News & Blog

Fact or Fiction: Rap Lyrics Are Admissible Evidence of Guilt in a Murder Case

In a judicial opinion filed in 2019, the State of Maryland’s highest court ruled that rap lyrics may be admitted in court as evidence of a defendant’s guilt. The Maryland court stated: “Petitioner’s rap lyrics had a close nexus to details of an alleged murder because the lyrics had a close factual nexus to the details of the murder, had a close temporal nexus to...
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Fact or Fiction: Alleged Rape Victims Must Arbitrate Claims within the Church of Scientology

Believe it or not, this is a fact! In August of 2019 four women filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. The women allege they were stalked and intimidated by Church of Scientology agents after reporting to police sexual assault allegations against actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role on “That ’70s Show”. The women all claim that Masterson raped or sexually assaulted...
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New California Laws Coming In 2021

Perhaps the California legislature passed fewer laws this past year due to the pandemic or the general election, but here are the major new laws coming to the Golden State in 2021. More Employees Will Have Guaranteed 12 Weeks of Unpaid Family Leave. Currently, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer 12 weeks of unpaid family leave....
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Can Grandparents Sue for Unpaid Wages for Childcare? Kobe Bryant’s Mother-In-Law Just Did.

The late Kobe Bryant’s mother-in-law, Sofia Laine, has sued her own daughter – Vanessa Bryant. Vanessa Bryant inherited control of an estate valued at about $600 million after Kobe’s sudden death in a helicopter accident earlier this year. In September 2020, Sofia appeared on a Spanish-language television show and told the host that Vanessa had evicted her and left her homeless. “She told me, ‘I...
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Fact or Fiction: Most Lawsuits Against Insurers for Failing to Cover Pandemic Losses Have Been Thrown Out of Court

Believe it or not, this is a fact! Along with thousands of smaller mom-and-pop businesses, insurers have been sued by larger companies such as: Century 21, the 60-year-old real estate brokerage, announced it would be closing for good and  blamed its insurer. Retailer Ralph Lauren sued its insurance company, Factory Mutual, which was one of the few insurers that offered policies that explicitly provided some...
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Want Your Job Back? Can Employers Require Employees to Take the Covid-19 Vaccine?

On December 8, the Food and Drug Administration released papers appearing to say that Pfizer’s vaccine showed “a favorable safety profile, with no specific safety concerns.” So far, however, neither the EEOC nor the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have provided guidance to employers on COVID-19 vaccine requirements. In the past, employers have been allowed to require safety measures such as vaccines, with exceptions for...
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Fact or Fiction: Federal Judges Have No Protection for Their Personal Information

This is a fact! Multiple federal judges and even their families have been targeted for murder. Fifteen years ago, the husband and mother of federal Judge Joan Lefkow were murdered at her home by an aggrieved former plaintiff. Four federal judges have been killed since 1979, and the number of threats is skyrocketing, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. In July 2020 federal Judge Esther...
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Will Centuries Old Laws Limit Cruise Line Liability in Covid-19 Lawsuits?

It may depend where the victim died! The Death on the High Seas Act Drastically Limits Recovery for Victims and Their Families The Death on the High Seas Act (“DOHSA”), applies “when the death of an individual is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas beyond three nautical miles from shore of the United States”. 46 U.S.C. §30302. If DOHSA...
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Prop 22 Blows a Hole in California’s Independent Contractor Law

It’s official. California voters have voted “overwhelmingly,” (winning by almost 59% of the vote) to allow “gig economy” companies like Uber and Lyft to continue treating drivers as independent contractors. Gig economy companies like Uber funded the ballot measure after a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling, later codified in a 2019 state law called “AB 5” mandated that workers who performed tasks within a company’s...
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#FreeBritney … The Legal Battle to Free Britney Spears

Every family has its drama; fame doesn’t make a difference. This Thanksgiving, the Spear’s family dinner might be a little awkward. Britney Spears recently filed a formal motion to permanently remove her father as a co-conservator of her $54 million estate and appoint Bessemer Trust Company the sole conservator moving forward. The motion was meant to formalize an arrangement that has been in place for over...
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