Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Legal Help Live Show Notes

Legal Help Live offers free legal advice each Wednesday at 4 PM. During the show the Hosts take calls from viewers with legal situations from parking tickets to personal injury. Viewers can catch the show on LA cable channel 36 or 16 in Santa Monica. Online the show can be viewed on

If you'd like to ask the Hosts a question call 1(800)405-4222


-Air passengers who refuse a full body scan to be barred from their flight - Air passengers who refuse to submit to controversial full body scans will be barred from boarding their
flights. The technology - which has been strongly condemned by civil liberties campaigners - began operating at Heathrow and Manchester airports yesterday. Birmingham will follow suit later this month before the anti-terror devices are rolled out nationally.
-California’s hand-held cellphone ban hasn’t reduced crashes, study says –LATimes -
The accident rate before and after the law took effect has not significantly changed,
according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.
-Cat Predicts 50 deaths in RI nursing home – A cat with an uncanny ability to detect when nursing home patients are about to die has proven itself in around 50 cases by curling up with them in their final hours, according to a new book.
-Use of Twitter, Facebook rising among gang member –The Associated Press
-Revenue from red-light cameras is also on the rise, doubling L.A. from $200,000 a month in 2007 to $400,000 a month at the end of 2009, according to estimates prepared by the Los Angeles Superior Court, which processes ticket payments. The city more than doubled the amount charged for motorists who make rolling right turns against red lights from $156 to $381 in 2008, bringing it in line with other cities. Additional costs, including traffic school fees, often add to the price drivers pay. Last year, the state increased the fines for traffic tickets and used the proceeds to help renovate courthouses. The changes included a $35 surcharge on traffic tickets. With California mired in recession and residents unwilling to pay more taxes, focusing on parking and traffic fines is one of relatively few politically palatable ways to raise revenue. But the tactics anger some drivers -- as well as tax groups and driving organizations.
-California Supreme Court upholds state enforcement of sex offender ban – Contra Costa Times -
Voter-approved limits on where sex offenders can live may be enforced on parolees who committed their
sex crimes long before Jessica's Law passed, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
But the court did not clarify what happens once they leave parole, or if the law applies to county
probationers, frustrating law enforcement officials who had hoped the court would settle vexing questions
over the most controversial provision of a 2006 ballot measure backed by 70 percent of voters.
The ruling means state parole agents can continue their strict enforcement of a ban on sex offenders living
within 2,000 feet of a school or park where kids "regularly gather."
"It matters not ... whether the registered sex offender is being released on his current parole for a sex or
nonsex offense," Justice Marvin Baxter wrote in the majority opinion. To rule otherwise, he wrote, would
grant parolees with earlier sex convictions "a free lifetime pass" from the ban.
-Herbal Remedies may be risky with heart drugs-Researchers say some supplements should be avoided by patients taking heart drugs – WebMD Health News - Patients taking heart drugs are at risk for potentially dangerous interactions when they also take herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, and garlic, an analysis shows. Investigators with the Mayo Clinic identified herbal and alternative products that they say should be avoided by patients with heart disease. They claim the products could cause problems when taken with drugs commonly prescribed to lower blood pressure, control cholesterol, stabilize heart rhythms, or prevent blood clots.
-Request for restraining order against Paris Hilton Denied – A man from Long Beach, California is afraid of Paris Hilton. A guy named Ramiro Benitez filed for a restraining order against the hotel heiress, claiming she has threatened him "sexually, physically and financially." Unfortunately for him, a judge has denied the request.
-Official says Jackson doctor to be charged – Associated Press - A law-enforcement official says prosecutors plan to charge Michael Jackson's doctor with manslaughter rather than take the case to a grand jury. The official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that prosecutors will file a criminal complaint against Dr. Conrad Murray in court. The complaint would be the prelude to a hearing in which a judge would weigh testimony from witnesses to decide if there is probable cause to try him on an involuntary manslaughter charge. Mr. Jackson died June 25 from an anesthetic overdose. Dr. Murray maintains nothing he gave Mr. Jackson should have killed him.
-Pill that will help you live to 100 - A PILL to help people live to 100 free from debilitating health problems is set to "revolutionise" ageing, experts said yesterday. The breakthrough has come after scientists identified three “super-genes”. People born with the genes are 20 times more likely to reach a century – and 80 per cent less likely to develop the senility disease Alzheimer’s.
-Tenants win $1 Million Settlement – Daily Journal -More than 100 current and former tenants, including 59 children, of a Palmdale apartment complex will receive nearly $1 million from the settlement of a habitability suit lodged against the former manager and owner of the building. The settlement was reached through mediation and approved by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert O'Brien in January, but the settlement funds from the defendants' insurers came through last week. After attorney fees, the 59 children will receive $3,200 each and the 56 adults will receive $7,000, under the terms of the agreement.
-The suit, Blaire et al vs. HLBP, Inc. et al, filed in July 2009, alleged living conditions at the 52-unit Sonterra Apartments on 12th Street East – including fleas, cockroach feces, mold and leaks – caused residents to suffer respiratory problems and rashes. It named the Westminster-based company that owns the building, HLBP Inc., its president Lindsie Kim Pham.
"If we did one thing in this case, it was to stop this landlord from managing the property and affecting the
lives of people who live there," said attorney Robb Strom of Strom & Associates in Los Angeles, who
represented the 115 plaintiffs. "We accomplished a little bit of a change in the lives of each of the tenants
who now have an opportunity to move and have a little bit of money where they can improve their lives in
a little way." The defendants were represented by Kere Tickner of Bremer, Whyte, Brown & O'Meara in Newport Beach. Tickner did not immediately return a call seeking comment. In 2009, Los Angeles County and Palmdale health and safety officials cited the building for more than 400 health and safety code violations, including broken heating, air conditioning and fans, leaky toilets and showers, water damage and missing flooring.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Got a Radar Speeding Ticket?


There you are, alone in traffic court thinking, “Am I wasting my time trying to get out of this speeding ticket even though I know I wasn’t going as fast as the radar reported?”

Why Hire An Attorney?
Without legal representation, a defendant can easily be intimidated by the prosecutor, the statistics involving the radar’s reading and the police officer’s testimony. Case closed, the defendant has lost and now faces a traffic fine, points against his/her DMV record and higher vehicle insurance.

With experienced legal representation or even if you choose to represent yourself, here’s what should happen.

A Discovery Request
Before going to trial, you request copies of documents about the radar issued speeding ticket, including - a list of witnesses for the prosecution; all records regarding the maintenance and calibration of the radar equipment; each radar training certification issued to the officer and all of his notes, along with the speeding ticket.

Radar Not A Perfect Science
Those familiar with the process know that 10-20% of all radar-backed speeding tickets are issued in error. If the radar is operated from a moving police vehicle, the number of inaccurate tickets may be as high as 30%. Several years ago, a Miami television station showed a radar gun clocking a palm tree at 86mph and a house at 28mph.

Objecting To Foundation
Before the results of radar can be used in court, its calibration and maintenance must be established. The officer’s testimony alone is insufficient. If you object as to hearsay and foundation and those foundational facts can’t be established, maybe you walk out of the court room not guilty.

Was the officer trained in the use of the radar device? Was it operated under manufacturer’s requirements? Did the officer test the radar before and after the arrest? Did outside interference cause the wrongful reading or was it the defendant’s car that actually caused the speed reading?

You Decide
You can always pay the ticket. But you can choose to contest, and you just may win if you or your attorneys are prepared.

Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson represent clients in Personal Injury trials