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Evesham Employment Law Blog

New Movie Takes On The Topic Of Bullying

A new movie coming out this weekend takes on the topic of bullying. The movie is a fictional tale about a 16-year-old girl and the abuse she experiences at the hands of a classmate. Bullying has been a hot topic for some time now. It has received more attention from popular culture, parents, educators and administrators than perhaps ever before.

How you feel about the problem of bullying is likely dependent on a number of factors. Few people consider themselves bullies, even when their conduct appears to fit the description perfectly. Parents are unlikely to consider their children bullies. Like the parents of bullying victims, they might be the last to know about the conduct in question. Parents face a difficult challenge in addressing accusations of bullying by their children. 

Distracted Driving And Teens Behind The Wheel

Perspective and wisdom are in short supply all over. Shortsighted behavior is not restricted to one age group. There are, however, things that seem like they could only be connected with teenagers. A recent study revealed the positive news that teens are showing a greater awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. It also revealed that teens are engaging in activities such as changing clothes, doing homework and putting in contact lenses while driving. It might be a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Distracted driving is not specific to cell phone use. It is certainly not a problem restricted to texting. Laws and safety campaigns geared toward texting while driving might be having the unfortunate effect of making people feel comfortable engaging in other distracting behaviors. It is important to remember, when dealing with an inexperienced driver, that what might seem obvious to you might not be obvious to them. When telling a teen driver not to text behind the wheel, it might be a good idea to reiterate that it is also not a good time to be switching your wardrobe, finishing your algebra assignment or applying eye liner. 

New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights Trial Lawyer Discusses the Environment and the Civil Justice System

Or . . . What Would the Environment Be Like Without Trial Lawyers?

This is another in my "what would life be like without trial lawyers?" (and jury trials) series. Glad everyone is enjoying it. 

More than 50 million people in the United States live with unhealthy air. Even after the Congress passed the Clean Air Act, corporations continue to pollute the air we breathe with chemical and carcinogenic poisons ranging from arsenic to zinc. In the face of weak federal enforcement, regardless of administration, it's been trial lawyers who've led the fight, seeking justice against all the odds for communities such as the cancer ridden town of Globeville, poisoned by the cadmium-spewing smelter that rose above it for 100 years.

For decades, corporations handling waste disposal and hazardous materials have targeted low income communities as locations for processing plants, dumps and landfills. State and federal agencies were of no help, routinely allowing permits for sites in economically vulnerable communities without any oversight. Trial lawyers have worked on behalf of targeted communities, such as Camden, New Jersey, which was forced to accept an industrial plant producing over a million tons of hazardous waste a year in a neighborhood already marked by fifteen (15) contaminated sites. Trial attorneys were successful on behalf of the City of Camden and continue to stand up on behalf of many other similar communities.

Incidences such as the Exxon Valdez disaster and BP's Deep Water Horizon debacle have poured billions of gallons of oil into water ways worldwide. Trial lawyers worked for two decades to force Exxon to clean up it's mess and have worked to hold BP accountable for it's negligence in the environmental and economic disasters it caused.

Did the government do that? Did the companies police themselves? Of course not. Corporations never voluntarily admit wrongdoing. They have to be forced, by trial lawyers and juries, to do so, not by arbitrators, not by agencies, not by alternative dispute resolution.

On The Lookout For Drowsy Drivers

Have you ever seen a car wandering out of its lane and wondered just what the driver was doing? It's not hard to find drivers who are having trouble keeping their vehicles in one lane. The culprit may be alcohol, a cell phone call or text, the difficulty getting creamer into his coffee, or a thousand other issues. One of the possible causes is both common and difficult to detect-drowsiness. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is responsible for between 2.2 and 2.6 percent of fatal crashes. Drowsy driving is also the subject of a new crackdown announced by the NHTSA this week.

The new head administrator at the NHTSA was known for his work with human fatigue during his time at NASA and with the National Transportation Safety Board. Drowsy driving is his baby, so few will be shocked that it is an early subject of attention for the NHTSA under his watch. He indicated that the NHTSA will shortly begin developing and testing techniques for an awareness campaign directed at fatigued driving. He also announced that the NHTSA would be partnering with state governments in identifying the best ways catch tired drivers and deter people from taking the risk of getting caught. 

Stay Safe On St. Patrick's Day

Do you have big plans for March 17 this year? Are you planning on hitting the bars or going to a party? Do you plan to drink green beer or maybe something stronger? While St. Patrick's Day does not have to involve alcohol, in the United States the holiday is often celebrated by drinking. The Department of Transportation has issued a reminder for drivers that St. Patrick's Day is a prime time for drinking and driving accidents. Drivers are advised to plan ahead to avoid being involved in an accident.

The public is urged to do several things to avoid danger. If you are going to a bar or a party, designate a sober driver or make a transportation plan that does not involve you driving if you might drink. The NHTSA also has a SaferRide app for Android and Apple devices that can help you arrange for safe transportation. People are advised to watch out for their friends. As the PSA suggested, friends don't let friends drive drunk. If you are driving or riding in a car, wear a seat belt. You should always wear a seat belt in a car. That has nothing to do with March 17th. Seat belts save lives in accidents caused by drunk drivers, distracted drivers and tired drivers, alike. 

New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights Trial Lawyer Discusses Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz and Tort Reform

Or... The Hypocrisy of the Right

Tort Reform - or, as lawyers who represent people like to call it - "tort de­-form" - is a popular harping point for the right. It's one of their "go to" moves. Like being anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-environment, anti-business regulation... anti-common sense and anti-people.

The idea of tort deform is to change the way individuals hold others accountable for wrongdoing, and how compensation works. The tort deform movement - a product of an unholy alliance which goes back to the Federal Chamber of Commerce and the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan - seeks to tip the balance in the law and in the courts more in favor of business and big pharma, banking and insurance than it already is. The idea is to block suits, limit damages, and, in general, make it easier for those to do wrong to get away with it.

What are some of the items on the tort deform letter to Santa?

Well, let's start with punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish - to "make an example" of - the wrongdoer. As well, punitive damages are meant to deter further wrongful conduct of the type that got you slapped in the first place.

So why did I mention Ted Cruz? Cause he's a hypocrite, of course. And his hypocrisy happens to involve his love affair with big tort deform on the one hand, and his disingenuous - hypocritical - utilization of the very laws he says he wants to change when it suits him. 

Why Is The NHTSA So Ineffective?

Why Is The NHTSA So Ineffective?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has responded to criticism with claims that it is not adequately funded to perform its role in overseeing the auto industry. It is hard to argue that the NHTSA can be effective when the maximum penalty it is allowed to inflict is less bothersome than a gnat to auto industry giants. But there is some question as to whether the NHTSA is even interested in holding the auto industry accountable for safety violations. Those questions largely stem an issue that is related to agency capture. The issue is the number of officials who go from the NHTSA to employment with auto companies.

The problem has been referred to as a revolving door. Workers enter into the NHTSA on one side and exit to more lucrative jobs with automakers on the other. How serious are you likely to be about punishing an auto company for safety issues when you know you will be negotiating your shiny new salary with them in a few years' time? The man who was recently replaced as acting head of the NHTSA has moved on to a new job with a law firm focusing on furthering the agenda of trade groups representing automakers. The problem goes all the way to the top. 

The Benefits Of A Self-Driving Car

There are many ways in which society could benefit if self-driving automobiles ever become a reality. Some of them are dependent on usage. The vast majority of the cars in the United States go unused most of the time. While estimates vary, a car generally spends 95 percent of its life parked (and therefore unused). Some people think that driverless cars will change people's opinions about mass private ownership of cars. While increased efficiency is certainly possible, it seems naïve to expect that people will suddenly be willing to forgo owning a car just because it will be driving itself.

Real gains come from a reduction in car accidents and increased efficiency of people freed from the responsibility of driving. If you are able to get work done while your car gets you wherever you are going, you will be more productive and the economy will improve. A recent study by McKinsey & Company suggests that billions of dollars in annual revenue could be generated by autonomous vehicles. It also reports that traffic accidents could be reduced by 90 percent.

New Jersey Businesses Fighting Paid Sick Leave Law

A referendum that appeared on the ballot in Trenton last November passed overwhelmingly. The measure required employers in Trenton to provide paid sick days to their employees. Voters supported the referendum 5,308 to 881. With the law set to take effect today, a coalition of businesses and corporate lobby groups have filed a lawsuit claiming the law violates the Constitution and New Jersey law. Trenton was to become the 8th municipality in New Jersey to have a mandatory paid sick leave policy, joining East Orange, Jersey City, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic and Paterson.

The law in question allows employees to earn, at most, 5 paid sick days per year. For workers at companies with fewer than 10 employees, the maximum is 3 paid sick days per year. Despite the limited nature of the protection, businesses are still fighting to frustrate the will of Trenton voters and keep the rights of workers to a bare minimum. 

Road Conditions And Car Accidents

Who designed this road? It's a question many of us have asked as we sat in traffic on a road that always seems to be overcrowded. Some roads seem like more potholes than road. Others have spots that are notorious for being the site of car crashes. The design and maintenance of our roads have a substantial impact on drivers. According to a recent report by TRIP, a nonprofit organization focusing on surface transportation issues, New Jersey drivers lose $2,000 per year to substandard roads and bridges.

The report entitled, "New Jersey Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State's Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility" considers costs associated with traffic accidents, traffic delays caused by congestion and vehicle operating costs. The traffic crashes in included in the cost are limited to those where roadway features are considered a contributing factor. The statewide total of these costs was $11.8 billion. 

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Mount Laurel NJ 08054

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