In yet another chapter in the VW emissions saga, the New York Times reports that the FBI has arrested Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, who was the chief emissions compliance officer for VW in the U.S. Schmidt has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. The Times characterizes Schmidt's arrest as an "escalation" of the criminal investigation against VW.
Cadden is accused of having caused the deaths of dozens of people, for which he faces second-degree murder charges. Cadden used to be the co-owner and chief pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center, until around 2012, when he and his colleagues were implicated in a deadly meningitis outbreak that sickened hundreds of people in 20 states.
Mount your phone and limit yourself to tapping and swiping.
Better yet, get your GPS directions started before you drive off.
It's a new year, and with a new year, comes new laws. "As of Sunday," CBS Sacramento reports, "drivers can no longer hold their cellphone while driving - the phone has to be mounted on their windshield or their center console, and drivers are only allowed to tap or swipe on their phone."
Tom Girardi of the Girardi | Keese law firm in Los Angeles recently took part in California Lawyer's Class Action Roundtable, a "spirited discussion" covering the presidential election, the future of SCOTUS, and trends in class action litigation.
Below we present a few of Mr. Girardi's thoughts from that roundtable.
The California DMV insists that tech powerhouse Uber obtain special permits to operate its self-driving cars, and has threatened legal action if Uber fails to comply, according to a recent ABC News report.
On Dec. 14, an Uber Volvo SUV, equipped as a self-driving vehicle, ran a red light outside of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In the process, the Volvo apparently came close to hitting a pedestrian. Uber claims that it was human error. Nonetheless, the California DMV wants Uber to obtain permits to test its self-driving cars on public roads.
Apparently, Uber has refused to do so, claiming that with human operators behind the controls in case something goes wrong, Uber enjoys an exception to the permit rule.
This brings us to the basic conflict between automakers and regulators. Put simply, it boils down to safety. And there is a big difference in terms of approach, which is one of pursuing opportunity vs. managing risk.
Lawyer Monthly has recognized Girardi | Keese for its achievement and success in environmental law by naming Girardi | Keese its Environmental Liability, U.S. Law Firm of the Year for 2016.
The Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards recognize "the achievements of law firms, lawyers, barristers and those connected to the legal world who have a proven track record in delivering results for their clients over the past twelve months. [...] Each category has been selected to represent the diversity of skills and knowledge that the profession has to offer clients across the globe."
"After 15 seconds, the power went out, and another 30 seconds later it was completely engulfed. It went so fast."
- Survivor's quote
UPDATE: On Dec. 8, TIME reported the Ghost Ship as "missing" from the city's fire-inspection lists, making it hard to know when the warehouse was last inspected - if ever - for fire hazards.
In less than a minute or so, roughly 100 people were caught in a blaze that caused at least 36 deaths in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, in the early morning hours of Dec. 3, 2016. The fire took place at a show in the Ghost Ship Warehouse.
In the days to follow, there will undoubtedly be those who try to blame the partygoers, artists, and fans of electronic music.
The investigation is not yet complete, but like the Berkeley balcony collapse in the summer of 2015, the likely cause of many of these deaths was from structure and premises defects, not those who came for the party and to see and hear the performers.
In Berkeley, investigators found a major problem with the balcony's original construction. In Oakland, early reports have revealed that the Ghost Ship suffered from building code violations that evidently went ignored, including a staircase that wasn't a staircase at all, but a makeshift one built of wood pallets.
According to OC Weekly:
"There are plenty of good trial lawyers in Southern California, but few, if any, are better than John Girardi. The veteran Los Angeles-based Girardi, regularly hailed as a "Super Lawyer," has dominated Orange County's courthouses for more than a decade while specializing in product and government-entity liability, as well as employment law and class actions. He doesn't fit the mold of a stereotypical pushy, obnoxious lawyer eager to find a TV news camera. He's well-prepared and unflappable, even when taking on teams of taxpayer-funded opposing counsel prone to courtroom shenanigans and legal trickery. Police agencies here usually triumph in lawsuits, except when Girardi, whose personality and presentations endear juries, is involved. He has represented decent cops harassed by corrupt bosses in Anaheim and Newport Beach and captured damages and fees topping $7 million. Several years ago, he secured a $4.5 million settlement in a case involving a Trinity Broadcasting Network pastor who left a church meeting heavily intoxicated and caused a serious traffic collision."
Tom Girardi, attorney and founder of the Los Angeles law firm Girardi | Keese, is honored to be recognized by the International Association of Top Professionals, an organization dedicated to handpicking the "best of the best" professionals from a variety of fields and bringing them together for networking and recognition.
Mr. Girardi was both "Man of the Year" for 2017 and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Mr. Girardi was a Top Attorney of the Year for 2016-2017.
With Girardi | Keese, referring attorneys know that their clients are in the right hands.
In 2014, Girardi | Keese attorneys Tom Girardi, Christopher T. Aumais, David Lira, and Nicole DeVanon won a multimillion-dollar jury award for their client, Bryan Stow, after two fans severely beat him at Dodger Stadium. The jury agreed with Girardi | Keese that the Dodgers should not have cut back on security at Dodger Stadium; had they not, Stow likely would not have been so seriously and permanently injured.
In the next Dodger Stadium case, the security itself was the problem.