Libel, defamation and the boundaries of social media remain in the spotlight — the ACLU recently filed a lawsuit for a man arrested for making comments about New Hampshire police on Facebook. Defamation laws vary from state to state, but expect this one to go to the U.S. Supreme Court for the final say.
At the age of 102, the famed actress Olivia de Havilland has continued to fight for her rights against the entertainment industry. Unfortunately today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reinstate her lawsuit against the makers of FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan. Ms. de Havilland asserted that this show’s exceedingly unflattering portrayal of her was defamatory and demeaning. Using a very specialized California free speech law designed to nip defamation lawsuits in the bud, Ms. de Havilland’s lawsuit was upheld by the trial court, but then thrown out at the appellate level. Appeals to the California Supreme Court and now the U.S. Supreme Court have been futile.
Despite her loss, kudos should go to a woman who fought the studios as a young actress, and who has kept up a good fight to the bitter end.
The question now is whether or not this is sets a bad precedent for famous figures who are portrayed in an extremely negative light. Putting words in someone’s mouth may become an approved means for creating a stir to gin up the ratings. These cases turn on facts, so it remains to be seen how this will impact future bad actors.
Many Californians have become overwhelmed or numb at stories of mentally ill persons who become homeless or who cannot get treatment. One recent case demonstrates a path to how minors may receive help in our system and not be allowed to fall through the cracks.
The case below, In re: Conservatorship of the person M.B., the full resources of Alameda County’s social services network were used to try to assist an admitted severely mentally ill minor. The minor had literally been hospitalized dozens of time argued that after a few weeks of her most recent stay, due process should allow her to live in a lower level facility than her medical team approved. Whether or not you agree with the result here (and it is always hard to know all the facts from an appellate opinion with a confidential case), we all read about when there is disastrous harm because people fall through the cracks. Maybe in this case a young woman has been given the attention and services to try and help her truly find recovery and stability.
Patient dumping is a serious problem as our population ages. Recently, the Avalon Villa Care Center at 12029 S. Avalon Blvd. settled a major case with the City by agreeing in part to improve its staffing regarding care plans.
Nursing homes are often called “skilled nursing facilities” or “SNFs”. Many people are not aware that these incidents are reported to the state of California and available online. If you search this database, you will find ratings that are easily understood — it is surprising how even the cleanest looking, brightest facilities may have reported safety incidents including falls, failing to provide care plans and other citations from state investigators. Make sure your loved one gets the best care possible, and if you suspect or experience a problem, you can also call state investigators. You can also call the Shining Law Firm and we will respond and evaluate the situation immediately.
California search for health care facilities:
Articles on the recent settlement:
It is an old “chestnut” in the law that phone books cannot be copyrighted — they are just lists of data including plain names and numbers. However, today in Experian v National Marketing, No. 16-16987 (D.C. No. 2:13-cv-00618-SPL, the Ninth Circuit held that plain-seeming Experian databases of consumer information could have enough creativity to become copyrighted material:
“The novel federal question in this appeal is whether lists
of names with addresses are copyrightable when they are the
product of a sophisticated process to ensure accuracy and
utility. In other words, whether such lists are more like a
telephone book, that the Supreme Court has held lacks any
creative spark, or more like Joyce’s Ulysses that changed the
course of 20th century literature. The answer, it turns out,
lies somewhere in between, but closer to a telephone book.”
This odd quote doesn’t tell the whole tale, as this opinion is good news, bad news, good news. Good news: Experian’s databases were culled and curated just barely enough to be entitled to copyright protection. Bad news: there is no copyright theft because National did just enough to make its data different (a very low bar). But good news in the end: Experian might still be able to prove that National stole its trade secrets.
So after these twists and turns, Experian might just now try and enjoy a quote from Ulysses as it looks forward to another round of lower court trials and tribulations:
“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”
Today’s article in the LA Times reports on a new bill that might offer the beginnings of real solutions for thousands of homeless people with mental illness. Controversial at its core, a 1967 mental health bill signed by President Reagan set boundaries in who could be confined ‘against their will’. These standards would be broadened for the purpose of providing medical care.
Too many people are dying on California streets — people who could be easily saved. Take a look at this bill and see for yourself whether it is a real start at a solution for those most in need.
Today, both the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal have published must-read articles. Both papers are now sharply critical of the new Los Angeles waste hauling monopolies called “recycLA”. The Shining Law Firm is pushing forward with its lawsuit against the City on behalf of commercial property owners, apartment owners, HOA members and tenants who are paying the increased and illegal assessments and fees under this program. Please continue to send us your evidence and testimonials of how you are being negatively impacted by these fees and burdens. We’ll keep fighting to get the City to do what is right, roll back this program and refund all illegal costs!
Wall Street Journal: “Garbage In, Garbage Out”:
L.A. Times: “Is Anyone In Charge at L.A. City Hall”:
Two recent articles in the Los Angeles times report that there have been 28,000 complaints to the City regarding the City’s new forced monopoly trash hauling program. Columnist Steve Lopez says that the “honeymoon is over” and the “execution doesn’t look so hot.” Reporter David Zahniser’s article is an in-depth critique of the system and again notes how “trash bills have soared for some customers.”
The Shining Law Firm has been fighting this ordinance on behalf of impacted commercial property owners and their tenants, HOAs and apartment owners since June of 2017. If you have been impacted by this ordinance, call the Shining Law Firm and tell us your story. We are fighting to have this unconstitutional program overturned, and return your right to vote on taxes under California’s Proposition 218.
Following last Friday’s packed hearing at City Hall, Los Angeles City Councilmembers are finally waking up to the chaos that has been created due to the failed rollout of the largest City program in decades. Owners of commercial property, multi-residential apartment buildings, tenants who pay waste bills and HOAs have been gouged with increased assessment and fees of 400% or more. The City Council has claimed to be unaware of these increases — however, the evidence collected by the Shining Law Firm has proved that they are either being duped by the new franchise waste haulers or that they are complicit in the illegal secret tax grab.
To join the fight against the City of Los Angeles’ illegal tax grab hidden under the guise of recycling for all, call or email the Shining Law Firm today.
Read more about the Council’s growing problems here:
Many people are aware that asbestos is highly regulated, and that exposure to asbestos can cause cancer many decades after peak or long-term low dose exposures. What many people do not realize is that asbestos has never been formally banned. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Association, a non-profit organization, has helped get a bill introduced into Congress to finally and formally ban the use of Asbestos and its importation into the United States. Read more at http://myemail.constantcontact.com/ADAO-November-eNewsletter–BREAKING-News—Ban-Asbestos-Bill-Introduced-Today-in-U-S–Senate–and-featuring-more-than-20-new-art.html?soid=1101491837344&aid=B6IwsuOvs2o