Insights Newsletter

22 Dec: THE PERILS OF EMPLOYEE HOLIDAY PARTIES

 It is that time of year again when office holiday parties are frequent, and alcoholic beverages are often served at these employer-sponsored events. The question is: if someone in attendance is injured because of an accident arising during or even after the event, is the employer liable? A number of cases have – not surprisingly – addressed these sort of issues regarding claims against employers for injuries arising from such holiday or other employer-sponsored events.  For example, in Purton v. Marriott Int’l, Inc., 218 Cal. App. 4th 499 (2013), the plaintiffs sought to hold a hotel employer liable for the vehicular homicide committed by one of its employees following a company holiday party.  In Purton, the hotel employer asked the trial court to dismiss the civil case on the basis that the employee was “not acting within the scope of his employment” at the time of the fatal accident, which…

31 Jan: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BOARD CERTIFIED IN CIVIL TRIAL LAW

Our firm in both unique and fortunate to have three of our principals Certified in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  Guy Kornblum, Charlie Cochran and Joe Harbison each have achieved this level of both recognition and achievement. Certification means that each has fulfilled a rigorous qualification process. To earn certification in civil trial law, the attorney must: 1. Furnish evidence of his or her good standing in the state of his or her bar admission, or if admitted in more than one state, in the state of his or her principal practice. 2. Show that immediately preceding application, the attorney has five years in the actual practice of Civil law (Guy, Charlie and Joe have combined over 100 years). <br>3. Make a satisfactory showing of substantial involvement in civil trial law, with at least thirty percent of his or her time spent practicing civil trial litigation…

29 Nov: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is Most Important in Your Auto Policy

By: Guy O. Kornblum, Certified in Civil Trial and Pretrial Practice Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy; Member, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum A most important insurance protection for you, your family and passengers in your auto is that which covers you or them in the event you are hit by a wrongdoing uninsured or underinsured motorist.  Why? In California, it has been estimated that 1 in 4 motorists are driving on the highways uninsured or underinsured, that is without adequate liability insurance protection.  What this means is that they either have no insurance or not enough to cover any responsibility they have as a negligent driver who injures others. So, if this is the case, how do you protect yourself and passengers in your auto if anyone is injured in an accident with someone driving without adequate insurance protection?  There are really two ways. First, in your auto policy there…

29 Oct: “SETTLEMENT” AIN’T A BAD WORD!

My experience with clients today is that they want (and perhaps even expect) their case to settle. They want to avoid the stress and delay of a trial, and also the risk of an unacceptable result (to them). So the first question after “What is my case worth?” is: “Can you settle my case.” So educating the client about process and prospects of a resolution short of trial should and usually begins at the first client meeting.  And its discussion early on is important to successfully settling clients’ cases because obviously they hold the authority to settle. So it is important to have a dialogue with clients about the negotiating process and begin educating clients about how this all works and what their expectations should be for a settlement instead of a trial. Here are some thoughts on how to educate and prepare clients on settling their cases: Prepare for the…

16 Oct: MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AFTER A LOSS: SOME BASICS

Those who suffered property losses in the Northern California wildfires are no doubt struggling with insurance claims and the “process” of getting payment for losses they suffered under their property insurance coverage – a Homeowner’s Policy or Commercial General Liability Policy (for businesses).  It can be a difficult and confusing process.  No matter what the claim, there are some basics that you need to be aware of in making a claim for property damage when you are seeking to collect from your insurance company  in order to have the funds to restore the property to its pre-loss condition. Frankly, most of us never look at our insurance policies until we have a loss and claim.  So there may be some surprises as to what you have or do not have.  Here are some thoughts: Notify the Insurance Company:Call the Agent (company representative) or Broker (your representative) or claims contact (toll…