more formal letter is…
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • GPS is Making Us Dumber (And other thoughts on the law)

    Eric Turkewitz
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Some folks want directions when they go someplace new. Others want a map. The directions tell you lefts and rights. The map tells you where you came from and where you need to go. Many GPS devices simply tell you to make those rights and lefts. They don’t tell you where you are. And thus we become unthinking followers. GPS devices were wrong at least twice on last week’s family vacation in Maine, once while I followed a family member and a second time while sitting shotgun. The GPS said to go one way and my brain said to go the other. The only reason I overruled the GPS directives…
  • Cops in Tanks vs. Cops on Bikes

    Eric Turkewitz
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:39 am
    The juxtaposition of the pictures couldn’t be more stark.  Out in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of  an unarmed teen being shot dead by a cop, we see a militarized police force racing in to use all their toys of crowd control: Tear gas, rubber bullets, armored personnel carriers and, of course, the military-style uniforms with riot armor. Everything about it screams, “Stay the hell away from us.” And the other picture is one I noted on the Gothamist a couple weeks back: A cop on a bike. The article is ostensibly about being caught riding on the sidewalk, but that…
  • More Motions to Dismiss Against Dr. Michael Katz

    Eric Turkewitz
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:16 am
    Justice Hart’s opinion of Dr. Katz. Your familiarity with the defamation suit against me by Dr. Michael Katz will be presumed. Very briefly, he’s the guy that sued me because Justice Duane Hart called him a liar about 25 times and I reported it. He can’t sue the judge, so he figured he would sue me. I’ve moved to dismiss and have him sanctioned for his frivolous suit, frivolous conduct, and making an improper demand for $200 million. My co-defendants have now also made motions to dismiss. Samson Freundlich did a “me too” motion (Affid –…
  • Motion to Dismiss/Sanction Against Dr. Michael Katz

    Eric Turkewitz
    17 Jul 2014 | 10:57 am
    This is what Justice Duane Hart thinks of Dr. Michael Katz Remember how I reported that I’d been sued again for defamation? Justice Duane Hart in Queens had ripped Dr. Michael Katz a new one in open court for acting like Pinocchio. And the good doctor, not being able to sue the judge for calling him a “liar” about 25 times or so, figured he would sue me instead for reporting it. (Shooting the Messenger (I’ve Been Sued Again)) Both Scott Greenfield (Turkewitz Sued By “Liar” Doctor, Michael Katz) and Marc Randazza (Judge Admonishes Expert Witness – Expert Witness Sues…
  • Dolphins and Lawyers and Baja

    Eric Turkewitz
    16 Jul 2014 | 4:35 am
    Not me. And not from the place we went. Is there a relationship between swimming with dolphins and lawyering? Why, yes there is, and thank you for asking. Let me start by saying that this is all about business and keeping the customer happy. Since lawyers are in a service business, the same concept holds true for a law firm as a company that allows you to swim with a dolphin: It isn’t enough that the customer/client be satisfied while the service is being provided, but most importantly, when they walk through your door for the last time. So last week I took the family down to Cabo San…
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    The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!

  • Celebrity Legacies: The Anna Nicole Smith Estate Battle

    Danielle & Andy
    20 Aug 2014 | 9:08 am
    So how long exactly does it take to resolve the dispute over the estate of an 89-year old Texas oil tycoon who married a 26-year old stripper and Playboy Playmate?  Shouldn't the case end when both the stripper (Anna Nicole Smith) and her "step-son" (Pierce Marshall, who was 27 years older than she was) die?  And is this really important enough to be heard by the United States Supreme Court, not once, but twice? This is installment #3 of our weekly Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate…
  • Will Robin Williams' Estate Be Broke?

    Danielle & Andy
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:33 am
    The initial shock of Robin Williams’ tragic death, apparently from hanging himself, is giving way to reflections of his memory and legacy. Another question many people are asking is what happens next for his family and his estate. He was survived by his third wife, Susan Schneider, to whom he was married for three years, and three adult children from his prior two marriages, whose ages range from 22 to 31. There is a realistic fear that Williams’ death left may have left them in financial distress.   In an interview with Parade Magazine in 2013, Williams lamented how he was required to…
  • Jim Morrison's Estate And Legacy Marred By Probate Fights

    Danielle & Andy
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:42 am
    Who opened the door to battles over the Jim Morrison Estate?  Who won ... and what did they win when the dust settled?  And does drinking your loved one's blood constitute a valid marriage ceremony? This is installment #2 of our weekly Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts.  See other articles in the series here.   Legendary Doors singer Jim Morrison died young at just 27 years of age, in 1971, from a heroin overdose. While his estate had limited cash when Morrison died,…
  • Celebrity Legacies TV Show Premieres With James Gandolfini

    Danielle & Andy
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:03 pm
    We all know about the estates of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith, right?  But what about Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Elvis Presley, and John F. Kennedy, Jr.?  Last week, the Reelz Channel premiered a new television series called Celebrity Legacies.   The documentary series explores a different celebrity each week, discussing their legacies, estates, and what they left behind: Feuding heirs? Mounting debt?  Or a golden legacy glittered with fame and fortune?  The premiere episode delved into James Gandolfini.  The late Soprano’s star died…
  • Why Philip Seymour Hoffman Should Have Been Able To "Trust"

    Danielle & Andy
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
    He may have been a brilliant actor, but Philip Seymour Hoffman had much to learn when it came to estate planning. Reports surfaced last week that the former Oscar winner said he didn't want his three children to be "trust funds kids."  He turned down the advice of his attorney and accountant, both of whom advised him to create a trust. Instead, he felt their mother -- and his longtime girlfriend -- would take care of his children. He viewed Mimi O'Donnell much like a wife, although he did not believe in marriage. Mr. Hoffman's $34 million estate faces a huge estate tax bill and other…
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    Planning Notes

  • 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 particualr, 'Ice Bucket Challenge' was used with lung cancer fundraising in early July of this summer, which use precedes the date of first use in commece listed in the trademark filing, August…
  • 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…
  • Congressional Committee Approves Permanent Bonus Depreciation & Charity Bills

    30 May 2014 | 10:03 am
    Bloomberg BNA on proposed permanent extension of bonus depreciation: The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to make bonus depreciation permanent, as well as a number of tax measures related to charitable giving. The depreciation measure (H.R. 4718) advanced after a vote of 23-11, one in a series of party-line votes as Republicans and Democrats on the panel tussled over whether the forgone revenue from tax expenditures should be recovered elsewhere in the budget—a position House Democrats have staked in the drawn-out argument over a number of tax provision extensions. If…
  • Substantial Presence Test & Closer Connection Exception

    28 Apr 2014 | 11:59 am
    Many inhabitants of the northern United States or Canada seek respite from colder climates by living part of the year in warmer climates of states in the southern United States, particularly Florida and Arizona. While these people are commonly referred to as "snowbirds" in the warmer states they call home during winter, the Internal Revenue Service I.R.S. has another, seemingly less friendly, name for those non-U.S. citizens who do so: aliens. According to the I.R.S., an alien is "an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national (a person who owes his/her sole allegiance to the United…
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  • Call for Papers: Environment, Law and Society Journal, 2014; Submit by Oct 15

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    The electronic copy of submissions has to be made to Please mention the title of the submission once in the beginning of the write up, followed by the author’s name. The post Call for Papers: Environment, Law and Society Journal, 2014; Submit by Oct 15 appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • NUJS Kolkata’s Response to Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on Media Law

    29 Aug 2014 | 10:49 am
    The 4th year students of Media Law of The West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata had, under the guidance of Asst. Professor Shameek Sen, submitted a response to the Law Commission, covering all aspects of the consultation paper. The post NUJS Kolkata’s Response to Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on Media Law appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • The Linklaters-NSLR Contract Drafting Competition 2014; Submit by Oct 3

    29 Aug 2014 | 10:04 am
    The Nalsar Student Law Review [NSLR] is proud to announce the Linklaters-NSLR Contract Drafting Competition, 2014. The Competition aims to familiarize students with academic writing in the field of transactional law. The post The Linklaters-NSLR Contract Drafting Competition 2014; Submit by Oct 3 appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • Call for Researchers at Human Rights Reporter India; Apply by Sept 5 | Call for Articles: Submit by Oct 15

    29 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
    Last date to apply for the position of a researcher is September 5, 2014. Send CV to For the articles, individuals are free to choose a topic that is of relevance, independent of what has been suggested. The post Call for Researchers at Human Rights Reporter India; Apply by Sept 5 | Call for Articles: Submit by Oct 15 appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • 4th Amity International Moot Court Competition, 2014 [Oct 9-11]: Register by Sep 10 [UPDATED]

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:00 pm
    To register for the Moot Court Competition, kindly confirm your participation via email to the Organizing Committee at latest by September 10th, 2014. The post 4th Amity International Moot Court Competition, 2014 [Oct 9-11]: Register by Sep 10 [UPDATED] appeared first on Lawctopus.
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    Fashion Law | Fashion Lawyer | Fashion Law Firm |

  • Fashion Law (Podcast): Did Designer Gavin Rajah Infringe One of Zuhair Murad’s Designs?

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:42 am
    Hey folks, this is a recent Podcast episode on my other platform, Ladybrille, that I believe might interest you all. Take a listen. Cheers, Uduak Did Fashion Designer Gavin Rajah Infringe on the Design of Zuhair Murad? A few weeks ago, Gavin Rajah a renowned South African fashion designer was accused of copying international designer Zuhair Murad’s design from his Spring/ by a popular South African fashion blogger. The story went viral and even hit international shores. Gavin grants this exclusive interview on the Ladybrille WOMAN Podcast to discuss the issue and the business of…
  • Very SAD News: Robin Williams Dead at 63, Allegedly Commits Suicide

    11 Aug 2014 | 5:42 pm
    This is truly very very sad news folks.  My condolences to his friends and family. He made such an impact in the lives of many, worldwide. -Uduak “Robin Williams has committed suicide.The Oscar-winning actor/comedian killed himself in Tiburon, in Northern California.   His people tell us he’s been recently battling severe depression.  According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office … authorities found Williams’ body inside his home.  They say he was found unresponsive.He was unconscious and not breathing and the coroner suspects suicide due to…
  • Ladybrille WOMAN Podcast Episode 001: Fashion Entrepreneur & Engineer ELFONNIE INOKON ANUSIONWU #Fashionlaw

    7 Aug 2014 | 8:48 am
    Top of the day to you all. I am happy to share Episode 1 of the Ladybrille Woman Podcast show with my readers. Future episodes will include discussions on Fashion Law as well; and I look forward to inviting some of our fashion industry people and legal colleagues on, in the future. So, if you are not already subscribed, feel free to hop on over and do so. The show is also on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Episode 1 features Ladybrille Woman of the Month for July 2014 Elfonnie INOKO Anusionwu. She is an engineer and fashion entrepreneur. Cheers, Uduak Listen to the LADYBRILLE…
  • Fashion Law Institute & LEVI’s Team Up for Inaugural WEST COAST Fashion Law Boot Camp Program

    6 Aug 2014 | 11:57 am
    Upon the invitation of my fashion law colleague Susan Scafidi, who operates the Fashion Law Institute program at Fordham Law School, I had the privilege to speak to the inaugural 2014 Fashion Law Boot Camp West Coast class. My presentation/discussion was along side a few highly respected fashion law colleagues in the industry, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I focused my discussions on the Right of Publicity and its intersection with Intellectual Property Rights and First Amendment issues, among others. I also addressed the fluid and dynamic issues brought on by the advent of social media…
  • Best Wishes for Success on The Bar Exam Next Week! #Fashionlaw

    25 Jul 2014 | 7:37 am
    Hey readers! I know a handful of you are studying for the bar exams and prepare to take them next week. Here is to success on the bar! MY TIP? Stay confident. BELIEVE. Write in a confident tone, as if you were already one of us, because needless to say, you ARE. Exercise, sleep well, eat right all three days. See you on the other side and God bless. My warmest regards, Cheers, Uduak
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    Law and Daily Life

  • S.D. Comic-Con's Moving Because of Court Ruling?

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:15 pm
    A decision by the San Diego City Council not to appeal a ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeals may spell the end of that city's annual hosting of what has become a comic book culture institution: San Diego Comic-Con. The appeals court decision earlier this month struck down the proposed levying of a special tax on hotel rooms around the San Diego Convention Center, where the yearly event is held, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The city had planned to use the money to expand for a $520 million expansion of the convention center. Why does this news mean we may be seeing the Los…
  • Rideshare Services Uber and Lyft Now Legal in Many Cities, States

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    Following a vote by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in favor of the idea last week, Pittsburgh became the latest of an increasing number of cities to share in the convenience, and controversy, of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The PPUC granted 60-day temporary authority to operate to both Uber and Lyft last week, after the companies agreed to meet the commission's requirements to operate in the state, reports The Inquirer. Earlier this month, the Houston City Council voted to allow the ridesharing services to operate in Houston after placing their own insurance and…
  • Priciest Divorce Ever? $17B at Stake in Harold Hamm Case

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:58 am
    An Oklahoma oil tycoon who amassed one of the world's largest private oil empires may soon be known for a more dubious honor: the priciest divorce in history. Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann announced last year that they were divorcing after 25 years. Eight months later, however, the battle of Hamm's earnings over the course of the couple's marriage, estimated at $17 billion, continues in an Oklahoma City courtroom, reports CNBC. How will the court determine whether the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Hamm is due a share of her estranged husband's earnings? Don't want a split to fracture your family or…
  • Legal How-To: Requesting FMLA Leave From Your Employer

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:19 am
    When you're dealing with a major medical problem, either yours or a loved one's, the last thing you want to worry about is work. Requesting FMLA leave can ensure that you're given unpaid time off and that your job is still waiting for you when you return, but you need to give proper notice. So what do you need to do? Here's a quick legal overview of how to request FMLA leave from your employer: Fired or worried about conditions at work? Get in touch with a knowledgeable employment attorney in your area today. 1. Figure Out Whether You're Even Eligible. Not every employee is eligible for leave…
  • 5 Things an Employment Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:17 am
    Employers often prey on the naivete of employees when shorting them on pay, refusing benefits, or even firing them. An employment attorney can make sure that you're protected from any legal shenanigans your employer tries to pull, as well as clue you in to rights you didn't know you had. Check out these five things an employment attorney can help you with, that you probably can't do on your own: Fired or worried about conditions at work? Get in touch with a knowledgeable employment attorney in your area today. 1. Evaluate Your Employment Contract. You may be just starting a new job, all…
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    But I do have a law degree...

  • Best. Summer. Ever.

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:49 pm
    When I was young, I used to go away for pretty much the whole summer, to Wellfleet, Cape Cod. This was possible only because of the fact that my father was a professor (with his summers off), and my mom was her own boss.  But to me, I thought this was normal. Didn't everyone take a vacation that lasted all summer long? To me, summers have always meant relaxation.  Sun.  Water.  Swimming.  Ice cream.  Friends. Family.  Lazy days. As I got older, summers shifted a bit.  Once I went to college, I cut down on the amount of time I spent on the Cape.
  • Robin

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    12 Aug 2014 | 12:06 pm
    I write this blog so people out there will read it, obviously.  But I also write this blog for myself - because it chronicles my life.  It's something that I, and my kids, can someday look back on.  So let me memorialize that yesterday, Robin Williams died.  And I am seriously sad about it.  I can't figure out why.  It's not that I'm a huge Robin Williams fan.  I like his movies, but I haven't seen them all.  But generally, I would say that I definitely like him.  I mean, what's not to like?  He seems like a genuine, nice guy.  And…
  • Redemption and Envy

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    8 Aug 2014 | 8:11 am
    When I was 18 weeks pregnant with my first baby, as I walked out of an OB appointment an elderly woman stopped me. Congratulations, she said.  That was the best part of my life.  I thanked her and went on my merry way.  This wasn't entirely out of the ordinary - pregnant women get random comments from strangers all the time.  But for some reason, this comment has haunted me. First and foremost, people don't normally say that pregnancy is the best part of their life.  In many ways, it's a miserable means to an end.  I know there are those women that "love"…
  • A Hangover, An Epipen, and a Parasite, Oh My!

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:45 am
    Some days are long.  Very long. Some days are boring. Some days are fun and free. Some days are a mixture of all of the above. And then some days are absolutely killer. Like yesterday. The following happened: 1) I woke up with a pounding head ache.  This was self inflicted, as I went to the Billy Joel concert the night before and drank one too many beers.  (Note to self - when drinking at a concert, always buy a bottle of water.  No water = pounding head ache). 2) I also woke up with a sore throat.  The family's summer cold has officially hit me. 3) With pounding head…
  • My Everything

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    18 Jul 2014 | 7:53 am
    I was 19 when I first felt the lump on my left breast.  I was young then.  I didn't worry about hardly anything, and I didn't worry about the lump.  I asked my doctor about it during a check up.  He felt it and told me it was "probably fine."  Life went on.  The lump remained. After I had my first son, ten years later, I remember consciously feeling for the lump and realizing it was gone.  I wasn't quite sure when it had disappeared but I remember feeling relief.  Being 29, I wasn't as carefree as I had been in my late teens.  I still felt somewhat…
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    NB Law

  • Reporters Test The Google Driverless Car

    Larry Nagelberg
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:13 am
    Human error has been associated with most of the auto accidents that we are used to being exposed to daily. When it comes to car accidents that could have been avoided if the driver had paid attention or simply made sure that distractions are not exposing them to risks. According to experts who have been huge proponents of the driverless car technology, the use of the self-driving technology could eliminate the human error element from driving, making roads safer for […]Related Posts:Driverless Car Technology Is Here, Are We Ready?Inattentions Cause Motorists To Drive Poorly, Test…
  • I-680 Car Crash Claims Lives, CHP Still Investigating

    Larry Nagelberg
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:49 pm
    Auto accidents happen often because drivers were either too distracted or too slow to respond to a possibly dangerous situation. Unfortunately, accidents that are linked to drivers who simply missed the opportunity to avoid accidents are also linked to drivers who were distracted. Personal injury accidents can happen due to a series of different factors and drivers of all age groups should be aware of the risks in order to learn just how to avoid major collisions that could eventually […]Related Posts:Rollover Crash On I-5 Claims Two LivesFive-Vehicle Crash Claims Two LivesHighway 101…
  • At Least One Recall Issued Recently by GM Affects Thousands of Vehicles

    Larry Nagelberg
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:46 pm
    According to recent reports published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors issued a recall for all units of the 2013 Chevy Malibu and all units of the 2011 through 2013 Buick Regal vehicles over an issue linked to the vehicles’ front turn signals. This recall affected over 120,000 thousand of vehicles, reports have indicated. Since the bulbs inside the signals may burn out unexpectedly without the vehicle warning the driver, others may be less inclined to be […]Related Posts:Recent Recall Affects Multiple Aston Martin VehiclesRecall Issued For…
  • FDA And CPSC Announce Recalls, Lean Cuisine Products Affected

    Larry Nagelberg
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:37 pm
    Two recalls have been issued recently, one by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the other by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the reports, the first recall was not linked to any incidents, however, the risk associated with fire-related issues is enough for consumers to consider acting promptly. The StoveTop FireStop Microhood fire suppressors are being recalled over a possible risk associated with the suppressors falling from their units, which could increase the risk of a […]Related Posts:Nestlé Recalls Lean Cuisine Item, Glass Fragments Found…
  • CHP To Crack Down On Distracted Drivers Near Schools

    Larry Nagelberg
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:31 pm
    According to a series of news reports, California Highway Patrol has indicated that it will be working to crack down on distracted drivers in certain regions in California during the period between August 25 and August 29. The crack down is part of an effort that will help near schools to keep in mind what is truly important for the motorist while he or she is operating a vehicle: focusing on the road ahead. The effort will focus on areas […]Related Posts:CA Law Enforcement Agencies To Crack Down On Distracted…Police To Crack Down On Texting, Distracted DriversWV Police Officers…
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    Profit and Laws

  • 3 Things Labor Needs to Do in Order to Thrive

    29 Aug 2014 | 10:47 am
    Look, we need labor unions. You and I do better in every way when unions are strong. Take a look at this chart. When union membership goes down, your income shrinks. Why? Because unions push back. Unions force managers to train more, to pay more and to think more about your role in your company. […]
  • The History of Labor Day

    Phil Fahim
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:40 am
    Before Peter McGuire came up with the idea for Labor Day most people worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week. Peter McGuire figured out that if you gave a day to celebrate the people who do the hard work, the country would better appreciate their efforts and the workers would gain respect. Peter […]
  • Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?

    Phil Fahim
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:05 am
    Last Wednesday, Coco covered the topic of racism in America on her show, Coco Soodek Live. In this episode, entitled, “Is it us, or is it them?” We’re all Just a Little Bit Racist, she discusses the conscious and unconscious biases that each of us possess towards the “other.” She talked about some of her […]
  • A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality

    Phil Fahim
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    If you’re looking for a great primer on the issue of net neutrality and how it might affect you, be sure to check out SingleHop’s great post on the subject: “A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality”. Also, be sure to check out Coco Soodek’s awesome podcast, “The No Fat Chicks Rule (a.k.a. Net Neutrality)”, where […]
  • The Most Profitable Types of Small Businesses

    20 Aug 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Summer’s drawing to an end. Maybe you’re starting to think about what’s next. Here is one study showing the 15 most profitable small businesses. I’m suspicious that the first ranked accountants have managed to cook the books – of course, how would we know. Read more. Story via
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    Virginia Business Lawyers

  • Rogue CFO IV – The Company Response

    David Carroll
    5 Aug 2014 | 1:07 pm
    In this series we have considered the problem of a rogue CFO, or other executive officer, who defrauds or steals from the company. The focus has been on measures that are designed to prevent the high-level fraud from occurring in the first place. But what actions should the company take when it suspects that an insider is defrauding the business? 1. Investigate The company first needs to assemble promptly the evidence regarding the suspected fraud. During the investigation the company must be careful not to defame the executive or let him or her know they are under suspicion. Keep all…
  • Virginia Business Law: Donald Sterling and the Law on Audio Recordings

    Stefan Calos
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:41 am
    This isn’t really about Donald Sterling, the now-infamous owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s about what made him a household name.  Audio recordings have been causing businessmen and politicians problems for years. What are the rules?  Some states require that everyone involved in a conversation know it is being recorded. In Virginia, however, only one party to a conversation needs to know (see Virginia Code § 19.2-62.B.2). So if you and I have a conversation, either of us can record it without telling the other.  But nobody else can record it without telling one of us.
  • New Rules For Casual Residential Real Estate Investors

    Brian Pitney
    10 Jul 2014 | 7:32 am
    During the Great Recession, many savvy investors and entrepreneurs took advantage of plummeting home prices and low interest rates by buying up and leasing residential real estate.  Owners did not need to worry about complying with the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) if they rented ten or fewer single family residences.  The law changed on July 1, 2014, however, and now applies to most landlords owning and renting three or more such units. A few of the restrictions and obligations that apply to these landlords under the VRLTA (now also known as the Virginia Rental…
  • Rogue CFO III – Background Checks

    David Carroll
    28 May 2014 | 10:48 am
    Blog Series: Rogue CFO – I – Introduction Rogue CFO – II –Internal Accounting Controls and Supervision Perform Background Checks. It seems obvious. Why would a company not want as much information about a candidate for its CFO position that it can legally obtain? But this oversight is common. Too many smaller companies hire CFOs and other senior people without a background check, which is beyond irresponsible. In one example, a CFO was discovered tampering with the company’s accounts. A simple Google search would have revealed that not only had this CFO been sued by his…
  • What to Consider Before Buying a Business

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    12 May 2014 | 9:41 am
    Buying an existing business can be exhilarating and frightening all at once.  It is important to find out as much about the business, its operations and finances as possible before purchase.  Typical asset purchase agreements give a set period of time for investigation (often called due diligence). Here are some matters to investigate: Why is the Seller selling? What are the greatest challenges in the business during the past few years? Get three years of financial information including company tax returns if possible. Does the business have structured systems and processes that would…
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    The Complex Litigator

  • Luckey v. Superior Court says no to temporary judges for class settlement approval

    H. Scott Leviant
    12 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    In Luckey v. Superior Court (July 22, 2014), the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Three), the Court considered a writ following the denial of a stipulation to utilize a temporary judge to handle a class settlement approval.  Plaintiff filed a putative class action alleging violation of FACTA arising from printing “more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date” on an electronically printed receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the transaction. (15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g).) The operative complaint alleged causes of action for…
  • Misclassifcation of independent contractors gets a boost in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers

    H. Scott Leviant
    12 Aug 2014 | 9:54 pm
    As I fill the backlog, we have yet another big decision from the California Supreme Court. In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, 59 Cal. 4th 522 (June 30, 2014), the Supreme Court examined how the question of certification should be answered in the context of misclassification of independent contractors.  Newspaper carriers, classified as independent contractors, filed suit to obtain remedies available to employees under California’s wage & hour laws.  Plaintiffs moved for class certification.  The trial court concluded the case could not proceed as a class action,…
  • Analysis of Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC

    H. Scott Leviant
    12 Aug 2014 | 9:42 pm
    Next up on the update list is Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC (June 23, 2014). In Iskanian, a limousine driver filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and similarly situated employees for his employer’s alleged failure to compensate its employees for, among other things, overtime and meal and rest periods.  Plaintiff also asserted a PAGA claim. The employee had entered into an arbitration agreement that waived the right to class proceedings. The defendant moved to compel arbitration. After the court granted the motion, Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th…
  • Analysis of Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association

    H. Scott Leviant
    12 Aug 2014 | 9:22 pm
    It is a bit belated, but I'm getting some write-ups of the big cases up for your reading pleasure (or agony).  First up is Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association (May 29, 2014).  Loan officers for U.S. Bank National Association (USB) sued for unpaid overtime, claiming they had been misclassified as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption.  Plaintiffs moved to certify the case as a class action.  Plaintiffs provided declarations from 34 current and former putative class members, all stating that they worked overtime hours and spent less than half of their…
  • BREAKING NEWS: Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC eulogizes Gentry and buttresses PAGA

    H. Scott Leviant
    23 Jun 2014 | 11:01 am
    The California Supreme Court has just issued its opinion in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (June 23, 2014). In a nutshell, here's the scorecard:The question is whether a state's refusal to enforce such a waiver on grounds of public policy or unconscionability is preempted by the FAA. We conclude that it is and that our holding to the contrary in Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443 (Gentry) has been abrogated by recent United States Supreme Court precedent. [W]e conclude that an arbitration agreement requiring an employee as a condition of employment to give up…
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    Law Firm Newswire » Legal News

  • Doctors Prescribing More New Oral Anticoagulants Despite Known Risks, Rottenstein Law Group LLP Notes With Concern

    Rochelle Rottenstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
    Rottenstein Law Group LLP Rockville Centre, NY (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – A new study shows that physicians are prescribing Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Apixaban in higher numbers than ever, notwithstanding research linking these blood-thinning drugs to potentially fatal adverse side effects. According to an analysis published in the American Journal of Medicine, physicians have been prescribing newer anticoagulants such as Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Apixaban to treat patients with atrial fibrillation, instead of older drugs such as the popular warfarin. An editorial that accompanies the…
  • California Earns Top Marks for Long-Term Care Services

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – A major report from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) has named California a strong performer in long-term care systems for older adults and the disabled. The report, called a “scorecard,” evaluated states on 26 different criteria and then aggregates the findings into an overall ranking. California finished ninth overall and drew top scores in several areas. The state earned a first-place rating on the availability of Medicaid benefits (Medi-Cal) to cover the costs of long-term care. The report also gave California a…
  • Chicago Attorney Urges Workers to Quit With Grace

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – In an at-will employment arrangement, an employer may terminate a worker any time for a wide number of reasons. An employee may also quit any time for any reason, but he or she should do so with respect and courtesy if possible. “If you are thinking about quitting your job, make certain you know if you live in an at-will employment state, such as Illinois,” suggested Chicago employment attorney Timothy Coffey. “In virtually all states (with the exception of Montana), workers are presumed to be at-will employees unless the…
  • Children of Divorce May Face Higher Risk of Obesity

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Irvine Family Law Firm, The Maggio Law Firm Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – According to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, children with divorced parents are more likely to be obese. Researchers studied more than 3,000 third-graders, comparing children of divorced parents to children of married parents and children of parents who never married. The children with divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be obese. The research does not conclusively identify why children of divorce have the highest rate of obesity. But researchers speculate…
  • Medical Misdiagnoses Outpace Surgical, Medication Errors for Deaths from Medical Malpractice

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Southfield, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 28, 2014 – Medical malpractice affects millions of Americans each year. Misdiagnosis is a subtle form of malpractice that, surprisingly, dominates the cases seen in U.S. courts. “The vast majority of Americans, where they hear the term medical malpractice, assume it refers to surgical errors and medication mixups. In reality, misdiagnoses are the leading cause. They have cost over $39 billion in medical negligence payouts over the past quarter of a century,” said Daren Monroe of Litigation Funding Corporation in Michigan. Medical…
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  • How is Dumping Ice Water on Your Head Supposed to Cure ALS?

    13 Aug 2014 | 1:09 pm
                              This article can also be viewed at our new site Like most days, I spent my morning perusing cat videos on Facebook when I noticed someone tagged me in a homemade video.  I soon learned I was being challenged to dump a bucket of freezing ice water over my head.  I had twenty four hours to comply.  Was this the wild west?  Like Wyatt Earp, I felt like I was being called out of an old western saloon to face a noon time gun slinging challenge on a dusty road.  …
  • Metadata and the Legal Profession. How Ignorance Can Lead to Disaster

    11 Aug 2014 | 3:57 pm
    This article can also be viewed at our updated site Your office always engages in the best practices when it comes to your clients' confidentiality, this goes without saying. You've got the latest anti-virus software installed, a comprehensive firewall and fully secured connections for the web? Of course you have. Standard. Yet here you are suddenly finding yourself and your firm under the microscope on matters of confidentiality and possibly facing misconduct charges simply because one of your administrative staffers emailed a document to a third party that contained…
  • Mr. Baron Goes to Washington

    9 Feb 2014 | 9:13 pm
     This past Friday, I was invited to take part in a day of meetings at the White House with various community leaders from across the United States.  As an American citizen, the honor was overwhelming. As a kid, I had visited the White House with my family as a tourist. Never did I imagine I would be invited there "on business." Of course, my family had forged long ties to this nation.  The Barons had come to these shores around the time of the British invasion of New York. It was about time we got invited to the White House. Of course when I mention the British invasion, I…
  • Rekindling the Romance With Your Smart Phone

    1 Feb 2014 | 3:13 pm
    Getting the Most Out of Your Smart Phone for Your Law Practice I recently saw a trailer for the movie "Her". As far as I can tell, actor Joaquin Phonenix plays the part of a lonely mustached man who falls in love with his smart phone's Siri like operating system.  I scoffed at the notion.  First, if you can pull of a Tom Selleck mustache, getting the ladies is not a problem.  Second, I hated my cell phone.  I would never consider dating it. There is a reason why they are called "cell" phones. Sometimes they make you feel like you're locked up in one. Whether iron bars or…
  • Downton Abbey Taught Me to Be a Better Lawyer

    31 Jan 2014 | 6:00 am
    If you asked me what shows I enjoy watching,  I would probably tell you I only watch ESPN and the news. Truth be told, my wife and I have been smitten with the trials and tribulations of the inhabitants of Downton Abbey. The well written period drama is set in the country estate of the fictional Crawley family during Britain's post-Edwardian era. As a fan of history, I enjoy seeing how the day's events and technological advancements played into the daily lives of people. From Spanish influenza and the sinking of the Titanic to World War and the Teapot scandal, viewers watch as history…
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    My Distribution Law

  • 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…
  • Northern District of California Addresses Functional Discounts, Price Discrimination Claims

    Howard Ullman
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Chrysler 1959 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In Mathew Enterprise, Inc. v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95522 (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2014) (Freeman, J.), the court dismissed certain Robinson-Patman Act price discrimination claims and allowed others to proceed, and in so doing addressed the contours of the functional availability defense. The plaintiff is a car dealership. It alleged that Chrysler grants “volume growth” incentives which function as a subsidy and amount to roughly $700 per vehicle sold by a qualifying dealer. The plaintiff alleged that Chrysler allowed competing…
  • A World Without Patents?

    Howard Ullman
    10 Jul 2014 | 2:44 pm
    (Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy) Planet Money’s recent podcast interviews two economists who advocate for the ultimate patent law reform: the abolition of patents. They argue that patents inhibit innovation.  For example, the Wright Brothers supposedly secured a number of patents on their early airplane design — which didn’t work very well and which stalled (pun intended) airframe development in the U.S. for a number of years.  The industry migrated to France to avoid the U.S. patents. What about pharma, you might ask (as did I?)  Are pharma companies really going to…
  • Happy Fourth of July

    Howard Ullman
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) For your weekend reading, here’s an interesting article by Joseph Stiglitz in the New York Times: “Inequality is Not Inevitable.”
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    Attorney at Work

  • How to Get the Fee You Deserve

    Bob Denney
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    It happens to every lawyer — although hopefully not too often. You propose or quote a fee to a client or prospective client and are greeted with a response such as “I can’t afford it” or “How can you have the nerve to charge that?” When that happens, don’t get angry, or defensive, or cry. It’s all part of a game. Here is how you play it. There are basically four types of fees: fixed, hourly, contingency or “piece of the deal.” The latter two can have various arrangements, which may involve complex negotiations before the fee is established. Most fee challenges occur with…
  • How to Make Small Talk

    Mary Ellen Sullivan
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Some people are born schmoozers and like nothing more than to meet and mingle at professional events. For others, this is about as painful as watching a “Kardashians” marathon at gunpoint. Top 10 Icebreakers If you fall into the latter category — and most of us do to some extent — it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Debra Fine, author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk,” offers her top 10 icebreakers. She suggests using them at those ubiquitous business/social occasions like fundraisers, association cocktail parties, conferences and dinners where you need to…
  • How to Calm an Angry Client

    Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    As much as we like to believe that, if we do everything well, our client will always love us, it’s just not true. You know the scenario. It’s the end of the day. The phone rings and you pick it up knowing you really shouldn’t. You should just let it go to voicemail, pack up your laptop and go home. “What the bleep is this?” are the first words you hear. It’s your client. The one for whom you’ve worked like a dog, around the clock, for the past two weeks. It seems this month’s bill has arrived and he’s in flames! Now what? First, just breathe. Then try not to: Argue…
  • How to Market Your Services

    Sally J. Schmidt
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    You are a member of an organization that holds quarterly dinner meetings with a speaker. You look at your calendar and realize the next meeting is Wednesday night — drat! But, dutifully, you show up just in time to sit down for the meal, chitchat briefly with the people to your right and left before the speaker starts his address, and then sneak out during the applause. If you are like most lawyers, you will give yourself credit for going. In my book, however, you get a failing grade. I see it all the time: Lawyers going through the motions in their marketing and business development…
  • How to Get New Clients

    The Editors
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Everyone knows business development should be part of every day’s to-do list. Still, it’s the rare lawyer who hasn’t experienced the sudden sinking feeling that comes when you’ve just finished your last client work and don’t know where the next is coming from. When it happens to you, don’t panic. While renewing your commitment to all the things you should have been doing all along, you can also take immediate action. We asked some of our favorite business development and marketing experts to give you advice on the best way to get paying client work right NOW. Here’s what…
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    Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

  • 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…
  • Supreme Court or Bust: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, July 25, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:25 am
    Two federal appeals courts this week issued conflicting opinions on Obamacare.King v. Burwell, US 4th Cir. (7/22/14) Health Law, Tax LawPlaintiffs filed suit challenging the validity of an IRS final rule implementing the premium tax credit provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 26 U.S.C. 36B. The final rule interprets the Act as authorizing the IRS to grant tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance on both state-run insurance “Exchanges” and federally-facilitated “Exchanges” created and operated by HHS. The court found that…
  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, July 18, 2014 – As California Goes . . .

    Cicely Wilson
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:24 pm
    This week, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a ruling that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional.  Read Courtney Minick’s analysis of the opinion on Justia’s Verdict: Federal Judge Strikes Down California Death Penalty: What This Could Mean for California.Texas Div., Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. v. Vandergriff, et al., US 5th Cir. (7/14/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional LawPlaintiff filed suit alleging that the Board violated its First Amendment right to free speech when it denied plaintiff’s application for a…
  • Google and the Right to Be Forgotten

    Ken Chan
    7 Jul 2014 | 11:42 am
    Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling on the right of natural persons to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. In the case, Mr. Costeja González, a Spanish national, had lodged a complaint with the Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), the Spanish Data Protection Agency, concerning a then 12-year-old announcement in La Vanguardia Ediciones SL, a Spanish newspaper, that mentioned a real-estate auction connected with attachment proceedings for the recovery of Mr. González’s social security debts. Mr. González…
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    Hunt & Associates, PC

  • 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…
  • Introducing Nathan Piers-VanderPloeg; Our New Associate Attorney

    Heather Carr
    8 Jul 2014 | 8:49 am
    Hunt & Associates, PC is pleased to announce that Nathan Piers-VanderPloeg has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney Nathan is a native Oregonian. He earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2011, and graduated from Linfield College with a BA in Political Science in 2005. Nathan was admitted to the Oregon Bar in 2011. Since then he has successfully handled a broad range of legal matters encompassing a broad range of legal issues including questions of employment and labor law, personal injury and insurance, construction defects, criminal law, contracts and…
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    Rozek Law

  • Wear Proper Helmets To Lower Risk Brain Injury

    Randy Rozek
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:49 am
    Visit us at In the United States, 1.4 million Americans sustain a brain injury each year. An estimated 5,700 people in Wisconsin suffer brain injuries annually. That number, however, is likely to be a lower estimation than the actual statistic because many brain injuries occur without going reported. Helmets colliding in football may not seem like an important matter, but how resistant is the human skull to fracture? Additionally, can the contents of the skull handle this? When brain matter was tested in a laboratory setting, it turns out that brain matter is not as stiff as…
  • Research Reveals How Woodpeckers Avoid Brain Damage

    Randy Rozek
    24 Aug 2014 | 1:19 pm
    Visit us at It sounds like a jackhammer in overdrive—the question is, how does a woodpecker prevent brain injury when it pecks at speeds of up to 1,200 pecks per minute? Chinese scientists are now saying that the woodpecker’s brain has the ability to withstand a g-force of up to 1,200 G’s. Scientists claim this research could be utilized to guide the creation of better anti-shock devices to protect humans. In the tests conducted, computer models showed that the woodpecker avoided brain damage partially because its body supported it as it pecked, and the woodpecker…
  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Patients’ Cognition and Brain Matter

    Randy Rozek
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:23 am
    Visit us at (Professor Blamire/Newcastle University, UK) Neurology recently published a study that found mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) could impact the brain matter and cognition of patients’. The study focused on the less traumatic end of TBI because patients at this end of the spectrum are the most common. About 85 percent of patients have less severe forms of brain injury. What Happens in a Healthy Brain? With a brain working efficiently, the brain’s white section, an area that has an interconnection of wiring for different parts of the brain, is orderly and…
  • Another Lawsuit Against The NHL

    Randy Rozek
    1 Aug 2014 | 11:14 am
    Visit us at The National Hockey League has been hit, again, with a class-action lawsuit tied to concussions. Filed in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, the only plaintiff is the former NHL defenseman John Rohloff. The suit is open to former NHLers and their families. The New York Times says, “The suit says that the league concealed the dangers of concussion and did not pass rules designed to reduce the risk of brain injury until recent seasons. N.H.L. representatives did not respond to a request for comment late Tuesday afternoon. After a similar suit was filed in April,…
  • Support For Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts

    Randy Rozek
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:28 am
    Visit us at Golfers in Massachusetts played to support the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts. On Monday, June 23rd, Laura Herman, the Golf Classic chairman, welcomed the groups of golfers. Herman has been involved with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) The event raised $25,000, which goes directly to BIA-MA for support, prevention, education and advocacy. The players enjoyed a day of challenge on the parkland-style course. After the game was finished, everyone was invited for dinner and a silent auction as well as a live auction to benefit the cause.
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  • College Bound? Get Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy for your student!

    Linda Grear
    14 Aug 2014 | 7:33 am
    If you have children getting ready for college, you should consider having them prepare Durable General Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy documents. From a practical perspective, you may be paying your child’s tuition and housing expenses, as well as covering him/her as a dependent on your health insurance; however, in the eyes of […]
  • 2014 Super Lawyers Announced

    Hogan Willig
    11 Aug 2014 | 6:09 am
    HoganWillig is please to announce that the attorneys Corey J. Hogan, Diane R. Tiveron, Steven M. Cohen, Nelson F. Zakia, Thomas R. Cassano, J. Michael Kelleher, Kenneth A. Olena, Steven G. Wiseman, Elizabeth M. DiPirro and Kevin S. Mahoney have been selected to the 2014 New York State Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of […]
  • Smart Home may not be such a smart choice

    Krystal Chapin
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    In an era where getting the latest and greatest technology is of utmost importance, we must be conscientious to step back and analyze the implications of living life in such a way. Technology can and has undoubtedly allowed our world to make major advances in almost every field of study. Nevertheless, our technology-driven world can […]
  • Refinancing: A Smart Move

    Krystal Chapin
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Should I refinance my mortgage? This is a question many people ask. Luckily, there are a number of reasons why refinancing may be a smart financial move. Refinancing a mortgage means paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new one. The most common reason a person may look to refinance is to […]
  • New Legislation Protects Unpaid Interns in New York State from Discrimination

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    4 Aug 2014 | 7:47 am
    Last week, New York State became the fourth jurisdiction to outlaw discriminatory employment practices against internship applicants and unpaid interns.  By amending New York Human Rights Law, the Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, prevents employers from harassing, discriminating, and retaliating against interns, even if their positions are unpaid. The new legislation is […]
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    bLAWgical Thinking


    28 Aug 2014 | 11:21 am
    GUEST BLOG By Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law On Campus Interview (“OCI”) week is unlike anything I have ever done. It starts with a long bidding process, where you pick which firms you want to apply to based on where you want […]
  • Waiting For Your Bar Exam Results

    12 Aug 2014 | 11:30 am
    By Mike Sims, BARBRI President   With the bar exam behind us, barpreppers across the country are discovering that while it was unpleasant to study for the bar, and exhausting to take the bar, now the truly difficult part has begun – waiting for results […]
  • Making Bar Study Fun: Professor Roger Schechter Style

    5 Aug 2014 | 11:53 am
    What do you get when you mix comedy with bar review? Professor Roger Schechter. Co-Founder/CEO and Above The Law Guest Conversationalist, Zach Abramowitz, strikes up a lively conversation (that includes some great bar exam tips) with Professor Schechter.
  • #barpreplife: Let the #barexam begin

    28 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student I’m headed to my hotel this afternoon to get settled in. I’ve found a gym nearby so I can afford myself some stress relief if I have time. Mom set me […]
  • #barpreplife: BEWARE — Bar Prepper

    15 Jul 2014 | 11:10 am
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student 2 Weeks Left The countdown is no longer a friendly thing. To be honest, I’m not sure if it ever was. Today marks 15 days until the bar exam. The anxiety […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • How to Get the Fee You Deserve

    Bob Denney
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    It happens to every lawyer — although hopefully not too often. You propose or quote a fee to a client or prospective client and are greeted with a response such as “I can’t afford it” or “How can you have the nerve to charge that?” When that happens, don’t get angry, or defensive, or cry. It’s all part of a game. Here is how you play it. There are basically four types of fees: fixed, hourly, contingency or “piece of the deal.” The latter two can have various arrangements, which may involve complex negotiations before the fee is established. Most fee challenges occur with…
  • How to Make Small Talk

    Mary Ellen Sullivan
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Some people are born schmoozers and like nothing more than to meet and mingle at professional events. For others, this is about as painful as watching a “Kardashians” marathon at gunpoint. Top 10 Icebreakers If you fall into the latter category — and most of us do to some extent — it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Debra Fine, author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk,” offers her top 10 icebreakers. She suggests using them at those ubiquitous business/social occasions like fundraisers, association cocktail parties, conferences and dinners where you need to…
  • How to Calm an Angry Client

    Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    As much as we like to believe that, if we do everything well, our client will always love us, it’s just not true. You know the scenario. It’s the end of the day. The phone rings and you pick it up knowing you really shouldn’t. You should just let it go to voicemail, pack up your laptop and go home. “What the bleep is this?” are the first words you hear. It’s your client. The one for whom you’ve worked like a dog, around the clock, for the past two weeks. It seems this month’s bill has arrived and he’s in flames! Now what? First, just breathe. Then try not to: Argue…
  • How to Market Your Services

    Sally J. Schmidt
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    You are a member of an organization that holds quarterly dinner meetings with a speaker. You look at your calendar and realize the next meeting is Wednesday night — drat! But, dutifully, you show up just in time to sit down for the meal, chitchat briefly with the people to your right and left before the speaker starts his address, and then sneak out during the applause. If you are like most lawyers, you will give yourself credit for going. In my book, however, you get a failing grade. I see it all the time: Lawyers going through the motions in their marketing and business development…
  • How to Get New Clients

    The Editors
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Everyone knows business development should be part of every day’s to-do list. Still, it’s the rare lawyer who hasn’t experienced the sudden sinking feeling that comes when you’ve just finished your last client work and don’t know where the next is coming from. When it happens to you, don’t panic. While renewing your commitment to all the things you should have been doing all along, you can also take immediate action. We asked some of our favorite business development and marketing experts to give you advice on the best way to get paying client work right NOW. Here’s what…
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    Pretrial, Trial, Appellate & Evidence Blog


    Ronald H. Clark
    7 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    Or is it: “2 HEK WIT SPILL CHICK”CANDIDATE FOR A PULLET SURPRISEI have a spelling checker. It came with my PC.It plane lee marks four my revueMiss steaks aye can knot sea.Eye ran this poem threw it,Your sure reel glad two no.Its vary polished inn it's weigh.My checker tolled me sew.A checker is a bless sing,It freeze yew lodes of thyme.It helps me right awl stiles two reed,And aides me when aye rime.Each frays come posed up on my screenEye trussed too bee a joule.The checker pours o'er every wordTo cheque sum spelling rule.Bee fore a veiling checkersHour spelling mite decline,And if we're…

    Ronald H. Clark
    1 May 2014 | 5:18 pm
    Coming soon - June 2, 2014, Seattle University Law School and the American College of Trial Lawyers proudly begin the inaugural Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute (ATAI). This CLE program offers winning trial advocacy strategies and skills from preparation through closing argument. The Institute is designed to be the most comprehensive trial advocacy training program in Washington. 31.5 CLE credits pendingThe course will be taught by an outstanding faculty of over 20 accomplished trial lawyers, judges and communication specialists, including: Amy Forbis (Pres. American Board of Trial…

    Ronald H. Clark
    10 Apr 2014 | 10:21 am
    If you are unprepared to argue a motion, it shows. This was the take away that a significant number of my Seattle University law students noted in their reports on watching motions arguments in both state and federal court. I require that my Comprehensive Pretrial students attend a motion hearing and then write a report about what they observed. While they are free to write about whatever takes their fancy, this semester’s predominant theme was the importance of being prepared. Motion preparation is discussed at length in Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysisand Strategy, 4th…

    Ronald H. Clark
    7 Apr 2014 | 4:08 pm
    When teaching pretrial or trial advocacy, it is important to get the law students out of the classroom to experience the real life of a trial lawyer. For my Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy course, the students have a minimum of three experiences outside the classroom. First, we go to the scene – the Garage tavern (the class picture taken during the recent visit) where the shooting took place, which led to both criminal murder charges and the complaint for wrongful death. We use the cases in the Pretrial Advocacy book throughout the course.The go-to-the-scene outing focuses on two teaching…

    Ronald H. Clark
    24 Mar 2014 | 9:54 am
    Advancing JusticeFor the past week, I have been in Pristina, Kosovo teaching trial advocacy. The U.S. Department of Justice offered this advocacy training as part of Kosovo’s effort to implement the rule of law. Kosovo is the world’s newest nation, having declared its independence in 2008. The population of Kosovo is approximately 1.8 million. The people of Kosovo have great affection for Americans, and they were unfailingly gracious to us.  The U.S. involvement in bringing an end to the Kosovo war is a reason for this attitude, and their appreciation is evident with a statue of…
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • Holiday planning for lawyers

    David M. Ward
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:17 am
    The holidays will soon be upon us. What’s your plan? What will you do to market your services and set things up for a good start to the new year? What’s that? You don’t have a plan? Thank you for being honest. Grab a piece of paper and write at the top, “My plan for the holidays and beyond”. First item on the list: “Come up with some ideas”. Now you have a plan! Not a great plan but way better than no plan. At least you know what you need to do. Time to put on your thinking cap and visit Uncle Google or Aunt Bing. Do a search for ideas related to the…
  • The best advice I can give you about building your law practice

    David M. Ward
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:59 am
    Care to guess which of my emails and posts get the most passionate feedback? It’s not posts about how to do things. It’s not about marketing, productivity, or anything else substantive. The posts that bring the most passionate, emotional feedback are, by far, those that are inspirational. It’s when I talk about “big picture” themes that apply to all of us human folk. Or when I share something personal about how I’ve changed. The posts that share ideas that make people feel good about themselves and the future. There’s a lot of bad things happening in…
  • How to get clients to like you

    David M. Ward
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:27 pm
    I went to a doctor once who was highly recommended. One of the best in the area, I was told. When I got to his office and went up to the desk, I was handed a clipboard and asked for my insurance card. No greeting. No smile. No eye contact. I said something to her. Probably something like, “Would it hurt to say good morning?” Because that’s how I roll. When I saw the doctor, he lectured me about not being abusive to his staff. Guess what? I didn’t stay with that doctor. It didn’t matter how good he was at his job, I didn’t like him. So there. The question…
  • The best way to end an email

    David M. Ward
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:01 am
    What’s the best way to end an email? The same thing you do at the end of any closing argument, presentation, meeting, pleading, report, blog post, or other persuasive communication. Tell the reader what to do. Tell them to buy. Sign up. Click here. Remember these three things. Go here. Do this. When you tell people what to do, more people do it. Can’t they decide for themselves? Sure. And they will. You’re not forcing them to do anything, you’re just pointing the way. Instead of leaving things up in the air and asking the reader to figure out what you want,…
  • Removing the obstacles to success

    David M. Ward
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:47 am
    Instant manifestation. You think it and it appears. You write it down and it becomes reality. Sound good? Actually, it would be a nightmare. Your life would be a jumble of confusing and conflicting thoughts and you would be continually fixing mistakes and apologizing for transgressions. Thankfully, there is a buffer of time between first thought and manifestation that protects us and keeps us sane. We want something, we think about how to get it, and then we do the work. It takes time and reason and effort to get from first thought to fruition. And it’s a messy process. There are lots…
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    Valensi Rose Law

  • 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…
  • Unusual Facts Lead to Unprecedented Victory for Lender

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:01 am
    By Gary TorrellI’d like to discuss a recent case where unusual facts and aggressive actions, led to an almost unheard-of victory for one of our lender clients.Many homeowners miss a monthly mortgage payment or two, then make it up. But when three to five consecutive payments are missed, the lender often attempts to collect or reach a loan modification with the borrower and, if that process is unsuccessful, the lender begins to foreclose.California and federal laws (including bankruptcy) protect homeowners and can delay a foreclosure for six months to over a year. During this time the…
  • IRS Offers Clean Slate for Undeclared Foreign Accounts

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    14 Jul 2014 | 9:49 am
    By Mayer NazarianIf the tax status of your undeclared overseas accounts is keeping you up at night, effective July 1st Uncle Sam may have just issued you a “Get Out of Jail Free Card.” The IRS has announced a big change to their Offshore Voluntary DisclosureProgram (OVDP), making it easier than ever for those with undeclared offshore accounts to reach tax compliance.Over the past seven to eight years, the IRS has stepped up their enforcement of auditing individuals with over $10,000 in accounts overseas. Under previous programs, even voluntarily coming forward and declaring the overseas…
  • Demanding Transparency from your Broker

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    1 Jul 2014 | 1:11 pm
    By Gary TorrellWhen traversing the complicated transition into home ownership, buyers often view their real estate broker as a trustworthy, impartial advocate. While brokers offer helpful advice throughout the process, it’s important to recognize the economics of the situation: brokers are only paid when they make a sale, and thus are biased towards closing the deal. And when one broker represents both buyer and seller, a buyer may need to take extra steps to ensure transparency.A recent court decision over the sale of home in Malibu dealt with the broker’s liability in reporting the…
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    Law Firm Internet Marketing Blog | Attorney Search Engine Optimization SEO | News & Tips

  • 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
  • Is Gmail Bad For The Practice Of Law?

    Dustin Ruge
    6 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    When I speak to bar associations across the nation, one of the first questions I ask the audience when it comes to client communications is if they use Gmail for your client communications. Invariably, a number of hands go up. At that point, I always ask them if they have read the Gmail’s privacy policyand if they know that Google is scanning their emails? Why Is All Of This Important For Attorneys? Attorneys, like many other people find the free Gmail email service to be effective, easy to use and highly portable (you can access and use it anywhere). The fact that over 425 million people…

    Dustin Ruge
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    There is a good deal of discussion these days about client/case conversion but what attorneys often fail to realize is something that the insurance companies learned a long time ago: most people buy from the first responder. Geico, who has literally spent billions of dollars on their brand name alone, found in their own studies that most people will only get one insurance quote and then buy from that firm. When it comes to attorneys, people’s buying habits are no different. In FindLaw’s recently released 2014 consumer legal needs survey they found that fully 72% of respondents indicated…
  • AZ Bar Association Phoenix CLE: Social Media For Attorneys (1 Credit)

    Dustin Ruge
    11 Jul 2014 | 9:19 am
    Dustin Ruge will be speaking at the AZ Bar Association (Phoenix HQ) on the importance and strategies surrounding social media for attorneys on July 11th @ 12 noon. Presentation will be live and available via webcast.For more information and registration:  AZ Bar Association CLE Programs Date & Time: Friday, July 11th at 12 noonCLE Credits: 1Location: 4201 North 24th Street, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85016Faculty: Dustin Ruge #cle  #socialmedia #lawyermarketing
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    Estate Law Canada

  • Great review of my book in the Toronto Sun.

    26 Aug 2014 | 11:31 am
    Alan Shanoff of the Toronto Sun recently reviewed my book, "How Executors Avoid Personal Liability". Check it out here if you have been wondering if this book is for you. The article didn't appear in the online version of the paper, so a link is not available. Clicking on the review below will increase its size so you don't need a magnifying glass!
  • Caring for our loved ones who cannot look after themselves: RDSPs

    22 Aug 2014 | 10:59 am
    I came across this article by Paul Fawcett that is a great primer on who can use Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) and the advantages of having one of these plans. Click here to read Paul's article. I find RDSPs to a wonderful estate planning tool, largely because they don't interfere with provincial disability benefits. RDSPs provide parents of disabled children another tool to use
  • As co-executor, am I responsible for the acts of a dishonest co-executor?

    21 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    If you think being an executor is tough, try being a co-executor with someone you don't like, or don't trust, or simply can't agree with. On top of the work and stress of the estate, you end up carrying the stress of dealing with that other person on a regular basis. What if the co-executor is dishonest or careless and ends up costing the estate money? Who is responsible for that? A reader
  • Kenny Chesney - While He Still Knows Who I Am - An Alzheimer's Tribute

    20 Aug 2014 | 9:52 am
    I don't usually post music videos, and I'm not a country music fan, but everyone should hear this song about a son whose father has Alzheimer's disease.
  • Can an executor proceed to divide household goods when one beneficiary keeps delaying?

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:05 pm
    An executor's job isn't easy at the best of times, but having a beneficiary who drags his feet doesn't help. Recently a reader wrote to me to ask about an executor's options when a beneficiary delays. Here is his note and my response: "As a Executor, what if you give one of the beneficiaries listed in the will several chances to meet and divide household goods - and they keep stalling or
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    AZ Attorney

  • Boston headstones reveal history, legal and otherwise

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:29 am
    A historic Boston cemetery contains the seeds of much of our nation’s legacy. A brief pictorial tour today, from Boston, Mass. No trip to a historic city is complete without a stop in a graveyard or two. Many of you may have dropped into the cemeteries near the city’s North End. A glance at the inscriptions yields a history lesson, and quite a few regarding prominent attorneys. Some more photos are below. Have a wonderful—and epitaph-free—weekend. Follow @azatty
  • Website of @BostonBar brings the content, the moody side of legal profession

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    At least one bar association offers a shield for a logo. This week, my family and I have the great good pleasure of being in Boston, Mass., as we deliver a child to college life. Amidst the inevitable lobster dinner and a stroll on the Freedom Trail, I decided to look into a legal aspect to Beantown. That’s a tradition I started years ago, always intrigued by the way other legal communities and associations do things. And that’s what takes me to the website of the Boston Bar Association. The “look” of the BBA has always been one of my favorites, for a few reasons, I guess. (And no,…
  • Legislators find new careers as justices of the peace

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    Cecil Ash is one of the former legislators who is now an Arizona Justice of the Peace. Do former lawmakers make good jurists? Should so many of them be justices of the peace? A recent Arizona Republic article covered the intriguing issue of ex-legislators finding a “chapter 2” in the elected position of JP. Given the notoriously low pay of state lawmakers, the job of elected JP is a well-remunerated one. No surprise: When it came time to write a headline, newspaper copyeditors simply couldn’t resist the phrase “cashing in” as a descriptor: “Ex-legislators cash in as justices of…
  • Chief Justice of @azcourts names 18 to Commission on Access to Justice

    26 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    Access to justice saw another positive step in Arizona this month, as Chef Justice Bales named the membership of the newly formed commission charged with examining the issue. The creation of the Commission and the Chief Justice’s views on it were covered by me here. You also should read the Court’s new strategic agenda here. (And the August 20 Administrative Order is here.) Here is the Court’s announcement of the new members. As mentioned before, the group will be led by its chair appellate court Judge Larry Winthrop. “Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales announces the…
  • Top civil verdicts dissected by Kelly MacHenry of @SWLawNews

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    Are you curious to hear the stories behind the top Arizona civil verdicts of the past year? At Arizona Attorney Magazine, we covered the topic in our June cover story written, as always, by attorney Kelly MacHenry. But as they say, there’s always more to the story. This Wednesday, August 27, you can hear Kelly explain what lay behind those significant jury verdicts; she’ll also cover punitive awards, defense verdicts and trends. I have seen her presentation over the years, and it offers helpful insight into what the jurors (and the lawyers) were thinking. The event will be at The…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • Could pre-nuptial agreements become mandatory?

    27 Aug 2014 | 6:34 am
    Pre-nuptial agreements (AKA “pre-nups”) have traditionally been associated with wealthy Hollywood glitterati seeking to secure their assets in case of divorce. However, in recent years, such agreements have become more popular with couples in the UK from all walks of life, who ask solicitors to help draw up a pre-nup. But how effective are they? Contrary to popular perception, pre-nuptial (and post-nuptial) agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales. Although the Supreme Court decision (in the landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino) strengthened the force of pre-nups and…
  • How the dementia ticking timebomb could affect you and your business

    Mark Williams
    21 Aug 2014 | 2:34 am
    Anyone who loves or loved a person affected by dementia will know just how cruel, indiscriminate and devastating it is. And the scale of the problem is getting significantly worse, with many commentators describing it as a ticking timebomb. National charity Dementia UK estimates that 42% of the UK population has a friend or family member with dementia, with more than 820,000 people in our country having dementia and that number expected to rise to one million-plus by 2030. Alzheimer’s Research UK says dementia now costs the UK economy £23bn per year – twice as much as…
  • How to make flexible working work for your small business

    11 Aug 2014 | 6:42 am
    Almost all employees in every business now have a right to request flexible hours. You of course have the right to decline, for one of eight allowable reasons. But there are often many business benefits to be had from flexible working. Initially we introduced flexible working to attract programmers. They are really hard to recruit and we identified it as something that would help us attract the best candidates. We thought it would appeal to their tendency to work late mornings and into the night, and after weighing up the costs, we discovered that with a simple IT system, staff could…
  • Age discrimination isn’t the key reason why record numbers of over 50s are starting their own business

    Mark Williams
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:18 am
    Providing £35,000 can be raised via creative project crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, “Britain's first national debate and exhibition to discover the value in society in which people are living and working longer” – THE AGE OF NO RETIREMENT? – will take place at The OXO Tower in London from 1-6 October 2014. According to the organisers: “We’re used to hearing about the ‘demographic time bomb’, the ‘baby boomers’ who stole our prosperity and the unsustainable cost of the ever-growing older generation. But, people are now living longer, healthier and more productively. So…
  • Claiming on your professional indemnity insurance

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:58 am
    For business that offer specialist services or advice, professional indemnity (PI) insurance is a lifesaver. It covers claims made against you by people who allege a problem in your work has cost them money. As well as compensating the unhappy individual, your PI insurance will also cover any legal fees. Sounds simple enough but to many businesses, making a professional indemnity insurance claim is a murky subject. Here’s what you need to know. Who can make a claim against you? Anyone. But it’ll mostly be your clients. This is usually because they’re genuinely unhappy with your work,…
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    Colorado Construction Litigation

  • Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell is Looking for a New Firm Administrator

    David M. McLain
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    Our current firm administrator will be leaving HHMR in early September for another opportunity and we would like to hire a new administrator soon so that we can have as much opportunity for overlap and training as possible.The responsibilities of this position have a financial emphasis.  We would prefer someone who has experience with electronic insurance billing (Allegient/LegalX, CounselLink, LSS, ACE, etc.).  The firm administrator would also handle A/R, A/P, payroll processing (Paychex), new employee training, HR issues, facilities management, and the usual day-to-day…
  • 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…
  • Builder’s Be Wary of Insurance Policies that Provide No Coverage for Building: Mt. Hawley Ins. Co v. Creek Side at Parker HOA

    Nancy B.
    30 Apr 2014 | 11:05 am
    On the heels of a recent order regarding coverage under a Comprehensive General Insurance policy issued by Mt. Hawley Insurance Company (“Mt. Hawley”), builders should be very wary of CGL policies providing no coverage for property damage.On January 8, 2013, District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted a motion for declaratory judgment filed by Mt. Hawley.  The order states that the subject insurance policies issued by Mt. Hawley to Mountain View Homes II, LLC (“MV Homes”), the builder developer of the Creek Side at Parker development (the “Project”), did not provide…
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    Accellis Technology Group

  • Review of WordRake: Editing Tool for Lawyers

    Accellis Technology Group
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:19 am
    At the ABA TECHSHOW March, we stumbled upon a document-editing software called WordRake, a powerful add-on to Microsoft Word designed specifically for lawyers. The system “rakes” your documents in search of superfluous words in order to create the most concise and clear version of legal prose possible. One simply has to highlight the intended text and click “rake” to receive near instant edits to one’s document. In theory, the idea is brilliant—you conform to the knowledge level of your client in order to ensure their complete grasp on the matter at hand. However, as with all…
  • Review of MetaJure Document Management System

    John H. Roth II
    6 Aug 2014 | 1:33 pm
    More law firms are recognizing the gains to be had by investing in a document management system. Document management enables firms to electronically store, retrieve, manage, and deliver business documents. But not all document management systems are created equally.  In this post, I’ll review one of the newer entrants to the marketplace, MetaJure, a product that takes a completely different approach to document management when compared to standard systems. The lawyers and staff in most law firms share a common problem: successfully searching for important information and sharing documents.
  • Accellis Technology Group Partners with MetaJure to Offer Law Firms Enhanced Document Management Capabilities

    Accellis Technology Group
    4 Aug 2014 | 9:56 am
    August 4, 2014 – Accellis Technology Group, a leading provider of IT consulting and managed services for the legal industry, together with MetaJure, developer of the first automated document management system (DMS) for the legal industry, today announced a working partnership aimed at helping law firms boost efficiency, improve profitability and ensure ethical compliance. “We are excited to offer this impressive new tool to our clients,” said Joseph Marquette, President and Founder of Accellis.  “With MetaJure, law firms experience an entirely new approach to managing and finding…
  • How Secure is Your IT Network? [Quiz]

    Accellis Technology Group
    24 Jul 2014 | 6:46 am
    In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigations organized meetings with top law firms in the US to highlight the computer security threats and the very real risk of cyber-crimes against their firms. While many of the top law firms have made strides to better protect their data, many small to mid-sized firms still do not fully understand the risks and implications of failing to adequately protect their rich repositories of personal information and intellectual property. This interactive quiz is designed to provide you with a high-level assessment of your firm’s security capabilities. Find out…
  • Client Spotlight: Nicola, Gudbranson and Cooper, LLC.

    Accellis Technology Group
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Gloria L. MerrittNicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC We’ve had the pleasure of working with Gloria Merritt at Nicola Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC since 2010. Nicola Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC provides legal solutions to business owners and executives, professionals, and governmental entities throughout the State of Ohio. We were delighted to chat with Gloria for today’s Client Spotlight! What is your role? Office Manager at Nicola, Gudbranson and Cooper, LLC. What is your favorite part of your job? I honestly have to say I thoroughly enjoy the variety my job affords me. On any given…
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    CFTC LAW | Forex, Futures and Derivatives Regulatory News

  • FIA Sets Forth Five Core Principles in Enhancing CFTC Market Surveillance

    Reuben Levavi
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:20 am
    FIA Sets Forth Five Core Principles in Enhancing CFTC Market SurveillanceIn a response to a request by the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee for comment on how best to develop a 21st century surveillance system, the Financial Industry Association (FIA) and the FIA Principal Traders Group submitted a comment letter this week setting forth five core principles for modernizing market surveillance. In the comment letter, Walt Lukken, president and CEO of the FIA, urged the CFTC to rely heavily on existing resources moving forward, even as it “leverage[s] the evolving and changing…
  • Massad Says CFTC Hampered by Budget Constraints

    Reuben Levavi
    6 Aug 2014 | 12:07 pm
    Massad Says CFTC Hampered by Budget ConstraintsRecently appointed CFTC Chairman Tim Massad announced last week that there were “a lot of things” he would like to do to continue the CFTC’s goal of regulating financial markets, but that he is held back by strict congressional budget constraints. Referring to the CFTC’s role in promulgating regulations under Dodd-Frank, Massad pointed out, “Our budget hasn’t really increased very much, and yet we were given vastly expanded responsibilities in terms of the markets we cover.” Pointing to a shortfall in staff necessary to carry…
  • O’Malia Urges Regulators to “Do No Harm”

    Reuben Levavi
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am
    O’Malia Urges Regulators to “Do No Harm”In a keynote address last week at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia issued a stern warning to financial regulators in the United States and abroad that market fragmentation could have grave consequences on the world financial system. Borrowing a line from the principles that guide medical ethics, O’Malia urged regulators to “Do no harm” in enacting regulations. “Where our rules have proven unworkable” he continued, “it is incumbent upon us to fix them.” Taking the medical analogy further,…
  • CFTC Delays Enforcement of Reporting for Cleared Swaps

    Reuben Levavi
    3 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    CFTC Delays Enforcement of Reporting for Cleared SwapsThe CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight this week granted no-action relief from certain requirements applicable to swap dealers and major swap participants regarding the reporting of swap transactions to swap data repositories. The no-action relief, issues June 30, 2014, extends previous no-action relief regarding the reporting of valuation data reporting of cleared swaps. Under section 2(a)(13)(G) of the Commodity Exchange Act and part 45 of the CFTC’s regulations, reporting counterparties must submit both creation data…
  • Congresswoman Urges Review of Bank Guarantees of Offshore Affiliates

    Reuben Levavi
    16 Jun 2014 | 9:57 am
    Congresswoman Urges Review of Bank Guarantees of Offshore AffiliatesMaxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, urged the CFTC this week to begin investigating the offshore actions of Wall Street banks in avoiding certain mandates set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act. In a letter to Timothy Massad, the CFTC’s recently-confirmed chairman, Representative Waters criticized the removal by banks of parent guarantees from overseas affiliates, which allows banks to trade in the interdealer market while skirting Dodd-Frank restrictions aimed at increasing price…
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    The Litigation Consulting Report

  • 7 Reasons Litigation Graphics Consultants are Essential Even When Clients Have In-House Expertise

    Ken Lopez
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting I frequently encounter trial teams that say things like: "My client has some graphics capabilities in-house." "Our client is a top expert in the field, so they want to explain the technology to the jury in their own way." "My client wants to stand up at trial and use a flip chart to explain the science." I hear these and other similar statements most frequently in patent cases and other science or technology-focused cases. On their face, there's nothing wrong with these remarks. However, sometimes the client's desire to be helpful…
  • Storytelling Proven to be Scientifically More Persuasive

    Ryan Flax
    26 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Managing Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting In my last post, I discussed how important it is for every litigator to tell a story, because jurors will always frame the facts of a trial in the form of a story. As storytelling litigators, we need to relay to our audience: (1) what happened; (2) where it happened; and (3) why we care. We must set the scene: By the time you’re done with your opening statement, your audience should know “what the weather was like” (literally or figuratively) when liability arose. Finally, it’s necessary to provide a social…
  • Storytelling at Trial - Will Your Story Be Used?

    Ryan Flax
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
      by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Managing Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting In my last post, I discussed the importance of every trial lawyer of developing a two-track procedure in every trial – one track that focuses on developing a convincing story that jurors can instinctively relate to, and one track that focuses on building a record of law and facts for a possible appeal. The first thing that every trial lawyer must do is recognize this two-track necessity and begin to immediately develop case themes around key facts. It’s essential to work as a team to identify your story and…
  • Planning For Courtroom Persuasion? Use a Two-Track Trial Strategy

    Ryan Flax
    20 Aug 2014 | 10:27 am
      by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Managing Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting How early in the litigation process should you think about how a jury will react to your case, your client, or you? When should you begin to develop your case themes and storylines? Which is more important to your chances of winning a trial – having a compelling story to tell, or bringing in solid evidence under the law? Here’s an easy one: When you get to the appeal, would you rather be writing the red or blue brief (hint: it’s the red one for respondents)? What I encourage in this article will seem…
  • 12 Ways to Eliminate "But I Need Everything On That PowerPoint Slide"

    Ken Lopez
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingHave you ever heard any of the following during a PowerPoint presentation? "It may be hard to make out the details of this slide." "I'm not sure if you can read this in the back of the room." "In case you can't read this, let me read it for you." "I know there is a lot on this slide, but bear with me." "Let me try to zoom in on this part of the slide [proceeds to fumble with remote]" Of course you have heard these apologetic statements. If you are in the business world, you have probably heard them all. However, there is never an excuse to say these…
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    Africa Music Law™

  • EXCLUSIVE: LORD KNOWS! Rapper SINZU COMING SOON ON The Africa Music Law Show with Ms. Uduak

    Uduak Oduok
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:48 pm
    Hey AML People! I am looking forward to a long over due vacation next week and I am so going to relax and have a BLAST!! But before I go, we will wrap it up, early next week, with our Podcast interviews with one of Africa’s most interesting and controversial music personalities. He goes by...
  • Audio: Mathew Knowles Says Jay-Z-Solange Fight May Have Been a Publicity Stunt “Jedi Eye Mind Trick”

    Uduak Oduok
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:48 pm
    “Mathew Knowles may have moved on from managing daughter Beyonce, however that hasn’t stopped the former industry force from sharing his pearls of wisdom. The 63-year-old, whose Music World company launched the careers of Destiny’s Child and its members solo, is currently teaching seminars in Communications and the Music Industry in Houston, Texas. Currently hard...
  • Rapper eLDee Launches WASHIST, Nigeria’s First on-Demand Laundry Subscription Services

    Uduak Oduok
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:12 pm
    Congratulations to veteran rapper elder, an investor and shareholder in, “a convenient On-Demand Laundry service specializing in pick-Up, wash, press and delivery of your clothes.” Fore more info., visit
  • VIDEO: P-Square Collaborates with T.I in ‘Ejeajo’: What Do You Think?

    Uduak Oduok
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:45 pm
    Happy Friday folks! Hope you had a good week. P-Square collaborates with T.I. in a track titled ‘Ejeajo.’Ejeajo means ‘let’s dance.’ The track is non-markable to me. But, maybe I need to listen to it a few more times. What are your thoughts? Are you feeling it?
  • Industry News: Aristokrat Records Signs DJ Consequence

    Uduak Oduok
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:59 am
    “(Monday) August 25th, 2014, Aristokrat Records announced its first signing of 2014, the popular DJ Consequence onto the Aristokrat/960MG. The label has taken to Twitter, Facebook and all media platforms to announce their latest acquisition. While details are still emerging, Aristokrat Records will be his label and RG5 Music Management; a subsidiary of REITIGH GROUP...
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • 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…
  • Motorcyclist Critically Injured in New Jersey Crash

    1 Jul 2014 | 12:42 pm
    A 73-year-old Flanders man is in critical condition after he was injured in a New Jersey motorcycle accident. According to a news report in The New Jersey Herald, the motorcycle crash occurred on Route 206 near the Harmony Lodge in Andover Township. Officials say a 38-year-old woman stopped to turn left when her 2013 Ford Escape was struck in the rear by a 1999 BMW motorcycle. The rider was ejected, critically injured, and airlifted to a nearby hospital. The driver of the SUV was treated and released. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash. Motorcycles provide little…
  • Preventing Bicycle Accident Injuries This Summer

    24 Jun 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Summertime is a great time to get around New Jersey on your bike. You can stay fit, have fun, and save money. However, bicycling in New Jersey can prove dangerous if you are not careful. Make sure you always wear a helmet and exercise safe riding habits. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when riding this summer: Increase your visibility. Under New Jersey law, all riders at night are required to have a front headlamp that emits a white light, a rear lamp with a red light, and a red rear reflector. Whether you are on your bike at night or during the day, you should wear bright clothes…
  • New Jersey’s Weirdest Historical Tourist Attractions

    28 May 2014 | 3:12 pm
    History buffs have a lot to love in New Jersey. One of the thirteen original colonies, the state’s reputation as the “Crossroads of the American Revolution” is founded on battlefields, historical houses, and other sites that preserve and recreate our nation’s past. But it’s also home to some slightly weirder historical preservations. If you’ve seen the battlefields and can’t stand the thought of one more day at a museum, try checking out these offbeat historical finds: 1. Alexander Hamilton’s Death Rock Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father whose face graces the $10 bill, is…
  • Woman Killed in Gloucester County DUI Crash

    9 May 2014 | 10:35 am
    A 74-year-old woman was killed in a Gloucester County car accident, which officials say involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a WPVI news report, the fatal DUI crash occurred at the intersection of Holly Avenue and Lambs Road in Mantua. Officials say a 38-year-old woman was intoxicated when she crashed her Mercedes Benz into the passenger side of a Buick LeSabre. The 76-year-old driver of the Buick was injured and his wife was killed. The driver of the Mercedes was jailed and charged with vehicular homicide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),…
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  • How Lawyers Use Car Accident Data to Protect Their Clients

    29 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    If you’re involved in an auto accident, you’ll have a lot of different things to keep in mind. If you or anyone else riding in your vehicle is injured, there will be worries about hospitalization, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and all the other steps you need to go through until you’re fully recovered. Injuries can cause you to miss work, which can start a chain reaction of other worries after an accident. If your car is heavily damaged or destroyed, you’ll have to make arrangements for transportation while you wait for repairs or find another vehicle. In short, automobile…
  • Motorcycle Accidents Causes and Statistics

    21 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the ‘Motorcycle Crash Causes and Outcomes: Pilot Study” is a detailed reporting on the causes and statistics regarding motorcycle crashes in the United States. The majority of accidents continue to involve automobiles, however the percentage of motorcycles involved has continued to rise since the late 90′s. Along with the rising in involvement, there has also been an increase in motorcycle fatalities. In two-vehicle accidents, one report found a staggering 85% fatality rate for motorcyclists. Among the causes for…
  • My Life Goal = To Be A Hero To My Children

    18 Aug 2014 | 10:33 pm
    Fifteen years ago, I was sitting at my computer, wedged between a steaming coffee maker to my left and my fledgling law firm’s first associate three feet to my right. Today I’m humbled to have 10,000 square feet working alongside the best lawyers and paralegals in the world. It is now time for me to give back. I’m conservative on some issues and liberal on others, but high-minded about them all. I will always be politically active, but have no desire to be a political activist; striving instead to find Veritas Aequitas. -Emery Ledger
  • Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Victorville California

    17 Aug 2014 | 8:04 pm
    Every year in the United States, thousands of injuries and fatalities occur due to pedestrian accidents. According to the California Department of Public Health, 254 pedestrian fatalities occurred in the Victorville area from 2007 through 2012. In addition, 1,645 pedestrians sustained non-fatal injuries. There are high numbers that reveal a huge safety concern for pedestrians in the Victorville area. What’s causing these high numbers of pedestrian accidents? While pedestrians may not be using crosswalks properly or just not looking out for oncoming cars, there are a number of other reasons…
  • Auto Accidents – Protecting Yourself From The Dirty Tricks Of Insurance Companies

    12 Aug 2014 | 11:22 am
    When you meet with an accident, number of people and institutions automatically get involved in this event. Starting with yourself, the opposite party that was involved in the accident, Police, witnesses, your insurance company, the healthcare facility, law firm that assists you and so on. Each of these players have their own role to play in the events that unfold as an aftermath of the accident. One of the players that is not going to be happy about the whole scenario is the insurance company. They come under great pressure whenever there is an accident because they will have to pay the…
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    Wexler Wallace Law Firm Blog

  • Following the Proof, Post-Wal-Mart

    Thomas Doyle, Of Counsel
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:16 am
              In the three years since the Supreme Court issued its decision in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), lawyers representing workers in class actions have faced a recurring theme from defendants: employers
  • Two Minutes for Discriminating: The Newest Penalty for Federally-Contracted Companies

    Kerri Feczko, Law Clerk
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:50 am
    Consumers and workers rejoice while large corporations wallow. Just two weeks ago, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that not only tackles labor law-breaking companies, but also prohibits mandatory arbitration to settle workplace discrimination and civil rights grievances. The
  • Time to Block “Glocks vs. Docs”

    Tania Yusaf, Associate
    8 Aug 2014 | 8:52 am
    At a time when gun violence is running rampant in Chicago and across the nation, I am floored by the 11th Circuit’s decision to vacate an injunction against enforcement of Florida’s Firearm Owners Privacy Act (“Act”).[1] The Act, also known
  • The Latest Fight Over the State-Action Antitrust Immunity Doctrine

    Justin Boley, Associate
    5 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) submitted its brief urging the Supreme Court to deny antitrust immunity to the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners (“Board”).  Years ago, the Board had barred non-dentists from providing teeth-whitening services, prompting
  • Victims With No Redress: The Recent Rise and Fall of Data Breach Class Actions

    Dawn Goulet, Associate
    24 Jul 2014 | 2:50 pm
    Earlier this week, the e-commerce website e-Bay was sued in federal court in Louisiana for allegedly failing to implement adequate security measures to protect the identities of its millions of customers.  e-Bay announced in May that there had been unauthorized
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  • The Good, Bad and Ugly of Online Reviews

    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…
  • The dirty “D” word for law practice owners

    15 May 2014 | 10:44 am
    Let’s have a talk today about that dirty “D” word—delegation.  I know, I hate it too.  I’m human and sometimes fall back into the thinking that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. But that mindset is TOXIC to running a successful law practice…or any business venture for that matter.  Get it out of your head right now!  I’ve learned to dismiss those thoughts like my life depends on it! The key to delegating while staying true to yourself and your values is to be honest about what you do best, what tasks ONLY you can do…and then get the rest off of…
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    Pam Woldow's At the Intersection

  • 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 forces 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…
  • Cutting Corners and the Question of Quality

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:17 pm
    As you might expect, proponents of Legal Project Management (LPM), Legal Process Improvement (LPI) and other approaches for driving greater efficiency and value into legal service delivery get a lot of blow-back.  One of the more common gripes we hear is that “LPM encourages corner-cutting.” Two Ways to Complain In fact, in this form the complaint puts rather too blunt a point on the issue. So let’s be more precise: the substance of the corner-cutting charge actually derives from two quite distinct allegations. One, driven by market competition, might be labeled the “my competitors…
  • Plugging Profitability Leaks: A Simple Tip for Great Delegation

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    22 Jun 2014 | 6:04 pm
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week award! We’ve long known that vague, incomplete or misunderstood instructions from partners to associates is a prime source of profitability leaks — revenue lost because of all the time spent on reinventing the wheel, because  of do-overs, and because of significant amounts of time written down or eventually written off.    We’ve also long known that an amazingly simple delegation improvement technique can help reduce write-downs of time by up to 18%. The Trick Anyone Can Master What is this marvelous magic trick?  Whenever…
  • How You’ll Know When Your Firm’s Been Fired

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    6 May 2014 | 5:43 pm
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week award! I sat in on a meeting recently when a major corporation’s General Counsel, CFO, and COO made the unanimous decision to fire a law firm that had been serving the company for over two decades. There had been no catastrophic we-bet-the-company-and-lost kind of screw-up, no egregious failure of expertise, no utterly dropped balls — just steadily increasing client dissatisfaction. This firm was shown the door solely on the basis of the same five-count indictment that has become increasingly common:   Too many surprises Too…
  • DISPATCH TO MANAGING PARTNERS: 5 Key Observations on Law’s Tectonic Shifts

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    3 Apr 2014 | 5:34 am
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week. BigLaw is a weekly email newsletter that provides helpful information for the world’s largest law firms and the corporate counsel who hire them. For several years now, all us bloggers and pundits have been pushing the Chicken Little button and trying to get your attention. We all have been saying pretty much the same thing: Law firm practice and economics are morphing into a “New Normal,” major paradigm shifts impend, it’s change or die time, yadayadaya. Yes, we do get pushback from law firm leaders, to the effect of, “as far…
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    Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

  • "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.     
  • Idaho State Police stop to check on temporary license gets tossed!

    Chuck Peterson
    29 Jun 2014 | 1:17 pm
     Ever wonder why every drug arrest begins with a traffic stop? Because all too often the police stop first and provide some reason later! If the drug task force decides to effect an arrest, they call the ISP or locals and have them do a traffic stop. Then, they give a "reason" for the stop - a reason that is simply a pretext. They didn't stop that car because it was "weaving," they stopped it because a drug task force officer wanted it stopped.  Occasionally the same is true of those "after 2:00 am" stops of cars leaving the downtown corridor. Bars,…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • 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…
  • Motorcyclist Critically Injured in New Jersey Crash

    1 Jul 2014 | 12:42 pm
    A 73-year-old Flanders man is in critical condition after he was injured in a New Jersey motorcycle accident. According to a news report in The New Jersey Herald, the motorcycle crash occurred on Route 206 near the Harmony Lodge in Andover Township. Officials say a 38-year-old woman stopped to turn left when her 2013 Ford Escape was struck in the rear by a 1999 BMW motorcycle. The rider was ejected, critically injured, and airlifted to a nearby hospital. The driver of the SUV was treated and released. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash. Motorcycles provide little…
  • Preventing Bicycle Accident Injuries This Summer

    24 Jun 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Summertime is a great time to get around New Jersey on your bike. You can stay fit, have fun, and save money. However, bicycling in New Jersey can prove dangerous if you are not careful. Make sure you always wear a helmet and exercise safe riding habits. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when riding this summer: Increase your visibility. Under New Jersey law, all riders at night are required to have a front headlamp that emits a white light, a rear lamp with a red light, and a red rear reflector. Whether you are on your bike at night or during the day, you should wear bright clothes…
  • New Jersey’s Weirdest Historical Tourist Attractions

    28 May 2014 | 3:12 pm
    History buffs have a lot to love in New Jersey. One of the thirteen original colonies, the state’s reputation as the “Crossroads of the American Revolution” is founded on battlefields, historical houses, and other sites that preserve and recreate our nation’s past. But it’s also home to some slightly weirder historical preservations. If you’ve seen the battlefields and can’t stand the thought of one more day at a museum, try checking out these offbeat historical finds: 1. Alexander Hamilton’s Death Rock Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father whose face graces the $10 bill, is…
  • Woman Killed in Gloucester County DUI Crash

    9 May 2014 | 10:35 am
    A 74-year-old woman was killed in a Gloucester County car accident, which officials say involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a WPVI news report, the fatal DUI crash occurred at the intersection of Holly Avenue and Lambs Road in Mantua. Officials say a 38-year-old woman was intoxicated when she crashed her Mercedes Benz into the passenger side of a Buick LeSabre. The 76-year-old driver of the Buick was injured and his wife was killed. The driver of the Mercedes was jailed and charged with vehicular homicide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),…
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    Simmons & Fletcher » Blog

  • What Should I Do After Being Attacked by a Dog?

    Paul Cannon
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:07 am
    Dog attacks are no laughing matter. No matter how big or small the dog or the bite, there can be lasting physical and emotional scarring. If you have been the victim of a dog attack, there are several things you …The post What Should I Do After Being Attacked by a Dog? appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Litigating Dog Bites in the State of Texas

    Paul Richardson
    7 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Dog bites are a serious matter of public concern, costing the insurance industry about $104 million in 2013. Though a number of states have implemented laws and regulations aimed at preventing this problem, incidents continue to occur, resulting in physical, …The post Litigating Dog Bites in the State of Texas appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Texas Counties Seeking Help with Eagle Ford Road Repairs

    Paul Richardson
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:37 am
    The state of Texas collects billions of dollars in royalties from Eagle Ford Shale drillers. This money is significantly beneficial to the state, but a recent report explains that this monetary gain is not being equitably shared with the counties. …The post Texas Counties Seeking Help with Eagle Ford Road Repairs appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Summer Trucking Concerns in the Eagle Ford Shale

    Paul Richardson
    24 Jul 2014 | 12:38 pm
    Summer is an optimum time for highway travels. Weekend road trips, along with family vacations, significantly increase the number of drivers on local and interstate roads. While these hot and humid months are already more dangerous for drivers, those who …The post Summer Trucking Concerns in the Eagle Ford Shale appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Organization Hopes to Empower Eagle Ford Residents

    Paul Richardson
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:19 am
    South Texas counties are significantly impacted by the Eagle Ford Shale, in both positive and negative ways. In the midst of substantial economic gains, environmental and health concerns abound. But some Eagle Ford residents are finding a voice to fight …The post Organization Hopes to Empower Eagle Ford Residents appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
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    Loyalty Law

  • 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...
  • Three UK Cycling Activists Worth Your Attention
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:37 am
    Cycling facilities in the UK are infamous for being poor quality. From Coronation Road in Bristol to central London, cycling path fails are ubiquitous in this country, and there’s a...
  • Five Simple Procedures Every New Bike Owner Should Learn
    24 Jul 2014 | 3:14 am
    There are many bikes out there that are really suffering. Whether they’ve got rusty gears, ancient chains or are just in need of a good scrub, the typical bicycle commuter...
  • Top Ten Cycling Path Fails
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:25 am
    Cycling paths are a great idea, but implementation is all. No-one gets credit for trying and making things worse. It often seems like city planners are actively trying to sabotage...
  • Top Five Helmet Cameras For Road Cyclists
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
    As a cyclist, you have to be aware of the dangers around you.  It’s unfair, but that’s just the way road traffic currently works. As a cyclist, you are much...
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    Strictly Business

  • 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 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 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,…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 10: Registration Rights

    Alexander Davie
    7 May 2014 | 12:05 pm
    This post is the tenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior nine 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, looked…
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    Arizona Criminal Law & Defense Blog

  • Coming to Super Bowl XLIX: What are the Arizona DUI Laws?

    20 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
      Every year, cities and sports venues from all around America submit bids to host a Super Bowl. University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona was privileged to be awarded the right to host Super Bowl XLIX (49) to be played on February 1, 2015. The good news was delivered on October 11, 2011 and represents the second time this venue has been selected. If you plan on coming to the Phoenix area for the Super Bowl, we’ve put together a few places you might want to visit while you’re here on your trip. We also put together an outline of the Arizona DUI Laws which are good…
  • 58-year-old Phoenix man arrested for 1989 sexual assault, murder

    4 Aug 2014 | 10:28 am
    PHOENIX – 58-year-old Cudellious Love, of Phoenix, was arrested on Friday by the Phoenix police officers after they found DNA evidence that linked him to an unsolved murder and sexual assault from 1989. A report released by the Phoenix Police Department’s crime lab in January indicated a DNA match between a sample taken from the scene and a DNA profile in the state database. According to the court records released Monday, the DNA belonged to a 58-year-old man named Cudellious Love who was in prison for more than three years for a drug conviction. The DNA evidence linked Love to an…
  • Fourth of July 2014 DUI Patrols

    3 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    ** If you are looking for DUI Checkpoint Do’s and Don’ts, Click Here. Summertime is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. and more specifically, the Fourth of July is a time when people in Arizona head to the lake for some fun in the sun! With that comes increased risk of drinking and driving (or boating). Local law enforcement in Arizona is out looking to arrest people for DUI if they have consumed too much alcohol and think they are OK to drive a car or boat. Our suggestion is if you’ve had any alcohol, please get a ride. If you are out on…
  • What are Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona?

    14 Mar 2014 | 2:57 pm
    In the Phoenix area or anywhere else in the state of Arizona, as per A.R.S. §13-2310, the crime of fraudulent schemes is committed when an individual creates a scheme or artifice to defraud, which involves the attempt to defraud knowingly and when they receive a benefit as a result. A scheme or artifice to defraud means that a person intended to gain an unfair benefit or that another person was deprived of the right of honest services. For a defendant to be convicted of this crime, it is not necessary that the individual who was defrauded actually relied on said fraud. Here is a short video…
  • The Dangers of File Sharing and Peer to Peer Networks

    12 Feb 2014 | 7:51 am
    File sharing has been a big part of the counter-culture of legal and illegal music and movie downloads in the United States. Many file sharing programs that allowed the free flow of copyrighted files like Limewire, Napster, Bearshare, Frostwire, and the like have long been shut down by the U.S. Government (or switched their business models), but new software springs up all the time. For example, as soon as Limewire was shut down, Frostwire came out and today the most prevelant Peer to Peer software of today is bit Torrent. The cycle keeps repeating as bit torrent sites like The Pirate Bay,…
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    Oklahoma Personal Injury Blog

  • Lenapah Motorcyclist Killed in Catoosa Collision

    Maples Law Firm
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:08 pm
    A 50-year-old Lenapah man was killed in an Oklahoma motorcycle accident involving a front-end loader. According to a KJRH news report, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred on Bird Creek near a gravel service road in Catoosa. Officials say the motorcyclist was traveling northbound when he collided with a front-end loader that was in the process of turning. reports that the victim was not wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the front-end loader was not hurt. Under Oklahoma Statute 47-12-609 (B), only motorcycle operators and passengers who are under 18…
  • Nine Injured in Oklahoma City Bus-Truck Collision

    Maples Law Firm
    11 Aug 2014 | 10:19 am
    Nine people were injured in an Oklahoma City traffic accident involving a collision between a Greyhound bus and a semi truck. According to a News 9 report, the truck and bus accident occurred on I-40 eastbound just west of the Amarillo junction in Oklahoma City. Officials have not released information regarding what caused the bus and truck to collide. All nine of the injured victims were transported to nearby hospitals with minor injuries. It is unclear how the accident could have been prevented or if anyone will face charges for the crash. Many Oklahoma residents rely on public buses for…
  • Oklahoma Family Reports Nursing Home Abuse of Vietnam War Veteran

    Maples Law Firm
    4 Aug 2014 | 11:54 am
    A Vietnam War veteran is bruised and battered and his family believes that the Jones nursing home where he was staying is responsible. According to a KFOR news report, his wife found him one day turned to the wall of his room crying. When questioned, he claimed that the care provider balled up her fist and took a swing at him. His family reported the abuse but received no positive response from the nursing home’s administrators. They man’s family has since taken him home and the director of the facility claims that the abuse is under investigation. The wife of the injured veteran…
  • 3 Animals That Help Humans in Unexpected Ways

    Maples Law Firm
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:03 am
    Although we prideful humans would like to take all the credit for ourselves, the fact is we wouldn’t have the world we have today without help from other species. For example, dogs have facilitated the herding of livestock since ancient times. Horses and camels made long distance cultural exchange possible. Early agriculture just wouldn’t have worked out without the ox there to pull the plow. Diseases associated with rat infestations would’ve irrevocably crippled early cities had it not been for cats. The list goes on and on. It’s clear that animals were absolutely vital to our…
  • Toddler Killed in Oklahoma City Parking Lot Accident

    Maples Law Firm
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:18 am
    A 3-year-old boy was killed in an Oklahoma car accident that occurred in a McDonald’s parking lot. According to a news report in The Oklahoman, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at Northwest Expressway and Council Road in northwest Oklahoma City. Officials say a mother and her two sons were crossing the parking lot when they were struck by an SUV. The 3-year-old sustained fatal injuries and the mother and 4-year-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The female driver of the SUV was not arrested, but the investigation is ongoing. According to the report, she may have caused…
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    SEQ Legal blogs

  • Software support SLAs

    Alasdair Taylor
    6 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Written contracts covering the provision of software support services often incorporate some kind of service level agreement, or SLA for short. If you have been tasked with preparing or negotiating a software support SLA, and are looking for some guidance, this post should help you. SLAs may cover more than just software support services. For example, where hosting, hosted services and/or software maintenance are being provided, an SLA may also cover aspects of those services. For the purposes of this post, however, I look only at support services. What is an SLA? As with many contractual…
  • End user licensing: approaches to creating enforceable rights

    Alasdair Taylor
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:22 am
    The term EULA is widely abused: I've just finished a telephone conference where it was applied, by someone who should know better, to a proposed contract covering not only licensed software but also hosted software services, consultancy, support and much else besides. I therefore want to clarify what I mean by EULA and "end user". In a wide sense, a EULA is an agreement between a software vendor and an end user governing the use of software. I tend however to use the term in a narrower sense, to apply only to end users who are not themselves direct customers. Where the end user is it the…
  • Consumer contracts regulations: sample clauses

    Alasdair Taylor
    6 Jun 2014 | 3:10 am
    The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 are coming into force next week. They include a detailed list of information that a trader must provide to a consumer in situations where the Regulations apply. Should you use the model instructions on cancellation to help you comply with this requirement, or should you draft special legal clauses for your contracts? The list of information that must be supplied is set out in Schedule 2, and includes the following items:(l) where a right to cancel exists, the conditions, time limit and procedures for…
  • New distance selling laws: 8 key compliance points

    Alasdair Taylor
    2 Jun 2014 | 10:35 pm
    The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply special rules to B2C distance contracts entered into via a website, as well as certain other contracts (not discussed here). The Regulations, effective on 13 June 2014, replace the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. See: Unfortunately, the rules are rather complex. This is especially depressing in the context of consumer protection legislation, which should be straightforward enough for anyone to understand without…
  • Online advice: worth the risks?

    Alasdair Taylor
    25 Mar 2014 | 6:12 am
    Whether you are purchasing legal forms and templates, seeking a medical diagnosis, getting insider information when choosing a school or university, or soliciting the opinions of product aficionados on a prospective purchase, there are many ways to get guidance and advice online - but what are the risks for those providing this guidance and advice? In this article I look at the legal issues, with a focus on legal advice. Online legal advice This website has a public Q&A where users can ask legal questions, and I often respond to particular questions asked by users in blog comments. I also…
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    » Blog

  • Premises Liability: Landlord-Tenant Relationship

    Jay Solnick
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Generally, premises liability extends to slip and falls that occur while one is on their rental property. But, of course this comes with exceptions. On this blog we previously discussed the legal responsibility property owners hold regarding slip and falls. When someone slips and falls on the property of another, the general rule is the property owner may be fully responsible. Any slips, falls, or trips that occur as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition may result in the injured party being compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Generally the property…
  • Verizon Distracted Driver Case Settles for $3 million

    Jay Solnick
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:51 am
    A female driver who was severely injured when her car was struck by a Verizon truck has settled her case for $3 million. According to The Intelligencer, the female driver settled with the major telecommunication company after seven days of trial before a 10-person jury in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The female driver alleged she was stopped at a red light the morning of February 27, 2012, when an eight-ton Verizon bucket truck slammed into the back of her car. The force of the crash was so great that she was knocked unconscious and the car caught on fire. She was rescued by a passerby…
  • Harley-Davidson Makes another Recall Announcement

    Jay Solnick
    22 Aug 2014 | 2:22 am
    At possibly the climax of motorcycle riding season, one of the largest motorcycles companies made huge announcements. In July 2014, Harley-Davidson announced the recall of 66,421 motorcycles. The company recalled the 2014 model Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles, specifically any bikes made between July 1, 2013 and May 7, 2014. An investigation determined that the front wheel would lock without warning. The defect has caused 5 accidents. USA Today reports that “the snafu occurs when a brake line in front is pinched between the fuel tank and the frame, causing the front brake fluid pressure…
  • Social Security Disability Insurance Almost Exhausted

    Jay Solnick
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:25 am
    Many Pennsylvanians are likely concerned about the latest news coming from Washington regarding Social Security disability benefits. If Congress does not act before 2016, the benefits of the Social Security disability program will be exhausted, resulting in a drastic cut in available funds. Per the 2014 Annual Report of the Social Security Administration, the SDDI Trust fund benefits will run dry in two years. If Congress does not act by 2016, individuals’ monthly benefits will be cut by $218. On average this equates to a reduction from $1,146 a month to $928. If the trust fund goes…
  • Airline Cannot Escape Liability

    Jay Solnick
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:42 am
    A commercial passenger plane was shot down by militants, killing all passengers aboard. And, the airline company cannot dodge liability, thanks to international aviation laws. On July 17, 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 carrying 298 passengers was shot down over the rebel-controlled area covering eastern Ukraine. The plan was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it lost contact near Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, which is approximately 31 miles from the Ukraine-Russia border. Authorities strongly believe a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane, crashing within the conflict zone…
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    Baron & Budd, P.C. | Protecting What's Right

  • Baron & Budd Files First Litigation in Levaquin, Avelox, and Cipro Cases

    Baron & Budd
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:59 pm
    10-Year Study in Journal of Neurology Reveals That Risk of Peripheral Neuropathy Doubles With Fluoroquinolone Use DALLAS, August 26, 2014 — The Dallas-based national law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., a leader in pharmaceutical litigation, has filed the first lawsuit involving a form of nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy against pharmaceutical companies which marketed a class of powerful antibiotics called "fluoroquinolones" (FQs). The most popular FQs, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, and ciprofloxacin, are sold under the trade names, respectively, of Levaquin®, Avelox®,…
  • Baron and Budd Raising Awareness About the Dangers of PCBs in Schools and How Schools Can Take Action

    Baron & Budd
    21 Aug 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Law Firm Offering Free PCB Testing to Schools Built Between 1950 and 1980 DALLAS – (August 21, 2014) – Baron and Budd, a national law firm with deep experience in environmental litigation, announced today that it is offering free PCB testing to schools built between 1950 and 1980. Currently, testing for PCBs in schools is not a requirement, even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified PCBs as probable human carcinogens that can have potentially serious toxic effects on a person’s immune system, endocrine system, nervous system and reproductive system,…
  • Baron and Budd Selected to List of Top Law Firms in the U.S. By Legal 500

    Baron & Budd
    14 Jul 2014 | 8:23 am
    Firm Selected to List for Seventh Consecutive Year DALLAS (July 14, 2014) – The national law firm of Baron and Budd has once again been named to the Legal 500, a list of the top firms in the United States. Since 2008, the firm has been selected to the list as a top tier firm in the areas of mass tort and class action litigation on behalf of plaintiffs. “We are extremely proud of the fact that we have once again been chosen as one of the most respected law firms in the nation,” said Russell Budd, president and managing shareholder of Baron and Budd. “It is a great honor to…
  • Baron and Budd Investigating New Force-Placed Insurance Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    18 Jun 2014 | 8:18 am
    Predatory Practice Can Spike Homeowners’ Insurance Costs by as Much as 10 Times That of Voluntary Insurance DALLAS (June 18, 2014)The national law firm of Baron and Budd is now investigating potential lawsuits associated with the practice of force-placed insurance at certain bank and mortgage lenders. Recently, numerous national banks and mortgage providers, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others, have reached settlements in lawsuits regarding force-placed insurance, a predatory financial practice where homeowners are forced to pay for expensive insurance…
  • Baron and Budd Announces $177 Million Settlement for Seven States Against Avandia Manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline

    Baron & Budd
    13 Jun 2014 | 9:20 am
    Firm represented states of Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia in litigation regarding the fraudulent advertising of Avandia DALLAS –(June 13, 2014) –The national law firm of Baron and Budd has reached a $177 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of the states of Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia regarding the deceptive advertising of the diabetes drug Avandia. This result represents the largest settlement of a pharmaceutical case ever for several of the involved states,…
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    News From Dallas Appellate Attorney Chad Ruback

  • “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.  
  • Interview on KDAF CW Channel 33

    Chad Ruback
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:59 am
    As an appellate lawyer, I often have to answer difficult questions. On Channel 33 news, though, I got to answer an easy one. I was asked whether an individual could form his own country in North Dallas. Um, no.     Here is the video:
  • Supreme Court Hobby Lobby opinion might only directly impact two companies

    Chad Ruback
    11 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    After the Dallas Business Journal published an article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, a number of people asked me about potential impact on various business. Here are my thoughts: Despite all the attention the case has gotten, the opinion might only directly impact two U.S. companies. The Affordable Care Act (also […]
  • Chad Ruback interviewed live in Fox 4 studio

    Chad Ruback
    1 Jul 2014 | 11:08 am
    This morning, I gave a live interview to a Fox 4 news anchor regarding a new U.S. Supreme Court opinion. Here is the video:
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Texas Appeals

    Chad Ruback
    12 Jun 2014 | 2:12 pm
    Whether you are a law student studying Texas appellate procedure or are a Texas lawyer who doesn’t regularly handle appeals, you might be in need of answers to frequently asked questions about Texas appellate law. Having been unable to find a compilation of appellate law FAQs specific to Texas state courts, I have compiled a […]
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    Protecting What's Right

  • News From The Washington Post: On Asbestos Around the World… And What That Means for Us at Home

    Baron & Budd
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:32 pm
    Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) say that asbestos should be banned. Some countries, including every member of the European Union, Japan, Argentina, South Korea and even Saudi Arabia have gone ahead and banned the carcinogen. Asbestos is proven to cause the deadly mesothelioma cancer after all, and there are materials that can be used as inexpensive substitutes. And yet the United States has yet to ban asbestos. We have made some efforts, of course. We have placed strict limitations on the use and importation of asbestos, for one. But…
  • Cindy Crawford Is Worried about the Level of PCBs in Her Children’s School: Are You?

    Baron & Budd
    21 Aug 2014 | 12:57 pm
    It’s back to school time in Malibu, California and the supermodel Cindy Crawford just pulled her two children out of high school because of the school building’s elevated levels of the toxic chemicals shorthanded as PCBs. Celebrities… Just Like Us? So far as caring for our children the answer is a resounding YES! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PCBs have been shown to be carcinogenic — aka, PCBs can cause cancer. In addition, the EPA warns that PCBs may cause harm to the nervous system, the immune system, the reproductive system and the endocrine…
  • This One Goes Out to All of You: Thanks to the Fighters of Fluoroquinolones Spreading the Word

    Baron & Budd
    19 Aug 2014 | 4:59 am
    Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Avelox and Levaquin are some of the most commonly prescribed types of antibiotics in the country, and millions of fluoroquinolones are prescribed each year to treat an array of infections from urinary tract infections to ear, nose and throat or respiratory infections. And yet, fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Avelox and Levaquin are such powerful antibiotics that they are in a class of their own — one that was never intended to be used as a first form of treatment, due to their severe side effects such as permanent nerve damage and disability. To treat…
  • How I Became “The Mesh Warrior” and How You Can Too

    Aaron Horton
    15 Aug 2014 | 4:22 am
    For many of us, family members of those implanted with transvaginal mesh, for years now life has been about watching someone we love writhe in unendurable pain and locking eyes with a bottomless suffering we feel helpless to stop. The focus is on our injured loved ones but this, we now know, is a family injury that reaches through them, sprouting tentacles into everyone they love, making its home in all of us. “Mothers are the backbones of our families,” said one of the many women sometimes called “Mesh Angels” whose own body fights against her every day as…
  • Check Your Card! – If You Have a Defibrillator From St. Jude Medical

    Baron & Budd
    6 Aug 2014 | 4:26 am
    If you have a defibrillator from St. Jude Medical, it is time to check the RVA number, or model number, on your travel card. Some of the leads in the major St. Jude Medical defibrillators implanted in countless patients around the country may be dangerous… and some have even been recalled! Every patient who has a defibrillator should have a travel card to go with it that says two critical things: 1) the manufacturer name — in the case of these recalled defibrillators that would be St. Jude Medical and 2) the RVA, or model number. It is important to check your travel card to find the…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Locals Remember the Pedestrian Killed on First Hill

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:05 pm
    On the morning of August 13, 2014, friends of a Seattle woman who was killed in a pedestrian accident took to the streets to walk in her honor. According to a Seattle Times news report, the fatal car accident occurred at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and James Street on First Hill. Officials say the driver behind the wheel of the garbage truck did not know initially that he hit the woman. The 42-year-old pedestrian was killed and her body was dragged about 150 feet. The driver has not faced hit-and-run charges because he did not knowingly leave the scene of the crash. According to a news…
  • A Tricky Weekend for Seattle Drivers

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    13 Aug 2014 | 10:31 am
    Speeding motorists and rollover accidents kept King County troopers busy the weekend of Aug. 2. According to KOMO News, there were five rollover accidents in King County and 42 speeding tickets issued that weekend. Officials say one 18-year-old driver was arrested for vehicular assault after rolling his SUV on Northbound I-5 with five young men inside. In another accident, six people were injured when a vehicle traveling at speeds up to 90 mph crashed into the guardrail. Local law enforcement aided victims of three other rollovers and caught 42 drivers within three hours who were speeding…
  • Seattle Rollover Accident Causes Critical Injuries

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    5 Aug 2014 | 3:56 pm
    A driver and passenger were seriously injured in a Seattle car accident involving a vehicle rollover. According to a KOMO news report, the rollover accident occurred on northbound Interstate 5 in South Seattle. Officials say the driver and passenger were ejected when the vehicle went high up on an embankment near the freeway and flipped. Both injured victims sustained critical injuries and were rushed to Harborview Medical Center. Rollover accidents often result in serious injuries or death. In fact, rollovers result in fatal injuries much more often than other types of accidents. According…
  • Bicyclist Struck by Motor Home

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:25 pm
    A bicyclist in Missoula was flown to a Seattle hospital after being struck by a motor home. According to a news report in The Ravalli Republic, the bicycle accident occurred at Miller Creek Road and U.S. Highway 93. Officials are looking into whether the bicyclist went against a red light at the time of the crash. The bike was caught under the wheels of the motor home and the rider sustained serious head internal injuries. There are many reasons why bicycle accidents commonly occur at busy intersections. Riders often contribute to crashes by failing to obey traffic laws. Drivers often cause…
  • Study Shows Distracted Drivers are Distracted Pedestrians

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    9 Jul 2014 | 11:55 am
    It is common knowledge that distracted driving is a serious problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people were killed and about 421,000 were injured in distraction-related accidents in 2012. It is less known just how common distracted walking is. Pedestrians in Seattle who are more focused on their phones than the roadway often do not realize the danger they are in until it is too late. According to PEMCO Insurance Northwest, eight out of 10 drivers in the Northwest are quick to identify distracted pedestrians, but two-thirds of pedestrians in…
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    Farah and Farah Legal Blog

  • Serious Complication Rates of Giving Birth on Par With Heart Surgery in the U.S.

    Farah & Farah
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:33 am
    A recent study published in Health Affairs suggests that giving birth in U.S. hospitals may be a more dangerous proposition than was previously thought. According to the study, some 13 percent of women, or about 550,000, suffer serious bleeding, infections, blood clots and other serious complications each year. That puts complication rates during childbirth at about the same rate as complications following heart surgery. And the rates of those injuries vary from hospital to hospital. The study found that 23 percent of women who delivered vaginally experienced complications in the lowest…
  • Has ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Brought Down Homicide Rates?

    Farah & Farah
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:57 am
    A preliminary report released by the American Bar Association (ABA) indicates that states, like Florida, that have “Stand Your Ground” laws are actually seeing an increase in homicide rates. Thirty-three states have enacted “Stand Your Ground” laws in the last ten years. Before Stand Your Ground laws were enacted, most states followed the traditional common law self-defense rule, which imposed a duty to retreat (if retreat was possible) before using force in self-defense. The ABA’s National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws found that states where individuals are immune from…
  • Woman Falsely Arrested Twice Receives $67,000 Settlement From Clay County Sheriff’s Office

    Farah & Farah
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:16 pm
    The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has reached a $67,000 settlement with a woman who was falsely arrested twice in the span of four months. According to the Florida Times–Union, the woman was arrested for grand theft and later on a charge of writing bad checks because deputies had mistaken her for a woman with a similar name. The woman spent a total of five weeks in jail due to the false arrests; four weeks for the grand theft charge and one week for the check writing charge. The real perpetrator later pleaded guilty to the charges and was given credit for served time. She served a total of…
  • Florida Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

    Farah & Farah
    21 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    In a previous blog, the family law attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville reported about a battle brewing in a Miami-Dade courthouse concerning the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. Since the writing of that blog, a Monroe County judge has ruled Florida’s constitutional ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and has ordered the Monroe County Clerk’s Office to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Although this ruling only affects Monroe County, many have touted this ruling as the “beginning of the end” of Florida’s gay…
  • Five Arrested in Jacksonville Internet Cafe Gambling Sting

    Farah & Farah
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:15 am
    Five people have been arrested in Jacksonville after police raided two alleged “Internet cafe” gambling businesses. All of those arrested were charged with being “an agent/employee of a gambling house.” Three of those arrested were additionally charged with possession of slot machines and possession of lottery devices. A spokesman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) said the investigation began in the spring and involved a task force comprised of state agencies and officers from Seminole and Volusia counties. Authorities allege that the businesses were offering…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

  • Understanding High-End Divorce

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    One of the biggest challenges of any divorce is the division of assets. This stressful process can become even more complex when one or both parties have high net worth and significant assets. If you are involved in a high-end divorce, you will need an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney with an exceptional understanding of tax and finance law to protect your assets and best interests. Even the most amicable of separations can become antagonistic when property and high-value assets are involved. It is common for arguments to occur when discussing the division of real estate, bonuses,…
  • Working With a Pennsylvania Attorney to Plan in a High-Asset Divorce

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:35 pm
    If you are considering a divorce, then you are already keenly aware of the emotional stakes. But a divorce is also a financial arrangement – and this is never truer than when the spouses seek to divide a high-asset estate between them. By working with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney who understands high-asset divorce issues, you can protect your financial health as well as your legal rights. One place to start is to work with your attorney to create a specific, proactive plan for dealing with your divorce. A lack of planning puts you on the defensive, in a “reactive” stance…
  • New Pennsylvania Bill Would Force Rapists to Pay Child Support

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:37 pm
    Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman who has a child from rape can ask a judge to end the rapist father’s parental rights. This means that the father who committed the rape will not have custody or visitation rights. However, women who end the rapist father’s parent rights also surrender their ability to collect child support from the father. According to a news report in The Express-Times, a new bill has been proposed to allow a mother to end parental rights while still collecting support. Democratic State Representative Mike Schlossberg proposed the bill that would close this…
  • Steps to Take When Facing a High-Asset Divorce

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    8 Jul 2014 | 10:07 am
    High-asset divorces pose questions that ordinary divorce cases do not. While partners in a low- or middle-income family typically wonder how to support two separate households, partners in a high-asset divorce are primarily concerned with ensuring that their respective shares of their assets are distributed equitably, in a way that allows both the adults and children to maintain their standard of living. Choosing an experienced Pennsylvania high-asset divorce attorney should be your first consideration when dissolving a marriage and wondering how to protect your assets. Other steps to take…
  • Husband of TV Star Seeks Money During Divorce

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    1 Jul 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Zoe McLellan, star of the brand new show “NCIS: New Orleans” is in the midst of a difficult divorce from her husband. According to a TMZ news report, her husband, actor J.P. Gillain, is seeking joint custody. The actress allegedly believes that her husband is only seeking custody as a ploy to get child support now that she is successful. The court documents reveal that she will earn $45,000 per episode. A representative for the actress states that her husband has “never been a hands-on dad.” In Pennsylvania, the most important consideration in every custody battle is…
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    About Florida Lawyers & Attorneys

  • Horseshoe Beach Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    30 Aug 2014 | 6:21 am
    The Best Horseshoe Beach Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Horseshoe Beach Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting If you are looking for the Best legal firm in Horseshoe Beach, FL that will present you the most fantastic service then look no farther than the Law Team of Horseshoe Beach Florida. When you are in crisis and could use a high caliber Law team to be behind you, then the Law Firm of Horseshoe Beach Florida are the ones you should contact. You will feel safer…
  • Anna Maria Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    30 Aug 2014 | 4:13 am
    The Best Anna Maria Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Anna Maria Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Legal Offices of Anna Maria Florida are by far the best legal offices because they get the right results time and time again. Clients completely concur that this Anna Maria Law office and Associates are the attorneys to receive on your side when you have a case the looks un-winnable. You will feel safer knowing that you get the legal capability and expertise of the…
  • How USC’s Josh Shaw has access to high-profile lawyer is unknown – Los Angeles Times

    Lawyer - Google News
    30 Aug 2014 | 1:45 am
    ABC News How USC's Josh Shaw has access to high-profile lawyer is unknownLos Angeles TimesHow does a college athlete end up with a high-profile lawyer whose client list has included Rihanna and Snoop Dogg? Shaw, who lied about how he injured both ankles last weekend and has been suspended indefinitely from the team, is being represented …USC's Josh Shaw Advised By Lawyer to Stop Talking to PoliceABC Newsall 592 news articles »
  • Jupiter Island Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:22 am
    The Best Jupiter Island Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Jupiter Island Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting Whenever you are searching for the Best legal office in Jupiter Island, FL that will afford you the most fantastic service then search no farther than the Law Offices of Jupiter Island Florida. Clients all concur that this Jupiter Island Legal office and Associates are the lawyers to have on your side when you have a legal issue the looks like a loser. From…
  • Bal Harbour Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:59 pm
    The Best Bal Harbour Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Bal Harbour Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Bal Harbour, FL Criminal Defense Law Team, The Law Offices of Bal Harbour Florida, is considered one of the leading ranked Florida Criminal Defense Legal Firms for good sense: they get the job done. Whenever you absolutely want to win your case, the Bal Harbour Florida Legal Firm are the ones to telephone. From high profile cases to fast motions, this team…
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    MacGregor & Collins, LLP Law Blog

  • 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…
  • Difference Between Corporal Injury and Battery

    Randy Collins
    26 Jun 2014 | 7:34 am
    If you or someone you know has been charged with anything related to domestic violence, there is a high probability that those charges are either corporal injury on an intimate partner or a spousal battery. A spousal battery is also called a domestic battery.  A corporal injury and a spousal battery are the most common domestic abuse charges. Despite having a few similarities, the crimes of a corporal injury and a spousal battery have a few distinguished differences that greatly affect the ways in which defendants are prosecuted and defended. What is a Corporal Injury on an Intimate Partner?
  • Qualifications for Expungement in California

    Randy Collins
    17 Jun 2014 | 8:58 am
    A mistake in judgment that you made years ago can have far-reaching effects, including your ability to get the job that you want, obtain some professional licenses, or rent a home.  Even though California criminal records are a matter of public record, an individual would need to know where to look for these files and take the time to look through thousands of court records in each county to find your records. However, electronic indexing has made it much easier for individuals and companies to obtain copies of your records.  Companies index court records into large databases that are easy…
  • Will a DUI Show Up on My Background Check?

    Randy Collins
    4 Jun 2014 | 9:26 am
    Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter that leaves most individuals wishing they had used different judgment before getting behind the wheel.  Despite the initial fear that follows an arrest, having a drunk driving charge does not have to be the end of the world.  An experienced attorney can help you resolve a drunk driving charge so that you can get on with your life.  Once you pay the penalty for driving while intoxicated, that should be the end of the story and no one should hold that against you. Unfortunately for some, their drunk driving charge does not stop affecting them after…
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    PA Law Blogs

  • Risperdal Lawsuits Allege J&J Failed to Warn about Risks of Gynecomastia

    Anapol Schwartz
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    More than 600 Risperdal lawsuits are pending in Pennsylvania, according to court documents. Hundreds of men and boys are blaming Johnson and Johnson (J&J) for failing to warn of the risk of gynecomastia associated with Risperdal. Gynecomastia is the development of excessive breast tissue in males. Patients with elevated levels of prolactin in their blood are at risk for gynecomastia, and J&J knew Risperdal could cause an increase in prolactin levels in children, according the U.S Department of Justice.  Still, the company chose to aggressively market the drug as safe for that…
  • Compensation for Victims Who Suffered Transverse Myelitis after a Vaccine

    Anapol Schwartz
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:59 am
    Vaccine injury victims who suffer transverse myelitis after a vaccine can be left with debilitating injuries that may never go away. This serious vaccine reaction is no one’s fault, but it can leave victims and their family with serious emotional, physical and financial stress. Transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. The condition develops unexpectedly but can leave permanent debilitating damage. Transverse myelitis can start out as lower back pain or muscle weakness and can quickly progress to paralysis, urinary retention and loss of bowel…
  • The Spread of Cancer after Fibroid Removal

    PA Law Blogs
    20 Aug 2014 | 7:32 am
    There is no effective test to distinguish between benign fibroids and uterine leiomyosarcoma (ULMS) before a mass is surgically removed. But depending on the type of surgery performed, a woman undergoing a hysterectomy or a uterine fibroid removal procedure called a myomectomy can be put at risk of having undetected malignant cancer cells spread much further into her body during surgery. When this happens, her likelihood of long-term survival is significantly worsened. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has estimated that one in 350 women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for…
  • Three Anapol Schwartz Attorneys Named in Best Lawyers 2015 Edition

    Anapol Schwartz
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:19 am
    The 2015 edition of Philadelphia’s Best Lawyers has recognized Jim Ronca, Sol Weiss, and Lawrence Cohan for their hard work and dedication to seeking justice for their clients. Jim Ronca was named 2015 Philadelphia Lawyer of the Year in the category of Personal Injury Litigation.  Sol Weiss and Lawrence Cohan were selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in Philadelphia for the category of Mass Tort and Class Actions. Weiss and Cohan previously held Philadelphia Lawyer of the Year titles for those same categories.  Weiss was recognized as Lawyer of the Year in 2014 and…
  • The Ripple Effect of a Medical Misdiagnosis

    Anapol Schwartz
    13 Aug 2014 | 9:39 am
    About 155 per 1,000 hospitalized patients experience a medical misdiagnosis, according to HealthGrades.  A medical misdiagnosis or delay in making the correct diagnosis can have a traumatic ripple effect.  An undiagnosed medical condition may worsen and lead to subsequent medical complications and unnecessary surgeries. The victim may be forced to miss time from work and incur high medical costs and be forced to give up vacation, college or retirement plans.  The effects of a medical misdiagnosis not only be physical but emotional and financial as well.  A medical misdiagnosis can…
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    IMC Law Group

  • Wells Fargo

    27 Aug 2014 | 2:26 pm
    by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. If Wells Fargo is Your Bank, Move Your Accounts Before Filing for Bankruptcy If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, are filing for bankruptcy, or simply want to preserve your rights as a consumer, move all of your accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank. When a bankruptcy is filed, Wells Fargo will place a hold on all of your bank accounts whether or not you owe Wells Fargo money on a credit card or have a Wells Fargo home mortgage. Every night, Wells Fargo runs a computer program that compares all newly filed…
  • Modify Your Countrywide Home Mortgage

    27 Aug 2014 | 2:24 pm
    by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. I was the victim of a Countrywide loan. I got a bad mortgage. I was caught up with Countrywide. I hear these statements and similar sentiments every day in the office. As of August 22, 2014, an historical settlement was entered into between Bank of America and the federal government. This settlement provides $7,000,000,000 in relief. Yes, you heard that correctly, 7 Billion Dollars!! to homeowners who had mortgages at anytime with Countrywide. The relief will come in the form of long term mortgage modifications with…
  • An amazing mortgage modification

    25 Aug 2014 | 3:48 pm
    Mortgage Modification by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. Ready for an amazing mortgage modification? An historic settlement with Bank of America announced on August 21, 2014 provides for seven billion dollars of relief to homeowners with loans currently held by Bank of America. This relief is going to come in the form of unbelievable loan modifications with incredibly low interest rates (how does a 2% fixed interest rate for the remainder of your loan term sound?) and principal reductions! FREE Mortgage Modification Consultation – CLICK HERE NOW!!! Get…
  • How Bankruptcy Can Improve Your Credit

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy can have a positive impact on most people’s credit scores. To begin, let me provide you with a Three Year Credit Score Comparison Chart: Month1 Month6 Month12 Month24 Month36 Debt Negotiation: good bad terrible terrible so so / good Debt Consolidation: good bad bad bad so so Bankruptcy: terrible so so decent good excellent Doing Nothing: good so so terrible terrible terrible Repaying on and off: so so so so so so so so so so You can see that after filing for bankruptcy, your credit will realistically improve far faster than if you try to maintain debt…
  • Emergency Filings

    19 May 2014 | 9:33 am
    Emergency Filings, the $0.00 Down Bankruptcy. A Dignified Solution for Desperate Times. by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. Did you just get served with a wage garnishment? Are your wages being garnished already? Was your bank account just levied by a judgment creditor? Are you facing a Sheriff’s Sale in several days? Call or e-mail me. I am here to help. That’s why I use my powers for good not evil to help people live decent lives. Often, I am sitting across the table in a free confidential consultation with a potential client who needs a bankruptcy case…
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    New York Business Lawyer Blog

  • Old Cases, Same Rule: Experts' Affidavits In Opposition To Motions For Summary Judgement In New York.

    21 Aug 2014 | 10:12 pm
    We spent our last entry talking about when a trial court faced with a motion for summary judgement can consider an affidavit from an expert even though the expert was not disclosed until after the Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness were filed. The answer, more often than not, at least in the Appellate Division, Second Department in New York: When the expert makes a difference by establishing the existence of a material issue of triable fact. See Rivers v. Birnbaum, 102 A.D.3d 26, 953 N.Y.S.2d 232 (2nd Dept. 2012), and Begley v. City of New York, 111 A.D.3d 5, 972 N.Y.S.2d 48, 72 (2nd…
  • What a Difference a Triable Issue of Fact Can Make: The Use of Experts to Oppose Motions for Summary Judgement in New York, Revisited.

    20 Aug 2014 | 4:57 pm
    It has been some time since we last spoke about the use of experts to oppose motions for summary judgement in New York. The topic, however, is still relevant. Some continue to believe there is a hard and fast rule, at least in the Appellate Division, Second Department, which forbids a trial court from considering an affidavit from an expert unless the party offering the expert's affidavit served full expert's disclosure pursuant to CPLR 3101(d)(1) prior to the filing of the Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness or at least moved to vacate the Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness if…
  • How Learning About Play Can Help You Pick A Jury

    8 Aug 2014 | 10:17 am
    Have you ever wanted to do absolutely nothing: nothing real, nothing hard, nothing serious, at least not for a little while? Maybe lie down on the beach, read a good book, go play a round of miniature golf with your family and friends? Just be a little silly, just a little? Remember when you were a kid, when you had the summer to yourself, to do what you wanted when you wanted with whoever you wanted? Just go find some friends and play: a game of basketball, or stickball, or maybe a game of manhunt; whatever you and your friends decided to do, however you agreed to do it. You and your friends…
  • Cybersecurity Update: Hackers' Gains, Target's Losses, and E-Commerce

    6 Aug 2014 | 1:22 pm
    There are a few recent news stories that business owners, fraud investigators, and consumers should be aware of. Though not necessarily related, they point out the ever-growing need to protect digital information and the consequences for those who do not. Cybersecurity, it seems, is something that will affect everyone, eventually. The topic of the first story, unfortunately, is common; the numbers, thankfully, are not, though we should all hope they stay that way. According to an article by Danny Yidron in the Wall Street Journal, which was last updated at 2043 hrs Eastern Time on August 5,…
  • Partition Actions In New York II: When Do You Sell and When Do You Divide Real Property?

    1 Aug 2014 | 9:22 pm
    It's been a while since we last spoke about Partition Actions in New York. Though, perhaps, not well known, they are an important tool for anyone who owns real property as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant. A good example would be where you, along with some relatives, inherit a house. The house is yours, and theirs; each of you has responsibilities, to maintain, and pay the expenses for, the house. Likewise, each of you can try to have the house sold so you can split the proceeds. If some of the other owners balk at this, you can go to court to force the sale and equitably split the…
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    GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

  • U.S. Appeals Court Concludes FERC Lacks Authority to Fine Federal Entities for Reliability Violations

    22 Aug 2014 | 4:26 pm
    In a ruling that could have far-reaching implications for the electric reliability here in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today found that the Federal Power Act does not authorize the Southwest Power Administration ("SWPA") to pay fines for admitted violations of mandatory electric reliability standards. The decision turns on the doctrine of sovereign immunity. In its modern form, the doctrine bars federal government liability unless Congress provides a clearly-expressed statutory waiver of sovereign immunity. Today's decision applies…
  • Regulating Emergency Generators: EPA Denies Rehearing of RICE Rule, Appeals Court is Next Stop

    20 Aug 2014 | 4:44 pm
    On August 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") issued a notice denying petitions for rehearing of its new rules governing air emissions from stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines ("RICE"). RICE, especially diesel engines, are widely used for emergency backup generation for hospitals, factories, and other facilities requiring an uninterrupted supply of power. They are also an important source of power to stabilize the electric grid in certain types of emergencies. Developments concerning the RICE emissions rule are therefore of great concern to electric utilities…
  • Milestone in Transmission Regulation: U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Order No. 1000

    18 Aug 2014 | 8:54 am
    On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a host of challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's ("FERC") Order No. 1000, upholding the order in its entirety. As we've previously discussed, Order No. 1000 aims to create a level regulatory playing field for independent transmission developers, thus encouraging new sources of badly-needed investment in the nation's transmission infrastructure. The D.C. Circuit's 97-page opinion upholding the order represents an important milestone in the evolution of regulation in the electric industry. Order…
  • Eric Christensen Quoted in EnergyWire Article on Utility Service to Marijuana Producers

    11 Aug 2014 | 3:19 pm
    GTH Partner Eric Christensen was quoted in Friday's lead EnergyWire article, which addresses the problems utilities face in serving energy-hungry marijuana grow operations under new marijuana legalization regimes in Washington and Colorado. The article can be found here. EnergyWire is the energy-centered daily trade magazine of highly-respected Environment & Energy Publishing.
  • New Era of Hydropower Regulation? Corps of Engineers Agrees to Seek NPDES Permits for Hydro Equipment

    5 Aug 2014 | 10:48 am
    On August 4, in response to a series of lawsuits brought by the environmental advocacy group Columbia Riverkeeper, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to regulatory measures aimed at preventing oil leaks from eight dams on the Columbia/Snake River system. The agreement may be a harbinger of significantly increased regulatory compliance burdens under the Clean Water Act for hydroelectric projects. Apparently sparked by a leak of transformer oil containing PCBs from the Corps' Ice Harbor Dam and several similar incidents, Columbia Riverkeeper last summer filed three citizen suits, later…
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    SEC Lawyers Blog

  • FINRA Cautions Investors on Viral Disease Stock Scams

    18 Aug 2014 | 6:55 am
    FINRA recently issued an Investor Alert, "Viral Disease Stock Scams: Don't Let Them Infect Your Portfolio." In the Alert, FINRA warns that dramatic news stories viral outbreaks, such as Ebola and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome ("MERS"), historically give rise to scammers seeking to capitalize on fears of a potential pandemic. In fact, FINRA stated it is aware of potential investment scams involving companies that claim to be involved in the development of products that will prevent the spread of viral diseases. Thus, FINRA issued the Investor Alert to remind investors to be wary of stock…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Paul Gerard Chiampa

    15 Aug 2014 | 6:25 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Paul Gerard Chiampa (CRD #1133609, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts). Chiampa recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent ("AWC") in which he was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days. See FINRA Case #2012034926401. Chiampa has been registered with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., since November 2012, and previously was registered with Morgan Stanley (June 2009 - November 2012) and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (July 1993 - June 2009). During its investigation,…
  • SEC Approves FINRA Rule to Prohibit Conditioning Settlements on Expungement

    27 Jul 2014 | 8:12 pm
    The Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved the implementation of FINRa Rule 2081, which prohibits brokers from making settlements of customer disputes contingent on the claimant's agreement not to oppose expungement of the dispute from the brokers' public record. Once information is expunged from the CRD system, it is permanently deleted and becomes unavailable to the investing public, regulators or prospective broker-dealer employers. "This rule will prohibit firms and reps from conditioning settlements on a customer's agreement not to oppose expungement, thus protecting the…
  • SEC Charges Compel Morgan Stanley to Pay $275 Million for Misleading Investors in Subprime RMBS Offerings

    24 Jul 2014 | 8:34 pm
    The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged three Morgan Stanley entities with misleading investors in a two residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) securitizations that the firms underwrote, sponsored, and issued. In anticipation of the charges, Morgan Stanley submitted an offer of settlement, which the SEC accepted, wherein Morgan Stanley would pay $275 million to be returned to harmed investors. According to the SEC charges, the matter concerns Morgan Stanley's misleading public disclosures regarding the number of delinquent loans in two subprime residential…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Richard Ohlhaber and Sales of Life Partners Investments

    17 Jun 2014 | 6:17 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Richard Ohlhaber (CRD #2154794). Ohlhaber accepted FINRA's Offer of Settlement, in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2012032077901.Ohlhaber was registered with Century Securities Associates, Inc., from April 9, 2007 through May 2008, and Southwest Securities, Inc. (Southlake, Texas) from May 2008 until his termination in March 2012. After his termination, Ohlhaber was associated with FSC Securities Corp. (Grapevine, Texas), Kovack Securities (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), IMS Securities…
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    Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyers: Safe Labor Day Travel 2014

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:27 am
    The long Labor Day weekend is synonymous with outdoor barbeques, beaches, boats - and an uptick in fatalities attributed to drunken driving and impaired boating. Without fail, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers have noted there are always revelers who will take it too far. We might expect a higher-than-usual number of injuries and fatalities, given the reduced price of gasoline this summer. That means more people will be taking longer trips, and boaters will be out on the water for longer. As they have always done this time of year, law enforcement will be heavily patrolling the…
  • Carman v. Tinkes - Comparative Fault Can Harm a Personal Injury Case

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:37 am
    In personal injury cases, plaintiff's degree of fault in the incident can impact the size of damages awarded and, in some states, preclude an injured party from receiving anything at all. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers know Florida follows the pure comparative negligence model. It's one of the models that most favors injured parties, and holds that even when a plaintiff is at fault to some degree, he or she can still recover damages, minus the degree of fault. So if the defendant driver is found to be 65 percent at fault for the crash and the plaintiff 35 percent, the plaintiff will…
  • Child School Injuries a Concern as Classes Resume

    8 Aug 2014 | 12:19 pm
    A Florida mother has filed a lawsuit against her daughter's former charter school as well as the maker of an inflatable "Sumo wrestling" suit, alleging that a "Spirit Day" activity went horribly wrong when the school failed to make sure the girl's helmet fit properly, and the manufacturer failed to warn of possible danger. As a result, her family said the girl's head hit the ground repeatedly, causing her to suffer traumatic brain injury that has resulted in dramatic personality changes, regression in the ability to communicate, blurred vision, headaches and severe anxiety. Our Fort…
  • Compulsory Medical Exams at Issue in Florida Personal Injury Cases

    1 Aug 2014 | 10:03 am
    In many Florida personal injury cases, either side may request a plaintiff undergo a compulsory medical exam. This is a medical exam conducted to establish or refute arguments made by the opposing side. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers know that while courts often grant these requests, they are not permitted to do so unless good cause has been shown and the parameters are clearly outlined. The exam has to involve a matter that is "in controversy" in the case. That is, it involves a key point that is critical to the requesting side's position. This issue was recently before two…
  • 3rd DCA Denies Vicarious Liability for Those Aiding in Defense

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:40 am
    Florida tends to have broad interpretation with regard to vicarious liability in car accident cases. That is, while third parties generally aren't liable for the actions of someone else, Florida's dangerous instrumentality doctrine provides that a vehicle is an inherently dangerous tool. Therefore, vehicle owners in Florida are subject to liability anytime that vehicle, driven negligently by a third party with the owner's knowledge and consent, is involved in a serious crash. However, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal in Miccosukee Tribe v. Bermudez recently declined to extend this…
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    Chicago Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • 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…
  • Questions Remain on How to Resolve the Border Situation

    14 Jul 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Both Congress and the President are weighing in on different ways to resolve the ongoing situation involving unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the US illegally. According to the Wall Street Journal, some House Republicans have discussed a proposal that would repeal the 2008 law signed by President Bush that guarantees unaccompanied minors aprehended in the US an asylum hearing as long as they came from a country that does not share a border with the United States. Several Democrats as well as immigration rights activist oppose this plan. Opponents point out that this law was created to…
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    South Florida Criminal Lawyers Blog


    14 Aug 2014 | 5:31 pm
    This week's disturbing news coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, is highlighting the troubling trend of militarization in American law enforcement agencies; a trend which is occurring right here in South Florida, as it is in most parts of the country. To be sure, the Ferguson Police Department is facing a tremendously difficult situation. The disgusting looting that broke out over the weekend, which resulted in at least one convenience store burning to the ground, calls into focus the need for police to reestablish law in the relatively small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The overwhelming…

    25 Jun 2014 | 9:17 pm
    This week, the State of Florida has amended its "Stand Your Ground Law," allegedly "expanding" the law to protect "warning shots." The apparent impetus for this legislation was the conviction and sentencing of Ms. Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to a 20-year, "minimum-mandatory" prison term for supposedly shooting a "warning shot" at her husband. While a portion of the legislation provides welcome reform, the new legislation also includes some puzzling shortfalls. At its heart, the law is simply redundant, because "warning shots" were already protected under the law. What's more, a…

    8 May 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Recently, the United States Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Navarette v. California, in which the Court upheld the validity of a traffic stop that was based upon a largely uncorroborated anonymous tip that the defendant's vehicle ran another vehicle off the road. After stopping the vehicle, California Highway Patrol officers discovered 30 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle's truck bed. While the defendant was never charged with D.U.I., the logic of the Court's opinion will undoubtedly affect D.U.I. cases throughout South Florida, because the opinion explicitly holds that an anonymous…

    18 Apr 2014 | 10:34 am
    This past week saw another addition to the never-ending story of school administrators making incredibly stupid disciplinary decisions. Awhile back, a Pennsylvania educator responded to an incident of bullying by contacting a law enforcement officer to assist in investigating the incident. That alone wasn't necessarily objectionable. Surely, some cases of bullying are so extreme as to justify the involvement of the police. However, did the school contact law enforcement to investigate the bullies? No, of course not! They wanted to investigate the victim! The victim's alleged crime? The…

    9 Apr 2014 | 1:24 pm
    On November 17, 2013, twenty-year-old Kayla Mendoza (now aged 21) allegedly drove a car down the wrong way on Broward County's Sawgrass Expressway, causing a fatal collision that took the lives of two young women: Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio, both 21 years of age. According to reports, Ms. Mendoza's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legally permissible limit for a driver: 0.15 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. After months of investigation, the Florida Highway Patrol has finally arrested Ms. Mendoza, recommending charges of D.U.I. Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide,…
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    Dallas Divorce Law Blog

  • Bank accounts and brokerage accounts are not the same in a premarital agreement

    Michelle O'Neil
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:14 am
    The Houston 14th Court recently handed down a decision regarding the characterization of assets in a premarital agreement, distinguishing between a "bank" account and a "brokerage" account in determining the characterization of certain assets.  IMOMO McNelly, __SW3d__, No. 14-13-00281-CV,  (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.], no pet. h.) (05/15/2014). Prior to Husband and Wife’s marriage, Husband owned and operated a business. Husband and Wife executed a premarital agreement in July 2008. The premarital agreement provided that…
  • August 2014 Dallas Divorce News Newsletter

    Michelle O'Neil
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:06 am
    Michelle May O'Neil, a Dallas divorce attorney and Shareholder at Godwin Lewis PC, publishes a monthly newsletter.  Here is the August 2014 edition.  
  • Can a psychological evaluation in a custody case determine who is lying?

    Michelle O'Neil
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:34 am
    Oftentimes, people going through a custody dispute want to have psychological evaluations to show the judge "who is lying" to the court about some issue or another.  Conversely, some people going through psychological evaluations in a custody case become concerned that the other person will "lie" to the evaluator through charm or outright deception and sway the results of the evaluation. Dr. John Zervopolous, a noted consultant in the Dallas, Texas area on psychological issues in custody cases, discussed this concern in the June issue of the Section Report newsletter…
  • Undisclosed assets after divorce

    Michelle O'Neil
    12 Aug 2014 | 7:53 am
    What happens if, after the divorce is final, a party discovers that the other party failed to disclose certain assets in the divorce proceedings? The recent case of In re Ford out of the Texarkana Court of Appeals is instructive in this situation. In Ford, the parties had been married for 31 years and separated for 3 years.  Two months after the divorce was final, the Wife filed a new lawsuit complaining that Husband failed to disclose certain retirement income received while the divorce was pending.  Wife sought division of the undisclosed income. Husband testified that the money…
  • Reimbursement for using inheritance on community obligations

    Michelle O'Neil
    7 Aug 2014 | 7:08 am
    What happens when a spouse contributes or loans separate property to the community estate during marriage, then seeks reimbursement of those contributions/loans at divorce? The recent case of Hinton v. Burns out of the Dallas Court of Appeals sheds light on how this is handled. In Hinton, Husband and Wife both brought separate property assets into the marriage.  Husband had a separate property business and inheritance, and Wife had a separate property residence.  During the marriage, Husband contributed all of his inheritance to the community estate and it was spent on community…
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • 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…
  • New Studies Reveal Serious Side Effects of Cholesterol Drug

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:59 am
    High cholesterol is one of the most common medical conditions for patients in the United States, and the market for medication to treat the condition is a multibillion dollar industry. Many doctors attribute at least part of the uptick in high cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, to poor diet and nutrition, alcohol consumption, and family genetics. The supersized diet popular in the United States has led to a marked increase in high cholesterol cases which, left untreated could result in cholesterol deposits in major arteries, ultimately leading to heart attack and stroke. The Center for…
  • The Number of Massachusetts GranuFlo Lawsuits Keeps Growing

    19 Jul 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Plaintiffs continue to come forward, accusing Fresenius Medical Care of failing to inform patients about the risks involved with GranuFlo. This medical powder used in kidney dialysis treatment to help clean the blood of patients. Now, there are around 5,500 GranuFlo injury cases, many of which were filed in U.S. District Court in Boston and Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts. Fresenius is based in Waltham, MA. GranuFlo has been linked to a greater risk of heart attack and metabolic alkalosis, which involves the body fluids having too much bicarbonate in the blood. Metabolic alkalosis…
  • Beyaz Birth Control Pill Carries Similar Health Risks As Yaz and Yasmin

    6 Jul 2014 | 3:24 pm
    In previous blog posts, our drug injury law firm has written about the risks associated with taking Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills. Now, we want to make sure you are aware that Beyaz, another birth control pill made by Bayer, also carries an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Beyaz was introduced into the market in 2010. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug because it is similar to the Yaz birth control pill. They are both contraceptive pills that are estrogen/progesterone-based. The difference is that Beyaz has folic acid, which can lower the…
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    New York Real Estate Lawyers Blog

  • Beware the Evil Stepmother

    11 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    Evil stepmothers are not only found in popular culture, as epitomized in Cinderella . Such persons are commonly the subject of events reported by the New York press. Estate conflicts often arise between children of a prior marriage and a more current spouse. Such persons inherently have potentially differing interests. The new spouse may have been attracted to the parent because of the parent's financial success. The child may be resentful that their parent has decided to remarry. For instance, Casey Kasem was a beloved radio personality whose end of life was dominated by a battle between his…
  • Elmo (and others) in Times Square: The Legal Issues

    4 Aug 2014 | 6:53 am
    In the news are stories concerning costumed characters in Times Square. For those who have not visited the center of New York City lately, individuals dressed up as Elmo, Super Mario, and Spider-Man, and others have been congregating in Times Square. They entertain tourists, and many people like to have their pictures taken with them. Unfortunately, some of these "characters" have become aggressive, demanding money from tourists for having their photos taken, and recently, "Spider-Man" has been arrested for an altercation with a New York City police officer. New York City officials are now…
  • Keeping Landlord-Tenant Disputes Under Control

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    Recently in the news is the rather gruesome story of a woman who was murdered and dismembered. Her body parts were discovered in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Her neighbor was arrested for her murder and is being held without bail. According to the news story, the root of the conflict between the two women appears to have been a landlord-tenant dispute. The accused murderer, Leah Cuevas, was pretending to be the landlord of the building in which the two women lived, after the actual owner passed away. Ms. Cuevas then attempted to collect the rent from the building's tenants, and when fellow…
  • Access to Building Services in Rental Units in New York

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:48 pm
    A recent news story regarding affordable housing in New York may be of interest to readers of our blog. New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) approved a separate entrance in a proposed new building containing affordable housing units. The building would therefore have two entrances (it is located on a corner lot), one for the luxury units, and one for low-income units that would comprise 55 of the 219 proposed units. Of course, many people are outraged by this "poor door," arguing that it imposes a stigma on the low-income renters in the building. Others may…
  • Buyouts Between Landlords and Tenants in New York

    10 Jul 2014 | 9:54 am
    A recent article in the New York Times discusses the issue of landlords making cash offers to "buy out" tenants of their rent regulated tenancies. Our firm has handled these situations, representing both landlords and tenants in different transactions regarding such buyouts. The reason behind such offers is the rent regulation system currently in place in New York City. Many, but not all, apartments in New York are subject to rent regulation. Rent regulation applies to apartments renting below a certain amount, but does not apply to rentals of a condominium or cooperative unit by its owner.
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    Wisconsin Probate & Estate Planning Blog

  • Carrying on a Family Tradition: Passing the Family Farm to Future Generations

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    18 Aug 2014 | 12:20 am
    Attendees at a farm show in neighboring Minnesota heard important information about the special types of estate planning available for farmers to facilitate transferring family farms to future generations in the most advantageous way possible. Family farm owners here in Wisconsin face very similar concerns and challenges. Proper estate planning can provide key benefits not only to allow you to transfer your family farm to your loved ones, but also place them in the best position to keep the farm in the family for many generations to come. One of the primary challenges faced by family farmers…
  • Estate Planning for Your College-Bound Child

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:44 am
    August means “back to school” time for many families. That often translates to a lot of shopping, whether it’s new clothes, new books or new computers, especially if your child is preparing to go away to college. For those families, though, their focus should be on more than just providing their children with the tools they need to succeed in class. A child’s turning 18 carries with it significant legal repercussions and, especially if that child is leaving home for college, the need for estate planning becomes very important. Estate planning may hardly sound like an…
  • Another Plus About Trusts: Federal Court Ruling Green-lights Trust’s Tax Deduction Claim

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    21 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    A federal tax court’s ruling in favor a trust on certain deductions that the trust claimed on its federal income tax returns highlights a potential added bonus to the use of trust planning, as the court decided that a trust could engage in the sort of active participation in a business needed to claim the business’s losses on its taxes. By refusing to foreclose trusts from claiming the losses of trust-owned business assets, the court’s ruling offers one more reason why family farmers and small businesspeople should ensure they have a proper estate plan in place that includes…
  • How Qualifying for Medicaid Will (or Won’t) Affect Your Estate Plan

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    8 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    For many seniors, few things are more intimidating than the thought of a required stay in a nursing home. In addition to the high degree of emotional stress that going into a nursing home entails, there’s also the scary thought of the financial repercussions. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article from last spring reported that the average cost of a nursing home stay in Wisconsin was more than $42,000 per year, with that number skyrocketing to almost $97,000 for a private room. One way for some people to avoid the enormous costs of a nursing home is Medicaid, but it too comes with its own…
  • Wisconsin City Discovers Multiple Benefits to End-of-Life Planning

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    26 Jun 2014 | 8:44 am
    In most places throughout the country, the vast majority of people have not engaged in end-of-life planning. According to an NPR report, only about 30 percent of people have an advance directive, living will or similar document. However, in LaCrosse, that number is far different. More than 95 percent of the people in that city have advance directives or other forms of end-of-life planning documents. As a result, the people of LaCrosse have served as an illustration of the numerous positives that families receive when proper end of life planning is put on paper in advance of needing it. The…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Spouse Seeking Attorney Fees in Divorce Must Show "Disparity" Between the Parties

    26 Aug 2014 | 9:46 am
    In many divorce cases, one spouse often earns a greater income or has easier access to financial resources than the other. For the less advantaged spouse, this can present a multitude of problems throughout the proceedings. But fortunately, California law serves to reduce the disparity in income and access to funds, at least as far as one's legal representation goes. One of the most significant steps in pursuing your case and protecting your financial rights - is to find an experienced family law attorney who is fully aware of the local laws applicable to cases brought in the San Diego area.
  • Modification of Spousal Support Requires "Material Change in Circumstances"

    19 Aug 2014 | 12:29 pm
    California law sets forth a list of factors for courts to consider when issuing an order of spousal support as part of a divorce judgment. These guidelines govern marital dissolution proceedings in San Diego courts and throughout the state. It is important for divorcing couples to understand that the amount of spousal support ordered, if any, is subject to the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. A family law attorney with extensive experience handling divorce matters would be able to give parties a good picture of what to expect at every stage of your family law case. Once a…
  • California Court May Award Attorney Fees in Divorce Cases

    12 Aug 2014 | 1:21 pm
    The California Family Code strives to create an even playing field for spouses who are going through divorce proceedings. One significant matter concerns the ability of each spouse to be represented by an attorney. In many cases, one party earns a larger income than the other and can afford to pay for legal representation, while the other may not be in a financial position to do so. The law, which applies to divorce cases in San Diego and throughout the state, provides a mechanism by which the parties will both have access to legal representation. If you are considering a divorce, the most…
  • Court Enforces Stipulated Judgment Reached During Divorce Mediation

    5 Aug 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Couples who decide to divorce may approach the proceedings in a variety of different ways, depending on the nature of their current relationship and the number of issues to sort through. Mediation is one method that some couples pursue, in an effort to resolve certain matters out of court. In mediation, an impartial third party (the mediator) will help the couple reach an agreement they both find acceptable. The mediator acts as a facilitator and typically has no power to force an agreement on the parties. But, even with mediation, the couple must be aware of legal requirements associated…
  • California Legislature Will Consider Bills to Update State Family Law

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:44 pm
    According to recent news reports, the California Family Law Code seems to be in need of some updates. As we can see from many advances in technology and science, as well as the evolution of the "family" itself, assorted state laws have yet to keep up with these many changes. California legislators will return from their summer break to review and consider bills that would update the state family code in various ways. If you are involved in any family law proceeding, such as a divorce or other related matters involving child custody, spousal support, and the like, you are encouraged to contact…
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    Maritime & Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

  • Cruise Ship Medical Malpractice – Are Ships Responsible?

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:19 am
    When you are on a cruise, you are often miles out into the ocean, far away from land. While on the cruise you may be engaging in extreme sports, eating foods you aren’t used to eating, walking on rocking floors, and being in close contact with thousands of other passengers in a closed environment. With the chances of injury or illness being high, you would think that ships were equipped with medical facilities and personnel that were prepared to deal with any kind of medical emergency. Think again. Medical Facilities on Cruises In fact, there is little regulation about what kind of medical…
  • Recovery for Injury When on a Cruise Excursion can be Difficult

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    14 Aug 2014 | 5:39 am
    We all know that if you’re injured while on a cruise, there’s a good chance that if anybody is liable for your injuries, it’s the cruise line. Inside the confines of the ship, it is the cruise line’s responsibility to make sure there’s nothing that’s going to injure you. But what about once you leave the ship, for the so-called excursions? Getting injured while on an excursion presents an entire host of difficult legal questions. The Danger of Excursions Excursions are the off-ship adventures that you take when the ship docks at a port of call. Excursions can include scuba diving,…
  • Spouses of Injured Victims Have Their Own Claims–But Maybe Not When the Injury Happens at Sea

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    4 Aug 2014 | 5:32 am
    If you sustain personal injuries, certainly your own pain, suffering, loss of income, and other damages may be recoverable against a responsible party. Often though a victim’s injuries don’t just affect them, but also the people around them, such as spouses. Spouses of injured victims may also lose vital aspects of companionship when their significant other is injured. Those losses can often be recovered by the spouse if the injury occurs in Florida, but the law is unclear whether that’s true if a victim is injured at sea. Our Florida maritime accident attorneys can help you understand…
  • International Cruise Victim Association Board Member, Philip M. Gerson Speaks to Congress at Senate Hearing in order to better enforce the Cruise Vessel Safety and SecurityAct 0f 2010

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
        On July 24, 2014 a senate Committee Hearing chaired by retiring Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, illustrated the necessity for better enforcement of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act 0f 2010Act. The Bill S. 1340, known as the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, perfects the intent of congress in passing the 2010 legislation. Despite, efforts made by the cruise lines to thwart the passage of this legislation, crime victim advocates and personal injury attorneys such as Miami based lawyer, Philip M. Gerson of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. still pursue justice for…
  • Confusion Over What Law Applies Leads 2.7 Million Verdict to be Reduced to Zero

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:20 am
    A Florida Court recently reduced a jury’s 2.7 million dollar injury award to a cruise ship passenger to zero based upon confusion over what law should apply. The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear the passenger’s appeal, creating a very dangerous legal precedent for Florida’s cruise ship passengers. Our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys are following these stories with interest. Specifics of the Case The passenger was injured when a rotting and unstable chair he was sitting on collapsed from underneath him while on a cruise. The jury awarded him 2.7 million dollars,…
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    Brian M. Mekdsy Legal Services, Massachusetts

  • 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: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 Media Afterlife: Tools for Zombies8 Questions To Ask When Setting…
  • 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…22…
  • 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 ThanksgivingYour Estate Plan Reflects Your PrioritiesIs the US Treasury Worthy of your…
  • Winter’s Finally Over: Your Paperwork Needs a Good Spring Cleaning

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    28 Mar 2014 | 6:41 am
    I don’t know about you, but after the winter we’ve just been through here in the Northeast, the arrival of spring is a welcome event – to say the least. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to opening the windows and filling the house with the fresh air of spring, and the [...]Related Posts:5 Items for your Estate Planning “To Do” List…Password Protection Software Can Be A LifesaverA Social Media Will Is No Longer Optional8 Questions To Ask When Setting Up A Power Of AttorneyProtecting Your Digital Assets With Google’s Inactive…Brian M.
  • Is the US Treasury Worthy of your ‘Charitable Bequest’?

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    28 Feb 2014 | 8:54 am
    As I was going through some of my subscriptions in my feedly tab recently, a headline on the Wills, Trusts & Estate Prof Blog caught my eye: “Loner Makes Mysterious Bequest.” Intrigued, I clicked through the link to get to the full story. The headline from the original Buffalo News article had me even more [...]Related Posts:Sick of Washington’s Games? Start a NonprofitSeries On The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Part 2Beware The Fiscal Cliff: Even Middle Class Estate Plans…Series On The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Part 1A Memorial Day Expression Of…
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    The Emplawyerologist

  • Wal-Mart After Dukes: Still Courting Disaster?

    Janette Levey Frisch
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    According to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s, dissenting opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes 564 U.S. ____ (2011) women hold 70% of all hourly jobs at Wal-Mart. You would think then, that Wal-Mart would be sure to treat its female employees well.  Wal-Mart has asserted that it has “strong policies against discrimination”,  and that certain gender discrimination claims were “not representative the hundreds of thousands of women that work at Wal-Mart”. The volume of sex discrimination suits that Wal-Mart has faced, particularly in the last several years…
  • Lesson from Wal-Mart: Wage and Hour Violations Don’t Pay!

    Janette Levey Frisch
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    I would like to think employers know they have to pay their employees for the time they work. The problem is that not all employers understand what constitutes “time worked”.  (Click here, here, here and here for review). Litigation trends show that this point may not have been readily apparent to Wal-Mart either. Wal-Mart has steadfastly clung to its party-line that it is “our policy to pay associates for every hour worked and to make rest and meal breaks available”, even as it has paid out multi-million-dollar wage-and-hour settlements or judgments.  Whether or not…
  • Wal-Mart and Workers’ Compensation: Adding Insult to Injury?

    Janette Levey Frisch
    14 Aug 2014 | 7:05 am
    Rare is the employee who wants to get injured on the job, or the employer who wants to deal with the fallout of such injuries–especially workers’ compensation coverage and claims. Of course employers have to provide workers’ compensation coverage. As part of the The Emplawyerologist’s  mini-series on Wal-Mart’s employment law capers, this week we are exploring Wal-Mart’s missteps in this area. Now, to be fair, Wal-Mart does provide workers’ compensation coverage. There are no known allegations that Wal-Mart is not a safe place to work. Based on…
  • Wal-Mart: Or How Not to “Handicap” Relationships with Disabled Workers

    Janette Levey Frisch
    7 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    In spite of the large number of disability discrimination lawsuits it has faced, Wal-Mart claims to be recognized as a top employer for disabled people.  If we want to give Wal-Mart the benefit of the doubt, perhaps Wal-Mart, percentage-wise, as the nation’s largest private employer (click here for last week’s overview)  does actually have a good record for employing and accommodating disabled workers. The lawsuits, relative to the number of employees and even disabled employees, may in fact be a small ratio. Either way, Wal-Mart has faced enough disability discrimination…
  • Walmart’s “A Series of Unfortunate Lawsuits”

    Janette Levey Frisch
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:40 am
    The next several weeks will be seemingly devoted to our nation’s largest retailer, second-largest corporation and largest private employer. In case you have not guessed, or if you missed last week’s post (you can click here if you did) that distinction goes to Wal-Mart. Now, we are not going to be appraising Wal-Mart’s general business model or financial strategy. Some say it ultimately works, others say not so much. Wal-Mart has been in the news a lot, particularly with respect to its employment practices. Join The Emplawyerologist after the jump where we begin our series…
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    Kessler Law Firm

  • Joe McCallum Gets Out Of Prison Today

    29 Aug 2014 | 6:00 pm
    In 1990, I defended a man charged with capital murder. On May 6 of that year, four men drove from a trailer park in southern Fort Pierce to a house in Sebastian. At least three of them burst through the front door and held a man at gunpoint. The man, allegedly a pot dealer, was home with his teenage girlfriend and his 6-year-old son. The intruders robbed the man, and then shot him execution-style in front of the girl and boy. Joe McCallum was one of four men arrested. All were indicted for first degree murder. McCallum was alleged to have been the sole triggerman. His Confession McCallum…
  • Ethics on Parade at NCDD

    13 Aug 2014 | 11:54 am
    Stephen Jones is the current dean of the National College DUI Defense. He also serves as chairperson of the curriculum committee. About a year ago, Jones invited me to lecture at the 2015 winter session in Orlando, and I accepted his invitation. We agreed that my presentation would be on ethics. Frankly, I was surprised when he invited me. While I have been a frequent lecturer at DUI Defense seminars around the country for many years, I have also been a critic of the governing body of the NCDD and its practices. The secrecy, the lack of democracy, the cronyism, the lack of criteria for…
  • Breaking Through The Blue Line

    21 Feb 2014 | 3:34 am
    Getting to Not Guilty Despite Two Detectives’ Claims Convicted sex offenders living in Florida are required to register and provide their residence address with their local sheriff’s office. Florida law requires the probation department to confirm periodically that the address for those offenders who are on probation are both current and accurate. Conversely, sheriff’s departments are mandated by Florida law to confirm periodically that the address of offenders who are not on probation are both current and accurate. Recently, the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office got that wrong. Two St.
  • Who You Know Matters, Too

    18 Feb 2014 | 5:21 am
    A few weeks ago, a friend and colleague who lives and works in rural Oklahoma reached out to me for help. It seems a friend of his had been arrested at the Jacksonville airport by employees of TSA. Not for smuggling contraband. Not for terrorism. For battery. On a TSA employee. It seems my colleague’s friend grabbed the arm of a passing TSA employee, in order to point that employee to the spot on the airport terminal floor where a stricken traveler lay having a seizure or heart attack. Of course, nobody messes with TSA and gets away with it. I need the help of the best lawyer you know in…
  • Prosecutor Jailed for Railroading Innocent Man

    16 Dec 2013 | 9:10 am
    A former Texas district attorney entered into an unusual plea bargain recently. He agreed to serve 10 days in jail for withholding evidence that could have stopped an innocent man from going to prison for nearly 25 years. This is apparently the first time a prosecutor has been sent to jail for concealing evidence helpful to the defense, according to news sources. Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson agreed to a plea deal that will also require him to pay a $500 fine and complete 500 hours of community service after state District Judge Kelly Moore found him in contempt of…
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • 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…
  • Lying Isn't Always Fraud - the Sixth Circuit Sends A Case Back Because Buying Drugs From a Drug Distributor Is What The Drug Distributor Wants

    29 Jul 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Lester and Nancy Sadler, a husband and wife, ran a series of pain management clinics in Ohio. As the Sixth Circuit explained, "these were not conventional plain clinics." For example, at one clinic patients would arrive well before it opened, filling the clinic's parking lot and the lots of nearby businesses. While waiting for the clinic to open, the patients used drugs and traded prescription forms for cash in the parking lots. The patients often traveled long distances (and in large groups) to come to the Sadlers' shops, sometimes as much as 316 miles in a roundtrip, even though most of the…
  • Short Wins - the Shameless Promotion Edition

    22 Jul 2014 | 5:06 am
    Remember back with this blog was more than just Short Wins? Remember when there were long and loving descriptions of cases? I still aspire to get back to that vision for the blog - that was fun. Seriously, look for more long write-ups soon. I've been distracted by writing for Above the Law (here is a link to my columns (I particularly like the one about cannibalism)) and my day job as a practicing lawyer. But, if you're jonesing for those long write-ups again, thanks to the good people at James Publishing, you can now read them in one handy-dandy book. It has the jazzy title Criminal Defense…
  • Short Wins - the Presentment Delay Issue

    6 Jul 2014 | 1:53 pm
    It's a relatively slow week in the federal circuits. My favorite case of the last week is United States v. Torres Pimental. You've got to love a suppression motion being granted off of a government delay in presentment. To the victories! 1. United States v. Spann, Seventh Circuit: Appellant was sentenced to 97 months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute. The sentence was reversed because the judge failed to justify the sentence. The reasoning for the top-of-the-guidelines sentence was improper because it would in essence equate to every drug trafficker…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog


    28 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    I long ago lost count of the number of times I've heard that line from potential clients who come into the office to discuss what happened to them or a loved one. My usual response is "That's okay, I do it all the time." There is, however, something regrettable about feeling the need to be apologetic for considering a lawsuit to hold a wrong doer accountable. Perhaps we forget that the Founding Fathers insisted on the right to jury trial in both criminal and civil cases and would not ratify the Constitution without it being included in the Bill of Rights. Perhaps we forget that without…
  • Testosterone Replacement Therapies (Low-T) Cases Consolidated into Multidistrict Litigation

    20 Aug 2014 | 12:28 pm
    As previously reported in this blog, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in January, 2014, that it was launching an investigation into whether FDA-approved testosterone products are causing strokes, heart attacks and even death. Several studies have shown that use of testosterone replacement therapies, such as AndroGel and Axiron, for the dubious medical condition "Low T" actually increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes in men using the product. Although in its beginning stages, several lawsuits have been filed in the Federal District Court in Chicago, Ill., the…
  • Major Developments in Fight to End Forced Arbitration

    11 Aug 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Major strides have been made this summer toward banning forced arbitration clauses which strip consumers of their constitutional right to have their disputes heard and decided by a jury of their peers. Unknowingly, consumers and employees are often subjected to forced arbitration provisions when they sign credit card and cell phone contracts, when they purchase retail products, when they are admitted to nursing home facilities, and when they enter into employment contracts. President Obama recently signed The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order which will prohibit companies pursuing…
  • Rising Temperatures and the Rising Risk of Heat-Related Sports Injuries for Massachusetts High School Athletes

    30 Jul 2014 | 2:22 pm
    In the next few weeks, high school athletes across the Bay State will lace up their cleats and begin summer athletic training camps in preparation for the fall athletic season. As anticipation and excitement surrounding official team workouts rises, so too will the temperature and humidity. Consequently, the combination of outdoor physical activity and hot weather conditions will lead to an increase in heat-related sports injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), heat-related injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among high school athletes…
  • Personal Injury Litigation Explosion in Massachusetts? Fact or Fiction?

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:26 am
    Conventional wisdom says that people will sue for any injury and that the number of personal injury lawsuits is steadily increasing. But, the facts tell a different story. Where a serious personal injury is claimed, the case is usually filed in Superior Court in Massachusetts and recorded as a civil case filing. The court has reported statistics for filings for most of the past 30 years. Comparing the number of civil filings since 1986 with those in 2013 shows that the annual number of filings has declined from 34,807 in 1986 to 21,458 in 2013. During that time, Massachusetts population has…
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    Securities Law Blog

  • Wylys Unable To Pay $728 Million Sought By SEC

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:37 am
    Attorneys for Samuel Wyly and the estate of Charles Wyly, who were found liable for using a network of offshore trusts to conceal stock holdings in illegal trading, claim that they cannot pay the $728 million demanded by the SEC, stating that it would bankrupt them. Last week featured closing arguments from both sides in a non-jury trial regarding the amount the brothers should pay following their May 2014 jury verdict. Their attorneys claim that they have a combined net worth of about $119 million. The Wylys asserted that the SEC did not show a nexus between the amount they demanded and the…
  • ALJ Rules Atlanta Company And Principals Committed Fraud

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:56 am
    Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot found that Timbervest LLC and its four principals committed fraud and ordered the group to disgorge nearly $2 million in illegal gains. Timbervest is an Atlanta company that manages over $1.2 billion in investments pertaining to timber. The SEC alleged that in 2006 and 2007, Timbervest’s CEO, CIO, COO, and President received over $1 million in unauthorized, undisclosed real estate commissions paid out of the pension plan assets of Timbervest’s biggest client. The SEC alleges that the payments were arranged to hide that the group benefited…
  • Ponzi Schemes Year In Review: Volume II

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    26 Aug 2014 | 12:38 pm
    Throughout the year, the Frankowski Firm has investigated a number of Ponzi schemes. Thousands of investors have lost millions of dollars by unwittingly putting their money into Ponzi schemes all across the country. This second installment of our Year In Review summarizes many of the Ponzi schemes that have been uncovered over the past year. Philippe Bourciquot was charged this year for his role in an alleged $3.1 million Ponzi scheme aimed at Haitian-Americans. Bourciquot made radio appearances to solicit investments by promising guaranteed monthly returns of eight percent, defrauding three…
  • Colorado Resident Charged With Offering Fraud In Atlanta

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    Heidi Ann Gamer was charged last week by the SEC with operating a $771,900 offering fraud involving two companies, one of which was based in Atlanta, Georgia. Gamer’s victims included people who participated in substance-abuse programs. Gamer was CEO of Gamer Media Partners Corp. out of Atlanta and Gamer Economic Systems LCC out of Colorado. She allegedly represented to investors that she would raise funds so the companies could buy interactive technology licensing rights for products such as smart-phone applications that the companies planned to develop and market. Gamer also allegedly…
  • Ponzi Schemes Year In Review: Volume I

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    22 Aug 2014 | 11:37 am
    Throughout the year, the Frankowski Firm has investigated a number of Ponzi schemes. Thousands of investors have lost millions of dollars by unwittingly putting their money into Ponzi schemes all across the country. This Year In Review summarizes many of the Ponzi schemes that have been uncovered over the past year. Monterey, California financial talk show how, Barbra Alexander, was sentenced this year to nine years in prison for her involvement in an $8 million scheme that conned 49 investors out of an estimated $6.3 million. Alexander and Michael Swanson ran APS Funding, which represented…
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    Darlingtons Solicitors

  • 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…
  • Divorce – business assets entitlement and dividing assets

    30 Jun 2014 | 8:12 am
    Sorting out financial entitlements on divorce can be complex and contentious especially where one spouse has business assets or there is a family business. Entitlement to business assets The difficulty often arises because the spouse that owns business assets will be well informed that the non-owning spouse will be able to make a claim on those assets, potentially up to 50%. In many cases, the business owning spouse, especially where there is a valuable business, will attempt to move the assets out of his or her name into a corporate structure or may be less than forthcoming as to what the…
  • Lies on employee cv – what to do

    30 Jun 2014 | 7:52 am
    Ben Jones – Partner & head of employment law Inaccurate or deliberately false career history and academic qualifications are problem employers underestimate at their peril. The figures on this are disturbing and quite staggering since, with research indicating that over half of CVs contain lies or inaccuracies which can range from gaps in employment history to false claims regarding qualifications and failure to mention fraud committed against previous employers. In addition to potential competence and general trust issues, as the old saying goes “past performance is the best…
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    Tampa Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • 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.
  • Florida Man Faces Aggravated Assault For Throwing Gasoline On Wife. Tells Police It Was A Joke.

    19 Jun 2014 | 6:22 am
    Sunrise, Florida man, Khemraj Samlall told law enforcement he was only joking when he allegedly attempted to ignite gasoline that he "accidentally" spilled on his wife and her bed earlier this week. As a result of this claimed joke, Mr. Samlall is now facing felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill. According to reports Mr. Samlall and his wife were arguing after Mr. Samlall came home drunk. Mrs. Samlall is thought to have told him he was a bad father for not spending enough time with his children, prompting Mr. Samlall to retrieve a red gas can…
  • Tampa Bay Man Found Guilty of Federal Terrorism Related Charges

    16 Jun 2014 | 6:02 am
    Kosovo born and now Tampa Bay area resident Sami Osmakac was found guilty last week of the federal crime of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and knowingly possessing a firearm not registered to him in the National Firearms and Transfer Record. Osmakac's case received national attention in 2012 when he was indicted after posting videos on YouTube, declaring his intention to blow up highly populated Tampa areas including Hyde Park and Ybor City and then subsequently purchasing non-functioning weapons from undercover FBI agents. According to Tampa news reports, Osmakac claimed to…
  • Jameis Winston Accused Of Theft From Florida Publix

    1 May 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston was accused this week of stealing crab legs from a Tallahassee, Florida Publix. Since the time of the incident, media outlets, NFL scouts, and fans of certain rival teams have taken issue with Winston's actions, making fun, questioning his character and showing concern over his draft stock. Perhaps these concerns are warranted and perhaps not, all are certainly entitled to their opinion. At the end of the day, Winston wasn't charged with a criminal offense for retail theft or petit theft but rather was issued a civil infraction requiring him…
  • I Got Busted By The Feds. Should I Waive My Indictment If I Want To Cooperate?

    30 Apr 2014 | 10:12 am
    In nearly every Federal drug charge I've handled in Tampa, my client has been charged as part of a Federal drug conspiracy. Depending on my client's role or position within the alleged conspiracy, he or she is often approached, through me, to cooperate with the United States Attorney's investigation in an attempt to bolster their Federal prosecution of co-conspirators or to seek information on other conspirators higher up the in the criminal organization. Depending on the stage of the investigation and very likely my client's role, the Feds may defer on seeking a Federal Indictment against my…
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    Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    6 Aug 2014 | 1:25 pm
    A U.S. court ordered cigarette conglomerate RJ Reynolds to pay $23.6 billion to the wife of a smoker who died of lung cancer. RJ Reynolds is ranked as the second largest cigarette company in the U.S. to first ranked Altria (the owner of Phillip Morris). RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company was hit with the punitive fine in addition to $16.8m in compensatory damages. The punitive damages award that was given to Ms. Robinson, the plaintiff, was said to be the largest of any individual case stemming for a class action lawsuit filed in Florida. What the court is trying to convey through such a large…

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:45 am
    In February of 2013, a New Jersey judge awarded Linda Gross $11.1 million dollars after a month-long defective pelvic mesh trial against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. This July, the same judge has denied motions by J&J, who requested a new trial. In 2013, Judge Carol Higbee of Atlantic County Superior Court, awarded $3.35 million in compensatory damages and $7.76 million in punitive damages to Ms. Gross. A jury agreed, in a 7-2 vote, that the company had fraudulently misrepresented and failed to warn Ms. Gross or her physician about the risks associated with their product, the…

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:55 pm
    A cyclist was struck by a garbage truck on Tuesday morning at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Columbus Avenue. The cyclist, who was taken to Boston Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, was riding a Hubway bicycle at the time of the incident. Officials from the Boston Fire Department used wood blocks and cribbing to pull the cyclist from underneath the truck, which was operated by hauling and disposal company Sunrise Scavengers. Although the identity of the cyclist has not been published at this time, onlookers at the scene report that the victim was male. The…

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Between 1980 and 2010, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States has nearly quadrupled. As a result, illegally sold products promising to prevent, treat or even cure diabetes flood the market at unprecedented rates. At best, these products may provide little or no relief for Americans with diabetes. At worst, they may be dangerous to consumers. The Food and Drug Administration warns that the products may contain harmful or undeclared ingredients, or may be otherwise unsafe. The products may be marketed as over-the-counter, when they should be marketed as prescriptions. In some…

    26 Jul 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Colored or decorative contact lenses provide teens and young adults a novel and unique opportunity to change up their look. But the a joint campaign by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) warns that these contacts may cause serious eye damage, if not fitted by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The collaboration wants to inform consumers--mostly teens and young adults--how to safely obtain and use decorative contact lenses and to warn them of the dangers associated with inappropriate use. Chief…
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  • DOL Finally Clarifies the Meaning of "Familial Relationship in PERM Applications

    29 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Many foreign workers obtain their green cards by finding a U.S. employer to sponsor them for permanent residence. Most employment-based cases are completed through the Labor Certification process, which is also commonly referred to as the PERM process. What is the PERM Process? At first glance, the PERM process can seem quite complicated. The process requires a U.S. employer to place a series of job advertisements in various sources in order to try to recruit U.S. workers. The PERM advertisements themselves must fulfill certain content requirements, must be placed in certain avenues, and must…
  • USCIS Providing Immigration-Related Relief to West Africans

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:50 am
    In light of the current medical and public health crisis that is affecting West Africans in three countries, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is constantly monitoring the Ebola outbreak and has proposed relief measures to assist those African nationals who are currently in the United States. USCIS is taking these relief measures in large part due to the humanitarian concern for the African nationals but also as a practical matter. Since many airlines are no longer flying to the affected areas, it would not be fair to label the stranded African nationals as immigration law…
  • ACLU Files Lawsuit Alleging Immigration-Related Discrimination on the Basis of Muslim Heritage/Ethnicity

    22 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    For most foreign nationals, coming to the U.S. and obtaining permanent resident status (i.e., a green card) is only the first step in reaching their ultimate goal of becoming a U.S. citizen. Becoming a citizen carries with it many significant benefits, such as the right to carry a U.S. passport, the right to vote in national, state, or regional elections, and the eligibility to receive some government-provided benefits that are set aside especially for citizens. How to Become a U.S. Citizen In order for a permanent resident to become a U.S. citizen, that person must complete a process called…
  • USCIS Issues Groundbreaking Memo that Enhances the Protections of the CSPA

    13 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    Immigration law allows the spouses and children of a direct beneficiary of an immigrant petition to accompany the direct beneficiary to the U.S. and receive their own green cards as dependent beneficiaries. To immigrate as a spouse dependent beneficiary is fairly easy. The marriage must have been created before the direct beneficiary received the green card. However, immigrating as a child dependent beneficiary can be a bit tricky. To immigrate as a child dependent, the individual must meet the definition of "child" that is outlined in immigration law, meaning the individual must, at the time…
  • States Differ on Their Reactions to Helping the Unaccompanied Minor Children

    8 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    The immigration-related issue that has captivated the national media in the past month concerns the growing humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States, where thousands of foreign national children are entering the country by themselves in order to flee gang-fueled violence and other dangers in their home Central American countries. While the nation still anxiously awaits Congress' movement on comprehensive reform, immigration advocates and opponents alike are now also waiting for President Obama to decide what to do with the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors who are…
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    Boston Business Litigation Lawyer Blog

  • SJC Clarifies Statutory Duty to Defend as Between Car Manufacturers and Car Dealers

    25 Aug 2014 | 2:02 pm
    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently interpreted a statute under M.G.L. c. 93B, section 8(a), which requires a car manufacturer, under certain circumstances, to defend a car dealer against a claim "predicated upon the negligent design or manufacture of a new motor vehicle, or any part or component thereof." While a "duty to defend" often arises based on the terms of contractual relationships between parties, it is less common that a duty to defend arises in a statutory context. In Ferreira v. Chrysler Group, LLC, the plaintiff had purchased a new Jeep Wrangler from the car…
  • Appeals Court Reinstates Employee's Age Discrimination Claim Against Employer

    21 Aug 2014 | 1:56 pm
    In June, the Massachusetts Appeals Court reinstated an age discrimination claim brought by a former employee against her former employer, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in which the employee claimed that she was demoted, and constructive terminated, as a result of age discrimination. In Younker v. Department of Transitional Assistance, the employee claimed that her demotion and subsequent resignation from the DTA constituted a violation of M.G.L. c. 151B, § 4(1C). That statute provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for "the commonwealth or any…
  • Non-Compete Agreements Survive Another Legislative Session

    5 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    Massachusetts legislators have once again declined to amend Massachusetts law relative to non-competition agreements, which operate to ban employees who sign them from working for competitors after they leave a company. According to the Boston Herald, the final version of a proposed Massachusetts economic development bill will not include language placing limitations on non-compete clauses, as many of those opposed to non-competes had hoped. The legislation has been hotly debated for years. Most of those in favor of keeping non-compete agreements valid and enforceable are employers and owners…
  • Ruling Emphasizes Punitive Nature of Attorney's Fees Award Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 93A

    22 May 2014 | 9:28 am
    In Holland v. Jachmann, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) considered whether the attorney's fees attributable to the plaintiff business's in-house counsel are recoverable as part of assessed damages in a successful claim under M.G.L. c. 93A (Chapter 93A). There, the dispute arose out of a complicated business transaction that effectively split the plaintiff company in two. The defendants were found to have violated Chapter 93A on eight counts, including flagrant breaches of contract and deceptive business practices. Chapter 93A gives a court discretion to award attorney's fees…
  • Employee Bound to Arbitrate Claims Against Employer Based Upon Language in Employee Handbook

    15 May 2014 | 10:21 am
    In a recent ruling from a federal district court in Massachusetts, the court held that the terms regarding an arbitration program contained in an employee handbook operated as a binding agreement to arbitrate the employee's discrimination claims against the employer. In Daniels v. Raymours Furniture Co., Inc., the plaintiff had been an employee of the defendant-employer. When he was hired, the plaintiff was required to review and acknowledge receipt of the employer's employee handbook containing the company's employment policies. A few months later, the employer adopted an arbitration…
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    Palo Alto Estate Planning Blog

  • 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…
  • What Not to Leave Behind: Massive Piles of Paper

    Liza Hanks
    9 Jul 2014 | 5:01 pm
    Recently, a client of mine described having to go through about 30 years of their father’s financial records after he had passed away. Needless to say, that’s not an easy task, especially when you’re not entirely sure what to look for, what to keep, and what to throw away. And, here’s the real point: most of us save more paper records than we need.  One really nice legacy NOT to leave behind are massive piles of redundant, out of date financial records. Here’s a list of what to keep and how long to keep it.  Do your children a favor — throw away the…
  • Building Up Your Own Credit Score After Your Spouse Dies

    Liza Hanks
    30 May 2014 | 6:37 pm
    Losing your spouse is hard enough. But some surviving spouses also discover that they lose their ability to get credit  as well.  This is because they have no independent credit history since all of the couple’s credit cards and loans were in the name of the deceased spouse. For many women, in particular, this can be a shocking discovery. But if a woman did not work outside the home, never had a credit card in her own name, and has no record of an independent income, she runs the risk of having her credit cards cancelled after the death of her spouse, or loans denied, even if…
  • Veteran’s Life Insurance

    Liza Hanks
    23 May 2014 | 4:30 pm
    On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, and that seems like a perfect occasion to write about something that many people may not know about until their loved one dies: life insurance policies that date back to World War II or the Korean War. Did you know that the U.S. government issued over 22 million life insurance policies to service members between 1940 and 1951? These policies were for $10,000 and were either permanent or renewable. Today, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there are over 950,000 of these policies still in force, and the average age of the policyholders…
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    Florida Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Colorado Shocked With Pot Tax Revenue

    15 Aug 2014 | 3:19 pm
    One of the main goals accomplished by legalizing marijuana in Colorado was the perceived increased revenue stream from state tax. Lawmakers strongly believed Colorado would benefit financially from the legalization of marijuana in its state. To their shock and dismay, the legalization has not been as profitable as lawmakers had hoped. By way of brief background, Colorado enacted a pot tax in 2013. Specifically, on November 5, 2013, Colorado voters passed the pot tax. The tax operated similar to other sin taxes in that it came at a hefty rate. Recreational marijuana sales were subjected to a…
  • Should Gas Stations Fight Two-Tiered Pricing?

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Have you ever wondered why gas stations often advertise two different prices on their sign? If you have not, then start looking and you will notice most stations advertise one price for cash (or company specific credit cards, such as Mobil, Shell, Chevron, etc.) and another for credit. The $0.10 difference, known as two-tiered pricing, is an attempt by station owners to recover steep credit card fees by incentivizing customers to use cash. Over the past few years, many customers have expressed frustrations towards the station owners by being lured into a gas station for a lower price only to…
  • SCOTUS Decides to Hear CSX - But Why?

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:07 pm
    Each year, the Supreme Court punts on dozens of cases. Included in the dozens of cases which the court elects not to hear each year are sales tax cases. They are uninteresting to the majority of the population and just not the type of cases the justices want to hear. In fact, despite having a significant affect in most multi-state businesses, the Supreme Court has not heard a sales tax nexus case since Quill in 1992. If there was ever a case to hear, it was Amazon and Orbitz versus New York. At issue was the two large online retailers versus the mighty state of New York. To the dismay of many…

    10 Jul 2014 | 9:58 pm
    It is hard to believe we are more than halfway through 2014. What is not surprising is that states continue to battle with online companies, such as Amazon, as to whether it should be required to collect and remit sales tax. States continue with aggressive tactics and continue to look to distribution centers, affiliates, or even hard drives as a hook to establish nexus, which would require the company to collect and remit tax in that state. In 1992, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a case called Quill v. North Dakota. In announcing the supreme law of the land, the Supreme Court…
  • Masterworks on Loan - Love of Art or Sales Tax Savings?

    1 Jul 2014 | 3:16 pm
    Museums are often able to keep their collections diverse because of the wealthy art collectors that are willing to loan their pieces to them. On the surface, this seems like a very honorable act, but what many don't know is there is a hefty tax incentive for these collectors. There is an increasing amount of art collectors that are employing this sales and use tax savings tactic when purchasing expensive art. As brought to the forefront in a recent NY Times article, they are using clever legal planning to get around paying a substantial sales (or use) tax bill on a multi-million dollar piece…
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    New Jersey CPA Tax Lawyer Blog

  • 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…
  • Rental Business' Failure to Commence Dooms Business Expense Deduction

    6 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    In recent years, buying and selling houses has become more difficult, leaving more people to pursue renting out houses they own but do not occupy and cannot sell. For these taxpayers, the tax code establishes clear criteria for what qualifies as a valid business and when they may claim a business expense deduction for their mortgage interest. These taxpayers should take note of a recent US Tax Court case that denied a Southern California couple the deduction because the couple did not meet all these criteria, thus allowing the Internal Revenue Service to disallow the couple's business expense…
  • Mom's Attempt to Deduct Basement Office Expense, Wages to Children Falls Flat

    16 Jul 2014 | 10:18 am
    A businesswoman's attempt to maximize her business expense deductions ultimately went too far, according to a recent US Tax Court ruling. The court decided that the woman did not have sufficient basis for claiming that one-third of her home was deductible office space, and that the facts of her case did not support her claim that she paid compensation to her three minor children. Patricia Ross carried on multiple business ventures in 2007 and 2008, some of which she ran from the basement of her home. The businesswoman also put her three children, ages 15, 11, and 8, to work for one of her…
  • Statute's Strict Requirements Doom Sales Representative's Vehicle Expense Deduction

    3 Jul 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Many people maintain jobs that require them to travel for work, and many of those employers do not compensate their workers for those expenses. Taxpayers in this situation should take heed to a recent ruling by the US Tax Court, which sided with the Internal Revenue Service in disallowing a taxpayer's $20,000 vehicle expense deduction. Even though the taxpayer used the standard mileage rate, and had records showing the miles he had driven, the Tax Code required more detailed information that the taxpayer did not keep. Mr. Garza's tax troubles related to certain expense deduction claims he…
  • Lack of Proof that Expenses Were Customary, Helpful to Law Practice Scuttles Business Expense Deduction

    20 Jun 2014 | 10:37 am
    An attorney's attempt to claim that he racked up more than $400,000 in ordinary and necessary expenses in operating a solo law practice failed with the Internal Revenue Service and also did not persuade the US Tax Court. Although the taxpayer had receipts and credit card statements showing how he incurred his claimed expenses, the taxpayer could not explain how most of the expenditures were customary or beneficial to his law firm, leaving the court to uphold an IRS decision disallowing roughly 80% of the expenses the taxpayer claimed. In 2007, Richard Canatella was the sole proprietor of a…
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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
    Going Public Lawyer  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 of... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Rule 144′s Current Public Information Requirement

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:44 pm
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Lawyer 101 Blog Rule 144 of the Securities Act provides a safe harbor from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) for resales of restricted and control securities if specified conditions are met.  One of the requirements of Rule 144 is that the issuer have current public information available to the public... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • What Disclosure Is Really Required For Investor Relations Firms?

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Going Public LawyerWe are often contacted by investors, stock promoters and investor relations firms after the SEC or DOJ brings an action against stock promoters.  We are asked a myriad of questions about the disclosures that must be provided in promotional websites, emails and other investor relations materials. Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 requires anyone who advertises a stock,... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Private Placement Memorandums 101

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Going Public LawyerA private placement memorandum (“PPM”) is also referred to as a confidential offering circular or memorandum. PPM’s are used by private companies  in going public transactions and by existing public companies to raise capital by selling either debt or equity in an exempt offering such as Rule 506 of Regulation D.  PPM disclosures vary depending on a couple of factors including... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • FINRA Proposes Pilot Program to Widen Tick Sizes

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:25 am
    Going Public LawyerOn August 27, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) filed a proposal to establish a national market system plan to implement a 12-month pilot program to widen tick sizes for certain stocks with smaller capitalization.  The Commission plans to use the pilot program to assess... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
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    Employment News

  • 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?
  • Wanta Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer

    3 Jul 2014 | 9:49 am
    Employment law attorney Shawn Wanta was quoted in a June 19t, 2014 Minnesota Lawyer article, “Wage and hour battles on the rise.” The article discusses the rise in the number wage and hour claims being brought forward under state laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act over the past decade. These claims deal with the alleged theft of employee wages through forcing employees to work off the clock, shaving time off of time cards, not paying overtime, and denying mandated breaks.Read more about Wanta Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer
  • MHRA Amended with Right to Jury Trial

    30 Jun 2014 | 9:28 am
    Earlier this year, Governor Dayton signed Senate File 2322 into law, an amendment to the Minnesota Human Rights Act, ensuring that victims of discrimination or retaliation are entitled to a jury by their peers. The bill provides that victims of discrimination in employment, housing, education or other areas, will have the right to a jury trial in cases brought in state court beginning in August of 2014.Read more about MHRA Amended with Right to Jury Trial
  • Federal Judge Approves Seasonal Harvester Class Action

    18 Jun 2014 | 8:33 am
    Immigrants and temporary workers are often silent about certain employment abuses, lost wages, and other violations in fear of facing retaliation or losing their position. Temporary agencies and employers suspected of hiring immigrants and foreign nationals are continually under scrutiny because of the employment and human rights abuses, especially in certain industries, including farming.Read more about Federal Judge Approves Seasonal Harvester Class Action
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    Dallas Justice » Criminal Law Blog

  • Marijuana Tourism and Texas: The Lesson of Jacob Lavoro

    Michael Lowe
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:26 pm
    As marijuana product lines flourish and recreational marijuana is legalized in nearby Colorado, what does it mean to Dallas? Serious charges in you’re caught with pot in any form: Texas law has not changed. Today, nineteen year old Jacob Lavoro and his family got some great news: the Williamson County District Attorney decided to drop the 1st Degree felony drug charges that were filed against Lavoro. The national news coverage of the two-count indictment against the teenager over some hemp oil brownies may have influenced things here. The petition presented to the prosecution, with over…
  • The Mike Brown Law: Will Police Be Required to Wear Body Cameras?

    Michael Lowe
    20 Aug 2014 | 1:48 am
    As the events in Ferguson, Missouri, continue to unfold, a proposed new law is being advanced for all law enforcement in this country, the “Mike Brown Law.” It would require all police officers to wear a camera as part of their uniform, so all their actions on the job would be recorded. Image: The Prima Facie® Body Camera by SafetyVision The campaign for the “Mike Brown Law” has already gathered over 100,000 signatures on a petition at in the past five days. Here is the full language of the petition: WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Mike Brown Law. Requires all…
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas: Continuing Injustice

    Michael Lowe
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    For criminal defense lawyers in Texas, the idea that prosecutors are human and sometimes do very bad things isn’t news. It’s something to be monitored during every case and almost every day you ask yourself the question: is the prosecutor trying to pull a fast one here? Real life isn’t like TV shows, albeit even Law & Order’s Jack McCoy was known to push the edge of the envelope. List of Reported Cases of Texas Prosecutorial Misconduct However, it is becoming more and more shocking just how many Texas prosecutorial misconduct cases are being reported in the news media these days.
  • Federal Conspiracy to Distribute Case: Reduced 73.5%

    Michael Lowe
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:44 pm
    Mr. Lowe’s client was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Mesquite Narcotics Task Force with the assistance of DPS on I-20 in Van Zandt County, Texas.  The client was determined to be in possession of 15 kilograms of powder cocaine.   Mr. Lowe’s client was ultimately charged with Conspiracy to Distribute 5kg (kilograms) or more of Cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. section 846 and 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)(A).   Mr. Lowe’s client was eventually indicted in the Eastern District of Texas and the case eventually assigned Federal District Judge Marcia Crone.  Mr. Lowe’s…
  • Defense Lessons of the Dallas Crime Lab and the Michael Phillips Exoneration

    Michael Lowe
    6 Aug 2014 | 3:15 pm
    The Dallas Crime Lab has made the national news (along with the history books) by being the first crime lab to have its DNA evidence form the basis of a wrongful conviction exoneration where the defendant didn’t move for the re-testing of the crime lab results. This is a big national news story.  You can read the details in coverage like the story in the Christian Science Monitor, “Justice delayed: Texas man first to be cleared by DNA review of old rape kits,” and in the Washington Post, “Texas man exonerated through DNA testing he didn’t know was going to happen.” Dallas County…
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Middle District of Florida Rules in Favor of Insurer Where No Meeting of the Minds Occurred in Rescinded Settlement Offer: Goodman v. SAFECO Insurance Co. of Illinois

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    21 Aug 2014 | 9:31 am
    In Goodman v. SAFECO Insurance Co. of Illinois, an insurance company provided bodily injury and other automobile coverage to a woman whose vehicle was involved in a 2012 traffic wreck. Immediately prior to the collision, the owner of the insured vehicle apparently allowed another individual to drive her car. Unfortunately, the man who borrowed the vehicle was involved in an accident while he was operating the insured auto. Following the collision, a plaintiff who was allegedly hurt in the traffic wreck filed a personal injury claim seeking $200,000 from the owner of the vehicle’s insurance…
  • Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals Holds Man Must Litigate Injury Case Separately From Bad-Faith Insurance Claim: GEICO Casualty Co. v. Barber

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:27 pm
    The District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District has ruled that a man must litigate his bad-faith claim against an automobile insurance company separately from his personal injury case. In GEICO Casualty Co. v. Barber, a man filed a complaint for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits from his automobile insurer following an injury traffic crash. The man also filed a Civil Remedy Notice claiming his harm exceeded his policy limits. The insurer responded to the man’s claim by stating it would not offer to pay him the entire policy limits of $10,000. Several years later, the…
  • Southern District of Florida Dismisses Mesothelioma Lawsuit Against Manufacturing Company: Rothchild v. Crane Co.

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:18 am
    The Southern District of Florida has dismissed a man’s damages claim against a company he alleges caused him to be exposed to asbestos. In Rothchild v. Crane Co., a man who contracted mesothelioma from his exposure to asbestos fibers filed a lawsuit in state court seeking damages from a manufacturing and distributing company. After the case was removed to federal court, the man alleged he was injured as a result of his exposure to products containing asbestos that the company produced and sold. Although the man claimed that he was exposed to the company’s asbestos-containing products at a…
  • Florida Court Grants Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurer in Motorcycle Crash Case: American Economy Ins. Co. v. Traylor/Wolfe Architects, Inc.

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:17 am
    In American Economy Ins. Co. v. Traylor/Wolfe Architects, Inc., a man filed a personal injury lawsuit against an architect and his company following a motor vehicle accident. According to the man’s complaint, he was injured when the architect caused a collision by negligently driving his personal sport utility vehicle into the path of his motorcycle. In his complaint, the man alleged the architecture company was vicariously liable for the architect’s negligent behavior. The doctrine of vicarious liability allows an injured person to hold an employer financially responsible for the…
  • $15.8 Million Jury Award Reduced in Wellington Family’s Wrongful Death Case: Wisekal v. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    7 Aug 2014 | 11:23 am
    The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has overturned a jury’s award of approximately $15.8 million in non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In Wisekal v. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, a laboratory processed two cancer screening tests for a Wellington woman over the course of two years. Although both tests returned a negative result, the woman went to a hospital emergency room for pain and learned she had a large cancerous tumor. She later died as a result of the cancer, and her estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against both the…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • Police Officer Denied Disability Claim

    27 Aug 2014 | 2:23 pm
    According to a recent article, a former Kentucky police officer has been denied his claim for a disability pension from the city. The former police officer was arrested over a confrontation with a soccer referee and faced a disciplinary hearing. The officer tried to push the disciplinary hearing back, so that he could have his disability hearing first, but his requests were denied on two occasions. Rather than face discipline from the police department that may have included termination, he decided to resign from the force. As he was no longer eligible to receive any type of pension due to…
  • Toland v. Colvin: Medical Testimony at SSDI Hearings

    24 Aug 2014 | 1:18 am
    Toland v. Colvin, a case from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, involved a claimant who filed for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under separate sections of the Social Security Act. The claimant's applications were initially denied and then, upon reconsideration, denied again. Your Boston SSDI lawyer understands that almost all applications receive denials upon the first and even second review. This does not mean claims aren't worth pursing. The first employee of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to…
  • Boley v. Colvin: On SSDI Adjudication Procedures

    21 Aug 2014 | 1:13 am
    Boley v. Colvin, an appeal argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, involved a claimant whose application for Social Security Disability benefits was denied. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency that denied her claim for disability benefits. As your Boston Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer can explain, the SSA denies most applications for SSDI and SSI benefits as a matter of practice. It is often only after aggressive representation by a disability attorney that claimants are able to obtain the benefits to which they are…
  • Social Security Disability Insurance Claims and PTSD

    19 Aug 2014 | 1:09 am
    According to a recent article in the LA Times, the influx of disability claims related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is leading to a variety of problems. The article follows a 49-year-old man who explains he is so plagued by paranoia when in a crowded situation that he must carry a gun to feel secure. Due to his frequent nightmares and Iraq War flashbacks, he is afraid he might accidentally shoot someone. The psychiatrist evaluating the claimant is skeptical and believes the veteran is exaggerating his PTSD symptoms to get benefits. While these symptoms track exactly to the PTSD…
  • Hanson v. Colvin: A Critical Look by a Court of Appeals on a Denial of Benefits

    15 Aug 2014 | 7:27 pm
    In Hanson v. Colvin, an appeal heard in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the claimant filled for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) because he was unable to work a full 40-hour week due to acute back pain. The claimant asserted that the back pain would radiate to his leg, making it even more difficult for him to work a full week. According to court records, the claimant takes a variety of pain medication, including oxycodone and Percocet that he reports helps with pain but does not eliminate it. The application…
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • Travel Management Company Settles With DOJ Over Citizenship Status Claims

    22 Aug 2014 | 1:43 am
    A private airline charter company in Indiana agreed to settlement terms with the United States Department of Justice regarding claims that the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act. Travel Management Company was accused of discriminating against individuals based on their citizenship status by maintaining a US citizenship requirement in certain of its job postings. The DOJ conducted a thorough investigation into the matter and found that TMC maintained the requirement for prospective pilots despite never being authorized by any law, government contract, or other official…
  • Obama's Proposed Immigration Actions May Be Unpopular but They Are Not Illegal

    20 Aug 2014 | 2:03 am
    The vast majority of right-wing conservatives are unhappy with the way President Obama is handling the issue of immigration reform in the United States. One element of the issue that has them particularly displeased is his unapologetic claim that he may use his executive authority to keep undocumented immigrants from being deported. The stalemate status of immigration reform for 2014 seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point and it remains to be seen what plans, if any, the current administration has for addressing it in 2015. But despite the outcry from both sides of the aisle…
  • Immigrants Released Due to Deportation Costs

    13 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
    A report issued this week by the inspector general for the US Department of Homeland Security said that officials at the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) released more than 2,000 immigrants who were on the verge of being deported apparently because it would have been too expensive to follow through on deporting them. The Secretary of the DHS was kept unaware of the immigrants' release and the Obama administration subsequently denied rumors that the plan to do so was in place and being carried out. The report also stated that there was insufficient planning on the…
  • Lebanese Man Lived in US for Over 20 Years on Someone Else's Passport

    11 Aug 2014 | 3:24 am
    A 71-year-old Lebanese man who was arrested in July for coming into the United States more than 20 years ago using someone else's passport indirectly and unintentionally admitted his involvement in the torture and ultimate murder of two Irish soldiers. The man, Mahmoud Bazzi, who has been living in Dearborn, Michigan and working as an ice cream salesman, had initially denied any wrongdoing but eventually agreed to be deported. The illegal immigrant became a suspect in the deaths of the soldiers which occurred in 1980 as well as in the shooting of another soldier which occurred in his home…
  • Risks of Deportation a Serious Issue for Underage Immigrants

    30 Jul 2014 | 12:56 am
    There have been literally thousands of stories coming out of US border states about immigrant children, adolescents, and teenagers who have crossed over the US-Mexico border into the United States and are hoping for permission to stay in the country. One such story involves a Central American youth who has been living in Dallas-Fort Worth with his grandmother for almost a year and who was given a summons to appear in immigration court in late July. The young man does not speak English and neither he nor his grandmother has enough money to be able to afford an immigration attorney. He told…
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    Immigration and Visa Lawyers Blog


    6 Aug 2014 | 1:08 pm
    All of us watching the news know that the ceasefire is in effect in Israel. And as it enters the second day in Israel, the NIV unit within the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has elevated its visa processing from "emergency" based to "special". This means that they will begin to accept B visa interviews on a limited basis. B visa applicants whose interviews were cancelled over the last several weeks will be notified via email of a new interview date. The NIV Unit continues to accept application for the following visa types: - Urgent appointments approved by the Embassy - Student visas (F and M) and…

    1 Jul 2014 | 3:10 pm
    In the Rose Garden yesterday, President Obama reiterated his commitment to immigration reform and reproached House Republicans for their unwillingness to confront this important issue. Speaking a year ago to the month when the Senate passed an immigration reform bill, the President outlined what Republican obstruction has meant over the past year: • We have fewer resources to strengthen our borders; • Businesses can still game the system by hiring undocumented workers -- which punishes businesses that are playing by the rules and hurting the wages of hard-working Americans; • The best…

    29 May 2014 | 5:04 pm
    Douglas T. Stump, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded to news reports that President Obama has delayed the completion of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) review of deportation policy until August: "If House Republicans were waiting for an invitation to get immigration reform done, they just received an engraved one. With Obama's announcement, the White House is giving even more time for Congress to act long after many thought that window should be slammed shut and executive action be taken. "To me, this delay of administrative action is the…

    23 May 2014 | 7:45 pm
    While Congress continues to stall the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, several immigration groups, including the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), strongly support Obama administration and its initiative that can bring relief to deserving immigrants and benefit the nation as a whole. NYLAG believes that one of the more prudent and expedient measures available to the administration would be to broadly expand an initiative called "parole in place" (PIP). By doing so, as many as one million undocumented immigrants would be able to secure green cards and become more productive…

    19 May 2014 | 11:37 am
    ACLU reported on Friday, that in a victory to immigration detainees, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted a motion for a preliminary injunction and motion for class certification in Preap v. Holder in a class action lawsuit, where Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, with lead counsel Keker Van Nest, LLP, challenged the federal government's practice in California of detaining certain immigrants without bond, often for many months, while they face…
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    Health Care Law Blog

  • Affordable Care Act Expansion of Community Health Centers: Endeavoring to Ensure Insurance "Coverage" Equates to Health Care "Access"

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:34 am
    A premise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to provide "affordable coverage" to more Americans with the idea being that newly insured individuals and families will have enhanced "access" to quality health care. Whitehouse Policy Snapshot. Particularly important is access to primary care, the means by which millions of Americans can obtain preventive care and better wellness as a way to avoid more expensive health care treatment in, for example, an emergency room. Following enactment of the ACA, there has been a strong push for previously uninsured Americans to obtain insurance via the new…
  • Health Care Fraud Report: Recent Federal Indictment of Cardiologist for Alleged Overbilling of Medicare

    23 Aug 2014 | 4:33 am
    On August 21, 2014, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Dettelbach, together with representatives of the FBI and OIG, announced the indictment of a Westlake, Ohio Cardiologist for alleged health care fraud. The cardiologist is alleged to have overbilled Medicare and private insurers by approximately $7.2 million. About $1.5 million of the alleged overbillings was actually paid. Alleged Medicare Fraud The indictment alleges that Dr. Harold Persaud, board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, maintained a private medical practice in…
  • Medicare Issues for Direct Pay and Concierge Practices

    14 Aug 2014 | 9:04 am
    The strain of health care reform and third-party-payer bureaucracy will likely continue to push physicians towards non-traditional business models for practicing medicine. This is especially true for non-specialists. As the trend of physicians to find viable practice model alternatives grows, it is widely expected that the number of direct pay and concierge physician practices will increase significantly. Atlanta Medical Practice and Health Care Law Firm Our health care law practice is particularly interested in direct pay and concierge medicine legal issues. While the particulars may vary,…
  • Medicare Fraud: Federal Strike Force Brings Nationwide Charge Against 90 Individuals

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:27 am
    As part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) continued efforts to combat Medicare fraud, federal charges were recently brought against 90 individuals across the nation for false billings to Medicare, totaling $260 million dollars. These charges were the result of a collective task force comprising federal, state, and local agencies and the use of data analysis and increased community awareness. This takedown marks the seventh national takedown conducted by the federal Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The goal of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force is to protect taxpayer resources…
  • Healthcare Whistleblower Claims Based on Self-Referral Arrangements

    17 Jul 2014 | 12:23 pm
    Two federal laws regulate referrals and financial arrangements between healthcare providers and facilities - Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.1 These laws have recently been at the center of important healthcare whistleblower fraud cases. While both serve the same essential purpose - to eliminate improper financial incentives that interfere with independent medical judgment and good patient care - they do so in slightly different ways and contexts. Stark Law (also known as the "Ethics in Patient Referrals Act") prohibits physician referrals of specified or "designated health services"…
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • 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…
  • Benefit Corporations Enable California Business Owners to Serve the Public Good

    15 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    The "one and only social responsibility of business," according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, is "to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game." Making money is the goal is just about any for-profit business, but a common criticism of much of American business is that acting to serve its own ends often fails to benefit society. Some business owners, in addition to making a profit, might want to work towards goals that have a social, economic, or environmental benefit. Several states, including California, have enacted laws allowing the…
  • Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of Video-Rental Company in Lawsuit Alleging Violations of California Privacy Law

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:02 pm
    New technologies are automating some transactions that once involved a customer and a merchant meeting face-to-face. As always, the law is not quite keeping pace with the latest developments, which leads to conflicts that the courts must resolve. California's Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1747 et seq., protects consumers in part by prohibiting anyone accepting credit card payments from requiring disclosure of personal information. This has applied to in-person credit card transactions for years, but courts have recently ruled that it does not apply to certain online…
  • Use of a DMCA Takedown Notice to Enforce a Trademark Could Expose California Business to Sanctions

    15 Jul 2014 | 1:13 pm
    A California business, alleging that a Facebook page infringed its trademark, sent a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to Facebook. It then filed suit in federal court against the blogger who created and maintained the page. The blogger filed a counterclaim, alleging in part that the use of a DMCA takedown notice in a trademark claim was materially false, and that the business was therefore liable for damages. A federal judge ruled earlier this year that the blogger had stated a plausible claim and denied the plaintiff's motion to dismiss that part of the…
  • Liability for Cybersecurity Breaches Still Uncertain for Many Businesses

    30 Jun 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Many businesses routinely make use of customers' personally identifiable information (PII), such as names, dates of birth, addresses, and credit card numbers. Now that nearly all business financial activities are computerized and networked, cybersecurity is a major concern. In addition to the risk that a breach by hackers will compromise a company's own sensitive information, theft of customers' PII could result in liability to affected customers. Courts around the country have reached different conclusions regarding this issue. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the risks…
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  • 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…
  • (Traffic) Trial By Combat

    Matthew Weiss
    28 May 2014 | 6:38 am
    I’m a big Games of Thrones fan and am excited to see how Tyrion’s “trial by combat” works out this week.   I therefore could not resist sharing one motorist’s attempt to resolve his case using this ancient Medieval procedure. Accordingly to Wikipedia:  Trial by combat is “a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right. In essence, it was a judicially sanctioned duel. It remained in use throughout the…
  • NYC Traffic Judge Caught Speeding 70/40 In A Construction Zone

    Matthew Weiss
    16 May 2014 | 4:17 am reports today that notorious Staten Island traffic judge Brian Levine was clocked on radar going 70/40 in a construction zone.  Levine is the most pro-Police judge in the Traffic Violations Bureau system regularly holding the highest conviction and suspension rates.  Levine was even ordered to take anger management sessions after inappropriate conduct vis-a-vis a motorist over which he was presiding. At our law firm, we often urge prospective clients to refrain from hiring us for Staten Island TVB cases because it is nearly impossible to win there.  Because Levine raises so much…
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    Spencers Solicitors Blog

  • Spencers Solicitors shortlisted for Law Society Excellence Award

    Spencers Solicitors
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:57 am
    Law firm Spencers Solicitors has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious Law Society Excellence Awards, beating competition from across the UK. Spencers, whose offices are located in Chesterfield, Derbyshire were nominated in the category for 'Excellence in Practice Management', and officially confirmed as finalists on 6th August 2014. The category was open to law firms who have achieved the Law Society's Lexcel Accredited status, their practice management standard only awarded to those firms meeting the highest standard of client care, legal case handling and risk management. Out…
  • Which of these common driving habits is illegal?

    Spencers Solicitors
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:40 am
    Most of us are aware of the need to avoid distractions when driving, but many people still find it tempting to use their car journey as a time to grab something to eat or catch up on phone calls. You may be surprised by one survey from 2013 that found nearly 50% of women apply cosmetics when driving, which insurers estimate leads to 450,000 car crashes annually. Police have begun using more covert methods to catch increasingly bizarre acts from those behind the wheel. Through this, one police authority in Hampshire released a video of a lorry driver actually brushing his teeth behind the…
  • London's Cycle Hire scheme: Four years on, what's the verdict?

    Spencers Solicitors
    15 Aug 2014 | 12:35 am
    The Barclays public bike-hire scheme in London, popularly called 'Boris Bikes' after Mayor Boris Johnson and based on a similar Paris model, marks its fourth anniversary this month. As part of the fourth birthday celebrations, on the weekend of August 16-17 there was free cycle hire for 24 hours. Yet has it been an unqualified success? With the sponsorship of Barclays Bank ending next year, and Transport for London currently looking for a new partner, what does the future hold for the scheme? Cycling in London - Statistics Over the last four years membership of the scheme has grown to…
  • What has Health and Safety ever done for us?

    Spencers Solicitors
    8 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    How often have you been told that 'health and safety' is the reason a common sense request can't be completed? Over the last few years it feels like the H&S excuse has been increasingly trotted out to explain why almost any frustrating procedure is in place and why it cannot be changed. Much of this stems from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational (workplace) safety in the UK. But with all the inconvenience it causes, why on earth did we bring this legislation on ourselves, and was it really worth it? Health and Safety…
  • How can we make horse riding safer on our roads?

    Spencers Solicitors
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:04 am
    We are known as a nation of animal lovers, but that doesn't always seem to be reflected in the level of care taken when motorists encounter horses and riders on the road. It's estimated that there were more than four thousand horse related accidents in 2012, but the British Horse Society believes that traffic accidents involving horses, many on side roads and country lanes, are significantly under reported. Recently, a rider in Dorset had a 'miracle escape' after her horse was knocked by the side of a van as it passed on a country road. Both horse and rider were actually tipped onto the…
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    White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    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…

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:53 am
    In an article in USA Today, the Journal News on August 10, 2014 by John Siniff relates his own accident with a woman who was on her cell phone. He relates statistics that show how bad things have gotten. About 660,000 drivers in the USA are using hand held cell phones while driving at any moment during day light hours. This number has held steady since 2010. More than half of drivers, 55% admit to using a mobile phone at least some of the time while driving. 3,328 people died in crashes from cell phone usage in 2012 and 421,000 were injured. It is now illegal to text while driving in every…

    12 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    In a series of articles, The Journal News has reported in July & August, 2014, a significant increase in job growth. In USA Today, The Journal News on July 31, 2014 published an article "U.S. Economy Gains Steam" after five years of slow growth from the recession ending in 2009. The United States economy is reaching "take off speed". In July, 2014, a number of economic data was released. The nation's economy grew at a 4% yearly rate. The economy's dismal first quarter of 2014, battered by winter, was less of a disaster than first reported. The private sector added more than 200,000 jobs for…

    7 Aug 2014 | 1:47 pm
    We wrote about the real estate market on July 14, 2014 noting the news was mixed. We have now received the results of the second quarter, April through June, 2014 and the news is not good. In an article in the Westchester Business Journal by John Golden, he writes "winter costs chill on regions house sales". The second quarter housing sales in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley showed a double digit decline from the second quarter of 2013. The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported 3195 closing on residential properties in the second quarter across Westchester, Putnam, Rockland…

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:25 am
    A number of news articles since the beginning of June, 2014 have been published pointing out the fall of the unemployment rate. In the Westchester County Business Journal on June 2, 2014, an article was written about unemployment rates falling. The article is entitled "April unemployment below 5% in Westchester". Seven counties in the Hudson Valley Region reported the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, the lowest level for April in 6 years. Only Long Island had a lower rate of unemployment at 4.5%. Unemployment in the Hudson Valley in April was down from 6% in March, 2014 and 6.4% in April,…
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    Pinellas County Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Trial Court Erred in Setting Aside Alleged Robber’s Negotiated Plea

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    22 Aug 2014 | 9:16 am
    One of the important elements of the criminal justice system is the ability of attorneys for the prosecution and attorneys representing the accused to engage in negotiations to settle the outcome of the case. Once a trial court accepts a negotiated plea arrangement, it may set aside that adjudication and sentence if legal cause exists, which occurs only in very narrow circumstances. In the case of one man accused of robbery, a Pinellas County trial court set aside the man’s negotiated plea without proper legal cause, leading the 2nd District Court of Appeal to reverse the ruling. Cortez…
  • Meth Evidence Collected in Illegal Florida Traffic Stop Was Inadmissible, Leads to Reversal of Conviction

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:42 am
    When encountering people they believe have committed crimes, police officers often become keenly aware of traffic offenses. That’s because even the most minor of offenses creates a valid reason to pull over that person’s vehicle. Without that traffic offense, the officer needs some other well-founded reason why he or she believes that person was doing something criminal. If the officer stops a car without either of these things, the stop is illegal, and anything discovered during the stop is inadmissible evidence . This aspect of search and seizure law was on display in the 2d…
  • Pasco Sheriff has your medical records

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:14 am
    In a case that’s been ongoing since 2011, the State of Florida is prosecuting Dr. William Crumbley for allegedly running a non licensed pain management clinic, a third degree felony.  The State alleges that Dr. Crumbley wrote over 14,000 prescriptions for pain pills in a three year span. Dr. Crumbley was previously barred by Medicaid for writing too many perscriptions, however, refused a settlement agreement to stop writing prescriptions.  In order to prosecute Dr. Crumbley, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office sent undercover officers into his clinic to obtain prescriptions for…
  • Judge Wrongfully Excluded Media from Prospective Juror Examination in ‘Loud Music Trial’, Appeals Court Rules

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:29 pm
    The high-profile prosecution of a man accused of murder and attempted murder in Jacksonville’s “loud music trial” drew national attention and coverage from a huge number of media sources. A recent First District Court of Appeal ruling declared the trial judge wrong to bar the media from the courtroom during certain proceedings, reaffirming the media’s right to attend the courtroom proceedings in person unless it harmed the accused’s right to a fair trial. This decision is an important one to note because, with the increasing number of news sources, especially…
  • Prisoner Gets Second Chance to Seek Credit for Time Served Out of County and Out of State

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    10 Jul 2014 | 10:28 am
    A man convicted and sentenced in Pinellas County but who also served time out-of-county and out-of-state received a renewed chance to obtain credit for that time served. The Second District Court of Appeal revived the prisoner’s motion for credit, ruling that due to a three-year gap between the man’s previous and partially successful appeal and his resentencing, he did not file his motion too late. The request stemmed from Michael Gisi’s sentence on several sexually-based crimes related to his relationship with a 13-year-old St. Petersburg girl, with whom he had sex several…
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    Oakland Employment Lawyer Blog

  • Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Hit Lower-Wage Workers the Most

    Liberty Law
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:14 am
    A recent study released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that pregnancy discrimination affects almost every industry and every part of the country. Attorneys for the EEOC say that pregnancy discrimination is one of the most overt types of employment discrimination they encounter. Discriminating against pregnant women in the workplace is illegal. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a federal law that forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, pay, layoffs, firing, promotions, benefits, and any other term or…
  • Family of Patient Found Dead in Hospital’s Stairwell To Sue the City

    Liberty Law
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:12 am
    The family of a woman who was found dead in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital, a city-run hospital, has filed a claim against the city for damages of over $25,000. Because the family is suing a government entity, a claim must be filed before a lawsuit can be filed. The matter is expected to end up in court. The claim alleges the hospital committed medical malpractice, the sheriff’s deputies were negligent in providing security at the hospital, there were dangerous conditions on the property, and that the hospital violated California’s elder abuse law. The woman was 57 and was…
  • Johnson & Johnson Removes Hysterectomy Device from Market after Cancer Reports

    Liberty Law
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:26 am
    Johnson & Johnson recently announced that it would remove from the global market a device that is used during uterine procedures such as hysterectomies or the removal of fibroids, after reports that the devices could spread and accelerate the growth of cancers inside women. The devices are called power morcellators. Power morcellators are used to shave tissues or growths into tiny pieces, which can then be removed without open surgery, often laparoscopically or through a tube in the abdomen. However, the masses could sometimes be malignant, and the spinning blades of the morcellators…
  • California Employee Awarded $1.13 Million in Workplace Discrimination Case

    Liberty Law
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:17 am
    Following a three week trial, a California jury awarded a man from Ecuador $1.13 million in a discrimination case he brought against a company that makes sonar equipment. The man claimed he was discriminated against at work because of his national origin. The man had worked for the company, which is a subsidiary of a Danish corporation, for almost 20 years when he was fired in 2011. He says he was given no warning of his termination. The man was an engineer with a master’s degree and a PhD. He began working for the company in 1992 when it was a small family-owned company of eight employees.
  • Study Shows that Accident Rate Unchanged After Banning Cell Phones

    Liberty Law
    14 Aug 2014 | 5:36 am
    Six years ago, California banned drivers from using handheld cell phones. Since that law was passed, 13 states have also passed laws forbidding drivers from using handheld cell phones. However, researchers have recently released a study which evaluated daily accidents in California in 2008 showing that the accident rate during the six months before the ban was the same as the accident rate for the six months following the ban. However, a different study commissioned by the state in 2012 found that the death rate was cut in half after the ban. This most recent study has been discounted by…
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    Sonoma County Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Four Men Arrested After Authorities Bust Marijuana Growing Operation

    18 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Earlier this month in Austin Creek State Recreational Area, park rangers and Fish and Wildlife officers busted four men in relation to a small-to-medium-sized marijuana grow operation. According to a report by the Press Democrat, park rangers' suspicions arose when they noticed unusual materials around the park, including empty food containers, sleeping bags, lawn chairs, and empty ammunition casings. Evidently, five men were involved in the illegal grow operation that took place in a very remote part of the State Park. Authorities say that the operation was so remote that it was not in a…
  • Three Men Arrested in Santa Rosa Drug Bust

    4 Aug 2014 | 8:43 pm
    Earlier this month in Santa Rosa, two men were arrested on drug charges when officers stopped their vehicle near Coddington Mall. According to a report by, as part of the arrest, officers executed search warrants on the home where the men lived. Once at their home, officers uncovered a large supply of drugs and other evidence of drug dealing, including: 2.8 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.1 pounds of cocaine, 13.9 pounds of marijuana, 19 marijuana plants, and $14,000 in cash and three vehicles. Law enforcement estimates the street value of the methamphetamine alone was over $20,000.
  • Northern California Man Charged for Starting Wildfire While Growing Marijuana

    18 Jul 2014 | 10:38 am
    Earlier this month, a 27-year-old man was charged with marijuana cultivation and with recklessly starting a fire in northern California. According to a report by the Guardian, the man's farm in Shasta County caught fire when the exhaust from his truck sparked some dry grass, igniting the entire field. Evidently, the fire has reached a size of up to 3,000 acres and has required the assistance of over 1,000 emergency firefighters. As of Sunday, July 13, the blaze was only 10% under control. Currently the fire is threatening 15 homes and dozens of other structures. Many residents were forced to…
  • Cannabis Cup Comes to Santa Rosa Fairgrounds

    10 Jul 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Just last week, High Times Magazine hosted its annual "Cannabis Cup" at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds. The event, which one report claimed brought in over 5,000 people, was a two-day event celebrating all things cannabis. From cannabis ice cream and other baked goods to hash oil and high-end new strains of marijuana, the Cannabis Cup brought together marijuana enthusiasts from all over the state. Those with medical marijuana cards were able to sample the hash oils and new strains in various tents around the fairgrounds. Some vendors who attended the Cup told reporters that the California…
  • San Jose Man Arrested for Marijuana Possession, Caught with a Weapon

    18 Jun 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Earlier this week in Sonoma County, a San Jose man was arrested for possession of 16 pounds of marijuana when a police officer pulled him over for speeding. According to a report by the San Jose Mercury News, the man was traveling south on U.S. 101 when he was clocked at going 83 miles per hour. When the officer approached the man's vehicle, he noticed that the passenger cabin smelled of marijuana. The officer confronted the man, who explained that he did indeed have three pounds of marijuana in the bed of the truck. Upon searching the truck bed, the officer discovered a 45-gallon bin with 16…
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    Traffic Law Stop's BlogTraffic Law Stop's Blog

  • Ellisville Buys Body Cameras for Police Officers

    Casey Coats
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:35 pm
    The Ellisville, Missouri police department has begun purchasing body cameras for all of its police officers. The Saint Louis suburb had been planning on getting cameras for all officers, but the Ferguson riots and Michael Brown shooting made Ellisville expedite the process. There are different styles of body cameras for police officers, but they all serve the same purpose. The cameras are attached to the front of the officer and can record all officer interactions with the public. The body cameras will be used along with the dash board cameras Ellisville officers already have. “Most of our…
  • Are The Police Allowed To Lie?

    Casey Coats
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:16 pm
    Most people have heard the rumor that if you ask an undercover cop if they are a police officer they must tell you.  This is simply not true. Police are allowed to lie to you. Police officers can lie to people during an investigation. They can lie about being an undercover cop, they can lie about information they have (or don’t have) on you. Cops can lie about what other suspects said. For example, a police officer can tell a suspect that their friend admitted to everything when in fact the friend confessed nothing at all. Cops can lie to you to get information out of you. For example,…
  • Michael Brown Protesters Damage Police Vehicles, Loot Quiktrip

    Casey Coats
    10 Aug 2014 | 8:08 pm
    The peaceful vigil for slain teen Michael Brown turned violent tonight, with protesters damaging police and news vehicles, and looting a Quiktrip. The incidents are occurring at West Florissant and Ferguson Avenue. Update 9:31 am: Photos of the riot damage. Update August 11th 12:36am: Civilian injured by looters at Ferguson Taco Bell, and a liquor store is being looted right now. Update 11:50pm: Police are now stationed at the Wal-Mart on W. Florissant to protect it from looters. SWAT reinforcements arrive. Estimate 400+ police now in Ferguson. SWAT reinforcements arrive. Estimate 400+…
  • Ferguson Police Officer Shoots & Kills Teen

    Casey Coats
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:40 pm
    On Saturday, a Ferguson police officer fatally shot an unarmed teen named Michael Brown. Michael Brown, 18, was shot at approximately 2:15 p.m. in the 2900 block of Canfield Drive. Many witnesses said that the teen was trying to flee when the officer shot him. Angry residents screamed obscenities mixed with threats to the police. More than 60 area police officers responded to the crime scene. After the protests, community members held a candlelight vigil for the slain teen.The next day demonstrators swarmed the streets again, while police officers with assault rifles stood nearby. The…
  • Marijuana Laws to Change in Missouri in 2017

    Casey Coats
    27 May 2014 | 3:38 pm
    For a long time Missouri has had some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. Attitudes over medical and recreational marijuana use have changed over the years, and some states have even moved forward with full legalization. In 2017, Missouri’s marijuana laws will become a little less strict. In a crime bill recently sent to the Missouri Governor, one of the major changes is to the states marijuana laws. There are a few significant changes: First time marijuana offenders with less than 10 grams of marijuana will not receive jail time but will still face fines of $100-500.
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    Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

  • Tips for Cruising Safely: Be Aware of Cruise Ship Crime

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    Any time a dangerous situation erupts or a catastrophe occurs onboard a cruise ship it makes headline news. However, when a crime happens aboard a cruise line, we do not always hear about it despite the fact that cruise lines are obligated to report all allegations of serious crimes to the FBI. Major cruise lines even post criminal data online for the general public to view. There are some limitations, though. Cruise lines are only required to report theft of items totaling more than $10,000, and assault causing serious bodily injury. While more than 22 million people travel via cruise ship…
  • Motorcyclist Suffers Life-Threatening Injuries in St. Pete Crash

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:47 am
    A 54-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured on Sunday evening after an intersection collision on St. Pete Beach. According to reports, a 54-year-old motorcyclist from Kenneth City was driving a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle west on 75th Avenue approaching Blind Pass Road. At the exact same time, a woman driving a 2014 Chevy Cruz was stopped in the left turn lane of east 75th Avenue, partially in the intersection waiting for traffic to clear to turn on Blind Pass Road. As the motorcyclist entered the intersection, the woman made a left turn as the traffic light was turning yellow. The…
  • Man Struck by Truck and Killed in Tampa Intersection

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:17 pm
    A man was killed early Monday after he walked into the path of an oncoming pickup truck in Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The man was struck along 50th Street just north of Palm River Road at 4:27 a.m. Troopers believe a 54-year-old Ruskin man was driving his Ford F-150 pickup northbound on 50th Street when the man attempted to cross the street. The man died at the scene. The driver of the F-150 was not harmed. Parts of Palm River Road and 50th Street were closed Monday morning while authorities investigated the crash site. Intersections can create dangerous conditions for…
  • Adult, Baby Killed in I-4 Minivan Crash in Tampa

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:50 pm
    An adult and an infant were killed and two children were critically injured after a minivan travelling on Interstate 4 exited the roadway and crashed. A 2008 Hyundai Entourage was heading west on the highway, west of County Road 579, around 1:10 a.m. when it left the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The van crossed a concrete culvert, rode up a grass embankment and crashed through a chain link fence. The Florida Highway Patrol claims the vehicle flipped several times before stopping on its left side in the parking lot of Camping World of Tampa. The driver, a 29-year-old Wesley…
  • 9-Year-Old Girl Critically Injured in Beach Plane Crash Dies

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:27 pm
    A 9-year-old girl that was critically injured Sunday when a plane hit her and her father during a beach landing near Venice Beach has died. The girl died of critical injuries suffered when a plane hit her and her father on Caspersen Beach, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. She was transported to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg immediately following the crash. Her 36-year-old father was killed Sunday in the crash. According to officials, the 57-year-old pilot of the 1972 Piper Cherokee reported that the plane was in distress around 2:45 p.m. and could not…
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    Utah Employment Lawyer | Preston & Brar

  • LinkedIn ordered to pay $6 Million in Unpaid Wages

    Jesse Brar
    9 Aug 2014 | 7:24 am
    LinkedIn, was b the U.S. Department of Labor ordered LinkedIn to pay its 359 employees $6 million for unpaid overtime and damages.  LinkedIn will pay $3.3 million in unpaid overtime ways and $2.5 million in liquidated damages to its 359 current and former employees in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York for violating the Fair Labor [...]The post LinkedIn ordered to pay $6 Million in Unpaid Wages appeared first on Utah Employment Lawyer | Preston & Brar.
  • Executive Order to Give Employees of Federal Contractors Access to Courts

    Jesse Brar
    1 Aug 2014 | 9:53 am
    On July 30, 2014, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The Executive Order will require companies seeking federal contracts valued at more than $500,000 to make any previous violations of labor laws public, in the hopes that will incentivize companies to resolve labor disputes such as back wage claims.  Federal agencies [...]The post Executive Order to Give Employees of Federal Contractors Access to Courts appeared first on Utah Employment Lawyer | Preston & Brar.
  • Sears Misclassified Assistant Store Managers and Failed to Pay Overtime Wages – Lawsuit States

    Jesse Brar
    28 Jul 2014 | 9:43 am
    Sears Misclassified Assistant Store Managers and Failed to Pay Overtime Wages Sears was sued by its assistant store managers who alleged that Sears rips them off by misclassifying them as exempt employees and not paying them overtime wages. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all non-exempt employees be paid overtime (at time-and-a-half of regular [...]The post Sears Misclassified Assistant Store Managers and Failed to Pay Overtime Wages – Lawsuit States appeared first on Utah Employment Lawyer | Preston & Brar.
  • Are You Classified as an Independent Contractor and Not Paid Overtime?

    Jesse Brar
    15 Jul 2014 | 6:51 am
     The post Are You Classified as an Independent Contractor and Not Paid Overtime? appeared first on Utah Employment Lawyer | Preston & Brar.
  • Exotic Dancers – Misclassified as Independant Contractors and Not Paid Overtime Pay

    Jesse Brar
    31 May 2014 | 1:38 pm
    Exotic Dancers and Overtime Wages Last week, six exotic dancers filed a collective action (class action) case against the King of Diamonds strip club and its parent company Galardi South Enterprises Consulting Inc., for violations of wage and overtime laws.  This strip club’s parent company settled a similar lawsuit for $1.55 million in Georgia a [...]The post Exotic Dancers – Misclassified as Independant Contractors and Not Paid Overtime Pay appeared first on Utah Employment Lawyer | Preston & Brar.
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    Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

  • What exactly is a traumatic brain injury?

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:33 pm
    According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a traumatic brain injury occurs whenever the brain suffers a sudden trauma causing damage to its tissue. This can result after a person's head receives a sudden and violent blow from an object or after an object pierces a person's skull and damages brain tissue. The severity of TBIs are broken down into three categories; mild, moderate or severe. Of course, these levels depend on the amount of trauma inflicted on the brain. Here are some of the most commonly reported symptoms associated with TBIs: -- Loss of…
  • Nursing home deaths raise medical malpractice concerns

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:43 pm
    The Minnesota Department of Health issued an investigative report on Aug. 22 in which it claims that two Minnesota nursing homes contributed to the deaths of two residents due to inadequate care. This report comes on the heels of growing concerns that the number of reports involving abuse and neglect in Minnesota facilities serving the elderly are on the rise. A report issued last month by the Department of Health indicates that the number of maltreatment complaints in Minnesota nursing homes and assisted-living facilities has grown almost three times in size. In 2010, only 451 of those cases…
  • Information about uterine rupture birth injuries

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    15 Aug 2014 | 1:00 pm
    For many Minnesota expectant mothers, there are many choices that need to be decided. Of course, there are those rather mundane issues such as which color to paint the nursery or which style of baby stroller will fit best in the car. However, mothers that have previously given birth via cesarean, also known as a C-section, have a much more difficult choice to make. Will they elect to deliver the baby in the same manner as the previous birth or will they decide on a vaginal birth after cesarean? It's a miracle of modern science that women today even have that choice. Up until recently, it was…
  • Some basic facts and numbers about spinal cord injuries

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    8 Aug 2014 | 7:38 pm
    Almost from the time we are able to walk, most of us take for granted having the ability of the full use of all of our limbs. In fact, being able to move about on two legs, bipedalism, is one of the hallmarks of being human. Perhaps that is why spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, are so devastating to the human experience. People suffering from SCIs often live out the rest of their lives with partial and sometimes even permanent paralysis. An agency down in Birmingham, Alabama, has been keeping track of SCI statistics throughout the nation since 1973. Using statistics compiled from 2010 data, the…
  • Man creates Facebook posts after fatal auto accident

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:30 pm
    The Minnesota State Patrol says that a 24-year-old man is responsible for car accident on July 22 in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, which ultimately cost the life of a 16-year-old boy. According to police, the man who caused the accident had actually sideswiped another vehicle along Highway 252 near 73rd Ave. just moments before he collided with another car. Police say that driver totaled both vehicles in the second collision. An officer responding to the scene of the second accident said that he detected the odor of alcohol on the defendant. Sadly, a 16-year-old Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, boy…
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    Harrison County Personal Injury Law Blog

  • After a car accident - what can you do?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    Driving is a fundamental part of the average Texan's life. In a typical day, a person may use a car to go to work, get food, run errands and return home. Depending on the commute from home to work and back, Texans can spend a healthy percent of their days in their cars. That many Texans spending so much time in their cars translates into busy roads. Just look at the traffic on Interstate 20 and U.S. Highways 59 and 80. When roads are that busy, things are bound to go wrong on occasion. A tire blows out, an accelerator locks, a driver does not see the car in his or her blind spot. When things…
  • Texas State student sues GM over burn injury

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    21 Aug 2014 | 1:57 pm
    When the weather gets chilly, it can be nice to sit on a heated seat. But a personal-injury lawsuit filed by a Texas State University graduate student suggests sitting in a heated seat may not be as nice as it sounds. The woman claims she was sitting in her friend's 2008 Chevrolet Suburban with the heated seat on. Over time, the seat got so hot that it gave her third-degree burns. Some readers are likely asking themselves why the woman did not turn off the heated seat if it was so hot. The reason is twofold. First, the woman does not have feeling from the waist down so she simply could not…
  • Five tips on what to do right after a car accident

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:29 am
    Driving is a part of most Texans' daily lives. They go from place to place, confident that they will arrive unharmed at their destination. But not every trip ends in a safe arrival. Unfortunately, every day, Texans find themselves in car accidents. But because such wrecks are an uncommon experience for an individual, most Texans do not know what steps to take at the accident scene. The following tips should help. First, stay at the scene. Leaving the scene could lead to serious criminal penalties, especially if the accident was injurious or fatal. The only exception to this rule is when the…
  • Products liability: GM recalls more than 2 million vehicles

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
    When a Texan buys a product, they expect the product to function as expected. For example, if they buy a car, they expect it to reliably stop, start and turn. When it does not, the car can transform from a safe method of transport to a dang