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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 23, 2014 – In a recent wrongful death case, a series of miscommunications led to a $1.8 million court award. In the spring of 2010, 30-year-old Carl Whitmer of Columbus, Ohio was involved in a serious car accident. Two weeks after the accident, Whitmer underwent facial surgery, but he never woke up after the operation. He passed away one week later. Whitmer’s estate filed court documents pursuing claims of wrongful death. Prior to his surgery, Whitmer had complained of severe headaches. However, his complaint was not checked and he was never assessed. Trauma services […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 22, 2014 – California Divorce Mediators, a divorce mediation practice in Orange County, California, offers dedicated divorce mediation options for couples experiencing extreme levels of conflict. “We believe every couple deserves the opportunity to choose a cost-effective divorce,” said Gerald Maggio, founder of California Divorce Mediators. “By matching the circumstances of a particular couple to the correct mediation process, we can bring even hostile couples through to a sustainable divorce agreement.” According to a study from Pepperdine University, the characteristics of high-conflict couples include constant arguing, quick hostility and verbal aggression. The study […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 17, 2014 – Michael Gilfix is a featured panelist at an upcoming Bay Area event focused on helping families ensure supported housing for their adult children with autism. The event, hosted by the Autism Society of the San Francisco Bay Area, is titled “A Place for Us: Supported Housing Solutions for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.” The day-long event will take place at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Redwood City on October 24. Gilfix will take part in a panel discussion on “retention of family property and collaborative purchase of homes for grown […]


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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2014 – Collective legal action has not been eliminated in pay disputes in California, but its role has been diminished. Employers may now insist on case-by-case arbitration. “In a highly anticipated ruling, the California Supreme Court has decided that California employers may stop their workers from suing jointly for unpaid wages or overtime and alternatively mandate case-by-case arbitration. In essence, the ruling limited collective legal action in wage disputes,” said noted Sacramento business attorney, Deborah Barron. In a 6-1 ruling, the court indicated that employers may enforce contracts mandating workers to submit all […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2014 – Prospective parents using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) should use estate planning as a tool to legally protect both the future of their unborn children and their own genetic material. “Although it may seem like an uncomfortable discussion, it can actually be a simple one,” remarked Michael Gilfix, an estate planning attorney. “A good estate planning attorney can lay out the legal questions surrounding ART, and he or she can help draft solid legal protections for all involved.” The use and disposition of stored genetic material will need to be considered […]


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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 24, 2014 – California caregivers have filed a class action lawsuit against Kindred Healthcare, Inc. for the company’s failure to pay minimum wage and overtime. “The charges include rest and meal break violations among a plethora of allegations relating to failure to pay overtime and minimum wage,” noted Deborah Barron, a Sacramento business attorney not involved in the lawsuit. “One plaintiff claims that she was denied overtime, and another suggests that she was not paid her full wages for helping an in-home care client.” Kindred Healthcare is one of the largest post-acute health services […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 23, 2014 – In their information about the process of divorce, the California Courts recommend that all couples consider mediation. “It is unsurprising that the California Judicial Branch officially recommends divorce mediation,” said Gerald Maggio, a California divorce attorney and mediator. “Right now, California family court judges are dealing with an enormous backlog of cases. And many are divorce cases that wind up up simply as a division of debts because the couple has spent all of their assets on divorce attorneys.” In the State of California, all divorces take a minimum of […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 16, 2014 – California Divorce Mediators, formerly Orange County Divorce Mediators, has launched a new website dedicated to helping divorcing couples gain a better understanding of divorce mediation. “We want to help families find ways to reduce the cost of divorce and to avoid the damaging conflicts created by traditional litigated divorce,” remarked Gerald Maggio, founder of California Divorce Mediators. “Many divorcing parties are not very knowledgeable about divorce mediation, and that is one reason we have created this website.” Private divorce mediation is a process whereby divorcing parties work with a court-approved […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2014 – Mark Gilfix will be a featured speaker at the Morgan Center 13th Annual Autism Conference in Campbell, California on September 20, 2014. Gilfix, a special needs planning attorney, will present a session entitled “Creating a Life Estate in Your Home for Your Grown Disabled Child, and Other Estate Planning Techniques to Consider.” He is also a featured speaker on a panel addressing housing issues faced by people with autism and their families. The Morgan Center 13th Annual Autism Conference is a day-long event for families and caregivers of people on […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 9, 2014 – Estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix addressed growing concerns about Medi-Cal asset recovery in a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News. Last week, a bill designed to scale down Medi-Cal’s asset recovery programs was passed unanimously by the California State Assembly. Nonetheless, many in the state — including Sacramento insiders — fear that Governor Jerry Brown may veto the bill, according to the Mercury News. But Gilfix pointed out that there are still practical solutions for those who wish to access Medi-Cal benefits while preserving their estates, even if […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 2, 2014 – Michael Gilfix was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding unexpected estate claims by Medi-Cal and the ways families can protect themselves. On August 24, 2014, the Chronicle published an exposé on the recent expansion of Medi-Cal’s little-known estate recovery program. According to reporter Kathleen Pender, the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded the number of Medi-Cal recipients subject to estate recovery. Medi-Cal has long conducted a limited program that allows it to claim and recover assets from the estates of some deceased Medi-Cal recipients. However, as Pender pointed […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – A major report from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) has named California a strong performer in long-term care systems for older adults and the disabled. The report, called a “scorecard,” evaluated states on 26 different criteria and then aggregates the findings into an overall ranking. California finished ninth overall and drew top scores in several areas. The state earned a first-place rating on the availability of Medicaid benefits (Medi-Cal) to cover the costs of long-term care. The report also gave California a second-place rating for the diversity of […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – According to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, children with divorced parents are more likely to be obese. Researchers studied more than 3,000 third-graders, comparing children of divorced parents to children of married parents and children of parents who never married. The children with divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be obese. The research does not conclusively identify why children of divorce have the highest rate of obesity. But researchers speculate that decreased time and money for healthy meals may contribute to the problem. “Children […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – The federal government has introduced a major new initiative to combat rising abuse and exploitation of the elderly — the “Elder Justice Roadmap,” a comprehensive framework for neutralizing financial, psychological and physical risks to older Americans. The Roadmap outlines newly launched educational programs and policy steps designed to increase reporting and prosecution, but it mainly focuses on encouraging individuals, families and institutions to identify risks and take steps toward prevention. Elder law attorney Michael Gilfix recently authored an article entitled “Addressing Financial Elder Abuse: Should the Bar be Lower?” that […]


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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – California law dictates all workers must be paid for overtime, but employers are frequently ignoring the mandate. “We’re seeing an increase in unpaid overtime and wage lawsuits,” reported Sacramento business attorney, Deborah Barron. “Companies in the unethical habit of violating the laws are not paying workers either overtime or their regular salary.” Interestingly enough, bigger companies seem to flout the law most often. A recent case between Walmart and Schneider Logistics ultimately ended in a $21 million settlement. The suit was launched in 2011, and it represented over 1,800 workers at […]


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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 15, 2014 – In May, Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association came before California’s Supreme Court. The resulting ruling will provide guidance to other courts attempting to decide whether individual employee wage actions may remain certified or if they must be certified as class actions. Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association began as a complaint alleging that loan officers working for the bank were misclassified under California Labor Code § 1171 and deserved overtime pay for work they had done. The trial court certified this case as a class action suit according to evidence […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 13, 2014 – It is vitally important to protect assets when planning to marry. Protective measures do not indicate a lack of trust; they give both parties to the contract control over their future finances. “Many engaged couples are uncomfortable signing a prenup, as they feel it is not romantic and indicates a lack of trust between partners. The truth of the matter is, if you take control of your future financial situation now, you will not be faced with any unexpected surprises if the marriage were to break down,” explained Gerald Maggio, an […]


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San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2014 – A recent study released by Software Advice showed an interesting trend. Consumers needing an attorney trust Yelp more than any other website, including traditional lawyer-specific directories. There is more to learn behind any numbers, and Custom Legal Marketing Lab decided to dig a little deeper and produce a report for its CLM Lab. The initial Software Advice study was based on 3,465 participants. Yelp was their most popular and trusted source to search for attorneys, even ranking above named lawyer directories. The study also revealed that “70 percent of prospective […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 1, 2014 – California is the most expensive state in which to file for divorce. According to a new comparison of government data, the divorce filing fees in California can total $435 or more depending on the county — even more than the similarly high $400 fees charged in Florida and Minnesota. According to California divorce attorney and divorce mediator Gerald Maggio, the filing fee is often just the beginning. “The backlog of divorce cases in our family courts makes California divorce even more expensive.” Under California law, domestic violence and restraining order cases […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2014 – With more 8.6 million aging baby boomers in California alone, end-of-life discussions are becoming increasingly important. Families need to make it a priority to speak with loved ones before, not after, a crisis strikes. A 2012 California Healthcare Foundation (CHFC) survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of respondents felt that having an end-of-life discussion with their family was “extremely important” — yet 56 percent of those respondents had not yet communicated those wishes with the person they would want making that decision on their behalf. Only 23 percent had their […]


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