May It Please The Court: Weblog of legal news and observations, including a quote of the day and daily updates

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Quote of the Day - There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? - Woody Allen
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There are 2033 Journal Items on 255 page(s) and you are on page number 217

Limitation, Schmitation. Who knew?

We love to hate it, mostly because we have to pay for it and may never use it. But when we need it, and the company turns us down or somehow limits our coverage, we're none too happy about it.

Of course, I'm talking insurance here. In this instance, Farmers automobile insurance. Farmers issued a policy to an unsuspecting customer, who promptly loaned his car to someone else. His limits were $250,000 for liability.

Unfortunately, Farmers limited coverage in that instance. To $15,000. Likewise unfortunately, our unsuspecting customer didn't know about the limitation. It wasn't listed on the Declarations page of the policy by name, but rather by endorsement number, buried deep down in the policy, and in a single line. Plus, the letter transmitting the policy was buried several pages down, but it didn't describe the limitation either.

Our California Supreme Court didn't think that was fair, so they struck the limitation. Said it had to be posted conspicuously so the customer could know about it in advance.

The nice thing is that this ruling applies not only to personal automobile policies, but all types of insurance policies. Score one for the good guys.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 10:15. Comments Closed (2) |

Snakeheads in DC (In the Rivers, Not Congress)

Non-native species are the bane of environmentalists. The importation of species from around the world doesn't keep our environment pristine. Well, I won't go into what species we've propagated around the world. That's a whole different issue.

But, it appears that Snakehead Fish may have invaded the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. It looks harmless enough, but apparently, even though they are tasty, they are ravenous and destroy the current ecosystem.

They are from China, and brought to the U.S. as aquarium fish. They can jump out of the water, and survive on land for a few days. Isn't that how politicians got started?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, May 17, 2004 at 11:11. Comments Closed (0) |

Doughnut Maker Creamed, but The Religion's OK

Well, duh! Shareholders are upset at Krispy Kreme because they weren't warned that the current craze for Atkins-like diets would cut into profits.

Now there's a news flash. Shareholders expected the company to warn them about that? I don't know about you, but even if you don't watch the news, read newspapers, or (God forbid) scour blogs on the internet, certainly one or more of your friends is on an Atkins diet. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the diet craze is going to hurt sales. In fact, even if you are a Krispy Kreme shareholder, you've probably cut back on your own intake.

Disgruntled shareholders filed a lawsuit in North Carolina last week, and more suits are on the way. Also not surprisingly, KKD.N stock is down.

Surely, a lot of carbohydrate-laden food companies are blaming Atkins for what may be their own mismanagement, and it's becoming a bit of a pastime to do so. But, maybe Krispy Kreme will turn the corner with a low-carb doughnut, as other companies have done.

Other people, however, consider the company's doughnuts part of a religion. I don't know about that, but they're holey to me.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 10:58. Comments Closed (0) |

No More Crack, or Let's Go Thongspotting

The fashion police are rearing their heads in Louisiana. Admittedly, I do not have the body type that would allow low-slung jeans. Plumber's pants are not part of my inventory. But, I have had to "have a chat" with my kids before. I may not have to worry much longer, though.

If one Louisiana lawmaker has his way, it'll cost you $175 if your underwear shows.

How is he going to deal with the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show? I mean, come on... They don't call it trainspotting any more. It's thongspotting.

I don't know what the world's coming to, but I think Griffin Middle School's got it down pat.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 22:52. Comments Closed (2) |

Bring Money, Guns and Lawyers

How can you trust this guy? Admittedly, I'm a bit prejudiced because of the consequences of this statistic, but after all, this is the guy who claims to have invented the software for the IRS that allows them to choose who to audit. Hissss.

Apparently, it turns out that attorneys have the third highest incidence of traffic accidents, next to #1, (as you would expect), teenagers, and #2 (very surprisingly) doctors.

Turns out insurance companies will be using more than zip codes and credit ratings to determine how much to charge you for automobile insurance. Ouch.

Conventional wisdom dictates that attorneys are time-crunched and multi-tasking in their cars. Dictating, using their cell phones and yes, even eating.

Three is one saving factor, though, among the 40 professions surveyed, attorneys placed 25th in the rate of yearly speeding violations.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, May 14, 2004 at 08:31. Comments Closed (0) |

Law Firms Ahead & Behind On the Internet

The internet is a big equalizer. Take a look at Heller Erhman's website. They're a huge law firm that has their website translated into seven languages. One of my law school classmates works there, so I won't say anything bad about it except for the hokey flash intro. Really, though, it's a cool site.

But if you want to see hokey, try out Denver's Powers Phillips, whose site features the Bitches From Hell Reporter. They even provide this "IMPORTANT NOTICE: HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE A COMPLETE IDIOT This homepage is intended to be a joke. Other parts of this website are also intended to be jokes. However, as a public service to enable our readers to determine whether or not they are complete idiots, we have also included a bunch of boring, serious material without a joke in sight. If you can tell the difference, you are not a complete idiot."

Who said lawyers didn't know how to be funny? OK, so it's a little (read "a lot") off track.

But not all lawyers have it figured out. According to this law.com article, we have a long way to go. Hopefully, this site is a bit ahead of the curve for law firm web presences.

Only your hairdresser knows for sure.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, May 13, 2004 at 12:09. Comments Closed (0) |

Diesel Regulations Come A Step Closer

A new era for diesel engines is just about here. You're used to seeing a puff of black smoke from diesel engines, but it will soon be a thing of the past.

The USEPA first proposed the rule to curb diesel emissions a year ago, but recently pushed back the deadline for compliance from 2007 to 2010 because refineries needed more time to meet the new standards. In return for the extension, however, boats and harbor tugboats, farm tractors and train locomotives, and dirt movers at construction sites will become subject to the regulations.

It's all part of an effort to eliminate sulfur from diesel fuel and install catalytic converters on diesel engines.

Look for the results coming your way soon.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 16:12. Comments Closed (0) |

Firefighting Air Fleet Down, Perfect Storm Brewing

Last year, air tankers provided support to fight wildfires here in Southern California. Estimates are that over 700,000 acres burned.

That translates into about seven percent of the standing dead trees in Southern California, according to fire department sources.

That leaves 93% available for fires to burn.

Not to add fuel to the fire, but the government has grounded its tanker fleet based on safety concerns. Apparently, for good reason. The fleet is old and apparently not safe.

Have a look at the remaining dead trees (scroll down to look at bottom picture).

Is there a perfect storm brewing again this year?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 10:13. Comments Closed (0) |



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