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10 posts from June 2007

June 29, 2007

Do Police Need A Search Warrant for a Cell Phone?

Cell_phone_search_warrant

Reprinted from Bytes in Brief by permission of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., www.senseient.com

On May 23, 2007, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of
California ruled that warrantless searches of three defendants’ cellular
phones violated their Fourth Amendment rights. In 2004, the three
defendants, Edward Park, Brian Ly, and David Lee, were arrested during the
raid of a marijuana hothouse. After they were taken to the San Francisco
Police Department, the defendants’ belongings were inventoried including
their cell phones. However, before the phones were placed in property
bags, SFPD Inspector David Martinovich searched defendant Lee’s cell phone
and instructed other inspectors to do the same with the other defendant’s
phones. Martinovich admitted to perusing the defendant’s phone and writing
down the contacts list before turning it over to the property clerk but
claimed that the search was a permissible booking search. When the
defendants filed a motion to suppress evidence found on their phones, the
prosecution defended the search by likening it to the search of an
arrestee’s wallet which is permissible. However, the court disagreed with
the government’s analogy and found that a warrantless search of a cell
phone goes far beyond the rationale for searches incident to arrest. The
judge concluded that there was no basis for an immediate search of the
phones such as to prevent concealment or destruction of evidence, and
therefore, the police had time to obtain a proper search warrant. Although
in this particular case the court ruled the searches unconstitutional, the
judge noted that the Fifth Circuit handed down a contrary ruling and that
neither the Ninth Circuit nor the Supreme Court had addressed the issue.
The defendants’ motion may be found at
http://www.politechbot.com/docs/cell.phone.4a.brief.052907.pdf  and the
government’s reply may be found at
http://www.politechbot.com/docs/cell.phone.doj.supplemntal.brief.052907.pdf

Read the Full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion

 

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger represents injury victims.  Free consultation.

Please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger by e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com or by phone at (323) 852-1100.

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June 24, 2007

Condogate: Dying to Get Out (The Horrors of Homeowner Associations)

Reclaimhoa This is not a regular topic in my blog but I just read, and want to share with you, the abject horrors of condo living.  Buyer Beware! Condogate: Dying to Get Out by Donie Vanitzian is an invaluable insight into what one might expect emotionally, financially and legally when trouble starts brewing in the Homeowners Association. The arrogance of the board of directors is highlighted.  For even more information, log onto American Homeowners Resource CenterDonie Vanitzian writes the Los Angeles Times Homeowner Associations column and is a UCLA Extension Professor for the course, Protecting Yourself in Common Interest Living.  Her writing style is concise, engaging and filled with invaluable information.

e-mail me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

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Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

June 19, 2007

Link of the Day: Drug Interactions

Food_and_drug_interactionsDrug DIgest provides an invaluable service the general public.  It allows you to check potential interactions* between two or more drugs with the following caveat:

*Note: Not all drug interactions are known or reported in the literature, and new drug interactions are continually being reported. This information is provided only for your education and for you to discuss with your personal health care provider.

Always check with your physician and/or pharmacist regarding drug interactions.  Drug Digest, of course, only provides a guide but is not necessarily conclusive.  Your physician is best equipped to advise you as to drug interactions. 

The FDA provides some valuable insight into food and drug interactions as well.

e-mail me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

Auto Insurers Play Hardball in Minor Crash Claims - CNN Expose

Minor_crash CNN has done an incredible expose on the tactics and strategies of major insurance carriers whose strategy is to deny, delay and defend claims where a person is, through no fault of his/her own, injured in a minor collision.  The strategy is to make initial offers far below your medical bills which forces you into the court system.  At that point, the auto insurers make it so expensive to litigate the matter that injured persons and their lawyers will be dissuaded from pursuing legitimate claims. 

In 2006, Business Week published an in depth article about Allstate's practices entitled In Tough Hands at Allstate  wherein they cite many of the tactics described in David Berardinelli's groundbreaking book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves,

Are you in good hands with Allstate?  Quoting from the CNN article, "Playing off Allstate's signature slogan, one document recommends the insurer put boxing gloves on its "good hands" for those who insist on going to court."

Story Highlights

• State Farm, Allstate employ consultant's strategy, CNN research finds
• Theme of strategy is "deny, delay, defend," former employee says
• Companies convince juries that claims are fraudulent
• Insurers, institute deny treating claimants unfairly

You can download the text of the article by clicking here.

e-mail me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

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Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

June 18, 2007

Driver Safety Movie (1959), Graphic (Part 2 of 2)

Signal30 This is part 2, Legendary "shock" driving safety film featuring numerous scenes of mutilated cars and injured/dead people and a voiceover lacking in compassion. Produced in cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and shown to millions of young drivers for over 40 years. CONTENT ADVISORY: Many disturbing scenes of violent deaths and accident scenes; cries of crash victims on soundtrack.

e-mail me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

Driver Safety Movie (1959): Graphic

55sig30_2 This is part 1
Legendary "shock" driving safety film featuring numerous scenes of mutilated cars and injured/dead people and a voiceover lacking in compassion. Produced in cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and shown to millions of young drivers for over 40 years. CONTENT ADVISORY: Many disturbing scenes of violent deaths and accident scenes; cries of crash victims on soundtrack.

e-mail me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

June 17, 2007

Disbarred Prosecutors: Nifong Not First to Go Down

Mike_nifong Despite public perception that lawyers are not held accountable for their actions, State Bar disciplinary committees have historically kept our profession in line.  Of course, the Duke University debacle starring now disgraced and disbarred prosecutor Mike Nifong, is currently the most notable.  His flagrant zealous and dishonest prosecution of three Duke University Lacrosse Team Members appears to have been for his own political gain.  Several stories are currently in the news breaking out in excruciating detail the havoc that he wreaked on the innocent players, their families, Duke University and more. Interesting articles abound on the net and here are links to just a few:  MSNBCNewsday.com, AM New York, Wall Street Journal which also includes a link to the actual North Carolina State Bar Complaint against Nifong, and Reuters

Prosecutorial Disbarments in the Past

Mike Nifong is not the only prosecutor to go down in disgrace. It is important, in my opinion, to note that the State Bar Associations throughout the United States take attorney ethical violations very seriously and act accordingly upon them.  Here is a smattering of previous disbarments, along with links to relevant articles:

California: 1998, Former Prosecutor Disbarred After Setting DA's Office on Fire

Florida: 2007, Florida Attorney Louis Robles Disbarred After Stealing Millions from Clients

California: 2003, Former Orange County Prosecutor Disbarred For Drug Trafficking

New York: 2005, Ex-Prosecutor Suspended for Misleading Trial Court (for lying to a judge about the whereabouts of a witness in a murder trial he was conducting three years ago).  Also discussed in David Feige's Blogspot

The American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility provides links to the Professional Responsibility pages of all State Bar Websites.

e-mail me at: lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

June 14, 2007

Flag Day, June 14

American_flag_flying Wikipedia tells us that:

In the United States, Flag Day (more formally, National Flag Day) is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937 Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday.

Title 36 Sec. 110 of the US Code is the official statute on Flag Day, however it is at the President's discretion to proclaim officially the observance.

The largest Flag Day parade is held annually in Troy, New York. [1]

Framingham, Massachusetts also holds a yearly Flag Day parade, as do many other towns and cities, although in recent years a shrinking turnout has prompted the town to consider eliminating the event.

lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

June 10, 2007

Safe Driving Tips: Driver Distraction Video from Ford Motor Company

Driving_skills_for_life_distraction In this Ford Motor Company Video, a professional driver talks about the importance of keeping your eyes on the road when you're driving. It's from Ford Motor Company's Driving Skills for Life program, which is designed to help young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of teen vehicle crashes, hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

Safe Driving Tips: Skid Recovery Video from Ford Motor Company

Driving_skills_for_life_skidding  In this Ford Motor Company Video, a professional driver gives some important tips on how to recover from a skid from Ford Motor Company's Driving Skills for Life program. It is designed to help young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of teen vehicle crashes, hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100

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