CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Poll: Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of September

By Todd Roberson on 09/22/2011 @ 11:48 PM

Tags: Frivolous Lawsuits

Please take a look at Facesoflawsuitabuse.org's September nominees for "Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month". Your choices this month are:

  • Young adults sue mother for sending cards without gifts and playing favorites
  • Xbox Live user claims Microsoft owes him $500 billion for not responding to his legal notice
  • Fired after boasting about his "superior legal mind," rookie lawyer sues New York firm for $77 million
  • Woman struck by fan-thrown football at training camp sues team
  • Plaintiff who filed over 160 ADA lawsuits caught on tape hiking despite supposed end-stage emphysema

Click here to vote! Good luck deciding!

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Expansion of 9-1-1 Liability Protection Signed into Law

By Todd Roberson on 09/21/2011 @ 11:48 PM

Tags: Legislature

We are pleased to announce that Assembly Bill 1074, authored by Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles), was signed into law today by Governor Brown. CJAC has supported the bill since its introduction this year, as it would provide non-traditional communication providers the same civil liability protection given to traditional telephone companies in providing 9-1-1 support services. Current law protects phone companies from ordinary negligence claims when providing service for 9-1-1 calls originating from landlines, but 9-1-1 calls made through the Internet or digital technology do not have the same civil liability protections.

AB 1074 will help encourage the use and development of new technology that could help save lives. According to this LA Times article, there was a 28% increase in 9-1-1 calls between 2007 and 2010, and as many as 5% were not answered in a timely manner. New technologies have changed how the public accesses law enforcement and measures like this provide a common sense way of facilitating better rescue services.

Click here to see the Governor's legislative update. Kudos to the Legislature and Governor Brown for enacting AB 1074!

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CJAC ADA Seminars Can Provide Valuable Guidance for Small Businesses

By Todd Roberson on 09/21/2011 @ 12:00 PM

Tags: Americans with Disabilities Act

Yesterday CJAC President Kim Stone continued our Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) seminars, this one hosted by State Senator Joel Anderson and the Poway, CA Chamber of Commerce. CJAC has held a number of seminars in recent years across California to help small business owners understand the importance of complying with ADA to avoid a costly lawsuit. The ADA rules can get very complicated and it can be difficult to know if you're in compliance. When you combine that with the fact that there are serial plaintiffs out there, as we often point out, abusing the law to force settlement payments regardless of whether the fixes are made, business owners must be diligent when it comes to disabled access.

While CJAC seminars are educational only, not specific legal advice, they help small business owners become more familiar with the law and what's at stake. The only sure-fire way to avoid a lawsuit is to become fully ADA-compliant, and there is still a great deal of education needed on how to accomplish that.

If you'd like to schedule an ADA seminar in your area, contact our staff member Marie Ortega at mortega@cjac.org or 916-443-4900.

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More on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

By Todd Roberson on 09/20/2011 @ 11:48 PM

Tags: Legal climate, Legal reform

Recently we blogged (see here) about the need for reforming the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). We'd like to share an editorial written by The Economist magazine last week that also points out the flaws in the FCPA and how Britain was able to craft a law that works better. In Britain, companies can avoid the tough penalties if there is an anti-bribery policy in place that a rogue or misguided employee did not follow. The Economist acknowledges that because so few FCPA cases have gone to trial, judges haven't been able to provide guidance on what the confusing law means. So the FCPA "means whatever an aggressive prosecutor says it does." Read the editorial here.

FCPA enforcement actions and fines are at an all-time high since the law took effect in 1977. The fight in Washington D.C. over reform continues to heat up. Read the latest in this Reuters article from last week on the prospects for legislation this year.

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Suit against White Castle: Obese customers can't fit into the booths

By Todd Roberson on 09/19/2011 @ 11:00 AM

Tags: Americans with Disabilities Act, Frivolous Lawsuits

Check out this post on the San Francisco Chronicle's Hot Topics blog: White Castle sued by overweight burger-lover. An obese New Yorker has claimed that his civil rights have been violated because he cannot fit into the booths at White Castle restaurants. We're going to have to put this one in the "excessive and unwarranted" category...

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