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10 posts from June 2008

June 25, 2008

Cell Phone Laws for 2008: What You Need To Know (and more!)

Nocellphone As you know by now, I'm a great proponent of the new California hands-free law which goes into effect on July 1, 2008.  I blogged about it in May: Click Here.  A corollary, of course, are my rants and raves about texting while driving: Click here, here, here and here.

So, I've decided to post (yet again) on this subject and provide several useful links to articles, videos and hands-free equipment vendors below.

Homefeature_driveandphone What to Expect from California's New Hands-Free Law: The Public Policy Institute of California writes the following press release:


Update: 2009 Law Bans Text Messaging while Driving - See Video

As of July 1, 2008, California drivers must use hands-free technology when talking on a mobile phone, and drivers under age 18 may not use a mobile phone at all while driving. This study examines how fatalities changed in states after a hands-free law was enacted, compared to states without a hands-free law. The findings indicate that mobile phone ownership is associated with higher traffic fatality rates in bad weather, on wet roads, and in rush-hour traffic. California’s new law should lead to some 300 fewer traffic fatalities a year. However, to gain the full benefit of the law, California should concentrate its enforcement efforts during adverse driving conditions, and public education about the law ─ and about the distraction and danger of using a mobile phone in the first place ─ should be an important component in implementing the law, which could help change behavior that enforcement alone might not achieve.  Read the entire press release here

Other Useful Links

Video Satire: Still Legal to Eat, Knit or Dress While Driving (L.A. Times: Dan Neill's Hands Free Alternatives)

If there's a fatal car accident, a violator of the hand-held ban could face a felony charge, some experts say: California Cell Phone Law May Be More Costly Than $20 (L.A. Times Article)

Hands Free Phones in California Will Save Lives (Public Policy Institute of California: By Jed Kolko, research fellow, Public Policy Institute of California)

Frequently Asked Questions About the New Hands-Free Cell Phone Laws (L.A. Can't Drive)

Guide to Handling Traffic Tickets by Mike Klijian, Esq.

Video: The Future orf Hands Free Devices (Youtube)

Video: Hands Free Cell Phone Spoof (Ameriquest)

Purchase Hands-Free Items Below

Hands Free Cell Phone Kits (Pricegrabber.com)

Hands Free Cell Phone Headsets (Pricegrabber.com)

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at          (323) 852-1100       

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

From Actual Court Records

Dumb_people_2 Another classic which was allegedly taken verbatim from an actual court case:

The Court: In this case the request is made for the appointment of the psychologist for the performance of an IQ test.  The court does not see the need for an IQ test since it appears to me that he is dumber than a fence post.

Counsel: Has the court stated it in numerical terms?

The Court: His IQ is less than zero.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at          (323) 852-1100       

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

June 21, 2008

Tarnished Golden Years: Banks and Credit Unions Commit Financial Elder Abuse

Yet more outrage today when I read the Center for Responsible Lending report entitled "Tarnished Golden Years: Unauthorized Bank and Credit Union Overdraft Fees Threaten Financial Security of Older Americans." (Read entire report here)

The Center has yet another report, Shredded Security, which reports the following:

As AARP reports this week that bankruptcy among older Americans has doubled since 1991, and as banks raise their overdraft fees and make it easier to hit their account holders with multiple charges, we release findings on how unauthorized overdrafts strip fees from Americans 55 and older at the level of $4.5 billion per year. Nearly $1 billion of that comes from people who are heavily dependent on Social Security income.

Read Shredded Security here

So, bottom line is that people work hard all of their lives, scrimp, save and live on very little Social Security to begin with and the banks and credit unions, in their greed, predatorily steal this money from the elderly.  I found an interesting article entitled Financial Elder Abuse on the California Attorney General's Crime and Violence Prevention Center  Safestate.org site.   

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

High School Teacher Burns Cross on Student's Arm

Cross_teacher_burns How outrageous is this?  CNN reports that an Ohio high school teacher is being accused of burning a cross on a male teenage student's arm.  It is shocking to me that the Mount Vernon City School District school administrators are just now beginning the process of firing the teacher.  Shouldn't they have fired him immediately?  The teacher, John Freshwater, has been teaching eighth-grade science for 21 years in Ohio.  He has been reprimanded several times for refusing to remove his Bible from his classroom desk while simultaneously teaching creationism and evolution.  By the way, he used an electrostatic device to mark the cross on the boy's arm.  Obviously, this had to be a painful experience.  The mark, however, lasted only three weeks.

There is nothing in the article addressing whether or not this teacher has been criminally charged.  The obvious charges would be for assault and battery.  If I were to represent this boy civilly, my lawsuit would be against the teacher as well as the school district who, from what I read thus far, was on notice of this teacher's propensity to proselytize (Bible on the desk; teaching creationism and evolution at the same time; teaching that homosexuality is a sin).  The causes of action would be assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence as to the school district based upon their hiring, lack of supervision, lack of control and inadequate training of Freshwater.  This boy's future is, in my opinion, forever altered by the actions of this religious zealot who has ventured far beyond the scope of decency and and reasonableness.  In fact, what he has done would rise to the level of actions warranting a legal prayer for punitive damages.  Punitive damages are designed to punish and deter.

Related Links

Teaching Intelligent Design and Burning Crosses (Panda's Thumb)

Mount Vernon City Schools Independent Investigation of a Complaint Regarding John Freshwater (HR on Call, Inc.) -- this is an exhaustive investigation of the allegations against Mr. Freshwater.  Read the Entire Report Here

Report: Science Teacher Mixed Religion, Class (The Columbus Dispatch)

Martyr Complex: 'Persecuted' Ohio Teacher Should Follow the Constitution (Americans United for Separation of Church and State)

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

June 18, 2008

Lawyer Joke

Lawyer_joke I liked this one:

A doctor and a lawyer in two cars collided on a country road.  The lawyer, seeing that the doctor was a little shaken up, helped him from the car and offered him a drink from his hip flask.  The doctor accepted and handed the flask back to the lawyer, who closed it and put it away.

"Aren't you going to have a drink yourself?" asked the doctor.  "Sure, after the police leave," replied the attorney.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

June 14, 2008

Flag Day, June 14, 2008

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

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

June 09, 2008

Dumbest Girls Ever Steal Girl Scout Money (raw interview)

The most unbelievable video that I have seen in a long, long time.  Two teenage girls steal $150 from a 9 year old little girl selling Girl Scout Cookies.  Not only do they show no remorse, they are "pissed" because they now have charges pending against them.  What is this world coming to?  You have to watch this to believe it.

Now 18, One of the Teenage Girls Is Arrested! Click Here for Video

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

June 05, 2008

Slouching Towards Hypocrisy: Just Say "No" to Tort Reform

I just found this fantastic Slowpoke cartoon by Jen Sorensen entitled "Slouching Towards Hypocrisy."  Amusingly poignant.  To paraphrase former First Lady Nancy Reagan,  "Just Say No To Tort Reform."

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

June 04, 2008

Estate P.A.C.T.: A Service For Preparing Probate Property for Sale

Lou_woolf I was having lunch with Los Angeles Real Estate genius Lou Woolf a couple of weeks ago.  Lou handles probate properties in a unique fashion.  Oftentimes probate properties are in grave disrepair and, as a result, are almost unmarketable.  Lou Woolf has a solution for this problem:  Hire tradespeople who, because of Lou's stellar reputation earned during 30+ years in the Los Angeles Real Estate Market, are willing to repair and beautify the downtrodden home and wait to be paid until after the home is sold.  In so doing,  Lou is able to maximize the results for his probate clients. 

In Lou Woolf's own words:

It can be a royal pain for an estate representative to sell the decedent's house.  In many cases the house needs extensive cleaning and some repairs (often cosmetic) before it can be sold.  But where does the money for these services come from?  If the house is the major asset of the estate, then the representative will often wind up paying for services out of his or her pocket, and then getting reimbursement when the house is sold.  That's not always a good idea (and if your representative doesn't have a bunch of cash sitting around, it may not even be possible).

A Los Angeles-based Realtor at Coldwell Banker, Lou Woolf, has a new service (called Estate P.A.C.T.) that could help in this area.  If you hire Mr. Woolf to sell your probate property, you gain access to a group of tradespeople who will (a) perform the necessary work on the house and (b) defer their fees until the house is sold.  (The fees are payable at the closing.)  Here is the press release and his web site site is www.EstatePact.com Mr. Woolf has indicated that His Estate Pact program will be made available to the general public (non-probate properties) on a limited, and case by case basis. 

Probate issues are tough enough without having to then go through the emotion and expense of rehabbing your deceased parents' home in order to sell it.  I've known Lou Woolf for over 35 years and can vouch for his dedication, passion and integrity when it comes to selling homes.  Call him at (818) 728-3911 or (866) Get-Wolf or send him an e-mail Lawoolf@aol.com.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Clergy Sexual Abuse: New Book Confirms the Need For Lawsuits

Timothy_lyttonProfessor Timothy Lytton (Albany) has published Holding Bishops Accountable:  How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse (Harvard University Press 2008), available here.  The abstract (from SSRN) reads:

The sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy is arguably the most acute crisis Catholicism has faced since the Reformation. The prevalence of clergy sexual abuse and its shocking cover-up by church officials have obscured the largely untold story of the tort system's remarkable success in bringing the scandal to light, focusing attention on the need for institutional reform, and spurring church leaders and public officials into action.

Stories of the tort system as an engine of social justice are rare. Holding Bishops Accountable tells one such story by revealing how pleadings, discovery documents, and depositions fueled media coverage of the scandal. Timothy Lytton shows how the litigation strategy of plaintiffs' lawyers gave rise to a widespread belief that the real problem was not the actions of individual priests but rather the church's massive institutional failure. The book documents how church and government policymakers responded to the problem of clergy sexual abuse only under the pressure of private lawsuits.

As Lytton deftly demonstrates, the lessons of clergy sexual abuse litigation give us reason to reconsider the case for tort reform and to look more closely at how tort litigation can enhance the performance of public and private policymaking institutions.

I stand by my contention that frivolous lawsuits are a myth.  Click here to read other posts in this regard.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

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