Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Engineer Awarded $500,000 in Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Age bias is one of the lesser-known forms of discrimination in the workplace.  A former engineer working for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has won more than $500,000 in damages in an age bias lawsuit that he filed against the department.
According to the lawsuit, Richard W. Warden Vs Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the plaintiff accepted a two-year buyout and retirement in the mineral resources management division of the Department of Natural Resources back in 2006.  After that, he accepted three contracts to continue work with the division. 
However, in 2010, the mineral resources management division posted an ad for a full-time engineer, but when the plaintiff inquired about this vacancy he was informed that he was not likely to be chosen for the post because he was a retiree.  Ultimately, the position of the full-time engineer went to a 39-year-old person.  At the time of the appointment, the plaintiff was 54 years old.
Now, a court has found that the Department of Natural Resources’ decision to give a younger person the full-time job constituted age bias.
The court has however ruled that reinstatement of the plaintiff in the job is not appropriate, because the person who was hired has now been working on the job for 3 years.  However, Warren has been awarded a total of $507,700 in the damages.  That also includes more than $100,000 in back wages.
San Jose employment lawyers find that some industries are at an especially high risk of workplace discrimination against seniors, or even people who are in their 50s, who don't really qualify as seniors.  For example, the tech industry in California's Silicon Valley is notoriously famous for discriminating against older persons.  In fact, several tech companies including Google have found themselves the target of legal action for such age-related discrimination.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Los Angeles Dodgers Player Arrested for DUI

Los Angeles Dodgers player James Loney was arrested for DUI after an accident involving several cars last month. According to police, his vehicle sideswiped several vehicles before he finally passed out at the wheel. The incident took place in November in Sherman Oaks, but has only now been reported in the media.

According to the California Highway Patrol, officers found Loney’s behavior at the scene of the accident to be extremely unusual. He was arrested at the scene, and then taken to the hospital for further tests. Tests for drug and alcohol have yielded negative results. However, the results of the blood tests are not yet in.

Loney’s DUI arrest is not expected to affect his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has already been tendered a contract for the 2012 season. However, he still faces possible criminal charges. If Loney's blood tests reveal a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more at the time of the accident, he could face two criminal charges. He could be charged with driving while physically or mentally impaired by alcohol or drugs, and may also be charged with driving with a BAC of .08% or more.

Getting in touch with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer immediately is important when you have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles. A person arrested for DUI in California has only a period of 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In some cases, a Los Angeles DUI attorney may be able to get an extension on the time limit.

The number of people who need a Los Angeles DUI lawyer is excepted to spike over the next couple of weeks as law enforcement agencies in California increase enforcement activities during the holiday season. Expect more sobriety checkpoints and more California Highway Patrol troopers and local law enforcement officers patrolling the roads as we get closer to New Year's.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Supreme Court to Decide If Law Reducing Crack Cocaine Sentences Can Be Applied Retroactively

The Supreme Court will soon hear a case involving 2 men who were convicted, but not sentenced, before a federal law reducing sentences for crack cocaine offenses went into effect.

The men, Edwin Dorsey and Corey Hill, were convicted of federal crack cocaine offenses before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 went into effect in August 2010. However, they had not been sentenced at that time.

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced the disparity in sentencing between persons convicted for crack cocaine offenses versus powder cocaine offenses. Until the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was passed, the disparity in sentences for these offenses was staggering. There was a difference of 100 to 1 in sentencing for persons convicted of crack cocaine offenses, compared to those sentenced for powder cocaine crimes.

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 vastly reduced the disparity to 18 to 1. However, people like Dorsey and Hill, who had been convicted before the law went into effect, were left hanging in the pipeline, because they were believed to be ineligible for the new sentencing guidelines. A Chicago appeals court ruled that the 2 men were not eligible for the federal sentencing law to be applied retroactively to them.

The case has now gone to the Supreme Court, and next week, the Supreme Court Is expected to begin hearing oral arguments. Dorsey and Hill insist that they are eligible for lower sentences, because of the Fair Sentencing Act.

It seems very unfair to California criminal defense lawyers that the law has been applied retroactively to persons who had been sentenced before the law went into effect, but not for those whose sentences were pending at the time. Almost 12,400 prisoners have filed a motion seeking early release after the sentencing reductions were made retroactive in November. However, incomplete sentencing cases have been left languishing in the pipeline.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Caylee’s Law Would Allow Felony Criminal Charges against Parents of Missing Children

Efforts around the country to pass legislation that would allow charges to be filed against parents who fail to report when their children are missing, are gaining momentum. In Florida, lawmakers have already proposed legislation that would allow felony charges to be brought against parents who wait too long to report that their children are missing. Other states are considering similar measures.

The Florida legislation came after a petition was signed by more than 700,000 people calling for such legislation. Under the Florida proposal, parents who fail to report a missing child under the age of 12 after 48 hours, could face felony charges. Additionally, the Florida legislature would also allow felony charges to be brought against parents who fail to report a child's death or the location of the child's corpse within two hours of the death.

The calls for such legislation have emerged after the acquittal of Casey Anthony for the murder of her two-year-old daughter. Anthony was acquitted of the murder and other charges, but was found guilty of lying to investigators. These were misdemeanor charges that led to a four-year prison sentence. However, had there been a law requiring parents to report their missing children, she could have been sentenced to up to 15 years.

Other states around the country are also considering such measures. In Utah, lawmakers are in the beginning stages of drafting a bill that would make it a felony to fail to report a missing or dead child. The bill will be presented in the next legislative session. Similar efforts are underway in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Colorado, people have been sending mass e-mails to legislators to push for a similar law.

From experience, Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys have noted that when laws are designed purely to honor a deceased person, they usually end up doing more harm than good. These laws have little reasoning, and are designed simply to appease the public.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Ten Reasons Why You May Be Pulled over for DUI

Even though it may seem so, police officers rarely pull persons over on suspicion of drunk driving on a whim. They look for signs of intoxicated driving before they decide to pull someone over. Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers believe you’re at a much higher risk of being pulled over for drunk driving if:

• You’re weaving between lanes
• You’re drifting between lanes
• You’re driving at excessive speeds (defined as 10 mph above the speed limit)
• You’re driving too close to the vehicle in front of you
• You apply the brakes frequently and unnecessarily
• You’re driving the wrong way
• You almost hit another vehicle, pedestrian
• You drive off the highway
• You fail to obey traffic signals
• You’re driving at inappropriately low speeds

If a police officer notices such driving behavior, the officer is likely to pull you over to investigate. Once you're pulled over, if the police officer has reason to believe that you're intoxicated, he may subject you to a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test can include a number of smaller tests. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, probably known as the penlight test, in which you will be required to follow a pen with your eyes, while the officer monitors your eye movement or angle, a heel-to-toe test to determine your ability to follow instructions and walk a straight line, as well as a one-leg stand test.

Other simple tests involve reciting the alphabet. However, only the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, one-leg stand and the heel-to-toe test are considered fairly reliable. After the field sobriety test, a police officer may ask for a chemical test too. The results of all these tests are meant to be used as evidence of your condition at the time you were pulled over.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Yuba City Dental Assistant Sentenced to Prison on Fraud Charges

A dental assistant from Yuba City has been sentenced to three years in prison after she was convicted of embezzlement charges. The woman had been charged with stealing $205,000 from a dentist, her former employer. She apparently used the money to pay for surgery and purchase some jewelry and electronic items. The embezzlement apparently continued over a period of five years, during which she worked as an office manager at the dentist’s office.

According to prosecutors, the embezzlement involved manipulation of time sheets in order to collect pay for the days that she did not work. Prosecutors also believe that she charged personal items on the company credit card.

Embezzlement charges are typically filed when a person steals money or property when in a position of responsibility. Embezzlement crimes typically involve employees in corporate settings. In California, embezzlement crimes fall under the category of fraud crimes. Embezzlement can involve not just money, but also property or any other assets that the person has responsibility over, has knowledge of, or has access to. The main difference between regular theft and embezzlement is that in embezzlement crimes, the person has responsibility over and access to the assets that are being stolen.

Embezzlement charges in California can result in severe penalties. A person could be sentenced to jail, and may be fined. He or she may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, and may be asked to undergo community service. The fine amount increases with the frequency of the crime, as well as the amount that is stolen. Typically, crimes involving amounts worth less than $400 may come with smaller penalties. However, when the money stolen is more than $400, then the person may be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. A person can be sentenced to at least 16 months in prison and restitution.

San Diego criminal defense attorneys caution that, as in this case, an employee may be convicted of embezzlement even for such activities as knowingly submitting improperly completed timesheets. It is important for employees to be scrupulously when dealing with an employer's money or assets.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Hewlett-Packard and Turbon to Settle Toner Cartridge Trade Secret Lawsuit

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Turbon AG have agreed to settle a trade secrets lawsuit that accused the former of stealing trade secrets for toner cartridges. The lawsuit was filed by Turbon in June 2010, and accuses Hewlett-Packard of getting Turbon to disclose important details about its business, under the promise of a contract. Turbon filed a lawsuit seeking to bar Hewlett-Packard from using Turbon’s trade secrets for remanufacturing toner cartridges.

Last week, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Turbon announced that they have reached a settlement.

There were more legal developments involving Hewlett-Packard last week. The company sued its former ally, Oracle Corp. over a dispute involving the Intel Itanium microprocessor chip. Oracle Corp. announced that new versions of Oracle’s software would no longer support the Itanium chip, the microprocessor used by many of HP’s high-end servers. HP argues that dropping support for the microprocessor violates promises of continuing support for customers and is part of a plan by Oracle to force Oracle customers to use Sun servers instead of those manufactured by Hewlett-Packard.

Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, one-time allies with close to 140,000 common customers, have clashed several times over the past few years. First, the two clashed over former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd. Hurd was forced to leave soon after reports of an improper relationship with an office worker. He was quickly snapped up by Oracle, which hired him soon after. Hewlett-Packard filed a trade secrets lawsuit against Hurd after he was hired by Oracle. The companies managed to settle that lawsuit.

Then, Hewlett-Packard hired former SAP AG chief executive Leo Apotheker. While he had been employed at SAP AG, he had been engaged in a sometimes vicious copyright infringement clash with Oracle. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison charged Apotheker with a grand scheme of industrial espionage at SAP, focused exclusively on acquiring Oracle's trade secrets. Hewlett-Packard sprung to its new employee’s defense, assuring Los Angeles business dispute lawyers of a continuing battle between HP and Oracle.