Thursday, September 27, 2007

When your boss crosses the line

Unite Against Employment Abuses by Employers

How do you know your employer is taking advantage or abusing you?

A great business philosopher once said that “a young man's most profitable investment is to give his best to his employer.” However, this philosophy only holds true if its reverse is also true. That is, every employer’s profitable investment lies in how decent he treats his employees.

Employer and employees must work together in order to achieve their goals. While the employment law provides ample protection for both employer and employee against violations and abuses, the labor laws slightly tilt in favor of the employees in the rank-and-file status.

Employer abuse and violations of the law is a common grievance among the workers. It is not always easy to identify if a certain act or omission constitutes an actionable wrong. The most common and popular issues in the workplace are wage and work-hour claims, workplace safety, discrimination, sexual harassment, misclassification and unpaid overtime.

Employer-employee disputes are always unpleasant affairs. Employers always have an advantage against their employees. This is why the Labor laws have definite provisions to protect the rights of workers against abusive management of their employers.

The California Labor Code contains provisions that when breached by an employer, is considered serious. Here are some of the common provisions being violated by employers in California:

o The minimum wage must be strictly observed.

o The law requires overtime after 8 hours a day or a total of 40 hours in a week.

o Meal periods must be provided. According to related laws, an employer cannot make an employee work for more than five hours without a meal break of even less than 30 minutes. An employee found to be without this privilege is entitled to recover extra pay from the employer.

o Tips given to employees must be paid to them.

o Reimbursement of all the necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee directly related to the discharge of legitimate duties.

o Printing all required information in the paycheck stub of an employee.

Also, under the California Labor Code, here are some of the things an employer cannot do:

o Require employees to join or not join a union.

o Retaliate against an employee for lawful conduct outside of work or for filing a labor complaint.

o Knowingly make false statements to convince a person to relocate for work.

o Require employees to undergo a polygraph (lie detector) test, or to sign a statement known to be prohibited by law, or inquire about arrests that did not result in convictions.

o Require a fee to process application for employment.

Most of the time, employees are unaware of their rights against abusive misdemeanors, subtle or obvious, committed by their employers. Even when they realize that they have been wronged by their bosses, still the employees do not have an idea on how to assert their right against such abuses.

It is also advisable to consult an labor or employment lawyer. Sometimes the situation is so complicated that solving it on your own might prove more harmful.

Sometimes, forming a union that will look after rights of the workers is a good idea. It organizes the sentiments of the whole workforce and let the management feel the objections.

The most important part of this exercise is for employees to know their rights against abuses by the employer. It is not always safe to stay in the sidelines while the boss tramples on your rights. Playing an active role in the workplace for the advancement of your rights is just as important as getting the job done.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pictures are Credible Evidences in a Litigation Process

Credible evidences are very vital in any lawsuit. This is the main reason why the majority of litigation attorneys in California give much of their attention and efforts in acquiring valuable documents and statements that will definitely increase the merits of their client’s particular case.
However, this task of gathering evidences should not solely be the burden of your attorney. For an instance, if you have been involved in a road accident, whether as a motorist or just an innocent pedestrian, it would be helpful in your case if you know how to collect evidences immediately after the incident.
In most cases, the most reliable and acceptable proof that a victim may gather are pictures taken immediately after the of road accident. These pictures, if taken clearly and appropriately, may be accepted in courts in order to corroborate or confirm that a certain statement of the victim or other witnesses is indeed factual. Thus, it is also advisable to ready a camera, or better, a handy video recorder.
Here are some tips on what to capture in a car accident scene:
- All the angles of your car and not only on the damaged area
- If still possible, take some pictures of the actual crash position
- The surrounding area wherein the accident took place – it would be better if you can capture the weather conditions and other things that would verify the time of occurrence
- The visible injuries such as bruises and cuts that you and your passengers have incurred in the crash
- Street signs and warnings, which the other party might have violated
- Other trivial matters that you believe might be of great help in your case
Nevertheless, if the injuries that you have sustained from the accident prevented you from taking some pictures, the least thing that you can do is to ask someone whom you can trust to do this task for you. Yet, you may also rely on the pictures taken by the police authorities who responded to the incident.

Personal Injury Claims; It Takes Two to Tango

Maybe you are wondering why some injury claims take a lot of time to be settled. There are even many situations wherein a lawsuit was denied due to lack of evidences and other technicalities. Why then, do these things happen?
For all we know, like in any other case litigation, personal injury claims should not be burdened alone by our injury attorney. In fact, even the most competent and highly skilled legal counsel would admit that they could not handle a lawsuit without the full cooperation and support coming from their clients. Thus, if you wish for a positive result on your case, if you want to come up with the biggest recoveries for your incurred injuries, it would be better to consider the following:
- Discuss with your injury attorney all the details of your case. Never hide any information from him even if you think that it would not do anything good to your case. In many occurrences, the defendant’s counsel knows about these weak points of the case. Hence, if you fail to divulge these things to your attorney, it might be used against you by the other party and it might be too late for your counsel to develop a strategy to resolve this problem.
- Have constant communication with your attorney. You must be well informed about the status of your case. Never allow your legal counsel to handle your case by himself. It is your right to know what the recent developments on your lawsuit are since you are considered as his boss in this legal undertaking.
- Follow your attorney’s advice and instructions. Usually, credible and competent legal counsels teach their clients on how to deal with their cases. They would also teach you how to answer questions that would be raised by the other party when the trial takes place.
- Trust your attorney. If you have any doubts on his capability, tell him immediately and let him explain his side. Injury attorneys have their own way of handling their cases, which you may not even be aware of.

Be Wise Enough to Hire the Right Legal Services

A particular case requires a particular course of action. But still, many legal aid seekers in Los Angeles are not quite aware of this fact. Consequently, they do not end up acquiring the right lawyer to handle their case. Hence, I do recommend for you to have a closer look on how to hire the appropriate LA Legal Services for your legal concerns.
- Determine exactly what your problem is. It would be unwise to hire a lawyer who practices business law even if you want to file an injury due to an accident involvement. Precisely, you have to know what your case is first before calling a law firm for consultation.
- Not all lawyers are competent enough to handle a particular case even they claim of being so. Have time to examine the professional backgrounds of your preferred lawyer. See their record of achievements and winnings and compare them with other legal professionals. Do not be fooled by some lawyers who boast of their false accomplishments. It is a wise decision to be engaged with the top trial lawyers in Los Angeles.
- If you have time, have a conversation with their former clients and ask them how this particular lawyer or law firm has managed their case. Are they contented with the results of their cases? Did they encounter any problem in dealing with their lawyer? How about the fees; was it worth it? Ask everything that would come to your mind. This would greatly help you to determine if that lawyer is truly for your case.
- Check with the California Bar Association if your lawyer is included on their list of qualified legal professionals. There are some instances that a deemed to be lawyer has no license to impart his legal services. The California Bar Association has the authority to allow law graduates to perform their jobs to serve the people through their understanding of the law and legal proceedings.
Finally, the outcome of your case primarily depends on the hands of your lawyer. If you fail to hire the suitable one, then you might just lose your money or even lose the chance to obtain justice.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Running a Law Firm is Not an Easy Task

My father once asked me; “If I would invest all my money to put up a law firm under your name at this very moment, how well then could you manage your own firm?” I replied; “Certainly, I wish to have my own firm but definitely not now… I do know that managing a law firm in Los Angeles County requires a deep sense of managerial skills aside from being a good and reputable lawyer.”
After that brief conversation with my father, I have made a short study on how to be a successful law firm manager.
A law firm should have these elements in order to prosper in business:
- A clear area of specialization
A team of credible and effective lawyers to provide their services to the clients
A notable record of winnings and case resolutions
A systematic approach in giving rewards to its employees who perform well on their jobs
An allocated budget to be used in the further skills enhancement of the employees including the lawyers
A clear vision about the firm’s future
Law firms should have a good management structure and proper communications channel
All the individuals involved in a law firm should maintain a harmonious relationship. People in the top post should know how to manage their subordinates as well as to motivate them in working hard for a common goal. This will speed up all the process of resolving a case brought to them and makes everybody a productive part of the firm.
A viable marketing plan is also vital so that clients will keep on coming that may result to the expansion of the law firm.
Like in any other type of businesses, having a good marketing strategy will boost a law firm’s potentials. Today, most law firms invest on their own websites to cope up with changing world. It would also be a positive move to be engaged in community projects and legal associations to make your firm gain respect and decent reputation. Thus, it would help in increasing your credibility that is considered very important in this line of business.
Get things done as planned
Legal professionals should do their best to keep their promises to their clients. Although no one can assure his or her clients of winning a case, it is still important to stick with the designed plan of action to come up with a good result.
Offer the best payment scheme for your clients
For a law firm that has just started its operations, it is recommendable to offer the cheapest cost of legal services. As time goes by and the firm has already established a reliable name, it can now increase their rates depending on how successful they have been in handling their cases.

Auto Accident Lawyers to Act as Mediators

Majority of auto accident victims in California have mistaken belief that legal counsels only devote their time on defending their clients’ cases in court battles. In reality, there also auto accident lawyers in California who engage themselves in mediation practices wherein both parties – the plaintiff and the defendant – agree to enter into an alternative dispute resolution outside the usual court proceedings.
The process of mediation may start by informing the accused party of a certain complaint that resulted from the auto accident. If a positive settlement was not accomplished through a private negotiation, they may opt to select a third party to help them resolve the issue and reach an agreeable settlement for both parties.
In mediation, the agreement may be reached depending on the determination of both parties rather than the imposition or judgment of a third party or mediator. Hence, this legal exercise may benefit them since it may lessen their possible expenses in going through time-consuming court trials.
The mediator who will be agreed upon should be impartial and competent enough to weigh all the evidences brought up before giving his recommendations regarding the disputed matters. He also aid the disputants determine, clarify and deliberate on the events that have caused their arguments. Yet, he does not have the authority to compel both parties to go along with his recommendation.
In addition, a mediator has the responsibility to explain to them how other similar cases have been settled, giving both parties an idea of the probable scenario if they fail to come up with an agreement out of court. Thus, he should know how to utilize the suitable techniques that may apply in every particular case assigned to him. For that, many auto accident lawyers may serve as good mediators in an auto accident dispute or case.
However, mediation is an informal legal process that is also non-binding. This means that if in case the plaintiff involved in the negotiation may still file a lawsuit in court if he does not agree with the recommendation of the mediator.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Do You Think Airbags Have Any Importance?

I am deeply pushed to make a comment on a question raised in an article about the importance of airbags in our automobiles. It is said here that airbags intended to save lives. However, I think the author has some uncertainty on its real value and effectiveness.
You see, the automobile accident fatalities in the U.S. are definitely increasing in number for several reasons. In California alone, an average of 4,200 casualties resulted from these accidents; this does not include the number of individuals who suffered from injuries. This fact compels the government to make their move to at least lessen if not completely prevent its occurrences. Various legislation regarding road safety, such as the seatbelt law, have been enacted as a result.
I think it is a great move for car manufacturers to put as many safety functions as they can in our vehicles. The more the safety features, the lesser chances that we can incur serious injuries in case of accidents. Am I right? In fact, it is proven that these features have been effective in many accident occurrences all over the country.
Hence, the question on whether airbags, which are placed on our car’s steering wheel, contribute on our protection should not be the real issue. The real problem that we need to address is on how to strictly implement the traffic rules and not the automobile design itself. Besides, airbags only pop out in case of collisions so it should not cause any effects on our “chest”. We should focus more on how to protect ourselves on those unruly motorists rather than to have sleeker car models. That is, only if we value our lives more than our material possessions.
So if you have plans to buy an automobile, aside from your financial constraints, try to consider first its safety features above all. Remember that your safety should always be on top.

Everyone’s Chase for DUI Drivers

Another DUI driving chase happened last week in Los Angeles that resulted to severe injury of a victim. The police authority has run after a driver of an SUV who was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. However, the two-minute trail ended up in a collision after the suspect beat the red light. Full story can be found at
The increase in number of these roadway incidents is very much alarming. More and more people have been seriously injured or even died due to these illicit acts done by whom they call as “substance addicts.” The statistics illustrate that two individuals die every hour because of a DUI driving in Los Angeles and 51% percent of these occur on weekends.
Meanwhile, I must say that the government should strictly implement the laws on DUI driving to deter or at least lessen the amount of damages and number of casualties it brings. Better yet, the Congress should make a deeper look on laws that affect this issue and ratify stricter punishments for those who will defy these law statutes.
For the poor victims, I do recommend that you consult your Los Angeles Vehicle accident lawyer and ask how you may be able to recover compensation for your incurred injuries. File your charges against the wrongdoer and do not let him get away from his offense. Many times, such moves serve as a deterrent to many wrongdoing and law violations.
Finally, for the liquor drinkers around, be more responsible. Do allow alcohol to control your system. Think of the harms that you may cause if you still drive under the influence of liquor or drugs. Maybe, it is better to rest a bit before going home after a night out or yet, ask anyone who still has the capacity to drive you home if you think you cannot.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Another Round of SUV Recalls Issued by Chrysler and Honda

It is not new to many of us that auto accidents are the leading causes of injuries and fatalities not only in the State of California but also across the U.S. This is why most of the car manufacturers are making their move to ensure the quality of their products. However, there are instances wherein these car companies failed to notice some defects on their produced vehicles, the main reason why automobile recalls happen every now and then.
Recently, Chrysler and Honda issued recalls on their cars and SUV’s, which were found to have defects that could cause severe accidents, injuries and fatalities. Source:
Chrysler, a known car manufacturer, is withdrawing at least 300,000 of their SUVs in the market. This is due to the deficiency on its break mechanism that happens during uphill driving. The recall also includes cars with door latch and lock problems.
On the other hand, Honda announced a recall on their 2006 and 2007 model Civics because of the two complaints that they have received. These complaints stated that these car models have some problems on its wheels that might also be a possible reason for a tragic accident. The car company also reiterated that they are planning to notify the owners of these vehicles and provide free replacements on the defective parts this week.
Meanwhile, I may say that these recalls made by the car manufacturers are being done not only to protect their clients but also to protect themselves. According to the strict liability statute of the law, the manufacturers could be held responsible for whatever damages or harm that their customers have incurred due to the defects on their products.
As for those who have been involved an auto accident due to defective cars, I do advise you to consult your most trusted CA personal injury lawyer for proper guidance and representation in filing charges against the car manufacturer. This is if you want to recover damages for your incurred injuries

Gear Up and Roll Over

When I was a kid, my mom always told me to gear up properly if I want to ride my bike. Never did she permit me to travel across the highways along with those cars and other massive vehicles such as trucks. I found it annoying then… but that was more than twenty years ago when I have not yet completely understand the dangers of biking without the safety gears.
Now that I am already a California court lawyer who deals with various cases of personal injuries that involve road accidents, I am very much thankful that I feared my mom’s punishment for if not I may already be buried underneath the ground.
As a lawyer, I do believe that wearing safety stuffs to protect you from possible accident when biking is necessary. That is… even these gears are sometime irritating to wear. Unfortunately, more and more severely injured victims of motorcycle accidents are being rushed in hospitals but failed to escape from death. Most of them should have lived if only they have performed a strict precaution and wore safety gears like a helmet.
Up to this very moment, I am an avid motorcyclist. I enjoy the freedom that I feel whenever I am riding “Sophia” my big bike. However, I still fear the fact that I am still prone to accidents. Well, the least thing that I could do is to remember my mom’s words of warning – gear up properly and never ride on highways.
If may just ask, do you think it is disgusting for a lawyer like me to suffer an injury in a motorcycle crash? Who would handle my case then?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Accident Involvement by a Minor

My fellow California accident lawyer once told me in our previous conversation that he is wondering why he got hooked in providing legal services to child victims of accidents. For such, he further said that he is planning to form a group of lawyers advocating the cause of protecting the rights of these young sufferers.
Primarily, minors are not allowed by the law to file their own accident claims in California practically because they are presumed not having the proper insights yet to undergo any legal obstacle. Hence, their parents commonly do the task of making such actions for them. However, in the absence of their parents, a court duly appointed guardian may become a substitute to represent their interest.
In common, accident claims are bound by the statutes of limitation (SOL), but not in the cases wherein minors are involved. In many states in the U.S., children victims are given longer period to file their complaints. This is maybe because they will be dealing with a more complicated legal procedure.

In some states, these minors are given much time until they have reached the legal age of 18 before they may file their own personal injury lawsuits. For an instance, if a 10-year-old boy has sustained an injury from a car accident, the SOL may be suspended by the court and have the normal deadline for filing his case be set prior to his 18th birth date.
Meanwhile, if a minor’s lawsuit has succeeded, it is very usual that his recoveries will be put in a trust fund named after him. He may only utilize this money only after he turned 18 yrs. old or as advised by the court that handled his case.
Finally, I should commend my comrade for advocating the cause of child accident victims. Many other legal professionals should follow his steps, willing to devote some of their time in protecting the rights of children without any monetary considerations.

At Last, the Congress Makes their Move on Mattel Issue

It is indeed a great decision for our legislators to have a closer look on what is really going on in the Mattel toy recalls issue. According to the recent news report that I have read on the internet (, Mattel Inc.’s Chief Executive Robert Eckert will present himself in both houses of the U.S. Congress for inquiries regarding the matter. The separate Congressional hearings are set to take place in the next two weeks after the third major toy recall was ordered by Mattel last September 4.
Mattel Inc., the largest toy producer in the world, has made three toy recalls in a little over one month. This is due to a test result that their Chinese supplier has been using undue amount of lead in their paints to cover their toys. However, there were no reported incidents of poisoning yet. Still, many speculated that if this thing was not discovered, it would cause numerous personal injuries leaving Mattel having to face a lot if personal injury claims filed against them.
In my opinion, the Congress should have taken action as early as the first outburst of complaints and uncertainties from the consumers. The customers of Mattel should know the real background of this story because it involves the safety of children. Even more, our legislators should castigate the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is the government agency authorized to oversee product safety and recalls.
As for Mattel, this should serve as a lesson for them to be more cautious in entering into deals. Cheaper cost of toy production is acceptable only if it does not compromise the safety of our people. Public health and security are more important than gaining more income.
Finally, I think that this should be a wake up call for our leaders to limit or even cease our products importation coming from China. Maybe then, it would create an impact for them to be stricter in implementing laws on product safety and liability.