Saturday, September 17, 2016

ttorney General Jeff Landry has rejected Gov. John Bel Edwards' choice of lawyers to represent the state government in several coastal damage lawsuits -- furthering the divide between Louisiana's two top elected officials.  
The attorney general's office will not approve a contract to hire private lawyers that Edwards has requested because the arrangement is too broad and vague, according to a letter sent from Landry's office to Edwards' staff Tuesday (Sept. 6). Landry's staff was also uncomfortable with the fee arrangement the governor had proposed for the attorneys.
The contract drafted by the governor's office would allow the attorneys to collect millions of dollars in fees potentially, something Landry's office said could violate state law. Edwards' general counsel, Matthew Block, has disagreed with this assertion, saying there is nothing illegal about the proposed arrangement. 
In the letter, the attorney general also said the private lawyers the governor seeks to hire have potential conflicts of interest that should disqualify them. The attorney general's office said some of the lawyers' law firms already represent local governmental bodies in coastal lawsuits. Those local governments' interests could conflict with the state's interests at some point. 
"The above issues are but a few of the many additional problems that we have noted with the proposed contract," Wilbur Stiles said, chief deputy attorney general, wrote in the letter to Block. 
(Read the letter the attorney general's office sent the governor's office here.)
The coastal lawsuits dispute is only the latest twist in an ongoing political struggle between Edwards, a Democrat, and Landry, a Republican. Louisiana's top two political officials have been fighting over everything from the state budget to transgender issues since taking office in January.  
Edwards wants the state government to join the efforts of Jefferson, Cameron, and Plaquemines parishes in seeking compensation for damage they say was done to Louisiana's coastline by oil and gas companies.
In recent weeks, Landry has implied he's not interested in pursuing such lawsuits overall, regardless of what lawyers the governor would want to use. 
Last month, the attorney general agreed with a judge's decision to throw out a coastal lawsuit filed by Jefferson Parish -- indicating that he didn't think such legal action was prudent overall. The governor, meanwhile, wants to challenge the judge's decision.
So far, Landry appears to have the upper hand in the standoff between Louisiana's top two elected officials over coastal lawsuits, which was first reported by The Advocate newspaper and WWL-TV. 
The governor says he wants involved in the lawsuits so that the state will have more control over what happens with the potential settlement. That money could be used to help implement the state's coastal restoration plan. 
"We want to ensure that the state's interests are protected and we do everything we can to protect our coast as well," saandry seems to have a difference of opinion about whether the state should be involved in the lawsuits, but he could also object to Edwards' choice of lawyers for many reasons.
As The Advocate and WWL reported last week, six of the seven lawyers the Edwards administration wants to hire contributed to Edwards' gubernatorial campaign.  
The six lawyers gave a total of at least $130,000 to Edwards, according to a review of campaign finance documents. About $74,000 of those contributions came from J. Rock Palermo, his family, companies, and law firm.
At least $60,000 of the Palermo contributions were dropped on Edwards the week after the gubernatorial primary, once Edwards and U.S. Sen. David Vitter were in a runoff election.
As a state legislator and gubernatorial candidate, Edwards has been clear about supporting the coastal lawsuits. But Vitter wasn't supportive of the litigation and, presumably, would not have wanted to get the state involved.  
During the election, Edwards -- who is a trial lawyer -- received widespread support from attorneys involved in the coastal litigation, not just the six lawyers he is seeking to hire.
A Baton Rouge law firm who had taken the lead on behalf of the parishes in several of the coastal lawsuits -- Talbot, Carmouche and Marcello -- spent about $1.5 million on television ads damaging to Vitter and supportive of Edwards and Landry's predecessor, Buddy Caldwell, during the election season last fall. Edwards won, but Caldwell ended up losing to Landry. 
Edwards, oil execs disagree on industry's help restoring coast
Industry officials not interested in settling parish suits alleging coastal wetlands damage caused by oil and gas companies

Some of the lawyers Edwards wants the state to hire -- including Palermo and attorney Gladstone Jones -- have an extensive background in environmental litigation. Others don't. 
The contract the governor's office has drawn up to hire the lawyers is being managed through Taylor Townsend, a former state representative and personal injury lawyer who doesn't specialize in environmental law or oil and gas litigation.
Townsend has close connections to the governor. He headed up Edwards' transition team between the gubernatorial election and inauguration. Townsend also leads the Louisiana Families First political action committee, set up to support Edwards by former state Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, who is now the governor's chief of staff. 
"All of lawyers involved have a wealth of experience in litigation generally," Block said last week. "Some of the lawyers involved obviously have more environmental litigation experience than others." 
Block said Edwards selected lawyers that the governor -- who worked in private practice until his election -- felt confident would do the best job. 
"He's known many of these individuals for a long time right now. I think it goes to his sense of his faith and confidence in them," Block said.  
Landry has been backed by the oil and gas industry throughout his political career, including in the attorney general's race last year.
During 2014 and 2015, Landry's campaign received more than $75,000 from oil companies and contractors. A political action committee that supports the attorney general, called Louisiana Citizens for Job Creators, has also received support from the oil and gas industry.
Harvey Gulf International Marine, LLC -- which specializes in work for offshore oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico -- gave the PAC connected to Landry $100,000 last November. The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association political action committee gave the group $17,500 last October. 
In interviews last week, the Edwards administration said it was surprised that the attorney general decided to split with the governor on the coastal lawsuits. Landry and Edwards had been working together on the coastal lawsuit issue until the middle of August, according to Block. 
The Edwards administration said it discovered the attorney general may have shifted his position on the coastal lawsuits a couple of weeks ago, when Landry issued his statement supporting the judge's decision to throw out the Jefferson Parish cases. Landry's office didn't contact Edwards' staff before the press release when out to say the attorney general was taking a different approach. 
"I cannot tell you that I have a firm understanding of what their position is going to be in this case moving forward," Block said last week. 
The governor's office said Landry has refused to act on a number of other state legal contracts sent to the attorney general from the governor's office. Some state boards and commissions have not been able to hire legal counsel yet, because Landry hasn't signed off on their attorney selections. 
Block said Landry is overreaching when it comes to these matters. He said the attorney general is only supposed to check to make sure the lawyers meet some basic hiring requirements. He's not supposed to block their hiring for other reasons, Block said. 
"The attorney general offices does not get to decide who gets to represents state boards and commissions," Block said. 

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and the Wildcats failed on the 2-point conversion, giving the Cougars a final chance at University of Phoenix Stadium.
BYU started its final drive on its own 31 and quickly moved down the field to set up Oldroyd’s kick. The freshman split the uprights, raised his arms and rain toward BYU’s sideline after hitting a winning kick in his first career game.
“I just had to wait to see it go through before getting excited,” Sitake said. “It was a great game and I’m proud of Jake coming through.”
Williams looked like he never left after sitting out last season due to personal reasons, carrying 29 times to sparYU’s defense pressured Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon all night and had two interceptions, including one by Kai Nacua in the fourth quarter.
Solomon, named the starter just before the game, threw for 213 yards on 20-of-30 passing.
“This one is on me,” said Solomon, who won a tight battle with sophomore Brandon Dawkins to be Arizona’s starter. “I have to play better.”
Wilson also scored on a 15-yard run in theU: Williams looked like he had never left and Hill was solid in his return, coming through when the Cougars needed him to. Despite some breakdowns in the fourth quarter, BYU's defense was solid, holding Arizona's quick-hitting offense in check most of the night.
Arizona: The offensive line, one of the team's most experienced groups, could not solve BYU's pressure until late. The defense, solid for most of the night, allowed the Cougars to quick-hit their way down the field to set up the winning kick. Arizona entered the season with plenty of questions and didn't get many answers.

Up next

BYU: The Cougars continue a brutal start to the season at Utah next Saturday, followed by games against UCLA and West Virginia.
Arizona: The Wildcats play their home opener against Grambling State next Saturday. fourth quarter and finished with 138 yards rushing. Arizona finished with 328 total yards, 190 of that coming in the fourth quarter.
“You ask the same question four or five times, it eventually becomes like a lawyer,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Ask the sak BYU’s offREE Phoenix police officers, including a rookie on his first night on patrol, were taking a break in front of a convenience store when they became the target of an attack.
A car barrelled across the parking lot toward the officers, slamming into two of them and smashing into the front of the store. An officer who escaped getting hit ran up to the car and pulled out the driver. A struggle ensued.
The rookie officer, reeling from a head injury after the careening car sent him flying through the air, managed to deploy a stun gun to disable the man, Fox 10 reported.
The attack by the QuickTrip store on Tuesday left authorities searching for answers about the driver’s motivations and decrying it as an unprovoked assault on both police and public safety.
“I’ve never seen anything like th

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he Kelsey’s law scholarship created by Michigan Auto Law is motivating teens to put down the distractions while driving.This scholarship is asking any Junior or Senior high school student to send in a video, tweet, or graphic that will persuade other teens to focus on the road while driving. According to the Michigan Auto Law, drivers are 23 times more likely to crash when texting behind the wheel.
This law firm has seen more’re a law firm and we dedicated our practice to helping people who have been injured in care accidents. We see first hand the devastation that can be brought by an accident and we want to do what we can to try to prevent and stop those accidents, and stopping people from distracted driving especially young drivers,” said Michigan Auto Law Attorney, Todd Berg.
The main idea behind the scholarship is to get teenagers to convince other people their age to put down distractions while behind the wheel.
“There are three ways to submit your message, the idea behind the message is to come up with something persuasive and compelling that’s going to convince other teen drivers to not drive distracted. Put the phones down, don’t eat, don’t do your hair, don’t do your make-up, don’t reach in the back seat,” said Berg.
Accidents caused from distracted driving have been on the increase in the past couple years. More than 7,000 crashes involving distracted driving were reported in Michigan in 2015, resulting in 27 fatalities and thousands of injuries. If someone is found to be using their cell phones while driving, they can face serious consequences especially if under the age of 18.
“If you are under the age of 18, it is prohibited. You will receive the first time, a ticket of $100, the fees of course increase the punishment if there is an injury or fatality involved in that,” said Michigan State Police Trooper, Stacey Rasanen.
Trooper Rasanen also mentioned that the key to preventing distracted driving is to stay focused at all times. If you are a high school student interested in this scholarship, it is not too late to apply, the deadline is August 31st at midnight.
Announcements will be made regarding the winners in early October.
For a link to the scholarship application, you can click here.
Additionally, for more information regarding Michigan Ae than their fair shar

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revious efforts to reform the law failed to gain a consensus, but several legislators are pursuing changes they claim will bring automobile insurance costs more in line with the $1,325 per year national average. The average cost of insurance for Michigan motorists is $2,738 per year. Proponents of these changes argue that more affordable premiums would reduce the number of uninsured drivers in the state.
$1,325 national average
$2,738 Michigan average
At present, nearly 20 percent of Michigan drivers are uninsured, many because they cannot afford the cost. An estimated 50 percent of Detroit drivers are uninsured, according to 2012 statistics provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The association reported that the average premium for drivers was $3,400 in Detroit but $1,700 in neighboring communities.
Policymakers and analysts generally agree that Michigan’s mandatory and unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) is the main culprit behind the high costs. Insurers and studies contend that the mandate allows hospitals and other health care providers to extract higher medical care reimbursements for auto crash victims.
“Michigan doesn’t have the highest auto insurance rates in the country, but unlimited benefits for personal injuries should get them there at some point,” said Alan Smith, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization that has conducted state-by-state research into automotive insurance.
“Every other major payer in the health care system operates under some form of fee schedule, and this would be helpful [if adopted for Michigan automotive insurance],” said Smith. “Otherwise you will continue to have two Michigan accident victims in hospital beds on the same hall with identical injuries. But the guy who fell down the stairs will be paying half or a third as much per day as the woman whose vehicle contests space with a large tree.”
Senate Bill 313, introduced last year by Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, would impose price controls on medical servSen. Joe Hune, R-Fowlerville, authored SB 248, which passed the Senate in April 2015 and is under review in the House of Representatives. If passed into law, the bill would replace the catastrophic claims association with a state agency. It would also impose new assessments on insurers (and indirectly their customers) to pay for expanded anti-fraud efforts.
“As the cost of auto insurance continues to rise, I took action to provide reasonable reforms that will ensure Michigan drivers have access to good benefits at a lower cost,” said Hune. “We have passed legislation to address the out-of-control insurance costs in the Senate and we await the House to take action to deliver this important reform bill to the governor’s desk.”
Gary Wolfram, the William E. Simon professor of Economics and Public Policy at Hillsdale College and a member of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy Board of Scholars, also blames unlimited PIP coverage for Michigan’s high premiums. Wolfram notes other states cap PIP insurance at $50,000, including New York, which is second only to Michigan in PIP requirements. “We are the only state with unlimited PIP,” he said. “You’d think if it were a net positive, other states would follow suit. But they haven’t.”
Wolfram explained that unlimited PIP encourages doctors to order tests and procedures that aren’t necessary. He continued: “If I fall off a ladder and injure myself, the type of treatment I’d receive in a hospital would be entirely different from the treatment I’d receive in the same hospital for similar injuries incurred in an automobile accident.”
Smith concluded that Michigan’s no-fault insurance problems will take far less time to fix than they did to develop. “Every form of unlimited benefit will eventually be abused, and the folks in Michigan have had more than 40 years to figure out how to do it,” he said. “Not necessarily by dishonesty, just overuse of a system beyond its original design. A medical fee schedule is what preserved the auto insurance system in Pennsylvania when they got rid of the last other unlimited medical no-fault auto insurance system over 30 years ago. This should be tried in Michigan.”
Your gift to Capitol Confidential supports investigative reporting in the public interest that includes a free-mices provided by hospitals and doctors to patients covered by PIP.
In the House

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ews update: A mesothelioma lawyer at NYC-headquartered personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg warns that New York may be No. 1 for international commerce, but it also has the dubious distinction of being the third highest-ranking state in the Nation for asbestos-related mortalities.
More than 2,626 people have been killed by asbestos-related deaths poisoning in New York between 1979 and 2001, according to government records. Sources say that figure is a low estimate, and could feasibly have exceeded 4,000 deaths during the period between 1979 and 2001.
According to the New York Mesothelioma Lawyer, Long Island is where much of the state’s industry is. Thus, we find that Queens County in New York City is by far the most toxic region in the state, ranking nine on the list of the Top 100 counties in the nation with the greatest incidence of asbestos-related deaths. Suffolk County, also on Long Island, ranks No. 21.

Contact an Experienced New York Mesothelioma Lawyer

Government sources estimate that in the next decade more than 35,000 people nationwide will be diagnosed with the deadliest form of asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. This disease is most often the result of industrial workplace exposure to asbestos – and usually contracted through employers’ blatant disregard for workers’ safety.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-caused lung cancer, or asbestosis, and reside and/or worked in the State of New York, please complete the form below or call us for a free case evaluation by an experienced New York mesothelioma lawyer at Weitz and Luxenberg who will explain your legal rights.
Weitz & Luxenberg has secured significant financial compensation for mesothelioma victims since 1986. In close to 30 years of the firm’s history, asbestos attorneys have won more than a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for its clients.
For immediate legal assistance, call 1-844-432-7088. A New York mesothelioma lawyer from Weitz & Luxenberg will review your case inqui
Kings County (Brooklyn) ranks at No. 32; New York County is No. 82, and the Bronx is No. 90 on the lis

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e cop wanted her car keys. Kelli Peters handed them over. She told herself she had nothing to fear, that all he’d find inside her PT Cruiser was beach sand, dog hair, maybe one of her daughter’s toys.“I was calling because, uh, my daughter’s a student at Plaza Vista Elementary School,” said the caller. “And uh, I’m concerned one of the parent volunteers there may be under, uh, under the influence or, uh, using drugs. I was, I just had to go over to the school and, uh, I was, I saw a car driving very erratically.”
The caller said he had seen drugs in the car. He knew the name of the driver — Kelli. He knew the type of car — a PT Cruiser. He even knew the license plate, and
They were outside Plaza Vista peddling loans, which she had come to associate with the burn of acid reflux.
No matter how frenetic the pace became at school, the worst day was better than that, and often afternoons ended with a rush of kids throwing their arms around her. At 5 feet tall, she watched many of them outgrow her.
Peters had spent her childhood in horse country at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. She tossed pizzas, turned a wrench in a skate shop, flew to Hawaii on impulse and stayed for two years. She mixed mai tais at a Newport Beach rib joint. She waited tables at a rock-n-roll-themed pasta house. A married lawyer — one of the regulars — grew infatuated with her and showed up at her house one night. He went away, but a sense of vulnerability lingered.
In her mid-30s she married Bill, a towering, soft-spoken blues musician and restaurateur who made her feel calm. She spent years trying to get pregnant, and when it happened her priorities narrowed.
“I became afraid of spontaneity and surprises,” she said. “I just wanted to be safe.”
In Irvine, she found a master-planned city where bars and liquor stores, pawnshops and homeless shelters had been methodically purged, where neighborhoods were regulated by noise ordinances, lawn-length requirements and mailbox-uniformity rules. For its size, Irvine consistently ranked as America’s safest city. It waSchool in Irvine, where she had watched her daughter go from kindergarten to fifth grade, where any minute now the girl would be getting out of class to look for her. Parents had entrusted their own kids to Peters for years; she was the school’s PTA president and the heart of its after-school program.Peters had been doing what she always did on a Wednesday afternoon, trying to stay on top of a hundred small emergencies.
She was 49, with short blond hair and a slightly bohemian air. As the volunteer director of the Afterschool Classroom Enrichment program at Plaza Vista, she was a constant presence on campus, whirling down the halls in flip-flops an
Now she watched as her ruin seemed to unfold before her. Watched as the cop emerged from her car holding a Ziploc bag of marijuana, 17 grams worth, plus a ceramic pot pipe, plus two smaller EZY Dose Pill Pouch baggies, one with 11 Percocet pills, another with 29 Vicodin. It was enough to send her to jail, and more than enough to destroy her name.
Her legs buckled and she was on her knees, shaking violently and sobbing and insisting the drugs were not hers.
The cop, a 22-year veteran, had found drugs on many people, in many settings. When caught, they always lied.or all that outsiders mocked Irvine as a place of sterile uniformity, she had become comfortable in its embrace. She had been beguiled by the reputation of the schools, which boasted a 97% college-admission rate.
The muted beige strip malls teemed with tutoring centers. If neighboring Newport Beach had more conspicuous flourishes of wealth, like mega-yachts and ocean-cliff mansions, the status competition in Irvine — where so many of the big houses looked pretty much alike — centered on education.
Plaza Vista was a year-round public school in a coveted neighborhood, and after six years she knew the layout as well as her own kitchen. The trim campus buildings, painted to harmonize with the neighborhood earth tones, suggested a medical office-park; out back were an organic garden, a climbing wall and a well-kept athletic field fringed by big peach-colored homes.Around campus, she was the mom everyone knew. She had a natural rapport with children. She could double them over with her impression of Applejack, the plucky country gal from the “My Little Pony” TV series. She would wait with them until their parents came to pick them up from the after-school program, but she couldn’t bring herself to enforce the dollar-a-minute late fines.
The school had given her a desk at the front office, which provided an up-close view of countless parental melodramas. The moms who wanted the 7th-grade math teacher fired because their kids got Bs. Or the mom who demanded a network of giant umbrellas and awnings to shield her kids from the playground sun

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 hear San Francisco lawyer Dawn Hassell tell it, Ava Bird was a nightmare client. Here’s how their dispute could become a nightmare for some of the biggest companies on the Internet — and their users.
Hassell’s law firm signed on to represent Bird in what seems to be a slip-and-fall case in August 2012. According to a lawsuit Hassell eventually filed against her client, the relationship lasted 25 days. During that time, Bird failed to return the firm’s emails and phone calls and missed a key appointment. Finally, Hassell sent Bird a polite email withdrawing from the case and advising her to find another lawyer.
 few months later, according to Hassell, Bird struck back. She posted a broadside at the online review site Yelp accusing Hassell of making “a bad situation much worse for me,” of “reneging on the case” and of incompetence. Hassell sued Bird for libel and won a judgment for more than $550,000 in damages and costs, as well as an injunction ordering Bird to remove the ostensibly defamatory material from Yelp.
That’s when things got really interesting.
The San Francisco trial judge ordered Yelp, which was not named as a defendant,  to remove Bird’s review (along with two other items she was thought to have posted). That order overlooks that Yelp is legally immune from liability for what its users post on its review pages. That’s according to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online publishers that host user comments. 
On Aug. 22, a California appeals court upheld the Yelp order. Yelp has appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court, which is expected to decide shortly whether to hear the case. How seriously do the Internet and publishing communities take a frontal attack on Section 230?  Yelp’s appeal to the California Supreme Court has been backed in friend-of-the-court statements by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as many smaller websites, a platoon of Internet law professors and 30 online and traditional news organizations, including The Times. 
“This case has gotten the attention of everyone who’s anyone in the user-generated content space,” says Eric Goldman, a Santa Clara University law professor who has closely followed the developments on his blog. User generated content — individual reviews, comments, Facebook posts, tweets and more — has become essential to “how modern society communicates,” as the amicus letter from Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter put it. Section 230 ensures that it can’t be driven out of existence by anyone who finds it unpleasant.
Because of the immunity it grants to publishers who act as intermediaries for this flow of information and commentary, “Section 230 is the backbone of the Internet,” says Thomas Burke of Davis Wright Tremaine, Yelp’s appellate lawyer. In the tech community it’s been called “the most important law on the Internet.” But it also has come under concerted attack by plaintiffs who keep looking for loopholes and judges who open them in efforts to scrub distasteful material from the Web. Many Internet experts think Hassell vs. Bird may be the biggest threat to Section 230 yet. 
Hassell’s lawyers say the appellate ruling is no big deal. After all, they scoff, Bird’s postings have been ruled defamatory, and there’s hardly any public interest in allowing defamation to remain in the public sphere. But it’s not so simple.
No one would claim that discourse on the Internet is invariably polite, inoffensive or even cogent. Section 230 was enacted in 1996 precisely to focus responsibility for that content on its creators, not its hosts. The idea was to protect online content from the “heckler’s veto,” through which anyone could discourage open discourse by giving Web hosts a legal duty to police users’ comments.
If that were the case, then Web publishers wouldn’t publish anything even remotely negative. That would lead to the “removal of one side of the debate,” argues the advocacy group Public Citizen in its amicus letter. In the case of a review site like Yelp, only positive reviews would survive, destroying the site’s usefulness. It’s true that many websites, including The Times’, regulate users’ contributions and remove potentially offensive material. Under Section 230, that discretion belongs to them, not a judge. 
That brings us back to Hassell vs. Bird. There are some odd aspects to this case that magnify fears about its impact. First, it’s not entirely clear that Bird posted all the Yelp reviews Hassell found objectionable; they were anonymous, and one appears to refer to a different case. Bird had replied with a profanity to an email Hassell sent her about the reviews and didn’t respond to the libel lawsuit — possibly because she was no longer living at the address where the court papers were served. Consequently, Hassell won by default. (We couldn’t reach Bird at any of the contacts we had for her from the public record;  we also got no reply to our request for comments from Hassell or her attorneys.)
More critically, Yelp was ordered to remove Bird’s comments even though it wasn’t a defendant in the case. Why Hassell didn’t name Yelp as a defendant is unclear. Yelp contends Hassell knew Yelp would fight tooth and nail against her argument that Yelp should be forced to remove defamatory postings. The omission enabled Hassell to ask that Yelp be ordered to remove the postings without giving it a chance to be heard.
Legal experts say that allowing a publisher to be blind-sided in this way simply provides enemies of free speech with a “roadmap” for circumventing 1st Amendment safeguards of all kinds.
“A newspaper can not be ordered to take down an allegedly libelous comment, without having notice and an opportunity to be heard,” observes Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor, in an amicus letter on behalf of himself and 12 other law professors. Intermediaries have 1st Amendment rights separate from content creators: “It is why a bookstore cannot be ordered to remove an allegedly obscene book, and an art gallery cannot be ordered to remove an allegedly obscene painting” without a hearing.
Appellate Justice Ignazio J. Ruvalo, writing for Justices Maria P. Rivera and Jon P. Streeter, tried to get around Yelp’s Section 230 immunity by reimagining the relationship between Yelp and Bird. Yelp, he wrote, was not “a publisher of Bird’s speech, but rather … the administrator of the forum” Bird utilized. Burke, Yelp’s lawyer, says that’s just substituting a new term for the old, and doesn’t nullify Yelp’s immunity.
Ripples from the appellate ruling have already appeared., which posts anonymous employee comments about companies to inform job-seekers about working conditions, says the ruling began to show up in letters demanding the removal of comments and disclosure of users’ identities almost immediately after it was handed down.
Internet lawyers say they’re optimistic that the California Supreme Court will toss the appellate ruling, given its own precedent, in which it agreed that in defamation cases that creators of offending material, not Internet service providers, are the only parties who may be “punished and deterred.” But that ruling is 10 y

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Trial has been postponed amid talk about a plea deal involving a former animal control supervisor accused of illegally killing dogs at the Boulder City shelter.
Court records show that prosecutors and Mary Jo Frazier's attorney decided Tuesday they'll meet again Oct. 4 with a Clark County District Court judge.
Trial had been scheduled next week.
Frazier pleaded not guilty in March to two felony animal cruelty charges that could get her up to eight years in prison.
She retired and moved to Oregon shortly after a police probe concluded that more than 90 animals had been euthanized in one year without a required five-day waiting period and veterinary exam.
The police chief who decided not to seek charges against Frazier resigned after Boulder City officials asked the district attorney to prosecute Frazier.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This mcording to character creator Todd McFarlane.
The Image Comics co-founder talked about the upcoming reboot centered on the antihero for an episode of AMC's Geeking Out, which was first to preview. 
McFarlane was asked straight up if fans were going to get another, better movie following the 1997 film which starred Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo and Martin Sheen.  
"The simple answer is yes," McFarlane replied, who has spoken about the possibility over the years. "It's not going to be a continuation. It's not going to be a sequel. Scrub the first movie."
That should be welcome news to fans who were severely underwhelmed by the PG-13 film 20 years ago, which was not reflective of the dark, violent, brutal world captured in the comic and short-lived HBO animated series.
"It's going to be a dark, R-rated, scary, badass sort of script. It's not a nice, polite PG-13," McFarlane insisted. The 1997 version was lacking in all those departments in order for the film to have a softer rating, likely done to help it at the box office. (It grossed just $54 million against a $40 million budget.)
McFarlane also said the reboot would utilize more practical effects; the first film was saturated with CGI in almost every frame, which barley held up then.  
No timetable for the film was given in the

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Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story

The Associated Press
Posted: Aug. 26, 2016 8:00 am Updated: Aug. 26, 2016 7:40 pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a Feb. 20, 2015 story about an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, The Associated Press mischaracterized a statement an expert made about proving the cause of an infection. Lawrence Muscarella, a health care and sterilization expert, said he was suggesting an argument hospitals might use when he said, "Proving causation is impossible." Muscarella said an infection can be proven to come from a hospital instrument.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Finger-pointing, lawsuits likely to follow 'superbug' scare
Debate over what caused 'superbug' outbreak at Los Angeles hospital likely to end up in court
Associated Press
With an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" outbreak connected to its facility, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center stopped short of pointing a finger at the manufacturer of a medical instrument believed to have spread the deadly germs. The maker of the product was careful not to blame the hospital as it issued new cleaning instructions emphasizing meticulous manual sterilization.
Things may not be so polite once lawyers get involved.
Lawsuits are expected to follow the outbreak tied to two deaths and several infections, with the hospital and manufacturer pointing fingers at each other.
"That's exactly the kind of skirmishing you're going to see," said John Culhane, co-director of the Family Health Law & Policy Institute at the Widener University School of Law in Delaware. "The bottom line is that the two defendants will be hauled into court, and they'll be trying to do two things: One, they didn't do anything wrong; the second thing is to pin the blame on the other defendant."
Two people have died at UCLA, and five others have been infected with the bacteria known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, after undergoing similar endoscopic procedures to diagnose and treat pancreatic and bile-duct problems between October and January, hospital officials said. More than 170 other patients also may have been exposed.
The family of an 18-year-old student in grave condition from the bacteria is considering suing the endoscope's manufacturer, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, an arm of Japan's Olympus Corp, attorney Kevin Boyle said.
That hard-to-clean medical instrument used on more than half a million people in the U.S. every year has become the focus of the investigation into the outbreak.
Olympus emphasized in a statement Thursday that meticulous manual sterilization is needed. The company said it was issuing new instructions and working with federal officials.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned doctors Thursday that the device's complex design and tiny parts make complete disinfection extremely difficult. Even when cleaning instructions are followed, germs may linger, the FDA said. Between January 2013 and December 2014, the FDA received 75 reports involving 135 patients in the U.S. who may have been infected by tainted scopes.
The blame game has played out across the country where some patients are believed to have died from infections and hundreds of others have been shocked when notified they could have been infected with bacteria or a harmful disease from a medical instrument that was intended to help them.
In some cases, patients who weren't infected have sued for having to go through the unnerving process of being screened over months for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis they may have been exposed to.
Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer Brendan Lupetin currently represents more than 200 patients in a class-action suit against a Pennsylvania clinic that he said didn't properly clean its endoscopes.
He envisions lots of lawsuits coming from the UCLA outbreak, with lawyers targeting both the hospital and Olympus and possibly third parties who may have been responsible for maintaining equipment used for cleaning and sterilization.
"It looks like someone dropped the ball," Lupetin said. "Whether it's the manufacturer or UCLA, you can almost guarantee there will be a number of lawsuits."
UCLA said it doesn't comment on litigation. A spokesman for Olympus didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.
Lawrence Muscarella, a health care and sterilization expert, said he'd be surprised if there's litigation because he doesn't know of any lawsuits tied to outbreaks he has closely followed at four other U.S. hospitals.
Few lawyers have taken on the hospitals because it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to prepare a case, and there's no guarantee of success when it's hard to prove what caused an infection, he said. Doctors rarely list the infection as the cause of death, and some hospitals have said patients entered their facility with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a notion he dismisses.
Culhane, the law professor, said that if cases do proceed to court, defendants probably won't blame the victim for their role, as often happens in negligence cases. In these cases, the patient was probably unconscious.
AP Science Writer Alicia Chang contribu

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he new law permits physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to mentally competent adults who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and face the expectation that they will die within six months.
“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown said after signing the controversial legislation. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”
California becomes the fifth state to allow assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.
Supporters of the law say the drugs will give a peaceful end to those suffering the most, while opponents argue terminally ill patients could feel pressure to take their own lives.
Terminally ill Brittany Maynard ends her life
The proposal gained momentum after Californian Brittany Maynard, 29, received national attention in 2014 by moving to Oregon and ending her life there after months of debilitating and painful effects from brain cancer. Maynard’s husband and mother lobbied for the California bill, saying it was one of her dying wishes.

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30 years’ worth of California personal injury case law was overturned last month in one fell swoop when California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 2159 into law. The bill acts to overturn the rule announced in the 1986 case Rodriguez v. Kline. In that case, a California courts held that the proper way to value the lost wages of an undocumented immigrant injured in the United States involved determining the amount of wages the individual would have earned in his or her country of origin. The Rodriguez decision was also used by undocumented immigrant-defendants to argue that they should only have to pay the amount of compensation the plaintiff would have received in the defendant’s country of origin.
Toward a Simpler, Fairer Calculation of Compensation
Calculating the damages an injury plaintiff suffered in a personal injury accident is complicated enough without considering the country of origin of the plaintiff and/or defendant. In a California personal injury case, the goal of the injured plaintiff and his or her legal team is simple: To obtain a monetary damages award sufficient to fully compensate the plaintiff for the economic and noneconomic losses he or she suffered as a result of the injury incident. In order to make this important calculation, the plaintiff will want to add up his or her expenses (like medical bills, lost wages, prescription drug costs, home healthcare assistance, etc.) and losses (such as mental pain, anguish, and suffering, lost future earnings, etc.).
When assigning an amount to each expense and loss, the plaintiff will generally look to the community in which he or she was injured or the community where he or she will recover and receive treatment, whichever provides the greater compensation. (Of course, if the plaintiff must receive medical treatment in a certain location for some reason, the actual expenses incurred by the plaintiff in that location will be used.) While the plaintiff’s country of origin and immigration status will no longer be relevant factors to consider in California, the judge or jury hearing the case and determining what amount of compensation to award can – and often will – consider the following:
  • The plaintiff’s age and general state of health prior to the accident (including whether the plaintiff suffered from any preexisting conditions);
  • The plaintiff’ familial status and responsibilities around the home (damages for the inability to perform house chores may be available, and when they are available a person with a family will usually have more duties – and hence, be able to recover more damages – than a single person with no dependents living on his or her own);
  • The plaintiff’s education and ability to learn new job skills or cross-train into a different position, as this will affect the amount of “lost future earnings” the plaintiff may receive.
  • Contact a Riverside Personal Injury Attorney for Assistance
    Heiting & Irwin is your Riverside personal injury law firm, dedicated to helping you and your family recover the compensation you need following a serious or catastrophic injury accident. Learn how our professional and dedicated legal team can assist you by calling (951) 682-6400 or by completing and submitting our online contact form today.
    Heiting & Irwin 
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    ‹ Blogs HomeMr. Serrano grew up in British Columbia, Canada and moved to California when he was 20. He graduated with honors from California State University Dominguez Hills, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While an undergraduate student, besides many community, sports, and school activities. Mr. Serrano worked in Washington D.C. as a Congressional Intern for a California Congressman. 

    Mr. Serrano was recruited and attended law school on a full scholarship. He received his law degree from the University of La Verne College of Law. While in law school, he was selected to be a member of the moot court honors program and the s

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    CHARLIE CRIST: In 70 days, we want to make Florida Scott-free.
    GWEN IFILL: That was a shot at current Republican Governor Rick Scott, who scored his own big primary win Tuesday.
    GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-Fla.: I cleaned up Charlie Crist’s mess. He left me with a $3.6 billion budget deficit.
    GWEN IFILL: For Crist, the Democratic primary win highlights one of the political world’s more remarkable transformations. In 2008, Crist, then the state’s Republican governor, campaigned for GOP presidential nominee John McCain, even making it onto the short-list of vice presidential prospects.
    But his ties to the Grand Old Party started to fray in 2009, after he welcomed President Obama to the state a little too warmly. By 2010, he’d dropped the Republican label, running for the Senate as an independent. He ultimately lost to Republican Marco Rubio in the general election.
    And, by 2012, the former Republican had become a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention that renominated President Obama. He officially became a Democrat later that year.
    CHARLIE CRIST: I didn’t leave the Republican Party; it left me.
    GWEN IFILL: Then, last year, Crist announced he would run for his old job as a member of his new party. With early polls showing a tight race, the matchup in the Sunshine State is expected to be one of the most expensive and negative of the cycle.
    For more, we are joined by Adam Smith, political editor for The Tampa Bay Times.
    Hi there, Adam.
    So tell us the significance of this big whopping victory last night. It wasn’t just that he beat the primary opponent, but what it says for what happens next.
    ADAM SMITH, Tampa Bay Times: Yes.
    I think a lot of people are wondering Charlie Crist, lifelong Republican, can Democrats really get excited about him?  So, there was some concern from some of his allies that his underdog primary opponent could crack 30, 40 percent, and that would have been a sign of trouble.
    GWEN IFILL: So — but we still don’t know for sure whether Democrats are excited, because we have another test coming up, and turnout has always been a problem.
    ADAM SMITH: Yes, absolutely.
    And, in fact, Democratic turnout in some of the big, big strongholds in Southeast Florida, Miami-Dade, Broward County, was very weak. Historically, in off-year elections, Republicans turn out 5, 6, 7 percent higher than Democrats. So, Charlie Crist has a lot of work to do to mobilize and energize Democrats in the state.
    GWEN IFILL: We just gave a thumbnail sketch of the transformation that Governor, former Governor Crist had made in the past couple of years. And nobody has covered it more closely than you.
    How much of a swing — he says the party left him — how much of a swing from the right to the left have we seen happen with Charlie Crist?
    ADAM SMITH: It really is an only-in-Florida kind of story.
    As governor, he really was a moderate governor, and moderate Republican. Part of the reason he got into so much trouble as the Tea Party rose was because he was reaching out pretty aggressively to Democrats. He was courting the teachers union. He was courting trial lawyers.
    He was doing things on civil rights, so, you know, there are reasons that Democrats can get behind him. But then again, this is a guy that through most of his career has called himself a pro-life, pro-gun, Ronald Reagan Republican.
    GWEN IFILL: So let’s talk about the other candidate who still is a pro-life, pro-gun, Ronald Reagan Republican. And that is Rick Scott, the current incumbent governor, who is very wealthy and has demonstrated he doesn’t mind spending money.
    ADAM SMITH: Yes, he spent almost $80 million of his own money to get elected last time. And the poll numbers consistently show him as one of the very least popular governors in the country. So he should be very vulnerable.
    But this going to be a mind-bogglingly expensive race.
    GWEN IFILL: Well, he’s — if the polls show that he is not that popular, we still have what looks like a neck-and-neck race. What accounts for that?
    ADAM SMITH: Well, we still — Florida is Florida, so it is going to always be tight in these races. And we have already seen Charlie Crist was up double digits about a year ago over Rick Scott. Rick Scott spent almost $30 million already on a lot of negative ads trashing Charlie Crist. Now it looks like a dead-heat race.
    And I think you’re going to see an extremely negative campaign for the next 70 days.
    GWEN IFILL: Can Charlie Crist match Rick Scott’s fund-raising capability, maybe from in state or out of state?
    ADAM SMITH: No. You will see some — you are already seeing a fair amount of out-of-state money. There is a billionaire in California, environmentalist Tom Steyer, that is spending billions of dollars to help Charlie Crist.
    But Democrats can never match Republicans in the state of Florida, and especially they can’t match a guy who at any day could write a $20 million, $30 million, $40 million check.
    GWEN IFILL: You mentioned in your coverage of last night’s election that it was significant that Charlie Crist spent his election night in Fort Lauderdale, not in Saint Petersburg, his hometown. Explain to the rest of the country why that makes a big difference.
    ADAM SMITH: It’s interesting.And it seems as if the Crist campaign really has more of a really let’s jack up the base, let’s really target those infrequent voters that maybe don’t turn out routinely in off-year elections.
    And so they’re looking heavily at Miami-Dade and South Florida for those Democratic voters that don’t usually turn out in non-presidential years.
    GWEN IFILL: It sounds a little bit like what we saw happen in Mississippi with Thad Cochran going up after nontraditional voters.
    But there is another person involved in this race. And that’s — who casts kind of a shadow, and that’s the president of the United States. They’re both in their way running with or against him.
    ADAM SMITH: Yes.
    Last time Rick Scott really ran, the nominee was Alex Sink, a chief financial officer. And Rick Scott really ran almost more against Obama and Obamacare than he did against Alex Sink.
    This year, he hasn’t been running ads against Obama, but that’s clearly part of his thinking. And Charlie Crist, unlike Alex Sink, really is not distancing himself at all. I think he is an Obama person. He campaigned hard for Obama. He spoke at the convention.
    And I think his calculation is, Obama’s approval ratings may be in the low 40s, but among those voters that he needs to get excited and he needs to turn out, the president is still very popular.
    GWEN IFILL: Well, we will all be watching
    The rule of thumb has usually been where I am, the I-4 Corridor, is your sort of centrist — Central Florida swing vote area. And that is where e

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