Blog

Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 7:24am
Humboldt County, like much of the country, is under a public health order that is very likely to save lives and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed. At the same time, the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic are a substantial shock to our community’s local economy. We at Janssen Malloy LLP are here to help.
 
Our attorneys also have experience advising businesses on subjects including Employment Law, regulatory compliance, and contracts, and represent clients in litigation. The legal picture continues to change almost daily for businesses, as Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act.
 
Attorney Jeff Slack continues to guide clients through the maze of local and state laws and agencies that regulate cannabis businesses, and provide timely advice regarding other issues that arise. Cannabis and other agricultural activities are explicitly listed as essential businesses under the shelter-in-place order from Public Health, allowing this substantial part of the Humboldt County economy to continue its essential daily activities.
 
Although our office at 730 Fifth Street in Eureka is closed, our attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries continue to work remotely to help your business meet its legal needs. We can be contacted at 707-445-2071 or janssenlaw@janssenlaw.com.
Friday, March 20, 2020 - 3:12pm
Dear Friends,

We want you to know that Janssen Malloy LLP is honoring the shelter in place order and remaining fully operational to serve the needs of our clients.

Anxiety caused by rapidly-changing circumstances during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented number of requests for advanced healthcare directives, powers of attorney, wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.  Our entire Estates and Trusts Team is working remotely to provide advice and guidance to existing and new clients. We will promptly create and provide these documents electronically.
 
If you are a business owner and have questions regarding employment law, contracts with vendors or distributors, or any other legal concern, we are standing by ready to advise you on the latest developments, including the federal government’s recent passage of HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill will drastically affect how employers, especially small businesses, and their employees navigate the changing economy in the coming weeks and months.
 
Our criminal defense attorneys have been excepted from Public Health’s emergency order to assist clients in custody. We will continue to protect these clients’ fundamental rights while respecting social distancing requirements that are so crucial to flattening the curve and keeping the community safe.
 
Our civil litigation and personal injury attorneys are working directly with the courts to navigate the challenges caused by the virus. Until in-person appearances are permitted, feasible, and safe for all involved, we will appear for all court hearings, depositions, and mediations telephonically and continue to advocate for our clients.
 
Although this crisis is presenting unprecedented challenges, our attorneys and staff remain committed to achieving justice for our clients.
 
If you have any questions or if we can be of service to you or your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (707) 445-2071 or at janssenlaw@janssenlaw.com.
 
We hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.
 
Sincerely,
 
Janssen Malloy LLP
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 5:58am
In 2020, California suffered a legislative quake—one that shook the legal foundation of whether workers are classified as employees or independent contractors.  Effective January 1, 2020, Assembly Bill 5 imposed a strict new test which results in most work relationships being those of employer-employee and not independent contractor.  The law applies to all workers in California, with the exception of certain statutorily exempted categories—including physicians.  For physicians who hold valid professional licenses in California, their employment/contractor status is determined under a multi-factored analysis set out in a prior court decision, Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dept. of Indust. Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341.  Under Borello, the major portion of the test is whether the employing/paying party has control over the work performed—by manner and means.  Other factors also contribute to the analysis, with no single one being determinative.  If you are a medical group or other provider hoping to retain the services of an individual physician, please seek the guidance of an experienced employment attorney to avoid the pitfalls of Assembly Bill 5.  The consequences are steep, with the potential for tax, penalty, and criminal liability if you run afoul of the new law.
Monday, March 2, 2020 - 11:33am
When there are more claimants under a defendant’s auto liability policy coverage than the amount of the defendant’s coverage limits, the “not enough to go around” problem arises.  Let’s take a typical scenario in an auto collision personal injury matter in which there are three claimants (injured people), but the responsible defendant has an auto liability insurance coverage of $25,000/person, $50,000/occurrence.  With three claimants, who gets what amount?  In this example, each claimant can assert a damages claim of up to $25,000 under the defendant’s policy, but since there are more than two claimants, the $50,000 in coverage would have to be apportioned between the three.  If one person’s claim is obviously worth more than $25,000, and the other two combined are obviously less than $25,000, the total of $50,000 in coverage could be offered to resolve all three claims.
 
But what if there is a vigorous dispute about the value of the individual claims?  If it cannot be informally apportioned by mutual agreement amongst the claimants, the impasse could wind up with all three having to file lawsuits against the defendant, and the entire matter ending up in what is known as an “interpleader,” where the defendant’s insurance carrier acknowledges that it owes the combined $50,000 (in our example), but can’t take sides on who gets what because of the dispute on the value of the individual claims.  The insurance carrier “interpleads” the funds to the clerk of the court, and the judge determines apportionment via an evidentiary hearing.  In such a situation, all three claimants could end up incurring significant costs in presenting evidence of the extent of their damages (such as expert medical testimony) to the court, all of which would decrease their ultimate recovery from a limited pot.
 
The sensible route in such cases is for everyone to get very pragmatic about the value of their claims (and very practical about how much it will cost to present such claims in proof to the court), and work out an apportionment everyone can live with.  Janssen Malloy LLP has such a matter currently, in which our client has a claim valued in excess of the $25,000/person limit, but there are two other claimants (the cases arises out of a three car collision).  The likely outcome is that the defendant’s insurance carrier will ultimately pay our client the $25,000 limit, but the other two claimants will need to digest that their claims combined are not worth more than the remaining $25,000 in coverage.  Once the spectre of an interpleader proceeding becomes clear to the other claimants, they will need to assess how much they are willing to pay in costs to have the person in the black robe tell them the value of the apportionment.  Once that is understood, most people do what is in their own best interest, and come to terms with an agreed apportionment allocation.
 
People facing multiple claimant scenarios such as described above need experienced trial counsel to steer them through the obstacles involved with limited coverages and too many claimants.  The attorneys at Janssen Malloy LLP have the background to negotiate the right result for our clients.
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 6:42am
According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, a new fraud scheme aimed at licensees of the state, including the Medical and Osteopathic Boards of California, is making the rounds. Callers pretend to be Board investigators, threaten arrest or suspension of a medical license, and then demand money to resolve the matter.  Don’t fall for this! And, for those of you with connections to retired or aging licensees, please make sure they’re aware that this is a scam. No investigator will demand money to resolve a complaint to the Board.  Read about the warning here.