Janssen Malloy Settles HSU Police Brutality Case

Janssen Malloy LLP recently obtained a six figure settlement for a victim of police brutality by a Humboldt State University (HSU) police officer. Janssen Malloy understands that many police officers are falsely accused of excessive force. And we have taken pride in defending such officers when they are falsely accused. But when we reviewed the video of what occurred recently to a local young man who was pulled over without any legal basis and then maliciously kneed in the head by an HSU police officer who came to our community from Oakland P.D.


Minimum Wage Violations - Maximum Penalities

Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law an increase in California’s minimum wage.  Effective July 1, 2014, California’s $8.00 per hour minimum wage will increase to $9.00 per hour.  A second increase to $10.00 per hour is effective January 1, 2016.  This increase represents the first increase in the state’s minimum wage in six years.


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.


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.


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.


California Lawsuits - Suspended Companies

A California Corporation or Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) can be suspended for a number of reasons, including the nonpayment of taxes under California Revenue and Taxation Code or for their failure to file updated information under the Corporations Code.

When a corporation or LLC is suspended, it loses its rights and privileges under California law.  Thus, the company cannot legally operate until revived (reinstated) with the Secretary of State.


Improvements in "Nursing Home Compare" Site

One in seven Americans age 65 and older will spend time in one of the nation’s 16,000 nursing homes this year, and for those 85 and older the chances are more than one in five.  That adds up to about 3.3 million Americans.

To help patients and their families choose a nursing home and compare between different types of homes, the federal government hosts a web site called “Nursing Home Compare”.


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


Speeding tickets in Humboldt County, California

Speeding tickets are annoying by most people’s standards, but few do anything to fight them since most are “infractions” and do not carry any potential jail time.  This means that most indigent defendants who are ticketed do not have the constitutional “right to an attorney” (also known as free representation), and thus they often just pay up and do not force law enforcement to meet any burden of proof.  The tickets are paid without anyone showing that the drivers are guilty by competent evidence, as our judicial system would otherwise require.


Raising the Standard of Proof in Tort Cases?

In a recent article in TRG Personal Injury Litigation News(March 2012), Kelly Kirkland argued that a clear and convincing standard of proof should be adopted in tort cases where large damage awards were at stake.  In other words, the more seriously injured the victim, the more difficulty the ability to recover.  According to the article, an increased standard of proof is necessary because the outcome of these suits . . . affect . . . the distribution of existing wealth. A necessary predicate to Mr. Kirkland's proposal is that a tort crisis exists.  The problem is that Mr.


New Airline Service to LA Likely for Humboldt

Humboldt County may soon be signing a contract with American Airlines for airline service from the Arcata/Eureka Airport (ACV) to Los Angeles (LAX).  Currently, the only commercial airline service providing flights out of Humboldt is United.  Los Angeles-bound travelers on United must transfer via San Francisco International Airport, converting a 90 minute flight into a full day’s worth of traveling.  This is very inconvenient for local business men and women, including attorneys, who have business or family and personal matters to attend to in Southern California, as well as Northern Calif


Frequent Flyer Miles Tax Issues

Citibank has sent a number of customers 1099 tax forms to report their frequent flyer miles earned when they opened a checking or savings account last year.  (Citibank Article.)  The terms and conditions of the offer were disclosed in promotional materials, but the practice has caused confusion and concern for many who must now report their frequent flyer miles (and possibly other credit card rewards for that matter) as income.


Consumer Attorney of the Year Award Nominations

Janssen Malloy LLP partners, W. Timothy Needham, Michael J. Crowley, Patrik Griego and Amelia F. Burroughs have been nominated by Consumer Attorneys of California for the organization’s Consumer Attorney of the Year Award.  The nomination arises from the firm’s handling of the seminal jury verdict case of 2010, Lavender vs.


Advantages of a Family Owned Business

When business and estate planning professionals discuss family businesses, discussions usually center on the challenges faced by the typical family business.  In addition to the estate tax and income tax considerations, determining who should succeed to the ownership and management of the business, and when that succession should occur, we are also often discussing the potential for family conflicts within the business.


The Importance of Allowing Class Actions

In one of the first class actions in which I was ever involved we sued an insurance carrier that had a policy which cheated its insureds out of fairly small amounts.  During discovery we turned up a memo that discussed bonuses to the employees with the slogan “A penny a patient.”  The idea was that, since the insurance carrier had over 20 million patients, if it could find a way to save (cheat) the patient out of one penny, that saved the company $200,000.

Of course who’s going to fight with a major insurance carrier over one penny?  No one.


Times-Standard - 2010's Biggest Trial Verdict

Journalist Matt Drange of the Eureka Times-Standard covered the Lavender v. Skilled Healthcare jury trial, writing in depth in a three part series the stories underlying the class action law suit against Skilled Healthcare.  Drange noted that it was the longest civil trial in Humboldt County history, and the $677 million verdict was the largest trial result in the United States in 2010.


Wrongful Death Case Resolved for Policy Limits

The Janssen Law Firm recently resolved a tragic wrongful death matter from the Hoopa area for the defendant’s policy limits.   Michael Crowley of the Janssen Law Firm represented the adult children of Filmore Harvey, Sr., regarding his tragic death on December 16, 2009.

Mr. Harvey was run over by the defendant driver, who was driving under the influence at the time of the incident.  The defendant is currently being prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter in Humboldt County Superior Court.


North Umpqua Foundation

The North Umpqua Foundation (TNUF) will hold a business meeting and its annual meeting October 23, 2010.  As usual, the meeting will take place in the library at The Steamboat Inn, 42705 North Umpqua Hwy, Idleyld Park, Oregon.   All members of TNUF are encouraged to attend.   Important agenda items will include updates on the Steamboat Falls fish passage project and the Legacy Rivers project with Pacific Rivers Council.   TNUF also has updated its website and all are encouraged to visit it at www.northumpqua.org.


Credit Card Basics

In the face of rising credit and debit card use nationwide, the Janssen Law Firm hopes to inform small businesses in Humboldt County and elsewhere to make the best decisions for their growth.   Whether or not to accept plastic forms of payment involves knowing the parameters of what can and cannot be done in compliance with the law and merchant contracts.   Since small businesses have little to no bargaining power in the contracts they must sign to accept cards, they should at least familiarize themselves with the rules (for an illustration of the rising use of credit and debit cards, see 


Nursing home staffing lawsuit - update

The Fresno Bee, in an article written by Barbara Anderson published on April 19, 2010, reported on the Humboldt County nursing home staffing class action lawsuit in which the Janssen Law Firm is one of the three law firms representing the plaintiffs.

Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc., a group of for-profit nursing homes have put elderly residents at risk and skirted state law by skimping on staff to make more money, lawyers contend in a class-action lawsuit.


California Mortgage Debt Relief Extended

Based on the passage of SB 401 on April 12, 2010, California now allows taxpayers who had all or part of the loan balance on their principal residence forgiven by their lender to exclude the forgiven debt from California gross income.  The new law now conforms, with modifications, to the federal mortgage forgiveness debt relief for discharges through tax years 2007 through 2012.


Legal/Tax Issues in Short Sales/Foreclosures

Lately, much has been written and talked about in the news regarding real property short sales and foreclosures.  Federal and state law have also been changing in an attempt to assist homeowners who find themselves "under water" and burdened with excessive mortgage debt.  When faced with a foreclosure, a homeowner has various options and may be assisted by advice from an attorney.


Trucking Claim Settles for $1,000.000 policy limit

The Janssen Law Firm recently resolved a semi-truck/vehicle head-on collision case for the trucking insurer’s one million dollar policy limit.  The semi-truck driver employed by a trucking company out of Washington State fell asleep at the wheel while traveling Southbound on Interstate 5 North of Williams, California.  The big rig traversed the center median area and collided head-on with a young couple driving Northbound on Interstate 5.  The impact demolished the car our clients were in, and caused serious injuries to the driver, including an open left humerus fracture, splenic laceration


Free Speech Lawsuit Filed in Northern California

A Northern California carpenter's union has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city for allegedly violating their right to freedom of speech by citing a group of protesting carpenters and confiscating their protest banner under a city sign ordinance.  According to the lawsuit,  protesters had set up on a public curb in November in front of a Citation Homes Central sales office to protest unfair wages. Lawyers representing the union said that since the sign was political speech and not advertising, the citation is invalid and their rights to free speech were violated.


HCBA Selects Officers for 2010

The Humboldt County Bar Association ("HCBA") met for its December meeting at the Sea Grill Restaurant in Eureka and elected officers for 2010.   Current President Tim Needham was replaced by current Vice President Cat Koshkin.   Humboldt County Public Defender Kevin Robinson was elected Vice President.   The Janssen Law Firm's Patrik Griego was reelected Treasurer.  David Dibble was elected secretary.


Medical Liens

One main responsibility of a personal injury lawyer is negotiating and reducing medical liens on behalf of an injured client.  If you have received medical treatment due to an injury where another person or business is at fault, a medical provider, insurance company, public source, or hospital may assert a lien for amounts they have paid or are owed for your medical treatment.


Forms of Business Organization

If you are an entrepreneur who wishes to start up a business in Humboldt County, one of the first questions you will face is what form of business organization should you choose for your business endeavor:

Traditionally, there have been three major forms used to structure a business enterprise:

1)  the sole proprietorship;

2)  the partnership, including the limited partnership; and

3)  the corporation.

Recently, two other business forms have come into widespread use – the limited liability company and the limited liability partnership.


The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

As noted elsewhere on our website, a significant number of motorists are driving without liability insurance (“uninsured”) or inadequately insured (“under-insured”).   Many law abiding Humboldt County drivers learn to their distress that the careless driver who injured them or one of their family,  either has no insurance at all or only the minimum required under the California law ($15,000.00 of liability coverage).  Most people don’t think about securing the appropriate amount of uninsured or under-insured coverage for themselves, because they don’t plan on being seriously injured by a ju


2009 Street Fighter of the Year

Patrik Griego of the Eureka firm of Janssen, Malloy, Needham, Morrison, Reinholtsen, Crowley & Griego, LLP has been selected as Consumer Attorneys of California's ("CAOC") Street Fighter of the Year.  The award winner was announced at CAOC’s 48th Annual Convention Saturday in San Francisco.  The achievement was recognized by the California State Senate, who issued a declaration of recognit


THE RECORDER recognizes success

THE RECORDER  recognizes the Janssen Law Firm's successful defense of Pacific Gas & Electric Company in Humboldt Country personal injury lawsuit arising out of injury in Ferndale.

On September 29, 2009, THE RECORDER highlighted the Janssen Firm's recent success in defending Pacific Gas & Electric Company against a personal injury lawsuit involving an electrical contact injury with the following article:


What to do when a DLSE notice arrives

In California, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) is the state agency responsible for adjudicating wage claims.   Sometimes, the first an employer learns that an employee or former employee has a wage dispute is when the employer receives a complaint from the DLSE.
All documents received from the DLSE should be carefully reviewed by Humboldt County employers for response deadlines, and for conference or hearing dates.


$3.6 million judgment for Huntzinger

On Friday September 25, 2009, Attorney Michael Crowley of the Janssen Law Firm presented testimony from Nancy Huntzinger and other evidence before Superior Court Judge John Feeney regarding the wrongful death damages in her lawsuit against Defendant Stephen Hash, who killed her then fourteen year old son, Curtis Huntzinger, in 1990.  Judge Feeney awarded Ms. Huntzinger a 3.6 million dollar wrongful death judgment commenting to her in court, “Clearly, no monetary judgment can compensate you for the loss of your son,” and offered his condolences for her loss.



If you have been arrested for a DUI in Humboldt County,  you were likely given a pink notice of suspension and temporary driver's license at the time of your arrest or release from jail.   It is important that you seek legal advice immediately because you have only ten (10) days after receipt of the notice of suspension to request a Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") hearing or your license will be administratively suspended by the DMV.   If you are 21 years of age or older, and took a blood, breath, or urine test, and the results showed .08% Blood Alcohol Content ("BAC") or more,  a firs



Proper handling of premise liability “slip and fall” cases requires a lawyer to be familiar with the applicable building codes in order to prove liability and establish damages.   Slips,  trips, and falls caused by negligently maintained property or premises result in serious injuries to members of our community.   Recognizing the failure to comply with required building codes is essential to the successful prosecution of a premises liability



This month a number of former Home Depot assistant managers filed a class-action lawsuit against Home Depot for failing to pay overtime wages at its Illinois stores. The lawsuit alleges that Home Depot wrongly classified the assistant managers as exempt employees in order to require them to work more hours. The lawsuit seeks compensation for unpaid wages in addition to punitive damages.


Protecting the Rights of Bicyclists

As more members of our community bicycle to work, school, and for exercise, there's been an unfortunate increase in fatalities and serious injuries to bicyclists.  Many motorists do not realize that bicyclists have the same rights under the California Vehicle Code to occupy the roadway as does a motor vehicle.  Further, many motorists are inattentive and even unaware of the presence of bicyclists on the roadway.


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