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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 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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Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Publications |

Top Ten (Eight) Lessons To Be Learned From The 2014 Sony Hack

Top Ten (Eight) Lessons To Be Learned From The 2014 Sony Hack

It’s approaching three years since the November 2014 hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment grabbed headlines and since then, stories of information theft, computers being held hostage by malware, data leaks and the like seem as though they are becoming more of a part of the everyday fabric of our digital life, not less. For this reason, it seems prudent to embrace the time honored “top ten” list tradition and provide you with ten (okay, only eight) considerations to keep in mind for the health and welfare of your digital life, whether at home or at work. Here they are, in no particular order: 1. If You Don’t Want It Leaked, Don’t Write It Your mom was right when she said not to say anything if you have nothing nice to say. No matter what the marketing materials may say, there really is no such thing as a perfectly secure communication. Even your million-bit encrypted, billion dollar secure e-mail system is vulnerable to the Mark 1 eyeball if you forget...

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Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Publications |

California Supreme Court – Rest Periods Must Be Restful

California Supreme Court – Rest Periods Must Be Restful

Rest means rest In a ruling issued this week, the California Supreme Court in Jennifer August, et al. v. ABM Security Services, Inc. held in a two-part decision that state law prohibits on-duty and on-call rest periods, concluding that during required rest periods employers “must relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time.” The Court specifically held that “a rest period during which an employer may require that an employee continue performing duties seems to place too much semantic emphasis on ‘period’ – and too little on ‘rest'” and that “one cannot square the practice of compelling employees to remain at the ready, tethered by time and policy to particular locations or communications devices, with the requirement to relieve employees of all work duties and employer control during 10-minute rest periods.” In short, when an employee is on break, the employee must be on break – the employer cannot require him to perform certain duties while he is resting (e.g....

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Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Publications |

Court of Appeals Sets Standard For Loss Of Earning Capacity Claim

Court of Appeals Sets Standard For Loss Of Earning Capacity Claim

It will come as no surprise that injuries affect our lives in a wide variety of different ways, including the impact an injury can have on our ability to work. When it comes to recovering damages in a lawsuit for the impact an injury has on our ability to work, the damages generally fall into two categories: what a person would have earned – i.e. loss of earnings – and what a person could have earned in the future – i.e. loss of earning capacity. An actual truck driver gets injured… To better understand the difference between these two categories, consider two different situations. First, let’s say you are working as a truck driver but, due to a back injury, are unable to drive for a month. If you filed a lawsuit seeking damages for this injury it would likely be a loss of earnings claim, as what you’d be trying to recover (ignoring workers’ compensation claims for purposes of this example) is the wages you would have earned...

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