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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay Area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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CA injury lawyerAerophobia, or fear of flying, is a common affliction. Even if you can overcome your fear enough to step on board a plane, mid-air turbulence and the sheer discomfort of being trapped in a tight, closed environment is enough to make even the most frequent flier uncomfortable. News of the recent crash of an Ethiopian airliner is likely to stir up these fears for passengers on upcoming trips. While statistically your odds of being involved in a major aviation accident are low, there is cause for concern regarding the safety of certain planes as well as the potentially serious personal injuries that can occur before, during, or after your flight.

Airplanes Grounded After Ethiopian Crash

The news of the devastating crash involving the Boeing Co.’s 737 Max 8 out of Ethiopia, which killed more than 150 people, came as a shock both to the public and to airline industry officials. It was the second crash within six months involving that particular model of plane. In the aftermath, numerous airlines stepped forward saying they would ground the aircraft until a more in-depth investigation could be conducted. Several others, including Southwest and American Airlines, insisted they had confidence in the plane and would continue flights as scheduled.

Within days U.S. aviation officials took more definitive action and grounded the planes. Boeing itself pledged to halt further deliveries of the aircraft until they are able to properly assess the problem and install new flight control software. The process could take at least six weeks or longer, leaving the planes out of circulation until the end of April and causing airlines to change customer flight plans.

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San Jose CA DUI defense lawyerIn California, getting a DUI is an extremely serious matter. In addition to fines and criminal penalties, there is also the impact on your driver’s license, the increased costs, and the potential damage to your job or reputation. When considering whether you need legal help in defending yourself against these charges, it is important to consider these ramifications. The following outlines what to expect based on whether you have any prior DUIs on your driving record, along with some of the defenses our San Jose DUI defense attorneys may be able to raise in your case.  

Could You Be Facing a Jail Sentence for a DUI? 

Under California law, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater. Law enforcement officials have the authority to pull you over, detain you, and press criminal charges in the matter if they have a reasonable suspicion you are operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance. 

As drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and injuries throughout the state, California takes a strong stand against suspected DUI drivers. Penalties you face depend on whether you have previously been convicted on a DUI offense or whether anyone was injured as the result of your actions. These penalties include: 

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CA injury lawyerElectric scooters have many devoted fans throughout the Bay Area. People of all ages appreciate them as a convenient and cost-effective way to get around town, eliminating the need to take the bus or to deal with the hassle of driving, which includes sitting in traffic, wasting gas, and driving around endlessly looking for a parking space. However, with increases in both the number and severity of personal injuries associated with scooter accidents and the hassle of having riders abandon them on sidewalks and in other places, the number of places putting scooter bans into effect are increasing as well.

Electric Scooters Banned at San Jose State

While electric scooters may be convenient and fun to ride, some places are saying they are just not worth the hassle. San Jose State University put a scooter ban in place after receiving numerous complaints about users riding them improperly and parking them in potentially dangerous locations, such as in front of doorways or in the middle of sidewalks and bike paths. Electric scooters are now completely prohibited anywhere on school grounds and SJSU officials took the drastic step of collecting every scooter it had on campus, locking them in a warehouse, and telling the scooter companies to come get them.

During the same week the ban took effect, a scooter accident near campus seemed to illustrate the point. The collision involved a person who was hit by a Tesla Model S after driving a Lime scooter the wrong way in a bike lane. The unidentified scooter rider was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

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CA injury lawyerParticipating in recreational or school-related sports is a good way for your child to stay fit and to make new friends. While it can be fun for your child to be a part of a team and to engage in healthy competition with others, it is important to be aware of the risks. Young athletes may push themselves too hard or disregard safety instructions, resulting in potentially serious personal injuries. Coaches, recreational staff, and school officials have a responsibility to protect your child, but it is up to parents to ensure the proper precautions are taken.

Raising Awareness About Youth Sports Injuries

The month of April is designated as National Youth Sports Safety Month. The month is sponsored by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, which offers numerous tools and resources for coaches and concerned parents.

Serious injuries can occur when young athletes are engaged in a wide variety of activities. This includes sports which require physical interactions with others, such as basketball, football, and soccer, as well as more individual pursuits, such as dance, swimming, or long distance running. The following are among the most common types of youth sports injuries:

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CA employment lawyerAt the beginning of 2019, San Jose workers got a bump in their pay as the city raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While employee rights advocates hail the increase as a step in the right direction, business owners have been grumbling about increased costs. This situation is one that is ripe for wage disputes, particularly in cases where businesses are not in compliance or when they attempt to cut corners in terms of calculating hours. A recent class action lawsuit against a Bay Area eatery provides important clues as to the types of unfair wage actions workers need to be alert for.

Bay Area Eatery Settles Lawsuit for $690,000

Gordo Taqueria is a popular eatery with locations throughout the Bay area. However, the restaurant’s owners have been embroiled in legal battles over the past few years regarding accusations they engaged in unfair and illegal wage practices. A former dishwasher and prep cook initiated a class action lawsuit against the business, which eventually included more than 240 other employees. The dishwasher, who worked at the Berkeley location from 2013 to 2015, alleges that the restaurant owners engaged in a variety of unfair practices, which include:

  • Not paying legally required overtime for those who worked 10 to 12-hour shifts;
  • Not providing the required rest and meal breaks on longer shifts;
  • Miscalculations of employee pay due to poor record keeping practices; and
  • Failure to distribute tips to workers as legally required.

The issues raised in the lawsuit may serve as a wake-up call for other workers in the area who have employers engaging in the same types of practices. While Gordo Taqueria admits no wrongdoing in the matter, they did agree to settle the lawsuit and pay the former employees $690,000.

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San Jose CA assault and battery lawyer.jpgSan Jose was once considered one of the safest big cities in the United States. However, a new report shows that while violent crimes have gone down in other places throughout the Bay Area, the number of assaults and batteries committed locally have increased dramatically over the past year. To stop this trend, law enforcement is vowing to be more aggressive in its efforts, both in apprehending suspects and in pressing criminal charges.  

San Jose Police Focus on Reducing Violent Crime

Recently released police data shows that San Jose, once known for its low crime rate, has experienced a dramatic six percent increase in violent crimes over the course of 2018.

Local law enforcement officials blame the increase on the department’s struggle to rebuild after losing a significant number of officers in the aftermath of pension reforms. Over the past 10 years, the San Jose PD has lost more than 20 percent of its officers, reducing the force from 1,400 to just over 1,000 officers. As a result, there are slower response times when crimes are reported and a lesser likelihood of apprehensions. 

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CA injury lawyerThe recent rash of motor vehicle accidents in San Jose involving pedestrians has gotten people talking about the problem and how to address it. Increased law enforcement efforts in apprehending reckless drivers and improvements to infrastructure designed to increase pedestrian safety are both viable safety options currently being implemented. However, some suggest that pedestrians themselves need to be more aware of the behaviors which put them at risk.

San Jose Pedestrian Accidents Continue Alarming Increase

For the past several years, there have been a steady number of pedestrian accidents in our area. The current years tally started on January 1, 2019, when an incident involving an SUV left the mayor of San Jose with multiple broken bones. One of the most recent pedestrian crashes occurred in late January, claiming the life of a local man who was a husband, father, volunteer firefighter, and Sunday school teacher. In 2018 there was a total of 24 pedestrian deaths, the highest number in three years.

San Jose city officials claim that part of the problem is a thinly stretched police force unable to crack down on reckless drivers, combined with high crash risk intersections and roadways in need of safety improvements. The city plans to address these issues over the next year as part of its Vision Zero plan, which aims at reducing the overall number of traffic accidents. While more sidewalks, increased lighting, and additional crosswalks will help, some are saying pedestrians need to be more aware of the types of behaviors which put them at risk.

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CA injury lawyerAccidents can happen in a variety of scenarios. Minus any immediate symptoms, such as broken bones, obvious bruises, or bleeding, you may be tempted to brush off any possible injuries you sustain as relatively minor and inconsequential. However, anytime an accident involves a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, it is important to be aware of the serious and possibly permanent damages it can cause. Concussions are one of the most common types of personal injuries and medical experts continue to uncover the serious ramifications these injuries can have on every area of a victims life.

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), a concussion involves any type of injury to the head that disrupts the brains normal processes and functions. In cases of mild concussion, there may be no immediate or obvious outward signs symptoms. As a result, victims may be tempted to shrug off a bump or blow to the head, not reporting it or seeking the medical attention they need.

However, the AANS states that even a minor concussion is nothing to take lightly, as it can have long term impacts on your physical health and emotional wellbeing. Signs and symptoms to be alert for include:

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San Jose, CA criminal defense attorneyFacing any type of criminal charges in San Jose is a serious matter. With the potential for heavy fines and jail time, you need an experienced San Jose, CA criminal defense attorney on your side. In an effort to put a dent in the high crime rates experienced throughout the area, law enforcement officials are increasingly focused on apprehending offenders, while prosecuting attorneys are aggressive in making charges stick. 

Local business and property owners have also gotten involved and are becoming more vigilant both in reporting crimes and making an effort to identify suspects. Video recordings are being used more regularly and can end up providing damaging evidence in your criminal court case. 

San Jose Merchants Use Video Recordings To Help Curb Crime In Area 

The San Jose area has been plagued by increasing crime rates, and local merchants took a drastic stand recently in calling attention to the problem. A November 2018 NBC Bay Area report states that after a year of dealing with problems such as prostitution, drug dealing, and assaults in front of their establishments, merchants on Monterey Highway released surveillance videos taken on their property to the press. Contained within the videos includes evidence of the following: 

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Posted on in Personal Injury

CA injury lawyerInterstates and highways intimidate many drivers. Between widespread lanes, multiple exit and entrance ramps, and the high rates of speed at which drivers are traveling, these are common areas for car accidents to occur and the injuries that result can be severe. Of these types of crashes, wrong way collisions are among the most potentially deadly. A recent wrong-way crash in San Francisco that left two people dead and nine others injured highlights how dangerous these accidents are and how they often occur.

San Jose Driver Responsible for Wrong-Way Crash

Recently, a tragic three-car collision on Highway 101 closed all northbound lanes. The accident occurred at roughly 2:30 a.m. when investigators believe a 21-year-old San Jose woman entered the highway going the wrong way from the Vermont Street off-ramp. As she headed southbound in the northbound lanes, she struck an Uber van driven by a 40-year-old man.

The 40-year-old man was an Afghan immigrant who had relocated to the area due to safety concerns regarding work he did with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan over the course of 2015. He was driving for Uber full time as he attended computer science classes at Diablo Valley College. Both drivers were killed immediately as a result of the accident. Six passengers in the van of the Uber driving and three other motorists involved in the crash all suffered serious injuries.

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CA employment lawyerIn the tech business, being employed by industry giants often means getting the opportunity to perform meaningful work, at a decent rate of pay, and with plenty of workplace perks. However, it does not necessarily mean job security or protection from the types of layoffs that happen in other types of business industries. Silicon Valley companies have announced employee cutbacks over the past year that have left hundreds of people in our area searching for new positions. As Bay area employment law attorneys, we want you to be aware of your rights and the steps you need to take if you lose your job.

In San Jose, eBay Job Cuts Impact Local Residents

eBay recently announced a reorganization of the company, resulting in layoffs for more than 100 workers from the Bay area. The majority of those impacted are from the company’s newest location on North First Street and from the San Jose headquarters.

The layoffs are part of a larger consolidation, which eBay executives claims is geared towards allowing it to maintain maximum focus on the company’s global market. Those impacted include eBay directors, managers, data scientists, and software engineers, as well as several members of legal counsel.

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San Jose, CA sexual assault defense attorneysIn criminal court cases, the state has a limited amount of time to bring charges against alleged offenders. Known as the statute of limitations (SOL), once this time period has elapsed, the person may no longer be prosecuted for the crimes. However, in cases involving sexual assault, these time periods were abolished in California. This allows victims to come forward and press charges based on incidents that happened years in the past. A San Jose track coach was recently arrested and charged with a series of sex crimes that allegedly occurred more than a decade ago.   

San Jose Man Accused of Sex Crimes Against Minors

The 56-year-old owner of Marshall Sports Performance and Fitness in San Jose was working at Branham High School as an after-school track coach when allegations surfaced that he had sexually assaulted minor students in the past. The incidents allegedly occurred more than 10 years ago when he was a teacher at Valley Christian High School. 

Investigators say that numerous victims came forward and made allegations that the man had committed sexual acts against them in his classroom over the course of the 2004-2005 school years. He has been charged with 12 counts of sexual penetration with a person under the age of 18 and another 12 counts of oral copulation. 

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CA injury lawyerDamages to muscles, joints, tendons, and other soft tissues are one of the most common types of personal injuries. These injuries often result in immediate symptoms, such as bruising, pain, and swelling, but victims are often tempted to downplay the potential long term effects they can have on their health. When soft tissue injuries occur as the result of accidents, it is important to bear in mind that you have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover. Before accepting less than what you may be entitled to in a claim, consider the long term effects your soft tissue injuries may have on your professional life, your financial security, and your overall well being first.

The Serious Nature of Soft Tissue Injuries

The most common types of soft tissue injuries involve the muscles, tendons, and ligaments which support bone structure, joints, and the various movements of the body. These types of injuries often occur as a result of the following:

  • Car, bike, and pedestrian accidents;
  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Getting struck by or against objects;
  • Sports and recreational mishaps; and
  • On-the-job accidents and overuse.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), even a relatively minor sprain, strain, or tear can have long term impacts on your overall health, preventing you from performing certain types of tasks or engaging in your usual activities. Part of the problem is that these injuries can take long weeks, months, or even years to heal completely. While people who suffer soft tissue injuries may be tempted to downplay them and resume work or daily tasks too quickly, doing so puts them at risk for causing additional - and sometimes permanent - damage.

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CA injury lawyerThis winter has been a wet and rainy one for those living in the Bay area. Multiple storm fronts over the past few months have brought heavy downpours and damaging winds, making roads dangerous and wreaking havoc for drivers. While these types of conditions may seem relatively mild compared to the snow accumulations experienced in more eastern parts of Northern California, they increase motor vehicle accident risks, something all drivers need to be aware of.

Additional Heavy Rains Slam San Jose and Bay Area

While wet winter weather is nothing unusual for San Jose, the recent round of storms have been particularly potent. In early February, a harsh winter storm front brought inches of rain, high waves, and gusting winds to the local area, spurring mandatory evacuations for places recently impacted by the wildfires. All residents were warned to be alert for downed trees and power lines, as well as dangerous road conditions which could present serious hazards for drivers.

After riding out these heavy storms, the Bay Area has continued to get battered by additional adverse weather fronts. Forecasters described this as a ‘potent atmospheric river’ over Valentine’s Day weekend that was likely to lead to additional flooding, power outages, and downed trees. With soil already saturated due to previous drenching rains, this new storm could bring landslides, potentially wiping out some roads.

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San Jose CA embezzlement lawyerEmbezzlement charges are a serious matter. Stealing from your employer and diverting funds into your own or even other accounts can leave you facing serious criminal penalties in California. If the amount you are accused of misappropriating is large enough or involves people and companies in other states or countries, it could also result in federal charges. Even the accusation of this type of crime can ruin your career and your reputation within the community, which is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to respond immediately to these charges. 

Former Tesla Employee Faces Heavy Jail Sentence 

A former San Jose man was indicted by a grand jury in November 2018 on charges he was part of a $9.3 million embezzlement scheme while working for car manufacturer Tesla’s Global Supply Management group. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that the 32-year-old man joined Tesla in 2013 as a purchasing specialist, rising to the level of group manager of the Global Supply Management and Industrialization team in 2017. He is accused of hatching a plan over the course of 2016 and 2017 to divert funds owed by a Taiwan-based auto parts supplier to a different company located in Germany. 

The man impersonated employees to direct funds from Hota Industrial Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Hota) to a different supplier, Schwabische Huttenwerke Automotive (SHW), whose relationship had previously been terminated. As part of the embezzlement scheme, the man is also accused of falsifying invoices and creating fraudulent accounts payable documents, which included bank account information and wire instructions. 

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CA injury lawyerThe new year is off to a dangerous start for pedestrians in the San Jose area. It began with San Jose’s Mayor suffering serious personal injuries in a pedestrian accident that occurred on New Year’s Day. While he is expected to eventually make a full recovery, there have been three other incidents in the weeks since where the victims were not so fortunate. The most recent case involves a hit and run driver, which police are seeking the public’s help in identifying.

Fatal Hit and Run Accident in San Jose

A hit and run accident claimed the life of a San Jose woman just after midnight on January 24, 2019. Police state that the victim was walking in the area of E. Santa Clara Street and N. 10th Street, where she attempted to cross the road. She was reportedly struck by a white van, who immediately fled. Medics pronounced the woman died at the scene.

The San Jose Police Department reports that this is now the third fatal accident involving motor vehicles and pedestrians to have occurred since the new year. They are hoping members of the public may be able to help by identifying the driver or the vehicle involved.

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CA employment lawyerManagers and fellow employees at a Rotten Robbie’s in Santa Clara were recently shocked when an assistant supervisor went on a rampage and set his Cupertino workplace on fire. He also went to another gas station owned by the company in Santa Clara and shooting, before being fatally shot himself by police. In the aftermath, some who knew him claimed he was upset over personal and work issues, but few would have expected him to act out in this manner. It raises concerns about the very real threat of workplace violence and how coworkers and managers alike need to handle the situation.

Disgruntled Workers Goes On Rampage

A 55-year-old San Jose resident was identified as the man who went on the rampage at Rotten Robbie’s, terrorizing fellow workers and causing significant amounts of property damage. Miraculously, no one was hurt when he first set fire to the gas station located on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino at roughly 5:00 a.m. that morning, nor were there any injuries when he opened fire at a second location on Lafayette Street in Santa Clara just an hour later.

While the man was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, and plenty of immunization, he was stopped by officers soon after the shooting had broken out. Four officers were involved in the shooting and reports indicate he shot at them before they returned fire. Investigators state that the man had no prior criminal record in Santa Clara County. While his employers claim he seemed content with his job, police say he must have been holding some significant resentment against the company to have lashed out at two different locations.

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San Jose, CA drug charges attorneyWhen facing any type of drug charges in California, it is a serious matter that requires immediate, aggressive legal representation. Even a small amount of a controlled substance could leave you facing heavy fines and a potential jail sentence. If you are in possession of larger amounts, drug sales could be inferred, exposing you to mandatory minimum penalties. Recent cases involving two men charged with drug sales and distribution-related crimes in San Jose show just how serious these situations are and what is at stake. 

Student Faces Federal Charges In San Jose For Drug Distribution App

One 18-year-old student at the University of California at Santa Cruz allegedly created a smart phone app that allowed him to sell meth, cocaine, and other drugs to fellow students and others near the campus area. The man went so far as to hang up posters advertising the app, which was available through the Apple store. 

The app became popular and caught the attention of both the local police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which set up a sting operation using an undercover DHS officer to catch the man in the act. The student was arrested and indicted on drug distribution and possession charges in the San Jose federal court. He is currently awaiting bail and faces of up to $5 million in fines and up to 40 years in prison. 

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CA injury lawyerDuring the winter months in northern California, it is not uncommon for people to rely on alternative heat sources to keep the cold, wet weather at bay. Unfortunately, doing so can end up increasing your risks for home fires resulting in serious property damages and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. Wood stoves and fireplaces require regular maintenance to avoid becoming a hazard while portable heaters can be dangerous if used improperly and are too often subject to product defects. After a recent fire in San Jose left one family homeless, we encourage you to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Mobile Home Fire Impacts Family in San Jose

Recently, a fire that broke out in a mobile home park in San Jose left a family of four displaced. Officials report that firefighters responded to a call for help from residents on Hermitage Drive shortly after midnight. When they arrived on the scene, they found the mobile home in flames. Fortunately, a smoke detector alerted the family of four to the fire in the early stages, allowing them to all evacuate safely. While there were no reported injuries, the structure itself sustained major damages and the family is currently staying with friends. Fire officials are continuing to investigate the blaze and have not determined a cause.

Foremost Insurance Group, an AARP approved mobile home insurance provider, states that these types of fires are common and that one of the most frequent causes is accidents involving home heating equipment. For people in the Bay area who often rely on alternative heat sources, such as fireplaces and wood stoves, regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent sparks, flames, and dangerous fumes from impacting the home’s residents.

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CA injury lawyerCar accidents can happen to even the most experienced drivers and can result in serious personal injuries. It is not enough to simply rely on luck or your driving skill; you need to take actions to prevent collisions from impacting you and others on the road. The following are six tips to follow, designed to keep you and your loved ones safe behind the wheel:

1. Keep your car running properly.

A properly maintained car is less likely to suddenly malfunction. Consider doing simple tasks, such as checking tire pressure and oil levels on your own while taking your car into a mechanic for regular maintenance. Spending the money now to make sure your car is safe will save you in the long run.

2. Take your time getting where you are going.

Being in a rush makes you more inclined to speed, which is a leading cause of car accidents in San Jose. According to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety, close to 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured in speed-related crashes in Santa Clara County each year. Pay attention to how fast you are going and reduce your speed on treacherous roads, in construction zones, and during adverse weather.

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