• Most Topular Stories

  • More than two dozen Harvard Law faculty object to University's new procedures on sexual harassment...

    Brian Leiter's Law School Reports
    Brian Leiter
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:13 am
    ...for multiple violations of due process and fairness in proceedings, among other things. Signatories include David Shapiro, Duncan Kennedy, former Dean Robert Clark, Bruce Hay,...
  • Appeals Court Cooks Up Some Good News for Foodies

    Law Blog
    Joe Palazzolo
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:28 pm
    A federal appeals court in Washington has served up a treat for diners who demand authentic cuisine.
  • Law’s Love of Adverbs

    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog
    Lisa A. Mazzie
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:32 am
    Ah—the maligned adverb. Many writers eschew them. Stephen King, for example, seems to hate them. In his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, he writes, “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs[.]” He likens them to dandelions: one of them might look pretty, but they’re actually weeds that can and do take over your lawn (or, in the case of adverbs, your writing). What is an adverb? Generally speaking, it’s a word that ends in –ly (though not always; scroll down here to see adverbs as emphasizers, amplifiers, and downtoners—all words we lawyers like to use). The…
  • Odds & Ends; Tech Update

    Special Education Law Blog
    Jim Gerl
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:41 pm
     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Your reaction to my 2012-2013 caselaw outline has been overwhelming.  Thank you.  One question that many of you have asked concerns the purchase price.  The price of the outline is $295.00 and I have made arrangements to receive payments PayPal (which includes a credit card option). The 259 page outline is available as a .pdf file and it is searchable (at least on my computer.) If you would like more information about this very cool research tool please email me at stuff: One of the great things…
  • Non-Sequiturs: 10.21.14

    Above the Law
    Joe Patrice
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:02 pm
    * That didn’t take long. John Oliver’s Supreme Court dogs have already been used to recreate Hobby Lobby. The entire Hobby Lobby argument. [Above the Law] * Squire Patton Boggs is representing the pharmaceutical company promoting Ebola drugs. Or, as CNN would put it, EVERYONE AT SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS HAS EBOLA!!!! [Law and More] * China Central Television advises citizens not to name themselves “Lawyer.” Good advice. [CCTV News] * Slate posits that appealing gay marriage decisions to the Supreme Court may violate Rule 11. They’re wrong, but that’s what they’re positing. [Slate] *…
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    Law Blog

  • Law Schools for Sale: Wayne State University Slashes Prices

    Jacob Gershman
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:14 pm
    Another law school has joined the war of tuition. Wayne State University Law School in Detroit is the latest law school to slash its prices.
  • New York Weighs Overhaul of Bar Exam

    Jacob Gershman
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:54 pm
    New York is debating whether to replace its bar exam with a national administered and graded standardized test -- a switch that could happen as early as next summer -- that could make it easier for young lawyers to move in and out of New York without having to take another grueling test.
  • Appeals Court Cooks Up Some Good News for Foodies

    Joe Palazzolo
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:28 pm
    A federal appeals court in Washington has served up a treat for diners who demand authentic cuisine.
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  • “Purple” Haze – NLRB Still Unclear on Whether It Will Stop Employers From Limiting Use of Company Email to Business Purposes

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

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

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

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

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

    Walter Olson
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:35 am
    Author Patricia Marx decided to brazen her way through New York restaurants, museums, high-end fashion shops, and other institutions with five “un-cuddly, non-nurturing animals” such as a turtle, snake, and turkey, and some therapist paperwork that was easy enough to procure. [New Yorker] Aside from writing hilariously, she’s well informed about the Americans with Disabilities Act interplay: Why didn’t anybody do the sensible thing, and tell me and my turtle to get lost? The Americans with Disabilities Act allows you to ask someone with a service animal only two questions:…
  • Deed transfer theft in New York City

    Walter Olson
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:15 pm
    Horror story in Queens points up flaws of the city’s deed-transfer system, and also of its pro-tenant housing court regime: “After Darrell Beatty failed to appear in August, a judge approved an eviction, but it was stayed last week when Beatty claimed he had health problems.” [New York Post] Tweet Tags: fraud, landlord tenant law, NYC, real estate Deed transfer theft in New York City is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Politics roundup

    Walter Olson
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Texas trial lawyer lobby has attacked Greg Abbott on theme of his accident for years without success, Wendy Davis would have been smarter to tell ‘em no [Politico] Wondering about ObamaCare rate hikes? You’ll get to find out right after the election [Washington Times] “Four more years of ‘pay-to-play’ if DeWine returns as Ohio AG, says Dem challenger” [LNL] Blades concealed? Environmental group’s Iowa, Colorado attack ads play bad cop to wind lobbyists’ good cop [Tim Carney] “W.Va. trial lawyers’ campaign donations near $600K” [W.V.
  • Cop fired after falling asleep on job wins nearly $1M

    Walter Olson
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:24 am
    Kansas: “A federal jury Tuesday awarded a former McPherson police officer who was found sleeping on duty almost $1 million in wages and damages. Matthew B. Michaels alleged the city violated his civil rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and the Kansas Wage Payment Act. He was fired from the McPherson Police Department in July 2012. Michaels said he was discriminated against because of a sleep apnea disability.” [McPherson Sentinel] Tweet Tags: disabled rights, Kansas, police Cop fired after falling asleep on job wins nearly $1M is a post from…
  • Pa. jury: inadequate curve signage partly at fault

    Walter Olson
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:32 am
    Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: “A jury in a Luzerne County civil case ruled that PennDOT was partially responsible for a deadly crash in 2011 that killed a 15-year-old girl, even though the driver of the SUV was driving at roughly twice the speed limit and did not have a driver’s license.” While the driver admitted he was going nearly 90 miles an hour when he lost control, the family’s lawyer “told jurors in closing arguments that PennDOT’s own manuals showed Suscon Road needed more so-called chevron signs that reflect light and warn of an upcoming sharp curve.”…
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    Solo Practice University®

  • Soloing With Mindfulness In Mind

    Judi Cohen
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Solos always need tools to get ahead. The most obvious tool to help you do that is actually inside your head. You just need some training to understand it, and use it to your best advantage. The training is mindfulness training. Every few days another article on the benefits of mindfulness hits the news. In August we learned that mindfulness can decrease anxiety and help reduce relapse for clinical depression, in addition to lowering instances of doctor visits. At Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, researchers conducting a hypertension trial on non-medicated adults found that…
  • When You Find Yourself in a Malpractice Claim, Stop Digging

    Laura Loyek
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    There is nothing easy about informing your client that you’ve made a mistake.  It can be tempting to put off the difficult conversation in hopes that something will change or somehow the mistake will go away.  Unfortunately, things are not likely to get better, and delay will only compound the problem.  After contacting your malpractice carrier, you need to take a deep breath and tell the client what happened. Attorney Gary Mettler* found himself in this uncomfortable position when he missed the deadline to perfect an appeal.  Mettler represented Zack Peterson in connection with his…
  • Lists – An Effectiveness Tool for Every Lawyer

    Debra Bruce
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    “Duh! Tell me something I don’t already know,” you might have said to yourself when you read this headline. I’m sure you already have some kind of list on your desk, on your computer, or on your mobile device right now. And yet, I frequently find myself coaching lawyers about creating and reviewing lists to help them manage the overwhelm of modern law practice. There are many different kinds of lists with different functions and different ways to manage them. This post will include a “list of lists” and a brief description of their benefits or functionality. Check out David…
  • The Necessity of Managing the Business Side of a Solo or Small Firm

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    15 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    I have always felt that my law school education missed one key component. There was never a course on how to manage the business side of a law practice. Oh yes, I do know that now-a-days a number of law schools have developed a basic business class. I’ve actually been a guest lecturer in these classes at a few different law schools over the years. I just don’t think that the limited number of hours typically devoted to a broad range of topics suffices. What I’m talking about is this. There should be a serious year long course that delves into the ins and outs of managing a small…
  • Are You Fumbling With Your Facebook Business Page?

    Eva Hibnick
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    There are so many articles and presentations out there on the topic of  social media for lawyers. However,  most of the content you come across is about how to create a Facebook Business Page. I am going to assume that you can figure this out on your own or have read a tutorial on it already. What is really important to understand is how Facebook can help your law firm. If used appropriately Facebook can be extremely valuable to attorneys. Facebook is valuable if it increases brand awareness and leads to the acquisition of clients. As  a lawyer, any marketing activity you do that…
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    Above the Law

  • In Defense Of Jonathan Dach

    David Lat
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:36 pm
    Is Yale Law School graduate Jonny Dach getting a bum rap?
  • Non-Sequiturs: 10.21.14

    Joe Patrice
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:02 pm
    * That didn’t take long. John Oliver’s Supreme Court dogs have already been used to recreate Hobby Lobby. The entire Hobby Lobby argument. [Above the Law] * Squire Patton Boggs is representing the pharmaceutical company promoting Ebola drugs. Or, as CNN would put it, EVERYONE AT SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS HAS EBOLA!!!! [Law and More] * China Central Television advises citizens not to name themselves “Lawyer.” Good advice. [CCTV News] * Slate posits that appealing gay marriage decisions to the Supreme Court may violate Rule 11. They’re wrong, but that’s what they’re positing. [Slate] *…
  • FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

    Proskauer - Whistleblowing & Retaliation
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:35 pm
    As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that prohibit or otherwise restrict customers or anyone else (such as current employees) from communicating with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA, or any federal or state regulatory authority regarding a possible securities law violation.
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    Simple Justice

  • No Better Options

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:47 am
    To his credit, Jonathan Turley built up the scenario well, creating a mental image of a travesty where the First Rule of Policing cost a woman hostage her life. Misty Holt-Singh, 41, had just run into the Stockton, California bank and left her 12-her-old daughter in the car for a quick transaction. In an instant, her life would change as Gilbert Renteria Jr., Jaime Ramos, and Alex Martinez came into to rob the bank. They took Singh hostage and fled in a car. However, the police were quickly on their tail and trapped the car. She may have had a glimmer of hope. After all, there were some 33…
  • But There’s a Box; It Must Be Checked

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Among the phenomenon that is perpetually amusing is that when handed a form, people will fill it out.  It doesn’t matter what it asks for, the relevance to the purpose of the form to the question. If there’s a blank line, people write on it. If there’s a box people check it.  Because if they don’t, the sky will fall and society will come crashing down around their head. At the New York Times Room for Debate, the question was posed whether checking the “sex” box is necessary: New York City is considering a proposal that would make it easier for people to…
  • How Angry Guys Explain Acquitted-Conduct Sentencing (and why they’re wrong)

    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    After the Supreme Court’s denial of cert in Jones, there appeared to be a sudden shocked recognition that people get sentenced for the crime for which they were just acquitted. This was by both lawyers and non-lawyers, who neither knew nor cared up to that point.  Readers here already knew exactly what this was about, but then, they’re usually ahead of the curve. In a rush to catch up, there was a flurry of posts explaining what this meant. Few explained the logistics that justify this bizarre twist of law, some leaving one to ponder why they bothered at all.  But as is often…
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    Law and Magic Blog

  • A Remake of "The Illusionist"?

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

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

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

  • Clients don't want perfect. They want excellent. And excellent is a lot harder.

    JD Hull
    21 Oct 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Clients 99.5% of the time are not paying you to be perfect. Clients don't want perfect. (In the rare times they do want perfect, they will let you know, Justin.) Clients want excellent. Be excellent, not perfect. See, e.g., "Rule 10: Be Accurate, Thorough and Timely--But Not Perfect" of our world-famous irritating but dead-on accurate, deeply soulful, arresting and life-changing 12 Rules of Client Service. Perfectionism: The horror, the horror.
  • "It's nice to be Dr. Ruth..."

    JD Hull
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    Long story, but yesterday morning I had breakfast here in New York with Ruth Westheimer (Dr. Ruth) who at 86 is just one month older than my own Mom and just as sharp and vibrant. I met her about 10 years ago and see her every 2 years or so--but I never really talked her longer than a couple of minutes before yesterday. She is funny and classy and bawdy all at once. And, as I told her in the middle of breakfast, she's got big ones. Google Dr. Ruth some time. She was born in Bavaria in 1929. Just a few months older than Anne Frank, she lost both parents in the Holocaust after they were taken…
  • H.G. Wells on Editors.

    JD Hull
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:59 pm
    No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft. --H.G. Wells (1866-1946)
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    How Appealing

  • "McCaffery ordered to turn in court-issued equipment"

    Howard Bashman
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:26 pm
    "McCaffery ordered to turn in court-issued equipment": In Wednesday's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Angela Couloumbis and Jeremy Roebuck will have an article that begins, "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday told Justice Seamus P. McCaffery to turn over computers and other court-issued equipment, and moved swiftly to cancel the Internet service it provides at McCaffery's Northeast Philadelphia home." And in Wednesday's edition of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Brad Bumsted will have an article headlined "Justice blames feud for his ouster; chief of court admits he did seek to…
  • "Federal appeals court overturns conviction in D.C. child sex predator case"

    Howard Bashman
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:54 pm
    "Federal appeals court overturns conviction in D.C. child sex predator case": The Washington Times has this news update reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
  • "Foreign Chefs Get Treat in Court's Visa Ruling; Appeals Judges Find Brazilian Steakhouse's Cooks Have Specialized Knowledge"

    Howard Bashman
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:50 pm
    "Foreign Chefs Get Treat in Court's Visa Ruling; Appeals Judges Find Brazilian Steakhouse's Cooks Have Specialized Knowledge": Joe Palazzolo will have this article in Wednesday's edition of The Wall Street Journal. You can freely access the full text of the article via Google. And at the "Federal Eye" blog of The Washington Post, Jerry Markon and Tim Carman have an entry titled "Fogo de Chao wins meaty case in visa fight with Homeland Security." You can access today's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
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    Legal Juice

  • Road Rage, Delegated To Passenger

    John Mesirow
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Simmer down there fellas. Or put some gloves on and hit a punching bag. But don’t do this! As reported by Per The Hamilton Spectator [Ontario]: According to police, a man was driving his car on Mud St. W Friday when the passenger in a truck driving by in the next lane threw something out the window, striking his car. He honked, but the truck did not stop. When the two vehicles pulled up to a red light, the truck passenger got out and waved a knife at the man in the car. He drove away, but the truck followed. At the next red light, the truck passenger got out and threw a brick at the car…
  • You’re Really Busting This Guy For Renting Houses?

    John Mesirow
    19 Oct 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Hey, the guy is an entrepreneur. You’re going to bust him for renting houses? Well, yes. As reported by Danny Heaggans [age 33] illegally gained access to at least four vacant, abandoned or foreclosed homes [on Bedford, Ohio] and installed locks to make it look like he had legitimate access, police said. Heaggans made repairs and showed the properties to people looking to rent a house, according to police. Investigators found that Heaggans presented lease agreements to the prospective renters and collected security deposits and one month’s rent. Police think…
  • That Getaway Might Work In The Movies …

    John Mesirow
    18 Oct 2014 | 9:07 pm
    Most things work in the movies. See, that’s because movies are not real. The Juice could be wrong (hah), but it sure sounds like these bank robbers thought they were in a movie when they pulled off (briefly, any way) a bank robbery in Houston. As reported by The robbers were armed with semi-automatic handguns, according to the FBI. Marquis Garr or said he saw them run out of the bank with a bag of money. “It was really crazy because it was my first time seeing a bank robbery,” Garr or said. “When they came out, I just seen ‘em laughing.” Yee hah! We…
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    Ask the Lawyer @ Dear Esq.

  • How Should My Mother’s Estate Be Divided?

    House Attorney
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:36 pm
    -My mom died recently at 89-years old after a fall. About three years ago she developed severe dementia. She didn't want to go to a nursing home so I hired a live-in aide and a part-time aide for relief. Mom and I had had a joint checking card and checking account for decades.
  • When Can an HOA Start the Foreclosure Process?

    House Attorney
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:27 pm
    I am on the board of a condo association in Arizona. We have one owner who apparently has abandoned his condo and cannot be found. The mailing address is at the home of a lady who has had two condos foreclosed here and refuses service of any judgment service or mail for him. He owes $24,000 since 2005 and it grows every month. It shows no loan but if you dig deep it states private loan with no info.
  • Can I Obtain Custody of My Cousin’s Children?

    House Attorney
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:47 pm
    My question is in regards to custodial rights across state lines. My cousin is about to go to jail (he’s dumb), the mother of his children (who’s also dumb) is in jail for a separate charge currently serving time. There is no family in his state of Montana and I live in California.
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  • Keynote Address: Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment

    Guest Blogger
    18 Oct 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Joshua M. SharfsteinFor the conference on Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment[The following is the text of the Keynote Address for the Conference on Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment, delivered at Yale Law School on October 18, 2014 byJoshua M. Sharfstein, M.D.Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene]Thank you for inviting me to speak at this important and timely conference. As a pediatrician and state public health official, I especially appreciate the chance to talk with you  today. I’d like to start by setting expectations.My…
  • Government By Wishful Thinking

    Guest Blogger
    17 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    Ted MerminFor the conference on Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment Public health and government have what supermarket tabloids refer to as a “complicated relationship.”  One of the reasons for the complexity is that government has a habit of governing idealized persons, while the people being governed have an equally strong tendency to behave in ways that are not ideal.  It does not take Dr. Phil – or, to advert to a greater sage of an earlier era – Dr. Ruth to figure out that this is not a recipe for a successful partnership.To illustrate: The story of…
  • When Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words: An Empirical Approach

    Guest Blogger
    17 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Christine JollsFor the conference on Public Health in the Shadow of the First AmendmentLaw, both within and beyond the domain of public health, is pervasively concerned with the availability of information.  A question of the first order is then what it means for an individual to “have” a given piece of information.  Consider someone who hears the following commercial:  “I admit it.  I thought of skimping.  Could you look into those big blue eyes and skimp on her?  So I buy KRAFT Singles.  Imitation slices use hardly any milk.  But KRAFT has five…
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  • "Don't touch me"... "Don't touch my girlfriend."

    21 Oct 2014 | 3:28 pm
    Who says "Don't touch me"? Most famously: Jesus. He said it — "Noli me tangere" — to Mary Magdalene, in a scene depicted many times in art:That had something to do with the fragility of the fleshly body in the immediate aftermath of resurrection. A very special case. In modern times, I think we tend to think of a woman saying "Don't touch me." But Howie Mandel wrote a book called "Don't Touch Me": He was writing about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Maybe you remember pre-"2001" Keir Dullea as David in "David and Lisa" with his mentally disordered fear of touching:"You touched me! You…
  • I thought only "yes" means yes: Did Obama get true, verbalized consent from that woman before he kissed her?

    21 Oct 2014 | 8:52 am
    No. He did not. People are focusing on Obama's interplay with a man who said "Don't touch my girlfriend" as Obama was voting in Chicago, demonstrating how to vote.But let's talk about the woman. Obama orders her to kiss him: "You're gonna kiss me. Give him something to talk about. Now, he's really jealous." As you see in the video, he makes that declarative statement and immediately grabs her and kisses and hugs her.Why is that acceptable? He's using her in an effort to regain dignity and to humiliate the man who humiliated him. It might all be dismissed as play humiliation and play…
  • "[Bell] Hooks had just come from a seminar entitled 'Transgression: Whose Booty Is This?'"

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:49 am
    "She said, 'Pussies are out. It’s bootylicious all the way.' [Laverne] Cox agreed. 'It is the age of the ass,' she said. 'Booty as cultural metaphor is really interesting. J. Lo made the ass a thing fifteen years ago, and now we have issues of ass appropriation.'"From a New Yorker piece about a conversation between Bell Hooks, the longtime activist feminist, who's currently a Distinguished Professor in Residence of Appalachian Studies at Berea College, and Laverne Cox, the LGBT advocate and actress who's in the TV show "Orange Is the New Black." Hooks proceeds to declare that she has "had…
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    Concurring Opinions

  • FAN 36.3 (First Amendment News) A street named Carlin

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Cardinal Carlin UPDATED Tomorrow New York City will rename a street to honor the late George Carlin, the famed comedian and inspiration for FCC v. Pacifica(1978), the infamous First Amendment case sustaining a broadcast ban on “7 dirty words.” Although “George Carlin Way” will begin at Amsterdam and West 121st Street, because of construction the ceremony tomorrow will be one block away at Morningside Drive and West 121st Street. This from Howard Wasserman: “The named block is actually not the block on which Carlin grew up, because the church there (where Carlin…
  • University of Toronto Law Journal – Volume 64, Number 5, Fall 2014

    University of Toronto Law Journal
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:41 am
    University of Toronto Law Journal – Volume 64, Number 5, Fall 2014 Strange bedfellows Robert Leckey Two logics of authority in modern law Arie Rosen Authority, justice, and public law: A unified theory Jacob Weinrib REVIEW ARTICLES The work of Lon Fuller: A promising direction for jurisprudence in the twenty-first century Wibren van der Burg List and Pettit on group agency and group responsibility Vincent Chiao Full text of the University of Toronto Law Journal is available online at UTLJ Online, Project Muse, JSTOR, HeinOnline, Westlaw, Westlaw-CARSWELL, LexisNexis and Quicklaw.
  • FAN 36.2 (First Amendment News) Corn-Revere on the FCC & Redskins Controversy

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:50 am
    Robert Corn-Revere In case you missed it, yesterday Robert Corn-Revere had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. The piece was titled, “Free-Speech Foes Call an Audible — Bringing the FCC into the ‘Redskins’ debate is an invitation for First Amendment mischief.” Here is the petition to the Federal Communications Commission, the one that gave rise to the FCC controversy. Here is how Mr. Corn-Revere began his WSJ op-ed: “However you may feel about the name of the National Football League franchise in Washington, D.C., do we really want the Federal Communications…
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • Criminal and privacy implications of drones

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

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

    7 Oct 2014 | 12:34 pm
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Pennsylvania bar on lawyers, social media, ethics."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Pennsylvania bar on lawyers, social media, ethics As social media permeates our culture, its relevance to the practice of law increases. This is because social media platforms can be used by lawyers to market their law practices and can also be mined for evidence to support their clients’ cases. Of course, any type of online interaction brings with it a host of ethical considerations and that’s why ethics committees across the country…
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  • Family Film Blogging: Meet the Mormons

    Christine Hurt
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    We were among the last folks in Provo-Orem to go see Meet the Mormons last night.  As it was ending, my very astute middle child whispered:  "The point is for non-Mormons to Meet the Mormons, but only Mormons are going to see it."  (Of course, we were seeing it in Provo, so that probably doesn't give us a random sample of moviegoers.)  So, the topic of this family film blog post is to ponder what would make a non-Mormon go to the movies and choose this movie over another. The reviews from film critics are pretty low.  The word "infomercial" is used a lot.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the…
  • Good Luck At AALS, And Here Are Some Alternatives!

    David Zaring
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:13 am
    I'm looking forward to seeing some of you at the meat market, Wharton is interviewing (and the deadline for applications is yet to come!).  We're not the only business law place, and I like to post the hiring notices of our competition for those inclined to peruse them.  After the fold, a few more, all in quite desirable locations. CLINICAL PROFESSOR IN ETHICS The Boston University School of Management is now accepting applications for a full-time, non-tenure-track Clinical Professor in Ethics, effective July 1, 2015.   Successful applicants will be a senior faculty member who possesses…
  • Family Film Blogging: Assorted Dystopian Future Films (The Maze Runner and The Giver)

    Christine Hurt
    13 Oct 2014 | 2:18 pm
    When I was a "young adult," books geared toward me dealt with parental divorce, mothers dying of cancer, anorexia and the occasional unwanted pregnancy.  But everyone knowns now that YA novels must have a dystopian future (or a wizard).  (See, e.g., Catching Fire and Divergent et seq.)  Two recent movies jump on tha tbadwagon, adapting two other YA novels that depict a dystopian, totalitarian future:  The Giver and The Maze Runner. I will have to admit that I may be one of the very few moms out there with kids that have gone through middle school who has not read The Giver (1993) by…
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    Ms. JD Blog

  • LSAT Vocabulary

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:46 pm
    One question we are often asked concerns the vocabulary required to do well on the LSAT. Students worry that they might need an especially large vocabulary, or perhaps a working knowledge of legal or logical terms. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look and find out what you need to know before you take the LSAT. The good news is that most of the words you will see on the LSAT will be of the simple, everyday variety. This would include a wide range of words such as “city” or “witness” or “fuel.” Most native English speakers would not find these…
  • U.S. Policy and Advocacy Summer 2015 Law Student Intern

    17 Oct 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Job Title:  U.S. Policy and Advocacy Summer 2015 Law Student Intern Department: U.S. Policy and Advocacy Program Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights is a nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing reproductive freedom as a fundamental right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. The Center engages in cutting-edge impact litigation, policy analysis, advocacy, research, and public education throughout the world, to achieve women’s equality in society and to ensure that all women have access to appropriate…
  • Federal Policy Spring 2015 Law Student Intern

    17 Oct 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Job Title:  Federal Policy Spring 2015 Law Student Intern Department: USPA Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights is a nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing reproductive freedom as a fundamental right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. The Center engages in cutting-edge impact litigation, policy analysis, advocacy, research, and public education throughout the world, to achieve women’s equality in society and to ensure that all women have access to appropriate and freely chosen reproductive health…
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Legal Malpractice And Intervening Cause

    Legal Profession Prof
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:07 pm
    The New Mexico Court of Appeals has reversed a favorable ruling to the defendant in a legal malpractice case Roland Lucero and his company, R & L Straightline Tile, (collectively, Plaintiff) appeal from a judgment entered in favor of Defendant...
  • Eli's Coming

    Legal Profession Prof
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:34 am
    A former Eli Lilly attorney was suspended for 90 days by the Indiana Supreme Court for taking confidential materials with him when he left. Respondent has been an attorney since 1993 and was admitted as a patent attorney by the...
  • Minor In A Tavern Charge Not Reported On Bar Application

    Legal Profession Prof
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:29 am
    An attorney who had failed to fully disclose his reportable conduct on his bar application and was convicted of a DUI after admission was suspended for six months with all but 120 days stayed and probation for three years by...
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  • Law Firm Sued Over Text Message Advertisements

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

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

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

  • China Company Indemnification From Product Defects. Yeah, Whatever.

    21 Oct 2014 | 3:58 am
    American lawyers love using indemnification provisions in product manufacturing agreements. They love them so much that they often use them in China manufacturing contracts (OEM Agreements) even though they do not work well at all there. American lawyers often put in a provision stating that if there is a product recall, the Chinese company must indemnify the American company for any fees/costs/damages incurred by the American company arising from the recall. American lawyers also often put in a provision stating that if anyone is injured by a product defect, the Chinese company must…
  • China Employment Contracts: Do Not Try This At Home, Part II

    20 Oct 2014 | 3:58 am
    Did a post yesterday explaining why I got so upset with the idea of an American domestic lawyer writing the employment contracts for his company’s China WFOE. That post, China Employment Contracts: Do Not Try This At Home, listed out a few of the more important things I was pretty certain this lawyer would miss in his contracts. In response to that post, a reader emailed me to  ask what “really” goes into a Chinese employment contract. This post responds to that email and highlights what is “really” involved in drafting China employment contracts. The below is…
  • China’s Film Industry Online, Part I

    19 Oct 2014 | 5:58 am
    China’s theatrical box office market may be huge but the ancillary revenues (i.e. non-box office) are still relatively small in China. This is the first in a series of posts on developments in China’s digital ancillaries in a lead-up to the US-China Film Summit, which I will be attending along with a number of other lawyers from my firm and a talk I will be giving on China’s film industry before the Beverly Hills Bar Association on November 3. In this first post, I seek to provide a frame of reference for a discussion of ancillaries in China. In recent years, a market-based…
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    Patently-O » Patent

  • Proving Non-Obviousness with Ex-Post Experimental Evidence?

    Dennis Crouch
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:03 am
    by Dennis Crouch The Federal Circuit has rejected BMS’s petition for en banc rehearing in its chemical compound obviousness case. However, four additional opinions either concurring or dissenting show that the court does not speak with one-mind on the issue. Obviousness is the central patentability doctrine and thus, even small modifications to the doctrine can have important systemic impacts. En Banc Denial Opinions.  The patent in question – if valid – is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and so we can expect a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme…
  • The Vast Middle Ground of Hybrid Functional Claim Elements

    Dennis Crouch
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:43 am
    by Dennis Crouch In Robert Bosch v. Snap-On (Fed. Cir. 2014), the Federal Circuit has held that two different claim elements “lack sufficiently definite structure” that must be interpreted under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) as means-plus-function elements and, because corresponding structures were not sufficiently disclosed in the patent document (as required by 112(f)), the associated claims were held invalid as indefinite.  Here the claim elements in question are a ‘program recognition device’ that plugs into a car motor to see if its control software is out of date…
  • Another Prosecution Bar Case, but With a Twist

    17 Oct 2014 | 2:09 pm
    As I’ve pointed out elsewhere here, the adoption of the AIA has created various issues for existing prosecution bars: if you are using a pre-AIA form, consider whether it applies to the new post-grant proceedings.  Courts are splitting on whether bars that don’t mention them can, or should, apply.  My article on the broad topic of prosecution bars is here. In this recent case, Voice Domain Techn. LLC v. Apple, Inc. (D. Mass. Oct. 8, 2014), the court faced a couple of unique circumstances, while also addressing whether post-grant proceedings were “competitive…
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    Patent Baristas

  • Master a Rapidly Shifting Patent Law Landscape

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

    Stephen Jenei
    9 Oct 2014 | 8:16 am
    Challenges abound with regards to litigation, outsourcing and monetization; and are currently increasing on a national and international level. It is essential to understand these issues in order to have an upper-hand in overcoming these obstacles. IP and patent professionals are planning to invest in several services and solutions, some of which include: Valuation Services Recruitment & Talent Management Patent Litigation Patent Drafting & Filing IQPC surveyed a senior group of in-house IP and patent professionals to discover which services and solutions they plan to invest in over…
  • to Rank Patent Attorneys and Patent Examiners

    Stephen Jenei
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:46 am is a new patent-related website that claims to use peer-reviewed patent valuation methodologies to rank patent attorneys and to profile patent examiners. PatentStat uses comprehensive data-mining and cutting-edge analysis to help you choose the most appropriate patent attorney, and profiles patent examiners to help you manage patent prosecution. The use-cases are to help patent filers intelligently select appropriate counsel in any one of 33 technology areas, and to help attorneys better know the examiners who are reviewing their applications. The methodology is transparent…
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    Religion Clause

  • British Parliament Passes Measure To Permit Women Bishops In Church of England

    Howard Friedman
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:18 am
    In Britain yesterday, the House of Commons debated and gave final Parliamentary approval to the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure  which provides for consecration of women as bishops in the Church of England and continues the provision for ordination of women as priests. The Measure will now be presented for royal assent. Law & Religion UK has an extensive report on the Measure, debate on it and remaining steps that need to be taken by the Church. The Measure also amended the Equality Act to provide that bishops will not be considered public…
  • North Carolina County Commission Resolution Opposes Court's Marriage Equality Ruling

    Howard Friedman
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:05 am
    On Monday night, the Columbus County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners, by a vote of 6-1, passed a resolution asking for the federal court ruling invalidating North Carolina's same-sex marriage ban to "be reviewed and reconsidered to protect the foundation that America was established on."  According to WECT News, Commissioner Ricky Bullard who sponsored the resolution said it was motivated by his religious views, commenting: "In the Bible, it always talks about Adam and Eve. I've never heard it talk about Adam and Steve."
  • Israeli Rabbinate To Review Religious Conversions By Criminally-Charged D.C. Rabbi

    Howard Friedman
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Haaretz reported yesterday the the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is reviewing the validity of conversions to Judaism performed in recent years by Washington, D.C. Orthodox Rabbi Barry Freundel who was arrested last week and charged with secretly videoing women who were undressing in the synagogue's mikveh (ritual bath). (See prior posting.) The review comes even though the U.S.-based Rabbinical Council of America already ruled yesterday "as a matter of Jewish law that conversions performed by Rabbi Freundel prior to his arrest on October 14, 2014 remain halakhically valid and prior converts…
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  • Twick or tweet?

    Ron Coleman
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:25 pm
    Ooooohhh!!!!! No, it’s not quite October 31st — that scary, creepy night when you’re so afraid of what’s out there that, if you’re LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®, you close all the blinds …  lock the door…  and stay out of the house and somewhere absolutely else until at least 10:00 PM. But yes, it is time — well past time, in fact — for that semi-occasional roundup of recent topical tweets via the official LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® Twitter account, @likely2confuse.  Which, if you’re on Twitter but you’re not following,…
  • Sarah Palin trademark thing

    Ron Coleman
    7 Oct 2014 | 7:22 am
    Originally posted 2011-02-09 12:06:19. Republished by Blog Post PromoterI try not to blog about the trademark stories that are all over the place.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  One is that I am a snob.  I always knew that if “everyone was going” to see some movie, I was not interested in going unless some other reason could balance out the inherent flaw of popularity.  This is not a particularly meritorious quality of mine, but this is just between us. Even less meritorious, when you have one of these popular trademark stories — like the Palin trademark…
  • Caveat Animator (guest post by Brozik)

    Matthew David Brozik
    7 Oct 2014 | 7:22 am
    [A woman] has filed a lawsuit claiming that Disney’s animated film about [a princess, her magical sister, and their talking snowman] took elements from her 2010 autobiography…. Court documents [include] a list of 18 “Frozen” elements that [the woman] claims were plagiarized directly from her book. These include both stories having two sisters, a village, betrayal, open doors/gates, and a “moon setting.” – CNN Money (Actually still licensed.) I’m afraid that this woman is going to lose her lawsuit. I say this as not just an attorney once admitted to practice…
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • Poll: Harris DA's race in a 'dead heat'

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    A new poll from KHOU-TV in Houston shows the Harris County DA's race is a "dead heat" between incumbent and Rick Perry-appointee Devon Anderson and Democratic challenger Kim Ogg, with an enormous swath of the electorate undecided (46%).That doesn't surprise me. The incumbent replaced her husband who'd already been diagnosed with terminal cancer before he took office, so the public barely knew him, nor her, despite her having been on the ballot before as a judge (a very different sort of election). That means both candidates remain relatively unknown to the voters, who will judge mainly based…
  • Backlash brewing against video-only jail visitation

    20 Oct 2014 | 6:42 am
    In Austin, activists are pushing for the Sheriff to allow face-to-face visitation for county jail inmates, a practice ended as part of a new contract with Dallas-based Securus Technologies which provides for video-based visitation only. (See prior Grits coverage.) As a backdrop, the Texas Observer's Forrest Wilder reported recently (Oct. 16) on controversies surrounding Securus and video-only jail visitation. That article concluded:In Dallas, activists and some local leaders, especially County Judge Clay Jenkins, helped kill a contract with Securus that included a provision stipulating that…
  • Are MEs fudging cause of death for Texas prisoners?

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:45 am
    If one person per day is dying in custody of state and local law enforcement in Texas, the next obvious question is, "What do those cases look like?"Nicole Brambila at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal over the weekend (Oct. 18) offered up a portrait of local death in custody cases, basing the story on the list compiled at the Attorney General referenced in this recent Grits post. Well done. This same type story can and should be localized by media in other jurisdictions around the state. The most dramatic element in the article was the saga of Benjamin McCoin, whose death at the Montford…
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    Drug and Device Law

  • Georgia Court Takes a Holistic Approach to Pleading

    Michelle Yeary
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:44 am
                Holism is a concept modernly used most commonly in medicine –treating both the body and the mind.  We don’t see it too often in legal parlance as it’s come to be associated with a somewhat touchy-feely approach.  Not something litigators are often accused of being.  At its core, holism is a philosophy based on treating something as more than the sum of its parts.  So when we read in Schmidt v. C.R. Bard, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146459 (S.D. Ga. Oct. 14, 2014) that on a motion to dismiss, the judge was…
  • ACI’s Drug & Medical Device Litigation Conference – Shameless Plug

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:20 am
    In a first for the DDLaw Blog, we’re an official "Media Partner" for the American Conference Institute’s 19th Annual Drug & Medical Device Litigation Conference, to be held December 8-10, in New York City.That means we’re going to be there – and you can be too. More cheaply than usual, it turns out. Anybody who signs up with ACI can get $200 off of the conference price when registering if they mention the Drug and Device Law Blog. ACI gave us a discount/promo code for that – it’s "DD200."Still, why would you want to do that?Here’s why:1. The agenda’s been revamped, relying…
  • Louisiana Liability For A Sales Representative's Sizing Error

    Eric Alexander
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:09 am
                Those of us whose childhood had low tech play options and at least a touch of OCD recall playing with dominoes.  Not whatever the game is where the number of dots on a tile matters, which we understand exists from witnessing it in screen classics like “Boyz n the Hood.”  No, we mean the activity where you line up a series of dominoes in a sequence where tipping over the first one will cause a chain reaction where many or all fall over.  If you were really motivated or bored, then the arrangement of dominoes…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • Earth to Academia Re: Jones Certiorari Denial

    Bill Otis
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:22 pm
    The defense bar is hopping mad about the denial of cert in the Jones case.  There, the Court declined to hear a challenge to the use of acquitted conduct in fashioning the sentence.  Kent discussed it here, and I did here.There has been a good deal of fussing about it, as you might expect.  There have also been guesses galore about why the Court denied review.  The most remarkable I have seen is this one by University of Illinois law Professor Margareth Etienne (quoted in the National Journal):Etienne speculated that some justices may have felt the facts of the Jones case…
  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:17 pm
    Delaware Sets Execution Date for Murderer: A Delaware man convicted of raping and murdering a college student in 2005 is set to be executed for his crime December 4, 2014.  The Associated Press reports that 43-year-old James Cooke had his original conviction overturned in 2007 due to an error made by his public defender, he was then re-tried, convicted and sentenced to death again in 2012.  Cooke's most recent appeal to the state Supreme Court was denied in July 2014.Teen Sentenced to Life in Prison: A Florida teen convicted of killing a security guard at an apartment complex in…
  • Eric Holder's Biggest Regret

    Bill Otis
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Attorney General Holder was asked in a CNN interview what his biggest regret was looking back at his tenure in office.  John Hinderaker has this take on it:Holder was asked by the interviewer, what was your biggest failure as Attorney General? He had so many to choose from! Politicizing the Justice Department, Fast and Furious, stonewalling the House of Representatives, allowing the legalization of marijuana contrary to federal law, failure to enforce the immigration laws, and lots more. But naturally, Holder didn't mention any of those failures.Mr. Holder's answer was that his biggest…
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  • New Prosecution Over Non-Existent Oregon Training Camp

    21 Oct 2014 | 9:22 pm
    The U.S. just can't let the terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon die, even though it never existed. Since 2002, the U.S. has been charging and imprisoning people for acts related to the Bly camp that were committed in 1999. (New York... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Robel Philippos: Verdict Watch

    21 Oct 2014 | 1:43 pm
    The jury has been deliberating for an hour in in the trial of Robel Philippos,the friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who is charged with lying to the FBI. Closing arguments were held this morning. Prosecutors say Phillipos, 21, lied to investigators... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

    21 Oct 2014 | 6:06 am
    Update: The judge sentenced Oscar to five years in prison on the culpable homicide charge and imposed a three year suspended sentence on the firearm count. The sentences will run concurrently. He was taken into custody. Neither side indicated they... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • 10 Must-Read Articles On Running A Two-Sided Marketplace

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:05 pm
    A marketplace is a platform that connects a buyer and a seller, and it usually improves efficiency in communication and payment. Such platform can facilitate buying and selling between companies and individuals (such as Alibaba), or it can facilitate buying and selling between individuals (such as Airbnb). While the concept sounds simple, building a marketplace is much more difficult because you have to combine the interests of two groups of users (buyers and sellers) in one single product, instead of building just for one group of users. To help you out, here are 10 must-read…
  • Onevest hosts Startup Funding 101 webinar with Adeo Ressi

    21 Oct 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Onevest, a partner of the Founder Institute, invites you to a Startup Funding 101 webinar on October 22nd from 1pm to 2pm EDT. Onevest, a vibrant platform to launch and invest in startups, is the product of a partnership between CoFoundersLab, the largest startup team-building platform, and RockThePost, a leading equity crowdfunding platform. Featuring Adeo Ressi, Founder of the, the Founder Institute, and Expansive Ventures, this webinar serves as an introduction to startup funding and will cover such topics as starting the funding process, securing a lead investor, deal terms…
  • Come to a Free Founder Institute Event and Learn How You Can Start Your Own Company

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:15 pm
    The Founder Institute hosts thousands of free startup events across the globe each year, in over [total_cities] cities across six continents. These events are designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs improve their ideas and entrepreneurial skills, all in a low-pressure environment. At Founder Institute events, you can meet and learn from successful entrepreneurs, get feedback on your ideas, come up with new ideas, recruit potential co-founders, and more. They are the perfect starting point for beginning your entrepreneurship journey. We have several events coming up in the next few…
  • 5 Unique Reasons to Start Up in San Diego

    17 Oct 2014 | 12:44 pm
    With weather as steady as an arrow, and a community that is second largest in California, it’s no wonder why San Diego has obtained the nickname “America’s Finest City”. Although San Diego may not be known as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, the future seems bright for the “City by the Ocean”. If you're interested in starting up in San Diego, check out our free San Diego Startup Event Series this Fall! To prove our case, we’ve compiled five unique reasons why San Diego will soon be deemed one of the more promising startup communities in the near…
  • 15 Simple Hacks to Boost Your Productivity Today

    16 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Entrepreneurs are notorious for taking on more tasks than they can handle, as, when it comes to launching and running a company, there is usually no other way to get things done. While this may be true, remember that there are still countless hacks that you can employ to make your work life a little easier. To prove this, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen ways entrepreneurs, and even “wantrepreneurs”, can improve their productivity starting today, according to Sajid Rahman. Sajid Rahman is an advisor and mentor for OPEN, the first accelerator program for rural entrepreneurs…
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  • Puerto Rico ban on same-sex marriage upheld

    Lyle Denniston
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Relying mainly on two legal points that federal courts have repeatedly rejected over the past sixteen months, a federal trial judge in San Juan ruled Tuesday that Puerto Rico’s ban on same-sex marriage survives constitutional challenge.  The combination of a one-line Supreme Court decision in 1972 and the Court’s full-scale ruling in June a year ago on the federal Defense of Marriage Act means that lower courts are required to leave the marriage question to the states (and to Puerto Rico), U.S. District Judge Juan M. Perez-Gimenez declared in a twenty-one-page opinion. The…
  • Petition of the day

    Maureen Johnston
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:19 pm
    The petition of the day is: Sexton v. Panel Processing, Inc. 14-152 Issue: Whether section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1140, prohibits retaliation against an employee who makes unsolicited complaints to management regarding possible ERISA violations.
  • Wyoming added to same-sex marriage list

    Lyle Denniston
    21 Oct 2014 | 10:19 am
    With the filing Tuesday of a one-paragraph notice by state officials in a federal courthouse in Casper, Wyoming, and the release of a two-page order by a federal judge, that state became the thirty-second to allow same-sex marriage — an increase of thirteen from just sixteen days ago. The Wyoming governor and attorney general formally advised a federal judge that they would not appeal his ruling last Friday declaring the state’s ban on same-sex marriages to be unconstitutional.  The only two places where the state could have gone with an appeal would be the U.S. Court of…
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • Ravel Law’s Research Results Now Include Client Alerts from Cooley LLP

    Robert Ambrogi
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:10 am
    The legal research site Ravel Law has partnered with the law firm Cooley LLP to pair Cooley’s client alerts with the court opinions in Ravel that they discuss. Now, if the court opinion you view in Ravel was ever discussed or cited in a Cooley alert, the two are linked. When viewing the case, a box […] The post Ravel Law’s Research Results Now Include Client Alerts from Cooley LLP appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • LexisNexis Acquires Media Aggregator Moreover Technologies

    Robert Ambrogi
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    LexisNexis announced yesterday that it had acquired Moreover Technologies, a company that provides aggregation, monitoring and distribution of news stories, blogs and social media. The Moreover business will be housed under the LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions umbrella, but a LexisNexis spokesperson said that the acquisition is also important for its legal customers. “We’ll combine Moreover’s […] The post LexisNexis Acquires Media Aggregator Moreover Technologies appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • Book Serves as Guide to Free and Low-Cost Legal Research

    Robert Ambrogi
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:50 am
    I am a cheapskate. I am not ashamed to admit it. That is what first drove me to explore the Internet more than 20 years ago, back when many lawyers still had not even heard of it. Having just gone back into private practice at the time, I was in search of free resources for […] The post Book Serves as Guide to Free and Low-Cost Legal Research appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Tuesday, October 21, 2014:Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Killing of Girlfriend Negative online reviews led to threats of legal action from targeted businesses US Supreme Court to decide if police can view hotel guest registries without a warrantOntario court revisits the "common employer" doctrine - Lexology Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Arbour Inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame Time to transform the LCBO, blow up The Beer Store: Cohn  Woman battles Ottawa in court to gain…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Monday, October 20, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Monday, October 20, 2014:Magnotta trial hears testimony from Karla Homolka’s sister, who says convicted felon now living in QuebecMarriage equality legal in Alaska after Supreme Court rejects state’s challenge Britain mulls 2-year prison sentences for people found guilty of online ‘trolling’David Suzuki: Amend Charter of Rights and Freedoms to recognize the right to a healthy environment." Woman charged under new Virginia revenge porn law - Times Union Elvis-themed Vegas chapel refuses to sanctify same-sex weddings…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Friday, October 17, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    17 Oct 2014 | 6:41 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Friday, October 17, 2014:Why lawyers will love the iPad Air 2105-year-old Belgian woman becomes oldest person to die by euthanasia  Minnesota man sentenced to 178 days in prison for encouraging Canadian student’s suicideJudge scolded me for bringing newborn to court after denying continuance, Georgia lawyer alleges Report flags “severe” over-representation of Aboriginals in Manitoba jails Union taking Canada Post to federal court over plan to end door-to-door mail delivery serviceCBA drops plans to intervene for…
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  • New Blog Design

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

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

    29 May 2014 | 5:24 pm
    I’ve done a number of presentations lately in all sorts of formats – solo, duo, panels and webcasts. For the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal Talk Network, Tom and I decided to record an episode in which we shared some of our latest tips and observations about presenting. The result was the episode called “Presentation Tips for Legal Professionals.” After that podcast, we realized that we had barely tapped the surface of what we wanted to say on presentations, so I was able to talk Tom into recording two more episodes on presenting as part of a panel and presenting on…
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    Law Technology Today

  • Running the Law Firm Library like a Business

    Donna Terjesen
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Law firm libraries are experiencing an identity crisis: the law firm library is no longer a “place” and the librarians who staff them not “keepers of books.” This is good news, and here’s why: law firms that can deliver value through competitive advantage are the law firms of the future—and leveraging library services is integral to that value. Under current market pressures, legal research has been a target for law firm leaders to decrease headcount and services. Library overhead expenses may account for as much as five percent of a law firm’s gross income and is one of the…
  • First Timer’s Review of the Clio Cloud Conference

    Julie M. Tolek
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    I mentioned in a previous post that Clio is the software I use to manage my solo practice. This year (for the first time) I attended the second annual Clio Cloud Conference, lovingly nicknamed and tagged #ClioCloud9. It was held in Chicago at the Radisson Blu Hotel downtown. When I first heard about this Clio Cloud Conference, I didn’t know what the heck it was all about. I mean, Clio has some of the best customer support over the phone that I have ever experienced, so why would I fly to Chicago just to talk about Clio, with Clio? But once I checked out the website, I got a better idea of…
  • Quick Hits Friday: Reviews! Reviews!

    Gwynne Monahan
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    In between the three steps to producing powerful passwords and how to predict and set fees, we’ve had some app and product reviews you might have missed. Abacus Private Cloud James A. Farr, a solo lawyer in Alaska dealing primary with criminal and traffic ticket defense, takes us through his switch to Abacus Private Cloud. What’s interesting about his story is that he tried to hack together a system himself, starting with a business laptop he bought before progressing to servers and off-the-shelf remote access software. He’s in Alaska! Hacking together a system to be able…
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    Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices

  • Icebergs and Sea Monsters in Treacherous Legal Seas

    Gerry Riskin
    25 Sep 2014 | 2:26 am
      I was privileged to have been asked by the American Bar Association to write an article about the future of the legal profession for “The Annual Big Ideas Issue” of Law Practice Magazine (July/August 2014). Click on the image to read the article in full. I hope you enjoy it. Gerry      
  • Don’t Let “Age Profiling” Slow Your Firm

    Gerry Riskin
    11 Sep 2014 | 5:46 am
    I recently wrote a post for Edge International Communiqué on the perils of making age-based assumptions about our legal-profession colleagues. I share it here for those who missed it. Both older and younger lawyers can let all kinds of intergenerational nonsense get in the way of clear thinking. The misunderstandings that result can do actual damage to their firms. Older lawyers have told me that lawyers in the younger generation simply do not have the values that they did. “The younger generation expects to have it all. They didn’t need to earn it the way we did. They lack our…
  • Can You Be Too Nice?

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

  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Marketing Plan 101

    Ed Poll
    16 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Ed reveals how to define your target market and the tactics necessary to reach it.
  • Speak and Write for Success

    Ed Poll
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Gary Kinder, founder and CEO of WordRake® writes the following: “…Each of us has three vocabularies: 1.    our reading or comprehension vocabulary – by far the largest; 2.    our writing vocabulary – in the middle; and 3.    our speaking vocabulary – the smallest and least grammatical. When speaking, we use, and tolerate (to a point) others using, ers and uhs and sos and wells and likes, and confusing who with whom and lay with lie because most of us can’t think fast enough when we speak to get it all grammatically correct; plus we have tone of voice, facial…
  • Bring Your Best Game!

    Ed Poll
    5 Oct 2014 | 3:36 pm
    A day of college football upsets … and UCLA was no exception …. My wife and I were guests on the field before the game.   As in football, lawyers must bring their best game to court and to the office every day if they want to succeed and satisfy client needs …
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    the [non]billable hour by Matthew Homann

  • The Weekender #1

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

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

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

  • Boston Globe Says Hold Prosecutors Accountable for Errors

    21 Oct 2014 | 4:05 pm
    A recent Boston Globe editorial called for prosecutors to be held accountable for miscarriages of justice that occur at their hands and specifically called out a former Berkshire County prosecutor who may have withheld exculpatory evidence in a child rape case nearly 30 years ago. Bernard Baran Jr., an openly gay teenager, was convicted of multiple counts of child rape and spent 21 years behind bars for crimes he didn't commit. In the face of homophobia and hysteria, Baran was convicted in 1985 despite a lack of evidence linking him to the crimes. In the years following, an examination of…
  • Compensation for Oklahoma Woman Doesn’t Add Up

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:34 am
    It has been five weeks since Oklahoma inmate Michelle Murphy was exonerated of the murder of her infant son based on new DNA evidence, but her effort to establish a life of freedom is just beginning. Despite the DNA evidence and other previously undisclosed evidence proving Murphy's innocence in the horrific crime for which she served two decades behind bars, she is only poised to be compensated $175,000 from the state, an amount her attorney Richard O'Carroll called a pittance to Tulsa World. While some states provide compensation for each year the wrongly convicted spent in prison, Oklahoma…
  • Philadelphia Inquirer Urges Philly DA to Drop Charges Against Anthony Wright

    17 Oct 2014 | 1:40 pm
    An editorial in Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer urges the city's District Attorney Seth Williams not to retry Anthony Wright, whose rape and murder convictions were overturned last month based on new DNA testing that revealed the crimes were committed by another man with a long criminal history. In addition, DNA testing of clothing alleged by police to have been worn by Wright to commit the crime now shows that the clothes were not, in fact, his. The Inquirer writes: But the revelation that there is little if any physical evidence now linking Wright to the victim has been interpreted by…
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  • How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.          
  • The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, surprised the National Football League, its fans and the media when it once again canceled, in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, several trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins football team. The basis for canceling the six registrations was that the registered marks are disparaging to American Indians.          
  • Court System Seeks Comment on Adopting Uniform Bar Exam

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Absent major objections, New York would become the largest and most influential state to use the Uniform Bar Examination.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.          
  • The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, surprised the National Football League, its fans and the media when it once again canceled, in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, several trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins football team. The basis for canceling the six registrations was that the registered marks are disparaging to American Indians.          
  • Court System Seeks Comment on Adopting Uniform Bar Exam

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Absent major objections, New York would become the largest and most influential state to use the Uniform Bar Examination.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.          
  • The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, surprised the National Football League, its fans and the media when it once again canceled, in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, several trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins football team. The basis for canceling the six registrations was that the registered marks are disparaging to American Indians.          
  • Court System Seeks Comment on Adopting Uniform Bar Exam

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Absent major objections, New York would become the largest and most influential state to use the Uniform Bar Examination.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.          
  • The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, surprised the National Football League, its fans and the media when it once again canceled, in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, several trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins football team. The basis for canceling the six registrations was that the registered marks are disparaging to American Indians.          
  • Court System Seeks Comment on Adopting Uniform Bar Exam

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Absent major objections, New York would become the largest and most influential state to use the Uniform Bar Examination.          
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.          
  • The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, surprised the National Football League, its fans and the media when it once again canceled, in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, several trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins football team. The basis for canceling the six registrations was that the registered marks are disparaging to American Indians.          
  • Court System Seeks Comment on Adopting Uniform Bar Exam

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Absent major objections, New York would become the largest and most influential state to use the Uniform Bar Examination.          
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    UNDERDOG - Fairfax Criminal/DWI Attorney - Northern Virginia.

  • Whether and when a criminal defense lawyer should show his or her hand and power.

    19 Oct 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia/Maryland/Beltway criminal defense lawyer Jon Katz.Defending DWI/ DUI/ Drunk Driving, drugs, marijuana/medical marijuana/cultivation, sex cases, felonies and misdemeanors. Fighting relentlessly for the best possible results for his clients.An excellent civil trial lawyer in Chicago prefers to downplay his abilities pretrial so that the opponent will not be prepared for the tidalwave of power that the lawyer will bring to the courtroom. He is not alone.My general approach is not to focus the spotlight on me, but for my opponent to know that the entire defense…
  • The undemocratic power of judges.

    16 Oct 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia/Maryland/Beltway criminal defense lawyerJon Katz Defending DWI/ DUI/ Drunk Driving, drugs, marijuana/medical marijuana/cultivation, sex cases, felonies and misdemeanors. Fighting relentlessly for the best possible results for his clients. The judicial branch of government is a most undemocratic branch. Unelected judges -- or else those elected for terms much longer than any other elected official -- enter courtrooms,  often with commands for the audience to rise upon the judge's entrance and departure, in black  robes, sitting on benches elevated above…
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    The Legal Satyricon

  • Ebola is the New Black

    20 Oct 2014 | 8:38 am
    Ok, not really, but I figured it was a catchier title than “Ebola is the new paranoia for the stupid genetic refuse that proves that Idiocracy was not just a movie, but a prophecy.” That would just not do as a headline. But, I suppose it is a clumsy, but effective lede. Remember “give up […]
  • Your Kids’ Facebook Activities Can Subject You to Liability (But See 47 U.S.C. § 230?)

    16 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    As a general rule, parents are not liable for their childrens’ actions simply by virtue of the fact that they are the kid’s parents. (I wish it were different, as that might put a leash on our idiocracy devolution, but sigh). That all aside, the Georgia Court of Appeals just held that parents can be […]
  • Flori-duh. Thank you, again.

    16 Oct 2014 | 7:01 am
    Governor Rick Scott refused to debate Charlie Crist (at least for a while) because Crist had a fan in the podium. Depending on who you believe, Scott cited a rule that prohibited “electronics” in the podium, or there was a rule that was much more specific, which referred specifically to “fans.” Just speculating here, but […]
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Newswire

  • How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.          
  • The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, surprised the National Football League, its fans and the media when it once again canceled, in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, several trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins football team. The basis for canceling the six registrations was that the registered marks are disparaging to American Indians.          
  • Court System Seeks Comment on Adopting Uniform Bar Exam

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Absent major objections, New York would become the largest and most influential state to use the Uniform Bar Examination.          
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    Chicago IP Litigation

  • Plaintiff May Not Dismiss Claims in Response to Summary Judgment Motion

    R. David Donoghue
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:11 am
    Beasley v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 12 C 8715, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 9, 2014) (St. Eve, J.). Judge St. Eve, after previously deferring ruling to allow the parties to work out procedural disputes, granted defendant John Wiley & Sons’ motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff’s fraud and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) claims, having previously granted plaintiff summary judgment of copyright infringement regarding its photographs. Because plaintiff offered no evidence in response to the motion that would allow a reasonable jury to find that defendant…
  • Patent Exhaustion Applies Despite License Restrictions

    R. David Donoghue
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:12 am
    Cascades Computer Innovation, LLC v. Samsung Elecs. Co., Nos. 11 C 4574 & 11 C 6235, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 14, 2014) (Kennelly, J.). Judge Kennelly granted in part defendants Samsung’s and HTC’s motions for summary judgment of patent exhaustion based upon a prior settlement agreement that plaintiff Cascades Computer Innovation (“Cascades”) previously entered with Google, the parent of Motorola Mobility who was previously a defendant in a related suit.This patent case involves a method for implementing software meant for one computer architecture on another computer…
  • Related Party Bound to Agreement’s Arbitration Clause

    R. David Donoghue
    15 Oct 2014 | 2:47 am
    FarmedHere, LLC v. Just Greens, LLC d/b/a AeroFarm Systems, LLC, No. 14 C 370, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. June 16, 2014) (Holderman, Sen. J.). Judge Holderman granted defendant AeroFarm’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3) motion to dismiss plaintiff FarmedHere’s Lanham Act and declaratory judgment patent claims related to the parties’ aeroponic, locally grown farming businesses because AeroFarm had filed for arbitration. AeroFarms entered a Distribution Agreement with CityPonics, but the principal of CityPonics never formed the entity, instead forming FarmedHere, allegedly to gain the benefits of…
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • Cop caught sleeping on the job awarded $1M in ADA lawsuit — what could this employer have done differently?

    Jon Hyman
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    A federal jury awarded nearly $1 million to a former police officer, allegedly fired after sleeping on duty. According to the McPherson Sentinel,  alleged the city violated his civil rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Kansas Wage Payment Act when he was fired for sleeping on the job. Michaels has sleep apnea, and claims that the disability resulted in his dismissal, which was a violation of his rights. It appears the courts agree. Matthew Michaels had worked as a police office in McPherson, Kansas, for nine years. From 2006 to 2007,…
  • What if…? Internet use as a disability

    Jon Hyman
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:07 am
    Last year I reported on the possibility that Internet use could become an ADA-protected disability. Now, we have one of the first documented cases of this phenomenon. From CNN: A man who checked in to the Navy’s Substance Abuse and Recovery Program for alcoholism treatment was also treated for a Google Glass addiction, according to a new study. San Diego doctors say the 31-year-old man “exhibited significant frustration and irritability related to not being able to use his Google Glass.” He has a history of substance abuse, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive…
  • WIRTW #341 (the “impeachment by blog” edition)

    Jon Hyman
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:57 am
    I’ve been blogging for more than seven years, and I’ve never had opposing counsel try to impeach one of my clients with something I’ve written on this site. Overlawyered brings us a story from Abnormal Use of an attorney-blogger whose opposing counsel did attempt to impeach via the blogger’s posts. It did not end well for the impeacher. This is absurd and offensive, and I would not stand for it in a hearing of deposition of mine. Lawyer readers, have you ever had this happen to you? And, if so, how did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below. The Manpower Employment Blawg…
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    Privacy Law Blog

  • New Jersey bill to prohibit unsolicited text message advertisements pending Governor signature

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

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

    Carly Ziegler
    2 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    Carly Ziegler Traditionally, a person’s most valuable assets to be distributed upon death consisted of tangible items such as real property, cash, jewelry and personal effects of sentimental value like photographs and letters.  However, the advent of the digital age has brought a shift from file cabinets, mailmen and photo albums to cloud storage, e-mail accounts and online photo streams.  Today, virtually everyone has at least some assets that are not physical, but are stored as data and accessed via the Internet.  “Digital assets” may include, for example, text messages, instant…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • Can You Beat Aimai?

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:56 pm
    Do you remember my “one pot, one skillet” post awhile back? Well, a lot of you shared some of your favorite one-pot meals. I read through just about the entire thread, and there were LOTS of delicious offerings, but one dish really stood out (to me) and that was Aimai’s Jamie Oliver roasted chicken recipe. It was truly one-pot cooking, with an ease, a hint of sophistication, a depth of flavor, and a built-in sauce that you simply do not often find, even in beloved one-pot recipes. I’ve made Jamie’s Aimai’s recipe probably close to to ten times since she…
  • Royal Series

    Scott Lemieux
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:46 pm
    Really good fan’s perspective from Rany Jazayerli, especially the risk you know going in that this could be like the ’07 Rockies. I’ll be rooting for KC, but above all it would be nice to have a series that isn’t over quickly. On the other side, Jonah’s piece on Bruce Bochy is excellent. As he says, the Jaffe/Birnbaum data established him as a first-rate manager even in San Diego, and he’s done a terrific job with the Giants. …James Shields’s parents should have given him a name that kind of rhymes with “perfectly decent #2 starter.”
  • Job Interviews at Academic Conferences

    Erik Loomis
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Forcing impoverished graduate students and adjunct faculty to travel to a random expensive city for 30 minute first round job interview is one of the least morally defensible parts of academia. Professional associations need to stop it. [SL] Make sure to click through and read this as well. Even before the age of Skype this practice was absolutely indefensible; the application materials and perhaps a phone call are perfectly sufficient for a preliminary interview process. It’s just a bigger disgrace now.
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  • Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents Require A Specialist Attorney

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:47 pm
    Motorcycle accidents are not like typical auto accidents. Even when a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, the possibility of severe injury is present. In addition, individuals driving automobiles often do not see a biker because of blind spots in rear or side mirrors and general unawareness that a motorcyclist may also be using the highway. While motorcycle riders do have a keen understanding of the the traffic vulnerabilities associated with operating a two-wheel vehicle, a collision involving a car and a bike will still leave the motorcycle operator in a compromised situation.The result of…
  • Jury Finds County of Orange Shares Liability in Crosswalk Death, Awards $7.4 Million

    21 Oct 2014 | 10:07 am
    A jury on Friday October 17, 2014 awarded over $7.4 million to a mother who was seriously injured and whose 3-year old daughter was killed in a 2012 pedestrian accident in an Orange County school crosswalk.  The jury found the driver, Carlos Parra, 20, negligent in the accident, but also found the County of Orange shared 20% of the liability because of the dangerous condition of the crosswalk.  The plaintiff was represented at trial by Richard E. Donahoo and Judith Camilleri of Donahoo & Associates. The accident occurred at dusk on February 8, 2012 when Lady Hernandez was…
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • Not Every Action By Employers Can Be the Basis of a Lawsuit

    Daniel Schwartz
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:51 am
    My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today with a primer on what it takes to establish a “prima facie” case of discrimination — the bare minimum to get the case to be considered by a court.  Today, we focus on the third element — the “adverse employment action”. What is that, you ask? Read on. If an employee hopes to have any chance of succeeding on a discrimination claim, she must first be able to establish a prima facie case. Generally, this means that an employee must establish that (1) she belongs to a protected class; (2) she was qualified for the…
  • No Right to Jury for Discrimination Claims Against State, Court Says

    Daniel Schwartz
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    My colleague, Chris Engler, joins us again with a post today about whether or not a jury trial is required for certain employment law claims.  I’ll have a full recap of my presentations on data privacy in an upcoming post soon. While many of us spent last weekend celebrating Columbus Day, our neighbors to the north were (as my Quebec-born mother-in-law likes reminding me) busy celebrating their national Thanksgiving. Perhaps in the spirit of the Canadian holiday, a state judge recently gave a public employer plenty to be thankful for. The court’s decision in Beck v. UConn Health…
  • Four Things To Do Now BEFORE An Employee Data Breach

    Daniel Schwartz
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:40 am
    We’ve come a long way since “The Net” With the headlines coming out seemingly daily about data breaches at companies, there’s a tendency to feel a bit overwhelmed with the problem. And while a data breach regarding your employees is something that may not be as imminent as one involving credit cards, it still represents a major threat to your business. This week, I have two presentations on the subject. But in case you can’t make it, here’s a sneak peek at four things you can do now before you have a data breach. Establish and implement a written data…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Odds & Ends; Tech Update

    Jim Gerl
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:41 pm
     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Your reaction to my 2012-2013 caselaw outline has been overwhelming.  Thank you.  One question that many of you have asked concerns the purchase price.  The price of the outline is $295.00 and I have made arrangements to receive payments PayPal (which includes a credit card option). The 259 page outline is available as a .pdf file and it is searchable (at least on my computer.) If you would like more information about this very cool research tool please email me at stuff: One of the great things…
  • Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Bullying remains the hot button issue in special education law, and many people feel that it reflects a larger and ugly societal problem. Have you had any experiences with kids with disabilities being the victim of bullying?------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
  • Bullying of Kids With Disabilities - Part V

    Jim Gerl
    18 Oct 2014 | 7:59 am
     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Bullying remains the hottest of hot button issues in special education law.  In the first installment, I explained the early cases laying the conceptual groundwork for the proposition that failure to react to bullying can constitute a denial of FAPE under IDEA.  In later installments, I have discussed the seminal decision of TK & SK ex rel LK v. New York City Dept of Educ 779 F.Supp.2d 289, 56 IDELR 228 (E.D.N.Y. 4/25/2011).  This case is important not just because it analyzes special education law principles involving bullying, but…
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • What are dischargeable debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

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

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

    20 Sep 2014 | 9:49 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Am I a good candidate for bankruptcy? Many debtors start the bankruptcy process without understanding what bankruptcy can and cannot do for them. Filing bankruptcy is a serious decision with serious ramifications, and it is not the right solution for everyone. Recently on our bankruptcy forum we … Continue reading →
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    Real Lawyers Have Blogs

  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Taylor Swift, Housing Discrimination, CA Groundwater Laws

    Colin O'Keefe
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:30 pm
    In perusing all the posts to come across the LexBlog Network, I see quite a few bizarre employment law (firing) stories, but every now and then there’s one that really stands out. The one in Anna Elliott’s post today would certainly qualify. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 194. Two for Tuesdays: Tips from Taylor Swift – Legal marketing expert Lindsay Griffiths of International Lawyers Network on Zen & The Art of Legal Networking What to Do When Your Employee is Accused of Domestic Violence – Sacramento lawyer Meagan Bainbridge of Weintraub Tobin on the…
  • Facebook becoming essential for law blog distribution

    Kevin O'Keefe
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:06 pm
    When we founded LexBlog blog posts were delivered directly to readers via RSS feeds, email subscription, and users bookmarking blogs, in addition to Google searches. Fast forward 11 years and Facebook, with Google, dominates media distribution. Readers are no longer receiving blogs directly. Blog posts are being distributed socially. From Frédéric Filloux (@filloux), general manager of the French ePresse consortium: Many great news brands today see their direct traffic — that is readers accessing deliberately the URL of the site — fall well below 50%. And the younger the media company…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Boomerang Employees, Gene Patenting, Police Body Cameras

    Colin O'Keefe
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:27 pm
    In the wake of what happened in Ferguson, the idea of putting body cameras on police officers has become a popular debate. Would they really have the desired effect? Well, some cities already have them, and you should really read Jason Kafoury’s post for some stats on their staggering impact. Total posts on the Lexblog Network today: 183. EEOC Signals Intent to Process and Litigate Claims of Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII – Chicago lawyer Christopher Ward of Foley & Lardner on the firm’s blog, Labor & Employment Law Perspectives National support…
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    Securities Docket

  • Securities Docket News Wire for October 20, 2014

    Securities Docket
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:55 am
    SEC sniffing out pot companies for fraud | New York Post ->
  • SEC Breaks Down FY 2014 Enforcement Results, Highlights | Compliance Week

    Securities Docket
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:43 am
    Last week, the SEC issued a press release summarizing its enforcement results for the agency’s fiscal year 2014. The SEC noted a record 755 enforcement actions and highlighted numerous “first-ever” cases in FY 2014. via SEC Breaks Down FY 2014 Enforcement Results, Highlights | Compliance Week
  • SEC Is Steering More Trials to Judges It Appoints – WSJ

    Securities Docket
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:36 am
    The Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly steering cases to hearings in front of the agency’s appointed administrative judges, who found in its favor in every verdict for the 12 months through September, rather than taking them to federal court. via SEC Is Steering More Trials to Judges It Appoints – WSJ
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    Furniture Law Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bachus & Schanker, LLC Client Review – Pedestrian Accident Case

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

    Kyle Bachus
    8 Oct 2014 | 4:48 am
    Video Transcription I fell down my stairs and was in a coma, but there wasn’t a hand rail. I had scratch marks from the top to the bottom, but there was nothing to grab to save myself. What was going through my head when I finally realized what was going on, was “Wow, oh my gosh, yeah I have to do this. Like this isn’t anything to do with I, or my land lord, it has to do with the safety purpose of the home not being up to code.” Bachus and Schanker will make it so much easier for you, taking stress just off your shoulders, and allowing you to live, the way a person…
  • What You Should Know About Crash Test Ratings, Pt. 2: Side Crash Test Basics

    Kyle Bachus
    25 Nov 2013 | 1:34 am
    Continuing the Bachus & Schanker series on auto crash tests, today we’ll touch on side-impact tests and what they can tell you. We discussed previously the different rating systems and what they mean. While some car makers only report on frontal crash test ratings, side test ratings are equally important. They are especially important if you have a family and/or expect to carry passengers in your car. Of course, there is always that chance that you, as the driver, could face a driver’s-side impact. Either way, you should pay attention to side-crash test ratings for any…
  • What You Should Know About Car Crash Test Ratings, Pt. 1

    Kyle Bachus
    18 Nov 2013 | 1:32 am
    You may have seen the auto commercials depicting crash tests. The slowed reel of the car, dummy inside, smashing into a solid wall, the dummy lurching forward. It’s a common image designed to give you peace of mind about the car advertised, but what do you really know about these crash tests? When you’re ready to purchase a car, those images might not mean much. What you really want to know is what the crash test results mean. We’ve come up with a quick guide about the meaning of frontal crash test results to help you make a more informed decision. Thousands of auto…
  • Cellphone Usage and Distracted Driving

    Kyle Bachus
    11 Nov 2013 | 1:32 am
    When you think about it, driving is probably the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis. When you get in your car, you’re putting a lot of faith in your own abilities and the abilities in the drivers around you. But having a drivers’ license certainly doesn’t make one a good driver. And even if you are a generally good driver, there are a number of factors that could make you a bad driver. Among these factors are road conditions and distracted driving. Driving requires your full attention in every situation to remain as safe as possible. Distracted driving, even in…
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    P.I.S.S.D. -- Personal Injury, Social Security Disability. Dallas Texas Lawyers

  • NHTSA Issues Warning on Exploding Takata Airbags

    Bob Kraft
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:45 pm
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a warning to the drivers of 4.7 million vehicles with recalled Takata airbags, especially those in regions with significant humidity, that they should bring their vehicles to a dealership to have them inspected immediately. ABC World News reports that the defective airbags can explode, “sending dangerous materials, shards of metal, flying through the car.” ABC calls the warning a “rare move” from NHTSA, though it notes that at least four people have been killed by the airbags. ABC reports that the automakers affected by the…
  • Texting and Driving: What Lawmakers and Parents Are Doing to Help

    Bob Kraft
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:42 am
    Texting and driving has been met with action through a number of campaigns. Most people have heard the slogans, but parents and lawmakers are trying to make sure everyone hears the message over and over. These are the things that people are doing to make sure accidents due to texting and driving will go down over time. Radio Spots Most people listen to the radio when they are in the car, and radio spots will reach people easily. When you have the radio on, you are going to hear commercials that are designed to keep people from texting and driving. You may be in the middle of a text, and you…
  • Prevent Diving Injuries in Your New Pool

    Bob Kraft
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:15 am
    Each year, thousands of children between the ages of 1 and 3 suffer near-drowning injuries or drowning deaths in residential pools and spas, reports These injuries are preventable if families take precautions to ensure the safety of their young ones. In-ground pools Do you have an in-ground pool? Are you thinking about putting one in your yard? In-ground pools are great if you want to have a diving pool. The American Red Cross has studied spinal cord and neck injuries caused by unsafe diving; most neck and spinal cord injuries occur in water less than six feet deep. The…
  • List of ICD-9 Codes

    Bob Kraft
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:39 am
    Our law firm, when handling personal injury or Social Security disability cases, has to deal with the International Classification of Diseases codes daily. The codes are abbreviated as ICD codes, and the latest is version nine. So ICD-9 codes. You can find a complete list of the codes at Wikipedia. Here is a sample: The following is a list of codes for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. List of ICD-9 codes 001–139: infectious and parasitic diseases List of ICD-9 codes 140–239: neoplasms List of ICD-9 codes 240–279: endocrine, nutritional…
  • Friday Fun

    Bob Kraft
    17 Oct 2014 | 2:39 am
    You’ve heard of a “New York Minute.” Here it is, literally: New York Minute from The Cleverkids on Vimeo.
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • Law’s Love of Adverbs

    Lisa A. Mazzie
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:32 am
    Ah—the maligned adverb. Many writers eschew them. Stephen King, for example, seems to hate them. In his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, he writes, “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs[.]” He likens them to dandelions: one of them might look pretty, but they’re actually weeds that can and do take over your lawn (or, in the case of adverbs, your writing). What is an adverb? Generally speaking, it’s a word that ends in –ly (though not always; scroll down here to see adverbs as emphasizers, amplifiers, and downtoners—all words we lawyers like to use). The…
  • Justice Ginsburg on Empowering Oral Argument

    Melissa L. Greipp
    18 Oct 2014 | 12:55 pm
    An interview with Justice Ginsburg appears in the October issue of Elle magazine.  In the article, Justice Ginsburg describes her first oral argument before the United States Supreme Court.  Any advocate could relate to her story: I had, I think, 12 minutes, or something like that, of argument.  I was very nervous.  In those days, the court sat from 10 to 12, and 1 to 3.  It was an afternoon argument.  I didn’t dare eat lunch.  There were many butterflies in my stomach.  I had a very well-prepared opening sentence I had memorized.  Looking at them, I thought, I’m talking…
  • Daubert Has “Teeth” (and a Pulse)

    Daniel D. Blinka
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:46 am
    The first published case on Wisconsin’s (relatively) new rule on expert opinion testimony has emerged at long last. In 2011 the legislature replaced Wisconsin’s decade’s-old approach with the federal “Daubert rule,” a rule rejected by state appellate courts on several occasions. The old rule left disagreements among experts mostly to the trier of fact, provided the witnesses had suitable specialized knowledge that could assist in fact finding. The current Daubert rule unctuously anoints trial judges as “gatekeepers” responsible for ensuring that only…
  • Independence of Voters Yields Surprises in Law School Poll Results

    Alan J. Borsuk
    15 Oct 2014 | 2:11 pm
    It probably shouldn’t be such a surprise that independent votes would show their independence. But the Marquette Law School Poll results released Wednesday in an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” session at Eckstein Hall clearly caught people in the room, as well as far beyond the room, by surprise. Independent voters were largely the reason why. Two weeks ago, the poll put Republican Gov. Scott Walker ahead of Democratic challenger Mary Burke by five percentage points among likely voters. This time, the two were in such a dead heat among likely voters that the exact same number of poll…
  • A Global Survey on the Study of International Law (Part II)

    Ryan Scoville
    15 Oct 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Last month I put up the first in what I anticipate will be a series of posts on the subject of international legal education. I summarized the results of a global survey on the study of international law, reported that a majority of law students around the world must complete at least one course on the subject prior to graduation, and pointed out that the overwhelming tendency for American law schools to offer international law exclusively as an elective is fairly abnormal. In this post, I’ll explain my methodology and elaborate a bit on the data underlying my conclusions. The methodology…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • I have been trekking and mountaineering in Tibet

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

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

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

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

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

  • Friday's Five: Five answers to common questions about severance pay and severance agreements

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

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

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

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

    Anthony Zaller
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:36 am
    AB 2053 was signed into law by Governor Brown, and as of January 1, 2015, employers have to comply with new obligations regarding the sexual harassment training already required for some employers under California law.  Here are five issues employers should understand about AB 2053.  1. What are employer’s current obligations to have supervisors attend sexual harassment prevention training before AB 2053 was passed? In California, employers with 50 or more workers must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisors. This training must be…
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    Social Security Disability Lawyer

  • Columbus Day & the 5 Day Rule

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

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

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

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

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

  • How to Hit the Sweet Spot for All Your Online Posts

    Todd Davis
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:55 pm
    When research points the way to how you can most effectively market your firm online, that is hitting the sweet spot. Social media tracking firm SumAll partnered with BufferApp in creating the infographic below that sums up current market research done on the optimal length for posts on social media platforms.  Here is the data represented in this clever infographic: Twitter:  tweets of less than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate. Facebook:  posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than those with a higher character count. Google+:  ideal…
  • FREE Webinar Oct. 23: 7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities

    Stephen Fairley
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:40 pm
    How would you like to have one to two speaking engagements scheduled in your calendar each month? Imagine how many people in your local community you could meet, how many would learn to trust you and contact you first with their legal questions ... and how your practice could grow as a result! If you'd like to learn how to find speaking opportunities but have no idea where to start, I invite you to join Cindy Greenway, Editor-in-Chief at for 7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities, a free webinar on Thursday, October 23.  In this fast paced ­30-minute webinar, you…
  • FREE Webinar Oct. 30: How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases

    Stephen Fairley
    16 Oct 2014 | 2:38 pm
    Do you have the critical numbers you need to run your law firm efficiently at your fingertips?  Dashboards have been used by businesses for years, but law firms have been slow to adapt them to running a more efficient, effective enterprise. A dashboard provides you with insights into what is working -- and what is not -- in your marketing programs and other areas of your business.  Join me and law firm management expert Micki Love, COO of Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers for this free webinar on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT where you will learn: 5 key metrics every…
  • The Top 3 Successful Lead Generation Tactics Every Law Firm Needs to Implement Now

    Stephen Fairley
    15 Oct 2014 | 4:04 pm
    A recent lead generation benchmark survey conducted by marketing research firm Ascend2 and Research Partners is worth paying attention to for the insights gathered from 50,000 U.S. and international marketing leaders representing a wide range of company types, sizes and locations. That is what is known as a statistically significant survey.  When queried on the most effective tactics these companies deploy to generate leads, the top 3 most successful were: 1.  Email marketing (49%) 2.  Content marketing (41%) 3.  Search engine optimization (39%) There were others on the…
  • Clip This Now: Local Search How-To Guide

    Stephen Fairley
    14 Oct 2014 | 2:16 pm
    Yesterday, I posted on Local Search: Getting Prospects to Discover You.  This is a critical tool for legal marketing SEO and too many firms are unaware of the importance local search plays in how prospects find them on the Internet. And today I ran across an incredible infographic from OptiLocal that is a brilliant “cheat sheet” on the steps you can take to dominate local search in your area.  I have posted it below and urge you to clip this graphic and get it in the hands of the person or people responsible for your law firm website SEO.  Since some of it is a…
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    Defending People

  • In Which Math is Still Hard

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

    Mark Bennett
    18 Oct 2014 | 11:37 am
    [via The White House.] I’ll take the last point—which may be literally true—first: “Ebola is not spread through casual contact with someone who has no symptoms of the disease.” Per the CDC, “Initial signs and symptoms are nonspecific and may include fever, chills, myalgias, and malaise. … The most common signs and symptoms reported from West Africa during the current outbreak from symptom-onset to the time the case was detected include: fever (87%), fatigue (76%), vomiting (68%), diarrhea (66%), and loss of appetite (65%).” So as long as everyone you have…
  • In Which My Good Deed is Punished

    Mark Bennett
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    On April 5th TSU law student Amir Tavakkoli sent me this message via my website: Your name: Amir Tavakkoli Your E-mail Address: [redacted] Your Phone Number: [redacted] The defendant’s Name: Amir Tavakkoli The defendant’s date of birth: [redacted] The court: Texas Court of Criminal Appeals/Appeal from 9th COA The case number: 09-13-00082-CR Your message to Bennett & Bennett: Dear Mr. Bennett: I hope this email finds you well. My name is Amir Tavakkoli and I am graduating from law school in May. You may know me from my days working at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. I…
  • In Which I Defend, Against Franks and Citron, Your Right to Sext

    Mark Bennett
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:38 pm
    In the same way that sovereign citizens and jailhouse lawyers take snippets of language from cases and quote them as gospel truth, applicable in all cases, anti-revenge-porn zealots take snippets of language from cases and quote them as gospel truth, applicable in all cases: While Bennett has accurately described categories of speech that the Supreme Court has deemed “unprotected,” there are other types of speech that are lesser-protected. The most established example of lesser-protected speech is commercial speech. The Supreme Court has also recognized that “speech on…
  • First Amendment 101

    Mark Bennett
    6 Oct 2014 | 12:20 pm
    Danielle Citron compensates for her ignorance of First Amendment law with her certainty: Disclosures of private communications involving nude images do not enjoy rigorous First Amendment protection. They involve the narrow set of circumstances when the publication of truthful information can be punished. Slate, All States Should Outlaw Revenge Porn. Laypeople don’t know that Citron is wrong and have no reason to doubt this bald assertions, and fellow academics are afraid of being called names for challenging zealots, so it falls to practicing lawyers to point out that this is the state…
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    a public defender

  • Rowdy Rioters

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

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

    16 Oct 2014 | 5:05 am
    Last week, in a Connecticut courtroom, something unprecedented happened: after a jury returned a guilty verdict in a trial, the judge, from the bench, suspended the defense lawyer for 20 days from the practice of law, for twice-violating a court order. The lawyer is long-time New Haven attorney John Williams, who is a former law partner of Norm Pattis, so I’ll refer you to Norm for a defense of Attorney Williams. Apparently, Williams’ client was tried in Federal court for the same offense and acquitted and then returned to State court for another trial. The judge ruled that the…
  • Death by any means

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:27 am
    It’s bad enough that the duty of prosecutors to disclose and give to the accused any exculpatory and impeachment evidence is entirely self-regulated. It’s quite another when prosecutors flout that requirement to obtain convictions while hiding behind the quickly falling veil of justice. It’s worse yet when they intentionally hide evidence in a case in which they are seeking to murder the accused. This may sound familiar to you and that’s because I wrote back in February about Virginia prosecutors and their quest to kill Justin Wolfe. If only this were a follow-up to…
  • Black men are exigent circumstances

    15 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Pursuant to the protections of the Fourth Amendment granted to every resident of this country, police cannot enter a residence or a closed bedroom without a warrant. This would violate the Fourth Amendment. There are certain exceptions to that warrant requirement, such as the existence of “exigent circumstances”. [t]he term, exigent circumstances, does not lend itself to a precise definition but generally refers to those situations in which law enforcement agents will be unable or unlikely to effectuate an arrest, search or seizure, for which probable cause exists, unless they act…
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  • GitHub jeopardizes its DMCA safe harbor status by launching its new policy

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

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

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

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

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

  • OSHA Guidance on Ebola in the Workplace

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    OSHA has just released guidelines on protecting workers from Ebola in the workplace. Noting that employers are responsible for protecting workers from exposure to Ebola and chemicals used for cleaning and disinfecting, OSHA’s guidelines address cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, areas, and or materials possibly contaminated from blood, urine, feces, vomit, and other bodily fluids that may contain Ebola. In addition, OSHA’s guidelines address the proper waste disposal of potentially contaminated objects. (See OSHA’s Fact Sheet: Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces.)
  • Ebola Concerns – How Should Employers Respond?

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The public concern and confusion generated by the third reported diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S. has reached the workplace. What was once considered just a public health concern has become an employment issue as well. Employees are anxious about individuals who have travelled to and from West Africa, and about the potential for contracting the virus from co-workers, clients, customers, and patients.
  • A Perk of BYOD Policies at Work

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Employers face a serious challenge when trying to prevent employees from taking confidential and proprietary information with them when they leave to join a new employer—particularly when the new employer is a competitor. When an employer becomes suspicious about an ex-employee’s activities prior to his or her last day of work, there are a limited number of safe avenues for the employer to pursue.
  • Resource Update: Anti-Corruption Laws in the Americas

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    As multinational employers are aware, compliance with the anti-corruption laws of different jurisdictions can be complicated, and penalties for noncompliance can be severe, making compliance a priority for multinational companies. FordHarrison has joined with Ius Laboris member firms in Central and South America to produce Corruption in the Americas, a summary of anti-corruption laws in the U.S. and Central and South America. The guide provides key information at a glance on important aspects of the anti-corruption laws, including compliance, relevant laws and regulations, and penalties. The…
  • Easing Ebola Fears in the Workplace

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Howard Mavity was quoted in the Employee Benefit News article "Easing Ebola Fears in the Workplace" on October 17, 2014. The article addressed the rising concerns of employers regarding the Ebola outbreak and reinforced the importance of re-examining workplace travel policies and pandemic plans.
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • 4th DCA and Charging Order Protection for Florida LLC

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

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

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    Portland company WebCease is making waves in the probate and estate-planning community by helping attorneys and grieving families locate the deceased's digital accounts. CEO Glenn Williamson aims to be the first to provide this service to the growing market of families and attorneys trying to track down digital accounts. Williamson is banking on the need for this service to continue to grow as people continue to use digital accounts for shopping, social media and traveling. WebCease searches across different vendors to determine if the deceased person had an account. WebCease then generates a…
  • Three Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign

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

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

    Shaunna Mireau
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:07 am
    In my spare time lately, I have been studying. My partner Patric deserves special recognition for handling the bulk of homestead related activities as I park myself in front of the computer each evening to delve into the specifics of Z scores, standard deviation, degrees of freedom, probability and regression analysis. It is interesting and also quite challenging to be facing an exam with the practice question: “43.5% of students pass this certification exam. The department head is sending 12 people from your company to take the exam and says that if you all pass you will each receive a…
  • Drowning in Alphabet Soup

    Edward Prutschi
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    “You need to return on a Wednesday at 9:00am or a Friday at 2:00pm.” “Excuse me?” “Oh wait, sorry. You’re client’s last name begins with ‘G’. That’s a Tuesday matter.” “But I’m back here this Monday…” “Oops. Hang on. It’s a domestic. Thursdays at 10:00am. Definitely Thursday.” The above is a pretty faithful recounting of nearly every day in set-date courts across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and, perhaps to a lesser extent, across Ontario. I don’t have a sufficient personal sample size to gauge whether the alphabet soup insanity that has infected my…
  • Tips Tuesday

    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice. Technology Dan Pinnington To Avoid Corruption – Formatting a Memory Card Is Better Than Erasing Images on It* With DSLRs, it has become very easy to fill your SD or memory card to capacity. Many of us have will have found ourselves deleting pictures when we run out of space. Doing this in the middle of a photo shoot is fine. However, if you are taking a bunch of pictures off a memory card, remember to reformat the…
  • Superior Court Overturns Result of Youth Soccer Match

    Matt Maurer
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    In an unusual case, Justice Nordheimer of the Superior Court of Justice has overturned the result of a youth soccer match. The Cobras defeated the Strikers 2 – 1 in the semi-final match of the Ontario Cup in the Under 16 Boys Tier 1 Division. After the match, the Strikers alleged that the Cobras had improperly used six players as “call-ups”. The Ontario Soccer Association (“OSA”) sent notice of the Protest to the Cobras. A few days later the Cobras received another email from the OSA raising a new issue regarding the semi-final match. In particular, the OSA was…
  • Paths to Success: As Varied as the Lawyers Who Follow Them

    Dan Pinnington
    20 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    “Diversity” describes the characteristics of a group. When we examine how diversity influences the profession as a whole, it’s easy to lose sight of the experience of being an individual lawyer, with specific identity characteristics, practising law in Ontario. While cultural sensitivity benefits all lawyers, what is it like to practice law when, at least with respect to some aspect of your identity, you are in the minority? We posed that question to the four lawyers profiled in the in the newest issue of LAWPRO Magazine. While their stories are very different, all four…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • Meaningful Play & Legal Games Research

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

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

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

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

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

  • 4th DCA and Charging Order Protection for Florida LLC

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

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

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    Portland company WebCease is making waves in the probate and estate-planning community by helping attorneys and grieving families locate the deceased's digital accounts. CEO Glenn Williamson aims to be the first to provide this service to the growing market of families and attorneys trying to track down digital accounts. Williamson is banking on the need for this service to continue to grow as people continue to use digital accounts for shopping, social media and traveling. WebCease searches across different vendors to determine if the deceased person had an account. WebCease then generates a…
  • Three Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign

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

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

  • Tribal Payday Loans Under Fire In Federal Courts

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

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

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

    Greg Guedel
    24 Sep 2014 | 10:47 am
      (CTV News) As reported by the Seattle Times, Native American tribes and Canadian First Nations have signed a treaty establishing an inter-tribal alliance to restore bison to areas of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains where millions of the animals once roamed. Leaders of 11 nations from Montana and Alberta signed the pact during a daylong ceremony on Montana's Blackfeet Reservation. This is the first treaty among the tribes and First Nations since a series of agreements governing hunting rights in the 1800s. The long-term aim of the new "Buffalo Treaty" is to allow the free…
  • Cobell Settlement Payment Update - September 2014

    Greg Guedel
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
     The following information has been provided by the attorneys handling the Cobell settlement: The United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered an Order approving Plaintiffs’ Unopposed Motion to begin distribution. This Motion obtained the final approval necessary to commence payment distribution to Trust Administration Class Members and summarizes the methodology for those payments. GCG is prepared to commence sending checks to Trust Administration Class Members where we have a current address beginning next week. We anticipate the first checks will mail…
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    Technology & Marketing Law Blog

  • When Does Online Criticism Become “Stalking”?–Ellis v. Chan

    Venkat Balasubramani
    10 Oct 2014 | 10:47 am
    This is an online harassment dispute. Ellis, the plaintiff/petitioner, is the author of a poem called “The Dash”. She has achieved some degree of public figure status through the poem’s notoriety. The poem is about a person who speaks at a funeral, and Ellis encourages people to recite (but not publish) the poem. According to Chan, the defendant/respondent, Ellis also engages in scorched-earth copyright enforcement tactics, sending threat letters and extracting settlements from a wide-ranging group of people or entities who post or publish her poem without permission. In other words,…
  • Q3 2014 Quick Links, Part 2 (Content Regulation)

    Eric Goldman
    9 Oct 2014 | 8:51 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock * United States v. Valle, 2014 WL 2980256 (S.D.N.Y. June 30, 2014). The highly unusual facts of this case reflect the Internet age in which we live. To prove the kidnapping conspiracy alleged in Count One, the Government relied on numerous Internet “chats” in which Valle and three alleged coconspirators discuss in graphic detail kidnapping, torturing, raping, murdering, and cannibalizing women. Valle and his three alleged co-conspirators “met” on Dark Fetish Network or (“DFN”), which bills itself as a fantasy…
  • Call for Papers/Participation, 5th Annual Internet Law Work-in-Progress Conference, SCU, March 7, 2015

    Eric Goldman
    8 Oct 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Taken before any characters got mauled at D&D nightWe invite your participation in the Fifth Annual Internet Law Work-in-Progress conference at Santa Clara University School of Law on March 7, 2015. The conference series is co-sponsored by the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law and the Institute for Information Law and Policy at the New York Law School. The work-in-progress event was created for Internet law scholars to receive feedback about their papers and projects from their academic peers. We take a broad view of the topics that fit under the…
  • Shopkick Unable to Shake Text Spam Complaint — Huricks v. Shopkick

    Venkat Balasubramani
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:21 am
    Shopkick is a rewards-based app that shoppers use on their phone while they are in-store shopping. I’m not precisely sure how it works (you get points for trying on items or walking in certain parts of the store?) but it did not seem to have crowd-buying component to it. Apparently, Shopkick allowed its users to send text messages giving their friends “points” on Shopkick and encouraging them to try the app. It’s unclear if the users must individually send such messages, or if the messages are sent out to all contacts en masse. A recipient brought claims under the TCPA. The court…
  • Q3 2014 Quick Links, Part 1 (RTBF, Reviews, IP & More)

    Eric Goldman
    7 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    Photo credit: “An eraser from a pencil is starting to erase the word data” // ShutterStock Right to Be Forgotten * U.S. Attitudes Toward the ‘Right to Be Forgotten’: 1. Sixty-one percent of Americans believe some version of the right to be forgotten is necessary. 2. Thirty-nine percent want a European-style blanket right to be forgotten, without restrictions. 3. Nearly half of respondents were concerned that “irrelevant” search results can harm a person’s reputation. * Search Engine Land: The second most common reason Google is rejecting RTBF requests is…
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • All “A Board” — The Difference between Directors and Advisors

    25 Sep 2014 | 8:36 am
    If you’re an entrepreneuryou’ve probably been told that your company needs a good board. You may have overheard other entrepreneurs speak — perhaps boastfully, perhaps resentfully — about their powerful or active (or activist) boards.  But what kind of thing is this board of which everyone speaks? It is probably one of two things: a Board of Directors or a Board of Advisors. And they are two very different things. In short: The Board of Directors oversees the CEO and sets the company’s overall direction; its members are elected by an annual vote of the company’s stockholders. The…
  • Embaggen the cat, or let it out? (to NDA or not to NDA)

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

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

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

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

  • Customer Hit with $80,000 in Respondents' Attorney's Fees

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

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

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

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

    10 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    The SEC has published an important alert for brokerage firm who are selling unregistered securities for their customers.The Risk Alert summarizes deficiencies that were discovered by OCIE during a sweep of 22 broker-dealers frequently involved in the sale of microcap securities.  The sweep uncovered widespread deficiencies including:Insufficient policies and procedures to monitor for and identify potential red flags in customer-initiated sales.Inadequate controls to evaluate how customers acquired the securities and whether they could be lawfully resold without registration.Failure to file…
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    Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA

  • The Registered Agent Advantage

    Christopher G. Hill
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    English: Logo of the SCC eFile website. Created by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In the Commonwealth of Virginia, as in most states, all corporations, LLC’s or other corporate style entities are required to have a registered agent if they are to do business in the Commonwealth.  The reasons for the requirement are many, but the main ones are taxation, service of process and communication from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (the “SCC”).  Without such a registered agent, many rights, for example the right to prosecute a…
  • Is Arbitration Okay Under the Miller Act? It Is if You Don’t Object

    Christopher G. Hill
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    Map of the United States District Courts in Virginia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have discussed both payment bond claims under the Miller Act and alternate dispute resolution (ADR) here at Construction Law Musings on many an occasion.  A question that is sometimes open is what to do when there is contractually mandated arbitration for claims “relating to the contract or the work.” While here in Virginia, as in most places, the courts will almost automatically send any breach of contract case with such a clause to arbitration, a question exists whether the claim against the bond…
  • “Green” Expectations. . . or Just Expectations (“green” is not a specification; it’s a paint color)

    Christopher G. Hill
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Originally posted 2012-02-27 09:00:54. Image via Wikipedia I was having a discussion regarding “green”  building with my friend and recent guest poster here at Musings, Nick Pacella (@nmpacella) this past week and (as often happens when I chat with the great folks in the construction world) it got me to thinking.  Is “Green” its own separate category of construction, or just another sub-set of possible specifications for a construction project with it’s own set of challenges? Much has been made of sustainable construction from a risk management, marketing,…
  • The Beautiful Mess

    Christopher G. Hill
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome back Mike Collignon.  Mike is a co-founder of the Green Builder Coalition. The Green Builder® Coalition is working to improve the sustainable attributes of new and existing buildings through education, information and advocacy. If you watched any of the World Cup coverage this summer, you may have heard soccer/futbol referred to as “The Beautiful Game”. However, for some Americans (myself not included), the game is 22 players on the same field, with little to no action occurring. The same might be used to describe the…
  • Musings on the Virginia Mediation Network Fall Conference

    Christopher G. Hill
    6 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    The Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Virginia; on the National Register of Historic Places (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As those of you who read this little corner of the legal blogging world know, I am now 3 years or so into my time as a Virginia Supreme Court certified mediator.  I am also available and as active as possible for private mediations.   Why go through the certification process as opposed to just using my experience in the construction law field to “hang a shingle?” Because I believe in the process and want learn as much as possible about that process. As part of…
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    CAFA Law Blog

  • Defendant’s Speculations Will Not Suffice for CAFA Jurisdiction (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Woods v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 2014 WL 360185 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 30, 2014). A District Court in California remanded an action for failure to establish the amount in controversy holding that a defendant seeking removal of a putative class action must demonstrate, by a preponderance of evidence, that the aggregate amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional minimum. Plaintiffs are pharmacists who worked as “floater” pharmacist in Region 60 of defendants’ California retail stores.  A “floater” pharmacist is one who travels to different locations.  The plaintiffs filed this action in…
  • Plaintiff’s Facially Deficient Claims Cannot Be Considered for Purposes of the CAFA Amount in Controversy Determination (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    McDaniel v. Fifth Third Bank, 2014 WL 805508 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 28, 2014). In an action arising out of fraud and misrepresentation, the district court refused to retain subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA finding that it could not consider a facially deficient claim for the purpose of ascertaining the amount-in-controversy. The plaintiff filed an action in the state court asserting nine counts arising out of the defendant’s practice of charging non-account holders, who wished to cash checks at the defendant’s branch offices, a $4.00 check cashing fee.  After charging the fee, the…
  • 100 Is The Magic Number For Both Remand As Well As Removal (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    California ex rel. Sherwin v. Office Depot, Inc., 2014 WL 320156 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 2014). Relying on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp, which prohibited the court from exercising subject matter jurisdiction when there did not exist at least 100 named plaintiffs, the Central District Court of California sua sponte remanded the case to the state court. A qui tam Plaintiff, David Sherwin, filed an action against the defendant, Office Depot, Inc., to recover damages and civil penalties pursuant to the California False Claims Act…
  • Plaintiffs Must Meet Their Burden to Rebut Defendants’ Showing Re: Amount-in-Controversy (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Clements v. DirecTV, LLC, 2014 WL 794287 (W.D. Ark. Feb. 27, 2014). In this action, the District Court denied a motion for remand and retained jurisdiction, finding that the defendant had satisfied its burden to establish that the amount-in-controversy exceeded the $5 million threshold required by CAFA. The plaintiffs sued the defendant in the Circuit Court of Miller County, Arkansas alleging that the defendant converted Arkansas customers’ property when it made unauthorized charges on their credit and debit cards.  The plaintiffs sought relief in the form of compensatory damages, punitive…
  • A Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend is Not Operative for Removal Purposes (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    15 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Chapin v. Whitecap Investment Corp., 2014 WL 656971 (D.V.I. Feb. 20, 2014). The plaintiffs in this matter are St. John property owners.  The plaintiffs brought this action against defendants, Whitecap Investment Corp. and Paradise Lumber, in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands alleging breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence, strict product liability, and deceptive trade practices. Paradise Lumber filed third party cross claims seeking indemnity and contribution from Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc., Putnam Lumber and Export Company, and Putnam Family Properties.  The…
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    Lowering the Bar

  • You're Paying for a Nazi's Retirement

    21 Oct 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Well, that headline isn't entirely accurate. You paid dozens of Nazis and you're still paying at least four of them. According to the Associated Press, "[d]ozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States," due to a "loophole" that the Justice Department used to pressure them to leave. That is, rather than prosecuting or even deporting them, the government told them that if they left voluntarily, they could keep getting Social Security checks. The AP identified at least 38…
  • Good Reason to Kill #17.1: Lost at Beer Pong

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:37 am
    Oh dear. This new example (thanks, Steve) is funnier than the original #17, mainly because nobody died. Had I foreseen that beer pong would be the cause of another potentially life-threatening dispute, I'd probably have waited, but such are the decisions that life presents. Let history judge. This one broke out in Texas (also funnier) although the shooters are said to be from the Cleveland area (funnier still). Exactly what they were doing at this house party—about a mile south of Ames, Texas, which is about two miles east of Liberty, which is east of Dayton, all of which is somewhere…
  • The 2014 Ig Nobel Prizes

    17 Oct 2014 | 3:47 pm
    As long as I'm on the topic of Nobel-Prize-Related Comedy With at Best a Tenuous Connection to Legal Humor (see "Did You Pack This Nobel Prize Yourself?" (Oct. 16)), I should mention this year's Ig Nobel Prize winners, which were announced not long ago. Here's the one with the least tenuous connection: ECONOMICS PRIZE [ITALY]: ISTAT — the Italian government's National Institute of Statistics, for proudly taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal…
  • Did You Pack This Nobel Prize Yourself?

    16 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Brian Schmidt (along with two others) won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, which implies the existence of a huge amount of "dark" energy and matter that we can't see but has the power to freak out scientists from billions of miles away for reasons that are still not clearly understood. This has something to do with it As Schmidt said in a recent speech, a different kind of "dark matter" bamboozled TSA agents when he traveled to Fargo a while back: One of the things you get when you win a Nobel Prize is, well, a Nobel…
  • Beer Verdict Reversed in Alcohol Case

    15 Oct 2014 | 2:10 pm
    The Journal Sentinel's headline for this one, "Judge Beer's verdict for underage drinker goes flat on appeal," is at least as good as mine and more descriptive. (Thanks, Scott.) Judge James Beer did indeed rule in favor of someone caught drinking underage, after that person pointed out that it is not a crime in Wisconsin for an underage person to drink if "accompanied" by a "parent, guardian[,] or spouse who has attained the legal drinking age." The case is amusing beyond the obvious headline possibilities because it involves the definition of "accompanied." It was undisputed that the…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Same-Sex Marriage Case Declined By U.S. Supreme Court

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

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

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

    Anne Shale
    26 Sep 2014 | 11:04 pm
    Should Couples Live Separately Or Together Through A Divorce Or Dissolution? – List Of Factors Crucial In Each Case The parties agree the marriage is not working; the decision is made by one of the parties to initiate a divorce proceeding.  Do the parties live separately or together during the pendency of a divorce?  There are many factors to be considered: Finances:  If there is adequate income available to cover the living expenses of two (2) households, it is probably easier and less emotionally draining to live separate and apart while the divorce is taking place.  This…
  • Beta Marriage Concept – A Trial Union for 2 Years?

    Robert L. Mues
    20 Sep 2014 | 12:43 am
    Can Beta Marriage Avoid A Complicated Divorce? Time magazine recently published an article discussing the concept of a “beta marriage” and millennials.  For those unfamiliar with the word “Beta” let me explain.  In the tech world, the word “beta” is often affiliated with a trial period, in other words, it’s something that’s tested before it’s released or finalized.  For example, when a video game company is nearing the release of a new video game, they’ll often release a “beta version” to a select few individuals.  This version is played and enjoyed as if…
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    3 Geeks and a Law Blog

  • The Next Target

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

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

    1 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The following is the final part of a 4 part post expanding on my short introduction to an ILTA session entitled, Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds? If you have not yet listened to the full session (and you have nothing better to do for the next 90 minutes), you should go listen to it now. If you would like to download and read the entire 4-part post you can get it here. What does an Exponential Law Firm that can survive in this type of environment look like? I would be lying if I said I knew for sure, but I think we can look to a number of trends and begin to get a…
  • The Exponential Law Firm - Part 3

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The following is the 3rd part of a 4 part post expanding on my short introduction to an ILTA session entitled, Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds? If you have not yet listened to the full session (and you have nothing better to do for the next 90 minutes), you should go listen to it now. If you would like to download and read the entire 4-part post you can get it here. What does this mean for legal service delivery? The examples above are not directly comparable to the legal services we provide. I deliberately did that to illustrate the 6 Ds concept before completely…
  • The Exponential Law Firm - Part 2

    29 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The following is the second part of a 4 part post that expands upon a short introduction I gave to an ILTA session entitled, Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds? If you have not yet listened to the full session (and you have nothing better to do for the next 90 minutes), you should go listen to it now. If you would like to download and read the entire 4-part post you can get it here. The 6 Ds: An Exponential Framework Image from Peter Diamandis' presentation to ILTA. On the first day of this year’s ILTA conference, I attended the keynote session presented by Peter…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • What is Successor Liability and Why Should I Care?

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

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

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

    6 Oct 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Copyright Office Document Cover Sheet Last week I explained what a security interest is and how it can be perfected, i.e., made effective against third parties. (See What is a Security Interest, and Why Should I Care?) This post discusses how to perfect an intellectual property security interest. To recap, a security interest is an interest in an asset (the “collateral”) intended to secure performance of an obligation. Typically, that obligation is payment of a debt. Perfection typically consists of filing, with one of more secretaries of state, documents that identify the debtor,…
  • What is a Security Interest, and Why Should I Care?

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Form UCC-1 This post explains what a security interest is, how it is used, and why it is significant. A security interest is an interest in an asset that is intended to secure performance of an obligation. Typically, the obligation that is secured is payment of a debt. Terminology: The person who owes money is called the debtor. The person to whom money is owed is the creditor. Many of us grant a security interest when we buy a house. In exchange for providing money for the purchase, the lender receives a mortgage (or, in California, a deed of trust). This is a type of security interest.
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • Stonecatcher

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

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

    6 Oct 2014 | 9:30 pm
    Well, there -- wholly innocent people are stopped quite often because of mistakes of fact, for instance.  That's part of the whole Terry ­­ how Terry works and those types of brief stops.  There turns out times that citizens have not committed any kind of offense, and yet they are stopped.Robert C. Montgomery, Senior Deputy North Carolina Attorney General, oral argument, Heien v. North Carolina.It was at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning, the first Monday in October.  Montgomery was trying to answer a question from Justice Sotomayor who wondered just how many folks…
  • The Divine Right of the NSA

    4 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    Even if the Court were to conclude that Plaintiffs have presented sufficient admissible evidence of facts, which, if true, would demonstrate that Upstream collection involves a Fourth Amendment seizure or search of Plaintiffs’ communications, and that the minimal intrusion upon Plaintiffs’ possessory and privacy interests is not far outweighed by Upstream collection’s promotion of the Government’s compelling interest in national security, then the Government, in the alternative, would still be entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ Fourth…
  • The Blind Leading the Blind - UPDATE

    2 Oct 2014 | 11:11 pm
    In high school, I had a history teacher who told us that the hallmark of a democracy is that people get to choose who their dictator would be.  (He didn't phrase it that way, but he was just as blunt.  It was the mid-60s and ours was a school that would let a teacher get away with saying something like that.)In a similar vein, one of the hallmarks of freedom is that people get to make bad choices.Which brings us, I'm afraid, back to Maverick.Not the tall, dark stranger, the riverboat gambler, the rider of a trail to who knows where.  Not him.No, we're talking about Maverick…
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    Technically Legal

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Supreme Court Arguments Are Much Better With Puppies

    Lisa Needham
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:56 am
    Did you try to slog through the entirety of the argument in Holt v. Hobbs, the case about whether the Arkansas DOC can prohibit an inmate from growing a one-half-inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs? As you were grinding through all 57 minutes of the audio transcript, did you think to yourself “wow, I bet this would be much more bearable if re-enacted by cute puppies”? You probably didn’t, but John Oliver did. Yes, if you ever wondered how Justice Scalia’s jowly pugnaciousness would look if he were a dog, now you know. The Notorious RBG, of course, rocks…
  • Pennsylvania Porn, State Supreme Court Edition

    Bitter Staff
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    You have reached the pinnacle of lawyerly success. You convinced enough voters that you had the experience, the intelligence and the integrity to serve on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. You hear that Chief Justice Ronald Castille – your boss – just received a treasure trove of pornographic emails sent to and from high-level attorneys and investigators formerly in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. You know that some of those individuals have now resigned and that Chief Justice Castille wants to determine for himself whether the emails contain pornography and whether any of…
  • ‘Kingdom’ Episode Two: Alvey Can’t Carry An Episode

    Andy Haugen
    17 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    For as much as episode one of Kingdom set the table last week, episode 2 did little to move things forward. It watched like a series of four-minute scenes that lacked cohesion. By the end of the show, I couldn’t tell if episode two had a real purpose, or just filled time. This week was an unexpected lull after a promising start. Round 1: Kingdom continued to bring in recognizable fighters this week. Joe Stevenson was back. They even referred to him as Joe Daddy instead of giving him a new identity. #453371636 / Chris Leben, a beloved veteran with a host of drug and…
  • Commercially Viable Nuclear Fusion Is Here, Soon, Any Time Now

    Lang Schmitt
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Credit: Max Planck Institute for Physics We think the sun is pretty neat. It’s been working hard 24/7 for the last 4.5 billion years, frantically pushing out light and heat. Don’t you wish you had something working that hard for you? Wouldn’t you like a mini-star that you could cart around on the back of a truck, that could provide enough power for your family of four … and 25,000 other families of four, if you feel like sharing? Professional death-peddlers Lockheed Martin have heard your weird Bond villain dream, and are here for you. (Although they’re mostly here…
  • Pop Torts: J-Law Versus The Internet

    Stefan BC
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    Welcome to Pop Torts, our new feature and your new source for celebrity lawsuits both meritorious and otherwise. Jennifer Lawrence commented for the first time about the unauthorized release of her private nude photos in the most recent issue of Vanity Fair. She is understandably pissed about the incident, and (much to the dismay of morons), has framed the issue in a slightly surprising manner: “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” she tells Kashner. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are…
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    Rochester Bankruptcy and Debt Relief

  • Bankruptcy and Judgments

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

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

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

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

    6 Apr 2014 | 2:37 pm
    On the bankruptcy petition is filed, the bankruptcy automatic stay is in effect in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, and virtually every type of collection activity is called to a halt. The bankruptcy court enters an order under 11 U.S.C §362, which prohibits nearly all creditors from taking any type of collection action. What happens if the bankruptcy automatic stay is violated? If a creditor violates the automatic stay by accident, it must return the money or stop the collection action as soon as it learns about the bankruptcy. However, if the stay violation is done by the creditor on…
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    The Jury Room

  • Morality in everyday life for the religious and the nonreligious

    Rita Handrich
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    The researchers recruited a sample of 1,252 adults ranging in age from 18 to 68 years of age who reside in the US and Canada. Each participant completed measures of religiosity and political ideation prior to participation in the actual study. All participants had smartphones and were randomly signaled on their phone for 3 days between 9am and 9pm. “At each signal, participants indicated whether they committed, were the target of, witnessed, or learned about a moral or immoral act within the past hour”. The participants wrote a text back to the researcher describing the event, where it…
  • The “life cycle effect”: To raise your income, do not become a mother! 

    Douglas Keene
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    Or if you already are a mother, do not have any more children. On the other hand, if you are a man, have as many children as you would like. And preferably with a woman who doesn’t mind taking a dramatic payroll hit at work. With children (as a man) you get an average 11.6% bump in your salary according to this report. The author opines that fatherhood “is a valued characteristic of employers, signaling perhaps greater work commitment, stability, and deservingness”. But we must remind you that this applies only if you are a man who is a father. And if you are a woman? According to…
  • The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?

    Rita Handrich
    15 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    After years of not having a way to measure those who consistently respond in a Libertarian direction, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has offered us a new scale to do just that. We posted on Monday about their survey of Libertarians and this is the measure they used to determine who was really Libertarian, who tended to lean Libertarian, who was not Libertarian, and who was a mixture of Libertarian and non-Libertarian attitudes. It’s an intriguing scale. But first, some terminology is in order. Libertarians are–in some cases rugged–individualists and thus…
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    Karl Bayer's Disputing Blog

  • Houston COA Orders Arbitration After Man Ratifies Procedurally Unconscionable Agreement

    Beth Graham
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:15 am
    Texas’ Fourteenth District Court of Appeals in Houston has overturned a trial court’s order denying a party’s motion to compel arbitration. In Mission Petroleum Carriers, Inc. v. Kelley, No. 14-14-00072-CV (October 9, 2014), a man, Kelley, was hospitalized over the injuries he sustained in a workplace tractor-trailer accident. While still hospitalized and receiving a narcotic pain killer, a representative for Kelley’s employer, Mission, asked him to sign paperwork authorizing his participation in a Health and Safety Plan (“H & S Plan”) offered by the company. The plan provides…
  • A Fair Fight: Professional Guidelines in International Arbitration

    Beth Graham
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:48 am
    Professor William W. Park, R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law at the Boston University School of Law has published a thoughtful article entitled, A Fair Fight: Professional Guidelines in International Arbitration, Forthcoming, 30 Arbitration International 409 (2014); Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 14-53. In his article, Professor Park examines the recently adopted arbitral guidelines and rules created by the International Bar Association and the London Court of International Arbitration. Here is the abstract: Depending on context and content, a regulatory…
  • Fifth Circuit Reverses in Part N.D. of Texas’ Order Compelling Arbitration in Health Plan Sales Dispute

    Beth Graham
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has reversed portions of a district court’s order compelling arbitration in a contract dispute. In Sharpe v. AmeriPlan Corp., No. 13-10922, (5th Cir., October 16, 2014), four independent business owners (“IBOs”) sold health plans and recruited other IBOs through a network for AmeriPlan Corporation. Under the company’s sales plan, the IBOs became sales directors who were entitled to collect residual income for life based on the sales generated by their IBO recruits. Prior to joining the network, each IBO signed three agreements.
  • Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Over Possible FAA Preemption in Nursing Home Case

    Beth Graham
    15 Oct 2014 | 5:52 am
    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Texas heard oral argument in Fredricksburg Care Co., L.P. v. Perez, No. 13-0573. In the case, a Texas nursing home sought appellate review after the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio denied its motion to compel arbitration in a wrongful death lawsuit based on the requirements set forth in the Texas Medical Liability Act (“TMLA”). The issue presented in the case is: The Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws which restrict arbitration agreements. The McCarran-Ferguson Act protects state insurance regulations from unintended federal law preemption.
  • Disarming Employees: How American Employers are Using Mandatory Arbitration to Deprive Workers of Legal Protection

    Beth Graham
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:57 am
    Jean R. Sternlight, Director of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution and Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, has authored Disarming Employees: How American Employers are Using Mandatory Arbitration to Deprive Workers of Legal Protection, Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 80, 2015, Forthcoming. In her article, Professor Sternlight analyzes the effect of mandatory arbitration clauses in the employment context. Here is the abstract: Employers’ imposition of mandatory arbitration constricts employees’ access to…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • Spencer on Mediation!

    South Florida Lawyers
    21 Oct 2014 | 10:36 am
    "The first thing you do, is to try to dress like Nucky Thompson."Of course I kid -- here he offers good advice to those unfamiliar with the legal process.Nice to see him back!
  • Rule 11, Rule!

    20 Oct 2014 | 6:01 pm
    This is how it's done."The decision that I make today is based on legal conclusions rather than policy considerations. I believe the first duty of the AG is to be a good lawyer. Lawyers live under rule 11, which provides it is unethical for a lawyer to file a pleading for the purpose of delay rather than to achieve a result. The probability of the 9th Circuit reversing today's district court decision is ZERO. The probability of the US Supreme Court accepting review of the 9th circuit decision is also ZERO. Therefore the only purpose that would be served by filing another appeal would be to…
  • Question: Does This Seem Libelous?

    South Florida Lawyers
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:14 am
    According to newly-invested Judge Bloom (congratulations!!), it just might:What in Tarnation is a Surrogate Dibble, No way this can be a real human beings name, low class redneck pig excrement, redneck asshole, PATHETIC, LOWCLASS, INBRED REDNECK SCUMBAG, venom-spewing, mud-sucking, LOW-CLASS REDNECK, REDNECK LOSERS, SON OF A BITCH, SCUMBAG DRIBBLE, Now do us all a big favor and go play some Russian Roulette with SIX rounds in the chamberWHAT IN TARNATION IS A SURROGATE DIBBLE, This low-class, inbred, half-witted, redneck, idiot, horse’s ass, bully, CHEAPSKATE AND ASSHOLE, venom-spewing,…
  • Plan B

    17 Oct 2014 | 1:20 pm
    Should Amendment 1 and other efforts to prevent the end of all life on Earth fail, it's good to have a Plan B!Don’t worry about climate change guys. If we destroy this planet, we’ll just move to another one! Well, not exactly another planet, but another planet’s moon. According to a paper to be published in the prestigious Science journal on Friday, scientists have reason to believe that one of Saturn’s “Death Star” moon, Mimas, houses an underground ocean. Either that, or something else strange is going on underneath its cratered surface. And if that something is indeed a body of…
  • How Do You Execute Against a Terrorist Organization? Plus "Bad Judge" Friday!

    South Florida Lawyers
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:25 am
    It's Friday, so let's keep it light with the 11th Circuit discussing FARC:On February 13, 2003, Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Thomas Janis were flying over Colombia while performing counter-narcotics reconnaissance. Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shot their plane down and, after the plane’s crash landing, captured the group. FARC immediately executed Janis and took the survivors hostage, holding them for over five years. After they were rescued and returned to the United States, Stansell, Gonsalves, and Howes—along with Janis’s wife,…
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    eLessons Learned

  • Defendant’s “Hands-Off” Approach Insufficient; Sanctions Ordered

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

    15 Oct 2014 | 2:49 pm
    This Article was originally published with Bloomberg Law Reports on November 9, 2011. The Internet has afforded anyone, anywhere, a wealth of information at one’s fingertips. Within the current and ever­expanding age of technology, Brazilian- and U.S.-based courts continue to draw legal boundaries within a seemingly boundless cyberspace. The boundlessness of the Internet, and its [...]
  • Does a Litigation Hold Require the Preservation of Employee Text Messages? Big Problems in Little Packages: Lost Cell Phone Leads to Spoliation Sanctions

    10 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Big things can often come in small packages, especially in the field of eDiscovery.  In Christou v. Beatport, LLC, the defendants learned that something as small as a text message on a lost cell phone can lead to a bevy of headache-inducing preservation issues, even without proof that the lost texts actually contained relevant information. [...]
  • Think Plaintiffs Have All the Leverage? Not If They Spoliate.

    8 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Individual plaintiffs often exert settlement leverage against corporate defendants because, irrespective of the merits of the suit, the prospective costs of litigation coerce early settlement.  Therefore, an individual plaintiff often has nothing to lose.  Even if a plaintiff’s suit is meritless, often times the worst case scenario faced is dismissal of the suit.  Additionally, where [...]
  • Who Knew? ERISA Litigation is not the Same as Securities Litigation

    6 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    In a recent ERISA class action case against Coventry Healthcare, th plaintiffs raise four ERISA violations:  “Count I asserts a claim for failing to prudently and loyally mange the Plan and assets of the Plan; Count II asserts a claim for failing to monitor fiduciaries; Count III asserts a claim for failing to avoid conflicts [...]
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    Compliance Building

  • Compliance and Ebola

    Doug Cornelius
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:56 am
    There is clearly an Ebola scare happening in the United States. It’s a nasty disease and that has attracted widespread media attention. Is there anything your compliance team should do about Ebola? I’ll assume that your firm does not have operations or personnel in West Africa. If it does, then yes, you should be concerned about Ebola and contacting professionals. For the rest of us, there is little to worry about. There have been three confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States and one death. Those are tragic. But very small. If your compliance program is so robust that you…
  • Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative

    Doug Cornelius
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:35 am
    Last week, the son and heir-apparent to the president of Equatorial Guinea agreed to give up $34 million in assets as part of a settlement with the U.S. government over corruption claims. This was the latest attack by the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative has collected about $600 million out of the $1.2 billion pursued from 15 cases against current or former officials and businessmen. The government accused Second Vice President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue of amassing assets…
  • Weekend Reading: The Skies Belong To Us

    Doug Cornelius
    18 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    It’s hard to imagine in these days of TSA security, but over a five-year period starting in 1968, hijackers seized commercial jets nearly once a week. Brendan I. Koerner captures this piece of history in The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking. Mr. Koerner uses the hijacking of Western Airlines Flight 701 on June 2, 1972 as the centerpiece of his book, with other tales of hijackings wrapped around it. Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow captured Flight 701 with a fake bomb. Neither had to pass through a metal detector or any security screening before boarding…
  • Compliance Bricks and Mortar for October 17

    Doug Cornelius
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    These are some of the compliance-related stories that recently caught my attention. Mathew Martoma’s Wife Fights to Keep Couple’s Florida Home, Millions in Cashby Bruce Carton in Compliance Week Martoma will begin serving his prison term next month, but his wife, Rosemary Martoma, is now challenging the $9.4 million forfeiture order. This week Rosemary Martoma asked the court to allow her to keep her share of the couple’s assets–including a $2.2 million home in Boca Raton, Florida and approximately $4.5 million in cash. The New Vocabulary of Compliance…
  • Don’t Forge Documents You Give to SEC Investigators

    Doug Cornelius
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    You’re bound to make a mistake. Don’t make the mistake even worse by faking a document you submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to cover your original mistake. Back in 2012, the SEC brought charges against Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto, a citizen of Brazil who was working for Wells Fargo in Miami. He was accused of illegally trading in the stock of Burger King after he learned of an impending private equity transaction. Wells Fargo admitted to compliance weaknesses and paid a $5 million fine in connection with that supervision failure. In connection with that…
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    Simmons Firm

  • The Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholders: Part 1

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

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

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

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

    John A. Barnerd
    5 Sep 2014 | 11:26 am
    Mesothelioma Awareness Day, which takes place on Sept. 26, is fast approaching. If you’re thinking about getting involved this year, now is the time. National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness and research funds for mesothelioma. It first began in 2004 when it was created by a group of Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation volunteers. In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution designating Sept. 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Every year since then, participation in the awareness day has grown larger and more widespread. The day is…
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    Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online

  • Who Are My Heirs If I Am Single And Die Without A Will?

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

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

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

    Rania Combs
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    Wendy S. Goffe wrote a great guest article on last week that offered tips to avoid problems that can result from incomplete or inaccurate IRA beneficiary designations. Below are her recommendations Name a primary beneficiary (or beneficiaries). Name an alternate beneficiary in case the first one dies before you. Don’t name your estate as the beneficiary. Review these forms once a year to make sure they still carry out your wishes. Update your forms more often if there has been a change in your life circumstances, such as a birth, adoption, marriage, divorce or death. Each time…
  • Can The Beneficiary Of My Estate Also Be My Executor?

    Rania Combs
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    I’ve received several emails the past few weeks asking whether it is possible for a beneficiary of an estate to also serve as executor. Naming someone as the executor of your estate does not preclude him or her from inheriting from you. In fact, the executor can and often is a beneficiary of the estate. An executor is a person charged with the responsibility of winding up your affairs after you die. The executor’s duties include: Inventorying and collecting your assets; Managing the assets during the administration of the estate; Receiving and paying the claims of creditors and tax…
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  • When is a GOP candidate like a wedding dress?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Attorney Ryan McKeen Speaking To UConn Law Class

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

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

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

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

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

  • Undaunted, Kar HC green-lights Yeddyurappa prosecution over land deals

    21 Oct 2014 | 8:57 am
    The Karnataka high court Tuesday allowed the prosecution of BJP national vice president and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and his kin in a case pertaining to the alleged encroachment of forest land in Shimoga district.Setting aside the Shimoga sessions court order that dismissed the case in February for want of sanction from the state government, Justice Anand Byrareddy said the cases could be investigated, as Yeddyurappa was no longer holding a public office.“The high court has permitted Yeddyurappa’s prosecution on the revision petition I filed in March after the sessions…
  • Gautam Khaitan to spend Diwali (& start of November) in jail as ED investigation continues

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:16 am
    A court here today extended till 3 November the judicial custody of OP Khaitan & Co managing partner Gautam Khaitan, who was arrested in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper deal.Special judge VK Gupta sent Khaitan to 14 days’ judicial custody after he was produced in court on expiry of his earlier remand.Enforcement Directorate (ED) prosecutor Vikas Garg sought extension of judicial custody of Khaitan submitting that the investigation in the case is still in progress.The court Monday dismissed the bail plea of Khaitan as the probe regarding other accused…
  • NLSIU takes 13 MPL points after bested by HNLU in BR Sawhney Moot

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:12 am
    HNLU Raipur has won the 8th Nalsar Justice Bodh Raj Sawhney Memorial Moot Court Competition 2014, besting NLSIU Bangalore.
  • [Opinion] HC rewrites Constitution after Governor defies President’s authority in K’taka PSC ousting

    21 Oct 2014 | 3:49 am
    Advocate KV Dhananjay argues that a recent decision of the Karnataka high court in one of his cases amounts to a rewriting of the Constitution of India, which is without parallel or precedent in the constitutional history of India.
  • Kerala bar council wants to ban lawyers from speaking to journalists

    21 Oct 2014 | 2:10 am
    The Kerala bar council is discussing plans to ban all lawyers from talking to the media about their own cases under the anti-advertising rule 36 of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules, which could be implemented after a meeting soon, reported the Deccan Chronicle.The rule states that advocates must not solicit or advertise, and “not promote himself by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews other than through personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he has…
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    Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sam Glover
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Fed up with landing on front pages every time someone gets ahold of some passwords, Facebook has decided to be proactive. Last week, Facebook announced it built a system to monitor “paste” sites commonly used to distribute login credentials or advertise credentials for sale.1When it gets ahold of login credentials, Facebook’s system will check them against its users’ credentials by comparing the hashes.2 If they match, Facebook will alert the user and force a password change.Related“Q: Doesn’t My Password Protect My Computer?”It’s pretty awesome…
  • John Oliver Finds a Way to Put Cameras in the Supreme Court — Sort Of

    Sam Glover
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:46 am
    Don’t watch this unless you want to see Scalia depicted as an actual bulldog, Alito as a poodle, and the court reporter as a chicken.Fire up your video editor, because here is Last Week Tonight‘s raw footage so you can remix the Court’s arguments yourself.
  • Q: Doesn’t My Password Protect My Computer?

    Sam Glover
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:12 am
    A: No.There are basically two “doors” to your computer, and you need to lock both of them to prevent someone from accessing the information on your computer. The front door is through your operating system (Windows, OS X, Linux, etc.). You can put a lock on the front door by using a password. This is the password you use to log in to Windows.This password — your operating system password — prevents someone from using your computer as if they were you. This is a good idea, but it does not protect the back door: your hard drive.In most computers, your hard drive is not much…
  • It’s Time for Lawyers to Re-Think the Cloud

    Sam Glover
    17 Oct 2014 | 7:11 am
    We are living in 1984. The novel, that is, not the year. Big Brother is watching you — and reading your emails, browsing your contact lists, keeping tabs on your call history, and tracking your movements. If you represent non-US clients, Big Brother may even be reading your confidential attorney-client communications, according to the New York Times.This probably does not raise any serious ethical concerns for most lawyers. That is, I don’t think you will lose your law license because you use email. But it should make you pretty uncomfortable.And while there is probably no reason to…
  • Attorney Brings Newborn to Court Because Judge Says Maternity Leave is “No Good Cause” to Postpone Hearing

    Sam Glover
    16 Oct 2014 | 8:54 pm
    From the Associated Press Staci Zaretsky at Above the Law:1 An immigration judge in Atlanta denied an attorney’s request to delay a hearing that fell during her six-week maternity leave and then scolded her in front of a packed courtroom when she showed up with her 4-week-old strapped to her chest and the infant began to cry, the attorney said.Well played, mom.Staci actually broke this story, and the AP apparently reported it without giving her credit. Lame. ↩
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • RIP: Prof. David Siegel

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

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

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

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

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

  • Could The Amanda Bynes Dilemma Happen In Your Family?

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

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

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

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

    Danielle & Andy
    10 Sep 2014 | 1:27 pm
    “I ain’t afraid of death.”  Joan Rivers once told Time Magazine, “I’m in show business.  I died a million times.”   Aging.  Dying.  Death.  Concepts no one likes to think about, much less talk about.  Of the many fatal tragedies the celebrity world has suffered lately — Lauren Bacall, Robin Williams, and Casey Kasem, to name a few — perhaps none shook people to the core as much as the passing of Joan Rivers. Even at 81 years old, her death seemed to take everyone off-guard. Except maybe Joan Rivers herself.  While on stage for the final time, she told the audience how…
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    Planning Notes

  • 4 Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Are You an Internet 'Troll'? Legal Consequences to Consider

    Mark Wilson, Esq.
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:13 pm
    More than 1 in 4 Americans -- 28 percent, to be exact -- admit to Internet "trolling," according to an online survey conducted by research firm YouGov. Trolling is defined as "malicious online activity" directed at a stranger. Trolls like to argue, harass, or sow discord just because they like the reaction it provokes. Trolls aren't well regarded in the online community, and in fact, contribute to an overall decline in the quality of online discussion and debate. It got so bad on the website for the magazine Popular Science that the editors decided to turn off the ability to comment on…
  • Legal How-To: Handling Legal Matters While Abroad

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:31 am
    When you leave the country, you don't necessarily leave all your potential legal troubles behind. Whether you're traveling abroad for an extended period or have moved overseas permanently, legal issues back in the United States may require your attention. But how can you handle legal matters while you're out of the country? Fortunately, you may be able to take care of matters without having to book an international flight. Here are a few tips to consider: Find out exactly what the legal matter is. Before you can figure out what to do about a legal issue, you first need to know what exactly…
  • 3 Potential Ways to Challenge a Power of Attorney

    William Peacock, Esq.
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:53 pm
    A power of attorney (POA) is one of the most powerful (and potentially risky) documents one can sign: It gives a third party "agent" the ability to control the assets of the "principal" as if the agent were the principal. Depending on how broad the POA is, that could mean anything from controlling one's financial accounts to controlling everything: healthcare decisions, investments, property, and accounts. With that much power comes a duty to act in the principal's best interest. As you might expect, that doesn't always happen. And if an agent is abusing his or her power, and the principal…
  • Expensive Weddings Lead to Higher Risk of Divorce: Study

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:50 am
    A new study examining the link between the amount of money spent on a wedding and the duration of marriage has come to a somewhat surprising conclusion: Couples who spend less on their wedding tend to stay married longer than those who opt for expensive weddings. In the study, researchers at Emory University looked at over 3,100 married couples, reports the Chicago Tribune. In addition to the amount of money spent on a wedding, the study found several other correlations between wedding ceremonies and duration of marriage that seem to go against conventional wisdom. What does your wedding say…
  • Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'N'

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    19 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    For the last several months, our series Legalese From A to Z has been walking you through the sometimes wacky, sometimes confusing world of legalese , the specialized language of law used by those in the legal field. Letter by letter, we've been examining some important, interesting, or noteworthy bits of legalese. This week, we take a look at five legal terms that start with the letter "N": Next of kin. You may have heard the phrase "next of kin" in situations where a person has died without a will and that person's property will pass according to the laws of intestacy. But who is considered…
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    William Carleton, Counselor @ Law

  • Changing the rules for who is allowed to invest in startups

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

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

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

    William Carleton
    20 May 2014 | 10:13 am
    Incredibly, there are interest groups in the US who are taking advantage of a provision in Dodd-Frank to try to throttle angel investing. For context, see this excellent press release put out today by the Angel Capital Association. Here's the money quote: “'We appreciate the importance of regulation to protect investors from fraud, however regulations need to be focused in areas with a proven need for added oversight.  The angel investment asset class has experienced very little fraud, because angel investors have strong processes for due diligence and investment terms, and…
  • David Rose's new book on angel investing

    William Carleton
    9 May 2014 | 8:09 am
    Just got David Rose's new book in the mail, on angel investing. Definitely looks like it's worth checking out. Those of us who hang out a fair bit on blogs and online will be familiar with many of David's precepts, from his long, detailed and popular answers on the topic on Quora. But this book looks like a great way to organize his philosophy on angel investing in one place. The angel lawyer in me is first drawn - naturally - to a deal form bank at the back, where there is what looks like a term sheet for a light preferred stock offering that combines the NVCA model forms with…
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    But I do have a law degree...

  • Four Years Ago You Rocked My World

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

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

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

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

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:25 am
    When I look back at pictures of my son, Braden, I can almost pinpoint the time when he stopped looking like a baby.  It was when his hair grew long and he started standing up tall and running like a maniac. As he has gotten older, his transitions have been more subtle and harder to pinpoint.  But three days ago, on his 6th birthday, when I took his annual birthday picture, he looked like a kid. A real, life kid.He has big feet - not abnormally big (and only a half size bigger than his younger brother), but they are kid feet.  He has fuzzy blond hair on his legs now, and…
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    Profit and Laws

  • This Cheat Sheet Will Make You Win Every Climate Argument

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

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

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

    7 Oct 2014 | 6:45 pm
    I’m pretty much obsessed with this case. Amazon – and the companies Amazon hires to deal with its warehouse employees – make its employees go through security screens before they leave work. The employees have to hike up to 20 minutes at the end of their physically brutal shift to get to the security line – then, they often […] The post Justices Weighing Wages for After-Work Screenings in Amazon Case appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • DARPA’s jetpack will help soldiers run faster, stronger

    19 Sep 2014 | 10:00 am
    DARPA. DARPA. DARPA. Dude, DARPA’s making a jetpack to help you run faster. DARPA is the government’s innovation department. They invented the Internet and GPS, among other things. Once DARPA invents something and rolls it out, entrepreneurs come through and bring it to market for the rest of us. Then, the world changes. Read the […] The post DARPA’s jetpack will help soldiers run faster, stronger appeared first on Profit and Laws.
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    Virginia Workplace Law

  • Virginia Dept. of Health offers Ebola advice for employers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Appellate court provides some guidance on electronic discovery obligations under California law

    H. Scott Leviant
    26 Sep 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Vasquez v. CA School of Culinary Arts (pub. ord. September 26, 2014) (Second Appellate District, Division Two) is ostensibly about an award of attorney's fees following the plaintiffs' successful opposition of a motion to quash their electronic records subpoena directed to student loan servicing entity Sallie Mae, Inc.  After all, the Court describes the appeal as follows: "Sallie Mae, Inc. (Sallie Mae) appeals from an order awarding plaintiffs and respondents Daniel Vasquez, et al. (collectively, plaintiffs) $11,487 in attorney fees and costs incurred after plaintiffs successfully…
  • Pro per meets bad bank in Fleet v. Bank of America

    H. Scott Leviant
    25 Sep 2014 | 10:57 am
    When despicable loan modification practices meet desperate homeowners filing their own lawsuit, you get Fleet v. Bank of America (pub ord. September 24, 2014), from the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate, Division Three).
  • Luckey v. Superior Court says no to temporary judges for class settlement approval

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

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

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

  • Work-Oriented Child Support Program Spreads to More Virginia Courts

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2014 – A Virginia program that puts noncustodial parents to work, rather than in jail, for nonpayment is showing results. The Intensive Case Monitoring Program (ICMP) channels noncustodial parents who have shirked their child support obligations into careers, not incarceration. Recently, the program has expanded to more jurisdictions in Virginia — and as the ICMP has ramped up its presence through the commonwealth, so too, has it increased the amount of money Virginia has collected for child support. The ICMP operates under the auspices of…
  • Should Volunteer Retired Doctors Be Offered Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Protection?

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer - Michael Smith Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2014 – This question needs to be asked in today’s world because millions of Americans are still unable to access health care. “What do people without even the basic necessities do for medical and dental care?” asked Michael Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Arkansas. “Most simply go without. In some states, such as Florida, retired dentists and doctors volunteer their time to help people who could not otherwise access care. But in other states, volunteerism rarely happens. The…
  • REBOOT Workshops Coming to Michigan This Fall

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve. Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2014 – The REBOOT Workshops, developed by National Veteran’s Transition Services, Inc. (NVTSI), have become very popular among returning veterans. This fall, the Michigan’s Veteran’s Affairs Agency is bringing these workshops to the state. REBOOT workshops are designed to aid veterans returning home in transitioning from their role as soldiers to their roles as civilians through personalized training and coaching in the social, personal and…
  • Solid Communication Techniques Improve Conversations About Difficult Subjects With Older Parents

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook) Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 20, 2014 – Speaking to older parents about challenging subjects, including finances or the need for assisted living, can be stressful for both parties. Small disagreements can take on enormous significance, and overall communication can break down. Although there is no way to eliminate the stress inherent in such difficult discussions, good communication techniques can help parents and their adult children navigate their challenges effectively. “When adult children learn how to communicate with…
  • Man Arrested for Filming Texas Police Has Right to Sue and Legally Photograph Them

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 20, 2014 – A recent federal court ruling in Texas stated that a man arrested numerous times for taking video footage of the police has both the right to file a lawsuit against the force and the right to photograph or film them in the first place. “The ruling could impact drivers arrested for DUI,” said Austin personal injury attorney Brooks Schuelke, who is not involved with the case. “Filming police in public has been a touchy issue for years. This particular case may change how…
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    The L•E•Jer

  • Women’s Equality: Truth or Illusion?

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

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

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:10 am
    by Mehjabeen S. Rahman A recent case heard by the 2nd Circuit has made headlines using a term that has crept its way from the shadows of a rather grim period of American history. Is “slavery” still alive in the domestic U.S.? Whether or not the argument can be made that it does, the issue […]
  • Cheesy Move by Papa John’s

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    13 Oct 2014 | 7:29 am
    by Jillian Levitt On an episode of the television series Glee, Becky asks her friend, and fellow Cheerios cheerleader, Brittany to stay in high school with her forever, because “[t]he world is scary. Someday they will make me leave here, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”[1] Her fear is particularly poignant since […]
  • Everything Has a Price

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:29 am
    by Alexandra Sanchez In 1990, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services endeavored to stimulate the U.S. economy through administering the Immigrant Investor Program.[1] This program, better known as “EB-5,” attracts foreign capital investment in domestic projects that creates jobs across the U.S.[2] In exchange for the investment, foreign nationals are granted temporary U.S. visas for themselves […]
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    My Distribution Law

  • Could Amazon Possibly Be a Monopolist?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Craig Thomson: How much did he really steal from the HSU and the continued Labor Party cover-up

    Shane Dowling
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:57 am
    The amount former federal politician Craig Thomson stole from the Health Services Union is becoming less and less as the smoke and mirrors of the ALP propaganda and corruption machine continue to work. Exactly how much Craig Thomson stole will never be known but my estimate is that it could exceed $1,500,000. Craig Thomson’s fraud and theft […]
  • How to drag out a court case 101. Channel 7’s Kerry Stokes, Craig Thomson and Kathy Jackson etc

    Shane Dowling
    18 Oct 2014 | 5:29 am
    There have been numerous court cases during the week that I would normally report on but all of them have had very little action. They involve people such as Kathy Jackson, Craig Thomson and Kerry Stokes etc. In many of these cases there are clear and blatant delaying tactics. So we’ll have a look at […]
  • Prosecutions from ICAC and other corruption inquiries – Scorecard

    Shane Dowling
    11 Oct 2014 | 5:44 am
    Quite a few people try to down play the value of corruption inquiries and investigations as being nothing more than a waste of time and money and when you look at the past there is some evidence to support the argument that they are a waste. So let’s look at some of the facts and we’ll find that it […]
  • Lisa Zanatta – Perjury Queen of the Trade Union Royal Commission

    Shane Dowling
    7 Oct 2014 | 6:04 am
    Lisa Zanatta admitted to premeditated perjury in the witness box at the Trade Union Royal Commission in what could be regarded as the Commission’s best day so far. Ms Zanatta said she lied under oath to protect her boss David Atkin who is CEO of the $23 Billion industry super fund Cbus and Brian Parker […]
  • Bill Shorten and the $500,000 awarded to another rape victim

    Shane Dowling
    4 Oct 2014 | 6:28 am
    Kathy, who was allegedly raped by Bill Shorten outed herself in an interview with News Ltd which was published on Thursday (2/10/14). She in effect said that the police covered it up with one example being that they failed to interview all the witnesses. This is consistent with numerous other rape cover-ups by the Victoria […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • Best Way to Organize Your Contacts

    Sally J. Schmidt
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    If you are like most lawyers, you have done little to organize or manage one of your most important business development assets — your contacts. Why is it so important to keep track of the people you know? Most clients will tell you they hire the lawyer, not the law firm. Even as corporate clients become more businesslike in vetting and selecting counsel, there is usually a relationship that led to being put on the shortlist. To be successful at developing business, you must know people and maintain key contacts — either those hiring legal counsel or those whom they ask for…
  • You’re Not Hired! Rules of Non-Engagement (Letters)

    Megan Zavieh
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    When you speak to potential clients, your goal is to hear them say, “You’re hired!” — or words to that effect. Then out goes the engagement letter, in comes the retainer and off to work you go. Isn’t that the point of a law practice, after all? Meet new clients, get retained, do the work, help your clients and make a living. But have you given much thought to the potential clients who ultimately say, “You’re not hired”? These non-clients can come back and bite you if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, if we’re not hired after the initial discussion with a potential…
  • Five Questions to Ask a New Client

    Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s one of the fundamentals they drummed into you in law school: It is your job to know the answers. That’s why clients seek your help, right? How you prove you are smart, and why they pay your bills? Well, yes and no. In many cases, it’s less about you knowing the answers and much more about you knowing the right questions to ask. Socrates Was On to Something Case in point: Your first meeting with a new client. There will never be a better or more important time to ask all sorts of questions. At this meeting, it should be your No. 1 priority to launch what you hope will…
  • Using Social Media as a Screening Tool for New Hires

    Noble McIntyre
    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Recruiting and hiring a new employee is never easy. Last time I talked about different ways you can use social media to find better job candidates. For some, though, the most difficult part comes when you have narrowed your pool to two or three candidates you think would be great additions to your team. Now you want to evaluate the finalists further. You’ve heard rumblings about employers using social media to evaluate candidates, but how do you do it? What do you look for? What are the rules for doing it? Rule No. 1: Don’t Be a Stalker It’s fine to check out publicly available…
  • Not My First Time at the Fashion Rodeo

    Otto Sorts
    15 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    I’ve been through a few fashion trends and I appreciate others’ perspectives on style. In our profession, it’s important to look … professional. Looking good can help bolster your self-confidence and can certainly affect how others see you. But the next time you’re in a room full of lawyers comparing ties and admiring one another’s socks, ask yourself if that’s really what you came to do. (You know. You’ve been there. It happens.) Here’s a bit of advice from an old guy who’s never been at the top of the style page, for those men and…
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    Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – October 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

  • Ethical Challenges For Experts In Civil Litigation

    IMS ExpertServices
    30 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Sources of An Expert’s Ethical Obligations Experts specialize in objectivity – Lawyers are rewarded for subjectivity. Experts are sometimes tempted to skew their evaluation of the facts in favor of the party who hired them. One reason for this temptation is the high fee paid to experts who can help a party win at trial. [...]
  • Daubert Standards And Hearings

    IMS ExpertServices
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    This outline presents the core concepts that an expert witness should know about Daubert and its requirements. The United States Supreme Court has established new flexible guidelines for admission of expert opinion; the guidelines emphasize the role of judges as gatekeepers, keeping from juries’ unreliable expert opinion and allowing into evidence reliable opinion. Federal Rule [...]
  • Preparing For Deposition

    IMS ExpertServices
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Preparing For Deposition This outline presents the basic considerations in deposition preparation as well as a few explicit suggestions. Counsel use depositions both to obtain information and to evaluate the credibility of the witness. Counsel makes conclusions during the deposition about how the witness will present himself or herself in court, and how the deposition [...]
  • Building Better Relationships

    IMS ExpertServices
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Referring Case Opportunities to IMS ExpertServices Business referrals are important to most businesses and ours is certainly no exception.  IMS ExpertServices encourages referrals from our expert community.  This approach to business development has proven beneficial not only to our company, but also to our litigation project referrers as well. Many of the experts we work [...]
  • Preparing An Expert Report

    IMS ExpertServices
    5 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    This outline establishes some of the considerations expert witnesses should note in preparing an expert report. It details what must be included as well as things to avoid. A. Under federal rules, the testifying expert’s report is provided pre-trial and must be signed by the expert. B. With regard to retaining draft reports, the appropriate [...]
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    BullsEye Blog

  • Apple Gets Another Bite at $368 Million Verdict

    20 Oct 2014 | 8:00 pm
    You don't get two bites at the apple, it is sometimes said, but Apple Inc. is getting a second bite at defending itself against a massive damages award after the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a $368 million jury verdict in a patent infringement case.
  • Inventor Testimony in Patent Litigation

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

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

    28 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    Courts award summary judgment to a party when there is no genuine dispute of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. Can summary judgment be awarded if two experts have conflicting opinions about a material fact?
  • Securities Law, Daubert, Terror Trials: Cases Hinge on Experts

    18 Sep 2014 | 2:09 am
    From market efficiency to Daubert to terrorist litigation, many cases require experts for final decisions to be made. Read more to learn about recent cases in which expert testimony played a vital role.
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    Rozek Law

  • Studies Find Brain Injury Increases Risky Behavior

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

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

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

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

    Randy Rozek
    10 Sep 2014 | 10:58 am
    Visit us at Following a brain injury, there’s an inflammatory cascade with a molecule named HMGB1, which releases into the blood after a brain injury. When HMGB1 reaches the lung, it attaches to a receptor called RAGE. Dr. Weber, one of the IU researchers for this phenomena, has said that the lungs are abundant with RAGE receptors, so they have increased vulnerability to the inflammatory process of TBI. IU researchers have wanted to understand how TBI is associated with lung injuries during the inflammatory situation that becomes active in the lungs. During the process,…
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  • Is your Dog Playful, Rambuctious or Vicious?

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

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

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

    Krystal Chapin
    1 Oct 2014 | 1:20 pm
    With the start of the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, HoganWillig wants to make sure Western New Yorkers are well informed about this devastating disease. Knowledge is power and prevention is key. Here are some quick facts about the disease: One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their […]
  • Accidents at School

    Robin Friedman
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:47 am
    Everyone is back to school.  Children are in school for a significant part of every day, and we trust schools to safeguard our children.  As a parent, you should be aware that schools have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to safeguard our children’s safety. Many schools today have written safety protocols, but accidents […]
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    bLAWgical Thinking

  • #The2Llife: The Secret is Networking

    21 Oct 2014 | 12:32 pm
    GUEST BLOG Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law I had the pleasure of attending Law Preview—a law school “jump start program—as both a student and a student facilitator. I learned a lot, and I think it truly helped me do well my first […]
  • #The1Llife: Internships and Summer Positions

    20 Oct 2014 | 3:59 pm
    GUEST BLOG By Lauren Rose, 1L at the University of Detroit Mercy Now that the crazy midterm studying madness is over, I was able to attend a few events hosted by my law school. One of these events was hosted by the law school’s career […]
  • #The3Llife: Serious Networking Part II

    17 Oct 2014 | 2:00 pm
    GUEST BLOG By Shaun Sanders, 3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law Last week I discussed some of the fundamental factors to networking that I feel are often overlooked by my classmates. This week, I’d like to talk more about the right […]
  • #The2Llife: Finding a Passion

    16 Oct 2014 | 1:58 pm
    GUEST BLOG By Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law I went to law school vaguely knowing I wanted to “argue.” I have always been decent in front of crowds, and somewhat persuasive. However, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do. […]
  • #The1Llife: Post Midterm Life

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:55 am
    GUEST BLOG By Lauren Rose, 1L at the University of Detroit Mercy For many of us, midterms are officially over! Time to party and break out a bottle of champagne, right? No… no it’s not. Midterms provided me with a much needed wake-up call that […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • Best Way to Organize Your Contacts

    Sally J. Schmidt
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    If you are like most lawyers, you have done little to organize or manage one of your most important business development assets — your contacts. Why is it so important to keep track of the people you know? Most clients will tell you they hire the lawyer, not the law firm. Even as corporate clients become more businesslike in vetting and selecting counsel, there is usually a relationship that led to being put on the shortlist. To be successful at developing business, you must know people and maintain key contacts — either those hiring legal counsel or those whom they ask for…
  • You’re Not Hired! Rules of Non-Engagement (Letters)

    Megan Zavieh
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    When you speak to potential clients, your goal is to hear them say, “You’re hired!” — or words to that effect. Then out goes the engagement letter, in comes the retainer and off to work you go. Isn’t that the point of a law practice, after all? Meet new clients, get retained, do the work, help your clients and make a living. But have you given much thought to the potential clients who ultimately say, “You’re not hired”? These non-clients can come back and bite you if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, if we’re not hired after the initial discussion with a potential…
  • Five Questions to Ask a New Client

    Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s one of the fundamentals they drummed into you in law school: It is your job to know the answers. That’s why clients seek your help, right? How you prove you are smart, and why they pay your bills? Well, yes and no. In many cases, it’s less about you knowing the answers and much more about you knowing the right questions to ask. Socrates Was On to Something Case in point: Your first meeting with a new client. There will never be a better or more important time to ask all sorts of questions. At this meeting, it should be your No. 1 priority to launch what you hope will…
  • Using Social Media as a Screening Tool for New Hires

    Noble McIntyre
    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Recruiting and hiring a new employee is never easy. Last time I talked about different ways you can use social media to find better job candidates. For some, though, the most difficult part comes when you have narrowed your pool to two or three candidates you think would be great additions to your team. Now you want to evaluate the finalists further. You’ve heard rumblings about employers using social media to evaluate candidates, but how do you do it? What do you look for? What are the rules for doing it? Rule No. 1: Don’t Be a Stalker It’s fine to check out publicly available…
  • Not My First Time at the Fashion Rodeo

    Otto Sorts
    15 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    I’ve been through a few fashion trends and I appreciate others’ perspectives on style. In our profession, it’s important to look … professional. Looking good can help bolster your self-confidence and can certainly affect how others see you. But the next time you’re in a room full of lawyers comparing ties and admiring one another’s socks, ask yourself if that’s really what you came to do. (You know. You’ve been there. It happens.) Here’s a bit of advice from an old guy who’s never been at the top of the style page, for those men and…
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • Write better by writing faster

    David M. Ward
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    If you could write faster, you would get more work done in less time. You could crank out more billable work product, complete more projects, and free up time for other activities. You could also bring in more new clients by turning out more website content and marketing documents. You probably know some of the mechanics of writing faster and producing more content: Use boilerplate language and fill-in-the-blank templates. Re-purpose content. Convert a slide presentation into an ebook; revise old articles into new ones. Use outlines and mind maps to organize your writing. Divide big projects…
  • Why didn’t the client hire you?

    David M. Ward
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:25 am
    You’ve met with a prospective client. You’ve given them a free consultation or done the dog-and-pony show. It’s decision time for them and unfortunately, the decision is “no”. You didn’t get the job. You need to find out why. Ask them why they chose someone else. In your presentation or conversation, did you forget to say something they wanted to hear? Did they think you don’t have enough experience? The right experience? What would have made a difference? Did they see a bad review online or talk to someone who said negative things about you? Were…
  • The three quickest ways to get new clients

    David M. Ward
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:34 am
    You want (need?) new clients and you want them fast. You want them today. Next week at the latest. I understand and I can help. Here are three quickest ways to get new clients: 1. Referrals Not only can you get clients quickly through referrals, those clients tend to be better clients. Because they trust the person making the referral, they are more likely to hire you, more likely to follow your instructions, and less likely to complain or argue about fees. They are also more likely to refer other clients. The simplest way to get referrals is to ask for them. Contact your clients and…
  • More on lawyers testing a “mimimally viable product”

    David M. Ward
    16 Oct 2014 | 12:29 pm
    In response to yesterday’s post about expanding your practice by offering a “minimally viable product” (service) to test the waters, I heard from two lawyers who disagree. Their comments and my responses follow. The first lawyer I heard from added this comment to the post itself: Not very good advice here, and would possibly lead one down a path to malpractice, test a “minimally viable service”? really? The “start up world” is not analogous to the practice of law Could offering a service you’re not competent to handle lead to malpractice? Of course. If…
  • Grow your law practice by adding new services

    David M. Ward
    15 Oct 2014 | 12:04 pm
    So you want to grow your law practice and you’ve got an idea for a new service. Do you work out all the kinks and then offer it to the world? If you’re like most lawyers (i.e., perfectionists, slightly paranoid, risk-adverse), there’s a good chance you’ll never launch that puppy. Instead, consider borrowing a concept from the start-up world. The idea is to create a “minimally viable product” (service) and offer it not to everyone but to a segment of your target market. Do it quickly and see if anyone wants it before you spend a lot of time or money. Make…
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    Valensi Rose Law

  • Streaming for Dollars

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

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

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

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

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

  • AZ Bar Association CLE: Attorney Brand Management (1 Ethics Credit) Faculty: Dustin Ruge

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

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

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

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

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

  • Provinces spend millions each year to ensure that Canadians get a proper burial

    19 Oct 2014 | 8:51 pm
    What happens when a person dies in Canada, but cannot be identified? And what if their identity is known, but they have no money for a funeral? What if their loved ones won't get involved? In Alberta alone, last year there were 1,577 individuals who had nobody to provide them with a funeral. Provinces have programs in place to ensure that everyone gets a dignified burial. Click  here to read a
  • Ontario woman and her husband charged with elder abuse of her mother

    18 Oct 2014 | 6:44 pm
    There is a very sad, very serious case being heard in court in Ontario this week. Viola Simonds was in her 70s and had dementia and other medical issues. Her daughter and son-in-law had a Power of Attorney for Personal Care for Ms. Simonds. However, they didn't follow the doctor's advice, and didn't seek out either home care or a nursing facility for Ms. Simonds. They have now been charged under
  • Great response to For My Family, With Love

    18 Oct 2014 | 9:12 am
    I'm pleased to report that the initial response to my new workbook entitled For My Family, With Love has been all positive! Thanks to those of you who have checked it out. I'm always open to hearing feedback about your use of this book (or any of my other books), so please feel free to comment here if you wish. I'm using a copy of the book myself, to leave behind for my own family, so it's a
  • If the executor doesn't want the job, can she hand it off to the sole beneficiary?

    17 Oct 2014 | 9:04 pm
    When a will names an executor who probably doesn't want the job and there is no alternate executor named, what happens? Can the executor hand off her duties to the sole beneficiary? A reader recently asked me this question, as well as a question of how that might be accomplished. His question and my answer are below: "My wife is an only child. Her mother is alive, but father has passed away.
  • 30 Unusual Wills

    16 Oct 2014 | 9:21 pm
    It's Friday and time for a smile. The following video is from  and is full of interesting, unusual, and funny last wishes. Enjoy!
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    AZ Attorney

  • Memory expert Elizabeth Loftus speaks at @ArizonaLaw in Mind & Law series

    21 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Elizabeth F. Loftus This Wednesday, October 22, the University of Arizona law school co-hosts an event with cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. Speaking on her topic “The Memory Factory,” Loftus explores “how the mind is a ‘memory factory,’ one that can construct a richly detailed and emotionally vivid story, believed sincerely by the speaker although it is entirely false.” Often described as a memory expert, Loftus’s own university page describes her own work this way: “Her experiments reveal how memories can be changed by things that we are told. Facts, ideas,…
  • Campaign dollars and judicial merit selection the focus of 10/22 event

    20 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Former Montana Supreme Court Justice James Nelson will speak in Tempe, Ariz., on Wednesday October 22, on the topic of Citizens United and the influence of money in judicial elections. The guest speaker at a Wednesday Tempe event will be a retired jurist who is expected to offer frank commentary about the corrosive role of campaign money in judicial elections. Former Montana Supreme Court Justice James Nelson will offer remarks about the Citizens United ruling—and especially the impact of money on the election of judges—at a mixer hosted by the Arizona Advocacy Network. As the AAN says,…
  • Nominations for great corporate counsel for @aznowbiz due 10/23

    17 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    Have you met or worked with in-house counsel who impress you with their skills and approach? Organizers of an annual award event seek your nominations. Founded by AZ Business Magazine and the Association of Corporate Counsel state chapter, the Arizona Corporate Counsel Award nominations are due by Thursday, October 23. More detail and a nomination form are here. Categories include: Public company (large and small) Private company (large and small) Nonprofit company Government/municipal/public sector Up-and-comer In-house law department of the year Litigator of the year Intellectual property…
  • American Judicature Society, worthy supporter of fair courts, closes its doors

    16 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    A brief and sad item today: The American Judicature Society is closing its doors. Kind of inside-baseball-ish, I know. But the AJS had a laser-focus mission to safeguard fair and impartial courts. The decision to dissolve comes at a time when courts are under greater attacks than ever before. Here’s hoping others step into the breach. Among many other things, the AJS publishes the esteemed Judicature. You can read the current issue here. Here is part of a news release. You can continue reading it here. “On September 26, 2014, the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society (AJS)…
  • Political intrigue in 1912 Arizona spurs remorse – and a new video

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    How enjoyable a snippet can be. No need to be mysterious. I’m talking about CLE Snippets, those brief-ish video conversations I’ve been having with Arizona Attorney authors. (Read more about them here.) Last month, I interviewed Ken Motolenich-Salas about his topic: the Washington Redskins trademark cancellations. (You can read his article here.) Fascinating and timely. Just as fascinating and timely, though, was my dialogue with Anthony Tsontakis yesterday. Fascinating – OK. But timely? That seems surprising, considering Anthony’s topic: a battle over the 1912 judicial nomination of…
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    Course and Scope: A Connecticut Worker's Compensation Law Blog

  • Connecticut Construction Site Accidents

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

    James Aspell
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:22 pm
    The Compensation Review Board has recently decided a case involving the "aggravation" of a pre-existing condition by the work environment. Their decision may have significant impact on a number of Claimant's. Please call us at 860-523-8783 for a free discussion of your matter,
  • One Law, Many Names

    James Aspell
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:17 pm
    When talking about the law that handles claims for a work injury, most people use this phrase: Connecticut Workers Compensation The official term that the State of Connecticut uses is: Workers' Compensation The "shortcut" term used by many people is simply: Workers Comp There are, however, many different phrases people use to refer to the law and system for helping a person who has suffered a work injury. Here is a list: Workers Compensation Workers Comp Workmans Comp Work Compensation Worker Compensation Workmans Compensation Work Comp Worker Comp Injury Compensation Workman's Compensation…
  • How is A Connecticut Wrongful Death Case Valued?

    James Aspell
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:20 pm
    Connecticut law imposes specific regulations over the damages that a jury can grant a plaintiff in a wrongful death case. The jury must make its decision based on reasonable probabilities according to the evidence and is not entitled to speculate or guess about the injuries or losses that the decedent suffered. One of the types of damages that a jury may award is economic damages for expenses and monetary losses that the plaintiff incurred because of the negligence of the defendant. Included in economic damages are the necessary and reasonable costs for medical treatment that the decedent…
  • OSHA Proposing Fines in Cell Tower Collapse that Killed 2

    James Aspell
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:05 pm
    BLAINE, Kan. – Following the death of two workers from the collapse of a cell tower they were dismantling March 25, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Wireless Horizon Inc. for two willful and four serious safety violations. OSHA placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program* following the incident. So far in 2014, 11 workers have lost their lives nationwide in the communication tower industry; and 13 deaths occurred in 2013. No more falling workers. Disturbing trend in communication towers-related workder deaths "Two…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • Employee tattoos, employment law and your business

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

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

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

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

    1 Sep 2014 | 2:09 am
    Until recently, requests for flexible working patterns were only available for parents of children up to the age of 17 (or 18 if the child has a disability) and for carers. But recently, the laws affecting the right to request flexible working hours have changed. Since 30 June 2014, any employee who has a minimum of 26 weeks of service with the employer now has the statutory right to request flexible working conditions. So what is the impact of this change and who does it affect? What is flexible working? There are various types of flexible working, including working compressed hours (eg…
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    Colorado Construction Litigation

  • HHMR Attorneys to Present at an Upcoming CRG Builder Lunch & Learn - Reserve Your Seat Now

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

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

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

    David M. McLain
    10 Jun 2014 | 8:00 am
    On January 30, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided the case of Taylor Morrison of Colorado, Inc. v. Bemas Construction, Inc. and Terracon Consultants, Inc. 2014WL323490. The case addressed a substantial issue of Colorado constitutional law, as well as a variety of procedural issues of potential importance to construction litigation attorneys.  Of particular interest is the question of whether the provisions of the 2007 Homeowner Protection Act (“HPA”) are limited in application to contracts between residential homeowners and construction professionals, or whether they have…
  • Builder’s Be Wary of Insurance Policies that Provide No Coverage for Building: Mt. Hawley Ins. Co v. Creek Side at Parker HOA

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

  • Amicus Attorney Keyboard Shortcuts

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

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

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

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

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

  • 4 Ways That Juries Award Damages in Civil Cases

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:13 am
    by Elise Jefferson, MAA2L Consulting An intriguing and complex aspect of civil litigation is the use of damage awards as a means of achieving justice. This remains an inexact science; no one can predict the amount of money that a jury is going to award the plaintiff if liability is found. However, a good deal that is worth knowing has been learned about what goes into that decision. For example, studies have examined damage awards when jurors are asked to award a specific amount, as well as how jurors’ perceptions of the plaintiff’s motives for suing can affect damage awards. Although it…
  • 8 Traits of Great Business Developers (In or Out of Law Firms)

    Alex Brown
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:54 am
      by Alex BrownDirector of OperationsA2L Consulting These days, there’s no question that sales (or business development as law firms like to call it) is essential to the success of nearly every law firm. Law firms can’t exist without clients – and whether a firm prefers to expand its client base or to get more work from its existing clients, it needs to have a business development function. Accordingly, any law firm needs to hire people who know how to bring in business. Some law firms rely on their partners to generate business; that’s the typical…
  • 1-Question Survey: How Does In-House Hire Outside Litigation Counsel?

    10 Oct 2014 | 1:15 pm
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingAs part of A2L's jury consulting, litigation graphics and litigation consulting work, I routinely have the privilege of closely observing some of the best litigators in the business. I get to watch their preparation styles and see how they perform at trial. I also have a chance to witness opposing counsel's performance at trial. The comparisons between the two are fascinating for me. Chances are, if a litigator is working with A2L (or a firm like ours), they are at the top of their game. This is true because that litigator is likely comfortable…
  • 14 Differences Between a Theme and a Story in Litigation

    9 Oct 2014 | 6:16 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingTwenty years ago in my trial advocacy class, we talked a lot about developing a theme for a case. We learned to say things in an opening statement like, "this is a simple case about right and wrong" or "no good deed goes unpunished." The goal of developing and communicating a theme is to give your fact-finder(s) an organizing principle that they can fit the evidence into neatly. However, for as much as we talked about themes, one thing I was not taught much about in law school was storytelling. The two devices, themes and storytelling, are…
  • 7 Litigator-Friendly Conferences Worth Attending

    3 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
      Elise Jefferson, M.A.A2L Consulting Some of the most valuable learning opportunities are provided through educational forums such as conferences or webinars. These forums allow for litigators to learn skills directly from individuals with expertise on everything from presentation styles to issues with expert witnesses. Many of the articles on the A2L Website offer advice and examples on how to improve your overall skills as an attorney. Several articles also address how to approach cases involving topics from product liability to patent litigation. While reading these articles is…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Workers Injured in New Jersey Factory Explosion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    25 Sep 2014 | 3:53 am
    Personal injury is an umbrella term for a range of accidental conditions. A vehicular accident is just one of the circumstances that qualify for legal action. If you consult an experienced Personal Injury Attorney California, he will educate you with a number of conditions with which you can incriminate the guilty party. These include motor accidents, truck accidents, car mishaps, injuries due to erroneous construction work, boats, aviation, toxic emission, and so on. The list is inexhaustible and more importantly, valid under certain conditions. Firstly, the affected individual must show…
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    Alabama Workers Comp Blawg

  • Alabama Court of Appeals Reverses Itself in Attorney Fee Case

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

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

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

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

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

  • You Might Be Able to Avoid Forced Arbitration, Even in 2014

    Kara Elgersma, Partner
    6 Oct 2014 | 11:01 am
    The Seventh Circuit has recently upheld litigants’ rights to pursue their claims in court rather than in arbitration in two cases: Druco Restaurants, Inc. v. Steak ‘n Shake Enterprises, Inc. et al., No. 13-3489, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16869 (7th
  • Corinthian Colleges, Inc. and the Misappropriation of the American Dream

    Tyler Story, Associate
    30 Sep 2014 | 11:35 am
    Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) filed a complaint against Corinthian Colleges Inc., a publicly-traded, for-profit network of schools, accusing it of running a predatory lending scheme.[1] The complaint alleges, among other things, that Corinthian: inflated job placement
  • Defense Can’t Have it Both Ways: Plaintiffs Need a Fair Shot at Discovery Before Defendants Move to Deny Certification

    Amy Keller, Associate
    17 Sep 2014 | 1:12 pm
    In the ever-evolving field of class action law, defense counsel are becoming more creative with their attempts to defeat class certification.  From preemptive motions to strike plaintiffs’ class allegations at the very beginning of the case, to creating a new
  • No Policy? No Problem: How Commonality Incentivizes Subjective Action

    Sarah Quinn, Law Clerk
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:16 am
    There is no denying the shortcomings of urban public education in America. In Chicago, high school graduation rates hover just over 50%, with 79% of its 8th graders labeled “Not Proficient” in reading on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
  • Following the Proof, Post-Wal-Mart

    Thomas Doyle, Of Counsel
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:16 am
    In the three years since the Supreme Court issued its decision in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), lawyers representing workers in class actions have faced a recurring theme from defendants: employers point to the Wal-Mart decision
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    Pam Woldow's At the Intersection

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Fight that Ticket!

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

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

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

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

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

  • Workers Injured in New Jersey Factory Explosion

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

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

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

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

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

  • Workers Compensation Benefits: Common Questions Answered

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

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

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

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

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

  • What Are The Effects Of Chronic Whiplash?
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:41 am
    Chronic whiplash, also known as whiplash syndrome, is used to refer to whiplash symptoms that last longer than six months. The symptoms and long-term effects associated with chronic whiplash are...
  • What Other Factors Affect Whiplash?
    4 Oct 2014 | 8:08 am
    Whiplash is not just affected by speed of collision. Whiplash can also be made more or less severe by who you are, how your headrest is positioned, and even level...
  • Essential Procedures For Bike Owners: How To True A Bike Wheel
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:56 am
    Following on from our five simple procedures for new bike owners, here’s our guide to Trueing a bike wheel. Since this is intended as a guide for new bike owners,...
  • Whiplash At Different Ages
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:06 am
    Whiplash affects people with different conditions in different ways. For that reason, the amount of damage caused by whiplash varies greatly from person to person. Similarly, it affects people differently...
  • Three UK Cycling Activists Worth Your Attention
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:37 am
    Cycling facilities in the UK are infamous for being poor quality. From Coronation Road in Bristol to central London, cycling path fails are ubiquitous in this country, and there’s a...
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    Oklahoma Personal Injury Blog

  • One Woman Killed in Edmond Intersection Accident

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

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

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

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

    Maples Law Firm
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:48 am
    Families for Better Care, Inc. is a citizen advocacy group that acts as a watchdog of nursing homes for residents and their families. According to a recent NewsChannel 4 report, the group gave Oklahoma nursing homes a failing grade. The report states that local nursing home residents are living in dangerous conditions and that immediate and decisive action is required to keep the elderly safe. Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Oklahoma ranked 49th in providing “safe, quality nursing home care and security,” the report stated. In response to the ranking, Oklahoma…
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    » Blog

  • Hard Hat Area: Construction Injuries

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

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

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

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

    Jay Solnick
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:39 am
    Any death is difficult on surviving families and loved ones. A “wrongful death” occurs when the death was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or entity. Negligence essentially means a person/entity had an obligation to do or not do something and they failed to act in accordance with that obligation. These types of deaths are usually the result of catastrophic car, truck, or aviation accidents or can stem from defective product use, workplace-related circumstances, or premises liability issues. This does not mean that every time someone dies in a similar set of…
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    Baron & Budd, P.C. | Protecting What's Right

  • Baron and Budd Investigating Trucking Accident Lawsuits

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

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

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

    Baron & Budd
    11 Sep 2014 | 3:11 pm
    First Loss for Boston Scientific Creates Positive Precedent for Other Injured Women DALLAS –(September 11, 2014) –Earlier this week, a Dallas jury returned a $73 million verdict in favor of a woman who has suffered serious health problems after being implanted with Boston Scientific’s Obtryx transvaginal mesh product. Baron and Budd congratulates Matthews & Associates, Freese and Goss, Edwards & de la Cerda and the rest of the trial team on their victory. The firm hopes that this verdict helps to pave the way for positive results in other transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
  • Three Baron and Budd Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015

    Baron & Budd
    9 Sep 2014 | 7:54 am
    DALLAS (September 9, 2014) – Russell Budd, Scott Summy and Roland Tellis of the law firm of Baron and Budd have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015. Best Lawyers® is a highly respected peer review publication. Each year, it compiles an exhaustive list of the most accomplished attorneys in the nation by conducting confidential peer surveys. More than 50,000 attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes regarding the legal abilities of other attorneys in their areas of practice. Firms are not allowed to pay any sort of fee for their lawyers to be included on…
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    News From Dallas Appellate Attorney Chad Ruback

  • Appellate Judges Education Institute seminar in Dallas, TX

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

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

    Chad Ruback
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    I am honored that my peers have once again voted to include me in “The Best Lawyers in America” list.  
  • Interview on KDAF CW Channel 33

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

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

  • “Black Box” Data – What You Need to Know, Part 1: What a Truck’s Black Box Could Reveal in a Trucking Accident Case

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

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

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

    Baron & Budd
    10 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Asbestos is used because of its desirable physical properties. Sound absorption, strength, fire resistance and, of course, low cost. It comes down to being small yet strong. While asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are also durable. Fire and most chemical breakdowns and reactions have nothing on asbestos. That’s why asbestos was used for so many years in both commercial and industrial industries. The sad thing is it’s not so much “used to” as “still.” While the use of asbestos started to slow in the late 1970s once people started learning that…
  • Asbestos, America’s Legal Killer: 31,000,000 metric tons of asbestos have been consumed in the United States since 1900.

    Baron & Budd
    3 Oct 2014 | 4:11 am
    31,000,000 metric tons of asbestos have been consumed in the United States since 1900. That’s equal to over 6,213,027 elephants. You know what else that’s equal to: Way too much. Asbestos is consumed in a number of ways. The important thing for you to know is two-fold. One, asbestos use has declined since the 1970s — meaning the asbestos used in homes pre-1980 are much more likely to have asbestos in them than homes built after 1980. Two, despite the decline in asbestos use, it is still used today. In fact, the rules are that anything can be made with asbestos in it, as long as…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Bike Lane Accidents Results in Additional Changes

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

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

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

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

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    10 Sep 2014 | 4:13 pm
    A 31-year-old female bicyclist suffered fatal injuries in a Seattle car accident while riding in the bike lane. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, the fatal bicycle accident occurred along Second Avenue in downtown Seattle. Officials say she was traveling to work in the bike lane when a truck made a left turn and struck her. She died at the scene of the crash. Officials are investigating the cause of this collision. This particular accident took place on a one-way street where the bike lane is on the left side. According to The Seattle Times, the city already has scheduled plans…
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    Farah and Farah Legal Blog

  • Three Men Arrested Following Beating in Daytona Beach

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

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

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

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

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

  • Money Can’t Buy Love or a Lasting Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

  • Weirsdale Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:17 pm
    The Best Weirsdale Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Weirsdale Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Weirsdale, FL Criminal Defense Legal Office, The Legal Offices of Weirsdale Florida, is thought of one of the leading ranked Florida Criminal Defense Legal Teams for good sense: they get the task done. If you are in a bind and could do with some help, everybody agrees that these Legal Offices are the ones to have on your side. This law firm wins cases and that…
  • Ask A NYC Housing Lawyer: How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back? – Gothamist

    Lawyer - Google News
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:01 pm
    Ask A NYC Housing Lawyer: How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back?GothamistNative New Yorker columnist Jake Dobkin has been receiving a lot of these questions lately, and he's decided to kick some of them over to his dad, longtime NYC tenants' lawyer and housing activist Steve Dobkin. If you have a question, email us and we …and more »
  • One Lawyer’s Fight For Young Blacks And ‘Just Mercy’ – NPR

    Lawyer - Google News
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:36 pm
    NPR One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'NPRHis new memoir, Just Mercy, describes his early days growing up in a poor and racially segregated settlement in Delaware — and how he came to be a lawyer who represents those who have been abandoned. His clients are people on death row — abused …and more »
  • Ask the Lawyer: Can a belligerent lawyer be held in contempt? – The Daily Breeze

    Lawyer - Google News
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:15 pm
    Ask the Lawyer: Can a belligerent lawyer be held in contempt?The Daily BreezeA: Lawyers can express disagreement with a judge's ruling or decision and, if effective, the judge might actually reconsider. If the lawyer does so in a notably belligerent manner, without a modicum of professionalism, the lawyer might wish he or she …
  • J&J Accused at Trial of Ignoring Pinnacle Hip Failures – Bloomberg

    Lawyer - Google News
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    J&J Accused at Trial of Ignoring Pinnacle Hip FailuresBloombergTo protect billions of dollars in sales, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) ignored reports that the metal-on-metal version of its Pinnacle hip implants failed at alarming rates, a lawyer told jurors at the end of the first case to go to trial over the devices. J …Jury deliberations begin in first trial over DePuy's Pinnacle hipsWTAQall 11 news articles »
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    MacGregor & Collins, LLP Law Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration

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

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

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

    Anapol Schwartz
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:40 am
    In September 2014, an advisory panel with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted to impose strict new limitations on testosterone drugs. More than 2.3 million men are taking testosterone drugs to treat low testosterone, more commonly known as Low-T. Most of these men are taking testosterone drugs to treat symptoms largely resulting from aging, such as low energy and libido, according to the NY Times. If the FDA adopts the panel’s recommendations, testosterone prescriptions will be limited to men with serious medical conditions, such as pituitary glad problems. The FDA has been…
  • Hospitals Discontinue Hysterectomy Procedure due to Injuries

    Anapol Schwartz
    2 Oct 2014 | 7:51 am
    Out of concern for patient safety, hospitals are changing the way they perform hysterectomies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in April 2014 to discourage the use of laparoscopic power morcellators in hysterectomies and myomectomies — a procedure to remove uterine fibroids — due to the risk of cancer cells being spread throughout the body during morcellation. Hospitals across America are now changing their requirements for morcellator hysterectomy procedures, and some are discontinuing them altogether. Laparoscopic power morcellators are bladed tools…
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    GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

  • Oversupply Litigation Milestone: FERC Approves BPA Oversupply Management Protocol

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Reginald "Reggie" Berthiaume, Orlando, Florida

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

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

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

    13 Oct 2014 | 6:53 am
    Puerto Rico's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions recently announced a settlement with UBS regarding the offering and sale of Puerto Rico closed-end mutual funds. Under the settlement, UBS will offer $1.7 million restitution to 34 clients, mostly senior, low net worth investors with conservative investment profiles whose investments in Puerto Rico closed-end funds represented a substantial portion of their liquid net assets. UBS also will pay a $3.5 million contribution for the Securities Trading, Investor Education, and Investigation Fund. UBS made no admission of liability…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Excessive Trading Claims Involving Newport Coast Securities, Inc.

    9 Oct 2014 | 6:18 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Newport Coast Securities, Inc. (CRD #16944, New York, New York), Marc Anthony Arena (CRD #2754309, Hicksville, New York), Donald Andrew Bartelt (CRD #1377935, Cave Creek, Arizona), Antonio Costanzo (CRD #2580765, Chesapeake, Virginia), Andre Vincent LaBarbera (CRD #2072370, Dix Hills, New York), Douglas Anthony Leone (CRD #2453784, Sandy Hook, Connecticut), David Michael Levy (CRD #2255938, Wellington, Florida) and Roman Tyler Luckey (CRD #2977054, Long Beach, California). The complaint alleges that the firm and five of its registered…
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    New York & New Jersey Consumer Law Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Major v. City of Hartville - Constructive Notice in Premises Liability Lawsuit

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

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

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

    17 Sep 2014 | 5:53 am
    A Florida appellate court has ruled an auto insurance company for an elderly man who lied about his competency as a driver in deposition testimony following a crash will have to pay sanctions imposed by the trial court for those misrepresentations. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident injury lawyers understand this might not have been the case had the insurer acted more expeditiously in its response to the revelation the driver had lied. According to court records in GEICO v. Rodriguez, the 83-year-old insured had his auto insurance renewed in November 2005. The policy allowed for a bodily injury…
  • Challenging Florida Auto Insurance Step-Down Provisions

    5 Sep 2014 | 11:14 am
    One of the many ways car insurance companies seek to limit the amount they have to pay in claims is with fine print that includes so-called "step-down provisions." These are clauses that limit the amount of money available to be paid in certain circumstances. While the language may vary from policy to policy, in a family step-down provision, the insurance company will limit the amount payable to the insured's family members. These would be individuals who would otherwise be covered, but because of their familial relationship to the policy holder, can only receive the state's statutory minimum…
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    Marketing Attorney Blog

  • ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop: Progressing into Partner--Road Rules

    3 Oct 2014 | 8:50 am
    The biannual ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop will take place November 7-8, 2014 at The US Grant hotel in San Diego, California. I will be speaking on a panel entitled "Progressing into Partner--Road Rules," with an esteemed faculty that includes Rori Goldman of Hill Fulwider, Ali Sylvia of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun and Law Practice Division chair Bob Young of English Lucas Priest & Owsley. I often remark to people that as a summer associate at Bernstein Shur in Portland, Maine, I quickly realized that my personality and career goals did not equate to a likelihood of becoming a…
  • Attorney's Fake Celebrity Photo Gallery on Website Draws Suspension

    19 Sep 2014 | 2:54 pm
    Call her the Zelig or Forrest Gump of California attorneys, but you can also call her "suspended." I've seen a lot of fun and strange law firm web site ethics issues come up since the mid-90s, but it is refreshing to see that there are still new takes on the concept of "deceptive and misleading" lawyer advertising online in 2014. A State Bar Court judge in Sacramento, California has recommended a six month suspension for a Los Angeles attorney who put Photoshop to use in manipulating a photo gallery on her website filled with fake pictures of her with various politicians, celebrities and star…
  • Peak Season for Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Is Here; Hurry before the Thanksgiving Lull hits!

    8 Sep 2014 | 12:05 pm
    It was a joyous day on my work calendar after Labor Day when the kids went back to school. The camp bus pickup at 9 am is replaced by the school bus pickup at 7:25 am. Extended day at school moves the "end of day" from 4 pm to 6 pm. The sunscreen, towels and related daily chores are replaced by much simpler tasks. And while family vacations are nice, they are not exactly relaxing. Many of those work trips are far less stressful. While summer time is fun, the reality is that a lot of business and work hits the back burners after Memorial Day. If there is one thing I learned when I started…
  • LP Magazine - Age over Beauty? Marketing a Law Firm's Anniversary

    14 Jul 2014 | 8:21 am
    In the July/August 2014 issue of the ABA's Law Practice magazine, I address the always-sensitive subject of age. In this case, it is about the marketing value of a law firms' years. It is yet another subject that seems to present itself to me with clients a few times every year. How young is too young? And how old is too old? And is there value in touting age--and more specifically--an anniversary to clients and prospects? Many law firms have taken anniversaries--literally as short as the one year mark and as long as 200 years--and looked to make them into marketable events. In some cases…
  • WMT: The Price You Pay for the Right Domain Name

    11 Jul 2014 | 7:59 am
    Among the very first law firm websites I ever worked on was My six year old son accesses the site every morning on his iPad before heading to school or camp to check scores and watch video highlights of last nights' major league baseball action. Of course, that does not sound like a law firm website, does it? No, it is Major League Baseball (MLB). But in the late 90s, took you to the website of one of the nation's largest law firms--Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Morgan Lewis' IT people were certainly on their game when they beat baseball to the punch and acquired the…
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    Dallas Divorce Law Blog

  • What can a family law appellate lawyer do for my case?

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

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

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

    Michelle O'Neil
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:55 am
    Michelle May O’Neill, Shareholder at Godwin Lewis, P.C., has been chosen for inclusion in the Texas Super Lawyers® listing for the fourth consecutive year. In addition to her selection for the 2014 list, Attorney O’Neil was honored with three Super Lawyers® top lists: Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas/Fort Worth. Only 5% of Texas Lawyers are honored to be named among the Super Lawyers®. Super Lawyers® is a nationwide rating service of outstanding lawyers from over 70 practice areas who have achieved a high-degree of peer…
  • Rule 11 agreements are revocable before judgment is rendered

    Michelle O'Neil
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:56 am
    A point of confusion for many in the family law context is the viability of a rule 11 agreement to settle an issue or a whole case. Rule 11 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure provides that an agreement between lawyers in a case is enforceable as long as the agreement is in writing and filed in the papers of the court or read into the record of the court.  However, rule 11 agreements are revocable at any time until judgment is rendered. A court may not enter an order upon a rule 11 agreement when one of the parties to the agreement has revoked his or her consent. The recent case of…
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuit Is Sent Back to State Court

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

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

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

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

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

  • Have Your Home Improvements Been Properly Permitted?

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

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

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

    19 Sep 2014 | 5:51 am
    Some of our firm's clients have been the subject of trademark infringement lawsuits, or have received "cease and desist" letters from large companies, stating that their products are infringing on a registered trademark. In general, the purpose of a "cease and desist" letter is to put the alleged infringing party on legal notice that their merchandise may be an unauthorized copy of a registered trademark. Under the United States Trademark Law, willful infringement carries a larger penalty than an infringer who is unaware of the infringement. Therefore, the alleged infringer is given an…
  • Estate Proceedings for Property Located "Elsewhere"

    12 Sep 2014 | 7:01 am
    People are leading increasingly complicated lives, in that they spend their time in several locales, some of which may not be their place of residence. If a person is fortunate, they may develop an affection for a particular area and buy a second home in such area. Likewise, they may inherit a beloved family home in a location where they do not live. When such a person passes away, the disposition of all of their property, no matter where located, must be addressed. The question to be explored in this blog post is which Court has jurisdiction over which property. If a person dies with a Will,…
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    Wisconsin Probate & Estate Planning Blog

  • An Introduction to Asset Protection Planning

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:07 am
    Almost everyone knows someone who had a problem and lost everything. Claims can, for example, allege professional liability, responsibility for a car accident, or unpaid creditors. Whether meritorious or not, defense can be enormously costly. With our litigious society, with limited risk for those making liability claims, asset protection planning has become required for many and highly desirable for many more. My goal in writing this post is to provide an introduction to asset protection planning (what it is, types of risk, when to plan, what to expect in the planning process, and levels of…
  • Should I Write My Own Will?

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:02 pm
    I’m sure you have heard this less than eloquent phrase before – “Garbage in, garbage out.” The phrase is typically used in computer programming and scientific research. Unfortunately, it also applies to the law, legal documents, and writing your own Will. What’s Wrong With Writing Your Own Estate Plan? Legally, you have the right to draft your own documents; however, that doesn’t mean you have the right to have them actually work. Do-it-yourselfers accidentally disinherit children, fail to protect assets from lawsuits, trigger probate, invite court interference, give assets…
  • Carrying on a Family Tradition: Passing the Family Farm to Future Generations

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

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

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    21 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    A federal tax court’s ruling in favor a trust on certain deductions that the trust claimed on its federal income tax returns highlights a potential added bonus to the use of trust planning, as the court decided that a trust could engage in the sort of active participation in a business needed to claim the business’s losses on its taxes. By refusing to foreclose trusts from claiming the losses of trust-owned business assets, the court’s ruling offers one more reason why family farmers and small businesspeople should ensure they have a proper estate plan in place that includes…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Same-Sex Couples Who Marry Could Encounter Obstacles to Divorce

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

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

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

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

    16 Sep 2014 | 9:03 am
    Spousal support is an integral part of most divorce cases. It is the amount of money one spouse pays the other for support each month. As one may expect, the divorcing couple often does not agree on the amount to be awarded to the supported spouse, or on the duration of those payments. Fortunately, California law provides a set of factors for courts to utilize when determining the amount of spousal support to be awarded. Since each family law case is different and presents a unique set of facts and circumstances, it is important to understand your rights concerning spousal support under the…
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    Maritime & Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

  • Ebola Scare Highlights Cruise Ship Safety Concerns

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

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

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

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:59 am
    If you are injured on a cruise ship, a major hurdle that you may have is filing your lawsuit within the time period provided by law. Cruise ship accident victims are often excluded from bringing negligence or liability claims, based upon having waited too long to file a lawsuit. What is a Statute of Limitations? A statute of limitations is a deadline in which a lawsuit can be filed. After that deadline, the lawsuit is forever barred. Different causes of action—negligence, breach of contract, malpractice, etc. – may have different statutes of limitations, and different states have…
  • Cruise Industry Still Thinks New Laws are Unnecessary

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    24 Sep 2014 | 10:03 am
    The Washington Post recently published an interesting article about whether or not cruise ships are doing enough to protect passengers, and whether existing regulations are strong enough to ensure passenger safety. The article describes one passenger who almost drowned in the undertow of a pool on the ship, after going down a large slide. Her sister noticed her struggling, and only after she desperately cried for help did anybody from the cruise staff jump in to help her. To make up for her accident, Carnival offered her a $100 coupon. Industry Tries to Avoid Regulation The cruise industry…
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    Brian M. Mekdsy Legal Services, Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Concluding Piece on Wal-Mart’s Employment Law Capers

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

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

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

    25 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Most of you probably know that you cannot fire an employee for taking leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA.  Yet cases against employers allege that very FMLA violation. What your employee recently took FMLA leave and you fire him or her for a different reason? Is it OK now?  A number of employers in this very situation, including Wal-Mart, have still found themselves in court. This week The Emplawyerologist’s Wal-Mart series looks for lessons we can learn from Wal-Mart about FMLA compliance–after the jump, of course! Suppose you own a retail store and you recently…
  • Some Colorful Lessons From Wal-Mart Racial/Ethnic Bias Cases

    18 Sep 2014 | 7:33 am
    Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retail employer,  has been teaching us over the last few weeks about employer pitfalls to avoid. (Once again, let’s show Wal-Mart some gratitude for committing its time, money and other resources to teach valuable lessons to the rest of America’s employers.) This week, we will let Wal-Mart teach us some lessons in the area of race and national origin discrimination. Wal-Mart has faced dozens of these types of lawsuits since the 1990’s. We are going to focus on four of the more recent ones and see what pearls of wisdom we can glean from…
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    Atlanta Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1) In Depth: Part II

    17 Oct 2014 | 3:08 pm
    After discussing in more detail the potential causes and symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), here, we turn to the treatment and diagnosis of the condition. At present, no single diagnostic test for RSD exists. Physicians will often refer to contextual clues such as the patient's medical history and common signs and symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, however, physicians consider certain procedures to be particularly helpful in seeking clues to diagnose RSD.
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1) In Depth: Part I

    14 Oct 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Throughout the year, we have posted several entries about reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) through the narrative of Kathy, a woman featured on "The Doctors" TV show who lives with a severe form of RSD. Today, we want to explain RSD more in detail--its causes, its symptoms, and its treatments.
  • Coping with Cerebral Palsy through Play Therapy

    10 Oct 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Earlier this year, a blog entry on activities, exercises and toys for children with cerebral palsy mentioned the concept of "play therapy," a concept in which children will play with toys and activities and, in the process, develop their mental and physical abilities. Play therapy is considered crucial to the growth of children with cerebral palsy. It is easy to see why; children are prone to want to play, and in the process, they can learn more about themselves and the world around them.
  • Detecting Cerebral Palsy In the Early Stages: Symptoms and Developmental Monitoring

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:24 am
    Earlier this year, an article was posted with general introductory information about cerebral palsy, a group of disorders resulting from injury to the developing brain of a fetus that affects motor skills and posture. This article follows up by providing information on how to detect cerebral palsy in a child based on the child's age. According to the American Pregnancy Association, cerebral palsy is typically not diagnosed in children until they have reached about two or three years old. However, indicators can occur as early as when the child is younger than six months old. While no single…
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries and Advances Beyond Traditional CT Scans and MRI

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:30 pm
    Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur when one sustains a violent blow to the head or body that will cause damage to the brain, or if an object pierces the skull to enter the brain tissue. Millions of people in the United States sustain brain injuries every year, and approximately half of these injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health, occur from motor vehicle accidents. While TBI symptoms can range from mild to severe, it is important that someone who has suffered from a head injury seeks medical aid in order to diagnose the severity of the injury. Methods of diagnosis and…
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • The Government Gets Slapped Back to District Court in a Fake Stash House Robbery Case

    4 Oct 2014 | 12:37 pm
    Fake stash house robbery cases are an embarrassment to a civilized society. Here's what happens. An undercover ATF agent finds a guy and does some deals with him. He then tells the guy he knows of a stash house where there are a lot of drugs and guns. Probably money too. Maybe a unicorn. Whatever it takes to get the guy interested. The guy gets some other guys involved. They get weapons and gear up for this robbery of someone they believe is a drug dealer. Then, with the undercover, they suit up, grab their guns, and plan to rob the stash house. All of this is on video. Then they're arrested…
  • Short Wins - The "Silence is Golden" Edition

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:30 am
    The most interesting case in the last two weeks, I think, is United States v. Shannon. There, the person accused of a crime simply didn't feel like talking to law enforcement - because, really, who would. The government crossed him on his decision not to talk and asked why he didn't come forward with his exculpatory testimony sooner. The Third Circuit reversed because this violated his Fifth Amendment rights - there's really no point in having a right not to talk if you hold it against a person when she doesn't talk. To the Victories! 1. United States v. Santaigo, First Circuit: Appellant was…
  • Short Wins - the Distribution of Child Pornography Gets (slightly) Limited Edition

    15 Sep 2014 | 7:34 am
    Child porn cases are turning out to be a surprisingly large portion of what's in federal court. Child pornography is gross and wrong, to be clear. But these cases are, I think, a symptom of a larger problem. All of us have times in our lives when we're in the wilderness, when we feel adrift and alienated and unsure of where we're going or where we are. Some folks in this time of life turn to alcohol, Some turn to drugs, video games, or other ways to keep themselves from facing the great chasm of dissatisfaction that their lives have become. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desparation"…
  • Short Wins - The Late August Edition

    27 Aug 2014 | 7:17 am
    It's been an interesting few weeks in the circuits (and, apologies for the gap in posting - pesky family vacations). Probably my favorite is United States v. Mergen, about whether an FBI agent's statements that what the guy charged with a crime was doing were ok and legal were admissible. I tend to think FBI stings that take advantage of how weak the entrapment defense is are one of the more loathsome things our federal government does - any time you can poke holes in that I think it's a good thing. Also of note is United States v. Bagdy - there, a guy who spent an inheritance on stuff that…
  • Short Wins - the Entrapment Edition

    1 Aug 2014 | 12:46 pm
    It is rare and wonderful to see an entrapment opinion. And United States v. Kopstein fits the bill. In other news, I was on TV last night talking about the trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. If you're interested, here's a clip (I start at about 2:15). To the victories! 1. United States v. Kopstein, Second Circuit: Appellant was convicted by a jury of transporting and shipping child pornography. During trial, Appellant's sole defense was entrapment. The conviction was vacated and the case remanded because the jury instruction on entrapment failed to consistently and adequately…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Can I Sue My Town for Personal Injuries Caused by Defective Roadways or Sidewalks?

    21 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    Anyone who has walked or driven around Boston knows that the streets and sidewalks of the city are not exactly pristine. Cities and towns in Massachusetts are often old, historic towns which endure New England's rough winters and wet springs. Old trees grow underneath the streets and sidewalks causing them to tilt; frost heaves and potholes abound. As a result, injuries to drivers and pedestrians from defective streets and sidewalks are fairly common. And when they happen, people rightly ask: Can I bring a claim against my City or Town for personal injuries? From a legal perspective, the…
  • The What, Why, Who and When of Mediation in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:39 pm
    The What - Mediation is a voluntary procedure where a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties to a settlement. In a personal injury or wrongful death case, the procedure most often involves the parties and their attorneys meeting with the mediator for a one or one-half day session. Usually, this is held at the mediator's office. The session starts with both sides meeting with the mediator in a group session. During this session, often the attorneys for each party summarizes that party's position. There is no testimony. Massachusetts law provides that all communications during a…
  • Recent Verdicts for Victims of Defective Transvaginal Mesh against Boston Scientific and Ethicon

    24 Sep 2014 | 1:54 pm
    A federal jury in West Virginia recently returned a verdict of $3.27 million for a woman who filed suit against Ethicon, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, for injuries due to a defective transvaginal TVT-O mid-urethral sling. After a nearly two-week trial, the jury found in favor for the plaintiff, Jo Huskey, on her counts of strict liability, design defect, failure to warn and negligence. Ms. Huskey, now 52 years old, underwent the implantation procedure in 2011 for stress urinary incontinence and has suffered erosion of the mesh, which has caused severe pain and required her to undergo…
  • Boston's Proposed Safety Ordinance Geared Towards Cyclist Safety

    12 Sep 2014 | 7:32 am
    Earlier this week, the Boston City Council was expected to take up a first-of-its-kind ordinance geared towards bicyclist and pedestrian safety. On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh presented the City Council with an Ordinance to Protect Vulnerable Road Users. If passed, the ordinance would require the implementation of safety apparatuses on all city-owned and city-contractor vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds. Furthermore, only snowplows and emergency vehicles would be exempt from complying with the proposed ordinance. These safety apparatuses include protective side…
  • Back-to-School Product Recalls

    4 Sep 2014 | 8:43 am
    With Labor Day weekend just behind us, students at all education levels are starting classes this week. According to a summer study conducted by the National Retail Federation, Americans were expected to spend nearly $75 billion on back-to-school needs and wants this year. This includes everything from clothing and traditional school supplies like pens and pencils to electronics and dorm room needs for college students. Almost anything can end up on the back-to-school list, which is why buyers should educate themselves on the latest product safety news. A number of product safety recalls were…
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    Securities Law Blog

  • SCOTUS Rejects Duane Reade Executives’ Appeals

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court decided yesterday that it would not hear appeals from two former senior executives of Duane Reade Inc. The appeals follow the executives’ 2010 securities fraud convictions for inflating earnings at the New York-based pharmacy chain. Anthony Cuti, Duane Reade’s former CEO, and William Tennant, the company’s CFO, both requested that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals dismiss their convictions, arguing that testimony from accountants used at trial should not have been admitted into evidence on the grounds that they were not experts able to offer expert…
  • Florida Investment Company VP Sentenced To 14 Years Imprisonment

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:27 am
    Louis Gallo, former vice president of Commodities Online LLC, a Florida-based investment company, was sentenced last week to fourteen years imprisonment and ordered to pay nearly $20 million in restitution for his participation in a $21 million invest fraud. Gallo’s sentence will additionally include three years of supervised release after he is released from prison. Finally, he will have to forfeit a criminal money judgment of $21.6 million as well as his interest in a car, two bank accounts, and three properties. Gallo pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to commit mail…
  • Broker Pleads Guilty To $2.4M Fraud

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    17 Oct 2014 | 7:26 am
    Richard L. Pearson, a broker affiliated with Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler PA and alleged to have played a role in Scott Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, pleaded guilty in Florida federal court to a wire fraud charge, noting that he contributed to investors losing $2.4 million. Pearson and Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler attorney David Boden had each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, admitting that they received commissions directly from a group investing in Rothstein’s scheme without informing the investors that Rothstein paid them an additional…
  • SEC Adopts Securities Arbitration Fraud Intervention Rule

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    16 Oct 2014 | 12:50 pm
    The SEC adopted a rule that will allow securities arbitrators to immediately disclose frauds that have the potential to threaten the investing public when they learn of such frauds in the midst of a case. The SEC’s acceptance of the rule ends years of debate over implementing such a rule that was first proposed after massive Ponzi schemes run by Bernard Madoff and R. Allen Stanford. FINRA has long been a proponent of adding such a rule. The regulatory authority has called for a “mid-case referral” rule since the turn of the decade. The SEC stated that allowing securities…
  • Ex-TD Bank VP Charged In Florida Ponzi Scheme Case

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    15 Oct 2014 | 9:22 am
    Frank Spinosa, a former vice president of TD Bank from Fort Lauderdale, is facing a potential 20 year imprisonment sentence if convicted on charges made by the FBI in relation to an extensive Ponzi scheme in South Florida. Spinosa is believed to have participated in Scott Rothstein’s $1.2 billion investment fraud. Spinosa was fired from TD Bank in November 2009 and charged last week with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud pertaining to his bank activities from 2008 to 2009. He was released on $250,000 bond and has an appearance in court scheduled…
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    South Florida Criminal Attorneys Blog

  • Lighthouse Point Man Sentenced to Lesser Charge in First-Degree Murder Case

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:44 pm
    It was more than twenty years ago when Lynne Friend went to meet her estranged husband to pick up a check that was due for child support. After that evening, the then thirty-five year old Lynne Friend vanished. For eighteen of those twenty years, her ex-husband, Clifford Friend lived his life as a free man and continued with his life. He remarried in 1995 and together with his new wife they raised his son Christian the product of his first marriage. He opened a pawn shop and the couple bought a home in Pembroke Pines. Although he was the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance,…
  • South Florida Corrections Officer Sentenced for Federal Charges

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    3 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    Former Corrections Officer Jerry St. Fleur, 26, was sentenced to over four years in a federal prison after agreeing to a plea deal for charges of identity theft and wire fraud. Over sixty thousand dollars that was proceeds from his scheme will also be forfeited. He faced up to twenty years in federal prison before submitting to the guilty plea. But in 2014, St. Fleur was not alone when it came to officers from Florida’s Department of Corrections being arrested, accepting guilty pleas and being sentenced for their crimes. St. Fleur was the third employee of Florida Correctional…
  • South Florida Businessman Pleads Not Guilty in Baseball Star Human Smuggling Conspiracy

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:01 am
    Gilberto Suarez, a 40 year old businessman from South Florida pleaded not guilty after he was arrested for his part in a smuggling ring that allegedly helped Yasiel Puig, a star player for the Los Angeles Dodgers enter the country in 2012. The not guilty plea was in answer to an Indictment which gave away few details other than seeking forfeiture of any proceeds Suarez received from the illegal business deal that brought the baseball player, his girlfriend and spiritual adviser here from Cuba. Other than those details the Indictment was sealed. Specifically, the forfeiture demand recorded in…
  • Florida Man Acquitted of First Degree Murder Charges

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:50 am
    Cesar Limas made his living by selling cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Yet he became the prosecutor’s key witness in a first degree murder trial that led to fourteen months of jail time for Carlos Hiracheta Perez, 29, of Dade City pending trial. Limas told police that he and another man wrestled a Colt .45 semi-automatic pistol away from Perez outside an abandoned house in Dade City after two shots were fired inside the house. Within the residence lay the motionless body of Arturo Escamilla. Limas told Sheriff’s deputies that after he grabbed the gun away from Perez, the…
  • Jessie Lee Miller Freed After 15-Year First Degree Murder Acquittal

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    Otto Wright’s first trial for felony first-degree murder ended in a mistrial when a jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision. But his second trial ended with a guilty verdict when the previously self-proclaimed “look out” admitted that he participated in the robbery of a West Palm Beach Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Nicholas Megrath, the 18-year old manager of the restaurant that was located at the now non-operational West Palm Beach Mall was shot and killed by one of the other culprits. But Wright’s taped confession stated that although he watched the robbery unfold…
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    Tampa Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Florida Cop Accused Of Getting Oral Sex In Exchange For Not Making Arrest

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:50 am
    Oh Florida, here we go again. Generally it's the average Joes and Janes making the news for crazy allegations, now it's the cops. 32-year-old Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Ted Arboleda is accused of foregoing a legitimate arrest of a woman in exchange for her offer of oral sex. Arboleda is said to have made routine contact with the woman at a local gas station where he found her to be without a valid driver's license, in possession of marijuana, and in possession of an unlabeled bottle of prescription medication, all while on felony probation. According to news reports, initially the woman…
  • Doctor Guilty Of Healthcare Fraud For Administering Chemotherapy To Patients Who Didn't Have Cancer

    7 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Dr. Farid Fata recently pled guilty to 16 Federal criminal counts including 13 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of receiving kickbacks. In a disturbingly unusual case involving a doctor fraudulently submitting requests for reimbursement from several healthcare organizations, Dr. Farid Fata went so far as to knowingly misdiagnose several patients with cancer and subsequently ordering that they receive cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. In doing this he was able to bilk several healthcare organizations out of a ton of money to his benefit. In…
  • Indiana Man Accused of Cannibalism

    17 Sep 2014 | 3:46 pm
    Jeffersonville, Indiana man, Joseph A. Oberhansley, 33, is accused of murdering his girlfriend and ultimately eating portions of her corpse. Oberhansley was arrested last Thursday after police came to his girlfriend, Tammy Blanton's home looking for her as she failed to show up for work. According to news sources, Oberhansley began acting suspicious when police questioned him as to Blanton's whereabouts. Police observed a fresh cut across Oberhansley's knuckles during their contact and then patted down Oberhansley for weapons, finding a knife in the accused's back pocket full of hair and what…
  • So You've Violated Your Federal Supervised Release... What now?

    20 Aug 2014 | 9:59 am
    Just about every Federal felony carries behind a term of incarceration a period where one is on a probation like status called supervised release. For all intents and purposes supervised release is just like probation in that you will be monitored by a Federal probation officer, will forego certain rights while on supervision, and will have to meet certain requirements laid out by the Court specific to your case in addition to those general requirements for anyone on supervised release. For the most part as long as you mind your P's and Q's you won't have an issue with a potential violation.
  • Florida Man Faces Aggravated Assault For Throwing Gasoline On Wife. Tells Police It Was A Joke.

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


    20 Oct 2014 | 7:59 pm
    On Sunday, October 12, 2014, just before 6 p.m., the ferry boat Peralta crashed into a piling at Pier 41 in San Francisco, California. The ferry was carrying 230 passengers and heading to Oakland, California. Many of the passengers said they felt a strong jolt when the ferry hit the pylon. Many of the passengers were knocked off their feet and fell. One of the passengers, Darryl Pham, said, "I kind of saw it coming. A lot of people didn't, and it just hit the pylon and I saw kids flying and it was pretty bad." The injured passengers had mild to moderate injuries, mostly by hurting their necks…

    16 Oct 2014 | 1:51 pm
    Former Navy information systems technician first class and All Navy wrestler, Makimbo Mimms, was awarded $300,000 in a suit against a gym offering CrossFit classes. The gym breached their duty of care to monitor participants during the workout resulting in serious and permanent injury. During the CrossFit workout, Mimms quadriceps were repeatedly taxed without rest caused him to urinate blood and his legs to swell, he said. He was hospitalized for a week and diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis, the breakdown of muscle fibers that releases muscle fiber (myoglobin) into the bloodstream and often…

    16 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    Two young boys in Nashua, New Hampshire were rushed to the hospital after the bouncy house they were playing in blew away. They were in playing in the bouncy house at Sullivan Farm when it became airborne and blew over a fence, coming to a rest 50 feet from where it had been setup. The owner of the bouncy house, Gary Bergeron, says he purchased the inflatable a day or two ago and that it was not ready to be used. He says it was only setup for cleaning and doesn't know how the boys were able to climb in it. "It was missing spikes to go into the ground and it only had three tethers on it and…

    13 Oct 2014 | 12:34 pm
    On October 7, 2014 at approximately 10:30 a.m., a ventilation duct collapsed in a garage at Herb Chambers BMW of Boston at 1168 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. The Boston Police, the Boston Fire Department, and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived on the scene to survey the situation. The Boston Police reported that the ventilation system collapse, which was installed around 20 years ago, caused two injuries and damage to several cars in the garage. The air conditioning duct, which measures 80 to 100 feet long and made of thin metal, fell during a busy work…

    10 Oct 2014 | 11:37 am
    A young couple is suing a moving company in the aftermath of a botched moving job, alleging that they suffered $72,000 worth in damages to their personal possessions. The Shepacks hired College Student Movers Inc. to move their belongings from their St. Tammany Parish home to their house located at 1601 Concord Avenue, Metairie, Louisiana. On July 1, 2014, James and Kimberly Mathes Shepack filed suit against College Student Movers Inc., Fast & Affordable College Student Movers, the moving company's insurer, and Shelly and Justin McDuffie in the Twenty-fourth Judicial District Court of…
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  • New York City Taking Steps to Institute its Own Version of Immigration Relief

    20 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    In the wake of President Obama's announcement that he will delay executive action on comprehensive immigration reform until after the Congressional November elections, many states expressed their disappointment with the President because the American people and foreign nationals have been waiting for years for any movement on this critical issue. It seems that New York City is tired of waiting and is taking steps to institute its own version of immigration policy in the coming weeks. New York City's Immigration Legislation According to its speaker, Ms. Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City…
  • U.S. Military to Allow Undocumented Foreign Nationals to Enlist

    13 Oct 2014 | 9:53 am
    Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Defense unveiled a new policy that will give certain undocumented foreign nationals the opportunity to enlist in the U.S. military. This is the first time in several decades that this immigrant population will be allowed to join the military. The policy is actually an extension of an existing program called Military Accessions in the National Interest, more commonly referred to as MAVNI. The MAVNI Program The purpose of the MAVNI program is to authorize military recruiters to specifically target and attract foreign nationals who possess skills that are in…
  • Congressional Inaction Spurs Churches to Open Their Doors to Immigrants

    9 Oct 2014 | 8:25 am
    Recently, President Obama disappointed hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals and immigrant rights advocate groups when he announced that he would not be taking executive action on immigration reform until after the November elections. In the face of this delay, the nation's religious leaders have taken up the mantle and are now offering undocumented foreign nationals protection from deportation in an initiative dubbed the Sanctuary Movement. The Sanctuary Movement The movement has its roots in medieval practices that prohibited the king's men from apprehending criminals within church…
  • Undocumented Foreign Nationals Must Wait Until After November Elections for Immigration Reform

    24 Sep 2014 | 9:54 am
    It seems party politics has reared its ugly head again and has delayed comprehensive immigration reform. Only this time, it seems the party pushing for the delay is the Democrats. Recently, President Obama surprised and disappointed hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals and immigrant rights' advocacy groups when he informed the country that, counter to his promise made back in June, he would not utilize his executive authority to push immigration reform through Congress until after the elections in November. Why Would the President Delay Reform? President Obama has long been heralded as…
  • Foreign Entrepreneurs are Taking Their Money Elsewhere - to Canada

    15 Sep 2014 | 6:40 am
    Two years ago, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before Congress passed comprehensive immigration reform. In June of 2012, the President implemented his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the following summer, the Senate passed its own version of the long-awaited immigration bill. However, the bill and the reform progress came to an abrupt halt at the feet of the House of Representatives. In the almost two years that have passed since, the country is no closer to achieving any of its immigration-related goals and continues to lose foreign nationals who could serve…
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    Boston Business Litigation Lawyer Blog

  • No Lost Profits Damages in Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

    2 Oct 2014 | 1:37 pm
    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC") recently analyzed the use of expert testimony regarding "lost profits" damages in a case from Suffolk Superior Court's Business Litigation Session, and provided some guidance relative to the appropriate measure of damages in cases involving misappropriation of trade secrets. In LightLab Imaging, Inc. v. Axsun Technologies, Inc., LightLab Imaging, Inc. ("LightLab") filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court, alleging that a competitor, Volcano Corporation ("Volcano"), was using its trade secrets relative to certain laser technology after a joint…
  • Delaware Amends Laws Relating to Corporations, LLCs, LPs, and Partnerships

    25 Sep 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Many Massachusetts residents elect to incorporate their businesses under the often more favorable and flexible business laws of Delaware. Accordingly, it is important to be aware of changes in the applicable Delaware statutes, and to understand how those amendments affect existing and future business entities incorporated under those laws. Delaware recently amended its General Corporation Law, its Limited Liability Company Act, its Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, and its Revised Uniform Partnership Act. Those amendments, as explained in a recent National Law Review article, are…
  • SJC Clarifies Statutory Duty to Defend as Between Car Manufacturers and Car Dealers

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

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

    5 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    Massachusetts legislators have once again declined to amend Massachusetts law relative to non-competition agreements, which operate to ban employees who sign them from working for competitors after they leave a company. According to the Boston Herald, the final version of a proposed Massachusetts economic development bill will not include language placing limitations on non-compete clauses, as many of those opposed to non-competes had hoped. The legislation has been hotly debated for years. Most of those in favor of keeping non-compete agreements valid and enforceable are employers and owners…
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    Palo Alto Estate Planning Blog

  • State Inheritance and Estate Taxes

    Liza Hanks
    5 Oct 2014 | 3:41 pm
    California is a big state, and it’s easy to get near-sighted. Because California has no state-specific gift or estate taxes, it’s easy to focus almost exclusively on the federal estate and gift tax exemptions when planning for the taxes due after there’s been a death. But nineteen states and the District of Columbia levy their own state estate taxes or inheritance taxes, with widely varying exemptions and tax rates, and these taxes can come due, even to California residents–either because they own property located in another state, or because they inherit assets from a…
  • Taking Parents Off the Hook

    Liza Hanks
    23 Sep 2014 | 12:20 pm
    The New York Times published an interesting story this weekend on the expectations that parents and children have with respect to inheritances. The article summarized a study published in The Gerontologist last year, in which older adults and their children were polled on whether or not they expected to leave or inherit an inheritance. It turns out that 86.2% of the parents expected to leave their children something, but only 44.6% of the kids were expecting to receive anything.  Interestingly, the adult children who were getting money from their parents during life had a higher expectation…
  • Too Old to Drive?

    Liza Hanks
    3 Aug 2014 | 2:31 pm
    This week, an elderly driver lost control of his car and crashed into a cafe on University Avenue in Palo Alto, injuring six, including himself. News reports say that the driver was trying to park, and accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal. As we, or our parents, age, the question of when someone should stop driving is almost certain to come up.  While it is true that impaired driving isn’t always a factor of age, it is also true that as we age our reactions slow, our vision declines, our hearing decreases, our flexibility and strength decline, cognitive and…
  • Summer Time Is Here: Estate Planning on the Run

    Liza Hanks
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:34 pm
    Inevitably, in the summer months, I get phone calls from people who are about to take a trip somewhere, often within just a few days. Sometimes they have a Will or a trust that’s out of date; sometimes they have no estate planning documents at all; sometimes they have just finished getting divorced and are in a panic because they haven’t gotten around to updating their Will or trust. Much as I try to help everyone who calls, sometimes (often) there’s just not enough time to update their documents before that plane takes off or the road trip starts. What to do? Although none…
  • What Not to Leave Behind: Massive Piles of Paper

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

  • Florida Motor Fuel Tax Audits on the Rise

    9 Oct 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Over the past few years the Florida Department of Revenue ("FDOR") has launched several new campaigns. About 2 years ago, the DOR gained the ability to access the data tracking all tobacco and alcohol items sold to retailers. Armed with third party data, the FDOR did several thousands of audits on those that sold tobacco or alcohol items. With the downturn in the economy, times are tough for the State of Florida and they are launching a similar campaign against auto dealers using DMV records. It was also brought to our attention that the DOR is launching a new campaign by training its…

    1 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Many states, like my home state of Florida, have broad freedom of information laws. Known in Florida as the Sunshine Laws, the state's citizens can request a wide range of information from the government. Under the laws, so long as the information is not made confidential by a specific statute/law, then the government has an obligation to provide the citizen with whatever is requested. As a state and local tax ("SALT") practitioner, I often use this knowledge to my advantage. I often request documents and statistics from the state that I find beneficial to myself, my client, or my practice.

    24 Sep 2014 | 10:17 am
    As a Florida state and local tax attorney I live in the world of strange. Few attorneys or tax professionals are even aware of our peculiar area of the law. Even fewer attorneys or tax professionals have heard of, let alone practiced in the even stranger area of Native American Taxation. During my travels and while earning my LL.M. at NYU, I was one of the few fortunate souls to be exposed to this spin off of state and local tax. In fact, there are only two courses offered in the United States at the LL.M. level on this subject. Native American Taxation is poorly developed, the rules are…
  • Illinois Tries Again with Nexus Law

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:57 pm
    On March 28, 2013, Overstock and Amazon lost their challenge of a state tax on online sales in New York's highest court. Further, the the Supreme Court of United States declined hearing the case, because the court determined that such a law did not violate the federal Commerce Clause. Following the Amazon decision, we expected the states to follow New York's lead and enact its own click-through-nexus laws. In 2011, Illinois did just that. Specifically, Illinois has a nexus law that required any company with a place of business in Illinois to collect and remit tax to Illinois. In 2011,…
  • Caterpillar Loses Foreign Dividends Discrimination

    3 Sep 2014 | 11:49 am
    The Constitution gives the power to Congress, and Congress alone, to regulate commerce with foreign nations. This means the individual states cannot regulate commerce with foreign nations. This concept is known as the Foreign Commerce Clause. While it seldom comes up in the area of state taxation, the Foreign Commerce Clause states, "Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States . . ." This idea seems fairly simple conceptually, however, it can be difficult in practice to determine whether a state tax impedes on Foreign Commerce. Since…
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    New Jersey CPA Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Tax Court Declares Woman's Art to Be a Business; Decision Hailed as Victory for All Artists

    15 Oct 2014 | 10:38 am
    In a ruling widely regarded as a success for artists of all varieties, from independent musicians to photographers and painters, the US Tax Court rejected an Internal Revenue Service decision that a well-respected painter and art professor's painting work was not an activity conducted for the purpose of making a profit. The court explained that the law looks at many factors for determining the nature of an activity, and the painter's clear proof of a business plan and maintenance of a "businesslike" record established that her painting was a for-profit activity. Susan Crile worked both as a…
  • Corporate Officer's Inability to Cash Bonus Check Trips Up Entity's Tax Deduction

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:13 am
    A corporation officer's handling of his year-end bonus check was a case of form over substance, the US Tax Court ruled, and that meant that the bonus payment was not eligible for a tax deduction for payments to corporate officers. The central problem was that the officer clearly did not have unrestricted control over his bonus payment, since the corporation did not had enough money in its bank account to cover the amount of the check. The dispute involved the corporate entity created by architect Robert Vanney. Vanney created Vanney Associates, Inc., a personal services C corporation, in…
  • Tax Code's Strict Rules Regarding Recreational Vehicles Stop Taxpayers' Business Deductions

    17 Sep 2014 | 10:35 am
    Sometimes, converting a beloved avocation into a business opportunity can be a master stroke. One California couple likely thought so when they began traveling to recreational vehicle events to sell RV insurance policies. Unfortunately, they could not deduct the expenses they incurred on their own RV because of the rules in the tax code. The US Tax Court upheld the Internal Revenue Service's deficiency ruling because, under the tax code's strict rules, the RV was a dwelling, and the couple used it for personal purposes for more than the allotted 14 days. Dellward Jackson owned and operated an…
  • Failed Cemetery Site Tax Shelter Leads to $187K Deficiency Assessment a Decade Later for Investors

    3 Sep 2014 | 10:40 am
    Charitable deductions can provide taxpayers with very valuable tax benefits in the form of larger deductions. In some case, though, when taxpayers invest in questionable tax deduction generating schemes, the drawbacks of these investments ultimately far outweigh the benefits. In one such instance, the US Tax Court recently upheld the Internal Revenue Service's assessment of deficiencies of a couple's 1996-99 tax returns, amounting to nearly $200,000. Even though the IRS notice of deficiency occurred more than a decade after the couple filed their returns, specific exceptions to the law's…
  • Taxpayer's Failure to Keep Contemporaneous Records Leads Court to Reject Documentation as 'Ballpark Guesstimate'

    20 Aug 2014 | 2:48 pm
    For any taxpayer, maintaining proper records is vitally important. This is especially true if you have millions of dollars in business expenses riding on whether or not you meet the tax regulations' standard for a "real estate professional." A technology business owner discovered a hard lesson regarding this matter when the U.S. Tax Court rejected his appeal and upheld the Internal Revenue Service's imposition of a tax deficiency well in excess of a half-million dollars. The ruling reminds all taxpayers that there is simply no substitute for records created and updated contemporaneously, as…
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    Securities Lawyer 101 – SEC Law & Direct Public Offering Attorneys

  • Going Public Blog l Securities Lawyer 101

    1 Jan 2101 | 6:23 am
    Going Public Lawyer  Securities Lawyer 101 Blog Going public is a big step for any company.   The process of “going public” is complex and at times precarious. While going public offers many benefits it also comes with risks and quantities of regulations with which issuers must become familiar.  Despite the risks even in a down economy, the U.S. market remains one of... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Stock Spin-Offs 101

    21 Oct 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Lawyer 101 Blog A spin-off (“Spin-off”) involves a transaction in which a parent company (“Parent”) distributes securities of its subsidiary (“Subsidiary”) to the Parent’s stockholders so that the Subsidiary becomes a separate, independent company. Spin-off securities are usually distributed on a pro-rata basis. State law dictates whether stockholder approval of a spin-off is required.  Securities issued in spin-offs do... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Ebola Stock Scams – FINRA Risk Alert

    21 Oct 2014 | 10:57 am
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Law Blog The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently issued a Risk Alert about Ebola Stock Scams. The Risk Alert warns investors about potential investment scams involving companies that claim to be involved in the development of products that will prevent the spread of Ebola and other viral diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).  The FINRA Risk Alert... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Judgment Entered Against James Crane CFO of Subaye

    21 Oct 2014 | 10:03 am
    Going Public LawyerOn October 20, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced a final judgment, in an enforcement action filed by the SEC in May 2013, against James Crane, the former Chief Financial Officer of Subaye, Inc., a company based in China. Among other things, the judgment orders James Crane to pay $150,000. Crane is also barred from serving as... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • DTCC Removes Global Lock of Veltex Corporation’s Securities

    20 Oct 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Going Public LawyerEffective October 17, 2014, the Depository Trust Company (“DTCC”) has reinstated services for the securities of Veltex Corporation (“Veltex”). Stephen G. Macklem, CFO of Veltex quantified in a statement, “Veltex, thru the retention of the Law Offices of Hamilton & Associates Law Group, P.A. and its principal Veltex attorney Brenda L. Hamilton, has received communications that the global lock of Veltex’s... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
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    Employment News

  • Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:11 am
    Scroll through postings for tech jobs and you will see desired traits such as “recent college graduate” or “new graduates.” While at first glance, these employers are simply targeting entry level employees, the unfortunate reality is a discriminatory practice common in the tech industry. After recent determinations by the EEOC that such postings are unlawful, the industry-wide problem of age discrimination is no longer being ignored.Read more about Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry
  • EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

    3 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a spike in pregnancy discrimination cases prompted the agency to update its guidelines for the first time in 30 years. Failure to provide accommodations, adjust work duties, or forcing a woman into leave could be construed as discrimination. The purpose of the agency’s update is to clarify the law for employers and to curb future instances of discrimination.Read more about EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:07 am
    Minnesota recently became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, effective May 30, 2014.  The new law is a breakthrough for advocates and could improve opportunities for treatment, pain management, and research. It may however create issues for employers and employees in “drug-free” workplaces. What are employee rights to medical marijuana use and what does the new law mean for compliance under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA)?Read more about Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing
  • Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    Victims of sexual harassment usually don’t need to be told when the line was crossed. Flirting is not unusual in the workplace but can become harassing behavior when it develops into behavior that is unwelcome, has a negative impact on an employee’s performance or creates a hostile work environment.  When workplace banter shifts to sexual harassment, victims may feel bullied, abused and pressured by fellow employees or a supervisor.Read more about Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?
  • Wanta Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer

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

  • Dallas County Marijuana Arrests: In 2015, Dallas Police Not Busting for Pot

    Michael Lowe
    15 Oct 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Dallas police officers stop people for being high or possessing pot all the time; often, these encounters result in arrests that are not based upon serious felony charges leading to significant jail time upon conviction. Lots are misdemeanor charges. Bottom line, many of the marijuana arrests in our area are for relatively small amounts of weed that’s clearly for personal use. We’re not talking a major cartel busts with pounds or kilos of marijuana here. For the person who has been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, no matter how small, there can be serious consequences.
  • Collin County Sexual Assault “No Billed”

    Michael Lowe
    13 Oct 2014 | 10:53 am
    Mr. Lowe got his client’s 2nd degree Felony Sexual Assault charged “no billed” in Collin County.  Mr. Lowe’s client (Texas State licensed armed security guard) was attempting to remove his live-in girlfriend from his home in Plano, Texas.  When Plano Police arrived at the scene, his girlfriend claimed that Mr. Lowe’s client sexually assaulted (“rape”) her and slapped her face shortly before Plano PD’s arrival on the scene. Mr. Lowe’s client was later arrested and charged with 2nd degree felony Sexual Assault (non-consensual sexual…
  • Dallas Ebola Victim: No Evidence of Intent to Deceive; DA Assault Charges Were Wacky

    Michael Lowe
    8 Oct 2014 | 12:32 pm
    Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan died early this morning at Texas Presbyterian Hospital here in Dallas, where he had been quarantined and isolated from all human contact for the past 14 days.  It’s sad to think that Thomas Duncan died alone. Our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones who are grieving their loss today and who were denied the ability to be near him as he passed. Some may not agree with that sentiment – they have no sympathy for Mr. Duncan right now.     Many are angry with this man, and there’s lots of chatter about how he must have lied to enter…
  • College Rape Charges: Growing Danger to Due Process and Justice

    Michael Lowe
    1 Oct 2014 | 3:05 pm
    Awhile back, we posted about the national focus on a “rape culture” existing on U.S. college campuses, and how the federal government was investigating several schools — including Southern Methodist University (SMU) here in Dallas — for failing to deal effectively with the problem of sexual assaults on their campuses.  See, “SEXUAL ASSAULTS ON CAMPUS: SMU INVESTIGATED BY FEDS FOR FAILURE TO PROPERLY DEAL WITH CAMPUS RAPE CRIMES.” Colleges and Rape Charges: Internal Courts? In fact, the Department of Education has placed a duty upon these institutes of higher learning not only to…
  • Creepshot Law Held Unconstitutional: New Cases in Texas Child Pornography Defense

    Michael Lowe
    24 Sep 2014 | 2:41 pm
    The prosecution of child pornography cases just got a bit harder here in Texas after the highest criminal court in the state, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, issued its opinion last week regarding photographs taken of children in public places here. The court ruled that “upskirt” photographs are not illegal, no matter how disturbing they may be to some, and that the Texas law making them illegal, the “anti-creepshot“ law, is unconstitutionally violative of the photographer’s free speech and freedom of expression. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law . .
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Florida Appeals Court Overturns Denial of Benefits in Miami-Dade Workers’ Compensation Case

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:27 am
    Florida’s First District Court of Appeal has reversed a decision denying an advance in workers’ compensation benefits that was rendered by a Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”). In Bonner v. Miami Dade Public Schools, an employee who was out of work for about 18 months due to a work-related injury returned to work with a reduced salary. After returning to work, she sought a $2,000 advance from her employer under Florida Statute Section 440.20(12). This law allows an employee to request a workers’ compensation advance of up to $2,000 when the worker has suffered a “substantial…
  • Middle District of Florida Refuses to Order Summary Judgment in First-Party Bad Faith Case

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    8 Oct 2014 | 5:26 am
    In Cadle v. GEICO General Insurance Co., a woman was apparently hurt in a 2007 Florida rear-end automobile collision. Immediately following the accident, the woman received medical care at a local hospital. Over the course of the next 28 months, the injured woman was treated for her alleged neck and back harm by a number of doctors. In late 2009, she also underwent surgery related to the vehicle crash. The injured woman’s automobile insurer was reportedly notified of the accident on the date it occurred. About one year later, the company offered to settle the woman’s underinsured motorist…
  • Southern District of Florida Orders Trial in Negligence Case Against Cruise Ship

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    6 Oct 2014 | 9:09 am
    The Southern District of Florida has refused to grant summary judgment in a negligence lawsuit that was filed against a cruise ship company. In Gandhi v. Carnival Corp., a six-year-old girl was allegedly hurt by an elevator while traveling aboard a cruise ship. The child’s arm was apparently trapped in the gap between the elevator doors as they tried to close. The doors were purportedly bent and left bloody after other passengers wedged the door open in order to release the girl’s arm. Although the child was initially treated by physicians on the ship, her parents later sought the advice…
  • Fort Myers Federal Court Refuses to Remand Car Accident Case Back to Lee County

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:05 am
    In Jackson v. St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division, a man was injured in a rear-end collision while riding as a passenger in an automobile. About one year later, the man filed a lawsuit in Lee County, Florida seeking damages from both the driver and the owner of the vehicle that rear-ended him. The injured man later amended his complaint to release the named defendants and include the company that insured the allegedly at-fault driver at the time of the crash. In his lawsuit, the man accused the insurer of breach of contract over the company’s purported failure to make timely…
  • Orlando Court Refuses to Dismiss Couple’s Negligence Lawsuit Against Cruise Ship Owner

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    26 Sep 2014 | 12:02 pm
    In Shore v. Magical Cruise Co., Ltd., a couple set sail on a themed cruise ship. While aboard the vessel, the wife apparently suffered a staphylococcal infection following a treatment in the ship’s spa. In addition, the husband allegedly became ill as well. After the couple returned from their cruise, they filed a negligence, strict liability, and loss of consortium lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against the owner of the cruise ship and the operator of the spa where the wife was purportedly injured. In response to the couple’s lawsuit, the defendants argued that the couple…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • Proposed Changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Programs

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:48 pm
    In recent months there have been an increasing number of news articles that warn us that the funding for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits administered by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) will run out in less than two years, unless more money is allocated by Congress. This is what news commentators and politicians are referring to as the SSDI cliff, over which the program is poised to fall. One recent article from the Huffington Post looks at a new program that may be a partial solution to the problem with the SSDI system, known as the Achieving a…
  • A Look at the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Benefits

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:53 pm
    While many people have heard of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there is another option for some disabled residents of Boston known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSI program, also run the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), is designed to provide disability benefits for those who have never worked, or "paid into the system" to use the term SSA would use. In an SSDI claim, the SSA will look at the number of years that the claimant has worked and the amount of money that employee has paid into the SSA system in taxes prior to becoming disabled.
  • Teachers Receiving Disability for School-Related Stress and PTSD

    14 Oct 2014 | 10:44 pm
    When we use the term disability with respect to a person who can no longer work, we normally think of a physical disability, such as one caused by an accident or medical condition like a stroke or heart disease. However, mental illnesses, such as severe depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can make it impossible for people to work, and this may qualify those individuals for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. According to a recent article from the New York Post, teachers may be able to qualify for disability through a union disability plan for the disability of…
  • After Years of Waiting, One Woman's Struggle to Receive SSDI Benefits is Finally Over

    12 Oct 2014 | 6:25 pm
    According to a recent article from WIVB4 News, one woman's three-year wait for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is finally over. Due to severe injuries to her neck and back, claimant has been unable to work since late 2010. Claimant filed a claim after becoming disabled and, after several initial denials, was afforded the opportunity to have her case heard before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. After a hearing before the ALJ, claimant waited well over a year, and a decision was…
  • On the Differences Between SSDI and Private Long-Term Disability Insurance

    9 Oct 2014 | 8:21 pm
    A recent news article from the New York Times takes a look at the growing trend of employers choosing to phase out providing long-term disability insurance to employees. Historically, many employers, especially those who provide white-collar jobs, have offered employees long-term disability insurance either free or with the option to purchase coverage from a company-subsidized policy through a private carrier. As our Boston disability lawyers know, private long-term disability insurance will typically provide up to two-thirds of an employees salary if the employee suffers from a disability…
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • Several Undocumented Migrants in New Mexico Released from Detention Facility

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:23 am
    Dozens of undocumented migrants who were being held at a facility in New Mexico have been released, according to Philip Burch, the mayor of the city of Artesia. Burch recently told reporters that 68 of the nearly 500 detainees at the Artesia Family Residential Center were release last week with 14 of them being deported. Immigration officials working the facility said that there are still about 480 migrants being held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center - an annex of the Family Residential Center - with several more expected to arrive at the facility over the next few days.
  • Obama Petitioned to Give Undocumented Immigrants Access to Affordable Healthcare

    13 Oct 2014 | 7:51 am
    Last week, leaders within the nation's Hispanic community formally requested that President Barack Obama allow certain undocumented migrants to have access to Obamacare. They say that the justification for such an allowance stems from the fact that certain "dreamers" who have been granted temporary work permits are paying taxes and therefore should be entitled to certain government benefits. "Dreamers" is a colloquialism for the several hundred thousand young adults who were granted temporary legal status by the President two years ago but who were brought into the country illegally as minors…
  • Child Immigrants Facing Deportation In Desperate Need of Legal Counsel

    8 Oct 2014 | 8:12 am
    There is a crisis that is playing out in immigration courts across the country, particularly in large metropolitan areas like New York City where children from Central America who crossed the southern border into the United States without adult accompaniment await their respective hearings. More than 66,000 Central American youths have crossed the US-Mexico illegally border over the last 12 months, many of them in an effort to get away from what they describe as rampant gang violence in countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua. It is estimated that in New York City alone there are upwards of…
  • Frustration Among Immigrant Detainees Growing at Detention Center in New Mexico

    6 Oct 2014 | 7:51 am
    The small and isolated desert town of Artesia, New Mexico has recently become the home of a federal immigration detention center that includes such amenities as a soccer field, a basketball court, and video conferencing capabilities for detainees to have their cases heard by immigration judges in Denver, Colorado. The facility also included several trailers that have been put in place around the main building to serve as a makeshift school because the center itself is intended to serve as temporary housing specifically for women and children from Central American countries who have been…
  • Department of Defense Will Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Serve in the US Military

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:43 am
    The Department of Defense announced last week that it will allow a relatively small number of undocumented immigrants to serve in the US military. The new policy is the first of its kind in several decades and expands on a current program that allows military officials to recruit foreign nationals that possess specific skills that are in high demand such as certain health care skills and foreign language capabilities. Immigrants who came to the United States with their parents before their 16th birthday and who do not have proper documentation will be allowed an opportunity to join the…
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    Health Care Law Blog

  • Blowing the Whistle in Court

    21 Oct 2014 | 8:52 am
    The vast majority of physicians and other health care providers endeavor to provide services and bill for them in an ethical, legal manner. Trust is at the core of the federal government's provider reimbursement scheme under Medicare and other federal health programs. The federal government relies upon health care providers submitting accurate and truthful claims. The fact that some health care providers have exploited federal health programs for illegal economic gain has resulted in laws intended to combat fraud and abuse, improve patient care and protect tax payer money. Currently, there is…
  • Michigan Bill Would Benefit Direct Primary Care Doctors

    30 Sep 2014 | 2:24 pm
    A Michigan legislator's bill, SB 1033, sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck, would benefit direct primary care doctors in that State, and the idea may warrant consideration in other States. The purpose of the bill is to provide physicians who convert their practice to a direct primary care model with the assurance that their medical practice will not be treated as an insurer regulated under state insurance regulations. Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia Physician Practice Law Firm Among other legal hurdles some physicians may face in developing a direct primary (or concierge) care practice model is…
  • Physician Practices: Recent Survey Reviews the Effects of Expanded Patient Access

    24 Sep 2014 | 4:13 am
    A well-intended objective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to improve patient access to doctors. Sometimes this objective is artfully stated as "better" access to care, rather than "increased" access to care, perhaps to acknowledge the reality that as more patients become insured via the ACA, there may actually be less access to physicians. "Better" access may therefore be an argument that, even as an existing physician shortage worsens, new alternatives under the ACA nonetheless improve access to care for the population as a whole. For sure, millions of Americans have enrolled in new…
  • Health Care Fraud Report: OIG Alert Regarding Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians

    16 Sep 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Clinical laboratory payments to physicians in excess of the fair market value of services provided or that correlate to the volume or value of referrals can constitute health care fraud and trigger very serious civil and criminal penalties. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a Special Fraud Alert (the "Alert") addressing lab compensation to referring doctors and medical practices for blood specimen collection, processing and packaging, and for submitting patient data to a registry or database. Our Georgia health care law firm…
  • Affordable Care Act Expansion of Community Health Centers: Endeavoring to Ensure Insurance "Coverage" Equates to Health Care "Access"

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:34 am
    A premise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to provide "affordable coverage" to more Americans with the idea being that newly insured individuals and families will have enhanced "access" to quality health care. Whitehouse Policy Snapshot. Particularly important is access to primary care, the means by which millions of Americans can obtain preventive care and better wellness as a way to avoid more expensive health care treatment in, for example, an emergency room. Following enactment of the ACA, there has been a strong push for previously uninsured Americans to obtain insurance via the new…
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • Lawsuits, Regulators Target Allegedly Deceptive Online Conduct by California Businesses

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:33 pm
    The internet offers a seemingly infinite number of ways for businesses to connect with current and potential customers, including directly via their own websites and various social media sites, as well as indirectly through customer review sites. This wealth of possibilities comes at the potential cost, however, of customers being deceived by fraudulent or misleading information, or by a failure to disclose conflicts of interests. Businesses who market their products and services online, people who write online reviews or endorsements of products, and companies that operate review websites…
  • New California Law Prohibits Homeowner Associations from Penalizing Homeowners Who Do Not Water Their Lawns During Droughts

    30 Sep 2014 | 1:17 pm
    California is experiencing a severe drought, which has resulted in substantial restrictions on water usage. This has led to a wide range of responses from homeowners looking to conserve water in regard to their landscaping. Some homeowners are replacing their lawns with hardier plants, gravel or sand, and other methods of xeriscaping. Other homeowners are simply allowing their lawns to go brown. A few homeowner associations (HOAs) around the state, however, have continued to enforce rules regarding lawn care and maintenance. HOAs can enforce their own rules, provided that they do not conflict…
  • Judge Rules that NCAA Rules Restricting Football and Basketball Players' Compensation Violate Antitrust Law

    15 Sep 2014 | 11:24 am
    A federal judge in Oakland, California ruled in favor of a class of college athletes in a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), finding that certain NCAA rules limiting compensation paid to players violated federal antitrust laws. O'Bannon, et al v. NCAA, No. 4:09-cv-03329, FFCL (N.D. Cal., Aug. 8, 2014). The dispute centered around the use of players' likenesses by the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), which handles trademark licensing and marketing for the NCAA, without obtaining players' permission or compensating them. The NCAA has faced…
  • Why Businesses Should Resist Any Temptation to Create Fake Online Reviews

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Consumers rely on online reviews to a significant degree in making decisions about products and services. Websites like Yelp host reviews for thousands of businesses and are visited by millions of users. Whereas reviews of businesses were once primarily left to professional writers, the internet has enabled nearly anyone with an internet connection to post information about their experiences. These reviews can have a direct impact, positive or negative, on a business' revenue. In this environment, some businesses may try to boost their own online standing by posting positive reviews about…
  • Benefit Corporations Enable California Business Owners to Serve the Public Good

    15 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    The "one and only social responsibility of business," according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, is "to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game." Making money is the goal is just about any for-profit business, but a common criticism of much of American business is that acting to serve its own ends often fails to benefit society. Some business owners, in addition to making a profit, might want to work towards goals that have a social, economic, or environmental benefit. Several states, including California, have enacted laws allowing the…
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  • NYC’s 25 MPH Speed Limit

    Matthew Weiss
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:27 am
    Question:  When there are no speed signs posted on a New York City street or stretch of roadway, how fast can you drive?  If you answered 30 mph, you’d be right until November 7th.  On that date, the un-posted speed limit will be lowered to 25 mph.  (This new un-posted limit, of course, does not apply to NYC highways which have a default speed of 50 mph). The lower speed limit is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign to make the streets safer, and is expected to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities.  Meanwhile, motorists can expect routine enforcement of the new limit…
  • Nassau County Speed Camera Locations Revealed

    Matthew Weiss
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:22 pm
    Nassau County recently launched its speed cameras program.  In total, 56 speed cameras will be installed by October, one in each of Nassau’s school districts.  Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano predicts that the cameras will generate an estimated $25+ million each year. By law, the cameras can only operate during public school hours (plus an hour before and after school) along with a half-hour before, during and after school events.  Each violation of 10 mph or more over the posted speed limit will carry a $50 fine, and there will be a $25 penalty for failure to pay (meaning a…
  • New York’s Red Light Camera Fines Among The Lowest In Country

    Matthew Weiss
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
    While no one likes receiving a red light camera ticket, there is one good thing about them.  In New York, they carry one of the lowest fines in the county … $50.00.  Compare this figure to other states in the chart below.   The other goods news is that they carry 0 points and do not affect your insurance rates. With that said, disobeying a red light is a very dangerous violation.  Motorists depend on other drivers to obey lights so that they can enter intersections without fear of being T-boned.  So whenever you approaching a changing light, err on the side of caution for…
  • Can An Out-Of-State Driver Take New York’s Driver Safety Class?

    Matthew Weiss
    6 Aug 2014 | 6:50 am
    We recently had a Florida resident that completed the New York defensive driving course.  He had a point problem in New York and, therefore, wanted to ensure that he received the appropriate credit for the class (i.e., that he received 4 points off his NY record). Our law office contacted the course provider who advised it will notify DMV only if the person has a New York Motorist ID number.  The trick is that, for an out-of-state motorist to have a New York Motorist ID number, he or she must first be convicted of, at least, one moving violation.  Upon conviction to a first offense,…
  • Nassau County Launches Speed Camera Program

    Matthew Weiss
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    Last week, Nassau County started installing speed cameras within local school zones.  The first three schools to receive these devices are Plainedge Middle School in Bethpage, Dutch Lane Elementary in Hicksville and Abbey Lane School in Levittown.  All three schools (which are open for summer school), each received a “mobile unit” — an unmarked van equipped with two cameras and a radar machine. In total, 56 speed cameras will be installed by October, one in each of Nassau’s school districts.  Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano predicts that the cameras will…
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    Spencers Solicitors Blog

  • Supporting the Macmillan Coffee Morning 2014

    Spencers Solicitors
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:02 am
    On Friday 26th September for the second year running Spencers took part in the world's biggest coffee morning as part of Macmillan Cancer Support's largest fundraising event. Macmillan Cancer Support strives to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. One in three of us will get cancer, we are all affected by it and we can all help. Last year over 154,000 people signed up to the event which raised a record £20 million, Macmillan are still yet to announce the grand total for 2014 but hopefully it will set a new record. As always Spencers employees and their families were involved…
  • Fraudulent claims - just how big an issue are they?

    Spencers Solicitors
    29 Sep 2014 | 7:49 am
    In my last blog I touched on the issue of fraudulent claims, which can regularly be seen hitting the British headlines - often alongside telling photographs of supposedly injured claimants obliviously pursuing high-octane activities. In tackling this I am most certainly in favour of ensuring that those fraudulently pursuing compensation or seeking to recover more compensation than they are entitled to are stopped. However claiming that this is a plague of modern times, tied up in accusations of 'compensation culture', is somewhat misguided. According to information released by Aviva in 2011,…
  • Spencers & Roadpeace - working together to support road crash victims

    Spencers Solicitors
    18 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
    Spencers Solicitors are pleased to announce their new role as a corporate supporter for RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims. RoadPeace works directly with those bereaved or injured through road crashes, providing much needed support and ensuring the trauma they suffer is acknowledged and justice achieved. They also campaign tirelessly for road danger reduction and fight to ensure adequate support services exist for victims and their loved ones, both in the immediate aftermath of road death or injury, and in the face of any legal obstacles. Through their work they act to…
  • 20 mph residential road limit: hindrance or life saver?

    Spencers Solicitors
    12 Sep 2014 | 6:43 am
    August marked the start of Manchester's switch to 20 mph speed limits across many of its residential areas. One third of the city's roads, equalling over 1,100 streets and 111 miles, have been turned into 20 mph zone's, with the possibility that all of Manchester's residential areas will follow suit. Along with similar actions around the UK, this move has left people wondering if a 20 mph limit should be in place on every residential road in the country. Safety is key The main argument for the reduced speed limit is that it increases road safety in areas where people live. By reducing vehicle…
  • Breaking down the myths of 'Compensation Culture'

    Spencers Solicitors
    5 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
    With sensational headlines such as 'compensation-itis' and 'compensation culture out of control', we are likely to have caught wind of the 'compensation culture' sweeping across Britain. But are these headlines simply fuelling a backlash against a misconception, and is there any hard evidence to back up the existence of a compensation culture? Many believe the tendency to claim compensation stems from the USA where large damages payouts and expensive law suits have made headlines for years. In Britain, a rise in solicitors publicly offering American style 'no win no fee' services have often…
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    White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    21 Oct 2014 | 7:52 am
    Over the past year there have been dozens of articles about GM's faulty ignition switch. The ignition switch is implicated in 13 deaths as of June, 2014. Prior to 2013, the switch did not meet manufacturing specifications. The engineer spent so much time dealing with the part's technical issues that he referred to it in a 2002 memo as "the switch from hell". The engineer who prepared the report was Ray DeGiorgio who was in charge of the faulty ignition switch. This scenarios set up a great products liability case. A part of the GM vehicle was defective when using the vehicle for the purpose…

    25 Sep 2014 | 2:07 pm
    According to an article by Larry Copeland in the USA Today for The Journal News in May, 2014, highway crashes create an enormous toll on the lives of Americans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that the annual price tag for these crashes are $871 billion in economic losses in 2010. This number includes $277 billion in economic costs ($900 per person in the USA) and $594 billion in societal harm from loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life from the injuries. The purpose of this article points out that the staggering societal costs of accidents…

    18 Sep 2014 | 2:04 pm
    In an article by Leif Skodnick in The Westchester County Business Journal, he points out that even with an increase in inventory, home sales were down for the second quarter of 2014. Westchester is one of the four counties for which Hudson Gateway tracks data. They conclude that there has been a 12% overall drop in home sales in the second quarter of 2014 as compared to 2013, and a 13.5% drop in sales of single family homes. Home prices stayed relatively stable in Westchester with a median sale price of $651,250 in 2014, just a 0.2% increase over 2013. Douglas Elliman in Katonah states they…

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:57 am
    In an article in USA Today, The Journal News on Friday, August 22, 2014 by Paul Davidson stated existing home sales climbed last month to their fastest pace since September 2013, which is evidence that the housing markets is bouncing back after a sluggish first half of the year. Sales rose 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million and has increased for four straight months, according to the National Association of Realtors. The total beat analysts' estimates although sales remain 4.3% below 2013. The Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun attributed the solid sales to growing housing…

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:53 am
    In an article in USA Today, the Journal News on August 10, 2014 by John Siniff relates his own accident with a woman who was on her cell phone. He relates statistics that show how bad things have gotten. About 660,000 drivers in the USA are using hand held cell phones while driving at any moment during day light hours. This number has held steady since 2010. More than half of drivers, 55% admit to using a mobile phone at least some of the time while driving. 3,328 people died in crashes from cell phone usage in 2012 and 421,000 were injured. It is now illegal to text while driving in every…
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    Pinellas County Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Improper Credibility Bolstering Testimony, Video Clip Evidence Wipe Out Sexual Misconduct Conviction

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    9 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    A sexual misconduct conviction was thrown out by the 2d District Court of Appeal recently because the accused man did not receive a fair trial. The man’s appellate counsel argued successfully that the trial court should not have allowed a police officer and the alleged victim’s teacher to testify about the girl’s credibility, and it should not have allowed the prosecution to play a movie clip that would tend to create improper prejudice in the minds of the jurors. Henry Keith Cavaliere was on trial for sexual misconduct with an underage girl. The alleged crime came to…
  • Supreme Court’s Ruling in Favor of Driver Puts Up Road Block Against Improper Traffic Stop

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:39 am
    A recent ruling from the state’s highest court served as a clear statement regarding the limitations of proper traffic stops. Namely, the Florida Supreme Court‘s opinion reminded that, for a traffic stop stand up in court, the police officer must not only have a suspicion that illegal activity has occurred, but that suspicion must be a “well-founded” one, and stopping a vehicle because its paint color did not match the color on file with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles did not meet this standard. The ruling stemmed from the drug trial of Kerrick Van…
  • Florida Appeals Court Upholds Search Warrant for Woman’s Home, Despite Delay, Omitted Information

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:39 am
    One of the constitution’s most basic protections is citizens’ right to be secure in their homes. That’s why the law imposes several hurdles for the issuance and execution of a search warrant for a person’s home. In one recent case, the 2d District Court of Appeal allowed a warrant to stand, ruling that the police presented enough proof to allow a warrant to issue, and that the 28-day delay prior to the warrant’s issuance was not so long as to make the warrant invalid. In the case, police began pursuing Artesha Williams after a confidential informant told them…
  • Judge Doesn’t Need Proof of Dept. of Corrections’ Inability to Meet Man’s Medical Needs to Issue Lesser Sentence

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:31 am
    While Florida’s criminal sentencing guidelines exist to help promote fairness, the law gives judges discretion to issue lesser penalties when the sentence prescribed by the guidelines does not meet the ends of justice. That can be especially true when the accused person suffers from serious mental or physical problems. In one such recent case, the Florida Supreme Court weighed in to confirm that courts do not have to make findings that the needed medical care is unavailable through the corrections system in order to impose a lesser sentence based upon that person’s medical…
  • Police Officer’s Failure to Return ID, Wallet Changed Encounter from Voluntary to Unlawful Detainment

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:04 am
    In any criminal trial, the state can present only the evidence that it seized lawfully. If a police officer conducts a warrantless search without reasonable suspicion that the person he or she is searching has done something wrong, that is an illegal search, and anything discovered as part of that search is inadmissible at trial. Since a police officer failed to follow the rules in his encounter with a teenage pedestrian, the 2d District Court of Appeal recently decided that the drugs the officer located in the teen’s pants pocket were illegally obtained and should have been excluded…
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    Oakland Employment Lawyer Blog

  • Wells Fargo Paying $5 Million to Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Allegations

    Liberty Law
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:05 am
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week that it reached a $5 million settlement with Wells Fargo to resolve claims that the company discriminated against pregnant women, new mothers, and women on maternity leave. The San Francisco company says that it is settling the case in order to avoid a long and expensive legal battle, but denies any wrongdoing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development says that Wells Fargo’s home mortgage unit was discriminatory in its issuance of loans. Wells Fargo is the largest provider of mortgages in the country. Allegedly,…
  • Can I sue if an ambulance comes too slowly in San Francisco?

    Liberty Law
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    The subject of emergency response time is a hot topic in San Francisco right now. Late last month, an ambulance responding to a car accident involving the wife of the mayor arrived after the 10 minute time standard set by the San Francisco Fire Department for that type of situation. The accident had Code Three status, which requires less than a 10 minute response. The ambulance arrived 14 minutes after the call went out. The mayor’s wife had minor injuries, and an ambulance took her to the hospital for treatment. The fire department union blames the response time on staff shortages. The…
  • U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take Case of Muslim Teen not Hired at Abercrombie because of Headscarf

    Liberty Law
    13 Oct 2014 | 4:58 am
    Several years ago, a Muslim teen applied for a sales associate job at the Abercrombie Kids clothing store at a mall in Tulsa. Abercrombie has a strict dress and appearance code, and mandates that employees not wear black. The applicant asked a friend who worked at the store whether she would be allowed to wear her headscarf. The friend asked an assistant manager, who recalled working with an associate who wore a white yarmulke. The assistant manager said the headscarf should not be an issue, especially if it wasn’t black. The teen applicant went to the interview wearing a black headscarf,…
  • Can I sue for my injuries in a car accident even though I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?

    Liberty Law
    10 Oct 2014 | 4:47 am
    You probably heard about the major accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan in June. Morgan was involved in a six-car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The accident occurred when the driver of a tractor trailer, who was driving for Walmart, failed to observe slow moving traffic and swerved into Morgan’s limo in an attempt to avoid hitting other vehicles. That caused a chain reaction, which resulted in the six-car pileup. One man in the limo was killed, and three others were also in critical condition as a result of the accident. Morgan and others sued Walmart for their…
  • Can I be forced to take a personality test before a company hires me, or is that illegal discrimination?

    Liberty Law
    6 Oct 2014 | 4:45 am
    Legally, companies have the right to ask an applicant to submit to all kinds of tests, including personality tests, before an applicant is hired. This can include drug tests, academic tests, background checks, credit checks, and other types of tests. An employer has the right to ensure that an applicant is the right fit for the job before investing a significant amount of time and money into training that person. Personality tests are one tool that employers use to determine whether employees will be a good fit for the job. A person’s personality can be one of the biggest determiners of…
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    Sonoma County Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Botched Home Invasion Leads to Several Charges for One Santa Rosa Man

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:36 pm
    Earlier this month in Rincon Valley, two men allegedly broke into a marijuana grower's home and attempted to ransack the indoor and outdoor gardens for pot. According to a report by the Press Democrat, the two men allegedly broke into the man's home around 1:00 in the morning. Evidently, they woke up the owner of the home, who left his room to confront the intruders in his underwear. He managed to chase one man out the front door, but that man allegedly turned around and shot at the homeowner before fleeing down the street. The homeowner then made his way back towards his home, when he saw…
  • Man Arrested for Santa Rosa Murder After Drug Deal Gone Bad

    17 Sep 2014 | 8:23 pm
    Earlier this week in Santa Rosa, a 35-year-old man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for his involvement in the killing of a 21-year-old man in what police are describing as a drug deal gone bad. According to a report by the Press Democrat, the killing took place at the Vagabond Inn on Cleveland Avenue. Allegedly, the defendant and his accomplice showed up at the hotel room to purchase a large quantity of marijuana from the victim and his partner. For whatever reason, the defendant shot the victim several times in the torso during the deal and then left with the marijuana.
  • Mysterious Vigilantes Destroying Marijuana Crops and Threatening Growers

    4 Sep 2014 | 10:48 am
    Recently in Mendocino County, a number of accounts have surfaced that a group of unnamed men have been dropping from helicopters into marijuana fields and destroying the crops and threatening the growers. According to a report by the Press Democrat, more than 100 people recently attended a meeting with Mendocino County Sheriff, Tom Allman, about the mystery men. Some are suggesting that the men are a part of a drug cartel that is attempting to decrease the supply of marijuana in order to keep prices for the crop high. Others are suggesting that it may be a group of people who, for one reason…
  • Four Men Arrested After Authorities Bust Marijuana Growing Operation

    18 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Earlier this month in Austin Creek State Recreational Area, park rangers and Fish and Wildlife officers busted four men in relation to a small-to-medium-sized marijuana grow operation. According to a report by the Press Democrat, park rangers' suspicions arose when they noticed unusual materials around the park, including empty food containers, sleeping bags, lawn chairs, and empty ammunition casings. Evidently, five men were involved in the illegal grow operation that took place in a very remote part of the State Park. Authorities say that the operation was so remote that it was not in a…
  • Three Men Arrested in Santa Rosa Drug Bust

    4 Aug 2014 | 8:43 pm
    Earlier this month in Santa Rosa, two men were arrested on drug charges when officers stopped their vehicle near Coddington Mall. According to a report by, as part of the arrest, officers executed search warrants on the home where the men lived. Once at their home, officers uncovered a large supply of drugs and other evidence of drug dealing, including: 2.8 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.1 pounds of cocaine, 13.9 pounds of marijuana, 19 marijuana plants, and $14,000 in cash and three vehicles. Law enforcement estimates the street value of the methamphetamine alone was over $20,000.
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    Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

  • Pregnant Woman Suffers Critical Injuries after Being Struck by Tow Truck in Downtown St. Pete

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:33 am
    Police are further investigating an accident that critically injured a 7 and a half month pregnant woman in downtown St. Petersburg Wednesday afternoon. The 36-year-old mom-to-be was struck by a tow truck near the intersection of 3rd Street North and 1st Avenue North around 2:30 p.m. According to police, the woman was crossing 1st Avenue North just west of the crosswalk when the truck attempted to turn left onto 1st Avenue North. The woman was halfway across the center lane when she was hit and knocked down, striking her head on the pavement, according to police. The light for the truck…
  • Tampa Teacher Arrested for Driving the Wrong Way Near Interstate 75

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    23 Sep 2014 | 9:38 am
    A Tampa high school teacher was arrested on Sunday for driving the wrong way near I-75, according to troopers. Reports indicate that the Florida Highway Patrol received a call around 3:50 a.m. regarding a wrong-way driver on State Road 618 near 22nd Street. Troopers were told a gold 2001 Saturn was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes and would eventually turn southbound in the northbound lanes of I-75. A trooper arrested the 24-year-old teacher as he exited at the northbound Gibsonton Drive entrance ramp. The social studies teacher was charged with driving under the influence and…
  • Student Biker Struck by Car near Riverview High School

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:31 am
    A 17-year-old girl riding her bicycle near Riverview High School on Tuesday morning was hit by a car. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the girl, who is a Riverview High student, was struck by an Acura sedan on Whispering Creek Boulevard near Balm Riverview Road just south of Boyette Road. The driver of the Acura, a 23-year-old man, waited at the scene for deputies to arrive. According to officials, the man won’t be cited in the crash. The crash occurred just before 7 a.m. The accident caused the roadway to be shut down for about an hour. Authorities said the…
  • 8 Injured at Hard Rock in Tampa after Temporary Wall Falls Over

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    15 Sep 2014 | 1:35 pm
    According to authorities, eight people were injured at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Friday night when a construction wall gave way. Three of those injured were transported to area hospitals for treatment, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. One man apparently suffered a broken arm when the wall fell around 11 p.m. Crews had bolstered up a 12- to 15-foot high temporary wall to separate an open section of the casino area from a high-limit slot room that is currently under construction. In between was a walkway. The wall fell down striking some people on the walkway. A witness…
  • AGAIN?? Three Killed in Wrong-Way Crash on I-275 in Tampa

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    10 Sep 2014 | 12:11 pm
    A wrong-way driver and her two passengers were killed in a head-on collision with a gasoline tanker truck on Interstate 275 just south of Bearss Avenue early Sunday. This is the fourth fatal wrong-way crash on I-275 in Tampa this year that has happened just before sunrise. The Florida Highway Patrol believes a 2013 Honda sedan was traveling south in the inside lane of northbound I-275 when it crashed into a Gemini Motor Transport tanker that was headed north. Both vehicles came to a halt in the northbound lanes. The car’s driver, along with another woman in the front passenger seat and…
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    Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

  • What does no-fault insurance mean in a car accident?

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:10 am
    As far back as the 1970's, Minnesota legislatures have wrestled with the idea of how to apply an efficient administration of justice throughout the state with regards to car accidents. On one hand, the state has an interest in helping to protect citizens who are injured in car accidents yet remain uncompensated for their injuries. The state also has an interest in not allowing its courts to get bogged down in frivolous lawsuits from car accident victims demanding unwarranted compensation. In an effort to balance these two competing interests, Minnesota enacted a statute that is now known as…
  • An inspirational story about surviving spinal cord injury

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Each year in October, a now 57-year-old St. Cloud, Minnesota, man begins having nightmares about an incident back in 1974 that left him paralyzed throughout most of his body. The former high school football and hockey star described the haunting dreams as vivid, graphic reminders of his very athletic and capable self. In the dreams, he is running down the football field or skating on the rink when his legs suddenly turn rubbery and he is no longer able to control them. Although it is been more than 40 years since the man damaged his spine in the last minutes of a football game in his teens,…
  • Pursuing a Minnesota traumatic brain injury lawsuit

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    3 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    During most discussions about motor vehicle accidents, people talk almost exclusively about visible injuries. It makes sense too. Naturally, a broken leg or a bleeding gash to the forehead are injuries that are readily apparent and something that we all might normally expect to see after a collision. Unfortunately, recent advances in medical science as well as our increased understanding of the brain has revealed that many victims of car crashes sometimes also receive injuries that may not be so easy to spot. Often these injuries may also be even more long-lasting and debilitating than a…
  • Is elder neglect a form of medical malpractice in Minnesota?

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    26 Sep 2014 | 4:22 am
    Over three decades ago, Minnesota recognized that a sizable segment of the state population were individuals who were particularly vulnerable to maltreatment. In 1980, this growing sentiment led to the passage of MS 626.577. This section of Minnesota law identifies this vulnerable class of people with physical or mental disabilities or dependency on institutional services, and gives them certain protections to ensure their well-being. These so-called "vulnerable adults" are not only persons of advanced age but many other individuals with diminished capacity who are susceptible to…
  • The first hurdle to overcome in a Minnesota birth injury case

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:05 am
    If you are a Minnesota resident who suspects that a doctor's error may have contributed to your child's birth injuries, there are a few things you should know. Birth injuries cover such a wide variety of maladies, ranging from brain damage caused by oxygen starvation to the brain to shoulder dislocations from a doctor forcibly removing an infant from his or her mother's birth canal. In an effort to reduce the number of frivolous and unfounded lawsuits being filed throughout the state, Minnesota adopted a statute in 2007 designed to provide a legal "speed bump" for claims filed against…
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    CA Innocence ProjectCA Innocence Project | CA Innocence Project

  • CIP Client Roeling Adams Paroled After 28 Years Behind Bars

    Mike Semanchik
    10 Oct 2014 | 12:26 pm
    Today, CIP client Roeling Adams walked out of San Quentin State Prison after 28 years in prison.  Adams was wrongfully convicted of a shooting in 1986, despite providing an alibi at trial.  The main witness against Roeling at his trial subsequently recanted his testimony and identified the true perpetrators of the crime.  The only other evidence came in the form of a faulty eyewitness identification. CIP began investigating Adams’ innocence claim several years ago.  As with many of CIP’s clients, Adams continued to go before the parole board in an effort to be released while…
  • If you think a $101.7 million judgment for wrongful conviction will prompt the government…

    Zal Parson
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
     If you think a $101.7 million judgment for wrongful conviction will prompt the government to hold its prosecutors accountable—think twice!   In 2007, after a 22 day bench trial in a case involving one of the most bizarre and atrocious acts of prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner ordered a $101.7 million award for the wrongful conviction of four men, two of whom spent over three decades behind bars and the other two died behind bars for the crime the Government knew all along they did not commit. The award is believed to be the largest of…
  • Death Penalty Infographic

    Mike Semanchik
    29 Apr 2014 | 9:38 am
    Below is another Death Penalty Infographic sent over to us.  Given the 4% figure released yesterday, Texas should have granted clemency to more than 20 innocent people (not just 2).  The only way the US will find itself off the “Top 5 Countries” list is if people start educating themselves and speak up.  Do we really want to be on the shortlist with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq? The Death Penalty in the USA. Produced from
  • New Study: Death Row Sentences Likely Include 4% Innocent People

    Mike Semanchik
    28 Apr 2014 | 12:02 pm
    We have long thought about how frequent wrongful convictions are occurring in this country.  A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conservatively pinned death row wrongful convictions at just over 4%.  The percentage exonerated from this country’s death row over the same period of time was only 1.6% (see here).  What does that mean? It is likely many innocent people have been executed over the last four decades.  It also suggests we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the wrongful convictions movement. The study, titled The Rate of…
  • The Huang Case: A Tragedy in the Middle East

    Justin Brooks
    27 Mar 2014 | 1:49 pm
    The California Innocence Project represents the Huangs with the David House Agency. Today, the Qatari criminal justice system continued its absurd disregard for due process, equity, and common sense in the case of Matthew and Grace Huang, two Americans whose 6 year-old adopted daughter Gloria tragically died of complications relating to her early upbringing in impoverished Ghana. Qatari prosecutors accused the Huangs of murder, based on a theory of starvation in order to harvest and sell her organs, and were seeking the death penalty for Gloria’s death. They were sentenced to three years in…
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    Pensacola Florida Personal Injury and Social Security Lawyer

  • What Social Security Won’t Tell you

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    13 Oct 2014 | 9:23 pm
    When you apply for disability insurance benefits (DIB, also called SSDI or RSDI), Social Security does not tell you that you can (or should) hire a lawyer to assist you in your claim. The Right to Representation From the Beginning The Ortiz Law Firm is a disability law firm that was founded by Nick A. Ortiz, a Board Certified Social Security Disability Attorney. Mr. Ortiz advises claimants about how to get SSDI. Many claimants know they can hire an attorney to assist in the appeal process after a denial. However, many applicants are not aware that the applicant can have representation from…
  • Should I Hire a Disability Attorney to File a Claim for Disability?

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    13 Feb 2014 | 11:13 am
    Should I Hire a Disability Attorney to File a Claim for Disability or Go It Alone? Statistically, the majority (over 65%) of all Social Security Disability and SSI claims are denied at the initial application level. Approximately 88% continue to be denied at the Reconsideration level, which is the first level of appeal. Click here for a visual chart of Social Security’s allowance and denial rates for 2012 at each stage of the application process. An attorney can help prepare you case at each of these levels to help improve your chance of winning at each of these levels.  An attorney…
  • Encephalopathy and Disability

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    29 Jan 2014 | 2:18 pm
    Encephalopathy and Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability Encephalopathy is a general term for a disease that alters a person’s brain function and mental state. Some types of the disease include: Glycine encephalopathy – caused by a metabolic disorder (how the cells make energy); Hepatic encephalopathy – caused by liver damage; Hypoxic encephalopathy – caused by reduced oxygen to the brain; Static encephalopathy – permanent brain damage; Uremic encephalopathy – caused by toxins remaining in the body; Wernicke’s encephalopathy -caused by a…
  • Snow and Ice Accident Attorney

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    28 Jan 2014 | 10:41 pm
    Snow and Ice Accidents We are in the midst of a historic winter weather storm here in Northwest Florida. The sleet, snow, and freezing rain are causing ice to form on our roads and walkways and increase your risk of being involved in numerous accidents, including car accidents, premise liability accidents (such as slip-and-fall accidents) and fall accidents. Icy road conditions create deadly road conditions. The lack of traction on icy roads causes catastrophic injuries. Typically, such injury accidents occur because of the negligence of at least one of the drivers, or the failure of a…
  • Types of Claims After a Car Accident

    Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.
    25 Jan 2014 | 5:57 pm
    What claims can I make against the negligent at-fault driver? Below we will discuss the types of compensation that are available to injury victims after a car accident. Car Accident Damages After a car wreck, the accident victims may suffer a range of damages, including property damage losses and to medical bills expenses for personal injuries. These unexpected losses put a huge emotional and financial burden on those injured in the accident and forces them to spend time exploring their options to recover money to make them whole. The following is a list of some of the common types of…
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    Harrison County Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Texas businesses must keep their premises safe

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    When Texans go to a bank, a restaurant or a shopping mall, they expect the business to be safe. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. When unsafe conditions lead to a slip, trip or fall, Texans may have legal options. Falls are one of the most common causes of unintentional injuries. In 2011, falls led to nearly 9 million emergency room visits. Falls can also be fatal. In 2009, falls resulted in more than 25,000 deaths. The risk of injury and death go up with age. For example, the fatality rate from falls was four times higher for Americans 65 and older. But death is not the only…
  • Is drunk driving the only cause for erratic driving?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:34 am
    When Texans see other drivers driving erratically, drunk driving is often the first guess. But in many instances the erratic driver is not drunk. Instead, the driver is fatigued or sleepy. These drivers can be a serious danger to everyone else on the road. Indeed, drowsy driving leads to tens of thousands of crashes and thousands of lost lives every year. Among the groups of people that are most likely to drive drowsy are shift workers who work at night, or who work long or irregular hours. This often describes truck drivers who are under pressure to get their cargo from point A to point B as…
  • Improper maintenance leads to poisoning of customer?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    1 Oct 2014 | 12:17 pm
    When Texans treat themselves to a meal out, they hope their food and drinks will taste great; they take for granted that the food and drink will be safe. Usually they are right, but not always. Take, for instance, a recent trip to a restaurant that nearly proved fatal for one woman. A woman recently visited a barbecue joint. While there, she ordered some iced tea. Unbeknownst to her, the ice tea carried more than the traditional iced tea ingredients; it also contained lye, an odorless chemical similar in appearance to sugar that restaurants use to degrease deep fryers. It is also the active…
  • Texans do not have to endure burn injuries alone

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:53 am
    Not all injuries are created the same. One of the most traumatic is a burn injury. Whether caused by fire, a scalding liquid or something else, victims of a burn injury can face a long and painful road to recovery. Many will never fully recover -- no matter how many skin grafts they receive. These individuals may have to live with scarring, disfigurement and even lifelong disabilities. Whatever the reason for the burn injuries, Texans need to know they have legal remedies to make a bad situation better. These remedies can provide financial compensation to help pay medical bills, recoup lost…
  • Text messages are dangerous

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:46 am
    Texas driving can be a great convenience, but that convenience carries a responsibility to drive with care. If not, a car accident may be on the horizon. A common violation of that duty is driving while distracted. Distracted driving is driving while doing anything that draws your attention away from driving. Drivers can be distracted in many different ways. Some classic distractions are adjusting the radio, reading a map and eating and drinking. Some newer distractions are texting, looking at GPS and using a cell phone or smartphone. To see how dangerous these distractions can be, consider…
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    Tennessee Estate Law Blog

  • National Estate Planning Awareness Week

    Ryan Simmons
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:46 pm
    You have probably been told before that a day signified a certain nationwide event like National Donut Day or National Hot Dog Day. Often these days are used to celebrate and bring awareness to certain areas in life. The same goes for estate planning. October 20-26 marks this year’s National Estate Planning Awareness Week. While National Estate Planning Awareness Week does not sound like as much fun as National Donut Day, it does seem to hold much more importance. With upwards of 120 million Americans who are lacking an up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves or their families in the…
  • Fast Facts about Tennessee Probate

    Ryan Simmons
    14 Oct 2014 | 3:01 pm
    While the word “probate” encompasses a number of definitions, it is typically used to define the court process of transferring a decedent’s assets. Probate has seemingly gained a bad reputation in a number of states due to certain factors like the length of time and expense of a case. However, that reputation may be undeserving here in Tennessee. Every state has established different probate laws and procedures. The great thing about Tennessee is that often probate does not require the time or expense that it would require within other states. In in an effort to shorten the…
  • Preventing Family Feuds with Tennessee Estate Planning

    Ryan Simmons
    7 Oct 2014 | 12:27 pm
    In dealing with a tough family situation, many times stress and turmoil can become magnified causing even the closest of families to disagree on a number of issues. Whether it is disagreeing about the way an estate should be administered or who should be put in charge to handle a loved one’s finances, unfortunately these disagreements can have a lasting impact within a family. Parents may simply assume that any beneficiaries would get along and be on the same page if anything were to ever happen. However, any potential rifts can be prevented with proper estate planning. The following…
  • Adding Your Children as Joint Bank Account Owners?

    Ryan Simmons
    30 Sep 2014 | 2:52 pm
    An increasing number of elderly individuals in Tennessee have begun adding their children as joint account owners on their bank account. Understandably, older parents may need assistance in paying their bills or managing their finances. However, it is important to understand the risks in adding a joint owner and the alternatives that people have. If you have questions about what alternatives you or your loved ones may have, contact The Higgins Firm. In adding a child as a joint account owner on a bank account, many parents do not understand the impact that action can potentially have on a…
  • A Loved One Has Passed Away – Now What?

    Ryan Simmons
    23 Sep 2014 | 12:12 pm
    If you have experienced the death of a loved one, you know that the period of time following his or her passing can be a confusing and trying time. You may not know what to do or where to turn. If the person who passed, also known as the decedent, left behind assets, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to transfer those assets to the rightful recipients under the law. Those assets may or may not be required to go through the probate process in Tennessee. If you have questions about Tennessee probate, contact one of our Nashville probate attorneys. Following the death of a…
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    Maryland Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Maryland Governor O’Malley Establishes Commission on Child Custody Decision Making

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    16 Oct 2014 | 2:17 pm
    Child custody disputes are arguably among the most emotionally charged issues a couple will face during a divorce proceeding. In many cases, both spouses approach the issue of child custody with the hope of spending as much time with their child as possible after the divorce. And while the typical scenario involves two parents who certainly want what is best for their children, they often end up in heated arguments over just what that means. Parenting arrangements can take various forms, and what works for one family may be something very different from what works for another. If you are…
  • Maryland Court Denied Husband’s Effort to Terminate Alimony

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    30 Sep 2014 | 12:37 pm
    Divorce affects each family in a unique way. In most cases, however, the parties will have to address and resolve many emotional and financial matters. Some of the more significant financial issues concern child support, spousal support, and the division of marital property. Depending on the circumstances, one party may be entitled to spousal support (also known as “alimony”) from the other. Couples contemplating divorce are encouraged to consult with an experienced family law attorney early in the proceedings in order to ensure that their financial rights are protected. Since divorce…
  • Maryland Court Denied Husband’s Attempt to Set Aside Marital Settlement Agreements

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    15 Sep 2014 | 7:59 am
    In any divorce matter, it is important for each spouse to consult with his or her own attorney, who will seek to protect that person’s separate rights going forward. One of the most important documents that divorcing spouses often agree to is a marital settlement agreement or “MSA.” In many cases, the MSA will purport to resolve any number of issues, such as property division, alimony, child support, custody, and other matters. That agreement can be made part of the ultimate divorce judgment, depending on the circumstances and the parties’ wishes. At each step in the…
  • Maryland Court Affirms Child Support Award to Father

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:14 am
    As many people know, divorce can be difficult. There are serious practical, emotional and financial issues for the parties to identify, weigh, and hopefully resolve as amicably and quickly as possible. Since each family is unique, with its own set of personal facts and circumstances, there is no one simple solution for dissolution of marriage. The important thing to know, however, is that an experienced Maryland family law attorney can help to move your case along smoothly and efficiently, with the goal of protecting your interests and rights every step of the way. When a divorcing couple…
  • Maryland Court Reviews Father’s Efforts to Modify Child Custody Arrangement

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:34 am
    By its very nature, divorce divides a couple. Throughout the proceedings, spouses are expected to address and resolve many emotionally charged issues, such as child custody, visitation, division of property, spousal support, and many other significant matters. While many divorce cases are fraught with contentious conduct on behalf of one or both spouses, there are ways to approach a case with an eye toward moving the process along efficiently and amicably, while protecting one’s interests. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to consult with an experienced Maryland family law…
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    Houston Family Law Blog

  • Look out for yourself in an at-fault or no-fault divorce in Texas

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:53 pm
    When you are going through a divorce, you need to know that you have someone on your side. With the right legal help, you can be sure that your best interests are being taken to heart. Whether you want child custody or just want what property is yours, you need to know what your options really are. Most people decide to file for a no-fault divorce in Texas. There are other cases in which an at-fault divorce can be filed, though. For instance, if someone has been abused or suffered through adultery, then the divorce may fall under fault-based grounds. When you're ready to file for a divorce,…
  • Child custody and support: Texas rounds up nonpayers

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    10 Oct 2014 | 3:26 am
    Recently in Texas, 43 people who had not paid their child support on time were arrested for violating their court orders. The constable had taken steps in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division to help collect funds from those who had been avoiding their payments. According to the news, the focus on the warrants was for the parents who had failed to pay child support completely. The Attorney General states that it's important for parents to make regular child support payments. It's a moral and legal obligation, and by arresting the parents and collecting child…
  • What does paternity legally mean in Texas?

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    3 Oct 2014 | 8:36 am
    Paternity is very significant in Texas when it comes to your rights as a parent. With legal paternity of a child, you have a right to visitation and custody, and you also will be held responsible for caring for the child. Interestingly, just being on your child's birth certificate doesn't mean you have paternity. Paternity can be assumed voluntarily in some situations, like if you're married when your wife has a child. If you marry your girlfriend after she gives birth and sign a legitimation form, you will also be given paternity rights. If you try to marry the mother of the child when your…
  • Can a prenuptial agreement be invalidated in Texas?

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    25 Sep 2014 | 1:12 pm
    If you have a prenuptial agreement in place in Texas that is preventing you from getting the things you need out of your marriage, you might be interested in these reasons a premarital agreement could be seen as invalid. Firstly, if there is no written agreement, it can't be enforced. Simply agreeing that you won't get any money during a divorce isn't enough unless it's on paper. When it is written, the document has to be properly executed. That means that you both need to sign the paperwork before your wedding for it to be valid. If you didn't read the prenuptial agreement, it may not be…
  • Get your fair share out of your Texas divorce

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.