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It's Not the Substance, It's the Decision

A story in the East Bay Times will have marijuana naysayers crying, "I told you so" about the dangers of legalization. Now there's another way (in addition to alcohol and texting) for people to be impaired or distracted while driving.

On Jan. 6, a woman driving at around 100 mph in her Ford Explorer lost control, rolled her SUV over the median, and collided into oncoming traffic, sending multiple people to the hospital.

Sessions' Reefer Madness: The Irony of His Words on the 'Rule of Law'

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Whether you were for or against legal recreational marijuana doesn't matter at this point. As we all know, it's legal in California as of the New Year. But the stoned and sober alike can see the irony in AG Jeff Sessions' speech on restoring the "rule of law" in his recent rollback of the federal hands-off approach to bud during the Obama years.

2017 a Big Year for DUI Arrests in California on the Holidays

"Any time you see a rise it's concerning, especially when we look at fatalities, because that's somebody's loved one."

- California Highway Patrol

The number of DUI arrests made throughout California in December, starting from the holidays through the New Year, increased by 22 percent in 2017 over 2016, as reported by Sophie Haigney with SFGate. The number of DUI arrests during this time edged toward 1,000 (936, to be precise), whereas in 2016, the number was significantly lower, at 767.

Autonomous Cars Conjure Changes to Drunk Driving Laws

The reality of self-driving and autonomous vehicles has arrived. As more of them continue to hit the roads and highways of the U.S., many driving laws will need to change.

While most people use a number of names interchangeably, most self-driving cars must be turned on by the owner and will operate in self-driving mode only in certain circumstances. Fully autonomous cars should operate like driverless taxis.

Apparently Consumers Don't Need Protection against Financial Industry Abuse Anymore

This is a follow up to our post in November about the Trump administration's take-over of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB. Last month, former director Richard Cordray resigned, opening the way for a Trump appointee.

As we wrote then, the CFPB's mission is to regulate banks, lenders, loan providers, and related businesses in an effort to "protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law," but the mission is now in jeopardy.

In the wrong hands, the CFPB could suddenly become much less effective at its job, or perhaps even be abolished altogether, as its opponents have called for.

What 'We the People' Means

The Constitution's preamble states:

  • We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The phrase We the People is widely interpreted as referring to consent. The American people themselves give their consent and the government's authority flows from that consent. Law provides the framework for this authority, as created, enforced, and interpreted by the separate branches of government, rather than the arbitrary authority of men, as in authoritarian rule.

Tom Girardi is Lawyer of the Decade

"There is no one in the world like Tom." Attorney Tom Girardi.jpg

- Stephanie Cirami, IAOTP President

The International Association of Top Professionals has bestowed the honor of "Lawyer of the Decade" on Tom Girardi, founding partner of the Girardi | Keese law firm in Los Angeles. (The IAOTP also honored Tom as "Man of the Year" in 2017.) 

So, who is a Lawyer of the Decade, exactly?

In Ms. Cirami's words, Tom's "continued support and generosity has a significant impact on people's lives and he leaves his mark on whomever or whatever he is involved with. He is an extraordinary human being and a one-of-a-kind successful, brilliant, gracious, charming man who couldn't be more deserving of this award."

California Lawmakers United in Effort to Rebuild After California Wildfires

"These were the worst fires in California's history and, as a result, they left unprecedented damage in their wake."

- Rep. Mike Thompson

In Sarah Wire's report for the Los Angeles Times, she describes how California's entire congressional delegation is united in its effort to obtain federal funding to rebuild after the wildfires in wine country. In a letter to the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Mike Thompson wrote, "These were the worst fires in California's history." Mike Moffitt for the San Francisco Chronicle points out that October is typically the worst month for wildfires.

Based on loss of life alone - a reported 43 people - the wildfires that tore through Tubbs, Sonoma and Napa counties are the worst on record in California.

Los Angeles Attorneys David Lira and Tom Girardi Win Consumer Attorneys of the Year in 2017

"If she had a three-point seat belt, she would have survived like the other family members."

- Attorney David Lira

In November, Girardi | Keese attorneys David Lira and Tom Girardi were honored by the Consumer Attorneys of California as Attorneys of the Year for their successful legal battle with Mazda over dangerous seat belts.

Say Goodbye to the Jackknifing Semi - Apparently

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With the pending SpaceX mission to Mars and the broader long-term plan to colonize the Red Planet, Elon Musk promises to liberate humanity from the shackles of single-planet domination, and turn us into an interplanetary species, complete with increased odds of surviving cataclysmic events like climate change or nuclear annihilation.

But, first, he's going to put an end to the propensity of big rigs to jackknife on the road.

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