“I’m so confused!  The woman at the bank said I have to keep this account here.  The guy at the insurance company said I should really do this.  And my friend said she didn’t do any of this.  I don’t know what to do!” The above is a general excerpt of conversations I have with Executors all the time.  The first few months of handling an estate can be tough.  You have just lost someone…
On October 15, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a $16 million settlement with Anthem, Inc. over alleged violations of federal privacy and security regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  The settlement resolves an investigation following a data breach that exposed protected health information of nearly 79 million people.  According to OCR, the incident is the largest health data breach to date…
We’ve noticed a pattern recently. It is often that I receive a call from a client or a relative of a client the day someone dies asking what they need to do. A person bereft with emotion, overwhelmed, and sometimes in a state of shock just trying to make sense of everything coming at them at once. My advice is always the same: Take a deep breath and take a moment to grieve. We’ll walk…
The Washington Supreme Court has found the death penalty to be unconstitutional because it violates the state constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 14, which states, “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted.” State v. Gregory From the opinion in State v. Gregory, No. 88086-7 (Wash. Oct. 11, 2018): “The death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner. While this particular case…
When I started law school it felt like the professors were speaking a different language.  And in a way, they were.  The legal profession uses so many terms that have very particular meanings, that even though lawyers tend to be very well spoken, it can be hard to understand what we are saying. A word can mean so many different things in different contexts.  Take the word harbor for example.  As a noun it is…
Stationhouse Adjustments in NJ Juvenile Cases Juveniles are treated differently in the criminal justice system in New Jersey, and rightfully so. Children generally do not need the harsh treatment that adults receive through the criminal justice system. Instead, taking steps to focus on rehabilitation is much more critical for minors suspected of committing criminal offenses. When a juvenile is taken into custody for doing something that would otherwise be a crime if an adult was…
On Friday, October 12, 2018, during remarks at the NYU School of Law Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement Conference on Achieving Effective Compliance, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Department of Justice announced new guidance, issued on October 11, relating to the imposition and selection of corporate compliance monitors in Criminal Division matters. Acknowledging the significant burden that monitors place on corporations, Benczkowski announced that the new guidance is intended to ensure…
Posted on Oct 16, 2018 in Criminal Defense Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice last Monday following a highly publicized confirmation hearing. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault  by three women. On October 6, the Supreme Court voted 50-48 in favor of confirming Kavanaugh. At the swearing-in ceremony President Trump had this to say: “What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. [In]…
The 11th National Estate Planning Week is upon us! Instead of focusing solely on estate planning, I’ll be focusing on what happens after the estate planning or the lack thereof, more specifically, the probate process. This is not meant to be a how to on the probate process or a substitute for consulting with a qualified attorney that focuses on estate administration. It is more of a primer or reference guide for those executors or…
Last month, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales effectively shut down the operation of the UN-operated International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (called by its Spanish initials, “CICIG”) by declining to renew its mandate past its September 2019 expiration date and by barring the head of CICIG, Iván Velásquez, from re-entering the country.  CICIG, a uniquely independent organ of the United Nations (“U.N.”), was created in 2007 to support and assist Guatemalan institutions in identifying, investigating, and…