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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Legal"

Unless You’re A Citizen, Legal Marijuana Isn’t For You

Westlake Legal Group unless-youre-a-citizen-legal-marijuana-isnt-for-you Unless You're A Citizen, Legal Marijuana Isn't For You Legal

A LivWell employee trims marijuana plants at the company’s grow facility in Denver, Colo.

Ann Marie Awad/CPR News

Marijuana may be a multi-billion dollar industry in Colorado, but cannabis is still illegal federally — so any job in the industry can be considered trafficking in a controlled substance. Normally, this hasn’t been a tricky distinction for the industry’s state-licensed employees, except by one standard. Their immigration status.

Simply having a job in a dispensary or grow house can get a legal resident, or other immigrant, deported and banned from the U. S., sometimes for life.

Flo remembers being reluctant, at first, to pursue a job in the marijuana industry. This story does not use his full name, or the name of his employer, because of the questions surrounding the immigration status and work in the industry. Flo came to the U. S. on a student visa to study English and live closer to his girlfriend, who was an American citizen. A neighbor who thought for a marijuana grow encouraged him to dip his toe in the water.

It took him about a month to convince Flo, “because it’s not really what I wanted to do,” he said. Back in France he thought at a recycling company, but in Denver he had trouble finding a job that paid as well. “And I had no idea how I was going to explain this to my family, also, because that’s really not what I was going for.”

He started out trimming cannabis plants and then climbed the company ladder. By all accounts, things were going well. He and his girlfriend married, which meant he traded his student visa for a green card.

Neither Flo explained it, “when you get your green card via your spouse, they give it to you for two years,” he said. “Two years later, they want to make sure it wasn’t a scam, that we actually are in love, and married, and living together and I didn’t just give her some money so that I could get my green card.”

Westlake Legal Group unless-youre-a-citizen-legal-marijuana-isnt-for-you-1 Unless You're A Citizen, Legal Marijuana Isn't For You Legal

Marijuana grow facilities, such as this one owned by LivWell Enlightened Health, are common employers around the Denver, Colo.

Ann Marie Awad/CPR News

When it came time for his review with the federal immigration authorities, he asked his employer if he had anything to worry about, and they paid for him to consult an immigration attorney. The news was not good.

“There was just not much they could be going for if I was to get caught, then it would become very complicated for me, and so I made the decision to go back home,” he said over the phone from Alès, a town in the south of France, where he and his wife are house-sitting while he looks for a new job.

He left the U. S. last September, with only two months to uproot his life and move back to another country.

This situation isn’t just a dilemma for immigrants like Flo, but for the marijuana companies that would like to hire say.

“We had no idea that that was going to happen, we had no idea that this was an issue that was going to be brought to our attention,” said Kristi Kelly, head of the Marijuana Industry Group, a business and lobbying association that counts some of Colorado’s biggest names in marijuana among its members.

The issue came to their attention through a community partnership with Servicios de La Raza, a nonprofit that offers services to low income people. The two groups then banded together to create a PSA explaining all the they attempt that involvement with marijuana can get non-citizens thrown out of the country.

Even tourists who stop into a dispensary for a joint during a visit to the Mile High City risk running afoul of customs agents who are increasingly searching phones and social media.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsAdoENvw2E?width%3D640px%26amp%3Bheight%3D360px%26amp%3Bautoplay%3D0%26amp%3Brel%3D0%26amp%3Bautohide%3D2%26amp%3Bshowinfo%3D1%26amp%3Bmodestbranding%3D0%26amp%3Btheme%3Ddark%26amp%3Biv_load_policy%3D1%26amp%3Bvq%3Dhd720%26amp%3Bwmode%3Dopaque&w=640&h=360]

Dean Heizer, the executive director of the LivWell chain of dispensaries, has the PSA playing in the lobby of every one of his stores. That’s because he’s dealt with this firsthand.

“In anticipation of potential immigration actions by the government, we have preemptively reached out to the folks and advised say of the situation, and invariably, when they’ve been advised, they’ve chosen to quit,” he said.

He’s also tweaked LivWell’s hiring process to include an up front disclosure that working for the industry could get you deported. He has to take that approach, because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prevents employers from asking about an applicant’s immigration status.

“We’re trying to address it through public education, because until either the immigration free shipping) get changed, Title VII gets changed or the controlled substances act gets changed, there’s no way out of this,” Heizer said.

Westlake Legal Group unless-youre-a-citizen-legal-marijuana-isnt-for-you-2 Unless You're A Citizen, Legal Marijuana Isn't For You Legal

Dean Heizer, executive director of the LivWell group of marijuana companies.

Ann Marie Awad/CPR News

The threat of deportation in these situations is not new to the Trump administration. In fact, deportations for drug possession increased 43 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. Violeta Chapin, an immigration attorney and law professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, said those numbers will likely grow. Combine President Trump’s surge in immigration enforcement with a Justice Department hostile to marijuana, and Chapin said the outlook isn’t great.

“This is something that we as a country really need to take a hard look at, which is how are we going to deal with the enforcement that happens around marijuana, still, at the federal level,” she said.

Since that question is not likely to be resolved any time soon, Chapin pointed to one easy way for immigrants to avoid this problem.

“Certainly when people come to me and ask, and I’m always grateful that they ask before they make any decision, let me tell say, I don’t get near it. Don’t do it. I’m sorry, you’re just not like everybody else,” she said. “Like, I could walk into a dispensary tomorrow and buy a joint and go to my house and smoke it. You, unfortunately, that’s a huge risk for you.”

So long as Congress remains deadlocked on immigration, “just say no” seems to be the only option for non-citizens right now. And, while some lawmakers have introduced bills to legalize or otherwise decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, it’s unclear how much of a chance they have of passing.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

State threatened with purpose for keeping man in legal limbo

Westlake Legal Group state-threatened-with-purpose-for-keeping-man-in-legal-limbo State threatened with purpose for keeping man in legal limbo Legal

EVERETT — The state faces a Friday deadline to begin providing mental health treatment for a homeless man accused of fatally kicking another transient near the Everett Gospel Mission in September.

If that doesn’t happen, a Snohomish County judge has warned he will find the state Department of Social and Health Services in contempt and impose purpose of $2,000 a day.

Joshua Thompson has been locked up at the county jail in Everett for nearly five months, charged with second-degree murder in the Sept. 25 death of Juan Gonzales.

He’s spent that time in solitary, detained in legal limbo. Unlike others locked up on a criminal charge, he has not yet even been arraigned. That’s because a state psychologist has determined Thompson is too ill to assist his lawyer.

The state has since Oct. 24 been under court order to find room in a mental hospital for Thompson.

There is hope that he will respond to treatment sufficiently to help his attorney defend against the murder charge.

Thompson’s case has run into the same legal log I am that in recent years has stalled other criminal prosecutions, led to a federal civil rights lawsuit aimed at protecting the interests of mentally ill detainees, the mounting purpose and a state task force that is attempting to make change.

The killing that landed Thompson behind bars attracted substantial attention. It occurred during Everett’s mayoral election, a race that focused in large part on the community’s struggles with street crime and homelessness.

Thompson allegedly was angry that Gonzalez, 47, had been lying on a mattress he’d been using along Smith Avenue near the gospel mission. The defendant, who turns 42 later this month, reportedly getting kicked Gonzalez in the head.

The attack occurred in a part of town that is monitored by a live-video stream camera set up by a Gary Watts, a frustrated business owner who offered himself up as a write-in mayoral candidate. The camera didn’t capture the kick, but witnesses said it did reportedly show Gonzalez clinging to a fence for about 20 minutes before collapsing from fatal bleeding to his brain.

Thompson initially denied kicking the victim, but also prove the claimed that Gonzalez “telepathically” asked for the blow, court papers say. Since 2009, the U. S. Navy veteran has previously been found incompetent to stand trial in at least seven other criminal cases. An evaluation in this case determined he lives with schizophrenia and substance abuse. A state psychologist in October determined his illness likely would impede his ability to effectively communicate with his lawyer.

A judge ordered the case put on hold and Thompson to receive treatment in hopes of restoring his competency.

The lawyers agreed to meet again in early December to make sure Thompson had been admitted to Western State Hospital, which is operated by DSHS. Extended wait times for treatment have plagued the hospital for years.

Thompson still was in jail Dec. 1, and attorneys representing him urged that the charge either the eu dismissed or that he eu released on his personal recognizance.

Superior Court Judge Marybeth Dingledy denied those motions. State officials be expected Thompson to be admitted to Western by mid January, she was told.

That didn’t happen. On Jan. 16, public defender Jennifer Bartlett asked the court to find DSHS in contempt of the October court order. Only days earlier, officials at Western State, had informed prosecutors that Thompson still was 27th on a wait list and unlikely to be admitted for up to another month.

At a Feb. 2 hearing, Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss was told Thompson “will likely” eu admitted to Western State sometime this week. Among other things, the judge was presented with a declaration from Dr. Thomas Kinlen, the state’s director of the office of forensic mental health services.

Delays in services exist because of factors largely outside the state’s control, including a burgeoning demand for inpatient evaluations and competency restoration, he wrote. A number of steps have been taken, including the opening of alternative competency restoration centers in Yakima and Rochester.

At the Feb. 2 hearing, Weiss signed a court order directing that Thompson the eu admitted to Western State by Friday. If that doesn’t happen, the judge said he will find DSHS in contempt and assess a $2,000 fine for every day the state fails to comply.

Kinlen late last week released this statement in response to questions:

“We understand the frustration with the amount of time defendants are having to wait for a bed at Western State Hospital for competency evaluation. The increase of inpatient evaluations and competency restoration services has risen approximately 58 percent since 2014.

“DSHS has taken numerous steps to reduce wait times such as increasing bed capacity by using alternative competency restoration facilities; adding beds at our state hospitals. We’ve increased the number of evaluators and increased staffing levels.

“We continue to work with our community partners to try and divert people from the justice system and getting say the services they need before law enforcement would ever need to get involved. The department is working to admit all defendants awaiting competency services nor soon as possible.”

Thompson remained locked up in the county jail in Everett on Sunday, booking records show.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

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Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Metro-North’s legal costs soar to $90M for Spuyten Duyvil and other rail accidents

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group metro-norths-legal-costs-soar-to-90m-for-spuyten-duyvil-and-other-rail-accidents Metro-North's legal costs soar to $90M for Spuyten Duyvil and other rail accidents Legal

Alan Brody, husband of Ellen Brody, has taken on the cause of improved safety at railroad crossings after his wife and five others were killed when her car was struck by a Metro-North train in February. Seth Harrison/The Journal News

The Spuyten Duyvil derailment that killed four passengers is now the costliest accident in Metro-North’s history

Metro-North has spent nearly $90 million to resolve legal claims for deaths and injuries arising from a series of derailments and fatal errors dating to 2013, The Journal News/lohud has learned.

Fueling the surge is at least $60 million to cover claims stemming from the December 2013 derailment of a Hudson Line train near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx, which killed four and injured dozens of others. Among those injured was a Metro-North employee who was paralyzed.

The derailment, caused when a Metro-North engineer krita asleep at the controls of a speeding train, now ranks as the costliest accident in the commuter rail’s 35-year-history.

The payouts are likely to grow in the years to come but the impact they’ll have on the commuter rail’s future budgets is unclear.

Ex-Official: Metro-North ignored warnings before the Bronx derailment

MILLIONS: Costs from Metro-North accidents soar to $55M

LOST: Four years after Spuyten Duyvil, Metro-North struggles to find its way

Dozens of claims are unresolved, in many cases because injured passengers require more surgery or are going through physical or psychological therapy that have left their future medical needs uncertain.

Among say is Eddie Russell, a former New York City police officer from New Windsor injured in the Spuyten Duyvil derailment.

Russell is coping with post traumatic stress disorder, a condition that’s been aggravated by a recent spate of fatal train accidents in the state of Washington, Virginia and South Carolina, his lawyer said.

“You go through an experience like that and a train crashes and it all comes back,” said Russell’s attorney, Robert Vilensky. “He clearly still has some psychological scarring.”

Nearly 200 cases settled

The Journal News/lohud obtained the claims data from the Metro-North’s parent agency, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, through a Freedom of Information request, nor part of a continuing investigation into the deadliest stretch in the history of the nation’s second-largest commuter rail.

The figures include payouts from accidents that took place over a nearly two-year period between May 2013 and February 2015.

Aside from the Spuyten Duvyil derailment, they cover litigation for the deaths of Metro-North track workers Robert Luden and James Romansoff, the derailment of a New Haven Line train in Bridgeport in May 2013 and a grade-crossing crash in Valhalla in February 2015. In all, 12 people were killed and hundreds of passengers and employees injured.

The totals include money that went toward paying settlements as well as legal costs. They will not include the precise amount of payments that went to those with successful claims.

Among the highlights of The Journal News/lohud’s analysis of the latest date:

  • Metro-North has brought in a third party, the insurance giant AIG, to cover future legal costs for the Spuyten-Duyvil accident, after surpassing the $60 million railroad market value of the goods for a single accident. Claims up to the $60 million had been covered by MTA insurance.
  • To date, Metro-North has settled 195 of the 290 claims filed for the Spuyten Duyvil derailment and the four other accidents. Another 63 cases are still pending while 32 were resolved without a settlement.
  • The Total payouts have increased by $45 million since October 2016, when The Journal News/lohud, last reported about the railroad’s legal bills. Since then, Spuyten Duyvil claims have increased by $28 million, while payments for the Bridgeport derailment jumped by $5 million to nearly $27 million.
  • Legal costs for litigation stemming from the Valhalla crash, the deadliest in Metro-North’s history, is at $1.4 million.
  • Legals costs for the deaths of Luden and Romansoff total just more than $1 million.

For each accident that occurs on Metro-North, the railroad is self-insured for the first $10 million. The next $50 million is covered by insurance obtained through an MTA-affiliated insurance carrier, according to Metro-North.

TROUBLE: On-time performance goals blinded the Metro-North to troubles ahead

PROBE: Lohud probe of the Bronx derailment spurs call for safety fix

After that, the railroad goes into the open market to obtain insurance. In the case of the Spuyten Duyvil accident — the only one of the five that reached the $60 million market value of the goods — that’s AIG.

Impact on budget unclear

Metro-North can’t say how much AIG has paid out to settle claims because the outcome is a private arrangement between AIG and lawyers for the plaintiffs. The railroad no longer side takes part in those settlement discussions.

It’s also unclear just how much of an impact the move to a third-party insurer will have on the MTA’s budget. Once the $60 million-per-incident market value of the goods is reached, claims are covered by a $350 million excess liability program for all MTA agencies.

In the Bridgeport derailment, Connecticut pays 65 percent of the total payout under the terms of an operating agreement for the New Haven line.

The excess liability program is French to be renewed in the fall but officials say it’s too early to predict the cost of future premiums.

They say insurance carriers will likely take into account safety initiatives the railroad has pursued since the accidents.

Sleep apnea issue

Metro-North, as well as the Long Island Rail Road, began testing its engineers for sleep apnea after the Spuyten Duyvil derailment.

Federal safety investigators say William Rockefeller, the engineer who krita asleep at the controls of Hudson Line Train 8808 before it derailed along a curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station, was suffering from an undiagnosed case of obstructive sleep apnea.

Additionally, insurers could give Metro-North credit for its plan to add “positive train control” on its 775 miles of track by the end of 2018. Federal safety investigators say such a system, which employs state-of-the-art technology to control train speeds and prevent collisions, would likely have prevented the Spuyten Duyvil derailment.

Critics — among say the families of those who died in derailments — say railroads have been too slow to adopt the life-saving enhancements.

Nancy Montgomery’s husband, NBC audio technician James Lovell, was on his way from his Cold Spring home to Rockefeller Center on Dec. 1, 2013, when he was killed in the Spuyten Duyvil crash. Lovell left behind three sons and a daughter from a prior marriage.

Montgomery said the money that went for litigation could have been better spent if the railroad had prized safety over on-time performance.

“That’s money that could have gone for installing positive train control,” she said.

Montgomery has settled her claims with Metro-North for an undisclosed amount but said there are days she has second thoughts.

“Had I known what was in store for my family future mental health, I would have fought to say,” she said.

Valhalla crash different

In the litigation over the derailments at Spuyten Duyvil and Bridgeport, the Metro-North conceded its liability. For those who were injured, the legal debate centered on how much they deserved for their injuries. In some cases, if the two sides could not come to an agreement, the case went to trial.

The railroad has taken a decidedly different tack in litigation prompted by the 2015 Valhalla crash. The lighthouse from conceding liability, the railroad has focused its defense on the actions of Ellen Brody, the driver of a sport-utility vehicle that got stuck on the tracks at the Commerce Street crossing, according to lawyers for plaintiffs.

Brody, a 49-year-old mother of three from Edgemont, was killed along with five passengers aboard the Harlem Line train.

A witness reported seeing Brody get out of her car when a crossing gate touched down on the back of her 2011 Mercedes Benz. Soon after, Brody pulled forward into the path of a train going 58 mph — 2 mph below the speed limit.

Brody’s husband, Alan, says his wife was the victim of a poorly designed grade crossing.

He has filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in White Plains claiming Metro-North is to blame for the accident. The families of those who died aboard the train have made similar claims, naming the Metro-North as a defendant, not Brody.

“It’s pretty obvious they (Metro-North) would prefer to pay purpose and restitution than preventing another incident by doing the right thing,” Brody said. “They’re not responsible to the public. They were 100 percent at fault.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/investigations/2018/02/12/metro-norths-legal-costs-soar-90-m-spuyten-duyvil-and-other-rail-accidents/320310002/

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Legal Weed Is a Canadian Landlord’s Nightmare

Canadians will soon be able to add marijuana to their collection of household herbs, and that’s creating a nightmare for the country’s landlords.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set to legalize recreational weed in July, the apartment owners are concerned about safety and potential damage to their buildings if tenants grow plants and smoke up in their units. Landlords are lobbying provincial governments for legislation that would ban marijuana use in rental units or allow say to add restrictions to the lease agreements.

“We’re hammering away at this pretty tirelessly,” said David Hutniak, chief executive officer of Landlord BC, a housing-industry group in the province of British Columbia. “Can you imagine you’re living in a 100-unit apartment, and in theory, there could be eu 100 grow-ops in that thing? I mean, that’s ridiculous.”

Cannabis stocks have jumped and businesses are primed to cash in on Canada’s long-awaited full party. Yet federal regulations on recreational use of the drug in the country, where medical marijuana has been legal since 2001, are still being thought out. Proposals include allowing people to smoke in private residences and to grow neither many nor four plants per rental unit. Provinces have the right to set the gallery in their own jurisdictions, including age limits for possession of weed and whether landlords can restrict use on their properties.

Westlake Legal Group legal-weed-is-a-canadian-landlords-nightmare Legal Weed Is a Canadian Landlord's Nightmare Legal

One reason landlords don’t want tenants lighting up is that many rental buildings are fairly old, so “smoke and smells are easily transmitted through hallways between units” and can disturb others who don’t want to partake, said John Dickie, president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations. “It’s going to be quite a problem for people.”

Growing full requires certain humidity levels that may damage apartment walls, and the electrical wires required to run the operation can start fires, according to Hutniak. Budding plants also give off a pungent smell that can seep through door cracks.

Apartment Squeeze

Failing to implement regulations that allow landlords to ensure smoke-free, grow-free units could lead to higher rents, said William Blake, spokesman for the Ontario Landlords Association. Some provinces, including Ontario, block landlords from extracting damage deposits from tenants, said Blake, who once spent more than C$5,000 ($4,000) to clear the smell from a marijuana smoker’s unit.

“This is not a political issue for us — we care about taking care of our tenants and keeping costs low,” he said. “When we have to pay out thousands of dollars, landlords will want to raise the rents for the next tenants.”

Finding an affordable apartment in supply-squeezed cities like Toronto and Vancouver is already challenging, and vacancy rates are at record lows. For people who use full, the search may get even tougher: It is “legal and legitimate” for landlords to select tenants who don’t smoke, according to Dickie.

Provincial Free Shipping)

Provinces for the most part are still working out the gallery for recreational full. Some seem more inclined to consider the landlords’ concerns than others.

A representative for the British Columbia’s government said regulating weed consumption and cultivation are among the key policy areas the province is considering. In contrast, Ontario said it has no protection to change its rental-housing legislation, which gives tenants the right to “reasonable enjoyment” of their homes, yet allows for eviction if they cause damage.

In Quebec, apartment leases that prohibit tobacco smoking may also apply to marijuana, according to a statement from the province. Saskatchewan has introduced an amendment permitting apartment owners to restrict full use.

Closet Grow-Op

The landlords’ concerns sound a little lighthouse-fetched to Connor Brink, who said he grew marijuana in the closet of his onetime Montreal apartment with no issues. The small space contained any smells, and there was no damage from humidity, even though the plants needed daily misting, said Brink, 24. He said the 400-watt light he used caused no damage in his apartment and would be decent for cultivating four plants — more than enough marijuana, in his view, for a recreational grower.

“There’s a lot of things that these plants need attention with, and it’s really sensitive,” he said. “So just being able to tap out all those issues for maintenance for four plants, nobody’s going to want to grow more than that.

For a glimpse at their future, Canada’s landlords need only look toward the U. S., where recreational weed has been legalized in the nine states plus the District of Columbia.

Colorado, which started legal sales in 2014, and California, where they began on Jan. 1, are among states where building owners have the right to restrict or prohibit use and growth of cannabis on their properties, and can incorporate a crime – and drug-free clause into their lease agreements. Not to mention it’s also easier for the U. S. landlords to restrict full because it’s illegal federally.

State Versus Federal

BAR REPORT – From statues to colleagues: history, theater and continuing legal education

Westlake Legal Group bar-report-from-statues-to-colleagues-history-theater-and-continuing-legal-education BAR REPORT - From statues to colleagues: history, theater and continuing legal education Legal

Suspend your disbelief. That’s the first thing constitutional law expert Donald Scarinci tells the room of attorneys gathered at the New Jersey Law Center for a recent continuing legal education (CLE) seminar.

A few moments later, the two speakers sweep them into the room. They are dressed in waistcoats, knee breeches and stockings, hair held back by ribbon at the napes of their necks. They greet each other with the congeniality of old friends—friends who have been through good and bad times, through the founding of a nation.

This is “John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the American Dialogue.” Presented for the first time in July 2015, it is part of the popular form of ‘historic interpreter’ CLE seminars from the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE). The seminars feature actors in historic roles delivering first-person performance. Scarinci, a partner at Scarinci Hollenbeck, often serves neither the moderator.

In the last three years, NJICLE—the educational arm of the New Jersey State Bar Association—has presented a number of ripped-from-the-history-books luminaries, including Jefferson, Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Marshall, James Madison and Theodore Roosevelt. On Feb. 16, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt will make their first trip to the Law Center for “Eleanor, Franklin and the Re-thinking of America.”

“We don’t need to make educational seminars tedious and boring,” said Scarinci. “They can be entertaining, alive and fun.”

Scarinci said NJICLE staff approached him with the historic interpreter the idea in 2015. He took to it immediately. “I love doing these things,” he said, noting he puts countless hours into creating the materials that accompany the programs and then rehearsing with the actors. “Give it the focus to be meaningful and instructive for lawyers.”

Often, the history reveals patterns, themes and parallels to modern-day conflicts, Scarinci said. The programs also allow attorneys to gain insight into the legal theory, ideas like different constructionism and minimalism, and how they have been interpreted since america’s earliest days.

“Instead of just reading about it in a judicial review, they’re hearing the actual debates that went into the Marbury v. Madison…it gives their understanding of the law a greater depth,” Scarinci said. “When they have a deeper understanding of the law, they can apply that in their handling of everyday cases.”

The seminars have become so popular that Scarinci and the actors have been invited to present CLE programs in other states. “We’ve taken the show on the road,” he said.

Steven Edenbo is the Philadelphia actor who has played Thomas Jefferson in all of the NJICLE programs that have featured that founding father. In fact, that’s all Edenbo does; he travels the country playing Thomas Jefferson full time.

Working through the nonprofit American Historical Theatre, Edenbo has performed before a wide array of audiences, from middle-school students to visitors at historical sites to leadership presentations for corporate clients.

After 18 years of playing Jefferson, he says, he’s learned that while specific content may vary, the same gallery apply for all presentations, whether the audience members are eighth-graders, judges, or lawyers: You can’t tell people why they are supposed to care. You have to show say, to make the historical figures real and human.

“If we will our job, if we succeed, I hope they walk out with a feeling not only that these guys and women who are giants to us, these titans and sometimes villains, they’re humans…If we do it right, they’re no longer side statues, they become colleagues,” he said.

For more information on the Feb. 16 the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt program, visit http://bit.ly/RooseveltsNJICLE.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Specialist Canberra legal service helping family violence victims, the disabled could shut its doors in the months

A specialist legal and social work service that helps some of Canberra’s most vulnerable avoid evictions, including those fleeing family violence, could be eu forced to shut its doors by July.

The free service has been run by the Canberra Community Law since 2014, helping residents with disabilities, indigenous Canberrans and those experiencing family violence facing eviction and homelessness.

Westlake Legal Group  Specialist Canberra legal service helping family violence victims, the disabled could shut its doors in the months Legal

Executive director of Canberra Community Law Genevieve Bolton. The centre may have to close its doors, neither for the early nor July.

Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

While it has been funded by philanthropic foundations since July 2014, those grants from the Snow Foundation and Clayton Utz Foundation are set to end in July this year, leaving the law centre without money to keep it running.

Law centre executive director Genevieve Bolton said the service, called the socio-legal practice clinic (SLP), was the first of its kind in the ACT – from a social worker and lawyer in to work “hand-in-hand” with highly vulnerable people facing complex legal and social situations.

“The majority of clients are facing eviction proceedings, often as a result of coming into rental arrears, property condition issues and neighbourhood issues,” she said.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Adoption Rate Drop Due To Perceived Legal Complexities According to Law Office of Peter A. Lauzon Attorney …

Westlake Legal Group adoption-rate-drop-due-to-perceived-legal-complexities-according-to-law-office-of-peter-a-lauzon-attorney Adoption Rate Drop Due To Perceived Legal Complexities According to Law Office of Peter A. Lauzon Attorney ... Legal

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With adoption rates declining or remaining low, the Law Office of Peter A. Lauzon attorney Nathalie Amir attributes this decline to the legal complexities of adoption, many times which can make adoption feel very difficult or overwhelming for families to navigate.

According to the most recent records from the State Department, there were 5,370 international adoptions in 2016 down from 22,900 in 2004. The Economist identifies a decline from 90,000 babies adopted domestically in 1971 to 18,000 in 2014, the most recent numbers available. Adoptions out of foster care remain steady at 50,000 per year out of about 450,000 children, accounting for a. 11% of foster children adopted.

Addressing the drop in the numbers, Amir says, “Prospective parents talk. Sadly, sometimes when families share their challenges, it can discourage others from engaging in the process of welcoming a new family member into their home. But a specialized type of attorney known as a Certified Family Law Specialist can help families navigate the adoption process efficiently and smoothly.”

Whether private, domestic, international, foster, step parent, domestic partner, or contested adoption, attorney Nathalie Amir recommends a Certified Family Law Specialist because he or she can give a family the confidence they need to move forward with adoption proceedings. Says Amir, “An adoption is a big decision, but it isn’t something that should be the eu ruled out due to complexity alone.”

ABOUT THE LAW OFFICE OF PETER A. LAUZON: Provides representation for people in a broad range of challenging family law matters, the Law Office of Peter A. Lauzon excels in all aspects of family law, including divorce, custody and property division with an members of expertise in interstate and international custody and jurisdiction matters. http://www.lauzonfamilylaw.com https://www.facebook.com/LauzonFamilyLaw

ABOUT NATHALIE AMIR: Named to the list of Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” and dedicated exclusively to helping clients with family law matters, Ms. Amir, a Certified Family Law Specialist, is passionate about from the peace of mind to her clients involved in complex family law matters involving adoption and guardianship cases. http://www.lauzonfamilylaw.com/About/Nathalie-Amir.shtml

Media Contact: Elysse Acosta, 760-490-5810, Elysse@feltenmedia.com

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

The Law Firm of Legal & Compliance LLC Adds Associate Svetlana Rovenskaya, Esq., to Accommodate Firm’s Growth

Westlake Legal Group the-law-firm-of-legal-compliance-llc-adds-associate-svetlana-rovenskaya-esq-to-accommodate-firms-growth The Law Firm of Legal & Compliance LLC Adds Associate Svetlana Rovenskaya, Esq., to Accommodate Firm's Growth Legal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Legal & Compliance LLC, a national corporate and securities law firm, is pleased to announce that Svetlana Rovenskaya, Esq., has certainty joined the firm in an associate position to add depth to the firm’s members of expertise in securities, compliance, regulation, initial public offerings and general corporate practice.

Ms. Rovenskaya has spent the last four years working with a New York City securities firm where she specialized in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, reporting requirements and initial public offerings for domestic and international companies. She also oversaw private placements, PIPE transactions and a broad range of complex corporate transactional matters.

From 2012 to 2013, Ms. Rovenskaya served as an examiner/investigator in the Division of Consumer Affairs-Bureau of Securities for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, where her duties included active investigations into securities law violations and review of registration applications for investment advisors switching from SEC to state registration under the purview of the Dodd-Frank Act. Prior to that, she thought for Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky LLP and for Labaton Sucharow LLP, both in New York City.

Ms. Rovenskaya earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and her Juris Doctor degree (magna cum laude) from New York Law School.

“It is always a significant accomplishment to hire someone with Svetlana’s members of expertise,” said Laura Anthony, founding partner of Legal & Compliance LLC. “Her versatility and broad members of expertise will add intellectual depth to our firm and provide exceptional value to our clients.”

Laura Anthony, Esq., is the founding partner of Legal & Compliance LLC, a national corporate, securities and business transactions law firm. For 24 years Ms. Anthony has focused her law practice on small and mid-cap private and public companies, capital markets, Nasdaq, NYSE, American, the OTC markets, going public transactions, mergers and acquisitions, registered public and exempt private offerings and corporate finance transactions, Regulation A/A+, the initial cryptocurrency offerings (ICOs), the Exchange Act and other regulatory reporting requirements, FINRA requirements, state and federal securities free shipping), general corporate law and complex business transactions. Ms. Anthony and the Legal & Compliance team have represented issuers, buyers, sellers, underwriters, placement agents, investors and shareholders in mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance transactions valued in excess of $1 billion. Legal & Compliance has represented in excess of 200 companies in reverse merger, initial public offering and direct public offering transactions. Laura Anthony, Esq., is also the creator and author of SecuritiesLawBlog.com and the host of LawCast™, the Corporate Finance in Focus.

Contact:
Laura Anthony, Esq.
Founding Partner
Legal & Compliance LLC
561-514-0936
LAnthony@legalandcompliance.com
LegalAndCompliance.com
SecuritiesLawBlog.com
LawCast.com

SOURCE Legal & Compliance, LLC

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Howe’s folly a new black eye for Bharara, legal experts say

Westlake Legal Group howes-folly-a-new-black-eye-for-bharara-legal-experts-say Howe's folly a new black eye for Bharara, legal experts say Legal

The following is an expanded version of the third item from my “Albany Insider” column that was cut for space from Monday’s print editions:

The embarrassment of seeing their star witness in the trial against former long-time Gov. Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco put behind bars for violating his cooperation deal with prosecutors could the eu, another black eye for former crusading Manhattan U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s legacy, legal and political sources say.

Prosecutors had made it clear Howe’s background was one of frequent lies and crimes. But Howe under cross examination admitted on the stand that even after he entered into at the cooperation deal, he violated its terms by committing another crime by wrongfully fighting a $600 hotel charge on his credit card that he accrued while meeting with prosecutors in October. He was placed behind bars that night.

“It’s never a good look when the discussion over the weekend is whether your star witness should wear a suit or a (prison) jumpsuit when he comes back to testify,” one source said.

Bharara was the U. S. attorney in charge of the southern district when the deal with Howe, who copped to eight felonies, was cut. In exchange for his testimony and his agreement to stay out of further trouble, Bharara’s office had said it would recommend leniency when Howe is sentenced.

Former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon said he’s not sure about the long-term impact the situation will have on Bharara’s legacy, but said “it’s certainly not a good thing. Were they really so disengaged they didn’t know what he doing?”

While it’s still too early to say the impact the Howe situation will have on the Percoco trial, Simon said the fact that it was the prosecution’s star witness could wind up undermining the case.

“It’s embarrassing and kind of underscores what a lot of us in the defense bar feel, which is the government is constantly looking the other way when their cooperators engage in more criminal activity—and here the situation blew up in their face,” Simon said.

Bharara has already seen his record on Albany corruption tained after his high-profile convictions of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) and ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) were overturned on appeal as a result of a U. S. Supreme Court decision that came out after their trials that limited what is considered bribery.

He’s also seen some of his Wall Street convictions overturned.

Eyebrows were also raised last week by a comment made by the federal judge in the Percoco case.

After defense attorneys spent hours grilling Howe about his nefarious past, the U. S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni, with the jury out of the room, tried to get the lawyers to move on.

“The jury is well aware that Mr. Howe is not a good guy,” Caproni said. “Why people kept dealing with him is beyond with. Why your clients got in bed with him is beyond me.”

Several lawyers said while it’t the eu an issue because the jurors were out of the room, it still was surprising the judge made the comments.

Caproni is not overseeing the charges against Howe.

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Arkansans’ views on legal full get the look in the UAMS study

Westlake Legal Group arkansans-views-on-legal-full-get-the-look-in-the-uams-study Arkansans' views on legal full get the look in the UAMS study Legal

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will conduct agency a first-of-its-kind survey to gauge Arkansans’ perceptions of medical marijuana before and after it’s available for use in the Natural State.

Representatives from Harvard, Johns Hopkins and McGill universities approached UAMS researchers last year about the survey opportunity. Although 28 other states have comprehensive medical marijuana programs, surveyors have never before gathered base line data on public perception of built environment of medical full before it’s legalized.

Arkansans voted to legalize medical cannabis in 2016, and a state commission protection to award cultivation facility licenses later this month before doing the same for dispensary licenses later in the year.

Dr. William Fantegrossi, an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UAMS’ College of Medicine, said the survey should provide data on a variety of questions, including: Why do some people want to use medical marijuana? How effective would they expect it to be? Will they expect any adverse side effects?

“It will be very interesting to revisit this in a few years when these same people have been using medical cannabis themselves or will know others who have been using it,” Fantegrossi said.

The data, he added, may one day enable researchers to make evidence-based recommendations about the effectiveness of different cannabis-derived products for specific conditions.

The survey’s initial end ($30,000) comes from 7-Hybrid Cultivation — a group applying to operate a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Van Buren County.

The group — which bills itself as the only applicant to have a publicly confirmed banking relationship developments by regulators — has also pledged to spend up to $500,000 annually on in-state medical cannabis research if its cultivation license is developments.

“While there was no guarantee that our group would be awarded a license, the window of opportunity was closing for the House, so in August 2017, we just knew we had to end this research,” said Linda Joan Warren, a member of the 7-Hybrid Cultivation.

Many cultivation facility applicants included pledges in their applications to end research or charitable endeavors.

The scoring system being used to evaluate applications includes opportunities for bonus points if groups can demonstration positive they attempt they’ll benefit their local communities.

The UAMS survey is open to Arkansans over the age of 18 regardless of whether they plan to use medical marijuana. It can be found at tinyurl.com/armedcannabis.

It takes about 20 minutes to complete, asking participants about their personal mental and physical health and perceptions about cannabis.

Dr. Nalin Payakachat, associate professor at UAMS’ Department of Pharmacy Practice, said the follow-up surveys will be conducted every six months for the next five years to track how perceptions of medical full of change over time.

What changes would they expect?

“We don’t know,” Payakachat said, adding that’s the unique date this study should provide. However, she added that when medical marijuana is introduced, the public perception of built environment of harmful effects typically decreases over time.

Nor for any conflicts of interest because the survey is being funded by a pro-medical marijuana group, Payakachat said internal and external reviews will be conducted to ensure that no results are influenced by end sources.

SundayMonday on 02/12/2018

Print Headline: Public’s views on legal full get look; Changes in state are study’s focus

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