2017 ABA Top 25 Legal Twitter Accounts!

Honored to me included as one of the top 25 legal Twitter accounts to follow in 2017!

Take a look at the American Bar Association’s 2017 ABA Journal 100 Web Best Law 25 Twitter List, blogs and more.

If you’re interested in law, business, social media, livestreaming, community service, technology, life skills, politics and sports, then connect with Mitch on Twitter @mitchjackson

What a Distracted Driving Case Looks Like

Our client is a victim of distracted driving.

In only a second or two, her life was turned upside down after being struck by a distracted driver. It can happen to you too.

She did nothing wrong and is an innocent victim. Here’s what happend.

As she did every night after getting home from work, our client was lawfully walking across the parking lot driveway at her townhouse complex to get the mail. When she started to cross, there were no cars.

Just before making it all the way across the driveway, a vehicle entered the parking area from the main street and approached our client from the left. Our client observed the drivers head looking down (probably at her phone). In the next second or two, our client watched the vehicle approach and strike her as she turned to the side to try and avoid the collision.

The driver testified during her deposition that she never saw our client before the impact. Our client testified during her deposition that the driver never looked up before the impact. I think we all know what happened and why.

Because of the driver’s careless conduct, our client sustained catastrophic injuries including a devastating fracture to her right tibial plateau, an L1 compression fracture to her back, a left knee ligament tear, a left foot 5th MT fracture, a left foot abrasion- eschar with an open wound and right medial heel eschar.

The distracted driver is not accepting responsibility for her negligent actions and we are set for trial in 2018. We are confident an Orange County jury will hold the negligent driver responsible and render a verdict that will help our client pay for all of her medical bills, compensate her for her pain and suffering, and in the end, find justice.

Our client asked us to share her story with you. She wants distracted drivers to know how dangerous their intentional self-centered conduct is. Before being hit, our client was an active and healthy human being who enjoyed life to its fullest. Today, it’s difficult for her to walk, sit and stand without pain.

Several pictures of our client’s injuries are included in this post. They tell the story better than we can.

More Reasons Why We Have a Zero Tolerance with Distracted Drivers

As many of you know, Lisa and I have been practicing law for 30 years. Because of the devastation we’ve personally observed families experience from drunk and distracted driving, we’ve made it our mission to raise awareness and try to fix these two big problems.

Many people are not aware of the fact that distracted driving is a huge public safety issue. Each year 4,000 to 6,000 people are killed, and another 400,000-600,000 people are injured because of distracted driving. To put these numbers into perspective, about 280,000 people are injured each year from drunk driving.

Every single second during daylight hours in the United States, there are 600,000 people driving a vehicle with a mobile device in their hands. Another incredible statistic is that each of these 600,000 distracted drivers who are looking down at their smartphone is spending an average of 3-5 seconds doing so. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s like traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded in a 2-4 ton missile.

The problem of distracted driving is getting worse each day. Look to your left and right the next time you drive to work, drop your kids off at soccer, or are stopped at a red light. Watch social media posts on Instagram, Facebook Live and Periscope. What’s happening is inexcusable and not OK. People are getting hurt and families are losing loved ones. This reckless conduct needs to stop.

Conclusion

Distracted driving hurts innocent victims. It’s killing people every sing day.

Please don’t be a distracted driver. Please don’t look the other way and let others participate in distracted driving.

Help fix this problem and get involved. Share this important message with your family and friends. Visit StopDD.today, EndDD.org and ItCanWait.com for more information and resources.


Please Watch This Video

(click here)

Related Posts:

Why It’s Socially Responsible To “Call Out” Habitual Distracted Drivers

Hands-Free Devices Distract Drivers for 27 Seconds After Use!

I’m Calling “Bullshit” on The Top Three Distracted Driving Excuses!

Live video interview on with EndDD.org founder, Joel Feldman

23+ Legal and Business Livestreaming Tips To Keep You Safe on Social Media!

Earlier today I joined Jennifer Quinn, author of “Leverage Livestreaming To Build Your Brand,” and we engaged in a rapid-fire back and forth covering 23+ legal tips to help livestreamers safely do business on the social media platforms.

Click here or on the image below to watch the video. Enjoy and reach out with any questions!


Get Jennifer’s new book. Click here!

How To Legally Use Other People’s Copyrighted Material

Despite the title, it’s essential for me to start off this post with the same advice I give my clients. It’s as follows:

If you didn’t create the content you want to use, don’t use it without the express written permission of the creator or legal rights holder.

Also let me say, right off the bat, that while I am a California lawyer, I’m not your lawyer. No legal advice is given in this post. What I am doing in this post is sharing a legal concept that you might find useful. Please do us both a favor and use these steps to find and contact a lawyer in your state with any questions.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, there are times when you may be able to legally use someone else’s copyrighted material (pictures, videos, parts of blog posts) without their permission. This happens when your use falls under what is called the Fair Use Doctrine.

Fair Use Doctrine

The Fair Use Doctrine (FUD) is a United States law that allows for the limited use of copyrighted material. Under the FUD, you do not first need to get the permission of the copyright holder before using the content.

The FUD exists to try and balance the interests of the public use of creative works with the legal rights of creators and copyright holders. Several examples of content that falls under the FUD includes (1) news reporting, (2) commentary, (3) teaching, (4) criticism, (5) parody, (6) research, (7) scholarship and (8) search engines.

There is a four-factor test that is used to determine what falls under the FUD. This includes the purpose and character of the use mentioned above. The test also involves whether (1) the use is for commercial purposes or nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The courts also take several other facts into consideration when deciding if the FUD applies to certain content, such as acknowledging the creator’s name in the content use. While the FUD allows you to use copyrighted protected content, this can be a complicated area to navigate. My recommendation is to always check with a lawyer in your state in you are relying on the FUD when sharing someone else’s content. He or she can review your specific intended use and provide you with appropriate legal advice.

I’m sharing the recommendation to consult with a lawyer because, if a claim is brought against you for copyright infringement, it is your burden to prove that your use of the content falls under the FUD. Because claims can take years to litigate, the time and expense to you can be overwhelming, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. This is why you need to be aware of all the above and conduct yourself accordingly.

Conclusion

If you feel the need to use someone else’s copyrighted content, always try to do so only after getting permission from the owner of the content. Although the FUD is here to protect you, what I’ve noticed over the years is that the FUD is a grey area of law that should be avoided when at all possible.

Before dipping your toe into the FUD water, make sure your lawyer has reviewed what you want to use and has told you it’s safe to jump in headfirst.

Sexual Harassment on Social Media and the #MeToo Movement

Over the past three years, I’ve had about a dozen people reach out to me about being sexually harassed relating to their social media businesses and platforms. With more and more brave victims coming out to share their #metoo experience, I thought this post needed to get written.

Social media conference attendees have contacted me about after hours “one on one” business meetings turning into sexual assaults. Two spouses have reached out for help in protecting their rights after finding out their husbands went “Weinstein” at a conference. On the other side of the coin, I’ve also had multiple people reach out who were wrongfully accused of sexual harassment and assault at social media conferences.

While names like Weinstein, Franken, Moore, Trump, Louis C.K., Ratner, and Spacey (just to mention a few), are what most people hear each night on the evening news, I believe we have similar problems in our social media communities. Although I haven’t heard about anyone I know on social media being banned from the local mall, I am seeing some bad dudes doing bad things to women. I have a feeling you have too.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a big deal. I also think it’s a problem for many people doing business on social media. Although the offline laws do not apply in the same way to this online misconduct, I don’t think it’s difficult to notice the similarities in the end result. Because I’ve always thought that conversation is good, I want to start a conversation and encourage more dialog with you about sexual harassment on our social media business platforms.

One more thing. Almost all of the incoming calls I get concerning sexual harassment involve female victims. As such, I’m writing this post with them in mind. Please keep in mind that I understand that anyone can become a victim when it comes to sexual harassment.

Also, please note that while I am a California lawyer, I’m not your lawyer. No legal advice is being given in this post. What I am trying to do is give you something to think about. I want to give you some ideas and tools to be part of the solution and to help fix this problem.

Continue reading “Sexual Harassment on Social Media and the #MeToo Movement”

Legal Tips for Airbnb Hosts

There are more than 150M Airbnb users around the world. They are housed by 640,000 hosts who share opportunities on 4M listings. The company value of Airbnb is around $31B.

Airbnb is a big business and growing more each day. Regardless of whether you’re already a host or thinking about getting started, there are a few things you need to know about liability insurance coverage.

Initial Questions

Understanding that the average income from an Airbnb rental is about $14K/year, you may want to think twice before dipping your toe into the Airbnb sandbox. When weighing the risks of liability exposure with the benefits of generating income, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Several initial questions include:

What will happen if someone is seriously injured on your Airbnb property?

What if a criminal act takes place on your Airbnb property?

The answers to these questions and more are shared below.

What You Need to Know About Host Protection Insurance (HPI)

Airbnb now offers hosts (you) insurance. It wasn’t always that way.

In the United States, you are covered with up to $1M in liability insurance if a guest is injured on your Airbnb property. This may also cover accidental loss to surrounding property (a guest lets the bathtub overflow causing water damage to the wood floors in the apartment below). The HPI is applicable in the US but also applies to a Airbnb properties in several other countries.

What’s Not Covered and Exclusions

Often the Airbnb HPI coverage will not cover losses caused or experienced by people who arrive early or depart late. Your own personal liability insurance will apply, if you have it.

Pro Tip: Check with your insurance provider to make sure your homeowner or umbrella coverage will cover you if the Airbnb does not.

Continue reading “Legal Tips for Airbnb Hosts”