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Articles

SHOULD CALIFORNIA PROVIDE DRIVERS' LICENSES REGARDLESS OF IMMIGRATION STATUS?

A Public Safety and Uninsured-Motorist Coverage Perspective

Published in the Advocate 2013

Article Summary

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg believes California has a growing problem with record numbers of unlicensed, and therefore uninsured, drivers on the road. Undocumented immigrants drive every day and present a deadly risk to California motorists because they cannot get a California driver's license. There are virtually no safeguards to determine if these drivers can see, read a road sign or have the minimum skills necessary to operate a motor vehicle. Because they do not have licenses, they cannot even buy automobile liability insurance. Law enforcement and the DMV have virtually stopped enforcing the law concerning driving without a license and requiring liability insurance. It is estimated that over 2,000,000 unlicensed and uninsured drivers are on the road in California right now.

In this Article, Mr. Goldberg proposes that these illegal drivers become "legal" drivers by use of "driving privilege cards" or "provisional licenses." Further, that law enforcement and the DMV strictly apply the existing Financial Responsibility Laws which will greatly increase the number of capable and insured drivers on the roads. In the mean time, while Congress sorts some of this out, Mr. Goldberg urges all Californians to adequately protect themselves by purchasing adequate and increased Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

JURY TRIALS IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Published in the Valley Lawyer September 2012

Article Summary

The modern trial lawyer shoulds not disregard the effect of Facebook and other social media when presenting a case to a jury. This article discusses the Court's attempt to deal with social media through revised jury instructions and developing case law. With adequate acknowledgement that social media is pervasive and here to stay, a trial lawyer can adjust to the realities of trying a case in the age of social media.

THE STRANGE CASE OF THE UM/UIM ARBITRATION

- Published in The Advocate June 2011


Article Summary

There are many strange twists and turns in handling Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Arbitrations. This article highlights some of the unique nuances in handling these arbitrations and suggests a model for an agreement to use certain statutes and rules in addition to Insurance Code §11580.2. With adequate planning, agreement of counsel at the outset, and knowledge of the unique rules, an insured can effectively bring a UM/UIM case to arbitration quickly, efficiently and successfully.







"HYBRID" FEE AGREEMENTS FOR BUSINESS LITIGATION

"Increased Mileage" agreement allows the attorney and client to go those extra miles to obtain a great result.

- Published in Plaintiff Magazine June 2011

Article Summary

More businesses are asking lawyers to prosecute cases on a contingency or reduced rate. A straight contingency fee agreement is not well suited for business litigation. A reasonable alternative is a "hybrid" fee agreement wherein the attorney is paid a reduced hourly rate, along with a contingency fee. However, drafting such a "hybrid" fee agreement can be more difficult than counsel might think. A mutually beneficial agreement can be reached if counsel pays close attention to the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct concerning charging liens and contingency fees. In addition, because many business cases potentially involve the award of attorney fees, how those awards will be handled are of critical importance.

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