Posts filed under ‘Law’

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

David N. and I enjoyed exchanging dating horror stories as foreplay. On the precipice of afternoon delight, we rolled around under his sheets (never before had I experienced the feel of super high thread count).

“Oh my god, you won’t believe how my last relationship ended.” I rolled my eyes in reminiscence while clutching David’s shoulders.

“Probably not as badly as when Meredith torched my Beemer.” He smiled and tightened our embrace.

“I’m glad you have a sense of humor about it. I just don’t understand why you never pressed charges.”

“That would’ve meant I’d have to keep dealing with that bitch. And there’d be a public record of the shit she put me through.”

“Fair enough.”

“So what did that dick munch do anyway? Didn’t you tell me you thought he was The One at some point?”

“Nate seemed like a real catch. That is until he got back with his ex. And here’s the thing: I mean, you know I’m not superficial or arrogant . . . but this girl was like a three, maybe a four, soaking wet.”

“Yeah. That’s pretty fucking ridiculous. You’re at least a seven.”

July 2, 2016 at 1:55 am Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

I was attempting to work on the manuscript for Men Behaving Badly when Edgar showed up unannounced (as per usual). I never minded his spontaneous visits, and I didn’t realize—until it was too late—how much I looked forward to them. He plopped down in his usual spot on the futon.

“You know, Edgar, I misunderstood the saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.”

“Have you been reading Stieg Larsson lately?”

“I don’t just get these ideas from literature and film. Give me some credit, man!”

“I always do.”

“You’re right. But, yeah, I just figured out what it meant right before you came over.”

“What did you think it meant?”

“I used to think it meant that it’s best to avenge a wrong as ruthlessly and with as cold a heart as possible.” I paused pregnantly.

“But I just realized the coldness relates to the passage of time.”

“I think you’re right on both counts, actually.” Edgar nodded pensively. “Of course, if you want to get revenge through the justice system, coldness isn’t so desirable what with statutes of limitation and all.”

“Fuck statutes! What these guys have in store is extra-legal (but neither illegal nor violent…we have too much to lose, and we’re more creative than that). Their lives will transform overnight without the slightest notice. Just like mine did. But, unlike me, they will have no recourse.”

“Sounds delicious.” Edgar’s pupils dilated with interest. “It’s been over 10 years. When can we get started?”

“We already have.”

“Oh, that’s right. I’m sure it has something to do with sending Tex that letter reminding him he’d have to pass the Moral Character Evaluation to become an attorney.”

“Nope. That was just our public duty and has nothing to do with revenge. That’s why we sent it as soon as we discovered his plan to follow his father’s footsteps at Harvard Law School. Not part of the revenge. No need to serve cold. Hey, wanna drink?” I gestured toward the kitchen.

“Sure, thanks.” Edgar popped the cork off my half-full bottle of pinot noir. “So, what’s next with respect to revenge?”

“There’re some clean glasses in the sink.”

“Coolness.” Edgar split the remainder of the bottle between the two of us. “I’m all ears.”

“How far can you run without stopping? How much can you bench press, squat, or the equivalent?”

“I thought you just said this wouldn’t involve violence or criminality?”

“Oh, it won’t. We just need to be and look like we’re in tip-top shape. We just need to signal that we’re as formidable physically as we are intellectually and psychologically.”

“In that case, I’ve got my work cut out for me. But I’m game. Tell me more.” He raised his glass and smiled with boundless intrigue.

 

 

January 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Federal Judge Confirms $200 Million Settlement for Victims Injured by Tainted NECC Steroids

Springfield, Mass. – Today, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff ruled in open court confirming the approximately $200 million settlement plan for the victims of the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections from New England Compounding Center (NECC).

The NECC saga began as a tragic yet hopeless case from the perspective of even the most optimistic attorney advocates: in September 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak spawned by contaminated injections from NECC, a relatively small compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts. NECC closed its doors in October 2012 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 21, 2012. At that point, the CDC had confirmed hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis and dozens of deaths linked to this outbreak.

Attorney Anne Andrews, Co-Chair of the NECC Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, is no stranger to bankruptcies in mass tort cases. In the May 2014 issue of Trial magazine, Ms. Andrews explained:

When a defendant in a mass tort litigation files for bankruptcy, it can be challenging to achieve just compensation for all victims. But it is possible if the plaintiffs’ attorneys work together to create a global settlement architecture that entices defendants to the table.

For nearly thirty years, Ms. Andrews and John C. Thornton, partners of Andrews & Thornton, have worked extensively litigating personal injury product liability cases against major pharmaceutical companies resulting from the sale of dangerous drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements.  Andrews & Thornton has been involved in various federal multi-district litigations and state court coordinated litigations beginning with the Dow Corning Breast Implant litigation. Andrews & Thornton has extensive experience with and has been an active participant in virtually every recent tort claim related litigation within a bankruptcy.

The NECC settlement has nearly doubled since Judge Boroff approved the initial settlement Plan in July 2014. All classes of creditors overwhelmingly supported the Plan, with over 99 percent of victim creditors voting in its favor.  According to Ms. Andrews:

Now that the Plan has been confirmed, distribution of the global settlement fund to victims will soon begin.  It has been a pleasure to work with an incredible team of colleagues to achieve this extraordinary relief that seemed impossible at the outset. This Plan Confirmation helps bring a sense of closure to the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones, who have waited so patiently for justice and some form of compensation for all they have endured.

May 19, 2015 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Light and Truth: Exhibit A

May 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Under Pressure: The UCI Law School Musical”

NARRATOR:  Law school, even “the ideal law school for the 21st century,” has a tendency to bring out the worst in people, particularly as finals approach (which basically applies to every day (except maybe during orientation). Although I made a lot of lifelong friends and opened many doors, law school became quite a struggle, especially during the final semester. The most common problematic themes I witnessed during my three-year stint were entitlement, lack of self-reflection, hidden insecurities, “Mean Girl” behavior, and . . . oh yes . . . greed.

♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    

BRAD:  Thank you so much for meeting with me, Ricky. I really appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule.

RICKY:  No problem! Actually, things are super chill this year, what with my federal clerkship and firm job taken care of. I don’t even bother to go to any of my classes. What are they gonna do . . . not let me graduate and help boost this school’s graduation rate and reputation?

BRAD:  That’s exactly why I think you’re the guy to talk to. I mean, some of the 3Ls have positions with A-/B+ firms. But Remington, Orr, Young, Gibson, Boyd, Irving & Vance is an A+ firm.

RICKY:  Well, you’re right about that. Quite frankly, I didn’t come to law school to work 80 plus hours a week for an A- or—God forbid—B+ firm. Besides, the A+ firms have the deepest pockets. [winks]

[dollar signs flash in BRAD’s eyes]

April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

I was so busy—and so  distracted—I almost didn’t find time to read Google’s newest updates to its privacy policy. The changes would be enacted on March 15, and the symbolism was not lost on me. With less than an hour before the consummate adjustment, a friend dropped off a hard copy of the policy updates. She had altered the text so that a video camera couldn’t easily pick it up.

The apprehension festered in the pit of my stomach. I read down the page to the important part:

Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes.

A rigid lump welled up in the back of my throat. The broad scope of the language made me dizzy. I scanned the rest of the document. The policy was concise, so I quickly memorized it. Of course, I could have summed it all up in one sentence. But let’s not go there yet.

As I drove toward The Dalles, the following language kept playing in the back of my mind:

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Lies About the 1L Experience

“If you’re a good writer, you’ll have a huge advantage as a student.”

Most first-year legal writing is almost entirely devoid of creativity and requires a penchant for monotony and verbosity.  Even during second semester exams, I was very distracted by my instinct to write good prose.  On a timed exam, your spelling, grammar, diction, and syntax aren’t worth a damn.  And for every second you spend thinking about how to rephrase something so it flows better, you’re losing precious, precious points.

“You should learn to think beyond the legal doctrine.”

Professors will tell you it’s not about the black letter law, but it really is.  And it’s about IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion).  That’s it.  Nothing else really matters.  The most fascinating things—policy concerns, socioeconomic implications, historical backgrounds—are rarely tested and, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant during the first year.

“Having a life is not mutually exclusive with being a 1L.”

You can have a life.  People do it.  But those people do not get very much sleep, or they simply do not care about their grades, or they never had lives to begin with.  To really have a life as a 1L, you have to…painstakingly…carve…out…your…opportunities.

But, hey, at least it’s not med school!

September 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm 2 comments

Penalty Wages: What Every Employee Should Know

Let’s say Joe Blow works as a mechanic at a dealership and earns $17/hour. Fed up with “office” politics and inadequate support from upper management, Joe quits his job. He recently received his bi-weekly paycheck, so he is only owed four more days of pay. Livid at Joe’s inconvenient resignation, the dealership refuses to issue a final paycheck. This obstinacy, however, could cost Joe’s former employers more than they realize.

Colloquially know as the “penalty wage law,” ORS 652.150 requires the timely payment of wages upon termination of employment. If the “employer willfully fails to pay any wages or compensation of any employee whose employment ceases, as provided in ORS 652.140 and 652.145, then, as a penalty for such nonpayment, the wages or compensation of such employee shall continue from the due date thereof at the same hourly rate for eight hours per day or until action therefor is commenced.”

While there are some exceptions and limitations, the bottom line is that Joe’s former employer owes him up to $4,080 ($17/hour x 8 hours x 30 days) more than they bargained for. In Oregon, an employer who refuses to issue final payment in a timely manner owes the former employee up to thirty days of pay in addition to the money withheld. Other states have similar wage and hour laws, but Oregon is known for being particularly “employee-friendly” in such cases. An important thing to note is that “30 days of pay” is not the same as “one month’s pay”; it’s more! (30 days = 30 business or work days)

Some people may wonder why employers who understand such wage and hour statutes continue to cheat employees out of money owed, especially if the potential penalty could be costly. The answer is simple: Most people don’t completely understand their rights as workers. In the long run, corrupt employers profit off of this unawareness because, for every person who acts to recover his pay, many more simply write off the nonpayment as an unfortunate loss.

June 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

ACLU Presents Case of Savana Redding to US Supreme Court

When she was 13, Savana Redding endured a humiliating strip-search (in which she had to bare her breasts and genitalia) after a classmate falsely accused her of possessing ibuprofen pills. The school officials who instigated this traumatic event violated Redding’s civil rights and betrayed the trust and respect of the parents and students of Safford United School District.

Most news articles regarding this event and its aftermath criticize the school officials for acting so rashly on uncorroborated evidence. While I agree that using mere accusations to justify a strip-search is completely uncalled for, I think the act of forcing children to reveal their private parts for any reason needs to be seriously examined. If Redding had been accused of bringing cocaine to school, I still think other avenues of interrogation and corroboration should have been explored. After all, if the officials had found ibuprofen pills on Redding’s person, the civil rights of a child would have still been violated.  Which is worse: Possessing prescription-strength painkillers on school grounds…or forcing a minor to show her body parts to adults?

The other issue this case brings up is that of the “war on drugs.” I remember when, as a middle and high school student, I received explicit instructions (punishable by the wrath of God) not to keep any kind of drug in my backpack, locker, or car. Even asthmatics had to check their inhalers in at the nurse’s office. I was so used to this rule that I endured all of college without using Advil, Tylenol, etc. (it was second-nature not to pick it up at the drugstore without first consulting an adult). Shouldn’t the school have spent more time handing out condoms than taking away aspirin?

And now I’ve been hearing all these ads about how terrible marijuana is and how it will ruin your life. “Above the Influence” commercials air on any TV station that caters to the “under 30” demographic. I recognize that weed, in addition to being illegal (which it shoudn’t be, but that’s for another time), impairs ones ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. That said, shouldn’t we be spending our publicly-funded advertising dollars on preventing the use of drugs like heroin and speed? Again, which is worse: Allowing a bunch of potheads to binge on Doritos and Ding Dongs after school…or overlooking a group of students snorting coke in the locker room?

This morning, the US Supreme Court heard arguments from Savana Redding’s attorney with the ACLU. From one woman to another, I commend the young lady (six years have passed since that fateful day) for having the courage to pursue justice.

April 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm 1 comment


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