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Arizona Legal News

Keep Politics Out of Court—Vote No on 115

Jonathan V. O'Steen
October 23, 2015

Although the presidential and congressional elections garner most of the media coverage, there are several Arizona ballot propositions that deserve your attention.  One such initiative is Proposition 115.

Proposition 115 threatens to destroy the independence of our courts and inject politics into the selection of our judges.  I strongly urge that you reject it.

Lawsuit Filed Against L.A. Fitness Alleging Fraudulent Sales Practices

Jonathan V. O'Steen
April 27, 2012

A Tempe, Arizona man has filed a lawsuit against L.A. Fitness health clubs alleging he was fraudulently induced to sign a contract for personal training services at the company’s Tempe, Arizona facility.

Benjamin Calleros, a student at Scottsdale Community College, filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging that he was offered a free fitness assessment when he joined L.A. Fitness as a club member.

Dealers Can Hide Some Damage Repairs to New Cars

James R. Harrison
March 9, 2012

New car sales are on the rise. This upswing in the market follows several years of flat or declining sales. If you are considering a new car purchase, you should know about an Arizona law that gives you limited protection against a dealer practice that is more common than you might have thought.

Used Car Caveat: Do Not Get Stuck With One Previously Damaged in an Accident

James R. Harrison
March 8, 2012 

Most dealers who sell used cars in Arizona sell them “as is.” This means the seller provides no warranty or guarantee on the car. The printed form contracts used by these dealers generally contain a provision saying the car is sold “as is – not expressly warranted or guaranteed.”

Campaign Ads Bend the Truth, Not the Law

Van O'Steen
March 6, 2012

My law firm practices personal injury law, so most of my writing pertains to car accidents, traffic laws, insurance matters, dangerous products that injure consumers and other related matters. This timely piece, however, concerns something that is arguably even more important.

Like most citizens, I want integrity in government. Our elected and appointed officials should be intelligent, competent, energetic and committed to serving the public interest. Occasionally, we get people like this.

Trusts Avert Too-Much Too-Soon Problems

James R. Harrison
February 28, 2012

James Howell once quipped that “a fool and his money are soon parted.” The same can be said for many young people with too much money. A certain level of maturity is required to appreciate the importance of financial management and spending restraint. It is in no one’s interest, for example, that an 18 year old inherit enough money to buy a high-powered sports car with the potential for causing a serious accident resulting in injuries or death.

Protection Fund an Option for Wronged Clients, But not for Malpractice

Van O'Steen
February 27, 2012

Most professionals carry insurance to protect against claims arising from their negligence. Lawyers are no exception. If you have a valid claim for legal malpractice, you generally can look to the lawyer’s insurance carrier to pay it, just as you would turn to a physician’s medical malpractice insurance carrier if you were harmed by a preventable medical error.

Occasionally, however, a lawyer’s misconduct is not covered by his or her malpractice insurance. Generally, claims for theft, embezzlement and other acts of dishonesty are not covered by insurance. Although you still may sue the lawyer without insurance coverage, clients have an additional remedy under these circumstances.

Protection for Your Child: Free Tool from the FBI

James R. Harrison
February 11, 2012

Most of our news stories deal with protection against car accident injuries and deaths, avoidance of dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, public policy discussions of medical malpractice and so-called "tort reform," and other matters related to personal injury and the civil justice system.

This piece is somewhat different. I recently learned of an important tool from the FBI that protects children who are abducted or temporarily separated from their parents. Every parent of a minor child should be aware of this free service.

Stand Up for Our Judges

Trial Magazine
June 2005

Judges are under siege. Federal judges are bearing the brunt of the attack, but state judges are suffering harmful collateral damage.

In Defense of So-Called Greedy Trial Lawyers

The Houston Chronicle
October 27, 2002

Lawyer bashing costs us all. The consequence of focusing on lawyers instead of issues, and placing blame on one party to a system that we all need, is to deny us the meaningful debate that is necessary to elect competent public officials.

More importantly, lawyer bashing often results in the deterioration of rights so many of us often need. Next time a politician starts criticizing trial lawyers, ask what is proposed as an alternative.

The Surprising Truth About Medical Malpractice

Trial Magazine
April 2002

Skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance premiums. Doctors abandoning their practices. The insurance industry wants the public to think these trends are the result of "frivolous" lawsuits and "out-of-control" juries, and medical providers are only too happy to agree. But what's the real story?

McDonald's Coffee Lawsuit

Andrea Gerlin
The Wall Street Journal
September 1, 1994

When a law firm here found itself defending McDonald's Corp. in a suit last year that claimed the company served dangerously hot coffee, it hired a law student to take temperatures at other local restaurants for comparison.

After dutifully slipping a thermometer into steaming cups and mugs all over the city, Danny Jarrett found that none came closer than about 20 degrees to the temperature at whcih McDonald's coffee is poured, about 180 degrees.