Legal Developments

Legal Developments

7/13/2009
In a medical malpractice action, an expert witness is crucial to establish standard of care, causation and damages. Both sides retain experts to promote their perspectives. Therefore, medical issues often are reduced to a “battle of the experts,” in which the experts themselves become more compelling than the substance, reliability, or validity of their testimony. A good expert can captivate a jury, and clearly and concisely explain esoteric concepts in layman’s terms. A bad...
7/1/2009
Technology has changed how people create, share, and store information. Digital information is produced in ever growing volumes. For example in 2007 the email volume per person was estimated to be four gigabytes. That would equal one hundred and four Banker’s boxes of paper! This ever increasing creation of digital information means digital discovery issues will play an increasingly larger role in litigation. 
6/1/2009
Do you run a family-owned business? Is personal liability a concern? Are you looking for ways to transfer wealth to your children? Forming an S corporation as a vehicle for your family-owned business may be a great business and estate planning option.        In California, the S corporation can be formed by electing to be taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. In affect, the corporation will be taxed like a partnership. Both...
5/14/2009
California requires all employers to have worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation is effectively “no fault” insurance for injuries. In other words, it does not matter who was at fault or whether the employee was negligent in causing his injury. The only issue for worker’s compensation is whether the employee was acting “within the course and scope of his employment” at the time of the injury.    The “course...
3/9/2009
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce federal discrimination laws. The EEOC is often the first place an employee turns for legal recourse. An employee takes the initial step towards bringing a discrimination lawsuit against an employer by filing a charge with the EEOC or for state claims with the appropriate state agency. For example in California this is the Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH).
2/20/2009
When a tragedy strikes, our natural instinct is to help out our fellow man. A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court may cause Californians to hesitate in assisting one another in emergency situations. As a general proposition, a person has no duty to come to another’s aid. If one comes across a person in peril, there is no obligation to stop and help. One who decides to aid another has a duty to exercise due care. A Good Samaritan who fails to exercise due care and causes harm...
2/9/2009
By Dane J. Bitterlin There has been a lot of talk lately about so-called “never events.” In 2002, the National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed a list of 27 events that it deemed should be reported by all licensed healthcare facilities due to their preventable nature. The NQF’s list was updated in 2006 to include an additional event, bringing the total number of “never events” to 28. The NQF defines these events as those that should theoretically never happen in the...