A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Category Archives: Regulations

Articles related to regulations that affect motorcycles

BEWARE; You take your life in your hands at most California Indian Casinos

indian casino personal injury problems

Taking your life in your hands at California Indian Casinos

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer I feel I have a duty to inform all about California consumers lack of any real legal remedy if you suffer a Personal Injury at anyone of California’s numerous Indian Casinos.

If you have been the victim of a Personal Injury, or if you suffer a Slip and fall at an Indian Casino, you may have a potential court case, you may have a claim that will be headed to the tribal council, you may have a case that will go to private arbitration, you may have a case that will be determined by a private insurance company claims adjuster, or maybe you have a case that will literally give you no legal remedy.

Just 14 years after Gov. Pete Wilson signed the first compact with a tribe allowing Las Vegas-style slot machines in California, personal injury and property damage consumer protections in Indian casinos are all over the place respect to consumer rights and remedies in personal injury cases.

Every one of the 56 Class III gaming tribes within the State of California features its own specific tort liability ordinance spelling out how it will process personal injury cases.

The California State Bureau of Gambling Control states that many tribes authorize risk managers or their insurance companies to decide a claim’s validity. Some allow patrons to appeal case denials to tribal courts or to councils of tribal elders. Some others will take disputes to arbitration. Almost all do not recognize a role for California’s trial courts.

Each Indian Tribe is basic its own sovereign government. They do not have to follow California law on personal injury and most if not all don’t.

Due to this problem there are very few of us California Personal Injury Lawyers that will take on Personal Injury cases that occur on Indian Casinos.

I myself reject the vast majority of cases that come to me involving Indian Casinos, because without a standardized arbitration ordinance or something to that affect, they are too much of a hassle to deal with.

I have heard stories of Indian Casino cases taking many months or even years to get resolved, much longer than cases in the normal California court system. Many of the elderly victims who are claimants in these cases either give up or die before having their cases resolved.

Another issue with Indian Casino cases is that the people being sued are also the ones who are deciding the merits of the case. It is analogous to suing a Judge and then having that same Judge determine the outcome of the case in which he is being sued. How you do think that is going to turn out?

Appeals Courts have rejected Indian Casinos being sued in State Court stating that sovereign immunity precluded it from being sued in State Court.

What is bizarre to me is that the State of California negotiated compacts with the Indian Casinos allowing them to place Las Vegas style slot machines in the casinos, yet they did not provide a standard legal path for patrons of these casinos to take if they are injured within the Indian Casino.

I myself think it is time to either re-negotiate these compacts, or boycott the Casinos until the Indian Tribes themselves agree to standardized legal remedies for persons injured at their casinos.

I am calling on all California Indian Casinos to come sit at a table and discuss this situation so that a resolution can be reached to ensure California consumers that they are safe at your establishments.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 18, 2012

An Epidemic of Stupidity

dont be stupidI have noticed a marked increase of persons contacting me to get advice on how they can represent themselves in their own personal injury case.

Some of these winners get on websites that allow consumers to ask questions of attorneys, then they go and try to handle cases on their own without an attorney.

Do these people realize why we personal injury attorneys exist? We exist because for profit insurance companies will simply not give you what you are entitled to 99.9% of the time without an attorney.

The first thing they teach us lawyers in law school is never to represent yourself in a legal matter because you are emotionally biased, and the emotions will adversely affect your ability to handle the case. It is always best to have an independent person represent you in a case.

Aside from the emotional aspects of representing yourself, do these people who want to play attorney and that try to represent themselves realize how complicated a real personal injury case is? Of course not they don’t. It would be close to impossible for an untrained person on their own, to prosecute a personal injury case through the court system without an attorney.

I have been practicing 15 years and I can assure you that I have seen some lawyers who need to go back to school, let alone an untrained person actually doing it.

Personal Injury cases are complicated and no self-help book is going to give you the knowledge you need to handle one of these cases.

I see non-lawyers in Court all of the time getting hammered by Judges and getting sent packing because they did not do their cases right. In some instances non-lawyers get dinged with monetary sanctions against them because they do not know the law.

Then there is the matter of the cheapskates. These are winners who figure in their mind, hell; I am not going to give an attorney a third of my case, so I will take all of the $2,000 the insurance company is going to give me.

They don’t realize that their case might in fact be worth $25,000 to $50,000, and even on the low end, they would have got two thirds of $25,000 or $16,675 with an attorney, as opposed to the $2,000 they got sucked into accepting by the insurance company.

One of my sayings is that it is better to get two thirds of something instead of all of nothing.

To me this is plain stupidity, and there is a lot of it out there lately.

It does not make sense to me why a person would try to handle their own personal injury case without an attorney, when an attorney like me can be retained with no money out of your pocket whatsoever until a recovery is obtained.

The insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for idiots who will accept the half payment of medical bills, or a token 1k to 2k to settle a case that might be worth tens of thousands of dollars, without an attorney.

Any insurance adjuster worth their weight in gold, loves talking to the stupid amongst us who for whatever reason, does not mind screwing themselves out of what they are entitled to by not retaining a personal injury attorney like me.

Don’t be stupid, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another call an attorney, heck, call me.

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at http://www.therpersonalinjury.com

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

Make Sure you Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if You Sell or Give Away your Car, Motorcycle, or other Motor Vehicle or You could Los Big Time

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario;

A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the person who sold the car notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the sale or giveaway, or before the new owner registers the car in their name, and they are now getting sued, or having law or parking enforcement coming after them as though they were the responsible party.

I literally get at least 5 calls a week with this exact same scenario.

In the State of California you MUST notify the DMV within 5 days when you sale or transfer ownership of your vehicle.

I am not going to discuss what you need to do if you screwed up and are in this nightmare scenario because it is situation specific.

What I will tell you is this; in the State of California, and I assume other States as well, there is an attachment sheet that is connected to your Certificate of Vehicle Title (Pink Slip) that is to be torn off only upon selling or giving away the car, filled out, and sent to the DMV to notify them that you have sold or given away your car.

The simple act of filling out this form and sending it to the DMV can and will save you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.

This is not rocket science folks. You have to assume the person that you are selling or giving the vehicle to may not change the title in their name, thus leaving you on the hook.

Another thing I recommend is creating a bill of sale, or a giveaway agreement that the new owner signs upon receiving the car and the pink slip, which will give you further proof that you sold or gave away your vehicle.

If for some reason you lost the sheet that is attached to the Pink Slip, the DMV has an online system that is available here, to notify them of the change in ownership.

Don’t be a fool, when you sale or change ownership of your vehicle, notify the DMV or it could cost you big time.

If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 25, 2012

Former Police Officer Gives Tips on Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle riders listening to safety semiar in Orange, California

Motorcycle riders listening to safety semiar in Orange, California

Motorcycle riders gathered on Saturday afternoon in Orange to hear safety tips from a former police officer.

Retired Orange police Cpl. Mark Camarillo led a seminar, “Smarter Safer Riding and How to Avoid a Traffic Citation,” at Irv Seaver Motorcycles

About 100 people sat and stood inside the dealer’s future service shop at 607 W. Katella Ave. for the seminar.

Camarillo told the crowd to use hard stopping, use common sense, to always use a turn signal, know the speed limit and also to ride defensively.

“I want to go home to my family every single night,” Camarillo said.

He also told the motorcycle riders to hold with the speed limit – plus or minus 5 mph.
“I fight the urge to ride aggressively,” Camarillo said. “It gives you time to react and time to stop. It’s less stressful on yourself. (Speeding) creates stress you probably don’t realize is happening to your body.”

He explained riders – and drivers – should always look left, right and left again at every light.

“It’ll save your life,” Camarillo said. “It gives you a chance to look back. That is a crucial thing to do.”

Since retiring from the Orange Police Department, Camarillo said he rides a BMW motorcycle and that people drive differently now that he’s not on a black-and-white.
“I get tailgated now, and I never got tailgated before. I wonder why?” he joked with the audience.

Many audience members said they didn’t know prior to the presentation that it was legal to turn left across a single double-yellow line, including Jennifer Chung and her son Kyle Tran, 15, of Westminster. The two were curious to listen to tips originating from a former police official. For Chung, riding is a family affair. She often takes her son on the back of her Kawasaki Ninja.

“A presentation such as this is always of interest to BMW drivers,” said Larry Troffer of San Clemente.

“If there’s anybody that can provide me some suggestions, I’m always interested,” said Bill Reitz, president of the BMW Club South Coast Riders. The group boasts 99 members and holds meetings once per month followed by a 65- to 100-mile ride.

Camarillo also said the Ortega Highway is the deadliest route, accompanied by Santiago Canyon Road.
He told the target audience that driving on the line between the lanes – known as lane splitting – is unsafe but legal. He suggested driving only 10 mph faster than the speed of traffic when splitting lanes.

“If traffic is doing 30 miles per hour, should i split it at 40? Why? I’m not getting there faster,” Camarillo said. “Everybody has to decide whether it is worth it or not.”

Owners Evan and Lois Bell of Irv Seaver Motorcycles are bike aficionados. This year, they celebrate the 100th anniversary for the business.

“Our most wonderful vacations have been on motorcycles,” Lois Bell said. The two have ridden through Europe, South America, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan and Germany.

“If those individuals listened, it probably saved some lives,” she said.

  • Motorcycle safety tips
  • •Use sound judgment.
  • •Drive the speed limit – plus or minus 5 mph.
  • •Practice hard stopping.
  • •Always use your turn signal.
  • •Avoid getting grease, oil or diesel fluid on your tires.
  • •Know the speed limits.

Orange California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

The California Highway Patrol gets ready to Roust Bikers as Angeles Crest Highway Re-Opens Today

Motorcycle Riders about to ride up the Angeles Crest Highway

Motorcycle Riders about to ride up the Angeles Crest Highway

As the California State Department of Transportation is poised Friday to re-open Angeles Crest Highway, a curvy mountain road beloved by bikers, the CHP will step up enforcement.

The Crest’s sweeping turns and steep cliffs demand motorcyclists navigate the road with care and at a controlled speed, and the California Highway Patrol plans to help folks remember this through the Motorcycle Safety Coalitions grant, the agency announced Wednesday. CHP Public Information Officer Ming-Yang Hsu declined to release the amount of the grant.

The grant, which provides enhanced enforcement effort by CHP officers through September 30, will focus on traffic violations made by motorcyclists, as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities, according to a CHP press release.

“Angeles Crest has one of the highest accident rates in the state,” Hsu said, adding the CHP waited to make the grant announcement until Caltrans’ announcement of reopening the road.

According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 164 motorcycle-involved collisions occurred on Route 2 from Starlight Crest Drive to state Route 39 in Los Angeles County between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. Among the collisions, eight were fatal, seven of which were the result of unsafe speed. Of those, speed was the primary collision factor for 98 of the accidents.

Therefore, in an effort to reduce the number of motorcycle-involved fatal and injury collisions along the 38-mile stretch of highway patrolled by the Altadena Area office, the CHP will establish a task force and develop and implement a public awareness campaign by working with local agencies and community members.

Funding for this grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Basically what this grant does is give the CHP more money to put more officers on the Angeles Crest to roust motorcyclist and bikers.

You have now been warned, take it easy out there!

California Biker Lawyer

Watch out for Counterfeit DOT Certified Helmets – Look for Revised DOT Labeling.

Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels

Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels

Novelty and/or Counterfeit DOT motorcycle helmets may look the part, but many, if not all, fail to meet federal safety standards.

These dubious novelty and/or counterfeit helmets feature a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved label, but most are counterfeit, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In other words if you buy a cheap helmet that you think is DOT certified because it has a DOT label, you may be buying nothing more than junk.

It is important that if you want to wear a DOT helmet for safety purposes while riding your motorcycle that you ensure you are buying a helmet manufactured by a reputable helmet manufacture.

To help combat counterfeiters, the NHTSA has revised the DOT labeling for motorcycle helmets that now reads “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” which is an acronym for the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.

Effective May 13, 2011, all new motorcycle helmets must have one of these new labels in its interior, which show that the lid met federal standards for “Impact Attenuation,” “Penetration” and “Retention System,” such as the strap.

Besides reading “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” the label will also identify the motorcycle helmet manufacturer, precise model designation and also month and year of manufacture.

According to the FMVSS No. 218, “Each helmet shall be labeled permanently and legibly, in a manner such that the label(s) can be read easily without removing padding or any other permanent part.”

And of course, the DOT logo sticker must be present at the lower rear of the motorcycle helmet.

The NHTSA says these new labeling requirements will enhance overall motorcycle safety based on the following statistics:

  1. A motorcycle helmet that meets the DOT FMVSS No 218 requirements drops the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent, the NHTSA reports; and
  2. If fewer helmets are created that don’t meet the federal standard, the NHTSA reports that between 22 and 75 lives may be saved.

It is good to see the NHTSA trying to save the lives of motorcyclists by attempting to weed out scumbag helmet counterfeiters. However, there is a good chance that the new labels will also be counterfeited.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

California Highway Patrol to crack down on bikers and motorcyclist along Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Riverside County – California

Motorcyclists committing traffic violations on the Ortega Highway in Riverside County will be the target of a six-month enforcement campaign by the California Highway Patrol, it was announced Monday.

From April through the end of September, the CHP’s Temecula office will ramp up patrols on a 33-mile stretch of state Route 74 to catch unsafe motorcyclists, according to Officer Ron Thatcher.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Motorcycle Safety Coalitions” grant will provide the funds necessary for overtime and special operations geared to motorcycle riders, Thatcher said.

CHP data from January 2007 to December 2008 indicate there were 75 motorcycle collisions from where the Ortega Highway begins in San Juan Capistrano to Green Avenue in southwest Riverside County. Twenty-five of the accidents resulted in injuries, and all were connected to speeding.

“Taking a turn too fast, a motorcyclist is likely to find himself in over his head,” said Capt. Ernie Sanchez, commander of the agency’s Temecula office.

“This stretch of highway demands concentration and caution on the part of the rider,” he said. “With this grant, we’re hoping to not only raise awareness and educate motorcyclists, but ultimately save lives and reduce the number of riders injured every year.”

The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations and advance public awareness efforts, according to Thatcher.

I am very concerned when I hear that law enforcement is going to single out bikers and motorcyclist for selective enforcement, especially in California.

I would like to hear from anyone who is the subject of harassment as a result of this announced policy by the CHP.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

Ortega Highway Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Changes to California Traffic Laws in 2011

California Traffic Law Changes for 2011As usual, California has tinkered with the laws again for the year 2011, as though we do not have enough laws as it is.

First, persons who want to obtain a learners permit for a motorcycle who are under the age of 21, must now complete a C.H.P. certified motorcycle safety course. They need to have a permit for at least 6 months, before a class M motorcycle license will be issued.

Second, drivers with traffic violations will be able to take Court approved courses online and at home in addition to going to traditional classrooms. This law will take three years to implement.

Third, Local authorities will not be able to enact or enforce a local ordinance on a matter covered by the California Vehicle Code. The new law is an effort to ensure that traffic convictions are properly recorded by the DMV.

Forth, January 1, 2012, drivers convicted of a third or subsequent DUI violation could lose their licenses for 10 years. Reinstatement will be possible after five years if specific conditions are met.

Fifth, The application for a driver’s license will include a “no” option when asking whether an applicant wants to register as a possible organ donor, and applicants will have to answer with either a yes or a no in the organ donation registration field.

And sixth Instead of expiring on January 1, 2011, the “sunset” date for hybrid vehicles with yellow stickers will expire on July 1, 2011. Those with white stickers (on electric and compressed natural gas vehicles) will expire on January 1, 2015. A third sticker will be created for plug-in hybrids. It will be valid from January 1, 2012 until January 1, 2015.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

No More After Market Pipes in California in 2013; We Did it To Ourselves.

No More Non EPA Approved Pipes in 2013

No More Non EPA Approved Pipes in 2013

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 435 into law which will require all motorcycles built after January 2013 to have EPA approved exhaust systems on their motorcycles.

Riders found without an EPA label certifying sound emission compliance will be issued fix it tickets, with additional infractions having fines up to $250.00.

Therefore, any motorcycle aftermarket exhausts or pipes that are not EPA certified will be illegal in California.

Many aftermarket motorcycle exhaust manufacturers will probably not have the money or inclination to get such a certification, so for all intents and purposes, after market pipes will no longer be legal in California.

If other States follow California with similar statutes then it may force manufacturers to comply with EPA regulations.

California will now basically enforce a 25 year Federal regulation which requires that all motorcycle exhausts be EPA certified.

I have been riding motorcycles for many years. I try to have exhaust systems that have some bark, but that are not too loud.

However, there are guys out there running open exhausts that are so loud that you cannot actually hear yourself talk as they drive by.

The State has now taken action to quiet our motorcycles down since we were unable to police ourselves.

What can be done to avoid SB 435? Keep your old motorcycles and do not buy anything new after 2013. Replace the engines, transmissions, and frames as needed.

Whatever you do, keep your stock exhaust systems just in case you do get a fix it ticket. Even if your motorcycle is not a 2013 or newer biker, we are still subject to noise laws here in California.

This bill will probably have an ominous effect on motorcycle sales in California. So again, we have do gooders enacting laws here that screw our economy.

What can we expect next, a motorcycle smog bill. I recommend that every motorcycle rider in the State of California join ABATE, so that we will have a voice in Sacramento.

By California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 2010

After Market Exhaust’s and Pipes are About to Become Illegal in California.

After Market Motorcycle Exhausts will become illegal under SB 435

After Market Motorcycle Exhausts will become illegal under SB 435

Well, many of you have heard about SB 435, and many of you have not. California Senate Bill 435 will basically make it illegal to run with non stock exhausts on your motorcycles.

This bill passed the State Senate and is now sitting on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk as I type this.

Our only hope now to get this asinine bill stopped is for the governor to veto the bill.

Every one of you should call, email, and write to Schwarzenegger NOW to get him to not sign the bill. Schwarzenegger is a fellow biker. Hopefully he will veto the damm thing.

If Schwarzenegger signs SB 435, it will become law. This law makes all 2013 and newer bikers without EPA stamped exhausts subject to fines of between $50.00 and $100.00.

On a personal note, I have never had a stock motorcycle with EPA stamps, so I have no clue how the hell the State is going to force manufacturers to put Federal EPA stamps on their exhaust systems.

I think this law is discriminatory on its face.

They say that since this is a secondary infraction, that the Police will be unable to pull over a motorcycle solely for an apparent exhaust violation, but I know that many bikers are being pulled over now for supposedly loud pipes.

You and I all know how this thing will play out. There will be some officers that will pull over any motorcycle that sounds loud, and they will ding the rider with a ticket if they cannot see the EPA stamp on the exhaust.

Frankly, I am so pissed off about this bill that I probably should not write anymore about it right now.

All I can say is that this is what happens when you get legislatures in office making more money than most of the people in the State, and with too much time on their hands.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Jobs are Not protected for California’s medical pot users; You can still be arrested for driving under the influence.

medical marijuana can be banned at workTens of thousands of Californians are obtaining medical marijuana recommendations from physicians so they can use pot without fear of arrest.

But they still can lose their jobs, and be arrested for being under the influence of marijuana and driving.

California’s Proposition 215, passed by voters in 1996, approved the use of marijuana for a wide range of ailments. But it doesn’t require employers to make accommodations or waive any workplace rules for legal cannabis users.

And a state Supreme Court ruling affirmed that medical pot use can get you fired by a disapproving employer.

Christian Hughes, 33, just found that out.

For five years, he was a manager at a senior citizens apartment complex near Redding. Unknown to residents, he used marijuana to dull pain from a jaw shattered in a car accident.

Recently, a new company bought the apartment complex and ordered drug testing for employees. “I tried to explain my situation,” Hughes said.

After his test results came in last month, he was dismissed.

Joe Elford, legal counsel for Americans for Safe Access, an advocate for medical marijuana patients, said people such as Hughes don’t have much protection.

“The California Supreme Court gave carte blanche for employers to discriminate against medical marijuana patients,” Elford said. “However, that doesn’t mean they have to.”

Elford argued before the state Supreme Court on behalf of Gary Ross in a landmark 2008 case.

Ross, of Carmichael, was fired after 10 days as a lead systems administrator for a Sacramento firm, RagingWire Telecommunications.

He told a clinician performing a drug test as a condition of his hiring that he had a medical marijuana recommendation for back pain and spasms from injuries sustained in the U.S. Air Force. When the results came in, Ross was out of work.

The Supreme Court rejected his argument that he was protected from job discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act as a qualified pot patient under Proposition 215.

“Nothing in the text or history of the (Proposition 215) Compassionate Use Act suggests that the voters intended the measure to address the respective rights and obligations of employers and employees,” the court ruled.

Advocates for private employers argued strenuously against legislation – advanced after the court decision – to ban discrimination in hiring or firing of workers for being medical marijuana patients.

The California Chamber of Commerce fought the legislation, Assembly Bill 2279 by then-Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. It hasn’t eased its opposition to workplace protections for medical pot.

“It really boils down to this: An employer’s right to maintain a drug-free workplace is critical,” said Denise Davis, the California Chamber’s vice president for media relations. “It protects the safety of all workers and limits exposure to potentially costly litigation.”

Sacramento’s largest employer – the state of California – has no policy in place when it comes to medical marijuana, said Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Personnel Administration.

Forty state agencies can dismiss employees based on tests for “reasonable suspicion” of drug or alcohol use. They include the Highway Patrol, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Lottery Commission, California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Museum of Science and Industry.

The U.S. Department of Transportation declared last year that workers from aircraft pilots to school bus drivers can’t legally smoke pot, even in states allowing medical use.

In Rancho Cordova, GenCorp Inc., a major regional employer that relies heavily on federal contracts, has a strict anti-marijuana policy.

“GenCorp and its company, Aerojet, are a drug-free workplace,” said spokeswoman Linda Cutler. “We do not accommodate medical marijuana. Under federal law it is still an illegal drug, and we are a federal contractor.”

Gargoyle, another large employer in the region, requires job candidates to pass a drug test as a condition of hiring and makes no allowances for people with a medical pot recommendation. Drivers of heavy trucks face random tests. Employees from press operators to reporters may be subject to discipline for on-the-job accidents attributed to drugs, alcohol or performance-altering medications.

The pot issue recently arose in Michigan when a Wal-Mart store fired Joseph Casias, an employee who had been using marijuana under Michigan’s medical pot law for pain from sinus cancer and a brain tumor. Casias claimed he never came to work high. But he was fired this month after being tested for drugs following an on-the-job knee injury.

Leno, now a state senator, still hopes for a California solution governing medical pot in the workplace.

“When voters supported Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, they didn’t intend use of medical marijuana only for those who are unemployed,” Leno said.

His 2008 bill would have allowed employers to fire workers who were impaired on the job. But it would have protected employees from being targeted because they have a medical pot recommendation or test positive for marijuana.

The bill passed both houses of the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The state Supreme Court clearly decided employers can set any rules they want when it comes to medical pot. But he said there may be a narrow legal window to challenge drug tests ordered without cause.

However, you cannot just test somebody because you think they’re a pothead or someone saw them walking out of a cannabis club.

Recently I just got a call from a person whose car was searched after Police officers pulled her over, smelled pot in the car, and observed a pot pipe sitting on the seat.

She ranted and raved about the fact that she had a marijuana card, that she was sick, and that it was an illegal arrest; WRONG.

I explained to her that drinking alcohol is legal in the State as well, however, you are not allowed to drink and drive, or have an open container in the car, so why would she think that she can smoke dope in her car.

Under California’s medical marijuana law, you are allowed to use marijuana, but you are not allowed to smoke it or ingest it while driving. This is also true for certain prescription drugs which impair your driving ability.

So there you go; and employer can fire you for marijuana use even though it is legal to use if you have medical marijuana card and you cannot use marijuana and drive.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and California Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Basic explanation of Motorcycle Related Laws in the State of California.

California Motorcycle Related LawsLicense Requirements

A motorcycle license (M1 endorsement) is required for any rider who rides a motorcycle 150cc’s and above.

If under age 18 you must be at least 16 years of age, have a permit for six months, have proof of driver ed. and driver training, and complete a motorcycle training course.

If you are 18 and older you must pass the written motorcycle test, and either take a certified motorcycle rider training course, or make an appointment to take the motorcycle driving test at the DMV.

Safety Helmet

All operators and Passengers must wear an approved safety helmet when riding on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter in California.

Eye Protection

Eye Protection is not yet required by California Law, but it always recommend that you wear good eye protection when riding your motorcycle. You do not need a law to tell you that a rock in the eye at 50mph will ruin your day and possibly your eyes.

Daytime Use of Headlight

Daytime use of headlight is required by law on all motorcycles. Modulating headlight is permitted. Most new motorcycles automatically have the headlight on when the motorcycle is started. It is best not to screw around and disable this function because you will get a ticket if your light is off.

Passenger Seat

A Passenger Seat is required on all motorcycles if you are carrying a passenger.

Passenger Footrest

A Passenger Footrest is required on all motorcycles if carrying a passenger.

Helmet Headphones / Ear Buds

Helmet Headphones / Ear buds should only have one single earphone only. It is illegal to have dual earphone headphones or ear buds on while driving a car or operating a motorcycle in California.

Muffler / Exhaust

A Muffler is required by California state law. No muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device (VC §27150. Adequate Muffler Required).

Maximum Sound Level of Motorcycle

Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels based on measurements taken at a distance of 50 ft from center lane of travel: 1)Pre-1970..92dba; 2) After 1969, and before 1973…88dba; 3) After 1972, and before 1975…86dba; 4) After 1974, and before 1986…83dba; 5) After 1985…80dba (VC §27201-27202. Motorcycle Limits).

California State Insurance Requirements

Compulsory Liability Insurance (Minimum Limits) (10/15/30) – Financial responsibility required. A driver involved in an accident who fails to prove existence of financial responsibility at time of accident shall have driver’s license suspended for 1 year, face a hefty fine, and potentially have their vehicle impounded. Plus if you have an accident without insurance you cannot recover general damages. (you are screwed) Don’t be a fool; you must at least have minimum liability insurance when you ride.

Motorcycle Handlebars

A person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting or riding between cars on the lane divider is not prohibited by California law so it is therefore legal. However, there is a recognized speed limitation that a rider should go no more than 15-20mph faster than the flow of traffic. If you go too fast while splitting lanes, you could face a ticket.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Why is a Riverside, California Motorcyclist always stuck at left turn arrow signals?

Motorcycles having problem triggering traffic light sensorsMichael Murphy, of Riverside California, sometimes encounters a frustrating problem while riding his motorcycle.

“I have many times been stuck at a left turn light controlled, I assume, by the circle cut in the pavement, by a weight sensor, that my motorcycle is apparently not heavy enough to trigger.”

He has sat through three or four cycles of the lights changing in all directions without getting a green left-turn arrow for his lane until a car pulls up behind him.

That, he assumes, is “enough to trigger the light.”

He wonders whether there’s a rule allowing him to turn when traffic is clear after waiting so long.

The answer is No.

Turning left against a red light is illegal in the State of California under any circumstances, and Murphy would risk a ticket, an accident, or worse by doing this.

Light-triggering sensors are supposed to detect motorcycles, however, over time; the sensors can los sensitivity or stop working.

If a motorcyclist encounters this problem at an intersection along a California highway, they can call Caltrans at 1-800-383-4631 to reach a public information officer and report the problem.

Or they could visit http://www.caltrans8.info and report it online. Caltrans will adjust the sensor.

For intersections along local roads, motorcyclists and bikers must contact the appropriate city or county government. Intersections within city limits in most cases are maintained by the city’s government.

Not all sensors work according to a vehicle’s weight. In fact, most work with a wire that detects changes in a magnetic field triggered by the presence of metal, others may be optical, which function like a very sophisticated motion sensor.

Regardless of the type of sensor involved, which the rider can’t determine anyway, motorists can call the streets department with the details of which intersection appears to have a problem. Sometimes traffic signal patterns change when there’s construction at an intersection. If a detector loop is cut, the signals revert to a previously set program, and the city must eventually reset it.

To report similar problems on roads owned by Riverside County, call the county’s Transportation Department’s traffic signal department at 951-955-6894. For those in San Bernardino County, call 909-387-8186.

I myself have had this problem numerous times, not only on my motorcycle, but in my car. I have found that many times moving my motorcycle back and forth will be enough to trigger the sensor, the same has held true for my cars as well.

Let’s face facts, how many of us have been stuck at one of these signals at 2 or 3am, with no traffic, just sitting there like an idiot waiting for a signal that will never change? How many of us have just decided to blow the signal after first ensuring that the coast is clear.

I for one think that motorcycles should be exempted by law from not being able to turn or go on a left arrow or signal if they have waited for than 5 minutes, and the coast is clear. It is obvious that many magnetic sensors just flat out do not detect motorcycles.

Whatever you decide to do, at least now you know the law.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

New California State Laws for the Second Decade of the 21st Century; The Year 2010; I think our State Legislatures have too much time on their hands! Read Below.

A Summary of California Laws for the year 2010Below is a summary of new laws for the State of California for 2010. Most will be going into effect on Friday morning.

Remember you are deemed to know the law; ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it.

AB 9 (J. Perez) – Political Reform Act: FPPC – this law clarifies what constitutes improper campaign activity by a local government or agency during an election for a candidate or initiative.

AB 14 A motor vehicle can be declared be a public nuisance and impounded for up to 30 days when the motor vehicle is used in the commission of specified crimes related to prostitution.

AB 58 Now an Infraction to participate in a betting pool with less than $2,500 at stake.

AB 91 New “Ignition Interlock Device” Law requires first-time DUI offenders to install a device in their vehicles in a test program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.

AB 144 (Ma) – Last year in San Francisco, law enforcement confiscated over 1,000 illegal disabled placards. The widespread abuse has not only taken away parking opportunities for people who really need them, but has also exacerbated the difficult parking environment in San Francisco. The current penalty is a $100 fine.

AB 144 not only increases the fine for fraudulent use to $1,000, but also gives parking control officers the ability to cite violators. Currently, only police officers have the ability to cite violators in many instances.

AB 166 (Lieu) – Creates a cost-effective solution to deal with the growing number of abandoned boats in California’s waterways. The bill will establish a vessel turn-in program that permits boat owners to transfer ownership of their dilapidated vessels before they become an environmental hazard.

AB 171 (Jones) – Establishes basic consumer protection standards governing credit cards and loan products that are arranged in dental offices. The law is designed to protect elderly, low-income or limited-English-speaking dental patients who unwittingly signed credit card applications. The new law prohibits arranging credit while patients are under anesthesia, requires notice in the patient’s primary language, and requires refunds if dental services have not been provided within 15 days.

AB 232 (Hill) – Allows the California State Teachers Retirement System to implement technology improvements such as switching from paper transactions with customers to online and e-mail transactions. The changes will reduce environmental impacts and save the state about $1 million annually.

AB 242 (Nava) – Strengthens penalties for spectatorship at a dogfight in California.

AB 260 (Lieu) – Will bring trust and security back to the state’s mortgage market, protect borrowers from the most abusive lending practices that caused the home foreclosure crisis, and reassure the secondary market that loans bought in California are sound.

AB 262 (Bass) – Makes the technical and administrative changes necessary to ensure that $113M in federal economic stimulus energy funding (i.e. local energy efficiency grants and state energy program monies) will be allocated in the most efficient and effective manner.

AB 303 (Beall) – Hospital Seismic Safety Financing; allows designated hospitals to meet state deadlines for earthquake safety improvements. The bill permits the hospitals to leverage local funds in order to draw down federal money to pay for seismic safety facility upgrades.

AB 305 (Nava) – Allows prosecutors to seek jail sentences for polluters who knowingly make a false or misleading report about an offshore oil spill. AB 305 also extends the statute of limitations for violations of Hazardous Material Release Response Plans and Inventory related violations from 1 to 5 years to bring it into accordance with other hazardous material and hazardous waste laws in the same Division of the Health and Safety Code.

AB 329 (Feuer) – Reverse Mortgage Elder Protection Act – a bi-partisan measure that will protect the growing number of senior citizens who are considering a reverse mortgage. This bill would amend California reverse mortgage law to strengthen existing counseling and cross-selling provisions and would provide the borrower with a checklist prior to counseling that highlights the risks and alternatives to reverse mortgages.

AB 343 (Saldana) – Allows California to enter into a compact with 26 other states to ease coordination of interstate school transfers and to remove some of the barriers to academic success military children face due to frequent relocation of active-duty parents. An interstate commission, in coordination with state education officials, will monitor implementation of the compact, address emerging issues, and reconcile disputes between states.

AB 359 (Nava) – Requires digital mammography screening to be covered under the “Every Woman Counts” (EWC) Cancer Detection Program administered by the California Department of Public Health when analog mammography is not available.

AB 370 (Eng) – Would ensure that a victim of contractor fraud is eligible to obtain restitution for economic loss caused by that contractor. Further, this bill increases the maximum potential fine for a first offense from $1,000 to $5,000. For a second and subsequent offense, this measure increases the current mandatory fine from $4,500 up to $5,000. Third offenders will also be required to serve a mandatory jail sentence (as is currently required of second offenders.). Finally, this measure would apply the mandatory minimum fine to repeat offenders who enter into a contract with the victim, or take money from the victim, but do not perform any of the contracting work.

AB 457 (Monning) – Requires claimants intending to file mechanic’s liens to notify homeowners that a mechanic’s lien is being recorded against their property. Specifically, the bill amends the 20-Day Preliminary Notice to make it more prominent and easier to read ,and enacts a requirement that property owners be served with a Notice of Mechanic’s Lien that provides information on how to deal with a mechanic’s lien, along with a copy of the actual lien that will be filed.

AB 474 (Blumenfield) – California is in its third straight year of drought. This creative bill will harness market forces by increasing water conservation by residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial property owners by authorizing cities, counties, water districts and municipal utilities to offer up-front financing to property owners who wish to install water conservation systems. It is a rare bill supported by the Sierra Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

AB 494 (Caballero) – Allows farmers who wish to build housing for farm workers on land zoned for agriculture, to change the zoning, and be able to build housing while retaining the agricultural integrity of the property.

AB 524 (Bass) – To curtail the potentially harmful situations and other problems created by out of control paparazzi, AB 524 extends the “invasion of privacy” laws to persons that purchase, publish, and print images or recordings of individuals, if these persons knew that the images or recordings were obtained illegally.

AB 530 (Krekorian) – This measure continues to provide local law enforcement an important tool in freeing our neighborhoods of violent drug and gang activity. AB 530 reauthorizes two pilot programs allowing city attorneys and prosecutors in participating cities (Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palmdale, Sacramento, and San Diego) to bring eviction proceedings in the name of the people against a tenant for unlawful activities regarding controlled substances, firearms, and ammunition. This statute assists landlords who are intimidated from bringing eviction proceedings against tenants engaged in drug-related crimes and illegal possession of weapons or ammunition on the premises. This measure also protects other tenants living in the same apartment complex or the neighborhood who have been forced to tolerate criminal behavior or move away from their homes.

AB 532 (Lieu) – Will protect victims of domestic violence, their families and our communities from potential gun-related danger. The bill will allow law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant to seize firearms or deadly weapons that remain inside a house after a domestic violence or mental health incident.

SB 598 will give a repeat DUI offender the opportunity to apply for a restricted driver license with an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle.

AB 626 (Eng) – Required that no less than 10% of the $139 million appropriated from prop 84 for IRWMP to fund projects that provide direct benefits to disadvantaged communities. However, there was some confusion in the Department of Water Resources on whether they can award the entire 10 percent for disadvantaged communities across every hydrological region. Disadvantaged communities around the state struggle to meet basic water related public health functions including supplying safe drinking water to their communities and maintaining basic wastewater infrastructure. AB 626 makes it clear that disadvantaged communities in each region of the state receive this minimum investment.

AB 636 (Jones) – Increases penalties for charter bus companies and drivers for failure to comply with safety and licensing regulations. Introduced after last year’s tragic Colusa bus crash that took the lives of several residents of Jones’ Sacramento district, the new law permanently rescinds the operating permit of a bus company if it is found operating without a permit or on a suspended license, knowingly hires an unlicensed bus driver, or fails to register its buses with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The law also suspends unlicensed bus drivers for a period of 5 years.

AB 637 (Hill) – Requires the California Public Employees’ Retirement System contracting agencies to use Electronic Funds Transfer for payments which will reduce paper transactions and lead to cost savings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

AB 647 (Yamada) – Requires California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to comply with federal law and allow consumer access to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Established under the Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, NMVTIS is an electronic vehicle-history database maintained by the Department of Justice that enables states, law enforcement agencies, and consumers to verify and exchange auto titling, theft and brand data.

AB 669 (Fong) – Removes barriers for foster youth to attend California community colleges. Specifically, the bill gives current and former foster your residency status, in order to avoid paying higher tuition fees.

AB 671 (Krekorian) – The California Golden Shield Act, establishes an official California State honorific that pays tribute to our peace officers, firefighters and other public safety officers who sacrifice their lives for the safety of Californians. This statute requires that the Governor present the California Golden Shield, on behalf of the State of California, to the families of the fallen public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

AB 672 (Bass) – Allows local transportation agencies with approved Prop 1B projects to expend their own funds to move the projects along and be eligible to be reimbursed from Prop 1B bond funds.

AB 688 (Eng) – Seeks to protect victims of domestic violence from re-victimization by clarifying that a person charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence may not be released on their own recognizance until they first appear before a judge or commissioner. Currently, there are discrepancies in state law that potentially allow for the release of a person charged without ever appearing before a judge or commissioner. If this bill is vetoed, the existing inconsistencies in state law will continue to endanger people’s lives by potentially permitting some perpetrators to go back into the community without the proper screening of a judge or commissioner.

AB 708 (Huffman) – The illegal poaching of fish and wildlife poses a serious threat to California’s wildlife species and biodiversity. Poaching cases are on the rise and California is particularly impacted because the current fines and penalties have proved insufficient to serve as an effective deterrent. AB 708 will establish minimum mandatory fines and increased revenue to local prosecutors to prosecute the egregious poaching of fish and wildlife in order to provide a serious deterrent to this illegal activity.

AB 719 (Lowenthal) – Provides one year of federally-funded food stamps to foster children who “age-out” of the system at 18. In addition to providing needed benefits to these at-risk youth, the program will also bring federal funds to give needed economic stimulus effect at the local and state level: Every $10 in new Food Stamp benefits generates $18.40 in economic activity, which results in more funds to the state General Fund.

SB 748 would provide that no person, state or local public agency, or private entity shall post the home address, the telephone number, or personal identifying information that discloses the location of any witness or witness family member participating in the Witness Relocation and Assistance Program (WRAP) with the intent that another person imminently use that information to commit a crime involving violence or a threat of violence against that witness or witness’ family member.

AB 750 (Bass) – Provides Superior Courts the ability to operate deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) reentry programs in lieu of jail time for low-level, non-violent offenders. AB 750 is modeled after a program ” Back on Track” developed by the City of San Francisco. The year-long program requires participation in workforce training, educational training, drug counseling, and has a proven track record of reducing recidivism among its participation.

AB 758 (Bass/Skinner) – Establishes a comprehensive statewide program to improve the energy efficiency of the state’s existing residential and commercial building stock. Such a program will include energy audits, financing options, public outreach efforts, and workforce training. AB 758 will produce a significant return on investment — reducing greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing energy consumption.

AB 856 (Caballero) – Protects consumers who buy organic produce from California, and protects the integrity of California’s organic farmers by increasing the authority of the California Department of Agriculture to regulate manufactures of organic fertilizers.

AB 890 (J. Perez) – City of Maywood Safe Drinking Water Act — this law directs the water providers within the City of Maywood to develop an action plan to improve the water delivery infrastructure and reduce contaminant levels in the water, and includes several provisions to force the water providers to operate with more transparency and responsiveness to community concerns about the water quality.

AB 906 (Hill) – Helps local governments take advantage of existing energy efficiency programs without violating state laws that prohibit economic conflicts of interest. (Effective upon signature by Governor)

AB 951 (Lieu) – Increases penalties on negligent and unscrupulous charter bus companies that jeopardize passengers’ lives by violating safety standards. This bill was introduced in response to a tragic bus crash that occurred last year in Colusa which killed 11 and injured 40 passengers.

AB 952 (Krekorian) – This new statute allows Taft-Hartley trusts (health plans governed by the federal Department of Labor) to administer benefits for their enrollees in an efficient manner. AB 952 seeks to provide a remedy for Taft-Hartley plan administrators and allow them to work better in California. A new provision will be made in the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act to allow protected health information necessary for the administration of health benefits for Taft-Hartley enrollees, while maintaining the more rigorous privacy benefits provided by California law.

AB 962 requires gun sellers to record sales of ammunition, and requires the fingerprinting and identification of the purchaser.

AB 975 (Fong) – Encourages water conservation by requiring private water corporations to install water meters.

AB 992 (Lieu) – Addresses a spike in property tax reassessment scams resulting from the rapid decline of housing prices over the past few years. The bill prohibits the collection of advance or late fees for property tax reduction services and requires written authorization from the property owner before any reassessment requests are filed.

AB 1031 (Blumenfield) – California colleges have suffered severe budget cuts and must reduce their costs. Yet they cannot get credit on their utility bills for renewable energy they generate, unless the electricity is used in the same structure where it is generated. This bill requires utility companies to give credit to state colleges and universities for all power they generate on campus.

AB 1070 (Hill) – Increases the Medical Board of California’s ability to protect health care consumers by clarifying their ability to enforce proper reporting, licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons.

AB 1083 (J. Perez) – Health Facilities: Security Plans – this law requires hospitals to annually review and update the security and safety plans to help ensure patients and workers do not become victims of violence.

AB 1093 (Yamada) – “Taneka’s Law” clarifies that a workers’ comp claim can not be denied based solely on a personal characteristic of the victim and a third party’s hatred of that characteristic such as race, religion, or gender.

AB 1130 (Solorio) – This bill revises the school accountability system to include a growth measurement of the academic performance index (API) that increases the validity and accuracy of academic progress of the same students over time, an important step toward comprehensive academic achievement measures.

AB 1160 (Fong) – Protects non-English speaking consumers from mortgage fraud by requiring mortgage lenders to provide a written translated summary of the mortgage contract.

AB 1196 (Blumenfield) – California is expected to receive more than $50 billion in federal stimulus funds in the next 2 years, 7% of which is predicted to be lost to fraud by government contractors. This legislation will strengthen and expand the “false claims” law, which enables private citizens to report intentional fraud by a contractor, and if the claim is true, reap a significant portion of the damages awarded by a court. Without Bob’s bill, billions of state dollars would not be protected by against fraud, including CalPERS, CalSTRS, UC funds and government subcontractors.

AB 1217 (Monning) – Requires the Ocean Protection Council to develop and implement a voluntary sustainable seafood promotion program.

AB 1319 (Krekorian) – A comprehensive consumer protection bill to stop abusive and deceptive practices in the entertainment, talent, and modeling industries that sets guidelines under which legitimate businesses can operate, alerting consumers to dishonest business practices and by providing law enforcement with the tools necessary for investigation and prosecution. AB 1319 does not affect legitimate talent agents or talent managers who earn money strictly through commissions and do not charge their clients advance fees. This new law ensures that talent listing services are providing accurate information to clients, requires that talent services maintain records and supporting proof and documentation and updates and revises consumer protection statutes created a decade ago. This law is strongly supported by a broad coalition of law enforcement, labor, industry leaders, and consumer protection organizations.

AB 1390 (Blumenfield) – Keeping children safe at school must be a top priority. Nationwide, 357,000 students are expelled or suspended for gun and other incidents annually. Many of these events are not reported to local law enforcement, depriving police of information that helps them track gang violence and take preventive action. This bill will close this loophole by requiring school personnel to report serious campus crimes to local police.

AB 1398 (Blumenfield) – California is the birthplace of the high tech industry, yet current law still contains a prohibition on school districts’ spending funds to purchase digital textbooks. This bill will remove this prohibition. This prohibition has meant that students have unnecessary back strain and health issues, that many students have access to only old and out of date textbooks and almost all students are missing out on the learning potential of interactive learning made possible in today’s information age.

AB 1422 (Bass) – Due to the state’s fiscal crisis, and the resulting General Fund reductions, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) requires approximately $196M to support the Healthy Families program. AB 1422 extends the 2.35% gross premiums tax to Medi-Cal managed care plans until January 1, 2011. Extension of this tax will generate approximately $157M, which in turn will generate approximately $97M in additional federal matching funds for the Healthy Families Program. AB 1422 ensures the solvency of the Healthy Families program and that it will not have to disenroll almost 600,000 children. (Effective upon signature by Governor)

AB 1465 (Hill) – Helps California meet its drought and water shortage challenges by ensuring that urban water suppliers that are members of the California Urban Water Conservation Council are in compliance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act.

AB 1494 (Eng) – This bill strengthens the state’s open government meeting laws by preventing a member of a state board or agency from holding individual meetings with a majority of members behind close doors to work out an agreement on an agenda issue before that board or agency.

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

Tort Reform is a big Scam; Why Tort Reform will Hurt You and take away more of Your Freedom!

Tort Reform takes away your legal rightsWhen you hear the term “Tort Reform” realize they what you are really hearing is a call to take away your legal right to get compensation when you are injured due to the negligence of another, to protect big business, the insurance companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, and big medicine; as though they are not rich enough.

You will be the only one getting screwed with tort reform; mark my words.

I hear a certain political party constantly preaching about tort reform this and tort reform that in a way to demonize personal injury attorneys as the fall guys for excessive costs of medical care, insurance, and everything else you can imagine.

You see they like to blame attorneys for taking on big business, the insurance companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, and big medicine, when they screw up and harm you.

Hell, 99.9% of the time, we are the only way you are going to be compensated when you are harmed due to the negligence of big business, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, or big insurance companies.

You don’t hear members of this political party telling you this do you?

One thing they don’t tell you is that since the 1970’s, there has already been a cap on general damages in medical malpractice cases of $250.000 in the State of California.

This means that if a doctor screws up and let’s say cuts out your only good kidney, or let’s say misdiagnosis an illness like cancer, you only get $250,000 for general damages in the State of California. Does this seem right to you? Hell no!

The laws of the State of California basically protect doctors from their negligence and the laws have done so since the 1970’s. States such as Texas have in the past couple of years, recently enacted their own tort reform laws. My understanding is that in Texas there is a $750.000 cap on general damages.

California is way behind the eight ball in this regard; we can only get $250,000 for general damages. It is time to either remove the cap in California or to increase it to reflect the inflation that has occurred since the 1970’s.

Look if you are the victim of medical malpractice, how much would the pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress be worth to you if let’s say a doctor screws up and cuts off the wrong leg, or even caused the death of a loved one?

Do you want some law to prevent you from recovering from your loss? This is tort reform. It is time to get educated folks and stop believing those talking heads who pocket big bucks from those who would save money with tort reform.

This is the essence of tort reform; it is taking away your legal rights, to protect a class of persons or corporations from the harm that they cause by limiting what you can get from them if they screw up your life.

You will see that one political party preaches about less government, and less regulation and intrusion, and they in the same breath will argue to regulate your legal right to obtain compensation as an individual when you are harmed. Who are they protecting? Big business, big medicine, insurance companies, everyone but you. These people are full of shit.

It does not matter what political party you are from when your life gets turned upside down in a personal injury case does it. In the end we are all the same; when we are sitting on our couch injured and hurting due to the negligence of another, all we want is to get better, to get compensated, and to get our lives back. Tort reform prevents this. This is what pundits do not tell you.

These are the same guys that are saying that providing medical coverage to millions of Americans, and prohibiting insurance companies from denying you coverage for pre-existing coverage is a bad thing. These guys are despicable.

It is time to expose the lies America. Tort reform is against your interest and your freedom as Americans.

This is another way to screw the little guy and protect those who are already making a fortune at your expense!

It is time to become educated folks. I am on the front lines of this fight on a daily basis. Any one of you could be sitting in my office looking for help for your personal injury case; you never know. What you should know is tort reform is bad for you; it is bad for all of us.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Moy & Fernandez Law Group are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

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