Joseph Greenwald & Laake Blog

Posted on Thu, 2016-06-16 14:15 by Matthew J. Focht in Personal Injury

In a recent case out of the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield, a personal injury plaintiff argued that the fact that he “is an undocumented immigrant, resident or worker, does not bar him from recovering lost earnings, whether past or future; nor is it relevant to establishing an appropriate amount of damages.[1]”  In ruling on a motion in limine on the issue, the Court found that:

the defendant may use the terms [“undocumented worker,” “undocumented alien,” and “illegal alien”] when referring to the plaintiff in the event the plaintiff pursues an award for back pay or future lost wages, [subject to certain limitations], and may use these terms to describe witnesses who testify in the plaintiff’s behalf regarding the subject of the plaintiff’s rate of wages, hourly work week and methods of the payment of any such wages[.]  If such undocumented workers testify only to the facts surrounding the issue of liability and injuries, their undocumented status may not be the subject of any inquiry by the defendant.  If the plaintiff determines he will not be seeking lost wages, both past and future, his undocumented status is not relevant and may not be the subject of inquiry by the defendant.[2]

The Court in Guamamtario went on to hold that the defense would be not be barred from introducing any “evidence, argument, suggestion or inquiry regarding the plaintiff’s  immigrant or residency status and that the plaintiff may be deported or may have a desire or intentions, if any to return to Equador.  However, should the defendant present no evidence the plaintiff’s deportation is imminent or probable, or that the plaintiff intends to return to Equador, the defendant is barred from presenting argument, suggestion or inquiry regarding possible deportation or the possibility that the plaintiff could return to Equador.[3]

Posted on Thu, 2016-06-16 12:50 by Eleanor A. Hunt in Family Law, Estate Planning, Trusts Estates

Eleanor Hunt, senior counsel at the Firm, recently discussed wills, trusts, and related estate-planning topics on “Your Future Your Finances,” a television show that aired in Montgomery County, Md., on MMC Channel 16.

Hunt, who represents clients in the areas of family law and estate planning, told the show’s moderator, Brian Kuhn, that a basic estate plan for most individuals consists of three documents – a will, a financial power of attorney, and an advance medical directive.

Hunt noted that although these documents are very important for people to have, a surprisingly large number of people fail to have them prepared. She pointed to the recent passing of Prince, who died without a will, as an example of a celebrity who did not take care of these key matters.

Posted on Thu, 2016-05-26 13:37 by Jay P. Holland in False Claims Act

Jeffrey Mills was the Director of Food and Nutritional Services for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) from 2010 to 2013.  DCPS used Chartwells, a contractor, to provide its food and food services for students in DCPS.   Mills saw enormous problems with Chartwells, including overbilling and, even worse, providing spoiled food to students.  His complaints to DCPS officials were ignored.  And when DCPS terminated his employment, he alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle on Chartwells. Mills sued not only for retaliation but also for fraud against the D.C. government, under the qui tam provisions of the District of Columbia False Claims Act.   D.C. Code Ann § 2-381.03. Chartwells settled with Mills for $450,000.00 for his retaliation claim, and settled with D.C. for $19,000,000.00, 30% of which could go to Mills, and the rest to D.C. to compensate it for the overbilling and spoiled food.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-schools-food-vendor-pays-19-million-to-settle-whistleblower-lawsuit/2015/06/05/bae8dd3c-0b96-11e5-9e39-0db921c47b93_story.html.  

Posted on Thu, 2016-05-19 15:12 by Matthew J. Focht in Personal Injury

 

Snapchat, the popular social networking application, is unique in that the messages sent over the app “self-destruct” seconds after being opened.  Snapchat also provides its users with a series of “filters,” one of which superimposes the speed at which a user was travelling over a photograph or video.  In other words, if you take a selfie as a passenger in a car travelling 35 miles per hour, and the “miles per hour” filter is engaged, the app will use the camera to recognize how fast your vehicle is travelling and “35 miles per hour” will be superimposed over your picture.   This filter was pushed to users in a 2013 product update[1].  Snapchat users can win virtual “trophies” by sending photographs using filters.  As one lawyer described it, “Snapchat has embedded [incentives] into its interface.  It’s become more of a game[2].”

Posted on Thu, 2016-05-19 15:00 by Burt M. Kahn in Medical Malpractice

On March 21, 2016, the American Bar Association formally announced its opposition to a proposed bill in Congress that would limit the amount of noneconomic damages that can be awarded by judges and juries in medical liability cases in state courts across the nation.  In a letter to the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, the ABA said that the bill, which would cap those damages at $250,000, violates principles of federalism and would deprive many deserving people of the chance to receive compensation for their injuries.

Posted on Tue, 2016-05-10 11:08 by Burt M. Kahn in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

A study published in the British Journal of Medicine published on May 3, 2016 found that the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical error resulting in 251,000 deaths annually. Medical error is just behind Heart disease (611,000 deaths annually) and cancer (585,000 deaths annually). After medical error, the next largest cause of death in the United States is chronic respiratory disease (149,000 deaths annually).

Posted on Thu, 2016-04-28 14:57 by Jeffrey N. Greenblatt in Family Law

You’ve been married around 25 years. Your children have become more self-sufficient or they’re gone. You shifted your attention back to your spouse, which led to a realization: you are really not happy in your marriage.

Well, you are not alone. The rate of uncoupling over age 50 has increased in recent years and it’s prompted the catch phrase: “gray divorce.”

Posted on Tue, 2016-04-19 14:08 by Levi S. Zaslow in

Real Property – Retaliation Actions and Attorneys’ Fees 

Felicia Lockett v. Blue Ocean Bristol, LLC, No. 29, Sept. Term, 2015 (Md. Feb.  22, 2016).

Felicia Lockett is a tenant in an apartment building knowns as “Bristol House” in Baltimore City and had been since 2010.  Slip Op. at 1, 7.  Ms. Lockett, who actively and vigorously participated in the tenants association there, had a contentious relationship with the landlord, Blue Ocean Bristol, LLC (“Blue Ocean”).  Slip Op. at 1.  In 2014, Blue Ocean did not renew her lease. 

Posted on Thu, 2016-03-17 07:03 by Jay P. Holland in

Can Employers Conduct Mental Health Screenings

On February 26, 2016, a coworker shot seventeen employees at a Kansas factory, three of whom were killed. While this was a high profile active shooting, unfortunately, it is not the only such workplace shooting.  As investigators piece together the motives for the murders, there is no question that there has been an alarming uptick of active shooting incidents in the U.S. over the past few years.

Posted on Wed, 2016-02-24 20:55 by Rama Taib-Lopez in

Military Divorce

Divorce, in and of itself, can be a difficult and complicated process. If you or your spouse is a member of the U.S. military, there are additional factors, considerations and challenges that come into play. 

Pages

Disclaimer

The JGL Law Blog is made available by the Firm and/or the law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. The JGL Law Blog is not designed to and does not provide specific legal advice. Use of, or comments on, this Blog does not create an Attorney Client Relationship with the Firm or any of the authors of the Blog Posts.

This blog is for general informational purposes only. Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA is a law firm and some of the information on the blog relates to legal topics. Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA does not offer or dispense legal advice through this blog or by e-mails directed to or from this site. By using the blog, the reader agrees that the information on this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between the reader and Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA or its attorneys. The blog is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state. The information on the blog may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. While the blog is revised on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. The opinions expressed at or through the blog are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney. The JGL Law Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained on this site (including any links provided) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

˅