Archive for News

Minneapolis Settles Case Involving Derek Chauvin

Recent news out of Minneapolis has sent shockwaves across the nation, as city council members unanimously agreed to settle two lawsuits for a collective $9 million. John Pope and Zoya Code were both subjected to similar police brutality by ex-officer Derek Chauvin before he took George Floyd’s life in 2020.

Pope’s incident with Chauvin dates back to September 2017, when he was called upon by law enforcement after an alleged domestic dispute at his residence. His mother had accused him of physically assaulting her over unplugging phone chargers from the wall – something Pope claimed self-defense against.

Despite this, Chauvin proceeded to hit Pope on the head with a metal flashlight and strangle him until unconsciousness set in; then keeping him handcuffed down on the floor with his knee pressed into Pope’s neck and upper back for more than fifteen minutes despite multiple other officers witnessing it all take place. Paramedics eventually arrived soon thereafter, noting that stitches would be necessary due to their observation of the injury inflicted during this attack – one which should have never taken place in the first place.

In June 2017, Zoya Code’s mother contacted the police accusing her of strangling her with an extension cord. When Officer Chauvin arrived at their home, he witnessed Code walking past him and proceeded to engage in a struggle with two other officers – eventually resulting in her being handcuffed “without incident”. However, this did not stop Chauvin from then slamming her head into the ground and placing his knee on the back of her neck while simultaneously using a hobble device on Code, which was later banned by Minneapolis Police Department. Although she was charged with domestic assault it was dropped eventually.

The injustices inflicted upon both Pope and Code through these incidents demonstrate how Derek Chauvin’s murderous act against George Floyd represents more than just one isolated instance; instead, it unveils systemic racism within law enforcement as well as excessive force often used towards Black individuals, which has devastating long-term effects for them and their communities alike.

This is reflected in Minneapolis’ recognition of said wrongdoings by offering substantial settlements to both victims as further evidence that there needs to be greater reform when it comes to police accountability.

Covid-19 Impact on Family Law

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many areas of law, including family law. From changes in court procedures to an increase in virtual hearings, the pandemic has brought about a number of changes to the way family law cases are handled. In this article, we will explore some of the key ways that family law has changed since COVID-19.

Virtual Hearings and Mediation

One of the most significant changes to family law since COVID-19 has been the shift to virtual hearings and mediation. In-person court appearances and mediation sessions have been replaced with online video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Skype. This has allowed for the continuation of legal proceedings while maintaining social distancing and reducing the risk of exposure to the virus.

Remote hearings and mediation sessions have also allowed for greater flexibility in scheduling, which can be particularly helpful for families who are juggling work and childcare responsibilities while also navigating a family law dispute.

Increased Focus on Child Custody and Support

The pandemic has also brought about an increased focus on child custody and support issues. With the closure of schools and daycares, many parents have found themselves in a challenging situation when it comes to balancing work and childcare responsibilities. This has led to an increase in requests for modifications to child custody and support orders.

In response to these challenges, many courts have been issuing temporary orders that take into account the unique circumstances of the pandemic. For example, some courts have temporarily modified child custody arrangements to allow for more flexibility in parenting time, while others have adjusted child support orders to reflect changes in income due to job loss or furloughs.

Delays in Court Proceedings

Despite the shift to virtual hearings, the pandemic has also caused delays in family law proceedings. Court closures and restrictions on in-person hearings have led to a backlog of cases, which has resulted in longer wait times for hearings and trials.

This has been particularly challenging for families who are facing urgent issues such as domestic violence or child abuse. Some courts have responded to these concerns by prioritizing emergency hearings and providing additional resources and support for families in crisis.

New Considerations in Divorce and Separation

Finally, the pandemic has brought about new considerations in divorce and separation cases. With the economic impact of the pandemic, many couples have found themselves facing financial challenges that can complicate the process of dividing assets and determining spousal support.

Additionally, the pandemic has brought about new considerations when it comes to child custody and visitation. For example, if one parent is a healthcare worker or essential employee, this may impact their ability to provide care for their child during the pandemic.

In response to these challenges, some courts have been more lenient when it comes to modifying divorce and separation agreements to reflect changes in financial or childcare circumstances.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on family law. From the shift to virtual hearings to new considerations in child custody and support, the pandemic has brought about a number of changes to the way family law cases are handled. As the pandemic continues, it is likely that we will see additional changes and adaptations to the legal system in order to better serve families during these challenging times.


Injured, Don’t Navigate The Complex Legal System Alone

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person or party, hiring a personal injury lawyer can be extremely beneficial. Here are some of the main benefits of having a personal injury lawyer:

  1. Legal Knowledge: A personal injury lawyer has specialized knowledge and expertise in the field of personal injury law. They will understand the relevant laws and regulations and can help you navigate the complex legal system.
  2. Protect your rights: Your lawyer will work to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They will handle negotiations with insurance companies and can represent you in court if necessary.
  3. Maximize Compensation: Personal injury lawyers will work hard to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. They will calculate your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses, to determine the value of your case.
  4. Evidence: Your lawyer will gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf. They will work with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and other relevant parties to help prove your case.
  5. Experience: Personal injury lawyers have experience dealing with insurance companies and other parties involved in personal injury cases. They know the tactics used by insurance companies to minimize settlements and can use this knowledge to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
  6. Save Time and Reduce Stress: Hiring a personal injury lawyer can save you time and reduce stress during a difficult time. Your lawyer will handle all aspects of your case, including negotiations with insurance companies, filing paperwork, and representing you in court if necessary.
  7. Contingency Fee: Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if you receive a settlement or verdict in your favor. This can be beneficial because it means that your lawyer has an incentive to work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

In summary, hiring a personal injury lawyer can be extremely beneficial if you have been injured due to the negligence of another person or party. They will protect your rights, maximize your compensation, and help you navigate the complex legal system. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can also save you time and reduce stress during a difficult time.

Children Are Often The Center of Family Law Matters

Family law is an area of law that deals with family-related issues and relationships, including marriage, divorce, child custody, and child support. Children are often at the center of family law matters, and their interests and well-being are critical considerations. Here are some ways in which children benefit from family law, and how their rights are protected:

  1. Protection from Abuse and Neglect: One of the most important ways that children benefit from family law is by being protected from abuse and neglect. Family law courts have the power to intervene in cases where children are at risk of harm and to take steps to ensure their safety.
  2. Child Custody and Visitation: In cases of divorce or separation, family law courts determine child custody and visitation arrangements. These decisions are made based on the best interests of the child, and they aim to ensure that children have regular and meaningful contact with both parents.
  3. Child Support: Family law also deals with child support issues. Parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially, and family law courts can order child support payments to ensure that children’s needs are met.
  4. Adoption: Family law also governs the adoption process, which can provide a stable and loving home for children who may not have one. Adoption can provide children with a sense of permanency and security.
  5. Education and Healthcare: Family law also deals with issues related to children’s education and healthcare. For example, family law courts can order parents to provide healthcare insurance for their children or make decisions about the children’s education.
  6. Voice in the Process: Family law also provides children with a voice in the legal process. Children who are old enough and mature enough can express their preferences about custody and visitation arrangements, and their views are taken into consideration by family law courts.
  7. Protection of Privacy: Finally, family law also protects children’s privacy rights. Family law courts can issue orders to protect children’s personal information, such as their names, addresses, and school information, from being disclosed in court proceedings.

In conclusion, family law plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of children. It ensures that children are protected from abuse and neglect, and it provides them with a voice in the legal process. Family law also governs child custody, visitation, and support, as well as adoption and education and healthcare issues. By ensuring that children’s needs are met, family law helps to ensure that they have the opportunity to grow up in safe and nurturing environments.

What To Know About Reporting Car Accidents in Washington State

It is critical for all drivers in the local area to put safety at the top of their priority list when they get behind the wheel of a car. Sadly, even if someone does everything correctly, a car accident can happen at any time. There are a lot of emotions that go through people’s minds in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, but it is important for them to think carefully about the most important steps they need to take.

First, no matter how minor the car accident may seem, it is important for people to call 911 and ask for the authorities to come to the scene of the accident. Individuals should remain at the scene of the accident until police officers tell them it is okay to leave, and everybody should get a copy of the accident report before leaving. If there is no accident report, it would be like the collision never even happened.

Drivers are required to carry a minimum level of car insurance to operate a motor vehicle. If they are blamed for the accident, their insurance policy will be responsible for covering the cost of property damage and any medical expenses. On the other hand, there are some situations where the insurance policy may not have enough coverage to pay for all property damage and medical bills. In this case, drivers may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Washington state, individuals have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies do not necessarily have a statute of limitations, but drivers will have more success if they file an insurance claim as quickly as possible.

Because there are a lot of moving parts following a motor vehicle collision, it is critical for drivers to reach out to a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. Drivers should focus all of their attention on their medical recovery, but these legal issues are also important. Drivers will also have a better opportunity for a favorable settlement if they allow a car accident lawyer to negotiate on their behalf. For these reasons, it is important for drivers to not only seek medical care but also contact an auto accident attorney as quickly as possible.

Lawsuit Filed Against FDA Over Strengthened Restrictions on Access To Mifepristone

A woman’s right to an abortion has been under fire during the year, particularly in the wake of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court. Now, many people, including doctors and government officials, are left in purgatory, wondering what will happen next. Now, it appears that the Food and Drug Administration is in the same position, as they have placed significant prescriptions on a drug called mifepristone, which is closely tied to abortions.

In the wake of these regulations, more than a dozen state attorneys general have filed lawsuits against the FDA, and one of those is Bob Ferguson, the Attorney General in the state of Washington. Mifepristone is one of a handful of drugs that have had additional restrictions placed on them during the past few months.

The plaintiffs in the case are also not shy about the fact that it is targeting a case that has gone before a Texas judge. His ruling could effectively cut off access to the drug across the country, and the lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs is intended to be a countermeasure against that.

Because some states are changing their laws to be extremely restrictive when it comes to a woman’s right to get an abortion, these states may also ban medications, such as mifepristone, that make it possible for a woman to abort a pregnancy just a few weeks into it. This could almost entirely cut off women in some states from access to safe measures for an abortion, and it could lead to women engaging in even riskier options in an effort to end an unwanted pregnancy. While women in these states may be able to order mifepristone for now, the goal of some states is to cut them off from this medication entirely.

This lawsuit could change that. They are claiming that the regulations and restrictions are unnecessary, as there are so plenty of states where women can order this drug and get an abortion legally. It could be a safeguard for women in other states that may not otherwise have any other options that they would like an abortion. It remains to be seen how this case is going to play out.

Hunting Advocacy Group Files Lawsuit Targeting Wildlife Commissions, Alleging a Violation of the Rules

There have been clashes between hunters and wildlife groups over the past few years, and now, it appears that a group that advocates for hunters is trying to kick a wildlife commissioner off the board in the state of Washington. A lawsuit has been filed by the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation. The lawsuit alleges that Lorna Smith, who is the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioner, is actually serving in two public roles. The group states that this is a flagrant violation of rules in the state of Washington. The group is claiming that Smith is also serving as a part of the Jefferson County Planning Commission while serving as the Governor of the wildlife commission stated above.

The group states that Smith has an extremist view when it comes to fish and wildlife management, and they say that this view runs counterintuitive to the model of Wildlife Conservation in the country. For example, the group claims that Smith was the main force behind the cancellation of a black bear hunt that was supposed to take place in the spring. The continues to state that Smith’s initiatives have been destabilizing traditional approaches to wildlife management.

On the other hand, the group appears to overlook the fact that another wildlife commissioner, Molly Linville, also serves on two boards. She is a member of a county planning board and is a member of a school board in a rural area. She claims that it is not a conflict of interest, but it could still be construed as a violation of the rules in the jurisdiction.

It remains to be seen how this lawsuit is going to play out, and it appears to be a question of whether the rules have to be adhered to in accordance with the letter of the law or the spirit of the law instead. The group has labeled the government a cabal, but their true interests will be borne out as the case proceeds before the court. The group added that this is only the first of many actions that they plan to take in an effort to protect their rights and what they perceive as traditional wildlife management.

Baby Formula Foodborne Ilness Outbreak Leads to DOJ Investigation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (a.k.a. FDA) has recently issued a Call-to-Action regarding a Cronobacter outbreak from contaminated powdered baby formula. This official government notice was aimed at baby formula distributors, importers/exporters, and retailers. It was designed to create a unified effort to prevent future outbreaks of Cronobacter, which is a naturally occurring germ with the potential to cause distress, sickness, and even death for some infants if ingested.

The Food and Drug Administration has provided baby formula companies with various steps/suggestions to help prevent future Cronobacter illness outbreaks. For example, recommendations include ways to environmentally control water in dry production areas – making it difficult for pathogens to invade sanitary and hygienic manufacturing conditions and environments.

The Backstory

The Food and Drug Administration’s newly revised strategies directly resulted from reported infant illnesses that occurred at the end of 2021 and into the beginning of 2022. At that time, the Food and Drug Administration’s investigative efforts determined that the infant illnesses were sourced from an Abbott Lab manufacturing facility in Sturgis, MI.

Abbott Laboratories, the largest supplier in the U.S. of baby formula, was required to recall several of the company’s popular infant formulas. And the company’s Sturgis facility was temporarily shut down in 2022 after it was discovered that the facility had failed to comply with sanitary protocols and conditions.

Side Effects of the Infant Formula Recall/Plant Shut-down.

As one would expect (and the FDA acknowledges in its Call-to-Action), reducing the production of a popular infant formula eventually led to a nationwide shortage of infant formula in 2022. The FDA also admitted its own shortcomings in response to the entire situation.

Recently, it was disclosed that at the end of 2022, the Western District of Michigan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office had begun a criminal investigation into Abbott’s infant formula manufacturing processes.

The Takeaway

The Food and Drug Administration reminds manufacturers and distributors of powdered infant formula that they continue to face more than Cronobacter risks. They must also identify and control other reasonably foreseeable biological hazards, like Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum.

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davidson Sued Hyundai and Kia

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davidson filed a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia. In this lawsuit, Davidson alleged that Hyundai’s and Kia’s failed to install anti-theft technology in some of their vehicles. Davidson’s allegation goes on to assert that the failures of these two car manufacturers to do so was a contributing factor in a very significant increase in the number of car thefts. A release from the city of Seattle states that car thefts involving Hyundai and Kia cars increased by a total of 503% for Hyundai cars and 363% for Kia cars.

Davidson’s lawsuit makes the allegation that both Hyundai and Kia were aware of public safety risks resulting from increased theft of their vehicles and that neither Hyundai nor Kia took meaningful action to address this issue. According to an insurance group statement in September, these Kia and Hyundai cars are stolen almost twice as often as most other cars because their keys do not have computer chips used in theft ‘immobilizer’ systems. Instructional videos shared on social media spread this information to more people. Simply put, the lack of these computer chips makes it much easier to steal these Hyundai and Kia cars.

Data from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that the theft rate for Kia and Hyundai vehicles without immobilizers was 2.18 per 1,000 insured vehicle years. The theft rate for the remainder of the auto industry was 1.21. An insured vehicle year means one vehicle that is insured for one year. The Institute analyzed 2021 vehicle theft claims and shared its findings on January 21st, 2022.

Two drivers, Mike Engelhart and Phaedra Harmon, say that their vehicles were stolen using the vulnerability that these Kia and Hyundai vehicles have due to a lack of a computer chip for a theft immobilizer system. “…They smashed my screen, they carved in the back of my seat, they took a knife to the roof of my car…,” Harmon said. Engelhart also said that he discovered that the issue was quite common when he reported the vehicle theft. Kia and Hyundai both shared statements in response to the lawsuit filed on January 25th, 2022. These vulnerabilities are something to consider when purchasing vehicles from either Hyundai or Kia.

Meta Is the Latest Company To Cut Its Workforce

With a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the economy, many companies, particularly those in the tech sector, have been trying to reduce their overhead expenses. Now, it appears that Meta, the company that most people know as Facebook, is joining this group. Recently, Meta announced that it was undergoing a restructuring, and it was cutting 10,000 jobs in the process. In addition, the company announced that 5,000 vacancies that had not yet been filled would remain unfilled. This follows a round of cuts that took place in November, where the company laid off approximately 11,000 people. In total, it is believed that these layoffs represent somewhere between 15 and 25 percent of the company.

In filings with the SEC, the company announced that it had lowered its expenses from approximately $92 billion to approximately $86 billion. Shares of the company’s stock rose more than five percent in response to the news. Zuckerberg said that this further proves that the company is dedicated to making 2023 a year of efficiency. The goal is to make the organization stronger and more nimble, even while cutting jobs.

The organization is also finding other ways to cut its resource use to remain more nimble. For example, he announced that the company would be evaluating many of its projects to see which ones aren’t performing in an effort to further cut expenses.

This is not the only company in the sector cutting jobs. Some of the other companies that are cutting their employees include Amazon, Dell, Zoom, and Google. Many other companies have already slashed their workforces in an effort to reduce their overhead expenses.

There are many reasons why these companies are scaling back their workforces, and many of these have to do with advising interest rates. These companies are going to have a difficult time borrowing money to fund new projects, particularly with interest rates as high as they are. In addition, as consumers change their spending habits in response to higher interest rates, these companies may be anticipating reduced sales, so they are trying to reduce their overhead expenses as well by cutting the amount of money they spend on jobs. It will be interesting to see what happens next.