Megan A. Yarnall

LGBT Protections in Long-Term Care Facilities

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 219 (view here) into law – a bill aimed at protecting LGBT seniors from discrimination in long-term care facilities. The bill adds specific protections for LGBT residents of skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, and intermediate care facilities and enacts a Bill of Rights for LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Residents.

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Janssen Malloy LLP Supports Humboldt County Teen Court

Janssen Malloy LLP is proud to support Humboldt County Teen Court via financial donations and by mentoring teen court volunteers. Teen Court, a program run through he Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods, is a diversion program for first time juvenile offenders. Teen Court is run entirely by teens who are trained and volunteer to serve as jurors, attorneys, and the judge. Hearings are held biweekly on Thursdays throughout the year in the Humboldt County Superior Court.

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New Unisex Bathroom Requirements Effective March 1

Beginning March 1, 2017, all single-user restroom facilities in California businesses, public accommodations, and state and local government agencies, must be designated as all-gender facilities, accessible to all people, regardless of gender. “Single-user toilet facilities” include all bathrooms that contain, at the most, one toilet and one urinal, and a lock that is controlled by the user.

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Unpaid Internships

When is it permissible to hire an unpaid intern and when should an intern be paid as an employee? To answer this question, one must evaluate the work the intern performs, how such work impacts the company and the intern, and what supervision and training the intern receives. Both the California DLSE and the Federal Department of Labor use a six factor test to determine if an intern may properly be unpaid or should be considered an employee and receive at least minimum wage. These factors include:  

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Farmworkers Now Entitled to Additional Overtime Pay

On September 12, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation granting farmworkers the right to overtime pay on par with other California workers.  Assembly Bill 1066 provides for incremental overtime pay hour increases for farmworkers over a 4-year period beginning in 2019. Currently, farmworkers are paid overtime rates if they work more than 10 hours per day or 60 hours per workweek, compared to 8 hours per day and 40 hours per workweek applicable to most other hourly California employees.
 

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Marijuana Tax on Local Ballots This November

Earlier this week, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of placing a proposed marijuana tax measure on local ballots this November. The measure, if approved, would add ordinances to the Humboldt County Code effectuating a tax on commercial marijuana cultivation operations. The proposed tax due for each cultivation operation depends on the size of the grow site as well as whether plants are grown outdoors or inside. This week’s vote comes after discussion of similar proposals earlier this year and much discussion regarding the appropriate level of taxation.

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New California Vessel Operator Card Requirements

As we head into Memorial Day weekend and kick off the summer season, many Californians head to local lakes, bays, and other waterways for fun, fishing, and relaxation. Beginning in 2018, however, Californians heading out on the water will need to meet new education requirements in order to lawfully operate an engine powered vessel. California Senate Bill 941 was signed into law in September 2014, and went into effect in January of 2015.

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BPA Added to California Prop 65 List

Beginning this spring, Californians can expect to be flooded with even more Prop 65 warnings on the goods they purchase, thanks to the addition of bisphenol-A (BPA) to the Proposition 65 list. Proposition 65 (formally known as “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”) aims to protect California consumers by reducing exposures to chemicals that may cause cancer or birth defects by, in part, requiring warnings on consumer products that expose consumers to those chemicals.

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California Rolls out Traffic and Infraction Ticket Amnesty Program

Certain Californians who have unpaid traffic or non-traffic infraction tickets may be eligible to participate in a new, one-time amnesty program to significantly reduce the amount of fees owed. Signed into law in June by Governor Brown, the amnesty program began on October 1 and will continue through March of 2017. This program was created to assist individuals who have had their driving privilege suspended and those who have defaulted on fines for traffic and other violations, often due to high fees added to original overdue balances.

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Incontestable Trademarks

Federal trademark registration provides certain protections to businesses and other registrants who use and own trademarks and service marks to promote their goods and services. These protections are strengthened when a trademark becomes “incontestable” five years after its registration. Once a mark becomes incontestable, its validity cannot be challenged on a variety of grounds which often haunt other marks not deemed incontestable. Incontestable marks are immune to certain challenges, including that the mark is primarily merely descriptive and that it lacks secondary meaning.

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Medical Marijuana Use and Employment

While California law allows individuals to possess and use medical marijuana as prescribed by their physicians, its use and possession is still illegal under federal law and under California law without a valid prescription.  For California medical marijuana users and their employers, this legal framework complicates questions concerning employees' rights to use prescribed medical marijuana and employers' rights to discipline employees for marijuana use.

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Oregon Jail Death Case Settlement

Janssen Malloy attorneys Michael Crowley and Megan Yarnall recently negotiated a $450,000 settlement with the City of Cottage Grove, Oregon in a civil rights lawsuit filed following the May 2012 death of twenty four year old Nathan Cooper in the Cottage Grove Municipal Jail. Mr. Cooper was in custody serving a ten day sentence for possession of a single Xanax pill without a prescription. While in custody, Mr. Cooper suffered from pneumonia, but was denied appropriate medical care.

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Transferring a Salmon Permit from a Lost Vessel

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates and facilitates the issuance, maintenance, and transfers of California commercial salmon permits. In general, permits can be transferred between vessels in certain circumstances, including upon the loss, theft, or destruction of the permitted vessel. Transfers following one of these events, however, are subject to strict restrictions and time limits.

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Florida Fisherman at the US Supreme Court

Last month, the US Supreme Court heard oral argument in Yates v. United States, a case involving a commercial fisherman and the destruction of evidence. In 2007, John Yates, a commercial fisherman in Florida, was stopped by state officials who determined that seventy two red grouper were undersized. The official cited Mr. Yates and ordered him to preserve the evidence- the undersized grouper - and return to shore. On the return trip however, Mr.

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Authorship, Monkeys, and Copyright Law

Who owns the copyright to an image or other work of art enabled by a human but created by an animal? Answering this seemingly obscure question recently became a pressing matter to British wildlife photographer David J. Slater. In 2011, Slater traveled to Indonesia where he photographed crested black macaques. While he was in the field, the curious macaque snatched his camera and took hundreds of photos. While many were blurry, the monkey’s photo shoot produced several outstanding images that went viral on the internet. Wikimedia Commons, a U.S.

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California Releases Crab Trap Appeals Data

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released new data regarding California commercial Dungeness crab landings and appeals of trap limits by fishermen under the new trap limit program. The release of the data coincided with the first 2014 Dungeness Crab Task Force meeting, held in Ukiah on April 22, 2014. The meeting was also the first gathering of the Task Force since the new trap limit program went into effect at the beginning of the 2013-2014 commercial Dungeness season.

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CA Court Narrows Cell Phone Prohibition Law

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District issued an opinion narrowly interpreting California Vehicle Code section 23123(a), which restricts drivers’ use of cell phones. Vehicle Code section 23123(a) prohibits drivers from “using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.” The case, People v. Spriggs, involved a man who was cited for using a popular mapping app on his iPhone while operating his car. Mr.

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New CA Law - Overtime for Personal Attendants

Along with resolutions, the new year often brings new laws into effect.  2014 is no exception, as multiple new California laws became effective on January 1.  California Assembly Bill 241, singed by Governor Brown in September 2013 and effective January 1, 2014, establishes the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and affects personal caregivers and other personal attendants and their eligibility for overtime pay, adding sections 1450 – 1454 to the California Labor Code.  The new law provides that caregivers and personal attendants employed in private homes in California are entitled to one and a

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Crab Season Opens Under New Trap Limit Laws

As the holiday season approaches, so does California’s Dungeness commercial crab season. Set to open in Central California, south of the Mendocino-Sonoma county line, on November 15, and in early December northern portions of the state, the 2013-2014 season will be the first commercial crab season under the new trap limit laws. While in previous seasons, the number of crab pots commercial crab fishermen could fish was not limited by law, new statutes and regulations now assign each California commercial Dungeness crab permit a maximum number of traps that may be used.

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BLM Seeks Comment on Wilderness Plan

The Bureau of Land Management is currently seeking comments on its newly proposed fees and permitting requirements for the King Range National Conservation Area. The King Range wilderness includes approximately 68,000 acres in Humboldt County, including thirty-five miles of coastline known as The Lost Coast. Currently, there are no fees associated with individual’s overnight use of the King Range Wilderness and Backcountry Area.

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New Abalone Regulations for 2014

After considering a number of options, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced new restrictions for the California abalone sport fishery last month. On June 26, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to reduce the annual limit from twenty four to eighteen abalone with no more than nine taken from Sonoma and Marin Counties. The Commission also voted to modify the start time for the fishing day from one half hour before sunrise to 8 a.m. and to impose a closure at Ft. Ross in Sonoma County.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is national distracted driving awareness month and the Eureka Police Department, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and other local California agencies will be keeping an eye out for distracted drivers, particularly those who are texting or using handheld cellphones while driving. The effort is aimed to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and to prevent related accidents.

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CA Dungeness Crab Permit Tiers Announced

On February 5, 2013, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Dungeness crab vessel permit trap allocations for the 2013-2014 Dungeness crab season. The announcement follows sweeping changes to laws and regulations governing California’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery signed into law by Governor Brown in 2011.  The resulting “Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program” limits the number of traps that Dungeness crab vessel permit holders can operate during the California Dungeness crab season.

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Confidential Informants May Testify in Disguise

A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a confidential law enforcement informant could testify in court against a criminal defendant while in disguise. Defendant Jorge De Jesus-Casteneda appealed his conviction on drug related charges, arguing that the confidential informant’s mustache and wig disguise while testifying on the witness stand violated the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution .

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SCOTUS Considers Use of Drug Sniffing Dogs

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in two cases concerning the use of drug sniffing police dogs and the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches.  Both cases originated in Florida.  The first, Florida v. Jardines, involved a Labrador named Franky.  After receiving an anonymous tip, police brought Franky to the porch of a private home, where Franky alerted to the presence of drugs inside.  The police used Franky’s alert to obtain a search warrant of the home, which was found to be a marijuana grow house.

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Californians - Bills for New Fire Protection Fee

Approximately 825,000 California property owners, many in Humboldt County, will soon receive bills for a new Fire Prevention Benefit Fee.  All land owners whose property contains a habitable structure in the California State Responsibility Area (SRA) are subject to the fee, which amounts to $150 per habitable structure.  The Fire Prevention Fee results from legislation passed in July of 2011, aimed to reduce California’s budget deficit, generate General Fund savings, and to fund fire prevention services within the SRA.

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North Coast Marine Protected Areas Adopted

On June 6, 2012, the California Department of Fish and Game adopted a network of marine protected areas in the North Coast study region, spanning from Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County north to the California-Oregon border.  This marks the end of a lengthy, three year public planning process to implement California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) in this region.  The North Coast  is the fourth of five MLPA study regions to undergo this regulatory process, completing California’s coastal marine protected area network envisioned by the MLPA and leaving waters within the San

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Cloud Computing Considerations

Cloud computing is rapidly gaining ground in today’s workplace, offering on-demand storage capacity, software advantages, and related IT department and capital expenditure savings.  The transition to cloud computing, however, comes with a healthy dose of potential hazards. Awareness of these potential pitfalls is essential for companies considering cloud computing and various providers.

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California Law Now Permits Benefit Corporations

At the turn of the new year, many laws approved by the California legislature during 2011 went into effect.  One such law is AB 361, which created the benefit corporation, a business entity new to California.  Beginning January 1, 2012, new entities may adopt this form, and existing corporations may convert to benefit corporations with a two-thirds shareholder approval vote.

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Real Estate Fraud Reports Up in California

According to the US Treasury Department, mortgage fraud reports across the country jumped 88% in the second quarter of 2011, with California registering more reports of suspected mortgage fraud per-capita than any other state (see the data from the Treasury Department here).  Much of this increase in reporting is attributed to banks discovering suspicious activity when reexamining loans made during the housing boom (see article from the LA Times

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Copyright Cautions

Many non-profit groups and organizations publish regular newsletters or maintain internet blogs and websites to keep in touch with their members and draw support from the public. The huge number of images readily available through internet search engines has made finding just the right image to accompany such articles on even the most obscure subjects a breeze.

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Tradenames - New Business or New Products

When starting a new business or launching a new product, one of the many components that requires special consideration is selecting a name for the business or product.  In addition to the marketing considerations and personal preferences that weigh heavy in choosing a name, business people should also consider statutory requirements and the intellectual property rights of themselves and others when choosing a name.

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Megan Yarnall Admitted to Oregon State Bar

Janssen associate attorney Megan Yarnall was recently admitted to the Oregon State Bar after passing the Oregon bar exam last winter. The Janssen Law Firm represents clients in personal injury, civil and criminal defense, estate planning, and other matters throughout Northern California, including  Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Mendocino, and Siskiyou Counties. Occasionally, our clients encounter matters requiring representation beyond California's northern border into Oregon.

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