• Most Topular Stories

  • Client Relationships, Firm Strategy, and Lawyers and Retirement: New Issue of EIC

    Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices
    Gerry Riskin
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:10 pm
    The April, 2015 issue of Edge International Communique is now available online. Check out feature articles by three of my Edge International colleagues: – David Cruickshank talks about improving client relationships – Bithika Anand addresses the issue of when lawyers should retire – Sean Larkan shares some tools for building (or rebuilding) an effective firm strategy Click here to subscribe to EIC. I welcome your feedback via the comments section below, or you can contact me directly via email.  
  • What an Estate Planning Attorney Can Do For You

    Estate Planning Attorney
    Ron Beattie
    13 Nov 2014 | 11:10 am
    If you own various assets and properties, it is always essential that you start organizing these with the help of an estate planning attorney. A lot of individuals believed that hiring an estate planning lawyer is only for those who are rich and famous, while, in fact, it is for everyone! Some people think that planning and organizing their properties might seem a little too early. However, we can’t really say what the future holds, and it is always best to be prepared in case untoward incidents happen. This will also have you and your family prepared in advance just in case other…
  • New York Ethics Opinion on Lawyers and LinkedIn

    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog
    9 Apr 2015 | 9:10 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "New York Ethics Opinion on Lawyers and LinkedIn."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. New York Ethics Opinion on Lawyers and LinkedIn    Earlier this month, the New York County Lawyers Association weighed in on the ethical obligations of lawyers who maintain LinkedIn profiles in Formal Opinion 748. This is an important opinion since LinkedIn is the most popular social network used by lawyers. In the past there has been confusion as to which features pose ethics issues, especially as the platform has evolved over time. This…
  • Planning for Long-Term Care of Veterans and Surviving Spouses with VA Benefits

    Wisconsin Probate & Estate Planning Blog
    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:11 am
    When a wartime veteran or a surviving spouse needs long-term care, VA benefits will help pay for this long-term care. Many families are not aware they may be entitled to receive these long-term care benefits from the Veterans Administration. Below are some examples of VA benefits that you may be entitled to receive as a wartime veteran or a surviving spouse that can help you pay for much needed long-term medical and personal care. Pension with Aid and Attendance is intended to help pay for medical and personal care for veterans and surviving spouses who need assistance with daily activities…
  • When is posting on social media a crime? Panel debates the issue

    ABA Journal Magazine Stories
    1 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
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  • Latest high-stakes offense: lost-dog posters in D.C.?

    Walter Olson
    17 Apr 2015 | 3:17 am
    It’s unclear whether the District of Columbia’s $300 penalty for affixing signs in public places is per offending sign or per offending course of conduct, which means that when Roger Horowitz and friends put up thousands of fliers about his lost dog Ollie, he might have been flirting with a very substantial liability; according to Horowitz, the sum of $750,000 came up in a conversation with a police officer. [NBC Washington] For more examples of how cumulative statutory damages or fines for individually paltry offenses can multiply into seemingly disproportionate outcomes, see…
  • “Infamous ‘podcasting patent’ knocked out”

    Walter Olson
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:42 am
    “A year-and-a-half after the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a crowd-funded challenge to a patent being used to threaten podcasters, the patent has been invalidated. …Personal Audio gave up on getting royalties from podcasters in 2014 after a lawsuit against comedian Adam Carolla almost went to trial.” [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica, earlier on Carolla’s efforts] Tags: patent quality, patent trolls “Infamous ‘podcasting patent’ knocked out” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Great moments in blame: prisoner cellphone access

    Walter Olson
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:15 pm
    Prison inmate orders attack on guard at guard’s home in Bishopville, South Carolina. Surviving guard Robert Johnson and wife “did not, however, sue the typical defendants – i.e., the shooter or any prison inmate or employee. Rather, the Johnsons sued several cellular phone service providers and owners of cell phone towers. According to the Johnsons, these defendants are liable for Mr. Johnson’s injuries because they were aware that their services facilitated the illegal use of cellphones by prison inmates and yet failed to take steps to curb that use.” [Fourth…
  • “Will youth sports disputes be improved by the intervention of the courts?”

    Walter Olson
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:05 pm
    Writes Tyler Cowen, about a lawsuit filed by a benched 16-year-old club volleyball hopeful in Chantilly, Va. Tags: schools, sports “Will youth sports disputes be improved by the intervention of the courts?” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • “As a university employee, my personal experience with Title IX…”

    Walter Olson
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:47 am
    “As a university employee, my personal experience with Title IX has been discouraging, frustrating, alienating. I have been recruited to join complaints against male colleagues, most recently against someone with whom I was friends outside of our workplace. I have, when I refused to be a complainant, been interviewed as a witness. I have, when interviewed as a witness, been grilled over a multitude of conversations and social interactions that took place away from campus, in the company of adults, that I never expected that I would one day have to explain in a formal setting. ……
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    Solo Practice University®

  • How Long Do I Need to Keep My Closed Files?

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    14 Apr 2015 | 5:28 am
    As a risk manager, this question is the one question I’m asked more than any other and I get it. Truth be told, however, the answer to this question isn’t a simple one; but it is manageable and it begins with determining when any given file can be destroyed.Written by Mark Bassingthwaighte
  • Has the Internet Changed How Lawyers Reason and Write?

    George Gold
    9 Apr 2015 | 5:30 am
    Nowadays, much legal research is done on the internet. Sure, it saves time and can be of great value. The downside: Instead of using legal reasoning, attorneys are, in many instances, and to a lesser or greater extent, relying on the methodology and conclusions reached by others. And their writing....Written by George Gold
  • How To Make Speaking Work As A Marketing Strategy – Guest Lecture with Denise Hedges and Barbara Mencer

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    6 Apr 2015 | 5:30 am
    You may have considered speaking as part of your marketing strategy but were not really sure how to go about it. More likely you are afraid you won't be an effective speaker. Well, we found THE best experts on this subject who not only know the value of speaking to increase business but can also teach you how to actually present. You will learn to not only speak well and energize your audience, but to speak effectively. Speaking effectively means converting your audience into clients and/or great referral sources. Written by Susan Cartier Liebel
  • 5 Mantras Successful Rezooming Attorneys Chant

    Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton
    1 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    Jeff Haden, a ghostwriter, speaker and ponderer of really interesting questions, wrote his column this month about 5 Statements Successful People Refused to Except (or Even Think). It was an interesting article which first discussed what not to think then suggested how to think differently. It spoke to the reader’s traditionally negative state of mind, […]Written by Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton
  • The Power of the Meetup for Solo Practitioners

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    30 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    If you haven't heard of Meetups you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to not just grow your practice, but enhance your life on many levels.Written by Susan Cartier Liebel
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    Above the Law

  • The Sony Hack Emails Are Now Available On WikiLeaks — But Should You Look?

    Tamara Tabo
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Columnist Tamara Tabo asks: where is the line between muckraking journalism and tawdry gossip?
  • Non-Sequiturs: 04.17.15

    Joe Patrice
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:20 pm
    * Parents of Boston bombing victim Martin Richard are hoping their child's murderer avoids the distracting spectacle of the death penalty. [Boston Globe] * Local prosecutor may have been munching down on pot brownies. [] * At least the Middle District of Florida is willing to throw a speed bump into the Kardashians' continuing assault on the human spirit. [South Florida Lawyers] * Jesus, overcriminalization is stupid: Atlanta teacher cheating edition. [Lawyers, Guns & Money] * Note that cheating among poor inner-city kids demands the criminal justice system, while cheating at…
  • #ABATECHSHOW Keynote: The Centralization Of Computers And The Value Of People

    Keith Lee
    17 Apr 2015 | 1:45 pm
    Human experience and talent have a necessary place even in an industry that is heavily automated. Robots won't be taking over your jobs... yet.
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    Simple Justice

  • Breaking The Calm Of The Hallways*

    18 Apr 2015 | 5:25 am
    They may be loud and boisterous on the streets, but in the hallways of the courthouse, they speak mostly in hushed tones.  Even tough street kids know better than to get too loud, attract too much attention, in the one place where their bluster won’t pay.  Courthouse hallways tend to be unnaturally calm. When 22-year-old Anthony Jones was tossed out of a Philly courtroom for wearing a hat, he broke that calm. The incident started about 11 a.m. last Friday, when a court crier in Courtroom 706 ordered Jones to remove his hat and then booted him out when he became upset, Sen said. In…
  • When The Thrill Is Gone

    18 Apr 2015 | 4:26 am
    PrawfsBlawg is ten years old.  It was already going strong when SJ was born, led by a law professor named Dan Markel who was murdered last year.  Even though I disagreed with Dan about many things, I respected him, and wrote about Dan’s ideas many times here.  But Prawfs lived on, and now it’s ten. Most of you don’t read Prawfs.  It’s an academic blog, bogged down by the language, concerns and interests that are unique to the legal academy.  It’s not always thrilling, particularly for the non-lawyers, and it was often disturbing when the prawfs navel gazed…
  • When Cops Invoke

    17 Apr 2015 | 6:15 am
    The killing of Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams in a hail of 137 bullets at the end of a car chase gave rise to a generic question, why do car chases so often end with death, even after the chase is over?  But now that Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo is on trial for involuntary manslaughter, a new question is raised: why won’t the other cops present testify against him? A seventh police officer invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incriminationThursday in the voluntary manslaughter trial of fellow Cleveland officer Michael Brelo. Officer Erin O’Donnell, who…
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    Law and Magic Blog

  • TSA's Behavioral Detection Program

    16 Apr 2015 | 10:58 am
    Tung Yin, Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, discusses whether behavioral detection screening as the TSA practices it detects security threats. Here's the link to his post for Jurist, enticingly and alliteratively titled Security Screening: Science or Sorcery?
  • The Cultural Origins Of the Witch

    13 Apr 2015 | 8:28 am
    Alastair Sooke, art critic of the Daily Telegraph, discusses the cultural history of witches in this piece for the BBC website. He points out that common images that we associate with witches (that they can turn people into animals, for example) derive from Greek mythology, and that they can foretell the future come from the Bible. But he points to the Renaissance as the period that really formed our modern notion of witches, and to one man--the artist Albrecht Duerer--as the person who created the archetype of the witch. Duerer, says Mr. Sooke, created the duality of the modern witch, who is…
  • Classroom Magic

    3 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    A wonderful and imaginative April's Fool Day creation by Dr. Matthew Weathers of Biola University. It's creative and it's not mean-spirited. Apparently Dr. Weathers is known for his video "teachable moments." Here's one from Halloween, 2010. Find others on YouTube by searching his name.
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    What About Clients?

  • Bravo, National Park Service, Actors and Historians on 10th Street Vigil for 150th Lincoln anniversary.

    JD Hull
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:39 am
    See The Washington Post this week.
  • CPR's Cross-Border Arbitration Rules

    JD Hull
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:35 am
    Just a reminder that, just a few months ago, New York City-based CPR (International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution) released its Rules for Administered Arbitration of International Disputes for use in cross-border business disputes. They were effective December 1, 2014. I was first introduced to CPR ten years ago by Michael McIlwarth, a well-known in-house GE lawyer, author and expert on cross-border resolution based in Florence, Italy. As an organization and resource, CPR is a general counsel's dream. It champions super-quick, efficient and sane resolution of…
  • Fight Corporate Wankspeak.

    JD Hull
    12 Apr 2015 | 7:07 pm
    Let's nix corporate wankspeak and start speaking like human beings who value originality in language. Examples of wankspeak: empower, next level, unpack that, core competency and calling garden variety problems "challenges " . Get the net, folks. We are starting to sound like Anita Hill or Steve Covey on acid. We can do better.
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    How Appealing

  • "Appellate court panel considers states' case against Obama immigration plan"

    Howard Bashman
    18 Apr 2015 | 7:28 am
    "Appellate court panel considers states' case against Obama immigration plan": Aaron Nelsen of The San Antonio Express-News has this report. You can freely access the full text of the article via Google. And Josh Gerstein of reports that "Court chilly to Barack Obama immigration moves." This blog's earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit oral argument (129 MB mp3 audio file) can be accessed here and here.
  • "Obamacare repeal falls off Republicans' to-do list as law takes hold"

    Howard Bashman
    18 Apr 2015 | 7:18 am
    "Obamacare repeal falls off Republicans' to-do list as law takes hold": Noam N. Levey of The Los Angeles Times has this report today.
  • "Response to media coverage of Lord Neuberger's lecture 'Fairness in the courts'"

    Howard Bashman
    18 Apr 2015 | 7:15 am
    "Response to media coverage of Lord Neuberger's lecture 'Fairness in the courts'": Today, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a news release that begins, "A Supreme Court spokesman said: 'Following various media reports based on a lecture he gave last week, Lord Neuberger would like to emphasise that he did not say that Muslim women should be allowed to wear a full-face veil while giving evidence in court.'" The news release concludes by stating that "The Supreme Court has written to the editors of the national newspapers which carried inaccurate stories with a letter for…
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    Legal Juice

  • Burglar’s Serious Chutzpah

    John Mesirow
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:07 pm
    Talk about chutzpah. Check out this burglary, as reported by Sweden’s “The Local” and “Helsingborgs Dagblad” A thief in southern Sweden took time off during a weekend break-in to surf pornographic websites on a company computer … local newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad reports. Here comes the real chutzpah: Already faced with the prospect of having to procure a new welding machine, the owner also suffered the indignity of being called out for lax sweeping procedures. A message on the company’s computer screen spelled out the burglar’s considered…
  • Her Last Babysitting Gig For Quite A While …

    John Mesirow
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:08 pm
    Missy, I am crossing you off my list of babysitters! What did this woman do to deserve such a fate? Plenty, as reported by The Northwest Florida Daily News. A Crestview woman is accused of picking up a knife and ordering a child she was babysitting to “go outside,” leaving the child afraid and crying. The child, whose age is not reported, walked .5 miles to a friend’s house, crying and upset, on March 31, according to the arrest report. Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies were called around 5 p.m. by the friend’s mother. Investigation found that 37-year-old Alicia Erin Rivera…
  • A Drug Called “Flakka” And A Sexual Act With …

    John Mesirow
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:05 pm
    A cautionary tale: If anyone offers you flakka, DON’T TAKE IT! As reported by A Florida man believed to be high on flakka, a drug that authorities say is sweeping the state, attacked a Brevard police officer after twice being shocked with a Taser while he repeatedly saying he was God, according to officials. Kenneth Crowder, 41, of Melbourne, was arrested Friday on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting with violence and assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer. According to a Melbourne police report, Crowder was spotted by…
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    Ernie the Attorney

  • My beliefs about “God”

    Ernie Svenson
    12 Apr 2015 | 9:59 am
    It’s impossible to know the “truth” about anything that’s outside your direct experience. The only direct experience you really have (if you think about it a lot, and come to an honest conclusion) is what YOU think and feel. What happens outside YOUR direct experience of your own thoughts and feelings you can never be 100% certain of. Some things “out there” you can be fairly certain of, and other things, are very uncertain. So here some things I believe about “God” (or whatever similar word you want to substitute) 1. The question of whether God exists is a…
  • Are you fooling yourself?

    Ernie Svenson
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:45 am
    Good scientists relentlessly seek truth, and have rigorous processes for discovering it. Renowned physicist Richard Feynman has a description of the process that goes like this: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Most non-scientists are cavalier about discerning truth, and they’re pretty easy to fool. After all, they’re often fooling themselves. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? How do you know when you’re fooling yourself? It’s tricky, because you have to examine your own mind. And that’s not…
  • Hidden agony

    Ernie Svenson
    23 Feb 2015 | 9:35 am
    Have you ever come face-to-face with someone suffering from disturbing voices, crazy thoughts that won’t go away? Odds are you have. But you wouldn’t notice unless they’re totally crazy… and speak those thoughts out loud. My dad would notice. Because that was his job. For example, one day a woman walked into my dad’s office waiting room and sat down. When my dad came out he saw her sitting, looking especially disturbed. He asked if she had an appointment. She said “no, but I really need to talk to you.” He invited her into his office, and offered a chair. Then he asked how…
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    Ask the Lawyer @ Dear Esq.

  • Who Is Responsible For Damage To My Property?

    House Attorney
    17 Apr 2015 | 10:14 pm
    Who is responsible for damage to my walkway, driveway, garage floor, and possibly the house foundation by a tree on my property put there over 50 years ago by the developer?
  • What Are My Water Rights?

    House Attorney
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:26 am
    If a homeowner has had a well for twenty years and it turns out it is on the neighbor's property, can the neighbor cut off the water source?
  • Is My Neighboring Interfering with the Legal Use of My Easement?

    House Attorney
    15 Apr 2015 | 6:03 am
    My septic field is on an neighbor's easement. A large tree on his property fell onto the septic easement and is blocking access to the field, preventing the county's annual inspection and renewal of my permit.
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    The Criminal Lawyer

  • Undoing overcriminalization

    31 Mar 2015 | 11:41 am
    So I saw this opinion piece in USA Today by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, titled “You Are Probably Breaking the Law Right Now: When lawmakers don’t even know how many laws exist, how can citizens be expected to follow them?” It joins a growing tide of public awareness about overcriminalization in the U.S. — especially at the federal level — and that’s a good thing. (It also joins a growing number of pieces that use bird feathers as their lead example of serious stupid crimes ever since my little comic on the topic went mildly viral back in 2012 — and…
  • SCOTUS makes a mistake anybody would have made. So it’s okay, right?

    16 Dec 2014 | 11:57 am
    The Fourth Amendment established one of our most important protections against government power: if the police search you or your stuff for evidence, their search must be ‘reasonable'; and if they do get a warrant then it has to be specific, and they’ll need probable cause. In writing, it couldn’t be more straightforward. In practice, however, its meaning is anything but. Over the years, the courts have dramatically muddied the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Not as badly as the Fifth, perhaps, but badly enough to severely erode the Fourth’s protections against…
  • Training and Experience

    4 Dec 2014 | 12:48 pm
    This has been another one of those years with a heightened awareness of police violence against unarmed black men. Awareness is a good thing. Understanding, however, is better. You can’t solve a problem until you know what the problem is. The problem isn’t really racism, though. The problem is fear. These shootings don’t happen because the victim was black. These shootings happen because the officer was afraid. The overwhelming majority of police officers, of course, will go their entire careers without ever pointing their weapon at another human being, much less…
  • Ferguson Q&A

    25 Nov 2014 | 7:14 pm
    From Tumblr: I haven’t seen the actual evidence yet, so I’ll hold off on analyzing the case just yet. As for the prosecutor’s actions? I think it was a strategy of wussing out. Let me explain: I’m pretty sure the prosecutor decided early on that either (1) there was no crime here, or (2) there was insufficient evidence to prove one beyond a reasonable doubt, and that therefore the case should not be prosecuted. (IIRC, the DOJ also looked at the evidence and said they weren’t going to proceed criminally.) I myself have no idea whether this ought to have been prosecuted or not, but…
  • How to be a good lawyer: Keith Lee’s “The Marble and the Sculptor”

    5 Nov 2013 | 8:26 am
    The Marble and the Sculptor Keith Lee American Bar Association, November 2013, 180 pages, $24.95   I don’t like self-help books. They usually contain a single insight, repeated fifteen different ways, and padded out with anecdotes to fill a couple hundred pages. What might have made an excellent magazine article or blog post becomes a dreary monotone of “omg-check-this-out-guys!” hype. I don’t like books on the practice of law. When they aren’t just plain foolish, written by marketing types who don’t get the concept of a learned profession,…
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  • The canard of "lawful presence" status in the Texas challenge to the DAPA policy

    Marty Lederman
    18 Apr 2015 | 9:24 am
    You can listen here to yesterday's Fifth Circuit oral argument (before Judges Smith, Elrod and Higginson) in Texas's challenge to DHS's “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans" (DAPA) immigration policy.  The argument ranged widely over virtually all of the issues in the case.  Here, a short word on only one of them, involving the question that engendered the greatest confusion and misunderstanding in the argument:The judges repeatedly questioned counsel about whether deferred action status is merely a decision not to remove an alien, or whether it additionally confers a…
  • New Annual Book Review Issue of Tulsa Law Review Now Available

    Linda McClain
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:51 am
    My co-editor Ken Kersch and I are pleased to announce that the fifth annual book review issue of the Tulsa Law Review (our second as co-editors) is now available online and in print.  This issue (Volume 50, Issue 2, 2014) includes twenty-seven reviews of sixty-six books.  In keeping with the vision of founding editors Sandy Levinson and Mark Graber,  our roster of reviewers reflects several disciplines:  predominantly law and political science, but also history, sociology, and women’s and gender studies.  The authors of the books reviewed are similarly diverse…
  • Constitutional Interpretation and Change in the United States: The Official and the Unofficial

    16 Apr 2015 | 5:11 am
    I have just posted a draft of my latest essay, Constitutional Interpretation and Change in the United States: The Official and the Unofficial, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:This lecture, given at the Institut Villey in Paris, describes the processes of constitutional change in the American political and legal system.The first part of the lecture briefly summarizes the theory of framework originalism featured in Living Originalism.The second part of the lecture explains how the American constitutional system actually changes in practice, emphasizing two kinds of contributions to constitutional…
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  • "Did punk begin with 'I'm Henry The 8th I Am'? The minimal production, the basic drums, the snotty sloppy carefree vocal delivery..."

    18 Apr 2015 | 9:24 am
    "... the directly Ramones-inspiring, 4th wall breaking cry of 'Second Verse, same as the first'.. to what extent could this track be considered an overlooked antecendent of the punk rock movement?"That's an internet discussion I encountered after reading jr565's comment — "in regards to Henry Viii - now we know where the Ramones got their 'second verse, same as the first' from" — on last night's post about the #1 songs of 1965.Here's how the song looked as interpreted by Patty Duke (in her Cathy persona) on her old TV show in…
  • "Gay Events That I, Marco Rubio, Would Go To."

    18 Apr 2015 | 8:06 am
    A comic piece at The New Yorker — #1 on The New Yorker's "most popular" list — that riffs on a WaPo item that reads:Presidential candidate and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos on Wednesday that he would attend a gay wedding of someone he was close to — while qualifying that he wouldn’t condone the union itself.It's a good comic idea, which is why I and, I assume, many others clicked on it, which is all that is needed to be "popular" for the purposes of climbing an internet "most popular" chart. The execution of the comic idea is another…
  • "One virtue of appointing federal appellate judges to the Court is that these highly judicialized folk are already masters at applying Supreme Court doctrine."

    18 Apr 2015 | 7:12 am
    "After all, this is what circuit-court judges do every day: they study and apply what the Supreme Court has said about one legal issue or another. One problem, however, is that Supreme Court precedent can be dead wrong. Sometimes, in fact, it is baloney. And lower-court judges, who daily slice and eat this doctrinal baloney, may be ill-equipped to see it for what it is. Specifically, they may be inclined to think that judges are more right than they really are, and other branches of government, more wrong. A lower court’s job is to follow the Supreme Court’s precedents, whether right or…
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    Concurring Opinions

  • ROUNDUP: Law and Humanities 04.16.15

    Christine Corcos
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:27 am
    New Books New books of interest to law and humanities folks include Robert P. Burns’  Kafka’s Law: “The Trial” and American Criminal Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2014).  Here’s a description from the publisher’s website. The Trial is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception of the system. It’s supposed to be a fantastic allegory, but it’s reality. It’s very important that lawyers read it and understand this.” Justice Anthony Kennedy famously offered this assessment of the Kafkaesque character of the…
  • The Troublesome Inheritance of Americans in Magna Carta and Trial by Jury

    Renee Lerner
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:07 pm
    For Americans, both Magna Carta and trial by jury are enveloped in almost sacred myths. The myths of Magna Carta and jury trial are the more powerful for being deeply intertwined. These and similar myths encouraged Americans to accomplish great things, including independence from Britain and the successful establishment of a republic. The myths also have a dark side. At the time of independence, many Americans believed they possessed and were in danger of losing an English inheritance that was unchanging and from ancient times, from “time immemorial.” The body of this inheritance was the…
  • Governing the District of Columbia

    Gerard Magliocca
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:28 pm
    A quick thought that occurred to me recently is that someone could probably write an interesting article on how Congress governed the District of Columbia from its creation in 1800 until Home Rule was established in the 1970s.  The District (along with the territories) was one place where Congress did possess a police power.  How was that power exercised?  Were certain regulations justified as fine in the District but not elsewhere based on the police power distinction?  In going through the Annual Messages of the Presidents, I noticed that they often talked about issues in the District…
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • New York Ethics Opinion on Lawyers and LinkedIn

    9 Apr 2015 | 9:10 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "New York Ethics Opinion on Lawyers and LinkedIn."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. New York Ethics Opinion on Lawyers and LinkedIn    Earlier this month, the New York County Lawyers Association weighed in on the ethical obligations of lawyers who maintain LinkedIn profiles in Formal Opinion 748. This is an important opinion since LinkedIn is the most popular social network used by lawyers. In the past there has been confusion as to which features pose ethics issues, especially as the platform has evolved over time. This…
  • Join Me For Drinks In Boston on 4/24

    8 Apr 2015 | 6:22 am
    I'll be in Boston on April 24th and hope you can join me for free drinks compliments of MyCase at the Park Plaza Hotel Lobby Lounge Bar from 5-7 pm. I've already gotten a few Boston lawyer friends to agree to come, including Bob Ambrogi, Alan Klevan, and Patricia Joyce. Hope you can make it, too! You can RSVP here. See you there!
  • The courts on mobile devices in the courtroom

    27 Mar 2015 | 9:59 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "The courts on mobile devices in the courtroom ."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. The courts on mobile devices in the courtroom  In 2007, the iPhone was launched. Thus began the mobile revolution. Now, 8 years later, 77 percent of lawyers use smartphones for law-related tasks, according to the results of the American Bar Association’s 2014 Legal Technology Survey Report. This, even though lawyers are traditionally slow to incorporate new technologies into their work flows. Mobile devices have been the exception,…
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  • Preet Bharara And The Equitable Nature Of White Collar Crime

    David Zaring
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:50 am
    The corporate law community often places high hopes in judges as a mechanism for checking government or (in Delaware) defendant excesses.  They usually go along, sure, but may in dicta indicate displeasure, or give critical speeches, and sometimes, as in the Newman insider trading case, the refusal to accept the Citigroup settlement, the ethics critiques made during the KPMG prosecutions, that displeasure will sprout into an adverse ruling. It's a pretty interesting, but pretty gauzy, was of thinking about adjudication, maybe Orin Kerr would find it persuasive in the Fourth Amendment…
  • The Limited Liability Partnership in Bankruptcy

    Christine Hurt
    15 Apr 2015 | 11:36 am
    I'm blogging about the paper at the CLS Blue Sky Blog today!
  • On the 10th Anniversary of the Blawgosphere (Happy Anniversary, Prawfsblawg)

    Christine Hurt
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:01 am
    Over at Prawfsblawg, contributors are posting about their memories of blogging from the past ten years.  I thought I would add mine here.   Gordon and I began Conglomerate in November 2004 after combining/abandoning our two "weblogs," BizFems Speak!  (wince) and Venturpreneur.  I'm sure I won't get this all right, but the other blawgers on the block were Volokh Conspiracy, Bainbridge, Ideoblog (Larry Ribstein), The Right Coast, Leiter Reports, Crescat Sententia (then law student Will Baude and others), Sentencing Law & Policy,  Crooked Timber (ok, economists), and a handful of…
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    Ms. JD Blog

  • Why Breaks From The LSAT Can Increase Your Score

    16 Apr 2015 | 7:59 pm
    When you create a study plan for the LSAT, make sure to include liberal breaks in your schedule, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. At first glance, that advice may seem counterintuitive—to increase your score, plan to not study? But yes, it will help, and here’s why: Studying for the LSAT isn’t like studying for a History or Math test. In those exams, small universal details and rote memorization play a big role. If you were to take time away from studying before such a test, you might forget a date or a formula, and that could cost you questions on the exam. But the…
  • Equal Pay Day—- An Important Day for All Women Lawyers

    Susan Smith Blakely
    14 Apr 2015 | 10:20 am
    Today is Equal Pay Day, national recognition of the mandate for women to catch up to what men earn for equal work.  It is an important day for women and for their families, so help spread the word.  We all need to keep the pressure on our lawmakers to put teeth in the laws that will create the equality that we need. As a woman, mother, professional and small business owner, I am passionate about ensuring everyone is paid fairly for his or her work.  Women’s issues are everyone’s issues; they impact our daily lives. They also are economic issues and quality of life…
  • South Carolina Women Lawyers Association - April President’s Message

    13 Apr 2015 | 8:20 am
    April 14, 2015 is Equal Pay Day.  Here are the reasons why this day should matter to everyone reading this letter. The History.  Prior to 1963, it was legal for employers in the United States to pay women less than men for the same job.  In 1963, women were earning 59% of what men were paid.  Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act to eliminate this inequality. The Present.  It has been over 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act and women still do not have pay equality. In 2013, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid only 78% of what men were paid.
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Briefly Censured

    Legal Profession Prof
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:19 am
    The Wyoming Supreme Court has ordered a public censure of an attorney for misrepresentations in an appellate brief The Formal Charge arising from Mr. Custis’s representation of Gilbert Ortiz, Jr. stemmed from a brief filed by Mr. Custis in the...
  • Client Conduct Negates Malpractice Claim

    Legal Profession Prof
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:41 am
    The Nebraska Supreme Court overturned the grant of a new trial to the plaintiff in a legal malpractice case and reinstated the verdict in favor of the defendant law firm. Thomas Balames, filed this legal malpractice action against Robert Ginn...
  • Imagine A Reversal

    Legal Profession Prof
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:14 am
    The Vermont Supreme Court reversed a criminal conviction in a lewd behavior against a minor case in light of the improper closing argument of the prosecutor Viewed in their entirety, the prosecutor’s statements—exhorting the jury to imagine “what it would...
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    China Law Blog

  • Terminating China Employees: The Basics

    <a href=''>Grace Yang</a>
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:46 pm
    Under China’s labor laws, terminating a China employee who has completed his or her probation period is virtually never easy. Termination usually requires good cause and a severance payment. Most importantly a China employer must be able to show that any unilateral termination was based on statutory grounds. In this post, I lay out some basic rules on terminating the labor contract with your China employees. Note that “China employees” essentially means any employee who works for your China-based company, whether that employee is actually a Chinese citizen or not.   The PRC…
  • Foreign SaaS in China: Get off of my cloud

    <a href=''>Steve Dickinson</a>
    14 Apr 2015 | 5:36 am
    China Cloud Computing Laws Internet software business is rapidly moving to the cloud. So far, however, the Chinese government seems to be taking the lead from the Rolling Stones: the message is “Hey! You! Get off of my cloud.” The PRC wants to run its own private cloud, and no foreigners need apply. The primary issue for Internet business in China is that all commercial Internet businesses require the website owner acquire a commercial ICP (Internet Content Provider) license. This means that in addition to traditional e-commerce websites, cloud computing, software as a service…
  • China Joint Ventures: How To Give Away Your IP In China, Part 2

    <a href=''>Steve Dickinson</a>
    12 Apr 2015 | 4:17 pm
      How to protect your IP when doing a China joint venture Last month I wrote a post entitled, How To Give Away Your IP In China, explaining how foreign companies so often “gift” their intellectual property to their Chinese manufacturers by not initially making clear in a Chinese language contract who will own the intellectual property that will be developed jointly by the Chinese manufacturer and the Western company. Since foreign companies seem so eager foreign to give away their intellectual property to their Chinese competitors, I thought I would continue my series on…
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    Patently-O » Patent

  • Ineos v. Berry: Anticipation by an Overlapping Range

    Jason Rantanen
    17 Apr 2015 | 1:38 pm
    By Jason Rantanen Ineos USA LLC v. Berry Plastics Corporation (Fed. Cir. 2015) Download Opinion [2015 WL 1727013] Panel: Dyk, Moore (author), O’Malley It is bedrock patent law that while a species anticipates a genus, a genus does not necessarily anticipate a species.  That axiom does not mean, however, that a genus may not anticipate a species.  Here, the Federal Circuit affirms the district court’s grant of summary judgment that the prior art, which disclosed a broader range that overlapped with the range claimed in the patent-in-suit, anticipates.  The court’s opinion…
  • At Stanford: PTO and the Courts

    Dennis Crouch
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:07 pm
    I’m looking forward to participating in this week’s Stanford Law School conference focusing on the interplay between the USPTO and the Courts. [Event Website]. On April 17 (Friday), I will be introducing the topic with a discussion of the rise of administrative review proceedings under the America Invents Act of 2011. On the 18th (Saturday), I will be discussing my proposals for claim construction within the USPTO as part of Director Lee’s quality initiative. In general, the 17th is designed as a practical-focused day with a number of practitioners and judges speaking…
  • Inspector General: USPTO Needs to Strengthen Patent Quality Assurance Practices

    Dennis Crouch
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:02 am
    by Dennis Crouch In a report sharply critical of the US Patent Office, the Department of Commerce Inspector General’s Office has concluded that patent quality is not up-to-snuff.  Read the report titled “USPTO Needs to Strengthen Patent Quality Assurance Practices.” The report makes four basic conclusions: USPTO policies are “ineffective” at measuring whether examiners are issuing high quality patents. USPTO “quality metrics” may underrepresent the examination error rate. USPTO is not collecting data that could improve patent quality.
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    Religion Clause

  • Tennessee Senate Kills Bill To Make Bible the Official State Book

    Howard Friedman
    17 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    According to The Tennessean, the Tennessee state Senate yesterday effectively killed the controversial bill, passed by the House a day earlier, that would have made the Bible the state's official book. The Senate voted 22-9 to send the bill back to the Judiciary Committee for study in light of the state attorney general's opinion concluding that the bill was unconstitutional. (See prior posting.) Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who led the effort to send the bill back to committee, said:All I know is that I hear Satan snickering. He loves this kind of mischief.
  • Justice Alito Stays 3rd Circuit's Non-Profit Contraceptive Mandate Decision

    Howard Friedman
    16 Apr 2015 | 4:34 pm
    Late on Wednesday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an order (full text) temporarily staying the Third Circuit's mandate in Zubik v. Buwell. In the case, the 3rd Circuit upheld the Obama Administration's rules accommodating the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate to religious non-profits. (See prior posting.)  Religious non-profits contend that the accommodation is inadequate. A response by the government is due to Justice Alito by April 20.  The 3rd Circuit opinion covered four separate lawsuits involving a variety of claimants, both…
  • Over 140 Amicus Briefs Filed In Upcoming SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Cases

    Howard Friedman
    16 Apr 2015 | 4:10 am
    Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Cout in the same-sex marriage cases are scheduled for April 28.  The Court has received over 140 amicus briefs in the cases-- with slightly more supporting petitioners than respondents.  Links to the full text of almost all the amicus briefs are available here from SCOTUSblog.
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  • Likelihood of improvement: Archer & Greiner, PC

    Ron Coleman
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:26 am
    Welcome me to my new firm, Archer & Greiner, P.C.  I’ll be a partner resident in the firm’s New York City and Hackensack, New Jersey offices (that’s me, always straddling the Hudson) but at your beck and call in all the bunch of other ones, too — and, more importantly, embedded, for the first time ever, deep in the rich goodness of a bona fide IP-department which in turn is ensconced in a sophisticated full-service regional law firm for real. There’s even PDF at this link that describes the IP group, to take home with you, for free.  No, really,…
  • Meet the Bloggers – INTA, Dallas, 2013!

    Ron Coleman
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:57 pm
    Originally posted 2013-04-23 14:05:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter What else is there to say? Of course you’re invited!
  • MTB XI: Just picture it!

    Ron Coleman
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:57 pm
                  Yep, you figured it out!  And you can RSVP for this year’s Meet the Bloggers, which will take place Monday, May 4, 2015, from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM, at Henry’s Pub & Restaurant, 618 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101, at this link. See you there!
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • Texas House moving harm reduction measures

    17 Apr 2015 | 3:47 am
    There were a couple of positive developments on the harm reduction front in the Texas House this week involving bills your correspondent supported in committee:Good Samaritan bill moves to Senate On Tuesday, the lower chamber approved HB 225 creating a defense to prosecution when someone calls 911 in response to an overdose, stays at the scene, and cooperates with police - so called "Good Samaritan" legislation. It passed by a 140-4 margin. This is an important sleeper issue, as "overdosing on medications and illicit drugs has been a bigger killer in the U.S. than car crashes or gun deaths at…
  • DPS may promote surcharge amnesty by this fall, and other stories

    17 Apr 2015 | 3:18 am
    Here are a few items which merit Grits readers' attention even if I haven't had time to adumbrate them in individual blog posts:The Dallas District Attorney has released a list of 192 officers who the DA's office won't sponsor as witnesses because of past mendacity or other credibility problems. An error by city utility employees left prison units in Amarillo without water pressure, forcing them to bring in tanker trucks for drinking water. The Texas Senate this week approved a bill by Sen. John Whitmire eliminating criminal penalties for truancy.The Senate Transportation Committee voted…
  • Revenge porn, online solicitation bills clear Senate despite First Amendment problems

    16 Apr 2015 | 4:19 am
    The Texas Legislature seems intent on keeping Houston attorney Mark Bennett busy beating down unconstitutional statutes in an ongoing game of whack-a-mole. A pair of bills have passed the Texas Senate and been sent to the House which, if passed, will likely immediately fall within Bennett's crosshairs (or some other attorney challenging on First Amendment grounds).Sen. Joan Huffman's SB 344 attempts to reinstate Texas' online solicitation of a minor statute, which the Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously struck down in 2013. But Huffman didn't adopt all the changes Bennett insists are…
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    Blonde Justice

  • Win, Lose or Draw

    Blonde Justice
    5 Apr 2015 | 1:15 pm
    Working in my office on Easter Sunday, because I really can't keep my head above water if I don't, I decide to open some inmate mail.We have a hearing coming up this week and I want to be able to tell her, yes, I read your letter. That's the only reason I am opening it. I don't want it to fall out of my file folder unopened. I know it doesn't contain anything that will matter in our hearing. I skim through a few pages of, well, stuff I really don't need to know. "I don't have the time," I tell my client in my head, "let me get back to focusing on preparing for your hearing we actually have a…
  • What's So Special About You?

    Blonde Justice
    31 Dec 2014 | 5:30 pm
    I recently talked to an older white man who had been arrested for DUI. He was not a client of mine, but he knew I was a lawyer and he wanted to vent to me, so I let him.He shared that the police hadn't been fair to him, that he had tried to tell them that he wasn't drunk, that the handcuffs were too tight, that he wanted to call his wife, and the police officers had not listened to him, had refused to listen to him, had persisted in arrested him and in keeping him cuffed tightly."A few weeks ago," he continued, "when I heard about all of these people protesting the police, I thought they…
  • Things They Should Teach In Law School

    Blonde Justice
    5 Dec 2014 | 12:38 pm
    A big part of my job is making up excuses. Especially about why my clients or my witnesses are late. When I was in the big city, I relied more on train trouble. In the suburbs, "He's just parking" is my new go-to. Everyone is always "just parking." Sometimes for hours or days. But these are the things I think they should teach public defenders in law school.  That, and copier repair. 
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    Drug and Device Law

  • More Plaintiffs Go Home (Eventually And Based on Bauman)

    Eric Alexander
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
                Two days ago, we posted on a West Virginia Supreme Court decision that told non-resident plaintiffs the closing time refrain “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”  OK, we took some liberties there, but the non-resident plaintiffs who had gone shopping in a non conveniens forum could not stay even after poking around for two years.  We commented that the same result seemed dictated by last year’s Baumandecision on personal jurisdiction, which has been the subject of a few other posts, like…
  • Some Plaintiffs Just Have No Class

    16 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    We’ve been thinking a lot about class actions lately.  One reason is that the Rule 23 Subcommittee of the (federal) Advisory Committee on Civil Rules just came out with a “sketch” of possible amendments – and from the defense perspective they’re frankly horrible.  Bexis has been working with the Lawyers for Civil Justice to respond to a proposal that would:  (1) allow classes where most members aren’t injured at all; (2) allow free reign for non-predominance “issue classes”; (3) legitimize “cy pres” donations of class funds to charities that foment…
  • Plaintiffs Go Home: West Virginia Supreme Court Affirms Forum Non Dismissals of Non-Resident Zoloft Plaintiffs

    Rachel B. Weil
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:09 pm
    Last weekend, we saw the surprisingly effective “Danny Collins,” a new movie starring Al Pacino as an aging rock star wondering how the focus of his life would have changed if he’d known contemporaneously about an admiring letter from John Lennon that was not given to him until decades later.   The focus of today’s post might have changed if, instead of celebrating a correct appellate decision, we were blogging about the underlying order.  Those of us who practice in the mass tort arena are all too familiar with the forum-shopping propensities of plaintiffs’ lawyers…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • Pot Never Killed Anybody.....Oh......Wait......

    Bill Otis
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:30 pm
    CJLF takes no position on pot legalization.  Kent has said he regards it as inevitable. My view is that pot became de facto legal long ago, and that the whole debate is therefore mostly academic.  But. yes, if you light up on the steps of the US Attorney's Office, you'll probably get a summons, anyway.  Then, in all likelihood, some AUSA will get in your face  --  before he dismisses the case or settles for a $50 fine.One of the items I frequently see from legalizers is the assertion that pot never killed anyone.  Of course that's not the point; shoplifitng never…
  • Intelligence Squared Debate Video

    Kent Scheidegger
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:06 pm
    The permanent link to the Intelligence Squared debate is: full video is now available on the site. 
  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    17 Apr 2015 | 1:59 pm
    Only Minor Changes In Vermont's Sex Offender Laws:  A high-risk sex offender was released from a Vermont after maxing out his sentence, despite his refusal to seek treatment while incarcerated, sparking public demand for stricter sex offender laws.  Alex Keefe and Lynne McCrea of VPR report that lawmakers are considering two weak reforms.  The first would be a clarification to an existing that that states sex offenders must report their plans and activities to the registry before their release from jail.  The second would improve the sex offender registry's accuracy. …
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  • ISIS Claims Credit for Attack at U.S. Consulate in Erbil

    17 Apr 2015 | 1:23 pm
    On Twitter, ISIS is claiming credit for the car bomb attack today outside the U.S. embassy in Erbil. They say it was done by fighters in their Kirkuk division. According to McClatchy: A Kurdish security official told McClatchy that three... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Friday Open Thread

    17 Apr 2015 | 12:03 pm
    I'm still busy with work stuff. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Jury Picked for James Holmes in Aurora Theatre Shooting Case

    17 Apr 2015 | 12:01 pm
    After 3 months and 9,000 candidates, the jury has been picked for James Holmes in the Aurora Shooting case. Interestingly, there are two members who have direct ties to the Columbine shootings in 1999. Juror No. 737, fled the building safely,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • Founder Institute Launches Second China Chapter, Shanghai, to help City Reach its Startup Potential

    18 Apr 2015 | 11:55 am
    The Founder Institute, the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, announced today that it will be officially launching it second chapter in China, in Shanghai. The Shanghai Founder Institute becomes the second chapter in China, after the program’s celebrated launch in Shenzhen in late 2014. Anyone interested in launching a technology company is welcome to apply to the Shanghai Founder Institute at The Founder Institute decided to officially launch in Shanghai after a series of test events in the city attracted over 225…
  • Top VC and Golden State Warriors Owner Chamath Palihapitiya to Speak at the Founder Showcase

    16 Apr 2015 | 2:45 pm
    The Founder Showcase, hosted by and the Founder Institute, is Silicon Valley's leading seed-stage startup event. In our 15-event history, we've been truly honored by some of the names who have graced our stage, such as Elon Musk, David Sacks, and Phil Libin. Today, we are excited to announce yet another luminary speaker for the next Founder Showcase, taking place on May 12th: Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and Managing Partner of The Social+Capital Partnership, and owner of the NBA's Golden State Warriors.  Tickets for the 16th Founder Showcase are on sale now. Get…
  • Founder Institute Expands Into Bellevue, WA

    16 Apr 2015 | 2:45 pm
    The Founder Institute started in Silicon Valley and now operates in 70 cities around the world, including Seattle. Soon, Bellevue will be added to the roster. Seattle Founder Institute Director Maria Dykstra is working with Impact Hub Bellevue and the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce to hold events on the east side of the lake. The report was originally delivered by Marjorie Clark in a 425Business article titled, “Founder Institute Incubator to Expand to Bellevue”. The Seattle Founder Institute spring session just started, but Dykstra is hoping to bring Founders Institute and the…
  • How To Create An Everyday Product, David Bland On Customer Retention

    16 Apr 2015 | 11:04 am
    The Mentor Minute gives you exclusive startup video clips from the Founder Institute's worldwide network of 4,112+ mentors. For more Mentor Minutes, visit our Startup Founder 101 YouTube Channel. In this Mentor Minute, Principal Advisor at Neo Innovation David Bland, educates the Winter 2015 Founder Lab class about the importance of creating and maintaining customer retention.  To hear more from experts like David, apply to our Advanced Founder Lab program, which provides seed-stage startups the opportunity to spend 10 days in Silicon…
  • 10 Experiments To Test Your Startup Hypothesis

    15 Apr 2015 | 3:05 pm
    The article, "Ten Experiments To Test Your Startup Hypothesis", was written by David Teten, a Mentor for the Spring 2015 Semester of the New York Founder Institute, as well as a Partner at ff Venture Capital. It has been republished with permission below. You know that a new idea has gained dominance when it becomes practically a cliché. That is what I’ve seen happen with the “Lean Startup” philosophy of viewing your startup as a scientific experiment in search of a business model. This started as a new idea, then became popularized, and now…
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  • Preview on same-sex marriage — Part IV, Supporting the state bans

    Lyle Denniston
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:06 pm
    This is the final post in a four-part series on the written arguments that have been filed in the same-sex marriage cases at the Supreme Court.  This post covers the briefs filed by individuals and organizations supporting the states’ authority to control the definition of marriage, and, in particular, to prohibit same-sex marriage.  The first three articles in this series covered the briefs filed by the challengers, by the four states defending their bans, and by the amici supporting the challengers, including the federal government. Taken as a whole, the sixty-six legal briefs…
  • Petition of the day

    Maureen Johnston
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:15 pm
    The petition of the day is: Moody v. Tatum 14-1020Issue: Whether there is a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process right to avoid a prolonged pretrial detention caused by a police officer's failure to disclose evidence that is “strongly indicative of innocence”; or, where there has been no trial and conviction, and thus no violation under Brady v. Maryland, whether pretrial deprivations of liberty are governed by the Fourth Amendment.  
  • Argument preview: The tricky mens rea requirements for federal narcotics cases

    Rory Little
    17 Apr 2015 | 10:51 am
    The question for the Court in McFadden v. United States, scheduled for oral argument next Tuesday, is not whether the court of appeals below got it wrong – even the government concedes that it did. No, the question for the Court on Tuesday is, instead, what is the right answer.   And the mind-bending intricacies of mens rea doctrine raised by the case are likely to lead the Court into nuanced and difficult-to-understand questions – and ultimately to division. (Recall the mens rea arguments and divided opinions in Rosemond v. United States last Term.) The mens rea required for a federal…
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    Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog

  • Check out the video: "It's time to Ban Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts!"

    Larry Bodine
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:32 pm
    Watch the video I recorded today with renowned personal injury attorney Mitch Jackson on the topic: “It's time to Ban Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts!” Suppressing legitimate claims   Consumers can sign the petition to stop forced arbitration of consumer disputes at: These sneaky arbitration clauses are the secret weapon of big banks and corporations to sidestep the American court system, to suppress legitimate claims from being filed and to make sure that the…
  • 5 Practical Tips to Make a Speech Go Viral

    Larry Bodine
    4 Apr 2015 | 10:38 am
    Lindsay Kolowich has written an excellent article on the Hubspot Blogs "The Science of a Great TED Talk" and five steps to make the speech go viral. To uncover why certain TED talks are more popular than others, the folks at Science of People, a human behavior research lab, recently conducted an intensive experiment on nonverbal communication. For the experiment, they had 760 volunteers watch hundreds of hours of TED talks and answer questions about charisma, intelligence, credibility and more. They found that five specific, nonverbal patterns differentiate the most…
  • Get Ready for Google Mobilegeddon Coming April 21

    Larry Bodine
    25 Mar 2015 | 11:28 am
    Since the advent of smart phones, having a mobile-friendly website was a “nice to have.” This changes on April 21, 2015, when Google expands its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. According to a recent Google blog post: “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” In other words, if your website is not mobile-friendly, expect to lose a significant amount…
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • Slideshow: Clio’s New iPad App

    Robert Ambrogi
    17 Apr 2015 | 10:40 am
    At ABA Techshow this week, the cloud practice management application Clio launched a dedicated iPad app. Above is a slideshow of screencaps from the new app. The app allows users to: Get full access to their case files. View a case file’s timeline of events. Track and add time and expenses. Access their matters and […] The post Slideshow: Clio’s New iPad App appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • Friday Round-Up: Catching Up On A Busy Week of Tech News

    Robert Ambrogi
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:26 am
    Lots of news over the past week, thanks to the confluence of three major conferences: ABA Techshow in Chicago, the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division in Honolulu, and the Legal Marketing Association annual conference in San Diego. I’ve already reported on some of it, but here are some other announcements from the week: […] The post Friday Round-Up: Catching Up On A Busy Week of Tech News appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • Clio Users Can Now Get Cash Before Their Clients Pay Invoices

    Robert Ambrogi
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:12 am
    For some time now, the practice management Clio has been expanding the capabilities it offers its customers partly through integrations with third-party applications. An interesting integration announced today is between Clio and Fundbox, a service that advances payments to small businesses against their outstanding invoices. The integration will enable Clio users to instantly clear outstanding […] The post Clio Users Can Now Get Cash Before Their Clients Pay Invoices appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • Getting Your Legal Writing Right

    Rachel, Law Clerk and Office Manager
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:09 am
    I remember the time that a favourite client of mine gave me a schooling in the art of legal writing – and proofreading.A retired lawyer (and the consummate gentleman), he had retained me to draft revisions to a fairly complex Last Will and Testament.He was a bit of a stickler. And I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to have worked with him. Because even though my content was fine, he still had lots to say about the way my draft was set up.Here, in a nutshell, is what I learned from him.Precision and consistency in style, capitalization and formatting can be at least as important as…
  • In Discussion with Mitch Kowalski, 2015 LSUC Bencher Candidate

    Garry Wise
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:24 pm
    I had a good sit-down today with Mitch Kowalski, 2015 LSUC Bencher candidate, who discusses current issues facing the Law Society of Upper Canada, including governance, ABS, articling, professional discipline and the future of paralegals.It's well worth the watch - and sorry for the intermittent audio distortion. - Garry J. Wise, TorontoVisit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.netVisit our website:
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for the week of April 6, 2015

    Rachel, Law Clerk and Office Manager
    13 Apr 2015 | 5:26 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:Animal activists try a new gambit to help chickens, coyotes: Walkom Kathleen Wynne still has concerns about prostitution lawWhy the 2015 LSUC Bencher Election Deserves Your Attention Dentons and McKenna Long agree to mergeMike Duffy expected to take the stand in JuneJudge won’t sanction ‘improper police conduct’ Montreal naturopath accused of fatally injecting man found not guilty Majority of Canadians support either abolished or reformed Senate: pollConcerns raised about changes to LSUC online directoryFlorist fined $1,000…
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    Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices

  • Client Relationships, Firm Strategy, and Lawyers and Retirement: New Issue of EIC

    Gerry Riskin
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:10 pm
    The April, 2015 issue of Edge International Communique is now available online. Check out feature articles by three of my Edge International colleagues: – David Cruickshank talks about improving client relationships – Bithika Anand addresses the issue of when lawyers should retire – Sean Larkan shares some tools for building (or rebuilding) an effective firm strategy Click here to subscribe to EIC. I welcome your feedback via the comments section below, or you can contact me directly via email.  
  • Does EQ Trump IQ?

    Gerry Riskin
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:18 pm
    In my experience, a significant number of lawyers could benefit from “Emotional Intelligence” (EQ) training. We have accessed online testing and EQ training courses for a few individuals in our client firms. The metrics for results are anecdotal but have proven to be enthusiastically positive. In this context, I am intrigued by Fast Company‘s story, “Inside Google’s Insanely Popular Emotional Intelligence Course,” by Vivian Giang. I thought you might be as well. Let me know what you think about the concept of emotional intelligence, and its importance in the…
  • Brainwriting Clobbers Brainstorming

    Gerry Riskin
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:10 pm
    In most law firms, brainstorming processes are dominated by power partners or simply those with force of personality. When this happens, the scope of the process is narrowed and many participants may be disenfranchised. If the goal of a brainstorming session is to tap the brain trust of all participants, then “brainwriting” might be a brilliant solution. In an article about brainwriting published in Fast Company, Rebecca Greenfield writes: [In her book Creative Conspiracy], Thompson found that brainwriting groups generated 20% more ideas and 42% more original ideas as compared…
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    LawBiz® Blog

  • California Bar Licensing Is About to Change

    Ed Poll
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:46 pm
    Two changes are about to occur in the lives of “want to be lawyers.” First, to appease their conscience, the Board of Trustees of the California State Bar considers requiring law students to take on one more obligation before graduating, 50 hours of free or low-cost legal services for the “needy” within a year of passing the bar examination. What is the issue? Is it to address the concern that so many people cannot afford to hire an attorney? Or is it to provide additional and needed training for newly minted lawyers? If it is the latter, law schools to be accredited by either the…
  • “Selling” is an essential for all professionals

    Ed Poll
    20 Mar 2015 | 10:49 am
    “Marketing” is no longer only for the rarefied equity partner. Quinn Emanuel, a major law firm, announced it will require Associates and Of Counsel attorneys to actively participate in at least one marketing effort during the year. There is skepticism among marketing personnel, and even lawyers, how effective such a requirement will be. It would appear, however, that any focus on “marketing” even if not directly related to the current activity of the associate would sensitize the associate to “new business” opportunities that cross the path of every professional regularly. While…
  • Increasing price of legal services and technology as the antidote

    Ed Poll
    20 Mar 2015 | 10:36 am
    The number of new lawyers admitted to the bar was lower in 2014 than in 2013; in addition, law school admissions were considerably lower than in previous years. That suggests there will be fewer lawyers ready and able to fill the ranks of the Baby Boomers as they increasingly leave the practice. Prices to consumers of legal services may increase, depending on the increased utilization of technology. But, compensation for lawyers, even entrepreneurial lawyers will be squeezed and likely lead to continued decreased attractiveness for law school admissions. When the prices of services or goods…
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    The Innocence Project

  • Members of Norfolk Four in Court Again, Pursuing Exoneration

    17 Apr 2015 | 2:15 pm
    In an article reported yesterday by the Associated Press (AP), there are new developments in the case of the now-infamous Norfolk Four—four U.S. Navy veterans who were wrongly convicted based on false confessions—a story that the Innocence Blog has been following and documenting for nearly eight years.
  • Innocence Project Lauds Colorado’s Enactment of Eyewitness ID Reform

    17 Apr 2015 | 9:52 am
    Gov. John Hickenlooper yesterday signed into law bipartisan legislation (SB 15-058) that will require all Colorado law enforcement agencies to implement eyewitness identification policies that have been scientifically proven to reduce the chances of misidentification.
  • Three Ohio Innocence Project Clients Released Pending New Trial

    16 Apr 2015 | 2:11 pm
    According to a story published on Wednesday by City Beat, Ohio Innocence Project clients Eugene Johnson, Laurese Glover and Derrick Wheatt were released from prison late last month after serving nearly 20 years for a murder which new evidence shows they did not commit.
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    Newswire RSS

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.          
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.          
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.          
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.          
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.          
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.          
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.          
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.          
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.          
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.          
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.          
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    UNDERDOG - Fairfax Criminal/DWI Attorney - Northern Virginia.

  • Lego in the shadow of John Coltrane

    15 Apr 2015 | 9:00 pm
    By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia criminal defense lawyer Jon Katz. Fighting for the best outcome for DWI/DUI, drugs, marijuana, sex charges, felonies and misdemeanors.My favorite part of Philadelphia is John Coltrane's spirit. On my family's visit last month to Philadelphia, we enjoyed former corporate lawyer Nathan Sawaya's Lego sculpture exhibit. Among the best parts of the exhibit is Yellow (pictured above with my son), the musical ensemble, and Hokusai's Great Wave of Kanagawa. Sawaya's Art of the Brick exhibit is currently showing in several cities.
  • More on engaging and being relaxed, open, fearless, and non-judgmental, whether an extrovert or introvert.

    14 Apr 2015 | 9:00 pm
    By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia criminal defense lawyer Jon Katz. Fighting for the best outcome for DWI/DUI, drugs, marijuana, sex charges, felonies and misdemeanors. In 1977 and again in 1978, I met my jazz trumpeter hero Dizzy Gillespie. I was fourteen at our first meeting, and he was forty-five years older. Both times, he seemed distant at best with me. On our first meeting, I shook his hand after his nightclub quintet performance that blows me away to this day, after telling him how great was the performance. My brother and I got a bonus when one of his band members let us help load…
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.          
  • Police: DLA Lawyer Killed After Craigslist Connection

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:52 am
    DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt posted an ad on Craigslist on Feb. 9, the date of the murder, "soliciting responses from other men," police said in charging documents released on Thursday. The defendant, Jamyra Gallmon, a 21-year-old woman from southeast Washington, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder while armed.          
  • Cruz Highlights Anti-Obama Litigation in Announcing White House Bid

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:50 am
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his presidential bid Monday in a speech that spotlighted suits against the Obama administration's health care legislation. Cruz, a former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, formerly was an appellate litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.          
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    Chicago IP Litigation

  • Roundtable Discussion with PTO Director Michelle Lee

    R. David Donoghue
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:16 am
    This Thursday, April 16, 2015, at 9:00 am the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) is hosting a roundtable discussion with the PTO’s new Director, Michelle Lee.  Here is how IPLAC describes the roundtable: Director Lee is the first woman to serve as head of the patent system in its 225 year history, and also served as the first head of patents and patent strategy for Google.  Director Lee will discuss several key initiatives of the USPTO and its almost 13,000 employees, including the Patent Quality Initiative aimed at enhancing patent examination and the quality…
  • Indirect Infringement May be Pled Without Detailed Allegations

    R. David Donoghue
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:59 am
    Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC v. Wendy’s Int’l, Inc., No. 14 C 865, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 4, 2015) (Coleman, J.). Judge Coleman denied Wendy’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiff Marshall Feature Recognition’s (“MFR”) patent complaint accusing QR codes.  The Court earlier denied MFR’s motion to amend its complaint to respond to arguments raised in Wendy’s motion because of MFR’s delay in responding to the motion and because the amendment would have prejudiced Wendy’s. MFR met the pleading requirements as demonstrated by Form 18, alleging that –…
  • Temporary Restraining Order to Prevent Competing, Identical Sales

    R. David Donoghue
    3 Apr 2015 | 3:08 am
    Venus Labs., Inc. d/b/a Earth Friendly Prods. v. Vlahakis, No. 15 C 1617, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 5, 2015) (Blakey, J.). Judge Blakey granted plaintiff Venus Laboratories d/b/a Earth Friendly Products’ (“EFP”) motion for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and continued EFP’s request for a preliminary injunction (“PI”) in this Lanham Act dispute regarding the EARTHY trademark used in connection with cleaning products.  The parties dispute ownership of the trademark and the product line.  Individual defendant was employed by EFP and claims that he developed the mark and…
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • WIRTW #364 (the “almost famous” edition)

    Jon Hyman
    17 Apr 2015 | 4:41 am
    “Daddy, this guy wants to talk to me, but he needs your permission first.” My daughter came running over to me last Saturday at the Rock Hall with those words. She was waiting backstage for her Joan Jett band to go on. Typically, that statement would have given me pause, but given the number of news cameras that were around, I had an idea “this guy” was legit. Here’s the result: This wasn’t Norah’s only press of the day. Here’s a clip from another local news channel, this one of a “future superstar” (their words, not mine) doing her thing on stage: The hits keep on coming…
  • Your employees are your biggest security risk

    Jon Hyman
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:23 am
    It seems that every week we read a story about another company that has been hacked and had its information and data compromised. Most companies believe that their greatest security risk comes from cyber terrorists overseas—nameless and faceless hackers sitting in some high tech hovel in some foreign country. Your greatest security risk, however, comes from within—your own employees. Case in point? This story, via Fusion: In January, authorities arrested Eddie Raymond Tipton, the Director of Information Security for the Multi-State Lottery Association, a non-profit organization that runs…
  • Sex stereotyping as transgender discrimination

    Jon Hyman
    15 Apr 2015 | 4:05 am
    Last week the EEOC settled, for $150,000, one of its first cases alleging sex discrimination against a transgender employee. This week, another transgender employee filed a remarkably similar lawsuit in federal court in Louisiana. The key difference between the two cases? The Louisiana employer had a formal policy against employees presenting at work as a gender other than their birth gender: Title VII does not (yet) specifically identify “sexual orientation” as a protected class. But, sexual stereotyping has been illegal for decades. Keep this in mind, and keep an open mind, if your…
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  • Let's not talk about mindfulness as a quick fix or a panacea

    14 Apr 2015 | 1:31 pm
    I am happy to see another article in which the writer warns against the overselling of mindfulness, and mentions that, because of possible negative side effects, mindfulness practices may not be appropriate for all. This article also warns that some people teaching mindfulness practices may not be qualified to do so.Excerpts from "New voices: Are we mindful of how we talk about mindfulness?" (The Psychologist of The British Psychological Society): Recently an emerging area of research led by Willoughby Britton at Brown University has suggested that mindfulness practice may not be…
  • Long overdue update on mindful writing: Some resources for using mindfulness to enhance writing

    5 Apr 2015 | 8:32 am
    A long time has passed since I last penned a post on using mindfulness during the process of writing. Although I combine mindfulness and writing frequently, I have not updated my resource list recently (except in my head). So here are a few links for those of you interested in mindful writing.First, here's an old post on the topic written after I'd attended a seminar taught by Professor Donna Strickland. In this post, you will find some excellent advice included in her presentation: Does writing ever cause you suffering? Try mindful writing: Learning to write with comfort and…
  • Thinking about our mortality can have a big effect on how we spend, give, or bequeath our money

    2 Apr 2015 | 2:31 pm
    Being aware of death influences our money behavior. The research about this behavior is intriguing and instructional—and very important to understand for those of us who work with clients and their money. As a quick and partial overview of what researchers have learned, read "Grim Givers: How Thoughts of Death Open Wallets" (New York Observer). Excerpt: Yet we humans are practical animals. When confronted with the terrifying vision of our own expiration date, we get to work. We create meaning in our lives by reinforcing our cultural values, erecting buildings, making art,…
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    Privacy Law Blog

  • AT&T Pays $25 Million in FCC Settlement

    Laura McAleer
    14 Apr 2015 | 8:07 am
    Laura McAleer In the largest ever data security enforcement action taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T agreed to pay $25 million to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The FCC announced the settlement on April 8, 2015, stating that phone companies are expected to “zealously guard” their customers’ personal information and encouraging the industry to “look to this agreement as guidance.” The initial focus of the FCC’s investigation was a 168-day breach at AT&T’s…
  • Department of Education Issues New Guidance Documents Relating to Student Privacy

    Adam Waks
    9 Apr 2015 | 10:03 am
    Adam Waks The past few years have seen exponential growth in the use of technology in the classroom, with applications ranging from the increased availability and use of e-books to the displacement of physical classrooms through Massive Open Online Courses (also known as MOOCs). One of the fastest growing segments of the education technology market relates to online educational services and applications, which are designed to track individual student progress and use the data gathered to deliver an individualized learning experience to each user. However, while online educational services and…
  • Australia’s New Mandatory Data Retention Law

    Courtney Bowman
    1 Apr 2015 | 9:15 am
    Courtney Bowman Last week, Australia became the latest country to pass a mandatory data retention law. The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015, which amends Australia’s Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979, requires telecommunications and Internet service providers (ISPs) to store customer metadata for two years. This means that Australian ISPs and telecom providers will have to store data associated with electronic communications, such as the names and addresses of account holders, the names of the recipients of any…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • Republican Legislators in Training

    Scott Lemieux
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:58 am
    If this student government president were permitted to choose his own Chief of Staff, it would be a dark day at the University of Alabama.  Black skies would truly be overhead.  The Senate has no choice but prevent such a thing from happening.
  • Early Modern London

    Erik Loomis
    18 Apr 2015 | 5:09 am
    Who else is spending the day playing around with this interactive map of Shakespeare-era London? More info here.
  • Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Charts

    Erik Loomis
    18 Apr 2015 | 3:58 am
    There is evidently no trend in American history historians won’t connect to Thomas Jefferson and that includes the recent emphasis on food. This is an interesting piece on the vegetable market charts Jefferson kept while in the White House that are useful windows into early 19th century food, albeit from a rare gourmand in a nation with an international reputation for horrible, inedible victuals. The chart also provokes a question about where early nineteenth-century Washingtonians got their food. Before there were trucks and trains to transport food from country to city, with…
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    Avvo Blog

  • University of Washington Students Partner with

    Puja Parakh
    23 Mar 2015 | 10:33 am
    Avvo recently teamed up with graduate students from the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. These students selected Avvo Advisor for their research project; we are so honored to have been chosen! The purpose of this research was to understand our users’ overall experience, usage patterns, and collective pain points. The team […] The post University of Washington Students Partner with appeared first on Avvo Blog.
  • Updated TOU, Privacy Policy & Community Guidelines

    Josh King
    12 Jan 2015 | 5:52 am
    Exciting Mildly interesting news – we’ve updated Avvo’s Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines.     Up to this point, changes to Avvo’s governing policies have taken the form of tweaks and bolt-on changes. And just as Seattle’s much-patched roads are a pain for those of us who try to ride our bikes on them, this accretion […] The post Updated TOU, Privacy Policy & Community Guidelines appeared first on Avvo Blog.
  • In Late

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

    18 Apr 2015 | 8:02 am
    When applying for new insurance coverage or renewing a current policy, insurance companies will review an assortment of factors when determining whether to continue to insure you or accept you as a new driver. Here a few factors that insurance companies will consider when determining your insurability: Type of Vehicle (including Model, Year, and Value) Driving History (including past accidents and traffic violations) Vehicle Usage (miles driven, etc) Territory (where the vehicle is driven, stored, etc) Gender (yes, this matters, statistically males under 25 are bad drivers) Age Credit History…
  • Should I Treat All of My Children Equally?

    18 Apr 2015 | 6:10 am
    I sometimes meet with clients who feel that because one or more of their children are successful in life - married, children, nice house, good jobs etc., that they do not "need" any of the client's money or assets when they pass away. That the money would be better served going to the child that has not been successful in life. This is usually the child the parent has continually financially supported throughout their lifetime.  What I have found though is that this scenario causes a lot of emotional pain for the heirs who are left out. They do not understand the reasoning…
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • When Do Volunteers Become “Employees” Under Anti-Discrimination Laws?

    Daniel Schwartz
    15 Apr 2015 | 5:32 am
    Having this blog for nearly eight years, it’s fair to say that I’ve covered quite a few topics. But every once in a while, a never-before-discussed issue makes it way to the forefront. Today is one of those days. My colleague, Gary Starr, has a post today about a recent Connecticut Appellate Court decision (CHRO v. Echo Hose Ambulance) that analyzed whether a volunteer could be an “employee” under the state’s anti-discrimination laws and how courts are to make that determination. For additional background, the Connecticut Law Tribune has this article. Volunteers…
  • Bill Amending CHRO Procedures Is “Mostly” Dead

    Daniel Schwartz
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:26 pm
    If you read the headlines this morning, you may have seen that nearly four dozen bills died at the Judiciary Committee yesterday afternoon.  Indeed, no bills made it out at the deadline. The unusual occurrence seemed related to an e-mail allegedly written by one representative. The Hartford Courant has the details on that. For employers, the most important development related to the meeting was the failure to take action on Senate Bill 1111. That bill, which I covered in a prior post, would have made significant changes to the CHRO process and procedures. Of course, this being the General…
  • More Road Rules: Telecommuting as a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under ADA Gets an Update

    Daniel Schwartz
    13 Apr 2015 | 5:29 am
    Last year, my colleague Gabe Jiran, had a series of posts on telecommuting as a possible reasonable accommodation. In one post, he reported on a Sixth Circuit decision that allowed an employee (and EEOC) to proceed to trial on claims that the employer, Ford Motor Co., failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to her. Now, one year later, the Sixth Circuit – upon hearing the matter en banc (or before all of the Circuit Judges, not just a panel of three) — has issued a decision reversing itself. In doing so, it affirmed summary judgment to the employer.  The decision now…
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  • 今本当にキツいです

    15 Apr 2015 | 6:47 pm
    会社の上の方から残業の事や経費の事について色々言われています。 やはりこの不況で利益が上がらないとの事です。 どうしてもしょうがないなとは思いますが。 一番困っているのは仕事が定時間内で終わらない事です。 どうしても時間がかかる仕事なので時計とにらめっこしながら仕事をしています(苦笑)。 本当に矛盾を感じています。…
  • 脱毛は慣れが重要

    5 Jan 2015 | 11:43 pm
    私が持っている脱毛器は痛みが酷くてなかなか思うようにムダ毛処理ができないのですが、もう10年ほど脱毛して痛みにも慣れてきました。 このまま脱毛サロンに通わなくてもいいくらいスムーズに脱毛ができるようになり、時間も無駄にならなくなりました。 完璧に痛みに慣れたというわけではありませんが、初めて脱毛器で脱毛した時のような衝撃はありません。…
  • 車を安全に運転する方法とは

    16 Jun 2014 | 7:05 am
    車を安全に運転するには周囲の状況を考えて運転する必要があり、速度を守って運転することが大事です。 運転をするには危険予測を正しくできるようにすることが重要であり、的確な判断をできるように訓練をする必要があります。 自動車保険に加入する必要があり、自賠責保険以外にも任意保険に加入することで事故が起きた場合にも対処できます。…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Special Ed Law 101 - Part III #SpecialEdLaw101

    Jim Gerl
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:53 am
    In the previous posts in this series we have looked at the sources of special education law and discussed the critical concept of FAPE.  Today we look at some important decisions by U. S. Courts of Appeal taking FAPE in some interesting directions:In Deal v. Hamilton County 392 F.3d 840, 42 IDELR 109 (6th Cir. 1//16/04), the Sixth Circuit held that where the school district had already predetermined the student’s program and services before the IEP Team meeting, the parents were denied the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the IEP…
  • Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    13 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    We are now running a new series which is an updated version of our previous series: An Introduction To Special Education Law. Are there any topics that we have not covered in the past that you would like to see in this Special Ed Law 101 Series? Are you enjoying the series?------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
  • Mediators Beware! Full Disclosure Required #MediationEthics

    Jim Gerl
    7 Apr 2015 | 7:40 am
    I have had this discussion with mediators a number of times.  Most good mediators realize that they must make the same recusals and disclosures of real or apparent conflicts of interest as a hearing officer/court judge. Invariably, however, when I do a mediator training, I run into one person who feels that mediators are not required to make the same level of disclosures because they will not be deciding a case; they are merely there to help the parties come up with their own settlement. Blah, blah, blah...Well a big federal appellate decision last year may shed some light on this topic.
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    Drug Injury Watch

  • Diabetes Drugs Kombiglyze And Onglyza: Heart Failure Side Effect Seems To Be Valid, And FDA Notes There Is A Possible Increased Risk Of All-Cause Mortality

    Tom Lamb
    13 Apr 2015 | 2:51 pm
    As Analysis Did Not Reveal Causes Of The Increase In Death Incidents, FDA Asks Its Advisory Committee To Discuss This Safety Issue At April 2015 Meeting (Posted by Tom Lamb at ______________________________________________________________________________ UPDATE: "AstraZeneca, Takeda Diabetes Drugs Should Warn of Risk" (4/15/15, Bloomberg) (4/15/15) ______________________________________________________________________________ The AstraZeneca diabetes drugs Onglyza (saxagliptin) and Kombiglyze (saxagliptin plus metformin) will come under scrutiny at an April 14, 2015…
  • A 2004 Medical Journal Article Indicated A Possible Link Between The "Morning Sickness" Drug Use Of Zofran And Hypospadias

    Tom Lamb
    6 Apr 2015 | 1:40 pm
    However, It Seems No Further Research About This Congenital Birth Defect Being Caused By Zofran Use During Pregnancy Has Been Done By GlaxoSmithKline (Posted by Tom Lamb at "morning sickness", or nausea and vomiting (NVP), is the most common medical condition of pregnancy, affecting more the 75% of all pregnancies to some degree.  In fact, severe NVP, or hyperemesis gravidarum, can be debilitating and require hospitalization. For many years now, some women with morning sickness have been prescribed Zofran (ondansetron) and had babies born with…
  • In Canada, ADHD Drugs Like Adderall, Concerta, And Ritalin Are Getting New Warnings About Suicide-Related Adverse Events

    Tom Lamb
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:16 pm
    Increased Warning About The Risk Of Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors Being Added To Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Drug Labels (Posted by Tom Lamb at On March 30, 2015 Health Canada issued an Information Update document with new safety information about Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, and similar medications titled "ADHD drugs may increase risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some people; benefits still outweigh risks". From that item we get this description about the emerging ADHD drugs safety issue: The new warnings advise that there have been…
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • Filing bankruptcy is it a good idea?

    14 Apr 2015 | 9:17 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Filing bankruptcy is it a good idea? Close to one million people file bankruptcy last year. Although this number was substantially lower than the number a few years ago, it is clear that the U.S. economy has not improved for everyone. Although filing bankruptcy still has a negative connotation for some, many people who have struggled with unemployment, high medical bills, foreclosures, […]
  • Dangers of filing bankruptcy without a lawyer

    5 Apr 2015 | 11:39 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Dangers of filing bankruptcy without a lawyer It can be very expensive to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. Given that many debtors have little income, high debts, and may be unemployed many of them are choosing to file bankruptcy without the legal help of an injury lawyer. Unfortunately, bankruptcy has not only gotten more expensive, it has also become more complicated. Concerns of […]
  • Payday loans and Chapter 7 bankruptcy

    25 Mar 2015 | 8:46 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Payday loans and Chapter 7 bankruptcy Payday loans are loans made to borrowers who need quick and easy money and who do not have savings or other credit options. Payday loans should be the last resort for borrowers who have an immediate and temporary financial need such as a medical bill or car repair. Payday loans should, however, be paid back […]
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    Asbestos HUB: Medical and Legal Information

  • New “Orphan Drug” For Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM), CRS-207, Has Been Approved By FDA

    Tom Lamb
    3 Apr 2015 | 11:10 am
    Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a form of cancer that affects the smooth layer of mesothelial cells that surround the lungs, is the most common form of mesothelioma and accounts for approximately new 3,000 cases a year in the US. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive disease with a poor prognosis and most patients are not candidates for surgical resection. According to medical studies, the expected median progression-free survival for a person with pleural mesothelioma is 5.7 months and overall survival is 12.1 months with combination pemetrexed and cisplatin chemotherapy. The…
  • With The Worldwide Incidence Of Mesothelioma Increasing, A Commentator Says That Failure Of New Possible Medical Treatment “adds to this dreary scenario”

    Tom Lamb
    20 Mar 2015 | 1:24 pm
    From the Abstract for a recent medical journal article about a possible mesothelioma treatment, we get this disappointing news: In this randomised trial, vorinostat given as a second-line or third-line therapy did not improve overall survival and cannot be recommended as a therapy for patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma. To read more, see “Vorinostat in patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma who have progressed on previous chemotherapy (VANTAGE-014): a phase 3, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial”, which was published online by The…
  • Selected Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From New Medical Treatment With Brentuximab Vedotin, An Antibody–Drug

    Tom Lamb
    26 Feb 2015 | 2:55 pm
    On the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics medical journal website we found this encouraging article about a new mesothelioma treatment, “CD30 Is a Potential Therapeutic Target in Malignant Mesothelioma”. From the Abstract from this early-online February 2015 medical journal article, which is relatively “technical”, we get this specific information about the most recent development in mesothelioma therapy: CD30 is a cytokine receptor belonging to the TNF superfamily (TNFRSF8) that acts as a regulator of apoptosis….  There have been sporadic reports of CD30…
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    Real Lawyers Have Blogs

  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Gawker Class Action, Wellness Programs, Patents Under Attack

    Colin O'Keefe
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:30 pm
    In today’s Top 10, we have what might be my favorite post I’ve seen on the LexBlog Network in some time—Chicago IP attorney Rich Beem utilizes his interaction with the USPTO director to craft a blog post and doesn’t hold back with his thoughts on what she’s doing. Great stuff. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 202. A high mark (would you believe an A+?) for the SEC – Robert Lamm on Gunster’s blog, The Securities Edge Coke Walks Tightrope in ZERO Branding – Minneapolis lawyer Steve Baird of Winthrop & Weinstine on the firm’s Duets Blog…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Gawker Interns, Tomorrow’s Top Lawyers, Law Firm Failure

    Colin O'Keefe
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:30 pm
    It is bright and sunny in Seattle and it’s time to go out and enjoy it. But before we do, today’s Top 10. And before that, Zosha has an interesting piece over on LXBN today on why our privacy laws need some updating. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 192. The ANDYs – Honoring the Heroes of Advertising – New York lawyer Ronald Urbach of Davis & Gilbert on his blog, Madison Ave Insights The EEOC’s Proposed Wellness Plan Regulation: Some Progress, But Issues Persist – Paul H. Kehoe and Lawrence Lorber of Seyfarth Shaw on the firm’s blog, Employment…
  • 8th Annual Beer for Bloggers at ABA TechShow Friday Evening

    Kevin O'Keefe
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:55 am
    The ABA Journal and LexBlog are hosting their 8th annual Beer (and wine) for Bloggers at the ABA TechShow this Friday evening. You’re all invited, blogger or not, lawyer or not, attending TechShow or not. It’s been a great event for those in the legal profession and for those working in organizations serving the legal profession to get together. The details? 5:30-7 p.m., Friday, April 17. Hilton Chicago’s Lakeside Green Lounge (Northeast corner on 1st floor), 720 S. Michigan Ave. ABA Journal and LexBlog pick up the tab. A big thank you to Molly McDonough (@molly_mcdonough), Managing…
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    Securities Docket

  • Securities Docket News Wire for April 17, 2015

    Securities Docket
    18 Apr 2015 | 6:55 am
    SEC Trial Scorecard Update: Jury Finds ‘Feeder’ Liable in Florida Ponzi Scheme | Compliance Week -> Advocacy Groups Looking for an SEC Superhero | Compliance Week -> Former FAW-Volkswagen executive jailed for life – The FCPA Blog -> Robo firms gaining traction with traditional advisors — CNBC -> David Makol, Known for Pursuit of Insider Trading Cases While at F.B.I., Joins S.E.C. – ->
  • Advocacy Groups Looking for an SEC Superhero | Compliance Week

    Securities Docket
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:19 am
    From the depths of the D.C. Metro system comes a social media campaign from an advocacy group that depicts SEC Chair White as a superhero who can take down the scourge of “dark money.” via Advocacy Groups Looking for an SEC Superhero | Compliance Week
  • Securities Docket News Wire for April 16, 2015

    Securities Docket
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:55 am
    Remote Tippees Beware: Even if the DOJ Can’t Reach You After Newman, The SEC Can | Orrick -> Madoff Trustee Picard Seeks to Pay Investors $1.25 Billion – WSJ -> SEC Reveals It Doesn’t Use Email Snooping Power It Defends – ->
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  • Is Judiciary Law § 470 unconstitutional?

    David M. Gottlieb
    31 Mar 2015 | 8:19 am
    Schoenefeld v State of New York, 2015 NY Slip Op 02674 [2015] In this case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has asked us to set forth the minimum requirements necessary to satisfy the statutory directive that nonresident attorneys maintain an office within the State "for the transaction of law business" under Judiciary Law § 470. We hold that the statute requires nonresident attorneys to maintain a physical office in New York. Plaintiff Ekaterina Schoenefeld is a New Jersey resident who was admitted to the practice of law in New York in 2006. Schoenefeld…
  • Traffic Tickets

    David M. Gottlieb
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:51 am
    Matter of Matter of Nestle Waters N. Am., Inc. v City of New York, 2014 NY Slip Op 05609 [1st Dept. 2014] The Court of Appeals has required strict compliance with the requirements of VTL § 238(2). For example, in Ryder Truck Rental, the Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division and reinstated the Supreme Court's decision annulling a PVB Appeals Board decision which upheld notices of violation that failed to include the expiration date for the vehicle's registration, as required by the statute. The Court said: "The provisions explicitly prescribed by the Legislature in…
  • counsel were primarily engaged in claims handling [CPLR 3126]

    David M. Gottlieb
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:29 am
    CPLR 3126 National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania v TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 19 AD3d 492 [1st Dept. 2014] The record shows that the insurance companies retained counsel to provide a coverage opinion, i.e. an opinion as to whether the insurance companies should pay or deny the claims. Further, the record shows that counsel were primarily engaged in claims handling—an ordinary business activity for an insurance company. Documents prepared in the ordinary course of an insurer's investigation of whether to pay or deny a claim are not privileged, and do not become so…
  • CPLR 2003

    David M. Gottlieb
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:26 am
    CPLR 2003 Mooring Capital Fund, LLC v Bronx Miracle Gospel Tabernacle, Inc., 119 AD3d 490 [1st Dept. 2014] In the order on appeal, Bronx Miracle's fourth motion was granted. Citing CPLR 2003, the motion court (Aarons, J.), reasoned that a discrepancy between the foreclosure Referee's testimony that the property was sold on October 18, 2010 and the Memorandum of Sale on which the date of July 15, 2010 is typewritten was sufficient to set aside the sale, pursuant to the court's equitable powers to prevent fraud, collusion, mistake or misconduct. We reverse, and deny the motion.
  • This is often ignored

    David M. Gottlieb
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:17 am
    CPLR 3212 Hecht v Saccoccio, 014 NY Slip Op 05628 [2nd Dept. 2014] To demonstrate prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law in a premises liability case, a defendant owner must establish that it did not create the condition that allegedly caused the fall or have actual or constructive notice of that condition (see Gordon v American Museum of Natural History, 67 NY2d 836, 837). Only after the defendant has satisfied his or her threshold burden will the court examine the sufficiency of the plaintiff's opposition (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851). On a…
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    HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog

  • Get Social Health: David Harlow Podcast Interview with Janet Kennedy

    David Harlow
    13 Apr 2015 | 11:37 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.
  • Meaningful Use Stage 3: The Buzz About APIs

    David Harlow
    23 Mar 2015 | 11:21 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.
  • HIPAA Audits: The Latest Oracular Prognostications

    David Harlow
    17 Mar 2015 | 7:15 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.
  • Lessons from the Anthem breach

    David Harlow
    6 Feb 2015 | 11:39 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.
  • ONC, Interoperability, and the 2/6/2015 #HITsm Tweetchat

    David Harlow
    3 Feb 2015 | 12:16 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.
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    San Antonio Legal Solutions | RSS Feed

  • $6.5 million win in Bexar County

    30 Mar 2015 | 9:51 am
    Everyone here at SA Legal is excited about the massive victory our clients had in Bexar county district court last week. Congratulations to Brian Steward, Jay Moore and Ryan Todd for a well tried case.Cumpian was working for Leal Welding and Erection in May 2012 as a subcontractor on a Joeris General Contractors job site. Cumpian was working as a welder’s assistant when a metal staircase that was being moved via forklift was dropped onto his foot.This was a rarely seen bifurcated punitive damages case where the jury found for the plaintiff in the amount of $5million.Read more about the case…
  • Personal Injury Defense Win in Bexar County

    25 Feb 2015 | 2:31 pm
    Last week we helped Will Allan and Alex Nava from Allan, Nava, Glander successfully defend what we nicknamed the “bumper scratcher” case. This low impact and very low damage claim was filed by The Herrera Law firm and included a neck surgery recommendation.There were many obstacles to overcome, including the Judge not allowing the accident photographs into evidence. After 2 weeks of testimony the plaintiffs asked for $625,000 in damages, including past and future pain and suffering.The jury returned a $0 verdict in 45 minutes of deliberation.We provided the defense team with…
  • Defense Win – Wrongful Death (minor)

    29 Sep 2012 | 2:35 pm
    Jury is back on this heated trial in Bexar County. Find the news article here: Jury decides doctor not to blame for toddler’s deathWe helped prepare some of the trial exhibit boards and with the editing of videos in the trial portion of this case. It was well tried by both sides.The post Defense Win – Wrongful Death (minor) appeared first on San Antonio Legal Solutions.
  • Jury Information Retention and Trial Technology

    27 Jun 2012 | 2:42 am
    Have you ever heard that juries remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see and 50% of what they hear and see? I have, and I’ve actually have used it many times while explaining why trial presentations are beneficial.While researching for an upcoming CLE, articles: I wanted to find the source of these numbers to make sure there was actual evidence to support this. Guess what? There is none, and in reality there is no truth to it. Here’s two interesting…
  • $544,000 Verdict – Premises Liability

    24 Apr 2012 | 10:36 am
    Congrats to Lawrence Morales of San Antonio for a well tried and long trial in Bexar County.  This case sparked lots of emotions and hopefully will show other apartment managers to follow the rules and keep their unoccupied apartments locked and not allow random people to stay in them.Press Links: News 4 WOAI (story #1)News 4 WOAI (story #2) The post $544,000 Verdict – Premises Liability appeared first on San Antonio Legal Solutions.
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    Political GPS: Womble Carlyle Political Law

  • New Government Contractor Political Contribution Disclosure Law Passed by Maryland General Assembly

    Womble Carlyle Team
    16 Apr 2015 | 1:08 pm
    On April 10, the Maryland General Assembly made significant changes to the state’s public contractor political contribution disclosure law. Many of the amendments were prompted by questions that had arisen regarding the most recent version of the law, which took effect just this past January. The new amendments clarify that a contractor awarded a single contract with a state or local governmental entity valued at $200,000 or more is covered by the disclosure law, regardless of whether that contract was awarded before or after January 1, 2015.An initial political contribution disclosure…
  • Individual Contribution Limits Increased for 2015 -2016 Election Cycle

    Womble Carlyle Team
    6 Feb 2015 | 11:17 am
    On February 3rd, the Federal Election Commission increased the amounts that individuals and certain PACs can contribute in the 2015-16 election cycle. The most significant change is that individuals may now give $2700 per election to each federal candidate. This is an increase from the $2600 per election limit that had been in place for 2013-14.  Since primary and general election contests are viewed as separate “elections,” an individual may now contribute a total of $5400 to a federal candidate for the two-year election cycle.In addition, individuals can now give $33,400 to each…
  • Don't Sweat the Details...Unless You're Filing at the FEC

    Womble Carlyle Team
    8 May 2014 | 10:19 am
    Few federal agencies have rules as picky, or as confusing, as the Federal Election Commission. But surely minor transgressions in reports won’t have any significant repercussions, right? Well, maybe.Bacardi USA PAC recently filed an amended statement of organization that failed to include addresses for its treasurer and for the PAC’s bank. This prompted the FEC to seek clarification through a request for additional information, known in the campaign finance world as a “RFAI.” To get square with the FEC, the PAC filed an amended report with the omitted information. Simple enough. RFAIs…
  • Supreme Court Opens New Political Contribution Opportunities for Big Donors

    Womble Carlyle Team
    2 Apr 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In a divided 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court today struck down the federal election law’s long-standing “biennial limit” – the aggregate amount that a person can give to federal candidates and other committees in a two-year election cycle. Prior to the Court’s ruling, an individual could contribute no more than $123,200 during 2013 and 2014, with a maximum of $48,600 for candidates and $74,600 to party committees and PACs. Now, individuals are free to contribute to as many candidates and other committees as they please, so long as each…
  • Corporate Political Law Compliance: Top 5 Tips for the 2014 Election Year

    Womble Carlyle Team
    3 Mar 2014 | 10:41 am
    For many companies engagement with public officials can be critical to achieving business objectives. At the same time, corporate political activities are governed by a complex set of federal, state and local laws, and missteps can have significant legal and reputational consequences. These risks are magnified in an election year when corporations and their leaders are inundated with requests to support candidates and political parties.  Jim Kahl addresses the Top 5 corporate political law compliance tips in a new Client Alert.Click here to read the Top Five Corporate Politlcal Law…
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    Colorado Law Blog - Personal Injury News and Information| Bachus & Schanker Attorneys

  • Protecting Your Parents Against Elderly Abuse

    Kyle Bachus
    15 Apr 2015 | 10:57 am
    Every year, many of our nation’s elders are abused by those around them. It could be a neighbor or someone you know, or it could even be a family member. It can be a difficult situation if you find out that one of your parents has been the victim of abuse. Most people who go through this are angry and want some form of justice under state law. On the bright side, there is legislation established to protect the elderly from a variety of different forms of abuse, and lawyers are available to work with you to get the justice your family deserves. What Is Elderly Abuse? Abuse of the elderly…
  • The Benefits of Having Personal Injury Attorney Representation

    Kyle Bachus
    8 Apr 2015 | 10:56 am
    Personal injury attorneys represent victims who suffer emotional or physical injuries caused by another person or group of individuals. In these instances, reasonable actions were not taken to prevent the situation from occurring. When involved with a case, the attorney may investigate and evaluate all the evidence and information concerning the accident and determine the need for negotiation or the need to file a lawsuit in an attempt to gain appropriate compensation. When to Contact an Attorney When someone becomes seriously injured or ill and believes that they deserve compensation for…
  • Understanding Workers Compensation in Colorado

    Kyle Bachus
    1 Apr 2015 | 10:38 am
    Worker’s compensation refers to a no-fault insurance program offered by the state of Colorado. The legislation was put into effect in 1915 and is available to the majority of Colorado employees. The guidelines and rules involved with the program continually undergo alterations designed to better accommodate injured workers and take into consideration ever-changing medical practices and treatments. What Is Worker’s Compensation? Workplace injuries cost companies across the country more than $100 billion every year. In exchange for providing employees with compensation for…
  • Procedures Following a Hit-and-Run Accident

    Kyle Bachus
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    If you have found yourself the victim of a hit-and-run accident, what can you do? As in any accident, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you and anyone else in the car at the time of the crash are fine. After you know everyone is alright, you should call the police to start an investigation into who caused the crash. Get an Attorney to Help You Fight for Compensation After contacting the police, one of your first phone calls should be to a hit and run attorney in Colorado. An attorney may be able to start the process of looking into the physical evidence and witness statements…
  • How to Identify Nursing Home Neglect

    Kyle Bachus
    25 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Nursing home neglect happens more often than people know. There are times when nursing home staff will not answer questions and will ignore the needs of the patient. Loved ones can become frustrated by the lack of care their loved one is receiving. If you believe this is happening to your loved one, there are ways to identify nursing home neglect. There are measures you can take to protect your loved one’s rights, such as becoming a medical durable power of attorney, if you feel the patient requires assistance. This enables you to make medical decisions for the patient and to help fight…
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    P.I.S.S.D. -- Personal Injury, Social Security Disability. Dallas Texas Lawyers

  • Driverless Cars and DUI’s: How Will DUI Levels be Affected by Driverless Car Technology?

    Bob Kraft
    18 Apr 2015 | 7:02 am
    Driverless cars have taken a lot of heat over their supposed negative aspects—their potential to put bus and taxi drivers out of work, the probable insurance nightmare of determining who is at fault in a driverless car accident, the worry of a malfunction—you name it. For various reasons, many are skeptical about this technology. However, one interesting benefit that the technology could provide is the possibility of lowering DUI incidents. Let’s take a closer look at how DUI levels might be affected by the regular implementation of driverless vehicles. Driverless Cars Can Keep Drunks…
  • Friday Fun

    Bob Kraft
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:53 am
    I’ve wanted to drive a Formula One race car since I was a teenager. Now, 50 years later, I guess I can stop dreaming. Still, it’s sure fun to watch other people drive them. This little video not only gives you an inside look at driving a race car, but also shows how tiny differences in driving technique can make the difference in winning and losing. In this case 9/1000 of a second was the difference between pole position and runner-up. The post Friday Fun appeared first on P.I.S.S.D. -- Personal Injury, Social Security Disability. Dallas Texas Lawyers.
  • Personal Injuries: Coping with the Emotional Side of Pain

    Bob Kraft
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:14 am
    Getting injured is not typically something that you plan for. One day…it just happens. Whether the injury was the result of a workplace accident, slip and fall, or motor vehicle collision, those who suffer significant injuries have a long road ahead of them toward recovery. Most would assume that the only thing they have to be worried about is recovering from the physical injuries they’ve sustained. While this is partially true, there are other aspects of being injured that no one thinks about or plans for until they’re in the midst of the mayhem – the emotional and financial aspects.
  • On the Job: Six of the Most Dangerous Careers Today

    Bob Kraft
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:38 am
    According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,405 work-related fatalities in 2013. Although the number of fatal workplace accidents is down 25 percent over the past decade, there is still a large number of workers in particular industries who remain at risk. Here are six of the most dangerous jobs in existence today. Construction Worker Average Annual Salary: $35,020 Laborers in the construction industry are at risk because they often work with a variety of potentially dangerous equipment including power tools and heavy machinery. In addition, some…
  • Four Common Practices of Good Criminal Defense Attorneys

    Bob Kraft
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:33 am
    Certain defense attorneys are well established in the criminal courts. Some seem to get more not guilty verdicts, and when their clients are guilty, they seem to get better plea deals and sentences. They all have certain common characteristics. These are four that they all share and four that you should look for when researching new attorneys to represent you in your legal endeavors. Credibility Most courtrooms don’t have windows. If a respected criminal defense attorney tells you that it’s raining outside, then indeed it’s raining outside. Having represented thousands of…
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • Crowdfunding and Sport: How Soon Until the Fans Own the Franchise?

    Edward A. Fallone
    17 Apr 2015 | 11:05 am
    The latest issue of the Marquette Sports Law Review is now available online.  This is a faculty symposium issue.  I am proud to have my article, “Crowdfunding and Sport: How Soon Until the Fans Own the Franchise?,” included in this issue.  Here is the introduction. The Green Bay Packers football team operates as a nonprofit corporation that has been publicly-owned since 1923.  Since that time, the franchise has raised capital by selling shares of stock in five different stock offerings, and there are currently over 350,000 individual members of the public who are shareholders…
  • New Law School Poll Results Generate Great Interest Quickly

    Alan J. Borsuk
    16 Apr 2015 | 8:03 pm
    The passage of time was one of the reasons why the release of a new round of Marquette Law School Poll results on Thursday drew such strong interest. It was the first round of Law School polling since shortly before the general election almost six months ago. But the passage of time since the last poll was only one factor driving the rapid dissemination of  the results across Wisconsin and well beyond. A governor who has emerged as a leading all-but-announced candidate for president, controversial proposals connected to the state budget being shaped currently, a first look at a likely US…
  • Enhancing Credibility in Brief Writing by Using Oral Argument Techniques

    Elizabeth Oestreich
    16 Apr 2015 | 12:29 pm
    This semester in Professor Susan Bay’s Advanced Legal Writing course, Rhetoric and Persuasion, our class discussed the means of persuasion: logos, pathos and ethos. Ethos immediately intrigued me because I could not grasp how to employ ethos in brief writing. One legal scholar, Professor Kirsten K. Davis, explains ethos as “classically considered the ‘persuasive force of a person’s character.’” In one word, ethos can be defined as credibility. Reading articles from legal scholars like Professor Davis helped, but I still was missing a connection. And then it occurred to me that I…
  • Michael Sam and the NFL Locker Room: How Masculinities Theory Explains How We View Gay Athletes

    Lisa A. Mazzie
    16 Apr 2015 | 8:09 am
    Last year, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in the National Football League. Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of the draft. He survived the initial round of pre-season cuts with the team, but was let go when the team had to make a 53-player roster. He was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys and played on the team’s practice squad. After seven weeks with the Cowboys, Sam was released and remained unsigned the rest of the season. Sam’s coming out and his subsequent drafting and playing in the NFL caused quite a stir. According to one Sports…
  • Israel Reflections 2015–Day 7: Moty Cristal

    Andrea K. Schneider
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:24 am
    One of the most interactive and influential speakers during the trip was Moty Cristal, the CEO of Next Consulting. Having begun his career as one of Israel’s leading negotiators, Moty now conducts international negotiation trainings for the private sector. He made time to speak to us at the Rabin Center and his lesson was among the favorites of the trip.  As our last speaker of the trip, I knew Moty would be a great wrap-up! Student Sean A. McCarthy recalls his experience: Moty Cristal has become one of the leading negotiation experts in Israel and my class was fortunate enough to meet…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • Promoting Electric Vehicles as Environmental Policy or Corporate Welfare

    Stuart Kaplow
    11 Apr 2015 | 2:05 pm
    Maryland has been a leader in the promotion of plug-in electric vehicles. In addition to federal government incentives, a total of 37 states and Washington, D.C. have created incentives for plug-in electric vehicles.  While Maryland offers non-monetary incentives such as priority parking and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access regardless of the number of occupants (when displaying an HOV permit on the vehicle), it is the dollar cost and source of funds for that public policy that is now drawing attention. Maryland residents may be eligible for a one time excise tax credit, up to…
  • LEED is the Tool to Restrict Water Use in This Town

    Stuart Kaplow
    5 Apr 2015 | 10:59 am
    While much attention was given last week to California Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order, in response to that state’s long running drought, seeking to reduce overall water use by 25%, there may be more to be learned from how the small Town of Hampstead in Maryland responded to its own water crisis in 2008. Despite that the U.S. uses less water than it did in 1980, availability of potable water is increasingly an issue. According to the EPA, at least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages this year.   In 2008, the 6,323 people residing in…
  • All Solar Panels are Pervious in Maryland

    Stuart Kaplow
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:51 am
    Forget what you know about earth sciences and think law. By statute all solar panels are pervious in Maryland. Of course that doesn’t mean that rain actually passes through the solar panels or that in Maryland the panels are constructed to be any more permeable than elsewhere. Maryland is not trying to alter the laws of science, but rather seeking through public policy to prioritize environmental stewardship.  Chapter 702 of the Session Laws of 2012 makes law that, For the purposes of issuing a permit or variance relating to zoning, construction, or stormwater for a project to…
  • Eco Terrorism is Not in the Headlines so Did it Ever Exist?

    Stuart Kaplow
    22 Mar 2015 | 10:27 am
    America’s most notorious eco-terrorist, Eric Taylor McDavid, was surprisingly released from prison earlier this year after serving 8 years of a 20 year sentence when a Federal judge determined “the FBI withheld documents from McDavid's trial defense attorneys that indicated they used an informant to entrap him,” according to a news release from the Civil Liberties Defense Center. In 2004, John Lewis, deputy assistant director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “the FBI’s investigation of animal rights extremists and…
  • Green Code Mandatory on April 1 For All Building in Baltimore

    Stuart Kaplow
    17 Mar 2015 | 8:53 am
    By Jacqueline Lusk and Stuart Kaplow Baltimore City adopted the International Green Construction Code 2012 as an overlay to the City’s building, fire and related codes effective April 1, 2015. And despite that the IgCC becomes mandatory on April Fools’ Day, we are not playing a practical joke when we tell you that the effective date has “shifted.” Read on .. Baltimore was among the first jurisdictions, in 2007 to mandate that all “newly constructed, extensively modified non-residential buildings” .. “achieve a Silver rating in the appropriate LEED…
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    California Employment Law Report

  • Five legal concepts every California employer needs to understand

    Anthony Zaller
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:59 pm
    You’ve set up a successful company and begin hiring employees. To be a successful operator in California, a company’s management needs to be familiar with the critical legal concepts in order to successfully navigate California’s complex employment laws. You never wanted to go to law school, but time to hit the, ahem, books (or the Internet).  Here are a five fundamental legal concepts that every employer should understand: 1. At-will employment. Under California law, it is presumed that all employment is terminable at-will. California Labor Code section 2922 provides:…
  • Five things every employer with IT workers must understand about the computer professional exemption under California law

    Anthony Zaller
    10 Apr 2015 | 1:58 am
    Recently I published a list of common exemptions under California law. This list of exemptions did not delve into the details of each exemption in detail, so I will be returning to a few of the exemptions to add more explanation about each exempt classification. I’m currently reading Paul Graham’s Hackers and Painters, Big Ideas From the Computer Age. Therefore, this post turns to the computer professional exemption. In order for any computer professional to be properly classified as exempt from overtime pay under California law, employers should know the following five…
  • Five best practices for hiring in California

    Anthony Zaller
    3 Apr 2015 | 1:08 am
    1. CEOs and founders need to be involved in the hiring process. This is simply something too important for a company to leave to other people.  Sam Altman, of Y Combinator, wrote: The vast majority of founders don’t spend nearly enough time hiring. After you figure out your vision and get product-market fit, you should probably be spending between a third and a half of your time hiring. It sounds crazy, and there will always be a ton of other work, but it’s the highest-leverage thing you can do, and great companies always, always have great people. You can’t outsource…
  • 5 common questions about class actions every employer should understand

    Anthony Zaller
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:18 pm
    1. What is a class action? To understand what a class action is, it is better to start with the basic individual litigation concept. Normally, parties bring their own disputes to court and litigate the case against the other parties who have been officially designated a parties and served with process and understand that they are parties to the lawsuit. Class actions, on the other hand, are brought against a defendant, but the claims are being asserted on behalf of parties who are not actually in the courtroom or named as individual plaintiffs. In the employment context, the plaintiffs are…
  • Friday's Five: Uber and Lyft class actions show the difficulties of classifying independent contractors in new "sharing economy"

    Anthony Zaller
    20 Mar 2015 | 11:31 am
    Uber and Lyft have been sued in separate class action lawsuits in California by drivers challenging the two companies’ classification of the drivers as independent contractors. The plaintiffs in the two cases argue that the drivers should be classified and paid as employees, which triggers many additional Labor Code provisions for the drivers than if they are classified as independent contractors. The cases are good reminders to California employers, and start-ups especially, about how difficult the analysis can be in some cases. For example, in early March 2015, the judge denied…
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    Social Security Disability Lawyer

  • New rule regarding evidence in Social Security disability cases

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    10 Apr 2015 | 4:02 am
    Social Security has issued a new rule regarding the production of medical evidence for Social Security disability cases. Entitled Submission of Evidence in Disability Claims, the rule makes several changes in the regulations effective April 20, 2015. If you are practicing in this area of law, you have to read the new rule. It is likely to affect your practice and your procedures. There is a good article discussing the new rule written by Delaware Social Security lawyer Steven Butler. One notable change is that any and all medical source statements and opinions from treating doctors must be…
  • The 36-month Reentitlement Period

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:01 am
    The reentitlement period is a safety net for Title II disability recipients who return to work. The reentitlement period begins at the end of the 9-month trial work period, and lasts for 36 months. If you cannot continue working at the SGA level due to your disabling impairments during the 36-month rentitlement period, you do not have to go through the disability application process all over again. Rather, you just notify Social Security that you are unable to work, and they will restart your disability benefits right away. This safety net is intended to encourage you to test your ability to…
  • The 9-month Trial Work Period

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    10 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    Trial work is a concept that applies to people already entitled to Title II disability benefits. Sometimes Title II recipients will attempt to return to work to see how it goes. Social Security encourages this, and allows a 9-month period for a person to still receive disability benefits while testing his or her ability to work. However, this trial work can be a trap for the unwary. Some recipients try working part-time, and may earn less than the SGA amount. They assume their disability benefits will not be affected by this part-time work. After all, they were allowed earn that much when…
  • The things you tell your doctor

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    2 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    The things you tell your doctor about how you are doing (and what you are doing with your time) frequently end up in your medical progress notes. These progress notes provide your doctors with context and information about your condition. Anyone applying for disability needs to know that those medical notes become part of the record for your disability claim. These notes are read carefully by the people making decisions on your claim, whether that person is a disability examiner or an administrative law judge. I hate to say that you have to be careful what you tell your doctor, but you have…
  • Portland Hearing Office Processing Time Has Gotten Longer

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    23 Feb 2015 | 2:15 am
    The latest average processing time statistics for Social Security hearing offices around the country have been published by the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR). As of the end of January 2015, the average processing time for the Portland, Maine hearing office is now 443 days, which is just a week shy of 15 months. Processing time runs from the date of the hearing request to the day a decision is issued. The 443 days is an average. Some claims are resolved more quickly, but a claim that requires a hearing and a written decision may take even…
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    The Rainmaker Blog

  • The Best Lead Generation Strategy for Lawyers

    Stephen Fairley
    17 Apr 2015 | 1:41 pm
    People use the Internet for one main purpose: to find information. This simple fact is the compelling reason why the best lead generation strategy for law firms is education marketing. When people have legal problem, research tells us that they turn to the Internet first looking for answers. This is especially true for those with legal problems who want to protect their privacy. No one is going to tell family and friends about their DUI unless they have to. People thinking about divorce want facts about how the process works in their state. Anyone with a criminal complaint probably wants to…
  • It’s Official: Mobile Overtakes Desktop as Most Used Digital Platform

    Stephen Fairley
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm
    It’s official! Mobile internet usage has overtaken desktop computer usage as the most used digital platform in the U.S., according to comScore, a global leader in digital media analytics. In the past four years, consumer usage of a smartphone to access the Internet rose almost 400%. Tablet use soared 1,721% during that time period, and the two combined account for 60% of all time spent on digital devices. The fastest growing consumer segment for mobile is…are you ready?…those over the age of 55, up from 60% in 2010 to 74% in 2014. What this means is that your law firm websites…
  • Tax Day Freebie: How to Develop Zealot Clients From Hello! Webinar

    Stephen Fairley
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:23 pm
    Developing “zealot” clients – those who won’t be pried from your firm for love and money and who are the first to refer your services to others – begins at “hello.” Now you can learn techniques and strategies to quickly build those important, lasting relationships with clients by watching this free webinar – How to Develop Zealot Clients From Hello – brought to you by Intake Academy™ and The Rainmaker Institute®. During this free one-hour webinar, you will learn: How to quickly cement your relationship with new prospects How to control calls and advance the…
  • New Benchmark Data on How Often Companies Should Blog

    Lynda Collins
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:06 pm
    When it comes to blogging for your law firm, are you wondering whether it’s quality or quantity that matters most?  The answer is:  both. Obviously you want to publish high quality blogs that will educate and inform your readers.  It’s a reflection of who you are and how you practice, and so quality should really be a given. But you’re really busy, so you may justify posting only a couple of times a month by thinking that quality is more important than quantity.  New benchmark data from inbound marketing firm HubSpot says otherwise. Last week, HubSpot released a study…
  • The Top 10 Deadly Social Media Mistakes Lawyers Make

    Stephen Fairley
    13 Apr 2015 | 2:52 pm
    I know that lawyers are busy people, and one of the great frustrations I hear about every day from attorneys that attend our Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing boot camp is how difficult it is to keep up with the rapidly changing technology and new opportunities. The fact is, social media is like any other marketing tool and if you don’t use it right — by developing and executing a plan and following up — it is not going to work. If you’re just out there winging it when it comes to social media, you may be making one or more of what I call the Top 10 Deadly Social Media…
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    a public defender

  • LaPointe gets a new trial

    1 Apr 2015 | 5:56 am
    Richard LaPointe’s quarter century quest to undo his conviction (my backgrounder post) finally has the stamp of approval of the State’s highest court. Yesterday, in a fractious 4-2 opinion [PDF], the court affirmed two findings: 1. That there was a Brady violation when the prosecution did not disclose a potentially exculpatory note, and; 2. His first post-conviction attorney was ineffective for not pursuing that avenue almost a decade ago. The basis is this: there was a note that was not turned over in which a police officer wrote notes from conversations with fire marshals. The…
  • Bail me out, bro

    19 Mar 2015 | 5:53 am
    For most people who get arrested for anything, big or small, the only thing standing between them and liberty is the amount of bail that will be set. For everyone, the only thing standing between them and the bail amount is the judge or judicial officer who will set that bail. For a significant portion of the people in this country who will be arrested1, no one will stand next to them when they face that judicial officer who will determine the bail that will allow them to get freedom. That’s the warning bell rung by a brand new report from The Constitution Project [PDF], which analyzed…
  • Are there viable solutions for prosecutorial misconduct?

    9 Mar 2015 | 6:07 am
    Just last week, I wrote a lengthy column in the Law Tribune outlining the many instances of prosecutorial misconduct occurring over the last month and a half or so, all of which seemingly went unpunished. In it, I didn’t propose any ideas to eliminate the problem. Just that same day, however, news broke of yet another instance of egregious misconduct by a prosecutor in California – a man named Robert Murray – who fabricated two sentences and added them to a defendant’s statement to police: Kern County prosecutor Robert Murray added two lines of transcript to…
  • Hold prosecutors accountable to restore faith in the justice system

    5 Mar 2015 | 5:10 am
    “Her license remains active and in good standing.” The words rang out at me as I stared at a newspaper article in the Indianapolis Star. It was about the conduct – or misconduct – of a woman named Gillian DePrez Keiffner who is a Deputy Prosecutor there. During trial, she had vouched for the credibility of the complaining witness in a sexual assault case, demeaned and insulted the defense attorney and asked the defendant which of the two 14 year old girls he liked touching better. A few weeks ago, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the man’s conviction finding…
  • CT: Miller applies to non-mandatory LWOP

    2 Mar 2015 | 6:49 am
    In a long awaited decision, the CT Supreme Court last Friday ruled that Miller v. Alabama applies to all youth sentenced to the functional equivalent of life without parole, even though such a sentence was not required to be imposed by the trial judge. In State v. Riley [PDF], Ackeem Riley – 17 at the time of the offense – was sentenced to 100 years in jail, without the possibility of parole1. He argued that Miller prohibits the imposition of such a sentence without a hearing on the particularized vagaries of youth and his attendant circumstances. He also argued that any…
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  • Casual website visitor who watched videos was not protected under the Video Privacy Protection Act

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    9 Apr 2015 | 6:11 am
    A recent federal court decision from the Southern District of New York sheds light on what is required to be considered a “consumer” who is protected under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). The court held that a website visitor who merely visited a website once in awhile to watch videos — without establishing a more “deliberate and durable” affiliation with the website — was not a “subscriber” to the website’s services and thus the VPPA did not prohibit the alleged disclosure of information about the website visitor’s viewing…
  • Complaint site does not have to identify its users

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    20 Feb 2015 | 12:19 pm
    Petitioner filed an action in New York state court seeking to compel to disclose the identity of the person or persons who posted certain statements to the site. These statements criticized petitioner for allegedly failing to fulfill an advertising promise to give the user a $500 gas card. The anonymous user went on to complain that petitioner “will forget about you and … all the promises they made to you” once “you sign on the dotted line.” The trial court denied the petition to compel to turn over the names of its users.
  • internetcases turns 10 years old today

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:08 am
    Ten years ago today, somewhat on a whim, yet to fulfill a need I saw for discussion about the law of the internet in the “blogosphere” (a term we loved dearly back then), I launched internetcases. What started as a one-page handwritten pamphlet that I would mimeograph in the basement of my one-bedroom apartment and then foist upon unsuspecting people on street corners has in ten years turned into a billion dollar conglomerate and network. internetcases is now translated into 7 languages daily and employs a staff of thousands to do the Lord’s work fighting Ebola and terrorism…
  • Best practices for providers of goods and services on the Internet of Things

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:26 pm
    Today the United States Federal Trade Commission issued a report in which it detailed a number of consumer-focused issues arising from the growing Internet of Things (IoT). Companies should pay attention to the portion of the report containing the Commission’s recommendations on best practices to participants (such as device manufacturers and service providers) in the IoT space. The Commission structured its recommendations around four of the “FIPPs” – the Fair Information Practice Principles – which first appeared in the 1970s and which inform much of the world’s regulation…
  • Facebook wins against alleged advertising fraudster

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    12 Jan 2015 | 12:21 pm
    Defendant set up more than 70 bogus Facebook accounts and impersonated online advertising companies (including by sending Facebook falsified bank records) to obtain an advertising credit line from Facebook. He ran more than $340,000 worth of ads for which he never paid. Facebook sued, among other things, for breach of contract, fraud, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Despite the court giving defendant several opportunities to be heard, defendant failed to answer the claims and the court entered a default. The court found that Facebook had successfully pled a CFAA…
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • Powers of Attorney and Gifting Provisions

    David M. Goldman
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:36 am
    With the current estate tax exception of $5.43 Million for an individual and $10.86 Milliion for a married couple, some estate planners have begun to question whether gifting provisions in a Durable Power of Attorney pose more risk than reward.  While it is true, that these provisions can be abused by individuals, there are several situations when estate taxes is not the primary concern and removing gifting provisions could pose a substantial risk to the individuals. In Florida, individuals must initial next to any gifting provision for them to be valid under current law.  Generally there…
  • Funding Your Revocable or Irrevocable Trust

    David M. Goldman
    23 Mar 2015 | 12:36 pm
    In Florida, a trust is not valid until funded.  Many trusts need to be funded prior to your death to be used in the way intended.  Often, individuals create trusts and forget to fund them during their life and do not receive the benefits that their trusts were designed for. There are 4 major ways to fund a trust. Purchase items in the name of the trust.  New property or items can be purchased in the name of the trust.  When you purchase a new item or asset, the sale can be made out to the trust.  Anyone can purchase these items, it need not be the creator or settlor of the trust. Assign…
  • Nevis LLC and Asset Protection gone wrong? Is your Foreign Trust at Risk also?

    David M. Goldman
    17 Mar 2015 | 2:54 pm
    Last month the United States District court in Orlando found that the membership interest in a Nevis LLC was subject to Florida jurisdiction. The court also found that Florida law, not Nevis law, applies to the creditor’s application for a charging lien because the situs of the asset determines what laws are applicable to issues related to the charging lien. This rationale would seem to apply to Foreign trusts as well as Foreign LLCs.  It appears that a Corporation or LLC where there were actual certificates for the membership interests that were not located within the state of Florida may…
  • Florida Asset Protection: What is an IPUG™ Trust? How does an IPUG™ Trust work?

    David M. Goldman
    6 Mar 2015 | 11:20 am
    Asset protection was previously out of reach for most Americans.  Thanks to a new trust called the IPUG™ Trust, Asset Protection is affordable for the average family.  In the past many families created trusts to avoid estate tax, but with the recent increases in the Federal estate tax exemptions, many use trusts to manage assets, avoid probate, and protect assets from creditors. The iPug™ Trust not only provides advantageous tax benefits, but it also provides asset protection, while retaining Grantor control,” explains David J. Zumpano, CPA, ESQ., President and Founder of MPS and…
  • Facebook Account, Digital Assets and Estate Planning, what Happens when I die?

    David M. Goldman
    23 Feb 2015 | 10:53 am
    Estate Planning for Digital Assets is becoming a more important part of our estate planning.  While most online accounts simply expire when you die, Facebook has recently incorporated some changes to your account so you can specify what happens when you die. Until recently, loved ones of the deceased only had two choices: Keep the wall public so everyone could continue to post messages and thoughts on the wall, or Request to have the page “memorialized,” which meant the profile was no longer searchable or visible to those who were not already friends of the individual. What Facebook did…
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  • The Friday Fillip: Town and Country

    Simon Fodden
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:31 am
      For the next while the Friday Fillip will be a chapter in a serialized crime novel, interrupted occasionally by a reference you might like to follow up. Both this chapter of the book and the whole story up to this point can be had as PDF files. You may also subscribe to have chapters delivered to you by email.   MEASURING LIFE   Chapter 7 Town and Country “Potential for some shit, if you’ll pardon my French.” Ronnie Dabord smiled briefly at his tired joke. The Dabords were the first of the French families to settle in the region some time late in the nineteenth century,…
  • Exploring the #LSBencher Twitter Stats

    Colin Lachance
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:16 am
    Those actively following or engaging with bencher election activities on Twitter will recognize this hashtag. It’s been pretty exciting to watch and be a part of. In the past week (April 10th-16th), 158 different contributors issued nearly 600 tweets and retweets with the #LSBencher hashtag. These tweets reached an estimated 266,000 people and appeared in user timelines an estimated 620,000 times. That’s huge!! Right? Well, not necessarily. Nearly 100 of the tweets came from three people. Nearly one-third of the timeline views are attributable to three people, and nearly one-half are…
  • An Ounce of Prevention on Law Day

    Yves Faguy
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:24 am
    Prevention is better than cure, health professionals like to remind us. But what’s true for your physical well-being is arguably just as true for your emotional and financial health. That’s why it’s so important for people to recognize potential legal problems before they spin out of control and take over their lives. As part of the events surrounding Law Day, which commemorates the signing of the Canadian Charter 33 years ago, the CBA has released six new legal health checks, in addition to an earlier six cards released last year. The goal is to get people to give greater consideration…
  • Thursday Thinkpiece: Kimbro on Gamification for Law Firms

    16 Apr 2015 | 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. Gamification for Law Firms Stephanie L. Kimbro, Fellow at Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession and author of Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online (2nd Ed. ABA 2015). Working paper published on March 13, 2015 and available on SSRN Excerpt: Introduction and Part II [Footnotes…
  • Reminder: Mandatory Training on the New Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Quebec Lawyers

    Yosie Saint-Cyr
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    On March 26, 2015, the new Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (nouveau Code de déontologie des avocats) for Quebec lawyers came into force. All lawyer members of the Quebec Bar are required to complete a three-hour training session by December 31, 2015. Those who are in possession of an exemption must complete the mandatory training within six months of the date their exemption ends. The Barreau du Quebec will not accept any requests for extensions. Thus the training (excluding approved exemptions) must be completed by December 31, 2015. Training Requirements The only training that will…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • Slides: Increasing Online Engagement with Gamification

    Stephanie Kimbro
    9 Apr 2015 | 11:49 am
    These are slides from my presentation at DATA2J, a roundtable conference hosted by Prof. Elizabeth Chambliss, Director of the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Center on Professionalism at the USC School of Law. In my presentation, I addressed ways to increase online engagement between the public and lawyers through the use of gamification. I based the talk on my working paper.   Increasing Online Engagement With Gamification from Stephanie Kimbro The post Slides: Increasing Online Engagement with Gamification appeared first on Virtual Law Practice.
  • Gamification for Access to Justice

    Stephanie Kimbro
    3 Apr 2015 | 11:04 am
    Here is a working paper I wrote that looks at ways to increase online engagement between the public and legal professionals using gamification for the purpose of increasing access to justice. This is the last of the research and writing I have produced this year during my Stanford Law Fellowship. I hope someone out there takes this research and the case studies and puts the information to good use.  The working paper will be refined and become part of a white paper series for the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services later in the year. I am open to suggestions and collecting…
  • Gamification in Law Firms

    Stephanie Kimbro
    22 Mar 2015 | 10:46 am
    Here is my draft working paper on Gamification in Law Firms which looks at the use of gamification in law firms to increase productivity and collaboration, among other benefits. This paper provides a framework for approaching implementation of a gamification strategy within the law firm. For this paper I had fun researching in the fields of psychology, sociology, education, game design and development, behavioral science, marketing, human-computer interaction (HCI) and a little neuroscience. This paper provides a background on gamification, including the science behind why it works, and…
  • Virtual Law Practice: Second Edition Released

    Stephanie Kimbro
    9 Mar 2015 | 1:31 pm
    The second edition of my book, Virtual Law Practice, will be released from ABA LPD Publishing this month. (There will be a digital copy for sale in the coming months and eventually it gets released on Amazon for those of you who want other purchasing options.)  I’ve updated the book significantly since the original publication in 2010 to include new technology solutions and methods of designing a law practice around technology and delivery mechanisms. Here is the copy from the back of the book: Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, Second Edition The internet…
  • Webinar for Future of Legal Services Commission

    Stephanie Kimbro
    9 Feb 2015 | 11:50 am
    Here is the video from my presentation to the ABA Future of Legal Services Commission. I was asked to discuss virtual law practice and online engagement through gamification.  This is part of a series of webinars that the Commission is holding. You can check out the other videos on their website, including talks by Will Hornsby, William Henderson, Michael Mills, Susan Hackett, and others to come. The Commission is having an invitation-only National Summit out here at Stanford Law at the beginning of May and based on its roster of speakers, it promises to be a productive event.   The…
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • Powers of Attorney and Gifting Provisions

    David M. Goldman
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:36 am
    With the current estate tax exception of $5.43 Million for an individual and $10.86 Milliion for a married couple, some estate planners have begun to question whether gifting provisions in a Durable Power of Attorney pose more risk than reward.  While it is true, that these provisions can be abused by individuals, there are several situations when estate taxes is not the primary concern and removing gifting provisions could pose a substantial risk to the individuals. In Florida, individuals must initial next to any gifting provision for them to be valid under current law.  Generally there…
  • Funding Your Revocable or Irrevocable Trust

    David M. Goldman
    23 Mar 2015 | 12:36 pm
    In Florida, a trust is not valid until funded.  Many trusts need to be funded prior to your death to be used in the way intended.  Often, individuals create trusts and forget to fund them during their life and do not receive the benefits that their trusts were designed for. There are 4 major ways to fund a trust. Purchase items in the name of the trust.  New property or items can be purchased in the name of the trust.  When you purchase a new item or asset, the sale can be made out to the trust.  Anyone can purchase these items, it need not be the creator or settlor of the trust. Assign…
  • Nevis LLC and Asset Protection gone wrong? Is your Foreign Trust at Risk also?

    David M. Goldman
    17 Mar 2015 | 2:54 pm
    Last month the United States District court in Orlando found that the membership interest in a Nevis LLC was subject to Florida jurisdiction. The court also found that Florida law, not Nevis law, applies to the creditor’s application for a charging lien because the situs of the asset determines what laws are applicable to issues related to the charging lien. This rationale would seem to apply to Foreign trusts as well as Foreign LLCs.  It appears that a Corporation or LLC where there were actual certificates for the membership interests that were not located within the state of Florida may…
  • Florida Asset Protection: What is an IPUG™ Trust? How does an IPUG™ Trust work?

    David M. Goldman
    6 Mar 2015 | 11:20 am
    Asset protection was previously out of reach for most Americans.  Thanks to a new trust called the IPUG™ Trust, Asset Protection is affordable for the average family.  In the past many families created trusts to avoid estate tax, but with the recent increases in the Federal estate tax exemptions, many use trusts to manage assets, avoid probate, and protect assets from creditors. The iPug™ Trust not only provides advantageous tax benefits, but it also provides asset protection, while retaining Grantor control,” explains David J. Zumpano, CPA, ESQ., President and Founder of MPS and…
  • Facebook Account, Digital Assets and Estate Planning, what Happens when I die?

    David M. Goldman
    23 Feb 2015 | 10:53 am
    Estate Planning for Digital Assets is becoming a more important part of our estate planning.  While most online accounts simply expire when you die, Facebook has recently incorporated some changes to your account so you can specify what happens when you die. Until recently, loved ones of the deceased only had two choices: Keep the wall public so everyone could continue to post messages and thoughts on the wall, or Request to have the page “memorialized,” which meant the profile was no longer searchable or visible to those who were not already friends of the individual. What Facebook did…
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    Native American Legal Update

  • VAWA Seminar - 24 April 2015 at Seattle University

    Greg Guedel
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:46 pm
                                                  VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT   Friday, April 24, 2015 Panel: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Seattle University School of Law, Room C6           (Reception 7-9 pm)                       RSVP by April 20th to   Join the American Indian Law Journal, Center for Indian…
  • Tribal Sovereignty and Development Colloquium, May 28/29, 2015 in Seattle

    Greg Guedel
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:27 pm
      The United States and Native American nations have a treaty-based, government-to-government relationship with a unique political and legal dynamic of mutual sovereignty. This colloquium will feature recognized experts presenting in-depth information and current perspectives on U.S./Tribal relations, their evolving sovereignty balance, and innovative strategies and programs for enhancing Native American development and human security. Please join us in person at the University of Washington in Seattle or via webinar for this extraordinary program focused on strengthening…
  • Menominee Nation Offers $220M for New NBA Arena in Milwaukee

    Greg Guedel
    10 Feb 2015 | 11:05 am
      The Menominee Nation in Wisconsin has reportedly offered to contribute $220 million toward the cost of constructing a new arena for the NBA basketball team Milwaukee Bucks - if Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker agrees to reverse a decision prohibiting a proposed new Tribal casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In January, Governor Walker announced he would reject the plan for the Menominee Nation to build a $800 million casino in Kenosha. Walker has until February 19 to reverse the decision. The Wisconsin state government currently has an agreement with a Milwaukee casino that mandates no other…
  • Washington Tribes Seek Econometric Adjustments for Gaming Machine Allocations

    Greg Guedel
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:39 am
    Gale Courey Toensing/Indian Country Today Video gaming machines are among the most profitable elements of most Tribal casinos, and the number of machines in a casino can significantly impact the profit potential for the Tribe. In Washington state, gaming Tribes are currently negotiating new compacts with the state government that would provide for growth in the number of authorized machines based on factors indicating market demand. The number of gambling machines allowed in Tribal casinos in the state of Washington — currently about 28,000 — has been set over the years…
  • The Economist Reports on New Tribal Gaming & Poverty Research

    Greg Guedel
    16 Jan 2015 | 8:51 am
    The upcoming edition of The Economist features an article on the relationship between Tribal gaming and poverty, based on research conducted by Foster Pepper’s Native American Group and the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies. The article can be accessed HERE. The research is being led by Foster Pepper’s Native American Group Chair Greg Guedel, who said: “This study provides data on how specific economic activities are impacting quality of life in Tribal communities. The goal of the research is to help empower Tribes to create prosperity…
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    Technology & Marketing Law Blog

  • Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 7 (Consumer Reviews, RTBF, Defamation, Censorship, Sec. 230)

    Eric Goldman
    17 Apr 2015 | 10:25 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock International Censorship * WaPo: This was the Internet’s worst, best year ever * Wired: Russia’s Creeping Descent Into Internet Censorship * Washington Post: Russia just made a ton of Internet memes illegal * NY Times: Hungary Drops Internet Tax Plan After Public Outcry. The Hungarian SOPA. * WSJ: Whatsapp’s Near-Suspension in Brazil Highlights Legal Concerns for Web Firms * NY Times: Turkey Blocks YouTube and, Briefly, Twitter Over Hostage Photo. Techdirt: Turkish Censorship Order Targets Single Blog Post, Ends Up Blocking Access To…
  • What Bothers Brussels: Geoblocking on the Front Burner of the EU Commission (Guest Blog Post)

    Eric Goldman
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:39 am
    Photo credit: “close macro view of computer PC keyboard from colorful world countries flags” // ShutterStockBy guest blogger Marketa Trimble In 2012, when my article on the legal implications of the evasion of geolocation was published, the topic concerned an obscure problem that was of interest to few internet users – not many people were interested in accessing internet content to which access was restricted based on the territory from which internet users connected to the internet. But it seemed reasonable to assume that, with the increasing use of geoblocking on the…
  • Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 6 (Google, Search Engines, Antitrust)

    Eric Goldman
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:20 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock The big news this morning is that the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to Google. Other links from the past few months, many of them related to this development. Google * Mistakenly released FTC Staff Report on its Google antitrust investigation. Marketing Land: Highlights Of The FTC Staff Report On Google & Antitrust Issues. Related blog post. Over two years later, we know the FTC made the right call. Google’s strong competitive position in web search is being eroded by mobile–just as we thought it…
  • Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 5 (Trademarks, Domain Names, Marketing)

    Eric Goldman
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:50 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock Trademarks and Domain Names * TheDomains: .Sucks Releases Pricing With “Premiums” For Trademark Holders Up To $2,499 A Year. A pox on the .sucks operator and on ICANN for permitting this pricing scheme. ICANN wants federal regulators to declare the pricing scheme illegal so that it can take action against the operator, but if it doesn’t get bailed out by these government enforcers, it won’t do anything. * The most significant keyword advertising loss in Europe, Interflora v Marks & Spencer, was overturned and ordered…
  • Law Professor Blogger Wins Anti-SLAPP Ruling, But It’s Hard To Celebrate The Win–Welch v. USD

    Eric Goldman
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:07 am
    Photo credit: man’s mouth with bronze or gold metal zipper // ShutterStockI love blogging about the law. I really do. But I also live in constant fear that my posts will trigger a lawsuit that will throw my life into turmoil. After all, I’m usually blogging about legal cases where, by definition, someone has demonstrated plaintiff-y tendencies, and my commentary usually isn’t likely to win their friendship. Plus, I occasionally encounter plaintiffs who make amazingly tendentious readings of my posts, so they sometimes find perceived falsity in what I considered…
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

  • Mendiola v. CPS: Supreme Court Addresses Compensable Time for Resident Security Guards

    Steven G. Pearl
    16 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    In Mendiola v. CPS (2015) 60 Cal.4th 833, a security guard contracted with his employer to reside at a work site to provide 24 hour security services. The employer paid him hourly wages for eight on duty hours per day, paid him for actual time spent investigating disturbances for eight hours of on call time per day, and did not pay him for eight hours of sleep time per day. The plaintiff filed a class action. The trial court certified the class and granted summary judgment for the guards, finding that their on call time was compensable "hours worked." The Court of Appeal affirmed in part and…
  • Court of Appeal Rules on Retroactivity of Whistleblower Statutes

    Steven G. Pearl
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    A frequent issue over the last several years has been whether a plaintiff must exhaust administrative remedies under Labor Code section 98.7 by filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner before filing a statutory whistleblower action under Labor Code 1102.5. See, e.g., Campbell v. Regents of University of California (2005) 35 Cal.4th 311; MacDonald v. State of California (8/27/13) depublished 11/27/13. In 2013, the Legislature addressed the issue by: Adding section 244(a), which provides: “An individual is not required to exhaust administrative remedies or procedures in order to bring a…
  • Happy New Year!

    Steven G. Pearl
    6 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Happy New Year to all of you. Last year was a terrific one personally and professionally for me. I hope that yours was as well and that 2015 will be even better.
  • In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases: Court of Appeal Affirms Denial of Certification in Meal Period Class Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    26 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    In In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases (10/23/14, pub. 11/13/14) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the plaintiffs sought to certify a class of hourly employees on the theory that Walgreens propounded a lawful meal period policy, but in practice Walgreens failed to provide its employees with compliant meal periods. The trial court denied their motion for class certification, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding as follows: The trial court held that employers must make meal periods available, but need not ensure that their employees actually take those meal periods. Slip op. at 3-6.
  • Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings: Court Reverses Order Denying Class Certification in Misclassification Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    24 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Martinez v. Joe's Crab Shack (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 1148 (discussed here) the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants misclassified its salaried managers and assistant managers as exempt from California’s overtime requirements. The trial court denied certification, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish typicality, adequacy of representation, predominance of common questions, and superiority of the class action mechanism. After the Court of Appeal reversed, the California Supreme Court granted review and remanded in light of its opinion in Duran v. US Bank N.A. (2014) 59…
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    The Securities Law Blog

  • SEC Fines Company for Stifling Whistleblowers

    13 Apr 2015 | 6:12 am
    Whistleblowers, and the SEC's Whistleblower program, are a large part of the Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC believes that information from a whistleblower who knows of possible securities law violations can be among the most powerful weapons in its law enforcement arsenal.In an effort to demonstrate its commitment to whistleblowers, and potential whistleblowers, the SEC  brought its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the whistleblowing process. The SEC charged Houston-based global…
  • Corporate Insiders Individually Charged for Failing to Update SEC Filings

    19 Mar 2015 | 6:48 am
    While we all understand that registered individuals rely on their firms to update their required filings, so do corporate officers and shareholders. The problem is that the individuals are still personally responsible for the updates - and for failing to update.A reminder from the SEC, as it has charged eight officers, directors, or major shareholders for failing to update their stock ownership disclosures to reflect material changes, including steps to take the companies private.Each of the respondents, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, agreed to settle the proceedings by…
  • SEC News - FCPA Violations, Trade Suspensions, Whistleblower Awards

    16 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    Goodyear Charged With FCPA ViolationsGoodyear Tire & Rubber Company has been charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when its subsidiaries paid bribes to land tire sales in Kenya and Angola.SEC Halts Ponzi-Like Scheme by Purported Venture Capital Fund Manager in BuffaloA purported venture capital fund manager in Buffalo, N.Y., has been charged with fraudulently using money from three investment funds to pay fictitious returns to investors in a different fund.  The SEC obtained an emergency asset freeze to halt the Ponzi-like scheme.Trading Suspended in 128…
  • Morgan Stanley breach probe shifts to hacker from fired employee

    9 Mar 2015 | 7:35 am
    U.S. authorities are investigating whether a hacker is behind the online publication of a cache of Morgan Stanley's client data and not the financial adviser who was fired in connection with the breach, according to CNN and The Wall Street JournalFor more information, go to Morgan Stanley breach probe shifts to hacker from fired employee: WSJThe attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We have decades of experience in securities litigation matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations, insider trading cases,…
  • New Arbitrator Rule - Customer and Firm Attorneys are No Longer Public Arbitrators

    2 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    The SEC has approved a FINRA rule proposal which will dramatically change the composition of arbitration panels. For years attorneys who solely represent customers have been complaining that there are too many arbitrators with ties to the securities industry. From there, the argument assumes that those arbitrators will violate their duty, their obligations, and their oaths, and rule in favor of the brokerage firm involved in the dispute.This argument is on its face outrageous, and an affront to the thousands of arbitrators who serve on arbitration panels. Coupled with the fact that customers…
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  • Temporary Custody Orders Not Appealable (And a Note of Caution)

    Andy Taylor
    21 Mar 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Strother v. Strother In Strother v. Strother, 2015 Ark. App. 196, the Arkansas Court of Appeals recently held that a decree that “does not contain a final award of custody” is not an appealable order.  A review of Strother, along with several other cases on this topic, reveals that the line between a final custody order and a temporary custody order is not always clear, so attorneys should be cautious before choosing not to appeal from what might appear to be a temporary custody order. In Strother, the dad and mom had married in 2001, and the mom had filed for divorce in 2013.
  • Today’s Investiture Results in Arkansas’s First Majority Female Supreme Court

    Tasha C. Taylor
    6 Jan 2015 | 10:03 am
    An investiture ceremony is being held at the Arkansas Supreme Court today at 1:00 p.m. for the swearing in of three justices: Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Karen Baker, Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Rhonda Wood, and Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Robin Wynne. Supreme Court Justice Karen Baker was originally elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2010. She was re-elected last May to serve an eight-year term on that Court. Court of Appeals Judge Rhonda Wood was elected to Position 7 on the Arkansas Supreme Court in May of 2014.  Judge Wood replaces Justice Hoofman, who was appointed to…
  • Were Your Arguments Made in Chambers Preserved for Appeal?

    Andy Taylor
    21 Nov 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Arkansas Realtors Association v. Real Forms, LLC Any attorney who has spent much time practicing in court knows that many arguments and rulings are made in chambers (and off the record).  The question, then, is how to preserve arguments made in chambers.  The Arkansas Supreme Court’s recent decision in Arkansas Realtors Association v. Real Forms, LLC provides some guidance. 2014 Ark. 385.  Although the opinion does not include a definitive method to preserve such arguments, the takeaway is that attorneys must find a way to make the argument on the record. The facts of Arkansas…
  • Proceedings Under Trust Code (Rather than Probate Code) Not Appealable Unless Final

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

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

  • Construction Law Musings Hits the Beach

    Christopher G. Hill
    6 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    English: Beach at Wulfert, Sanibel Island, Florida, looking north towards Captiva Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia) While you read this, The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill, PC is closed and I am happily with family and good friends enjoying some sun and surf.  I hope to be back refreshed and ready to go on my return. In the meantime, feel free to read up on the latest relating to mechanic’s liens and bond claims.  Also, please check out the Guest Post Friday page for some insights from friends and colleagues. Thank you to all of you who read this construction law blog and those that…
  • Will the Construction Industry Rebound in 2012? The Debate Rages On

    Christopher G. Hill
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Originally posted 2011-12-30 09:00:32. Republished by Blog Post PromoterFor this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome Alex Levin. Alex is a writer for several surety organizations. Although much is unknown about them, surety bonds are a necessary requirement for many small businesses to open and are required on almost all major construction projects. With an unemployment rates holding steady around 9%, the effects of the recession are still surrounding us. The construction industry, one of the hardest hit, still struggles to recover. But, what many want to know is if the…
  • Update and Changes to DC Mechanic’s Lien Statute

    Christopher G. Hill
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Originally posted 2012-08-17 09:00:54. Republished by Blog Post PromoterFor this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings, we welcome Kavita Knowles.  Kavita is a named partner in the firm Fullerton & Knowles.  Her firm is well known in the Virginia area for its Construction Law Survival Manual and, like me, performs work for construction professionals. The District of Columbia will generally come in line with its neighboring states with a new mechanic’s lien statute signed on March 27, 2012 and which became effective on June 4, 2012.   The three main changes…
  • A Relatively Small Exception to Fraud and Contract Don’t Mix

    Christopher G. Hill
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    English: Alexandria, Virginia U.S. Custom House and Post Office (1900) Completed in 1858. Architect: Ammi B. Young (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Remember all of my posts about how fraud and contract claims don’t usually play well in litigation?  Well, as always with the law, there are exceptions.  For instance, a well plead Virginia Consumer Protection Act claim will survive a dismissal challenge. A recent opinion out of the Alexandria division of the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia sets out another exception, namely so called fraudulent inducement.  In XL…
  • Musings on Guest Post Fridays

    Christopher G. Hill
    17 Mar 2015 | 7:06 am
    Originally posted 2010-11-05 09:00:03. Republished by Blog Post PromoterWhen I first got the idea of “Guest Post Fridays” back in early 2009 and then launched it with a great post from Scott Wolfe of The Wolfe Law Group (@scottwolfejr), I had no idea that it would take off in the way that it has.  Now, almost 2 years and 90 posts later, Construction Law Musings has had the privilege of a wealth of perspectives on, among other topics, mediation (thanks Vickie Pynchon and Ron White), green building (thanks Chris Cheatham, Shari Shapiro, and James Bedell to name three of many),…
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    CAFA Law Blog

  • Claims Under California’s Private Attorneys General Act Not Subject To Removal Under CAFA, Says District Court (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:57 am
    Bailey v. Redfin Corp., 2015 WL 276849 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2015). Relying on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Baumann v. Chase Inv. Servs. Corp., 747 F.3d 1117, 1122 (9th Cir. 2014) a district court in the Central District of California held that claims under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) cannot be a basis for removal under CAFA. Plaintiffs, employed as real estate field agents by defendant, brought an action under PAGA, and alleging various violations of California labor laws. The defendant removed the action, alleging that diversity jurisdiction existed under…
  • New Jersey’s exercise of its quasi-sovereign powers by way of filing parens patriae action is beyond the dominion of CAFA (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    10 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    West Virginia ex rel McGraw v Bristol Myers Squibb Co., 2014 WL 793569 (D.N.J. Feb. 26, 2014). In this action, the District Court in New Jersey held that  For those unfamiliar with those types of actions, the District Court was kind enough to provide a footnote explaining parens patriae, literally “parent of the country,” is a doctrine that provides a state with standing to sue as a guardian of its citizens when the state can “articulate an interest apart from the interests of particular private parties.” Here, the State of West Virginia, by its Attorney General alleged that the…
  • CAFA Law Blog Editors Publish Article Arguing that Supreme Court’s Dart Cherokee Decision Creates Presumption in Favor of CAFA Removal (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    9 Apr 2015 | 6:54 am
    CAFA Law Blog editors – Anthony Rollo, Michael Ferachi, and Gabe Crowson – recently published an article in March 27, 2015 edition of Bloomberg BNA’s Class Action Litigation Report, titled Supreme Court Rejection of Presumption Against Removal of CAFA Cases in Dart Cherokee Opens Door to Presumption in Favor of CAFA Removal.  A copy of the article can be found here: PDFArtic In their article, the authors argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating co., LLC v. Owens, 2014 BL 350806, 135 S. Ct. 547 (Dec. 15, 2014) opens the door to a…
  • District Court In South Carolina Applies Local Controversy Exception (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    31 Mar 2015 | 8:55 am
    Estate of Hanna, et al. v. Agape Senior, LLC, et al.,  2015 WL 247906 (D.S.C. Jan. 20, 2015). A district court in South Carolina applied CAFA’s local controversy exception in remanding a case to state court, holding that the plaintiff class sought “significant relief” from local defendants, whose actions formed a “significant basis” for the proposed class’s claims. This case arose out of the purported medical care provided to members of the class by an unlicensed physician. The complaint named nine Agape entities (“Agape”), Agape’s owner and CEO Scott Middleton, and…
  • Class Action Remanded For Untimely Removal Where Amount In Controversy Could Have Been Timely Ascertained From State Court Pleadings (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    17 Mar 2015 | 9:33 am
    Levanoff, et al. v. SoCal Wings LLC, et al., 2015 WL 248338 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 16, 2015). In Levanoff, a district court in California remanded the case to state court and held that a  notice of removal was untimely filed where the removing defendant could have ascertained the amount in controversy from the pleadings in a timely manner. The plaintiffs brought an employment class action in state court on September 28, 2011. On October 22, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a statement of damages (the “Statement of Damages”), estimating that the proposed class sustained damages of at least…
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    Lowering the Bar

  • Court Holds Wedding Ring Is Not a "Weapon"

    17 Apr 2015 | 11:27 am
    Although such items can certainly be terrifying, in this particular case an appellate court in New Jersey decided that throwing one at a corrections officer did not constitute "attempted assault with a weapon." According to the report (thanks, Robert), Gerald Lovelace is currently serving a prison term in Bayside State Prison for some other sort of weapons charge. After his wife visited him in 2012, an officer noticed that he was wearing a wedding ring, an item that inmates are not allowed to wear (not sure why, but I can think of a few good reasons). The officer demanded that he turn it…
  • Groping Conspiracy Thwarted, TSA Claims [Updated]

    15 Apr 2015 | 12:56 pm
    It still hasn't caught any terrorists, but it has managed to root out a conspiracy of gropers (maybe sub-conspiracy is a better term) within its own ranks, according to this report.  After another employee reported that a screener at Denver International Airport had told her that he groped passengers he found attractive, a TSA investigator found that in fact at least two screeners were working together to further this goal. The investigator witnessed the male screener signaling to a female colleague when a certain passenger approached, and she then manipulated the scanner to "detect an…
  • A Few Tax Arguments Not to Make

    13 Apr 2015 | 2:27 pm
    Hey, your taxes are due this week—or are they? Yes, they are, that was a figure of speech and not a suggestion that you should treat federal taxes as optional. That is one of the many arguments you should not bother making on Wednesday. Turns out that the IRS has a publication that lists and summarizes a number of arguments not to make, entitled "The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments." Part of that truth is that there are lots of frivolous tax arguments—the PDF is over 65 pages long and addresses 44 (sometimes overlapping) "contentions" that will be rejected if you assert…
  • Of Course We Have No Ticket Quotas, But ....

    10 Apr 2015 | 10:58 am
    ... you may wish to consider the following information in re: your salary. You won't be surprised to learn that Edmundson is a "city" in St. Louis County, about a ten-minute drive from Ferguson (might take a lot longer, of course, if you're black). As Radley Balko has written about in detail, St. Louis County is made up of almost 100 teeny little municipalities, each one of which has its own municipal code, police force, and court. "Teeny" may not be scientific, but it's accurate. Edmundson's slogan is "Front Door to St. Louis Lambert International Airport," and that slogan is almost as bad…
  • Chillin' With a Owl: Followup

    8 Apr 2015 | 11:10 am
    Here's an update on the case of the two Florida men who posted a video of themselves cavorting with a Great Horned Owl, which turns out to be a protected species. See "Men Filmed Chillin' With a Owl Were Violatin' Migratory Bird Treaty Act" (Apr. 3). Local media reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission decided not to charge the men, accepting their testimony that they did not harm or intend to harm the bird. There doesn't seem to be any evidence to the contrary. Experts say the bird in the video is almost certainly injured or at least dazed, just by virtue of the fact…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Bankruptcy In Post-Divorce: Hire An Attorney Before You File!

    Anne Shale
    18 Apr 2015 | 12:57 am
    An Interview with Mr. Cris Shale relative to his thoughts Post-Bankruptcy/Divorce Valuable Advice For Others Facing The Same Bankruptcy Dilemma Post-Divorce Several years ago, I posted an article to the Ohio Family Law Blog about my son and one of my clients who had both elected to file a Bankruptcy proceeding following a divorce and following a marital residence being “upside down” with the total mortgage liability.  In layman’s terms, the value of the marital residence, as appraised, was way below the mortgage indebtedness associated with the home.  Cris, with a high child support…
  • Divorce: Spouse Missing? Send Summons On Facebook!

    Robert L. Mues
    11 Apr 2015 | 1:47 am
    Will Serving Divorce Papers Via Facebook be Allowed in Ohio? Justice Matthew Cooper of the Manhattan, New York, Supreme Court is setting precedent which is likely to be a game-changer should the rest of the country follow suit. In a recent decision, Justice Cooper gave Ellanora Baidoo the green light to serve her elusive husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, divorce papers through his Facebook account. The couple, both from Ghana, were married in a civil ceremony in 2009.  Shortly thereafter, the relationship began to unravel when Blood-Dzraku refused to fulfill his promise of participating in…
  • Custodial Grandparents: Stress From Raising Grandchildren

    Thomas G. Kopacz
    4 Apr 2015 | 1:12 am
    Increasing Number of Grandparents Becoming Custodial Grandparents to their Grandchildren Custodial Grandparents Have Higher Stress Levels than Grandparents Who Are not Caregivers of their Grandchildren According to Recent Studies What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance.  They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.  And, most importantly, cookies. ~ Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. I believe Mayor Giuliani’s wonderful quote about grandparents resonates in most of our hearts when we think of our own…
  • Gray Divorce: Division of Retirement Assets Disparity

    Robert L. Mues
    28 Mar 2015 | 1:01 am
    Be Sure To Hire A Divorce Attorney With Experience In “Gray Divorce” Cases An interesting article published in the Arkansas Business Journal discussed the issue of divorce with retirement age individuals.  As a founding member of the International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce Over 50, I personally am quite familiar with the unique issues that often arise in these “gray divorce” cases. When discussing the financial background of many couples aged 50-60, the typical equal asset allocation can be problematic. These couples are more likely to have combined their retirement…
  • 5 Steps Toward Connecting with your Kids

    Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
    21 Mar 2015 | 1:14 am
    Why should I rush home to have dinner with my kids when my efforts to talk with them are met with silence and indifference that borders on contempt?,” asked a dad at a recent workshop. Many parents voiced similar concerns but quickly justified their adolescents’ misbehavior with “that’s typical of the teenage years.” The fact that something may be common doesn’t make it right or an inevitable stage of growing up. Lots of parents raise teens who are communicative and emotionally engaged with their families, not sullen and disrespectful. Discuss the issue directly. Get your kids’…
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    3 Geeks and a Law Blog

  • C Is For….

    8 Apr 2015 | 10:28 am
    When I started in law firm competitive intelligence (CI), there were few of us doing it and making any headway at the time.  Over time, lots of people have tried to do legal CI, Librarians, marketing folks, even seasoned CI professionals from other industries have tried their hand at it, but eventually walked away.  There are certain nuances to working in a law firm outside of the practice of law, which I won't get into here, but which extend to the practice of CI in law firms as well.  Over the years, I have been asked what works, how can law firm CI be a success, and I have…
  • "…You Can Do Anything With An Amazing Research Librarian" — No Kidding!

    7 Apr 2015 | 7:27 am
    Image [cc] Ana C. It seems that Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. is not a fan of law reviews. Back in 2011, Roberts joked that he found law reviews irrelevant, and found no need to know why there was any influence on 18th century Bulgaria by philosopher Immanuel Kant. In fact he went further and said "I would have to think very hard" in order to recall any recent law review articles he read, or found useful. Ouch. Let's admit it, most of us outside the ivy covered walls of Academia rarely rush to the library to grab the latest law review before our peers in order to…
  • Amazon's New "Dash Button" and "Home Services"

    31 Mar 2015 | 10:51 am
    Some of the products you can order through Amazon's Dash Button Okay... I'm not sure if I'm amazed or a bit petrified of two of the new services that Amazon just launched this week. Probably a bit of both. First up, Amazon's Dash Button (only by invitation at this time.) Running low on household items like detergent, toilet paper, beauty supplies, soda, or pantry items?? No problem. Press a button, and your order is placed through Amazon. You get a verification on your phone, just in case your teenager put in an order for 12 cases of Mac and Cheese. Here's Amazon's explanation of how it…
  • Hsu Untied: Interviewing Lawyers About Their Side-Hobbies

    12 Mar 2015 | 2:00 pm
    via Maya Hsu My former colleague, Richard Hsu, is at it again. You may remember Richard, and his talented daughter, Maya, from my posts about his One Page Blog, and HsuTube blogs, and the really interesting videos he and Maya produced. I talked with Richard this week and caught up on what he's up to these days. His new site, Hsu Untied, is Richard's dive into the audio medium where he records podcasts of lawyers and special guests about their hobbies outside of their daily legal grind. Although Maya is now almost 16 and no longer interested in helping her Dad make topics like "Assignment…
  • Bloomberg BNA Launches Big Law Business Community Website

    5 Mar 2015 | 6:14 am
    Toby Brown and I got a sneak peek yesterday at Bloomberg BNA's new Big Law Business community site, and we liked what we saw. We all know that Big Law is big business, but there are very few resources out there from vendors that cover current stories and trends of the business side of a large law firm, and even fewer that promote a community to comment and contribute. Most of us have relied upon bloggers to fill the gap, but a resource like this coming from Bloomberg Law is a welcome new addition. The site is free to access, but content contribution will be limited to those of us that work…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • What is the Origin of the Copyright Symbol (©)?

    7 Apr 2015 | 8:00 pm
    This post about the origin of the copyright symbol (©) is based on my answer to a Quora question. See Why are the symbols of “©” and “®” used to identify copyrights and registered trademarks? Copyright Symbol as Part of Copyright Notice The copyright symbol “©” can be part of a copyright notice under current copyright law. See 17 USC Section 401(b). (For more information about copyright notices, see Copyright Protection in Once Easy Lesson .) Copyright Symbol Appears in 1909 Wikipedia provides interesting information about the origin of the copyright…
  • How can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in the U.S.?

    1 Apr 2015 | 7:24 pm
    This post answers a question I have been asked many times: How can a foreigner open a bank account in the U.S.? This question usually is asked by foreign entrepreneurs. They want to start a business in the U.S. And to do so effectively, a U.S. bank account usually is required. Easiest: Home-country Bank with International Presence The easiest approach is to find a home-country bank with an international (including U.S.) presence. For example, I have quite a few Dutch clients. Fortunately, one of the prominent Dutch banks, Rabobank, has a U.S. presence. So Dutch clients with Rabobank accounts…
  • May a Minor Form an LLC?

    27 Mar 2015 | 3:27 pm
    This post – asking “May a minor form an LLC?” – is a companion to May a Minor Form a Corporation? I have been wanting to write this post for more than two years, ever  since writing the corporation post referenced above. However, as  explained further below, I felt uncomfortable doing so because I was  somewhat unsure of the answer. No Authoritative Answer After hours of online research, I found no authoritative answer.  Some people (including some lawyers) state that a minor may not form an  LLC. However, they cite no authority supporting this proposition. They  appear simply…
  • Fraudulent Takedown Notice Leads to $25,000 Judgment

    20 Mar 2015 | 7:35 pm
    Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the author of a fraudulent takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to pay more than $25,000. U.K. Student Journalist Oliver Hotham has a blog on, which is operated by San Francisco-based Automattic Inc. Blogging about Straight Pride UK Hotham wrote blog posts about an organization called Straight Pride UK, which appeals to those who practice “a traditional [i.e., not gay] style of relationship“. As those posts appeared, Nick Steiner, press officer for…
  • Why do legal documents use Shall rather than Will?

    20 Feb 2015 | 8:00 pm
    This post, about why many legal documents use Shall rather than Will, is based on a Quora answer that I wrote. See Why was “should” substituted for “would” in the 1800s? For example, why did people say, “I should like to have some pie” rather than “I would like to have some pie”? Future Tense – Shall vs. Will Although few people other than linguists are aware of the following, proper use of shall or will in the future tense depends on whether the subject is the first, second or third person. For example: Singular: I shall go. You will go.
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • Making Plans

    14 Apr 2015 | 9:40 pm
    October 18, 2017. You can put that date in your calendar.  It's when they plan to murder Melvin Bonnell.It was in Cleveland,  November 28, 1987.  That's when Bonnell shot Robert Eugene Bunner twice. Bunner died.  Four months and a day later, March 29, 1988, Bonnell was sentenced to be killed for the murder.Years passed.  There were appeals.  New claims.  DNA testing.  Litigation over whether there would be more.  May 14, 2010.  Not quite 22 1/2 years after he murdered Brunner, just over 22 years since the court said he should be killed…
  • Who We Are and What We Do: Part The God Knows How Many It's Been Now

    9 Apr 2015 | 9:40 pm
    Here we go again.Nobody's said it better than Harry Truman, assuming he's the one who said it.If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.The subject (and yeah, I'm getting in at the end of the day rather than the beginning but there's this thing about actually getting work done that comes before sitting down for a rant at the keyboard) is David Aylor.  You know, this guy.He's the kid who agreed to defend Michael Slager, the cop who shot and killed Walter Scott the other day.  Which just makes sense.  I mean, he's the best.  Says so right there.And when you're a…
  • The Voice of Experience

    5 Apr 2015 | 5:39 pm
    He knows whereof he speaks.
  • On Not Reading the Fucking Record

    31 Mar 2015 | 11:49 pm
    When one of the justices of the Ohio Supreme Court (as they say, there is no justice in the lower courts and there are no judges on the Supreme Court)* recuses herself, they bring in a visiting judge from one of the courts of appeals so that there will be still be seven folks to hear the case.  One of those VJs, one who sat on a death penalty appeal, said afterwards that he was appalled by the fact that none of the others, not one of the six, read the transcript of the trial.  How, he wondered, could they fairly determine exactly how the case went down, what the evidence did and did…
  • Crisis Averted

    27 Mar 2015 | 5:03 am
    Whew, that was close!Poor Texas, down to it's last shot.   One left for Number 1.We're talking penobarbital, the drug of choice for state-performed murder.  And after Texas killed Manuel Vasquez earlier this month, they were about done.  The shortage of killin' drugs is, of course, hardly news.  Pharmaceutical companies don't want to be in the business of providing drugs to help states kill their people.  (It's not all noble sentiment - they're in the money-making business as much as the drug business, and there's a lot of blowback.  Bad PR. Worldwide problems.
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  • Week Adjourned: 4.17.15 – Source Naturals, Southwest Airlines, HAMP Mortgages

    17 Apr 2015 | 1:18 pm
    Top Class Action Lawsuits Source Naturals a little light on the content? According to a consumer fraud class action lawsuit filed this week, it is. The plaintiff alleges the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the vitamins are inaccurate. In her Source Naturals complaint, Jennifer Dougherty alleges she purchased the products online for about $20 in November. […]
  • Week Adjourned: 4.10.15 – Popular Wines, Cruise Texts, AT&T

    10 Apr 2015 | 2:46 pm
    Top Class Action Lawsuits Have your hangovers been getting worse recently? Ok—you don’t have to answer, but maybe—just maybe—it’s not only you… A defective products class action lawsuit has been filed against 28 California wineries alleging that they produced wine which contains dangerously high levels of arsenic, in violation of California law. Nothing like a bit of poison […]
  • Here’s a Jury you just might PAY to be on!

    8 Apr 2015 | 1:57 pm
    How weird is this? A woman in Utah sued herself for killing—accidentally—her husband. Got it? Yeah? No? Ok. So here’s the skinny. Barbara Bagley wanted the insurance money payable upon her hubby’s death. Problem is the insurance company didn’t want to pay. How did she accidentally kill her husband? (Heads up, this could be useful). […]
  • Sisterhood causing a Ruckus in the Neighborhood?

    6 Apr 2015 | 5:49 pm
    Oh saints preserve us! The nuns that own one of New York’s oldest preschools have decided they want to get into the real estate game—shut the school, sell the building, maybe, and pocket several million, most likely. Problem is, the parents are mad as hell and have filed a lawsuit. The school’s two brick brownstones, […]
  • Week Adjourned: 4.4.15 – Toyota Camry, Babies R Us, JP Morgan Chase

    5 Apr 2015 | 9:10 am
    Top Class Action Lawsuits Heads up Toyota Camry owners! The car maker is facing a defective products class action lawsuit alleging the car maker was aware of a defect in its Camry models that causes the cars’ air conditioning system to become moldy, emitting foul odors and potentially causing health problems. Filed in Los Angeles earlier this […]
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    Are You Reading These Posts?

  • Do You Know If Your Client Is Changing Lawyers?

    Lance Godard
    3 Apr 2015 | 9:03 am
    It's true that a client can fire her lawyer for any number of reasons. But most of the time, writes Pam Woldow in How You’ll Know When Your Firm’s Been Fired. you won't see it coming. That's because she probably won't ever come out and say that you're going to lose her work:The fired firm was just quietly going to be choked off, using a tactic the GC called “the long tail,” meaning don’t jerk ‘em around or humiliate ‘em, just gradually turn down the wick until the light goes outRead the post. Pay special attention to Woldow's five signals that the work is drying up. Ask…
  • "Client Focus" Is In The Eye Of The ... Client

    Lance Godard
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:24 am
    There's only one way to give your client she expects, writes Gina Rubel in How In House Counsel Defines Client Focus. You ask her:The phrase “client focus” can take on many meanings for lawyers. [...] One thing is certain, it is important for every attorney to ask his or her client what their expectations are as they relate to providing client-focused service and then do everything it takes to meet those expectations.Read the post for Rubel's take - and that of a handful of in-house lawyers - on what it really means to "focus on the client." Then start doing it.
  • Do You Hear What Your Client Isn't Saying?

    Lance Godard
    13 Mar 2015 | 12:25 pm
    It's important to listen to everything your client tells you. But, writes Michael Rynowecer in 13 Unspoken Rules of Client Relationships, it's probably more important that you hear what she isn't saying. Because you need to follow the same unspoken rules that your clients have made "part of their core personality, behavior and decision making." Like these:1. Clients always find a way to hire the people they want when they want to.2. Clients don't fire their law firms, they just stop giving them work.3. “Your rates are too high” is a euphemism for “I want to give the work to someone…
  • The First Step in Marketing: Identify Your Ideal Client

    Lance Godard
    11 Mar 2015 | 1:42 pm
    Writing your marketing plan? Identify who you want to work for before you decide what you want to say and where you want to say it, writes Sam Glover in Let Your Ideal Client Guide Your Marketing Strategy. And he's right: if you're marketing your practice without a clear idea of the person you want to represent and the problems you want to solve, you're doing it wrong.Many lawyers ask whether they ought to use Twitter or write a blog or join a networking group. This is like asking whether you should use Word or Photoshop for your next project before you know what it is. [...] But if you…
  • Want To Add Value? Stop Talking About The Law

    Lance Godard
    9 Mar 2015 | 12:29 pm
    "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail," wrote Abraham Maslow in The Psychology of Science. For lawyers, that often translates into talking about the law, about legal issues, about rules and regulations and requirements. And that's precisely where they go wrong when they're trying to develop and enhance professional relationships, explains Josh Beser in Lawyers: How to Be Valuable ... Aside from Practicing Law:Lawyers have a problem. We’re consistently perceived as experts on one thing: law. This not only dominates how…
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    Bitter Lawyer

  • Sociopaths at the Beach: Scottoline’s “Every Fifteen Minutes”

    Anniken Davenport
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:15 am
    Back when I worked as a medical board prosecutor, I ran into my share of sociopaths. They were often charming, smiling people, adept at manipulating you into doing their bidding. They could be ingratiating and manipulative, flatterers and charmers. Then the request would come. It might be a small favor, or a demand too big to accommodate. Turned down, their mood would turn ugly instantly. Two-faced is an apt description. Often, you wouldn’t know you were being worked until the flip happened. And as I worked with psychiatric patients a lot, I got pretty good at amateur diagnosis. So it…
  • Porn at Work: Law Professor Edition

    Bitter Staff
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:55 am
    I’m an adjunct professor. I teach online courses. That means that it’s not unusual for me to send email to students late at night, or post links to interesting articles right in my business law course. Thanks to the inattentiveness of a fellow professor, I now triple check every email and every link before hitting ‘send’ or ‘post.’ The alternative is living the nightmare Lisa McElroy now lives. McElroy is an associate professor of legal writing at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia. That’s one of those coveted full-time academic jobs those of us…
  • Kris Bryant, Free Agency, And Major League Baseball’s Labor Abuse Problem

    Adam Felder and Adam Rutstein
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:26 am
    In 1989’s Back to the Future 2, the Chicago Cubs win the 2015 World Series. It’s something of a joke: the woes of the Chicago Cubs are well-known, and haven’t changed in the quarter century since Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s adventure. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over a century, are seventy years removed from their last appearance in a Series, and are generally synonymous with failure. Yet the actual 2015 season opened with a great deal of promise for the north-siders: ownership opened the pocketbook to sign pitching ace Jon Lester, it hired the well-regarded Joe Maddon to…
  • Pennsylvania’s AG Kathleen Kane Blames Crisis On Men’s Porn Habits

    Bitter Staff
    15 Apr 2015 | 6:30 am
    Readers no doubt remember all the fuss that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane – a one-time rising star in Democrat circles – caused when she released a long list of pornographic emails sent and received amongst some of the most highly placed male members of Pennsylvania government. If you missed it, here’s a review. Of course, much more has happened since AG Kane exposed the filthy computer habits of bureaucrats. She’s been hauled before a grand jury, questioned about whether she was the source of leaks of secret grand jury information to Philadelphia newspaper. Her…
  • Most Ridiculous Celebrity Lawsuit Of The Week: GWAR Sued For Return Of Frontman’s Ashes

    Michelle McCarthy
    13 Apr 2015 | 6:15 am
    Gross-out metal band GWAR enjoyed a brief time in the sun during the early ’90s, mostly for being disgusting and controversial. They released albums with titles such as Scumdogs of the Universe, This Toilet Earth, and We Kill Everything. Band members boasted names like Balsac the Jaws of Death, Flattus Maximus, and Oderus Urungus. If you ever attended one of their live shows, you not only got to witness elaborate costumes made of latex, spikes, and overall hulking nastiness, but there was plenty of sex, violence, and sociopolitical satire, including simulated mutilations of celebrities and…
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    Rochester Bankruptcy and Debt Relief

  • Changes to the Bankruptcy Means Test as of April 1, 2015

    28 Mar 2015 | 5:41 pm
    Once again, the means test figures for median income are being changed as of April 1, 2015. In New York, it means that the amount of income that the debtor can have before being forced into a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is going to increase. Through March 31, 2015, a single debtor in New York could have $48,840 in income in income and still be able to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Starting April 1, 2015, that figure has been increased to $49,632.  Similar increases will take place for all family sizes. The comparison of the existing and new income limits is below. Old Income Limits FAMILY SIZE…
  • Reinstatement of Dismissed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    1 Mar 2015 | 4:04 pm
    In a recent decision, In re Trine, Bk. 13-21520 (W.D.N.Y. 2015), the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York held that once dismissed, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case cannot be reopened absent “extraordinary circumstances”. The failure of the debtor and her attorney to respond to the letters from the court and motions does not meet “extraordinary circumstances” standard. In Trine, the debtor made a motion to reopen a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case that had been dismissed two months earlier. The reason for the motion was debtor’s failure to make…
  • Bankruptcy Fraud and Revocation of Discharge

    8 Feb 2015 | 7:26 pm
    Once the discharge is granted, can it be revoked? This  question was addressed by the court had to address in In Re Galan, (W.D.N.Y. 2014). Section 727(d)(2) provides that a bankruptcy judge should revoke the discharge if, the debtor acquired property that is property of the estate, or became entitled to acquire property that would be property of the estate, and knowingly and fraudulently failed to report the acquisition of or entitlement to such property, or to deliver or surrender such property to the trustee. In Galan, the debtor had failed to report his interest in real property and…
  • Homestead Exemption and Married Spouses

    4 Jan 2015 | 6:51 pm
    It is not uncommon for one spouse to seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code in a situation where title to the real property is held in both parties’ names. Generally, under such circumstances, the debtor typically claims a half interest in the property. Thus, the homestead exemption, under either New York law or federal bankruptcy exemptions, would be used to protect that interest. This creates an interesting legal issue  since under New York’s Real Property Law both spouses hold an undivided interest in the entirety of the property. If so,…
  • Bankruptcy and Eviction

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

  • Pitfalls of the prevaricator 

    Rita Handrich
    10 Apr 2015 | 4:02 am
    Typically we write about newly published research here at The Jury Room. But one of our favorite blogs Mind Hacks) wrote about this article and then we went to read the actual article and discovered it was authored by some of our favorite researchers. To top it all off, it’s about liars and deception. So today, you are getting a study published in 2011—still in this decade, and still worth knowing about. In short, the article describes experiments where participants were given IQ and general knowledge tests but some of them received question sheets with the answers “accidentally”…
  • Hipsters, SnapChat, Beer Goggles, and Pain 

    Douglas Keene
    8 Apr 2015 | 4:02 am
    Here is another post detailing things you simply must be aware of but to which we don’t wish to devote an entire post. These might be seen as water-cooler topics or simply things that make you a much more interesting conversationalist. Or something like that. Why hipsters all look the same (it’s just math) You know you’ve wondered about this and now (thanks to us) you have the answer. The hipster tries to be a unique individual, but, over time, we (the non-hipsters) begin to emulate their dress and it ends up in collective conformity, says Paul Smaldino in the journal Royal Society Open…
  • Are conservatives happier than liberals? Research says:  No.

    Rita Handrich
    6 Apr 2015 | 4:02 am
    A number of studies have been published that report conservatives are happier than liberals. These studies have historically resulted in “comment wars” between readers who are either conservative and support the findings or readers who are liberal and do not support the findings. Suffice to say that ultimately, in the comment sections, neither group appears to be very happy. A new study is now out that says the old studies are based on self-reports of conservatives and liberals and thus are biased by the conservatives’ “self-enhancing style of self-report”. (Since the authors are…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • The Kardashians Just Broke the Middle District of Florida!

    South Florida Lawyers
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:22 am
    (The following really boring opinion is absolutely not a pretext for posting the above photo on a Friday, I promise!) Fresh off of breaking the internet, now the Kardashians broke CM/ECF with this trademark infringement suit brought against them before Judge Byron, which just survived motion to dismiss:Before selecting a name for the makeup brand, Boldface conducted a preliminary trademark search for terms such as “Khroma” and “Kardashian Khroma.” (Id. ¶ 21). Boldface subsequently presented these designations to the Kardashian Defendants as possible brand names, despite their…
  • My Second Favorite Attorney

    16 Apr 2015 | 7:09 am
     Have you all been catching Daredevil on Netflix? I'm really enjoying it. The problem with many superhero adaptations is that they try to compress decades of comic book lore into 2 hours and by the time you get through the hour of mind-blowing special effects there is scant little time left for character development.That isn't an issue with the Netflix format where we get 13 joyous hours to delve deep into what makes a young attorney want to spend his nights prancing across rooftops and beating the tar out of bad guys with cool ninja moves.  Daredevil is airing on Netflix anytime…
  • 3d DCA Blah dee dee Blah Watch -- This Post Has Been Hijacked by Candice Bergen!

    South Florida Lawyers
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:36 am
    So it was slim pickings anyways do you really want to talk about quashing service of process?Why not talk about the elegant, beautiful and always graceful Candice Bergen?Sure she won her share of Golden Turkey awards in her day (remember when Michael Medved was just a lovable nerd film buff?), but she's always been a class act.She's making the rounds with a new book, and has been granting some interesting and revealing interviews.I love Bergen's comment about the aging process and women:Now 68, Candice Bergen (in her daughter Chloe's apartment on New York City's Central Park West) tells…
  • Order Granting Eh About Two to Three Quarters and Denying Oh I'd Say I Don't Know Anywhere from a Third to a Half...Hmm On Second Thought Make That Denying Probably At Most Maybe a Fifth of the Motion To Compel!

    South Florida Lawyers
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:41 am
    Since when did the titles of discovery orders get so descriptive?
  • Should Rule 11 Sanctions Be Mandatory Again?

    South Florida Lawyers
    13 Apr 2015 | 11:40 am
    Let's do the time warp (to 1983) again:This week, the House Committee on the Judiciary will mark up H.R. 758, the “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act,” which would roll back federal legal procedural rules, burden an understaffed judiciary, prolong expensive litigation, and unfairly penalize consumers and employees as participants in civil lawsuits. The undersigned organizations strongly oppose the bill as harmful and unnecessary.This bill would make major, substantive changes to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, bypassing both the Judicial Conference of the United States and the…
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    Compliance Building

  • Compliance Bricks and Mortar for April 17

    Doug Cornelius
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    These are some of the compliance-related stories that recently caught my attention Lions and Tigers and Bears – Certifications, Checklists and Standards by Michael Volkov in Corruption, Crime & Compliance People always look for shortcuts as a weak replacement for efficiency. My concern is that compliance practitioners, vendors, standard setting organizations, and non-profit organizations are offering a range of tools that divert important attention and resources from more important compliance priorities. Here is my quick review of the dangers of each: … Sen. Warren Criticizes…
  • $250 Could Cost a Firm $6.1 Million

    Doug Cornelius
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    A T. Rowe Price vice president made a $250 contribution to the campaign of Scott Walker for governor of Wisconsin in a recall election. That small donation could have cost T. Rowe Price $6.1 million in fees. The SEC’s Rule 206(4)-5 once again shows it scary side to advisers. Fortunately, the Securities and Exchange Commission granted some relief. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and T. Rowe Price International Ltd, affiliated SEC registered advisers, have over $60 billion in assets under management. Amidst that, T. Rowe Price manages some money for the Wisconsin state public pension plan.
  • Pyramid Scheme or Ponzi Scheme

    Doug Cornelius
    15 Apr 2015 | 5:17 am
    Charles Ponzi The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against James Evans for engaging in a “Ponzi scheme.” The names of his scheme caught my eye: Cash Flow Bot and Dollar Monster. After digging around, I was puzzled as to what to call the scheme. A Ponzi scheme purports to be a real investment opportunity, but payouts come from new investor money instead of the returns of the underlying investment (if any). The scheme’s sponsor needs some cover of respectability to convince his prey that he or she is really investing the money and generating returns. How…
  • Invest With Managers Who Eat Their Own Cooking

    Doug Cornelius
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:37 am
    “It pays to invest with managers who invest in their funds. ” – Russel Kinnel of Morningstar I think this statement will come as no surprise to most investors. Mr. Kinnel did some research on mutual funds to prove the point. It turns out that manager investment is correlated to better performance. Mr. Kinnel was able to group mutual funds into bands required by the SEC based on manager investment. For US equity funds, there was a 10% improvement in success rates between managers who had $0 invested and those who had over $1 million invested. The sad part is that the success…
  • So It’s a Security, But Maybe the Private Placement Was Okay?

    Doug Cornelius
    13 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    Looks like a great investment? The tale of Western Financial Planning Corporation and Louis Schooler first caught my eye because the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against a real estate company. I stuck with the story because Western Financial tried really hard to structure the investments to avoid being considered securities. Even thought it tried really hard, a court still found that Western was selling securities. Having lost that battle, Western is staying on step ahead of the SEC charges. Western is claiming that the investments were sold through a good private…
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    Simmons Hanly Conroy

  • Stopping the Spread of Preventable Cancers

    Simmons Hanly Conroy
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:04 am
    As noted on their website, Public Health is committed to bringing today’s most pressing local, national and global health issues to the forefront of public discourse. Simmons Hanly Conroy and Public Health agree that one of those most pressing health issues is cancer, specifically preventable cancer. Because treating cancer can be an immense physical, emotional and financial challenge, the best approach we can take in dealing with cancer is to prevent it altogether. In fact, the World Health Organization states that at least one-third of cancers are preventable. As demonstrated in Public…
  • How to Get Involved in Global Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7)

    Perry J. Browder
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:17 am
    During the week of April 1 – 7, 2015, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) presents Global Asbestos Awareness Week. This week is intended to raise asbestos awareness and help prevent asbestos-related diseases, which kill 107,000 people every year. Asbestos has been confirmed as a serious health concern and a known carcinogen, but its use is still legal in all but 55 countries. Asbestos use only be stopped through education and awareness to prevent exposure, in addition to funding to find a cure for asbestos-related diseases. Join us for Global Asbestos Awareness Week to learn…
  • Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: March 2015

    Amy E. Garrett
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:36 am
    The asbestos attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy are committed to giving you the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news. Below is a group of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other headlines from throughout the globe. Study finds 21 new cases of mesothelioma in group of MN miners A group of 69,000 mine workers were exposed to asbestos while employed in Minnesota’s iron mining industry between the 1930s and 1982. Among that group, 21 more men have been diagnosed with mesothelioma – in addition to the 80 cases previously identified, that…
  • Simmons Hanly Conroy Client Ellen Patton to be Awarded at the 2015 ADAO Conference Dinner

    Perry J. Browder
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:31 am
    People from all kinds of backgrounds have been impacted by mesothelioma and asbestos. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) strives to honor such people at its annual Asbestos Awareness Conference. This year, ADAO will honor the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the asbestos and mesothelioma cause. Ellen Patton Award: Alan Reinstein Award As a client of Simmons Hanly Conroy, Ellen has experienced firsthand the devastation of a mesothelioma diagnosis. She is a steadfast asbestos awareness advocate – she delivered a speech titled “A Patient’s…
  • Petersen/Siddall Families and Law Firms Present Fire Prevention Gift to SIUE

    Simmons Hanly Conroy
    16 Mar 2015 | 5:09 pm
    The families of Lauren Petersen and Lacy Siddall along with their attorneys Ted Gianaris of Simmons Hanly Conroy and Tom Long, of Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard PC, have partnered with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to produce a fire safety video in memory of SIUE students Lauren and Lacy. The two women passed away from their injuries after their off-campus apartment caught fire in April 2012. The video will share the girls’ stories and emphasize the importance of fire safety for college students. The families and their attorneys have each donated $5,000 toward the video…
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    Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online

  • Can I Rewrite a Deceased Person’s Will?

    Rania Combs
    10 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    I received a message from someone this week whose husband had passed away seven years earlier leaving a Will that gave all his worldly possessions her. However, she never had the Will probated. I’m not sure what circumstances caused her to ask this question, but she wondered whether it was possible for her to now rewrite her husband’s Will. The short answer is no. A Will is an important document. It allows someone to specify how and to whom their assets will be distributed at the time of their death. In order for a Will to be valid, the testator (the person writing the Will) must…
  • Wacky Wednesday: Wills That Make You Go “Hmmm…”- Harry Houdini

    Rania Combs
    1 Apr 2015 | 8:00 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. Have you ever gotten a psychic reading? According to a 2005 Gallup Poll,26 percent of the people polled believed in clairvoyance, and 31 percent believed in telepathy or psychic communication. Unfortunately, this leaves room for many unscrupulous, self-proclaimed psychics and mediums to take advantage the vulnerable among us who are grieving or seeking some meaning in their lives. Harry Houdini tried to expose these people.
  • What is the Difference between a First-Party Special Needs Trust and a Third-Party Special Needs Trust

    Rania Combs
    18 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    I received an email this week from someone who had a special needs trust for a sibling. She wondered if her sibling could put some of his own assets into a special needs trust that a family member created for him. Special needs trusts are not all the same. First-party special needs trusts are designed to hold the disabled person’s own assets, while third-party special needs trusts are designed to hold assets given to a disabled person by a third party. Below is a summary of each type of special needs trust. First Party Supplemental Needs Trusts A First-Party Special Needs Trust, also…
  • Who May File an Application to Determine Heirship in Texas?

    Rania Combs
    11 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    When an individual dies without a Will, a procedure called a Determination of Heirship proceeding can be filed establish the deceased individual’s rightful heirs. An application to determine heirship may be filed by any of the following people: The “qualified personal representative of the estate” in cases where there has been no administration of an estate, or a will was probated but there was real or personal property that was omitted from the will or the administration of the estate. A secured creditor The owner of “the whole or part” of the decedent’s…
  • To Spring or Not to Spring a Durable Power of Attorney

    Rania Combs
    2 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    Every adult should have a durable power of attorney. What is a Durable Power of Attorney? A durable power of attorney is a document that will allow you to appoint someone you trust to engage in specified business, financial and legal transactions on your behalf. It is called “durable” because it does not terminate if you become incapacitated. If you become incapacitated and do not have a durable power of attorney, a guardianship may be necessary to allow someone to manage your financial affairs. To Spring or Not to Spring Powers of attorney can become effective immediately or can spring…
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    A Connecticut Law Blog

  • Starting A Law Firm? Use A Password Manager.

    Ryan McKeen
    10 Apr 2015 | 4:38 am
    In order to run our firm, we must be able to securely access websites. For example, our bank, our accounting software, and our practice management software. Passwords are the lowest hanging fruit on the security tree. Today’s law firms must use password managers to generate unique and complex passwords. Give Lastpass or 1Password a try. Protect your data. Protect your clients. Protect yourself. Choosing not to use a password manager is negligent if your data gets breached.
  • Starting a Law Firm? 6 Sentences of Law Firm Marketing Advice

    Ryan McKeen
    8 Apr 2015 | 11:47 am
    You try things. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. You quickly move off the what’s not working.  You double down on what works. What works always changes.
  • Eight Reasons We Won’t Take Your Case

    Ryan McKeen
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:53 am
    A lot of law firm advertising is centered around “have a case…call us” (see below). We do that too. However, we are selective in the cases we take. Being selective is the only way to insure that when we take a case that we can properly handle it. This benefits us and more importantly our clients. Here are 8 reasons we won’t take your case: 1. Outside our areas of practice. Law is complicated and getting more complicated. It is impossible for any lawyer to be competent in more than a few areas of law. For example, if you come to us with a workers compensation case, we…
  • May Dirty Snow Turn Into Dirty Water

    Ryan McKeen
    6 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
  • Opening Day

    Ryan McKeen
    6 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    The snow pile remains on my driveway. It is dirty. A reminder of the winter of 2015. The snow pile’s days are numbered. The calendar says baseball. The grass will turn green. Flowers will emerge from the ground. Leaves will return to the trees. Baseball will be played. Here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2015. I’m really excited to watch the Red Sox.  Can’t wait to watch Mookie Betts in centerfield. This team should score plenty of runs. I’m optimistic that Pedroia is healthy. Napoli’s offseason surgery should help. Boegarts should take a step…
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    Associate's Mind

  • ABATechShow 2015 PodBlast – Aaron Street, Steven Chung

    Keith Lee
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:25 am
    At the tail end of the first day of ABATechShow, Jeena and I sat down with co-founder and publisher Aaron Street, along with Lawyerist contributor Steven Chung to discuss the first day’s events at ABATechshow. Plus a little bit about podcasts. Also, Aaron and I discuss the apparent fascination that he and I have beards.
  • Do You Feed Your Résumé Or Your Eulogy?

    Keith Lee
    14 Apr 2015 | 1:37 pm
    I’m not a huge fan of David Brooks, but on occasion his columns provoke thought or provide insight. His recent column for the New York Times, The Moral Bucket List, contained a passage that resonated with me: It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral… This struck me as quite true. As we live our lives we focus on résumé virtues because those are the things that get us our job and put…
  • ABATechShow 2015

    Keith Lee
    13 Apr 2015 | 8:22 am
    So this week I’ll be in Chicago for the ABA TechShow. What is the ABA Techshow you ask? Technology is becoming fully integrated in the practice of law. Our legal work is now more dependent on the use of technology, in and out of the office. It helps us to practice more efficiently, serve clients more effectively, and better manage our daily lives. As technology evolves, it can be difficult to stay informed of the latest advancements. With so many different options to choose from it can be difficult knowing what’s the most suitable to you and your practice. This is where ABA TECHSHOW…
  • The Value Of Criticism

    Keith Lee
    12 Apr 2015 | 7:29 am
    Scott Greenfield writes on the Sunshine Superman Syndrome: Self-assessment is notoriously unreliable, whether because we over- or under-estimate our competence. The Impostor Syndrome, like fear, saves us from being the fool, and doing harm to others in the process, by compelling us not to shut our eyes as tightly as possible and pretend that we’re the little engine that could. Except we can’t. Or more to the point, we shouldn’t, because we’re not up to the job, our petty little egos notwithstanding. We may be up to the job with experience, or we may never be up to the job. Here’s…
  • Imposter Syndrome & Asshole Bosses: Podcasts Galore

    Keith Lee
    10 Apr 2015 | 9:02 am
    It’s been a busy time of casting pods this week. We’ve got a backlog of a dozen or so interviews. So we’ve decided to double down on getting through them so we can get to a regular schedule of 1 full-length interview podcast a week, along with a shorter “podblast” conversation between Jeena and I. But only if Jeena can settle down and stop interviewing people. Podblast #2: In this episode, we talk about: Imposter syndrome AKA inner critic Email and time management Asshole bosses Three topics that every lawyer has faced. If you’re not familiar with it,…
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    Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

  • Fifth Circuit Releases Reglan Manufacturers from Birth Defect Liability

    Jared Fink
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:27 am
    In an unpublished opinion file on April 9, the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed a previous decision in one of the Reglan generics cases, Whitener v. Pliva, Inc. This ruling upholds the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant drug companies on the grounds that the defendants performed no off-label promotional activities. Lindsey and Joshua Whitener’s son was born prematurely and with severe birth defects after Mrs. Whitener used metoclopramide, a generic form of the heartburn drug Reglan. Mrs. Whitener was suffering nausea and morning sickness and…
  • FDA: AndroGel, Low-T Drugs Must Warn for Heart Attack

    Jared Fink
    4 Mar 2015 | 11:13 am
    On Tuesday March 3rd, the United States Food and Drug Administration required that manufacturers of testosterone supplements (or, Low-T drugs)  include warnings on packaging for the increased risk for heart attack and stroke linked to these drugs. In years past, a great many peer-reviewed scientific studies had demonstrated that men using Low-T drugs were at dramatically higher risk for heart attack and stroke.  Finally, this work has led the FDA to require a warning label update. Further, labels for Low-T drugs are now required to include warnings that the medication is approved only for…
  • Actos Manufacturer to Pay Millions in Cancer Lawsuit Settlement

    Jared Fink
    17 Feb 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Last week, the pharmaceutical company, Takeda, was ordered to pay $1.3 million in punitive damages to a former Philadelphia schoolteacher who “argued the drugmaker’s Actos diabetes medicine caused his bladder cancer”, Japan Times writes. Only a few days earlier, that man was awarded over $2.3 million in compensatory damages. According to that Japan Times article, this was the “fifth Actos patient to convince a jury that Takeda’s former top-selling drug causes bladder cancer. Last year, a federal jury in Louisiana ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co., which at one time sold Actos…
  • 2012 – 50% of IVC Filters Fail

    Jared Fink
    27 Jan 2015 | 7:48 am
    In 2012 the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article titled “Frequent Fracture of TrapEase Inferior Vena Cava Filters,” providing further insight into one serious side effect related to the use of IVC filters. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are small metal filters placed within the vena cava vein used to trap blood clots, stopping them from reaching the lungs, where potentially fatal pulmonary embolism may result. Dr. Masaki Sano led a team of researchers from the Hamamatsu School of Medicine (Hamamatsu, Japan) and studied 20 IVC filter patients, following up…
  • IVC Filters: 86% Exhibit Serious Side Effects

    Jared Fink
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:21 am
    In 2012, a team of researchers from the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco published an article that illustrated some serious risks associated with the use of IVC filters. Inferior vena cava filters are small metal filters inserted into the inferior vena cava vein, used in patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to mechanically catch blood clots before they can reach the lungs and cause in pulmonary embolism.  Sometimes, these filters are implanted permanently, and sometimes IVC filters are implanted for a limited time, ranging from…
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  • Email and Accounting: Two Features that Distinguish Some Practice Management Software

    Sam Glover
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:16 pm
    When it comes to practice management software, there are two features in particular that distinguish some options from others. Email First, email. While older practice management software like Time Matters includes email, it is clunky. Once you’ve gotten used to Outlook or Gmail, it’s pretty hard to put up with something like that. That is probably why most cloud-based practice management software doesn’t include an email client. Most let you associate emails with contacts and matters, but you have to use an Outlook plugin or a Chrome extension to do it. You don’t have…
  • Tune in to the Appathon from ABA TECHSHOW 2015 at 7:30pm Central Tonight

    Sam Glover
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:02 am
    Like a hackathon, the idea behind the ABA’s Legal Appathon is for teams to develop a working, legal app within a short, focused time period. Four teams have been doing that, and they will be presenting their ideas at ABA TECHSHOW tonight at 7:30pm Central. Spoiler alert: I’ll be on the panel doing my best Shark Tank impression. Tune in to our Day 1 liveblog (that link will work starting at 5:30pm Central) to see what’s happening at the Appathon.
  • 5-Step Legal Marketing Plan, Step 1: Identify Your Niche

    Karin Conroy
    15 Apr 2015 | 4:12 am
    If you want to ensure your marketing efforts provide a good return on investment, you must start with a marketing plan — a step often skipped in small or solo firms. You can avoid making emotional and often expensive decisions if you have a great marketing plan that identifies problems you may encounter in the future. This series of posts will break down the five steps of building a useful marketing plan. By focusing on these five aspects, you can create a well-balanced marketing plan for your law firm that will help drive clients to your firm. Step one is below and covers identifying and…
  • Oderus Urungus’s Dad Sues GWAR for Taking His Son’s Ashes

    Sam Glover
    14 Apr 2015 | 6:57 pm
    From Bitter Empire: Sadly, lead vocalist Oderus Urungus, or Dave Brockie as he was known off-stage, passed away in 2014 from a heroin overdose. … Dave’s father, William Brockie, is now suing the shock rock band for the return of his son’s ashes and is seeking $1 million for breach of contract and punitive damages for the unauthorized use of his image. The suit accuses GWAR of “trying to capitalize on the death of Dave Brockie” and claims that when William requested Dave’s remains, he was only given “a small fraction of his son’s ashes, which were delivered in a used plastic…
  • Podcast #14: Marco Santori on What Lawyers Should Know About Bitcoin

    14 Apr 2015 | 4:12 am
    Bitcoin is seriously cool technology with the potential to transform the financial industry — and any other industry that needs trusted transactions. Marco Santori talks with Aaron about what Bitcoin is, the hurdles to its wider adoption, and why every lawyer should accept legal fees in Bitcoin. Plus, we also talk about why computers are only as secure as the people who use them, which means the computers in most law firms are not very secure. Why People Screw Up Security You can design the perfect data security system, but one flawed human being can blow it wide open. Sam and Aaron talk…
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Enthralled with the Press

    Eric Turkewitz
    9 Apr 2015 | 4:16 am
    Did someone drop an extra dose of stupid in the drinking water of Charleston, S.C., attorney David Aylor? If the name doesn’t ring a bell, let me attach it to an incident: On Saturday in North Charleston, police officer Michael T. Slager shot dead a citizen of that city, Walter L. Scott. Slager claimed that he stopped Scott for a broken tail light and then shot and killed Scott when Scott tussled for the officer’s Taser. Aylor was the criminal defense lawyer for the cop, and said he believed that Slager followed the proper procedure. But then a video surfaced that showed Slager…
  • The Squiggly Line in the Road

    Eric Turkewitz
    1 Apr 2015 | 5:02 am
    Squiggly yellow line down middle of road. If you came here looking for an April Fool’s joke, sorry, but I retired in 2013. Now on to today’s post… So there I am last weekend looking at the squiggly yellow line down the middle of the road. And I think to myself: Self, just what the hell does that mean? Now a couple of things spring to mind. 1.  The yellow line painting guy was drunk and singing King of the Road. 2.  The yellow line painting guy dozed off while listening to On the Road Again. 3.  The yellow line painting guy was playing a joke on someone who likes Country…
  • Subway Gunfights and Other Distractions

    Eric Turkewitz
    23 Mar 2015 | 4:21 am
    Ever been in a crowded subway car when a gunfight broke out? I have. It’s not a fun altercation. That incident from 20 years ago popped back into my brain when someone was shot and killed in the NYC subway system recently. Apparently some strangers exchanged words, and then blammo. (That’s the short version. Fuller version Scott Greenfield.) My experience with a gunfight occurred on an uptown Seventh Ave. express heading into Penn Station. At rush hour. Two guys started pushing each other, about 10 feet away from me. There were a few people between me and the scufflers, but in…
  • Another Defense Orthopedist Slammed By Judge

    Eric Turkewitz
    16 Mar 2015 | 7:43 am
    You remember, dear reader, that one of my concerns about the fair administration of justice in personal injury cases here in New York is the fact that defense doctors are often less than candid in the independent medical-legal exams that they do? Dr. Robert Israel was sanctioned by the state. Dr. Michael Katz excoriated by Justice Duane Hart. One doctor decided that what’s “normal” is what the insurance carrier tells him. Another reveals how to leave out of the reports things that may be beneficial to the plaintiff. And I uncovered in my own investigation a bevy of…
  • The Fainting Lawyer and the Stress of the Courtroom Well

    Eric Turkewitz
    10 Mar 2015 | 5:47 am
    Hans Poppe, Louisville, KY Almost two years ago I wrote of the lawyer who fainted dead away on the 10th day of a medical malpractice trial, where he was representing the patient. And the defendant doctor he’d sued then rushed forward to assist him. The story even had video. The lawyer, Hans Poppe of Louisville, KY, was at the bench discussing the defendant’s motion for a mistrial when it happened. Poppe, it seemed, had inadvertently played an unedited version of a deposition that had a verboten discussion of medical malpractice liability insurance in it, instead of the edited…
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    The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!

  • Celebrity Legacies: Blurred Lines Surround Marvin Gaye Estate

    Danielle & Andy
    8 Apr 2015 | 6:08 am
    There's nothing like a hit song to keep heirs dancing down the road to the bank -- even when that song wasn't written, composed, or sung by the celebrity singer who died.  The heirs of Marvin Gaye hit it big with a judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement based on their chart-topping song Blurred Lines ... but will the  victory stand up on appeal?  And what exactly does this mean for the Marvin Gaye Estate? This is installment #13 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide…
  • "Was He A Hero?" And Other Questions Surround Chris Kyle's Estate - The American Sniper

    Danielle & Andy
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:28 am
    As the movie, American Sniper, enjoys box office success, questions and controversies surround the estate of Chris Kyle.  One of his biggest critics is Jesse Ventura, the always-outspoken former professional wrestler and potential presidential candidate. Ventura recently explained in an interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM that "Chris Kyle is not a hero. A hero must have an honor, and a liar has no honor." Ventura feels that Kyle had a talent for shooting straight, but was merely doing his job and does not deserve hero status.   Jesse Ventura has not been the only one to question the…
  • Could Feud Over Saints Owner Tom Benson Happen In Your Family?

    Danielle & Andy
    16 Mar 2015 | 8:19 am
    Yes, Tom Benson has a great deal more money and power than most of us.  How much?  Try $1.9 billion, according to the annual Forbes rankings.  Indeed, there are only 350 richer people in the whole country.  The successful owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, Benson built a wide-ranging empire of car dealerships, banks, various real estate holdings, and a television station.  He still actively participates in running his businesses — most of all his beloved Saints.  But for all of his wealth, prestige, and status, Tom Benson is in the midst of the…
  • Should Caregiver of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, Inherit His Fortune?

    Danielle & Andy
    23 Feb 2015 | 8:27 am
    Widely beloved throughout the world of baseball, especially in Chicago, Ernie Banks -- a/k/a Mr. Cub -- rose from humble beginnings.  He began his career earning seven dollars a day in the Negro Leagues, before crossing the color barrier and becoming the Chicago Cubs’ most popular player ever.  After his playing career, Banks has been widely respected as a positive role model in baseball and beyond.  He continued to break new ground, becoming the first African-American Ford Motor Company dealer ever and being actively involved in charity work throughout his life after baseball.  In…
  • Celebrity Legacies: Marlon Brando's Estate Marred by Dozens of Lawsuits

    Danielle & Andy
    19 Feb 2015 | 8:32 am
    Unquestionably, Marlon Brando was one of the leading actors of the 20th century.  The well-known Godfather was always in firm control ... until it came to his estate that is.  This is installment #12 of our 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. Marlon Brando never followed convention.  He won his Oscar for Best Actor in 1973 for The Godfather, but Brando rejected the award as a protest to the treatment of Native Americans by the…
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  • BREAKING NEWS: I’m not his lawyer anymore. (UPDATED)

    8 Apr 2015 | 8:30 am
    We criminal-defense lawyers often do unpopular things. Occasionally, we make a few people happy, but we always piss someone off in the process. It goes with the territory. We are vilified in our efforts to protect our clients’ rights and zealously defend them. If a criminal-defense attorney can’t handle this, they should quit. The job is simultaneously lonely, frightening, frustrating, and rewarding. Not everyone is cut out to do this type of work. Here are a few rules that help to frame this reasoning: 1. Criminal-defense lawyers are unpopular to most. We must accept this. 2.
  • Free Advice Du Jour: If The Call Starts With This, Hang Up Immediately

    9 Mar 2015 | 1:52 pm
    This is something not taught in law school. Ask any experienced lawyer. It is possible to detect the nature of a cold-call to your office within the first 20 seconds. Here’s an example. “I was hoping you could just tell me how to (specific legal action*).” *The specific legal function may be as simple as drafting a basic will, but it could be as involved as defending against multiple felony charges. This person has no plan to hire an attorney. They will not spend $20 for legal representation any more than they would spend $20,000. The key word is “just.” Go back…
  • Ranger Qualified vs. Army Ranger

    2 Mar 2015 | 12:41 pm
    Ranger Tab. Most people who have earned this are not Army Rangers. People are so excited about the possibility of a female soldier attending the US Army Ranger School that they are completely screwing up the facts. Let me straighten this out, once and for all. Here’s the latest in screwed up journalism on this newsworthy event, courtesy of the Colorado Springs Gazette. A Fort Carson lieutenant could become the first female Ranger, the Army said on its website. The woman, whose name wasn’t released, is a Fort Carson helicopter pilot and the only woman of 17 who attempted to…
  • Today’s Legal Deathmatch: Bellerophon Jami Tillotson vs. Chimera Police Inspector Brian Stansbury

    28 Jan 2015 | 6:34 pm
    Today’s hero of UA probably never wanted the spotlight, as she quietly and professional performed her duties today as a Public Defender in San Francisco. However, she has it, and it’s a good thing. In short, thank you, Jami Tillotson. You responded perfectly in every way. You have our respect. Permanently. You’re a hero. Of course, for every Bellerophon, there must be a Chimera. That honor goes to POS Police Inspector Brian Stansbury, who directed that Jami be arrested because she acted to protect her client’s rights. He cited “resisting arrest” as…
  • Trigger Warning Episode 3: Full-Frontal Podcast

    26 Jan 2015 | 5:19 pm
    Looking for something to do on your snow day? The Trigger Warning Podcast: One Big Steaming Pile of Law Of course you are. Check out the latest Trigger Warning Podcast by Daniel and Eric. It features a full-frontal performances by both. As we continue to tweak the format, this week we go with a free-wheeling and minimally-edited format. For those of you who have been keeping up with the episodes, drop me a note and let me know what you like, don’t like, hate, and loathe. We’re constantly seeking ways to improve, amuse, and disgust. In the future, we’ll be adding a few…
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    Planning Notes

  • Estate Plan Privacy

    1 Apr 2015 | 8:50 am
    Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of a revocable "living" trust is the privacy that it can provide. If you're not familiar the concept of  a living trust, it is a legal document often used in estate planning, either in conjunction with, or instead of, a will to more efficiently administer of a person's or couple's estate by avoiding a judicial proceeding called probate. Although probate is not necessarily a bad thing, there are some drawbacks to it. Probate During probate, a decedent's will — if any — is validated and one or more persons are appointed by the court to…
  • The Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

    25 Mar 2015 | 5:15 pm
    Late last year President Obama signed the Achieving A Better Life Experience ("ABLE") Act into law. In essence, the ABLE Act can allow individuals with qualifying disabilities or their families to set aside funds for education, housing and other needs without affecting eligibility for Medicaid or SSI, similar to a special needs trust, but without needing to form a special needs trust. The ABLE Act is modeled after Section 529 college savings accounts that allow families to contribute money for qualifying college expenses, which contributions can grow tax-free in the account. Although this is…
  • Facebook & Estate Planning

    13 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Facebook recently announced a limited digital estate planning functionality, called Facebook Legacy Contacts, associated with Facebook accounts: Today we’re introducing a new feature that lets people choose a legacy contact—a family member or friend who can manage their account when they pass away. Once someone lets us know that a person has passed away, we will memorialize the account and the legacy contact will be able to: Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message) Respond to new friend…
  • Selling a Business: Stock Sale v. Asset Sale

    5 Jan 2015 | 1:53 pm
    When a business is sold, the actual sale often occurs via one of two forms, either as a stock sale or as an asset sale. In general, sellers often prefer stock sales while buyers often prefer asset sales. Although the considerations associated with the sale of businesses vary substantially from one transaction to another, two of the most important and common considerations are: taxation and liability. Stock Sale A stock sale is often the simplest way to sell a business, technically. In a stock sale, the owner or owners of a business simply sell their shares of stock – in cases of…
  • 2014 Tax Extender Bill Passed By Congress

    17 Dec 2014 | 8:38 am
    President Obama signed the tax extender bill, discussed below, into law on December, 19, 2014. Kelly Phillips Erb, writing for Forbes: With just over two weeks left in the 2014 calendar year, the Senate finally made up its mind about the tax extenders bill. The bill, which extends the life of a number of tax breaks through 2014, passed the Senate 76 to 16. Only 60 votes were needed for approval. The bill, however, is only effective for the year 2104 — it retroactively extends provisions that expired at the begining of this year — but does not extend the provisions for the year…
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    Law and Daily Life

  • Free-Range Parenting : Legal to Let Kids Walk Alone?

    Le Trinh, Esq.
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:56 am
    Remember those stories where grandpa said he walked three miles in a snow storm to get to school? His parents would probably get arrested for that today. As a society, America has seem to become more paranoid about child safety. In Maryland, free-range parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have had several run-ins with the law and CPS because of their decision to let their two young kids, aged 10 and six, walk to the park and home alone. On the most recent occasion, police detained the kids for several hours without notifying the Meitivs after a 911 call reported that the kids were…
  • What Can the IRS Do If I Didn't File My Taxes?

    Christopher Coble, Esq.
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:59 pm
    Tax Day came and went and you did nothing. Well, you probably did something -- you just didn't file your taxes. You didn't even file for an extension like we told you. And now you might be wondering whether the IRS will come calling for their money. Can they arrest you for not filing your taxes? Send you to debtor's prison? The good news is you're probably not going to jail, yet. The bad news is your battle with the IRS could get very, very expensive. How Will They Even Know? If you're hoping to fly under the IRS's radar, you might want to reconsider; even with a slashed budget, the IRS's…
  • When Can You Throw Away a Former Tenant's Belongings?

    Christopher Coble, Esq.
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:58 am
    Whether your last lease ended amicably or atrociously, your former tenant may have left a few of their things behind. So how long do you need to wait before clearing their belongings out? And do you have to hold onto their stuff before you toss it into the trash? Can you keep it if you like it? State laws on leases and rental agreements can vary, so the answer may depend on where your rental unit is located. The answer will also depend on whether the property was left behind after the lease ended or after an eviction. Generally, however, here's some advice on what to do with a former tenant's…
  • The Rights of Foster Parents

    Christopher Coble, Esq.
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:57 am
    Most foster care arrangements are temporary: foster parents care for a child until the child is adopted, returned to his or her family, or reaches the age of 18. And although the relationship may be temporary, foster parents can have an enormous impact on a child's life and well-being. Court and child placement decisions will almost always be made with the child's best interests in mind, and the requirements of foster parents are based on those concerns. But what may get overlooked are the rights of foster parents, with regards to both foster care placement procedures and with respect to the…
  • What Can You Do if a Store Won't Honor Your Warranty?

    Le Trinh, Esq.
    16 Apr 2015 | 8:58 am
    You just bought a shiny new laptop. You even bought the two year extended warranty. But, less than a year later, your computer starts spazzing out. It's not working the way it should. So, you try to get it fixed. The store claims the problem with your computer isn't covered by the warranty, and they won't cover the cost to fix it. Why are you not surprised? What do you do if the store won't honor a warranty? Reread the Warranty The first thing you want to do is reread your warranty to find out exactly what is covered and who is offering the warranty. Most warranties only cover faulty parts.
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    But I do have a law degree...

  • Surprising Myself

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    13 Apr 2015 | 6:17 pm
    There have been three times in life that I've really surprised myself. The first was when I studied abroad in London for the first time, as a junior in college.  Two years prior, I scoffed at the idea, and even changed my initial major since a semester abroad was a requirement.  I was timid and risk averse and joined at the hip to my high school/college boyfriend, and living abroad was definitely not for me.  Then, after two years something made me change my mind.  I took the leap and spent a few months in London, and I haven't been the same person since. Not only did I…
  • Explosive Poops on Planes (and Related Netflix Entertainment)

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    31 Mar 2015 | 5:11 am
    I feel like I could write a novel about diaper mishaps, but I don't.  Because it's disgusting and boring and who really wants to read that? And yet, here I am about to write a blog post about an explosive poopy diaper.  But I must. Because my story must be told. Our family went to the Cayman Islands last week - our fourth visit there.  It was awesome and beautiful and perhaps in the near future I will post pictures.  But the trip down there with three kids was a bit brutal. In order to save a bit of money, we opted to take connecting flights from DC to the Caymans.
  • To London and Back

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    11 Mar 2015 | 6:23 pm
    I went to London this past weekend.About fifteen years ago, when I lived in London, a weekend trip abroad wouldn't have been that out of the ordinary.  Travel back then was easy, frequent, and carefree.  It was what I loved most in the world, in fact.Now, life is very different.  And so am I.As a mom of three, travel is complicated, whether with or without kids.  Since this trip, precipitated by a conference my husband was attending, was going to be without kids, the childcare factor was the issue of the day.  And who knew that once we had that third child people…
  • Five Netflix Documentaries That Make You Question Humanity

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:18 am
    I know lists such as these are usually of the feel good type.  Aka, most romantic movies on Netflix, best movies to watch with your family over the holidays, best shows for kids, etc.  I've read such lists.  I've used such lists.  I've even written such lists. But lately I've watched some really effed up stuff on Netflix that has made me (a la the title of this post) question humanity.  In the sense that the documentary credits roll, and I think to myself, What is wrong with people?  The whole thing has me reflective in a weird way as I'm driving to do my…
  • The Worst Time of Day. Everyday.

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    19 Feb 2015 | 9:57 am
    I didn't learn how to make pasta until my senior year in college.  And the first time I did, I was absolutely petrified to use the burner. That's how much I know about cooking.  This has never really posed a problem.  As a student, I used the dining halls, and became an expert in take out food.  As a young lawyer, I worked late and ordered in most nights (on the client's dime, of course).   On the weekends, I dined out and became a self proclaimed "foodie" (whatever that means).    And, lucky for me, my husband loves to cook.  I was always happy to…
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    Profit and Laws

  • The Case Against Rahm

    3 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    I wish I could be with Rahm and feel Chicago is in the hands of a tough, capable leader. But I’ve come to understand that our great city is about to re-elect a guy just as bad or worse than Rod Blagojevich. I wish I were exaggerating. If this mayor isn’t corrupt, he does nearly […] The post The Case Against Rahm appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • What You’ve Heard About Net Neutrality is Wrong

    24 Mar 2015 | 8:15 am
    Forget everything you’ve heard about Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is not about content, it’s about poles. Your city is so dotted with utility poles you probably even don’t notice them. Those poles are the real reason why the FCC needed to change the rules around the Internet. To understand why, you have to know three […] The post What You’ve Heard About Net Neutrality is Wrong appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • Net Neutrality Summary: What the FCC Did

    24 Mar 2015 | 8:14 am
    Net Neutrality has many definitions floating through the ether. For starters, though, here is our take on what the FCC did. If you want the quick and dirty, below is a bare summary of the rules, or you can read all 400 pages here. Included mobile broadband in the category of regulated Internet services. Removed […] The post Net Neutrality Summary: What the FCC Did appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • The Secret of Life

    Phil Fahim
    20 Mar 2015 | 10:34 am
    The secret of life is so simple that most of us disregard it because we fear it will make us look naive. The consequences of the secret are so complex that they get denied and derided. Businesses operate like it’s not true. Politicians talk and vote in an upside down universe where the secret is […] The post The Secret of Life appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – MLK

    5 Mar 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Yet Another Victory for the 1% For 10 years, New Jersey has fought – and won – a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil for dumping refinery garbage into New Jersey’s land and water. New Jersey’s environmental protection agency said it would take $2.6 billion just to clean up the sludge and muck and that it had […] The post “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – MLK appeared first on Profit and Laws.
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    Virginia Workplace Law

  • Are Settlement Attempts Still Required for EEOC Charges?

    Faith Alejandro
    30 Mar 2015 | 1:21 pm
    Should attempts to settle discrimination lawsuits with the EEOC be made in good faith?  Employers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana think so and hope the Supreme Court of the United States will agree. Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in an appeal from a case in the Seventh Circuit, which ruled last December that employers cannot defend a discrimination lawsuit based on the failure of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to engage in good faith conciliation efforts prior to suing an employer.  This momentous case highlighted the divisions among…
  • Another Exception to Employment At-Will

    Phyllis Katz
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:32 pm
    Virginia is known as a stalwart adherent to the doctrine of employment at-will.  The courts in Virginia have long recognized that the employment relationship is for an indefinite term and may be terminated for any reason or no reason, at any time, with or without cause or notice.  This right, known as employment at-will, can be contracted away by the parties; both oral and written contracts are recognized in Virginia. Absent a contractual restriction or a right to continued employment established under statutory law (e.g. job protected absences under the Family and Medical Leave Act or…
  • Updated OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule: What Employers Need to Know

    Nicole Cheuk
    26 Jan 2015 | 1:16 pm
    As of January 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) updated recordkeeping and reporting rule went into effect. The recordkeeping rule changed in two key ways: (1) the rule updated the industries that are exempt (and not exempt) from the requirement to keep injury and illness records; and (2) the rule expanded the list of severe work-related injuries and illnesses that all covered employers must report to OSHA. Industries now exempt from the requirement to keep injury and illness records include gas stations, clothing stores, newspaper…
  • White Collars Tighten: Forecasting Changes to Overtime Qualification Rules

    Mike DeCamps
    1 Dec 2014 | 10:19 am
    On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Labor to update the regulations defining which white collar workers are eligible to receive pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a work week.  The proposed rule was originally forecast to be issued in November of 2014, but it is now clear that the earliest this rule is likely to be issued is the First Quarter of 2015.  Once issued, there will be an opportunity for comments to be submitted.  However, based on previous experience, there are not likely to be many changes between the proposed rule…
  • Virginia Dept. of Health offers Ebola advice for employers

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

  • And the Defense Wins

    Chip Delano
    14 Apr 2015 | 6:27 am
    In Banner Life Insurance Co. v. Jacqueline L. Noel, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 1539 (4th Cir. 2013), aff’g 861 F. Supp. 2d 701 (E.D. Va. 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s granting of Banner’s motion for summary judgment limiting its obligations to return of the premium paid by the proposed insured.  Former DRI Mid‑Atlantic Regional Director and DRI State Representative for Virginia, Robert B. “Chip” Delano, Jr., of Sands Anderson PC in Richmond, successfully obtained a declaratory judgment in…
  • SCOVA Refuses to Incorporate Prior Discovery Rulings from Previous Non-suited Action

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

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

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

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

  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

    Andrew McRoberts
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:47 am
    The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term.  This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law.  Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted the Freedom of Information Act after release of a document by a Sheriff, and included the long-awaited opinion in the appeal from the State Corporation Commission in a major electric power siting case which involved potential preemption of local zoning and questions of historic and scenic impacts.   As always, congratulations to the winners! This firm was pleased to…
  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – February 26, 2015

    Andrew McRoberts
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:12 am
    This term resulted in two cases which, in our opinion, affect Virginia local government law.  One, decided by order, deals with the effect of a failure to name a necessary party (a governing body) in appealing a BZA decision.  The other addresses the difference between a local government and its constitutional officers (a sheriff) in the context of a claim under Va. Code section 15.2-1512.4 (right of local employees to contact elected officials). The case summaries are taken from the Virginia Supreme Court opinions website. Click on the case number to read the opinion. 140676 Frace v.
  • An ICE Detainer is Merely a Request—Not a Requirement

    Michelle L. Warden
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:12 am
    Written by Jim Cornwell and Michelle Warden Law enforcement officers and agencies are often faced with deciding whether they are required to detain an otherwise releasable prisoner when there is a detainer on the prisoner from the federal Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) on file. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General rendered an Advisory Opinion on January 5, 2015 providing guidance on this very issue. The Attorney General confirmed the decisions of several courts and the wording of the regulation creating the detainer, 8…
  • T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell – Contemporaneous Reasons Needed for Denying Cell Towers

    Andrew McRoberts
    15 Jan 2015 | 1:11 pm
    By Andrew R. McRoberts and Cullen D. Seltzer On January 14, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell. At issue was the breadth of the requirement in 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”), which provides that a locality’s denial of an application to build a cell phone tower “shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.” A 6-3 Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor writing for the majority, said that the statutory language requires…
  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – January 8, 2015

    Andrew McRoberts
    9 Jan 2015 | 8:46 am
    Happy New Year!  The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions yesterday, its first term for 2015.  This term resulted in cases which, in various ways, deal with the authority of government entities (Workers Compensation Commission to address issues other than compensation, Virginia Department of Health to regulate smoking at a hookah bar, State Tax Commissioner to interpret a tax deduction statute, City to collect special taxes for a Community Development Authority) which, in our opinion affect Virginia local government law.  As always, congratulations to the winners! This firm was pleased…
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    The Complex Litigator

  • IWC (or any agency) is limited by its statutory mandate

    H. Scott Leviant
    2 Apr 2015 | 5:14 pm
    Agencies love their power.  They grow like a cancer, absorbing more and more of it from the body politic.  But every now and then a court reminds an agency that its power is limited by the terms of its statutory authority.  For instance, in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (Feb. 10, 2015), the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division Three) did just that with regard to a provision of an IWC Wage Order.Health care workers sued their hospital employer in a putative class and private attorney general enforcement action for alleged Labor Code violations…
  • Anti-SLAPP Motion fails to satisfy the first "arising from" prong under the customary two-part analysis

    H. Scott Leviant
    2 Apr 2015 | 5:02 pm
    I regret that the press of work kept me away from this site for quite some time, other than the podcasts that I've continued to work on.  It looks like I'm going to be able to come up for air, so I am going to get back to posting on a more regular basis.In Trilogy at Glen Ivy Maintenance Association, et al. v. Shea Homes, Inc., et al. (pub. ord. Mar. 19, 2015), the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division One) affirmed a trial court finding that an anti-SLAPP Motion lacked merit for failure to satisfy even the first prong of the two-part anti-SLAPP analysis.  As…
  • Episode 15 of the Class Re-Action Podcast is now available

    H. Scott Leviant
    2 Mar 2015 | 10:27 am
    We are up to Episode 15 of the Class Re-Action Podcast, available here.  In case you missed the explanation previously, shows will now run between 30 and 45 minutes, due to changes in MCLE requirements.  I'm working on blanket provider status so that each show will qualify as MCLE.  However, nobody wants reading material as homework, so we are going to stay under an hour an avoid that added complication.
  • Article III federal judge takes prosecutor to task for lying in court

    H. Scott Leviant
    4 Feb 2015 | 9:54 pm
    In an article from December 2014, Sidney Powell offers a colorful description of a proceeding in which a federal judge excoriated a federal prosecutor for lying in his courtroom.  Sidney Powell, Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy Blasts Federal Prosecutor For Lying in Court (December 16, 2014)  Sidney Powell worked in the Department of Justice for 10 years and was lead counsel in more than 500 federal appeals. She is the author ofLicensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.  Sadly, these sorts of abused of power appear to be increasing in frequency (or…
  • Percentage of the fund is still an approved method of awarding fees in California class actions

    H. Scott Leviant
    15 Dec 2014 | 12:36 pm
    Funny timing on this one.  In Episode 14 of the Class Re-Action podcast, our discussion turned at one point to fee awards in class actions.  We briefly mentioned Laffitte v. Robert Half International, Inc. (November 21, 2014), but didn't dive under the hood.  But now that I've had a chance to read it, I see that a postscript to the podcast is in order.  In Laffitte, the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Seven) considered an appeal by an objector to a class action settlement.  One issue the Court touched on was the propriety of using a percentage of…
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    Law Firm Newswire » Legal News

  • VA Hospital Manager Suspended for Vet-Mocking Images in Holiday Email

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    17 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 17, 2015 - Photographs depict patient as elf who begs for tranquilizers, tries to commit suicide. Following a scandal-plagued 2014 that saw its chief's resignation, the Department of Veterans Affairs was probably looking forward to a less tumultuous first quarter of the new year. But unflattering news followed the VA into March, when news surfaced of a VA hospital manager's suspension over a December 18 email. The holiday missive contained photographs of several questionable scenes, including one that depicted a toy Christmas elf as a patient pleading for…
  • Job Interview Questions May Be Discriminatory Indicates Chicago Employment Attorney Timothy Coffey

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    16 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 16, 2015 - Be alert during a job interview for questions that may be discriminatory. While many seeking jobs today are aware of the possibility of discrimination in the workplace, few expect that job interviews may also be fraught with discriminatory questions. “It violates your civil rights to be judged on anything else other than your ability to do the job,” says Chicago employment attorney, Timothy Coffey. “Any other questions relating to race, age, gender or other prohibited areas, are not allowed – period.” What if an applicant makes it to…
  • Drunk Bar Co-Owner Hits Another Vehicle at 60 Miles Per Hour, Kills One

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    15 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Southfield, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 15, 2015 - Two bar owners who regularly drank to excess at their establishment created an atmosphere where staff was afraid to call them on it or to stop them from drinking, leading to a fatal accident. "By not stopping the one co-owner of the bar called JR’s Pub of Goose Creek (the Pub), John Haynes, Jr., drove while inebriated and ultimately killed Jane Tee, broadsiding the Tee’s vehicle in an intersection and pushing it hundreds of feet down the road,” outlined Daren Monroe, Michigan-based Litigation Funding Corporation representative. The…
  • WordPress Powers Half of Nation’s High-Ranking Personal Injury Websites

    Law Firm Newswire
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:46 pm
    CLM Lab chart showing what top ranking personal injury websites have in common. San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) April 14, 2015 - While it may not be breaking news that WordPress is popular, a new Custom Legal Marketing Lab report shows how popular the content management system is on sites that reach the top of search results. Custom Legal Marketing recently published a report outlining the “Characteristics of the Top Two Ranking Personal Injury Websites in U.S. Cities.” For each of America's largest metro areas, the research team in the Legal Marketing Lab specifically reviewed the…
  • Employment Attorney Deborah Barron: Fair Wages and Being Sued Level the Playing Field for Restaurant Owners and Workers

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) April 14, 2015 - Though the fact that restaurants are vulnerable to lawsuits for fair labor violations has made some owners unhappy, many recognize that it levels the playing field for all workers, ultimately making the industry more ethical and fair. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the go-to legislation applicable to wages and hours paid in all states. It deals with four specific areas: standards for youth employment, overtime pay, record keeping and the Federal minimum wage, currently $7.25/hour. Most of the investigations launched by the U.S.
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    The L•E•Jer

  • Will McDonald’s Remove Employee Wages off the Dollar Menu?

    Hofstra Labor &#38; Employment Law Journal
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:59 am
    by Alexa Zelmanowicz Between the push by President Obama to raise minimum wage rates and the allegations of patterns of racism, McDonald’s is losing its “lovin’ it” appeal.[1] In 2014, President Obama signed an executive order that raises “the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers on federal construction and service contracts.”[2] Although the order […]
  • What Right Do You Have to Discriminate?

    Hofstra Labor &#38; Employment Law Journal
    13 Apr 2015 | 6:59 am
    by Jewel-Ann O. Cornelius The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch stated in 2006, “We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to […]
  • Supreme Court Issues New Standards for Establishing Pregnancy-Based Employment Discrimination

    Hofstra Labor &#38; Employment Law Journal
    2 Apr 2015 | 6:59 am
    by Brian S. Kotkin The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a new test for determining whether a woman was discriminated against on the basis of her pregnancy. In Young v. UPS, Inc.,[1] the Court said that it was permissible for a Plaintiff alleging workplace discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (hereinafter “PDA”) to establish a […]
  • Judicial Interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act

    Hofstra Labor &#38; Employment Law Journal
    30 Mar 2015 | 6:59 am
    by Amanda M. Ward Recently, I spoke to a Hofstra Law alumnus who has a physical disability. He spoke about the challenges he has faced since elementary school up to today, and how the law has worked toward reducing discrimination against disabled people, even though it still fails to protect many people. He asked me […]
  • DOL Issues Final Rule: “Place of Celebration” Rule Now Controls for FMLA Definition of “Spouse”

    Hofstra Labor &#38; Employment Law Journal
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:59 am
    by Sarah B. Wheeler Immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor,[1] the Department of Labor (“DOL”) indicated that the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”)[2] would, from that day forward, be inclusive of employees who requested leave to care for a same-sex spouse, parent of that same-sex spouse, or other related family […]
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    My Distribution Law

  • Why It’s Hard to Tell Good Monopolies From Bad

    Howard Ullman
    16 Apr 2015 | 4:19 pm has the story.  A nice little summary of the new Google case and the principle that while “[h]aving a big market share by itself is OK,” “the problem is when companies abuse that market share by taking anticompetitive actions that hurt [] competitors and []customers.”  A good link to share with non-antitrusters.
  • Sixth Circuit Applies Cost Screen to Tying by Differential Pricing

    Howard Ullman
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:25 am
    Eastman Kodak model B (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In Collins Inkjet Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co., No. 14-3306 (6th Cir. March 16, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that differential pricing – charging more for one product when the customer does not also purchase a second product – can constitute an unlawful tying arrangement only when the price differential in effect discounts the second product below the seller’s cost. Eastman Kodak sells refurbished printer components for industrial printers. It also sells ink. Its competitor, Collins, competes for the sale of…
  • Return of Robinson-Patman Act and Resale Price Maintenance Litigation?

    Howard Ullman
    20 Mar 2015 | 10:38 am
    A quick note on a few recent developments suggesting that RP and RPM litigation is not yet dead. First, on February 2, 2015, a court refused to dismiss claims against Clorox arising from its refusal to sell a small regional grocery chain the same large packs of products as Clorox sells to big box retailers. Clorox didn’t refuse to sell the smaller retailer products – it simply didn’t sell it the same large packs, which have a lower per unit cost. The court held that the practice might violate Section 2(e) of the Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits discrimination in the furnishing of…
  • San Jose Strikes Out in Baseball Antitrust Challenge

    Howard Ullman
    9 Feb 2015 | 10:37 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “Baseball? It’s just a game — as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It’s a sport, business — and sometimes even religion.” Ernie Harwell, “The Game for All America,” 1955. In City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Case No. 14-15139 (9th Cir. Jan 15, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit applied the judge-made antitrust exemption for baseball to bar a challenge by the City of San Jose, California to a rule adopted by Major League Baseball (“MLB”)…
  • Can the State Seek Restitution After a Class Action Settlement?

    Howard Ullman
    9 Jan 2015 | 12:34 pm
    In The People of the State of California v. IntelliGender, LLC, 771 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2014) (Wardlaw, J.), the Ninth Circuit said the answer is “no.”  A federal court had approved a class action settlement involving false advertising and unfair competition claims that, among other things, awarded $10 per approved claim.  Subsequently, the California Attorney General’s Office San Diego City Attorney(*) brought its own Section 17200 suit challenging the same practices and seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief as well as restitution under its parens patriae…
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    Kangaroo Court of Australia

  • Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen lies to hide friendship with killer Roger Rogerson etc.

    Shane Dowling
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:04 am
    Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen is a compulsive liar who has been caught out badly contradicting herself in separate interviews with News Corp and Fairfax Media. In this article we will also have a closer look at Cunneen’s dodgy background which includes 1. Connections to major criminals such as Roger Rogerson 2. Helping alleged paedophiles such […]
  • High Court Judge Michelle Gordon was part of “an appalling judgment” said S&G CEO Andrew Grech

    Shane Dowling
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:08 am
    The newly appointed High Court of Australia judge Michelle Gordon was in 2012 accused of being part of “an appalling judgment” in a case that left thousands of sick and dying people without compensation. In the US people in the same situation were awarded a total of $4.85 billion. It is estimated that the compensation in Australia should have […]
  • Bill Shorten tries to cover-up the vote rigging scandal that had him elected leader

    Shane Dowling
    11 Apr 2015 | 7:44 am
    Bill Shorten told the ABC on Friday (10-4-15) that the vote rigging scandal had been independently investigated by the NSW branch of the Labor Party and that one person had been suspended from the Labor Party. Bill Shorten gave no specific details and his statement raised more questions than it answered. One thing is for sure and that […]
  • Bill Shorten Labor Party vote rigging scandal still not resolved

    Shane Dowling
    8 Apr 2015 | 7:59 am
    Probably the greatest thing that undermines democracy is the vote rigging of elections. It would therefore surprise many people that the alleged vote rigging of the 2013 Bill Shorten – Anthony Albanese Labor Party leadership ballot has never been fully investigated. It has been almost 18 months since Bill Shorten was elected leader of the Labor Party and his own […]
  • 3 Attorney-Generals in 12 months, Craig Thomson’s mental illness & the Andrew Bolt defamation loss

    Shane Dowling
    4 Apr 2015 | 6:27 am
    NSW now has its third Attorney-General in the last 12 months, Craig Thomson tried the mental illness tactic in court and Andrew Bolt lost a defamation case against a barrister. All three matters are relevant to this website but don’t justify a full post so I will cover all three briefly for the Easter Post. 3 […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • The Latest in Legal Marketing

    John Byrne
    17 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    It’s clear that legal marketers continue to be an ever-growing force for change at law firms of any size. With more than 1,300 attendees from around the globe, this week’s Legal Marketing Association (LMA) annual conference in San Diego was the group’s largest to date. For such a specialized gathering, the conference covered a wide and impressive variety of topics interesting to marketers and lawyers alike. Here are my top takeaways: 1. Digital marketing’s drumbeat. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of your competition gaining on you. If you’re not taking full advantage of all…
  • Are You Being a Lawyer or Building a Practice?

    Jay Harrington
    16 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    There’s a tricky balance that lawyers need to strike: staying focused on the “task at hand” while keeping an eye on the future. The task at hand involves acquiring technical skills — drafting, negotiation, deposition-taking — at a relatively early point in your career. There’s nothing you can do to get around this prerequisite to becoming a competent practitioner. You need to get a good handle on the fundamentals. But it’s harder to know what to do about the future. For one, the future always comes quicker than you think. Ten years out seems like forever, until it’s…
  • Care and Feeding of Your Referral Network

    Mary Lokensgard
    15 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    In the first two posts in her series on lawyer referrals, Mary Lokensgard explained how to “Get More Good Referrals for Your Law Practice” and what’s involved in the “Nuts and Bolts of Getting and Giving Referrals.” How do you keep the network going, and growing? Part three explores the basics of maintenance. Your referral network is a living thing. If you don’t feed it and water it, it will die, and if you don’t prune it back occasionally, it will collapse under its own weight. If you’ve developed a network by identifying good sources and asking them…
  • Choosing to Choose Well

    Marc Lauritsen
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Have you ever left a phone charger behind in a hotel room even though you carefully looked before checking out? Returned from grocery shopping only to remember you forgot the milk? Operated on someone, sewed them up, and then realized you left a sponge inside? (Oops, wrong profession.) Given a closing argument without having introduced a key piece of evidence? When this kind of thing happens in the context of an important decision, you may pay a stiff penalty. And forgetfulness is just one of many glitches that get in the way of good choices. Decisions Are Projects to Be Managed My previous…
  • Have You Reddit?

    Ruth Carter
    13 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    If you are proficient in social media basics and looking for a new online community, I recommend checking out Reddit. Reddit is a social media community made up of thousands of bulletin boards — called “subreddits” — on almost any topic you can imagine. Millions of people all over the world are active on Reddit. On each subreddit, users who are logged in (“Redditors”) can post a link to a relevant article or create a text post. The other Redditors can up-vote or down-vote your post, leave comments, and up- and down-vote others’ comments. It is a very interactive community.
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    BullsEye Blog

  • More Experts in Demand, as Back-Door Bootstrapping Banned

    12 Apr 2015 | 12:09 pm
    The practice of an expert testifying in a case and then also testifying as to whether that opinion is consistent with another non-testifying expert’s opinion, A.K.A. Bootstrapping, has become problematic in civil cases of all sorts. A recent ruling in the case of James v. Ruiz endeavors to put a stop to this practice so that each expert mentioned will have to be called upon to testify in court. Read more to learn about the possible implications of this ruling, including a possible contradiction to Daubert standards.
  • When Pretrial Motions Go Rogue, Count on Captain Justice

    6 Apr 2015 | 7:21 pm
    In a court system fraught with frivolous in limine motions, there is a hero, Captain Justice, who can argue sense back into the courtroom. This hero can be any person and can appear in any legal battle. Whether the motion be about changing "archaic" terminology or excluding references to historical events, beware that the Captain Justices of the legal realm may be watching and that you, too, may have to suffer the wrath, as other in limine abusers have.
  • Litigation Barbie: From Dream House to Courthouse

    31 Mar 2015 | 8:00 pm
    Barbie recently sued Mattel for breach of contract and discrimination after the company refused to pay her a bonus for 2014 and stopped covering her student loans and disability insurance premiums. Read on to learn more about the courtroom brawl of the century and the matters at stake in this case.
  • A Corporation as an Expert Witness?

    21 Mar 2015 | 5:41 am
    The Delaware Chancery Court recently addressed a novel question that bordered on the metaphysical (or, perhaps more appropriately, the absurd): May a party designate a corporation to serve as an expert witness? Continue reading to learn how the court handled this peculiar expert witness request.
  • Sabotage or Slip-Up? Judge To Reconsider $1M Sanction for Expert’s Error

    15 Mar 2015 | 3:22 pm
    In a hearing last month, a Philadelphia judge ruled a million-dollar sanction against attorney Nancy K. Raynor. Now, a courtroom technology consultant has come forward after trial to claim that he heard the attorney attempt to stop her expert from offering the banned testimony, the situation which led to the massive sanction. Will this new testimony be enough to cause the judge to reconsider the fine? Continue reading to learn more about this case.
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    Hunt & Associates, PC

  • Admiralty Law: An Overview

    Charles Ford
    15 Apr 2015 | 4:35 pm
    Admiralty or maritime law is that body of law which applies to waterborne commerce and events which take place on the navigable waters, i.e., the high seas, territorial waters, harbors, rivers and inland waterways, including the Great Lakes. It is the law which governs vessels, navigation, seamen, the carriage of goods and passengers over water, marine insurance, maritime liens and salvage. It is generally, but not always, the province of the federal courts, by virtue of Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that the “judicial power” of the United States extends “to all…
  • The Problem of “Off Leash” Kids

    Lawrence Hunt
    15 Apr 2015 | 3:52 pm
    Two children, 10 and 6 years old, were recently taken into custody by police in Montgomery County, Maryland, after an anonymous report that they were seen playing unattended in a park around 5 p.m. on a Sunday an hour before their parents expected them to be home. When the children failed to return home as expected, the parents began looking for them. The authorities didn’t let the parents know where their children were until 8 that evening and refused to release the children into their parents’ custody until 10:30 that night. The story in the Washington Post is here. These parents are…
  • Employer Obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act and the Changing Definition of Marriage

    Lawrence Hunt
    24 Feb 2015 | 10:14 am
    The U.S. Department of Labor has scheduled announcement that it will issue a Final Rule effective March 27, 2015 expanding the definition of “spouse” for purposes of determining an employee’s entitlement to Family Medical Leave. Specifically, the new rule will define a “spouse” for purposes of FMLA leave in accordance with the law of the state where the marriage was celebrated rather than under the law of the employee’s residence. Thus, a same sex marriage validly entered into under the law of the state where the wedding occurred will be a valid marriage which entitles either…
  • An Injured Seaman’s Rights under Admiralty Law

    Charles Ford
    17 Feb 2015 | 9:12 am
    A seaman who suffers injury while engaged in the service of a vessel has legal remedies which are unavailable to any other worker. Unlike the typical shore-based employee, who is generally limited to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries occurring in the course and scope of his employment, an injured seaman has the following remedies available to him or her: Maintenance and cure; A claim against the vessel owner for the vessel’s “unseaworthiness”; and, A claim against his/her employer under the Jones Act. Maintenance and Cure A seaman who is injured in the service of the vessel…
  • When Can the Government Take Property without Paying Compensation?

    Lawrence Hunt
    2 Feb 2015 | 4:12 pm
    The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the federal government to pay “just compensation” when it takes private property. While that rule sounds clear in principle, it doesn’t often seem to mean what it says either to government or to the courts. On the contrary, it seems as though the federal government actually can and does take private property for its own use without paying “just compensation” or, in fact, without paying any compensation. Moreover, the practice seems quite acceptable to certain courts. For instance, a recent piece for the Washington…
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    Recent Blog Posts

  • ABC Discovers Hundreds of Recalled Vehicles Still be Sold in U.S.

    7 Apr 2015 | 2:33 pm
    In a troubling investigation reported last month, ABC News revealed that over 100 dealerships in the U.S. are still selling cars to consumers that need recall repairs. The investigation, which featured undercover car buys in both New York and New Jersey, exposed possible oversights or neglect by car salesmen in their failure to divulge the recall status of vehicles they were selling. ABC producers set up several undercover buys of cars with known, dangerous recalls and asked salesmen during the sales process if the vehicles in question were subject to an open recall. One salesman in their…
  • 2014 Broke Auto Recall Records

    10 Mar 2015 | 3:35 pm
    The numbers are in and 2014 was a record-setting year in auto manufacturer recalls. Nearly 64 million cars were recalled last year, which smashes the previously held record in 2004, when the total was 30.8 million. That makes 2014 a benchmark year by more than a 50% margin. According to the New York Times, many of last year's recalls were initiated by the manufacturers themselves when they realized there was an issue with their vehicles after they went to market.The Times offers the following numbers: In 2014, there were 803 motor vehicle recalls. 680 of these recalls were initiated by…
  • Honda Receives Record Fine for Safety Failures

    3 Feb 2015 | 12:17 pm
    Last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that Honda received a $70 million fine from regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The fine—the maximum allowed by law—comes after an investigation determined the company failed to notify consumers and regulators about death and injuries involving their vehicles in a "timely manner". In the agency's ruling, half of the money—$35 million—will be dedicated to addressing Honda's consumer death and injury claims. At the end of 2014, Honda admitted there were approximately 1,729…
  • Is Your Car at Risk of Hacking?

    12 Jan 2015 | 12:19 pm
    If you've driven a new car recently, you've probably noticed that it came with a dizzying array of technological advances. Spoken commands, GPS, Bluetooth music and video, and much more can be found in almost every new vehicle. Not only that, but downloadable apps for commerce, traffic, and weather conditions are coming into play as well. And these are just extra features: everything from the brakes to the engine can have some kind of digital integration. Some cars can even drive and park themselves! Ultimately, we can hope that these advancements in car technology can lead to safer…
  • Cars Now Being Sold Without Spare Tires

    22 Dec 2014 | 2:37 pm
    You're driving down the road when suddenly, you feel that one of your tires has gone flat. While at first panicked, you breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that your car came with a spare tire. Unfortunately for some car buyers, this situation might play out a little differently. Recent reports have announced that many, if not all, car companies are choosing to forego the spare tire in place of an inflator kit. Out with the old and with the new, all in an effort to increase fuel efficiency and the mileage your car is getting out of each tank of gas. It certainly sounds effective.
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  • Digital Estate Plan Facebook Tool

    Krystal Chapin
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:14 am
    A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the importance of securing your digital assets in your estate plan. This week, I stumbled upon a new Facebook feature that will further help you preserve your digital assets. Legacy Contact is the new Facebook function that allows users of the social network to authorize […]
  • Getting Government Payments for Children with Disabilities

    Robin Friedman
    14 Apr 2015 | 11:45 am
    Parents who have children with disabilities face a myriad of legal, medical and financial issues.  There are a host of government programs which can provide assistance in a variety of forms including housing and medical coverage.  Two programs, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Social Security Income(SSI), provide cash. In order to obtain the […]
  • File Tax Returns on Time

    Linda Grear
    13 Apr 2015 | 6:18 am
    If you owe more taxes than you can afford to pay when you file your tax returns, don’t fail to take action. Make sure to file the tax returns on time. That way, you can avoid a penalty for filing late. Here are some tips if you are unable to pay all your taxes by […]
  • Special Enrollment: Circumstances Which Allow You To Change Your Health Care Benefits

    Krystal Chapin
    10 Apr 2015 | 11:47 am
    Healthcare enrollment season has come and gone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your benefit choices are set in stone. There is a special enrollment period that is offered year-round. In order to participate in this special enrollment, one must undergo an eligible, major life change (i.e., having a child, marriage). This means that up […]
  • Big Brother is Watching You

    Robin Friedman
    7 Apr 2015 | 11:45 am
    If you are an avid user of social media, or even just an American born since 1980, chances are your web footprint is everywhere.  Many social media sites such as Facebook have elaborate ‘private policies’ filled with legal jargon, and make a point of informing consumers that they are committed to protecting privacy.  But people […]
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    bLAWgical Thinking

  • #The3Llife: Graduating Law School

    17 Apr 2015 | 5:56 pm
    GUEST BLOG by Shaun Sanders, 3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law When I began writing this post, the first theme that came to mind was the tried and true mantra of, “We made it!” It seems simple enough. Short. Punctual. Fits comfortably inside of air quotes. But in its simplicity, so much is lost. “We made it” is better suited for times where, despite the journey’s perils and pitfalls, you ultimately arrive at a place you had always expected to be; an anticipated conclusion. Yet, sitting here, thinking back over the past thousand and six days of law school, I…
  • #The2Llife: Picking a Side on a Legal Issue

    15 Apr 2015 | 2:33 pm
    GUEST BLOG by Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law As a student, I have noticed that a lot of people study up on a controversial topic, but take a dogmatic stance and fail to give full weight to both sides on the debate. For instance, during my first year, some students did poorly on exams because they argued their take on an issue and did not acknowledge that the other side might have some good or persuasive arguments. Accordingly, I have always tried to understand both sides of an issue. I’m currently taking Constitutional Law. We have covered Equal Protection, the Due Process…
  • #The1Llife: Rapidily Approaching. . . Finals!

    14 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Rose, 1L at the University of Detroit Mercy Finals are basically here. This whole semester went by so incredibly fast. It feels like January was just yesterday. My finals are rapidly approaching and while I am not mentally prepared to become a hermit for the next month I know that it is for the best. I hope that all of the other 1Ls out there were able to pick up a few study habits and tips from the first go-round. Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned and my recommendations for second semester exams. Outlines. Outlining is not fun. Everyone that I know ends up…
  • #The3Llife: Fitting In the Job Market

    9 Apr 2015 | 9:01 am
    GUEST BLOG by Shaun Sanders, 3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law I have many interests and passions. Prior to law school, I worked mostly as a freelance contractor providing business development, marketing, and design services to various clients. In fact, most of my work involved me handling multiple departments. As a result, my resume is a bit different than most law students and has caused me issues when it comes to the job hunt. My first interview was with a construction litigation firm. I remember dressing up, prepping my resume on that fancy specialty paper, showing…
  • #The2Llife: Best Way to Outline (IMHO)

    8 Apr 2015 | 7:14 am
    GUEST BLOG by Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law With the semester wrapping up, many students are beginning to outline, or refining past outlines. The importance of outlining is probably clear at this point—a good outline will be useful during the exam (provided open note exams), and creating it will help reinforce concepts as well as show what you may not know or understand. However, it can be tough to “know” how to create an outline. After a long semester, most students have reading notes (i.e., case briefs), class notes, and a handful of problems or handouts. How do you turn…
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    Attorney at Work

  • The Latest in Legal Marketing

    John Byrne
    17 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    It’s clear that legal marketers continue to be an ever-growing force for change at law firms of any size. With more than 1,300 attendees from around the globe, this week’s Legal Marketing Association (LMA) annual conference in San Diego was the group’s largest to date. For such a specialized gathering, the conference covered a wide and impressive variety of topics interesting to marketers and lawyers alike. Here are my top takeaways: 1. Digital marketing’s drumbeat. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of your competition gaining on you. If you’re not taking full advantage of all…
  • Are You Being a Lawyer or Building a Practice?

    Jay Harrington
    16 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    There’s a tricky balance that lawyers need to strike: staying focused on the “task at hand” while keeping an eye on the future. The task at hand involves acquiring technical skills — drafting, negotiation, deposition-taking — at a relatively early point in your career. There’s nothing you can do to get around this prerequisite to becoming a competent practitioner. You need to get a good handle on the fundamentals. But it’s harder to know what to do about the future. For one, the future always comes quicker than you think. Ten years out seems like forever, until it’s…
  • Care and Feeding of Your Referral Network

    Mary Lokensgard
    15 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    In the first two posts in her series on lawyer referrals, Mary Lokensgard explained how to “Get More Good Referrals for Your Law Practice” and what’s involved in the “Nuts and Bolts of Getting and Giving Referrals.” How do you keep the network going, and growing? Part three explores the basics of maintenance. Your referral network is a living thing. If you don’t feed it and water it, it will die, and if you don’t prune it back occasionally, it will collapse under its own weight. If you’ve developed a network by identifying good sources and asking them…
  • Choosing to Choose Well

    Marc Lauritsen
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Have you ever left a phone charger behind in a hotel room even though you carefully looked before checking out? Returned from grocery shopping only to remember you forgot the milk? Operated on someone, sewed them up, and then realized you left a sponge inside? (Oops, wrong profession.) Given a closing argument without having introduced a key piece of evidence? When this kind of thing happens in the context of an important decision, you may pay a stiff penalty. And forgetfulness is just one of many glitches that get in the way of good choices. Decisions Are Projects to Be Managed My previous…
  • Have You Reddit?

    Ruth Carter
    13 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    If you are proficient in social media basics and looking for a new online community, I recommend checking out Reddit. Reddit is a social media community made up of thousands of bulletin boards — called “subreddits” — on almost any topic you can imagine. Millions of people all over the world are active on Reddit. On each subreddit, users who are logged in (“Redditors”) can post a link to a relevant article or create a text post. The other Redditors can up-vote or down-vote your post, leave comments, and up- and down-vote others’ comments. It is a very interactive community.
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    Pretrial, Trial, Appellate & Evidence Blog


    Ronald H. Clark
    12 Apr 2015 | 3:43 pm
    This is a subject about which I’m totally unqualified to render an opinion. I’m perfectly comfortable discussing a man’s trial uniform. A man’s trial proper courtroom attire normally is a dark suit, white or blue shirt, a tie that may have a pattern but not a loud one, brown or black shoes coordinated with the suit and dark  (not white) socks. Any accessories must not be distracting to the viewer. This works well for politicians also, and they, like trial lawyers, can only go wrong if they vary from it – see one who did above and who got criticized for doing so. Although…

    Ronald H. Clark
    3 Apr 2015 | 11:00 am
    Today’s headline in the local newspaper is “Jury awards $3.7M to estate of Munchbar shooting victim.” The newspaper account describes how a jury awarded the estate of the deceased $3.5 million with the tavern being held responsible for 75% and other participants in a fight leading up to the shooting being responsible for the remaining 25%.  The shooter was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.For a prosecutors and defense attorneys, one of the first murder cases that they may well handle will stem from a shooting in a tavern on a Saturday night. It’s part of what…

    Ronald H. Clark
    22 Mar 2015 | 5:49 pm
    David Boies is America’s preeminent trial lawyer. His successes include cases, such as that against California’s Proposition 8 and the Microsoft antitrust case. In an interview with Katrina Dewey for Lawdragon,  he described his belief that it was an honor to make a living and a difference practicing law: “I’ve always believed that one of the great things about being a lawyer is you have an opportunity to really make a very comfortable living. at the same time, it allows you to make a real contribution to society and really make change. the opportunity is there.”In the…

    Ronald H. Clark
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:20 pm
    An important manual concerning courthouse dogs has just become available to the public. Courthouse dogs provide emotional support for child and other vulnerable victims and witnesses in the legal system. In the not too distant past, vulnerable victims were given short shrift by the justice system. The manual recounts my experiences with children in the criminal justice system, which the manual accurately describes as the “Bad Old Days” as follows:The Bad Old Days While chatting about how the treatment of children involved in the legal system has evolved over the years, Ron Clark, a…

    Ronald H. Clark
    28 Feb 2015 | 12:27 pm
    “I attended, participated in and enjoyed the Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute.It is a comprehensive ‘how to’ demonstration curriculum in which the attendees have an opportunity to observe and then perform everything from voir dire to examination of witnesses to closing argument …”Ron WardPresident, Washington State Bar Foundation, 2008-2011President, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2012Washington State Trial Lawyers Association President’s AwardSuper Trial Lawyer since 2003Save the Dates - June 15-19, 2015 – for the Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute at Seattle…
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • The one thing that made the difference

    David M. Ward
    17 Apr 2015 | 11:46 am
    In an interview yesterday I was asked what was the one thing that made the difference in my career. What was it that helped me become successful. Back then, I said, meaning back when I was starting out and I was broke as a joke and just wanted to pay my bills, marketing made the difference. When I learned how to bring in more clients, and better clients, everything changed. Later, when I was making lots of money but had no time for anything but work, the key to my success as a sole practitioner was getting comfortable with delegating. This is difficult for many lawyers because we are very…
  • Charging clients more because you are worth more

    David M. Ward
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:01 am
    I heard from an attorney who says he gets tongue tied speaking with prospective clients about fees and tends to lean towards charging less. Even then, he’s afraid they will think he charges too much. I told him to write out what he would say to them if he was confident about his fees–why he charges what he does, the benefits he offers, why he’s worth more than other lawyers, and so on. Write it, read it, contemplate it. And then post it, or a version thereof, on your website so that prospective clients will be able to read it before they ever speak to you. They will…
  • Can you be successful doing work you don’t love?

    David M. Ward
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:38 pm
    Can you be successful doing work you don’t love? If you define success in material terms, I think you can. But success is not just about money. To be truly successful, you have to be happy. And here’s the thing. When you are happy, when you love your work, financial success is much easier to achieve. You don’t have to push yourself to get up early. Mondays are your favorite day of the week. You can’t wait until your next speaking engagement, trial, or networking event. When you love what you do, the work is almost effortless. Problems seem smaller and easier to…
  • How to write faster than you thought possible

    David M. Ward
    14 Apr 2015 | 10:41 am
    I wrote the first draft of yesterday’s blog post in 5 minutes. I also wrote the first draft of today’s post in 5 minutes. If you want to write faster, here’s how to do it: STEP ONE: CHOOSE YOUR TOPIC Choose a topic you know well. If you need to research your subject, do it before you sit down to write. What do you want to write about? What point do you want to convey? Write down your topic. My topic yesterday was, “How to promote an event or offer”. STEP TWO: TURN IT INTO A QUESTION Take the topic and turn it into a question. Why? Because when it is in question…
  • 3 Keys to promoting your event or offer

    David M. Ward
    13 Apr 2015 | 11:19 am
    So you want to get people to register for your seminar, hire you for your service, or buy your new book. What should you do? Promote it. Promoting isn’t announcing. Announcing is merely stating the facts. Promoting has an emotional element to it. Here are 3 keys to promoting your event or offer. (1) Get excited If you’re not excited about what you are promoting, you can’t expect anyone else to get excited. If they’re not excited, they’re probably not going to look at what you’re offering, let alone sign up. Start by asking yourself why you are excited about…
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    Law Firm Marketing Consultant | SEO Specialist

  • Is your website costing you business?

    Dustin Ruge
    24 Mar 2015 | 8:42 am
    Attorneys often ask how consumers view them, how they search for them online, and how they can best position themselves for maximum consumer exposure and results.But what about other attorneys?Many attorneys I have worked with over the years claim to get some of their best clients and cases from other attorneys. Moreover, some of the best attorney referral sources are from other attorneys.So what are attorneys doing to better market and position themselves to other attorneys and more importantly, what are other attorneys looking for in other attorneys and why? A recent in-house counsel report…
  • Is Your Law Firm Ready for April 21?

    Dustin Ruge
    16 Mar 2015 | 10:32 am
    April 21, 2015 could be a defining moment for your law firm. Why? Because Google is planning on telling the whole world (through their own search results) whether or not your online marketing in mobile ready or not.On average 30% of people (and growing) will access an attorney website each day through mobile devices. Moreover, attorneys who advertise to the Hispanic community could take an even bigger hit. On April 21st Google has announced that this can all change...especially for those who are not prepared and for those who are fortune enough to benefit from it. Are you ready? Click Here To…
  • AZ Bar Association CLE: Attorney Marketing On The Internet (Wed March 4th @ 12 noon) 1 CLE Credit

    Dustin Ruge
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:29 pm
    Please join us for the upcoming CLE on Attorney Marketing On The Internet hosted by the Arizona Bar Association.Faculty Speaker: Dustin Ruge CLE Credits: 1Time: 12-1pmLocation: State Bar of Arizona 4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100 Phoenix, AZ 85016-6266 To Register: #cle  #lawyermarketing #azbar 
  • Is The Internet Really Dying? Many Say Yes

    Dustin Ruge
    23 Jan 2015 | 7:44 am
    Yesterday we heard some pearls of wisdom out of Davos from the Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidtwho proclaimed that “…the internet will disappear.” To many of us who work in the industry of internet marketing, this should come as no surprise…but to most it still is. In November of 2014, an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Web Is Dying; Apps Are Killing It” was published after many prognostications dating back a number of years now that mobile is transforming the internet landscape. Additionally, many industry experts now predict that the number of people accessing…
  • Does My Law Firm Need An App?

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

  • Crash victim's will made all the difference - Saanich News

    15 Apr 2015 | 9:22 am
    When I talk to people who don't have wills and I ask them why they haven't made one yet, I get a variety of answers. The one I hear the most is that people plan to make wills "later", when they are older, or sick, or injured. They believe that they will have the opportunity to make one when their need is greater. Guess what? You don't always get the chance. The article below talks about how
  • Iowa politician charged with sexual assault after sex with his wife who had Alzheimers

    15 Apr 2015 | 7:39 am
    The National Post is carrying a story about Henry Rayhons of Iowa. Mr. Rayhons, who is 78, is charged with sexual assault after allegedly having sex with his wife while her Alzheimer's disease was so severe that she could not have consented to having sex. She lived in a long-term care facility and the event allegedly happened in her room there. This is a tricky situation, legally speaking.
  • Uh oh. I didn't file estate tax returns. Now what?

    14 Apr 2015 | 8:33 am
    There's nothing like realizing six years after you think an estate is finished that you really should have filed tax returns. Many of us might panic at the thought of bringing the wrath of Canada Revenue Agency down on our heads! A reader recently wrote to me about this situation. Her letter and my response follow: "I am in a pickle. My husband died 6 years ago without a will. I went to a
  • Executor and Trustee Compensation

    9 Apr 2015 | 10:35 am
    Toronto lawyer Ian Hull, who blogs at, has recently posted about executor compensation in Ontario. The article is really helpful to executors and beneficiaries alike who are wondering how to calculate an executor's compensation. Click here to read Mr. Hull's article. Note: the laws quoted in this article apply only to Ontario.
  • Robin Williams' family uses mediation to resolve estate dispute

    7 Apr 2015 | 4:30 pm
    If you learn that there is a dispute brewing over an estate, do you assume that it's about money? Many estate disputes are actually about personal items because of the sentimental value of those items. This kind of conflict can be even more intense and upsetting than those caused by money. A dispute has broken out over personal and household items in the estate of the late Robin Williams. His
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    AZ Attorney

  • Bros before woes, National #HighFiveDay offers palmful of distraction

    17 Apr 2015 | 9:30 am
    Is there anything cooler than wishing a friend well, high-five-style? (A: No.) Every now and then, there’s a topic that is made for Change of Venue Friday. And so here we are. I may be a day late, but I am happy to spread the word that yesterday was National High-Five Day. What does that mean? Well, does everything have to mean something? Can’t we just live? But if you insist on actual information, then read more about it here. And perhaps that day explains why folks were “going high” yesterday as they passed you in the hall. No one did? How sad. To be less-than-high-five-worthy, I…
  • Comedy concert tonight with @theLewisBlack and others honors Bill of Rights

    16 Apr 2015 | 9:30 am
    Among those featured in tonight’s Bill of Rights Comedy Concert will be (L to R) Chris Bliss, Dick Gregory, Lewis Black, Cristela Alonzo, Ahmed Ahmed, Tom Smothers, and John Fugelsang. A quick item today urging you to enjoy some free expression to its most hilarious extent. “Let Freedom Laugh!” Bill of Rights Comedy Concert debuts tonight. It is headlined by Lewis Black, who will be accompanied by Dick Gregory and Tom Smothers; rising stars Cristela Alonzo, Ahmed Ahmed, and John Fugelsang; and special appearances by Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, and Penn Jillette. The event will…
  • Holocaust and lawyers exhibit at @AZStateBar displayed through April 16

    15 Apr 2015 | 9:30 am
    A few days ago, I wrote about a State Bar program that will be held on Thursday, April 16—National Holocaust Remembrance Day. You can read about it here. In that post, I also mentioned a related exhibit that is worth your time. Since then, I read even more deeply about it, and saw what’s been installed, and I urge you all over again to stop by the Bar building in Phoenix if you can. It will be displayed until 3:00 pm on Thursday, April 16. Here is some background from the Bar: “In addition to offering the ‘Lessons from the Holocaust’ CLE program, the State Bar has partnered with the…
  • Judicial merit selection dialogue on 4/18 via @AZAdvocacy @JusticeStake @AZStateBar

    14 Apr 2015 | 9:31 am
    Ariz. Vice Chief Justice John Pelander An event this Saturday, April 18, brings together legal leaders and others to assess the experiences of the most recent Arizona county to use the judicial merit-selection system. Pinal County is the place, and the event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Casa Grande, Ariz. The speakers will include retired Ariz. Chief Justice Ruth McGregor and State Bar President Richard Platt. Lunchtime remarks will be delivered by Vice Chief Justice John Pelander. The event runs from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, and it’s free. Breakfast and lunch will be served. But…
  • Drones provide a bird’s-eye view of new legal questions

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:30 am
    These little devices are increasingly airborne. But what questions do they raise? We have covered drones before, in print and online. And a recent event I attended in which the skies above contained a whirring sound renewed my interest in them. I was attending the groundbreaking for a condo project called Portland on the Park near downtown Phoenix. A downtown booster, I was there to applaud the creation of what looks to be a terrific structure. Soon after the speeches were done, though, I gazed upward at what sounded like a lawnmower above our heads. But what I saw was a drone, hovering,…
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    Course and Scope: A Connecticut Worker's Compensation Law Blog

  • Working to Prove that Your Injury and Disability are Work Related

    James Aspell
    6 Apr 2015 | 9:18 pm
    An injury at work can happen suddenly, such as lifting a heavy object, a blow to the head, a fall from a ladder, or a construction site accident. Usually there is little question that these types of injuries should be covered by workers’ compensation. However, workers’ comp insurance companies frequently deny valid work injuries and occupational disease claims by trying to blame an injury and/or disability on non-work related activities or a pre-existing health condition. The workers comp. attorneys at The Law Offices of James F. Aspell, P.C. and our Board Certified Specialist in…
  • When Do I Need a Worker's Comp Lawyer?

    James Aspell
    4 Apr 2015 | 9:52 pm
    There are times you may be hurt on the job and you don't need a lawyer. Really. Sometimes your employer and their insurer will do the right thing and your claim will go quite smoothly. Othertimes, unfortunately it will not. My general rules of thumb as to whether or not you need a lawyer are: 1. Have you missed more than 3 consecutive days of work? If so, it is probably in your best interest to retain counsel to oversee your claim, get you a "voluntary agreement" and make sure your rights are protected. 2. Are you lookin at surgery? If yes, you need a lawyer. The insursance company is going…
  • Connecticut 2015 CRB Panel Named

    James Aspell
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:38 pm
    Pursuant to Section 31-280b, Chairman John A. Mastropietro has appointed Commissioners Randy L. Cohen and Stephen M. Morelli to sit as panel members on appeals before the Compensation Review Board for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2015.
  • Experience That Makes A Difference

    James Aspell
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:21 pm
    Is your lawyer a "known commodity?" When pursuing a work injury claim in Connecticut it goes a long way if your employer's worker's comp insurance company is familiar with the track record of you lawyer. I have been handling worker's comp claims in Connecticut since 1986. I am known to worker's compensation defense attorneys throughout the State as an aggressive advocate for my client and one that is willing to litigate a case if necessary. That results in a bigger, faster recovery for you! Below is a partial listing of the insurance companies against which we have pursued successful…
  • Concurrent Employment and Risk of Work Injury

    James Aspell
    16 Mar 2015 | 5:33 pm
    March 9, 2015 - WorkCompWire Hopkinton, MA – Researchers with the Liberty Mutual Research Institute’s Center for Injury Epidemiology have concluded that individuals who work multiple jobs – approximately 14 million U.S. residents – have a greater likelihood of injury than those holding a single job. According to the findings published in the American Journal of Public Health, multiple jobs holders have a 27 percent higher rate of work-related injury and a 34 percent higher rate of non-work-related injury compared to single job holders. Principal researcher Dr. Helen Marucci-Wellman…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • What can employers learn from the Jeremy Clarkson 'fracas'?

    Mark Williams
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:05 am
    If reports are to be believed, it’s probably the highest price anyone has ever paid for a steak dinner. You probably already know the story (how could you have missed it?), but let's remind ourselves... As reported by The Telegraph et al, on 4 March former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson verbally abused and physically assaulted BBC producer Oisin Tymon. Why? Things turned nasty after Clarkson couldn't have a sirloin steak following a day’s filming. Indeed, no hot food was available at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire, with the 55-year-old Doncaster-born presenter not…
  • Is it me, or is it hot in here…?

    9 Apr 2015 | 6:42 am
    Yes, it’s the standard self-deprecating line from menopausal women, but menopausal symptoms in real life are not much of a joke and can affect the working lives of the 3 million-plus women over 50 in the workplace. While the symptoms of the menopause are very common, including hot flushes, irregular or heavy periods and interrupted sleep, very few workplaces have any policy on accommodating the needs of women during this phase of their lives. Despite an employer’s general duty of care to staff, and legislation on treating both genders without discrimination, in practice the menopause is…
  • Why mediation is worth attempting for couples facing separation

    19 Feb 2015 | 3:17 am
    Since the introduction of The Children and Families Act 2014 there has been a significant difference in how family dispute cases are handled, most notably the encouragement and use of mediation. Because of legislative changes, a separating couple must now demonstrate that they have attempted mediation by attending a MIAM (a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) before further proceedings. This method of settling family disputes relies on both parties mediating with the end goal of forming a joint understanding with issues in dispute. The benefits of mediation Mediation can prevent…
  • Immigration law infographic

    3 Feb 2015 | 2:47 am
    This useful infographic, from Taylor Rose Law, looks at an employer's responsibilities and liabilities around an employee's right to work.  
  • Missing persons: how the law has changed to help families

    19 Jan 2015 | 7:55 am
    In November last year, the National Crime Agency reported that someone is recorded as missing in the UK every two minutes. Its findings were based on research released by the National Crime Agency’s UK Missing Persons Bureau, which analysed statistics for the year 2012–2013. This means that, on average, police forces in the UK are dealing with some 838 missing person reports every day. Although the vast majority of those reported missing are found safe and well, a small number (in the region of 3%) remain unfound. Not knowing what has happened to a loved one is a distressing and traumatic…
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    Colorado Construction Litigation

  • Colorado SB 15-177 UPDATE: Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee Refers Construction Defect Reform Bill to Full Senate

    David M. McLain
    31 Mar 2015 | 7:44 am
    On March 18th, following a lengthy hearing with testimony and questioning for and against Senate Bill 15-177, the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee voted 6 to 2 to refer the bill, with new amendments, to the full Senate. While the main points of the bill remain strongly intact (check herefor Senate Bill 177’s particulars), bill sponsors Senators Scheffel and Ulibarri offered four amendments, designed to bring additional compromise and clarity to the bill. The committee ultimately adopted these amendments, described below.Amendment 16 removed a prior prohibition in the bill…
  • Press Release From the Colorado State Senate Regarding Senate Bill 91's Passage Out of Committee

    David M. McLain
    19 Mar 2015 | 8:28 am
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 19, 2015 Contact: Sean PaigePhone: (719) 337-0355Construction Defect Fixes Advance in the SenateLawmakers last night took the first bipartisan step toward addressing Colorado’s affordable housing and starter home crunch, when the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee passed Senate Bill 177, the so-called construction defect reform law, by a 6 to 2 vote. The bill aims to clear-away barriers and disincentives to affordable and multi-family home construction in Colorado, by providing pathways to dispute resolution that don’t necessarily end in court. It…
  • Senate Bill 15-091 Passes Out of the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee

    David M. McLain
    17 Mar 2015 | 12:34 pm
    As previously reported, Senator Scott's SB 91, as originally introduced, would have reduced Colorado's statute of repose for construction defect actions from eight years to four years.  Yesterday, the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee heard Senate Bill 91 and, before passing the bill on a party line vote sending it back to the full Senate for consideration, made two substantive amendments. By one amendment, the Committee excluded any multi-family developments. The second amendment was to reduce the statute of repose from six years, currently on the books, to five…
  • The First Hearing on SB 177 Has Been Scheduled - Call to Action!

    David M. McLain
    13 Mar 2015 | 8:47 am
    SB177 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee (Room 271) on Wednesday, March 18th, at 1:30 p.m.  Please take a moment to urge your State Legislators to SUPPORT SENATE BILL 177 and help fix the defect in Colorado’s construction law.A big hurdle to building more entry-level housing is a defect in state law that exposes homebuilders and homeowners to a high risk of expensive, time-consuming litigation. It is referred to as the construction defects law. It has created a climate that puts the chill on new construction of affordable,…
  • Another Municipality Takes Action to Address the Lack of Condominiums Being Built in its Jurisdiction

    David M. McLain
    9 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
         Whether you are in the market to downsize or are looking to be a first time home buyer, you have likely noticed that your housing options in Colorado have become extremely limited over the course of the last several years.  If you are a contractor and have worked on multi-family projects in the recent past, you know why the housing options are limited in the State of Colorado.  In the past two years, there have been studies commissioned and articles published in local periodicals investigating the extreme slowdown seen in the construction of…
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    Consumer Rights

  • Illegal behavior by many retail and ecommerce companies regarding SMS

    14 Apr 2015 | 12:15 pm
    The receiving of spam SMS on your cell phone can be very irritating. There are people who would say that it does not matter, all you have to do is to delete it when you get it, and it would not take more than half a minute. And SMS receiving is free, so there is no cost involved. However, there are problems that are there – 1. It is very irritating when you get a number of SMS in a day, and can quickly make you angry if this goes on day after day. 2. If you are outside your base, or in another country, then it is no longer free, since even receiving an SMS can cost substantially. There…
  • Airtel penalized for not providing services even after receiving payment

    5 Apr 2015 | 1:06 pm
    What happens when you want a service ? There are a number of service providers who provide you whatever service you would require. For example, if you want to get DTH services, there are plenty of service providers who would be ready to jump when you need such service and you would typically get the desired service installation within a few days. With the level of competition present in the telecom field and broadband industry, you would expect that there would be a high level of service quotient in this industry as well. However, when you take large organizations, there are many occasions…
  • Bad quality of food detected after leaving the restaurant …

    3 Apr 2015 | 1:21 pm
    This happens often enough, but there is no clear way on how to handle this kind of problem. We were on our way to the city of Hardwar from Delhi, and it had been around 2 hours already. We had a kid in the car who was getting impatient after being strapped in the car seat for such a long time, and there was a need to get out and stretch for some time. It was also getting clear that we needed to provide some food for the kid, so on the Khatauli bypass, we saw a Cafe Coffee Day. The kid does like a good pastry, and when it is well made, a pastry is more than enough for satisfying his immediate…
  • Emirates airlines fined for not having seat belt for passenger

    31 Mar 2015 | 1:22 pm
    A seat belt is a critical item of safety for passengers, for almost any kind of moving vehicle. Especially when the vehicle is moving fast, the restrictions imposed by a seat belt can ensure that the passenger suddenly does not go hurtling anywhere. When you consider the case of an airplane, the plane can move at speeds of around 800-900 km per hour, which is pretty fast no matter which way you think about it. At such speeds, when the place feels some kind of turbulence, there have been a number of cases where people have encountered harsh turbulence in the flight and even suffered injuries.
  • When to make a store non-accessible to customers (Funskool)

    8 Mar 2015 | 12:48 pm
    Typically stores spend a lot of time and energy in ensuring that their design is such that customers are able to freely browse, are able to find the right items that they want, and are drawn to items that the store wants to sell. There is big money in ensuring that stores get their placements right, make it comfortable for customers and so on. Makes sense, right ? So, you would expect a store selling stuff to kids and children to make it easy for parents to get there, for them to look at products, and so on, even when their children are there with them. Funskool is a brand that brings a large…
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    Accellis Technology Group

  • The Ultimate Legal IT Product Comparison Guide

    Accellis Technology Group
    10 Apr 2015 | 8:35 am
    With so many advancements in the world of technology, lawyers have thousands of options for tools throughout their practice. The pace at which new products are being introduced – all promising to save you time and money – has never been faster. That’s why we published The ULTIMATE Legal IT Product Comparison Guide. We’ve compiled all of the beginning research for you! Now you can explore the features of today’s leading law office software and security solutions so you can compare apples-to-apples. There is a lot of information to cover, so we packed everything into simple charts,…
  • Accellis Technology Group Launches Managed Security Service for Law Firms at The ABA TECHSHOW

    Accellis Technology Group
    10 Apr 2015 | 6:28 am
    Accellis Technology Group Launches Managed Security Service for Law Firms at The ABA TECHSHOW National Legal Technology Firm Expands Cyber Security Services tailored to the Legal Industry Cleveland, OH – Accellis Technology Group, a national legal IT consulting firm, today announced that the company will be rolling out a new Managed Security Service at the ABA TECHSHOW 2015 at booth #310, making it the first offering of its kind tailored to the legal market. The program addresses the critical needs of legal organizations by helping them fulfill compliancy requirements, mitigate security…
  • Manage Your Busy Calendar With Court Rule Integration

    Colleen Heine
    8 Apr 2015 | 8:10 am
    One of the most challenging aspects of working in the legal profession is the balancing act of court rules and deadlines. Attorneys are typically practicing in more than one jurisdiction or a support staff member is juggling the calendars for entire teams of lawyers. This is how dates end up miscalculated, events missed or court rules such as copies of documents sent to a judge’s chambers are completely forgotten. This is also how common malpractice claims are brought before law firms. For example, if I practice in the Northern District of Ohio according to Rule 7026-1, ‘No discovery…
  • 5 Basic Cyber Security Controls Every Firm MUST Have in Place

    Jeremiah Sorbera
    31 Mar 2015 | 2:13 pm
    Photo Courtesy of Flickr As we continue our discussion on what, specifically, law firms can do to create a security program, we recognize that a number of firms are still lagging when it comes to basic technical controls that play a major role in combating data theft. Having all the policies and maintaining a culture of security is all for nothing unless you have the physical technical controls in place to keep the hackers, employees and competitors from accessing your information. While there are many steps your firm can, and should, take to…
  • Win A Cyber Security & Network Assessment

    Accellis Technology Group
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:20 am
    On May 31st, we are giving away three (3) Cyber Security and Network Assessments. Take control of your network – enter to win a Cyber Security & Network Assessment from Accellis. This assessment will provide invaluable insight into your IT infrastructure – which can be used to plan your future IT direction, improve security, and minimize risk. At a minimum, you’ll receive key takeaways that result in immediate value for your firm. Our security experts will safely scan your network for security threats and vulnerabilities. Then, we dive deeper by reviewing your firewalls, wireless…
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    The Litigation Consulting Report

  • 5 Ways to Maximize Persuasion During Opening Statements - Part 2

    14 Apr 2015 | 8:28 am
      by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Founder/CEOA2L Consulting In our most recent post, we discussed how important it is to use an opening statement to make jurors like you as a person and thus embrace your client’s case. Another key theme of opening statements is storytelling. Everyone is always advising lawyers to use storytelling to be more persuasive. So, why isn’t it happening more? Maybe no one is reading these publications. Or perhaps when preparing for trial, we’re mired in details and chronology. In law school, we’re taught how to deal with this Venn diagram involving the intersection…
  • 5 Ways to Maximize Persuasion During Opening Statements - Part 1

    13 Apr 2015 | 8:08 am
      by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Managing Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting It has been widely reported that more than 80 percent of jurors make up their minds about your case during opening statements.1 There is actually no quantitative study confirming this, but the best lawyers and the top litigation and jury consultants agree that a winning opening statement is critical. Probably the most important reason that an opening statement is critical is that it establishes the lens through which your jurors will view the trial.2 If that lens is clear and focused on the issues and…
  • 7 Lessons of Design That are Universal (in Trial Graphics or Anywhere)

    9 Apr 2015 | 8:35 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting I love great design. While it is becoming somewhat more common than it used to be, it’s still rare – and it’s even rarer in the courtroom.   To be clear, my definition of great design includes everything from an interface like what one sees in a Tesla to the adaptive reuse of a historic structure to a well-crafted litigation graphic that tells a story clearly and without the need for further explanation.   One place we don't expect to see great design is in parking signs, when we are parking the car and trying to figure out where to…
  • Boston Bomber Death Penalty - Mitigating vs. Aggravating Factors

    8 Apr 2015 | 1:46 pm
      by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.Managing Director, Jury & Trial ConsultingA2L Consulting It must be so hard to defend someone as unpopular as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and plead for his life, while he does everything to make it harder.  How does one lessen his involvement when he carried out so many explicit and intentional acts and has been so consistent: remorseless. He shed no tears for the 3 civilians and 1 M.I.T. police officer killed, the 264 people injured, or the countless others traumatized.  Instead, he went and got a sandwich.  When his brother was killed, did he…
  • Numbers in Litigation Graphics Do Not Lie, People Do

    7 Apr 2015 | 11:47 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting I spotted an interesting blog post over the weekend that criticized a New York Times article about the Israeli-Arab conflict for using charts and data in a misleading way. I've written about cheating with charts before in several articles, but my 2012 article, 5 Demonstrative Evidence Tricks and Cheats to Watch Out For in particular, offers some good lessons and has been read by thousands of people. Although it is taken from a very different context than courtroom litigation, the blog post about the Middle East and the Times…
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    Africa Music Law™

  • Industry Moves: IROKOtv Signs Netflix Partnership Deal but will History Speak Well of CEO Jason Njoku?

    16 Apr 2015 | 1:19 am
    To be a great defensive basketball player, one important rule you can never forget is “keep your eyes on the ball.” If you do your job well, you will find that the opposing team has a lot more turn overs and that your team stays winning. Why? Well, with a strong showing on defense, probability...
  • Video: Olamide (YNBL) Interview With Raro Lae TV

    15 Apr 2015 | 7:34 am
    Olamide Speaks Exclusively About His 2 Kings Album, His Newborn Son, Obstacles He Faced In The Industry, Wizkid, Skales and Davido Beef and More! RLTV recently was permitted exclusive access with Olamide (YBNL), prior to his U.S. performance. Olamide dropped some very juicy details about his latest collaboration album with Phyno. He spoke about his...
  • Video: 7 Reasons Why Female Artistes In Nigeria Are Not as Successful #FactsOnly

    9 Apr 2015 | 6:31 am
    I watched the latest episode of music critic and journalist Osagie Alonge’s #FactsOnly where he discussed why Nigerian female artists are not as successful as their male counterparts; and frankly I was a bit disappointed. I was disappointed because he missed some glaring “#FactsOnly” that stand in the way of women being successful in this...
  • Who are you Calling a Bad Rapper? D-Black Responds to DJ D-Black’s Statement

    9 Apr 2015 | 4:42 am
    In Ghana’s music industry, DJ Black is a respected name. An equally respected name is rapper D-Black. The latter has earned his respect more so for his music business acumen, at least in my view. The guy is a hustler and I LOVE IT! I don’t know of anyone that is so hungry for success...
  • Tribalism Rears Its Ugly Yansh: Oba of Lagos Threatens Lives of Igbo Leaders if they Fail to Vote for his Choice of Candidate

    7 Apr 2015 | 9:15 am
    Tribalism, racism or any “isms” has no place in our society. Yesterday, tribalism reared its ugly yansh (butt) in Nigerian society. In fact, it struck twice. The first was unexpectedly from filmmaker Kunle Afolayan. Read the story here if you missed it. The second is the video below showing the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu,...
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Traumatic Brain Injury by the Numbers

    13 Apr 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults under age 44, according to the Brain Trauma Foundation. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and sports injuries top the list of TBI causes. Currently, about two percent of the U.S. population, or 5.3 million people, live with disabilities caused by a TBI, and TBI claims about 52,000 lives each year – or about one thousand people each week. The more you know about traumatic brain injury, the better equipped you become to protect your rights or the rights of someone you love after a…
  • New Jersey Workplace Deaths Declined in 2013, Says Study

    19 Mar 2015 | 10:45 am
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its workplace injury and death data for 2013. The numbers show that work-related deaths dropped 17 percent in 2012 in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, according to a recent article in the Insurance Journal. The total number of deaths measured by the study was 152 in 2013, compared to 184 deaths in the same geographic area in 2012. The five-year average for yearly work-related deaths was 163 per year, although the number has ranged from a high of 236 deaths in 2014 to a low of 145 deaths in 2010, according to the Bureau…
  • Preventing Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents

    2 Feb 2015 | 12:57 pm
    Slip and fall accidents and injuries increase in the winter, especially in the snowy and icy New Jersey weather. Workers are not immune to the increased risk, whether they work indoors or out. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most general industry accidents are slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. They cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths nationwide every year and make up one-quarter of all workplace injury claims. Slip and fall accidents in the workplace can be prevented. Here’s how to reduce the risk this winter season:
  • Protect Yourself from Winter Weather Slip and Fall Accidents in New Jersey

    5 Jan 2015 | 8:21 am
    The winter weather in New Jersey opens up the prospect of sledding, skiing, building snow forts, and other exciting adventures for the whole family. Yet a day of fun – or even a day at work – can turn into a tragedy in an instant if a slip and fall accident occurs. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, or worse, result in permanent disability or death. You can help protect yourself and others from slip and fall injuries this winter. Keep these tips in mind:
  • Fair Haven Councilman Killed in Bicycle Accident

    8 Dec 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Fair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch, 63, suffered fatal injuries when a car struck his bicycle. According to an news report, the fatal bicycle accident occurred on River Road near Elm Place in Fair Haven. He was pronounced dead the day after the crash at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. It is unclear what caused the crash, but it does not appear from the report that the driver will face citations for the crash. Even skilled and experienced riders can suffer fatal injuries in the event of a crash. Bicyclists are simply not provided enough protection to survive a major…
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    Wexler Wallace Law Firm Blog

  • Recent Ninth Circuit Ruling on Nutrition Labeling is a Win for Consumers

    Tim Jackson, Associate
    24 Mar 2015 | 12:55 pm
    On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a consumer-friendly decision in Reid v. Johnson & Johnson, a false advertising case concerning assertions made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary about its product Benecol.
  • CFPB Study Confirms Arbitration Clauses Do Not Benefit Consumers

    Amy Sayre, Paralegal
    11 Mar 2015 | 10:58 am
    If you ask a company representative if they think arbitration clauses are harmful to consumers, more than likely, they will say no. If you ask the average consumer if they think arbitration clauses are harmful to consumers, they will ask
  • A Fish Story

    Thomas Doyle, Of Counsel
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:03 am
    In the timeless words of Dr. Seuss, “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”[1] On February 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Yates v. United States,[2] a case about evidence destruction and the
  • Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: Is Less Really More?

    Corey Lorenz, Associate
    12 Feb 2015 | 7:59 am
    At the heart of a case involving a prescription drug is the question of risks – what risks exist, what risks were known, and what risks were warned about. All of us have seen prescription drug advertisements that include a
  • New Rules for Clinical Trial Transparency: Did the NIH and FDA Provide a Solution or Merely Identify a Problem?

    Tim Jackson, Associate
    17 Dec 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Clinical trials—or the lack thereof—often play a central role in cases involving dangerous drugs and medical devices. If and when manufacturers had knowledge of the dangers associated with their products goes directly to the liability of those manufacturers. All too
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  • Run your site NOW through Google’s “Mobile Friendly” Tester

    16 Apr 2015 | 11:52 am
    I’ll keep this week’s newsletter short and sweet because I want you to focus on taking action. There’s less than one week to get your website in order before Google’s “mobilegeddon” algorithm update.   Remember, Google will soon be dropping sites from mobile search results if they are not mobile-friendly and responsive by April 21st. The number one question I’ve received from my own private clients, as well as my newsletter readers is, “How can I even tell if my site meets Google’s mobile-friendly criteria? I THINK I’m Mobile-Friendly but I’m not 100% sure. Well, here…
  • This is a little personal, but there’s something in it for you, too.

    14 Apr 2015 | 11:30 am
    I don’t know about you but Spring is my absolute favorite time of year…even when we have April showers move in for a few days. Everything is coming back to life (yes, I live in Florida, but up here in the Panhandle we do have seasons). And, we are entering the 2nd quarter of the year where everyone seems to get a burst of energy to get things moving in their business. I love spring so much that it’s the season I chose to get married in.  Tomorrow would have been my 23rd wedding anniversary. So now, along with my anticipation of the season, there is also some sadness that…
  • Your Website Needs Attention

    27 Mar 2015 | 10:22 am
    “Your website needs attention.” Chances are you’ve heard those words quite a few times this week. Here’s the scoop:  Google is changing its algorithm again, and this time around it plans to “slap” websites that are not mobile friendly by April 21st . If you care about your rankings in the search engines, read on. I’m going to break down these changes for you, without “end-of-the-world” scary hype, so that you know what you need to do, what needs your attention and how to quickly take action. Basically what’s happening is that Google is adding a “mobile…
  • 20 Ways to Get Other People to Market Your Law Practice for You

    13 Mar 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Am I the only one who dreams of being independently wealthy and having money and/or clients magically fall from the sky? (It’s actually Friday the 13th as I write this… a big sign not to hold my breath!) Since that’s not likely to happen, I’d argue the next best thing in business is to enjoy the benefit of others constantly sending referrals and new clients your way… even while you sleep. At least a quarter of your marketing plans each month should be devoted to fueling your “referral engines” or creating new ways that will PASSIVELY send you clients in your community. Sure,…
  • Ramp Up Speaking Engagements to Promote Your Law Practice in Multiple Ways

    4 Mar 2015 | 7:01 am
    I don’t know about you, but I am SO looking forward to Daylight Savings this weekend.  It’s been a long winter and I am anxious for the longer days and warmer weather ahead. Spring is also one of my favorite times to ramp up speaking engagements for the firms that we work with.  With the holidays behind us and tax season winding up, companies and complimentary professionals always seem to be more willing to host presentations and workshops in March, April and May. The key, though, is not to wait for an invite!  I can assure you, they won’t magically come.  Instead, sit down with…
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    Pam Woldow's At the Intersection

  • Scope-Blindness: Confusing Trees with Forests

    Pam Woldow &amp; Doug Richardson
    7 Apr 2015 | 1:01 pm
    As one of its core principles, Legal Project Management (LPM) emphasizes the need for effective project scoping as a crucial first step for delivering legal services efficiently, predictably, on time and on budget. Our motto: Effective front-end planning beats damage control any day. Most experienced lawyers tell us they scope engagements quite well. In our experience, many of them don’t. Hands-on, Perspective Off In LPM training, for example, we always do a hands-on scoping exercise, a role play using a realistic case hypothetical. Every participant gets the opportunity to propound…
  • The Human Barrier to LPM Technology: Will Lawyers Get to the Future?

    Pam Woldow &amp; Doug Richardson
    2 Apr 2015 | 10:29 am
    We have just returned from the World Masters of Law Firm Management Conference in Sydney, Australia, where we had the opportunity to compare notes with a lot of folks deeply invested — literally and figuratively – in the future of legal technology. By and large, we agree that when it comes to Legal Project Management (LPM), the platforms, tools, templates and technology are evolving at the speed of…frustration. Law firm and law department IT heads and CTOs (Chief Technology Officers) are pained to admit this, but somewhere out back behind every one of their workshops is a pile of…
  • LPM for Associates: The View from Ground Level

    Pam Woldow &amp; Doug Richardson
    24 Jan 2015 | 10:33 am
    We’ve all heard the time-worn joke that associates share with each other: We’re just like mushrooms — kept in the dark and buried in…fertilizer. To reality-test whether today’s associates really see their work that way, we recently  conducted several Legal Project Management and collaboration skills training workshops targeted specifically to associates. This was a novel approach, because most LPM training focuses heavily on the roles and responsibilities of partner-level participants: client-relationship partners, project managers, practice group leaders, client team leaders,…
  • The LPM Maturity Model: 5 Steps for Transforming into a Client Focused Business

    Pam Woldow &amp; Doug Richardson
    3 Jan 2015 | 1:54 pm
    In this guest post, we are pleased to have Keith Lipman, Esq., President and Founder of Prosperoware, share his practical insights about implementing Legal Project Management. Unless you are deaf to the present realities in today’s legal marketplace, you now hear the persistent drumbeat of client-focused legal service delivery: a persistent rhythm driving you toward Legal Project Management (LPM). Clients are insisting that firms price and deliver services that fit their tolerance for risk, produce excellent results and keep the work within budget — all in the most efficient…
  • Taking the Plunge: Do You Want to Be Managing Partner?

    Pam Woldow &amp; Doug Richardson
    13 Nov 2014 | 12:37 pm
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week award! So you’re thinking about diving into the election for Managing Partner, eh?         You think your chances are good: you enjoy the respect of your partners, your business judgment is on a par with your legal judgment, and during your term on the Executive Committee, you came up with strategies that helped the firm navigate some rocky shoals and weather some serious storms. You’re seen as a problem-solver who can think outside the box and eschew tradition when necessary to respond to change. Yet some close…
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    Northern California Personal Injury Blog

  • Family Files Medical Malpractice Suit Against Oakland Hospital

    Kelly Balamuth
    8 Apr 2015 | 1:39 pm
    An Oakland family has filed a medical malpractice suit against the Children’s Hospital in Oakland on behalf of their 13-year-old daughter.  They are alleging medical negligence took place a little more than a year ago when the young girl was undergoing a risky surgery to treat her sleep apnea. The suit details the loss of at least 2 pints of blood following surgery, her resulting heart attack, and her doctor not arriving until hours after being called to assist the teenage girl.  The suit also claims that the nurses violated the standards of “competent performance” as set forth in the…
  • Protecting Elder Loved Ones from Injury Accidents

    Kelly Balamuth
    31 Mar 2015 | 8:23 am
    “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.“ —Mark Twain This is a good quote, but perhaps not accurate. When an older adult suffers a life-changing injury, it is difficult not to mind. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to accidents like tripping and falling or being knocked over. When such accidents occur, broken hips or other bones are not uncommon and can be devastating. Injuries can take away your comfort and self-sufficiency, requiring added care costs and stress. It is frightening to lose independence. Frankly, getting older is…
  • Oakland Mother Killed By Gunfire

    Kelly Balamuth
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:42 am
    A 30-year-old Oakland mother was killed last week when she was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle less than half a block from her home. She was returning home with her 7-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter when the stray bullet hit her in the back of the head.  The mother screamed at her children to run for safety, and they escaped into their house, hiding in fear as their mother died in front of their home. Oakland police have arrested four men thus far, one 19-year-old who is recovering from a gunshot wound in the hospital, and three 29-year-olds.  This killing marks the 19th gun…
  • Young Santa Rosa Girl Struck By Car, Critically Injured

    Kelly Balamuth
    10 Mar 2015 | 3:25 pm
    A 6-year-old girl was severely injured after a vehicle hit her as she was crossing the street with her family in Santa Rosa Sunday night around 9:20 p.m. The girl was walking east across Petaluma Hill Road at Breeze Way in a marked crosswalk when struck by a 67-year-old Santa Rosa man driving a 2001 Ford Focus. The driver immediately pulled over and is cooperating with police. At this time, it is unclear what caused the accident. The vast majority of fatal pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in later evening hours. Unfortunately, based on population,…
  • What to Do after a Truck Accident

    Kelly Balamuth
    18 Feb 2015 | 10:31 am
    After a truck accident you will probably be scared and disoriented, not knowing what to do, as it is an overwhelming situation. The first order of business is to check to see if you or anyone else at the scene needs medical attention. Due to the size and mass of a semi-truck, it is more likely to cause life threatening injuries and catastrophic damage in a collision compared to a car. For example, a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh upwards of 70,000 pounds, whereas a car usually weighs 3,000 pounds. The most important step after an accident involving a big rig is to get medical help…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Traumatic Brain Injury by the Numbers

    13 Apr 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults under age 44, according to the Brain Trauma Foundation. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and sports injuries top the list of TBI causes. Currently, about two percent of the U.S. population, or 5.3 million people, live with disabilities caused by a TBI, and TBI claims about 52,000 lives each year – or about one thousand people each week. The more you know about traumatic brain injury, the better equipped you become to protect your rights or the rights of someone you love after a…
  • New Jersey Workplace Deaths Declined in 2013, Says Study

    19 Mar 2015 | 10:45 am
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its workplace injury and death data for 2013. The numbers show that work-related deaths dropped 17 percent in 2012 in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, according to a recent article in the Insurance Journal. The total number of deaths measured by the study was 152 in 2013, compared to 184 deaths in the same geographic area in 2012. The five-year average for yearly work-related deaths was 163 per year, although the number has ranged from a high of 236 deaths in 2014 to a low of 145 deaths in 2010, according to the Bureau…
  • Preventing Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents

    2 Feb 2015 | 12:57 pm
    Slip and fall accidents and injuries increase in the winter, especially in the snowy and icy New Jersey weather. Workers are not immune to the increased risk, whether they work indoors or out. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most general industry accidents are slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. They cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths nationwide every year and make up one-quarter of all workplace injury claims. Slip and fall accidents in the workplace can be prevented. Here’s how to reduce the risk this winter season:
  • Protect Yourself from Winter Weather Slip and Fall Accidents in New Jersey

    5 Jan 2015 | 8:21 am
    The winter weather in New Jersey opens up the prospect of sledding, skiing, building snow forts, and other exciting adventures for the whole family. Yet a day of fun – or even a day at work – can turn into a tragedy in an instant if a slip and fall accident occurs. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, or worse, result in permanent disability or death. You can help protect yourself and others from slip and fall injuries this winter. Keep these tips in mind:
  • Fair Haven Councilman Killed in Bicycle Accident

    8 Dec 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Fair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch, 63, suffered fatal injuries when a car struck his bicycle. According to an news report, the fatal bicycle accident occurred on River Road near Elm Place in Fair Haven. He was pronounced dead the day after the crash at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. It is unclear what caused the crash, but it does not appear from the report that the driver will face citations for the crash. Even skilled and experienced riders can suffer fatal injuries in the event of a crash. Bicyclists are simply not provided enough protection to survive a major…
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    Simmons & Fletcher » Blog

  • Distracted Teen Drivers and Cell Phones

    Paul Cannon
    9 Apr 2015 | 6:52 pm
    The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety (AAA-FTS) has published a very sobering report this week – teen drivers are even more distracted behind the wheel than previously thought. The AAA-FTS analyzed in-vehicle event recorders in 1,691 moderate-to-severe vehicle accidents between …The post Distracted Teen Drivers and Cell Phones appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Protecting Yourself From “Superbugs”

    Paul Cannon
    3 Apr 2015 | 7:03 am
    Hospitals are where we go to get treatment and recover from various ailments and diseases.  We think of hospitals as safe places where the thing that is causing us harm will be removed. Unfortunately, all too often hospitals can also …The post Protecting Yourself From “Superbugs” appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • News Report Shows Consequences of Driving Drunk In Houston

    Paul Cannon
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:32 am is reporting this week that a Houston man will spend the next 50 years in jail after driving drunk and killing a family of 5, including 3 children.   One 16-year-old girl, Stephanie Guzman, survived the crash only to wake …The post News Report Shows Consequences of Driving Drunk In Houston appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Questions and Answers About Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas

    Paul Cannon
    18 Mar 2015 | 5:06 am
    There are very few people we simply just trust without questions in our lives. When it comes to our relationships with our doctors, we assume they always know best.  But we all make mistakes even doctors. Unfortunately, when adoctor makes …The post Questions and Answers About Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Evidence of Seat Belt Use or Non-Use Now Admissible in Texas

    Paul Cannon
    12 Mar 2015 | 4:01 am
    For the past 40 years, the law in Texas has held that evidence of whether or not the plaintiff in acar accident case was wearing a seat belt is inadmissible at trial. However, last month the Texas Supreme Court issued …The post Evidence of Seat Belt Use or Non-Use Now Admissible in Texas appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
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    Loyalty Law

  • Reasons To Be Careful (One, Two, Three)
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:17 am
    Whiplash claims is a heavily contested area of law. Not in the actual court – there are fairly predictable whiplash payouts that you can expect to receive based on factors that... The post Reasons To Be Careful (One, Two, Three) appeared first on Loyalty Law.
  • Have You Been In An Accident That Was Your Fault?
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:42 am
    Have you been in an accident that wasn’t your fault? It’s a familiar refrain, familiar enough that what seemed like hundreds of thousands of Twitter users joked about it after... The post Have You Been In An Accident That Was Your Fault? appeared first on Loyalty Law.
  • Government Statistics Highlight Risk From Asbestos Related Disease
    20 Mar 2015 | 7:32 am
    According to statistics from the IIDB, asbestos is still a serious on-going problem for many workers within the United Kingdom, with an average of around thirteen new cases per hundred... The post Government Statistics Highlight Risk From Asbestos Related Disease appeared first on Loyalty Law.
  • Living With Whiplash: True Whiplash Stories
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:59 am
    Whiplash is an injury that happens quickly, lasts for a long time, and entails numerous physical and psychological complications. One of the hardest things to live with, though, is the... The post Living With Whiplash: True Whiplash Stories appeared first on Loyalty Law.
  • The Dangers Of Slips Trips And Falls
    11 Feb 2015 | 9:25 am
    We’ve often talked about the dangers of slips, trips and falls before, but it’s easy to think we’re just using hyperbole. After all, it’s a common tactic of the health... The post The Dangers Of Slips Trips And Falls appeared first on Loyalty Law.
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    Strictly Business

  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 20: Founders’ Stock

    Alexander J. Davie
    24 Mar 2015 | 1:27 pm
    This post is the twentieth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior nineteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 19: Board Matters

    Casey W. Riggs
    5 Feb 2015 | 3:14 pm
    This post is the nineteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior eighteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 18: Non-Disclosure and Developments Agreements

    Alexander J. Davie
    14 Jan 2015 | 1:52 pm
    This post is the eighteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior seventeen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 17: Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements

    Casey W. Riggs
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:23 pm
    This post is the seventeenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior sixteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 16: Closing Conditions and Expenses

    Alexander J. Davie
    17 Nov 2014 | 10:11 am
    This post is the sixteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior fifteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
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    Oklahoma Personal Injury Blog

  • Oklahoma Bill Would Strengthen Review of Nursing Home Deaths

    Maples Law Firm
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:01 am
    A new bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature seeks to boost accountability for deaths or serious injuries that occur in the state’s nursing homes. House Bill 1110 calls for the creation of an 11-person review board. The board’s job would be to investigate cases in which an elderly or disabled nursing home resident died or was seriously injured to determine whether abuse or neglect was a factor. Supporters of the bill say that as many as 3,500 Oklahoma nursing home residents might be suffering the effects of abuse or neglect on any given date. They assert that Oklahoma’s low ranking…
  • Oklahoma Marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month by Considering Texting while Driving Ban

    Maples Law Firm
    6 Apr 2015 | 9:55 am
    April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and for Oklahomans, the event could not be more timely. On January 31, Oklahoma State Trooper Nick Dees lost his life when he was struck and killed by a driver who was updating social media on his cell phone at the time. Trooper Dees was responding to an accident on I-40 when the crash that took his life occurred. Currently, Oklahoma is one of only a few states that do not ban texting while driving. Two bills have been introduced in the state legislature to address this problem. Many experienced Oklahoma distracted driving accident lawyers have…
  • Attorney Ray Maples Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States

    Maples Law Firm
    19 Mar 2015 | 1:19 am
    As of March 2, 2015, Oklahoma personal injury attorney Ray Maples became a member and an officer of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. As a member, Ray is authorized to practice law within the historic court that has jurisdiction over every other local, state, and federal court in the country. In order to gain admittance to the highest court in the nation, Ray fulfilled the following requirements: Admitted as a member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court for at least three years, Received a certificate of good standing with the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Received endorsement from two attorneys in the…
  • To Encourage Drivers to Fix Defects, Honda Turns to Advertising

    Maples Law Firm
    17 Mar 2015 | 8:52 am
    Approximately 6.2 million Honda vehicles have been recalled for defects in the air bag inflation systems manufactured by the Takata Corporation. But only about 14 percent of those vehicles have visited Honda dealerships to have the potentially deadly defect fixed, according to a recent article in The New York Times. To encourage Honda owners to get their vehicles fixed, Honda has announced plans to launch an ad campaign. The campaign will use a combination of newspaper, radio, and social media messaging to remind Honda drivers of the potential problem and encourage them to get it fixed –…
  • Recognizing the Subtle Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

    Maples Law Firm
    9 Mar 2015 | 8:38 am
    When you choose a nursing home for an elderly loved one, you take care to find a place that seems clean, comfortable, pleasant, and capable of meeting your loved one’s needs in a thorough and safe manner. The last thing you want is for your loved one to suffer abuse or neglect. As knowledge about nursing home abuse risks becomes more widespread, many experienced Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyers and Oklahoma families know what the most common signs of abuse or neglect are. But many families are not aware of how subtle the signs of abuse or neglect can be. Particularly when a loved one’s…
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    SEQ Legal blogs

  • Legal document generator

    Alasdair Taylor
    10 Apr 2015 | 1:22 am
    I've been working for the past 2 years on a web-based software system to store contract text and legal drafting knowledge in a modular fashion, and to make the production of legal templates and documents based on that text and knowledge as efficient as possible. The system automates everything that can be automated in the document production process. My own use of the system indicates that it cuts in half the time taken to produce first draft documents, as compared with production based on high-quality traditional precedents. It also eliminates most errors from those documents and (by…
  • 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…
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    » Blog

  • What To Do If You’re Hit By An Uninsured Driver

    2 Apr 2015 | 8:59 am
    Philadelphia ranks in the top ten most expensive cities for purchasing car insurance. Sadly, drivers cannot always control for the factors that go into calculating their insurance premiums, factors such as crime rates, traffic, accident rates, weather conditions, etc. In addition, there are a number of uninsured drivers on the road with whom you could collide (even though Pennsylvania mandates that all drivers carry the minimum auto insurance). This makes it crucial that you purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect yourself in case you are in an accident and injured.
  • What You Should Know About Personal Injury Settlements

    31 Mar 2015 | 8:51 am
    Settlements frequently make the headlines. Recently, a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether employees can avoid repaying health benefits from the proceeds of a lawsuit or other settlement by spending the money first has been receiving a lot of attention from the press. All of this media attention demonstrates just how important settlement negotiations are in litigation. It is important to note that, in personal injury cases, there really is no minimum or maximum settlement amount. How much a particular case is worth depends on several factors, including the injury/injuries and…
  • The Aftermath of Drunk Driving

    26 Mar 2015 | 8:40 am
    According to the United States Department of Transportation, every two hours, three people are killed in alcohol-related highway crashes. The consequences and drinking and driving are immense: injuries, property damage, criminal charges, and deaths. Intoxicated driving can lead people to speed, swerve, and even fall asleep at the wheel. If you have been in an accident with someone who is intoxicated, it is important to follow certain steps to ensure that you are protected. Drunk Driving Laws in Pennsylvania According to state law, drivers are drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or…
  • Wrongful Death and the Sovereign Immunity Act

    24 Mar 2015 | 8:40 am
    On March 12, in the wrongful death suit in the case of J Ebersole, Administrator of the Estate of S.J. Ebersole, Deceased v. SEPTA, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decided that the Sovereign Immunity Act prevents an agency like the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) from being liable for non-pecuniary damages (damages that are related to companionship, love, guidance, emotional harm, consortium, etc.). Stephanie Ebersole was killed on August 12, 2012 when she fell from the train platform at the South-Lombard Station in Philadelphia and was electrocuted. Unable to…
  • Pedestrian-Related Crashes in Pennsylvania’s Busiest Cities

    19 Mar 2015 | 8:34 am
    Drivers have an obligation to look out for and avoid hitting pedestrians; but each year, many pedestrians are still seriously injured or killed by drivers. In fact, pedestrian crashes alone cause a significant amount of deaths throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, many would be surprised to find out that many of the crashes and deaths occur when pedestrians are crossing the street at an intersection, mid-block crossing, or driveway entrance; sadly, pedestrians age 75 and over represent a sizable portion of pedestrian deaths. As a pedestrian, it is important to watch out for your…
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    Baron & Budd, P.C. | Protecting What's Right

  • Truck Accident Lawyers at Baron & Budd Report Many Truck Tires Unable to Handle Higher Speeds

    Baron &#38; Budd
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:15 pm
    Increased Speed Limits Could Be a Contributing Factor in Accidents DALLAS (April 17, 2015) – Higher speed limits on many of the nation’s highways may be a contributing factor in truck accidents, the national law firm of Baron & Budd reports. Tires on big rigs are generally not equipped to handle sustained driving of more than 75 mph, and speed limits in 14 states have been increased to 75 and 80 mph, and in some cases 85 mph. The findings of an Associated Press report detailing the disconnect between highway speed limits and tire safety standards appeared in an article published March…
  • Plaintiffs Emerging Victorious in Several Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits, Baron & Budd Reports

    Baron &#38; Budd
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:49 am
    Millions of Dollars Awarded to Women Injured After Implantation of Transvaginal Mesh Devices DALLAS (April 16, 2015) – Recent months have seen significant victories for plaintiffs in transvaginal mesh device lawsuits, the national law firm of Baron & Budd reports. Plaintiffs have been awarded millions of dollars in compensation for serious injuries they suffered after the implantation of the device. Thousands of transvaginal mesh device lawsuits are pending as part of multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin of the United Stated District Court, Southern…
  • Baron & Budd Overtime Lawyers File Lawsuit Against DXP Enterprises, Inc. Alleging Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act

    Baron &#38; Budd
    8 Apr 2015 | 1:43 pm
    Suit Alleges Company Failed to Provide Employees with Proper Overtime Wages DALLAS (April 8, 2015) – The national law firm of Baron & Budd has filed a lawsuit against DXP Enterprises, Inc. alleging that the company failed to provide workers the proper amount of overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. (In Re: Case No. 4:15-cv-794) The FLSA requires companies to pay their employees at least one and one-half times their regular rate of compensation for hours…
  • Overtime Lawyers at Baron & Budd File Lawsuits Against Three Energy Companies for Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act

    Baron &#38; Budd
    31 Mar 2015 | 8:41 am
    Suits Allege Drilling Companies Did Not Pay Sufficient Overtime Wages DALLAS (March 31, 2015) – The national law firm of Baron & Budd has filed lawsuits against three energy companies alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. The defendants in the lawsuits are Latshaw Drilling Company, LLC, Nabors Drilling USA, LP and Trinidad Drilling, LP. In general, the FLSA requires that companies must pay their employees time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a seven day workweek. Thus, the regular rate, as opposed to the base hourly or…
  • Baron & Budd Overtime Lawyers Representing Go Frac Employees Who Suffered Employment Losses in Violation of the WARN Act

    Baron &#38; Budd
    24 Mar 2015 | 12:44 pm
    Oil and Gas Workers in Company’s Marshall, TX and Weatherford, TX Offices Terminated Without Proper Notice DALLAS (March 24, 2015) – The national law firm of Baron & Budd has filed a lawsuit against energy company Go Frac, LLC for terminating the employment workers in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. Employees working at the company’s offices in Marshall, TX and Weatherford, TX who were let go without the proper amount of notice may be able to take legal action in order to obtain back pay and benefits. The case was filed in the U.S.
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    Chad Ruback, Dallas Appellate Lawyer » News

  • Appellate Lawyer Chad Ruback interviewed in NBC 5 studio

    30 Mar 2015 | 4:32 am
  • Legal commentary on CBS 6 o’clock news

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

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:30 pm
    This afternoon, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Austin lawyer Don Cruse spoke at a continuing legal education seminar.  Among other things, they addressed amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court. The court requests a response to the petition for review in about 33% of cases.  However, when an amicus brief has been filed prior to the time that the court decides whether to request a response, Mr. Cruse determined that the court requests a response about 85% of the time.  While only 2% of cases have amicus briefs filed prior to the time that the court decides whether to request a…
  • Appellate Judges Education Institute seminar in Dallas, TX

    29 Sep 2014 | 12:15 pm
    The American Bar Association’s Judicial Division and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law will be hosting a seminar in Dallas, Texas from November 13-16, 2014.  The seminar will be co-hosted by the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers and the ABA’s Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys. Among the many speakers will be U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Carl Stewart; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Catharina Haynes, Stephen Higginson, Leslie Southwick, and Jennifer Elrod; U.S. District Court Judges…
  • Five Judges from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Offer Pointers on Appellate Advocacy

    10 Sep 2014 | 2:13 pm
    The Dallas Bar Association Business Litigation Section recently hosted an outstanding panel discussion with five judges from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  I have been attending appellate continuing legal educations presentations for seventeen years, and this one was among the best I’ve seen.  Judges Gregg Costa, Jennifer Elrod, James Graves, Stephen Higginson, and Catharina Haynes all offered pointers for lawyers practicing before the Fifth Circuit.  Here are some that I found particularly noteworthy: 1. It is extremely easy to waive error in federal court, much more so than in…
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    Protecting What's Right

  • Californian Woman Coleen Perry Won $5,700,000 in Combined Damages in Ethicon Inc. Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit

    Baron &#38; Budd
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:27 am
    Californian Coleen Perry has won $5,700,000 in combined damages against Ethicon Inc. — $5 million in punitive damages and $700,000 in compensatory damages. The $5,700,000 in combined damages was determined by a California jury who returned the verdict against Ethicon Inc. Coleen sued the company in California state court over injuries she alleged were due to Ethicon Inc.’s transvaginal mesh device, TVT Abbrevo mesh. Ethicon Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that is owned by Johnson & Johnson, one of the biggest and most powerful pharmaceutical companies in the world. Unfortunately,…
  • Back Up: What’s Wrong With “Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics” Like Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro?

    Baron &#38; Budd
    16 Apr 2015 | 3:03 pm
    Fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro are some of the most popular antibiotics on the market — in 2010, Levaquin was even the best-selling antibiotic in the entire U.S. But if you think these antibiotics must be safe given how commonly they are prescribed, think again. Because most popular does not always mean most safe. Case in point: Many of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics that were once on the market have already been pulled from clinical practice. From Zagam and Omniflox to Trovan and Tequin, popular fluoroquinolone antibiotics have a telling history of being…
  • Almost One Third of the Nation’s Nursing Homes are Getting Lower Scores in the New Quality Testing — Here’s Why

    Baron &#38; Budd
    10 Apr 2015 | 8:43 am
    FINALLY! The five-star quality rating system for’s Nursing Home Compare has been drastically updated, becoming much more rigorous thanks in part to consumer demand. With this new and improved five-star quality scale, many families will be able to better assess a potential nursing home according to its rating, knowing that some important quality standards have finally been taken into account. However, many families with a loved one already in a nursing home may find that their nursing home’s score has dropped, even though there may not have been any noticeable changes…
  • I Have Cancer, So Who Am I Now? What Happens When The Man Who Can Do Everything Gets Sick

    Baron &#38; Budd
    7 Apr 2015 | 3:43 pm
    “I used to work 9-5, coach my kids’ soccer team and volunteer at my church…but now I have cancer.” “I used to see my friends all the time, go for long walks with my wife and enjoy my life…but now I have cancer.” “I used to help raise my grandchildren and fix up our families’ homes… but now I have cancer.” But now I have cancer: It’s the last sentence you ever want to say. Even worse, I used to do all these things, but now I have cancer… so who am I? No longer employer or employee or entrepreneur, no longer volunteer, member…
  • Allergy Season is Here: If Your Allergies Turn Into a Sinus Infection, Beware of Popular Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

    Baron &#38; Budd
    1 Apr 2015 | 3:46 pm
    It’s almost that time of year: Snow is melting, flowers are blooming and everything in nature seems to be coming back to life after this particularly hard winter. But before we all celebrate, here’s a dose of warning: High pollen counts are being reported this year already in the West Coast and Southwest, and those high pollen counts may start appearing along the East Coast soon, too. Interestingly, some researchers believe that this seasons’ expected high pollen counts may have to do with global warming, meaning seasonal allergies may be an increasingly common complaint in…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Seattle Crash

    Hardwick &#38; Pendergast, P.S.
    13 Apr 2015 | 3:45 pm
    A three-vehicle Seattle car accident recently resulted in one fatality, three injuries, and two arrests. According to a KIRO-TV news report, the fatal car crash occurred on southbound Interstate 5 near Boeing Access Road in Seattle. Officials say the 21-year-old driver from Centralia who caused the crash was under the influence. His 23-year-old female passenger was killed. Three others were injured in the crash as well. Drivers of both an SUV and a blue passenger vehicle were arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide. Authorities suspect road rage and impairment contributed to the crash.
  • Pedestrian Struck by Drunk Driver in West Seattle

    Hardwick &#38; Pendergast, P.S.
    7 Apr 2015 | 8:03 am
    A 55-year-old man was seriously injured in a Seattle car accident that may have involved a drunk driver. According to a news report in The West Seattle Herald, the pedestrian accident occurred at S.W. 102 St. and 16 Ave S.W. in White Center. The authorities have not released information regarding the specifics of the crash. The pedestrian has been listed in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. Officials have charged the 50-year-old female driver with DUI and vehicular assault. Drunk driving remains a serious problem in the state of Washington. According to the National Highway…
  • Seattle Officials Want Drivers to Slow Down

    Hardwick &#38; Pendergast, P.S.
    25 Mar 2015 | 3:43 pm
    Seattle is consistently ranked among the safest cities in the country for pedestrians and yet the leading cause of death for Seattle residents between the ages of five and 24 is traffic accidents. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, the Seattle Department of Transportation and local police officers have embarked on a mission to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities to zero. Vision Zero involves designing roadways that allow pedestrians to make mistakes and still survive an accident. In 2013, there were over 10,000 police-reported traffic accidents in Seattle including 155…
  • Driver Injured in Seattle Hit and Run Crash

    Hardwick &#38; Pendergast, P.S.
    18 Mar 2015 | 8:20 am
    A man was hospitalized recently after a Seattle car accident involving a driver who fled the scene of the crash. According to a Seattle Times news report, the hit-and-run accident occurred on Interstate 5 at the Duwamish Curves. Officials say the man was driving in a blue Toyota 4-Runner when a car changed lanes and struck his SUV. His SUV struck a concrete barrier and rolled onto the roadway. He was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. A witness of the crash wrote down information about the vehicle that sped off and notified the authorities. Officials used that information to…
  • Sleeping Truck Driver Crashes into School Bus

    Hardwick &#38; Pendergast, P.S.
    9 Mar 2015 | 3:51 pm
    Dozens of children were injured and a driver was killed when a truck crossed the centerline and struck a car and an Orondo School District bus. According to a Seattle Press Intelligencer news report, the fatal truck accident occurred on Highway 97, five miles north of Orondo. Officials believe the 54-year-old male truck driver from Yakima fell asleep at the wheel before the truck crossed into oncoming traffic. The 53-year-old female driver of the school bus swerved before the collision. Officials believe her actions could have helped prevent serious injuries to the bus passengers. Of the…
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    Farah and Farah Legal Blog

  • Big Trucks Can Cause Highway Hazards

    Farah & Farah
    13 Apr 2015 | 12:50 pm
    There are many reasons why large truck accidents occur, but the majority of big rig crashes result from driver error. Large truck drivers who are fatigued, speeding, distracted, and careless put everyone on the roadway in danger. Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is 40 times heavier than a standard passenger car. When one of these massive vehicles is traveling at highway speeds, it is capable of crushing anything in its path. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, large commercial trucks account for approximately 500,000 traffic accidents annually and about 10…
  • Florida State NFL Hopeful Charged for DUI

    Farah & Farah
    6 Apr 2015 | 12:48 pm
    One of the top prospects at his position for the 2015 NFL Draft has been arrested on a DUI charge. According to, a top Florida State cornerback was arrested during the early morning hours of April 3, 2015 near the FSU campus in Tallahassee. Officials saw him make an illegal left turn out of a parking lot before stopping at a green light and swerving over the centerline. He reportedly refused to take a field sobriety test but admitted to recently leaving a local bar. He was also cited for numerous violations in October when he was involved in a car accident. According to The New York…
  • The Importance of Accident Reconstruction

    Farah & Farah
    23 Mar 2015 | 9:08 am
    There are a number of ways in which investigators review and evaluate the causes and circumstances of a car accident. In the event of a complicated accident involving a serious injury or death, a specialized reconstructionist may be needed to analyze the crash site and to identify the cause of the collision. These experts help determine the cause of a crash and help explain how the crash could have been prevented. Their observations and conclusions can prove useful in court and they can lead to changes in the way highways are maintained and vehicles are designed. When someone is killed or…
  • Penalties for Felony Convictions in Florida

    Farah & Farah
    19 Mar 2015 | 5:50 am
    The consequences of being convicted of a felony in Florida are severe. If you have been charged with a felony, you are facing time in prison, a heavy fine, parole and a mark on your record that can adversely affect every aspect of your life. A felony record can affect your ability to get a job, to finish school and even obtain a car or home loan. These types of cases must be fought head-on with the strongest possible defense. First, it helps to understand the type of charges you are facing. All felony convictions in Florida are punishable by more than a year of imprisonment, but there are…
  • GM Ignition Defect Linked to 64 Deaths

    Farah & Farah
    17 Mar 2015 | 10:50 am
    Since last August, GM has been accepting claims from victims and loved ones who have suffered a loss due to defective ignition switches. There have been 4,343 claims submitted to the compensation fund of which about 2,600 have been ruled ineligible and 1,571 are still under review. According to a recent USA Today news report, the number of families eligible for compensation because a defective ignition switch resulted in a fatality has increased from 57 to 64. That means that these faulty auto parts have killed at least 64 people. There are also 108 claimants who survived their injuries but…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law Blog - The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz

  • Pursuit of Child Support Results in Unprecedented Arrear in Lackawanna County

    Sheryl Rentz
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:43 pm
    For six years, a Lackawanna County woman struggled to get the child support she was promised from her ex-spouse. As a result, Lackawanna County officials put the delinquent father on their “Most Wanted” list for outstanding child support. According to a news report in The Moscow Villager, officials were finally able to help her receive a check for $39,772.65, the largest collection of child support arrears in the history of Lackawanna County. Officials with the county threatened to force the sale of the delinquent father’s home in order to get the mother the money she needs. He…
  • Jeremy Renner Embroiled in Complicated Divorce Proceedings

    Sheryl Rentz
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:03 pm
    High profile divorce cases often become contentious when it becomes time to negotiate finances and child custody. Actor Jeremy Renner, perhaps best known as Hawkeye in “The Avengers,” is currently in a battle with his estranged wife. According to a People news article, a friend of Renner is claiming his estranged wife from Canada only married him for a green card. There are even rumors and allegations of negligent parenting. His wife of 11 months has denied the allegations and is pursuing full custody as well as child support from Renner. High-end divorces are different from…
  • Custody Rights about to Change in Pennsylvania

    Sheryl Rentz
    9 Mar 2015 | 2:25 pm
    Under current Pennsylvania law, a convicted rapist can maintain parental rights over a child conceived through rape. Many believe that this is a large loophole in Pennsylvania law that must be closed before it hurts more sexual assault survivors. According to a WESA 90.5 news report, State Senator Randy Vulakovich and Representative Joe Hackett are introducing the Rape Survivor Child Custody and Support Act. If their bill becomes law, courts will have the authority to terminate the parental rights of a convicted rapist while preserving the rapist’s obligation to pay child support. This…
  • Tax Implications in a High End Divorce

    Sheryl Rentz
    16 Feb 2015 | 9:28 am
    If you have never gone through a divorce before, you may be unaware of all the potential consequences of your separation. For example, there are substantial tax implications to a divorce. In general, you can divide most of your assets without any federal income or even gift tax consequences, but there are exceptions to the rule. There is an opportunity to make tax-free transfers before a divorce and when a divorce becomes final. This means that you can receive tax-free treatment when exchanging stock and transferring vacation home ownership as long as the exchanges are made because of a…
  • Sherri Shepherd’s Surrogate Speaks Up

    Sheryl Rentz
    2 Feb 2015 | 11:19 am
    On September 12, 2013, Sherri Shepherd, the former host of “The View,” signed a 23-page contract to become the intended mother of a baby being carried by another woman. Shepherd wanted another child, but knew that carrying a baby would be difficult for her. According to a news report in Inside Edition, a 32-year-old surrogate mother was paid $25,000 to carry the baby for Shepherd and her husband, and the embryo was transferred to her uterus in November of 2013. Then, Shepherd and her husband separated and she allegedly lost interest in the baby. The surrogate gave birth in August…
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    About Florida Lawyers & Attorneys

  • Lake Helen Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    18 Apr 2015 | 10:27 am
    The Best Lake Helen Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Lake Helen Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting Whenever you are searching for the Best law firm in Lake Helen, FL that will offer you the best service then look no more than the Legal Firm of Lake Helen Florida. Whenever you indubitably require to win your case, the Lake Helen Florida Law Teams are the ones to call. From high profile cases to quick motions, this team of attorneys have proved that they are the ones…
  • Edgewater Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    18 Apr 2015 | 9:45 am
    The Best Edgewater Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Edgewater Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting If you are looking for the Best law team in Edgewater, FL that will dedicate you the most unbelievable service then look no more than the Legal Firm of Edgewater Florida. If you are in crisis and require a high caliber Law team to be behind you, then the Legal Teams of Edgewater Florida are the ones you have to phone. You will feel safer knowing that you have the legal…
  • Sony Lawyer David Boies Warns Media Not To Publish Information On New … – International Business Times

    Lawyer - Google News
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:44 am
    International Business Times Sony Lawyer David Boies Warns Media Not To Publish Information On New …International Business TimesLawyer David Boies sent a warning letter regarding use of the database to news outlets on Friday. The Hollywood Reporter said that it received the letter, and Bloomberg News reported it had reviewed the letter as well. “SPE does not consent to your …and more »
  • Weapons cache impresses ‘murder plotting’ cardiologist’s lawyer – New York Post

    Lawyer - Google News
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:10 am
    New York Post Weapons cache impresses 'murder plotting' cardiologist's lawyerNew York PostHe allegedly plotted to kill a rival doctor — but the suspect's lawyer is still a big fan of his James Bond-worthy weapons room. Attorney Randy Zelin is downright impressed by cardiologist Anthony Moschetto's cache of more than 100 weapons, some of …Lawyer: Cardiologist Accused of Hit Plot Eager to Work AgainABC Newsall 96 news articles »
  • Dartmouth Lawyer Destroys NYT Editorial On Legal Immigration – Daily Caller

    Lawyer - Google News
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:08 am
    Dartmouth Lawyer Destroys NYT Editorial On Legal ImmigrationDaily CallerHarvard lawyer and conservative writer John Hinderaker poked all kinds of holes in the logic of the New York Times editorial board this week, after it published a piece criticizing Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions' argument that legal immigration should …and more »
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    Bauer Crider & Parry

  • The Illegal “Spice”

    David Parry
    17 Apr 2015 | 3:36 pm
    Spice (aka K2, Genie, Black Mamba, potpourri, incense), a manufactured synthetic marijuana, and once sold in convenience stores, is illegal under Florida and under Federal laws. In July 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 into federal law. It banned synthetic chemical compounds frequently found in synthetic marijuana, placing […] The post The Illegal “Spice” appeared first on Bauer Crider & Parry.
  • Consequences of a DUI in Florida

    David Parry
    10 Apr 2015 | 11:36 am
    April is alcohol responsibility month. Whether you’re a parent with kids in elementary school, a new teen driver, or an adult with plans for a happy hour tonight, we’re asking everyone to learn more about the importance of alcohol responsibility this month. Fortunately, Florida is not among the states that rate high in drunk driving. […] The post Consequences of a DUI in Florida appeared first on Bauer Crider & Parry.
  • Criminal Defense for Hernando County

    David Parry
    3 Apr 2015 | 1:01 pm
    At Bauer, Crider, and Parry, we believe an aggressive, reputable lawyer is essential if you have been charged with any type of misdemeanor or felony offense in Hernando County, Florida. Conviction of a criminal offense in Herando County can result in significant consequences including the loss of freedom, family, career, or reputable status within the […] The post Criminal Defense for Hernando County appeared first on Bauer Crider & Parry.
  • Criminal Defense for Pinellas County

    David Parry
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:23 am
    At Bauer, Crider, and Parry, we believe an aggressive, reputable lawyer is essential if you have been charged with any type of misdemeanor or felony offense in Pinellas County, Florida. Conviction of a criminal offense in Pinellas County can result in significant consequences including the loss of freedom, family, career, or reputable status within the […] The post Criminal Defense for Pinellas County appeared first on Bauer Crider & Parry.
  • A Tampa Criminal Attorney Can Help Defend You from Various Charges

    Maria Lopez
    24 Mar 2015 | 9:06 pm
    Criminal charges come in different shapes and forms. Also, they can be leveled against you even if you are innocent. A skilled Tampa criminal attorney from a firm like Bauer Crider & Parry can help you fight these allegations, as legal representation is the best way you can ensure a fair hearing and prove your […] The post A Tampa Criminal Attorney Can Help Defend You from Various Charges appeared first on Bauer Crider & Parry.
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    PA Law Blogs

  • Distracted Driving Awareness not just a month for PA Lawyer

    Anapol Schwartz
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    It is once again National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Philadelphia personal injury Lawyer Joel Feldman launched the End Distracted Driving ( Student Awareness initiative during Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2012. The campaign connected more than 800 trial lawyers with nearly 40,000 students in the U.S. and Canada with the goal of getting young drivers to adopt safer driving habits. Since then, the presentations have been seen by more than 250,000 teens across North America in addition to members of professional organizations and clubs. Many of the attorneys who…
  • Proposed Bill to Change Pennsylvania Vaccine Exemption Requirements

    Anapol Schwartz
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:33 am
    A Pennsylvania senate committee made a resolution to increase the state’s vaccinate rate, which is the second lowest in the country, according to  Among the recommendations is HB 883, a bill to remove the option to waive vaccine requirements due to philosophical reasons. Under the current law, Pennsylvania children are exempt from vaccine requirements if the vaccine would jeopardize their health, violate a religious belief, or violate a personal philosophical belief. HB 883 would not only eliminate the philosophical exemption, but would also raise the barriers to obtaining a…
  • Birth Injury Lawsuit for Macrosomic Complications

    Anapol Schwartz
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:31 am
    A macrosomic fetus –a baby larger than eight pounds, 15 ounces– is more likely to suffer from birth injuries during delivery, according to the Mayo Clinic.  However, birth injuries caused by macrosomic complications can be prevented. Common birth injuries caused by macrocosmic complications include shoulder dystocia (one of the baby’s shoulder gets trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone) and lack of oxygen at delivery. Shoulder dystocia birth injuries can lead to brachial plexus injuries, arm deformities, and problems controlling the arm.  Oxygen deprivation can result in permanent…
  • FDA Medical Device Approval and Hip Implant Lawsuits

    Shayna Slater
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    The controversial  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) approval process for medical devices was recently discussed in a March 22, 2015, Wall Street Journal article. Thomas Burton’s article “Do the FDA’s Regulations Governing Medical Devices Need to Be Overhauled?” discussed the regulations that allow manufacturers to get their medical devices approved more quickly if they can prove that the new device is substantially similar to something already on the market. Devices approved through the 510 (k) process do not require the same rigorous premarket testing that a brand new…
  • FDA Warning Sparks Axiron Lawsuits

    Anapol Schwartz
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:14 am
    On March 3, 2015 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that warning labels on testosterone drugs, including Axiron, must include heart attack and stroke risks. The warning came too late for some men. Several men filed Axiron lawsuits after suffering from a heart attack or stroke while taking the popular low T drug. The Axiron lawsuits were combined into a centralized testosterone multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Chicago in June 2014. The MDL also includes Androgel lawsuits and claims filed against lesser known players in the $2 billion market. The Axiron lawsuits and the FDA…
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    IMC Law Group

  • FICO Creates New Credit Metric for Risky Consumers

    1 Apr 2015 | 10:08 am
    Banks could grant cards, loans to people previously unable to get a credit score By ANNAMARIA ANDRIOTIS Millions of Americans unable to obtain credit cards, mortgages and auto loans from banks will receive a boost with the launch of a new credit score aimed at consumers regarded as too risky by lenders. The new metric, set to be announced as soon as this week, is being developed by Fair Isaac Corp., creator of the most widely used consumer-credit scores, and is being tested in a pilot phase with credit-card issuers. Fair Isaac said it hopes to make as many as 53 million people who don’t…
  • New Ways to Improve Your Credit

    1 Apr 2015 | 10:05 am
    New Ways to Improve Your Credit by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. Post-bankruptcy, the best way to improve your credit has always been making your car payment on time every month and making your mortgage payment on time. But what if you don’t have a car payment or home mortgage? How can you improve your credit score to obtain credit cards, qualify for a car loan, and when you are ready, get a home mortgage? And what if you are such a weak credit risk that you do not have a FICO score? Over 53 million Americans unable to obtain credit cards, mortgages…
  • Bankruptcy Myths

    18 Mar 2015 | 1:31 pm
    Creditors want to confuse or frighten you. Friends may have had bad information or correctly recall bankruptcy information that’s now outdated. Here are 10 myths about filing bankruptcy. Each and every one of them is wrong. Bankruptcy Myth: Bankruptcy relief is no longer available. Almost all of the relief available through bankruptcy before the changes to the law in 2005 survives in today’s bankruptcy code. It is a little more involved and somewhat more expensive, but it still works. Bankruptcy Myth: You can’t file bankruptcy if you have a job. The new “means…

    18 Mar 2015 | 1:28 pm
    DO YOU HAVE A HAMP LOAN MOD WITH AN ADJUSTABLE INTEREST RATE? IF SO, IT’S TIME TO LOOK INTO MODIFYING YOUR MORTGAGE AGAIN Mortgage-finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae said that they are changing the way they modify some loans in anticipation of an influx of borrowers struggling to make payments on loans with rising interest rates, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The affected borrowers previously received loan modifications through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program. Since modifications typically lowered borrowers’ interest rates for five years…
  • Mortgage Modification

    25 Feb 2015 | 11:41 am
    Myth Busting: Mortgage Modification Edition Aside from handling bankruptcy filings, I have been zealously assisting clients with mortgage modifications since the housing market crash of 2008. I can tell with over 95% certainty whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage modification and what the terms of the loan modification will be. My clients have received amazing loan modifications including reductions in principal balances and incredibly low interest rates. To ensure that you get a great mortgage modification the office uses the latest in detailed forensic analysis. It is a full-time…
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    SEC Lawyers Blog

  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Former Wells Fargo Broker Michael Vincent Borja

    13 Apr 2015 | 10:55 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Michael Vincent Borja (CRD #5451360, Miami, Florida). Borja recently submitted an AWC in which he assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 45 days. See FINRA Case #2013037029901. Borja formerly was associated with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (January 2012 to May 2013), Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. (February 2009 to January 2012), and UBS International, Inc. (February 2008 to February 2009). The Form U-5 filed by Wells Fargo to terminated Borja's registration with Wells Fargo states that he…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Gregg Alan Beemer

    10 Apr 2015 | 10:38 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Gregg Alan Beemer (CRD #2248923, Dayton, Ohio). Beemer recently submitted an AWC in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2014043570801). Beemer formerly was associated with Lincoln Investment (June 2012 to November 2014) and Capital Analysts, Inc. (March 1993 to June 2012). FINRA found refused to appear for FINRA-requested on-the-record testimony involving an investigation into allegations that he sold private securities offerings away from his member firm without the firm's knowledge or…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Bernard G. McGee

    6 Apr 2015 | 8:26 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Bernard G. McGee (CRD #1203327, Cazenovia, New York). Following a FINRA hearing, McGee was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity; ordered to pay $236,202.50, plus interest, in restitution to a customer; and ordered to pay $59,264, plus interest, in disgorgement. See FINRA Case #2012034389202. McGee has appealed FINRA's decision to the National Adjudicatory Council the sanctions are not in effect pending review. McGee was associated with Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. (April 2007 until October 2012) during the underlying events.
  • Sample Practices that Create Firm Liability for Customer Investment Losses

    31 Mar 2015 | 8:31 am
    Securities firms and brokers can't always "blame it on the market" when it comes to investor losses. In addition to state and federal securities laws, FINRA rules impose obligations upon securities firms and brokers. In particular, FINRA rules require that brokers observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. The FINRA rules also prohibit any manipulative, deceptive, or fraudulent actions (FINRA Rules 2010 and 2020, formerly NASD Rules 2110 and 2120). Further, securities firms are responsible for training and supervising their brokers, investigating…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving David Lee Shafranek

    28 Mar 2015 | 6:55 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding David Lee Shafranek (CRD #2919901, Long Beach, New York). Shafranek recently submitted an AWC in which he was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 20 business days. See FINRA Case #2014040781601. Shafranek was associated with Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (Bronx, NY)from May 2007 until his termination in April 2014. The Form U-5 filed by Citigroup to terminate Shafranek's registration states that "A customer complained that RR asked him to participate in a side business opportunity not related to…
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    Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

  • 15-Passenger Vans Among the Most Deadly Vehicles on the Road

    14 Apr 2015 | 11:04 am
    The safety of 15-passenger vans has once again been called into question following three fatal crashes in the Southeastern U.S. - including two in Florida - which killed 14 people and injured dozens more over the course of just two weeks. These vans, popular for use among church groups, sports teams, senior travelers and large family vacationers, are notoriously poorly-weighted, with a heightened risk of rollover. There are also increased risks of tire blow-out and driver error, as the vehicles are known to be difficult to control. Safety advocates have seized on these incidents as an…
  • Bicycle Crash Reporting Needs Improvement, Study Suggests

    12 Apr 2015 | 10:20 am
    Bicycling has become an incredibly popular form of transportation and recreation across the country, but particularly here in Florida, where the weather permits riders to enjoy the activity year-round. In fact, between 2000 and 2013, there was a 62 percent spike in ridership in the U.S. However, this has inevitably led to an increase in bicycle accidents, particularly because our streets weren't designed to safely accommodate cyclists and because most drivers still don't look twice for them. A recent study has now identified another issue: The outdated way in which police departments around…
  • Palm Beach Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents Target of Safety Campaign

    10 Apr 2015 | 11:12 am
    A number of cities throughout Palm Beach County are pledging to take significant, tangible action in an effort to forge safer streets for both bicyclists and pedestrians. Florida - and South Florida in particular - has an abysmal record with regard to bicycle and pedestrian safety. The Florida Department of Transportation reports this state is No. 1 in the nation for bicycle deaths and No. 2 for pedestrian deaths. Pedestrian fatality rates are double the national average while bicycle fatality rates are triple the national average. Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties have the highest…
  • Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Injuries Hospitalize Mother, Child

    5 Apr 2015 | 9:58 am
    A 9-year-old boy and his mother were rushed to the hospital recently after a Fort Lauderdale dog attack that reportedly ended only when a neighbor subdued the animal with his bare hands and a belt. The boy was "severely injured," according to responding officers, while his 35-year-old mother suffered a leg wound. Based on witness reports, the boy was riding his bicycle in the driveway when the pit bull mix dog circled him. The boy fell of his bike and the dog attacked, biting him on his right leg, left arm and shoulder as the boy tried to fight him off. His mother rushed to his aid, and she…
  • Hodson v. Taylor - Boating Injury Case Weighed

    30 Mar 2015 | 8:45 am
    Florida is renowned for its water sports and boating activities. It's a huge draw for the millions of tourists who flock to the state each year. Most people walk away from the experience with a rush of adrenaline and fond memories. However, when negligence during boating results in personal injury, victims can be left with permanent, debilitating losses. Such was the case for plaintiff in Hodson v. Taylor.. Victim suffered permanent paralysis from the chest down after a water-related accident as a teen. The incident and lawsuit took place in Nebraska, and the Nebraska Supreme Court recently…
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    Marketing Attorney Blog

  • What's in a (Law Firm) Name Change? Wolff & Samson Is No Longer

    8 Apr 2015 | 9:42 am
    In today's The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey), staff writer Shawn Boburg writes on Former Port Authority chairman David Samson's retirement from the firm he helped found--Wolff & Samson--and the firm's decision to retire their name as well. Wolff & Samson was founded more than 40 years ago (1972) and has grown into one of New Jersey's largest and best known law firms--with 120+ lawyers in three offices. As the article states, "A close political confidant and adviser to Governor Christie who has been the subject of an ongoing federal investigation arising out of the George Washington…
  • LPT -- Law Firm Management Struggles with Multigenerational Issues

    18 Mar 2015 | 8:14 am
    The March 2015 issue of Law Practice Today (LPT) focuses on the theme of multigenerational and multicultural issues at law firms. As Editor in Chief of LPT, I wanted to also serve as the issue editor for this particular topic. It is an interesting one that seems to creep into conversations at my law firms and in bar activities on a daily basis. It is a struggle, and it simply can't be ignored. Depending on the size and makeup of your firm, you might have traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X and Millennials in the mix. Many articles provide the definitions and traits tied to each. They…
  • The Legal Intelligencer--Major Changes Could Be in Store for Law Firm Websites

    9 Mar 2015 | 8:39 pm
    In today's edition of ALM's The Legal Intelligencer, reporter Gina Passarella writes on Major Changes Could Be in Store for Law Firm Websites. She spoke to me about the state of law firm websites in general and the new K&L Gates Hub in particular. K&L Gates describes their new "hub" as "a digital destination for timely insight on critical issues at the intersection of business and law. Whether you are in a legal department or are a C-suite executive, we hope you will find our current insight on industry and legal trends to be a valuable resource." It is not designed to replace the regular law…
  • LP Magazine -- Effectively Managing and Maintaining Your Online Portfolio

    5 Mar 2015 | 2:02 pm
    In the March/April 2015 issue of the ABA's Law Practice magazine, my topic is relevant to pretty much every practicing attorney (not to mention almost every human being on the planet). What does your online portfolio look like, and why should you care? Every week, I will meet, speak with or e-mail a prospective client. While I will send them my own crafted biography, links to my website and blog, and additional information--what they will often be more interested in is what they find when doing a search for my name. With a somewhat unique first and last name, what they see will almost always…
  • Ted Olson Keynotes ABA New Partner Institute in DC - April 17th

    20 Feb 2015 | 11:11 am
    Since the inception of the ABA New Partner Institute in 2011, I have had the privilege of serving on the planning board and speaking on business development each year. While many law firms provide excellent professional development to its attorneys from summer associate through associate and ideally partnership, ABA New Partner provides something unique that you can't get in-house--different firm perspectives and philosophies, and the opportunity to network with fellow new partners from around the country--new partners eager to help one another build a bigger book of business. This year, for…
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    Dallas Divorce Law Blog

  • Preserve Error and Don’t Get Sued

    Michelle O&#039;Neil
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:19 am
    I was fortunate enough to be asked to give a TED-style talk at a lawyer education seminar about preservation of error.  Here’s the link to the podcast of the presentation: I really enjoyed the TED-style talk and hope these catch on across the lawyer education forum.
  • Texas Divorce Statistics January 2015

    Michelle O&#039;Neil
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    This from the Office of Court Administration, divorce filings in Texas account for 89% of all cases filed in the District Courts. In the fiscal year 2014, there were 111,409 divorces filed in Texas district courts out of a total of 125,588. Overall, the divorce rate per 1,000 people was 4.7 (meaning 4 or 5 people out of 1,000 got divorced in 2014). This statistic is down 30% over 1995 statistics, which showed 6.7 out of 1,000 people got divorced. The Office of Court Administration is doing some good work with the memes on various court-related statistics.  See more at their website.
  • Same Sex Marriage in Texas… Yes, Then No

    Michelle O&#039;Neil
    23 Feb 2015 | 6:22 am
    Last week was a crazy time in Texas for proponents of same sex marriage.  Here’s a timeline of the events that occurred last week: On Tuesday morning, a probate judge in Travis County declared the Texas definition of marriage unconstitutional in a private probate proceeding. On Tuesday night, the Texas Attorney General intervened in the probate suit and filed an emergency mandamus in the Texas Supreme Court, requesting to stay the proceeding and overturn that ruling. Read Texas Attorney General’s Petition for Writ of Mandamus here;  Texas Attorney General’s Emergency…
  • Michelle O’Neil authority on Texas’ same sex marriage rulings

    Michelle O&#039;Neil
    21 Feb 2015 | 9:31 am
    I participated in several media interviews pertaining to the events between Tuesday Feburary 17 and Thursday February 19, 2015 on Texas first legal same sex marriage between a lesbian couple in Travis County, Texas. Here are the links to my interviews that aired on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Channel 11 Probate Judge Rules Texas Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional. (Tuesday February 17, 2015) Fox 4 News interview with Steve Eagar and Michelle O’Neil regarding Texas first same sex marriage: Attorney talks state’s first legal same-sex marriage (Thursday February 19, 2015)…
  • Travis County Rules Same Sex Marriage Ban Unconsitutional, Part 2

    Michelle O&#039;Neil
    18 Feb 2015 | 7:37 am
    I reported yesterday on the Travis County Probate Judge’s ruling that Texas’ ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional.  See Travis County Probate Judge Declares Same Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional.  Andrea Lucia @CBS11Andrea interviewed me regarding the ruling as part of her report on KTVT CBS 11.  See the video of the report here.  Let me know what you think is the effect of the ruling? Do you have a guess as to when the 5th Circuit’s ruling may come down?    
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • State Superior Court Upholds $11M Topamax Injury Verdict Against Janssen Pharmaceuticals

    Altman &#38; Altman
    6 Apr 2015 | 6:27 pm
    According to a state superior court, the parents of a child who sustained serious birth defects because the mother took Topamax while she was pregnant is entitled to $11.6 million from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The ruling strike’s down Janssen’s appeal to an earlier jury verdict. The child’s mother, Haley Powell, started taking Topamax in 2005 after suffering from an epileptic seizure and losing consciousness. Two years later, doctors weaned her off the drug after finding out she was pregnant. Ultrasound results showed that the child had a cleft lip. Brayden was…
  • First Risperdal Injury Jury Trial Against Johnson & Johnson Results in $2.5M Verdict

    Altman &#38; Altman
    5 Mar 2015 | 4:36 pm
    Johnson & Johnson must pay the family of Austin Pledger $2.5 million for complications he sustained while taking Risperdal as a boy at age seven in 2002. Pledger, who was Autism, developed Gynecomastia. At one point, because of the abnormal breast growth, Austin’s breasts grew to a size 46 DD. This Risperdal injury case is the first one to go to trial. J & J’s Janssen unit, however, is adamant that unlike what Pledger’s family and other plaintiffs are claiming, the medication’s Food and Drug Administration-approved label did properly warn about the possible risks. They…
  • Johnson & Johnson Settles Four Transvaginal Mesh Cases

    Altman &#38; Altman
    6 Feb 2015 | 9:07 am
    Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of transvaginal mesh manufacturer Ethicon, has agreed to settle four mesh implant injury lawsuits. These are the first of many settlements filed against the J & J unit involving claims alleging that its mesh medical device caused injury to thousands of women. There are about 23,000 transvaginal mesh cases pending against the company right now. The terms of the settlements reached are confidential. However, J & J was clear to note that the resolutions are not an admission of wrongdoing related to the making or marketing of the mesh implant…
  • Lipitor Injury Lawsuits Against Pfizer Blame the Drug for Diabetes

    Altman &#38; Altman
    9 Jan 2015 | 3:33 pm
    More women are continuing to come forward, accusing pharmaceutical company Pfizer of not giving them proper warning that taking cholesterol drug Lipitor might cause them to develop type 2 diabetes. In their Lipitor diabetes lawsuits, the plaintiffs claims that the drug manufacturer was aware of these side effects but did not act to make sure that the public knew about them, too It wasn’t until 2012-six years after Lipitor entered the market-that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanded that manufacturers of drugs that lower cholesterol, also known as statins, modify their labeling…
  • Consolidation of Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Gets Opposition from Bayer, Johnson & Johnson

    Altman &#38; Altman
    5 Dec 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Bayer AG (BAYN) are combatting efforts to consolidate Xarelto injury lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who claim that the blood thinner caused patients to suffer fatal bleeds. Bayer makes the medication, and J & J owns the rights to the drug in the United States. Some 65 fatalities are being blamed on the drug, which does not have an antidote. Some patients say that they began to bleed internally and so profusely that they ended up going to the hospital. The plaintiffs contend that the defendants played down the risks involved with taking Xarelto. They are…
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    New York Real Estate Lawyers Blog

  • Illegal Acts and Evictions in New York State

    16 Apr 2015 | 6:19 am
    A recent gas explosion in Manhattan's East Village destroyed an entire building, and, more unfortunately, caused the deaths of at least two individuals and injuries to other people who were unlucky to be in the building during the explosion. Of course, the human cost of such a tragedy cannot be measured. This blog post will attempt to explain some of the legal issues that relate to illegal actions on the part of a landlord or a tenant. Apparently the gas explosion may have been caused by the illegal siphoning of a gas line by the building's landlord. If this is indeed the case, the landlord…
  • Partition Actions, Occupancy, and Tenants in New York State

    9 Apr 2015 | 6:01 am
    Prior posts on this blog have dealt with the legal issues regarding partition of property. To summarize, a partition action may be brought when a property has two or more owners, and the owners are unable to agree on the disposition of the property. One owner may wish to sell the property to a third party, and another owner may wish to retain the property. Often, one or more of the co-owners may live at the property in question. Another possibility is that none of the owners live at the property, and are renting the premises to a third party who is not a property owner. This blog post will…
  • Happy Holidays from Weiss & Weiss

    3 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
  • The Spring Real Estate Market- Timing is Everything

    27 Mar 2015 | 6:01 am
    In the New York metropolitan area, the residential real estate market is often seasonal. During the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, most sellers do not list their properties for sale or may remove their home from active listing status. During the winter months, most buyers are reluctant to be exposed to the cold weather and the snow to view properties. Fortunately, all of this changes with the approach of spring. The inventory of homes increases as more properties are listed and additional purchasers are looking to enter transactions. Both parties to transactions, who will…
  • The Disposition of Housing of the Deceased

    20 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Many people who pass away also leave behind the place in which they resided. The housing could be a rental apartment, a cooperative or condominium unit, or a house. The deceased may not necessarily have resided in the property immediately before death if they went to assisted living or a nursing home. This blog post will address the legal and practical matters arising from housing of the deceased. If the person lived in a rental apartment, it remains to be determined whether the rental was rent-regulated or not. A rent-regulated apartment could be either rent controlled or rent stabilized and…
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    Wisconsin Probate & Estate Planning Blog

  • The Best Inheritance is Still Family Values and Family History

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:38 pm
    The Best Inheritance is Still Family Values and Family History According to a 2012 study sponsored by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, baby boomers and senior citizens considered family values and family history among the most important things that you can pass on to your children. Most of them viewed passing on family values, traditions and history as more important than the monetary inheritance you leave your children. The study entitled, “Allianz Life American Legacies Study” was published in 2012. The study was a follow-up to an original study the company conducted in…
  • Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    7 Apr 2015 | 11:22 am
    Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?      Revocable Living Trusts have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate planning goals or may even be detrimental to achieving those goals. What Are the Advantages of a Revocable Living Trust Over a Will? Revocable Living Trusts have become popular because when compared with a Last Will and Testament, a Revocable Living Trust offers the following advantages: A Revocable Living Trust…
  • Charitable Giving and Financial Fraud

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    25 Mar 2015 | 12:28 pm
    Charitable Giving and Financial Fraud Most of us think about charitable giving around tax time; however, charitable giving continues all year long. The thought that we could be in need one day, just as the people we are helping, is a huge motivator for some. Others feel that it is their “duty” as Americans to help their fellow citizens while others simply see it as the “right” thing to do. In times of devastation or tragedy, Americans have always been very generous with their charitable giving. Whether it is because of a person’s faith, civic duty or sympathetic nature, most…
  • Planning for Long-Term Care of Veterans and Surviving Spouses with VA Benefits

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:11 am
    When a wartime veteran or a surviving spouse needs long-term care, VA benefits will help pay for this long-term care. Many families are not aware they may be entitled to receive these long-term care benefits from the Veterans Administration. Below are some examples of VA benefits that you may be entitled to receive as a wartime veteran or a surviving spouse that can help you pay for much needed long-term medical and personal care. Pension with Aid and Attendance is intended to help pay for medical and personal care for veterans and surviving spouses who need assistance with daily activities…
  • Estate Planning Issues for Women

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    17 Feb 2015 | 6:57 am
    Most women do not consider estate planning until they are married; however, it is important for women to have an estate plan in place regardless of whether they are married or single. Many women have children without being married; therefore, it is extremely important that they consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that their children will be taken care of in the event of their death or incapacity. However, even for single women who have no children, estate planning is something they should consider to ensure their final wishes are carried out in the event of their death or…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • California Family Code Governs Request for Attorney Fees in Divorce Proceedings

    14 Apr 2015 | 10:25 am
    The California Family Code governs various aspects of a divorce proceeding. In many cases, the Code operates to establish a fair and just process for both spouses and any children involved. One of the ways the law does this is to ensure that both parties have access to legal representation. Under the law, courts may order one party to pay the other party's attorney's fees and costs of maintaining or defending the proceeding. It is no surprise that the Code functions in this manner, considering the importance of being represented by an experienced family law attorney in any divorce-related…
  • California Court Addresses Timeliness of Appeal from Divorce Judgment

    7 Apr 2015 | 1:03 pm
    When a court issues a judgment of divorce, the parties to the case have a legal right to appeal the ruling. But California law sets forth certain requirements that must be met, such as the time period within which one may file an appeal. The law states generally that notice of an appeal must be filed within 60 days after the "Notice of Entry" of judgment is served. While this may seem clear cut, courts have been called upon to interpret the language as it applies to the facts of each individual case. This law, like many others that govern various aspects of a divorce proceeding, must be…
  • California Court Had Jurisdiction to Hear Child Support "Application"

    24 Mar 2015 | 1:41 pm
    Most divorce proceedings that involve children tend to address the issue of child support, as well as custody and visitation. Local courts and state agencies alike take very seriously the matter of support, and will even step in to ensure that the responsible parent follows through with his or her court-ordered financial obligation to a child. In some unique cases, the divorced parents live in separate states or countries, and need assurances that they can seek and enforce a support order, no matter where the responsible parent resides. Fortunately, there are laws that address this situation.
  • California Court Holds Custody Order Not Appealable Under the Law

    17 Mar 2015 | 1:47 pm
    Family law cases come in all shapes and sizes; no two divorce proceedings are alike. But certain aspects of divorce are fairly predictable, especially when you know what to expect. The California Family Code, in conjunction with established case law, governs most procedural and substantive issues that may arise. Some of the more common items include the division of marital property, child custody disputes and spousal support. It is important to understand how these laws will impact the circumstances of your case, and particularly, your family's rights down the road. The best way to ensure…
  • California Court Upholds Marital Settlement Agreement Covering LA Dodgers'-Related Assets

    10 Mar 2015 | 5:48 pm
    The division of marital assets is often a contentious part of a divorce proceeding. Since California is a "community property" state, this is an extremely important phase in cases arising in this jurisdiction. According to Section 2601 of the Family Code, all property (including assets and debts) accumulated during the marriage is subject to equal division between the separating spouses. In order to identify, characterize, and value the assorted property, spouses are first expected to make sufficient disclosures under the law. Courts have the authority to set aside a judgment if one party…
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    Maritime & Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

  • Just When You Thought Onboard Cruise Safety Couldn’t Get Worse…

    Gerson &#38; Schwartz, P.A.
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Just when it seems that the cruise industry really can’t ignore common sense safety precautions any more than they have already, new information comes out guaranteed to surprise anybody with a modicum of common sense. This time it has to do with national news reports revealing the lack of safety precautions used by cruise ships at their onboard pools. Report reveals Lack of Lifeguards An NBC News Today Show report recently revealed that many cruise lines have no lifeguards at or around their onboard pools, despite more than 1.5 children million cruising every year (although lifeguards are a…
  • Transport On and Off a Cruise Ship Can Be Dangerous

    Gerson &#38; Schwartz, P.A.
    10 Apr 2015 | 7:33 am
    If you have ever been on a cruise, and the ship visited ports of call, you may have noticed that in many cases, the countries you visited did not have easy transport from the ship to land. In fact, in many cases, there may not have been any access at all, but rather you may have had to board smaller ships to take you to the mainland from the ship and back again. This is quite common. Unfortunately, a recent tragedy is highlighting what a cruise line’s duty is with respect to these transports. Accident Happens While Getting Off Ship While aboard a 112-night world cruise, a passenger died…
  • Rash of Man Overboard Cases Hits Cruise Industry

    Gerson &#38; Schwartz, P.A.
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    A strange rash of cruise passengers falling overboard has struck the cruise industry lately. And while no lawsuit have been filed, the stories still highlight safety issues in the cruise industry, and problems that need to be addressed. Laundry List of Overboard Cases A Carnival Triumph passenger’s body was found at sea after he fell off the deck of the ship. The incident happened just off the coast of Mexico. There was surveillance video, but no word yet on why the man fell or how. In an unrelated incident, an elderly man took his own life, after jumping overboard. That conclusion was…
  • Is Terrorism the New Threat to Cruise Passengers?

    Gerson &#38; Schwartz, P.A.
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:21 am
    If you are cruising, and you think of safety issues, you probably think about the medical facilities on board, the cleanliness of the ship, and supervision of on-board activities. You may not give much thought to terrorism. One country is warning cruise passengers to be diligent about it in the coming months. Italy Warns of Possible Threats The Italian Ministry of Defense has warned that ISIS may engage in piracy of cruise ships on the seas, much like the Somali pirates that were highlighted in the recent “Captain Phillips” movie, which was based on true events. It’s well known Somali…
  • Medical Malpractice on a Cruise Ship May Now Be a Viable Claim

    Gerson &#38; Schwartz, P.A.
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:46 pm
    If you’re on a cruise ship, and you’re injured as a result of medical malpractice, federal law which governs injuries at sea has been fairly consistent that you cannot recover damages against the cruise line as a result of the negligence. There have been all kinds of excuses to deny recovery under a malpractice theory. One shouldn’t expect the same medical care on a ship as they do on land. Cruise ships are not floating hospitals, and shouldn’t be held to a medical malpractice standard the same way real medical facilities are. Or, the doctors on the ship are independent contractors,…
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    The EmpLAWyerologist

  • You Fired (or Disciplined) Your Employee—and S/he’s on FMLA Leave???

    16 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    This week we again meet Betty the Boss (“Betty”) and Splendiferous Supermarket (“Splendiferous”), and we get to meet a new employee: meet Smooth-Talking Steve (“Steve”), Assistant Manager at Splendiferous. Steve has been on FMLA leave to take care of his wife, who, unfortunately was in a car accident. He has been out for two weeks and anticipates being out for another two weeks. Assume for now that Betty on behalf of Splendiferous did everything she needed to do with respect to notifications and any other procedural requirements. While Steve has been out,…
  • Special Post: 6th Circuit Reverses Its Decision on Telecommuting and the ADA–But Does it Change Anything?

    13 Apr 2015 | 11:15 am
    This time last year (minus 12 days) the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in EEOC v Ford revived an employee’s ADA claim, holding that telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA (and the ADAAA) and, specifically, that it may have been a reasonable accommodation for the specific employee in that case. You can find that post and the relevant facts of the case, here. Since the decision only came from a three-judge panel, rather than the full appellate panel, Ford asked for leave to reargue in front of a full appellate panel. The court vacated its decision and granted leave…
  • FMLA, Fitness-for-Duty Certifications — and You

    9 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Meet Diligent Dan (hereinafter “Dan”). Dan had back surgery and has been out on FMLA leave for six weeks, He is due to return to work in another two weeks. Dan works as a Manager at Splendiforous Supermarket (Splendiferous”). Betty the Boss having recently decided to institute a new requirement, calls Dan and informs him that he can only return to work if he provides certification from his physician stating that he can return to work “with no restrictions”. While Dan’s job does not require him to be on his feet all the time, his doctor says he may need some…
  • When — and How– to Require Certification of FMLA Leave Requests

    2 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Welcome back to the confusing world of FMLA. Last week’s post (which, if you missed, you can find here) established, generally when an employee is and is not eligible for unpaid, job (and benefits) protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. In addition, though, an otherwise eligible employee who fails to timely comply with his/her employee’s request for certification from a health care provider may also be ineligible for FMLA leave. Employers often overlook the in’s and out’s of FMLA certification, which, in turn, often comes back to bite the employer, so…
  • When Isn’t Your Employee Eligible for FMLA Leave?

    26 Mar 2015 | 7:27 am
    It seems you can’t get through a day without hearing or reading a story about an FMLA claim–and small wonder at that. The FMLA is very complex, and fraught with traps for even the most well-intentioned employers. Most stories seem to involve FMLA interference or retaliation claims. These stories, of course, pre-suppose that the employee is entitled to FMLA leave. FMLA entitlement is not a given, however. Your employee may request time off to take care of his/her own or a family member’s medical condition, but you may not be obligated to give and s/he may not be entitled to…
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    Atlanta Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Head Injuries and Their Strange Symptoms: An Inexplicable Love for Cheese

    27 Mar 2015 | 8:03 pm
    We have discussed before that traumatic brain injuries, which occur when one sustains physical damage to his or her brain, can sometimes produce less-than-common and even bizarre results, such as olfactory hallucinations. Recently, VICE reported on their food-centric blog, Munchies, that "some highly unfortunate neurological wiring" can also cause a "rabid craving for cheese."
  • Treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1): Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, Part II

    20 Mar 2015 | 10:08 am
    Last week, we explored the potential of sympathetic nerve blocks--injections of anesthesia into the nerves--as a treatment method for those suffering from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD/CRPS), a disease that causes chronic and severe physical pain in certain regions of the body. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that sympathetic nerve blocks are considered by many pain physicians to be effective in treating chronic pain, and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand has noted that the injections are particularly helpful when used in conjunction with physical therapy.
  • Treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1): Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, Part I

    13 Mar 2015 | 1:57 pm
    In this post, we revisit the matter of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), a medical condition that causes severe, chronic physical pain in its victims through nerve damage. Because RSD is currently a rare and as-of-yet poorly understood disease, those afflicted with it can feel hopeless at the lack of a variety of treatments available for it. However, one very common method that pain physicians find useful in treating RSD to help manage the pain are injections of anesthesia into the nerves, called "sympathetic nerve blocks."
  • The Various Forms of Birth Injury

    6 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Last week, we introduced the general topic of birth injury, a category of injuries that occur to an infant during childbirth that can affect the child for the rest of his or her life. While we discussed factors that might give way to a birth injury and two major kinds of birth injury, this week, we go in-depth and explain different forms of birth injury, some of them being minor and capable of clearing up on their own, and others being more serious in nature and effect.
  • Birth Injury: A General Overview

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:15 am
    In many of the weeks prior to this post, we have discussed cerebral palsy at length. Cerebral palsy, an injury that occurs to a child when his or her brain is damaged while in the womb or during birth, is a form of birth injury, defined by the Merck Manuals as "damage sustained during the birthing process, usually occurring during transit through the birth canal." notes that many cases of birth injuries are "completely preventable."
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • Maybe Not the Best Defense, or, Why a Gratuity is Not a Bribe, or Honest Services Fraud

    25 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm
    The Seventh Circuit's opinion in United States v. Hawkins - written by Easterbrook - presents a fascinating legal defense. When is getting money from someone for side benefits from the government bribery and when is it fraud? Mr. Hawkins and his co-defendant Mr. Racasi worked in Chicago for the Board of Review - the entity that hears tax assessment appeals. They took money from a cop - Haleem - who they thought was dirty and, in fact, was - he was so dirty he was acting as an undercover officer to work his time down on some other criminal conduct of his. It is an interesting question whether…
  • Short Wins - The Flight Attendant Edition

    17 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    This week's favorite Short Win is United States v. Gray. I say this less because of the legal issue involved - a jury instruction for "malice" - than for how much fun the opinion is to read. Here's the opening: Words are slippery things. Take "malice," its legal definitions alone can encompass: the intent to commit a wrongful act, reckless disregard for the law, ill will, wickedness of heart, and the intent to kill. See Black's Law Dictionary 968-69 (7th ed. 1999). But can malice's fifty shades of meaning include "improper motive?" Former flight attendant Nancy Gray, convicted of providing…
  • Restitution and Very Large Legal Fees

    16 Mar 2015 | 9:46 am
    Restitution may be the most important issue that most criminal defense lawyers are uninterested in litigating. Folks who practice in the criminal space - even the white-collar space - tend to see themselves as a champion of liberty. They care about freedom and justice. They are significantly less interested in fighting over money. Nonetheless, money is an important thing in many people's lives. And, if a person is convicted of a crime, the government will try to take their money too - either through a fine, a forfeiture judgment, or restitution. The Second Circuit, in United States v. Cuti,…
  • Short Wins - the Third Level Edition

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:40 am
    The third level for acceptance of responsibility is interesting - it's one area where some courts have held the government has pretty much unfettered discretion to decide whether or not it should apply. Basically, a person is supposed to get the third level only if she's pled guilty early enough to keep the government from working. Though some U.S. Attorney's offices are more or less stingy about how early is early enough. Regardless, it can be hard to overcome an unreasonable government position on the applicability of the third-level for acceptance. Which is why I was glad to see United…
  • The Seventh Circuit Continues to Make Entrapment Meaningful

    12 Feb 2015 | 2:55 pm
    Entrapment is making a comeback. As a defense I mean. It started making a comeback as a government tactic shortly after September 11 before it migrated to the non-national security law enforcement world. And the Seventh Circuit appears to be the new home of the entrapment defense as it rises, phoenix-like, on the shores of Lake Michigan. In United States v. Barta, the Seventh Circuit again affirmed the new strength of an entrapment defense in that part of the country. If you remember one quote from this opinion, remember this one: "The point is that the government is supposed to catch…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Bankruptcy and Your Personal Injury Case

    25 Mar 2015 | 12:48 pm
    When a serious personal injury or death strikes a family, financial peril often follows. The death or disability of a primary wage earner can mean the rent or mortgage goes unpaid, credit card debt balloons far beyond the ability to make even minimum payments and uninsured medical and other expenses mount. We've had many clients in this situation consider bankruptcy as a means to obtain relief from their debts. Whether a Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (wage-earner) bankruptcy, the filing of a bankruptcy petition by a victim with a personal injury claim affects both the bankruptcy and…
  • Stryker Hip Claims Settlement Deadline Approaches

    13 Mar 2015 | 9:17 am
    On November 3, 2014, Howmedica Osteonics Corp. (Stryker) announced a National Settlement Program for patients meeting certain criteria who had received these Stryker implants. Stryker invited patients affected by the recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems to participate with the condition that substantially all eligible patients participate. The settlement program is only available to those patients who have had their Stryker implant removed prior to November 3, 2014; who registered with the program online by December 16, 2014; and who enroll in the program by a deadline which has now…
  • Lumber Liquidators' Products May Contain Toxic Amounts of Formaldehyde

    9 Mar 2015 | 10:46 am
    By now, almost every consumer has seen the ubiquitous Lumber Liquidators commercials advertising their hardwood laminate flooring. The company is actually the largest retailer of hardwood flooring and its stock price has risen almost ten fold since 2011. Certain products of Lumber Liquidators, however, may be very dangerous to consumers, especially small child. In an expose that aired on March 1, 2015, CBS' 60 Minutes revealed that laminate flooring made in China for Lumber Liquidators can contain up to 20 times the level of formaldehyde allowed under the law of some states, namely…
  • Removing Snow and Ice from Your Vehicle

    2 Mar 2015 | 11:25 am
    This record-setting New England winter has brought about many headaches to daily drivers, and plenty of important issues for Massachusetts personal injury attorneys to talk about. Drivers must navigate through snow and ice covered roads and meticulously around potholes that can all but swallow the front end of a vehicle; they must deal with the reduction in the number of navigable travel lanes (and therefore an increase in commuting time); and they must be aware of snow banks so high that it is nearly impossible to see pedestrians until they suddenly emerge onto the roadway (hopefully in a…
  • Why Does the Law Hold Bars and Taverns Liable for Personal Injuries and Deaths Caused by Drunk Drivers?

    19 Feb 2015 | 7:49 am
    Some of the most regularly occurring and senseless tragedies in our society occur when alcohol and driving are combined. In the press, these tragedies often play out with calls for justice against the drunk drivers, and stories of repeat offenders who have been given lenient sentences. Literally every day, the criminal courts struggle with what to do with drunk drivers who have endangered others. Handing down justice to drunk drivers who have caused injuries or death in the form of prison sentences, community service, and counseling is the only tool the criminal courts have to address what…
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    South Florida Criminal Attorneys Blog

  • Charges dropped in 14-year old Lakeland Girl’s Cyberbullying Suicide

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:54 pm
    Modern technology in its union with computers and the Internet is responsible for many changes in existing laws, both federal and local. A prime example of this is the crime of wire fraud which was previously defined as criminalities which were committed crossing state lines, mostly associated by telephone, telegraph, radio, and television. But in our current day environment, many types of crimes have been expanded to include new devices associated with computers as well as cell phones which didn’t exist when these laws were first placed on the books. In addition to laws being…
  • Broward County Resident Accepts 70 Month Prison Sentence for Identity Theft

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    30 Mar 2015 | 10:02 am
    With less than a week to go, many are looking forward to opening of the 2015 baseball season. And only ten days after that event begins the deadline for filing your tax return reaches its deadline. Spring always brings about the beginning of one and cutoff date of the other season. And just as the first pitch is being thrown in all major baseball stadiums across the country, cases of tax fraud and identity theft will be highlighted in the headlines. Many of us use tax preparers to fill out and submit our returns with a belief that these professionals are doing so to our benefit, more…
  • Florida Connection to Silk Road Case, Bitcoin, Money Laundering and More

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:56 pm
    In late January, a U.S. District Judge sentenced a Cape Coral, Florida man to four years in federal prison and the forfeiture of almost $1 million after he pleaded guilty to the charge of tax evasion. Robert Faiella accepted the plea which was the lesser of the allegations charged against him for his role in a case that has direct ties to the headline grabbing “Silk Road” case that came to a conclusion in early February. Faiella’s codefendant, Charlie Shrem was sentenced to two years behind bars for the same crime just one month before this latest plea deal was accepted.
  • Eight Arrested in Offshore Gambling Ring with Connection to Organized Crime

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    16 Feb 2015 | 12:14 pm
    After an investigation that went on for over half a year, eight South Florida men were taken into custody as the result of a sting that covered territory along the East Coast in an offshore online sports gambling ring that was operated out of the suspect’s homes as well as local businesses. The online bookmaking ring took bets on professional and college sports including football, baseball, and basketball. Related suspects were also arrested in New York City, Upstate New York’s Rockland County as well as Bergen County, New Jersey, with a grand total of over $4 million seized by federal…
  • South Florida Ex-Convict Faces Federal Weapons Charges

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    24 Jan 2015 | 5:14 am
    Michael Paul Watkins of Inverness had successfully escaped from custody previously on two separate occasions after being convicted for the crime of fondling and handling a minor under the age of sixteen years in Florida State Court. He was arrested in October 2011 on a charge of domestic battery. Details of that arrest record are exempt from public information as per Florida statute. Late last year, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office received information from local Wal-Mart employees that an individual who was later identified as an employee of Cool Aid Heating and Air Conditioning was…
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    Darlingtons Solicitors

  • Going home empty-handed – The pitfalls of departing from LLP’s without an LLP Agreement

    30 Mar 2015 | 12:55 pm
    It is a surprising legal lacuna that current legislation provides little guidance for a Limited Liability Partnership (“LLP”) member or partner wishing to leave their LLP when no LLP agreement is in place. While a range of options still exist for this situation, many of them depend on the co-operation of the remaining LLP member(s), which in life is not always feasible. The position under the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2000 (“LLPA 2000”) The LLPA 2000 provides little guidance for LLP members’ who wish to depart their LLP without an LLP agreement, beyond section 4(3)…
  • Top tips for tackling the tough divorce process

    25 Mar 2015 | 9:21 am
    Whilst it is hoped that married couples may divorce amicably, in practice, it can be far from a friendly split. In my experience, being a divorce lawyer is not simply knowing the law; it’s also knowing and understanding clients and the emotional turbulence that invariably interferes with the divorce process. I frequently remind my clients that in the midst of the legal paperwork, Court attendances and lingering arguments with exes via WhatsApp or Facebook, it is imperative to remind oneself that there will be a conclusion to the process.   Often the stress and anxiety when going through a…
  • Supreme Court restores an application for financial provision against multi-millionaire ex-husband

    12 Mar 2015 | 10:58 am
    The Supreme Court has reinstated a financial claim made by the ex-wife of a multi-millionaire energy business owner, 22 years after their divorce. Background Ms Wyatt married Mr Vince in 1981.   Ms Wyatt had a daughter from a previous relationship and the couple had one son together. The couple separated in 1984 but did not divorce until 1992.   Following their divorce, Mr Vince did not have sufficient means to make any substantial financial contribution towards the family. Nevertheless, Mr Vince did go on to establish a green energy business which proved to be very successful and Mr…
  • Darlingtons team to take part in London Legal Walk

    12 Mar 2015 | 2:18 am
    If you happen to see a bunch of strange people in suits doing laps walking around Edgware or the local area in the next few weeks, don’t panic, it’s likely to be the Darlingtons “walkers” practising and limbering up for the 10k London Legal Walk charity event on Monday 18th May 2015. We’re proud to take part in this event and as lawyers who always fight our clients corner we are determined that, even if we don’t cross the line first, we certainly won’t be last! There is also likely to be fierce rivalry between the commercial, litigation and private…
  • James Swede – Mipim day 2

    James Swede
    11 Mar 2015 | 6:40 am
    Our ever hard working Senior Partner, James Swede, sends his best wishes and brief comments on his day at Mipim in Cannes. James should be a poet! In all seriousness, James works incredibly hard and deserves some rest and recreation, though he is probably working in reality, albeit in a sunny environment! James reports :- Sun shining if not a little chilly. More sunglasses than sunglasses hut Many men strutting around looking important on their phones Many arrangements made and not kept Drinking rose for the only time of the year Trying to avoid the pretension and just have fun Trying not to…
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  • More Immigration-Related Litigation - Federal Court Allows Undocumented Foreign National Children to Sue For Legal Representation

    15 Apr 2015 | 11:20 am
    Recently, immigration-related litigation has been covered extensively by the media due to a Texas federal court issuing an injunction to temporarily halt the implementation of President Obama's executive orders. The White House has appealed the Texas Judge's ruling, but this case is far from over, and immigration rights advocates are eagerly awaiting the good news that a higher court has overturned the injunction. Thankfully, advocates and foreign nationals alike did not have to wait long for related good news when recently a U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington made a critical decision…
  • American Industries Need Immigration Reform - A Look at the South Dakota Dairy Industry

    15 Apr 2015 | 10:57 am
    The United States economy continues to struggle to rebound to its pre-2008 recession strength. One of the reasons why this struggle persists nearly seven years after the recession is that many of America's most highly valued industries are trying to balance their employment needs with the country's exceedingly complex immigration laws and regulations. While foreign workers bring inestimable benefits to all facets of American industry, there are certain sectors of the economy that rely on foreign workers more heavily than others. One example is the agricultural industry. Currently, the South…
  • New Jersey Becomes New Battleground for Immigrant Rights

    27 Mar 2015 | 10:48 am
    Recently, New Jersey Governor and often-touted possible presidential candidate Chris Christie joined the fight against the President's immigration executive action. Specifically, Governor Christie, who typically declines to make public statements on his stances on immigration policies, signed an amicus brief that was filed in the federal court case that opposes the President's executive action. As discussed in prior posts at, the case Texas v. United States represents a group of states' efforts to prevent the President's executive action from going into force - specifically…
  • Immigrant Advocacy Groups Join Together to Unveil New Online Platform to Help Foreign Nationals Become U.S. Citizens

    24 Mar 2015 | 2:44 pm
    The nonpartisan immigrant-rights advocacy group Voto Latino is dedicated to empowering young Latinos to help them build better futures for their communities and themselves in the United States. The organization has joined with the groups Pro Bono Net and Immigration Advocates Network to develop Citizenshipworks, an online provider of user friendly Internet tools that are aimed at assisting low and moderate income foreign nationals in deciphering the complex U.S. immigration laws in order to determine if they qualify for citizenship. Citizenshipworks According to the organizations,…
  • Update on Executive Action Lawsuit: DOJ Files Emergency Appeal

    20 Mar 2015 | 10:56 am
    The court battle over President Obama's executive action continues to heat up. Readers may recall that just a few weeks ago, Texas federal judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction that has temporarily prohibited the President's executive action from going into effect. This injunction effectively suspends the President's planned deferred action programs for undocumented young foreign nationals and for the undocumented parents of green card holders and U.S. citizens. The injunction is part of a larger legal battle over the executive action waged by a number of states against the White House,…
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    Palo Alto Estate Planning Blog

  • Finding Lost Life Insurance

    Liza Hanks
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:43 pm
    Consumer Reports estimates that at least $1 billion in benefits from forgotten life insurance policies are waiting to be claimed. Often, when I meet with adult children administering a trust after the death of a parent, they’re not certain about whether not that parent had life insurance policies. And many veterans of WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War left behind policies that they purchased while on active duty through the Veterans Administration. I realize that I’m stating the obvious here, but you can’t make a claim on policies that you don’t know exist.
  • If You Are Named as Executor, Pay Attention

    Liza Hanks
    6 Mar 2015 | 5:46 pm
    In today’s cautionary tale, Forbes published an article this week describing a case requesting $1.2 million refund on a bill from the IRS for penalties and interest resulting from the executor’s failure to file an estate tax return and pay taxes on time. The facts are messy, complicated and probably unique: there are really not all that many estate planning attorneys struggling with brain cancer, inexperienced executors who would repeatedly ignore notices from the probate court for missed deadlines, executors who would consistently defer to an attorney who repeatedly fails to…
  • Sometimes It is the Little Things: Arguing About Stuff

    Liza Hanks
    11 Feb 2015 | 5:43 pm
    Estate planning is often motivated by the big things. I’m not getting philosophical here. Forget about life and death. On a practical level, what brings families into my office are often the big financial assets–the house, the brokerage accounts, the retirement assets, and a concern that these assets be shared equitably by loved ones. And I, like most estate planners, do my best to write trusts and Wills that do just that. But, often, it is the little things that can become contentious after a parent dies. From Dad’s stamp collection, to (I kid you not) a parent’s…
  • Right to Die Law Proposed for California

    Liza Hanks
    23 Jan 2015 | 6:04 pm
    For the first time since 2007, legislation has been introduced in this year’s State Senate that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in California. The bill, SB 128,  The End of Life Option Act, is modeled on Oregon’s Right to Die law. It allows a person with a terminal disease and a prognosis of death within six months to obtain a physician’s prescription for a lethal dose of medication. Two doctors would have to agree that the patient meets certain criteria, such as mental competence, that they’ve been made aware of alternatives, and that they be able to take…
  • Happy New Year!

    Liza Hanks
    31 Dec 2014 | 4:52 pm
     I am wishing a lovely New Year to all of our    clients and readers! May 2015 bring love, wisdom, and compassion to you all. Here’s to keeping all of our eyes firmly fixed on what truly matters in the year ahead, in estate planning and all things.
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    Florida Tax Lawyer Blog

  • What's the True Object of the Transaction? Portable Toilets Case Finds Its Way to LA Supreme Court

    31 Mar 2015 | 3:18 pm
    It never ceases to amaze me, the wide variety of companies that state agencies attempt to extort money from. I mean, how could a portable toilet company possibly have a sales tax problem? Most states impose a sales tax on the sale or rental of tangible personal property, but do not tax services. From the perspective of a toilet industry, if a venue rents a toilet, it is clearly a rental of tangible personal property subject to tax. If the same venue pays a fee to clean the toilets, then it sounds like a nontaxable service. But what happens when the venue rents the toilet and purchases the…

    4 Mar 2015 | 3:54 pm
    The Supreme Court of the United States ("SCOTUS") has had its hands full with tax cases this year. Although largely unpopular and unexciting for the general public, SCOTUS find tax cases even less appealing. In fact, since 1992 in Quill, SCOTUS has not heard a case dealing with sales tax nexus. Despite its unpopularity, the nexus issue is an important one since the advent of the Internet. However, every statistic has its anomaly. From a state tax perspective, SCOTUS issued two opinions in 2 days, which is impossible. The first case, the DMAcase came down yesterday, March 3, 2015, ruling that…
  • Taxpayer Wins In United States Supreme Court in DMA Case

    3 Mar 2015 | 4:46 pm
    Direct Marketing Association has continued its fight for consumer privacy with Colorado. In September, 2014, I wrote about how DMA has taken its challenge up to the Supreme Court of the United States. DMA filed its opening DMA Brief.pdfin the Supreme Court of the United States on September 9, 2014 and argued that the case should be allowed to be heard in federal court. A summary can be found DMA Summary.pdf. The Supreme Court heard the case in its recent term and announced its opinion on March 3, 2015. From a state and local tax perspective, the case has broad and interesting constitutional…

    24 Feb 2015 | 2:37 pm
    For the past few years, I have been writing a number of blogs and articles recently discussing the Department of Business and Professional Regulation here in Florida and its potentially unfair audit tactics. Many of you have seen cigar wrappers, or the more scientifically described "blunt wraps," at convenience stores and gas stations throughout the state and country. Are those items tobacco products subject to Florida's other tobacco products tax? On January 9, 2015, our first case went to hearing on the taxability of blunt wraps in Brandy's - Amen Complaint.pdf Continue reading...
  • Is Nitrogen & Hydrogen Exempt From Sales and Use Tax In Illinois?

    13 Feb 2015 | 3:09 pm
    Most states attempt to encourage manufacturers to set up a business in their state. Manufacturers typically provide numerous benefits to a state's economy such as job creation. One of the carrots typically used by a state is to offer sales and use tax incentive for a manufacturing company. In almost every state with a sales and use tax, machinery and equipment purchased for use in the manufacturing process is exempt from tax. What if a glass manufacturer purchased chemicals, such as nitrogen and hydrogen for use in its glass manufacturing process? Would that be a tax exempt purchase of…
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    New Jersey CPA Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Planning to Convert Your C Corporation to an LLC

    27 Mar 2015 | 10:26 am
    If you've decided that the best way to advance the goals of your business is to convert your C corporation to an LLC, you should proceed with great care. Converting a C corporation to an LLC has the potential to cause severe negative tax ramifications for your business. In certain situations, though, making the move from C corporation to LLC can be beneficial, but you should engage in careful planning to carry out the conversion process, since the tax code contains many rules that may guide you in deciding when to make your conversion. There are many reasons you might choose to convert your C…
  • The Tax Implications of Converting Your New Jersey Partnership or LLC to a Corporation

    27 Feb 2015 | 7:40 am
    The reasons why a business owner might choose to convert his or her partnership or LLC into a corporation are numerous. Corporations offer many potential advantages. Regardless of the business reasons that motivate you, it is very important to understand the tax consequences of converting your business. Rev. Rul. 84-111 lays out three ways to take an entity that is taxable as a partnership and convert it to a corporation. One method is what's called "assets over." Using this technique, the partnership transfers its assets to the corporation. In exchange, the partnership receives stock from…
  • Tax Court Upholds Rejection of Engineer's Medical, Charitable Deductions

    23 Jan 2015 | 9:29 am
    An engineer's efforts to deduct several items as medical expenses or charitable contributions proved unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. The US Tax Court ruled that the taxpayer's bicycle was not a medical expense because she could not prove that it was essential to the treatment of a medical condition, and the taxpayer could not maintain her charitable contributions because she lacked the appropriate contemporaneous records in support of them. Melanie Thomas-Kozak was an engineer for a division of Sunoco who racked up a large number of deductions on 2008 and 2009 federal income tax…
  • Taxing Cloud Computing Service Providers... and Users

    26 Dec 2014 | 8:57 am
    In the wake of the cell phone photo heist (and publication) of the private images of several Hollywood celebrities back in September, a wide discussion was held about cloud computing, particularly with regard to security issues. Those dealing with using "the cloud" for business purposes should concern themselves not only with security, though, but also with the tax implications of cloud computing. This issue is a challenging one, since the laws regarding the topic vary dramatically from state to state. One recent case bringing this issue to life was Matter of SunGard Securities Finance LLC,…
  • Tax Court Grounds Law Firm's Travel Deduction for Use of Partner's Private Planes

    28 Nov 2014 | 7:49 am
    A law firm's claim of travel expense deductions related to one of its partners' use of two private aircraft fell apart because the firm lacked the proper documentation to prove that the flights were related to firm business. The US Tax Court's ruling in favor of the Internal Revenue Service stands as a stark reminder for taxpayers of all sizes about the need to keep clear, accurate, and contemporaneous expense records. The unsuccessful taxpayer was Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack, APC, a prominent personal injury and class action law firm in Southern California. The firm's tax troubles arose after…
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    Securities & Going Public Lawyers

  • Securities Law & Going Public Attorneys l Securities Lawyer 101

    Brenda Hamilton, Securities and Going Public Lawyer
    1 Jan 2101 | 6:23 am
    Going Public LawyerGoing 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 the most attractive sources of... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • SEC Reporting After Regulation A – Going Public Lawyer

    Brenda Hamilton, Securities and Going Public Lawyer
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Going Public LawyerOn March 25, 2015, the SEC adopted Regulation A+ which amends former Regulation A. Regulation A+ adopts new ongoing reporting requirements that are based upon two Regulation A+ offering tiers. Tier 1 provides an exemption from SEC registration for offerings of up to $20 million. Tier 2 exempts offerings up to $50 million. One of the most notable differences between the... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Massachusetts Adopts Emergency Crowdfunding Exemption

    Brenda Hamilton, Securities and Going Public Lawyer
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Going Public LawyerThe Massachusetts Division of Securities has adopted an emergency intrastate crowdfunding exemption. The new exemption was developed to stimulate job growth for small Massachusetts companies by removing restrictions and allowing greater access to capital with fewer restrictions. The Massachusetts Emergency Crowdfunding Exemption The new exemption is available to entities formed and operating in Massachusetts, and allows the issuers to: offer both... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • FINRA Proposes New Rules For Algorithmic Trading Strategies

    Brenda Hamilton, Securities and Going Public Lawyer
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:35 am
    Going Public LawyerFINRA is proposes new rules that will impact algorithic trading strategies. If an individual performs a trade on another person’s behalf, that associated person is required to register with FINRA as an equity trader. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) believes that certain associated persons who are involved in creating automated systems should also be registered. FINRA recently issued Regulatory... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Regulation A+ Offering Circulars On Form 1-A

    Brenda Hamilton, Securities and Going Public Lawyer
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:45 am
    Going Public LawyerOn March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted amendments toRegulation A pursuant to the mandate of Section 401(a) of the JOBS Act. These amendments included revamping Form 1-A for Regulation A offerings. The amended rules known as Amended A+ were adopted to facilitate capital-raising by smaller companies. Regulation A+ expands existing Regulation A.  Regulation A+ offerings can be... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
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    Employment News

  • Flowers Class Action Featured in Maine Business Journal, Lewiston Sun Journal

    13 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Following a March 24th ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to certify a class of employees of Flowers Foods, Inc., allowing for the lawsuit to proceed as a class action litigation, the company announced their intent to appeal the decision in an article with Mainebiz, Maine’s business news source.Read more about Flowers Class Action Featured in Maine Business Journal, Lewiston Sun Journal
  • Flowers Foods Distributors Win Class Certification

    24 Mar 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Current and former bakery distributors for Flowers Baking Company of Jamestown recently won class certification in the Flowers Foods FLSA Litigation. Rehberg et al v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al is a collective and class action lawsuit brought on behalf of a class of individuals who operate or operated as fresh bakery product distributors for Defendants Flowers Foods, Inc. and Flowers Baking Co. of Jamestown, LLC.Read more about Flowers Foods Distributors Win Class Certification
  • Misclassification of Managers and Assistant Managers

    17 Mar 2015 | 7:26 am
    If you were given a “promotion” to an “assistant manager” or “manager” position, but have also lost your access to overtime despite increased hours, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and potential losses. The practice of misclassification of exempt employees has been widespread in the retail, service, hospitality, and restaurant industries. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, all employees are entitled to minimum wage plus one and one-half times regular pay rate for any hours over 40 in a given work week. Read more about Misclassification of Managers…
  • When Should I Tell My Employer I’m Pregnant?

    14 Mar 2015 | 7:58 am
    Whether you are searching for a job, recently employed, seeking a promotion, or have had a long-term position with your employer, you may have concerns about your position or job status in the event of pregnancy. Do you need to tell your employer before you are hired? Will your pregnancy impact your likelihood of getting a job? Can an employer fire you after finding out you are pregnant? For pregnant women in the workforce, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights before you are hired, during employment, and in the event of termination. Read more about When Should I Tell…
  • Background Check Lawsuits on the Rise—Do You Have a Claim?

    14 Feb 2015 | 5:31 am
    Unemployment is down and the job market is up, giving more opportunities to Minnesota applicants in the hiring process. For some, background checks can make the application process more challenging, especially if there are known issues related to a criminal history or bad credit. Fortunately, applicants do have rights when it comes to background checks and employment, and an increasing number of employers are failing to comply with federal background checking laws. Read more about Background Check Lawsuits on the Rise—Do You Have a Claim?
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    Dallas Justice » Criminal Law Blog

  • Police Cameras: Things to Know Before Filming Texas Police in Action

    Michael Lowe
    15 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    The power of the people to film or photograph police doing bad things — and then sharing those videos or photographs online in social media like Twitter or YouTube — is undeniable. From the use of smartphones, just last week we saw the police officer shooting a man in the back over in South Carolina. The South Carolina officer is now under arrest for murder. Brave Thing to Film Cops Gone Bad It’s a brave thing for people to do — and those who are capturing the police using excessive force risk arrest or worse if they are seen using their phones to record what’s happening.   See our…
  • Police in Dallas – Fort Worth Get Papers Graded: Low Crime Clearance Rates for North Texas

    Michael Lowe
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:44 am
    Today, the video of a South Carolina police officer shooting a man running away from a traffic stop has gone viral, and the officer has been arrested for murder. If you haven’t seen the footage, you can watch it on YouTube (it’s pretty graphic).  For more videos of excessive force by law enforcement around the country, check out my Google Plus page where I have shared several more of these excessive force police videos. Sad to say, they seem to pop up online with great regularity. Which, for everyone here in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, brings the concern about our own local…
  • Fentanyl and Heroin Here in Dallas: Dangers of Arrest and More

    Michael Lowe
    1 Apr 2015 | 11:02 am
    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is sold under a variety of names including Actiq, Duragesic, Haldid, Matrifen, and Onsolis. It’s been around for over 20 years as a prescription paid med. Beginning in the 1990s, it was becoming so popular among physicians that they were prescribing not just fentanyl in pill form but also as patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, and candy lollipops (Actiq).     Fentanyl is a serious, and I mean serious, drug. The CDC reports that fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine and packs a punch 100 times stronger that a comparable dose of heroin.
  • Dallas D.A. Forfeiture Funds: The Temptation of All That Stuff and the Craig Watkins Scandal

    Michael Lowe
    25 Mar 2015 | 11:19 am
    Here in Dallas, more and more people are aware of how government authorities have been seizing property from people without sufficient judicial process and keeping those assets for their own uses. This is good because forfeiture is a big problem that not enough folk realize exists. We’ve been discussing this problem — the problem of “civil forfeiture” — for awhile now: all that stuff setting there is very tempting to some. There’s the reality of police taking the assets (the due process issue). And there’s the temptation problem, where law enforcement takes this stuff for…
  • Synthetic Drugs Law: Will New Texas Law Succeed in Outlawing Spice, K2, and Other Synthetic Highs?

    Michael Lowe
    18 Mar 2015 | 10:21 am
    Here in Texas, law enforcement and the Texas Legislature are trying hard to keep up with the growing market for synthetic marijuana and designer drugs that are being sold all around the state in shops as well as online on legal web sites. Synthetic marijuana, for example, is sold as an easy to get alternative to real cannabis and is often some type of leaves that are sprayed or coated with a chemical that will cause the user to experience a high similar to weed. There are also all sorts of designer drugs which market themselves as products that mimic the buzz of ecstasy or cocaine. In fact,…
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Florida Appeals Court Overturns Denial of Legal Fees in Workers’ Compensation Case

    Friedman, Rodman &#38; Frank, P.A.
    15 Apr 2015 | 10:04 am
    In Cuenca v. Nova Southeastern University, a Florida dental assistant was injured when she suffered a serious allergic reaction at work in 2013. According to the worker’s petition for benefits (“PFB”), the woman’s injury resulted after she came into contact with an adhesive spray during the course of her employment. As a result, the employee sought reimbursement for her resulting medical care and certain prescription medications. After the worker filed her PFB, her employer changed servicing insurers. The employer also notified the woman that the previous insurance servicer had no…
  • Southern District of Florida Rules Cruise Ship Passenger Failed to Establish Negligence Following Injury Accident

    Friedman, Rodman &#38; Frank, P.A.
    9 Apr 2015 | 10:03 am
    In Poole v. Carnival Corp., a woman was allegedly injured while traveling aboard a cruise ship. According to the woman, she suffered serious harm when she walked into a glass door. Although the woman claimed she did not know if the door she walked into had a frame on it, a handle installed, or a sticker strip to increase visibility, the woman admitted that the area where she was hurt was well lit. A representative for the ship’s owner offered testimony that the glass door at issue had a metal handle and door frame installed. In addition, the representative claimed the door also included a…
  • Florida Court Refuses to Dismiss First-Party Bad-Faith Claim Filed Against Auto Insurer

    Friedman, Rodman &#38; Frank, P.A.
    8 Apr 2015 | 7:35 am
    In Baham v. Property & Casualty Insurance Co. of Hartford, a motorist was involved in a traffic wreck that was apparently caused by another driver. At the time of the crash, the at-fault driver carried $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. Since this amount was allegedly insufficient to cover the motorist’s injuries and lost wages, the man filed a request for the full amount of his uninsured motorist (“UM”) policy limits of $200,000 from his own automobile insurer. The man’s insurer denied coverage and claimed his accident injuries did not exceed the limits of the at-fault…
  • Florida Appeals Court Holds Policy History is Irrelevant Where PIP Insurance was Cancelled for Nonpayment

    Friedman, Rodman &#38; Frank, P.A.
    2 Apr 2015 | 7:30 am
    In Government Employees Insurance Company v. Kisha, a Florida couple purchased automobile insurance from an insurer for a designated policy period of December 2010 through June 2011. In lieu of making one premium payment, the couple opted to make recurring monthly payments to the company. After the couple failed to pay their March 2011 premium, the insurer mailed them a notice of cancellation for nonpayment effective April 20. In addition, the notice stated the company would not cancel the couple’s auto policy if the past due premium was received or postmarked by this date. The husband…
  • Florida Appellate Court Overturns Order Denying Temporary Total Disability Workers’ Compensation Benefits

    Friedman, Rodman &#38; Frank, P.A.
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:53 am
    In Perez v. Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc., a Florida man was injured in a workplace accident. After the incident occurred, the man’s employer stipulated that his injury was compensable under state workers’ compensation laws. Despite this, a Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”) denied the injured worker’s request for temporary total disability benefits because he failed to produce objective medical evidence related to his injury. At a hearing, the JCC adopted the test enumerated in Section 440.09(1) of the Florida Statutes which stated the worker’s disability determination must…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • Mitze v. Colvin: Social Security Disability Appeals Process

    15 Apr 2015 | 9:29 pm
    Mitze v. Colvin, an appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, involved claimant who applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in 2009 at the age of 43 because she was suffering from a cyst in her pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the human brain which is responsible for production of melatonin. Melatonin is necessary to regulate sleep. After Social Security Administration (SSA) denied her initial application, and she made several efforts to apply for reconsideration in writing, SSA granted her a hearing before an…
  • Time Is Running Out for Social Security Disability Funding

    9 Apr 2015 | 9:27 pm
    Time is running out for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) is nearing a fiscal cliff. By fourth quarter 2016, nearly 9 million Americans will have their benefits cut by as much as 20 percent. Congress needs to act now. These are just some examples of the headlines we have seen over the past several months predicting a budgetary crisis to the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Let's move beyond the "Sky is Falling" headlines and identify the real problems. In 2014, the Social Security Trustees…
  • Problems With Social Security Ticket to Work Program

    7 Apr 2015 | 9:24 pm
    Social Security Administration (SSA) officials and members of Congress have been looking for ways to cut spending for years. One of these was a program known as the Ticket to Work. It is designed so a claimant can go back to work at first on a part-time basis without any reduction in benefits. This is meant to address the problem of claimants who would actually prefer to work but are afraid to get any type of employment out of fear their Social Security Disability benefits will be reduced or even cut entirely, if SSA finds out about claimant earning income. According to a recent news article…
  • Social Security Agencies Push for Stricter Reporting in Disability Cases

    5 Apr 2015 | 9:18 pm
    The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for managing the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and of course, the Social Security retirement program. Social Security disability insurance benefits are made available to claimants who can no longer work due to injury or illness. A worker must have been employed for a certain about of time (broken up into quarterly credits), so that he or she has paid into the system, before SSA will approve claimant to receive disability benefits. The Supplemental…
  • Social Security Benefits Finally Awarded - Upon Death of Claimant

    3 Apr 2015 | 7:38 pm
    According to a recent news article from NBC 11, the husband of a woman suffering with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly called "ALS" or "Lou Gehrig's disease") had been fighting with the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) for nearly a decade before benefits were finally awarded only days before his wife's death.
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • Honduran’s Asylum Claims Denied Due to Lack of Credibility

    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
    13 Apr 2015 | 4:26 am
    Groups of immigrants come to the United States annually in an attempt to flee from unpleasant circumstances that await them in their respective places of origin. The best solution available for undocumented immigrants in the United States who are fleeing from some form of persecution is to petition for asylum. Typically, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services would allow immigrants to seek asylum if they are able to corroborate the fact that they have been victims of persecution under grounds that cover race, nationality, being a member of a specific social group, religious beliefs, and…
  • Move to Petition for Asylum Yields Consequences for Undocumented Immigrant

    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
    9 Apr 2015 | 6:13 am
    One of the biggest immigration questions that undocumented immigrants possess deal with the question of asylum. From a legal perspective, it is possible for an immigrant to seek asylum in the United States if they are able to substantiate the fact that they suffered persecution in their native territory for issues related to religious beliefs. Even if you happen to be an immigrant that does qualify under this statute, it is essential that you gain a strong grasp of regulatory restrictions before you can petition for asylum. A failure to do this can place your prospects in jeopardy. This is a…
  • ICE Releases New Procedures for Immigrants with Criminal Convictions

    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
    6 Apr 2015 | 8:04 am
    A great deal of attention has been paid to the ongoing immigration reform debate brewing in the United States. Several developments have cropped up over the past few weeks that further complicate the delicate state of affairs, including conflicting opinions that cluster around President Obama’s proposals for undocumented immigrants. The controversy surrounding the President’s proposed executive action may be acquiring a decent chunk of media attention but there are other immigration issues that pose considerable ramifications for a number of immigrants. One of the more notable occurrences…
  • Immigration Reform Debate Continues: NJ Gov. Christie Sides with Opposition

    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
    2 Apr 2015 | 8:53 am
    The controversy gathering around President Obama’s proposed immigration policies continue to heighten as various political representatives take opposing sides in the ongoing debate. The proposed shift in immigration reform put forward by Obama’s administration could spare countless undocumented immigrants from being deported if it gets passed. The President’s proposals, however, have been met with a great deal of furor and contention from different sectors. Recently, several states have expressed support for the move to block the President’s proposals from being passed. The states who…
  • An Uncertain Future for Undocumented Immigrants: Obama’s DAPA Program

    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:17 am
    There have been a variety of controversies that surround issues on immigration reform and one of the latest problems that have captured the interest of numerous individuals involves President Obama’s DAPA program. The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program that the President has cobbled together has come under fire from several sectors. The controversy that surrounds this program has risen to such a degree that a temporary suspension of its execution has been mandated by a federal judge from Texas. The effects of this suspension have affected a number of undocumented immigrants…
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    Delaware Environmental Law Blog


    24 Mar 2015 | 12:01 pm
    Covenants that require an architectural review committee or homeowners association board to approve owner changes to their homes and grounds have been a mainstay in Delaware condominium and non-condominium community documents for many years. A recent Master's Report in a Delaware Court of Chancery case has invalidated the architectural approval requirements for one Delaware condominium, leaving many other Delaware communities scrambling to determine whether their own covenants are enforceable. In Benner v. Council of the Narrows Association of Owners, C.A. No. 7503-ML, 2014 Del. Ch. LEXIS 265…
  • Curse Those Seals -Already Revisited

    16 Mar 2015 | 2:17 pm
    In a Delaware Superior Court case that is somewhat the opposite of the Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Strong case discussed in my February 26 entry, we now have another Delaware pronouncement in a foreclosure case involving seals. In Nationstar Mortgage, LLC d/b/a Champion Mortgage, LLC v. Crane, 215 Del. Super. LEXIS 45 (Jan. 29, 2015), the lender first filed a mortgage foreclosure action in the Court of Chancery, asserting in its complaint that it was filing an equitable foreclosure action in Chancery instead of a foreclosure action at law because the mortgage was not sealed. However, the lender…
  • Confession of Judgment Non-Resident Affidavits: Pitfalls and Work-Arounds

    26 Feb 2015 | 1:36 pm
    Delaware lenders and their attorneys are accustomed to seeing affidavits at commercial loan closings of borrowers and guarantors authorizing the entry of a judgment by confession, which state their contact with Delaware, and include the mailing address of their residence. The affidavits' genesis is a Delaware statute, 10 Del. C. § 2306(c), requiring parties that are not Delaware residents to sign this document, which the lender must produce to the Prothonotary in order to enter the judgment. A 2014 Delaware Supreme Court case demonstrates how critical it is to obtain such affidavits in loan…
  • Curse Those Seals, and Keeping an Eye on the Clock

    26 Feb 2015 | 1:15 pm
    A recent Delaware Court of Chancery case reminds us of the persistence of the mortgage seal problem in Delaware. Wells Fargo Bank, NA v. Strong, 2014 Del. Ch. LEXIS 230 (Nov. 19, 2014) is a foreclosure case that was pending for nearly ten years. Mr. Strong failed to make his mortgage payments. MERS (the nominal holder of the mortgage as nominee of MIT Lending) filed a foreclosure action, and the foreclosure was repeatedly halted by three successive bankruptcies filed by Mr. Strong on a pro se basis. After that, the mortgage was assigned of record from MERS to Wells Fargo, which then attempted…
  • Contracts: Don't Say It If You Don't Bother to Do It

    26 Feb 2015 | 1:08 pm
    I have long held the opinion that many contract drafters make a big mistake by including too much language, when they would be better off leaving certain things unsaid. A recent example of this is the Delaware Chancery Court ruling in Tidewater Environmental Services, Inc. v. Bernard DiSabatino, C.A. No. 7737-VCG (Del. Ch. July 11, 2014), which was an action by Tidewater to try to collect on amounts owed to it by two limited liability companies ("LLCs") in connection with failed real estate developments. Tidewater's contract for engineering services stated that if the real estate project…
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • Ninth Circuit Holds that Businesses Providing Services via the Internet Are Not "Public Accommodations" Subject to the ADA

    15 Apr 2015 | 2:17 pm
    All business owners should familiarize themselves with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq., which imposes a range of requirements on private businesses that operate as "public accommodations" as part of its prohibition on discrimination against people with disabilities. This might include, to provide just one example, a requirement that a business provide a ramp allowing wheelchair access to its facility. The question of whether Title III applies to businesses that do not maintain a physical location open to the public is not a new one,…
  • California Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Alleging Fraud Against Multi-Level Marketing Company

    31 Mar 2015 | 9:52 am
    A federal judge recently dismissed a putative class action lawsuit claiming that a multi-level marketing (MLM) company was, in reality, operating an illegal pyramid scheme. Awad, et al v. Herbalife Ltd., et al, No. 2:14-cv-02850, memorandum (C.D. Cal., Mar. 16, 2015). The plaintiffs alleged that the company misrepresented its activities in order to increase its stock price, in violation of § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5. They sought to certify a class of shareholders who purchased common stock during a…
  • Class Action Lawsuit Against California Company Uber Alleges Fraudulent Fees

    16 Mar 2015 | 9:57 am
    Uber, the San Francisco-based company that matches users of its mobile application with a network of drivers, is no stranger to controversy and legal troubles. In California, it is currently facing a lawsuit from taxi companies alleging anti-competitive practices, an effort by the state's Public Utilities Commission to shut down a new carpooling service, and a lawsuit by the San Francisco District Attorney over allegedly fraudulent surcharges. It has faced employment law claims from its own drivers, whom it claims are independent contractors, not employees. A new lawsuit, filed in an Oakland…
  • IRS Counsel's Memorandum Could Have Important Implications for S Corporation Shareholders

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:46 am
    The Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a memorandum late last year addressing a question about the rights of shareholders in a corporation that switched from subchapter S to subchapter C and then switched back to subchapter S. IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum ("IRS Memo") No. 201446021 (Nov. 14, 2014) (PDF file). C corporations face "double taxation," in which the corporation pays tax on its net income, and shareholders pay tax on the same money when they receive it as dividends. Under subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), 26 U.S.C. § 1361 et…
  • Delaware Law Applies to California Shareholder Derivative Suit, According to Court

    13 Feb 2015 | 11:32 am
    A California appellate court applied Delaware law in its ruling against a shareholder's derivative action. Jones v. Martinez, 230 Cal. App. 4th 1248 (2014). The corporation is headquartered in California but incorporated in Delaware. The court held that the plaintiff had failed to establish standing to bring a shareholder derivative suit by meeting specific pleading requirements under Delaware law. Neither party disputed that Delaware law applied to the claim. The question for the court was whether the pleading requirement was a substantive matter, which would make it a fundamental part of…
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  • Texting While Driving Traffic Tickets On The Rise

    Matthew Weiss
    14 Apr 2015 | 5:15 am
    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday that tickets issued to motorists for texting while driving increased 35% statewide from 2013 to 2014, as police continue to crack down on distracted drivers. Improving safety on the roads is a priority for Governor Cuomo, who has spearheaded several initiatives targeted at reducing distracted driving, including raising the number of points on such tickets, raising the fines and creating “texting zones” on state highways.  “This reckless behavior endangers everyone on the road and has resulted in far too much needless tragedy,”…
  • New York Driver’s License Suspension For Committing Just One Violation?!

    Matthew Weiss
    2 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    Did you know that you can be suspended for just one violation of New York’s Vehicle And Traffic Law (“VTL”)?  That’s right, a traffic judge can suspend you for just one speeding ticket or other traffic offense.  While on their face, most moving violation statutes in New York do not mention punishment by suspension (rather most just speak of punishable by a fine and sometimes imprisonment), the VTL has another section which authorizes discretionary suspensions for just one violation.  This other statute is vague and broad, and can generally be invoked by a…
  • How New York Traffic Tickets Affect A Taxi & Limousine (TLC) License

    Matthew Weiss
    25 Mar 2015 | 6:49 am
    The rules are surrounding how to calculate points from New York traffic tickets are complicated. However, for those with Taxi & Limousine Licenses, a whole different set of rules exist making the calculations even more difficult.  With that said, as you will read below, some of the rules of the Taxi & Limousine Commission (“TLC”) are more favorable to the driver than those imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) on a regular license. Pursuant to TLC Rules §54-27, a TLC license will be suspended for 30 days if, within a 15-month period, a driver…
  • Is Illegal To Eat A Hamburger While Driving?

    Matthew Weiss
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:37 am
    I’ve written for years about the dangers of distracting driving and advocating for strong laws to address this problem.  However, I recently read about a case that, in my opinion, takes the matter too far.   An Alabama man was stopped and ticketed in Marietta, Ga., for driving while eating a McDonald’s double quarter pounder with cheese.  The “culprit”, Madison Turner, is fighting the traffic ticket.  He denied driving unsafely and said the officer explained that “he observed me eating a burger for two miles.” Under Georgia law, motorists must…
  • Are Homeowners Better Drivers Than Renters?

    Matthew Weiss
    14 Jan 2015 | 6:34 am
    A recent report indicates that homeowners are better drivers than renters.  The website found that drivers who own their home file fewer insurance claims than than renter counterparts.   Data from over 700,000 drivers was analyzed.  The study also concluded that drivers 18 to 24 who lived with their parents filed the most insurance claims (even more so that renters) and that drivers between 65 and 99 filed the least number of claims. It is surmised that homeowners generally have higher net worths and/or more stability than renters leading to the difference in claims between…
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    Spencers Solicitors Blog

  • Brain injury rehabilitation - the fight for consistency of care

    Spencers Solicitors
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:15 am
    Any brain injury, even cases involving relatively minor brain damage, can have a profound and lasting effect on the life of the brain injured survivor and their family. In addition, due to the range and complexity of brain injuries, rehabilitation following an injury can vary greatly from patient to patient. Therefore, in this blog I wanted to share some of the scenarios I've encountered when helping those who have suffered a brain injury, and how a focus on getting the right support early can have a profound impact. Importance of early Rehabilitation The Royal College of Physicians defines…
  • Just a bad hair day

    Spencers Solicitors
    26 Feb 2015 | 7:50 am
    The unregulated industry - would you know what to do if you were harmed through hair treatment? The UK hairdressing industry employs nearly a quarter of a million people across 55,000 businesses and, as with any industry of that size, standards and safety procedures often widely vary. However the UK hairdressing industry is also totally unregulated, meaning that almost anyone can set up a business as a hairdresser without any formal qualifications or recognised training. The influence of fashion coupled with a desire by many to look younger, has led to a steady increase in spending on…
  • Has concussion in rugby doubled, or are we just better at diagnosing it?

    Spencers Solicitors
    17 Feb 2015 | 1:50 am
    I have blogged previously about the issue of head injury in sport, and so when George North hit the headlines last weekend - after being concussed twice in the match against England - I was concerned that yet another player had suffered serious injury after concussion went seemingly unnoticed during play. However this incident, along with the England Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Report that recounted a staggering 59% rise in concussions from 2013-14 compared to the previous season, has sparked major debate. In fact, the matter of head injury in sport, and of course especially…
  • 'Where we're going, we (do) need roads', but maybe not a driver

    Spencers Solicitors
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:20 am
    If like me you were a child of the 80's you will remember only too well the Back to The Future films which first hit our screens in 1985. Believe it or not, Back to The Future Part II was set in part, in 2015. You remember, flying cars, self-drying jackets, hover boards and those Nike self tying laces (which by the way, Nike are actually making this year in homage to the film). So I thought to myself, how far have we come in the last thirty years, since the film predicted our future? Well, in 1985 the Polaroid Sun 600 camera was brought to the market with its instantly printed photographs,…
  • Compensation: myth and reality

    Spencers Solicitors
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:56 am
    Working as a personal injury lawyer, the phrase 'compensation culture' is unfortunately never far away - and sometimes it's not hard to see why. Almost every TV channel, radio station and newspaper will have some form of advert stating 'where there's blame there's a claim' or 'you could be entitled to compensation'. Meaning it is easy for the public to start believing people claim for almost any mishap or financial irregularity, in exchange for huge sums of cash. But I assure you this isn't the case, and so I wanted to revisit a few of the myths around compensation in the workplace that the…
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    White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    9 Apr 2015 | 1:15 pm
    In an article in The Journal News on February 27, 2015 by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, he points out that mailmen are fighting back. A U.S. postal mail carrier is suing a dog owner claiming a woman's dog bit him. Our firm has handled many postal worker dog bite cases. The claim in the case reported that an Australian Shepherd's owner allowed their dog "to roam free" on the property and to come into contact with the mail carrier. The article points out that "homeowner's need to be careful that they don't create situations that can be hazardous to people like mail carrier, UPS workers, Fed Ex delivery…

    31 Mar 2015 | 2:14 pm
    In December an article was written in The Journal News about a crash in the Poconos when a 15 year old from Pleasantville, New York was at her parent's vacation home in Pennsylvania. She was driving her father's Chevrolet Suburban, lost control and flipped it resulting in 3 15 year old deaths. When the police arrived at the scene, the unlicensed 15 year old driver stated "I was driving too fast, arrest me". In December, four months after the accident, the driver's father, Mr. Ware , age 53, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children. Ware's daughter who…
  • WINTER OF ICE - 2015

    24 Mar 2015 | 10:04 am
    The months of January & February, 2015 were full of ice storms causing havoc on the roads and a nightmare for pedestrians. The property owner is responsible for cleaning snow and ice off their premises. When a pedestrian falls on snow and ice on a property, the property owner may be liable. The property owner is not automatically responsible to pedestrians. There is no duty of the property owner to keep their premises free of snow and ice during a storm. The property owner must have reasonable time to clear the snow and ice after the storm has stopped. Many municipalities actually have…

    12 Mar 2015 | 2:02 pm
    We recently blogged about the possible claims against Metro North on February 23, 2015 as a result of the collision with a car at the Commerce Street Crossing in Valhalla, New York. The accident caused the death of 5 people on the train and the death of the driver of the car on the tracks, along with injuries to 12 other people on the train.. We outlined in the blog different areas that Metro North could be liable including the design of the crossing where the accident occurred. The crossing was noted to be a "dangerous crossing", in that, if 3 or more cars were at the crossing stopped for…

    2 Mar 2015 | 7:27 am
    Since October, 2014, there has been nothing but good news as far as job growth is concerned. The Journal News on October 4, 2014 had a headline "Economy Grows 248,000 jobs". The article by Paul Davidson pointed out that the unemployment rate fell below 6% for the first time since 2008. Employers added 248,000 jobs in September, 2014. The area of job growth was in broad ranges of industries including business services, professional finance, retail and healthcare. The jobless rate dropped from 6.1% to 5.9%. The Federal Reserve considers 5.5% as a normal level of unemployment. The Labor…
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    Oakland Employment Lawyer Blog

  • Hundreds of Truckers Killed Every Year in Rollover Crashes

    Liberty Law
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:14 pm
    When most people think of crashes involving tractor trailers, they think of the injuries and deaths of the people in passenger vehicles that are hit by trucks. However, hundreds of truckers are killed every year in accidents. Among the 2.6 million truck drivers in the U.S, crashes are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths. Rollover accidents are especially dangerous for truck drivers. Although rollovers are involved in only 3.3 percent of all tractor trailer crashes, over half of the truck driver deaths are due to rollover accidents. That amounts to over 300 truck driver deaths and 3,000…
  • Woman Loses Sex Discrimination Case against Venture Capital Firm, Considers Appeal

    Liberty Law
    13 Apr 2015 | 2:10 pm
    Ellen Pao, an employee in the high-tech sector, lost her high-profile sexual discrimination case against a prominent venture capital firm. Pao had filed a $16 million lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. A jury of six men and six women ruled that the company had not discriminated against Pao on the basis of her gender. Pao was fired from Kleiner Perkins in 2012. The trial lasted about one month, and kept the technology industry riveted, because the normally secretive practices of high-tech companies were being made public. At the trial, Pao alleged that she was excluded from…
  • Installing Vehicle Devices to Stop Drunk Drivers Could Save 59,000 Lives

    Liberty Law
    9 Apr 2015 | 5:44 am
    A new study from the University of Michigan claims that putting technology that prevents drunk drivers from starting a vehicle into every car and truck in the U.S. could save 59,000 lives and $343 million over 15 years. The study also claims that the U.S. could avoid 85 percent of crash deaths attributable to alcohol-impaired drivers over the 15-year implementation period. Researchers claim that after three years, the cost savings from the use of the technology could outweigh the expense of the devices. Ignition interlock devices have been around since the 1960s. In recent years, some states…
  • U.S. Supreme Court Rules Pregnancy in the Workplace Should be Treated More Forgivingly than Employees with DUIs

    Liberty Law
    6 Apr 2015 | 5:43 am
    In the mid-2000s, UPS had a couple of policies which could be considered extremely unfair to employees. On the one hand, if a UPS driver lost his or her driver’s license because of a DUI, the company would consider assigning an extra driver to drive him or her around to help him or her keep up the responsibilities of the job. At the same time, if a UPS driver got pregnant, and as part of the pregnancy was told by her doctor to avoid heavy lifting, the company may not make accommodation for her to let her continue delivering packages. A former female UPS driver sued the company over its…
  • Pregnant Woman Killed in Bay Area Construction Accident

    Liberty Law
    2 Apr 2015 | 11:41 am
    A tragic incident occurred in Martinez last week, resulting in the death of a pregnant woman. During a construction project, the bed of a truck at a city construction project raised to dump its load of gravel. Instead of dumping the gravel, the truck toppled over onto a driveway, and crushed a car where a woman was sitting inside, killing her. At the time of the accident, a construction worker was helping the woman back out of her driveway so that the truck could move in and unload the gravel, which weighed over 20 tons. The gravel shifted, which caused the truck to overturn. Witnesses say…
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    Texas Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • "States Right's" Proponents Should Lead the Fight against Federal Marijuana Prohibition

    9 Apr 2015 | 2:10 pm
    The Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorneys have raided Cannabis dispensaries and sent people to prison, even though they complied with State laws. According to a report released by Americans for Safe Access, the DOJ has spent nearly $80 million each year -- more than $200,000 per day -- cracking down on medical Cannabis. The federal government continues to classify Cannabis, a plant, as presenting the greatest danger, alongside heroin and LSD, with no currently accepted medical use. We are a union of sovereign states which delegated only certain, limited sovereignty to a central…
  • Texas Could See Public Health Benefits with Marijuana Legalization

    2 Apr 2015 | 2:40 pm
    A strong majority of Texans support marijuana legalization according to public policy polling, which revealed Texan support at 58%. With some grass roots indications that Texas is ready to legalize marijuana, many question how legalization could affect the overall public heath of Texas residents. With alcohol abuse and its devastating consequences remaining a major issue in Texas, some people worry marijuana could add to the problem. Researchers have long been trying to figure out whether marijuana legalization would lead to more alcohol consumption (if the drugs are complementary) or if…
  • Highly Invasive Body Cavity Search for Drugs at Texas Border Leads to Federal Lawsuit

    26 Mar 2015 | 2:13 pm
    In December of 2013, a 54-year-old Texas woman was traveling back from spending the Christmas holiday with a family friend in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico when she was stopped by federal agents at the Cordova Bridge border crossing in El Paso, Texas. As the unnamed woman was passing through the checkpoint, a police drug dog allegedly alerted on her, prompting U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to select her for additional screening. The woman was quickly stripped searched and forced to undergo several body cavity searches at the crossing checkpoint, but the agents failed to turn up absolutely…
  • Be Careful - What You Say or Your Silence Can Be Used Against You

    19 Mar 2015 | 2:10 pm
    When a suspect is in police custody and being questioned by an officer, Texas law requires police officers to meet multiple conditions and give the suspect various warnings before statements made by the suspect can be used against him at trial. By being aware of these requirements, Texas residents can gain insight into the protections Texas law provides to those accused of a crime. Take for example the case of Steven Woods. The defense was able to establish that the interrogating officers did not fulfill the requirements needed to admit Woods' oral statements, and therefore, the highest…
  • What Uruguay's Legalization means for Latin America

    19 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Surpassing all other countries in the world on modernization of marijuana laws, legislators in Uruguay passed a bill in December of 2013 to legalize and regulate marijuana nation-wide. Uruguay's president voiced strong support for the bill, noting a legalized market would reduce illicit drug trade, and signed the bill into law. Uruguayans over the age of 18 may legally grow six marijuana plants, form smoking clubs of 15-45 members with a production limit of 99 plants a year, and buy up to 40 grams or 1.4 ounces each month from government-regulated retail shops. See Uruguay's New Marijuana…
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    Sonoma County Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Sonoma County Tenant Required to Pay $102K in Restitution after Grow Operation Damaged Home

    31 Mar 2015 | 8:35 pm
    Earlier this month in Sonoma County, a Graton man was ordered to pay over $102K in restitution damages to the owner of the home he was renting. According to a report by the San Jose Mercury News, the tenant was charged with and convicted of maintaining an illegal grow operation in the home last year, and, as a part of his sentence, he was required to pay for the damages the operation caused to the house. Evidently, last April the man pleaded guilty to felony drug-manufacturing charges. As a part of this plea agreement, he agreed to pay for the damages caused to the home. It wasn't until this…
  • "Plain Smell" Doctrine Results in Two Marijuana Busts in Sonoma County

    11 Mar 2015 | 7:31 pm
    Over the past few weeks, police in Sonoma County have made a number of arrests for transporting large amounts of marijuana. According to a report by, two of the arrests resulted from an officer's report that he could smell marijuana in the car's cabin after making a routine traffic stop. This suspicious smell then gave the officer probable cause to search the car, where he found the marijuana. The "Plain Smell" Exception to the Warrant Requirement In general, any time a police officer wants to search a car or a home, they need to point to some articulable facts that would justify…
  • Santa Rosa Police Seize 135 Pounds of Marijuana and AK-47, One Man Arrested

    5 Mar 2015 | 6:57 am
    Earlier last month in Santa Rosa, police got word that the residents of an aging commercial facility that had been converted into three mechanic's bays were acting hostile towards a city inspector present to issue a cease-work order. The facility is located at 1905 Sebastopol Road. According to a report by the Press Democrat, when police arrived, they were met by several people, many of whom hid in various places throughout the facility. Police ordered everyone out, and many refused at first. However, eventually more police showed up on the scene and those who were hiding complied with police…
  • Four Charged with Smuggling $250K Worth of Marijuana from California to Pennsylvania

    24 Feb 2015 | 7:06 pm
    Earlier this month, four people were arrested and charged with various offenses relating to the alleged smuggling of 85 pounds of marijuana. According to one local Pennsylvania news source, the four had a complex plan to transport the marijuana from Santa Rosa back to western Pennsylvania, where it would be broken down for retail sale. Evidently, one of the four rented a car in western Pennsylvania and drove it to Santa Rosa, where it was packed up with 85 pounds of marijuana. From there, the driver picked up another friend and started their trek back across the country, heading for western…
  • Three Men Arrested in Half-Pound Sonoma County Meth Bust

    9 Feb 2015 | 6:01 pm
    Earlier last month in Guerneville, three men were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes in relation to a drug bust that yielded over a half-pound of methamphetamine. According to a news report by the Press Democrat, the Sonoma County drug bust took place on Old Cazadero Road, after police officers secured a warrant to search the location for narcotics. Evidently, upon executing the search warrant, the officers discovered what they claim to be evidence of drug sales, including scales and packaging material. In addition, they recovered over 200 grams of methamphetamine, which is just…
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    Massachusetts Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law

  • Did the Office of Medicaid Intentionally Violate Federal Medicaid Trust Law When It Stripped the Definition of the Word “Available” from MassHealth Regulations?

    Brian E. Barreira
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:34 am
    Before January 1, 2014, the Office of Medicaid in Massachusetts had an official, published position on what the term “available” meant in its MassHealth regulations, but the Office of Medicaid has apparently chosen not to have a definition any longer.  Some hearing officers are now reviewing MassHealth trust regulations at fair hearings and ruling that some irrevocable trusts have countable assets due to the now-undefined word “available” in the MassHealth regulations. The proper review of irrevocable trusts for whether they are countable assets is set forth in the federal Medicaid…
  • Is the Term “Interested Person” Meant to Be Broadly Defined under Massachusetts Guardianship and Conservatorship Law?

    Brian E. Barreira
    9 Apr 2015 | 1:40 pm
    In the case of Guardianship of B.V.G., decided on April 6, 2015, the Massachusetts Appeals Court took a look at the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”) to determine whether a grandfather was an interested person who had standing in the guardianship proceedings. The child’s father was objecting to the grandfather’s involvement in the guardianship case. The term “interested person” in M.G. L. c. 190B, § 1-201(24), the general definition section of the MUPC, “includes heirs, devisees, children, spouses, creditors, beneficiaries, and any others having…
  • Do the Lawyers Representing the Office of Medicaid in Massachusetts Know What a Revocable Trust Is?

    Brian E. Barreira
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:48 am
    At Massachusetts fair hearings, the Office of Medicaid often routinely makes the claim that irrevocable trusts are revocable or arguably revocable in various situations that have nothing to do with revocability, as if the word “revocable” were meaningless. In past fair hearings, the Office of Medicaid has issued that label without further explanation when the trustee can make distributions to terminate the trust to persons other than the settlor or the settlor’s spouse. In one case, the Office of Medicaid has made the claim that if a trust protector (who was not the settlor of the…
  • What Are the 2015 Federal Estate and Gift Tax Filing Figures?

    Brian E. Barreira
    14 Nov 2014 | 2:42 pm
    The Internal Revenue Service has recently announced that in 2015 the federal estate tax exemption will rise from $5,340,000.00 to $5,430,000.00 per person. (Under current law, this figure is adjusted annually for inflation.) Married couples can get the benefit of two exemptions, so in 2015 the total federal estate tax exemption per couple can be $10,860,000.00. The top estate tax rate on amounts above the exemption is 40%. Under a new concept known as portability, the surviving spouse in some situations can use the unused exemption of the first spouse to die. Portability requires, in part,…
  • Potential Annuity Purchases by the Trustee Do Not Provide the Settlor of an Income-Only Irrevocable Trust with Access to Principal

    Brian E. Barreira
    22 May 2014 | 12:13 pm
    As noted in prior posts, many irrevocable trusts in Massachusetts are now under wrongful attack during the MassHealth application process by the Office of Medicaid. One of the more specious arguments brought forth by the Office of Medicaid has been that the Trustee could purchase an annuity and thereby provide the Settlor of the trust with access to principal. Unfortunately, the memorandum of the Office of Medicaid that is typically filed at MassHealth fair hearings betrays a fundamental ignorance of basic annuity principles and trust law. When a payment is received from an annuity, the…
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    Traffic Law Stop's Blog

  • CHECKPOINTS TONIGHT 3/27/15 – 3/28/15.

    Casey Coats
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:24 pm
    Checkpoints tonight & this weekend 3/27/15 – 3/28/15 CLICK for the list!  PLEASE SHARE ~ Designate a Driver! Checkpoints 3/27/15 – 3/28/15  ***Let us know if you see a Checkpoint: text (314) 368-8123, FB message or post to the page, cllick “Make Report” on our FREE App ‘NO MO DUI’ (Get it on Google Play or Amazon) or iPhone **St Charles County Saturday, March 28, 2015, 7:00 PM start: “Operation A.R.R.E.S.T.” Alcohol Related Response Enforcement Strike Team.  (MSHP Troop C) **Rolla March 2015:  will have special…
  • “Positive Ticketing” in Moline Acres.. Yes May I Have Another?

    Casey Coats
    19 Mar 2015 | 8:38 pm
    Moline Acres’ “Positive Ticketing” Program – the first 30 days. Moline Acres’ “Positive Ticketing” Program – the first 30 days. That’s right, the new program is called Positive Ticketing. The STLtoday reported that Moline Acres handed out more than 60 tickets last month to citizens for doing things right.*  Police are conducting traffic stops to reward behavior like stopping fully at a stop sign, putting trash in a trash receptacle, etc. The police are issuing tickets that look like normal traffic tickets but there is no actual court…

    Casey Coats
    17 Mar 2015 | 9:16 pm
    St Patrick’s Day – Lots of Checkpoints Tonight! Click below for Tonight’s Checkpoint Recap Report at 11:15PM   Like our FB page to get our Alerts filtered into your FB feed.  Download our App for Alerts to your Cell phone. Do you have to Blow? Do you have to answer questions?  REMEMBER – Check our App for your Rights during a Checkpoint Stop! Tonight’s Checkpoints – St Pat’s Day: –On Reavis Barracks at 55 commuter lot.  Mobile DWI van, tow truck and several patrol cars in the lot. Confirmed, pics posted to our FB page. CONFIRMED.
  • It’s CHECKPOINT Season Again!

    Casey Coats
    13 Mar 2015 | 10:45 am
    CHECKPOINTS & DWI SATURATION PATROLS: Several have been announced for 3/13/15 – 3/14/15 and March 2015. All winter long it’s been cold outside and the Police have been overworked dealing with looting, protests, crime spikes, etc… they’ve barely had enough time to write traffic tickets, lol! But it’s warming up outside – and somebody has to pay for ALL THAT POLICE OVERTIME from last Fall and over the winter! Who better to raise funds from than the drunk drivers? Nobody really feels sorry for the drunk drivers, it’d be hard to sympathize with high…
  • Dellwood Ticket Amnesty Program

    Casey Coats
    10 Mar 2015 | 6:51 pm
    Dellwood Municipal Court to Dismiss 1000’s of traffic charges on 3/20/15 – Find out if they are Dismissing YOUR case? Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones orders the Dellwood Municipal Court to Dismiss all traffic cases that were pending PRIOR TO April 11, 2012. The pardons will become effective and the cases will be Dismissed on March 20, 2015.   Additionally all Failure to Appear charges and outstanding Warrants associated with those pre- April 11, 2012 cases will also be Dismissed and Recalled. April 11, 2012 is the date that the Dellwood Police Department was dissolved and St Louis…
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    Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

  • Chef Killed By Speeding Drunk Driver in Downtown St. Pete

    Whittel &#38; Melton, LLC
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:14 pm
    A speeding drunk driver collided with two people who were crossing 2nd Street N in downtown St. Petersburg early Saturday, killing one of them and critically injuring the other, according to police. Shortly after 2 a.m., a 25-year-old St. Petersburg man was speeding on 2nd Street N in a rented Dodge Charger. The car ran a red light at Central Avenue and hit a 31-year-old Largo chef and a 28-year-old St. Petersburg man. The chef died at the scene. The other man, who was sideswiped and spun onto the pavement, was taken to a Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with life-threatening injuries. He has…
  • New Study Reveals Time of Day Child Pedestrians Most Likely to Be Struck By Car

    Whittel &#38; Melton, LLC
    7 Apr 2015 | 7:19 am
    Researchers from New York City’s Jacobi Medical Center recently released a study that shows the time of day and months of the year that child pedestrians are most likely to be struck by a car. By taking a peek at the medical records of 100 school aged children who were hit by a car in 2012, the researchers were able to pinpoint the two most likely times of the day for a child to be hit: 1. the evening 2. shortly after leaving school. The study also determined that children were more likely to be hit by a car in the spring months. The most common injuries suffered in these accidents were…
  • Man, Woman and Unborn Baby Killed after SUV Crashes into Mobile Home

    Whittel &#38; Melton, LLC
    6 Apr 2015 | 7:18 am
    A man, a woman, and her unborn baby were killed Wednesday morning after a SUV crashed into a mobile home while they were sleeping overnight. The Palmetto Police Department believes the accident occurred at the Lone Oak Mobile Home Park around 2:30 a.m. According to investigators, the driver of a Chevy SUV was travelling north on U.S. 41 when he crossed the median at 7th Street West, smashed through a fence, and plummeted into the back of the mobile home. The man and the pregnant woman were asleep inside when it happened, and police said they died upon impact. The woman was apparently in the…
  • AAA Study Shows Accidents Involving Distracted Teen Drivers on the Rise

    Whittel &#38; Melton, LLC
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:11 pm
    Most people recognize that using a cell phone while driving can prove deadly. However, a new AAA study shows that cell phone use is hardly the only activity that may cause you to become involved in a serious auto accident. The most recent research carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes that most teens involved in crashes are guilty of distracted driving but, not all of these cases involve distracted driving associated with cell phone use. According to AAA, distracted driving is a factor that is present in 6 out of all 10 accidents that are moderate or severe.
  • Tips to Stay Safe on a Spring Break Cruise

    Whittel &#38; Melton, LLC
    20 Mar 2015 | 6:14 pm
    Spring break is officially here, which means there are going to be lots of kids, teens, families and college students taking cruises to exotic places. While some will be cruising with their parents, others will be venturing off into the seas with friends. Due to the fact that there will be a higher number of young passengers on board cruise liners, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to point out some tips to keep yourself and those you are travelling with free from danger. Cruise vacations should be fun, relaxing and enjoyable. However, the reality is that many…
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    San Jose Attorney and Counselor At Law - Richard G. Burt

  • Acquirer Can Enforce Arbitration Agreement with Employees of Acquired Company

    Richard Burt
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:33 pm
    The following is the text of an e-bulletin that I authored and that was published by the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California. Francisco Marenco was employed by 180 Connect, Inc. As a condition of employment, he entered into an arbitration agreement that required both parties to submit to binding arbitration all claims arising from the employment relationship. Subsequently, 180 Connect was acquired by DirecTV LLC in 2008. DirecTV retained 180 Connect’s employees, and Marenco continued working for DirecTV until February 2010. Marenco brought a…
  • Guidance on Best Practices in M&A Transactions

    Richard Burt
    15 Jan 2015 | 6:20 pm
    The Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California just published an e-bulletin that I prepared. The e-bulletin alerts attorneys to a paper written by Leo Strine, Jr., chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, Documenting the Deal: How Quality Control and Candor Can Improve Boardroom Decision-Making and Reduce the Litigation Target Zone. I recommend the paper highly for business lawyers, even those who don’t practice in the area of contested mergers. If you need assistance with arbitration, buy-sell agreements, or outside general counsel, contact…
  • Real Estate Withholding Credit for Pass-Through Entities

    Richard Burt
    7 Jan 2015 | 9:12 pm
    The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has recently published a reminder about credit for real-estate withholding. According to the FTB: Pass-through business entities that pass through their income, deductions, and credits to the owners must also pass through the real estate withholding credit. What is a pass-through entity? It is an S corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company. A general partnership is treated the same as a pass-through entity, though technically it is not one. The FTB advises that it cannot refund that part of the real estate withholding credit that…
  • Richard Burt Law: Handling M&A Transactions

    Richard Burt
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:42 pm
    Smart merger and acquisition transactions can be a key component of business growth and on-going success. Business attorney Richard G. Burt is ready to assist at every stage of a merger or other acquisition transaction and to assure that the business deal is carefully documented and legally sound, with help on negotiation tactics as well as preparation of M&A agreements, contracts, and other documents, due diligence, and closing, Mr. Burt works assiduously to accomplish a transaction in which his client’s interests are protected. Comprehensive Merger & Acquisition…
  • Misleading Certificate of Status Solicitations

    Richard Burt
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:36 pm
    The California Secretary of State has issued warnings about misleading certificate of status solicitations. Directors and officers of corporations and managers and members of limited liability companies (LLCs) should be wary of such solicitations. As a public service, the text of the Secretary of State’s warning is repeated below (with minor modifications): Letters are being sent to businesses registered with the Secretary of State directing them to submit $49.50, respond by a certain date, complete a form, and send the money and documentation to a private entity named “California…
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    Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Understanding why diagnosing birth injuries can be difficult

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    15 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    Parents of children born with birth injuries are often forced to make several unpleasant decisions soon after delivery. Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions those parents will have to make is whether to hold their doctors, nurses or hospitals responsible for injuring their child. This can be a challenging decision because any birth can cause trauma. Birth trauma is defined as any physical injury caused as a result of being born. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate whether a baby's birth trauma is a result of natural causes or a preventable medical error. For example,…
  • Distracted driving car accidents a problem amongst teens

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    9 Apr 2015 | 8:16 pm
    Frequent readers of our online blog may remember a previous article in which we discussed the hazards of distracted driving on Minnesota's roads. According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, distracted driving accounts for more than 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries throughout the state each year. There is recent evidence to suggest that distracted driving among teenagers is a bigger problem than previously believed. Distracted driving is generally defined as anything that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off the road temporarily and focus his or her attention elsewhere. Using…
  • 9-year-old boy suffers spine injury while on vacation

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    3 Apr 2015 | 5:08 am
    On March 12, a 9-year-old boy suffered injuries to his spine and head that may leave him paralyzed. Family members say that the boy was traveling with his mother on a Florida vacation when they both got into a car accident. Apparently, the vehicle they were traveling in experienced a collision with another vehicle as the mother was attempting to merge into traffic. Although the mother was also injured during the collision, the third-grader from Hutchinson, Minnesota, received the most serious injuries, including trauma to his head that doctors say actually separated his skull from his spine…
  • Challenges predicted for treating traumatic brain injuries

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:32 am
    Most of us know that traumatic brain injuries can have profound effects on victims. This is because our brains are the reservoir of our personalities. Our memories, our hopes and dreams and even our preferences for food and music are all stored in our heads. That is why even a relatively minor TBI can touch every other aspect of our lives, as well as those who care for us. It's estimated that TBIs account for 50,000 deaths annually and 235,000 hospitalizations. There may be as many as 5.3 million Americans living with complications from TBI. These include problems related to behavior,…
  • Medical malpractice and state nursing home report cards

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    20 Mar 2015 | 6:52 am
    Most people don't think about nursing homes as facilities where medical malpractice can occur. That is probably because many of us associate medical malpractice with what we see portrayed in television shows and movies. Anyone who has ever watched a medical drama is probably more familiar with doctors making surgical errors than nursing home workers administering incorrect medications to patients. Unfortunately, medical negligence does happen occasionally in nursing homes despite its relative lack of publicity. Bad things can sometimes happen to patients like health care providers failing to…
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    Harrison County Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Products liability: Texas ice cream recalled

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:22 am
    What is better than an ice-cold ice cream sandwich on a hot Texas spring day? It depends on what is inside the ice cream sandwich. One recent batch of ice cream sandwiches from Blue Bell may have contained more than just ice cream. According to reports, Blue Bell Creameries issued a product recall for some of its ice cream sold in Texas. The company issued the recall because some of its products contained listeria, a bacterium that can cause nausea, diarrhea, fever muscle aches and more. Particularly at risk are the elderly, infants with underlying health conditions and pregnant women in…
  • How often are semi-trucks involved in accidents?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    9 Apr 2015 | 6:44 am
    Texans may think of semi-trucks as safe. After all, the news seems to be dominated by reports about car and plane accidents. But, semi-trucks can be dangerous too. Part of the danger comes from the sheer ubiquity of semi-trucks. They crisscross the state every day carrying cargo to all corners of the country. Another reason that trucks are dangerous is because of their size. Semi-trucks are not called big rigs in jest. They are called that because they loom large over the rest of traffic. Mix the two factors together, and serious truck accidents are bound to happen. But, how often do these…
  • Pain and suffering basics

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    1 Apr 2015 | 8:54 am
    A car may feel safe, but drivers are surrounded by other vehicles weighing thousands of pounds traveling at high speeds. That weight and speed holds great destructive potential. When that potential turns to reality, Texas residents who are unlucky enough to get in a car accident are often injured. If so, they may be able to receive compensation for their pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a legal term for harm related to an accident victim's injuries. Pain and suffering includes both physical pain and mental discomfort. Mental discomfort, in turn, includes mental harm from the…
  • Determining fault in a slip-and-fall accident can be tricky

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:42 am
    Slip-and-fall accidents happen all the time. Sometimes those falls leave little damage, except perhaps to the person's ego. But, in thousands of other occasions each year, people across the country, including in Texas, are hurt -- many seriously. When that happens, injured Texans may be able to receive compensation from the owner of the property where the injury occurred. But, before a person can receive compensation for their injuries, they need to prove that the property owner was at fault. Doing so can be trickier than people expect. There are a number of factors to consider on the way to…
  • Car accident fires: How common are they?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    20 Mar 2015 | 5:53 am
    Spend some time watching movies or television and you may think that car fires happen all the time. Indeed, Hollywood sometimes makes it seem as if cars burst into flames at the merest bump. But while Hollywood exaggerates, the reality is that car fires are all too common in Texas and elsewhere. Consider the following statistics. In 2012, public fire departments across the nation responded to highway vehicle fires over 172,000 times. Keep in mind, that this number includes only highway vehicle fires. Put differently, nationwide a vehicle fire breaks out every three minutes. Most of those are…
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    Maryland Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Maryland Senator Sponsors Bill To Amend Divorce Law

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    30 Mar 2015 | 6:06 am
    A common complaint among couples going through a divorce proceeding is the length of time it often takes to resolve and obtain a judgment of absolute divorce. One of the most common causes of a drawn-out process is inherent in the nature of a divorce: the couple’s relationship has deteriorated and the parties typically do not agree on the key issues to be resolved. And in Maryland, current state law adds to this already difficult situation by requiring couples to live apart for a full year before even applying for a divorce (under certain circumstances). One way to help move the process…
  • Maryland Legislators Introduce Bill Addressing “de facto” Parental Status

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    16 Mar 2015 | 8:22 am
    Many family law cases, such as a divorce or separation proceeding, involve child custody and visitation issues. When the divorcing spouses are the biological or adoptive parents of the children involved, Maryland law provides ample protections with respect to their parental rights and responsibilities going forward. Significantly, courts have the authority to order a parenting arrangement and child support, in accordance with the best interests of the child. And if the spouse who is required to pay child support fails to meet the obligation, courts are empowered to take extra measures to…
  • Maryland Court Addresses Immigration Status of Child in Divorce and Custody Proceeding

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    2 Mar 2015 | 6:36 am
    When a married couple decides to go forward with a divorce, there will undoubtedly be many tough issues to address and resolve before the proceeding is over. Many spouses often choose to put off filing for a divorce, due to the emotional and financial repercussions. One of the most contentious issues tends to involve the children and how to allocate both physical and legal custody. There are many ways to sort through this part of the process, but no one solution is right for every family. Ideally, spouses will consult with their own legal counsel to ensure that their individual rights and…
  • Maryland Court Interprets Settlement Agreement Dividing Marital Property

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    12 Feb 2015 | 7:31 am
    In many divorce cases, a couple is able to reach an agreement concerning some of the key contentious issues, such as the division of marital property, alimony, child support, and the like. Of course, the parties are encouraged to find some middle ground on these fundamental matters, since it tends to save time, money, and unnecessary heartache. But even in cases where the parties initially agreed to a settlement that is incorporated in the divorce judgment, there is no guarantee that circumstances won’t arise in the future that will prompt one spouse to seek the court’s…
  • Maryland Law Governs Significant Aspects of Divorce

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:02 am
    Each state in the country has the authority to enact laws governing marriage and divorce. These laws can vary a great deal, especially when it comes to the acceptable grounds for divorce. The Maryland Family Code identifies two types of divorce that couples may pursue:  absolute and limited. When seeking an absolute divorce, the couple must establish legal grounds for separation. State law provides the following acceptable scenarios:  a 12-month separation period, desertion, adultery, cruelty, excessively vicious conduct, certain criminal convictions, and insanity. According to the Maryland…
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    Houston Family Law Blog

  • Stay healthy during your divorce in Texas

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:50 am
    A divorce can be a difficult time in your life, and the stress can make it feel like it won't ever end. There are some ways you can stay happier and healthier during a divorce, though. First of all, remember that you'll have some stressful times, even if your divorce goes well. To stave off this distress, you can try exercising. Exercise can give you a boost of adrenaline and feel-good hormones, but it also allows you to have time to think over changes or requests in your case. Next, consider changing your diet to a healthy one, so you don't gain weight from overeating due to stress. Your…
  • Get a court order to enforce missing child support payments

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    9 Apr 2015 | 12:36 pm
    Fighting for custody rights to your children was hard enough, but now you've found that the child support you should be receiving doesn't ever arrive. You probably have a thousand questions to ask about what you can do and why your ex isn't paying for the care of your children; you may even be worried about how you're going to be able to afford to raise the children you worked so hard to get custody of. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get your child support order enforced. Each parent of a child has the responsibility to support the child financially. This obligation can't be…
  • Protect your financial future after a divorce in Texas

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    1 Apr 2015 | 11:05 am
    You've taken the first step and decided to get a divorce, but now you're concerned about what that means for your finances. Will you be able to get alimony? Will you have to pay alimony to your ex-spouse? How much will it affect your income? These are all very good questions that deserve an answer. In Texas, alimony is not very common. Courts don't tend to award spousal maintenance, but it can happen in certain strict situations. If alimony is awarded, it's probable that it won't be awarded for long and it may not be a large award. If you're in a position where you were a stay-at-home parent…
  • Is a prenuptial agreement important in Texas?

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    26 Mar 2015 | 5:44 pm
    A prenuptial agreement can be a touchy subject. Some people believe it shows a lack of trust, and others think it may mean that a partner may not intend to stay faithful. Whatever your initial thoughts are on a prenuptial agreement, there are several reasons why getting one is beneficial. The main reason you should consider a prenuptial agreement is that it protects you and your assets. You bring a number of things into your relationship, from money to stock accounts; keeping these in your possession even in the case of divorce should be your priority. Some evidence suggests that only 5 to 10…
  • How Texas compares to the nation in terms of divorce

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    19 Mar 2015 | 1:17 am
    As a resident in Texas, you probably think you know all there is to know about marriage and divorce in the state. There are several interesting facts you may not know, though, that could alter your opinion of divorce in the state. For example, did you know that there were 101,856 divorces recorded in Texas in 2014? That's a huge increase from 2012, when only 80,030 couples decided to end their marriages. What's interesting about the rise in divorces is also the number of children who are being affected. According to the Department of State Health Services, around 62,196 children were directly…
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    Morristown Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Businesses that serve alcohol can be held liable in car accidents

    On behalf of Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, A Professional Corporation
    12 Apr 2015 | 4:57 pm
    Without a doubt, drunk driving accidents are preventable. However, even though drinking and driving is considered to be a choice, establishments that continue to serve alcohol to customers who appear "visibly intoxicated" might bear some of the responsibility under New Jersey's dram shop liability laws if patrons are involved in car accidents. For example, a Jersey Shore bar recently pleaded no contest regarding a state enforcement action and will have to pay $500,000 in fines and suffer a 30-day suspension for serving alcoholic beverages to a patron who left the bar and was involved in a…
  • Objects falling off vehicles can lead to car accidents

    On behalf of Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, A Professional Corporation
    6 Apr 2015 | 5:11 am
    Most New Jersey residents understand that it is crucial to remain vigilant while driving the state's highways. The majority of accidents on highways are due to driver error. However, some car accidents are caused by something completely unexpected such as an object falling off a truck or vehicle. Even skilled drivers may not be able to avoid these potentially lethal projectiles. In the case of a recent accident on Interstate 80 here in New Jersey, a tire flew off an eastbound pickup truck. The tire careened across the median into the westbound lanes of the highway and struck a car occupied by…
  • Freak car accidents: SUV crashes into Wendy's, injures customers

    On behalf of Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, A Professional Corporation
    2 Apr 2015 | 1:31 pm
    Standing in line at a fast food restaurant does not sound like an activity that could be dangerously life-threatening. However, it turned out to be just that on Feb. 19 for an 89-year-old customer in a Wendy's restaurant in Bayonne. As he was standing in line, the elderly man was hit by a BMW SUV that crashed into the store and batted the man through the air into a back wall before mangling him under its tires after he fell to the ground. Car accidents in New Jersey are rarely as bizarre and spectacular as the one that transpired in the Bayonne Wendy's that day. The driver of the…
  • Kraft macaroni and cheese joins list of dangerous products

    On behalf of Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, A Professional Corporation
    31 Mar 2015 | 1:50 pm
    On March 17, Kraft Foods announced the recall of approximately 6.5 million boxes of its original macaroni and cheese product, which were distributed across the country -- most likely including many here in New Jersey. However, at last report, the Food and Drug Administration had not yet classified the recall. The FDA is responsible for assigning a consumer risk factor to dangerous products. The most serious classification is a Class I recall, which means that there is a threat of serious illness or death from exposure or use of a product. Class II is for products from which a consumer can…
  • Property owners may be held liable for fall-down accidents

    On behalf of Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, A Professional Corporation
    24 Mar 2015 | 5:27 am
    The owners of public properties in New Jersey are responsible for ensuring the safety of the people who enter the property. The failure to take the necessary precautions to eliminate --or at least reduce -- any hazards that could cause fall-down accidents could result in serious injury or death. If you were injured or lost a family member due to dangerous property, you may file a civil action attempting to hold the owner liable for your injuries or the death of your family member. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that there is adequate lighting on the premises to ensure that the…
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    Columbus Personal Injury Law Blog

  • 3 products liability lawsuits filed concerning laundry packets

    On behalf of Dale Perdue
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:52 am
    Single-use laundry packets may be a simple and convenient way to wash clothing. However, these laundry products also pose a certain risk to some individuals. Proctor & Gamble Co. (PG) is currently facing three Ohio products liability suits after individuals were injured by its Tide Pods products. A Nov. 2014 study published in a medical journal found that single-use laundry packets sent an average of one child per day to the hospital in both 2012 and 2013. During that time period, poison control centers reported over 17,000 calls from parents whose children had confused the packets with candy…
  • Alcohol a factor in head-on collision with serious injuries

    On behalf of Dale Perdue
    15 Apr 2015 | 5:53 am
    A serious crash recently occurred in Fulton Township, and two individuals suffered serious injuries. A 41-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle, causing a head-on collision with a second vehicle driven by a 76-year-old woman. Ohio law enforcement officers suspect that alcohol played a part in the crash. Around 9:40 p.m. on a Tuesday, the first vehicle was traveling north on a state highway near an intersection when it began approaching a second vehicle that was traveling south on the same roadway. The driver of the first vehicle lost control of her car. She left her own lane and crossed…
  • Brother files suit against nursing home, medical negligence

    On behalf of Dale Perdue
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:33 pm
    The brother of a woman who passed away in a nursing home is filing a wrongful death suit. The sister was only a patient at the Ohio nursing home for one day. In his wrongful death suit, the brother believes that medical negligence on the part of the nursing home took place when it allegedly failed to provide the simple and appropriate care that would have kept his sister alive. The sister was admitted into the nursing home facility on March 22, 2013. The suit claims that the facility should have been aware of the woman's mental impairment as well as the severe burns she had on her body from…
  • CHS hospital ordered to pay $2 million in defamation suit

    By D. Andrew List
    7 Apr 2015 | 10:09 am
    Affinity Medical Center, a Community Health Systems hospital in Massillon, Ohio, was recently ordered to pay nearly $2 million for defamation and punitive damages. Ann Wayt is a registered nurse who worked at Affinity Medical Center for more than 24 years.  While employed by the hospital, Ms. Wayt received the Affinity Medical Center Nurse Excellence Award. After Ms. Wayt became a union support and organizer who encouraged registered nurses at the hospital to vote for union representation, the hospital's attitude toward Ms. Wayt changed dramatically.  The day before a union election…
  • Woman awarded $800,000 in medical malpractice settlement

    On behalf of Dale Perdue
    3 Apr 2015 | 11:47 am
    Cancer is a disease that affects many individuals around the world. Like many other diseases, cancer is more treatable the earlier it is discovered within the body. One woman who has battled cancer for several years filed a medical malpractice suit against an Ohio hospital. She claims that the hospital should have detected the cancer many years ago, and she has recently been awarded a settlement. In 2004, the woman visited the Ohio State University Medical Center in order to have a CAT scan. The original reason that the woman wanted to have the scan performed is not clear. She claims in her…
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    North Texas Legal News

  • Trends in CEO Covenants Not to Compete

    Leiza Dolghih
    7 Apr 2015 | 9:44 pm
    Earlier this year, three law professors* published an analysis of non-compete and non-solicitation restraints in a sample of 874 CEO employment agreements. You can find the entire article here. This is the first empirical study of non-compete restraints. The professors drew their agreements from a random sample of 500 S&P 1500 companies who are required by law to disclose to the public the terms of their CEO contracts. Here’s a summary of their findings: most of the CEO contracts (80%) had 1 or 2-year covenants not to compete (CNCs) 89% of CNCs prohibited CEOs from working for a…
  • A Major Victory for Pregnant Working Women in the US Supreme Court – Young v. UPS

    Leiza Dolghih
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:12 am
    This week, the United States Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling in Young v. UPS addressing how employers should treat pregnant employees under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and states that employers must treat pregnant women at work the same as “other persons” who are not pregnant but are similar in their ability or inability to work.  42 U.S.C §2000e(k). Young, a UPS driver whose doctor told her not to lift over 20 pounds after she became pregnant, sued UPS because the company refused…
  • A Texas Company’s Chairman is Personally on the Hook for $1.3 Million for Hiring a COO Without Board Approval

    Leiza Dolghih
    15 Mar 2015 | 11:34 am
    Earlier this month, the First Court of Appeals  in Wilmot v. Bouknight upheld an award of $1,337,500 against a company executive and the chairman of the board who hired a chief operating officer (COO) for a 5-year term knowing that he did not have the authority to enter into such agreement without the board approval and knowing that the board would not approve the agreement. For two years, the chairman proceeded to give the COO assignments, provided him paychecks, promised him additional compensation, and treated him like he was working for the company. Then he fired him, almost three…
  • Anti-Raiding Provisions with Clients, Vendors and Subcontractors – Why It’s a Good Idea

    Leiza Dolghih
    10 Mar 2015 | 11:46 am
    Many companies have basic non-compete provisions that prevent employees from working for a competitor for a certain period of time, but they often fail to address a situation where an employee goes to work in-house for a client of the company or jumps ship to work for a vendor, supplier, or a subcontractor of the company. While, technically, such move by an employee may not constitute “competition” with his/her former employer, a lot of times it el