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Category: Criminal Defence

The “Affluenza” Defense: Right or Wrong?

The recent case of Texas teen Ethan Couch has left many in and outside the legal community scratching their heads in confusion. Couch, a wealthy white sixteen-year-old, killed the four people he plowed his truck into while driving drunk after stealing beer—but was only sentenced to 10 years’ probation,with no jail time.
 

 
How did this happen? Arguing for his client, attorney Scott Brown created the “affluenza” defense. He claimed that Couch’s wealthy parents so effectively cushioned their son with so much privilege,that he wasn’t really responsible for his actions because he never learned right from wrong. Brown positioned Couch as a victim of wealth whose parents “never set limits for the boy.”Basically, Brown argued that because Couch didn’t know it was wrong, he wasn’t really responsible.…

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Category: Truck Accidents

New Regulations Call for Truckers to Take a Break

 
Long haul truckers are well-known for their lengthy stints behind the wheels of big rigs. If ever there were a career where workers push themselves to the limit, this is it. Because they often get paid per mile and have to meet tight deadlines, many truckers will drive for days without taking a significant break. This leads to a lot of fatigued drivers who may have trouble reacting quickly or even staying awake on the road, endangering both the truck drivers and the people who share the road with them.
 
Knowing the dangers fatigued truck drivers can pose, the Department of Transportation implemented new regulations this past July. Under the new rules, truck drivers are required to take at least one 30-minute break within the first eight hours of driving and a 34-hour break from driving at least once a week, including two periods from 1 am to 5 am.…

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Category: Personal Injury

How Personal Injury Law in the US Differs from UK Legislation

I work in the UK as a personal injury lawyer and used to have some pre-conceived ideas about US legislation.  We often hear in the English press about personal injury claims running into the millions of dollars with our cousins over the pond.  For example, the person who spilt coffee in their lap and managed to sue a large fast food chain is a well-documented example.
 
However, I’ve recently spent some time working over in the States and so am now in position to dispel some of the ideas I used to have.  As a result, I thought I would put together this short article to explain what I feel the main differences are between personal injury claims in both countries.…

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Category: Auto Accidents

Vicarious Liability For Rental And Leasing Car Companies

 
Vicarious liability is a legal concept that means that one person is held liable for the bad actions of another person.  Historically, it was often applied to cases where there existed an employer- employee relationship.  For example, an employer could be held liable for the actions of an employee who harasses another employee during the course of employment.  Similarly, up until 8 years ago, eleven states had statutes that imposed vicarious liability on an owner of a rented or leased vehicle that would make the owner legally responsible for damage caused by that vehicle, even if the owner otherwise had no involvement in the incident that led to the damage.…

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Category: Personal Injury

Starbucks Repetitive Motion Injury

 
What is a Repetitive Motion Injury?
 
Repetitive motion disorders, or injuries, are a large group of painful and restrictive muscle (and or tendon, nerve and ligament) conditions formed by repeating a particular task, or set of tasks, over and over during the normal workday.
 
These disorders or injuries, also known as RMDs, include:
 

Bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs called bursa which cushion joints, tendons, muscles and bones
Epicondylitis, an inflammation of the rounded joint that at the elbow (or knee) over which muscles run; an example is tennis elbow
Ganglion cysts, which are fluid-filled swellings on the upper surface of joints and tendons in the wrists, hands and feet
Tendonitis, tendinitis, or tenosynovitis, all describe inflammations of a tendon, which is a stringy, muscle-like connector between muscle and bone, or the fluid-filled sheath around tendons
Trigger finger, usually presenting as “locking” rigidity of the trigger finger, resulting from a difference in size between the flexor tendon and the surrounding pulley system

 
The Starbucks Repetitive Motion Protest
 
In light of Starbucks working conditions, which Starbucks employees feel provoke repetitive motion injuries, as well as accidents and burns, said employees have formed a workers union.…

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