Blog

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 12:02pm
Earlier this week, the Pacific Fishery Management Council ("PFMC") adopted recreational and commercial ocean salmon season recommendations for the West Coast, including the North Coast of California. The proposed recreational salmon season on the north coast, from the Oregon/California border south to Horse Mountain, runs from June 1 through Labor Day, September 3, 2018. The proposed commercial season is more detailed, with intermittent openings and varying quotas along the northern California coast.
 
The PFMC’s recommendations follow its annual spring meetings in March and April and multiple opportunities for public comment. At its March meeting, the PFMC adopted three alternatives for the 2018 West Coast salmon season. It then solicited public comments on the alternatives, both in writing and in person at public hearings held in Washington, Oregon, and California. This month’s meeting included additional public comment and scientific information before the adoption of the final proposals. In reaching its season recommendations each year, the PFMC considers input from federal, state, and tribal fishery scientists, fishing industry members, and public comment.
 
The PFMC’s recommendations will be sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval later this month, which will be followed by individual sate agency actions to adopt appropriate state regulations for the upcoming season.
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 6:27am
This last week saw the issuance of a number of interim permits that now allow local cultivators to apply for an interim cultivation licenses through the California Department of Food and Agriculture. As part of the interim license permit, the application requests that you choose which market you would like to serve, either adult use or medical.
 
While the decision to serve the adult use market or medical market is an important decision, a cultivator’s choice will not matter until July 1, 2018. That’s because the emergency regulations promulgated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture will let you serve both during what the regulations call a “transition” period. Section 8102 of the regulations provides, “Notwithstanding any other provision, until July 1, 2018, licensees may conduct commercial cannabis activities with any other licensee, regardless of the A or M designation of the licensee.”
 
So cultivators, don’t put too much pressure on yourselves right now to make the decision of which market you would like to serve.
Friday, March 30, 2018 - 5:49am
Discussions around estate planning often begin with taxes and how to avoid paying estate. In reality, only a small percentage of estates are subject to federal estate taxes. The new federal tax law enacted by congress earlier this year greatly reduced the number of estates subject to such taxes by essentially doubling the amount of money that is automatically exempt from federal estate tax – to approximately $11 million or  $22 million per married couple.

This change in the tax law, however, does not change the necessity of making an estate plan, even if your estate’s assets are well under these federal exemption amounts. For many people, the most important part of their estate plan involves planning for their financial wellbeing while they are still alive via durable powers of attorney and advanced healthcare directives. After death planning can help you control your assets after death by designating how your assets and any special possessions are distributed to your loved ones, and avoid public and costly probate proceedings in court.

Once you’ve completed and executed your estate plan, don’t neglect all of your work and planning by filing it away for the next decade or more. It is essential to review your estate planning documents periodically to ensure they still reflect your wishes and are able to effectuate them under any new laws that may have been enacted. In particular, it is especially important to review and update your estate planning documents with certain life changes, such as a divorce or marriage; the death of someone named in your estate plan; children turning eighteen; a substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate; the acquisition (or disposition) of a significant asset; moving to another state; or changes in state or federal law. The passage of time alone is enough to warrant a review of your documents.

If you would like more information about estate planning, creating your own estate plan, or updating or reviewing your plan, please give us a call. We are happy to help give you the peace of mind that comes with good planning.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 6:54am
Just a friendly lawyerly reminder to update your address of record with the Medical Board of California, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, or the Board of Registered Nursing.  Most licensing agencies require that licensees register an address where they can be reliably contacted for professional purposes. The agencies will use the address you provide when they send relevant licensing information, such as license fee notices, notifications of complaints and investigations, and disciplinary action against your license.  Assume that your address of record will be where all mission critical correspondence should be directed. Also assume that the address you use will be public, meaning that any person who searches for your name will find the address you provide.  If you use a post office box or your office as your address of record, you should ensure that you do, in fact, regularly check for mail or office staff are sure to get it to you in a timely manner.  Should you have a change of address, you have 30 days from the date the change is effective to notify the licensing agency.
 
Two recent legal cases illustrate the danger of failing to attend to this mundane, yet required, task.  In the first, Medical Board v. Superior Court __ Cal.App.5th __ (Feb. 21, 2018), a licensed physician and surgeon claimed that he failed to receive notice of a patient complaint and scheduled interview, despite the Medical Board having sent it to the address he had on record.  The Board then issued a default revocation of his license, a decision which made appellate court history.
 
In the second, Selvidge v. Tang __Cal.App.5th__ (Mar. 5, 2018), plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case mailed a MICRA Notice of Intent to Sue to the physician’s address of record with the Medical Board.  The physician attempted to argue that the notice was insufficient because it wasn’t actually received by the physician and the case was filed too late (outside the statute of limitations).  The appellate court ultimately determined that it was reasonable for plaintiffs to use the physician’s address of record and that plaintiffs timely filed their lawsuit. 
 
Please take a moment to check the address you have on file, and call us if you have any questions or comments about the above.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 6:22am
Humboldt County not only has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest auto collisions rates in California, but also leads the way in pedestrian/vehicle collisions, which often lead to serious personal injuries or death to the pedestrians. The Eureka Times-Standard ("Times-Standard") reported in 2017 that between 2009 and 2014, Eureka ranked among the top three spots for pedestrian death and injury rates for California cities of similar size (data from the California Office of Traffic Safety).  People driving in cars seem to think pedestrians have no right to walk on our near roadways traversed by automobiles.  Despite pedestrians having the right of way in marked or unmarked crosswalks, drivers regularly hit pedestrians because they are not looking in the direction of the pedestrian (e.g., turning left from a one way street onto another intersecting one way street), being distracted from texting or talking on  a cell phone, eating food or otherwise doing anything but paying attention to the roadway in front of them.  Drivers forget that they are driving machines that weigh thousands of pounds and cause catastrophic injuries when they strike a human body.  Humboldt County had the second highest rate of pedestrian deaths and injuries of all counties in the state in 2014, 2012, 2011, and 2010.  The Times-Standard report quoted Eureka Police Sgt. Gary Whitmer as stating, “No, it doesn’t look like it is improving.”
 
Pedestrians also have the duty to watch for approaching vehicles that may pose a hazard before crossing streets, but even those in crosswalks with the walk signal on for them to cross have been struck or killed.  One of the most dangerous settings involves 4th and 5th Streets in Eureka, one way three lane streets that intersect with many streets through town (because Highway 101 becomes 4th and 5th street as it winds through Eureka).  Motorists at cross streets creep up into the middle of the marked crosswalks, looking at the oncoming one way traffic, but never looking or checking for pedestrians coming from the other direction.  Pedestrians coming from the other direction could be children, a child in a stroller with a parent, a dog crossing, or any number of other people walking, running or riding a bicycle.  The Janssen Malloy LLP law firm has handled pedestrian injury or death cases involving all those scenarios. 
 
Janssen Malloy LLP partner Michael Crowley is handling just such a case right now.  Our client’s father was legally walking alongside a road in McKinleyville, walking against the direction of traffic (which a pedestrian is supposed to do), when he was struck and killed by a driver who had looked down to adjust the radio and was distracted.  The CHP Traffic Collision Report found that the father was walking alongside the roadway edge because there is no shoulder in that location, and the drop off from the road edge was 1½ feet below the roadway itself. In other words, the father was not in or on the roadway. The driver called 911 after the fatal impact stating, “I never even saw him.”

Janssen Malloy LLP has experienced trial counsel who can navigate a wrongful case of this type through the court system. For people who do not have the resources to own a car, walking is often their only option for getting from point A to point B.  The recent efforts to complete the walking trails between Eureka and Arcata, and the Hammond Trail are important improvements to public safety for both pedestrians and vehicles. However, Humboldt County, as beautiful as it is, is not a particularly pedestrian-friendly place. If you or a loved one suffers the consequence of distracted driving, the attorneys at Janssen Malloy LLP stand ready to assist.