Notable California Trials
Headline Legal News | 2008/02/29 22:48
Childhood abuse
Award: $11,000,000
Six female former parochial school students alleged sexual molestation by a lay teacher at their elementary school (Confidential v. Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Eric F. Yuhl).

Rear-end fatality
Award: $1,500,000
A 28-year-old woman was killed when the vehicle in which she was riding was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer (Estate of Ana Rosa Gutierrez v. Kem-Iron Transport Inc., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Michael H. Whitehill).

Post-surgical death
Award: Defense
A 47-year-old man allegedly died as a result of negligent post-surgical care following an appendectomy (Tillery v. Ladenheim, Fresno County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Richard S. Salinas).

Worker burned
Award: $27,514,746
A 41-year-old worker was severely burned by a fireball at a bio-mass power production plant (Hall v. North American Industrial Services Inc., Eastern District Federal Court, Plaintiff attorney: Richard C. Watters).

Police brutality
Award: $1,500,000
A man arrested for public drunkenness alleged excessive force by police officers, resulting in a comminuted leg fracture (Andrews v. Ventura County Sheriff, Central District Federal Court, Plaintiff attorney: Michael C. Alder).

Student pedestrian struck
Award: $3,025,000
A 45-year old student struck by an SUV while attempting to cross a campus street claimed that her line-of-sight was blocked by trees that had not been properly pruned (Burkhart v. California State University, Long Beach, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Stanley K. Jacobs).

Infant scarred
Award: $385,000
One newborn twin sustained extensive facial scarring allegedly as a result of a negligently taped oxygen apparatus (Woo v. Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Robert V. Chin).

Medical malpractice
Award: Defense
A patient who underwent a lumbar puncture alleged that the procedure was improperly performed and resulted in numerous spinal cord injuries (Loerch v. The Regents of the University of California, San Diego County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Richard D. Carroll).

Construction accident
Award: $1,600,000
A 27-year-old fence installer working on a scissor-lift was injured when it toppled over due to a missing steel grate on a catch basin (Boughamer v. Abboud Diamond Construction Inc., San Bernardino County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Paul J. Ultimo).


2008 Arizona Bar Exam Deadlines and Fees
Court News | 2008/02/29 22:40
February 2008

No applications accepted prior                      $125 application and $235 examination
to August 15, 2007

September 1, 2007                                       $360 (application and examination)
September 2 to September 30, 2007              $460 (includes $100 late fee)
October 1 to October 31, 2007                     $560 (includes $200 late fee)
November 1 to November 30, 2007              $660 (includes $300 late fee)

Close of Filing:

November 30, 2007 for applications and supporting documents
December 31, 2007 for correction of deficient documentation



July 2008

No applications accepted prior                      $125 application and $250 examination
to January 15, 2008

February 1, 2008                                         $375 (application and examination)
February 2 to February 29, 2008                   $475 (includes $100 late fee)
March 1 to March 31, 2008                          $575 (includes $200 late fee)
April 1 to April 30, 2008                              $675 (includes $300 late fee)

Close of Filing:

April 30, 2008 for applications and supporting documents
May 31, 2008 for correction of deficient documentation


King Yaklin Wins $1M in Attorney's Fee's
Court Watch | 2008/02/29 21:19
A Superior Court judge has ordered a couple and their attorney suingBishop Earl Paulk to pay more than $1 million in legal fees and courtcosts from a dismissed case.

Mona and Bobby Brewer sued Paulk and his church, then known as ChapelHill Harvester Church in Decatur, asserting sexual misconduct. MonaBrewer claimed in the suit she had a 14-year coercive affair with Paulk.

The Brewers dropped their years-old suit last July, but each filed a separate suit in state court later in the year.

The judge entered the order last Friday for costs incurred by threedifferent legal firms who defended Paulk in the Superior Court case.

Matthew Wilkins of King & Yaklin, one of Paulk's firms, said they are still reviewing the order and had no comment.

Louis Levenson of Levenson & Associates, the Brewer's attorney,said he has not seen the order. Levenson and the Brewers were orderedto pay the fees.

Paulk was one of Atlanta's preeminent preachers in the 1980s and 1990s.He had a church of 10,000 and an international ministry and TV program.A series of allegations of sexual misconduct plagued his work, and Paullost influence and his ministry.

He still goes to the church, now called the Cathedral at Chapel Hill,but has dropped from public sight. Attendance on the mammoth campus hasdropped dramatically.


New Jersey - Still no need to redefine marriage
Areas of Focus | 2008/02/29 05:05

New Jersey Governor Corzine should not legalize same-sex marriage.

AS EXPECTED from a panel stacked with same-sex activists, the Civil Union Commission issued a report last week saying that its members believe civil unions are a failure.

What is their conclusion based on? Seven substantive complaints -- from among the 2,400 same-sex couples who have entered into civil unions in New Jersey. They complain about the failure of New Jersey employers based out of state to provide benefits to partners in civil unions. Those companies say that the federal Employment Retirement Income Security Act, which regulates the provision of benefits to employees, does not require them to provide expensive health benefits to same-sex couples.

Activists claim there are more complaints, including insinuations that hospitals have denied visitation – an accusation that an official from the New Jersey Hospital Association insists is absolutely false. Other additional claims are unofficial and unsubstantiated. The majority of complaints cited by the activists do not deal with rights being denied, but rather gripes about how same-sex couples have to explain themselves to other people.

The commission also says that employers in Massachusetts are more likely than those in New Jersey to voluntarily provide health benefits to same-sex couples simply because the law gives their unions the title marriage. This contention is completely anecdotal, as noted in an article last week on the New Jersey State Bar Association Web site.



Former bar presidents support Servaas
Legal Interview | 2008/02/29 05:02
Judge Steven Servaas, under pressure to resign his seat on the District Court bench, is getting support from fellow lawyers.

A letter signed by 12 former Grand Rapids Bar Association presidents supports Servaas in his fight with the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

In the letter, the former bar presidents say, "Regardless of the reason that the judicial tenure commission has undertaken to attack Judge Servaas, it has seemingly done so in a reckless manner."

The lawyers ask the commission to reconsider the issue.

He's also moved back into a house he owns within his district, a key element in the commission's attempt to oust him. Servaas owns two homes, both in the 63rd District, but only one is in his division of the district.  



Two new commissioners seated
Court Watch | 2008/02/29 05:02

The Pacifica City Council appointed Josh Gordon and Celeste Langille to the Pacifica Planning Commission Feb. 11.

Josh Gordon is an attorney with the San Francisco firm Morrison and Forester. He worked for a federal judge in San Francisco for one year and spent eight years with a top tier law firm in Palo Alto. He spent eight years working with autistic children in Santa Cruz.

Gordon is a member of the American Bar Association, Doctors Without Borders, Southern Poverty Law Center and the San Mateo County Bar Association.

On his application for the Planning Commission he wrote he wishes "to directly participate in the decisions affecting my community."

"I bring to the table an ability to rigorously analyze all sides of an issue, which is a product of my legal training and experience as a lawyer," he wrote.

Langille is an attorney who has represented environmental and community groups and has experience working with public agencies and officials. She is well versed in land-use laws, including CEQA, and real estate law. She has experience in document review and analysis.

She is a member of the California Bar Association and the Sierra Club.



Lawyers ask for more time to redefine practice of law
Legal Interview | 2008/02/29 04:59

Hawaii attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to give them more time to develop proposed rules that will define the practice of law.

The Hawaii State Bar Association asked the court for an extension until March 28 to fine-tune its earlier proposal to change the court's rules. Only licensed attorneys can practice law in Hawaii, but what constitutes the practice of law is not clearly defined.

The association now is working with real estate professionals and certified public accountants, two of the professional groups that potentially would be affected by the rule change.

The debate started months ago when lawyers suggested clarifying the rules that define the practice of law. But critics said the suggested definition was too broad and would potentially bump into other professions such as insurance, real estate, accounting, paralegals and legal document service providers.



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