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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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San Jose age discrimination lawyers, age discrimination, wrongful terminationAccording to an article in the LA Times, a California community is outraged that a beloved garbageman, who served his community for the past 32 years, has been fired. The 58-year-old garbageman is reportedly loved by his community for his extraordinary work ethic and many good deeds. Stories have circulated about the man dragging residents’ trashcans to the curb for them when they forgot, as well as children who have dressed up as the man for Halloween or requested that their birthday cake be decorated with a trash can in his honor. In fact, after the garbageman was fired, more than 500 people wrote letters asking the refuse collection company to take him back.

Eventually, the refuse collection company caved into the community’s pressure and rehired the garbageman. However, the man was fired again when a human resources employee for the company claimed that the garbageman failed to prove that he was legally authorized to work in the U.S.

The refuse collection company claims that the garbageman was initially fired for poor work performance (they allege that the former employee had four accidents over a 12-month period). The garbageman, on the other hand, claims that in actuality he was fired due to his age and has therefore filed a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming age discrimination.

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California accident attorney, California personal injury lawyerTwo lawmakers have put forward a bill that would essentially allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. If passed, bicyclists would be able to go through stop signs at clear intersections with nothing more than a rolling stop. The new law would not apply to traffic signals. Proponents of the bill argue that this law would make the roads safer for bicyclists, who are at a great risk of injury in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle.

How Would the Law Make the Roads Safer?

The lawmakers who introduce this bill claim that by reducing the amount of time cyclists are at an intersection, the risk of an accident between bicycles and cars is reduced. Requiring cyclists to come to a full stop substantially increases the amount of time spent at each intersection.

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California injury attorney, California accident lawywerProving who was at fault in an accident is a major issue in any personal injury case, whether it be a car accident or a slip and fall. In some cases, an accident victim will be put in the defensive position when the at-fault party asserts that the victim is responsible for the accident.

For example, if you slipped and fell on a slick floor in the supermarket, you may be able to file a suit against the store. You may be able to prove that the store is responsible for your fall by failing to clean its floors in a timely way.

However, there may be a video of your fall showing that you were texting while walking or that you were running down the aisle. If a jury sees that evidence, the jurors may conclude that the fall victim is ultimately at fault or at least partially at fault.

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San Jose employment law attorneys, employment laws in CaliforniaCBS Los Angeles reports that employers and employees alike should be aware that California has several new labor and employment laws on the books.

California’s New Minimum Wage

As of January 1, 2017, California’s minimum wage was raised from $10.00 to $10.50 for most employees in the state—California’s new minimum wage only applies to employees of businesses with 25 employees or more.

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California accident lawyer, California car crash attorneyNearly 15 percent of California drivers operate a vehicle without car insurance. This is above the national average of 12.6 percent. Many more California drivers are underinsured, meaning that their policy limits will not cover the property damage and bodily injuries resulting from a serious accident. Accident victims wonder what will happen to them if they get into a car accident where there is no insurance policy.

In these situations, the insurance coverage of the driver who was not at fault will typically come into play. If the uninsured driver has substantial assets that could cover the injuries, it may be possible to sue the at-fault driver. Wage garnishment may also be an option. However, typically those who drive without insurance do not have such assets.

Types of Coverage

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San Jose DUI defense attorneys, aggravated drivingUnder California law, what is the difference between driving under the influence (DUI) and aggravated driving under the influence? Aggravated driving under the influence is often talked about as if it were a separate offense. However, in reality it is simply a type of DUI under California law.

When a person is convicted of driving under the influence in California, the court will consider both mitigating and aggravating factors when deciding how the offender will be punished. An aggravated DUI in California is therefore a drunk driving offense involving one or more aggravating factors considered at sentencing.

Aggravating Factors Under California’s Drunk Driving Laws

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyAn accident that takes place in a stairway or stairwell can be more dangerous than a fall on a flat surface. If the fall occurs while the victim is descending, he or she could fall at a faster speed. If the fall occurs while the victim is ascending, there are numerous objects that could cause more injury like handrails or the steps themselves. As attorneys who have represented many slip and fall victims, we see several common stairway hazards that cause severe and painful injuries.

  • Uneven steps. Steps should be uniform in height;
  • Poorly lit steps. Stairwells often do not have the proper lighting making it difficult to see;
  • Wet steps. If there is a spill or if the steps have been recently mopped, warning signs should be posted;
  • Slick steps. If needed, steps should have adequate non-slip tape. This tape should be replaced as frequently as needed and should not be worn down;
  • Unmarked steps. Sometimes a small step or set of steps will be unmarked. Uneven steps should also be marked; and
  • Lack of handrail. Typically, there are regulations in place that require handrails. These handrails must be properly maintained and should be secure. They also should be placed at a specific height and more than one handrail may be required for wider stairways.

When Is Someone Responsible for My Stairway Fall?

All business owners and homeowners owe a duty to provide visitors with a reasonably safe environment. The biggest hurdle for a fall victim in proving a claim is typically the “notice requirement.” This requirement means that the owner must be aware or should have been aware of the dangerous condition.

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California wrongful death attorney, California pedestrian accident lawyerThe most recent data on pedestrian fatalities shows a steep increase compared to previous years. The number of pedestrian deaths for the first half of 2016 totaled 2,660, and experts estimate that the number of pedestrian fatalities in all of 2016 will be 5,997, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Accidents between cars and pedestrians are especially dangerous for the pedestrian. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can fully pursue your rights under California law.

Pedestrian Deaths In Previous Years

In 2015, there were 5,376 pedestrian fatalities, and in 2014 there were 4,910. Thus, the number of pedestrians fatalities in 2016 is estimated to be 11 percent higher than the 2015 figure and 22 percent higher than the 2014 figure.

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California car crash lawyer, California accident attorneyRoadway conditions and construction zones can cause serious accidents. If you believe that your car accident can be attributed to a dangerous roadway condition, you should contact an attorney as these claims are complicated to pursue.

Recently, there was a seven-car pileup in a construction area in California that led to a fire and bodily injury. While the cause of the accident is still being determined, construction zones are common places for accidents.

Sometimes the accidents are caused by driver error as drivers are more prone accidents in unfamiliar areas or where there are unexpected changes. Other times, the construction areas lack appropriate signage or are improperly designed. In these instances, the government or a government contractor may be responsible for your auto accident.

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San Jose traffic violations attorney, California traffic ticketNo one likes being pulled over by the police. People like it even less when they receive a ticket or citation as a result. However, for some, that is only the beginning of the problems. Many people work paycheck to paycheck and simply cannot afford to shell out extra money for an expense of which they did not plan or budget. Until this year, a program was in place to help those individuals. The California Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program was enacted in 2015 as a measure to relieve the financial burden receiving a ticket can have. However, that program ended as of April 3, 2017.

About the Amnesty Program

Under the program, drivers with unpaid tickets were eligible to have the amount they owed reduced or have their revoked driver’s license reinstated, barring any legal exclusions. Roughly 200,000 people were assisted by this program which helped them reduce the amount of debt they had to pay and the time frame in which they had to pay it. Now, the program has expired. So, what does that mean for you?

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San Jose criminal defense lawyers, shopliftingWhen you hear the word shoplifting you likely envision someone wandering around a store pretending to shop while he or she covertly slides merchandise into his or her bag or pockets. But do you think about someone cashing a forged check at a bank? Probably not. However, according to a recent ruling from the California Supreme Court, cashing a forged check can now be classified as shoplifting under some circumstances.

This new ruling comes from the case People v. Gonzales and expands our state’s definition of shoplifting to not only refer to stealing merchandise from a store while pretending to be a customer, but also encompasses other types of theft as well based on the definitions provided in Proposition 47.

People v. Gonzales

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California injury attorney, California accident lawyerIt is important to remember that you do not have to needlessly suffer if you have experienced emotional distress because of another’s actions. There are two types of claims that seek to redress victims of emotional distress where you have not experienced any physical injury. The first type is if the emotional distress was intentionally inflicted. In our last post, we discussed what elements are needed in order to prove the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The second type is if the emotional distress was inflicted due to someone else’s negligence. Negligent infliction of emotional distress means that the tortfeasor (or person harming you) does not have to intend to hurt you. Rather, negligent infliction of emotional distress occurs when someone’s unreasonable acts caused you emotional distress.

Two Types of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyUnder state law, injury to a person that stretches beyond physical injury can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. If you are a victim of mental distress that was suffered after someone intended to hurt you emotionally, California law may provide that you have a cause of action for damages.

Emotional distress can have a huge consequence on your life, and the person who inflicted this harm on you should be held responsible.

Elements of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

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San Jose criminal defense attorney, felony, misdemeanor,If you are arrested and convicted of an offense, it is a very serious ordeal to have to go through. From the time of the arrest until the time of sentencing, many defendants wonder how their future may be impacted. Additionally, defendants may worry about their rights and which ones they may lose if they are convicted of a felony offense. The rights one may lose or have altered after a felony conviction in California include the following:

  • The right to own a firearm;
  • Immigration status; and
  • Access to federal benefits.

California law provides a mechanism by which a person can motion the court to downgrade his or her felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This motion can be made at different parts during a criminal case; however, the most common time the motion is presented to the court is after a term of probation has been successfully completed.

Who is Eligible to Have a Felony Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_rape-San-Jose.jpgIn California, rape is considered to be a very serious sex crime that is committed when nonconsensual sexual intercourse is perpetrated via force, fraud, the threat of force, or is committed against a victim who is unconscious or incapable of consenting to the act. It is important to understand how rape is defined in California as well as a few commonly asserted defenses. However, anyone who has been accused of rape should contact a local sex crime defense lawyer for case specific information.

How Rape is Defined in California

Under Penal Code section 261, California’s rape statute defines the criminal offense of rape as an act of intercourse accomplished with a person under any of some of the following circumstances:

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California accident lawyer, California injury attorneyA recent study ranked California’s 65 largest cities to determine what city had the most dangerous drivers, and in at number one was San Francisco.

San Jose was ranked by the study as one of the safer major cities in the state. It ranks 49th out of 65. Other nearby cities on the ranking include Berkley at fourth, Salinas at sixth, Oakland at 24th and Hayward at 45th. Simi Valley ranked last on the list.

One reason that San Francisco was ranked as the city with the most dangerous drivers is that it has a high number of car accident fatalities. In 2009, it ranked number one in the state in traffic deaths per vehicle miles driven. In 2016, 29 car accident fatalities were reported.

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyYou head to the salon to get a new look and some pampering, but when a salon fails to provide a safe environment or improperly performs a procedure, devastating injury can follow.

A salon or spa must provide a safe and sanitary space with properly trained staff. As salons expand service offerings to include procedures like lasers and Botox, there are more ways salon patrons can be injured.

Also, injuries from salons can be serious and painful. If you have been injured in such an accident do not think that you are to blame since you chose to get the procedure or treatment. It is the salon’s duty to perform the services it offers safely.

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San Jose restraining order defense lawyers, restraining ordersA restraining order (also referred to as a protective order) is a court order designed to protect someone (i.e. the “protected person”) from being abused, threatened, harassed, or stalked by the “restrained person." If you are currently subject to a restraining order, or have been threatened with a restraining order, it is important to understand the four different types of restraining orders available in California.

California's Four Restraining Orders

1. Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: A domestic violence restraining order can be obtained against you if you have abused any of the following people:

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California accident attorney, California personal injury lawyerIf you or a loved one have sustained a traumatic brain injury following a blow to the head, you may be experiencing a variety of complications. The brain is one of the body’s most vulnerable parts, and TBI complications can have a significant impact on your daily life.

Conditions Caused by TBIs

The following types of complications may arise after a brain injury:

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California accident lawyer, California personal injury attorneyYoung millennials engage in driving behaviors that lead to accidents more often than any other age group. According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 88 percent of young millennials admitted to texting and driving, running red lights or speeding in the past 30 days.

Young millennials are those aged 19 to 24 years old. Surprisingly, drivers aged 16 to 18 years old reported engaging in risky driving behaviors less frequently than a number of older age groups.

The study asked drivers of all ages to report speeding, red light running or texting and driving in the past 30 days. Here are the results:

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