Articles Posted in Law

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Summary: It is not “do unto others before they do it to you” but rather “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  In other words, treat people as you would like to be treated.

I attended an ex parte hearing last Thursday at which time I was given the San Diego County Bar Association’s (SDCBA) Attorney Code of Conduct and the United States Constitution.  Now, I do not believe I was singled out since: (1) I do not think that I have a reputation as a reprobate; and (2) opposing counsel was also given one [I don’t think she falls into the reprobate category either].

I called the SDBCA to inquire whether all of the judges were handing out these booklets.  I was informed that the SDCBA handed these out to their members (I’ve never received one until now).  Somehow, some of the booklets got into the hands of a judge and she was sharing the information (I’m thinking, with good reason).

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Summary: A law was passed in California in 1975 (Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, also known as “MICRA”) which, among other things, limited the amount of money awarded for non-economic damages (pain, suffering, emotional distress, etc.) to $250,000 in medical malpractice cases. There was no clause included which adjusted the amount for inflation which means, at this point, that $250,000 is worth about $60,000 now.

I initially addressed this issue in Post #7 published in July of 2012 entitled “Here’s Why the California Cap on Non-economic Damages Is Archaic.” I discussed it again in October of 2012 in Post #14 entitled “Until the California Supreme Court Takes a Gander, the California Cap on Non-economic Damages Will Stay Firmly in Place.” Finally, I dealt with it in July of 2013 in Post #28 which was an addendum to Posts 7 and 14.  I would ask that you read those for background on the reasoning behind this cap and why the law is so wrong.

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Published on:

Summary: A law was passed in California in 1975 (Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, also known as “MICRA”) which, among other things, limited the amount of money awarded for non-economic damages (pain, suffering, emotional distress, etc.) to $250,000 in medical malpractice cases. There was no clause included which adjusted the amount for inflation which means, at this point, that $250,000 is worth about $60,000 now.

I initially addressed this issue in Post #7 published in July of 2012 entitled “Here’s Why the California Cap on Non-economic Damages Is Archaic.” I addressed it again in October of 2012 in Post #14 entitled “Until the California Supreme Court Takes a Gander, the California Cap on Non-economic Damages Will Stay Firmly in Place.” I would ask that you read those for background on the reasoning behind this cap and why the law is so wrong.

I am bringing this up simply because it is now July of 2018 and you may be wondering if something has happened since. Well, nothing helpful.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

This post starts where Post 27 left off.

Ms. Rowling did in fact file suit, not against Russell Solicitors but rather against the lawyer, Chris Gossage, and his wife’s (former?) best friend, Judith Callegari. However, it was settled out of court. Russell Solicitors “agreed to reimburse Rowling’s legal costs and to make a “substantial” donation to The Soldiers’ Charity, which helps former military personnel and their families.” (http://www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/54397/jk-rowling-wins-big-charity-donation-after-pen-name-leak).

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Written by :  Patricia I. James**

In Post #7, I wrote about the cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages in California.  Basically, I said that it was an unfair cap that had not been revised since it was established in 1975.

In Post #14, I wrote that, if the Gavello case went to the California Supreme Court, it might find that the cap was unconstitutional.  I did not give that much hope but it was a thought.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

For those of you who do not know who J. K. Rowling is, which might consist of approximately three people in the entire world, she is the author of the hugely popular Harry Potter series and also the author of “The Casual Vacancy.”

When I read the latter (having read all of her books, sometimes twice), I really felt like I could hear her voice, that I could see that she had written this. Having KNOWN that she wrote it, that quite possibly impacted my belief.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

This post addresses a scene in the second episode of “Monday Mornings” (See Post #25). Again, it involved peer review known as “Morbidity and Mortality” and dealt with consenting a patient.

Neurosurgeon Tina Ridgeway, M.D. was invited to the podium to discuss the file of patient Francine Cash. Ms. Cash had a tumor on the brain and underwent an operation. Dr. Ridgeway said that the “procedure seemingly went well with no incident.” The Chief Surgeon, Dr. Hooten, pounced on the word “seemingly.” He asked Dr. Ridgeway about the risks of surgery. She said that the risks were bleeding, infection, stroke and possible damage to olfactory nerve (pertaining to the sense of smell) which ran proximate to the growth. If the nerve was nicked or cut, Ms. Cash could lose her sense of smell.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

I watched the first episode of “Monday Mornings,” the new television series on TNT created by David E. Kelley. Mr. Kelley has created or been involved in various series including Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Boston Public, Chicago Hope, Doogie Howser, M.D., LA Law and Picket Fences. This show involves five surgeons in a hospital and explores their professional and personal lives.

The reason I am writing a post on this episode is based on a scene involving peer review of one doctor’s case. The most common educational setting for this review and discussion is known as Morbidity and Mortality (“M&M”). This is where physicians discuss other doctors’ behavior or analyze an adverse event. The information gleaned during M&M is not discoverable in most states. The reason is to have open communication and enable doctors to learn from their mistakes and try to prevent future ones. Doctors are going to be less forthcoming with regard to errors they have made if what they say can be used in a medical malpractice case.

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Written by Patricia I. James**

Yesterday, I attended a Case Management Conference (“CMC”) (See Post # 3) in Riverside. I drove there. I know I should have made a telephonic appearance as did the two opposing counsel. However, it is so invigorating to get up at 5:00 a.m., hit stop and go traffic on the I-215, breathe in the exhaust fumes and just barely make it to court at 8:30 a.m. Nothing like that adrenaline rush.

Two things occurred at the hearing which were interesting, at least, to me. First, there was actually a court reporter at the hearing in Riverside. Although I have only attended two or three hearings in San Diego County since the cessation of court reporters, each time it has seemed strange to not see them. Now it seemed odd to see one. I guess the ax has not come down yet in Riverside County.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

The City of Los Angeles has banned the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits by pet stores. (http://www.examiner.com/article/los-angeles-bans-the-sale-pet-stores-of-puppy-mill-pets). The ban starts around May of this year and will expire on June 30, 2016 unless it is extended by ordinance. “The purpose of the three-year program is to ascertain how effective the ordinance is in increasing adoptions and reducing the number of animals euthanized per year.”

Although the law will allow individuals to buy directly from breeders, pet stores will only be allowed to sell rescued animals obtained from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups. A penalty of $250 will be incurred for the first violation, $500 for the second and $1000 for the third.