Mitch Jackson Named Rotary District 5320 Interact Chair

Jon Mitchell Jackson Orange County Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyer 200Incoming 2016-17 Rotary District 5320 Governor, Ray Sanford, appointed Mitch as the incoming District 5320 Interact Chair. The position oversees Interact efforts of 45 local Rotary Clubs and more than 60 potential middle school and high school Interact Clubs in Orange County, California.

For those of you not familiar with Interact, it is a club youth ages 12-18 who are interested in connecting with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.

If you’d like to learn more about Interact, please connect on Facebook, visit Interact’s YouTube channel, or learn more at the Rotary International Interact page.

To start or find an Interact club in your area, contact your local Rotary club or reach out to Mitch and he’d be happy to help.


On a side note, most of our friends know that Lisa and I enjoy being active Rotarians with the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club. A few years ago our daughter, AJ, was honored to serve as our Rotary District’s Interact Governor and also as the President of her high school Interact Club. This year our son, Garrett, is active is the club.

During AJ’s senior year, she and her fellow Interact members did some amazing things to help our local, national, and international communities. Here’s a short video the Dana Hills High School Interact Club put together that I want to share with you!

Jackson & Wilson Files $25 Million Dollar Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Scott Alex Abraham is being charged with two counts of murder by the Orange County District Attorneys Office. His reckless and irresponsible conduct resulted in a tragic automobile collision leaving two dead and two others serious injured.

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, this firm on behalf of Robert Hampton, his adult daughter Megan Hampton and Megan’s minor child, moved forward with the filing of a $25,000,000 wrongful death and bodily injury claim against Abraham. On behalf of the Hampton family, our intention to hold Abraham accountable for the decisions he made on the day he turned our clients’ lives into a living nightmare. Please see the KTLA News 5 video shot shortly after this incident.

irvine_wrongful_death_collision

Because of Abraham’s irresponsible and dangerous conduct, Kathy Hampton, a grandmother, and her two-year-old grandchild, Kaydence Hampton, sustained fatal injuries in the collision. Kaydence’s mother Megan, and her minor son, who were also in the vehicle, sustained serious injuries but survived.

A preliminary investigation indicates Abraham was operating his vehicle at a high speed and may have been racing. Additionally, and based upon information and belief, we believe Abraham was also been engaged in distracted driving (using his smart phone). After the collision, it is reported that Abraham fled the scene. Fortunately, he was located and arrested the next day and is now facing two counts of murder (Penal Code §187(a) in the Orange County Superior Court.

alec_scott_abraham_ipdOn a related note, it’s been reported that Abraham had previously used his smartphone to take and share video with friends and on social media while driving. One video shows Abraham traveling at 108+ mph down the freeway panning from his speedometer to a shot of the freeway and then back to his dashboard. It’s our understanding that video may be used in the criminal prosecution. [Abraham is pictured]

Once the criminal case is concluded and we have completed discovery in this civil case, we will update this post with all relevant information.

Other facts about reckless and distracted driving

Most people are not aware of the fact that each year in the United States, about 2 million drivers experience permanent injuries and another 40,000 people die from vehicle accidents and collisions. 40% of all deaths caused by car accidents involve alcohol and another 30% of car accident fatalities are attributed to speeding. Reckless driving accounts for 33% of all deaths involving major car accidents.

When it comes to distracted driving, 4,000-6,000 people a year are killed and another 400,000-600,000 are injured by distracted drivers. Every single second during daylight hours there are 600,000 people operating vehicles with smartphones in their hands.

Please be careful and learn more using the resources below.


Related post:

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month (newsletter)

Why It’s Socially Responsible To “Out” Habitual Distracted Drivers

Stop Distracted Driving Facebook Page (StopDD.Today)

End Distracted Driving

KTLA Chanel 5 News

OC Weekly Post

LA Times

 

How This California Law Firm Handles Student Bullying Cases

Stop Bullying and Cyber Bullying Lawyers and AttorneysOur Take on Bullying and Sexting in School

This isn’t a touchy “feel good” post. I am not exploring the social or psychological reasons behind why people become bullies or engage in sexting. I’m also not sharing research as to whether or not people and students have become soft and are now overreacting to teasing. I’ll save these issues for another time.

What this post is about is how to come down hard on a bully and shut things down. It will give you ways to stop sexting.

It’s a no-nonsense approach to taking control and playing hardball to stop the bully from harming your child or if something has already happened, how to hold a bully legally responsible for his or her misguided and wrongful conduct.

Rebecca Sedwick

rebecca-sedwick-bullyingStories like the Rebecca Sedwick bullying suicide case are tragic. Just in case you’re not aware of what happened to Rebecca, here’s my understanding of the facts based upon published news reports.

12-year-old Rebecca was bullied and terrorized relentlessly for months both on and offline. After texting a friend that she couldn’t take it anymore, Rebecca jumped to her death from a high cement factory tower.

Prior to Rebecca’s death, up to 15 teenagers in school had reportedly been bullying Rebecca with several using social media to make their point. After her death, two of the teenage girls were arrested for bullying Rebecca and are now charged as juveniles with criminal third-degree felony aggravated stalking.

Even after Rebecca’s death, one of her tormenters allegedly continued to make online comments about Rebecca bragging about the bullying. According to authorities, this teenager wrote on Facebook:

“Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don’t give a … and you can add the last word yourself.”

Bullying is a Big Problem

Bullying happens every single day. The cases that seem to make the news are the ones where a victim is seriously harmed or takes his or her life. I guess that’s understandable but it’s important to know that for every case you hear about on the news, there are hundreds of other bullying cases that you never hear about. There are silent victims and they need our help.

Bullying is a big problem and in this post, I share several methods and suggestions to help you take on the bullies and win!

Shea Shawhan

Shea is an 18-year-old special needs student in Texas. Shea suffers from seizures due to a brain injury she suffered during birth. Despite her handicap, Shea participated in high school sports and cheerleading. Shea tried to not let her handicap slow her down.

Several of Shea’s school mates began mercilessly bullying her via text messages. Rather than supporting her courageous effort of trying to overcome her special needs, these students harassed and bullied Shea and wrote texts such as the following:

“Shea should just have one of her fucking seizures and die because people at west don’t want her. That’s the reason she has seizures, because that’s karma for giving birth to a freaky slut.”

It’s my understanding that the school, school district and concerned parents are stepping in to deal with the bullying. Only over time will we know if the bullying directed at Shea will stop. Until then, I think we can all agree that these teenagers should all be held accountable for their misguided and hurtful behavior.

Social Media

Social Media and BullyingFor many personal and business reasons, I’m a big fan of social media. However, when it comes to the issue of bullying and sexting (hereinafter “bullying”), social media makes it easier for someone to bully. Without too much thought or effort, a teenager using social media can quickly start a bullying effort against a victim. More and more bullies join in the feeding frenzy and before you know it, major damage is done and the bullying has spread like wildfire.

Because of social media, no longer is bullying limited to a one-on-one situation. Today, the number of bullies can grow almost instantly from one person to dozens of people threatening a single victim before an audience of hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands. In the past a victim might be able to deal with one-on-one bullying. Today, the consequences of viral social media bullying is now understandably, unmanageable for many.

What a Victim and Family Should Do When Bullying Starts

The remainder of this post are simply my thoughts, as a California lawyer, to what rights and remedies victims of bullies might assert. This post is not about helping bullies or trying to understand the psychological and social issues behind the problem. It’s just about recourse and how to hold bullies, and in some cases their parents, responsible and accountable.

So for starters, I believe immediate intervention needs to take place when your child is bullied. Your biggest asset to stop the bullying is the threat of legal action so you must immediately use this tool to protect your child and send a message to the bully.

Put Everyone On Notice

The first thing I would do is call the school principal and teacher and let them know exactly what is going on. I would request a one-on-one meeting to discuss the facts.

I recommend sending a letter (not email) to the teacher, principal and school district. It should clearly confirm your concerns and why the teacher, school or school district should immediately step in and investigate the bullying. It should request that all evidence such as pictures and videos be preserved. The letter should be mailed via certified mail return receipt requested, or sent by Fed Ex or UPS so that you have independent confirmation that it was delivered. So long as you deliver the hard copies as described, it’s OK to also email a second copy to the same recipients.

By starting the process in this fashion, you are placing these people and entities on what is called legal notice. They can no longer ignore the issue or stick their heads in the sand.

If they truly were not aware of the bullying issue, then your letter will put them on notice. You are shifting the duty of care and safety to these people and entities to take the bullying seriously and to take reasonable action to stop it in its tracks. You are shifting the burden to the teacher, school and district to do their job and resolve the problem. If you have the means to do so, you can and should have a lawyer write and send the letter for you. A letter from your lawyer will have a much greater impact than a letter from you.

Notify Police and District Attorneys Office

If the bullying appears serious and a real risk of harm (more than just taking your child’s seat in class or asking for half her sandwich during lunch), then you should immediately notify your local police department and also send the police agency a copy of your letter. Ask to speak to an investigator trained to handle bully and harassment cases and make a formal complaint.

Request that criminal prosecution take place and ask that the police officer’s report be sent to the District Attorneys office for review and possible action. Document everything in writing as mentioned above (emails are just not sufficient). Always be organized, polite and professional. Remember, these agencies are here to help you. They are not your enemy. Document your concerns with dates, names and details and you will make their job easier during the investigation and review process.

If you know the parents of the bully and because of the dynamics believe a call or meeting with them will make a difference, then do it. Get them involved. Use some of the communication techniques found at my communication tips blog (don’t point fingers or allow things to get too personal- focus on the problem and not the people.)

The idea is to get everyone involved as soon as you can and place everyone on notice of the seriousness of the bullying. The plan is to establish legal notice.

The good news is that in most cases this type of affirmative approach will usually provide a sufficient check and balance to nip the bullying episodes in the butt and help fix the problem. People who now have notice of the bullying will be watching out for further wrongful conduct. The bully and her family will also now know that their every move is being monitored.

Your child or family is harmed by the bullying

Bully lawsuitIf despite the above, the bullying continues and your child is harmed, you still have recourse. Or, if you did not find out about the bullying until after the damage was done, there are still things you can do to (1) hold the bully accountable and (2) help prevent the bully from harming someone else.

First, you need to immediately document the bullying and harm caused to your child. Send the letter I mentioned above to put everyone on notice of your concerns and harm. This written notice delivered by certified mail, Fed Ex or UPS, is critically important and will help you avoid the situation of someone claiming they didn’t “know” about the bullying.

I’ve also noticed that people are lazy and people like to avoid getting involved. The problem isn’t theirs, so they try to sweep things under the rug. Unfortunately, this includes some teachers, principals, school district officials, police officers, investigators and even lawyers at the District Attorneys Office.

Document Everything

As I mentioned earlier, one way of dealing with this lack of interest and keeping everyone honest and on their toes, at least from a legal standpoint, is to document everything in writing. Doing this forces everyone to get involved and also activates certain legal obligations that may not get triggered with an unrecorded phone call or deleted email. Pictures and videos of actual bullying and injuries are also powerful pieces of evidence that will help you document the problem. Remember the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Hire a Lawyer and File a Lawsuit

When we represent a person or family who has been, or is currently being bullied, we immediately send a certified cease and desist letter. We explain in detail what is going on and why it needs to immediately stop. We attach to our letter a draft of the Superior Court Civil Complaint that we will file to protect our client’s rights if necessary. We have the letter and complaint personally served on the bully and her parents together with a Statement of Damages.

After serving our letter and lawsuit, we usually give the other side 5 days to respond. If they respond then we talk about the issue. A confirming letter is then sent. The school, school district and police department are all included in our correspondence. In most of the bullying cases, these steps are enough to get things resolved to our client’s complete satisfaction.

If the bully and parents don’t respond or their response is unacceptable, then we move forward with litigation and file our lawsuit for damages. In our lawsuit we ask for a court order prohibiting the bully and anyone associated with the bully, from coming in to contact with our clients.

Contact the Police Department and District Attorneys Office

While doing this, we also contact the police department and District Attorneys Office and follow up on prior formal complaints already made by our clients. If possible, we try to make sure the District Attorneys Office files criminal charges against the bully and we coordinate our efforts in the civil courts with the criminal prosecution.

When we do move forward with our civil lawsuit, we have the lawsuit personally served on the bully and her parents by a professional process server or police officer. We also include a statement of damages which sets forth the money damages our client is entitled to for her injuries and harm. This would also apply in a wrongful death case.

We use professionals to serve the legal documents because (1) we want this done correctly and (2) we want to make the right first impression. We want the defendants, because that’s what they now are, to understand and appreciate that we are taking our lawsuit very seriously. The gloves are coming off and we’re calling the shots now, not the bully or her family.

In addition to seeking a temporary restraining order as well as preliminary and permanent injunctions, we also allege substantial money damages to compensate our clients for their harm, and to make a strong point that the bully’s misguided actions have consequences. In most instances, we seek punitive damages above and beyond the special damages to deter and punish the bully for her wrongful conduct.

Attorney Fees

In many instances, a civil lawyer will handle this case on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that the attorney will receive payment for his or her services out of a final settlement or verdict. You don’t have to spend any money up front to protect your legal rights.

In other situations, a lawyer may agree to get involved and help based upon an hourly fee agreement. Every case is different so it’s best to discuss options with your lawyer to see what works best for you. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to reimbursement of attorney fees once you prevail against the bully and/or her family.

Causes of Action

Depending on the facts, our lawsuit will allege causes of action including, but not limited to, assault and battery, negligence, emotional distress, harassment, civil conspiracy, defamation, sexual battery, stalking, and fraud. You can click here to learn more about the specific personal injury or wrongful death damages.

If the teacher, school or school district failed to properly act or otherwise protect the student from bullying after being placed on notice of the problem (remember the letters I told you to write), then they may be include as additional defendants based on several legal theories described below. If the bully’s parents knew or should have known of the wrongful conduct by their child and failed to correct the problem, they too may be included in the lawsuit based upon statutory parental liability laws or a negligent entrustment cause of action.

In all cases, there are strict time limits that you must comply with or your claim will be forever barred. Each state is different so consult a lawyer immediately if you think you have a claim that needs to be pursued against a bully or any of the above people or entities.

Again, all of this potential exposure, litigation, and liability are clearly set forth in the earlier letters I recommended and in most cases, this serves as a sufficient incentive for everyone to get off their butts and do their job to make sure the bullying stops.

Sometimes because the bully and her family don’t know any better, they continue to fail to accept responsibility and make excuses. Because of this, the lawsuit makes its way all the way to trial. The good news is that jurors have little, if any, tolerance for the harm caused by bullies and if tried correctly, their verdicts can be rather substantial.

One example that comes to mind is a case we handled several years ago. We agreed to represent a family who was constantly harassed and bullied by their neighbors. While this was happening, our clients tried to take the highroad and deal with the name calling and inappropriate conduct for years.

However, one morning the neighbor struck our clients’ little dog with a baseball bat sending it yelping and tumbling head over tail down the backyard slope with a broken leg. As you can probably imagine, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and the family was referred to our office by a mutual friend.

To make a long story short, we filed a lawsuit and took the case to trial. We asked a jury to hold the defendants responsible for their wrongful conduct which they did. We even made new California law along the way. Here’s a blog post about the case if you would like to read more.

Conclusion

Each case of bullying is different. Whether or not a civil wrong or crime has been committed depends on the unique facts of each case.

An analysis of the evidence must be undertaken to determine if the bullying was a onetime incident or a prolonged effort to destroy someone’s life.

In many California schools, there is a zero tolerance rule. If a student is caught bullying another student, the bully can be placed on suspension or even dismissed from school. Using this zero tolerance rule as leverage against the bully is a powerful tool. Unfortunately, not all states have a zero tolerance rule.

The biggest problem with bullies is not immediately calling them out on their actions and holding them accountable. It’s important for adults to be a good example for their children. Talking and interacting with your children and making sure you know what is going on with their lives is a good first start to avoiding the entire bully problem. Most children and teenagers don’t really know just how much you can help, and they carry this huge burden of being bullied around on their shoulders without any guidance or understanding as to how to deal with the problem.

Parents who do get involved need to immediately get everyone else involved. Whether they want to or not, putting everyone on written legal notice of the bully problem will in most cases be enough to get the problem resolved. Remember, you’re shifting the burden of responsibility to help monitor and resolve the issue and when it comes to bullying, the more people handling the problem the better.

When you take a step back and think about it, the bottom line is that it’s all about the children. If teachers, parents, principal, the school district or even a police agency is “inconvenienced” because of your concerns, that’s their problem and not yours. Send the letters and make follow up phone calls. Set meetings set and get people and agencies with authority involved. Using these people you’ll be able to better protect your family while also sending a message to the bully and her family that this kind of conduct will not be tolerated.

Remember that the court system is your court system. When it comes to bullying, the legal system is there to help protect your child and hold the bully accountable for her wrongful conduct. Having said this, do not ever be afraid to get good lawyers involved to protect your family and hold wrongdoers accountable. My experience has shown that the earlier you get a lawyer involved the quicker you will be able to fix the problem.

Getting Help with BullyingResources

For Everyone:

The Bully Project, and ‘Billy’ Movie: The documentary film that sparked a nationwide movement to stop bullying offers stories of those who were bullies and resources for parents, teachers, kids and communities for how to deal with and stop bullies on their website.

“Bully,” follows the lives of five U.S. students who faced bullying on a daily basis at school, including two who committed suicide as a result.

Stop Bullying Now!: A resource website sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that addresses the warning signs of bullying, how to talk about bullies, how to report bullies and cyberbullying and offers a 24-hour help hotline for victims at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For Children and Teens:

Teens Against Bullying: Specifically created to help teens learn about bullying, how to appropriately respond to it and how to prevent it.

Kids Against Bullying: Specifically created to help elementary school children learn about bullying, how to appropriately respond to it and how to prevent it.

STOMP Out Bullying!: A national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens.

National Youth Advocacy Coalition: An advocacy organization for young people.

Trevor Project: A national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. They also offer the Trevor Lifeline, a 24-hour, national crisis and suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth. The number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor.

For Parents and Teachers:

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: Offers resources for how to teach kids of all ages about bullying, state laws and what parents can do if their child is being bullied, and peer advocacy groups.

Education.com: Bullying at School and Online: A resource for both teachers and parents on how to help a bullied child.

Teaching Tolerance: Bullying: Offers guidelines and activities for teachers to help teach students K-12 about bullies.

The Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Guide: A guide to help school administrators, educators, and parents or caring adults make sure that their elementary schools welcome all students and families. Targeted at addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping, and name-calling in K-5th grades.

GLSEN, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network: Works with school officials to ensure that transgender, gay and lesbian students are not harassed or bullied.

Family Acceptance Project: Launched out of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at San Francisco State University, this organization works to decrease major health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

How to Legally Get Smartphone Records

Law and technology Streaming LawyerLegal Procedures

When the state or federal government, or a lawyer, feels that access to your mobile phone data is required (who you called, when you were on your phone…), here’s what legally needs to be done. This often times is relevant in distracted driving and commercial trucking cases.

Please note while reading this blog post that much of the information was extrapolated from articles in the 2015 Advocate Magazine written by attorneys Martin J. Kanarek and Michael J. Kopple and Trial Lawyer Magazine by Bernard Walsh and Elisabeth DeWitt.

Unlike the government, before you have the right to obtain a cell phone users private date, you must obtain consent or acquire the information in a legal fashion either by consent, stipulation, public records request or subpoena. This post discusses all approaches. Because I am a California lawyer, most examples relate to California law. Similar approaches may apply to other states.

Consent and Stipulation

If the person or company is willing to share and produce this information, have them sign a written authorization or stipulation allowing you access to the information. Generally speaking, this is the easiest way to obtain private cell phone information. Note that for privacy reasons, this rarely happens and permission is rarely granted.

Public Records Request

Under California law, you may make a request to a public entity to for the disclosure and production of information. Here’s a sample template. It relates to a 911 call but can be modified as needed:

Date

By email (address here)
By mail (address here)
Re : Time, Date, Location, Client Name, Specific Report ID#

Gentlepersons:

Please be advised that this firm is retained counsel for NAME with respect to DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT IN DETAIL (hereinafter “Incident”). The XYZ report is attached (attach any investigative reports that may help the clerk located your item).
In accordance with the California Public Records Act (details below), please research and provide to this office, the following:

– The 911 log for the incident (if a 911 call)
– The Journal Report/CHP Centralized Cad Journaling System report for the incident
– All logs, tapes and recordings of 911 calls relating to the incident.

Thank you. Please contact the undersigned with any questions or comments.

–Signature

Note: The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) (Gov. Code 6250 et seq.) permits anyone to obtain, subject to certain inapplicable exemptions, “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.” (Gov. Code 6252(d)). The act was designed to provide “every person in this state” with access to such information (see 6252). Such access has been described as “a fundamental right of citizenship.” (Rogers v Sup. Ct. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 469, 475.) Disclosure is required under the Public Records Act even if the same or similar documents could be obtained through discovery in civil proceedings. (Wilder v. Sup.Ct. (Metropolitan Transit Authority (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 77, 83.)


 

Subpoena (all calls)

This is the best way to make sure you get all the information you are looking for. You must file a lawsuit to obtain subpoena power. Next, when issuing the subpoena, make sure to specify all names, dates, calls, logs and journal reports. Be aware of all time limits re audio recordings noted below. The following relates to 911 and trucking litigation related calls but the approach applies to almost all cell phone cases.

911 Calls

First of all, time is of the essence. Make a formal request sooner rather than later.

In California, each city has different requirements as to how long it must preserve this information. As With this in mind, it’s important to request all call or DCA logs as soon as possible. This allows you to get all phone numbers which came in and were recorded.

Use a Public Records Request (above). If you have it, also attached a copy of the police or incident report to make it easy for a public employee to connect the dots.

Sheriff’s Office

Use this link to see if your city is covered by the Sheriff’s Office and then email your public records request to prarequests@lasd.org (time limit for audio is 2 years).

Police Department (LA)

Email public records request to discovery@lapd.lacity.org (time limit for audio is 2-10 years).

California Highway Patrol

Email public records request to 514records@chp.ca.gov (time limit for audio is 6 months).

Long Beach

Use the City of Long Beach Public Request form at their website and/or email wanda.miller @ longbeach DOT gov (time limit for audio is 3 years).

Orange County

Call 714-834-4211 to make a formal oral request to dispatch. (time limit for audio is 6 months).

Riverside

Mail to Records at 4102 Orange Street, Riverside, CA 92501. (time limit for audio 6 months).

San Bernardino

A personal in office request is required. Located at 701 N. D. Street, San Bernardino, CA. (unknown re time limit for audio).

Beverly Hills

Send a public records request to 464 N. Rexroad Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (time limit for audio is 1 year).

Other Cities

Call the local police department or county clerk and ask how you can get the 911 call.

Trucking Cases

It’s always important to preserve driver logs, tool receipts, Bills of Lading and on board computer data (QUALCOM). It’s just as important to obtain and protect all driver and company cell phone records.

The key is to demand all cell phone information is preserved. This includes all data on a driver, supervisor or other company phone relating to calls, texts, websites visited, movies downloaded, photos take, all related GPS info. A skilled forensic cell phone expert can use this information and compare it to the driver’s log books, on board computers, black boxes and party testimony.

Make a demand to the other party and cell phone carrier to preserve all cell phone records. You should specific that all information be preserved including all dates and times of calls regardless of who originated the call (driver or third party), all data download quantities, text message history (numbers, date and time),

When using subpoenas to cell phone carriers, include in your subpoena the following:

– All inbound and outbound numbers used
– All inbound and outbound SMS and text messages
– All elapsed times and usage durations for calls and texts
– Connection date and time
– Seizure time
– Originating phone number and IMEI or MEID (phone serial number)
– Originating IMSI (SIM Serial Number)
– The tower ID and GPS location during each indicated transmission
– The plan code (M2M- Mobile to Mobile)
– General date connection information is also useful to experts and this includes
– Connection date and time
– Elapsed time or data transmission
– Bytes up and down
– Type of data accessed (visual voice mail or mobile data)
– Cell tower number and GPS location for all cell towers

Trial Use

Note that California Rules of Court 2.1040(b)(1) requires you to make and provide a transcript of the electronic recording and provide opposing counsel with a duplicate of the recording. When used in trial, it must satisfy all evidence requirements (marked and admitted).

Getting the Cell Phone Recording Played at Trial

You must authenticate the recorded call pursuant to Evid. Code 1401. Absent obtaining a written stipulation from the other side, the best practice is to subpoena the custodian of records re date and time of call and how recorded, saved, and maintained. If a hearsay objection is made by opposing counsel, common exceptions include: Statements of a party (Evid 1220); Declaration against interest (Evid 1230); Prior Inconsistent Statement (Evid 1235); Prior Consistent Statement (Evid 1236); Prior Recollection Recorded (Evid 1237); Prior Identification (Evid 1238); Spontaneous or contemporaneous statements (Evid 1240, 1241); Statement of declarant’s then existing mental or physical state (Evid 1250); Statement of declarant’s previously existing mental or physical state (Evid 1251).

___________

Jon Mitchell Jackson Orange County Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyer 200Mitch Jackson is a California trial lawyer. He enjoys protecting the rights of his clients and helping people harmed by the wrongdoing of others. You can connect with Mitch using our contact form and on Twitter @MitchJackson

Distracted Driver Runs Red Light And Changes Client’s Life Forever!

distracted driving red light

This is a case we resolved not too long ago. During litigation we were able to get the defendant to admitted that he ran the red light while looking down to check his cell phone. He was driving a large pickup and traveling over 50 mph. Our client was struck in the driver side of her smaller vehicle. She is lucky to be alive. She gave us permission to share this part of her story to help raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

At the collision scene she lost and then regained consciousness. She was transported by ambulance to the emergency room. After ten days she was moved from the Intensive Care Unit to the Transitional Care Unit. There she remained for the next two weeks.

After more than 3 weeks in the hospital, our client was discharged and transported by ambulance to her home. A hospital bed, commode, walker, cane and tub bench were delivered and setup in her downstairs living room. There she lived for the next 4 months.

After almost two years of litigation, the case was settled for the insurance policy limits. In addition to being in debt for almost $100,000 (and that’s after insurance paid most of the bills), she continues to experience ongoing problems relating to:

  • Fractured clavicle at junction of the middle and distal thirds;
  • Fractured left 10th and 11th ribs;
  • Multiple pelvic fracture and sacral fracture- bilateral superior and inferior pubic rami fractures;
  • Left-sided sacral fracture that appears to be impacted with extension into the first sacral foramen;
  • Cerebral concussion resulting in short and long-term memory loss;
  • Knee pain and discomfort in both right and left knees;
  • Abrasion in the frontal region;
  • Severe pain and residual tenderness over left chest wall, left rib cage and deformity, swelling and tenderness over left clavicle;
  • Lower abdomen pain and tenderness in pubic area;
  • Microscopic hematuria with 10-25 RBCs via foley catheter;
  • Pain, tenderness and bruising over left elbow and lower extremities;
  • Lung- left side pleural effusion and left-sided infiltrate;
  • Bladder elevated by hematoma in pelvis bilaterally;
  • Migraines

Today, our client experiences pain and discomfort every hour of every day. The pain together with her memory loss from head trauma constantly haunts her.

None of this would have happened had the defendant not been on his cell phone while driving.

The dangers of distracted driving are real

Each year 4,000-6,000 deaths and 400,000 to 600,000 injuries take place in the United States. Globally, the number of injuries are in the millions.

Every single second of the day in the United States, more than 600,000 vehicles are being operated by drivers with mobile devices in their hands. If that’s not startling enough, most people are surprised to learn that the average time a distracted driver takes his or her eyes off the road is about 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s the equivalent to traveling the distance of a football field blindfolded.

Please visit these to outstanding websites to learn more about how you can help raise awareness as to the dangers of distracted driving StopDD.Today and EndDD.org

If you’d like to support the efforts of our amazing community to raise awareness and stop distracted driving, please visit StopDD.Today, EndDD.org and use #StopDD and #EndDD on social. Thank you!