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Sacramento Injury Newsletters


State Appellate Court Performance Standards
The appellate court system's role is to review the decisions of trial courts and administrative agencies. Most states have a two-tier appellate court system that consists of an intermediate appellate court (usually called the court of appeals) and a court of last resort (usually called the supreme court). The trial court or administrative decision is first appealed to the intermediate appellate court. A further appeal is then available to the court of last resort. The Appellate Court Performance Standards Commission was set up to recommend performance standards for state appellate courts. More...


Jury Consultants
The jury serves a vital function in the American legal system. The jury is the trier of fact in a civil jury trial. The jury's role is to weigh the evidence presented by both sides and reach a verdict. The United States Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury in civil and criminal cases. The jury must be fair or impartial. The jury pool, the group of individuals from which a particular jury is selected, has to be representative of the community. Voir dire is the process of interviewing potential jurors to determine who will sit on the jury. The purpose of voir dire is to identify and remove individuals who cannot be fair and impartial. It is becoming more and more common for attorneys to hire jury consultants to assist in the selection of jurors, especially for high-profile cases. More...


Judicial Accountability
Judges take an oath of office to follow and apply the law faithfully. In certain cases, judges find themselves in a dilemma--that of faithfully applying a law that conflicts with the judge's own beliefs, principles, or sense of justice. In addition to taking an oath to uphold the law, judicial ethics and judicial precedent require a judge to follow prior case law on matters that have been decided by higher courts. More...


The Role of the Appellate Court's Legal Staff
The legal staff of an appellate court include the clerks of court, short-term law clerks, career law clerks, and staff attorneys. More...


Technology in the Courtroom
Courts are increasingly using technology to enhance the quality and the effectiveness of court proceedings. New York, Florida, Arizona, Minnesota, and Delaware all have state-of-the-art courtrooms. Technology is being used to increase the trier of fact's understanding of the evidence while reducing the length of trials and their cost. Information related to the case is stored and presented electronically. A CD-ROM will hold a transcript, an audio and a video recording of the trial and all evidence that was presented at trial, making a multi-media trial record. This article discusses how technology is being used in today's state-of-the art courtroom. More...


More Tort Law Versus Criminal Law
Apart from legislation granting a right to sue for a specific harm, personal injury law generally consists of tort law and the civil procedure for enforcing it. This article discusses some of the distinctions between tort law and criminal law, beyond criminal law's focus on the criminal and tort law's focus on the financial harm suffered by the victim.More... More...


Negligent Misrepresentation
Society recognizes a standard of business ethics that demands that factual representations be made carefully and honestly. A "representation" may consist of words or conduct. If a person makes a misrepresentation to another in business, it may give rise to liability on his part, even if he did not know that he was making a misrepresentation. More...


Tort Action for Violation of a Fiduciary Duty
A person who has a fiduciary relationship with another person commits a tort when he or she breaches his or her fiduciary duty with regard to the other person. The other person is entitled to damages from the fiduciary if he or she sustains damages as a result of the fiduciary's breach of his or her duty. More...


Wrongful Death & Survival
Every state has some type of wrongful death statute that allows for a decedent's beneficiaries to recover damages after a defendant willfully or negligently causes the decedent's death. Survival statutes relate to the claims of the decedent rather than those of his heirs. More...


Malicious Prosecution
It should be obvious that the purpose of the criminal justice system is to bring criminals to justice. Unfortunately, people sometimes try to use the criminal justice system for improper purposes, such as revenge. As one would expect, using the criminal justice system solely for improper purposes is prohibited by law. The personal injury lawsuit that addresses improper criminal prosecution is known as malicious prosecution. More...


Pharmacists' Defenses to Negligence Lawsuits
Pharmacists have a duty to store, prepare, and dispense prescription drugs properly. If the dispensing pharmacist fails to perform any of these duties, the patient could have a claim against the pharmacist. If the pharmacist's actions caused the injuries, he/she could be held liable for the patient's drug-related injuries. This article examines the defenses that are available to a pharmacist if a patient files a negligence lawsuit against the dispensing pharmacist. More...


Federal Hazardous Substances Act
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission), a federal regulatory agency, enforces the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (Act). The Act regulates hazardous substances. A hazardous substance means a substance that is toxic, corrosive, an irritant, or flammable and which can cause serious personal injury or illness when used. Pesticides and fuels are regulated by other federal agencies and do not fall within the definition of a hazardous substance. More...


Defenses in Products Liability Lawsuits
Products liability is an area of law that covers personal injuries and property damage caused by defective products. A product might be defective because it was improperly designed or manufactured. If a defective product causes personal injuries or property damage, anyone involved in the manufacture or distribution of the product might be liable for injuries caused by the defect. In many states, you can sue the manufacturer, the wholesaler, the distributor, or the store where the defective product was purchased. There are several defenses that can be raised in a products liability lawsuit. This article covers the following defenses: statutes of limitations, contributory negligence and comparative negligence, product misuse and assumption of risk. More...


Overview of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
Congress passed the Federal Food, Dug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) in 1938. The FDCA set up the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce the Act. The goals of the FDCA were to assure that foods are pure and safe to eat, that drugs and medical devices are safe and effective, and that cosmetics are safe. The FDCA banned adulterated and misbranded food from interstate commerce. The FDCA also regulates the labeling and packaging of foods, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. Under the FDCA, the FDA was given authority to adopt regulations dealing with food, drug, medical device, and cosmetic safety. This article discusses important amendments to the FDCA. More...


Protective Orders in Drug Product Liability Litigation
After a drug product liability lawsuit is filed, both the plaintiff (the person suing) and the defendant (the person or company being sued) engage in a process called discovery. The purpose of discovery is to allow a party to learn more about the important facts of the case before trial and the other party's evidence. The scope of discovery is very broad. It covers any information that is relevant to the case or which may lead to relevant evidence. Privileged information and the work product of the opposing party's lawyer (the lawyer's written observations, theories, opinions, and research) do not have to be disclosed. Privileged information includes oral and written communications between an attorney and his/her client. More...