Blog

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 5:54am
After experiencing the pain and indignity of a crime, a crime victim may be left attempting to navigate the court process and communicate with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office, which can be frustrating in its own right. Several of Janssen Malloy LLP’s attorneys have experience both in criminal and plaintiffs’ personal injury law that informs their ability to help crime victims understand and be heard in the prosecution of the individual who perpetrated the crime against them.
 
The California Victim Compensation Board (“CalVCB”) is a potential lifeline to crime victims that may be under-utilized across the state. This government entity exists to review claims by the victims of crime and their legal representatives for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from crime and reimburse qualifying claims. In many cases, this can mean the difference between tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills being paid through timely CalVCB reimbursements, and a crime victim’s credit being ruined by those bills going to collections. The program is funded by restitution paid by criminal offenders through fines, orders, penalty assessments and federal funds.
 
Many district attorney’s offices, including Humboldt County’s, have some type of  victim services division, employing non-lawyer advocates to improve communication between crime victims and prosecutors. However, as with a recent Trinity County wrongful death civil case arising from a gross vehicular manslaughter crime, many district attorney's offices will fail to provide crime victims and their families, who may be eligible for CalVCB benefits, with claim forms or even basic information regarding CalVCB. This is another way in which having an experienced advocate in your corner can help you obtain a more just result.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 10:39am
Janssen Malloy LLP recently obtained a $3.2 Million judgment for a client attacked and mauled by a Black Russian Terrier dog in Los Angeles.  Our client, who was walking her dog with her husband in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles, was attacked by a large dog that had escaped from the owners’ property.  The dog bit and mauled her arm and hand, causing permanent nerve damage and scarring.  The animal’s owners had continued to allow the dog to escape, despite four prior incidents in which the dog had bitten people.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Animal Control Division conducted a Dangerous Animal evidentiary hearing, at which the defendant dog owner appeared and testified under oath that he was aware of the prior violent incidents with his dog and described the dog as “a loaded gun.”  Janssen Malloy LLP partner Michael Crowley filed suit on behalf of our client, and despite the defendants’ attempts to avoid personal service of the lawsuit, accomplished service on the defendants.  After the defendants defaulted (i.e.,failed to appear and respond to the lawsuit), Mr. Crowley entered their default and moved forward to obtain a default damages judgment against the defendants.  After presentation of evidence of the aggravated liability of the defendant dog owners, proof of our client’s medical and psychological injuries, and proof of the financial worth of the defendants (relevant to what amount of punitive damages would be appropriate to punish the defendants and deter others from like recklessness), the Los Angles County Superior Court rendered a judgment in the amount of $3,194,922,77, which included  $2,000,000 in punitive damages.
 
Janssen Malloy LLP is now in the process of collecting the judgment against the defendants, who have significant real estate assets and various businesses in Los Angeles.  This case presented challenges in presenting and proving the full extent of damages to our client.  The court’s ruling on the amount of punitive damages underscores the malicious and reckless disregard of the defendant dog owners, who not only ignored the animal’s danger to the public, but also neglected and abused the unfortunate animal. Janssen Malloy LLP’s attorneys have represented numerous clients who have suffered severe injuries from dog attacks, having previously obtained a jury verdict in excess of $500,000 for a woman attacked by a pit bull.  Handling such cases properly requires experienced and seasoned trial counsel.  Janssen Malloy LLP stands ready to assist when need arises.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 7:50am
Under current law, temporary California commercial cannabis licenses expire 120 days from the date they were issued, unless the applicant applied for an annual state license, in which case the temporary license may be extended for two additional 90 day periods. But with CalCannabis backlogged on issuing state annual licenses and provisional state licenses, many interim permits are set to expire leaving some commercial cannabis businesses in the state application process without a legal means of operating this year. State Senators Mike McGuire and Assembly Member Jim Wood think that is not a good idea.
 
That is why the legislators co-authored a bill, known as California SB 67 (2019-2020), that would extend temporary state licenses until December 31, 2019. The bill proposes adding section 26050.3 to the Business and Professions Code. The section would specify the validity of interim permits issued pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 26050.1 including the new expiration date for existing “renewed” temporary licenses.  
 
SB 67 also amends the provisional license scheme, allowing a prospective licensee to be eligible for a provisional license without submitting a completed annual cannabis application. The implication is that incomplete cannabis applications can receive provisional permitting. This is an important change to the law as Calcannabis begins determining whether applications received are complete or incomplete.
 
The bill is currently in committee with the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development voting 8 ayes to none to re-refer it to the Senate Committee on appropriations on February 27. Hopefully, this bill gets moving so that those operators whose temporary state licenses are set to expire can legally operate in the State of California in 2019.
 
If you have questions regarding state licensing, the attorneys at Janssen Malloy LLP are here to answer your questions.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 12:11pm
Humboldt County is a hidden gem for California cyclists. Everything from excellent road cycling to downhill mountain biking is available here, as well as a climate that is (mostly) conducive to bicycle commuting. The County has shown its willingness to invest in bicycle infrastructure, with major projects like the Humboldt Bay Trail and the Annie and Mary Rail Trail in the works.

Unfortunately, cycling here can be hazardous, as well. Commonly used bike routes include dangerous pinch points and problematic intersections, making some risk unavoidable. Many drivers believe cyclists have no right to use public roads and treat them accordingly. When a bicycle accident produces injury, Janssen Malloy LLP attorneys are ready to step in and represent the interests of injured cyclists.

Injured cyclists regularly face an uphill battle from the beginning when seeking recompense for their injuries. Police and defendant insurers may rush to judgment and assign fault to a cyclist who was simply exercising their legal right to use the road. Negotiations with insurers are often shot through with the assumption that if a bicyclist is “in the way” they must not have had the right to be there.

The credibility and expertise of the attorneys at Janssen Malloy LLP can level the playing field for injured cyclists. In bicyclist injury cases, a large part of our role is to educate those on the other side about the rights of cyclists under the law. With effective communication of the rights of cyclists and the duty of drivers toward them, we can set the tone to obtain a much more favorable result.

Janssen Malloy, LLP is proud to advocate for cyclists in this area. Not only have we obtained favorable results for many cyclists injured through the negligence and wrongdoing of others, but we work on access issues facing mountain bikers and related cases. Willie Stein, David Nims, and Michael J. Crowley are cyclists themselves and understand the range of issues facing riders of all skill levels in Humboldt County and along the North Coast. We are glad to do our part to protect the rights of those who enjoy bicycling in this beautiful area.
Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 4:19pm
Janssen Malloy LLP routinely handles personal injury cases that arise out of a criminal context, e.g., damages or wrongful death caused by a drunk driver (a violation of Penal Code section 23153).  Parallel to and alongside the civil personal injury action for damages, if the responsible defendant is convicted of (or pleads guilty to) felony charges, the defendant may be responsible for the attorneys’ fees incurred by the plaintiff in recovering damages (pursuant to Penal Code section 1202.4, et seq.).  A recent wrongful death case handled by Janssen Malloy LLP partner Michael Crowley serves to illustrate the additional remedy provided to the plaintiffs in the form of a criminal court restitution order.  In our case example, the mother of three young children was killed in a motor vehicle incident in which the mother was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a driver who turned out to be intoxicated.  The defendant was prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter (Vehicle Code section 192.5), and eventually pled guilty to that felony offense.  Mr. Crowley presented evidence to the criminal court judge of the economic loss to the minor children, in the form of the lost income and support the decedent mother would have provided, and the court made a restitution order in the amount of $330,000.  The defendant had a limited auto liability coverage, so the restitution order in the criminal matter proved crucial in the effort to obtain compensation and justice for the children.
 
This case shows the challenges involved in guiding the case through both the criminal and civil justice system.  Mr. Crowley retained an economist to analyze the economic loss issues and prepared expert testimony that demonstrated that loss to the criminal court, in order to obtain the restitution order as part of the sentencing of the defendant.  That restitution order has the same force as a civil judgment, and required that the defendant’s payments under the order go to the minor children.  In the civil action filed against the defendant, the insurance carrier paid the policy limits under the defendant’s coverage, and the civil court approved the settlement as in the best interests of the minor children.  The criminal action was in a different county than the civil action, so the case required court appearances and hearings in different jurisdictions.  The provisions in Penal Code section 1202.4 regarding the recoverability of attorneys’ fees from the defendant provide another arrow in the quiver of experienced trial counsel in obtaining justice.
 
Janssen Malloy LLP’s attorneys have the experience and tenacity to pursue defendants who need to be held accountable for their reckless and criminal actions, and stand ready to assist your family if need arises.