Girardi | Keese

Los Angeles Personal Injury Law Blog

California Joins a Majority of States in Requiring Boat Licenses

"The problem is, people go out on a waterway, and they think, you know, they're on vacation. [...] They're relaxing. Sometimes they're drinking alcohol. And they just don't associate potential dangers with being on vacation."


The quote above is of Bill Monning, the California state lawmaker who introduced legislation that requires boat licenses in the spirit of the driver's license. As per National Public Radio, all boaters will need to obtain licenses by 2025.

For now, come 2018, people under 20 will need to be licensed in order to captain a boat.

Congress Wants to Overrule California Law On Truck Drivers' Rest Breaks

"I want to make sure that the guy in the truck next to me, driving 60,000 pounds, is not going to run me over because he falls asleep."


Federal lawmakers want to put their hands in states' cookie jars when it comes to regulation of the trucking industry. Congress has introduced legislation that would preempt state rules on how long truck drivers can go before taking a break.

Passing the California Bar Exam Doesn't Automatically Make You a Great Lawyer

"For years," the New York Times reports, "California had set the threshold for passing the [bar] exam higher than any other state but Delaware."

California flag and gavel.jpeg

Passing the bar exam doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a great lawyer, but is California's exam unreasonably difficult?

This is the notorious test that all law school graduates must take and pass in order to become duly licensed attorneys and counselors at law. The point of the exam, much like tests and certifications in other disciplines, is to "prove" that you have what it takes to do the job.

What does it really take?

Of course, whether one actually has what it takes to practice law successfully doesn't rest so much on the bar exam as it does on a host of other factors, such as drive, discipline, ethics, good judgment, knowledge and hard-won experience.

Los Angeles Has a Dangerous Intersection Problem

Intersections, by their very nature as a focal point for traffic, are the site of many crashes every year. As it turns out, L.A.'s are some of the most dangerous.

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In terms of crash frequency, Los Angeles intersections appear to have a lot of places beat. In an article on Curbed, Elijah Chiland writes that "more than 90 percent" of dangerous intersections in the state are in SoCal, and half of those are in L.A.

Legal Marijuana May Factor Into Increased Car Accidents, But Alcohol Remains 'One of the Biggest Concerns'

Is legal marijuana playing a role in the number of car crashes? An insurance industry study indicates that is so.  

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The legal definition of "negligence" is the failure of a person or company to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances. Loosely stated, whether or not someone is negligent depends on the "reasonableness" of the behavior in any given situation.

Driving under the influence of any substance, for example, is negligence, when the level of impairment poses a danger to others on the road (exceeding the level of 0.08 for blood alcohol content, for instance, is the legal threshold for alcohol impairment in many jurisdictions).

Latest Self-Driving Car Highlights 'Schism in Design Philosophy' of Autonomous Vehicles

Semi-autonomous vehicles are the newest "distracted driving" threat.

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The new Audi A8, in a piece by the MIT Technology Review filed under the category of "intelligent machines," comes equipped with lasers. Apparently, Audi's lasers one-up Tesla, which at this time opts only for cameras and radar. (The new Audi uses cameras and radar as well as lasers.) Jamie Condliffe for the Review reports that cameras and radar are less accurate than lasers, which is another way of saying that Audi's new car is the King of Autonomous Vehicles, at least in terms of apparent safety.

Keep Your Newly Licensed Teen as Safe as Possible

No. 1 Rule: Lay Off the Gas Pedal


The CDC says that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.

In 2015, to take just one year, more than 2,300 teens ages 16-19 lost their lives in crashes. Hundreds of thousands more were injured.

"[P]er mile driven," the CDC states on its website, "teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash."

Motorcyclist Lashes Out With His Boot on the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita

"We need to get the motorcyclist's side of the story to see what led up to this incident. We're not sure what happened farther back."

  • California Highway Patrol


As the CHP quote above indicates, something must have led up to what you see on video, and that something was evidently enough to provoke the motorcyclist into lashing out right there on the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita.

Pure speculation: Perhaps the car driver "didn't see" the motorcyclist and cut him off (not to excuse the motorcyclist's actions).

A Conversation with Los Angeles Lawyer David Lira

Attorney David Lira.jpgDavid Lira's advice to aspiring PI lawyers:

"Roll up your sleeves, read the file, don't delegate, and always be respectful of your client's situation. And believe in what you're doing."

Girardi | Keese's go-to products liability lawyer was born in Blytheville, Arkansas, and now makes his home in Pasadena. In eighth grade, it was prophesied that David would become a lawyer - and that's exactly what happened. David is now a partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Girardi | Keese.

In this interview, David covers a lot of ground, ranging from where he likes to get his morning coffee, to what he thinks of Tom Girardi's forays into reality TV on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Most importantly, he explains what it means to be a personal injury trial lawyer, and why his tools of choice are an assortment of felt pens and a plethora of Post-It notes.

The Push to Privatize Makes Headway in the Aviation Industry

"FAA air traffic controllers have led one of the safest aviation programs in the world," reports ABC News. President Trump now wants the FAA to step aside.


"I hear we're spending billions and billions of dollars," Trump said, "and it's a system that's totally out of whack."

In February, the Chicago Tribune reported on Trump's efforts to privatize and modernize the U.S. aviation industry. In a meeting at the White House, Trump referred to "obsolete" systems and airports. Airline executives apparently walked out of that meeting in high spirits.

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A Champion of Justice

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