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HOWARD LAW, P.C.

Pacific Arts Plaza
675 Anton Boulevard, First Floor
Costa Mesa, California 92626

Tel: (800) 872-5925
Fax: (888) 533-7310

 

 

Every year, when Thanksgiving leads the way to December’s great holiday cheer—it is time to celebrate the season with friends and family, and to reflect and be thankful for life’s many blessings.  The holiday season can also be a time where common questions and concerns are raised by our clients—in understanding their legal rights during the holidays. 

 

The topic of holiday pay can often be confusing, and at Howard Law, we have experienced California labor and employment law attorneys that help countless clients solve their various employment law matters—especially during the holiday season, when people should be celebrating and not fretting about compensation. 

 

Another important topic of concern during the holidays that our Howard Law attorneys often discuss with clients, involves the consequences of excessive celebrating and partying—which can lead to a charge commonly known as a DUI, or Driving Under the Influence.  An arrest for a drunk driving charge can trigger attorney involvement, costly fees and a suspension of your driver’s license, and is no way to spend the festive holiday season.

 

In this Howard Law December 2011 newsletter, our dedicated Costa Mesa, California attorneys discuss these concerns in detail, in order to clarify these holiday questions, and shed light on timely legal issues. At Howard law firm, we want to help our clients celebrate the holiday spirit with peace of mind and hearty cheer!

 

                                                                                                                                   Sincerely,

 

                                                                                                                                         VINCENT D. HOWARD    

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                         HOWARD LAW, P.C.

 

 

 

HOWARD LAW PRACTICE AREAS

 

 

Howard Law Labor and Employment Tips

Understanding Holiday Pay

 

 

A common worry voiced by our clients during the holiday season is the topic of holiday pay.  Many people are under the assumption that their employer is obligated to pay them either extra pay or double time for working during the holidays. Some people are upset that their employer is even making them work the holiday at all, and wonder if the practice is legal. 

 

Here is your friendly Howard Law employment tip for the season:

 

Under California labor and employment law, the hours that you work on holidays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week. This includes Saturdays and Sundays. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), California law does not require that your employer provide you with paid holidays. In fact, California law does not even require that your employer close its business on any holidays, or that employees are given the day off for any particular holiday.

 

If you are one of the many lucky employees that work for a business that closes its operations on holidays and gives its employees time off from jobs with pay (like our Howard Law employees), such a circumstance exists pursuant to a policy or practice adopted by the employer, pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or pursuant to the terms of an employment agreement between the employer and employee—because nothing in the law mandates such a practice.

 

Moreover, there is nothing in the law that requires an employer to compensate an employee with a special premium payment for work performed on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, other than the overtime premium required for work performed beyond eight hours in a workday, or forty hours in a week of work.  It is always important to review your company policy in regard to holiday pay, so there are no surprises when it comes to working during the holiday season.

 

If you had a written or verbal agreement with your employer that you would receive a certain amount of paid holidays, and you were not paid for a holiday as you were promised, you may be able to seek the payment.  Our firm at Howard Law is comprised of skilled labor and employment law attorneys and professionals who are well versed in both California and federal labor and employment laws, and can help clients solve workplace legal matters at any time, and especially when concerns arise about the holiday season.

 


 

 

   

      "Legal Help You Need, When You Need it!

 

 

 

Howard Law Answers Your Legal Questions

Steering Clear of DUI’s During the Holidays

 

 

Another common question that our Howard Law attorneys and professionals hear from clients during the holiday season is what happens when a poor decision can lead to a possible DUI—an event that can quickly put a damper on any holiday spirit. 

 

The holidays are a time to relax and have fun celebrating with our family and friends, and drunk driving is not a way to spend them.  Drinking and driving risks your own life and the lives of other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians.  Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated also violates Vehicle Code Section 23152 (Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs)—commonly known as a DUI.  As Vincent Howard stated in his introduction, an arrest for this charge can lead to attorney involvement, expensive fees and having your driver’s license suspended.

 

During the holidays, local California Highway Patrol officers usually see an increase in DUI arrests.  During this year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend alone, CHP officers, with stations in Lake Arrowhead, Needles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Victorville, made 171 arrests—a 16 percent increase from 2010.

 

CHP officers, who patrol from Fontana to the Los Angeles County line, also reported that they arrested 37 impaired drivers in their area, a 37 percent increase from the previous year. Luckily in that patrol area, there were no vehicle deaths or serious collisions during the holiday period. CHP Officer Jeff Briggs from the Rancho Cucamonga station reported, “we do [DUI enforcements] at various times of the year.”  He added that because of the holidays, “we get more travelers on the road, and there is higher potential for serious injury or traffic collisions; [t]hat’s why we step up the enforcement.”

 

If you are stopped for a DUI, an important thing to know is that you are not required to submit to a breathalyzer test when pulled over, and performing a field sobriety test on-sight is not mandatory.   Our Howard Law attorneys recommend opting to go into the station—where you can do either a blood test or breathalyzer test in-office, giving more accurate and documented evidence for your case.

 

Once you are arrested for a DUI, the officer is required by law to immediately forward a copy of a completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, along with a sworn report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  The DMV then automatically conducts an administrative review that includes an examination of the officer’s report, the suspension or revocation order, and any test results. If the suspension or revocation is upheld during the administrative review, you may request a hearing to contest the suspension or revocation.

 

According to Vincent Howard, you have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. If the review shows there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside. You will be notified by the DMV in writing only if the suspension or revocation is set aside following the administrative review.

 

During this season of holiday parties, toasting, and end-of-year merriment, our Costa Mesa, California attorneys continually remind our clients to remember the many options available before getting behind the wheel after drinking.  Plan ahead and have a designated driver available to drive you home if you have consumed alcoholic beverages, or take a cab—in order to avoid the devastating effects associated with drinking and driving. 

 

 

 

 

Practice Area of the Month

Products Liability Law

 

At Howard Law, our Orange County products liability legal team works with the nation’s top attorneys to hold manufacturers, designers, and sellers liable for the serious injuries sustained by consumers as a direct result of their dangerous and defective products.  Our mass tort and pharmaceutical litigation attorneys feel strongly that these companies have a responsibility to the general public to create and produce products that are safe—instead of causing injuries, suffering, or even death. 

 

Products liability is an alarming legal issue that harms consumers throughout the country, when prescription drugs, along with other defective medical devices, are rushed onto the market by large companies before adequate testing is conducted—sacrificing safe practices in order to focus on profits.  Unfortunately these products can harm hundreds or even thousands of victims across the nation in a relatively short period of time, causing far reaching consequences before the products are withdrawn or recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the responsible company.

 

Our attorneys at Howard Law have represented clients in several complex litigations and in numerous mass torts in states across the country, and can help guide consumers through this intricate legal process.  We form a dynamic national partnership with other highly experienced counsel in order to gain the legal result that our clients deserve, and to protect consumers by ensuring that large companies put an end to these dangerous practices.  Our goal is to promote higher consumer product safety standards by holding these companies accountable in a court of law.

 

Our mass tort and pharmaceutical litigation attorneys believe that these companies have a responsibility to the consumers of this country to produce safe products, and should do better.”

 

Our Riverside product liability lawyers have been closely following the FDA’s recent warning advisories announced for two products on the market, Transvaginal mesh and the prescription drug Actos, due to an increase of reported consumer health complications.  Our attorneys have a comprehensive legal understanding of the serious complications that occur with both vaginal mesh and Actos, as we represent clients who have suffered from the very health issues related to the products.

 

Transvaginal mesh, also called a vaginal sling, is a surgically inserted medical device often prescribed to help restore the normal vaginal structure needed to support a woman's vaginal tissue and pelvic organs, often after patients experience a weakened internal structure, or pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

 

Many patients have experienced a number of serious complications related to the surgical mesh implantations, including urinary problems, pain, infection, blood vessel perforation, pelvic hemorrhage, and erosion through the vaginal tissue.  A large number of patients have required additional surgery to remove the mesh, after experiencing these serious health problems.

 

According to the FDA, in 2008 over 1,000 reports of consumer complications were linked to the transvaginal mesh medical device.  Following a surge in reported vaginal mesh implant complications, the July 2011 FDA warning stated that there is little evidence to support that the transvaginal mesh improves POP, and that patients continue to be exposed to a number of serious risks.

 

Actos, a brand name medication for the drug Pioglitazone, is frequently prescribed in combination with a diet and exercise program, in order to treat Type II Diabetes—a health condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin and cannot properly regulate the blood sugar levels.  Actos works by increasing the body’s susceptibility to insulin, which helps control the blood sugar levels. Actos was listed in 2008 as one of the top-selling drugs on the market, with over $2.4 billion in sales.

 

In a June 2011 warning advisory, the FDA announced that the use of Pioglitazone for more than a year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, and that the FDA would add this to the Warnings and Precautions label for Pioglitazone-containing drugs.  In Europe, the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products then ordered an Actos recall, and the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devises advised physicians not to prescribe the diabetes drug until there was further medication review.  Numerous other health warnings came from the FDA’s Advisory Committee in 2007, including a warning that Actos can cause or exacerbate congestive heart failure in patients.

 

Howard Law continues to fight for the rights of consumers who have experienced serious complications as a result of these products in California and throughout the country.  If you or someone in your family has suffered serious harm, injury or death due to a transvaginal mesh implant or from taking Actos or other drugs containing Pioglitazone, contact Howard Law today to discuss your case—as you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation. 

 

 

HOWARD LAW

Staff Spotlight

 

 

Diane Davis

 

This month’s Howard Law attorney spotlight shines on Diane Davis, Howard Law’s Office Manager and Paralegal.

 

Diane Davis joined Howard Law, PC in 2008 after nearly 28 years in the banking and legal industry.  Her interest in law stems from a desire to resolve conflict, as well as the significant contribution that law makes in our society.

 

Since joining Howard Law, Diane has worked closely with the attorneys to develop the predatory lending practice area, in order to help numerous California homeowners avoid foreclosure by securing a mortgage payment they can afford.  Diane was promoted to office manager shortly after her arrival—proving to be a valuable team member in the expert management of the Howard Law firm.

Currently, Diane manages the business affairs of the office, including marketing prospects and the staffing needs of the company. Diane provides support to the professional organizations of the firm's attorneys and also takes part in the annual fundraiser for the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, OCTLA.

 

Diane graduated from a local college with honors and holds degrees in Real Estate and Accounting. She has been a licensed California Real Estate Salesperson since 1993. She obtained her certificate as a paralegal from Kensington College in Santa Ana, where she has since returned as the featured career development speaker in order to motivate and inspire future graduates in the legal field.

 

A lifelong resident of California, Diane currently resides in Laguna Hills. She enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends. Diane’s many interests include architectural design, property management, Angel baseball, reading, and her two pets: a dog and a cat.

 

 

 

HOWARD LAW

Attorney Profiles

 

Vincent D. Howard

Partner

 

Anikó M. Rushakoff

 

Gregory H.D. Alumit

 

Joseph Weiner

 

Bryan L. Ngo

 

HOWARD LAW

Staff Profiles

 

Diane Davis

Office Manager | Paralegal

 

Gina Taylor

Intake Supervisor | Paralegal

 

Sue Norling

Bookkeeper

 

Rachel Ayers

Legal Secretary

 

James Rapp

Legal Counsel Recruiter

 

Cami Troge

Senior Paralegal

 

Jeunie Magno

Paralegal

 

Pooja Patel

Paralegal

 

Jessica Baker

Legal Assistant

 

Gigi Brar

Legal Assistant

 

“Howard Law is dedicated to saving homes and keeping

our clients and families together.”

 

 

Howard Law Gets Loan Modification Results

 

Howard Law firm is known for being a champion of homeowners’ rights in Orange County and throughout the state of California, representing homeowners who have been victims of predatory mortgage lending practices and wrongful foreclosure.

 

Howard Law has saved hundreds of homes from the brink foreclosure since the start of the mortgage meltdown, and our firm continues to help California homeowners get results within the home loan modification industry—which can lead to smaller monthly mortgage payments by permanently lowering the interest rate on home mortgages, and in certain circumstances even lowering the principal amount owed. 

 

“Our attorneys and professionals have been effectively representing Homeowners since the beginning of the housing market crash, and as a result, many families have avoided foreclosure.”

 

Unfortunately, when many homeowners attempt to get loan modifications, they are either ignored by their lenders, or duped by loan modification companies who take their money and deliver unfavorable results.  Howard Law is committed to finding California homeowners the best loan modification possible, through our fierce negotiating efforts, or by filing lawsuits against lenders who are not following California law in regard to foreclosure and loan modification procedures.

 

Our team of attorneys and professionals helps clients save their homes from foreclosure by finding affordable mortgage payments through our loan modification program.  At Howard Law firm, we continue to fight against predatory lending on a daily basis and make it our mission to find you the right loan modification—to save families’ homes and to save California homeowners money. 

 

 

Take a look at recent savings that our

Orange County loan modification attorneys

obtained for our clients:

 

 

 

Howard Law in the News

 

The Howard Law firm continues to participate in a number of distinguished legal associations and charitable organizations throughout Orange County, California.  Here are a few of our recent Howard Law firm activities:

 

  • Vincent Howard will be sworn in as the 3rd Vice President for the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA) on January 14, 2012 at the 49th Annual Installation of Officers & Directors and Judicial Awards Program, whereupon Mr. Howard’s current duties as OCTLA Secretary will come to a close.
  • Last month, Vincent Howard attended the 50th Annual Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Convention in San Francisco, California, with featured speaker Chief Justice of California, Tani Cantil-Sakauye.  Mr. Howard was sworn in for the CAOC 2011-2012 Board of Governors, and Howard Law donated to the Pink & Red fundraising bash to benefit breast cancer and heart research.
  • Vincent Howard also attended the annual OCTLA Top Gun Awards Dinner in November, to honor the top plaintiff trail attorneys in Orange County, California and to raise money for two Orange County charities: United Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome Association of Orange County—whose mission is to help children achieve their fullest potential and to serve their families’ needs.  The OCTLA awards dinner raised over $80,000 to benefit both charities, and Rex Huddler, game announcer and former Angel’s player, was the guest speaker.
  • Howard Law attorneys Vincent Howard, Anikó M. Rushakoff, and Gregory Alumit recently participated in the OCTLA Bench & Golf Tournament, representing the Howard Law firm on the golf course in full swing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this Newsletter is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.  No recipients of content from this Newsletter, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the letter without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state.  The content of this Newsletter contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements.  The Firm ("Howard Law") expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this Website.  Results of prior successes do not guarantee a similar outcome.  The result any one individual client obtains is unique to their specific facts and circumstances regarding their case.  This Newsletter is a public resource of general information concerning our firm.  It is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, and up-to-date.