• Most Topular Stories

  • “American Law Is In A State Of Crisis”

    Walter Olson
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:15 pm
    James DeLong, lawyer, author, astute analyst of regulation and longtime friend of Overlawyered, has begun writing for Forbes and this is his inaugural post. It’s short — go read it now. His second post is on “ObamaCare, Chevron, and Congressional Delegation.” Way back in 1997 I reviewed Jim’s book Property Matters for the Wall Street Journal. Tweet Tags: administrative law, legal blogs, property rights “American Law Is In A State Of Crisis” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • “Pastors also have agreed… to preach environmentally focused sermons”

    Walter Olson
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:20 am
    In exchange for relief from a state-mandated stormwater remediation fee, and direct government subsidies to pay for property improvements intended to reduce runoff, some churches in Prince George’s County, Maryland have made an unusual commitment to the authorities. I explain, and raise questions, at Free State Notes. Since when does government get the power to cut churches tax breaks in exchange for their agreement to preach an approved line? Tweet Tags: churches, environment, First Amendment, Maryland “Pastors also have agreed… to preach environmentally focused…
  • Ethical Considerations When Using Social Media – Advertising and Solicitation

    Solo Practice University®
    Eva Hibnick
    13 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Many lawyers are scared of using social media because they fear violations of their state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Social media is a great channel for online brand awareness and client acquisition so there is no need to avoid it out of fear. All you have to do is educate yourself. Below are some basic principles on how to use social media ethically and effectively. I have included some LinkedIn profiles as examples but the principles apply across all social media channels.  *I have based my research largely on NY and California’s Rules of Professional Responsibility and several…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Immigration Reform, SEC Annual Report, Fracking Regulation

    Real Lawyers Have Blogs
    Colin O'Keefe
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:58 pm
    The news we’ve all been expecting is finally here. Or, more accurately, the news that we will actually get the news is here. Word comes that President Obama will announce his action on immigration reform and boy do we have you covered on LXBN: Zosha hits the subject with a written piece while I talk to Greg Eck for LXBN TV. President Obama to Announce Administrative Immigration Reform – Seattle lawyer Robert Neale of Jackson Lewis on the firm’s Immigration Blog Union Files NLRB Complaint Regarding the USPS’ Handing of Security Breach Involving Employee Personal Information…
  • November 20 roundup

    Walter Olson
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:05 pm
    More Than You Wanted To Know: favorable review of new Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl Schneider book on failure of mandatory disclosure regimes [George Leef, Cato Regulation, PDF, related earlier here and here] Colorful allegations: “Tampa lawyers can be questioned about DUI setup claims” [Tampa Bay Times] Intimidation the new norm: FCC head blockaded at his D.C. home to pressure him into OKing net regulation scheme [Washington Post; related, Sen. Mary Landrieu because of her support for Keystone pipeline; earlier here, here, here, etc.] Speaking of net neutrality debate, Jack Shafer…
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    Law Blog

  • Utah Considers Bringing Back the Firing Squad

    Joanna Chung
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:25 pm
    [wsj-video guid="3B0F9912-451A-4065-9DBD-83277053F752"] Utah is considering bringing back the firing squad, the latest state to  propose laws to revive older execution methods, in the event that lethal-injection becomes infeasible. Tennessee earlier this year passed a law allowing for use of the electric chair as a backup plan. Lawmakers in Wyoming are also contemplating a bill that would bring back the firing squad.
  • FCC Lays Groundwork for More Curbs on Prisoner Call Rates

    Joe Palazzolo
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:38 am
    Regulators are considering banning payments made by telecommunications companies to states for the exclusive rights to provide call services in their prisons and jails, the latest effort by the Federal Communications Commission to rein in rates for inmates’ telephone calls.
  • Q&A: What Is Obama Going to Announce on Immigration?

    Laura Meckler
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:59 am
    Answers to top questions on President Obama’s planned actions on immigration.
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  • “Pastors also have agreed… to preach environmentally focused sermons”

    Walter Olson
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:20 am
    In exchange for relief from a state-mandated stormwater remediation fee, and direct government subsidies to pay for property improvements intended to reduce runoff, some churches in Prince George’s County, Maryland have made an unusual commitment to the authorities. I explain, and raise questions, at Free State Notes. Since when does government get the power to cut churches tax breaks in exchange for their agreement to preach an approved line? Tweet Tags: churches, environment, First Amendment, Maryland “Pastors also have agreed… to preach environmentally focused…
  • “American Law Is In A State Of Crisis”

    Walter Olson
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:15 pm
    James DeLong, lawyer, author, astute analyst of regulation and longtime friend of Overlawyered, has begun writing for Forbes and this is his inaugural post. It’s short — go read it now. His second post is on “ObamaCare, Chevron, and Congressional Delegation.” Way back in 1997 I reviewed Jim’s book Property Matters for the Wall Street Journal. Tweet Tags: administrative law, legal blogs, property rights “American Law Is In A State Of Crisis” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • November 20 roundup

    Walter Olson
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:05 pm
    More Than You Wanted To Know: favorable review of new Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl Schneider book on failure of mandatory disclosure regimes [George Leef, Cato Regulation, PDF, related earlier here and here] Colorful allegations: “Tampa lawyers can be questioned about DUI setup claims” [Tampa Bay Times] Intimidation the new norm: FCC head blockaded at his D.C. home to pressure him into OKing net regulation scheme [Washington Post; related, Sen. Mary Landrieu because of her support for Keystone pipeline; earlier here, here, here, etc.] Speaking of net neutrality debate, Jack Shafer…
  • Westminster, Mass., and the well-tended grass roots of tobacco bans

    Walter Olson
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:20 am
    Townspeople came out loudly and in force to oppose the proposed Westminster, Mass. ban on all tobacco sales, and that has thrown advocates back a bit [New York Times, MassLive, earlier]: “They’re just taking away everyday freedoms, little by little,” said Nate Johnson, 32, an egg farmer who also works in an auto body shop, as he stood outside the store last week. “This isn’t about tobacco, it’s about control,” he said. Right he is. And despite the Times reporter’s lifted eyebrow at the notion that “outside groups” are encouraging town officials to go forward…
  • At Cato next Monday: “Free Speech and Minority Rights: the One, Inc. v. Olesen Case”

    Walter Olson
    18 Nov 2014 | 9:55 pm
    Next Monday, Nov. 24, Cato will host a luncheon panel on the 1956 Supreme Court case of One, Inc., v. Olesen, a little case with big implications that reverberate to this day. Panelists include attorneys Lisa Linsky (McDermott Will & Emery) and Robert Corn-Revere (Davis Wright Tremaine) and author/Brookings fellow Jonathan Rauch, and I’ll be moderating. From the description: Sixty years ago the U.S. Supreme Court’s first case on gay rights was set in motion. It has been neglected through many of the intervening years but is now recognized as a landmark in the law of free speech.
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    Solo Practice University®

  • Why You Have To Sweat the Small Stuff

    Laura Loyek
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Attorney Jane Brooks* has a successful solo practice and enjoys a great reputation in her community.  In more than thirty years of practice, she had never had a malpractice claim.  That changed with one real estate matter.  Her story is a reminder that a minor mistake can have huge consequences and that the devil truly is in the details. In late December 2012, Brooks received a call from Thomas Kelly about a real estate closing.  Kelly explained that he had been attempting to sell a piece of property for years and had finally found a buyer.  There were a few issues.  The buyer was not…
  • Leaving Your Employer on Good Terms

    Joleena Louis
    18 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    One of the issues I was concerned about the most when I decided to go solo was how to leave the firm I was working for. It was a small family owned firm and I had grown close to everyone there. Despite my reasons for leaving and any problems I may have had with them it was important to me to be professional and leave on good terms. I think I stayed a little longer than I should have because I really didn’t know how to tell them that I was leaving. I still wanted to have a positive relationship with them when I left and I didn’t want to burn any bridges. So I reached out to my network for…
  • Taking Home The Bacon

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    When I first started consulting many years ago, one of my first clients was a lawyer debating going solo after realizing he could earn far more on his own than trying to become a partner in the firm where he worked.  In order to get a raise he would have had to triple his earnings for the firm.  When he realized if he was going to work that hard it might as well all go in his own pocket,  going out on his own was just too obvious a solution to ignore. But it’s not just about numbers. We went through all the pros and cons, his unique situation, his goals for both his personal and…
  • Ethical Considerations When Using Social Media – Advertising and Solicitation

    Eva Hibnick
    13 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    Many lawyers are scared of using social media because they fear violations of their state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Social media is a great channel for online brand awareness and client acquisition so there is no need to avoid it out of fear. All you have to do is educate yourself. Below are some basic principles on how to use social media ethically and effectively. I have included some LinkedIn profiles as examples but the principles apply across all social media channels.  *I have based my research largely on NY and California’s Rules of Professional Responsibility and several…
  • Embracing Your Inner Techie Lawyer

    Suzanne Meehle
    11 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    I am a techie lawyer. I was a database and systems engineer for medical practice management software systems and electronic training systems for over a decade before I decided to go back to law school. When my fellow law students had a technical problem with their laptops, they were as likely to come to me for assistance as they were to go to someone in the law school’s IT department. And I’m married to a web applications developer, so we talk about software and systems all. the. time. So when I say that I like someone’s application, there’s usually a techie rationale…
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    Above the Law

  • My Overreaction To Potentially Sane Discovery Policies

    Ed Sohn
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:35 pm
    What will the impact of "proportional" discovery be on the legal industry?
  • Five eDiscovery Lessons from Top Firms that Lawyers Can Implement Now

    20 Nov 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Above the Law has launched a brand new eDiscovery Resource Center in partnership with Recommind. Stay on top of the ever-changing eDiscovery and predictive coding landscape with our practical tips, insightful white papers, and webinars. The past few months have been a blur as I have traveled the country visiting law firms.  With summer winding down (as well as ILTA14 now in the rearview mirror), it seemed like a good time to see what lessons could be distilled from firms that are having real success in discovery practice. 1. Focus on finding what matters Despite all of the articles lamenting…
  • 20 Nov 2014 | 12:08 pm

    20 Nov 2014 | 12:08 pm
    Regardless of how protected you think you are, TCPA lawsuits continue to rise. With a 70% increase since 2012, it’s clear that companies are putting themselves at risk each day they de-prioritize their protection strategy. Attend this webinar to learn how you can help clients protect themselves. (Sponsored)
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    Simple Justice

  • The Theft of Transparency

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:08 am
    Not that there is anything new when it comes to the politicalization of views as to Ferguson, Missouri, and the killing of Michael Brown, but Paul Cassell at Volokh Conspiracy has added a new twist of extraordinary bias and cynicism to the mix. It appears to be widely (although not universally) assumed that the grand jury will not return any charges against Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Brown. Some persons sympathetic to the filing of charges have argued that this procedure is not “transparent.”  Part of the argument is that grand jury proceedings…
  • Judge Buzz Arnold: No Harm, No Foul, No Chance

    20 Nov 2014 | 5:14 am
    The argument took place in 2008, but it’s just coming to light now because terrorists.  Tim Cushing at Techdirt offers some highlights of the government’s view of how and why the government justifies its surveillance, contained in the just-released “oral arguments presented by Yahoo’s counsel (Mark Zwillinger) and the US Solicitor General (Gregory Garre).” Included are such gems as this: Zwillinger opens up the arguments by questioning the government’s methods of determining who should be placed under surveillance. Why I show this to you is because I think…
  • How And Why Lawyers Are Killing Our Profession

    20 Nov 2014 | 4:07 am
    I stumbled across a post by Dan Jaffe at LawLytics, a lawyer marketing company, that every lawyer needs to read.  Ironic for a legal marketer, Jaffe explains, in a very lengthy, but deeply substantive and nuanced fashion, how we are diminishing ourselves for a buck, and why that buck is going to others rather than us. Much as I occasionally touch on pieces of this problem, Jaffe lays it all out, chapter and verse. The post is titled “How much is that lawyer in the window? The secret commoditization of the legal profession,” and he means it.  And he explains it.  Just to whet…
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    Law and Magic Blog

  • The Amazing Career of the Amazing Randi

    7 Nov 2014 | 1:03 pm
    In the New York Times, a long article about the career and opinions of James "The Amazing" Randi. Adam Higginbotham discusses not just Randi's work but lawsuits brought against him by Uri Geller, and recent problems his longtime companion has had with U.S. Immigration.
  • Coolini!

    5 Nov 2014 | 8:19 am
    Magician Smoothini on America's Got Talent, courtesy of the San Francisco Globe. More here from the America's Got Talent website.
  • 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…
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    What About Paris?

  • Learn Them and Fit In: The Seven Unshakeable Habits of Tragically Clueless Lawyers.

    JD Hull
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:32 am
    Lawyers who won't take a stand is a time-honored tradition. Ernie from Glen Burnie, a lawyer and a life-long friend of mine, is not such a creature. It's just his nature. He's an activist in all matters. He'll stand up for people who pay him--and for people he just met on the subway. In late 1995, when the championship Netherlands Women's National Volleyball Team were staying at the Mayflower, Ernie, I and two lawyer from the DC office of [firm name deleted] met the four tallest at Clyde's.....sorry, we're getting sidetracked. There are so many wonderful stories about Ernie from Glen Burnie…
  • William Jefferson Clinton: Lame Duck This, Everyone.

    JD Hull
    17 Nov 2014 | 8:25 pm
    Danny Johnston/AP William Jefferson Clinton. Love him or hate him, he always comes ready to play. MSNBC: Bill Clinton’s advice to Obama: Have fun during final two years. The piece is by Alex Seitz-Wald and it begins: LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Former President Bill Clinton on Saturday urged President Obama to have fun and cut deals with Republicans now that the GOP controls both chambers of Congress. Clinton also said Obama’s decision to delay executive action on immigration until after the election likely depressed Latino turnout. “I never bought this whole lame duck deal. I just…
  • The Book of Kells: Lots of gods are at play here.

    JD Hull
    17 Nov 2014 | 1:25 am
    The Book of Kells: Is there anything more beautiful? Below is Folio 292r (circa 800) of The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament. It's housed at Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland. This page opens the Gospel of John. Illustrations in the Book of Kells are bursting with pre-Christian, pagan and Celtic symbols and motifs that had evolving, mixing and merging in Ireland for nearly 8000 years before Christianity. The effect is a religious document of mixed media that ranges from the playful, sexual and mystical to the deeply devout and…
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    How Appealing

  • "Judge Easterbrook delivers inaugural Scalia lecture: Interpreting the Unwritten Constitution."

    Howard Bashman
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:44 am
    "Judge Easterbrook delivers inaugural Scalia lecture: Interpreting the Unwritten Constitution." Harvard Law Today has this report. You can access on YouTube via this link the video of Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook's remarks.
  • "PA: Court Declines to Adopt R3: Products Liability."

    Howard Bashman
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:40 am
    "PA: Court Declines to Adopt R3: Products Liability." Christopher J. Robinette has this post today at "TortsProf Blog." Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consisted of a majority opinion and a concurring and dissenting opinion.
  • "State Supreme Court upholds $500K damage cap for suits against schools, municipalities"

    Howard Bashman
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:20 am
    "State Supreme Court upholds $500K damage cap for suits against schools, municipalities": Matt Miller of The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has this update. And The Associated Press has a report headlined "Court: $500K limit proper for girl run over by Pennsbury bus." Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consisted of a majority opinion and a concurring opinion.
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    Legal Juice

  • Bad Day To Go Car Shopping Here

    John Mesirow
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:07 pm
    “Of all the car dealers in all the towns in all the world, he walks into this one.” (If you don’t recognize this paraphrased quote, see #67.) As reported by Will Greenlee at A man accused of running around a car dealership with balloons after downing a bottle of booze and possibly chasing people with a machete was arrested, according to statements in a recently released arrest affidavit. Yikes. You can read more, and see the gent’s mug shot, here.
  • You’re Really Denying The Birthday Boy His Breakfast Choice?

    John Mesirow
    18 Nov 2014 | 9:10 pm
    To some folks birthdays are just another day. To others, they are a really big deal. This gent is definitely in the latter group.  As reported by The Gainesville Sun: James E. Irving Jr., 44, got into a fight with his live-in girlfriend over his birthday present and preferred celebratory breakfast, according to a Gainesville Police Department booking report and information provided by GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias. Irving wanted pancakes and instead got waffles. Oh no you didn’t just serve me waffles! To express his disdain, Irving poked his girlfriend in the eye, which prompted a…
  • When You’re Drunk, Stupid Things Happen

    John Mesirow
    17 Nov 2014 | 9:05 pm
    We’ve all been there. You drink to much, and you do something stupid. Usually though, not this stupid.  As reported in the Colorado Springs Police Department’s blotter: Incident Date: November 15, 2014 Colorado Springs police received a 911 call shortly before 9 p.m. reporting that gunshots could be heard coming from inside a home on the 1200 block of Royale Drive. As officers arrived at the home described by the reporting party, they saw its front door open. At that time they heard numerous gunshots being fired from inside the home. Reacting immediately, officers moved inside…
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    JURIST - Paper Chase

  • EU high court advisor rejects UK challenge to banker bonus cap legislation

    20 Nov 2014 | 10:43 am
    [JURIST] Advocate General Niilo Jaaskinen [official profile] of the European Court of Justice [official website] issued an opinion Thursday endorsing an EU plan to cap [EU backgrounder] bankers' bonuses. The UK had challenged [BBC report] the cap, which restricts bonuses to 100 percent of banker's pay or 200 percent with shareholder approval. The non-binding opinion rejected the UK government's six legal and technical arguments against the EU legislation, but the matter still requires a final judgement from the court. The British Banking Association (BBA) [official website] criticized the…
  • Supreme Court refuses to block same-sex marriage in South Carolina

    20 Nov 2014 | 10:14 am
    [JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] refused [order, PDF] a request to block same-sex marriages in South Carolina on Thursday, making it the thirty-fifth US state [website] where same-sex marriage is legal. The lower court in South Carolina had lifted the state's same-sex marriage ban earlier this month, and the Attorney General had asked [JURIST reports] the higher court to temporarily block the ruling, which the Supreme Court refused to do. Two of the Supreme Court's conservative members, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were in favor of blocking the lower court's…
  • Amnesty: Syrian refugees facing border abuse, destitution in Turkey

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:04 am
    [JURIST] Syrian refugees are facing human rights abuses [press release] and destitution as they flee into Turkey, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said Thursday. The report [text, PDF], "Struggling to Survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey," addresses hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have faced live fire at the Turkish border and destitution inside Turkey, while the international community is reluctant to take financial responsibility for the refugee crisis. Even though Turkey has opened its borders to Syrian refugees, the Turkish government is reportedly struggling…
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  • Call for Papers -- Family Law Workshop at University of Illinois

    Jason Mazzone
    12 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am
    My colleague, Robin Fretwell Wilson, is organizing the inaugural Harry Krause Emerging Family Law Scholars Workshop at the University of Illinois College of Law on Monday, January 19, 2015. The workshop is an opportunity for junior scholars (teaching for seven years or less) to present papers and receive feedback from more senior scholars -- in family law and related fields. The deadline for submission of brief paper proposals is December 1, 2014. Full details about the event and submission information at this link.
  • For Veterans Day, Read about a Soldier

    Mary L. Dudziak
    11 Nov 2014 | 9:44 am
    November 11, or Veterans Day, was once called Armistice Day, the official ending of World War I. Congress created the official national holiday in 1926noting that "it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations." Peace would be fleeting, however, and the United States would have many more veterans to honor. Along the way, November 11 became a day to honor all veterans. In the 21st century, the holiday receives more notice than a…
  • Ready to Throw in the Towel

    Gerard N. Magliocca
    9 Nov 2014 | 9:49 am
    Over the past few years, Jack and I have had a friendly disagreement about how to characterize the Obama presidency.  I've argued that Obama was a reconstructive president (in the mode of Ronald Reagan or Andrew Jackson) who was in the process of creating a new constitutional regime.  Jack has taken the view that President Obama is a preemptive president (more like Bill Clinton), who takes  opportunities when he can but has not fundamentally changed the political order.  I based my view on the President's broad victory in 2008, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in…
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  • "How, my students wondered, was it possible for such incendiary material to be both public and simultaneously hidden from view..."

    20 Nov 2014 | 9:09 am
    "... 'something walled off from our collective understanding of Bill Cosby'?" asks Rebecca Traister at The New Republic.White people loved “The Cosby Show,” especially liberal white people. They loved it ...  because it offered a warm vision of a world in which shared experience might help Americans of all colors to see past racial divisions and instead focus on the places where they connected...Any suggestion that white people were culpable in the history of racism that the show addressed mostly through reference to mid-twentieth-century activism. White audiences were never made to…
  • "As I walk this land of broken dreams/I have visions of many things/But happiness is just an illusion..."

    20 Nov 2014 | 8:23 am
    "... filled with sadness and confusion/What becomes of the broken hearted/Who had love that's now departed?"Now, departed: Jimmy Ruffin. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted is one of the most perfect records ever made, a nugget of starkly articulated loss and longing made palatable by the strident piano and drum rhythm, anthemic melody, lush denseness of the strings and ethereal uplift of soaring backing vocals. It is the essence of bittersweetness, the quality that empowered Motown's most soulful recordings, a ballad that physically moves rather than gathering in a maudlin puddle of self-pity,…
  • "Dressing up was my mother’s way of taking control, and making sure that she felt her best going into a situation that..."

    20 Nov 2014 | 8:15 am
    "... though she didn’t betray it at the time, left her shaken and scared....  Now that I live in San Francisco, land of the billionaire hoodie, I never see anyone who looks like my mother. It’s clear that in Silicon Valley, there’s a strong relationship between informality and innovation, and I wonder how my mother would feel about that..."From a NYT op-ed by Anna Nordberg with the title "Dressing Like My Mother."
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    Concurring Opinions

  • FAN 41 (First Amendment News) Three Harvard Law Review essays discuss Justice Breyer’s free speech jurisprudence

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:44 am
    Judge Breyer has a unique zig-zag style.– Ralph Nader (confirmation hearing statement, July 15, 1994) I do not rest my conclusion upon a strict categorical analysis. – Justice Stephen Breyer(concurring in United States v. Alvarez, June 28, 2012) The single most important area of Breyer’s work on the Court has been his opinions on the First Amendment, in which he has developed a unique and pathbreaking approach to issues of freedom of speech. — Paul Gewirtz (Yale Law Journal, 2006) On the one hand . . . but then on the other When it comes to free speech, he is…
  • Is Using USNews Ranking in Making Hiring Decisions Discriminatory?

    Dave Hoffman
    18 Nov 2014 | 5:12 pm
    That’s what Drexel 3L William Hanrahan claims in a newly filed complaint against Dechert LLP.  According to Hanrahan, though he ranks #4 in Drexel’s class, Dechert (and other large firms) hire disproportionately from higher ranked schools, and consequently refused to hire him.  Why is that a problem? Well, here’s what the complaint says: Hanrahan, who suffers from “Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a concomitant non-verbal learning disability,” also argues that Drexel accepted more students than other local schools with disabilities,…
  • The Flawed Foundations of Article III Standing in Surveillance Cases (Part IV)

    Jeff Vagle
    17 Nov 2014 | 1:15 pm
    In my first three posts, I’ve opened a critical discussion of Article III standing for plaintiffs challenging government surveillance programs by introducing the 1972 Supreme Court case of Laird v. Tatum. In today’s post, I’ll examine the Court’s decision itself, which held that chilling effects arising “merely from the individual’s knowledge” of likely government surveillance did not constitute adequate injury to meet Article III standing requirements. It didn’t take long for courts to embrace Laird as a useful tool to dismiss cases where plaintiffs sought to challenge…
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • The Ethics of Communicating With Clients Online

    20 Nov 2014 | 12:23 pm
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "The Ethics of Communicating With Your Clients Online."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. The Ethics of Communicating With Your Clients Online I’ve been writing about cloud computing — where your data and software are stored on servers owned and maintained by a third party — since 2008. And for years now I’ve asserted that Web-based computing is the future and that lawyers can ethically use it for the purposes of storing confidential client information as long as they exercise reasonable care in choosing their legal…
  • Another NYS Bar Decision On Virtual Offices

    7 Nov 2014 | 6:56 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Another NYS Bar Decision On Virtual Offices."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Another NYS Bar Decision On Virtual Offices In September I wrote about a recent decision on virtual law offices handed down by the New York City Bar Association in Formal Opinion 2014-2. In it, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York Committee on Professional Ethics concluded that it was ethically permissible for an attorney contemplating opening a virtual law office to use the VLO address as her “principal law office address” and…
  • NY bar on ethics of cloud computing – again

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

    David Zaring
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:53 am
    Which means a redo of the argument.  We'll outsource, via Corporate Counsel, to Cooley: The D.C. Circuit court of Appeals has granted the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for panel rehearing (and the motion of Amnesty to file a supplemental brief) in connection with the conflict minerals case,National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v. SEC. (The Court also ordered that the petitions filed for rehearing en banc be deferred pending disposition of the petitions for panel rehearing.) [In prior litigation, the D.C. Circuit,] "specifically citing the NAM conflict…
  • Bainbridge on Fee-Shifting Bylaws

    Usha Rodrigues
    18 Nov 2014 | 12:28 pm
    5 days ago the WSJ published an opinion piece on Delaware's fee shifting bylaws.  I read it with interest, thinking "Maybe I should blog about that."  Life intervened. In the meantime, my friend Steve Bainbridge posted not one, but two blogposts--footnoted, no less--on the topic.  I feel dispiritingly inadequate.  But I also feel hearteningly efficient: Steve's made my work easier by first describing the fee-shifting bylaw on the merits (first post), and then applying an interest group analysis (second post) You should read both Steve's posts, but what grabs me is the interest-group…
  • Battling A SIFI Designation

    David Zaring
    17 Nov 2014 | 1:54 am
    Over at DealBook, I've got a take on MetLife's claim that it will be suing over its designation as a systemically important financial institution.  A taste: Congress gave the government 10 factors to take into account when making a too-big-to-fail designation. This sort of multiple-factor test all but requires regulators to balance values that have different degrees of quantifiability. Some can be counted, like the amount of leverage and off-balance sheet exposure. But others like “the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness and mix of the activities of the company”…
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    Ms. JD Blog

  • Different Faces of Follow Up

    18 Nov 2014 | 9:01 am
    Though follow up can take many different approaches, the overall non-negotiable component involves any action step which provokes the other party (existing client, prospect, etc.) to want to continue contact with you. You are focused on cultivating and nurturing relationships which will ultimately be mutually beneficial and add value. A few examples of effective follow up include: Brief thank you emails following an event (networking, educational programs, or entertainment). Handwritten notes of congratulations for personal or business accomplishments.   Links to a relevant news article…
  • How Are Your Listening Skills?

    Susan Smith Blakely
    16 Nov 2014 | 12:01 pm
    Listening skills are some of those things that we all need to improve from time to time. Achieving good listening skills is a critical step toward growth as a manager or an employer in all legal-related businesses, and it is even more critical in your role as a lawyer.  If advice and counsel is a lawyer's stock in trade (which was clearly stated on a sign in the first of my father's law offices that I remember), the best advice and counsel is derived from listening to the facts, to the opinions of others and especially to contrary opinions.  Listen first and advise…
  • Women Lawyers Can Make A Difference

    Susan Smith Blakely
    16 Nov 2014 | 11:58 am
    One day last week, I was driving down the beautiful George Washington Parkway on the way from my home in Virginia to catch a train from DC to NYC to spend a few days with my daughter. It was a beautiful day, which included a splendid display of fall foliage mixed with the natural tones and textures of rustic stone walls and dramatic views of the Potomac River below.  The effect was to charm me, comfort me and make me love our Nation's Capital as I always have. My public radio station was playing in the background, but my focus was on beauty and contentedness. I am a lucky woman, and…
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    Biker and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

  • Happy Veterans Day 2014 from Biker Law Blog

    Norman Gregory Fernandez
    11 Nov 2014 | 3:23 am
    California Attorney and Military Veteran Norman Gregory Fernandez in Basic Training, March 1981, age 17. Many moons ago on a sunny day, my girlfriend, my father, and my childhood friend who I grew up with drove me from the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles Airport for my trip to United States Air Force basic training. I had just turned 17 a few months earlier, and hadn’t even started shaving yet. It was February, 1981. All my friends were still in high school, and 12 grade. I opted to skip 12 grade to go into the military. I was a long haired blond kid from the San Fernando Valley dressed…
  • My Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Yellowstone Picture Movie

    Norman Gregory Fernandez
    31 Aug 2014 | 12:50 pm
    On July 31 – August 13th, 2014 I traveled to the 74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and to Yellowstone for the 3rd consecutive year. The below movie is a slideshow movie of the pictures I took at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Yellowstone. This year I took less pictures than last year because I concentrated more on riding, and I was rained in for about a day and a half on this trip. Enjoy the movie. Click here to view the embedded video. By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © August 31, 2014 The post My Sturgis Motorcycle Rally…
  • How to get to your fuse panel on your Harley Davidson Electra glide motorcycle

    Norman Gregory Fernandez
    11 Jul 2014 | 11:26 pm
    I have created a series of videos to help people wrench on their Harley Davidson motorcycles. The below video discusses not only how to get to the fuse panel on your Harley Davidson Electra glide motorcycle, it also teaches you how to remove your hard saddlebags, how to remove your seat, and how to put it all back together again. I realize that I am I California motorcycle accident lawyer, but like all bikers I love to wrench on my motorcycle. I hope you enjoy the below video, and I’m sure it’ll help many people who don’t blow to get to their fuse box, or how to remove their hard…
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Unconditionally Rejected

    Legal Profession Prof
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:08 am
    The Florida Supreme Court has denied admission to an applicant who received his law degree in April 2005 and passed the bar exam in February 2006. The court rejected the recommendation of the Board of Bar Examiners to admit the...
  • When A Lawyer Defaults On Bar Charges

    Legal Profession Prof
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:19 am
    The Maryland Court of Appeals has disbarred an attorney for misconduct described in the headnote to the case The Court of Appeals disbarred attorney who gave incorrect advice to a client in an immigration matter, told the client that he...
  • Lawyer Gets Paid

    Legal Profession Prof
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:04 am
    An attorney was properly paid a fee of over half a million dollars for his work in a contested probate matter, according to a decision of the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department Karen Cullin retained James...
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  • Cloud Computing for Lawyers in British Columbia

    18 Nov 2014 | 2:04 pm
    A fascinating blog post about the uncertainty surrounding the use of any non-British Columbia cloud providers by BC lawyers. See Did the LSBC Just Kill Cloud Computing for Lawyers in BC?. (Select the title of this post to view a link to the article.) The President of the BC Law Society clarified her remarks that prompted the more
  • 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. (
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    China Law Blog

  • China’s Typical Expats

    20 Nov 2014 | 9:18 am
  • China Antitrust Laws: Key Developments

    20 Nov 2014 | 3:58 am
    Last week, China’s Supreme Court handed down what will likely be a seminal antitrust ruling. In the case of Qihoo v. Tencent, Qihoo alleged that Tencent had violated China’s anti-monopoly law, in particular by alleging that Tencent had abused its dominance. This was the first anti-monopoly case heard by the Supreme Court and the Court used its decision to elaborate on many key antitrust law issues. By doing so, this case offers substantial guidance regarding China’s anti-monopoly laws. A number of King & Wood lawyers have written a post, entitled, The Supreme Court Goes…
  • China and Hollywood — A Front-Row Seat with Clifford Coonan: In Beijing on November 20

    19 Nov 2014 | 4:35 am
    In his capacity as chairman of AmCham China’s Media & Entertainment Forum, Mathew Alderson, who heads our China entertainment team out of Beijing, frequently invites distinguished guests to speak about media and entertainment issues in China. This Thursday (tomorrow), November 20, starting at noon in Beijing, Mathew will be moderating a talk by well-known journalist Clifford Coonan, Asia Bureau Chief of the Hollywood Reporter. Clifford will be talking about the relationship between Hollywood and China.” Go here for more information. We hope to see you there.
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    Patent Baristas

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

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

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

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

  • House Holds Hearings On Religious Accommodation In Military

    Howard Friedman
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:19 am
    Yesterday, the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services. The full texts of the prepared statements of five witnesses, plus statements submitted for the record by a member of Congress and ten advocacy organizations, are available at the Committee's website.
  • Ten North Carolina Magistrates Leave Over Performing Same-Sex Marriages

    Howard Friedman
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:05 am
    Time Warner News reported yesterday that in North Carolina, at least ten magistrates resigned or took early retirement last month because of their opposition to performing same-sex marriages. On Oct. 14, the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts ruled that magistrates must perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples who present a license in the same way they do for opposite-sex couples. (See prior posting.) There are a total of 672 magistrates in the state.
  • Court Upholds College's Vaccination Requirement Over Free Exercise Challenge

    Howard Friedman
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    In George v. Kankakee Community College, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160737 (CD IL, Nov. 17, 2014), an Illinois federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161379, Oct. 27, 2014) and dismissed a  paramedic student's claim that his free exercise and privacy rights were infringed when he was precluded from taking a clinical class required for his degree. Nicholas George was not permitted to enroll because he refused on religious grounds to comply with the vaccination requirements that were imposed by the hospital conducting the class.  The court…
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  • Well, yes, I do have fun

    Ron Coleman
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:23 am
    I hate @RonColeman because he has more fun practicing law than I get to have. Hate. Hate. Hate. — The Original SPQR (@SPQRzilla) October 27, 2014 Yes, it looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is.  I recognize that I am very fortunate in that regard, considering how seldom it is (fun) for many of my colleagues.  Which, I’m pretty sure, is very seldom. I always want to recall the time an older colleague and sometimes-mentor said to me, as we sat as co-counsel in the well before a jury trial in federal court, “Can you believe we get to do…
  • Admit it:

    Ron Coleman
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Originally posted 2007-05-05 23:34:26. Republished by Blog Post PromoterYou have nothing better to do. If you did, you wouldn’t be reading blogs. So, please take my blog reader survey!
  • Eiffel Tower “copyright”: I didn’t

    Ron Coleman
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Demain Anne Hidalgo est sur la Tour pour goûter au vertige du vide! La tour dans ses nvx atours…. — pierre eric spitz (@sprichtt) October 5, 2014 Just saying:  If you thought I fell for that spin last week that went along the lines of “it’s against the law to take a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night” — well, no, I didn’t. Let’s first get things first here, first. A good summary of the case being claimed is this: Although the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889, placing it in the public domain by virtue of its age, the…
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • How times have changed: Reed gone in Bexar, McCrum cleared

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:14 am
    How quickly circumstances can change. Readers may recall this post from February suggesting that Bexar DA Susan Reed sought contempt charges against attorney Michael McCrum (for allegedly telling a witness to "get lost") in retaliation for court filings in other cases alleging misconduct by Reed and her office, including an alleged (and denied) sexual affair by Reed herself with a defendant in one of his cases.Since then, somewhat unthinkably, Susan Reed has been voted out of office while McCrum, somewhat less surprisingly, rose to statewide prominence as special prosecutor against Gov. Rick…
  • Pricetag for DPS, Texas National Guard border adventure approaching one billion dollars

    19 Nov 2014 | 8:41 am
    So, lame ducks Rick Perry and David Dewhurst plan to commit the state to spending $86 million to continue the much ballyhooed border surge until August. Reported the Texas Tribune, "Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday that he, House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst had reached an agreement that will cost about $86 million. If approved by the Legislative Budget Board, that spending will not need a green light from incoming lawmakers, who are set to gavel in in January."And how to pay for it? "Perry said in the statement that the funding will include $13.7…
  • Trying, in vain, to care about Rick Perry criminal charges

    19 Nov 2014 | 7:24 am
    I've tried to feign interest in Rick Perry's indictment and the news that Judge Bert Richardson for now will allow the case to go forward. Really. Half the Austin press corps seems to be following the involved lawyers around like a gaggle of groupies, so it must be Very Important. It's just that my efforts have been hindered by my not caring so profoundly.As governor, Rick Perry is on his way out and though Grits wishes him well, I don't particularly anticipate his ascension to the presidency, whether or not the charges stick. (Hell, in a Republican primary, strong-arming a drunken Democrat…
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    Blonde Justice

  • Grumpy Justice

    Blonde Justice
    10 Nov 2014 | 10:50 am
    Step One: Identify whether you are a "loud talker."Step Two: Learn to shut your office door, especially when you are on personal calls.Seriously, you are all the way down the hall and I can't concentrate.
  • Gee, Thanks.

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

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

  • Pennsylvania Product Liability – Azzarello Is Dead, Long Live…?

    20 Nov 2014 | 11:24 am
    Bexis is pretty pleased this morning.  Almost eighteen years ago, to the day, he filed his first brief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court challenging the negligence/strict liability dichotomy adopted in Azzarello v. Black Brothers Co., 391 A.2d 1020 (Pa. 1978) (in a case called Spino).  Over twelve years ago, he filed his first outright “overrule Azzarello” brief (in a case called Phillips).  Well, yesterday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did precisely that – it overruled Azzarello – unanimously in an opinion written by Chief Justice Castille.  In the end, even…
  • Breaking News II - Tincher Decided in Pennsylvania - Azzarello Overruled

    19 Nov 2014 | 2:30 pm
    This is as short as the Tincher majority opinion (137 pp.) is long.  Azzarello is overruled.  The preliminary judicial evaluation of "unreasonable danger" is abolished.  The jury considers it under a dual standard.  The negligence/strict liability dichotomy originating in Azzarello is gone.  The Third Restatement is not adopted.  Haven't finished reading.  There will be more tomorrow about this.
  • Breaking Bauman News from California

    Steven Boranian
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:21 pm
    This is short – but very sweet.  Regular readers will recall the California appellate decision that we criticized in our “Hotel California” post back in August.  In that case, the court avoided the restrictions that Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), had imposed on “general” personal jurisdiction by transferring wholesale the prior “continuous and substantial” rationale to “specific” personal jurisdiction.  See Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 175 Cal.Rptr.3d 412 (Cal. App. 2014). Well, today the California Supreme Court granted…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • Can we save Cliff Huxtable from Bill Cosby?

    Kent Scheidegger
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:55 am
    Alexandra Petri's column in the WaPo is advertised as "a lighter take on the news and political in(s)anity of the day."  Today, though, she offers a serious and thoughtful look at an important question.
  • Confidentiality for Pentobarbital Providers

    Kent Scheidegger
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:21 pm
    The record is now well established that if we are going to conduct executions by lethal injection, pentobarbital is the drug of choice.  That is the drug veterinarians use for animal euthanasia every day.The manufacturer of pentobarbital has cut off the usual supply chain for obtaining it.  As discussed in this article by James Gibson and Corinna Lain forthcoming in Georgetown Law Journal, European governments are instigators of the shortage, interfering in a domestic policy choice of the United States that is quite simply none of their damn business.The workaround is compounding…
  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:54 pm
    PA Murderer Sentenced to Death: A Pennsylvania man convicted of murdering a woman and dismembering her body in 2008 has been sentenced to death.  WNEP News reports that Charles Hicks killed the woman and placed her body parts in several trash bags before scattering her remains along highways in two different counties.  Investigators have also revealed that after his conviction, Hicks admitted to killing at least five more women in Texas.  Police are taking the claim seriously and plan to investigate the possible murders.   Another Parolee Accused of Murder: Police in…
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  • Wednesday Open Thread

    19 Nov 2014 | 2:41 pm
    Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Syrian Army Posts Response to ISIS Beheadings

    19 Nov 2014 | 6:36 am
    The Syrian Arab Army has an official Facebook page in English. Yesterday it posted a response to the ISIS video showing the beheading of 16 of its members. The statement acknowledges that army personnel have beheaded ISIS fighters in the past,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Tuesday Open Thread

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:04 am
    I'll be in court almost all week. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • Crowdfunding Campaign and Video Success Tips from Indiegogo’s Ben Bateman

    20 Nov 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Despite the abundance of stories of how startups far exceeded their crowdfunding goals, there are far more tales of campaigns that failed to match even the smallest target. Even worse, too little attention is given to just how much effort and tactical prowess is required when launching a successful crowdfunding campaign. Luckily, Ben Bateman, the Associate Director, Design & Technology Categories at Indiegogo, is here to lay out some helpful tips for devise an effective crowdfunding campaign strategy. The blog post, "Indiegogo’s Ben Bateman Shares Crowdfunding…
  • Silicon Valley’s Founder Institute Launches in Pakistan to Help Employees Launch Startups

    19 Nov 2014 | 6:20 pm
    The Founder Institute (, the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, announced today that it is officially launching a new chapter in Karachi, Pakistan. Although the Founder Institute operates across over 70 cities and six continents, the Karachi chapter will be the program’s first in Pakistan. Applications to the program are open now, and anyone interested in launching a technology company is welcome to apply to the Karachi Founder Institute at  The Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute decided to officially…
  • Retailigence partnership reported by Business Wire, Zirtual featured on Staffing Industry Analysts, and more Grad News

    19 Nov 2014 | 5:15 pm
    Since launching in 2009, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 1,310 new technology companies across 85 cities, 40 countries, and six continents. These companies have gone on to do great things, and create over 10,000+ new jobs. Over the past week, Retailigence partnered with Aarki Studio, Zirtual received investment from Recruit Holdings, and more Grad News. Below is a roundup of recent Founder Institute Graduates in the news: Retailigence partners with Aarki Studio, featured on Business Wire: Retailigence and Aarki Partner to Offer Ad Networks Local Product and Pricing Content…
  • 3 Things I Learned From Running My Marketplace Startup

    19 Nov 2014 | 1:45 am
    I’m a graduate of the Singapore Founder Institute and I founded Learnemy as part of the program. Learnemy is an online marketplace where people can find trusted instructors for sports, music and programming. There is a wealth of resources on how to run a marketplace, and I want to share the 3 things I’ve learned since starting Learnemy 3 years ago. 1. Reverse Marketplace Doesn't Work When I first launched Learnemy, it was a reverse marketplace – learners share what they want to learn and the price they are willing to pay, and any interested teacher can make them an offer. As…
  • 4 Topica Founder Institute Grad Companies Secure Funding

    19 Nov 2014 | 12:05 am
    The latest batch of 12  new companies from Topica’s Founder Institute, our Hanoi, Vietnam chapter, is a promising step in the right direction for the Vietnamese startup scene. TechinAsia editor Anh-Minh Do reports on the most recent Founder Institute Grads in the article, “The 12 new Vietnamese startups out of Topica’s Founder Institute”. Among these 12 startups, 3 companies have already received funding--vLance, upLevo, and Morbling. Founded by Tuân Trần Ngọc, vLance provides a platform to remotely connect skilled freelancers with hundreds of…
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  • Same-sex marriages can go ahead in South Carolina

    Lyle Denniston
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:16 am
    With two Justices dissenting, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to delay same-sex marriages in South Carolina, leaving intact a federal judge’s order that goes into effect at noon and strikes down the state’s ban.  Neither the Court nor the dissenters gave any explanation. The order continued the Court’s pattern in recent weeks of refusing to delay lower-court orders nullifying state bans on same-sex marriages, at least when a federal appeals court had also refused to issue a postponement.  Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented Thursday, as they had…
  • Petitions to watch | Conference of November 25

    Maureen Johnston
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    At its Conference on November 25, 2014, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as the reviewability of the Secretary of the Interior’s decision to recognize a tribe, the retroactive application of Miller v. Alabama, a good faith belief in the invalidity of a patent as a defense in an infringement suit, and certification of a class action settlement resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This edition of “Petitions to watch” features petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them…
  • Thursday round-up

    Amy Howe
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:50 am
    Briefly: At FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten explains why “the 2014 Senate elections have made it more difficult for Obama to appoint a Supreme Court justice” and suggests that “[h]is best chance would be to go with a nominee who is a true moderate, or an impeccably qualified, mainstream Democrat.” At ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser discusses Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion for the Court in Arizona v. United States, striking down part of an Arizona immigration law, and argues that the decision “includes language highlighting the ‘broad discretion’ the executive branch enjoys in…
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    Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog

  • How Often You Should Redesign Your Website

    Larry Bodine
    16 Nov 2014 | 2:18 pm
    By Burkey Belser on Law Practice Advisor: We had a gut instinct as to the answer — websites should be redesigned every three years. Web technology is changing so fast you’re quite likely to have fallen seriously behind even in that short period. Think about it: social media as we know it today is only seven years old. Trends in web design are accelerating, too. A careful observer can almost pinpoint the year in which a site was designed by its style and technology. As we see it, the questions to answer are: How often are sites really being redesigned? What is a redesign…
  • Marketing Mass Tort Cases to Hispanics

    Larry Bodine
    14 Nov 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Here's a practical article from Law Practice Advisor: One of the reasons that it’s so hard to interest Hispanics in joining a class action lawsuit is their cultural sense of destiny — that suffering is a natural parts of life. If a person was harmed by a drug side effect or dangerous equipment, it was their fate. This point was one of many Hispanic marketing insights offered by Leslie Inzunza, a bilingual and bicultural expert in New York. “Culture is a shared system of beliefs and behaviors passed from one generation to the next,” she says. “Latinos…
  • Six Magic Words That Overcome a Competitor's Low Price

    Larry Bodine
    12 Nov 2014 | 4:50 pm
    Check out this forthright new blog post by Trey Ryder on Law Practice Advisor: You tell your prospect that you bill at $350 per hour. Your prospect responds by saying, "But another lawyer I interviewed charges only $175 per hour." Now, what should you say? One powerful way to respond to your prospect's comment is to get out a piece of paper and divide the sheet into two vertical columns. Put your name at the top of one column and the other lawyer's name over the second. In the first column, write down all the specific services, tasks and documents you include in your fee. In the…
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    Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog

  • 'Tis the Season: Tech Toys for the Holidays 2014 Digital Edge podcast

    Jim Calloway
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:13 am
    It's the holiday season and time for our annual Tech Toys for the Holidays 2014 Digital Edge podcast. Sharon Nelson and I have researched far and wide to find the most fun new gadgets and electronic devices that a lawyer...
  • Thinking About Tomorrow

    Jim Calloway
    11 Nov 2014 | 10:19 am
    I've spend a lot of time thinking about tomorrow-the legal profession's tomorrow. This week at the Oklahoma Bar Association Annual Meeting, I get to spend several hour teaching and learning at a CLE program I organized called Tools for Tomorrow's...
  • "Hire Slow, Fire Fast" or "Hire Smarter, Fire Less"?

    Jim Calloway
    10 Nov 2014 | 11:55 am
    “Hire Slow, Fire Fast” is an often-used phrase when it comes to hiring new staff. Like many clichés there is a lot of truth in this phrase. In my Practice Management Advice column for the new Law Practice Magazine, I...
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • More on Law Genius: ‘Legal Footnotes on Crack’

    Robert Ambrogi
    19 Nov 2014 | 11:42 am
    After my post Monday about Law Genius, a crowdsourcing site for posting and annotating legal documents, someone pointed me to this Betabeat piece from 2012 that provides further details on the site’s origins as Rap Genius, its funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and its transition from a site for annotating rap lyrics to one for […] The post More on Law Genius: ‘Legal Footnotes on Crack’ appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • Today is This Blog’s 12th Anniversary

    Robert Ambrogi
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:37 am
    Seems kind of crazy that I’ve been doing this blog for 12 years. But here’s the evidence, my first post, on Nov. 19, 2002: Welcome to my blog. Why do I keep doing it after a dozen years? It’s fun. It keeps me on my toes. It’s helped me make some very good friends and meet […] The post Today is This Blog’s 12th Anniversary appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • AbacusLaw 2015 is An All-New Version of a Practice Management Stalwart

    Robert Ambrogi
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:21 am
    Among many competing practice management systems, AbacusLaw is a stalwart, on the market for over three decades. And while the software has been updated and enhanced over the years, its user interface was dated. Now, AbacusLaw has undergone an overhaul. The new version released yesterday, dubbed AbacusLaw 2015, promises to provide all the same features […] The post AbacusLaw 2015 is An All-New Version of a Practice Management Stalwart appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk and Office Manager
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:01 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Thursday, November 20, 2014:Garry Wise's Post Today SlawTips; Apple Broke My IPad (But Now They Fixed It, So I’m Not Mad Anymore)Ontario looking at e-signatures for real estate deals  Ex-Conservative staffer Michael Sona gets 9 months in jail in robocalls scandal New Factor in Campus Sexual Assault Cases: Counsel for the Accused Apple iOS 8.1.1 aims to revive older iPads, iPhones - Technology & Science - CBC News Better Justice Together Symposium: A new approach to better justice  Hearing begins for…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk and Office Manager
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:49 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Wednesday, November 19, 2014: California: If We Empty The Prisons, We Lose Our Cheap LaborNew rule of civil procedure tool to deal with vexatious litigants Telus complains to CRTC over NHL content use by Rogers - Business - CBC NewsCity of Toronto seeks court injunction against Uber taxi services Frequently Asked Questions (And Answers) on BC Lawyers’ Use of Cloud ComputingUpdated: BC’s Law Society president clarifies comments on Cloud technology  Boehner hires new lawyer to sue Obama Families failed to prove…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk and Office Manager
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Tuesdsay, November 18, 2014:Virginia cop sues lawyer for alleged defamation over comments about penis search warrantLawyer is disbarred for ‘inexplicable incompetence’ (see video of his argument in Jefferson garb) CASL Spamaflop not constitutional Lawyer Who Allegedly Stabbed Law Firm’s Managing Partner Was Arrested Wearing Only A DiaperSolitary confinement is ‘cruel and usual punishment’: Canadian Medical Association  Protesters mob courthouse where grand jury weighs Ferguson case: ‘We want an…
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  • Reflections on 2014 College of Law Practice Management’s Futures Conference

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

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

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

  • Verrill Dana: A Ceiling Smasher!

    Gerry Riskin
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:08 am
    Kudos to the law firm of Verrill Dana LLP for ranking as one of the top law firms in the US for its percentage of female partners. A nationwide survey by Law360 showed that Verrill Dana is among the top 25 firms in the country with the highest concentration of female partners – earning the company 14th place in Law360s “2014 Class of Ceiling Smashers.” At Verrill Dana, a full-service law firm with more than 100 lawyers, 32% of the firm’s partners are women. Law360 reports that, by contrast, only 21% of law-firm partners nationally are women – despite the fact that women…
  • 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…
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    LawBiz® Blog

  • You know what “… hits the fan”

    Ed Poll
    18 Nov 2014 | 8:00 pm
    When an organization is arrogant and ignores the best interests of its members or customers, there will be no support for the organization in challenging times. The State Bar of California finds itself, once again, in a time of challenge with little support from its members, the attorneys of the state pay dues to keep the organization afloat. This time around, however, should there be a move by the State legislature to abolish the State Bar and convert it to a licensing agency only, there will be little or no opposition from members of the bar. In what is the scandal of all time, the Board of…
  • The Law Suffers and Benefits as Do Other Economic Endeavors

    Ed Poll
    12 Nov 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Jeffrey Toobin, legal writer for the New Yorker Magazine, notes in this week’s edition the following: “… As with law firms, the top law schools are doing fine. Graduates of the most highly regarded institutions may not have the cornucopia of options that their predecessors enjoyed a few years ago, but few, if any, will go jobless. These students have large loans, too, but they’ll be able to repay them. As in days past, they will migrate to the big firms, where, by and large, their prospects are bright. And the cycle will continue: the rich (in credentials, at least…
  • LawBiz® Legal Pad On the Road!: Practice Development

    Ed Poll
    6 Nov 2014 | 8:14 am
    How do you set yourself apart from your competition? Here’s a hint – don’t lower your fees!
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    Innocence Blog

  • Watch Now: Ebony Magazine’s ‘Race Still Matters’

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:50 am
    In conjunction with its November issue, Ebony magazine produced a social justice and action video about race in America. "Race Still Matters: Protection Under the Law" features interviews with civil rights leaders, activists and the Innocence Project's own Case Analyst, Edwin Grimsley, in an intimate conversation on the role race plays within the criminal justice system. Watch the video.
  • Charges Dropped Against Ohio Man After Four Decades

    19 Nov 2014 | 2:50 pm
    Nearly forty years after an Ohio man was convicted of murder along with two codefendants, he is expected to walk out of prison a free man on Friday. Ricky Jackson and two other men were convicted of killing a money-order collector at a Cleveland grocery store based primarily on the eyewitness testimony of 12-year-old Eddie Vernon who said he saw the crime committed. There was no other evidence linking them to the crime, but they were sentenced to death anyway. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that after a two day hearing, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty told Judge Richard…
  • Listen Now: “All Things Considered” Talks National Academy of Sciences Study on Eyewitness Identification

    19 Nov 2014 | 10:40 am
    A recent episode of NPR's "All Things Considered" discussed last month's landmark report by the National Academy of Sciences that evaluated the scientific research on eyewitness identification and how DNA exonerations have proven that memories are imperfect. The discussion included University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett, who was on the committee that produced the report. Garrett noted that the way most police departments perform identification procedures hasn't caught up to the research, which began over three decades ago. The report makes specific recommendations on how…
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    UNDERDOG - Fairfax Criminal/DWI Attorney - Northern Virginia.

  • Not getting debilitated by mistakes. Winning when still connected to all. The power of space.

    17 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia 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. "You suck," complained a so-called teammate on my summer camp street hockey team, about my choking with the ball; I was more partial to lacrosse and basketball. We were in the gnat-infested great outdoors in northwest Connecticut’s Berkshire mountains, but the camp was long on sports and too short on just being with nature.
  • The mind and heart can engage with and conquer outside forces.

    15 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Fairfax County/Northern Virginia 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. There is no out there for the mind, yet that same mind constantly gives us opposite challenges along the way. Over time, my understanding about the foregoing concept has ripened to include the following: Before Ajahn Thanasanti became a Buddhist nun, she was pinned to the ground by a bear while hiking in India. As the bear chewed on…
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    The Legal Satyricon

  • Julien Blanc Denied Visa to Enter UK – Nothing to Rejoice

    19 Nov 2014 | 7:13 pm
    I do not think much of Julien Blanc. That much has made its rounds on the internets due to a letter I wrote. I did not release that letter to the public, so I do not want to link to it. Despite having a very negative opinion of Blanc, I was dismayed to see this […]
  • Bill Cosby’s lawyers: I DECLARE CONFIDENTIALITY!!!!

    19 Nov 2014 | 6:46 pm
    I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors. Some woman claims that Bill Cosby raped her 30 years ago. He allegedly gave her a pill and some wine. Did it happen? I dunno. Maybe I just don’t want to believe that Bill Cosby would ever do anything bad to anyone. So for now, I’m in the “anything […]
  • Adventures in E-Ventures

    19 Nov 2014 | 8:33 am
    I have no idea what E-Ventures does. Here’s their website. You figure it out. For all I know, it is the next big thing. I do know that it brought what seems to be a doomed claim. (Complaint) Apparently, Google decided that E-Ventures had behaved a little “spammy.” That seems strange to me, since I […]
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    Chicago IP Litigation

  • Trademark Fraud Claims Cannot be Dismissed Before Discovery

    R. David Donoghue
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:38 am
    Slep-Tone Enter. Corp. v. Teddy O’Brian’s, Inc., No. 14 C 3570, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 24, 2014) (Guzman, J.). Judge Guzman granted in part plaintiff Slep-Tone’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss defendant’s declaratory judgment of trademark invalidity, cancellation, antitrust and related Lanham Act and state law claims in this trademark dispute regarding a design trademark for SOUND CHOICE started by email Slep-Tone. While plaintiff was required to disclose to the Trademark Office that it established commercial use base upon its third party licensees, it was…
  • Court Construes Key Term But Declines to Construe Any Others

    R. David Donoghue
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:57 am
    Vehicle Intelligence & Safety LLC v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, No. 13 C 4417, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 18, 2014) (Hart, Sen. J.). Judge Hart construed the claims of plaintiff’s patent to methods for screening equipment operators for impairments.The parties agreed that “expert system(s)” was the key term that required construction. The Court construed “expert system(s)” as: [A] computer program consisting of (1) a database module that contains information a specialist would consider in an analysis of an equipment operator for impairment; (2) a decision module that applies logic…
  • Lady Gaga’s “Judas” Does Not Infringement Copyright

    R. David Donoghue
    14 Nov 2014 | 3:59 am
    Francescatti v. Germanotta p/k/a Lady Gaga, No. 11 C 5270, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. June 17, 2014) (Aspen, Sen. J.). Judge Aspen granted defendants’ Fed. R Civ. P. 56 motion for summary judgment because no reasonable trier of fact could find defendant Lady Gaga’s song “Judas” substantially similar to plaintiff’s song “Juda.” Local Rule 56.1 As an initial matter, the Court denied defendants’ motion to strike plaintiff’s responses to certain of defendant’s Local Rule 56.1 statements of fact because the Court did not rely upon any of them except one, which did not introduce new…
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • Don’t forget the photo authorizations for your holiday party

    Jon Hyman
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:58 am
    Are you having a holiday party for your company? Are you planning on sharing the cheer by posting photos of said party on your corporate Facebook page or other social media? If so, don’t forget to have your employees sign authorizations before you post those photos. Like many states, Ohio has a statute that protects an individual’s name, voice, signature, photograph, image, or likeness. This “right of publicity” prohibits one from using another’s persona for a commercial purpose without written consent. It may be sufficient to have statement in your employee handbook advising…
  • Jury verdicts are just numbers on a paper

    Jon Hyman
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:30 am
    On Monday, a California jury awarded a former Autozone employee $185 million in punitive damages. She had sued the company for pregnancy discrimination, claiming that the district manager who fired her was promised a promotion if he fired all of the women in his stores. Last week, the same jury awarded the plaintiff $900,000 in compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional distress. While $185 million is a staggeringly huge number, this plaintiff will only ever collect a tiny fraction of it, at best. Due process tells us that punitive damages must bear some reasonable relationship to the…
  • More on data security as an unfair labor practice

    Jon Hyman
    18 Nov 2014 | 4:40 am
    A few months ago, I wrote how the NLRB was exploring new areas of potential protected concerted activity to regulate. One such area is information and data security. According to Employment Law 360, the NLRB potentially is looking to expand its reach in the area of cybersecurity, this time investigating whether an employer was required to bargain with its labor union over the impact of a data breach on its employees: A postal workers union has lodged a charge with the National Labor Relations Board over the U.S. Postal Service’s handling of a recent data breach, a novel move that adds union…
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  • Want a life free of stress? Let's hope not!

    16 Nov 2014 | 7:40 am
    Is stress bad for you? Not all of it. In fact, a life without stress would be neither healthy nor enjoyable. You do NOT want to wake up to days that are stress-free. Your clients don't want that for you either. With the right stress, you are a better lawyer or mediator. From an article in the Stanford alumni magazine: In her lectures and classes, [Dr. Kelly] McGonigal used to teach people how to reduce or cope with stress, as if it were something to be avoided and dreaded. But in light of this research, she's changed her tune. She no longer focuses on training people to relax,…
  • Interested in mediation or collaborative law in trust and estates and other related family matters?

    2 Nov 2014 | 5:19 am
    I call to your attention two no-fee teleseminars being offered this month by the Purposeful Planning Institute; one or both might be worth your time. Take a look below for all the information. If you want to join either call, get your complimentary PIN number.The first, presented by John O'Grady on November 11, is titled "Navigate Epic Aging & Inheritance Conflicts to Build Your Practice." The session is described: Drama, trauma, greed, and crisis at end of life present angst and opportunity.   In fact, these are the elements of a Greek tragedy in which power, control,…
  • Apologies for the hiatus in blogging

    3 Aug 2014 | 2:26 pm
    I have not been active here due to a death in my family. And I will be back soon.
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    Privacy Law Blog

  • European DPA’s Give Privacy Recommendations to Stakeholders Regarding the “Internet of Things”

    Marianne Le Moullec
    13 Nov 2014 | 6:36 am
    Marianne Le Moullec The Article 29 Working Party, which is composed of representatives of DPA’s from every European country, has recently rendered an opinion ( ) on data privacy issues surrounding the development of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), which includes wearable computing, quantified self devices, and domotics. Although such data is generated by “things” or devices, it is considered personal data because it may enable the life pattern of a specific individual…
  • Advertising Industry Enforces Enhanced Behavioral Advertising Notice Requirements on Websites

    Charley Lozada
    6 Nov 2014 | 1:56 pm
    Charley Lozada On October 28, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program), released five decisions in which the website operators  have agreed to update their respective websites to provide enhanced notice as required under the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA Principles).  The Accountability Program enforces the OBA Principles on behalf of the Digital Advertising Alliance and these decisions stem from a compliance warning issued by the Accountability Program in October 2013. The 2013 compliance warning explained the…
  • FCC Confirms Solicited Fax Ads Must Include an Opt-Out

    Jessica Goldenberg
    3 Nov 2014 | 11:09 am
    Jessica Goldenberg Last Thursday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order confirming that companies must include opt-out instructions on all fax ads, even for recipients who previously agreed to receive a fax from the company. The order clarifies that solicited fax ads, like unsolicited ads, must also comply with the rules set forth in the FCC’s 2006 Junk Fax Prevention Order.  All fax ads must contain an opt-out notice that (1) is clear and conspicuous and on the first page of the ad, (2) states that the recipient may make a request to the sender not to send any future…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • Work on Thanksgiving or Lose Your Job

    Erik Loomis
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:11 pm
    K-Mart is forcing its employees to work on Thanksgiving or be fired: Jillian Fisher, who started a petition on asking Kmart to give her mother and other employees the flexibility to take the holiday off, surveyed 56 self-identified employees from more than 13 states. Of those, just three said they had the option to ask to take the holiday off. In a press release from the petition organizer, one employee said human resources has told them, “if you do not come to work on Thanksgiving, you will automatically be fired… I made the request to work a split shift on Thanksgiving and…
  • Republicans Threaten Violence

    Erik Loomis
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:09 am
    I guess I’m not sure the last time senators openly threatened violent revolution against a presidential policy. Maybe during the civil rights movement. Certainly upon the election of Lincoln. And they are doing it again. Or at least the ever classy Tom Coburn: “The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said in an interview with USA Today. “You’re going to see —hopefully not— but you could see instances of anarchy….
  • The Republican Health Care Pathology

    Scott Lemieux
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:17 am
    Reihan Salam has a long Slate article explaining why Republicans generally want to repeal the ACA, conceding that have no actual alternative to the ACA with any possibility of generating consensus with the party, and…not really dealing with the implications of the latter. The article does serve one useful purpose in explaining why there’s nothing “conservative” about the ACA. The section on Paul Ryan wanting to end Medicare is particularly useful in illustrating why assertions that the ACA is “neoliberal” are so nonsensical. If the status quo ante had been…
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    Avvo Blog

  • In Late

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

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

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

    20 Nov 2014 | 9:31 am
    This may come as a shock, but contract negotiations are rarely smooth and risk-free endeavors. There are a multitude of issues to consider, from terms of payment, to performance and damages provisions, to choice of law provisions and arbitration clauses, and many more potential issues. The list goes on and on. To make life easier, during particularly complex contract negotiations, parties oftentimes execute legal documents called letters of intent ("LOIs"). Used to memorialize the general terms of the business deal, LOIs provide the parties with somewhat of a safety blanket before…
  • [VIDEO] General Counsel, PC Attorney Kyle Barella warns against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants

    20 Nov 2014 | 8:29 am
    Washington Times‘ Alex Swoyer talked to immigration attorney Kyle Barella about the possibility of an executive action by President Obama on immigration after Senate Democrats wrote a letter telling the president to bypass Congress and grant temporary amnesty Read more: Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • Three Times a Charm

    Shipman & Goodwin
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:51 am
    Today, my colleague Marc Herman writes a follow up to his post on October 27th regarding wellness programs. Continuing its publically waged war against wellness programs, the EEOC has, once again, dragged another employer into the litigation minefield of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This time, Honeywell, Inc.––a Minnesota-based technology manufacturer––has, excuse the pun, got itself into a sticky situation, becoming the most recent, yet presumably not the last, victim of this purge. The alleged wrong? Nothing we haven’t seen before––according to the EEOC, Honeywell’s…
  • Expanded Data Breach Duties for Unionized Companies

    Shipman & Goodwin
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:32 am
    Company data breaches are becoming far too common.  Today, my colleague Jarad Lucan talks about the steps company’s need to take, both pre and post-breach.  If your company has a unionized workforce, you may need to adhere to additional duties. As we have reported in the past (the very recent past), it seems like there is a new headline regarding a company data breach almost daily (at the very least, weekly).  For instance, this week Coca-Cola Co. was hit with a putative class action in federal court contending that it failed to properly protect employee information contained on 55…
  • Losing an Election May Entitle Officials to Former Jobs

    Daniel Schwartz
    14 Nov 2014 | 4:14 am
    Since we just an election last week, I thought it would be fun to revisit one of my earliest blog posts from back in November 2007 (!). Let me pose a scenario first. Suppose you work for a mid-size employer in the state and decide to run for a local or state office. Perhaps against the public’s better judgment, you even win a full-time elected position — for two terms. But then – after eight years in office — you have been voted out of office. Can you get your job back with your prior employer? Well, under state law, the answer is likely yes.  And you can get credit for your time in…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Bullying of Kids With Disabilities - Part VIII

    Jim Gerl
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:52 pm
    No Bullying sign - School in Racine, Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Bullying remains the hottest of hot button issues in special education law.  We interrupted the series for my thoughts on the Rowley standard as applied to bullying cases.  Now we are back In the first installment of this series, I explained the early cases laying the conceptual groundwork for the proposition that failure to react to bullying can constitute a denial of FAPE under IDEA.  In later installments, I have discussed the seminal decision of TK & SK ex rel LK v. New York…
  • Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    17 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    We are continuing our series on bullying of kids with disabilities. What else should school districts do to prevent the serious problem of bullying?------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
  • Lessons From The Tri-State Conference: The Third Rail - Part I

    Jim Gerl
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:51 pm
    I was honored to be asked to present again this year at the Tri-State Special Education Law Conference last week in Omaha. The conference is a joint effort of the Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas Departments of Education and TAESE. It was nice to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones.  My session was about bullying and other hot button issues.  The participants were very engaged and provided lots of good comments and questions. The session went very well.One theme that was emerging at the conference is consistent with a point that we have made here.  We have often said here…
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • Bankruptcy lawyer won’t tell me what to do why?

    19 Nov 2014 | 8:06 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Bankruptcy lawyer won’t tell me what to do why? If you are facing a financial crisis you need solutions and fast. Going to a bankruptcy lawyer can help. They can review your budget and expenses and offer a variety of financial options. Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user … Continue reading →
  • What is the median income for Texas?

    10 Nov 2014 | 9:29 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, What is the median income for Texas? Bankruptcy restrictions were tightened under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in 2005, and signed by President Bush. One of the main provisions of the law, which took effect on October 17, 2005, was to make … Continue reading →
  • What are the Steps for filing bankruptcy?

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

  • Medical Study Of Amatuximab Plus Pemetrexed And Cisplatin In Patients With Unresectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Shows Positive Results

    Tom Lamb
    14 Nov 2014 | 10:14 am
    This recent article, “Phase II Clinical Trial of Amatuximab, a Chimeric Antimesothelin Antibody with Pemetrexed and Cisplatin in Advanced Unresectable Pleural Mesothelioma”, initially published online in September 2014 by the Clinical Cancer Research medical journal, informs about an apparent advancement made in the treatment on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). From the Abstract for this medical journal article: Purpose: Amatuximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody to mesothelin, a cell surface glycoprotein highly expressed in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). On the…
  • Mesothelioma And Cancers Caused By Asbestos-Contaminated Talc In Body Powder Products And Cosmetics: New Scientific Study Provides Evidence Of Asbestos Fibers In Talc

    Tom Lamb
    7 Nov 2014 | 1:07 pm
    An article by investigative reporter Andrew Schneider, “Study: Cosmetic talc products carry asbestos peril”, about the asbestos-talc mesothelioma cancer situation is frightening, as you will see, and perhaps fittingly it was published on Halloween day, October 31, 2014. From the start of this recent news report: Talc, the fine, powdery mineral used in thousands of consumer products by everyone from newborns to the elderly, can be a killer when it’s contaminated with asbestos, which some public health experts say happens far more often than miners and manufacturers…
  • Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer Cases Are Not Limited To Working Men Only, As Is Sometimes Thought To Be The Situation

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

  • Is your law blog a Mashable or a New York Times?

    Kevin O'Keefe
    19 Nov 2014 | 11:34 pm
    Do you approach blogging as covering all relevant news in your niche or covering your niche socially? There’s a big difference and you may be surprised as to which works better. In a talk before the Canadian Journalism Foundation, Mashable editor-in-chief, Jim Roberts (@nycjim), explained that Mashable approaches the news as a social activity. GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram (@mathewi), reporting on the talk caught Roberts’ key point. Sharing is the main guiding principle of Mashable’s approach to news. …[W]ith any story, a reporter or editor should be asking themselves…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Immigration Reform, SEC Annual Report, Fracking Regulation

    Colin O'Keefe
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:58 pm
    The news we’ve all been expecting is finally here. Or, more accurately, the news that we will actually get the news is here. Word comes that President Obama will announce his action on immigration reform and boy do we have you covered on LXBN: Zosha hits the subject with a written piece while I talk to Greg Eck for LXBN TV. President Obama to Announce Administrative Immigration Reform – Seattle lawyer Robert Neale of Jackson Lewis on the firm’s Immigration Blog Union Files NLRB Complaint Regarding the USPS’ Handing of Security Breach Involving Employee Personal Information…
  • Social media platforms are cultures

    Kevin O'Keefe
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:58 pm
    Businesses need to show respect for each social media platform writes social media consultant and author, Jay Izso (@internetdoctor), in Entrepreneur Magazine this morning. It’s all about culture. McDonalds’ menu doesn’t work in India, says Izso, where for many the cow is sacred, so it’s the Chicken Maharaja Mac. The same is true for businesses entering the new cultures of social media. Businesses need to show respect for each platform. But does your law firm understand the cultures of the various social media? How about your lawyers? Look at blogging. Most law blogs…
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    Digital Media Law

  • It’s a Play! It’s Live Internet TV! It’s Both, and it Opens in Los Angeles on Friday

    7 Nov 2014 | 1:00 pm
    ‘The Noir Series’ harkens back to the days of live TV but presents a thoroughly modern challenge to entertainment unionsBad Medicine,' a segment from 'The Noir Series,' features a chain-smoking doctor and two disconcerting nurses. Credit: Turner Munch.Somewhat like Shimmer, Saturday Night Live’s mysterious concoction that was both a floor wax and a dessert topping, a production called The Noir Series that runs this weekend in Los Angeles manages to be both a stage play and live Internet TV. You can buy “studio audience tickets” to see the show in person at the Schkapf Theatre or…
  • 'Citizenfour' Review: Quiet Moments in a Hong Kong Hotel Room as Edward Snowden, Journalists Fight to Save Democracy

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

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

  • Securities Docket News Wire for November 19, 2014

    Securities Docket
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:55 am
    Stockbroker pleads guilty to US scandal – Yahoo New Zealand -> Judge Nixes Mathew Martoma Plea to Delay Sentence Pending Appeal – India West -> FBI: CFO Spent Stolen Funds on Women He Met Online – -> SEBI approves new regulations to deter insider trading in securities | NetIndian -> Eike Batista insider trading trial a landmark for Brazil – ->
  • Dec. 11 Webcast: Navigating the Minefield of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Provisions and the FCPA (2014 Update)

    Securities Docket
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:43 am
    We are in a brave new world of whistleblower regulation and litigation. Now four years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, the SEC Office of the Whistleblower is making an increasing number of bounty awards – including a recent record-breaking $30 million award – and federal courts across the country are defining and redefining the statute’s complex contours. Companies, meanwhile, continue to field the flood of hotline complaints in an effort to sift the chaff from tomorrow morning’s front-page expose. These trends, coupled with the continuing robust pace of FCPA enforcement, provide the…
  • Flash Boys beware: SEC chills high-frequency trading | New York Post

    Securities Docket
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:01 am
    The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules on Wednesday to keep exchanges and so-called “dark pools” safer by requiring more safeguards — a shift that will put more regulation on high-frequency trading platforms. via Flash Boys beware: SEC chills high-frequency trading | New York Post
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    | Bachus & Schanker Attorneys

  • 7 Things To Do Immediately After a Car Crash

    Kyle Bachus
    13 Nov 2014 | 5:27 am
    There are certain things you should do immediately if you are involved in an automobile crash. This guide can help you think clearly and eliminate some of the stress and uncertainty you will likely be experiencing.
  • Is Tort Reform Really the Answer?

    Kyle Bachus
    7 Nov 2014 | 12:56 am
    Is tort reform really the answer to frivolous lawsuits? More studies are coming out that show that tort reform doesn’t produce substantial savings and even puts patient safety at risk. “Politicians often ask us for proof that “tort reform” makes us less safe. But “proof” was always difficult to find – until now.” Joanne Doroshow, Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School. Read Joanne’s Huffington Post article, “How Tort ‘Reform’ Ruins Health Care for Everyone” about three studies on tort reform.
  • How to Talk to Your Lawyer

    Kyle Bachus
    6 Nov 2014 | 12:52 am
    The legal landscape can be tough to navigate. Rocket Lawyer has 5 tips on “How to Talk to Your Lawyer.”
  • Bachus and Schanker Reviews

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

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

  • Takata Airbag Recalls Reach 11 Million Vehicles

    Bob Kraft
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:11 am
    The CBS Evening News reported on the recall of “11 million vehicles whose airbags can cause serious injuries.” CBS (Glor) added, “At least two people have died – an 18-year-old in Oklahoma and a mother of three in Virginia – when the airbags didn’t perform as designed.” The bags were made by the Takata Corporation in Japan, and “Documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, shows Honda, the biggest buyer of Takata airbags, first learned about an exploding airbag in 2004.” From the news release of the American Association for Justice.
  • Safety Institute Places 2012 Ford Focus on Top of “Watch List”

    Bob Kraft
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:11 am
    NBC News reports that The Safety Institute has released its quarterly Watch List which includes the “Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects.” The list is derived from NHTSA reports of user complaints, primarily that the vehicle’s “electric power steering shuts down randomly and intermittently” and that “delaminating steering wheels” can “lacerate drivers’ hands.” NBC notes that NHTSA is not currently investigating either of the issues. Sean Kane, founder and president of the board of directors of The Safety Institute, says the purpose of the list is for “regulators and…
  • Need Help? What Qualities to Look For in a Good Lawyer

    Bob Kraft
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:25 am
    When you want to protect yourself in the court of law and make use of your rights, it’s important to look for a good lawyer who is qualified to defend you. For those beginning their search for a good lawyer, there are many different factors to consider when finding the right fit. Communication Some cases can take several years to complete, making it important to establish clear communication with your attorney. They should be great at returning your phone calls and explaining legal terms or phrases that are unclear. Avoid hiring a firm that seems too busy or important to answer your…
  • How Fault is Determined in Car Accidents

    Bob Kraft
    17 Nov 2014 | 7:05 am
    Whether there is concern over who will pay for the damage done in a vehicle accident or whose insurance may increase, knowing who is “at fault” for a vehicle accident is vital. Sometimes it is obvious who was negligent or made a mistake, not only to those involved but to outsiders as well. There are other times when it is not so clear, and when there is a dispute on this issue between the parties or with the insurance company. If you have been involved in an accident, Howard Yegendorf & Associate recommends that you prepare yourself for how the legal system may find fault in…
  • Friday Fun

    Bob Kraft
    14 Nov 2014 | 1:40 am
    How to avoid a parking ticket.
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • Calls for Doing Better Set Tone for Catholic Schools Conference

    Alan J. Borsuk
    20 Nov 2014 | 8:41 am
    Perhaps Kathleen Cepelka effectively summed up a half-day conference Wednesday on the future of Catholic kindergarten through twelfth grade schools simply by describing the state of the schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Cepelka, the superintendent of schools in the archdiocese, told the full-house audience in the Appellate Courtroom of Eckstein Hall about the strengths of schools in Milwaukee, about positive developments in enrollment, and about the many praiseworthy people and organizations involved in making the schools as good as they are. But, she said, the quality of some of the…
  • Immigration Reform and the Challenge of Democratic Self-Government

    Edward A. Fallone
    19 Nov 2014 | 3:08 pm
    News reports indicate that President Obama will soon announce how he plans to use Executive Orders to implement some aspects of Immigration Reform, due to the failure of Congress to address the subject legislatively.  I recently had the opportunity to participate in a program on Immigration Reform at the Law School on November 5, 2014, along with Stuart Anderson, the Executive Director of the National Foundation for American Policy and an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute.  The event was sponsored by the Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society, the Marquette Immigration Law…
  • Congratulations to the 2014 Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Teams

    Melissa L. Greipp
    18 Nov 2014 | 4:38 pm
    Congratulations to 3Ls Stephanie Chiarelli and Adam Dejulio for reaching the octofinals of the Chicago Bar Association Competition this past weekend.  Attys. Kaitlyn Reise and Mindy Nolan coached the team and traveled to the competition.  3Ls Tyler Hall and Jeff Morrell also competed and were coached by Attys. Jaclyn Kallie and Dana Luczak.  All of the coaches are Marquette alumni who competed in moot court.  Professor Rebecca Blemberg advised the teams.
  • Supreme Court Roundup Part Three: Harris v. Quinn

    Edward A. Fallone
    15 Nov 2014 | 3:33 pm
    On October 30, I participated in a presentation entitled “Supreme Court Roundup” with Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute.  The event was sponsored by the Law School chapters of the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society.  We discussed three significant cases from the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term: McCutcheon v. FEC, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn.  It was a spirited discussion, in which Mr. Shapiro and I presented opposing views, but I want to thank Mr. Shapiro for taking the time to visit the Law School and for sharing his perspective with the students.
  • Briefs that Changed the World

    Jennifer McNamee
    15 Nov 2014 | 8:25 am
        This semester I had the opportunity to take Prof. Edwards’s class Advanced Brief Writing: Briefs that Changed the World. I must admit that I was slightly skeptical of the idea that simply reading remarkable briefs would somehow make me a better writer. But, I’m happy to admit that I was quite wrong in this assumption. Reading the briefs covered in this class have inspired me to try my hand at the various techniques the authors employ when writing these briefs (I make no promises about whether my attempts have proven successful). Hopefully they will inspire you too. Thank…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • International Green Construction Code Now Mandatory For All Building in Baltimore

    Stuart Kaplow
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:11 pm
    Last evening the Baltimore City Council adopted the International Green Construction Code 2012 as an overlay to the City’s building, fire and related codes. Baltimore, the 26th most populous city in the country, was among the first jurisdictions, in 2007 to mandate that all “newly constructed, extensively modified non-residential buildings” .. “achieve a Silver rating in the appropriate LEED rating system or satisfy the Baltimore City Green Building Standard” (a LEED-like local enactment). That mandatory law had some efficacy with new construction but almost no…
  • Mid Term Election Results Superb For Green Building

    Stuart Kaplow
    12 Nov 2014 | 8:31 am
    Election Day 2014 in which Republicans made big gains in Congress and statehouses across the country portends huge business opportunities for green building. As more conservative legislative bodies look to enact environmental and energy policies while driving up growth without enacting new mandates or imposing new taxes, enabling voluntary green building is positioned to be part of the new legislative agendas.  The newly elected Republicans are not 1960s Barry Goldwater environmentalists who favored “federal intervention with regards to the environment.” To the contrary, most…
  • FTC Warns 15 Businesses that their Biodegradable Claims May be Deceptive

    Stuart Kaplow
    3 Nov 2014 | 3:19 pm
    The Federal Trade Commission made public that its staff sent letters to 15 businesses last month warning that their biodegradable claims related to “oxodegradable” plastic waste bags may be deceptive.  Oxodegradable plastic is supposedly made with an additive intended to cause it to degrade in the presence of oxygen. Most waste bags are intended to be deposited in landfills, however, where not enough oxygen likely exists for oxodegradable bags to completely degrade in the time consumers expect. Contrary to the marketing, these bags may be no more biodegradable than ordinary…
  • LEED v4 Delayed, Again

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

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

  • Five lessons for employers from new meal break decision: In re Walgreen Co. Cases

    Anthony Zaller
    14 Nov 2014 | 9:54 am
    An appellate court upheld a trial court’s denial of class certification in a case brought against Walgreens. The appellate court’s decision provides a few good lessons for employers defending class action allegations. 1. Meal break cases are harder to certify as class actions after the Brinker decision. The California Supreme Court held in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court that employers had to make meal breaks available to employees, and had no obligation to ensure that employees took the meal break. The court in Walgreens acknowledged this, and explained by the make…
  • Five issues employers must understand about California's harassment and discrimination laws

    Anthony Zaller
    7 Nov 2014 | 9:22 am
    1. Automatic liability for a company when harassing or discriminatory conduct is taken by supervisors. A company is automatically liable for any harassment or discriminatory actions taken by its supervisors. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a supervisor is defined as anyone who has the authority to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or the responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend these actions to the employer. 2. When is a company liable for…
  • Friday's Five: Five new laws for 2015 that employers should review

    Anthony Zaller
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:32 pm
    Below are five new laws going into effect in 2015 that California employers should know about before the start of 2015. Employers should also take time and review their current policies to ensure compliance for the new year. 1. Mandatory paid sick leave. You’ve probably been beaten over the head from emails from your employment lawyer already about this new law, so I won’t rehash the particulars. If you need more information, see my prior post. 2. Must revise sexual harassment training to include anti-abusive conduct training. This is a simple revision to sexual harassment…
  • Friday's Five: Five items employers need to understand about automobile and mileage reimbursement under California law

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

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

  • The ALJ decision says that I remain insured through December 31, 2015. What does that mean?

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    17 Nov 2014 | 10:33 am
    A fully favorable ALJ decison usually contains a sentence like this: The claimant's earnings record shows that the claimant has acquired sufficient quarters of coverage to remain insured through December 31, 2015. A successful disability claimant may read that sentence and think that it means that the Social Security disability benefits will terminate on December 31, 2015. But that is not what the sentence means at all. This language in the decision simply refers to the date last insured, which is the date by which disability must exist to qualify for disability benefits under Social…
  • Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act begins November 15

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    14 Nov 2014 | 3:05 am
    The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act to sign up for medical insurance coverage in 2015 begins on Saturday, November 15. To have coverage beginning on January 1, 2015 you must sign up by December 15, 2014. Ongoing medical treatment is critically important to support a claim for Social Security disability benefits. Many disability claimants do not have health insurance, which can make it difficult or impossible to obtain medical care outside of the Emergency Room. Local hospitals often have programs to provide free or subsidized care for those who live nearby and qualify…
  • Always Start with the DDS RFC

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    12 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    When Social Security Security evaluates a claim for disability, it uses a 5-step sequential evaluation. For steps 4 & 5 of the sequential evaluation, Social Security assesses your functional limitations and incorporates those limitations into a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). That RFC is then compared to the requirments of competitive work to determine whether or not a person claiming disability is disabled under Social Security's rules. When evaluating a claim for disability, the RFC assessed by the state Disability Determination Services (DDS) should always be the starting…
  • 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…
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    The Rainmaker Blog

  • One BigLaw Firm Abandons the Billable Hour

    Stephen Fairley
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:55 pm
    BigLaw labor and employment firm Jackson Lewis says that it is eliminating the billable hour in 2015 for its associates, who will now be measured on client service, responsiveness, and efficiency as well as how good a team player they are and how committed they are to pro bono work. So are people in hell now being served ice water? According to a quote from firm chairman Vincent Cino in an American Lawyer article, “The billable hour is directly opposed to the best interest of the client and to the provider of service because by its very nature it adds an artificial barrier to the…
  • How to Use Local Search for Leads

    Lynda Collins
    18 Nov 2014 | 3:09 pm
    Former House speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics are local,” meaning that a politician’s success is directly tied to his or her ability to appeal to the concerns of their local constituency.   And the same can be said for law firm marketing:  local influence is key to obtaining qualified leads. To realize the importance of being proficient at Local Search, all you have to do is search for your area of practice on Google.  Without even typing in a city or state, Google will serve up law firms that match your search query that are geographically closest to you.  …
  • Lead Management: 3 Steps to Slash Your No-Show Rates

    Stephen Fairley
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:38 pm
    One of the most frustrating things for a consumer law firm to deal with effectively is no-shows.  You’ve gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to get prospects to call and set an appointment.  And then they don’t show.  It feels like money down the drain.  But it doesn’t have to be. There are three proven lead management strategies lawyers can implement tomorrow that will reduce your no-show rates significantly.: Call to confirm the day before and the day of the appointment Email to confirm with specific directions to your office Incentivize your staff with a performance bonus…
  • Discover the Top 10 Habits of Successful Rainmakers on Nov. 18

    Stephen Fairley
    14 Nov 2014 | 12:38 pm
    Wouldn’t you love to find out exactly what lawyers who are successful rainmakers have in common so you could replicate that success for your firm? Now you can.  Next Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, I will be sharing this information during the FREE Top 10 Habits of Successful Rainmakers: Turning Contacts Into Contracts webinar. I will be joined by Kimberly Alford Rice, principal at KLA Marketing Associates and founder of the Women in the Law Rainmaker Forum.  Kimberly is a nationally recognized legal marketing executive who has worked with rainmakers across the country to help…
  • This One’s Just for Fun: 52 Common Myths Debunked

    Stephen Fairley
    13 Nov 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Sometimes I wonder how I entertained myself before the Internet came along. Oh sure, I love the World Wide Web for learning about what I want to know and performing tasks that were pure drudgery before it came along and put a world’s worth of knowledge at my fingertips.  I love the endless possibilities and opportunities the Internet presents to marketing aficionados like me. And sure, I decry the bad things about it like cybercrime and cat videos. I ran across this delightful inforgraphic the other day that debunks 52 common myths and am sharing it with you for the pure entertainment and…
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    Defending People

  • In Which New Vistas Open Up

    Mark Bennett
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:39 pm
    It started with criminal First Amendment litigation. I fought for five years against a speech-restricting penal statute, learning the law along the way and finally punching a hole in the dam last year, freeing a lifetime’s worth of people who had already given up hope. Naturally, I went on the hunt for other statutes to kill. My friend and fellow TLC alumnus Don Flanary of San Antonio beat me to the improper-photography statute, but he only killed (in Ex Parte Thompson) the part dealing with photography in a public place, leaving the part dealing with photography in a restroom or…
  • In Which Texas Sex-Assault Law is Bizarre

    Mark Bennett
    5 Nov 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Texas Penal Code Section 22.011, Sexual Assault: (a) A person commits an offense if the person: (1) intentionally or knowingly: (A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent; (B) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or (C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor… (f) An offense under this…
  • In Which Some Lawyers Are Suckers at Best

    Mark Bennett
    5 Nov 2014 | 2:37 pm
    Dear _, We are pleased to officially inform you that you have been chosen to receive this year’s prestigious TOP 10 Attorney Award for the state of Texas. Through a multi-phase selection process, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDA) has chosen you to receive our organization’s highest honor because of the hard work and dedication you have shown in protecting the rights of the accused. The letter, signed by “Kelly D. Kerr, Executive Director,”1 was sent to a friend of mine by the “National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Inc.”,…
  • In Which We Look at Plea Numbers

    Mark Bennett
    3 Nov 2014 | 3:02 pm
    In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial. The plea bargains largely determined the sentences imposed. While corresponding statistics for the fifty states combined are not available, it is a rare state where plea bargains do not similarly account for the resolution of at least 95 percent of the felony cases that are not dismissed; and again, the plea…
  • In Which Cultures Clash

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

  • 6 horrifying things you learn as a death row inmate

    13 Nov 2014 | 6:11 am
    I’ve written before about how dehumanizing prisons are and how badly inmates are treated by guards and of course I’ve written about the injustices of the system, but you folks seem to all be gravitating toward lists, so here’s a decidedly somber one from one of the funniest sites out there. Luckily this man’s innocence was proved, but think of how many there are who are still seeking that vindication.
  • Dispensing with the sham: prosecutors serving as judges

    7 Nov 2014 | 5:34 am
    A judge usually wears many hats: jurist, prosecutor, defense attorney. A judge has to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case in pre-trial negotiations, make offers, impose just sentences, etc. Prosecutors usually end up being judges once they advance far enough in their careers and have schmoozed the right politicians. Some prosecutors remain prosecutors even after they take the bench and Missouri is ensuring that they get ample practice in maintaining their bent1. Neil Bruntrager, general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association, works part time as a judge where…
  • Fear the death of rights

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

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

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

  • Piercings and Employers: Enforcing Appearance Policies

    19 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Charles Caulkin’s article “Piercings and Employers: Enforcing Appearance Policies” was featured in the Daily Business Review on November 19, 2014.
  • OFCCP Announces Issuance of 2,500 Courtesy Scheduling Announcement Letters

    19 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Executive Summary: The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has announced that it will mail Courtesy Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to contractor facilities across the country that have been selected for compliance reviews during the next scheduling cycle.
  • Board Awards Unprecedented Remedies and Signals It Could Go Further

    19 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    The National Labor Relations Board’s decision in HTH Corporation, 361 NLRB No. 65 (2014), re-affirms the Board’s intent to impose aggressive, unprecedented remedies. In this case, the Board openly signaled that it has not yet reached the outer limits of its authority, and is prepared to go even further.
  • EEOC Releases Performance and Accountability Report for FY 2014

    18 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    The number of private-sector charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declined for the third year in a row, according to the newly released Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for fiscal year 2014. The significant drop from 93,727 charges filed in FY 2013 to 88,778 charges filed in FY 2014 can be attributed, in part, to last year's government shutdown and sequestration, the EEOC said. Highlights of the PAR include:
  • Managing FMLA Red Flags and Staying Ahead of the Trends: A Recap of our Webinar

    18 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Thanks to those who attended my webinar last week with Ellen McCann on “Managing Red Flags and Staying Ahead of the Trends.” If you missed the program, you can access the webinar and materials here.
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  • McCormick on Gender and Judgment Assignment on the SCC

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form. Who Writes? Gender and Judgment Assignment on the Supreme Court of Canada Peter McCormick Osgoode Hall Law Journal Vol. 51, no. 2 (2014): 595-626 Excerpt: Summary & Parts V, VI and VIII [Footnote renumbered] This article poses the question: Now that women are receiving an increasing share of the seats on the…
  • Rejected Romantic Advance Led to Reprisal

    Yosie Saint-Cyr
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Hank Peelle, the owner of Peelle Company Ltd., deluded himself into believing the company’s financial controller, Christine Horner, had a romantic interest in him, despite his 25-year marriage and her long-term relationship. When he thought the time was right, he tried to kiss her and she rebuffed him. Despite some genuine efforts to work it out, Peelle treated Horner differently and the relationship deteriorated. She resigned, making a claim of sexual harassment and reprisal against the employer. In Horner v Peelle Company Ltd, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal concluded that the…
  • The Replicability of Research’s Irrational Publishing Economy

    John Willinsky
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    After a year of sabbatical concentration and isolation spent working on a pre-history of intellectual property, it’s good to be back blogging on the here and now at Slaw. The book I finished (with a draft online) still needs work in its tracing of the intellectual properties of learning from Saint Jerome to John Locke. I’ll give it a blog or two later, point, but I’m keen to get back to what currently tickles and troubles learned publishing. Certainly, the previous academic year has seen gains, if not tipping points, in favor of open access as the model and goal of research and…
  • Part-Time Lawyer, Full-Time Juggler

    Karen Dyck
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:18 am
    Later this week, I’ll be talking with articling students in the Law Society of Manitoba’s CPLED program as part of their practice management curriculum. My assigned topic is stress management, and includes the sub-topic of work/life balance. I’m certainly no expert on work/life balance though I do write about it from time to time and practice it daily. In fact, I struggle constantly with keeping some sort of balance to my own life. As a part-time freelance lawyer, frequent volunteer and full-time mother, I know what it is to juggle conflicting priorities, responsibilities and…
  • The Unconscious Barrier to Equality

    Legal Profession Assistance Conference
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Before reading: (1) think of four colleagues (some male and some female), and (2) consider the first adjective that pops into your mind to describe each of those colleagues. Now continue reading. I am a feminist. I know, I just heard a collective internal groan from the internet. But, like most feminists (and most people), I’m not a bra-burning, Thai fisherman pant-wearing, men-hating, razor-neglecting aggressor. Rather, I hold the simple belief that women and men should be treated equally. (And I am happy to report that I am part of a significant majority in Western society.)…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • Commission on Future of Legal Services Seeks Feedback

    Stephanie Kimbro
    6 Nov 2014 | 1:45 pm
    I was honored to be asked to participate in the ABA President’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services this year and next. This Commission is calling for Issues Paper feedback now through December 10th. For my legal tech friends and colleagues, if you have something to say, now is a good time to get it on the table. Details below. I like the ABA President this time around. I’ve heard President William Hubbard speak several times by now. I’ve heard him address some difficult criticisms of the ABA with grace at a conference on disruptive innovation in the market for…
  • Consumer Law Levels Up

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

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

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

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

  • President Obama Proclaims National Native American Heritage Month

    Greg Guedel
    6 Nov 2014 | 8:50 am
    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Every year, our Nation pauses to reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country's character and culture. The first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models of government to our Founding Fathers -- American Indians and Alaska Natives helped build the very fabric of America. Today, their spirit and many contributions continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our country. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor their legacy, and we…
  • Methane Gas Cloud Hovers Over Navajo Lands

    Greg Guedel
    4 Nov 2014 | 8:42 am
      NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan Space-based measurements have revealed a gigantic cloud of methane gas hovering over a coal production region on and near the Navajo Nation. This methane “hot spot” covers 2,500 square miles near the Four Corners intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. It was reported in a study released on October 9 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Methane is a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. It can be produced from industrial activities, agriculture, forest fires, and the mining and processing of fossil…
  • Historical Artifacts Halt World's Largest Tunnel Project

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

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

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

  • Fifth Annual Internet Law Work-in-Progress Conference: Initial Participant List

    Eric Goldman
    18 Nov 2014 | 10:44 am
    From last year’s Internet Law Work-in-Progress Conference at New York Law SchoolOn March 7, 2015, Santa Clara University will be hosting the Fifth Annual Internet Law Work-in-Progress conference. Over 50 Internet Law scholars from around the globe have signed up to come. If you’d still like to join us, please contact me at your earliest convenience. We’re running out of room, so pretty soon I’ll be putting all new speaking requests on a waitlist. Here’s the initial participant list: Usman Ahmed // Georgetown Law (adjunct)/eBay David Ardia // University of North…
  • LinkedIn Can’t Shake Publicity Rights Claims Based on Reminder Emails

    Venkat Balasubramani
    17 Nov 2014 | 10:41 am
    This is a lawsuit against LinkedIn alleging that LinkedIn wrongly sent out repeated invites to users’ contacts. In an initial ruling, Judge Koh denied LinkedIn’s request to dismiss on the grounds of standing but dismissed the federal claims for alleged violations of the Stored Communications Act and the Wiretap Act. The court said that Plaintiffs consented to the initial invitation email but not the second and third emails. (Blog post on the previous ruling here.) The plaintiffs’ second amended complaint drops the federal claims and alleges violations of publicity rights and…
  • Bleg: Help Us Prepare For the Blog’s 10 Year Blogiversary

    Eric Goldman
    17 Nov 2014 | 9:24 am
    Photo credit: Happy 10th Anniversary gold mail letter illustration design over white // ShutterStock This blog launched on February 8, 2005, meaning that our 10th anniversary is just a couple of months away. Where did the time go??? With our big milestone looming, we’re cooking up some special features to help celebrate in style. It should be a lot of fun. This is where you come in. Normally, we do all the talking on the blog. Now it’s your turn. We’d appreciate your thoughts about one or more of the following questions: 1) Tell us an anecdote about how the blog has made a…
  • Bad Idea: Overdisclosing People’s Positive STD Status–Doe v. Successfulmatch

    Venkat Balasubramani
    14 Nov 2014 | 8:40 am
    This is a privacy lawsuit brought by people who signed up for a dating site (Positive Singles) for people with STDs. Plaintiffs allege that Successfulmatch, the company that operates the site, made numerous privacy representations stating in its website copy that it “care[s] about [users’] privacy more than other sites.” shutterstock / runlenarun: Single flat icon with long shadow for web applications, email icons design. A registration page said that the site would not “disclose, sell, or rent any personally identifiable information to any third party organizations.” The terms of…
  • Are Parents Liable For Their Children’s Online Pranks?–Boston v. Athearn

    Venkat Balasubramani
    13 Nov 2014 | 10:58 am
    Dustin Athearn, who was 13, decided to “have some fun” at a “friend’s” expense. He did what any modern teenager does to poke fun at someone: he created a fake Facebook page in their name. Along with a friend Melissa, Dustin created an email address for his target, Alexandria Boston, and using this, created a Facebook account in Alexandria’s name. shutterstock / durantelallera: Vintage Retro Clipart : Lol, Man Laughing Out Loud He used a picture he took of Alex for the profile photo, but altered it using a “Fat Face” application. The fake profile then issued friend requests to…
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

  • LACBA Presents "Employment Law Nuts & Bolts" Program 11/15

    Steven G. Pearl
    6 Nov 2014 | 1:00 pm
    The Los Angeles County Bar Association is presenting "Employment Law Nuts & Bolts: Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Wage and Hour Law" on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. The program runs from 9:00 am until 12:15 pm. The program will focus on teaching the law to new attorneys, those in practice less than five years, or those with more experience outside of the employment law field who wish to gain a better understanding of employment law.The first panel will cover federal and state wage and hour law. I am moderating, with Lauren Teukolsky…
  • Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court: Who Is An Employer? (Revisited)

    Steven G. Pearl
    5 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Martinez v. Combs (2010) 49 Cal.4th 35 (discussed here), the California Supreme Court held that the broad, three pronged definition of "employer" found in the IWC Wage Orders applies in minimum wages actions brought under Labor Code section 1194. The question after Martinez was whether the Wage Order definition of "employer" would apply in all wage and hour actions or whether courts would continue to look at the multi-factor test found in cases such as S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341. Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court…
  • Godfrey v. Oakland Port Services Corp.: FAAAA Does Not Preempt Meal and Rest Period Requirements

    Steven G. Pearl
    4 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    In People ex rel. Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc. (7/28/14) --- Cal.4th --- (discussed here), the California Supreme Court held that an Unfair Competition Law (UCL) action based on a trucking company’s alleged violation of state labor and insurance laws was not “related to a price, route or service” of the company and, therefore, was not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA). In Dilts v. Penske Logistics, LLC, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. 7/9/14, amended 9/8/14) (discussed here), the Ninth Circuit held that the FAAAA does not preempt…
  • 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…
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    The Securities Law Blog

  • Let Us Know - Ebola Related Scams

    20 Nov 2014 | 8:29 am
    While there have been a significant number of deaths from Ebola, the "outbreak" seemed to be largely a news story scam, at least in the United States.It is therefore hard to believe that a serious investor would even consider an investment in an Ebola treatment/cure/vaccine. But apparently that is not the case.FINRA has released an "investor alert" regarding Ebola related scams. FINRA advises "[i]f you are considering investing in a company that purports to develop products or services relating to Ebola, be aware that fraudsters often attempt to take advantage of the news as a hook for…
  • SEC Press Releases

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:24 am
    India-Based Operators Charged for High-Yield Investment Scheme Using Social MediaCharges have been announced against two India-based operators of an alleged high-yield investment scheme seeking to exploit investors through pervasive social media pitches on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.SEC Charges Business Owner and Stockbroker in Maryland-Based Offering FraudThe owner of a Maryland-based real estate company has been charged with conducting an offering fraud and spending investor money on such personal expenses as his mortgage, country club dues, and season tickets to the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Important SEC Press Releases

    17 Nov 2014 | 7:53 am
    California-Based Bio-Rad Laboratories Charged With FCPA ViolationsA clinical diagnostic and life science research company based in California has been charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when its subsidiaries made improper payments to foreign officials in Russia, Vietnam, and Thailand in order to win business.SEC Sanctions 13 Firms for Improper Sales of Puerto Rico Junk Bonds13 firms have been sanctioned for violating a rule primarily designed to protect retail investors in the municipal securities market.Two Canadian Citizens Charged With Penny Stock Fraud…
  • Judge Rakoff Questions the SEC's Overuse of Administrative Proceeding

    10 Nov 2014 | 11:52 am
    Judge Jed Rakoff, of the Southern District of New York, is a frequent critic of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last week he gave the keynote address at the Practicing Law Institute's Securities Regulation Conference.Judge Rakoff shared his concerns about the increased use of administrative proceedings by the SEC, concerns that myself, and other practicing attorneys have voiced in recent months. See, SEC's Use of Administrative Hearings Under Fire,  The SEC's Use of the Rocket Docket is Challenged and At the SEC, a question of Home Court Edge.The address, titled "Is the SEC…
  • New Confidentiality Requirement in Customer Discovery and Settlement Agreements

    5 Nov 2014 | 12:12 pm
    Experienced securities law attorneys know that it is a violation of FINRA rules to include a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement with a customer that prohibits the customer from discussing the case with a regulator. While we do incorporate confidentiality provisions into our settlement agreements, we are careful to exclude discussions with regulators.FINRA has now released Regulatory Notice 14-40, which contains something of a trap for the unsuspecting firm, and imposing a new requirement in discovery confidentiality agreements. And they have done it all without following the…
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  • Proceedings Under Trust Code (Rather than Probate Code) Not Appealable Unless Final

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

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

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

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

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

  • Reminder: Your MLA Notice Must Have Your License Number

    Christopher G. Hill
    17 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Virginia General Assembly (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Remember a couple of years ago when the Virginia mechanic’s lien rules changed to require inclusion of a claimant’s contractor’s license number (where a license is required)?  If not, then this is a reminder of that particular wrinkle in the strictly interpreted mechanic’s lien statute.  This requirement applies to all mechanic’s lien memoranda and, like all parts of this crazy statute, will invalidate a lien if not met.  Well, another change to the statute happened with a bit less fanfare. The change back in…
  • Fraud, the VCPA and Construction Contracts

    Christopher G. Hill
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:36 am
    Originally posted 2010-09-27 16:03:16. Image via Wikipedia I’ve discussed the economic loss rule here at Musings on several occasions.  The economic loss rule basically states that where one party assumes a duty based in contract or agreement, the Virginia courts will not allow a claim for breach of that duty to go forward as anything but a contract claim.  This doctrine makes fraud claims nearly, though not absolutely, impossible to maintain in a construction context.  In a majority of instances, fraud and construction contracts are very much like oil and water, leaving parties to…
  • Another Great Construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar Weekend

    Christopher G. Hill
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:36 am
    As some of you readers know, I spoke at the 35th Annual Construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar (schedule is linked here) this past weekend.  Aside from the great and flattering opportunity to join my friend Hanna Blake at the front of the room to speak on the topic of payment bond claims (yes the picture is my name tag from the event), I had a chance to sit and listen to some of my fellow construction lawyers and colleagues speak on the “nuts and bolts” of everything from mechanic’s lien claim prosecution to claims against the federal government and (one of my…
  • Boots on the Ground- A Great Way to Learn and Help Construction Clients

    Christopher G. Hill
    3 Nov 2014 | 10:21 am
    Originally posted 2012-11-12 09:00:02. The seals of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This past week, I attended the Construction Law and Public Contracts seminar in Charlottesville, VA and also a breakfast meeting of the Richmond chapter of the Associated General Contractors of Virginia.  Reflecting on this past week, I realized that my membership and participation in both of these great organizations (I am a member of the Board of Governors for the state bar section and the Executive Committee for the Richmond District of AGC-VA) not only provides great marketing and…
  • Check Out the 35th Annual Construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar

    Christopher G. Hill
    3 Nov 2014 | 10:21 am
    English: The Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Beginning this Friday, I will be joining some great folks on the faculty of the 35th Annual Construction and Public Contracts Law Seminar.    This year I am very honored to be joining Hanna Blake to discuss the topic of “How to Prosecute and Defend Payment Bond Claims.”  Aside from our presentation, the topics range from legal ethics to preparing a construction claim and Virginia construction case law updates.  Oh, and by the way, you can complete your Virginia MCLE requirement in one fell…
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    CAFA Law Blog

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

  • Manson: Also Registered at Pottery Barn, Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Macy's

    19 Nov 2014 | 6:17 pm
    Your options for furnishing the cell of Charles Manson and/or the nearby hovel of his future bride have expanded somewhat. This is according to, which is the sort of thing I was hoping my colleague Amy would know about, but no, I had to search by hand because I only learned about this today from Steve. (Thanks, Steve.) But again, to Amy's credit she did accurately predict that the Mansons would be registered at BB&B, so there is that. Of course, one or all of these could be bogus, although that only seems likely if they were set up after news of the marriage…
  • The Mansons Are Registered at Bed Bath & Beyond

    18 Nov 2014 | 1:36 pm
    Not even kidding: As I'm sure you know by now, or if not I'm telling you, Charles Manson and Afton Elaine Burton were issued a marriage license on November 7. The bride is an attractive 26-year-old who hails from the Midwest, while the groom is a not-at-all-attractive 80-year-old currently residing in Corcoran, California, where he is serving a life sentence for several notoriously brutal murders. No date has been set for the nuptials, but the prison has assigned a wedding coordinator, and the license is good until February. And they do appear to be registered at Bed Bath & Beyond. Are…
  • Woman Alleges Vicious Beagle Slain by Noble Pit Bulls

    17 Nov 2014 | 12:13 pm
    But not before it bit her, and that's why she's suing the beagle's owners for over $200,000. First of all, I don't think this is one of those cases that involves the debate whether pit bulls are inherently vicious or have to be raised that way. It's probably enough to note that it involved, on one side, a single 10-year-old beagle, and on the other, four pit bulls that did in fact kill another dog. So let's start with that. According to the Galveston Daily News (linked above), what happened is that "four pit bulls escaped from their yard ... and slipped through a hole in [the] fence,…
  • Various Plaintiffs v. Various Defendants

    14 Nov 2014 | 11:55 am
    Justin writes: I was a little flummoxed when I saw this caption. I thought, "That can't be right. Someone at Westlaw must have been screwing around." But ... there it is. It's beautiful in its simplicity. It's the all-purpose caption! Think of the ink we'd save. Unfortunately, we do need a way to distinguish between cases. Each one does get a unique number, but it's just too dull to go around saying things like "the long-awaited Supreme Court ruling in Case No. 2009-cv-42513-JRN-ERC." So not only is it ancient tradition to name them after the parties, the rules usually require it.
  • "The Huge Duck Scared Me," Says Woman Ticketed for Failing to Yield to It

    13 Nov 2014 | 11:21 am
    I like to think that most people would yield to a duck if it was safe to do so. But what if the duck was six-foot-four? The answer is apparently no. This duck was, in fact, an undercover officer dressed in a Donald Duck costume (and so arguably not "undercover" at all). He was part of an operation in Fort Lee, New Jersey, intended to encourage drivers to yield to pedestrians. According to Chief Kenneth Bendul, 102 pedestrians have been hit by cars in Fort Lee during the past two years, and he hopes the Pedestrians in the Crosswalk safety program will bring those numbers down. In this…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Cohabitation Births On The Rise As Marriage Stats Fall

    Robert L. Mues
    15 Nov 2014 | 12:27 am
    Marriage Rates Decline While Births For Cohabitation Couples Increase According To A Recent Study At Least One Child In Eight Is Born Into A Cohabitation Parent Family. Economic Factors Play Role In Non Marriage Births A recent study by the Council on Contemporary Families discusses the increase in cohabitating couples and planned children.  In births among cohabitating couples have increased 58% from 2006 to 2010. The study also suggests that half of these births were planned.  All in all, the rise in cohabitation is well documented, with cohabitation playing an increasingly prominent role…
  • Let Children Learn How to Deal with Life’s Problems

    Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
    7 Nov 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Bad experiences in early childhood have a significant impact on kids during adolescence, according to recent research published by Child Trends. Investigators found that 48 percent of our kids experienced a serious negative event during childhood, with 11 percent of our kids having to deal with three or more severe situations. The most common negative events were serious economic hardships (26 percent of kids), divorced or separated parents (20 percent), and living in families with serious problems with alcohol (11 percent), violence (9 percent) or mental illness (9 percent). Youngsters who…
  • Custodial Interference: Effective Parental Action is Often Necessary

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

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

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

  • Lex Machina and the Wave of Legal Research and Analytics Resources

    13 Nov 2014 | 7:12 am
    Image [cc] Giulia Forsythe There are very few legal research and analytic platforms that are truly unique, ground-breaking, advantage-giving resources. One of the newer products out there that does seem to fit this category is Lex Machina. Although I'm still not sure the proper pronunciation of the "Machina" (is it "Mah-CHEE-Na" or "Mak-IN-ah" or "Mah-KEEN-ah"??), it is one of the few products where I've heard lawyers from multiple firms say it is a "must have" as part of their IP litigation arsenal. In fact, when talking with an IP Lawyer at a conference once, that lawyer said "I…
  • The Top 5 Myths of Law Library Outsourcing – And the Unsung Heroes

    12 Nov 2014 | 9:01 am
    Image [cc] Richard Aird [Editor Note: Please welcome guest blogger, Deborah Schwarz, CEO and Founder, LAC Group. Since we know there has been a lot of talk about outsourcing in library services, we thought it would be interesting to get Deb's perspective on what she hears from the business side of Managed Services for law libraries. So our thanks to Deb for giving us five things she hears, but thinks are misperceptions when it comes to Law Library Outsourcing. - Greg Lambert] As the legal landscape continues to shift, law firms are looking for every possible advantage to…
  • Free Webinar on Competitive Intelligence Deliverables - This Thursday 11/13

    10 Nov 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Update 11/18/2014: A recording of the presentation, handouts, and examples are available on the CIBlawg site. NOTE: The Webinar has been over-subscribed! Unfortunately, this may mean that some of you may not be able to log in and listen.  The Slides of the presentation will be available shortly after the webinar. Seems like AALL and PLL have a popular thing on their hands, and hopefully will present additional CI webinars soon. - GL If you've ever wondered what Competitive Intelligence looks like, then sign up for this free webinar sponsored by Private Law Libraries…
  • Competitive Intelligence, Short and Sweet

    7 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
    Image: Internet Mapping Project Law Technology News recently published a two-part series on Competative Intelligence, authored by Oz Benemram and Louise Tsang. Part One offers an overview of types of CI programs.  Part Two covers the building of CI teams.  Focused and to the point, the articles offer a nice primer on points to consider in building or modifying CI teams and products. 
  • All About The Rules

    3 Nov 2014 | 3:25 pm
    This post comes from a good friend of 3 Geeks who would prefer to remain anonymous.  - RM Image (CC) - moyamoyya It has taken me a while to post my thought's on Ryan's series on The Exponential Law Firm and the technological practice of law not because I wasn't interested but, because ironically, I took a short but personally refreshing break from technology. But I'm back and have been further inspired by Toby's recent post, "Stop It With the Stupid Rules".  So, for whatever they are worth, here are the thoughts of a geek librarian turned geek lawyer turned geek I'm not sure what…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • May a Minor Form an LLC?

    18 Nov 2014 | 4:39 pm
    This post – asking “May a minor form an LLC?” – is a companion to May a Minor Form a Corporation? I have been wanting to write this post for more than two years, ever since writing the corporation post referenced above. However, as explained further below, I felt uncomfortable doing so because I was somewhat unsure of the answer. No Authoritative Answer After hours of online research, I found no authoritative answer. Some people (including some lawyers) state that a minor may not form an LLC. However, they cite no authority supporting this proposition. They appear…
  • What are Repeated and Successive Transactions?

    13 Nov 2014 | 7:35 pm
    In Doing Business in CA? Be Sure to Register, I discussed when a foreign entity must register to do business in California. The test is whether the entity has transacted intrastate business, i.e., has engaged in repeated and successive transactions of business within the state. This post explores the meaning of “repeated and successive transactions“. “Repeated and Successive Transactions” Not Defined The term “repeated and successive transactions” appears in Corporations Code Subsection 191(a). Unfortunately, that term is not defined. However, another…
  • Who Is Bound by a Pre-incorporation Contract?

    11 Nov 2014 | 5:36 pm
    This post about entering into a pre-incorporation contract is based on a question I answered on Avvo. See Can I legally speak as my company in things like terms & conditions if I have not officially registered the company yet? The term “pre-incorporation contract” properly should apply only to corporations, because that is the only type of business entity that is incorporated. Other types of business entities, such as limited liability companies (LLCs), are formed, rather than incorporated. However, as is discussed below, a pre-formation contract (in California, at least) is…
  • Fraudulent Email Prohibitions Supplement CAN-SPAM

    6 Nov 2014 | 4:17 pm
    In Commercial E-mail and CAN-SPAM: What You Need to Know, I discussed how the federal CAN-SPAM Act makes commercial email more truthful, more transparent and more avoidable. This post addresses how California law concerning fraudulent email supplements CAN-SPAM. In particular, this post discusses preemption, by which, under certain circumstances, U.S. federal laws can invalidate state laws that address a given subject matter. Federal Preemption by CAN-SPAM Many states (including California) had passed anti-spam legislation before CA-SPAM took effect. In an effort to set a national standard,…
  • Can Parties Enter Into a Perpetual Contract?

    5 Nov 2014 | 6:51 pm
    This post is about whether parties may enter into a perpetual contract (one that never ends). It is adapted from my answer to a question on Quora. See Is it possible to structure a contract with no end date? It turns out the the answer depends, to some extent, on which state’s law applies. California: Perpetual Contract Can Be Terminated For example, in California a perpetual contract can exist, but any party may terminate it at any time. In Zee Medical Distributor Assn. v. Zee Medical, the California Court of Appeal for the First District discussed a three-step analysis concerning…
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • An Adversary System without Adversaries

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:19 pm
    Some background:Ohio law says that the Ohio Supreme Court must review every death sentence on direct appeal.  A rule of the Ohio Supreme Court, a rule crafted by the Ohio Supreme Court, says that no brief can be filed after the date it is due.  Another rule prohibits asking permission to file a brief late.  Yet another rule says that if a party doesn't file a brief, it cannot participate in oral argument.  There is no rule prohibiting asking to waive that rule.  (Confused yet?  Welcome to the Buckeye State's Supreme Court where they refuse to file documents…
  • Of course. But on the Other Hand, Not.

    11 Nov 2014 | 6:53 pm
    A lot of people, smart people, savvy people, devoted a lot of time and energy to proving that Roger Keith Coleman was factually innocent, that he didn't actually rape and murder his sister-in-law Wanda McCoy.  They tried to prove it before he was killed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, strapped into the electric chair.  The case was, frankly, compelling.  And Coleman himself, with his last words, seemed to seal it.An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight.  When my innocence is proven, I hope America will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all other…
  • Or They'd Have To Kill You

    10 Nov 2014 | 7:15 pm
    We knew it was coming.  They'd made that clear.  Ohio was going to enact a law to keep all the execution details secret.  Who makes the drugs?  Secret.How they get the drugs?  Secret.Who administers the drugs?  Secret.Who advised them about the drugs?  Secret.And it would protect the folks involved in other ways.  Prohibitions on pharmacists participating?  Not in Ohio.Prohibitions on EMTs participating?  Not in Ohio.Prohibitions on nurses participating?  Not in Ohio.Prohibitions on doctors participating?  Not in Ohio.Prohibitions on…
  • Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

    9 Nov 2014 | 8:38 pm
    A law student, a legal intern in our office who's licensed to argue under direct supervision of a lawyer who sits at counsel table with him, was arguing his first case in the court of appeals.  The trial court had suppressed evidence.  The state appealed.  The student/intern was defending the trial court's decision.  I went to watch and provide moral support.He did a fine job, and he had great facts to work with.  He'll probably win though there are no guarantees in this business. I'll be happy if he wins, of course.  It's the right outcome legally.  It's a…
  • Anfractuosity

    6 Nov 2014 | 5:04 am
    It is impossible to purposely or knowingly cause an unintended death.If you're not a lawyer, that probably seems self-evident.  After all, you can't mean to do something you don't intend to do, can't try to cause an accident because then it won't be, well, an accident.  It'll be an on purpose.  If you're a lawyer, though.  That's the shit we cut our teeth on.  The crime is felony murder, "Murder B" we call it since it's the form or murder proscribed by subsection B of Section 2903.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, the section that defines the crime of murder.(B) No…
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    VirtualMarketingOfficer Blog

  • Are you ready to deck the halls with boughs of social media content?

    Jayne Navarre
    10 Nov 2014 | 5:39 pm
    There’s a holiday feeling in the air. The invites to parties, soirees, concerts, and other festive affairs are about to hit your December calendar. The law office canteen will soon be filled with cookies and candies. Greeting cards are printed and soon to be lined up on the conference room table, ready for signatures. Law firm client gifts are approved and ordered. The database housekeeping and eCard production is done. Ooops. You didn’t forget your holiday social media content plan did you? Deck the Halls with Boughs of Content… All year long you’ve been collecting followers, friends…
  • Praise for FAIL: An entertaining detective mystery with a conscience…

    Jayne Navarre
    3 Nov 2014 | 3:32 pm
    The glorious lack of success in almost any bad situation can be summed up in a single syllable—fail. However, FAIL, a recently released detective mystery novel by award winning author Rick Skwiot (Blank Slate Press, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 2014), is a glorious success that receives my highest recommendation—a real page-turner. Skwiot’s writing, working meticulously like a treacherous black widow spider, pulled me craftily into the mean streets of St. Louis, Missouri, an otherworldly chasm of urban decay and corruption. Weaving tough subjects—criminal justice, inner city schools,…
  • My Steinbrenner Rule: A good pitching arm alone is not why you invest $28 million

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

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

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

  • News Roundup - October 2014

    31 Oct 2014 | 6:52 pm
    Close To 100,000 Hungarian Demonstrators Protest Internet Usage Tax In An Online, On-Demand Age, TV Reruns Are Redefined UK reforms enabling private copying, parodying and general quotation of copyrighted material come into forceAcademic behind copyright law changes warns that rights holders could lose even more control of content by taking test cases to courtOettinger sketches out EU copyright reforms timetable
  • News Roundup - September 2014

    30 Sep 2014 | 6:48 pm
    CJEU defines works of parody and rules that rights holders' interests must be considered
  • News Roundup - August 2014

    31 Aug 2014 | 6:46 pm
    Is posting football Vines copyright infringement?
  • News Roundup - July 2014

    31 Jul 2014 | 6:44 pm
    Doubt cast over proposed UK laws on private copying Digital Economy Act copyright regime shelved by UK governmentPrivate copying exception plans face possible legal action following parliamentary sign off
  • News Roundup - June 2014

    30 Jun 2014 | 6:40 pm
    Private copying, parody and quotation rights rules move closer to being implementedResearchers given 'data mining' right under new UK copyright lawsViewing freely available copyrighted material on websites does not require rights holders' permission, rules CJEURights holders can control resale of digital content that is not software, rules German court
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    Technically Legal

  • Apple Hit With $23 Million Patent Infringement Verdict

    Ben Snitkoff
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:14 am
    Apple Inc. lost a big patent infringement case against MTel in the Eastern District of Texas. It’s safe to assume that Apple will appeal, and a likely target of that appeal will be a recent decision from the Federal Circuit criticizing certain methods of calculating damages. The patents related generally to text-based communication. Related posts: District Court Awards Fees In Patent Dispute The blogosphere has been going a little bonkers over a... Patently-O: Data Structures Patent Ineligible It’s been a slow couple of weeks in tech-law news,... Raise or Waive – The Federal…
  • “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…
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    Bitter Lawyer

  • You Will Probably Never Ever Get Disbarred

    Lisa Needham
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:27 pm
    How hard is it to get completely disbarred? Apparently it is really really hard, as this attorney learned when he piled infraction upon infraction but STILL didn’t get tossed from our noble profession. Pennsylvania attorney Christopher Booth kicked off his spree of misbehavior with the usual vague-but-still-problematic neglecting cases and failing to communicate with his clients. Haha everyone knows that you barely get a slap on the wrist for that. Do more better! Maybe fail to supply discovery. That might move the ball along a bit. Ooh ooh! Then don’t show up at the sanctions…
  • Lawyers, Don’t Do This: Part Eleventy In An Infinite Series

    Lisa Needham
    18 Nov 2014 | 10:30 am
    So you talked a court in another jurisdiction into letting you appear pro hac vice! Good for you! But then when you got to that court, you basically behaved like a third-year skills textbook example of how NOT to be a lawyer! Bad for you! Take the case of one Mr. Jeffrey Ryan, who represented a plaintiff pro hac vice in the federal district court for the district of Massachusetts. Ryan was representing the plaintiff in a suit about god knows what, we do not even care, when this happened mid-deposition. The deposition transcript shows that a half hour into the deposition, defense counsel asked…
  • Everyone Is Quitting Law Except Anti-Social Babies And Jerks

    Lisa Needham
    14 Nov 2014 | 3:30 pm
    There’s a big new white paper dealio out that is the result of an online assessment where some poor folks decided to interview 973 practicing attorneys, 95 nonpracticing attorneys, 225 law students and 139 people who weren’t lawyers about why everyone is fleeing our profession in droves and who those lucky souls are. We are not going to read the whole thing because who has that kind of time, but we did hit the highlights. Spoiler alert: the only people leaving are the good ones. Law firms seeking to hire lawyers more likely to stay in law practice should be forewarned: Lawyers with…
  • Your Epic Condiment Lawsuit Is Finally Here

    Lisa Needham
    13 Nov 2014 | 1:38 pm
    I’m a Midwesterner, which means that I’ve never given serious thought to what goes into mayonnaise because my people use Miracle Whip and pretend it is mayo. (I only learned this was an unforgivable sin when I went to college.) But apparently mayo ingredients are a Big Fucking Deal and have been defined by the FDA since 1957 as damn straight requiring egg yolks, acid, and oil. (Because of that, white people white food staple Miracle Whip is considered as a salad dressing.) Turns out the folks that make actual factual mayo with eggs can get downright litigious over their…
  • Referees And Attorneys Are Both The Worst

    12 Nov 2014 | 2:00 pm
    For those of you who don’t watch football there are traditionally a bunch of old men dressed up in zebra patterns called referees. Now their job is to run next to multimillion dollar athletes and call out penalties. Now why we pay senior citizens to run next to the fastest athletes in the world is beyond me, but what can’t be denied is how closely related a ref’s job is to that of an attorney. Both attorneys and referees seem to enjoy providing overcomplicated answers to simple problems. In law school, one essay question can easily take up more than four pages of text. Sadly, that gift…
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    Rochester Bankruptcy and Debt Relief

  • Bankruptcy and Eviction

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

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

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

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

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

  • Does legalized marijuana evoke “the mother of all gender gaps”?

    Douglas Keene
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:32 am
    We follow, as you may have noticed, attitudes, values and beliefs toward a wide variety of issues. So we were surprised to see this 2012 national poll from Quinnipiac University pop up in a number of recent blog posts. According to their survey, while Americans favored the legalization of marijuana (51% to 44%) there were significant age and gender gaps. “Men support legalization 59 to 36% but women are opposed 52 to 44%.” Younger voters, “18-29 years old support legalization 67 to 29% while voters over age 65 are opposed 56 to 35%.” For some reason, a number of blogs picked up the…
  • Predicting societal shifts: Same-sex marriage and the “Future of Weed”

    Rita Handrich
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:02 am
    Sometimes we run across odd associations as we peruse research literature. Here’s an article from Pacific Standard saying we can potentially predict when the legalization of marijuana will occur by looking at how quickly attitudes toward same-sex marriage shifted in the United States. And this prediction relies, not on pundits or polls, but rather on what they call “data science”. Essentially, the article says, you can use “data on similar issues” to “build a mathematical model” and use that model to “estimate the likely outcomes for marijuana legalization across the…
  • Changing American Attitudes: Doctor-assisted suicide laws

    Douglas Keene
    14 Nov 2014 | 4:02 am
    Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old woman with an aggressive and terminal brain cancer who announced her intention to take her life, has put a face on the “death with dignity” movement. Her announcement that she would take her life thanks to Oregon’s right to die laws, spurred many “offers” of advice for her. Cannabis for cancer, stem cell therapy, choose life, and multiple offers of vitamin cures, dietary changes, and other ideas proliferate in comment sections. Others in the comment sections express the idea that Maynard herself comments on in her video–i.e., no one else can…
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    Karl Bayer's Disputing Blog

  • Part Two: Arbitration in Evolution

    Beth Graham
    18 Nov 2014 | 8:38 am
    In Part One of this series, Disputing highlighted the survey group profile described in “Arbitration in Evolution: Current Practices and Perspectives of Experienced Arbitrators,” authored by Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Thomas Stipanowich and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Research Fellow Zachary Ulrich. The article examines data obtained in a unique 2013 survey of 134 members of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (“CCA”).  The information collected from survey respondents concerns the state of commercial arbitration practice in both U.S. and…
  • Part One: Arbitration in Evolution

    Beth Graham
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:58 am
    Professor Thomas Stipanowich, Pepperdine University School of Law, and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Research Fellow Zachary Ulrich, have published “Arbitration in Evolution: Current Practices and Perspectives of Experienced Arbitrators,” Columbia American Review of International Arbitration, Forthcoming ; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/30.  The paper fully analyzes the data obtained in a groundbreaking 2013 survey regarding commercial arbitration practice in both U.S. and international disputes that 134 members of the College of Commercial…
  • Special Masters: How to Make the Best of Both Worlds, Part I

    Merril Hirsh, James M. Rhodes & Karl Bayer
    12 Nov 2014 | 2:01 pm
    This is the first in a series of posts discussing the role of Special Masters in complex litigation and how litigants can best use them to improve their litigation experience. Stay tuned! Part One: The Problem By: Merril Hirsh, James Rhodes, and Karl Bayer An article in the Spring 2014 issue of the ABA’s Dispute Resolution reports on the sad results of a 2011 Fortune 1000 ADR survey. The survey updated a 1997 study. The bottom line: in 1997, Fortune 1000 companies, tired of the expense and inefficiency of litigation, were overwhelmingly interested in using arbitration. In 2011, Fortune 1000…
  • Reflections on the State and Future of Commercial Arbitration: Challenges, Opportunities, Proposals

    Beth Graham
    12 Nov 2014 | 12:39 pm
    Over the course of the past week, Disputing highlighted Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Thomas Stipanowich’s forthcoming publication entitled “Reflections on the State and Future of Commercial Arbitration: Challenges, Opportunities, Proposals,” Columbia American Review of International Arbitration, Forthcoming; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/29. In his paper, Professor Stipanowich thoroughly analyzed the results of a landmark survey regarding commercial arbitration practice in U.S. and international disputes. Here is the abstract: Commercial…
  • Part Three: Reflections on the State and Future of Commercial Arbitration

    Beth Graham
    11 Nov 2014 | 5:11 am
    In Parts One and Two of this series, Disputing highlighted portions of Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Thomas Stipanowich’s research paper entitled “Reflections on the State and Future of Commercial Arbitration: Challenges, Opportunities, Proposals.”  The article and its companion piece, “Arbitration in Evolution: Current Practices and Perspectives of Experienced Arbitrators,” (coauthored by Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Research Fellow Zachary Ulrich) discusses the survey responses provided by 134 members of the College of Commercial Arbitrators about…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • Immigration Imagination

    20 Nov 2014 | 12:22 pm
    While the talking heads at Fox News are having a collective heart attack over Emperor Obama's pending immigration reforms, Fox News Latino has an entirely different take.Any day now, President Obama will announce his executive action on immigration, and conservative lawmakers are not happy. "This is the wrong way to govern,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to the White House warning the president against taking executive action, and questioning his authority to do so. Like it or not, the president has…
  • I Have Found the World's Most Boring Civil Case!

    South Florida Lawyers
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    I actually dozed off twice while reading it.Any opinion that takes thirteen pages before you even know what the case is about or what claims are being asserted should be warning that two cups of coffee will be necessary to get through it:Finally, the SRA reiterated ANI’s reporting obligations, including ANI’s duty to provide, on written request, copies of all purchase orders verifying the sale price for all sales by it or any of its affiliated companies, id., § 4(d), and, on reasonable notice, any invoices, policies, or related documents underlying any storage expenses deducted from…
  • Give! Give! Give!

    19 Nov 2014 | 5:10 pm
    Tomorrow is the big day!Give Miami Day is a unique, online giving event that provides everyone in the community an opportunity to build a greater Miami through philanthropy. During the 24-hour period between midnight November 20 and midnight November 21, individuals may view online profiles of more than 500 nonprofit organizations serving Miami-Dade County and make a charitable gift here on You can search and give to organizations doing the work you believe is best for Miami-Dade, which makes it easy to support the causes you care about. The Miami Foundation,…
  • 3d DCA Watch -- And the Bunker Is a Hazy Shade of Winter!

    South Florida Lawyers
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:03 am
    Can you feel that chill in the air?Given the heavily-fortified nature of the bunker, once those thick slabs of concrete get cold it takes approximately fourteen months for the building to warm up again.But no worries -- the denizens are ready, having already broken out their cold-weather gear and modified their routines for winter (Thinsulate-lined Resplendent Robes, coffee heated to a scalding 78 degrees, burning of the law clerks' desks and chairs to warm the judges' chambers, ritual "hugging" conferences overseen by the Chief Judge and held in the mechanical room/gym to conserve heat, you…
  • Truth or Consequences/Schoolboy Blues -- A Reinterpretation!

    South Florida Lawyers
    18 Nov 2014 | 8:31 am
    Here's a reinterpretation of that order from yesterday using a different jumping off point:In 1970, toward the end of the Rolling Stones' contract with Decca Records, the label demanded that the Stones release their final single on Decca per contract before they could move to their self-owned record label, Rolling Stones Records.  In a farewell "flip off" to the staid suited Decca record execs, the Stones recorded a wildly salacious number that had no hope of ever becoming a hit record for their former label.  The bawdy lyrics, unprintable for the most part here, include "I ain't…
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    eLessons Learned

  • Who Should Pay the Cost of Producing eDiscovery?

    19 Nov 2014 | 10:10 am
    This case involves a contractual dispute worth $41 million between Juster and North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA). Juster issued a request for production of documents that included 49 requests for documents and a list of 67 proposed search terms. Some of these terms included words such as “fee,” “debt,” “tax,” and “SEC.” NHSA argues that [...]
  • Facebook Fails: Can I Delete my Facebook while a Lawsuit is Pending?

    12 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    The defendant in personal injury litigation commonly requests discovery concerning a plaintiff’s Facebook account.  The reason such requests are made is that pictures on Facebook may reveal the “injured” plaintiff dancing on top of a bar table, skiing, traveling, etc.  These damaging photos may prove that the plaintiff’s injury is not as severe as he [...]
  • Should One IT Person Hold the Keys to the Kingdom? How the “Philippine Love Bug” Case Highlights the Vulnerability of Such a Policy

    7 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Background Omega Engineering Corporation, an international company based in New Jersey, was once the employer of Timothy Lloyd. To put Omega’s importance into perspective, the U.S. Navy and NASA were two of their clients for highly specialized and sophisticated industrial process measurement devices. According to testimony during the trial, Lloyd worked at Omega as its [...]
  • Employers—Got Resumes? Don’t Toss Them Just Yet

    5 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Plaintiff Erick Zayas joined with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to sue Ventura Corp. for employment discrimination on the basis of sex in 2007. In essence, Zavas complained that Ventura’s long-standing tradition of hiring women for the position he applied to was discriminatory. Furthermore, Zavas alleged that Ventura destroyed relevant evidence. In its answer, [...]
  • Greater Rights in Contract Mean Greater Obligations in Discovery

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

  • Anti-Money Laundering Regulations are Coming for Private Funds

    Doug Cornelius
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Investment advisers and private funds have largely not been under the strict regulatory requirements under Bank Secrecy Act. The rationale is that the custody requirements impose a custody account and the custodian is subject to those rules. It looks like things are going to change. U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen gave  speech to to the ABA/ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference and said changes are underway. FinCEN, in consultation with the SEC, is working to define SEC-registered investment advisers as financial institutions and,…
  • Pay to Pour

    Doug Cornelius
    18 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Massachusetts regulators have launched an investigation into whether providers are paying for access. In this case, it’s about beer, not political donations. Pay-to-play is illegal under Massachusetts and federal liquor control laws. The restrictions date back to the end of Prohibition, to keep large breweries from dominating the market. Small breweries have to compete for limited space at the bar. This is not true for the grocery store where non-alcohol manufacturers routinely pay a slotting fee for access to the supermarket shelves. A local craft brewing company executive aired his…
  • Cheating Your Way Into the Olympics

    Doug Cornelius
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Vanessa Mae really wanted to compete in the Olympics, but she is better violinist than a skier. She has sold 10 million records so that is a very high bar. The International Ski Federation decided that she cheated her way into the Olympics. When Eddie the Eagle competed in the 1988 Olympics, some thought it was a great underdog story and some thought it was degrading the biggest sports event. In response, the International Olympic Committee instituted a new rule in 1990 which requires Olympic hopefuls to compete and place well. In Sochi the musician raced for Thailand and finished last of 67…
  • Weekend Reading: Trapped Under the Sea

    Doug Cornelius
    15 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    If you’ve ever flown into Boston’s Logan Airport or stared out over the harbor, you likely noticed the dozen egg-shaped structures sitting out on Deer Island. Those are key components of the second largest sewage treatment facility in the United States. The construction of the outflow pipes from that facility is the key point in Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness by Neil Swidey. The communities of Greater Boston had been dumping barely-treated and raw sewage into Boston Harbor since it was founded. Boston earned the…
  • Compliance Bricks and Mortar for November 14

    Doug Cornelius
    14 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    These are some of the recent compliance-related stories that caught my attention. The SEC and the DMV by Thomas O. Gorman in SEC Actions “The SEC Should Copy the DMV” is the title of an article published in the New York Times by Joseph S. Fichera recently. The article focuses on the use of corporate fines, questioning whether they are effective: “The SEC and other federal regulators have levied over $125 billion in penalties on Wall Street since the global financial crisis of 2008. Yet few believe that these fines are enough to change behavior. For the largest financial institutions, a…
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    Simmons Firm

  • Famous Mesothelioma Deaths: Paul Gleason

    Michael J. Angelides
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:01 am
    Paul Gleason’s iconic lines “Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns” solidified him as the cantankerous antagonist in The Breakfast Club. While his role as the principal guarding rebellious 80s teens is his most famous, his death from pleural mesothelioma is less well known. Aside from being a casualty of asbestos exposure, Gleason was an actor with a full career on top of his dedicated family life and enthusiasm for sports. Acting was not always his dream, though. Raised in New Jersey, the free-spirited Gleason ran away at the age of 16 and hitchhiked across the…
  • Thirty Percent of All Mesothelioma Cases are Veterans

    Christopher R. Guinn
    9 Nov 2014 | 11:02 pm
    When mesothelioma patients turn to Simmons Hanly Conroy for the justice they deserve, many of them are U.S. veterans. In fact, more than 30 percent of Americans who are afflicted with mesothelioma were first exposed to asbestos during their time in the military. Veterans from all military branches – Navy and Army to the Air Force and Marines – often came into contact with asbestos-containing materials. Up until the mid-1970s, nearly every ship and shipyard built by the United States Navy was constructed with asbestos materials. It was primarily used in engine rooms, boiler rooms and other…
  • Renovating Your Home? Keep These Asbestos Tips in Mind

    Amy E. Garrett
    7 Nov 2014 | 6:06 am
    Thanks to its low cost and fire resistant capabilities, asbestos was often used in house construction. Homes built anywhere from the early 1900s until as late as the 1980s likely had some asbestos materials in them. The United States began implementing bans on the substance in the 1970s, and it is luckily no longer used in home construction. But, asbestos could still be lingering in older homes. Asbestos is most dangerous when disturbed. Although the thought of asbestos lying dormant in your home might be unsettling, if it is untouched it’s likely not a concern. When asbestos fibers are…
  • Black Carbon Found in Pollution Tied to Obesity Hormone

    Jo Anna Pollock
    3 Nov 2014 | 1:55 pm
    New findings show that traffic pollution, a common culprit in health issues, is now linked to obesity. Black carbon, an air particle found in traffic-related air pollution, may have ties to unhealthy levels of leptin. Leptin is a hormone that affects body weight and can be a contributing factor to obesity. A recent study found results showing that older adults who have long-term exposure to high levels of black carbon fiber also had higher levels of leptin. Conducted at Brown University by Gregory Wellenius, the environmental study found a 27 percent increase in leptin levels for older…
  • Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: October 2014

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

  • What is a Residuary Clause?

    Rania Combs
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:30 am
    I recently worked with a couple that wanted to make sure that all their wordly possessions passed to the surviving spouse upon their death, and then to their children when both of them died. Rather than listing out every specific asset they owned, I used a residuary clause to accomplish their goals. They became alarmed when they read their Wills because they were concerned that an item not specifically identified would not pass according to their wishes. What is a Specific Gift? It is possible to make a specific gift in a Will. A specific gift identifies a particular item and the individual,…
  • Intestacy Can Be A Nightmare In Blended Families

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

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

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

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

    Dave Wieneke
    15 Nov 2014 | 5:15 am
    Ecommerce’s Unexpectedly Awesome WeekAmazon’s settlement with Hachette and news of increasing consumer spending has rallied Amazon’s value 4.7% today. That extends an amazing growth in the firms value of 17% in the last two weeks. This week’s re:Invent gathering of Amazon Web Services customers showing the kind of growth some have called “the fastest growing company in history.” In an age defined by “big data” Amazon is adding a million customers a month with a sustained 40% annual growth rate. AWS is a serious challenge to VMware and potentially enterprise…
  • 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…
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    A Connecticut Law Blog

  • Fitness Trackers Can And Will Be Used Against You In Court

    Ryan McKeen
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:17 am
    “We’re constantly adding more shelf space. Consumers have many options right now. So many that it’s confusing. We’re going to sell a lot of these for Christmas” said the helpful Best Buy employee to me. He’s right there really are a lot of fitness wearables on the market ranging from cutting edge to fairly low tech. The Moto 360 isn’t a fitness wearable. Though it tracks steps and heart rate. We are witnessing Act 1 of the wearable revolution. What happens outside of the courtroom eventually finds its way into a courtroom.  Newton’s 28th law of…
  • A Post About Lunch

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

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

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

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

  • Breaking: Amarchand Mumbai brokers Kotak merger with ING Vysya Bank with AZB

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:49 am
    Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai office, which is in the midst of a potential split from the Delhi region offices, has acted for long-standing client Kotak Mahindra Bank, which has merged with ING Vysya Bank, according to a tweet from CEO Uday Kotak: I am excited to announce the merger of Kotak Mahindra Bank & ING Vysya Bank, subject to approvals. We will work to create stakeholder value. According to sources, the Amarchand deal team for Kotak was led by corporate partner Ashwath Rau with partner Shishir Vayttaden, assisted by managing partner Cyril Shroff. Senior associate Kashish Bhatia also…
  • SC tells CBI boss not to meddle in 2G & forces recusal

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:48 am
    In a blow to CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, the Supreme Court Thursday directed him not to interfere with the 2G spectrum case and recuse himself from its investigation and prosecution. An apex court bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice AK Sikri said that the senior-most officer heading the investigating team probing the 2G case will take over the overall investigations of the 2G cases. Holding as "credible" the allegations of interference and scuttling of investigation and prosecution by Sinha in the 2G spectrum cases, the court recalled its Sep 15 order…
  • Shipping head Harsh Pratap quits; Clasis starts Mumbai from scratch; Aneja only co-founder left

    20 Nov 2014 | 2:16 am
    Clasis Law Mumbai partner and shipping and international trade head Harsh Pratap has left the firm, shortly after the exit of four other partners of the firm in Mumbai and London, including three co-founding partners.
  • Vaish, Amarchand on $1.5bn Jaiprakash hydropower project sale to JSW

    20 Nov 2014 | 2:11 am
    Vaish Associates advised Jaiprakash Power Ventures (JPVL) in selling its BASPA Hydro Electric Project and its Karcham Wangtoo project to JSW Energy for Rs 9,700 crore. JSW Energy was advised by Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai partners L Viswanathan, Tushar Mavani and Ramanuj Kumar and senior associates Prateek Shroff and Abhimanyu Ghosh. Vaish partner Bomi Daruwala, senior associates Yatin Narang and Shrinivas Sankaran and associates Tanya Sharma and Priyesh Sharma acted for JPVL. The board of directors of JPVL approved the transfer of the 1391 MW projects into its subsidiary HBPC as a going…
  • Mumbai source: Post ‘black Tuesday’ Amarchand break-up now most likely outcome after Zia, Birla, Parekh failed mediation before

    20 Nov 2014 | 1:55 am
    The dispute between Amarchand Mangaldas brothers would most likely result in a split of the firm into two separate entities, said an authoritative source with close knowledge of the Mumbai side of the dispute.
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  • Making It Sing: How Rhetorical Writing Techniques Can Improve Legal Writing

    Brian Porto
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:12 am
    “Making It Sing: How Rhetorical Writing Techniques Can Improve Your Writing” was originally published in the Summer Edition of the Vermont Bar Journal. It is republished here with permission. I am the last one to suppose that a piece about the law could be made to read like a juicy sex novel or a detective story, but I cannot see why it has to resemble a cross between a nineteenth century sermon and a treatise on higher mathematics. The late Professor Fred Rodell of Yale Law School once observed of legal writing, “I am the last one to suppose that a piece about the law could be made to…
  • What Judges Around the World Wear in Court

    Sam Glover
    19 Nov 2014 | 8:26 am
    J.J. McCullough, a Canadian political cartoonist has put together a collection of judges’ costumes from around the world. It’s pretty amazing to see them all in one place. Here, of course, is the classic UK getup. This is the Lord High Chancellor, who gets the prettiest lace. Many of the judges’ robes are a variation on black, though many countries add some lace or a medallion. Somewhat surprisingly, many former British colonies kept the wigs and robes. Many former French colonies likewise kept the funny hats. I like the outfits in Pakistan and Malaysia, which have character…
  • 3 Tips For Taking a Case to the Supreme Court

    Jason P. Steed
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:12 am
    Most of the cases considered by the U.S. Supreme Court come through a “petition for a writ of certiorari.” A writ of certiorari is an order from the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send the record of a proceeding up for review. Basically, when a court of appeals makes a decision that one of the parties thinks is wrong, the party files a petition for a writ of certiorari (or a “cert petition,” for short) to the Supreme Court, asking the Court to review the court of appeals’ decision. If the Supreme Court thinks the decision is worth reviewing, it will grant the…
  • TranscriptPad Updates to Version 2.0

    Todd Hendrickson
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:11 am
    If you litigate, you deal with depositions. If you deal with depositions, you need TranscriptPad. The original was good. Version 2.0, available now, is even better. TranscriptPad, like TrialPad, is the benchmark in iPad apps for litigators. I transitioned to a paperless office over 5 years ago, but one of the nagging complaints I had was the lack of a good paperless option for summarizing and annotating depositions. TranscriptPad fills that bill. It allows you to: Import depositions and organize them by case file Import exhibits as PDFs for viewing Annotate depositions by custom case…
  • The Law Society of British Columbia Has Apparently Banned the Cloud [Updated]

    Sam Glover
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:50 am
    At the end of a recent talk by Jack Newton, CEO of Clio, a bombshell: [F]rom the back of the room, an attendee stood up and stated (roughly, to paraphrase): “I am Jan Lindsay, President of the Law Society of BC. This is black and white: BC lawyers are prohibited from using non-BC-based cloud computing providers, including Google and Dropbox.” If you could only use cloud providers from your state or province, that would effectively eliminate the cloud as a computing option. It has to be a misstatement. No other North American bar association has gone so far; most are moving in the opposite…
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Ebola and the Failure of Lawyering (Updated)

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

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

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

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

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

  • Melissa Rivers Seeks Answers As To Why Joan Rivers Died

    Danielle & Andy
    5 Nov 2014 | 9:06 am
    Even though she was 81 years old when she died on September 4th, there is no denying that Joan Rivers died too soon. She continued to entertain with an energy level that suggested she was anything but eighty-something. Melissa Rivers has now hired a law firm to find out exactly why Joan died … and who, if anyone, should be held responsible.  Representatives for Melissa Rivers told E! News and others that she retained a New York law firm to “fully determine all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Joan Rivers.” Other reports state that the law firm is sending letters…
  • Using Celebrity Stories Is A Great Way To Bring Up Estate Planning

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

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

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

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

    4 Nov 2014 | 10:30 am
    Breaking News Effective immediately, I agree to represent, for free, any horses who are unjustly subjected to prosecution under this rule.
  • How much is a half hour worth to you?

    4 Nov 2014 | 7:46 am
    Depending on my pending cases, I travel a moderate to high amount during the week. Most of the time, the travel time is spent accumulating frequent flier points with Southwest. However, despite the number of free flights I earn, I do not like to fly. I don’t like the TSA, and I hate the feeling of my sinuses preparing to burst. When possible, I always opt for rail travel. Most of the time, this is constrained to the eastern seaboard and occasional trips to Chicago. It is convenient, and I like the opportunity to perform uninterrupted work during the trip. While I occasionally use…
  • Trial Techniques: First, We Piss Off the Judge

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

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

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

  • What Is A Business Plan?

    20 Nov 2014 | 9:56 am
    Although a proper legal structure is very important for a startup business, there are many other considerations that are very likely much more important if the business is to be successful. In particular, developing a business plan is often very important, even for those businesses that do not intend to raise outside capital. Though the term business plan is quite general and can have a myriad of different meanings, the term business plan often refers to a document that contains the following seven (7) sections, or some derivatives thereof: Executive Summary Company Description Market…
  • Business Structures: The Facts & Figures

    5 Nov 2014 | 8:11 am
    Although there a lots of very important questions that a business owner, or owners, must ask when starting a business, perhaps of one of the most important is: How should I legally structure my business? In general, there are three principal considerations when choosing a business structure: (1) liability, (2) management, and (3) taxation. Unfortunately, the laws that affect some of these considerations – in particular, liability and management – vary significantly from state to state and are not uniform across the country. As a result, the information that follows regarding…
  • 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,…
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    Fashion Law | Fashion Lawyer | Fashion Law Firm |

  • I am Honored to be Featured in the Prestigious California Lawyer Magazine: ‘Fashioning a Law Pratice’ #FashionLaw

    3 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Happy new week folks. I am happy to announce that I am featured in the November 2014 issue of the prestigious California Lawyer Magazine. The feature focuses on my journey towards becoming a fashion lawyer. I appreciate California Lawyer magazine for soliciting me for my story and working with my busy schedule to make sure it happened. I had a great editorial team to work with me to tell my story and it is indeed a privilege and honor to be featured; and to tell my story in a rather open and vulnerable way than I ever have. I decided to be very open because I hope it inspires law students and…
  • 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,…
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    Law and Daily Life

  • Can You Bring Alcohol on a Plane?

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:33 am
    As millions of Americans prepare to travel by air during the upcoming holiday season, long lines and delayed flights are poised to grate on travelers' nerves. But travelers who may be hoping to offset their holiday stress by packing a bottle of their favorite libation in their luggage should be aware of the TSA's rules regarding transporting special items such as alcohol. Can you bring your own alcohol on a plane? TSA Alcohol Rules The good news for those who want to bring their own booze is that the TSA does allow travelers to bring alcohol on planes, both in carry-on luggage and in checked…
  • Is It Legal to 'Murder Out' (aka Black-Out) Your Car?

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:53 pm
    The murdered-out look is certainly nothing new. Car heads have been blacking out their rides for years. And for just as long, drivers of blacked-out cars have been getting attention from law enforcement. The latest driver to draw the ire of police is "Keeping up With Kardashians" cast member and pseudo-Kardashian sister Kylie Jenner. According to TMZ, Jenner was pulled over by Los Angeles police and cited for the black covers on her murdered-out Range Rover earlier this week. What do car owners need to know about the legality of blacking-out their cars? Window Tints Window tint laws vary from…
  • 5 Things You Can't Bring on a Plane

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:48 am
    2014's holiday travel season is expected to get off to a big start during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. More than 24 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period from November 21 through December 2, reports CBS News. Unfortunately, for some of these travelers, their holiday travel plans may be interrupted due to what's in their luggage. Attempting to bring prohibited items on a plane may result in delayed travel, fines, and in some cases arrest, such as the San Francisco man recently arrested for attempting to bring three pounds of…
  • Is It Illegal to Drive Without Snow Tires, Snow Chains?

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:47 am
    Snow is a dangerous reality of many roads and highways across America, and snow tires and snow chains are a good way to avoid a potential accident. But whether it's a good idea or not to equip your vehicle with these traction devices, it's quite another thing to say they're required by law. And if they're required, what exactly is the penalty for not using them? Winter driving laws vary across the states, but here's a general overview of when it's illegal to drive without snow chains or snow tires: Some States Require Snow Tires, Chains There is no federal law that requires drivers to carry…
  • Legal How-To: Getting Your Landlord to Fix the Heat

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    18 Nov 2014 | 10:16 am
    Nothing ruins a festive holiday season like an ice-cold apartment with no working heater. While there's not a whole lot that the law requires from your landlord as far as amenities are concerned, adequate heating during cold weather is one of them. Getting your landlord to fix the heat might be as simple as asking him or her, but just in case, here's a quick legal guide: 1. Simply Ask Your Landlord to Fix the Heat. Sometimes the simplest solution is the most successful. Before you start raising legal hell over your freezing abode, you may want to consider a polite appeal to your landlord to…
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    Pennsylvania Physicians' Lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • ACA Webinar on Accredited Investor Definition and Established Angel Group Certification

    William Carleton
    16 Nov 2014 | 12:04 pm
    I've just listened to an archived recording of an excellent webinar presented by the Angel Capital Association last week (I had intended to listen in real time, but got pulled away): ACA Webinar on Accredited Investor Definition and Established Angel Group Certification. Presented by ACA Executive Director Marianne Hudson and ACA Chair David Verrill, the hour long webcast covers how the accredited investor definition might change (and how that might impact the startup investing ecosystem) and what the Angel Capital Association is doing to facilitate the transition to the brave new world…
  • A Sestina About Copyright

    William Carleton
    4 Nov 2014 | 9:28 am
    Last week Boing Boing published a sestina I wrote earlier this year on the subject of copyright. I'm thrilled about this and hope you will check it out: What is a sestina? It is a verse form involving a patterned repetition of the same six words. This chart, credited on Wikipedia to Phil Wink, explains the pattern. As you can imagine, the sestina as a structure requires copying; as a poetic practice, it demands of the practitioner the audacity to remix and engage in transformative use in transparent ways. Sestinas are all about…
  • Alan Bennett's anthology of six English poets

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

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

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

  • When the Baby Leaves Him

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    17 Nov 2014 | 12:15 pm
    I've never completely understood the exact time frame of the baby terminology.  When does one go from newborn to infant to baby to toddler to child to kid?  At the beginning, people tend to use the labels interchangeably.  But as children grow older, the options for terminology dwindle. My six year old and four year sons can hardly be considered babies or toddlers anymore - they are pretty set at the term child, or kid.  But when did that happen?  I assume there was a time that they were in "transition."  But right now when I look at them, I no longer see a baby.
  • Never Any Time

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    5 Nov 2014 | 7:19 am
    I'm reminded of my favorite scene from Saved by the Bell. Photo taken from Jessie Spano, I am channeling you. I've got a lot going on. We bought a house.  Yup, a house.  That's kind of a big deal.  It's only a half a mile from where we currently live, but it's bigger.  And nicer.  And I will have a bathroom I don't have to share with three mini-people.  Hooray!Way back before I was an adult, I used to think that buying a house was simply that - one purchases a home.  That was…
  • A Few Firsts

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

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

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

  • Conservative Justices on the Supreme Court Have Gone Insane

    19 Nov 2014 | 9:02 am
    Everyone is talking about Linda Greenhouse’s column, in which she admits that the conservative justices on the Supreme Court have gone insane. If you don’t have the patience to read it, let me summarize it: The Supreme Court is hearing a new challenge to Obamacare. It’s not that the case is complicated – it’s that […] The post Conservative Justices on the Supreme Court Have Gone Insane appeared first on Profit and Laws.
  • Robin Thicke Has Got to Give It Up

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

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

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

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

  • Running a Business is an Ongoing Process

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    17 Nov 2014 | 9:59 am
    I was reading a bulletin from the FTC, which just closed an investigation on whether certain Verizon data security practices constituted unfair trade practices. The closing letter in part reads: “We continue to emphasize that data security is an ongoing process. As risks, technologies, and circumstances change over time, companies must adjust security practices accordingly. In the past, defaulting consumer routers to WEP may not have been unreasonable, given concerns about compatibility with older computing devices. However, what constitutes reasonable security changes over time as new…
  • What “Magic Language” Should My Contract Have?

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    10 Nov 2014 | 7:25 am
    There is very little required by law to make a contract enforceable.  Some types of contracts are required to be in writing, such as anything to do with land, contracts for goods worth $500 or more, and contracts for services that cannot be performed in a year. Otherwise, valid contracts should include the names of the parties, be signed by both parties and have a method for determining the price.  A contract should be specific enough that a third person could determine what the parties agreed to. Beyond that, it is advisable to be as specific as possible so you don’t leave key…
  • Starting with Employee 1

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

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

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    16 Jun 2014 | 7:02 am
    You just discovered that a new entrant to your existing market copied your website FAQs, but changed them a little.  Your site has “© ABC Corporation 2009-2014″ on the bottom.  What do you do now. First off, this is probably copyright infringement An author or artist gets copyright protections as soon as the work is written or recorded.  Although registration gives some significant benefits, the owner has rights immediately without doing anything. Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a…
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    Virginia Local Government Law

  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: October 31, 2014

    Andrew McRoberts
    1 Nov 2014 | 7:31 am
    Happy Halloween!  The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on Halloween this year. A complete coincidence, but I do hope that nothing in this term’s opinions has scares you!  This term resulted in two cases related to school law, and one related to DSS law.  As always, congratulations to the winners! The case summaries are taken from the Virginia Supreme Court opinions website. Click on the case number to read the opinion. 131584 Dinwiddie DSS v. Nunnally 10/31/2014 Upon consideration of the record, briefs, and argument of counsel, the judgment of the Court of Appeals reversing a…
  • Seven Attributes of Good Local Government Leadership

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

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

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

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

  • You have a bandwidth problem

    Lawrence Koplow
    11 Nov 2014 | 8:34 am
    An analyst from a crime lab testifies that a defendant, who is charged with DUI, has a blood alcohol concentration of .120.  Despite the legal requirements that the state must prove the test is trustworthy, most jurors have made a blink judgement the that test is correct.  As is often the case, the appearance of science is a powerful tool of persuasion.  This is true  even when the opinion is based upon junk science.   Here, despite the claims of the analyst and unbeknownst to the jury, the test result was done using unreliable equipment relying on defective software.
  • How did you get that number?

    Lawrence Koplow
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:37 pm
    If you are making a decision based upon a measurement, then you have two choices.   One, you can simply accept any number a machine produces as true; or   Two, you can ask “how did you get that number?”   The choice you make should be based upon how important the decision is that  you’re basing the measurement upon.  If you just want to know how hot it is outside, a twenty-year-old thermometer, combined with stepping outside will probably do.  However, if the measurement is critical to an important outcome, then you need to ask, and answer, the…
  • What warrants a warrant?

    Lawrence Koplow
    13 May 2014 | 9:41 am
    After the Supreme Court decided the case of Missouri v. McNeely, the question of when a warrant is required, before law enforcement may draw a person's blood became more interesting to say the least.  On one side of the issue was the position that a blood alcohol concentrations is constantly changing, thus, there is a justification for law enforcement to bypass the traditional warrant requirement. The contrary, and as it turns out the prevailing position, is that our Constitution does not allow law enforcement unfettered discretion to decided if they can stick a needle in your arm…
  • The eyes have it

    Lawrence Koplow
    10 Oct 2013 | 4:13 pm
    At the side of the road, law enforcement routinely makes DUI arrests based upon results of a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. The underlying premise of the test is: you drink enough alcohol, and then you eyes will show HGN. Alcohol, however, is not the sole cause of HGN. In State v. Horn, the court recognized the following causes or possible causes of HGN: problems with the inner ear labyrinth; irrigating the ears with warm or cold water; influenza; streptococcus infection; vertigo; measles; syphilis; arteriosclerosis; Korchaff's syndrome; brain hemorrhage; epilepsy; hypertension; motion…
  • Read the "Warning Label" of your blood test

    Lawrence Koplow
    30 Sep 2013 | 1:39 pm
    When should you trust a blood test result that claims to measures an alcohol concentration?  Start by reading the test's "Warning Label."  Here is an explanation on my legalcoffee blog.
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    Advocate's Studio

  • Just How (Inadvertently) Public Are You?

    Martha Sperry
    5 Nov 2014 | 8:19 am
    Breaking my self-imposed posting hiatus for a moment (it’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t seem to slot enough time in the day), I thought it important to share this interesting infographic about our public online lives. Many of you probably already have a sense of the depth of information about you that resides out there on the internet, but this graphic hits home just how easy it is to build a dossier on just about anyone based on information that we freely share with others, albeit in discrete little social outposts. Check it out (h/t via…
  • Apple’s New Software – WWDC 2014 Recap

    Martha Sperry
    2 Jun 2014 | 5:40 pm
    Another year, another opportunity for Apple to wow its developers and get the rest of us excited about new features coming soon to an iDevice near you. Apple’s World Wide Development Conference happened today and Apple didn’t leave us hanging. With OSX 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8, there are plenty of new features, most designed around the idea of seamless movement from device to device to device, with nary a skip in the workflow. For the geeks, Apple has rolled out a new developer language called Swift with features to make the designing process easier. For iOS, there are new…
  • Microsoft Office for iPad – It’s About Freaking Time

    Martha Sperry
    28 Mar 2014 | 10:38 am
    Yep, it’s finally here. After lots of promises and years of delay, Microsoft has finally released a true Office for iPad suite (no more emulations from third parties). Maybe this move is to counter Apple’s semi-recent decision to bundle its iLife apps (Pages, Numbers  and Keynote) for free. Maybe they just finally got around to it. Who knows? But here it is, so I figured I should check out exactly what Microsoft is offering to Apple users. As expected, Office for iPad is a collection of three apps  – Word, Excel and Powerpoint, of course, in addition to the previously…
  • Dropbox Tips

    Martha Sperry
    1 Feb 2014 | 6:07 am
    Despite all the concerns and discussion out there over cloud usage by legal professionals, Dropbox still remains one of the most popular applications among lawyers. I am not going to discourse on whether or not that should be the case – the internet is rife with the opinions of very capable commenters on the subject – just remember that there are Bar rules out there about lawyers employing reasonable measures to ensure security when using the cloud. My personal use, however, takes into account the potential risks as well as rewards of using this free and cheap multi-user,…
  • Foogi – A Cross-Platform Calendar & Scheduling App

    Martha Sperry
    21 Jan 2014 | 5:19 pm
    In Outlook in my enterprise, I can easily and quickly check to see who is available for a meeting at a given time. Definitely an efficiency booster. But what if you are trying to coordinate times and attendees outside of the organization, using different platforms? Yes, of course there is an app for that. Foogi promises to match up invitees’ calendars to find the free / available times in which you can schedule your meeting. Foogi is not a calendar replacement. Instead, depending on how much information users share within Foogi, it will compare schedules and offer times within the…
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    New Jersey Debt Attorney - (201) 676-0722

  • Taxes and bankruptcy – debunking a myth

    19 Nov 2014 | 4:50 am
    Lots of people think, “bankruptcy can’t help me with my tax debt.” Lumping tax debts in with child support and alimony—which indeed cannot be legally written off, or discharged—is wrong. But taxes and bankruptcy can be confusing, because these are complicated areas of law. The fact is that bankruptcy can discharge taxes of many types and in many situations. Sometimes ALL of a taxpayer’s taxes can be discharged, or most of them. But there ARE significant limitations. Even if you cannot discharge your taxes in bankruptcy, filing a bankruptcy case can still help by: 1. Keeping…
  • “Automatic” Protection from Your Creditors

    17 Nov 2014 | 4:50 am
    Many bankruptcy attorney ads say: “Stop garnishments.” “Stop foreclosures.” “Stop repossessions.” So bankruptcy stops all those bad things. But is it as good as it sounds? How does it really work? The most basic protection that bankruptcy provides is the immediate protection that it gives you, your paycheck, your home, and your possessions. You get this protection the minute a bankruptcy is filed for you. Other than some rare exceptions, all collection efforts by creditors against you or your property must come to an immediate stop. You’ll hear this referred to as the…
  • THE Goal of Bankruptcy: Discharge of Your Debts

    12 Nov 2014 | 4:50 am
    Most, but not all, debts are written off, or “discharged,” in a bankruptcy case. Is there a simple way to know what will and what will not be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? No, not really. I can give you a list of the categories of debts that can’t, or might not, be discharged, but some of those categories don’t have clear boundaries, and some depend on whether a creditor is going to challenge the discharge and how a judge might rule. But why can’t it be simple? Here’s what you need to know: 1)  All debts are discharged, EXCEPT for those that fit within an exception. 2)…
  • Are student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy? 2 case studies

    3 Nov 2014 | 4:55 am
    In the past, I have mentioned the difficulty of getting student loans discharged in bankruptcy.  But I have yet to discuss why it is so difficult to get a bankruptcy court to discharge student loans.  In this post, I’ll examine the process through a recent case from Maryland where student loans were actually discharged in a bankruptcy and discuss why that case might be anomalous. In a nutshell, the Bankruptcy Code states that student loans are not dischargeable unless the debtor can show that repayment of the debt will cause an “undue hardship” on the debtor and his or…
  • Can you keep all of your stuff in bankruptcy?

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

  •, Inc., et al. v. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., et al. analyzes sealing orders in California

    H. Scott Leviant
    14 Nov 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Parties love to mark things "confidential" in discovery (by "parties," I mean defendants in most cases).  Protective orders that allow for such designations also typically require, generally, that "confidential" material be submitted to the court provisionally under seal.  However, this general framework is frequently abused.  In, Inc., et al. v. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., et al. (November 13, 2014), the Court of Appeal (First Appellate District, Division One) examined the propriety of the trial court's sealing orders, reaching other interesting questions:On…
  • The Complex Litigator is now updated under the hood

    H. Scott Leviant
    10 Nov 2014 | 10:06 pm
    I'm sure you missed me immensely.  All five of you.  Between the demands of work and some under the hood adjustments, I haven't had an opportunity to post anything since September.  I am pleased (or just relieved) to report that I have moved safely to SquareSpace hosting platform 7 without any major glitches thus far.  I took the opportunity to fiddle with site design to make things ever so slightly cleaner to look at and easier to read.  I may do more in the design area, but, for now, the plumbing overhaul is done.Oh, and there are some cases begging for some special…
  • 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…
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    Law Firm Newswire » Legal News

  • Retirement Planning Checklists Aid Workers at Many Stages

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook) Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2014 – A study by Fidelity Investments found that 57 percent of retirees wish they had done more retirement planning before leaving the workplace. As retirement approaches, a checklist to be completed at key stages can help ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. “Retirement represents an immense change to a person’s lifestyle and financial situation,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk.
  • Florida Immigration Attorney Larry Rifkin: Immigration Reform Needs to Be About People, Not Politics

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2014 – Depending on the political party one listens to, immigration reform is an excellent or terrible plan.  But no one is asking the immigrants waiting for reform. “Statistics have been released that show tens of thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the border to find their families. President Obama indicated his intention to use executive action to spur reform, but he eventually backed away from signing such an order,” outlined Larry Rifkin, a Miami immigration attorney. Whenever an American president indicates an intention to use…
  • Social Security Disability Claim Backlogs Reach Record Numbers

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2014 – While claimants wait for a judge to make decision on their case, the already-long Social Security application process can stretch on for more than a year. Some agencies of the federal government have acquired unflattering reputations for big backlogs to process applications or resolve appeals. One agency in particular, the Social Security Administration, has reached an unenviable milestone and is fast approaching another one. As of the third quarter of this year, the Social Security office of judges who hear appeals for for disability…
  • Horrific Abuse by Home Aides Leaves 99-Year-Old Patient Dead

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    19 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 19, 2014 – Nursing home abuse does not just happen in a nursing facility. It can also happen in a patient’s home. “This case was a tough one for the family,” said nursing home abuse attorney, Deborah Barron, who is not involved in this case. “This kind of situation could just as easily happen in any nursing home or private residence in California.” Peter Mazza had raised five children over the 47 years he had lived in his home. He had become a grandpa to 13 children. His loving family cherished Mazza’s presence in their…
  • James Law Group Attorney Comments on Record-Breaking Settlement in Nursing Home Fraud Case

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    19 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    St. Peters, MO, (Law Firm Newswire) November 19, 2014 – Extendicare, one of the largest nursing home chains in the country, has agreed to pay $38 million to resolve claims of inadequate care, unnecessary treatment and fraud. The claims were brought forward by the United States Justice Department after whistleblowers alerted investigators to systematic problems within the company. Federal investigators found widespread malnutrition, infections, bed sores, fractures and other complications due to inadequate staffing practices at Extendicare facilities. “We have to remember that there…
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    The L•E•Jer

  • Shahs of Sunset Fans, Rejoice!

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    by Melissa Tsynman While a majority of the country is currently freaking out over Ebola, ISIS, and Border Patrol, reality fans of the popular Bravo program, Shahs of Sunset, are impatiently waiting for the reality show to premiere after a successful three seasons. If you are one of these fans, you may be wondering whatever […]
  • The Color Battles: Louboutin’s Control Over the Red Sole

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    17 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    by Tania V. Parker One of the Second Circuit’s recent decisions has set the fashion industry ablaze. In Christian Louboutin S.A., L.L.C. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc., the Second Circuit held that a single color can serve as a trademark in the fashion industry.[1] This overturned the district court’s ruling stating that a […]
  • Wait . . . You Don’t Make Minimum Wage?

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    12 Nov 2014 | 6:25 am
    by Amy Pimer The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to include potential tips earned in calculating what they need to pay their employees in order to comply the federal minimum wage requirements.[1] This is done through the process of using a tip credit, which is allows employers to provide a cash wage that […]
  • Watch Your Language: How an Accent Affects One’s Employment

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:25 am
    by Andrey Vitko The world is becoming a more and more international place. People from all over the world immigrate to different countries – and, obviously, they need to work. It can be a bearable task to learn a different language, but some people have a hard time learning to pronounce new sounds that they […]
  • V.32 Symposium (Misclassification): Recap of Panel No.3

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    7 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    by Charles Smith Evolution of the Unpaid Internship Internships, as explained by Michael Tompkins, could be traced back to the times of apprenticeships.[1] Even though the use of internships is a common tool utilized by today’s employers, internships were virtually unheard of when the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) was enacted, [2] and the catalyst […]
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    My Distribution Law

  • Three Billy Goats Gruff

    Howard Ullman
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:40 am
    (You know . . .  the fairy tale about trolls.) This summer, PwC published its 2014 Patent Litigation Study.  The tagline of the study is “[a]s case volume leaps, damages continue general decline.” Some of they key findings — which are quite fascinating — are: Median damages awards continue to trend down—to $4.3 million in recent years. Damages awards for NPEs averaged more than triple those for practicing entities over the last four years. The median jury award amounted to nearly 37.5 times the median bench award between 2010 and 2013. NPEs have been successful 25%…
  • Is the NCAA a Cartel?

    Howard Ullman
    5 Nov 2014 | 4:24 pm
    The usually good Planet Money program has an excellent recent podcast setting forth the arguments for and against the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] being an unlawful cartel.
  • Could Amazon Possibly Be a Monopolist? (Updated) (Again)

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

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

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

  • Gender Bias: Time to Leave Your Law Firm?

    The Editors
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Question: I’m a young female lawyer working in a midsize law firm. It’s fairly obvious that women are treated as second-class citizens around here. Are there ways that you have seen to effectively battle this bias — or do I just need to start looking for another job? Kelly Diewert: Although most workplaces have taken great strides over the past several years to ensure that men and women are treated equal, the legal environment is one where the culture varies from firm to firm. Sadly, the “Old Boys’ Club” mentality still does exist in some law firms. Interestingly,…
  • Create a Shared Vision for Your Law Firm

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Businesses of all shapes and sizes set aside time at year’s end to review their mission statement, strategic plan and operational plan. Unfortunately, few solo and small law firms see the value in using these particular business-planning tools. At times, I confess I’ve questioned the value of those tools as well. But the most successful firms, with the happiest lawyers, usually have a clear direction. They have a mission statement that everyone can buy into, along with well-developed plans.  This is what I call a “vision of the business” — they know who…
  • 20 Law Practice Empowerment Tips

    Peggy Gruenke
    18 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    At the American Bar Association’s annual GPSolo National Solo and Small Firm Conference in October, practice management experts Peggy Gruenke and Alan Klevan presented “60 Practice Empowerment Tips in 60 Minutes” —  focused on the nuts-and-bolts of running a successful law practice. We asked the pair to zero in on their favorite practice-boosting pointers.  1. Write a simple business plan  for you, not the bank or a potential business partner. The goal is for you as a business owner to see the big picture and understand exactly who you are, why you’re unique and who…
  • Make Your Marketing More Persuasive

    Sally J. Schmidt
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Lawyers often need to use persuasive skills in their work — convincing a judge or jury with an argument, persuading another party in a contract negotiation, convincing a client to pursue a realistic path. Yet when it comes to marketing, many resort to indistinguishable promises or generalizations. They say they are “accessible,” “responsive,” “experienced” or, my personal favorite, “provide quality services in a cost-effective manner.” Four Ways to Make Proposals and Pitches More Convincing You can do many things to make your marketing messages more believable, whether…
  • Run a Lean and Agile Law Practice

    Larry Port
    14 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but we live in a time of great uncertainty. Across the board, industries are being turned upside down, and it’s happening to law as well. Technology is altering the landscape, and our environment is changing at an unprecedented rate. If you are not aware of how your own environment has changed within the past several years, then your ability to succeed in the future is at risk. Here are five ways you can right the course. 1. Start by Becoming Self-Aware When you’ve worked with a lot of law firms, you can tell right away which lawyers will…
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    BullsEye Blog

  • Rock-and-Rollers Seeking Royalties Run Smack into Daubert

    14 Nov 2014 | 9:16 am
    Decades after their time in the spotlight, former members of the Scottish pop band the Bay City Rollers decided to pursue litigation to recover tens of millions of dollars in allegedly unpaid royalties. Read more to learn about how the exclusion of expert testimony played a role in the type of evidence brought to the jury in this trial.
  • Daubert Analysis at the Class Certification Stage

    9 Nov 2014 | 11:25 pm
    An interesting procedural matter arose in the class action case of Fort Worth Employees' Ret. Fund v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. when, simultaneously with the plaintiff's motion for class certification, the defendants moved to exclude the testimony of a plaintiff's expert witness under Daubert.
  • Using Statistical Evidence to Prove Liability in Class Actions

    1 Nov 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In class actions, given the impracticality of proving a defendant’s liability with respect to each and every member of the class, plaintiffs have increasingly sought to use statistical sampling to establish class wide liability. However, the use of statistics for that purpose has proven highly controversial, as illustrated in a California Supreme Court decision issued on May 29, 2014in the case of Duran v. U.S. Bank N.A.
  • Daubert Decisions Not Just for District Courts Anymore

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

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

  • Child Custody Disputes between Parents and Third Parties

    Charles Ford
    17 Nov 2014 | 10:51 am
    Family law cases involving issues of child custody and/or parenting time are emotionally challenging for all concerned. The typical dispute involves a child’s two parents, each trying to convince the trial judge that she or he is more suited to be the primary custodial parent, or is deserving of more parenting time with the child than the other parent will agree to, or some variant of one or the other. Family law judges in Oregon, when deciding these emotional tug-of-wars, are required by statute to give primary consideration to “the best interests and welfare of the child.” The…
  • Welcoming Our New Associate Attorney, Charlie Ford

    Heather Carr
    6 Nov 2014 | 10:42 am
    Hunt & Associates, PC is proud to announce that Charles Ford has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney Charlie brings an abundance of personal and legal experience to our clients and to our team. Charlie was born in New York and graduated with highest honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy as a officer in the merchant marine and a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He worked for 9 years as a licensed deck officer sailing all over the world while also obtaining a second undergraduate degree and a law degree from the University of Washington. After his…
  • You Can’t Make It Up – A Homeland Security Panty Raid and Storage Costs for Homeless People

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

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

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

  • Consumer Reports Reveals Problems with Common Cars

    5 Nov 2014 | 12:32 pm
    Consumer Reports, a company that seeks to inform consumers to make the best possible decision when buying goods, has recently released a review of the 2014 automobiles. The big three companies based out of Detroit - General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler - have scored in the bottom for small-car production. Detroit Automakers Fail to Make Safe Vehicles for Drivers Consumer Reports released its Annual Auto Reliability Survey, and the big Detroit car companies were unable to compete with other auto manufactures in developing reliable vehicles. These car companies have been honest with the public…
  • Recent Reports of Defective Cars | California Lemon Law Attorney

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Despite rapidly advancing technology, certain car models can still be flawed from time to time. Unfortunately, these flaws can have deadly consequences. Two recent cases of defective cars in the U.S. involve a probe of 205,000 Ford Fiestas with doors that have reportedly failed to latch and faulty ignition switches in GM cars that cause drivers to unexpectedly lose all control over their vehicle. When such aut defect cases arise, millions of dollars' worth of lawsuits are sure to follow. If you have been in an accident caused by a defective vehicle, it's important to hire a California…
  • Kia Motors Conducts "Voluntary Service Campaign" for Engine Malfunction

    23 Jun 2014 | 9:55 am
    Kia Motors Corporation, the second-largest vehicle manufacturer in South Korea, issued a voluntary service campaign to reprogram the Engine Control Modules of 2011 – 2013 Sorento cars. Earlier this month, Kia issued a notice to Sorento owners and explained that the vehicle engine can stall / stop without warning when the driver applies the brakes. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), multiple consumers complained about the problem. Some even described the glitch as "dangerous" and reported multiple incidents of the cars stalling in…
  • GM to Pay $35 Million Fine for Safety Defects, Delayed Recalls

    23 May 2014 | 10:27 am
    American auto makers are back in the news after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined General Motors (GM) for not being upfront about known safety defects in some of their motor vehicles. GM agreed to pay a $35 million penalty for its failures and delayed recalls, and will make significant internal changes to policies on how safety defects will be handled in the future. GM will also be subject to increased U.S. oversight for up to three years. GM's case is yet another instance of a major manufacturer being fined for failing to put consumer safety first. Instead, many of…
  • Write It Right: Why Everyone Should Save Vehicle Maintenance Records

    7 May 2014 | 10:20 am
    In order to prove that your vehicle is a lemon, you must have proof that your new vehicle was defective and continued to be defective despite numerous attempts at repair. To establish this type of proof, consumers need to be able to provide evidence of vehicle maintenance. Auto body shops and repair dealers are actually required by law to provide their customers with detailed information about repairs as well as copies of all pertinent paperwork such as invoices. The Automotive Repair Act The Automotive Repair Act is the law that requires body shops to keep their customers informed. If you…
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    Rozek Law

  • Rich Environments May Help Brain Injury

    Randy Rozek
    14 Nov 2014 | 7:19 am
    Visit us at Violent blows to the head, as football players are learning, have the potential to cause to severe brain injuries. When it comes to physical brain damage, the long-term effects range from trouble communicating, extensive cognitive slowdown and behavioral deterioration. Up to this point, researchers have found no effective cognitive or medical treatment for patients who suffer from a TBI. However, a recent study from Tel Aviv University suggests that enriched environments could provide a promising path for the rehabilitation of patients who suffer from mild traumatic…
  • Marijuana Study Indicates an Increased Survival Rate for Patients

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

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

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

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

    Kevin Mahoney
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:53 am
    Having a lot of options can be both a blessing and a curse.  Often people who are at a difficult stage in their life due to an unhealthy or broken relationship prefer not to have many choices in order to try to simplify things.  On the other hand, due to individual circumstances and needs, having […]
  • Divorce and the Family Business

    Kenneth Olena
    17 Nov 2014 | 6:53 am
    One question that often arises in matrimonial proceedings is how do the courts address one spouse’s interest in a family business?  In the absence of a pre-marital agreement (always recommended if there is a family business), the parties, by their lawyers, have to determine what interest, if any, a spouse may have  in the family […]
  • Can you keep the house after a divorce?

    Krystal Chapin
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:23 am
    In the exhaustive division of assets that occurs in most divorces, the issue of the family home inevitably comes up. What should be done with it? Who should keep it? Can that individual afford to keep it? Answers to these questions and more should be considered before making any decisions. In many cases, one spouse […]
  • Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score

    Robin Friedman
    11 Nov 2014 | 5:43 am
    For many people considering bankruptcy, the process can appear foreign and overwhelming. While it offers the ability for consumers to discharge debts and obtain a financial fresh start, it does affect consumers in other ways. One of the most common concerns we hear from clients exploring their bankruptcy options is how it will affect their […]
  • Winter Preparation

    Krystal Chapin
    7 Nov 2014 | 7:09 am
    As we dive into the month of November, we realize that winter is right around the corner. Make sure you are prepared before the winter weather hits with these tips! Create an emergency kit to have in your home when a storm hits. Some ideas on supplies to add are rock salt, nonperishable foods, bottled […]
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    bLAWgical Thinking

  • #The3Llife: I Hate Registering for Classes

    19 Nov 2014 | 10:22 am
    GUEST BLOG By Shaun Sanders, 3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law Last week, I had to register for the last classes I’ll ever take. I have been in school for quite a long time, and as rough as any semester may […]
  • #The2Llife: Interview Prep

    18 Nov 2014 | 2:17 pm
    GUEST BLOG Harrison Thorne, 2L at UCLA School of Law A very important part of law school is finding a law job! But that is easier said than done. So, after going through an extensive job search, I have a few tips to make yourself […]
  • #The1Llife: November is Strange

    17 Nov 2014 | 11:38 am
    GUEST BLOG By Lauren Rose, 1L at the University of Detroit Mercy November is always a strange time during the fall semester. Classes begin to wind down in anticipation of final exams but the stress level of everyone in the school increases. Even in undergrad, […]
  • #lawyered

    17 Nov 2014 | 10:19 am
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and bar passer Hello again to all my summer #barprep friends! I hope you read this as my new lawyer friends, but if not, perhaps that is because the National mean scaled MBE scores for the […]
  • #The3Llife: Career Day

    13 Nov 2014 | 2:21 pm
    GUEST BLOG By Shaun Sanders, 3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law On Wednesday morning, I had the opportunity to speak at a local high school’s career day. I never saw myself as being someone who would give a talk like that, […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • Gender Bias: Time to Leave Your Law Firm?

    The Editors
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Question: I’m a young female lawyer working in a midsize law firm. It’s fairly obvious that women are treated as second-class citizens around here. Are there ways that you have seen to effectively battle this bias — or do I just need to start looking for another job? Kelly Diewert: Although most workplaces have taken great strides over the past several years to ensure that men and women are treated equal, the legal environment is one where the culture varies from firm to firm. Sadly, the “Old Boys’ Club” mentality still does exist in some law firms. Interestingly,…
  • Create a Shared Vision for Your Law Firm

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Businesses of all shapes and sizes set aside time at year’s end to review their mission statement, strategic plan and operational plan. Unfortunately, few solo and small law firms see the value in using these particular business-planning tools. At times, I confess I’ve questioned the value of those tools as well. But the most successful firms, with the happiest lawyers, usually have a clear direction. They have a mission statement that everyone can buy into, along with well-developed plans.  This is what I call a “vision of the business” — they know who…
  • 20 Law Practice Empowerment Tips

    Peggy Gruenke
    18 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    At the American Bar Association’s annual GPSolo National Solo and Small Firm Conference in October, practice management experts Peggy Gruenke and Alan Klevan presented “60 Practice Empowerment Tips in 60 Minutes” —  focused on the nuts-and-bolts of running a successful law practice. We asked the pair to zero in on their favorite practice-boosting pointers.  1. Write a simple business plan  for you, not the bank or a potential business partner. The goal is for you as a business owner to see the big picture and understand exactly who you are, why you’re unique and who…
  • Make Your Marketing More Persuasive

    Sally J. Schmidt
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Lawyers often need to use persuasive skills in their work — convincing a judge or jury with an argument, persuading another party in a contract negotiation, convincing a client to pursue a realistic path. Yet when it comes to marketing, many resort to indistinguishable promises or generalizations. They say they are “accessible,” “responsive,” “experienced” or, my personal favorite, “provide quality services in a cost-effective manner.” Four Ways to Make Proposals and Pitches More Convincing You can do many things to make your marketing messages more believable, whether…
  • Run a Lean and Agile Law Practice

    Larry Port
    14 Nov 2014 | 2:00 am
    Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but we live in a time of great uncertainty. Across the board, industries are being turned upside down, and it’s happening to law as well. Technology is altering the landscape, and our environment is changing at an unprecedented rate. If you are not aware of how your own environment has changed within the past several years, then your ability to succeed in the future is at risk. Here are five ways you can right the course. 1. Start by Becoming Self-Aware When you’ve worked with a lot of law firms, you can tell right away which lawyers will…
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • An attorney who gets it

    David M. Ward
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:21 am
    I may not use the word “posture” but that’s what I mean when I recommend charging top dollar for your services, refusing to discount or match another lawyer’s fees, and being confident enough to tell prospective clients to talk to other lawyers, as I did in yesterday’s post. Virginia appellate attorney Steve Emmert gets it. After reading yesterday’s post, he emailed me the following: Hi, David – I read this entry, and it suggested a related topic. You may recall that I’m an appellate lawyer. Because my state’s appellate bar is small, we all know each…
  • Why you should tell prospective clients to talk to other lawyers

    David M. Ward
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:04 am
    I read an article this morning written for people looking for a lawyer on how to find the right one for the job. I’ll summarize it: Attorneys specialize and it’s important to find someone who handles your type of case; [examples] Keyword searches are a good way to find some candidates; avoid referral sites and directories, you don’t need a middleman Check out their websites and choose three or four attorneys who handle your type of case; [examples] Call all of them and ask questions about them (how long practicing, what percentage of their practice is this type of matter?),…
  • 7 things you probably don’t know about me

    David M. Ward
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:43 am
    I usually don’t share a lot about my personal life, at least not online. If you look at what I post on Flakebook and other sites, it’s either business-related or something fun but impersonal, e.g., cat videos others have posted. And yet I do believe it’s a good idea to open up and tell people a little bit about yourself. It helps them get to know you and like you (“You do that, too?!’) When you have something in common, they begin to trust you. Anyway, here are 7 things you probably don’t know about me: I entered law school at age 20. I wasn’t the…
  • How to eliminate 80% of your law firm’s past due accounts

    David M. Ward
    17 Nov 2014 | 10:53 am
    According to a survey by LexisNexis, 73% of law firms report having past due accounts. Lawyers in small firms reported that up to 39% of their total client base is past due. What causes this? And what can be done about it? More than 80% of the law firms surveyed said that client financial hardship was the biggest cause. This suggests that the best way to reduce past due accounts is through better client selection. If you refuse to accept clients who are having financial issues, you will eliminate the number one reason clients fall behind. Make sure clients have the ability to pay you before…
  • Things successful people don’t say

    David M. Ward
    14 Nov 2014 | 11:02 am
    Successful people have different philosophies than unsuccessful people. Successful people, for example, generally don’t say, “I don’t know how.” According to this Entrepreneur article, “Instead of automatically shutting down solution-finding, successful people learn what they can in order to succeed in a project or in their career.” Another phrase you won’t hear successful people say is, “I did everything on my own.” Successful people surround themselves with smart, talented people, the article notes. “Recognize those that have…
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    Valensi Rose Law

  • Year-End Tax-Planning Moves for Businesses

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:56 am
    By Mayer NazarianIn our last post, we discussed advisable year-end tax-planning moves for individuals under current tax laws. Here, we’ll discuss actions businesses may consider before the end of the year to minimize their own tax obligations. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should provide some jumping-off points for your conversations with your tax planning professional. Employers must withhold additional Medicare tax from wages in excess of $200,000 regardless of filing status or other income. Self-employed persons must take this into account when figuring…
  • Year-End Tax Planning Moves for Individuals

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    17 Nov 2014 | 3:27 pm
    By Mayer NazarianYour year-end tax planning may be particularly challenging this year, as Congress has yet to act on a host of tax breaks expiring at the end of 2014. The fate of these tax breaks may not be clear until the end of the year, or possibly the beginning of next year.For individuals, these breaks include the option to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes, the above-the-line deduction for qualified higher education expenses, tax-free IRA distributions for charitable purposes by those age 70 ½ or older, and the exclusion for up to…
  • Can a California Employee Waive the Right to a Labor Commission Hearing as a Condition of Employment? The Jury is Still Out…

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    12 Nov 2014 | 10:08 am
    By David KrollIf a California employer fails to pay wages, an employee may not want to file a lawsuit. Instead, he or she might seek administrative relief by filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner.  An employee who files such a claim is entitled to a "Berman" hearing, which is conducted by a deputy labor commissioner.  For employees, a Berman hearing is an attractive alternative to litigation.  The hearing is informal, so the rules of evidence don't apply.  That can help employees who represent themselves at the hearings— and the presiding deputy…
  • 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…
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    Law Firm Internet Marketing Blog | Attorney Search Engine Optimization SEO | News & Tips

  • Does My Law Firm Need An App?

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

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

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

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

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

  • It's "Make a Will Month"

    15 Nov 2014 | 4:26 pm
    Do you have a valid, up-to-date will? If not, why not? The Ontario Bar Association has designated November as "Make a Will" month to encourage people to look into getting wills put into place. has an article that talks about why people don't make wills, and clearly explains the advantages of having a will that is properly planned and properly put together.  Click here to read
  • What if a trustee of a trust won't pay a beneficiary?

    12 Nov 2014 | 1:14 pm
    What if the trustee of a trust refuses to pay the beneficiary? Most individuals would not know where to start, as trust law is pretty foreign to most people. A reader recently asked me about this. Below, I outline the steps a person might wish to take in order to address the situation. "My daughter was left as a beneficiary on a trust fund. The executor will not pay my daughter. What can we do
  • California Dreaming - the right to visit an elderly parent

    11 Nov 2014 | 12:10 pm
    One of the issues that is raised again and again on this blog is the lack of communication between family members and those placed in various important roles. Often it's the role of executor that is at the centre of the dispute, but it could also be friction involving someone acting under a Power of Attorney, a trusteeship, or an adult guardianship. How many times have angry, heartbroken
  • You haven't heard from the executor 2 months post-death. Is it time to worry?

    11 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    A reader wrote to me recently about his father's estate, in which he believes he is a beneficiary. He hasn't heard anything from the executor. Is it time to start worrying? His letter and my response are below. "My father passed away in late September. His new wife of 8.5 years is executor and she likes to drag her feet. I have not seen the will, but from what I understand, from what my Dad
  • The holidays might be the right time to help parents fill in a planning workbook

    8 Nov 2014 | 9:55 am
    It seems so early to be hearing Christmas music in the stores and seeing Christmas movies on TV, but the preparation for the season is certainly gearing up. People are booking flights to spend time with family over the holidays, and mailing packages for nieces and nephews and grandkids to find under the tree. If you have been looking for a chance to talk about estate planning with your parents
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    AZ Attorney

  • eDiscovery papers sought for upcoming ASU-Arkfeld conference

    20 Nov 2014 | 8:30 am
    In the event you have a great eDiscovery treatise banging around in your head (or your desk drawer), here is the opportunity for you. A respected conference focused on eDiscovery and digital evidence is seeking papers on the topic. They are due by December 2, though, so sharpen your (digital) pencils. Here is more from conference organizers: “The Conference welcomes papers that fit within our 2015 theme: ‘Know the Law, Know the Technology.’ Papers might address law, technology, or the intersection of the two. All papers submitted will be fully refereed by a minimum of two specialized…
  • Privacy, security, law the focus of @_SMoCA symposium

    19 Nov 2014 | 8:30 am
    David Taylor, Seismic Sensor, Texas, 2007. From the series “Working the Line,” 2007 – 2010. Pigment print on aluminum, 29 ½ x 36 ⅜ inches. Courtesy of the artist and James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico. © David Taylor This Saturday, a symposium examines challenging and timely issues of privacy and security. Coupled with an art exhibition, the panel discussion will include Washington Post journalist Dana Priest, who will deliver the keynote address. Priest is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Organizers say Priest will offer “an incisive appraisal of national…
  • Ariz. attorneys, students to play a #GivingTuesday role at @ArizonaLaw

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:32 am
    A quick item to consider: #GivingTuesday is coming, and you can play a part. Here is how the creators of the event describe it: “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.” “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give…
  • Volunteer @AZStateBar lawyers answer landlord-tenant consumer questions

    17 Nov 2014 | 8:30 am
    Volunteer lawyers answer consumer questions on landlord-tenant issues at the Lawyers on Call public service program, Nov. 11, 2014. Today I share some news from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez: The State Bar of Arizona, 12 News, and hosted the Lawyers on Call public service program on Tuesday, November 11. Volunteers answered viewers’ calls regarding their landlord/tenant issues. Five volunteer attorneys assisted with the program: Clare Abel (Burch & Cracchiolo PA); Kristen Coyne (CKGH Law); Clint Dunaway (Dunaway Law Group PLC); Mark Heldenbrand (J. Mark Heldenbrand PC);…
  • Downtown Phoenix groundbreaking of @ASUCollegeofLaw Law & Society building

    14 Nov 2014 | 8:30 am
    University leaders and dignitaries break ground at the ASU Center for Law & Society in downtown Phoenix, Nov. 13, 2014. Those pictured include law school Dean Doug Sylvester (third from left), retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (center) and ASU President Michael Crow (right). On a crisp and clear autumn day, Arizona State University officials yesterday welcomed a throng to downtown Phoenix to witness the groundbreaking for its new Center for Law & Society. On a temporarily closed Taylor Street, nearly 200 attendees, many garbed in maroon and gold,…
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    Course and Scope: A Connecticut Worker's Compensation Law Blog

  • 27 Oct 2014 | 8:17 pm

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

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

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

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

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

  • An Open Letter To President Obama: Please Remove Cannabis From Schedule I

    Jared Beck
    6 Nov 2014 | 4:41 pm
    Dear Mr. President: I know your administration has much to think about in the wake of Tuesday’s midterm elections, which by any account were a difficult event for your party.  But one issue, at least, should be a no-brainer. The time has come to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. As the most stringently restricted category of controlled substances under federal law, only Schedule I drugs cannot be prescribed by a doctor.  Congress designated cannabis as Schedule I almost 45 years ago.  To qualify for such treatment under the U.S.
  • When Winning Isn’t Enough

    Jared Beck
    4 Nov 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Amendment 2 has received 57.5% yes votes at latest count, with over 95% of the votes recorded.  It takes over 60% to amend the Florida Constitution.  This means that Amendment 2 will not pass, and cannabis will not be legalized for medical purposes in Florida. But let’s take a closer look at these numbers. Amendment 2 received at least half a million more votes in Florida than did either major party candidate for governor. Amendment 2 won a greater percentage of the electorate than Franklin Roosevelt did nationally when he cruised to a historic landslide victory over Herbert…
  • Thoughts On Amendment 2, One Day Before The Election

    Jared Beck
    3 Nov 2014 | 1:26 pm
    Should Amendment 2 go down in defeat on Election Day, the people of Florida will have some thinking to do. Amendment 2 would legalize the use of cannabis, with a doctor’s approval, as a treatment for patients with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others. In January of this year, the Florida Division of Elections announced that the proposed amendment had recorded over 786,000 signatures, well in excess of the amount needed to qualify for the ballot. Later that month, the Florida Supreme Court approved the…
  • Who’s To Blame For The Great Florida Condo Crash? Florida Appellate Court Suggests It May Be . . . Escrow Agents

    Jared Beck
    7 Sep 2011 | 11:00 pm
    While the global economy remains in the doldrums, recent reports have the South Florida condo market showing signs of recovery, even robustness.  Still, the fallout from the Great Real Estate Crash of several years ago remains undecided in critical ways.  This is especially true of the legal realm, which typically marches to a slow but steady drumbeat. Yesterday, the Third District Court of Appeal — the Florida State intermediate appellate court with jurisdiction over Miami-Dade County — dropped a bombshell of sorts.  In a case called CRC 603, LLC v. North Carillon, LLC, the…
  • Donald Trump Is No Leader

    Jared Beck
    24 Apr 2011 | 4:53 pm
    Lately, Donald Trump has been dominating headlines as a potential presidential candidate.  Much of the discussion so far has concerned the seriousness of Mr. Trump’s plans. Commentators have noted past announcements of a Trump candidacy that never materialized, and his history of seeking the limelight at all costs, not to mention his lack of well-formulated political goals or viewpoints. Photo by Gage Skidmore But whether or not Donald Trump has any real intention of throwing his hat into the ring this time around, one thing should be clear to anyone who has observed his track record…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • Should holiday pay include overtime?

    Mark Williams
    5 Nov 2014 | 6:40 am
    Business groups have reacted angrily to an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgment that could mean the holiday pay of millions of UK workers will need to include overtime. Currently, holiday pay is based on basic pay. To make matters worse for employers, this could be backdated, with some business groups warning that the resulting additional cost burden could force many small firms out of business. According to the government, about a sixth of the UK’s 30m employees could be entitled to the “backdated holiday pay bonanza” (as The Daily Mirror described it. Critics were quick to point…
  • UK workplace health and safety in numbers

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:44 am
    Published recently on the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website, the Health and Safety Statistics – Key figures for Great Britain 2013/14 provides food for thought for employers. According to the statistics: “1.2m people who worked during the last year were suffering from an illness (long-standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. [Half a million] of these were new conditions [that] started during the year. A further 800,000 former workers (who last worked more than 12 months ago) were suffering from an illness [that] was…
  • How to stop your ideas being stolen by your supply chain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 5 Reasons Your Firm Should Work With a Certified Consultant

    Colleen Heine
    5 Nov 2014 | 2:12 pm
    “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” Throughout our years of supporting and installing software, we’ve been called in to many horrific situations where a firm was either completely dead in the water or faced thousands of dollars in damages due to oversights made during an installation or upgrade. We get it, lawyers like spending money on IT just as much as I like sinking hundreds of dollars every few year for new tires. But you get what you pay for. The next time you decide to hire the cheapest person to do the job, consider…
  • NetDocuments Demonstration

    Accellis Technology Group
    4 Nov 2014 | 4:10 pm
    Learn how NetDocuments can help you manage your firm. Attend a free, 15 minute on-demand demonstration of NetDocuments Document Management system. NetDocuments enables law firms of all sizes to create, secure, manage, access, and collaborate on documents and email anywhere, anytime, on any device. Learn how NetDocuments will help you streamline your technology and improve the way you work. During this video, you’ll see how NetDocuments can help you: Search across cabinets or the entire repository with full text enterprise search. Create, edit, and collaborate on documents with full…
  • Beware of Another Microsoft Office Zero-Day Flaw

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

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

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

  • 7 PowerPoint Trial Presentation Secrets Revealed

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:50 am
      by Alex BrownDirector of OperationsA2L Consulting My hobby is woodworking. Recently, I had to build a dog fence so that my wife could train one of our dogs. From photos I figured out the dimensions, type of wood to use, and the hardware needed. What I did not take into consideration were the tools I would need to complete the job easily and on schedule. In the process of building the fence, I ended up at our local ACE Hardware store shopping for multiple tools including one I had never used before, a planer. Only after destroying a few key parts for the fence did I learned my lesson,…
  • [New and Free Webinar] 12 Things Every Mock Juror Ever Has Said

    17 Nov 2014 | 1:05 pm
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting If you can learn the secrets of how mock jurors commonly behave during mock trial deliberations, you will be better positioned to win at trial. These behavior patterns are understandably foreign since most people see mock juries deliberate infrequently. However, when you are a jury consultant, mock trials are routine, and repeat behavior patterns become clear over a long career. Surprisingly, it turns out that no matter where you go in the country, mock jurors tend to act in similar ways. Although there are venue-specific idiosyncrasies,…
  • How I Used Litigation Graphics as a Litigator and How You Could Too

    12 Nov 2014 | 12:58 pm
      by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Managing Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting It is well known and generally accepted by the top performers in the litigation community that you need to use demonstrative evidence, including litigation graphics, to be persuasive at trial. As a scientific certainty, using visual support to back up your key points and arguments is critical to maximizing persuasiveness. As a litigator, I’ve personally created and used graphics, and developed litigation graphics for others, to use at trial, at Markman (patent claim construction) hearings, and for other…
  • A Tale of Two Patent Trial Presentation Styles [CVN Video]

    5 Nov 2014 | 12:37 pm
      by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.Managing Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting A2L has a wonderful partnership with Courtroom View Network (, which is a warehouse of video footage of courtroom presentations of all kinds and should be a valued resource for attorneys and law school students wishing to educate themselves on the “to-dos” and “not-to-dos” of litigation argument. I have been browsing the intellectual property video footage at and wanted to provide you two examples of different presentation styles in patent litigations: one using no graphics and one…
  • 6 Ways We Just Made This Blog Better For You

    4 Nov 2014 | 2:23 pm
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingA2L Consulting's Litigation Consulting Report blog is successful by any measure, and we're very proud of that fact. We have gone from no subscribers to 5,500 subscribers in under four years, the ABA has named it one of the very top litigation blogs (and in the top 100 for any legal blog), plus the rate at which new readers are subscribing is actually accelerating. If you have not claimed your free subscription, you can do so by clicking here. However, just because things are going great, we are most definitely not standing still when it comes…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • New Jersey Motorcyclist Killed by Deer

    4 Nov 2014 | 9:15 am
    A 36-year-old Hillsborough man was killed in a New Jersey motorcycle accident when his 2008 BMW R12 collided with a deer. According to a news report, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred near the former Gibraltar Rock Quarry entrance on County Route 601 in Montgomery Township. Officials say he was ejected from his motorcycle after colliding with a deer. He was treated at the scene and admitted in extremely critical condition in New Brunswick. Later that day, he died from his injuries. As the temperature begins to drop, we can expect an increase in the number of deer-related traffic…
  • 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…
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  • Takata Airbag Inflator Recall After Many Wrongful Deaths

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:57 am
    TK Holdings Inc., which does business as Takata, is a manufacturer of motor vehicle seatbelts, air bags, steering wheels, and child restraint systems. On April 11, 2013, Takata issued a Defect Information Report (“DIR”) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concerning specific air bag inflaters installed in vehicles produced by several vehicle manufacturers. The DIR was issued after Takata learned of an air bag deployment issue in Japan in October, 2011, and then a second issue in Puerto Rico the following month. Concerns over Takata air bags have been an issue…
  • Hire a Reliable Car Accident Attorney California

    8 Nov 2014 | 9:30 am
    Personal vehicle has become more of a necessity than a luxury to many. No person has the patience to wait for a public transport for their traveling needs. Everyone wants to reach office and school on time. For this reason, many people prefer to have a private vehicle. The sales of cars and motorcycles have increased vastly. With this, there is more traffic on road and number of accidents have also increased. Some accidents are minor while some are major in which the driver and travelers suffer from severe injuries. Have you been a victim of one such road accident? If yes then it is wise to…
  • Areas Practiced By a Law Firm in California

    6 Nov 2014 | 9:30 am
    A car accident is unexpected. Considering this factor no one is prepared on what should be done after an accident. However, the same should not be neglected at any cost. Many people neglect filing a police report thinking that it takes a lot of time. When you file a report, you know that you are in safe hands. This works the best especially when you are involved in a major accident and planning to get help from a reliable law firm in California. A lawyer mainly works on the basis of first hand information. You tend to make their work easier when you do all the needful such as: *Filing a…
  • Hire a Reliable Law Firm in California Online

    4 Nov 2014 | 9:30 am
    Accidents occur without prior warning and at times can pose a huge threat to the life of a person. Among all, road accidents are quite common as minor errors while driving can have serious repercussions and end up injuring a fellow driver. At times, the injury is grave which calls for elaborate medical attention that can surely burden the family. There are many instances when the guilty do not take ownership of their actions and chose to turn a blind eye to the problems faced by the injured. This counts as negligence and the person can be sued in the court of law. To file a case against such…
  • Why to Hire California Car Accident Lawyer

    2 Nov 2014 | 9:30 am
    Car accidents can be disturbing to not only the victim but also the family. It does not matter how minor or major the accident it is, it tends to leave a permanent mark. A car accident can be devastating. They tend to comprise a lot of minor and major injuries. A car accident happens due to varied reasons; the most common among all is collisions. Apart from this, there are also other reasons that involve an accident such as: *Driver not following the traffic rules *Drunk driving *Lane changing *Cannot offer safe distance *Not able to identify an object or a pedestrian This is where the…
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    Wexler Wallace Law Firm Blog

  • Simplifying with Cutti and Rule 701

    Thomas Doyle, Of Counsel
    11 Nov 2014 | 8:04 am
    Last month, the Supreme Court decided not to review a decision involving lay witness opinion testimony. The case – Cuti v. United States, 720 F.3d 453 (2nd Cir. 2013) – may be valuable for anyone who is involved in complex
  • Getting Outside of the Office: Support the Children’s Research Fund Junior Board at Cocktails for a Cause

    Tania Yusaf, Associate
    4 Nov 2014 | 1:19 pm
    In addition to my passion for helping injured plaintiffs through my role as an associate attorney with Wexler Wallace’s mass torts practice, I am passionate about helping to improve the quality of health care delivered to pediatric patients through my
  • Arbitration Clauses: Coming soon to a Online Customer Service Agreement near You

    Amy Sayre, Paralegal
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:09 am
    Earlier this year, I wrote about the online storage company Dropbox adding an arbitration clause to its customer service agreement. It seems Dropbox is in very good company on the Internet these days. According to New York Times blog “The
  • Generic Drug Labeling: The Saga Continues

    Corey Raines, Associate
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:56 am
    Almost a year ago, I eagerly wrote about the FDA’s proposed rule that would permit generic drug manufacturers to unilaterally change the warnings on their product labels, effectively overturning the Supreme Court’s decision in PLIVA v. Mensing. Currently, a generic
  • 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
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  • Holy Excuses!

    19 Nov 2014 | 11:57 am
    Theoretically, every small business owner understands that marketing is a basic need for success.  Still, it can be intimidating and leave lawyers wishing they didn’t have to develop this skill.  It’s impossible to overstate the importance of marketing for lawyers, though.  If you find yourself procrastinating due to any of the following excuses, you’re not alone. I Have Enough Work When you’re busy filing briefs and meeting with clients, it can seem like there’s just no time in the day to devote to marketing your law firm.  You might even think that you don’t need to market…
  • I did your holiday shopping for you!

    10 Nov 2014 | 7:18 am
    The holiday season is upon us, and that means for the next eight weeks our schedules are going to be hectic, offices will be closed and our professional and personal calendars are going to become chaotic! On the list of things to do before the end of year is show appreciation to top clients and referral sources, and I know you WANT to make that happen. However, I can’t even tell you how many times I have talked with attorneys about the holidays and showing appreciation to top clients and referrals sources and heard, “Well, I really wanted to do that, but time just got away from…
  • Fool Proof Legal Marketing Strategies for November & the New Year

    7 Nov 2014 | 6:04 am
    It’s hard to believe November is here already.  We are busy working on our plans for 2015 and hopefully you are doing the same. For those of you that do public speaking engagements, now is a great time to reach out to secure gigs for the beginning of the year.  Identify a handful of organizations or groups you would like to work with, send them a letter proposing an event or speaking topic and have someone on your staff follow up within the next two weeks.  It’s a fool-proof formula for speaking success! November is also a great month to send out your holiday or…
  • Good Deeds Can Also Be Good Marketing for Lawyers

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

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

  • Taking the Plunge: Do You Want to Be Managing Partner?

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    13 Nov 2014 | 12:37 pm
    So you’re thinking about diving into the election for Managing Partner, eh?         You think your chances are good: you enjoy the respect of your partners, your business judgment is on a par with your legal judgment, and during your term on the Executive Committee, you came up with strategies that helped the firm navigate some rocky shoals and weather some serious storms. You’re seen as a problem-solver who can think outside the box and eschew tradition when necessary to respond to change. Yet some close friends, your significant other and probably your family are…
  • “You did WHAT!?” – The Powerful Value of Providing Something for Nothing

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    7 Nov 2014 | 7:16 am
    At the risk of further confirming our reputation as heretics, let us advance what to most practicing lawyers may seem like an outrageous proposition: “Not everything in life has to be a billable event. There are times when you’ll help your cause most by providing value and not charging the client.” Full disclosure: This post was triggered by the progress reports of a group of up-and-coming partners participating in a year-long business development coaching program. All confirmed the powerful BD benefits of face-to-face time, researching all aspects of potential clients’ businesses,…
  • 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…
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    Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

  • NY Times Says Idaho Dead Last at Protecting Juvenile Records

    Chuck Peterson
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:27 am
     Associate Attorney William Young is at it again: There is an article today in the New York Times discussing the issue of juvenile offenders and the importance of sealing their records from the public eye. The article examines how many states fail to protect the confidentiality of juvenile records despite data showing that “95 percent of young people enter the juvenile justice system for nonviolent crimes like theft or vandalism — behavior they typically leave behind when they move into adulthood.” The failure of states to protect this information can follow teen…
  • 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,…
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    Northern California Personal Injury Blog

  • Multi-Vehicle Accident on Highway 880

    Kelly Balamuth
    7 Nov 2014 | 8:57 am
    On September 15, 2014, nine people were injured when an SUV lost control and hit the center divider on Highway 880 near San Leandro, according to local NBC news.  A big rig loaded with concrete that was driving nearby could not stop in time when the accident occurred and hit the center divider as well, sending the concrete flying. Over ten cars were involved in the domino effect that followed.  Many of the cars were badly crumpled and some caught on fire.  Three people were critically injured and one had to be air-lifted from the scene. When driving on the freeway, motorists must rely on…
  • Determining Liability in a Bus Accident: Is it the Bus Driver’s Fault?

    Kelly Balamuth
    6 Nov 2014 | 2:54 pm
    A 60-year-old woman was recently killed when she was struck by a tourist bus in San Francisco. The incident took place at a mid-block crosswalk that did not have a traffic signal, according to Being hit by a bus is a fate that most people consider unlikely, but when it does happen, it’s the type of accident that reminds everyone that life can change in a split second.  Bus drivers have a duty to avoid running over people who are in the street legally. However, sometimes, bus accidents can happen through no fault of the driver. For example, an accident may occur because the…
  • California Highway Patrol Posts Rules for Legal Lane Splitting

    Kelly Balamuth
    27 Feb 2013 | 8:00 am
    Have you ever been traveling in your car along a Northern California highway, when a motorcyclist shoots out ahead of you by cutting between you and the car in the adjacent lane? This practice is called lane splitting or white lining. Motorcycles drive between slower moving vehicles in adjacent lanes in order to pass them. The practice tends to startle and terrify car drivers. You may be surprised to learn that this practice is legal in California. Yes, legal. California is the only state in the U.S. where lane splitting is legal. As reported in The Sacramento Bee, California Highway Patrol…
  • BMW Recalls Another 569,000 Vehicles

    Kelly Balamuth
    26 Feb 2013 | 12:41 pm
    On February 16, 2013, BMW announced another recall of 569,000 vehicles in the U.S. An additional 65,000 vehicles are being recalled in Canada. Nearly one year ago in March, 2012, close to 1.3 million 5 and 6-Series BMW vehicles manufactured between 2003 and 2010 were recalled. The cars could have ignition failure due to an incorrectly mounted battery cable cover. There was also a potential fire hazard. Latest Recall Summary Reported by The Associated Press and published by, the latest recall was prompted by a faulty battery connector cable that can fail, causing stalling of the…
  • Need Hip Replacement? Consider the Cost

    Kelly Balamuth
    21 Feb 2013 | 8:04 am
    Today those in need of medical procedures such as hip replacements are becoming wise shoppers in choosing hospitals. They are doing their own research into both quality of medical care and cost of medical procedures. Their research includes information regarding the quality of medical care hospitals have a history of providing. Courtesy of a New York Times report dated February 12, 2013, and published in The Sacramento Bee, more information regarding quality of medical care provided is welcome as is information concerning the high prices for medical procedures such as hip replacements.
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • New Jersey Motorcyclist Killed by Deer

    4 Nov 2014 | 9:15 am
    A 36-year-old Hillsborough man was killed in a New Jersey motorcycle accident when his 2008 BMW R12 collided with a deer. According to a news report, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred near the former Gibraltar Rock Quarry entrance on County Route 601 in Montgomery Township. Officials say he was ejected from his motorcycle after colliding with a deer. He was treated at the scene and admitted in extremely critical condition in New Brunswick. Later that day, he died from his injuries. As the temperature begins to drop, we can expect an increase in the number of deer-related traffic…
  • 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…
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    Simmons & Fletcher » Blog

  • Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable

    4 Nov 2014 | 12:29 pm
    With the prevalence of public service messages about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, you would expect the general public to get the message. Unfortunately, far too many drivers are still willing to gamble their lives, as …The post Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Blind Spots and Maintaining a Proper Lookout By Truck Drivers

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

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

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

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

  • Top Ten Most Common Workplace Accidents
    15 Nov 2014 | 9:48 am
    It’s important to know what you, and your employer, should be looking out for at work. Although responsibility ultimately falls onto your employer in most cases, being aware of these...
  • The Five Most Common Types Of Work Related Illness
    5 Nov 2014 | 3:12 am
    Working anywhere, even in an office, carries with it a number of risks. Sometimes this is an unavoidable factor of the type of work, sometimes the employer could have stepped...
  • How Do Road Traffic Accident Injuries Affect Whiplash?
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    There are many pre-existing conditions that can complicate whiplash injuries, and lead to a more difficult recovery. These range from physical conditions, such as arthritis, to mental conditions, such as...
  • What Are The Effects Of Chronic Whiplash?
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:41 am
    Chronic whiplash, also known as whiplash syndrome, is used to refer to whiplash symptoms that last longer than six months. The symptoms and long-term effects associated with chronic whiplash are...
  • What Other Factors Affect Whiplash?
    4 Oct 2014 | 8:08 am
    Whiplash is not just affected by speed of collision. Whiplash can also be made more or less severe by who you are, how your headrest is positioned, and even level...
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    Palmer Law Firm

  • Texting and Driving Accident Hospitalizes Toddler

    Eric Palmer
    4 Nov 2014 | 7:04 am
    Simply stated, it is illegal to send or read a text message or email while driving a car in Minnesota (Minn. Stat. 169.475). This prohibition, unfortunately, does not prevent many on the roadway from thumbing through messages on their phones while they are behind the wheel.A Minnesota teenager has been charged with a felony count of Criminal Vehicular Operation in Dakota County for allegedly texting and driving at the time of a collision that occurred in Eagan, Minnesota during July of 2014.  This collision sent Henry Knoof, a 15-month-old that was in the other vehicle, to Regions…
  • Ralph Palmer Named Super Lawyer for 15th Consecutive Year

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:52 am
    For the 15th consecutive year, Ralph Palmer has been named a Super Lawyer.  Mr. Palmer has a broad background in the area of Minnesota and Wisconsin personal injury law. He has handled wrongful death claims, fall down cases, and liquor liability claims, with an emphasis on representing Plaintiffs in automobile/motorcycle type accidents.If you have been injured, contact Mr. Palmer today to schedule a free consultation.The post Ralph Palmer Named Super Lawyer for 15th Consecutive Year appeared first on Palmer Law Firm.
  • Eric Palmer Named Rising Star for 2014

    23 Jul 2014 | 8:58 am
    For the third year in a row, Eric Palmer has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2014.The title of Rising Star is given to attorneys that are under the age of 40, and have practiced for fewer than 10 years.  Less than 2.5% of attorneys within the State of Minnesota are recognized as a Rising Star.  The selection process includes peer review and a strenuous final selection process undertaken by the Super Lawyers organization.Eric primarily focuses his legal practice on helping individuals that have been injured in Minnesota car accidents.  Eric offers personable, approachable…
  • Outreach: Henry Knoof

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    The post Outreach: Henry Knoof appeared first on Palmer Law Firm.
  • NHTSA’s Ad Campaign: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

    Eric Palmer
    9 Apr 2014 | 7:15 am
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new advertising campaign to kick off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The ad campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. The campaign uses a text-lingo oriented slogan of “U Drive. U  Text. U Pay.”  To spread awareness of the campaign, the NHTSA has launched a website at and is currently spreading a rather graphic 30-second video that depicts the violent consequences that can stem from distracted driving.  Viewer discretion is advised.If…
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    Strictly Business

  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 16: Closing Conditions and Expenses

    Alexander J. Davie
    17 Nov 2014 | 10:11 am
    This post is the sixteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior fifteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 15: Rights of First Refusal and Co-Sale

    Casey W. Riggs
    9 Nov 2014 | 3:05 pm
    This post is the fifteenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior fourteen posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions and discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, dividends on preferred stock, liquidation preferences, the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, voting rights and investor protection provisions, anti-dilution provisions, anti-dilution carve-outs and “pay to play”…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 14: Representations and Warranties

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

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

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

  • Know Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident

    Maples Law Firm
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:21 pm
    Certified nursing homes in Oklahoma City and throughout the state are required to respect their residents’ rights and protections under federal and state law. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Too many instances of nursing home abuse and negligence have been reported in recent years. In fact, the Sooner State has been deemed one of the worst in the country when it comes to the quality of our assisted care facilities. This is a drastic issue that needs to be addressed by legislators in prompt fashion. Until the state of our nursing homes vastly improves, it is primarily up to…
  • OKC Student in Critical Condition after Campus Collision

    Maples Law Firm
    10 Nov 2014 | 12:28 pm
    According to a report by, on the morning of November 7, an Oklahoma State University student was hit by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle on campus. Later in the afternoon, he was reported to be in critical condition. Authorities stated that the accident occurred around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Washington Street and Hall of Fame Avenue. Reportedly, the driver of the pickup, a fellow student, was turning left onto Hall of Fame Ave. eastbound when the bicyclist came from the north and collided into the right front corner of the pickup. The bicyclist was allegedly…
  • Hydrogen Sulfide: The Invisible Killer in Oilfields

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

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

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

  • Social Security and Workers’ Compensation: Eligibility for Both?

    Jay Solnick
    14 Nov 2014 | 3:52 pm
    Workers’ compensation. Social Security disability. Supplemental Security Income. Some or all of these forms of payment may come into play if you become disabled, are injured at work, or if you can no longer work in the same capacity you once did before your injury. It can be very confusing navigating the Social Security system, especially since you have suffered an injury and need to get paperwork moving so you do not face significant financial hardship waiting for your benefits to kick in.  Workers’ Compensation Versus Social Security Disability Note that workers’ compensation…
  • Auto Accident Litigation: There is No Such Thing as a “Minor” Accident

    Jay Solnick
    12 Nov 2014 | 12:48 pm
    A fender bender. Bumps and bruises. “I’m okay.” These are a few of the things people to say when they were involved in “minor” accidents. Just recently, Pennsylvania’s own State Attorney General Kathleen Kane was involved in what would be considered by most a minor car accident. A backseat passenger, Attorney General Kane hit her head on the front headrest when the car hit another in a 15 mph zone. She suffered a concussion. What To Do When You Are Involved in Any Car Accident In Attorney General Kane’s case, it turns out this accident was thankfully not as serious as it could…
  • Trucking Accidents in Pennsylvania

    Jay Solnick
    7 Nov 2014 | 11:18 am
    As fall fades to winter, we have more than a few new things to worry about. Pennsylvania will be faced with a harsh winter soon enough, and now is as good of a time as ever to brush up on driving safety. Even though more accidents occur during the day, also consider that it gets darker earlier in winter, making your commute home all the more dangerous. Drivers may forget to turn their lights on, or they may have blinding lights that make it difficult to see in your mirrors. Speed, size, and weight are other factors to consider while driving in dark or adverse conditions. One situation we…
  • The Home Office: Blurring The Lines in Workers’ Compensation Cases

    Jay Solnick
    5 Nov 2014 | 3:54 pm
    “Yes, I’m working from home today.” This sentence seems to become more commonplace in today’s society since nearly a quarter of U.S. workers complete at least some of their work from home. Workers’ compensation, a type of insurance most employers are required to carry in the event of employee injury, is severely complicated by this new, flexible work trend. As work and home start mixing more and more, it can be difficult to determine when someone is actually “working” and when they are merely at home.  Scope of Employment The primary basis for workers’ compensation claims is…
  • Premises Liability: Slip & Fall Accidents

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

  • U.S. Labor Department Recovers More than $1.6 Million for Gulf Coast Workers, Baron and Budd Reports

    Baron & Budd
    14 Nov 2014 | 7:31 am
    Violation of Fair Labor Standards Act Results in Substantial Payments to People Throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama DALLAS (Nov. 14, 2014) – The U.S. Department of Labor recently found that a recruiting and staffing agency was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As a result, the agency agreed to pay 1,543 current and former employees a total of more than $1.6 million in back wages, the national law firm of Baron and Budd reports. The department’s investigation found that B & D Contracting Inc. denied overtime compensation through improper recordkeeping…
  • Baron and Budd Investigating Potential Xarelto Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    3 Nov 2014 | 6:13 pm
    Blood-Thinner Allegedly Associated With Strokes, Blood Clots, Hemorrhaging (Internal Bleeding) and Other Potentially Deadly Health Problems DALLAS (November 3, 2014) – The attorneys at the national law firm of Baron and Budd have been investigating potential lawsuits involving the blood thinner Xarelto, a prescription drug distributed in the United States by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Several patients have reported serious health problems after using the drug, including blood clots, strokes, kidney and liver damage, and severe internal bleeding – a sometimes…
  • Baron and Budd Files First Lawsuits Regarding Takata Air Bag Recall

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

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

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

  • Legal commentary on CBS 6 o’clock news

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

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

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

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

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

  • It’s the Great American Smokeout: Exposed to Asbestos and Still Smoke? Learn the Risks

    Baron & Budd
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:02 am
    Happy Great American Smokeout Day, folks. You know what that means? We’re encouraging you to be quitters and QUIT for good this year. That’s right: We’re encouraging you to give quitting your best shot — no matter how many times you’ve already tried and no matter how many “Reasons why this is not a good time.” Here at Baron and Budd we SUPPORT you QUITTING this year. Because now really is the time. Now, we know YOU know the serious risks that come with smoking, including: #1 Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer death. #2 Tobacco is the largest…
  • What Former Dallas Mavericks Star, Steve Nash, Can Teach Us About The Personal in Personal Injury

    Aaron Horton
    12 Nov 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Aaron Horton, The Mesh WarriorMany of us have been through the "But you don’t look sick!" frustration of masking a chronic illness, especially those who are injured by transvaginal mesh, who are “meshed-up” with all kinds of ailments not visible to the naked eye. Mesh-injured persons, like former Dallas Mavericks,’ Steve Nash describes in his recent open letter to the public, try different solutions, often including hiding intense pain in order to continue to do what they love, in his case the game of professional basketball. That is a sacrifice Nash is…
  • Veterans: Honoring Your Service

    Baron & Budd
    11 Nov 2014 | 8:14 am
    We talk a lot at Baron and Budd about protecting what’s right. And we can’t think of anything more right or worthy of protection than our own veterans. This year has been one of hard knocks for many veterans. We were appalled to learn about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ shockingly slow treatment of our heroes. According to many news reports, some veterans even lost their lives because of the VA’s mishandling. Perhaps it is no surprise that many aging WWII veterans took up volunteering at VA hospitals to help their fellow veterans in need of health care.
  • Asbestos, America’s Legal Killer: 10,000 Americans Die Each Year

    Baron & Budd
    4 Nov 2014 | 11:20 am
    10,000 Americans die each year from preventable diseases caused by asbestos. Let’s talk that out. 10,000 Americans means 187 school buses. It also means our very own US Congress (which has 535 voting members from both the House of Representatives and Senate) times 2. At this time our congress has not stepped up to the plate. They’ve considered altering the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) that has not been revised since the 70’s. Thankfully they didn’t — because their alterations would have actually been pro-toxic substances (— sadly, lots of businesses with…
  • Internal Bleeding, Kidney Failure, Blood Clots and Liver Damage… What You NEED TO KNOW About Xarelto Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    4 Nov 2014 | 4:25 am
    Our Xarelto lawyers are currently talking to patients who have been harmed by the popular blood thinner Xarelto. Xarelto is a blockbuster drug that may come with a heavy price tag: severe internal bleeding an increased risk of kidney and liver damage, stroke, severe internal bleeding or even death. To see if you have a Xarelto lawsuit, contact a Xarelto lawyer at 1.866.472.9108 or contact us online to see if you qualify. Xarelto may cause: Long-lasting or severe external bleeding Kidney failure Liver damage or other liver problems Blood clots Brain hemorrhage Intracranial Hemorrhage Epidural…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Drunk Driver Causes Head-On Collision

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:42 am
    A woman was injured in a Tacoma car accident when the 2004 Honda Accord in which she was riding was struck head-on by a 2011 Toyota RAV4 that was going in the wrong direction. According to a KOMO News report, the wrong way accident occurred on the Interstate 5 in Tacoma. Officials say the 86-year-old driver of the Toyota was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed into a 2008 Dodge Caravan and the Honda Accord. The Tulalip woman in the Accord suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The 86-year-old driver was arrested and booked for DUI and vehicular assault. Under Washington Statute…
  • Pedestrian Struck by Van in Bremerton

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    10 Nov 2014 | 1:18 pm
    An elderly man is in critical condition after being struck by a car in front of a 7-Eleven store. According to a Kitsap Sun news report, the pedestrian accident occurred on Wheaton Way in Bremerton. Officials say the man was crossing the roadway when a large van struck him. He was thrown onto the hood before rolling off onto the roadway. The driver remained at the scene and called 911. The pedestrian has been listed in critical condition. Under Washington State Statute 46.61.235, vehicles must stop at intersections for pedestrians who are within a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Furthermore,…
  • 10 Injured in Seattle Crash

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    3 Nov 2014 | 11:51 am
    A white pickup truck barreled down Rainier Avenue South in Seattle striking 15 vehicles and injuring 10 people. According to a King 5 news report, the car accidents occurred along three blocks of Rainier Avenue South between South Henderson Street and Seward Avenue Park South in Seattle Halloween night. Officials say nine of the 15 cars struck by the white pickup were occupied including a truck that contained five people. The driver of that truck was critically injured and two child occupants sustained serious injuries. The driver of a red vehicle was also critically injured and another…
  • Pedestrian Critically Injured in Northgate Car Accident

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

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

  • Takata Airbags And What You Should Know

    Farah & Farah
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:31 am
    In yet another boondoggle for consumers, Honda, GM, BMW and other automakers have begun recalling nearly eight million cars because of potentially defective airbags installed between 2002 and 2008 by safety parts manufacturer, Takata. If stored in climates with relatively high humidity, the airbags have the potential to explode with significantly more force in an accident and cause metal within the device to fly out like grenade shrapnel. The faulty bags line the dashboards, steering wheels and door interiors of suspected vehicles – making it a veritable kill-box should there be an…
  • Outdoor Meth Lab Busted

    Farah & Farah
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:24 pm
    A potential methamphetamine cook site was rounded up Saturday afternoon just outside of Palatka. Arresting officers responded to a complaint of loud voices and arguing in a wooded area near a neighborhood residence. On the scene, Officer A.J. Flateau of Palatka Police Department encountered a man in a makeshift -campground. Along with a variety of pill holders, freshly cut wood and an active fire, police uncovered a laundry list of ingredients used in the creation of homemade methamphetamine. Evidence included drain cleaner, batteries, a pill grinder, Pseudoephedrine pills, a digital scale…
  • Real Scares for Horror Cruisers

    Farah & Farah
    4 Nov 2014 | 9:29 am
    In a harrowing turn of events on Friday night, a Celebration Cruise Liner entitled the – Halloween Horror Cruise – struck an unknown object in the waters off the Coast of Grand Bahamas Island, leaving the craft dead in the water. Immediately following the collision, the ship quickly lost power, leaving passengers in a pitch black and slowly titling vessel. Many witnesses assumed it was all part of the act, but quickly discovered that the darkened hallways and repeated evacuation warnings were no trick. Worry quickly turned to panic as many passengers looked to the Celebration crew for…
  • 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…
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    California Criminal Defense Blog

  • Elko man given life sentence for several rapes

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

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

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

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

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

  • How to Navigate a High Asset Divorce involving Children

    Sheryl Rentz
    11 Nov 2014 | 8:06 am
    Every divorce case is as unique as the individual people involved, and if there are young children to consider, the complications can become even more overwhelming. In the event that both parties share significant assets, the stakes become that much more difficult to navigate. If you are considering filing for divorce or have been served divorce papers, the first step should be to contact an experienced and qualified attorney to represent your interests. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to protect your interests as well as those of your children. When high-assets are involved, you deserve…
  • Are there Legal Options for Preventing a Divorce?

    Sheryl Rentz
    3 Nov 2014 | 5:02 am
    One of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce in the United States involve financial issues. And it’s not surprising. The topic of money can create tension between even the most agreeable couples. But in a day and age where divorce seems to be unavoidable, are there any options for steering clear of the financial pitfalls that break up so many committed relationships? Whether you are about to walk down the aisle or have been married for decades, here are a few legal options for preventing arguments about money from becoming threats of divorce. Prenuptial agreements – It may seem…
  • 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…
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    About Florida Lawyers & Attorneys

  • Green Cove Springs Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:20 pm
    The Best Green Cove Springs Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Green Cove Springs Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting Whenever you are looking for the Best legal team in Green Cove Springs, FL that will provide you the most outstanding service then search no more than the Legal Offices of Green Cove Springs Florida. When you are in disorder and want a high quality Legal team to be behind you, then the Legal Offices of Green Cove Springs Florida are the ones you have to…
  • Lawyer’s pregnancy can’t postpone trial of NY Sen. Smith – New York Daily News

    Lawyer - Google News
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:17 pm
    New York Daily News Lawyer's pregnancy can't postpone trial of NY Sen. SmithNew York Daily NewsA hearing on a New York state senator's corruption case turned into a bizarre pregnancy drama in White Plains federal court Thursday. A U.S. district court judge's decision to proceed with the trial of Democratic Sen. Malcolm Smith despite an attorney …and more »
  • Florida Cops on What Ferguson Can Learn From Trayvon – Daily Beast

    Florida Jury - Google News
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:39 am
    Daily Beast Florida Cops on What Ferguson Can Learn From TrayvonDaily BeastAs an anxious nation awaits a grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, the Florida law enforcement officials who handled another controversial interracial shooting have come forward to describe the lessons learned—and what goes on behind the scenes …
  • Grand jury says insufficient to bring charges in Florida jail explosion that … – Fox News

    Florida Jury - Google News
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:23 am
    CBS Local Grand jury says insufficient to bring charges in Florida jail explosion that …Fox NewsPENSACOLA, Fla. – A grand jury looking into a deadly Florida jail explosion says there isn't enough evidence to bring criminal charges. Two inmates were killed and nearly 200 inmates were injured in the April 30 blast at the Escambia County Jail in …Grand Jury: No Charges In Florida Jail ExplosionCBS Localall 30 news articles »
  • Grand Jury: No Charges in Florida Jail Explosion – ABC News

    Florida Jury - Google News
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:09 am
    Grand Jury: No Charges in Florida Jail ExplosionABC NewsA grand jury looking into a deadly Florida jail explosion says there isn't enough evidence to bring criminal charges. Two inmates were killed and nearly 200 inmates were injured in the April 30 blast at the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola. It …and more »
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    MacGregor & Collins, LLP Law Blog

  • Alleged Laguna Niguel Attacker Arrested for Assault on Real Estate Agent Faces Charges

    Randy Collins
    2 Nov 2014 | 9:22 am
    Last month, a 55-year-old female real estate agent was attacked as she closed up a Laguna Niguel home. In light of the recent slaying of an Arkansas agent, this incident has real estate agents across the state rethinking their safety. The attack on took place just before 1 P.M. in the 24000 block of Paseo Del Campo as the agent was securing the lock box of a home that she had listed. The attacker came from behind, put her in a choke hold and punched her in the face, only fleeing the scene after she managed to scream. A neighbor tried to restrain the assailant after hearing the commotion, but…
  • 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…
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    PA Law Blogs

  • Hip Recipients May Still be Eligible for Stryker Hip Lawsuit

    PA Law Blogs
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:04 pm
    A Stryker hip replacement lawsuit settlement involving the recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II metal-on-metal-hips was reached on November 3, 2014. The settlement will provide a base award of $300,000 per failed hip implant for claimants who filed a Stryker hip lawsuit.  Stryker recipients who are not entitled to payment under the settlement may still be eligible for compensation. Patients who underwent Stryker hip implant revision surgery after November 2, 2014 will need to file a Stryker hip lawsuit to seek compensation. Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Thomas Anapol, who was instrumental…
  • Airbag Defect Lawyers file Takata Recall Lawsuit

    PA Law Blogs
    14 Nov 2014 | 7:23 am
    In October 2014, airbag recall lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against Honda and Takata Corporation for failing to warn vehicle owners about defective airbags that could rupture during a crash and shoot shrapnel at drivers and passengers. The complaint alleges that Takata concealed its knowledge of the airbag defects from federal regulators and ordered technicians to destroy key evidence, LA Times reported. The suit also alleges that Honda knew about the faulty airbags as early as 2001, but failed to take action until the 2014 Takata airbag recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety…
  • Compensation for Birth Injuries

    PA Law Blogs
    12 Nov 2014 | 9:46 am
    Newborns experience birth injuries such as Erb’s Palsy when excessive force is used during delivery causing damage to the nerves coming off the spine. This may result in a loss of movement in the afflicted arm and hand. Babies suffering form Erb’s Palsy may have hold the affected arm bent at the elbow and close to the body and experience limited reflexes and lack of movement in the effected arm. Sometimes birth injuries heal over time, but this is not always the case. A lifetime of surgeries and physical therapy may be required for some Erb’s palsy patients. Children with birth injuries…
  • Best Law Firms Names Anapol Schwartz Top Mass Tort Firm

    Anapol Schwartz
    11 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    The 2015 edition of Best Law Firms named Anapol Schwartz among the top mass tort law firms in Philadelphia and in the U.S. The joint publication released by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers gave the firm a Tier 1 ranking, the highest ranking, in Mass Tort Litigation and Class Actions. Best Law Firms also recognized Anapol Schwartz as one of the best plaintiff’s personal injury law firms in Philadelphia. To be considered for this honor, Best Law Firms requires that at least one member of the firm be recognized by Best Lawyers. Three Anapol Schwartz partners were recognized in…
  • Anapol Schwartz Attorney Assists in Stryker Settlement

    Anapol Schwartz
    5 Nov 2014 | 9:26 am
    Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Thomas Anapol of Anapol Schwartz was instrumental in the successful negotiation of the Stryker hip replacement lawsuit settlement announced on November 3, 2014. This is the second metal-on-metal hip settlement Anapol was directly involved in this year. As Co-Lead Counsel in the Biomet M2a hip implant litigation, Anapol successfully negotiated a $200,000 base settlement for recipients of a failed Biomet hip implant, which was announced in February 2014. The November Stryker settlement comes on the heels of the Biomet resolution, which provides…
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    IMC Law Group

  • Debt Collection Post Bankruptcy

    14 Nov 2014 | 3:13 pm
    DEBT COLLECTION POST BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE AND YOUR CREDIT REPORT This week, I read a great New York Times article entitled “Debts Canceled by Bankruptcy Still Mar Consumer Credit Scores.”  The article discusses illegal debt collection, something that I come across regularly in in my practice. In short, after a bankruptcy discharge from a personal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, no debt collector can demand payment from you for debts. The bankruptcy discharge…
  • How To Avoid Bank Levies

    15 Sep 2014 | 8:42 am
    by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. When You Are At Risk of a Bank Levy In order to be at risk for a bank levy on a consumer debt, a Judgment must be entered against you. A Judgment is entered against you after the conclusion of a lawsuit on the debt brought in Superior Court in New Jersey. Due Process does still exist, so you must be sued on the debt, receive proper notice of the suit, have time to respond, and of course, have your day in court. Remember, the bottom line is, is this your debt? Did you already pay it off? Can you afford to pay it off? If you…
  • Stop a Wage Garnishment

    15 Sep 2014 | 8:29 am
    by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. Statistics on Wage Garnishments and How to Stop a Wage Garnishment This morning, Marketplace on National Public Radio ran a piece on wage garnishments for debts where a judgment has been entered. A link to the report is below. 1 in 10 working individuals between the ages of 35-44 are having their wages garnished. Many of my clients have had more than one wage garnishment before seeking my assistance. Wage garnishments do not just magically happen. First, you have to be sued by a creditor on an unpaid debt in Superior Court.
  • Wells Fargo

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

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

  • Breaking news on Immigration - President Obama will announce Executive Action tomorrow

    19 Nov 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Breaking News -- President Obama will announce his plan for Executive Action on Immigration in a televised message tomorrow night at 8:00 PM. Tune in tomorrow, November 20th, to see what he has planned. We at Betts & Associates are ready to represent you in your immigration case. Just call our office in Atlanta at (404) 577-8888 or our office in Rome, GA at (706) 235-7575 to schedule an appointment. Our immigration attorney is also available to do home visits for appointments in Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Polk, Fulton, Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties. Call us today! Noticias Urgentes…
  • Did you pre-pay your car rental reservation but still had to pay extra fees and taxes at the counter?

    3 Dec 2013 | 12:03 pm
    If you have used an online travel reservation service to book a car rental (e.g. Priceline, Orbitz), pre-paid the reservation, and were charged extra fees and taxes, even though you didn't agree to extra services, you may have a claim for breach of contract. Many times an online service company will include fees and taxes as part of the reservation price. If these fees and taxes are actually charged to your credit card (versus just an estimate), the terms and conditions of the particular travel reservation service will govern whether you need to pay any fees and taxes at the reservation…
  • Fue lesionado en el trabajo? Entonces es posible que aplique la Ley de Compensacion de Trabajadores Lesionados...

    20 Nov 2013 | 10:30 am
    1. A quien le aplica la Ley de Compensacion de Trabajadores Lesionados? • Todos empleados, incluyendo personas indocumentadas, que son lesionados en el trabajo o mientras que esté cumpliendo un requisito de su empleador (incluyendo manejando su vehiculo para cumplir con una orden del empleador). • Todos empleadores con 3 o más empleados en el Estado de Georgia. • La ley NO aplica a "independent contractors" y a campesinos; estas personas tendrian que traer una demanda civil 2. Por que existe la Ley de Compensacion de Trabajadores Lesionados? • Permite que los empleadores eviten una…
  • Georgians at risk from dangerous/altered tobacco and incense products

    26 Aug 2013 | 7:08 am
    The Georgia Department of Public Health sent an email over the weekend warning of dangerous products currently on store shelves: "The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has become aware of a dangerous, potentially lethal substance surfacing in convenience stores and smoke shops. When ingested or inhaled this neurotoxin can render a person motionless and/or unconscious and cause severe cardiac problems. In the last 24 hours, at least eight patients in Southeast Ga. have been hospitalized; some patients have been admitted to intensive care and are on life support. Two patients have been…
  • Bedbug Problem in Georgia? Find Out How You Can Get Rid of These Unwelcome Pests in Your Bed for Good.

    23 Mar 2013 | 9:14 pm
    Bedbugs are still a problem in Georgia. Fortunately, there are legal measures you can take before the problem gets worse. Everyone deserves a good night's sleep free from unwelcome critters. Don't let bedbugs bug you and your loved ones anymore. Contact an experienced Georgia attorney to discuss any legal options you may have to protect your bed and you health from these uninvited critters.
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    SEC Lawyers Blog

  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Joseph Jayne (Needham, Massachusetts)

    19 Nov 2014 | 12:17 pm
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Joseph Kennon Jayne (CRD #2359927, Needham, Massachusetts). Jayne recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent ("AWC") in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2013036416001. Jayne was registered with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., from February 2009 until his termination in April 2014. FINRA found that Jayne signed a customer's name, or had it signed, on firm documents to authorize wire transfers of funds, the rollover of funds from other investment firms, and…
  • SEC Sanctions UBS Financial Services, Oppenheimer & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities, and 10 Others for Improper Sales of Puerto Rico Junk Bonds

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:18 pm
    The Securities and Exchange Commission recently sanctioned 13 firms for violating a rule intended to protect retail investors in the municipal securities market. The SEC found that the 13 dealers violated MSRB Rule G-15(f) by executing sales below the minimum denomination, as well as Section 15B(c)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which prohibits violations of any MSRB rule. The action stems from the SEC's surveillance of trading in the municipal bond market, wherein the SEC Enforcement Division's Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit detected improper sales below a $100,000…
  • Sonn|Erez and Aldarondo & Lopéz Bras File Claim Against UBS for Doctor's Estate With More than $295,000 in Losses Related to Puerto Rico Bonds and UBS Funds

    15 Nov 2014 | 10:58 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 a doctor's estate for more than $295,000 in losses related to UBS/UBS-PR branded Puerto Rico Funds and Puerto Rico bonds. The retired doctor passed away in April 2014 at age 86, and left his estate to his widow and two children. Prior to this, the elderly doctor was a long-time customer of UBS and its financial advisor, to whom he entrusted virtually all of his retirement savings. In so doing, the doctor allegedly told UBS and…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Jeffrey Meyer and Private Securities Transactions of United Private Capital, Strategic Lending Solutions, and K&M Oil Company

    13 Nov 2014 | 7:01 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Jeffrey Brian Meyer (CRD #4111125, Lake in the Hills, IL), who has been named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he acted outside the scope of his employment with his member firms by participating in 37 private securities transactions totaling more than $1.5 million, without providing prior written or oral notice to the firms of his proposed roles in the transactions, or the selling compensation that he was to receive from those transactions. See FINRA Case #2012032758601. Meyer was registered with Waddell & Reed, Inc. (Schaumberg, IL)…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Center Street Securities and GWG Renewable Secured Debentures

    12 Nov 2014 | 5:32 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims involving Center Street Securities and GWG Renewable Secured Debentures. Center Street Securities, Inc. (CRD #26898, Nashville, Tennessee) submitted an AWC in which the firm was censured; fined $100,000, which includes disgorgement of approximately $27,000; and required to conduct a comprehensive review of the adequacy of its policies, systems, procedures, and training with respect to reviewing and approving alternative products and responding to regulatory inquires. See FINRA Case #2012034936004. In another disciplinary matter, FINRA suspended Michael "Mike"…
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    New York & New Jersey Consumer Law Blog

  • NJ Eviction for Late Payments: There's More to "Habitual" Than Meets the Eye

    5 Nov 2014 | 3:38 am
    Late payment of rent is one of the more common landlord complaints. Late-paying tenants interfere with their landlord's bottom line and create an atmosphere of disrespect toward the landlord's investment. The NJ Anti-Eviction Act allows a Landlord to evict a tenant for "habitual late payment of rent" when the tenant "after written notice to cease, has habitually and without legal justification failed to pay rent which is due and owing." N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(j). Although the law seems clear, it's easy to say a tenant pays rent habitually late; evicting for late payments is more difficult…
  • 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…
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    Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

  • South Florida Airbag Injury Claim Filed Amid Huge Recall

    15 Nov 2014 | 9:27 am
    As the international recall on Japanese-made Takata airbags widens, a Miami-Dade woman has filed her own lawsuit, alleging defective airbags left her with lifelong scarring - and nearly killed her. It's true there is rarely such thing as a "normal" accident. After all, crashes are rarely anticipated, and the unexpected is what often makes the situation so bad. But we expect in these situations that airbags, upon impact, will protect us. What regulators are now finding is that in an increasing number of cases, defective airbags in fact made the situation far worse.
  • Auto Owners Ins. Co. v. Foster - Vehicle Ownership Key in Injury Action

    5 Nov 2014 | 9:15 am
    The determination of who owns a vehicle and/or who has permission to drive it is a key in the wake of a crash. Answers to those questions will help your attorney figure out which insurance claims to pursue and what kind of coverage to which you may be entitled. Often, the answers to these questions are relatively easy. Other times, they can be far more complex. An example of the latter was seen recently in the Indiana Court of Appeals case of Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Foster.
  • Curtis v. Lemna - Golf Injury Work-Related, Co-Worker Lawsuit Barred

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

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

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

  • Executive Action on Immigration Coming Soon

    14 Nov 2014 | 9:01 am
    The President plans to use his executive authority to overhaul U.S. immigration law unless Congress passes a comprehensive immigration reform bill by the end of the year. Despite protests from Republicans, the President is expected to announce a 10-point plan that could protect up to 5 million immigrants from deportation by the end of the year and as early as next week. According to Fox News, the 10 points of the President's plan are: 1) Expand deferred action for young illegal immigrants: President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in June 2012. To be…
  • U Visa - Filing for Derivative Family Members

    4 Nov 2014 | 1:04 pm
    We recently discussed U visa eligibility on the blog and noted that this type of nonimmigrant visa provides relief to victims of qualifying crimes by granting them temporary legal status and work authorization in the U.S. for 4 years. The form you must complete is a Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, Form I-918. There is no cost for filing this form. The types of evidence you may submit to prove that you are a victim of direct and proximate harm from a qualifying criminal activity include, but are not limited to: Police reports Court documents Trial transcripts News articles Orders of…
  • Removing Conditions from a Conditional Green Card

    4 Nov 2014 | 11:41 am
    Permanent residence is not available to foreign nationals who marry U.S. citizens solely for immigration purposes. Immigration officers see such marriages as shams, so they are very careful about investigating marriage cases. As a result of these suspicions, if you have been married for less than 2 years when your permanent resident application is approved, you will receive a conditional permanent resident card. A conditional permanent resident card is valid for 2 years. In order to retain your permanent resident status, you must file a petition to remove the conditions within the 90 days…
  • U Visa Eligibility

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

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

  • WAIVER DANGER: Challenge when receiver is appointed in a Texas divorce

    Michelle O'Neil
    11 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    The Texas Family Code provides that a receiver may be appointed to take control of certain assets in the middle of a Texas divorce proceeding. The standard for appointing a receiver is a relatively low bar – a receiver may be appointed “for the preservation and protection of the property of the parties”. [Texas Family Code section 6.502(a)(5)].  In fact, a receiver may be appointed to take charge of community or separate property of the parties.  [In re C.F.M., 360 S.W.3d 654 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012).] BEWARE, challenging the appointment of a receiver is reviewable by…
  • Torn up Pre-nup — Valid or Not?

    Michelle O'Neil
    4 Nov 2014 | 5:59 am
    What would happen under Texas divorce law if two spouses decide after years of marriage to tear up their prenup? Is that enough to invalidate the agreement? I read with interest last week’s post from lawyer Daniel Clement of the New York Divorce Report about a New York case holding a premarital agreement valid even after the couple tore it up on their honeymoon. (See Braha v. Braha.) The couple was engaged less than three weeks when they married in 2002. The husband told his then-fiancé that his father “threatened to cut him off” if he did not have her sign a pre-nuptial…
  • Dallas divorce lawyer has unique perspective

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

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

    Michelle O'Neil
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:20 am
    The Harold Hamm divorce in Oklahoma is getting a lot of media attention right now. The divorce trial has started and the wife is making allegations that the husband’s company is rewriting history to downplay his role in the company’s success in order to increase the value of the marital estate subject to division. The trial has been closed to the media and interested onlookers and the lawyers have been placed under a gag order to prevent them from leaking interesting tidbits to the media, so we won’t know exactly what’s going on for a while. Hamm divorce Mr. Hamm…
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Stryker Settles Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1.43 Billion

    7 Nov 2014 | 11:33 am
    Stryker, a company that makes artificial hip implants, has reached a settlement to resolve thousands of products liability lawsuits over the now-recalled medical devices. The deal is expected to cost the manufacturer approximately $1.43 billion. The agreement covers patients who were implanted with the ABG II Modular-Neck or the Rejuvenate Modular-Neck and had to undergo another procedure to have the hip implant replaced. Both models were recalled in 2012 in the wake of growing patient complaints of corrosion and other problems. According to the plaintiffs, Stryker sold the faulty implants,…
  • 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…
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    New York Real Estate Lawyers Blog

  • New Court Ruling in New York Relating to Disputes over Religious Institutions

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:28 am
    A recent case decided by a New York Appellate Court relates to a dispute over governing and control of a Buddhist Temple. To summarize, the Master of the Temple, Mew Fung Chen, excommunicated 517 members over a dispute relating to control of the Temple, which had locations in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. At a special meeting, the Board of the Temple voted to close the Manhattan Temple and excommunicate the followers of an alleged "rogue monk," Master Ming Tung. Ming Tung's followers constituted a majority of the congregation at the time of the excommunication. Ming Tung filed a lawsuit in…
  • How to Stage a Takeover of Your Coop or Condo Board

    7 Nov 2014 | 5:56 am
    Board members of cooperative and condominium buildings are hard working volunteers who are subject to what may be undeserved criticism. In other cases, a board may be treating a particular unit owner unfairly or there may be a general sense among neighbors that the board is doing a poor job. Our firm receives inquiries from such unit owners, either on their own behalf or as representatives of a group of unit owners that are "out of power," as to our recommendations. If efforts to influence existing board members continue to be unsuccessful, our attorneys will discuss the consideration of a…
  • Happy Halloween: Haunted Houses, Zombie Houses, Ghosts and Other Scary Things

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

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

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

  • A Brief Primer on Special Needs Planning

    Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners
    3 Nov 2014 | 10:38 am
    Special Needs Planning is an area that will likely apply to you or someone close to you: planning for a loved one with special needs. We will look at the increasing need for this planning; the decrease in government benefits; the concerns families have about providing for their loved ones; whether it is worth protecting government benefits; and planning tips to help you provide for and protect your loved one for as long as he or she lives. The Increasing need for special needs care and planning. Chances are there is or will be someone in your family (child, grandchild, nephew, niece, parent,…
  • 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…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • State Laws Vary on the Division of Marital Property in Divorce

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:16 am
    If you are thinking of initiating a divorce proceeding, be sure to understand how the state family code could affect your case, particularly how the provisions apply to property division. Each state has the authority to enact laws affecting marriage and divorce. California is a "community property" state, which means that any and all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are likely to be divided evenly in divorce (with a few exceptions, such as gifts and inheritances). Identifying and characterizing property in a divorce proceeding can affect the couple's settlement, in terms of…
  • California Court Refuses to Reduce Father's Child Support Obligation

    11 Nov 2014 | 8:26 am
    As a couple navigates the divorce process, there are many important issues to sort through, such as child custody, support, and the division of property. It is not surprising that couples often fail to see "eye to eye" on every matter, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. When one spouse is obligated to pay child support, there may be some dispute over the monthly amount awarded by the court. Fortunately, however, state law regulates the issue of child support. The California Family Code provides a statewide uniform guideline for courts to use when determining the amount of…
  • California Courts Retain Jurisdiction to Allocate Community Property After Divorce Judgment

    4 Nov 2014 | 8:24 am
    The California Family Code governs many aspects of divorce proceedings. In many respects, the various provisions operate to place the parties on "equal footing." Courts interpreting these laws are guided by overriding principles of fairness and equality. The statutes cover many important matters, such as child custody, spousal support, and the division of marital property. If you are facing divorce, it is important to understand how these local state laws will affect your particular circumstances. An experienced family law attorney from the San Diego area can evaluate your case, with an eye…
  • California Court Denied Father's Request for Custody

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

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

  • Yet Another Cruise Norovirus Outbreak Reminds Us Of Inherit Cruise Risk

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:41 pm
    Well, it’s happened again. Although we seem to be told repeatedly by the cruise industry that norovirus outbreaks are sporadic and preventative measures are improving, in seems that once again, a cruise ship and its passengers have fallen victim to an outbreak. Princess Cruise Suffers Large Virus Outbreak This time it was a Princess Cruise line that experienced the outbreak. The cruise, leaving from Los Angeles, to Hawaii and then Tahiti, suffered an outbreak that affected 172 people on board. Most of the affected were passengers, but 14 crewmembers were sickened as well. The CDC, which…
  • New Case a Reminder How Important it is to Read Cruise Ticket

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    12 Nov 2014 | 7:55 am
    We’ve discussed a lot about cruise tickets, and the burdens they put on cruise passengers who are seeking to sue a cruise line for damages and injuries. A recent case has come out that has unfortunately said nothing new, again emphasizing how restrictive the terms of cruise tickets can be. Passenger Sues in Wrong Venue The case involved a passenger who was seeking to sue Royal Caribbean for injuries she sustained on a cruise. Her cruise ticket had a one-year statute of limitations to bring such actions, and she narrowly beat that deadline. However, she sued in Miami-Dade circuit (state)…
  • Judge Sanctions Carnival Cruise Lines and Determines Notice of a Dangerous Condition Established Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    11 Nov 2014 | 9:33 am
    Earlier last week our Cruise Ship Lawyers sought and received a court order under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 (b) in the  form of issue based sanctions against Defendant Carnival Cruise Lines in a lawsuit brought by Mrs. Esperanza Viletta in the case of Viletta v. Carnival Cruise Lines, Case No. 11-20930. The sanctions were ordered by United States Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan and were upheld by United States District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga in a six (6) page written order. Click this link to read the Order. The sanctions were issued based on a myriad of discovery violations including…
  • Unusually High Number of Recent Cruise Accidents are Cause for Concern

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    5 Nov 2014 | 8:21 am
    There have been an abnormally large number of cruise accidents recently. And while none could be termed catastrophic, the recent spate still is worth noting to draw attention to the safety standards that some cruise lines are employing. Halloween Cruise Runs Aground Just recently on a Halloween cruise, a Grand Bahama Celebration cruise ship returning to Palm Beach struck something in the water, forcing it to turn around, and return to port. There were no injuries, and passengers were set up with lodging until the ship could return. A ferry eventually brought the passengers back to Palm Beach.
  • New Cruise Victim Information Website Won’t Provide Much Help, But It’s a Good Start

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

  • NLRB General Counsel’s Joint Employer Ruling Leaves McDonald’s Feeling Dis-en-Franchised

    20 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    I know I promised last week that I would write about the US Supreme Court case, Department of Homeland Security v. McLean. I thought about it this week though and realized that since it impacts federal employers only, and most of my readers are private sector employers that it might be better for me to break that  promise and move on. Now, I know I’ve written a lot about joint employment (specifically here, here, here, here… well, you get the idea).  I’ve also written a few times about the NLRB (specifically here, here, here…again, you get the idea).  But now, the…
  • Do You Have to Provide Permanent Health Benefits to Your Retirees?

    13 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday in a case about health benefits under a collective bargaining agreement. While the immediate issue is the duration of retirees’ health benefits under a CBA, could it also apply to a benefits plan under ERISA? You do not need me to tell you that medical costs continue to rise or that increasing numbers of baby boomers are retiring. You may be one of many employers considering limiting retiree health coverage as a means for managing your costs. These are all reasons why the outcome of M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett  could matter…
  • Does the EEOC Need to Strike A More Conciliatory Tone???

    6 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Caroline Candidate filed a Title VII sex discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  against your company, Marvelous Manufacturing, because it didn’t hire her. You respond to the charge, confident it will be dismissed. Instead, the EEOC issues a determination of reasonable cause to believe your company discriminated against the Charging Party — “and a class of female applicants because of their sex”, based on “the evidence obtained during the course of the investigation”.  What is the evidence? Aside from the Charging Party,…
  • The U.S. Supreme Court Just Heard Another Overtime Case–Could it Affect You??

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

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

  • Coping with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Through Support Groups

    14 Nov 2014 | 7:09 pm
    Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), can be difficult to cope with not only physically, but also mentally, for those suffering from RSD may feel that no one else is able to understand what they are going through. However, support and awareness groups exist to aid those suffering from RSD in this regard, and they are making great strides to raise awareness and research.
  • World Cerebral Palsy Day: An Overview

    12 Nov 2014 | 4:52 pm
    October 1, 2014 was World Cerebral Palsy Day, which its official website describes as "a global innovation project to change the world for people living with cerebral palsy and their families" that is "designed to gather ideas from people around the world and make the best of those ideas a reality." The World Cerebral Palsy Alliance, which has gathered support from over 45 countries, invited people with cerebral palsy, as well as their friends and families, to submit ideas through a one-minute video or text (i.e., it takes the reader less than one minute to read the text in full) presentation…
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries on the Rise

    8 Nov 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Typically, when we discuss traumatic brain injuries on this website, we do so in the context of automobile accidents, falls, and the like. However, an article posted on Outside Magazine's website makes a revelation that, while initially startling, is not all that surprising upon second look. Traumatic brain injuries are on the rise these days, but not because more people are being hit by cars or getting into car accidents--rather, traumatic brain injuries are increasing dramatically because, as Marc Peruzzi writes in his article, "our behavior has changed."
  • Cerebral Palsy: Quality of Life for Adolescents and Young Adults

    5 Nov 2014 | 2:43 pm
    Although cerebral palsy, a condition stemming from injuries that occur to a child's brain while in the womb or at birth, undoubtedly alters the lifestyles of children who have it, it does not entail a poor quality of life. Many aids exist to help those with cerebral palsy live healthy, happy lives, and this extends well outside of childhood. A recent study released by Allan Colver, professor of community child health at Newcastle University in England, shows that adolescents afflicted with cerebral palsy have a similar quality of life to those who are the same age and do not suffer from the…
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in the News: Charity Walks and the Latest Technological Developments

    31 Oct 2014 | 2:31 pm
    Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD, CRPS Type 1), a condition that creates severe, chronic physical pain in its victims. There is no known cure for RSD, and its exact causes are yet unknown, although they are being closely examined by the medical community. RSD is a very rare disease; in fact, it is so rare that it does not have much occasion to appear in the news. However, some uplifting stories about RSD have been circulating through the news lately, and sufferers of RSD and their loved ones may take heart in the notion that, while no cure exists at the moment, communities appear to be…
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • Short Wins - the Dramatic Catch-Up Edition

    18 Nov 2014 | 9:51 am
    And, after a really long break, we're back. Apologies. This day job has been very busy lately. And, of course, if you ever find yourself jonesing for my writing, you can always check out my stuff on Above the Law. You saw our guest post on Hite last week - it's a great case that bears a close read. To the Victories! 1. United States v. Barnes, First Circuit: Appellant pled guilty to distribution and conspiracy to distribute 50kg of marijuana. At sentencing, the district court attributed 3,000kg of marijuana to Appellant after a judicial finding of that quantity by a preponderance of the…
  • The D.C. Circuit Makes It Harder to Prosecute Someone For Enticing A Minor

    14 Nov 2014 | 11:05 am
    Editor's Note - We've never had a guest post before, and normally I give a blanket no to a request for one. But, Assistant Federal Public Defender extraordinaire Jon Jeffress wrote a great piece about the D.C. Circuit's recent decision in United States v. Hite that I'm very pleased to publish here. If you're looking at this as a precedent for other guest posts, please know that if you are an AFPD or credible attorney working in the federal system on criminal cases, I'd be happy to look at anything. Otherwise, no. Finally, I should say that the opinions here are solely Jon's, not those of his…
  • 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"…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Mass(achusetts) Pandemonium: Black Friday & Premises Liability

    17 Nov 2014 | 11:18 am
    The day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday", is perhaps the most iconic and celebrated shopping day of the year. According to the National Retail Federation's 2014 Holiday Survival Kit REV, 2013 saw more than 141 million shoppers during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday), with the average shopper spending about $407. Black Friday alone saw more than 92 million online and in-store shoppers - that's roughly one out-of-every three Americans. In total, consumers spent approximately $57.4 billion during last year's holiday weekend. This year, the pandemonium that is…
  • Making Sure Your Children's Halloween Costumes are Safe

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    It is that time of the year where parents are led to a costume store by eager kids wanting to purchase the year's hottest or funniest Halloween costume. While there is not a lot to worry about, parents still need to be mindful of their children's choice. Despite what one would expect, there are many costumes on the market that simply are not safe for children because, among many reasons, they are not flame resistant or are so dark that they put a child at risk to be struck by a car. It is hard to believe, but since 1980 there have been 16 reported incidents where a child under the age of 15…
  • Can I Sue My Town for Personal Injuries Caused by Defective Roadways or Sidewalks?

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

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

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

  • Collateral Monetary Damage in South Florida from Home Depot Security Breach

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    11 Nov 2014 | 2:02 pm
    These days it seems that with far too much frequency there is continually breaking news about another retailer with online outlets being victimized by a security breach. The latest of these high tech break-ins was successfully aimed at Home Depot and turned out to be executed by a low-tech method; at least when first hijacking their network. The well-known distributor of appliances and supplies for home and garden items released news that show that a breach which began in April of this year and went undetected through September allowed hackers to steal credit and debit card data of fifty-six…
  • Miami Federal Judge gives International Sex Trafficker/Rapist 27 years

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:30 am
    His reign of terror which operated Internationally including Australia, the Mid-East and the United States finally came to an end when Miami Federal District Judge Cecilia Altonaga sentenced Jamaican born Damion St. Patrick Baston to twenty-seven years in federal prison. For years, the smoothing talking former nightclub dancer enticed women into a life of prostitution that spanned numerous continents by making them believe he was a hip hop music producer, later bragging to them that he was a member of Bloods, the violent West Coast street gang based out of Los Angeles. Once under his…
  • 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…
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    Darlingtons Solicitors

  • Fraud or dishonesty at work – employer options

    David Rosen
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:21 am
    D Rosen This blogpost presumes that the reader is someone within an organisation who is an owner, or in a position of responsibility. Firstly, how does your business define ‘fraud’? Some businesses adopt the case law interpretation as set out in Derry v Peek [1889] LR 14 App Cas 337. Other businesses have their own definitions of what is, and what is not fraud. Some businesses only consider fraud on a criminal basis to a criminal standard. That is a high standard to have sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person has committed such a crime. Some businesses consider…
  • Profiling Fraudsters

    David Rosen
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:54 am
    D Rosen  Q to James Bond  “I can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pyjamas before my first Earl Grey…” Skyfall I was inspired to write this blogpost, following my reading of ‘Countering fraud for competitive advantage, the professional approach to reducing the last great hidden cost’ (Button and Gee 2013).  I do not seek to find the current answer, but merely write to be thought-provoking.  Has developing technology changed the scope in which criminal profiling has previously identified classes or groups of people, likely to commit fraud?  Undoubtedly, yes.
  • David Rosen quoted as expert on private prosecutions by The Independent

    17 Aug 2014 | 4:25 am
    David was approached by the Independent newspaper and asked for his expert comments on the important and growing phenomenon of private criminal prosecutions in England & Wales. You can read the full article here. Alternatively, see below. If you have any questions about the law, process or advisability of a private criminal prosecution, please do get in touch with David for expert help.
  • Complex Commercial Fraud: Tracing and Following: Pens, Rulers, and Motorbikes

    David Rosen
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:48 pm
    D Rosen  I read recently, a fascinating chapter of ‘Commercial Fraud in Civil Practice’ by McGrath QC, 2014, relating to Tracing. Let me start by saying I am a firm believer that a proprietary claim, leads to proprietary relief, in the absence of any clarity that it arises from a claim of unjust enrichment.  Tracing is effectively the act of seeking and locating monies or monies worth for evidential purposes.  There used to be a common misconception that you referred to a tracing claim, or a tracing injunction. That is a colloquial referral, and not technically correct.  Tracing is…
  • How to avoid a breach of contract situation

    Ben Jones
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:23 pm
    Ben Jones – Partner & head of employment law It is important to have an agreement / contract in place to ensure all parties are aware of their obligations under the agreement but also to legislate for what happens if one party breaches the agreement. Get the right contract and act consistently Before considering remedies, it’s important to reflect on the topic generally. Whilst it is impossible to prevent the other party to a contract from breaching it, we see all too often that clients do not learn from mistakes and/or don’t understand how to minimise the chances of a…
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    Tampa Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Florida Woman Accused of Dismembering and Cooking Neighbor

    18 Nov 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Volusia County woman Angela Stoldt of Deltona is accused of stabbing her neighbor, James Sheaffer, in the eyes with an ice pick before strangling him to death in a cemetery. After the alleged murder, Ms. Stoldt is accused of taking Mr. Sheaffer's corpse back to her kitchen where she is said to have dismembered his body, followed by her attempt to cremate the remains. After her cremation attempt failed, Ms. Stoldt is alleged to have simply throw his remaining body parts out with the trash. As one can imagine, Ms. Stoldt's alleged attempt to dispose of the evidence failed, instead leading to…
  • "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

    22 Oct 2014 | 11:37 am
    Oscar Pistorius, renowned Paralympic sprinter was sentenced yesterday to five years in a South African prison for the shooting and killing of his then girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Mr. Pistorius was found not guilty of a more serious murder charge he stood trial for earlier this year but was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting Ms. Steenkamp several times in the middle of the night in what Mr. Pistorius claims was self defense out of fear that one had intruded into his home. South African prosecutors argued for a minimum of 10 years as a prison sentence for Mr. Pistorius but were…
  • Florida Cop Accused Of Getting Oral Sex In Exchange For Not Making Arrest

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:50 am
    Oh Florida, here we go again. Generally it's the average Joes and Janes making the news for crazy allegations, now it's the cops. 32-year-old Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Ted Arboleda is accused of foregoing a legitimate arrest of a woman in exchange for her offer of oral sex. Arboleda is said to have made routine contact with the woman at a local gas station where he found her to be without a valid driver's license, in possession of marijuana, and in possession of an unlabeled bottle of prescription medication, all while on felony probation. According to news reports, initially the woman…
  • Doctor Guilty Of Healthcare Fraud For Administering Chemotherapy To Patients Who Didn't Have Cancer

    7 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Dr. Farid Fata recently pled guilty to 16 Federal criminal counts including 13 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of receiving kickbacks. In a disturbingly unusual case involving a doctor fraudulently submitting requests for reimbursement from several healthcare organizations, Dr. Farid Fata went so far as to knowingly misdiagnose several patients with cancer and subsequently ordering that they receive cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. In doing this he was able to bilk several healthcare organizations out of a ton of money to his benefit. In…
  • Indiana Man Accused of Cannibalism

    17 Sep 2014 | 3:46 pm
    Jeffersonville, Indiana man, Joseph A. Oberhansley, 33, is accused of murdering his girlfriend and ultimately eating portions of her corpse. Oberhansley was arrested last Thursday after police came to his girlfriend, Tammy Blanton's home looking for her as she failed to show up for work. According to news sources, Oberhansley began acting suspicious when police questioned him as to Blanton's whereabouts. Police observed a fresh cut across Oberhansley's knuckles during their contact and then patted down Oberhansley for weapons, finding a knife in the accused's back pocket full of hair and what…
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    Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    16 Nov 2014 | 6:09 pm
    McDonald's had to recall roughly 2.3 million Hello Kitty toy whistles that were distributed nationwide and in Canada because they posed a choking risk in children. The whistles were the toy in the McDonald's Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals from October 2014 through the first week in November 2014. The whistles were distributed at McDonald's in honor of Hello Kitty's 40th birthday. These whistles were a "Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop Toy (No. 6)" and it is a Hello Kitty plastic figurine holding a pink heart-shaped lollipop with a removable whistle that children can play with. McDonald's had…

    14 Nov 2014 | 6:29 pm
    Dosing errors in dialysis treatments using the products Granuflo and Naturalyte have resulted in wrongful deaths, negative impacts for thousands of patients nationwide, and finally a recall of the products. Lawsuits against Fresenius Medical Care North America, the manufacturer and distributor of the products, and DaVita Healthcare Partners, accused of incorrect dosing, were filed following the recall. The suit alleged that Alkali Dosing Errors were to blame for the deaths in question, more specifically dangerously high levels of bicarbonates in the dialysis treatment. In addition to the…

    10 Nov 2014 | 7:00 pm
    A fifty-two-year-old security guard, Julio Vilamariona, was killed by a CBS van that was transporting passengers on the CBS studios lot. Vilamariona had emigrated from San Salvador, El Salvador, for better opportunities for himself and his family's future. On November 6, 2014, the survivors of Vilamariona were awarded $10.5 million in a wrongful death suit against CBS. Vilamariona was a security guard for the NCIS show. He was securing the set of NCIS when he was struck and killed instantly by a CBS van that was transporting employees at the CBS studios. The driver of the CBS van was Ralph…

    4 Nov 2014 | 6:52 pm
    On October 12, 2014 at approximately 4:30 p.m., a two-year-old girl was killed in Chester Township, New Jersey when she was crushed between two shuttle buses that collided in a parking field at Alstede Farms on Route 24. The deceased girl was Elizabeth Fuehring, who was with her mother, Sarah Fuehring, her six-year-old brother, Jayden Fuehring, and friends. Families were at Alstede Farms enjoying the 31st Annual Chester Harvest Fest, complete with pumpkin picking and hayrides. Elizabeth Fuehring, her mother and friend, Joanna Alemany, became stuck between the colliding buses and were all…

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:55 am
    Clanton Fleetwood, a Cadillac owner from Tyler, Texas, was driving his 2006 Cadillac SRX at an intersection in Smith County, Fleetwood on November 20, 2013 when he lost control of his Cadillac and continued through the intersection and ended up in a ditch on the side of the road. He said that, "for unknown reasons [I] lost control of the vehicle." Mr. Fleetwood said that he was sitting in his seat correctly and had his seat belt on securely, but he "suffered serious injuries when his vehicle failed to protect him." Mr. Fleetwood claims that General Motors LLC is responsible for his accident…
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  • The Midterm Elections are Over - What Does that Mean for Immigration Reform?

    13 Nov 2014 | 5:48 am
    With the midterm elections finally behind us, foreign nationals, immigration advocates, and the country at large are now wondering what the election results mean for comprehensive immigration reform. Since Tuesday night and Wednesday morning saw the loss of many Democratic seats to Republicans, many are worried that immigration reform will not be given to the nation, as promised by the President for several months. The President's Conversations with Republicans In the wake of the elections, the media is already reporting that relations between the President and the House Republicans are…
  • Is the Border Patrol Overstepping its Bounds by Making Arrests Miles Away from the Border?

    4 Nov 2014 | 8:19 am
    The U.S. Border Patrol is tasked with performing duties in line with what its name suggests: safeguarding the nation's borders by preventing terrorists, weapons, and other national security threats from entering the United States. However, recent allegations claim that the Border Patrol (BP) is no longer confining its enforcement and prevention efforts to within its geographic area of authority. Instead, the agency has decided to pursue its duties inside the U.S. and at times, more than 150 miles away from the country's border. One Example of Many: The Case of Jaime Zaldana Jaime Zaldana is…
  • Harvard University Student Allowed to Return to the U.S. After Trip to Mexico to Care for Sick Mother

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:24 am
    Recently, a junior at Harvard University who was forced to remain in Mexico for the past several months learned that he will be allowed to return to the United States even though he broke an immigration rule. Mr. Dario Guerrero Meneses, an undocumented foreign national, traveled to Mexico without first settling his immigration status in the United States. Mr. Meneses could not wait to obtain U.S. permission to cross the border into Mexico because his mother, who was dying of cancer and recently passed away, needed his help to take her to Mexican health clinics that could provide her with…
  • U.S. Circuit Court Strikes Down Another Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

    27 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    Recently the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th circuit ruled that another of Arizona's anti-immigration laws is unconstitutional. This law, referred to as Proposition 100, allowed the state to deny bond to undocumented foreign nationals who were charged with "serious" crimes. Proposition 100 Arizona's Proposition 100 was passed in November 2006, during a period that many have described as the height of anti-immigration and anti-immigrant public opinion in the state. What is interesting about this law is that it seems to have been incomplete at the time Arizonans voted on the bill. It…
  • Immigration Advocates Accuse ICE of Acting "Out of Control"

    27 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more commonly known by its concise acronym of ICE, is the enforcement arm of the federal government's immigration laws. ICE has been making headlines recently as immigrant rights advocates accuse the agency of acting "out of control" when executing its enforcement duties. ICE's Actions Critics of the agency state that ICE officers are aggressively pursuing deportation cases, many of which are against foreign nationals who are nonviolent offenders, even though President Obama has repeatedly promised that his administration will soon be implementing policies…
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    Palo Alto Estate Planning Blog

  • IRS Extends Deadline for Portability for 2011-2013

    Liza Hanks
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:03 am
    The IRS has extended the deadline for filing an estate tax return for decedents dying in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to December 31, 2014. The purpose of the extension is to provide time for surviving spouses to elect portability on the return, which would allow them to use their deceased spouse’s unused exemption from the federal estate tax. Electing portability means, in effect, that a married couple can combine their available exemptions, potentially saving a family a significant amount of money when the second spouse dies. For example, if a person died in 2011, and had an estate worth $2…
  • It’s Holiday Time (Almost) How About a Roth IRA?

    Liza Hanks
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:35 pm
    I recently read an article about the value of giving your children (or grandchildren) the gift of compound interest and a more secure retirement, in the form of an annual contribution to their Roth IRA. What a great idea! The author’s point is that many young people are struggling to pay off their educational debt and mortgages, or cope with the costs of child-care. But that, of course, is the best time to start saving money towards retirement, since money invested early has more time to grow.  Studies recommend saving between 15% and 17% of your earnings each year towards retirement…
  • Happy National Estate Planning Awareness Week!

    Liza Hanks
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:55 pm
    Who knew?! I honestly had no idea that there was such a thing as National Estate Planning Awareness Week, but, in fact there is, and it’s the third week in October, established by House Resolution 1499 in 2008. When I worked in the US Senate, I was particularly thrilled by National Ice Cream Day (the third Sunday in July) and when I worked in the California State Legislature there was one day when bikers from all over California rode around the capital to protest helmet laws (I’m not sure if that was an official day or not). But this, while not nearly as thrilling as either of…
  • State Inheritance and Estate Taxes

    Liza Hanks
    5 Oct 2014 | 3:41 pm
    California is a big state, and it’s easy to get near-sighted. Because California has no state-specific gift or estate taxes, it’s easy to focus almost exclusively on the federal estate and gift tax exemptions when planning for the taxes due after there’s been a death. But nineteen states and the District of Columbia levy their own state estate taxes or inheritance taxes, with widely varying exemptions and tax rates, and these taxes can come due, even to California residents–either because they own property located in another state, or because they inherit assets from a…
  • Taking Parents Off the Hook

    Liza Hanks
    23 Sep 2014 | 12:20 pm
    The New York Times published an interesting story this weekend on the expectations that parents and children have with respect to inheritances. The article summarized a study published in The Gerontologist last year, in which older adults and their children were polled on whether or not they expected to leave or inherit an inheritance. It turns out that 86.2% of the parents expected to leave their children something, but only 44.6% of the kids were expecting to receive anything.  Interestingly, the adult children who were getting money from their parents during life had a higher expectation…
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    Florida Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Flower Company Sniffs Out Unfair Florida Tax

    20 Nov 2014 | 10:50 am
    Anytime I need a gift for just about any reason, 1-800 Flowers of, is where I turn to first. The online retailers make it incredibly easy for someone who needs as much help as I normally do to send gifts to others. I can just go online, pick one of their pre-packaged gifts, give them my credit card, and then the recipient magically receives the gift as quickly as I need it. Recently, the Florida Department of Revenue decided that it is entitled to sales tax whether the flowers are delivered in Florida or outside of its borders. Being that this is contrary to normal sales tax…
  • Florida Car Dealers Next on DOR Hit List

    14 Nov 2014 | 2:36 pm
    Anytime the a state agency, such as the Florida Department of Revenue ("FL DOR") gets their hands on third party reporting, you can rest assured they will be coming after that industry in full force. In 2011, the FL DOR passed a law that required wholesalers of alcohol and tobacco to report all of their sales to retailers directly to the FL DOR. Being that the FL DOR knew what each convenience store, liquor store, restaurant, and bar bought by way of beer and cigarettes, they could easily compare them to the same retailer's sales tax returns. For those that the FL DOR suspected of…
  • Portable Toilets - What's the True Object of the Transaction?

    4 Nov 2014 | 8:17 am
    It never ceases to amaze me, the wide variety of companies that state agencies attempt to extort money from. Most states impose a sales tax on the sale or rental of tangible personal property. But what happens when the sale is part tangible personal property, part service ("known to the sales and use tax attorney as a "mixed transaction")? Is the entire transaction subject to tax? Many states take the incredibly helpful, "it depends" approach and look to an even more helpful "object of the transaction" test. In reality, it truly seems like state agencies and courts reach a conclusion and fill…
  • Amazon Fulfillment - Customer Convenience or Sales Tax Disaster

    23 Oct 2014 | 6:01 pm
    Now more than ever Amazon has been a one stop shop for many consumers. Not only can you buy just about anything you can think of on the Amazon website, but you can also receive lightning fast delivery of whatever you buy. Over the past few years, Amazon has taken their company to the next level. Now, in addition to selling items, Amazon provides a fulfillment service to online retailers. As Amazon puts it, their fulfillment business "helps you grow your online business by giving you access to Amazon's world-class fulfillment resources and expertise." Simply put, the online retailer sends…
  • Florida Motor Fuel Tax Audits on the Rise

    9 Oct 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Over the past few years the Florida Department of Revenue ("FDOR") has launched several new campaigns. About 2 years ago, the DOR gained the ability to access the data tracking all tobacco and alcohol items sold to retailers. Armed with third party data, the FDOR did several thousands of audits on those that sold tobacco or alcohol items. With the downturn in the economy, times are tough for the State of Florida and they are launching a similar campaign against auto dealers using DMV records. It was also brought to our attention that the DOR is launching a new campaign by training its…
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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... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Cytta Corp Announces Corporate Hijacking

    18 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Lawyer 101 Blog On November 5, 2014, Cytta Corp., a (CYTA), filed a report on Form 8-K reflecting that it had been the victim of a corporate hijacking.  According to its Form 8-K, Cytta learned that unauthorized persons accessed the Nevada Secretary of State Corporate filing system known as ‘Silverflume’ and altered Cytta’s Officer and Director information.   Additionally, the... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • SEC Charges Eric Van Nguyen, Jay Fung and Anthony Thompson

    17 Nov 2014 | 11:37 am
    Going Public LawyerOn November 17, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged three penny stock promoters with conducting pump-and-dump schemes involving stocks they were touting in purported independent newsletters.  The SEC alleges that Anthony Thompson, Jay Fung, and Eric Van Nguyen worked in coordinated fashion to gain control of the public float of penny stock companies.Upon gaining control,  they then... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Joseph Noel Charged In Stock Scalping Scheme

    17 Nov 2014 | 11:24 am
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Lawyer 101 Blog On November 17, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged Joseph Noel, the Chief Executive Officer of YesDTC Holdings, a San Francisco-based penny stock company. Yoel is charged with defrauding investors by issuing false and misleading press releases in order to pump up the stock price up while he secretly sold his shares into... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Offshore Crowdfunding Portals Are Not Shielded From Liability Under U.S. Securities Laws

    17 Nov 2014 | 7:00 am
    Going Public LawyerThe SEC’s recent Cease and Desist order against  Eureeca Capital demonstrates that we may begin to see enforcement activity involving offshore crowdfunding portals soliciting investments from U.S. investors.  In Eureeca, its website claimed, “Eureeca is the first global crowdinvesting platform where businesses raise capital to expand and grow from a crowd of investors in exchange for shares in their business.”... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
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    Employment News

  • FedEx “Independent Contractor” Misclassification: 9th Circuit Unravels Business Model

    28 Oct 2014 | 10:43 am
    Classifying employees as independent contractors rather than employees can give employers a significant advantage. In addition to avoiding certain responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation, health insurance, and providing other employee benefits, employers can also escape other legal liabilities. In a recent case, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that FedEx misclassified more than 3,000 delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.Read more about FedEx “Independent Contractor” Misclassification: 9th Circuit Unravels Business Model
  • Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:11 am
    Scroll through postings for tech jobs and you will see desired traits such as “recent college graduate” or “new graduates.” While at first glance, these employers are simply targeting entry level employees, the unfortunate reality is a discriminatory practice common in the tech industry. After recent determinations by the EEOC that such postings are unlawful, the industry-wide problem of age discrimination is no longer being ignored.Read more about Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry
  • EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

    3 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a spike in pregnancy discrimination cases prompted the agency to update its guidelines for the first time in 30 years. Failure to provide accommodations, adjust work duties, or forcing a woman into leave could be construed as discrimination. The purpose of the agency’s update is to clarify the law for employers and to curb future instances of discrimination.Read more about EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:07 am
    Minnesota recently became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, effective May 30, 2014.  The new law is a breakthrough for advocates and could improve opportunities for treatment, pain management, and research. It may however create issues for employers and employees in “drug-free” workplaces. What are employee rights to medical marijuana use and what does the new law mean for compliance under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA)?Read more about Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing
  • Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    Victims of sexual harassment usually don’t need to be told when the line was crossed. Flirting is not unusual in the workplace but can become harassing behavior when it develops into behavior that is unwelcome, has a negative impact on an employee’s performance or creates a hostile work environment.  When workplace banter shifts to sexual harassment, victims may feel bullied, abused and pressured by fellow employees or a supervisor.Read more about Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?
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    Dallas Justice » Criminal Law Blog

  • Trusting Prosecutors With Forensic Lab Evidence? Consider Harris County District Attorney: Notices Sent of 100s of Wrongful Convictions

    Michael Lowe
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:42 pm
    Here in Dallas County, the District Attorney’s Office is getting its very own forensics evidence lab set up smack dab in the courthouse. So convenient, right? We’ve posted on this development here (read the post) and others have voiced their concern over having the prosecutor so very-very-close to the evidence lab. Well, here’s more to ponder when considering prosecutors and forensic crime labs. Seems the Houston Press had an expose last month that is still being investigated, where the Harris County District Attorney’s Office knew that convictions were wrong, based upon forensics…
  • Want a Visa? Just Fake a Crime and No Deportation for You!

    Michael Lowe
    12 Nov 2014 | 1:38 pm
    Practicing criminal defense law here in Dallas, where I represent clients across the State of Texas, it’s not unusual for our offices to see folk who aren’t American citizens. However, there’s a growing problem brewing here in the United States that people need to know is happening. And this is real; it’s going on right now.  Here’s what I know. I’ve had several family violence assault cases on my defense docket which were really, really “iffy” that the prosecutor decided should be filed anyway. What is curious about these particular domestic assaults? First, the cases…
  • Dallas County Opens Digital Crime Lab: DA Snoops Your Cell Phone

    Michael Lowe
    5 Nov 2014 | 10:48 am
    There was an important news update out of Craig Watkins’ office that may have been overshadowed yesterday, what with all the November 2014 Election coverage and the scoop that Watkins lost his job to Republican challenger Susan Hawk. After all, there’s lots to ponder in Dallas criminal justice circles about what Hawk’s transition into the District Attorney’s spot will mean both for prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers here in the local Dallas area. Big changes, for sure. The IPhone 5S sells for as little as $99 and offers fingerprint access instead of a password.   New Dallas…
  • Will Media Coverage Finally Stop Government From Grabbing Your Property in Forfeiture?

    Michael Lowe
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:41 pm
     Finally, the public is waking up to the wrong that is civil forfeiture laws – something that we’ve been monitoring here since April 2010. There’s still lots to be done, but there is reason to be optimistic that the government’s ability to grab your property without any criminal wrongdoing even being alleged on your part may be stopped.   New York Times Expose Gets National Media Attention This week, there’s been lots of media coverage spring-boarding off of last Saturday’s New York Times expose by Shaila Dewan entitled, “Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No…
  • Carson County Money Laundering Case Dismissed

    Michael Lowe
    27 Oct 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Mr. Lowe’s client was stopped by Danny Dawson, 100th Judicial District of Texas (Carson County, Donley County, Hall County, Collingsworth County and Childress County) Peace Officer for District Attorney Luke Inman travelling Westbound on IH-40.  Officer Dawson was able to convince Mr. Lowe’s client to allow him to search the vehicle.  Mr. Lowe’s client was travelling in a vehicle was New Jersey license plates.  Officer Dawson found a secret compartment inside the floorboard underneath the passenger seat in the vehicle.  Officer Dawson ultimately recovered approximately…
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Florida Appeals Court Says Summary Judgment Was Not Proper in Car Accident Dispute

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    13 Nov 2014 | 10:16 am
    Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal has reversed and remanded a trial court’s order granting summary judgment in an insurance dispute. In Allstate Insurance Co. v. Manzo-Pianelli, a woman who was operating an insured motor vehicle with permission was involved in a car accident with another automobile. At the time of the collision, the owner of the vehicle carried a liability policy of $100,000 as well as a $1 million umbrella policy with another company. After the traffic wreck, the owner’s auto insurance company provided the policy limits to a woman who was seriously hurt in the…
  • Southern District of Florida Refuses to Dismiss Negligence Lawsuit Filed Against Cruise Ship Company

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    10 Nov 2014 | 10:26 am
    The Southern District of Florida has refused to dismiss a slip-and-fall case that was filed against a cruise ship company. In Young v. Carnival Corp., a woman filed a negligence lawsuit against the cruise line she traveled with in a Florida federal court. According to her complaint, the woman was injured when she slipped and fell on an unspecified substance while aboard a cruise ship. She also claimed that the cruise line breached its duty to protect her from being injured, and the company’s breach proximately caused her actual harm. In response to the woman’s lawsuit, the cruise company…
  • Florida Supreme Court Answers Two Certified Questions Over Uninsured Motorist Benefits

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    6 Nov 2014 | 9:50 am
    In Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. v. Harrington, a woman was seriously hurt in a one-car accident while riding as a passenger in her father’s car. The man driving the automobile was not related to the woman, but he was driving the vehicle with her father’s permission. At the time of the single-car crash, the woman and both of her parents carried liability and non-stacked uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage on three vehicles, including the one involved in the accident. The driver also carried liability insurance with a different automobile insurance company. Following the…
  • Tampa Federal Court Allows Untimely Expert Testimony in Bad Faith Insurance Case

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    3 Nov 2014 | 9:15 am
    In Hayas v. GEICO General Insurance Co., a man negligently caused a motor vehicle collision that tragically killed another individual. When the traffic wreck occurred, the man carried liability insurance that was limited to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident. Following the fatal crash, the decedent’s estate filed a complaint against the negligent driver and his automobile insurance company. Although a settlement opportunity apparently arose, the insurer allegedly declined to settle the case. Following a jury trial, the decedent’s estate secured a $1.6 million judgment against…
  • Florida Appeals Court Holds Medical Malpractice Law Does Not Apply Where Organs Were Cremated Following Autopsy

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:34 am
    In Winter Haven Hospital, Inc. v. Liles, a 49-year-old Florida woman died after receiving treatment for shortness of breath in an emergency room at a hospital. Following the woman’s death, her daughter signed a form providing the hospital with permission to perform an autopsy. The form stated the institution was authorized to retain certain internal organs for further study. After the woman’s daughter sought a second autopsy, she learned that her mother’s internal organs were incinerated by the hospital. The decedent’s daughter filed a lawsuit against the hospital, the doctor who…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • Ponder v. Colvin: Insurance Coverage Periods in SSDI Cases

    15 Nov 2014 | 9:44 pm
    Ponder v. Colvin, an appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, involved a claimant who alleged she had been disabled since January of 2005. Her claim for total disability was based upon depression, anxiety, swelling in her hands and feet, joint deterioration, obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), insomnia, tissue pain, fatigue, complications from brain surgery, and other medical conditions. Claimant stated in her application she can only sit in a chair for less than 45 minutes due to knee pain and can only walk one city block before needing to…
  • Gieseke v. Colvin: On SSDI Hearing and Vocational Experts

    12 Nov 2014 | 9:34 pm
    Gieseke v. Colvin, an appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, involved a claimant who had a long history of low back pain that was aggravated by a workplace injury. The injury occurred in 2006. After completing physical therapy, claimant returned to work with certain activity restrictions. He left work in 2008 and had not worked since that time, when he applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). Claimant listed lower back pain, dizziness and problems with one leg as conditions that…
  • Channell v. Colvin: On SSI Benefits

    7 Nov 2014 | 10:27 pm
    Channell v. Colvin, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, involved claimant who was seeking Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Claimant was a 24-year-old at the time the administrative law judge (ALJ) rendered a decision on her application for SSI benefits. She had completed the eleventh grade and was a straight-A student, though she was taking all special education classes. She had never worked. Her literacy level was such that she could read and write short words, but she was never sure if she was given the…
  • SSDI Beneficiaries Expect Cost-of-Living Adjustment

    5 Nov 2014 | 10:20 pm
    Despite the impending budgetary problems facing the Social Security Administration's Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), current claimants are in need of an increase in disability benefits, due to a general rise in consumer prices. As discussed in a recent news article by The Wall Street Journal, the level of benefits is supposed to be based upon the Consumer Price Index. The program allows for cost-of-living adjustments when indicated, based upon inflation and increases in consumer prices. The latest increase will be a modest increase of 1.7 percent will go into effect for SSDI…
  • A Look at How to Fix Problems with SSDI

    4 Nov 2014 | 10:13 pm
    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be out of money for benefits in 2016 unless Congress finds a way to fund the program. There is no shortage of articles discussing how the program is about to go over a budgetary cliff, leaving SSDI claimants without benefits. Amid the negative coverage, a recent article from the Brookings Institute, a policy think-tank, takes a look at what Congress can do to fix the problem before we reach the edge. The author first notes that the social security tax that everyone pays is split into…
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • Obama's Immigration Executive Action Q & A

    13 Nov 2014 | 6:05 am
    The country waits as President Barack Obama readies his series of executive actions which are expected to provide deportation relief to up to 5 million or more undocumented immigrants. As political analysts, the immigrants who would benefit from the actions, and the rest of the nation waits, there are many questions surrounding the President's perspective executive actions. Though the President has not yet announced his program, here we will take a look at some questions and answers based on information which has been reported in the media. Q: Who would benefit from the President's executive…
  • The Country Waits for Obama to Make a Move on Immigration

    10 Nov 2014 | 5:49 am
    The fight over the nation's immigration policy is heating up as the President promises to take executive action designed to help normalize the immigration statuses of millions of undocumented immigrants. Supporting him are millions of undocumented immigrants and their families, as well as much of the nation's democratic political leadership. Opposing the President's plan are many of the nation's Republican leaders and their supporters. The one of the key questions relating to President Barack Obama's plans to issue executive orders which will shield millions of undocumented immigrants from…
  • Republicans Ask President's Attorney General Nominee to Weigh in on Immigration Plan

    6 Nov 2014 | 7:54 am
    As President Barack Obama gears up to take executive action, in and attempt to at least partially fixed the nation's immigration woes, the president also finds himself in need of an Attorney General to help them implement his plan. This is because Obama's current Attorney general of six years, Eric Holder, is retiring, and the president has decided to replace him with standout attorney Lorretta Lynch. Despite the fact that no one questions Lynch's qualifications to be the nation's top lawyer, some Republicans nevertheless wish to know her opinion on Obama's immigration plans before confirming…
  • Mid-term Loss Puts Obama Immigration Executive Action in Doubt

    3 Nov 2014 | 6:42 am
    Before the midterm elections in early November, President Barack Obama promised that if Congress did not take legislative action toward a comprehensive solution to the nation's immigration problems he would take executive action in that regard. But, as his democratic party was facing severe backlash against any potential presidential action immediately before the elections, Obama decided to delay his executive order until after the midterms. Now, with the democrats having lost significant seats in both houses of Congress, Obama is faced with a changed political landscape. Many wonder if he…
  • Harvard Student Falls Foul of Immigration Law Trying to Save Mother's Life

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:17 am
    Having been born in Mexico, Dario Guerrero was brought by his parents from Mexico City to California when he was just two years old. Once there, they all overstayed tourist visas but nonetheless he was an excellent student and even earned a scholarship to a John Hopkins University summer school program when he was just 13. However, luckily for him, a 2012 administration order from President Obama gave him a reprieve from the threat of deportation along with hundreds of thousands of other young undocumented immigrants. Now, aged 21, he was studying film studies at Harvard University when he…
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    Health Care Law Blog

  • Health Care Fraud Report: DOJ Obtains $389M From DaVita Healthcare to Settle Medical Fraud Allegations

    28 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on October 22, 2014 a resolution of claims that DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., a provider of dialysis services, engaged in a referral and kickback scheme that violated the False Claims Act (FCA). The DOJ announced that DaVita has agreed to pay $350 million to settle the government's case. The Government's case was not proven and was only alleged. Liability was not determined prior to the settlement and DaVita has not been shown to have engaged in wrong doing. Our Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia business and health care law firm represents health care…
  • Blowing the Whistle in Court

    21 Oct 2014 | 8:52 am
    The vast majority of physicians and other health care providers endeavor to provide services and bill for them in an ethical, legal manner. Trust is at the core of the federal government's provider reimbursement scheme under Medicare and other federal health programs. The federal government relies upon health care providers submitting accurate and truthful claims. The fact that some health care providers have exploited federal health programs for illegal economic gain has resulted in laws intended to combat fraud and abuse, improve patient care and protect tax payer money. Currently, there is…
  • Michigan Bill Would Benefit Direct Primary Care Doctors

    30 Sep 2014 | 2:24 pm
    A Michigan legislator's bill, SB 1033, sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck, would benefit direct primary care doctors in that State, and the idea may warrant consideration in other States. The purpose of the bill is to provide physicians who convert their practice to a direct primary care model with the assurance that their medical practice will not be treated as an insurer regulated under state insurance regulations. Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia Physician Practice Law Firm Among other legal hurdles some physicians may face in developing a direct primary (or concierge) care practice model is…
  • Physician Practices: Recent Survey Reviews the Effects of Expanded Patient Access

    24 Sep 2014 | 4:13 am
    A well-intended objective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to improve patient access to doctors. Sometimes this objective is artfully stated as "better" access to care, rather than "increased" access to care, perhaps to acknowledge the reality that as more patients become insured via the ACA, there may actually be less access to physicians. "Better" access may therefore be an argument that, even as an existing physician shortage worsens, new alternatives under the ACA nonetheless improve access to care for the population as a whole. For sure, millions of Americans have enrolled in new…
  • Health Care Fraud Report: OIG Alert Regarding Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians

    16 Sep 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Clinical laboratory payments to physicians in excess of the fair market value of services provided or that correlate to the volume or value of referrals can constitute health care fraud and trigger very serious civil and criminal penalties. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a Special Fraud Alert (the "Alert") addressing lab compensation to referring doctors and medical practices for blood specimen collection, processing and packaging, and for submitting patient data to a registry or database. Our Georgia health care law firm…
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • Court Denies Discharge in Personal Bankruptcy Case, Finding that Transfer of Cash from Bank Account to Safe Deposit Box Had Fraudulent Intent

    14 Nov 2014 | 10:57 am
    A debtor in a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy case argued that the court should discharge his debts over the objection of a creditor, which claimed that he transferred money before filing bankruptcy with fraudulent intent. The debtor claimed that the transfer, which involved withdrawing cash from a personal checking account and placing it in a safe deposit box, was necessary because of allegedly unlawful collection activities by the creditor. The bankruptcy court denied the discharge, and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) affirmed the ruling. In re Haag ("Haag 1"), Nos. AZ-11-1661,…
  • Corporate Shareholder May Be Held Personally Liable for Customs Violations, According to Federal Circuit

    30 Oct 2014 | 3:42 pm
    The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in September that could have significant implications for businesses involved in importing goods. The court allowed customs regulators to "pierce the corporate veil," which involves holding shareholders liable for acts of a corporation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claimed that a company, Trek Leather, Inc., failed to pay customs duties on goods that it had imported. The Court of International Trade (CIT) held Trek Leather and its sole shareholder, who also served as its president, jointly and severally liable for gross…
  • Lawsuits, Regulators Target Allegedly Deceptive Online Conduct by California Businesses

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:33 pm
    The internet offers a seemingly infinite number of ways for businesses to connect with current and potential customers, including directly via their own websites and various social media sites, as well as indirectly through customer review sites. This wealth of possibilities comes at the potential cost, however, of customers being deceived by fraudulent or misleading information, or by a failure to disclose conflicts of interests. Businesses who market their products and services online, people who write online reviews or endorsements of products, and companies that operate review websites…
  • New California Law Prohibits Homeowner Associations from Penalizing Homeowners Who Do Not Water Their Lawns During Droughts

    30 Sep 2014 | 1:17 pm
    California is experiencing a severe drought, which has resulted in substantial restrictions on water usage. This has led to a wide range of responses from homeowners looking to conserve water in regard to their landscaping. Some homeowners are replacing their lawns with hardier plants, gravel or sand, and other methods of xeriscaping. Other homeowners are simply allowing their lawns to go brown. A few homeowner associations (HOAs) around the state, however, have continued to enforce rules regarding lawn care and maintenance. HOAs can enforce their own rules, provided that they do not conflict…
  • Judge Rules that NCAA Rules Restricting Football and Basketball Players' Compensation Violate Antitrust Law

    15 Sep 2014 | 11:24 am
    A federal judge in Oakland, California ruled in favor of a class of college athletes in a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), finding that certain NCAA rules limiting compensation paid to players violated federal antitrust laws. O'Bannon, et al v. NCAA, No. 4:09-cv-03329, FFCL (N.D. Cal., Aug. 8, 2014). The dispute centered around the use of players' likenesses by the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), which handles trademark licensing and marketing for the NCAA, without obtaining players' permission or compensating them. The NCAA has faced…
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  • New York’s New Cell Phone Laws

    Matthew Weiss
    6 Nov 2014 | 6:44 am
    Using cellphone while driving Effective Saturday, November 8, 2014, the penalties and fines for tickets for illegally using a cell phone and texting-while-driving will increase. The new law increases the maximum fines for texting and talking while driving. The maximum fine for a first offense will increase from $150 to $200. For a second offense — committed within 18 months of the previous offense — fines will increase from $200 to $250. A third violation or subsequent violations committed within 18 months will increase from $400 to $450. For young drivers under 21 with junior licenses, a…
  • 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,…
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    Spencers Solicitors Blog

  • Spencers Solicitors calls for businesses to take action on road safety

    Spencers Solicitors
    19 Nov 2014 | 8:28 am
    Spencers Solicitors are pleased to announce their support of Road Safety Week, in conjunction with Brake, the road safety charity. Road Safety Week is the UK's biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, businesses and community groups every year. This year's RSW runs from 17-23 November, and to mark the occasion, Spencers Solicitors held an office 'Bright Day' where the whole team wore their brightest and most florescent clothing to work, in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the charity. Staff from the firm have also signed up to the 'Brake Pledge' in order to help…
  • Sniffing out a Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury

    Spencers Solicitors
    11 Nov 2014 | 4:17 am
    Back in April I wrote a blog exploring the research that revealed how a tongue piercing could help people with spinal cord injuries. Since then I have kept a watchful eye out for new treatments or innovations that may offer help for those suffering from spinal cord injury. I was therefore thrilled to read the recent story of 40 year old Polish man Darek Fidyka, previously completely paralysed from the waist down, who has now been able to walk following years of research and pioneering surgery. Mr Fidyka's Story Four years ago a horrific knife attack left Mr Fidyka paralysed from the waist…
  • Ashgate Hospice Spooktacular 2014 Fundraising

    Spencers Solicitors
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:29 am
    On Friday 31st October, Spencers Solicitors took part in Ashgate Hospice's Spooktacular event where staff were encouraged to dress up in spooky Halloween costumes to raise money for their local hospice. Ashgate Hospice are an independent Chesterfield based charity that covers all of North Derbyshire, providing specialist palliative care to terminally ill adults and their families, maintaining best quality of life throughout illness. All their services are provided free of charge and £4.3 million must be raised annually from voluntary giving. Many local businesses in the Derbyshire area…
  • The short school walk - keeping your child safe

    Spencers Solicitors
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    If you only live a short walk from your children's school, the day will inevitably come when they are trusted to undertake the short journey by themselves. As a parent, I understand that it can be difficult to let your children walk on their own to school, or even just to the bus stop, without constantly worrying about their safety. Charity Living Streets report that 44% of parents worry about their children's safety on the school run, but there are things that can be done to ensure their journey is as safe as possible. The benefits of walking to school Although it is natural to feel…
  • Spencers named among the top injury law firms in the Legal 500

    Spencers Solicitors
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Derbyshire based law firm Spencers Solicitors, have been named among the top personal injury practices in the region according to the 2014 edition of Legal 500. The Legal 500 is now in its 27th year of publication and is widely acknowledged as the world's largest legal reference on the leading law firms operating within the UK, with the 2014 edition being published on 10th October 2014. Spencers Solicitors are one of only thirteen practices in the East Midlands that received recommendation under the 'Claimant Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence' section with editorial comments of:…
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    White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    4 Nov 2014 | 10:02 am
    An analysis of municipal workers salaries was reported in The Journal News on August 7, 2014 by Elizabeth Ganga. The conclusion of the analysis was that Westchester County employees are the highest paid County employees in the State in both the police positions and general government jobs. Among Town employees, Ramapo in Rockland County claims the top spot for employees' salaries. A report was made by the Empire Center for Public Policy on County and Municipal payrolls in New York. The report compares the different governments by category and within regions allowing taxpayers to see low…

    3 Nov 2014 | 7:21 am
    One of life's privileges is a license to drive. Many baby boomers have the problem of elder parents not wanting to stop driving. The main problem is most states, including New York, do not have mandatory retesting of elder drivers. Naturally, people in their 70's & 80's do not have the same reflexes as they once had. Older drivers cannot see, hear or react the same way. However, without mandatory retesting, no one knows if an elder person has the ability to keep driving. In an article in The Journal News on August 7, 2014, the author discussed that older drivers do not want to give up their…

    27 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Following up from my blog on the famous "switch from hell" GM Fiasco, Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert was hired by GM. In an article of May 3, 2014, in the Journal News, it was reported that he met with a Texas lawyer, Robert Hilliard who represents 53 families who say their relatives were killed in the crashes due to the switch defect. He also represents 273 injury victims, 63 of whom suffered "catastrophic" injuries. Mr. Hilliard represents victims who were injured before GM's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization in July, 2009, and most who were injured after the bankruptcy. GM is…

    21 Oct 2014 | 7:52 am
    Over the past year there have been dozens of articles about GM's faulty ignition switch. The ignition switch is implicated in 13 deaths as of June, 2014. Prior to 2013, the switch did not meet manufacturing specifications. The engineer spent so much time dealing with the part's technical issues that he referred to it in a 2002 memo as "the switch from hell". The engineer who prepared the report was Ray DeGiorgio who was in charge of the faulty ignition switch. This scenarios set up a great products liability case. A part of the GM vehicle was defective when using the vehicle for the purpose…

    25 Sep 2014 | 2:07 pm
    According to an article by Larry Copeland in the USA Today for The Journal News in May, 2014, highway crashes create an enormous toll on the lives of Americans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that the annual price tag for these crashes are $871 billion in economic losses in 2010. This number includes $277 billion in economic costs ($900 per person in the USA) and $594 billion in societal harm from loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life from the injuries. The purpose of this article points out that the staggering societal costs of accidents…
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    Pinellas County Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • DUI: Refusal of Breath Test

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    14 Nov 2014 | 3:31 am
    Many Florida driver’s are unaware that by getting a Florida driver’s license, they are agreeing to consent to a breath test in a DUI investigation.  If you look at the very bottom of your driver’s license it says “Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.”  In Florida driving is considered a “privilege” not a “right”.  What’s the difference you might ask?  All Americans have certain “rights”, the right to vote, the right to freedom of speech, the right to be free from…
  • Double Jeopardy Protection Doesn’t Shield Driver from Disclosure of Results of Blood Alcohol Test Taken by Hospital

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    12 Nov 2014 | 3:13 am
    A driver’s defense against the admission at trial of a hospital’s blood alcohol content measurement after he refused a law enforcement request to submit to a test was “unusual” but also ultimately unpersuasive. Both the trial court and the 2d District Court of Appeal rebuffed the driver’s double jeopardy claim, ruling that the license suspension punishment arising from the refusal stemmed from separate conduct than the criminal act of driving under the influence. When Charlotte County law enforcement officers arrived at the scene of an auto accident late at night…
  • Victim’s Preferences Don’t Necessarily Guide Punishment for Battery Charge

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    11 Nov 2014 | 12:16 pm
    A victim’s agreement to accept a payment of restitution from his attacker was not, by itself, enough to justify giving the attacker only probation and restitution when the crime would normally result in several years of imprisonment, according to a recent 2d District Court of Appeal ruling. These sentences of no jail time are sometimes permissible under the law, but success often means having a detailed knowledge of the law, since the accused must first get into the record enough proper evidence to support the argument that the victim’s need for the restitution money outweighs…
  • State Over-Charges Man Caught in Police Sting; Appeals Court Tosses Conviction on Two Charges

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    3 Nov 2014 | 11:08 am
    A man caught in a law enforcement sex crime sting was charged and convicted for his misdeed. The state, however, made the misstep of levelling three different criminal charges based on the same episode when two of the three crimes were subsumed within the third. Due to this error, the man’s lawyers persuaded the 2d District Court of Appeal to throw out two of three charges. Back in 2012, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office undertook the first of (so far) three undercover sex-sting operations named “Operation Cyber Child.” Law enforcement officers posted fake ads on…
  • Warrantless Searches and Your Personal Cell Phone

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    23 Oct 2014 | 12:01 pm
    In today’s modern world, cell phones have become nearly ubiquitous. With this in mind, privacy activists hailed the US Supreme Court’s 2014 Riley v. California decision this past summer, which ruled that law enforcement officers must obtain search warrants before searching the cell phones of persons under arrest. This decision, along with a similar one from the Florida Supreme Court issued last year, have greatly enhanced the privacy rights of accused persons in Florida, including a Polk County man who mounted a successful appeal to numerous criminal charges based upon evidence…
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    Oakland Employment Lawyer Blog

  • Capsized Boat near San Francisco Leaves Four Dead

    Liberty Law
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:16 am
    Earlier this month, three men and one woman died when a private fishing boat was capsized in the cold waters near Bodega Bay. The accident occurred on the opening day of crab season. The boat capsized after it was hit by a wave. One man onboard the boat survived by swimming to the rocky shoreline near the entrance to the harbor. He was rescued by a helicopter crew. None of the five people aboard the boat were wearing life vests. The people onboard the boat were recreational crabbers. They were part of a flotilla that was celebrating the start of the commercial and recreational crabbing…
  • Oakland’s New Paid Sick Leave Law

    Liberty Law
    17 Nov 2014 | 7:15 am
    America’s midterm elections this month have made national news, mainly reporting on a slew of members of Congress and Senators who got replaced or reelected. For many though, the local issues on the ballots actually impact their daily lives more than the national issues. One issue that was on the ballot in Oakland was paid sick leave from work. Oakland residents passed a ballot initiative called Proposition FF that allows workers to earn paid sick days, either five or nine, depending on the size of the employer. San Francisco already has such a policy. Currently, there are 56,000 private…
  • Lyft has First Fatality in Company History

    Liberty Law
    13 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    A tragic accident near Sacramento last weekend was the first fatality for popular ridesharing company Lyft. The accident occurred when a 24 year old man, who was a resident of West Sacramento, was returning home from Halloween in a Lyft vehicle. The driver of the Lyft vehicle, also from Sacramento, was driving at 60 miles an hour when he swerved to avoid a stalled Kia in the middle lane of the highway. He lost control of his 2014 Camry, which hit a tree, spun, and hit another tree. The second collision killed the passenger, who was sitting in the left rear seat. The Kia had been rear-ended by…
  • Ford Sued for Sex Discrimination Fourteen Years after Sex Discrimination Settlement

    Liberty Law
    10 Nov 2014 | 5:56 am
    A Ford Motor plant in Chicago is being sued by four women who are alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. Back in 2000, the plant was sued for sexual discrimination, and the case was settled out of court for $9 million. The attorney who brought the case 14 years ago is also bringing this case. The four women who are suing claim that they called Ford’s harassment hotline, told the company’s labor relations department, and their union, but no actions were taken against the company. Instead, company representatives allegedly told the women to stop calling the harassment hotline, and…
  • Deadly Pedestrian Accident Occurred in Front of San Francisco City Hall

    Liberty Law
    6 Nov 2014 | 12:40 pm
    A tragedy occurred in San Francisco late last month.  A 68 year old female accountant was crossing the street in a crosswalk at the corner of Polk and McAllister streets at around 11:30 a.m. A motorized cable car-style tour bus struck the woman, killing her. It’s not clear why the driver of the vehicle did not see the woman. At the time of the accident, the driver was not narrating the tour to the passengers. It’s believed there was a separate tour guide who was providing the narration. According to police, something distracted the driver and he did not see the woman until after she was…
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    Sonoma County Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • End of Marijuana Season Brings Increased Police Presence in Santa Rosa

    25 Oct 2014 | 5:29 am
    Earlier last month, sheriffs seized and destroyed almost 3,700 marijuana plants in a county-wide effort to reduce drug trafficking in the area. According to a report by the Press Democrat, the efforts of the Sheriff's Department coincided with the end of the marijuana season, when plants are larger, closer to harvest, and can easily be seen and smelled by neighbors, police, and thieves. Evidently, sheriffs seemed more interested in destroying the plants than they did in bringing the people responsible for their cultivation in. In most cases, officers would simply fly in, seize, and destroy…
  • 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…
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    Massachusetts Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law

  • What Are the 2015 Federal Estate and Gift Tax Filing Figures?

    Brian E. Barreira
    14 Nov 2014 | 2:42 pm
    The Internal Revenue Service has recently announced that in 2015 the federal estate tax exemption will rise from $5,340,000.00 to $5,430,000.00 per person. (Under current law, this figure is adjusted annually for inflation.) Married couples can get the benefit of two exemptions, so in 2015 the total federal estate tax exemption per couple can be $10,860,000.00. The top estate tax rate on amounts above the exemption is 40%. Under a new concept known as portability, the surviving spouse in some situations can use the unused exemption of the first spouse to die. Portability requires, in part,…
  • Potential Annuity Purchases by the Trustee Do Not Provide the Settlor of an Income-Only Irrevocable Trust with Access to Principal

    Brian E. Barreira
    22 May 2014 | 12:13 pm
    As noted in prior posts, many irrevocable trusts in Massachusetts are now under wrongful attack during the MassHealth application process by the Office of Medicaid. One of the more specious arguments brought forth by the Office of Medicaid has been that the Trustee could purchase an annuity and thereby provide the Settlor of the trust with access to principal. Unfortunately, the memorandum of the Office of Medicaid that is typically filed at MassHealth fair hearings betrays a fundamental ignorance of basic annuity principles and trust law. When a payment is received from an annuity, the…
  • A Life Estate in an Irrevocable Trust Should Not Cause the Trust to Be a Countable Asset for MassHealth Purposes

    Brian E. Barreira
    18 May 2014 | 11:07 am
    In the misleading, unfair and unbalanced memorandum entered into the fair hearing record at MassHealth trust denial cases, the Office of Medicaid usually takes a legally invalid view of life estates that are contained within trusts. The Office of Medicaid makes the specious argument that a life estate in a trust provides access to the principal of the trust, but makes that statement in a conclusory fashion, without explaining how that could possibly be. The position of the Office of Medicaid is directly contrary to what the Supreme Judicial Court wrote in Cohen v. Comm’r of the Div. of…
  • The Massachusetts Legislature Has Prohibited MassHealth Estate Recovery Against Trusts, and Therefore Knows About But Has Not Prohibited Their Use

    Brian E. Barreira
    18 May 2014 | 11:07 am
    Under federal Medicaid law, one state option available since 1993 has been to make post-death claims for estate recovery against trusts. In 2004, the Massachusetts legislature voted overwhelmingly not to allow estate recovery against trusts. Thus, the governmental branch in charge of changing laws in Massachusetts has not legislatively expressed its concern about the use of irrevocable trusts to qualify for MassHealth. Current MassHealth regulations require recovery from the probate estates of MassHealth members who received Medicaid while age 55 or over and those who, regardless of age,…
  • The Office of Medicaid Ignores that Trustees Have Fiduciary Duties to the Remainderpersons, and Cannot Use Powers to Skew Beneficial Interests

    Brian E. Barreira
    18 May 2014 | 11:06 am
    In the misleading, unfair and unbalanced memorandum entered into the fair hearing record at MassHealth trust denial cases, the Office of Medicaid usually takes a legally invalid view of Massachusetts trusts, and ignores the fiduciary duties of the trustee. As a fiduciary, a trustee has the dual duties of loyalty and impartiality. See Johnson v. Witkowski, 30 Mass. App. Ct. 697, 705 (1997), and more generally, Demoulas v. Demoulas Super Markets, Inc., 424 Mass. 501, at 528-529 (1997) quoting Judge Cardozo in Meinhard v. Salmon, 249 N.Y. 458, 4630464 (1928) “(n)ot honesty alone, but the…
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    Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

  • Takata Airbag Recall Continues

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    14 Nov 2014 | 1:11 pm
    Takata Corporation, the Japanese maker of air bags used by auto manufacturers, is accused of selling faulty airbags to at least 11 different automakers dating back as far as 2001. The problem with these airbags is that they can rupture and spray shards of metal at drivers and front-seat passengers. The first reported airbag shrapnel ejection occurred in 2004, however, Takata apparently tried to conceal the incident and did not issue a recall until 2008. Further scrutiny by experts shows that in high-humidity environments, like the Tampa Bay area and the rest of Florida, moisture can seep…
  • McDonald’s Recalls Hello Kitty Toy in Happy Meals

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    11 Nov 2014 | 1:29 pm
    McDonald’s has issued a voluntary recall for 2.5 million Hello Kitty lollipop whistles after determining the toys pose a choking hazard to small children. According to reports, McDonald’s received two reports of children choking on pieces of the Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop Whistles. One of the children did require hospitalization. The recall confirms that parts inside of the whistle can come loose and be inhaled by small children. In the United States, 2.3 million whistles were distributed, and 200,000 were distributed in Canada in October and November. The toys were included in…
  • Survey: Despite Knowing the Risks, Motorists Still Driving Distracted

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    7 Nov 2014 | 5:30 am
    While numerous safety campaigns and drivers’ personal experiences have made motorists more aware of the dangers that distracted driving poses, a recent survey has found that many adults do not fully appreciate the fact that distracted driving can greatly increase the risk of automobile accidents. The survey concluded that many adults continue to use their cellphones while driving, even though they know the dangers of doing so. The Harris Poll surveyed 2,045 adult drivers about their driving habits during May 2014. Of those adults surveyed, 94 percent said that sending texts while…
  • Deadly Bicycle Accidents on The Rise: What You Need to Know

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    30 Oct 2014 | 12:35 pm
    The number of fatal bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles is on the rise, and the state of Florida is just second behind California with the highest number of deaths. According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the number of U.S. bicyclists killed in accidents involving motor vehicles rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. During that same period, California had 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, and Florida had 329. Florida and California also had the largest increases in annual cyclist traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012.
  • Reduce Deaths and Increase Awareness: National Teen Driver Safety Week Awareness

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    22 Oct 2014 | 5:32 am
    This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, so this is a time to bring up the real dangers teens face when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. Moreover, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that almost half of teen drivers involved in a collision are killed. While the above statistics present a real problem in regards to teen drivers, a recent survey found that only 25 percent of parents have had a discussion with their teens stressing the…
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    Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

  • What will my no-fault car insurance pay after an auto accident?

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:08 am
    In a previous blog post, we touched on some of the rationale behind Minnesota's no-fault car insurance statute. Put simply, the Minnesota legislature implemented the law in an effort to balance the immediate needs of injured motorists with the financial responsibilities held by insurers. The ultimate goal of no-fault car insurance is to quickly compensate injured motorists while not bankrupting insurers by allowing exorbitant claims. Currently, Minnesota law requires no-fault insurers to cover "reasonable" expenses related to medical treatment. Generally, your basic coverage for those medical…
  • Wristbands signify unity with victims of spinal cord injuries

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    13 Nov 2014 | 7:39 pm
    A Plainview, Minnesota, woman is using rubber wristbands to draw attention and show support for relatives killed and injured in a drunk driving accident. The woman says that she was in her car on Sept. 20, along with her nephew and son, when a drunk driver plowed into her vehicle. The woman's 9-year-old nephew died in the crash and her 7-year-old son was paralyzed from the waist down. The woman says the pair of cousins were best friends before the tragic accident took one of them away. The driver of the vehicle responsible for the accident is a 57-year-old man from Rochester, Minnesota. He…
  • New report suggests brain injuries may be fairly common

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    5 Nov 2014 | 4:28 pm
    A report released in September by the Minnesota Department of Health indicates that sports-related injuries may be occurring more frequently than previously believed. The report is based on a study that looked at 36 public high schools throughout the Twin Cities area. According to the study, athlete trainers reported that students suffered 2,974 concussions during the 2013-2014 school year that were attributed to sports-related brain injuries. Extrapolated from those statistics, concussions occurred throughout the schools surveyed at a rate of approximately 22 concussions per school. Although…
  • Understanding adverse events and medical malpractice claims

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:38 pm
    In a previous blog post, we discussed how the simple act of engaging in routine surgery is never a guaranteed successful outcome. There are myriad ways in which even the most common of surgical procedures can leave a patient with permanent injuries or may even result in death. In some cases, these events may arise as completely unforeseeable events. However, far too often surgical complications and other patient injuries can be attributed to doctor or hospital errors. In medical parlance, actions that harm patients are known as adverse events. An example of such circumstances are wrong-site…
  • News for parents of children born with jaundice after birth

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Parents of newborns will likely face some of the most stressful times of their lives following the first few weeks of their child's life. For parents of children born with jaundice, that already stressful period can be especially harrowing. Jaundice is a condition that makes a newborn's skin appear yellow in color. This yellow discoloration is also frequently seen in the normally white portion of a baby's eyes. The yellowing effect is caused by a high level of bilirubin in the infant's bloodstream. Bilirubin is a naturally occurring yellow substance that the body creates whenever red blood…
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    Harrison County Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Burn injuries: more common than people think

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    13 Nov 2014 | 1:43 pm
    Life is a fragile thing. One day all is right with the world: a person is happy and healthy. The next day they are neither. When the worst happens, and a person's health is taken from them because of someone else's negligence, injured Texans may have legal options, including a personal injury lawsuit. Life can throw many impediments in a Texan's path. One is burn injuries. Burn injuries are more common than a person might think. In fact, hospitals and other clinics across the country treat nearly a half million-burn injuries per year. Of that nearly half a million, more than 3,000 of the…
  • What behaviors carry the greatest car-accident risks?

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    6 Nov 2014 | 10:08 am
    Car accidents are a fact of life. These unfortunate events touch many lives every year. When they do, it often comes at a great cost. But these costs can be reduced. Floridians can take steps to lessen their risks by avoiding some -- or, preferably, all - of the behaviors discussed in the following paragraphs. A big risk is alcohol. Nearly a third of all accident fatalities involved alcohol. In 2012, for example, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in an alcohol-related crash. Ne