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UCSD ON TRIAL FOR VIOLATING STUDENT'S RIGHTS

August 25th, 2017

We cannot be any happier today for our client, and to have the pleasure of representing him against one of the biggest Universities in the country. We look forward to the trial on this case, which is currently set to begin on September 29, 2017. This morning San Diego Superior Court ruled that our client’s case against Regents of The University of California, San Diego, would be heard by a jury. One step closer to justice for our client against the Universities disgraceful attack on his disabilities. The name of the case is Jazirian v. Regents of the University of California San Diego. SDSC Case#: 2016-00007684.

ADA RIGHTS FOR THE MENTALLY DISABLED

July 20th, 2017

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

It has been quite some time since I have been wanting to write about this topic. As a disability advocate and one who suffers from a disability, I have found it to be my calling to assist people who are in a similar situation.

As a student in college and later law school I did not receive any type of accommodation, despite having been diagnosed with a mental disability in my junior year of college. Simply put, I was ignorant and did not know anything about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or its counterpart the 504 Rehabilitation Act.

Both of these laws are federal laws that were passed by congress to level the playing field for people with disabilities in their use and enjoyments of services that a business offers. In its most broadest sense, they give people who suffer from disabilities whether physical or mental such as, depression, PTSD, and those that are deaf or blind with the right to request reasonable accommodations to allow them to excel in a program or to have the same access to a business establishment.

Every year, about 42.5 million American Adults suffers from some form of mental illness. Yet, it surprises me that as a nation we have yet to recognize a mental disability as one that affects our life on the same footing as that of a physical disability. Unfortunately, the stigma that our society has attached to these types of illnesses has made it very difficult for people suffering from these extremely debilitating illnesses from expressing their feelings and seeking help.

Recently, we have been seeing a trend at major public universities putting policies in place to systematically deny such rights to their students. This type of practice is not only illegal, it could lead to devastating effects for students academically. In a few instances the lack of support has also lead to student suicides.

Remember, under the ADA and the 504 Rehabilitation act you have a FEDERAL RIGHT to seek reasonable accommodations.

I am passionate about the work I do and will make sure that your rights are protected. Don't fight these people alone. let us be your voice.

NINTH CIRCUIT IN FAVOR OF NCAA'S POLICY OF EXCLUDING ANYONE WITH A FELONY CONVICTION FROM COACHING AT NCAA-CERTIFIED YOUTH ATHLETIC TOURNAMENTS

June 29th, 2017

Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the NCAA's policy of excluding anyone with a felony conviction from coaching at NCAA-certified youth athletic tournaments violates Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000a(a). Section 2000a(a) prohibits racial discrimination in places of public accommodation. The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the NCAA and held that even if disparate-impact claims were cognizable under Title II, plaintiff has not shown that an equally effective, less discriminatory alternative to the NCAA's felon-exclusion policy exists, as he must do under the three-step analysis for disparate-impact claims set forth in Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642 (1989). The panel noted that it need not decide whether to endorse or reject disparate-impact liability under Title II.

Hardie proposed two alternatives to the Participant Approval Policy: (1) the NCAA could revert to the pre-2011 version of the policy, which disqualified applicants with violent but not nonviolent felony convictions that were at least seven years old; or (2) the NCAA could conduct individualized assessments of applicants with felony convictions to determine if they would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety of tournament participants. The Court held that Hardie has failed to show that either of his proposed alternatives would be both equally effective compared to, and less discriminatory than, the current policy.

Read more here.

OMID REJALI NAMED TO THE 2017 CALIFORNIA SUPER LAWYERS LIST

January 17th, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Omid Rejali, our managing attorney, has been selected to the 2017 California Super Lawyers Rising Star list. This is en exclusive list, recognizing no more that two and half percent of attorneys in the state.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes:

  • Peer nominations

  • Independent research by Super Lawyers

  • Evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as the California'sSuper Lawyers Digital Magazine.

Please join us in congratulating Omid Rejali on his selection. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to SuperLawyers.com

CAN I APPEAL THE JUDGMENT OR ORDER IN A CIVIL CASE?

October 20th, 2016

We are all human and are bound to make mistakes, this includes trial courts. However, the decision on whether to appeal a decision of the court is not an easy task and the procedural elements associated with filing an appeal if not followed properly can have devastating effects, including dismissal of your appeal. Generally speaking you have 30 days to file a notice of appeal. Keep in mind this is a jurisdictional requirement, meaning if you don't timely file your notice you completely lose your chance of having the court of appeal consider your appeal.

CCP 904.1 codifies the general list of appealable orders and judgments. Generally an appeal may be had from a final judgment thatterminatesthe trial court proceedings bycompletely disposing the matter in controversy.

Appeals are extremely technical and the California Court of Appeals has specific rules that need to be adhered to. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration prior to making a decision on whether or not to file an appeal. Such considerations include the standard of review that the appeals court will use in determining whether the trial court made an error. Broadly speaking there are three standards of review the court uses, they include: abuse of discretion, insufficiency of evidence, and de novo. A de novo review allows the court of appeal to ignore the trial courts ruling and look at the circumstances with a fresh set of eyes. Whereas in an insufficiency of evidence or abuse of discretion review the appellant would have to point to specific parts of the record and explain why the trial courts ruling was made in error.

Bottom line, appeals are extremely time consuming, costly, and technical that's consulting with an appeals lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of appeals is a must for any party considering appealing a decision.

COURT OF APPEAL SOLIDIFIES IMPORTANCE OF PSYCHOTHERAPIST-PATIENT PRIVILEGE

April 1st, 2016

In Kirchmeyer v. Phillips, the California Court of Appeal for the third district once again solidified the importance of the psychotherapist-patient privilege against an unwarranted investigatory subpoena for production of patient’s records.

Kimberly Kirchmeyer, as Executive Director of the Medical Board of California (the Medical Board), launched an investigation of Geoffrey Phillips, M.D., a licensed psychiatrist, based on a complaint that Phillips had carried on a sexual relationship with a patient. As part of the investigation, an investigatory subpoena duces tecum for the production of specified medical records of the patient was served on Phillips. After both he and the patient objected to the subpoena duces tecum, and he failed to produce the medical records, the Kirchmeyer filed a petition to compel their production. The trial court denied the petition and dismissed it. The Kirchmeyer appealed that dismissal.

After review, the Court of Appeal concluded the trial court did not err and affirmed: "The medical records sought by the investigatory subpoena duces tecum were protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege of Evidence Code section 1014. Because the psychotherapist-patient privilege is grounded in the patient’s constitutional right of privacy, the Director had to show a compelling interest justifying production of the medical records sought. The Director failed to show a compelling interest and has not established that an exception to the psychotherapist-patient privilege applied to the medial records sought by the investigatory subpoena duces tecum."

The case is a great example of how each and every day agencies try to pry into our lives for different reasons. There are many different privileges that exists whether in the criminal setting or in the civil arena some of which include: spousal testimonial privilege, attorney-client privilege and clergy-penitent privilege. Each of these privileges exist to protect us from agencies, organizations or the government from intruding into our lives or for example in case of the spusal testimonial privilege preserve the harmony of the marriage by preventing the prosecution from forcing a spouse to testify against her accused husband.

If you have been injured having a firm with a track record of success is crucial contact the Rejali Law Firm for your case evaluation.

REJALI LAW FIRM, APLC FILES SUIT AGAINST UCSD

March 8th, 2016

Rejali Law Firm, APLC has filed suit against Regents of the University of California San Diego (“University”) in San Diego Superior Court. The Lawsuit alleges that the University through its employees, agents and associates has violated California’s discriminatory laws, has allegedly committed promissory fraud and negligence against its client.

The parties are expected to make their first appearance in court on August 19th, 2016.

CA SUPREME COURT CONCLUDES SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HAD DUTY TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

January 26th, 2016

On November 30th, 2015 in the case of B.H. v. County of San Bernardino (2015) The California Supreme Court affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the decision of the Court of Appeal. Plaintiff sued the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and a deputy sheriff for not reporting child abuse allegations to the child welfare agency, in violation of the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA; Penal Code section 11164 et seq.). The trial court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding there was no duty to cross-report, and defendants were immune from liability. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling. The Supreme Court concluded that the Sheriff's Department had a mandatory and ministrial duty to cross-report the child abuse allegation made to the 911 operator to the child welfare agency, and the failure to cross-report can support the finding of a breach of a mandatory duty (Penal Code section 11166(k)Government Code section 815.6.). The individual officer, however, had no duty to report the child abuse allegations and her investigative findings to the child welfare agency. (Penal Code section 11166(a).)

NSA'S COLLECTION OF AMERICANS' PHONE RECORDS VIOLATES PATRIOT ACT

January 13th, 2016

On May 7th, 2015, a three judge panel for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the first appellate court to rule on the legality of a government surveillance program, put in place in the interests of national security.

The claims in A.C.L.U. v Clapper, brought after the surveillance was revealed by Edward Snowden 2013, raised statutory and constitutional challenges to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) “telephone metadata program.” Under this program, the NSA collects metadata associated with telephone calls made by Americans, and aggregates it into a data bank where it can be searched. This data is created by telephone companies in their normal course of business, but under the program companies are explicitly required to give that information to the government on an ongoing basis.

The government went into significant detail about metadata, and pointed out this type of data does not include voice content of telephone conversations, rather it includes details of calls including length of call, phone number called, phone number from which the call was made, etc. The government maintained that the information does not include identities or names of individuals. Appellants and amici countered with evidence from a recent study that showed metadata can reveal a surprising amount of private information such as political or religious affiliations, social status, or whether a person is involved in an intimate relationship.

After a thorough discussion of the history of intelligence gathering in the United States and efforts of counter-terrorism, the Court concluded the language of the Patriot Act, specifically §215, could not be construed to authorize the telephone metadata program.

What makes this case particularly interesting is the fact that the issues decided could soon become moot. Section 215 is set to expire on June 1st of this year, meaning Congress will have an opportunity to change its terms, or simply choose not to reauthorize it. The Court did not reach constitutional arguments, as events in the near future could significantly alter the issues. Ultimately, government interests in protecting our nation’s security will most certainly continue to clash with privacy interests of citizens.

Author: Marissa Bartolucci

CALIFORNIA: SHAREHOLDER LIABILITY UNDER THE "ALTER-EGO" DOCTRINE

December 17th, 2015

Ordinarily, shareholders are not personally responsible for corporate liabilities. However, if a corporation has been operated as the “alter ego” of its shareholders, the corporation’s creditors-including torts claimants- may be permitted to “pierce the corporate veil” and enforce their claims directly against the shareholders. (Similarly, an action may lie on an “alter ego” theory against the corporate parent of a wrongdoing subsidiary.) Two requirements must be established prior to considering whether the “alter-ego” liability may be appropriate.

Unity of interest: It must appear that the corporation was influenced and governed by the persons sought to be held liable for its conduct; and there must be such “unity of interest” and ownership that the individuality or separateness of the corporation has ceased to exist (or never existed in the first place).

Alter ego liability necessary to avoid inequitable result: Also, the facts of the case must be such that adherence to the “fiction” of the corporation’s “separate existence” would sanction a fraud or promote injustice. Since the doctrine of “alter ego” has been designed to prevent what would be fraud or injustice, if accomplished, “bad faith in one form or another” is sufficient to justify a court’s disregarding the corporate entity.

Should the Court decide that “alter ego” liability is established, it would mean that the corporation’s shareholders are effectively treated as “partners” of the corporation and, therefore, held jointly and severally liable for the corporation’s obligations. This is so regardless of the defendant shareholder’s percentage ownership.

Application to Personal Injury Claims: The focus in the personal injury context is on whether it would be an abuse of corporate privilege to allow the principles to escape liability for wrongs committed by the corporation.

For example in Minton v. Cavaney (1961) 56 Cal.2d. 576, plaintiffs obtained a $10,000.00 wrongful death judgment against the corporation that operated a public swimming pool in which their daughter drowned. When the judgment proved uncollectible because the corporation had no assets or insurance, plaintiffs sued Attorney, a director of the corporation, as its “alter ego.” Evidence supporting alter-ego liability included: the corporation’s “trifling” capital (it had leased the pool); it never issued stock; Attorney was also its secretary and treasurer; and attorney let it use the office to receive mail. Since Attorney allowed the corporation to engage in business without adequate insurance or capital, letting him escape personal responsibility for injuries caused by the business would be an abuse of corporate privilege.

If you or a loved one has been injured contact the Rejali Law Firm for your obligation FREE and Confidential consultation. Attorney Omid Rejali and his team live to protect their clients interests and rights against big corporations.

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