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BAKER, KEENER & NAHRA, LLP

Trial Attorneys

Posted by on Apr 23, 2018 in Publications |

Perils For The Good Samaritan

Perils For The Good Samaritan

At some point in most of our lives we were taught the “golden rule” – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, put less archaically, treat others as you want to be treated. Generally speaking, many of us try to live by a version of this concept, including helping those around us when we seem them in need. Whether it’s as simple as holding the door open for a total stranger or the more onerous driving three hours into the middle of nowhere to help out a friend whose car broke down, I would venture that almost everyone, at least once in their life, has helped another human being in need. A Court of Appeals decision from earlier this year is a good reminder, however, that not all good deeds go unpunished. In Priscilla O’Malley v. Hospitality Staffing Solutions, an opinion issued on January 31, 2018, the Court of Appeals upheld the long-standing rule in California with respect to the legal duty to assist...

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Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Publications |

Another Year Closer to Autonomous Vehicles, Another Year With Inadequate Law To Guide Us

Another Year Closer to Autonomous Vehicles, Another Year With Inadequate Law To Guide Us

Human drivers get a reprieve for another year at least It’s only been about a month since ringing in the start of 2018 and we’re yet another another step closer to one of the most significant technological shifts in recent history and a past favorite topic of discussion – i.e. autonomous vehicles. Let’s be clear about one thing, though: 2018 is not the year of the autonomous vehicle. A Tesla car slamming into a parked fire truck at full speed is plenty of evidence of that. Turns out, the dark little secret about current autonomous technology is that the cars basically ignore all non-moving objects because the systems are so limited that they can’t meaningfully distinguish between, say, a bright red stop sign and a bright red fire truck in the middle of the road. To put this in perspective, while my phone is smart enough to be able to distinguish between my face and my dad’s face, the top-of-the-line, $100,000+ autonomous vehicles can’t tell the difference between a...

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Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in Recent Cases |

Defense verdict on insurance bad faith claim

Attorneys Bob Baker and Derrick Lowe, representing a large automotive insurance company and an insurance brokerage, successfully defended a bad faith claim asserted by a plaintiff in response to the rescission of his automobile insurance policy. In a week-long bench trial in Palm Springs, the judge agreed with our clients’ position that the plaintiff made several material misrepresentations during his application for insurance – including a failure to disclose the business use of his vehicle and lying about the garaging location of his vehicle – and concluded that our client had the absolute right to rescind the policy in view of these misrepresentations. For these reasons, the judge dismissed plaintiff’s claims that the insurance contract had been breached and that there had been any bad faith on the part of our...

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Posted by on Oct 22, 2017 in Recent Cases |

Verdict for defendant law firms on motion for non-suit

Attorneys Bob Baker and Derrick Lowe recently represented two defendant law firms in a lawsuit where a treating physician and his business entities sued them for an alleged failure to pay an outstanding medical lien. Subsequent to the presentation of plaintiffs’ case, a motion for non-suit was successfully filed on behalf of the defendants on a number of grounds, including the absence of an enforceable lien. The Court granted the non-suit, bringing plaintiff’s case to a swift close, and granted a judgment enabling our clients to successfully recover many of their costs incurred in defending this...

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Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Publications |

“The Lawyer Dwells On Small Details”

“The Lawyer Dwells On Small Details”

The California Court of Appeals published an interesting case a couple years ago in 2015 called Womack v. Lovell that started out with a rather unique introduction that is the subject of this particular post: “In his rock and roll standard, ‘End of the Innocence,’ Bruce Hornsby notes that ‘The lawyers dwell on small details.’ That’s true. We have to. The devil isn’t the only resident in the details; sometimes truth and fairness lodge there as well. In this case, we address a ‘detail’ that was lost or hidden and resulted in what we consider an injustice. Fortunately, as is usually the case, painstaking attention to other small details enables us to correct this injustice. If you dwell on small details with an eye to fairness, the law works well.” In Womack , the issue was a failure by a plaintiff contractor to produce a verified certificate of license, which was required under a somewhat obscure statute in the Business and Professions Code in order to bring a lawsuit...

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