Congratulations to our own Robert W. Rubinstein who was included in the 2019 Super Lawyers list. He has been included in the list for ten years now. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in New Jersey are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.
The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.
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While this case has nothing to do with any area of law we practice, it is one of those cute stories you can't help but read. Remember the story about the monkey named Naruto who stole a camera left unattended in 2011 and began snapping his own selfies? Everyone thought it was cute and funny. The photos Naruto took were great! But then came the legal battle. The owner of the camera felt that his company should have the rights to the photos. However, PETA argued that they should have control of the photos to benefit the monkey. Well, the case went on to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a decision was made this week that the owner of the camera owns the photos since monkeys do not have the right to sue under our copyright laws.
A man in Oregon was arrested for kidnapping. He is accused of grabbing a 16 year old girl in June and using a knife to threaten her. The girl states that he tried to pull her into a car. However, the man now claims this is a case of mistaken identity and it wasn't him. It just so happens that the actual culprit was in the same area as this man during the time of the kidnapping and a mere coincidence that both men happen to share a similar appearance. Why was this man in the area you might ask? He was playing Pokemon Go on his phone. Officers checked his phone and confirmed that on two of the three days in question the man did play Pokemon Go on his phone and captured a Pokemon. Even more of a coincidence is that Pokemon was captured at almost the exact time that the kidnapping occurred. Did he happen to see the kidnapping taking place if he was there? It is possible a jury will buy this, but I think there are too many coincidences to explain away. It would be a different situation for me if the two men didn't share a striking resemblance.
Here is a great reminder about how to ride safely in a car during the nice weather months.
It is amazing to me sometimes when I hear some of the laws other states have on the books. Texas never seeks to amaze me.
In Texas, there is a law that states that basically if one is not the biological father of a child, that person still owes child support payments that accrue before a paternity test proves otherwise.
Sounds ridiculous that one would have to pay for a child not theirs. Makes you wonder what type of situation this might apply to. One man quickly learned. Turns out in 2003 the man's girlfriend gave birth to a child and swore the man was the child's father. She applied for child support and it accrued to $65,000 in back payments. The man learned of this once papers were finally served on him. He met the child, and after a DNA test realized the child is not his. The Texas court did not care though. Because this law is still on the books, the man is responsible for paying the back support since he did nothing to stop it. Of course if someone lists you as a father of a child and you are not made aware, how are you to stop something you know nothing about!
Check out this article about the dangers:
Here is some great news for those suffering any type of memory issues or brain damage. New research has successfully restored memories in brain damaged mice. This could have great potential benefits for those injured in a car accident and sustaining a head injury. This is worth the read if you have time.
Read Article here
It is becoming more popular in the home to have either an Amazon Echo, frequently called Alexa, or a Google Home. These devices tell us jokes, put things on our to-do lists, etc. Did you know that it can call the police?
In New Mexico, a man and woman were having a domestic dispute. The man had a firearm and threatened to kill the woman. He attacked her. At some point during the fight, the man asked "did you call the sheriffs?", which a smart device (the exact model unknown) heard the question and called 911. The sheriff's department received the call and took it seriously, sending a car to the home and basically saving the woman and a child in the home.
I know the Amazon Echo does not do this yet. Maybe it was the Google Home speaker in this particular home. Either way, I think this, like anything, is good and bad. I think it is a great idea for home in case there is a domestic dispute, like above, or even if there is an intruder. We frequently read about someone breaking into a home and assaulting someone in their bedroom. Imagine if you could yell, "Alexa, call 911" and the police just show up. No more trying to get to the phone to make a call, assuming you even have a home line anymore. Imagine being attacked, trying to find your cell phone, unlock it and dial 911. It just seems so much quicker and easier to be able to shout to the device to call for help. The intruder will hear the cry, hopefully run, and your life may be saved as well. Here is one for technology!
For any of you that watch Jane The Virgin, you will remember that Rose Solano aka Sin Rostro had a business happening at the hotel where criminal appearances were changed with the use of plastic surgery. Sounds far fetched of course. However, I'm sure deep down you thought this was a brilliant idea and if you ever became such a wanted criminal, this is what you would do.
Well, it actually does happen! Turns out about 30 years ago a Brazilian drug lord named Luiz Carlos da Rocha had the same idea. He was wanted for being one of the biggest cocaine kingpins in South America. He had an estimated $100 million in assets and decided to use some of that fortune to change his appearance to avoid being captured. Well, after 30 years running and hiding, likely in plain site, he was captured.
We are all familiar with the ongoing police killings that seem to be a recurring event. The news highlights the event, follows up with maybe an arrest or charge against the officer. And the boom; story is over. We rarely get to see what the outcome is for the family. Did the family sue? Did the family settle the lawsuit? Was there a trial? Recently, we were afforded the opportunity to see what happened in the end for two families.
In the case of Michael Brown, who was shot by the Ferguson police, the family recently settled for $1.5 million. That may seem like a lot, until you compare it to another family.
In a Maryland shooting, where the family was white, instead of black like Mr. Brown, the family received $1.26 million. At first, you may say it was because they were white. But before you do, you should know that the victim in the Maryland case was a dog. The officer was confronted by the dog in the homeowner's front yard as he was investigating a burglary in the neighborhood. The officer said he was attacked by the dog and as a result, shot the dog. Later in court, the officer admitted that the dog did not attack or injure him before he pulled out his weapon. That family received $1.26 million.
Yes these are two different states where the events occurred. Yes these states may have drastically different law concerning police shootings or wrongful death. But it still begs the question what is a life worth.
Kristy L. Bruce enjoys the satisfaction of helping change someones life for the better. She hopes you enjoy this blog.