Patrick Phillips Named As Rising Star By Super Lawyers Magazine

We are pleased to announce that Patrick Phillips has been named to the 2016 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The Rising Star list, which recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state, is published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazine and in leading city and regional magazines… Read More >

Criminal Charges Filed Over Porter Ranch Gas Leak

If you live near the Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch, there is no doubt you are already familiar with the massive uncontrolled natural gas leak that is presently causing large numbers of people in the area to fall ill.  The leak, which sprung from a natural gas facility owned by Southern California Gas Company, has been ongoing since October and is allegedly releasing more than 30,000 kilograms of methane per hour—that’s roughly the equivalent of what 1.4 million cars… Read More >

FTC Sues Business For Using “Gag Clause” Against Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Florida-based company Roca Labs, which allegedly threatened to enforce “gag clause” provisions against consumers to stop them from posting negative reviews and testimonials online. The FTC alleges in its complaint that Roca Labs and their principles have threatened legal action and in some cases actually filed suit against customers who posted negative reviews or complained to the Better Business Bureau about the quality of various “weight loss pills” and diet supplements… Read More >

Policing For Profit

“To serve, protect, and also make a profit.”  Some would argue that is a more accurate slogan for police departments that participate in civil asset seizure—a legally sanctioned practice that permits law enforcement to seize cash believed to be the proceeds of drug trafficking and then keep a share of that money to help fund their department. 24-year-old student Charles Clarke is a recent example of how unfair civil asset forfeiture can be.  In February 2014, DEA agents seized $11,000… Read More >

Student Sues Over Suspension For Two Word Tweet

Two words have probably never generated more legal controversy than those “tweeted” by Reid Sagehorn in January 2014.  Then a high school senior, Mr. Sagehorn tweeted the words “Actually yes” in response to a tweet about whether he “made out” with a teacher from his school. The tweet caught the attention of Mr. Sagehorn’s school, and although Mr. Sagehorn tried to explain that the tweet was intended as a joke and not to be taken seriously, the school suspended Mr…. Read More >

Car Insurance For Your Bicycle?

Cycling has seen a recent surge in popularity, and with it, a surge in bicycle versus car accidents.  Most people know that if you are injured by a car while riding a bicycle, you can file a claim with the driver’s auto insurance to obtain compensation for your injuries.  But what if the driver fled the scene, has no insurance, or simply doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages?  Surprisingly, your own uninsured motorist coverage from your car insurance… Read More >

Lesser Known (But Still Common) Car Insurance Exclusions

Most people who own vehicles have something called collision coverage as part of their auto insurance policy.  Collision coverage insures the policy holder’s vehicle against damage or destruction regardless of who is at fault for the accident.  This, of course, gives people a valued sense of security about the often significant investment they’ve made in their car. However, most collision coverage is not nearly as comprehensive as people tend to think.  Most policies contain a number of exclusions which, though… Read More >

CA Supreme Court Limits Franchisor Vicarious Liability

In a blow to the rights of franchise employees, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling last week in Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC that significantly limits franchisor liability in employment and tort matters.  Specifically, the Court ruled 4-3 that a franchisor is not vicariously liable for sexual harassment perpetrated by an employee of a franchisee unless the franchisor exercises control over the manner and means by which their franchisees hire, fire, discipline and manage workers. In the case of… Read More >

Underinsured Motorist Coverage & Apportioned Third Party Settlements

A surprisingly common scenario that our southern California law office encounters when handling motor vehicle injury claims is a circumstance arising when our client has underinsured motorist coverage and obtains an apportioned settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance.  “Apportioned settlements” typically refer to policy limit settlements which are apportioned between three or more claimants.  So, for example, in a circumstance where three people are injured in a car accident and the at fault driver has insurance coverage of $15,000 per… Read More >

Naming Vehicle Owners As Defendants In Car Accident Lawsuits

We are often asked whether the owner of a vehicle can be named in a lawsuit for personal injury arising from a car accident.  The answer to this question is “yes,” though establishing liability against the car’s owner is more complicated than simply proving ownership. The most common theories of liability against the owner of a vehicle who was not physically driving the car at the time of the accident are “negligent entrustment” and “respondent superior.”  Negligent entrustment claims arise… Read More >