July 2022

Taco Bell worker hurls boiling water at customer

New video allegedly shows a Dallas, Texas, Taco Bell employee hurling boiling water at a woman and girl who have since filed a lawsuit claiming they were attacked after asking for their incorrect order to be remade.

The footage, released by attorneys for Brittany Davis and her 16-year-old niece, identified in court papers as CT, captures a fast food worker filling up a clear pitcher with what appears to be steaming water while talking on the phone.

In a different camera angle, the employee can be seen throwing the liquid at the woman and girl standing on the other side of the counter, the Dallas Morning News reported. The two are seen running away after the liquid is flung at them.

The video stems from an alleged June 17 incident. Davis and her niece say they were at the Taco Bell drive-thru but decided to go inside the fast food joint to correct their order after employees got it wrong three times, according to the lawsuit.

The two claim a staffer then threw boiling water on them, leaving them severely injured, according to the suit, filed July 13. They are asking for more than $1 million in damages from defendants Yum! Brands (Taco Bell’s parent company), local franchisee North Texas Bells and two unnamed employees.

Taco Bell staff.
A worker is seen filling up a clear pitcher with what appears to be steaming water while talking on the phone.
Brittany Davis and her 16-year-old niece were reportedly asked for their incorrect order to be remade.

The pair’s attorneys, Ben Crump and Paul Grinke, on Friday released the 2 1/2-minute video, which shows 12 camera angles inside the store.

One part of the footage shows an employee hiding what the attorneys alleged was a gun under his shirt while the liquid

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California Bar wants to get ‘proactive’ in attorney discipline cases

The California flag flies above City Hall in Santa Monica, California February 6, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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  • Officials plan to do more than just respond to complaints
  • Reforms part of a wider effort to improve under-fire discipline process

(Reuters) – Leaders of the State Bar of California said Monday that they have implemented changes to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, which investigates and prosecutes attorneys disciplinary matters, with more reforms on the way.

Those efforts include increasing staff, including the addition of a full-time administrator and a forensic auditor, and increasing pay for outside lawyers hired to investigate attorney complaints.

The office is also rolling out new ways to proactively identify potential lawyer misconduct instead of relying solely on complaints, officials added at a press conference highlighting the changes.

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The bar will seek to identify attorney misconduct risk factors, then provide support for lawyers before they get into trouble, said state bar executive director Leah Wilson.

“This move into proactive regulation is new for the bar,” she said. But she and other bar leaders acknowledged that it will take more than minor changes to rebuild public trust in their organization.

Each state is responsible for regulating lawyer conduct. California has the second-largest population of lawyers behind New York, and its disciplinary system has been set by years of critical audits and high-profile scandals, in particular surrounding the downfall of prominent plaintiffs’ lawyer Tom Girardi.

Girardi, who is accused by a rival law firm of using settlement funds meant for the families of victims of the 2018 Lion Air crash to fund a lavish lifestyle, was the subject of numerous complaints over the past four decades, but the bar allowed him to keep

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Health insurance provider directories often have errors; what to do, a health consumer guide

If you have medical insurance, chances are you’ve become exasperated at some point trying to find an available doctor or mental health practitioner in your health plan’s network.

You find multiple providers in your plan’s directory, and you call them. All of them. But the number is wrong. Or the doctor has moved or retired or isn’t accepting new patients. Or the next available appointment is three months away. Or the provider isn’t actually in your network.

Despite state and federal regulations that require more accurate health plan directories, they still can contain errors and often are outdated.

Flawed directories not only impede our ability to get care. They also signal that health insurers aren’t meeting requirements to provide timely care — even if they tell regulators they are.

Worse, patients who rely on erroneous directory information can face inflated bills from doctors or hospitals that turn out to be outside their network.

In 2016, California implemented a law to regulate the accuracy of provider directories. The state was trying to address long-standing problems, illustrated by an embarrassing debacle in 2014, when Covered California, the insurance marketplace the state formed after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, was forced to pull its error-riddled directory within its first year.

Also in 2016, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services demanded more accurate directories for Medicare Advantage health plans and policies sold through the federal ACA marketplace. The federal No Surprises Actwhich took effect this year, extends similar rules to employer-based and individual health plans.

The No Surprises Act stipulates that patients who rely on information in their provider directories and end up unwittingly seeing doctors outside their networks cannot be required to pay more than they would have paid for an in-network provider.

Unfortunately, inaccurate directories continue to

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Pence’s Ex-Chief of Staff and White House Lawyer Testified to Jan. 6 Grand Jury

Multiple news reports revealed Monday that two top aids to former Vice President Mike Pence recently were subpoenaed and appeared before the federal grand jury probing the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Marc Short, who served as Pence’s chief of staff, “was caught by an ABC News camera departing DC District Court on Friday alongside his attorney, Emmet Flood,” the outlet reportedsharing a still from the footage and citing sources familiar with the matter.

While spokespeople for Short and the US attorney’s office declined to comment, sources also confirmed his appearance to short-pence-jan-6.html”The New York Times and department-questions-top-pence-aides-over-trump-bid-to-overturn-election-11658783628?st=ftbgmoyxg2ur50m&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink”The Wall Street Journal.

Journalists and others noted that Short is now the highest-ranking official from former President Donald Trump’s administration known to have cooperated with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation.

“This is movement in the right direction. Because #JusticeMatterstweeted Glenn Kirschner, an MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst, about Short’s testimony, which reportedly lasted two to three hours.

Noah Bookbinder, president of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said that “we don’t totally know what this means, but it’s clearly good news for accountability.”

In a series of tweets, Just Security‘s Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Department special counsel, laid out the potential significance of Short cooperating with the probe.

“Most importantly, Marc Short has significant testimony he could give that implicates Trump. Also importantly, he can give testimony that significantly implicates Mark Meadows,” Goodman said, referencing the former president’s White House chief of staff.

Greg Jacob, Pence’s top White House attorney, also recently appeared before the grand jury under subpoena, according to the Journal.

The newspaper noted that the DOJ recently added prosecutors and resources to the probe and suggested

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Judge disqualifies Fulton County district attorney from targeting Georgia lieutenant governor nominee in election probe

A judge in Fulton County, Georgia, has granted a motion by a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis from targeting him in her criminal probe into former President Donald Trump and allies’ efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney on Monday barred Willis from building a case against Burt Jones, a state senator running for lieutenant governor, after she hosted a fundraiser backing Democratic candidate Charlie Bailey in his runoff against another Democratic challenger who ultimately lost, Kwanza Hall.

McBurney said Willis’ taking part in the fundraiser was “harmful” to the integrity of the investigation.

“Any decision the district attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is inevitably infected by it,” the judge wrote, adding that any effort to focus specifically on Jones, even if it were justified, would prompt “entirely reasonable concerns of politically motivated persecution.”

Willis’ interest in Jones stems from some state Republicans’ efforts after the 2020 election to create an alternate slate of 16 presidential electors even after an official vote count showed Trump had lost by thousands of votes. Jones is one of the “fake electors” named as targets in the investigation.

McBurney said an additional decision by Willis to donate privately to Bailey’s campaign was not disqualifying in itself, as Jones’ counsel had argued, but he said the move “added to the weight of the conflict created by the more extensive, direct, public and job -related campaign work the district attorney performed on behalf of candidate Bailey.”

Georgia Lt.  Gov.  candidate Burt Jones participates in a republican primary debate on May 3, 2022, in Atlanta.
Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor, at a Republican primary debate May 3 in Atlanta.Brynn Anderson / Pool via AP file

“This choice — which the district attorney was within her rights as an elected official to

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More than $2.5M awarded to Indiana legal aid providers

Legal aid providers around the state that offer civil legal assistance to low-income Hoosiers have received a financial boost totaling more than $2.5 million from the Indiana Bar Foundation.

“Allocating funds to civil legal assistance programs and supporting individuals interested in a legal career exemplifies the multi-faceted commitment of the Indiana Bar Foundation to direct funding where it has the greatest impact,” Charles Dunlap, bar foundation president and CEO, said in a statements.

The pot of money is comprised of $1.5 million from the Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund and $1 million in revenue from the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts. Established in 1997, the Civil Legal Aid Fund is funded by the Legislature and provides support to organizations offering legal help to indigent families in the state. The bar foundation, in partnership with the Indiana Supreme Court, distributes the $1.5 million annually.

In all, 13 agencies around the state received money.

The largest recipient of funding was Pro Bono Indiana, which coordinates volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono services to low-income clients across the state. It received $1.08 million, which included $965,000 from IOLTA plus $112,565.44 from the Civil Legal Aid Fund.

The other recipients and their awards are as follows:

  • Indiana Legal Services, Inc.: $596,861.20
  • Neighborhood Christian Legal Aid Clinic: $313,027.43
  • Indianapolis Legal Aid Society: $209,055.31
  • Volunteer Lawyer Program of Northeast Indiana, Inc.: $50,585.44
  • Center for Victim and Human Rights Corp.: $38,302.83
  • Child Advocates: $38,302.83
  • Disability Legal Services of Indiana: $38,302.83
  • Law School Legal Services, Inc.: $38,302.83
  • Metro Community Outreach: $31,131.98
  • Legal Aid Society of Evansville: $22,056.70
  • Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County: $7,495.16
  • Whitewater Valley pro Bono Commission, Inc.: $4,010.41

Also, the Indiana Bar Foundation was awarded its Phelps and Fara Scholarship to Timara Turman, a student at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. A

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GOP group endorses Nevada’s Democratic attorney general

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Thirteen Nevada Republicans announced a new coalition on Monday to endorse Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford in his re-election bid against their party’s nominee, Sigal Chattah, a right-wing candidate who bested a more moderate Republican primary contender.

The announcement of “Republicans for Ford,” first ford-for-ag-2612743/” class=””reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, signals a major shift in party support as the group is headlined by a former rival of Ford’s — former state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, along with former GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian.

“Now, more than ever, it is time to put duty to the state and country above partisan politics,” said Roberson, who has sparred with Ford over funding education with marijuana tax revenue and in Carson City, when Ford was Senate Majority Leader and Roberson was Senate Minority Leader at the same time. He also called Chattah “unhinged” and a “charlatan.”

Chattah won the June Republican primary by 11 percentage points over Tisha Black, a more moderate candidate who had the backing of Nevada’s Republican establishment. A Las Vegas-based lawyer, she is one of a few right-wing GOP candidates in Nevada who won their primary races against more moderate opponents. Chattah sued Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak over pandemic restrictions on behalf of a church and has often painted Black as a Democratic sympathizer throughout the primary.

Others who have signed on to the effort include former US Rep. Jon Porter; Jodi Stephens, former Republican caucus director for the Nevada State Senate; and Herb Santos, a Nevada representative to the Republican Trial Lawyers, a group that lobbies Republican members of Congress. Five other Republicans in the group are listed as lobbyists.

“General Ford has a stellar track record of keeping Nevadans safe and protecting our rights,” Tarkanian said. “On the other hand,

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Nearly Half of Oldest Long-Term Care Insurance Applicants are Declined by Insurers Reports Aaltci-Insurancenewsnet

Los Angeles, Ca July 17, 2022 -((PR.com)-Nearly Half of Individuals Who Apply for Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance After Age 70 have their applications declined by an insurer according to Jesse SlomeDirector of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

“Consumers simply are not aware of the need to health-qualification for long-term care insurance so they delay looking into this important protection,” Explains Slome. “After age 65, it gets Increasingly hard to be accepted for this protection.” Insurers will look at Applicant Health Records include prescription medications that show up in an applicant’s health records.

According to slome, nearly half (47%) of individuals who applied for traditional longterm care insurance between ages 70 and 75 were either declined or deferred their application. Over One-Third (38.2%) of those applying between AGES 65 and 69 were declined. The data comes from association research as well as the just release 2022 Milliman LTC Survey.

“The sweet spot for looking into long-term care insurance is generally between ages 55 and 65,” Slome Suggests. “Once people are covered by Medicare they start more doctors which is great but often increased the likes that medical conditions will be included as part of their health records.”

Traditional Insurers Typically Stop Taking Applicants After Age 75, Slome Notes. “Howver, there are links and short-term care policies that will accept applicants,” The Long-Term Care Insurance Expert Notes. “They will have health requirements as well but sometimes they can be easier to qualify for and should definitely be considered as viable options for those who want this protection.”

To access the latest long-term care insurance statistics included the decline rats starting at age 40, go to https://www.aaltci.org/ltcfacts-2022.php.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (Aaltci) advocates for the importance of long-term

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Prosecutors say FBI trainee stole tips from lawyer-girlfriend to trade on Merck deal

Signage is seen at the Merck & Co. headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey, US, November 13, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Markin allegedly traded on tips stolen from lawyer-girlfriend
  • He apparently gleaned details about a $1.85 mth Merck deal
  • Covington & Burling represented Merck on the transaction

(Reuters) – (This July 25 story corrects to change lead image)

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Monday charged a former FBI agent-in-training with insider trading on information he allegedly stole from his then-girlfriend, a corporate law firm associate who was working on confidential matters at home due to the pandemic.

Seth Markin last year secretly took information from the associate’s apartment about her client Merck & Co.’s pending $1.85 billion acquisition of Pandion Therapeutics, prosecutors said. Mankin and co-defender Brandon Wong then made more than $1.4 million trading illegally on Pandion shares, according to a 25-page indictment.

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An attorney for Markin did not respond to a request for comment on the charges. Edward Kim of New York-based Krieger Kim & Lewin, who represents Wong, declined to comment.

The associate was not named in the indictment, which referred to her employer only as a major Washington, DC, law firm. A spokesperson for Washington-based Covington & Burling, which represented Merck in the Pandion deal, did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan US attorney’s office had no immediate comment. Merck said in a statement that it is cooperating with the US attorney’s office.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday also filed insider trading charges against Markin and Wong.

After the Merck deal was made public, Wong used $1.3 million he made from selling Pandion shares to

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Allie Yang-Green column: To increase legal aid, invest in public servants | ap

By Allie Yang-Green

Elder abuse and exploitation is a silent crisis affecting every corner of our country. Whether it is mistreatment at an assisted living facility or a parent exploited by an adult child, elder injustice is happening more often than you might think.

Each year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of adults older than 60 are physically or psychologically abused, or neglected or financially exploited. One out of 10 older adults experience elder abuse. But many of the cases go unreported because victims experience fear of retaliation and shame, or are physically or mentally unable to report it.

Public interest law is one critical tool to help curb elder abuse and support victims. The challenge is how to ensure that public interest lawyers (of which there already is a shortage) are positioned to respond to the needs of older adults, especially in underserved communities.

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In rural areas, for example, elder injustices are less likely to be addressed because access to critical legal aid is even more limited. Attracting legal talent with a passion for public service is challenging everywhere, but especially in rural areas where salaries are lower and locations often are remote.

Rural legal aid organizations and nonprofits simply cannot afford to pay entry-level attorneys the salary that corporate New York City firms have no qualms offering. The need, however, is great.

Attorney Megan Wood’s commitment to public interest law led her to do this work at Prairie State Legal Services, serving 17 rural counties in central Illinois. Wood has dedicated her legal career to serving her community as a legal aid lawyer. She has seen the impact that abuse and exploitation has on older adults in her community.

Through her two-year fellowship with Equal Justice Works, Wood is pursuing public interest

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