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New Lighter Arizona DUI Law Goes into Effect

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Persons who are convicted of DUI in Arizona can look forward to a slightly lighter sentence in 2012 than before. Under the new law, first-time DUI offenders will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their cars for a period of 6 months. Earlier, persons convicted of DUI in Arizona were required to have ignition interlock devices installed in their cars for a minimum of one year.

According to Senator Linda Gray, Republican-Glendale, the new lighter sentence is sufficient enough to teach a lesson to persons who have been convicted of DUI, and also to act as a deterrent to those considering driving in an impaired state. Senator Gray has spearheaded Arizona's anti-DUI campaign and has been the force behind some of the state’s stringent anti-DUI laws. According to official statistics, DUI-related fatalities in the state have decreased since the ignition interlock device law went into effect.

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n 2001, the state passed a law which required persons convicted of DUI a 2nd time to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. However, in 2007, those laws became markedly stronger as a new provision that required first-time DUI offenders to have interlock devices installed in their vehicles, was introduced. These devices are expensive to buy and maintain. Each device costs about $100 to install, and $80 every month to maintain.

According to Arizona DUI attorneys, persons who have been convicted of DUI in Arizona will now have to shell out $100 or so to install the device in their vehicle, but will need to keep it installed for only 6 months. However, groups that support the ignition interlock law, like Mothers against Drunk Driving, plan to approach the Legislature again to take up the matter of reinstating the law if the number of DUI accident-related fajavascript:void(0);talities increases in 2012.

Cablevision Investors File Lawsuit Alleging Share Price Inflation

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cablevision has been slapped with a shareholder lawsuit filed by investors alleging that the company issued false statements and inflated share prices.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in New York. The lawsuit targets the company's stock price between February 16, 2011 and October 28, 2011. The lawsuit alleges that during this period of time, the stock dropped dramatically from $38 a share to less than $15 a share.

According to the plaintiffs, the drop in the stock price was solely the result of Cablevision's failure to disclose certain important facts about its business. For instance, the lawsuit alleges that the company failed to disclose that it was experiencing greater advertising and retention costs. It also failed to inform concerned investors that it was losing more video customers. The lawsuit alleges that the company violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The lawsuit has been filed against Cablevision Systems Corp. in the US State District Court for the Eastern District of New York. According to the lawsuit, on October 20, 2011, the company reported its profits for the third quarter of 2011. According to the report, the company's revenues in the third quarter increased from the same period of time in 2010. Those revenues increased from $1.54 billion the previous year to $$1.66 billion in 2011. However, net income for the third quarter dropped from $68.44 million to $39.32 million dollars. On December 6 2,011, the shares of the company fell to 12.5 dollars a share.

This is the most recent in a series of legal disputes involving Cablevision that California business dispute lawyers have come across. Cablevision recently settled a legal dispute with Verizon. Last year, the company dismissed a lawsuit that it had filed against Verizon, alleging that the company had released advertisements based on false information. The lawsuit accused Verizon of running an advertising campaign based on federal data showing that Cablevision delivered about 59 % of its advertised speed, and insinuating that Cablevision was misleading or cheating consumers.

CDC Research Finds California Cities Have Highest Rates of Gang Homicides

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report comparing gang homicide to other types of homicides. The report debunks a couple of popular theories about these homicides.

According to the report, Gang Homicides-5 US Cities, 2003-2008, more than 90% of gang homicides involve the use of firearms. One fact from the study that does not surprise any Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer is that more than 90% of victims and their homicides were male. The report also finds that in most cases, gang homicides are not the result of crimes in progress or bystander deaths. These typically involve gang members responding to a gang conflict.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gang members are much more likely than their peers to be involved in delinquency, and to engage in crime and violent activities. These crimes are also much less likely to involve drug crimes, unlike what is generally believed. The most frequent victims of these homicides are male, and the most frequent reason is retaliation for gang conflict.

Most gang homicide victims are between the age of 15 and 19. In cities like Los Angeles, most gang homicide victims are Hispanic. Five cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and Long Beach had the highest rates of gang homicides in the country. The only other non-California cities include Newark, New Jersey and Oklahoma City. In the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, less than 5% of all homicides involving gang members also involved drug crimes or drug usage. In Oakland, 12.5% of gang homicides involved drug use, compared to 16.5% of non-gang homicides.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging the use of initiatives to prevent youths from becoming involved in gangs and violent activities.

Are TV Drug Ads Designed to Deflect Attention from Safety Risks?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Every Los Angeles personal injury lawyer is familiar with TV ad spots for pharmaceutical ads that tend to gloss over important safety information that is being read out during the commercial. In many of these ads, while the safety risks and potential side effects of these drugs are read out, viewers are treated to visually pleasing images that detract attention from the important safety information being conveyed.

These techniques are part of the pharmaceutical industry's campaign to detract attention from the potential side effects and risks of these drugs. The Food and Drug Administration has decided that it is having none of this. The agency in 2010 proposed a rule that would require pharmaceutical companies to refrain from distracting viewers from potentially important safety information included in the commercial. The agency has not defined a final rule, and has invited public comment on this rule.

So, how likely are these television ads to deflect attention from important safety information? The answer is ‘very.’ According to a study conducted by a panel of experts appointed by the Food and Drug Administration to study the effect of such advertising on consumers, consumers are much more likely to likely to respond positively to a product that includes pleasant images along with information.

It's not surprising to understand. Persons, who are treated to images of happy, healthy people enjoying life with calming music in the background, and words designed to comfort and soothe appearing on the screen, are much more likely to respond positively to the product, and filter out information on side effects that include everything from heart attacks and strokes, to suicidal tendencies. The Food and Drug Administration needs to come down hard on such practices that are designed to deceive consumers.

Robot Hospital Cleaning System Gaining Popularity

Monday, January 30, 2012

Over the past couple of years, a new robotic hospital cleaning system that resembles R2D2 has been gaining popularity in hospitals around the country. A number of facilities are finding that they are able to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections by including the device in their hospital cleaning programs.

The device is called Xenex, and it is a mobile device that can eliminate disease-causing germs from hospital rooms and surfaces. The device moves around a room, and uses strobe light pulses to zap dangerous bacteria. The device runs on pulsed xenon UV, a kind of ultraviolet light that eliminates micro organisms. The device has been developed by epidemiologists in Houston who then expanded the technology for commercial purposes.

According to its manufacturers, the device can disinfect a hospital room in less than 10 minutes. All surfaces inside the room, including table surfaces, tray tables, telephones, bed rails and other surfaces that are contaminated can be sterilized in minutes. Housekeepers first finish cleaning the room, and then set the device into operation by letting it loose inside the room. Hospital staff finds that the device is easy to handle and operate, and operating costs are low.

Hospitals that have begun using the device have recorded a significant drop in the number of hospital-acquired infections. One hospital in Massachusetts found a 67% drop in c-diff infections from the use of the device.

The device comes with a price tag of $80,000, which might seem steep. However, when you consider the annual costs of hospital-acquired infections every year, the device seems more than worth its price tag to an Arizona medical malpractice lawyers.

Romney's Tax Troubles Dog Campaign Trail

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, which was going full steam ahead just a few days ago, has found itself running into troubled tax waters. The candidate has doggedly avoided the question of releasing his tax forms, coyly stating that he follows all tax laws. New reports about the existence of millions of dollars of his wealth in offshore tax havens are not likely to make those niggling tax questions go away.

Romney has elected to maintain a shroud of secrecy around his tax affairs, but questions are being asked about his ability to pay a much lower tax rate of 15% than many Americans. However, he may have an even bigger reason to keep his tax affairs private. According to several news reports, he has millions of dollars in offshore tax havens, like the Cayman Islands. He has made use of the tax saving benefits of investing in offshore havens, in order to protect taxes on his $250 million fortune. He's believed to have $8 million funds listed on the Cayman Islands registry, and another investment of between $7 million and $25 million also in the Cayman Islands.

The Romney campaign denies that the money was parked in these offshore tax havens in order to deny the Internal Revenue Service its due share of his wealth. They also deny that these tax havens have provided any great tax benefits to the presidential candidate.

The federal administration estimates that $100 billion in taxes every year are lost when money is parked in funds offshore. As any California tax lawyer knows, offshore investments in jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands or Bermuda, provide some Americans the means to avoid tax-related problems.

Report Says NHTSA Needs More Expertise in Electronic Safety Technologies

Monday, January 23, 2012

Automakers are packing automobiles with all kinds of new generation auto safety technologies, but federal agencies have been unable to keep pace with this growing use of technology. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds itself at a loss when it is faced with any safety issues or problems arising from these technologies.

The National Research Council's Transportation Research Board last week released a report into the role of electronic safety systems in incidents involving sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles. The report finds that in the Toyota case, the electronic technologies had no role to play in the unintended acceleration incidents that were linked to these vehicles.

However, the report does have strong criticism for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations failure to equip itself with the kind of technical expertise needed in an age when almost every automaker is investing in electronic accident prevention technologies. Automakers have developed forward collision warning systems, lane departure alarm systems, and a number of other devices that are aimed at preventing accidents.

Many of these systems can interact with each other, and cause possible malfunctions or other problems that could increase a motorist’s risk of an accident. Many of these systems are based heavily on electronics, which, to Los Angeles car accident lawyers, does raise the possibility of interference and malfunctioning. In fact, many experts have tied Toyota's unintended acceleration problem to malfunctioning of the electronic safety systems in the cars. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knows too little about these safety technologies to monitor them effectively.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently begun to show some signs that it is taking auto safety technologies more seriously. The agency chief recently mentioned that his agency would look at including crash avoidance technologies in its rating system.

California Ranked Well on Highway Safety Measures

Thursday, January 19, 2012

From tougher drunk driving measures to more restrictions on teen drivers, there is much that could be done to keep California motorists safer. However, the state has been ranked well overall in highway safety by an auto safety group.

The rating was compiled by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and compared states based on whether their highway safety laws include at least 15 laws that are recommended by the group. These laws include everything from seatbelt laws to laws against distracted driving.

California was given a Green ranking, which is the highest rating by the group. The ranking indicates that the state has performed well in implementing laws aimed at speeding motorists safer. San Francisco car accident lawyers agree with this. After all, California was one of the first states in the country to enact laws against the use of hand-held cell phones and texting while driving. The state has also implemented all -occupant seatbelt laws aimed at keeping all occupants of a vehicle safer during an accident. Thanks to pressure by San Francisco car accident attorneys, auto safety groups and citizens groups, California lawmakers for the most part, have been quite enthusiastic about implementing safety laws.

However, the state could be doing more to keep motorists safer on highways. According to the rating, the state has implemented 9.5 laws required by the group. The laws that the state should now take up include a law requiring a minimum age of 16 for a person to obtain a learner's permit, nighttime and passenger restrictions in graduated driver’s licensing programs for teenage drivers, a requirement of 18 for teenage drivers who wish to get an unrestricted license and an ignition interlock law.

Having an ignition interlock law could reduce the number of drunk driving accidents that take place in the state every year. Laws aimed at keeping teen drivers safer are important in a state where single-user vehicles are the norm.

Baseball Writer Bill Conlin Accused of Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Four persons have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Baseball Hall Of Fame writer Bill Conlin. However, their legal options against Conlin, who was a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, are limited because the statute of limitations has already run out.

The 4 persons include 3 women and a man who say that they were sexually abused by Conlin when they were children. The abuse occurred back in the 70s, when these persons were between 7 and 12. One of the accusers is Conlin’s niece, who says that he molested her when she was a child. Last week, Conlin retired from the Daily News after working there for decades. He has not commented on these allegations.

The accusers say that they're only now speaking up about the abuse because of all the attention that has been focused on the Pennsylvania State sexual abuse scandal involving assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The amount of media attention that has been devoted to that case has reminded them of their own struggles since the abuse, and has inspired them to speak up.

Unfortunately, for the 4 persons, options for legal action are very limited, because the abuse occurred outside the statute of limitations. Their parents did not inform police when they became aware of the abuse all those years ago, and now the time to file a lawsuit against Conlin has run out. Prosecutors say that they are helpless because any cases that occurred before 1996 are beyond the statute of limitations.

The victims allege that they informed their parents about the abuse when it did occur. However, nobody contacted law enforcement. Instead, Conlin was given a warning to stay away from the children, and a decision was made to protect children from direct contact with him. Fortunately, Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyers now see more people willing to come forward to report sexual abuse. Early reporting of abuses is essential for legal action be taken against a perpetrator.

Gulf War Veterans Now Have Extension for Undiagnosed Illness Benefits Application

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the application window for veterans of the Persian Gulf War who have suffered an undiagnosed illness. The extension has been granted for an additional 5 years.

For years now, the Department of Veterans Affairs has held Gulf War veterans, who want to claim compensation based on undiagnosed illnesses, to a date of December 31, 2011 for the emergence of symptoms. These symptoms of undiagnosed illnesses should have been become apparent by this date. However, that deadline has now been extended to December 31, 2016.

This change affects veterans of the Gulf War who suffer from a number of illnesses that have never been properly understood. The veterans must have suffered from symptoms of the undiagnosed illness at any time during active duty in the South West Asia Theater of Operations during the Gulf War or any time after until December 31, 2016. The Southwest Asia Theater of Operations includes Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf of Aden, and Oman.

Symptoms of these undiagnosed illnesses include muscle pain, neurological symptoms, fatigue, skin problems, headaches, insomnia, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems, neuropsychological problems, respiratory disorders, sudden and unexplainable weight loss, menstrual disorders and headaches. The symptoms have been blamed on a number of possible hazards during the Gulf War. These include environment hazards, vaccinations, and exposure to chemical weapons.

Veterans who suffer from any of these symptoms must contact the Department of Veterans Affairs. These eligibility requirements are fairly general, and there may be additional criteria that may apply. If you have questions about your eligibility for Gulf War undiagnosed illness benefits, it would help to speak with a California veterans’ benefits lawyer.


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