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Fatal Boating Accident On Lake Washington Leads To Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

33-year-old Seattle middle-school teacher Melissa Protz was killing in a boating accident on Lake Washington that occurred Wednesday, July 16th, 2014. The man responsible was 46-year-old former University of Washington football player and real-estate agent Richard Hicks. Around 10:00 p.m. is when the accident took place on Lake Washington, Melissa one of four passengers on a 22 1/2 foot slow propelled sailboat operated by Shreedham Madhavapeddi when a powerboat operated by Richard smashed into the vessel.  Melissa suffered blunt force trauma to the head and torso that cause severe internal bleeding.

Unfortunately, the injuries were far too severe, and Melissa died at the scene of the accident. Richard was arrested and charged with homicide by watercraft and assault by watercraft. Shreedham and another female passenger also sustained severe injuries accident, varying from a broken neck to deep lacerations.  Richard Hicks stayed in Kings County Jail before posting $250,000 bail.

Melissa’s parents have now filed a wrongful-death complaint in King County Superior Court Friday morning.  According to the complaint, their daughter Melissa Protz died a brutal death because of Hicks recklessness, negligence, and carelessness.  The lawsuit seeks punitive damages, also to damages for Protz’s pre-death pain and suffering and the parents’ loss of consortium, love, and affection.

Seattle Police stated that upon being arrested there was a strong scent of alcohol on his breath, as well as bloodshot eyes and slurred talk.  This was not Hicks first run-in with the law.  In 2002, he was arrested for investigation of DUI and reckless driving.


Suspected Road Rage Accident Leaves 3 Injured & 1 Dead in Seattle

Washington State Patrol responded to a deadly car accident where they suspected impaired driving and road rage played a critical factor.  Late Wednesday night three vehicles were heading southbound on Interstate 5 near Rose Street when a Chevrolet SUV was rear-ended by a Dodge Neon.  Shortly after, the Dodge Neon was rear-ended by an Infiniti G35. The 30-year-old driver and 29-year-old passenger of the SUV had sustained injuries, the 21-year-old driver of the Dodge was also injured, unfortunately, his 23-year-passenger was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.  All three were transported to Harborview Medical Center where they were treated for their injuries.

Both drivers of the SUV and Neon now face possible DUI and vehicular homicide charges after State Patrol suspected them of drinking and driving.  The accident forced the southbound lanes on Interstate 5 to be closed down for hours while Washington State Patrol conducted a thorough investigation and clean up.  People underestimate the damage that drinking and driving can cause, not only is the driver affected but the lives of those around him or her. If you have been affected anyway by a drunk driver or DUI, contact our DUI attorneys in Seattle. With the expertise and experience, the Seattle criminal defense attorneys at Dellino law can protect your rights and ensure that you and your family are taken care of.

Beat The Heat – Make Sure Your AC Is Ready For Summer!

Summer is here and so are the climbing temperatures!  Having a fully functioning air conditioner is critical during the summer months, so having a local air conditioning repair company inspect your system now before the really high temperatures come is a great idea.

Many new homes have heating and cooling systems (HVAC systems) combined, with heat pumps being the most commonly installed units.  Older homes typically have a heating system and if they do have a cooling system, it is typically a separate air conditioning system.  Having an HVAC repair company that is trained and certified to service your type of heating or cooling system is important to ensure any repairs are done properly and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Heating and cooling systems are complex and typically require trained service technicians for installation and repairs.  When you are ready to have your HVAC system checked you can do an Internet search for a local company, but again, make sure they are trained and certified to work on your specific type of system.

So, be sure to beat the Summer heat, have your existing HVAC checked out to make sure it is functioning properly to keep you and your family cool during the Summer months!


Benifits Of Hiring A California Business Attorney

If you are a small business in California, it is important to be adequately represented by the law. There are various circumstances that can occur that can put you and your company in legal trouble. You never know when a lawsuit will show up at your doorstep, so it is important to be prepared ahead of time. The best way to be prepared is to assure that you are represented by the best legal teams in California.

Hiring a California business attorney will be the best thing that you do if you are faced with legal troubles. A business attorney will be able to protect you against intellectual property lawsuits in California, corporate governance issues, they can help you arrange employee agreements and they can help you prepare exit strategies to minimize the damage of any harm that has been afflicted to your business. Operating without full knowledge of the law is hazardous and can expose your business to a lot of potential damages.

One of the most significant assets that a company has is their employees. Companies train their employees and give them insight into how they run. If an employee moves over to another company, it creates a situation where they may be asked to give away some secrets of your business. It is important to have, a business attorney prepare a non-disclosure agreement with all of your employees. Doing this will protect you from situations like this.

Intellectual property lawsuits are becoming more and more common. There are even specialized companies that actively seek out businesses that they can file lawsuits against for the sole intention of extorting money from them. There are many ways that they can make a potential case against you and once they do, they will come after your business with everything they have. Defending your business’s intellectual property rights will cost you a lot of money regardless; however, if you take the wrong steps in the beginning, it can increase the financial burden exponentially throughout the remainder of the lawsuit. Our San Diego business attorney will be able to assist you in ensuring that your business is in safe hands will go a long way in ensuring that your company can remain in business.

How Do California Employment Laws Affect Workers and Employers?

Countless amount of factors affects the level of success of businesses. Making effective decisions determine whether business owners will be able to reach new heights of achievement or find themselves in the familiar pitfalls that most companies fall into. A crucial decision business owners must be able to make to determine whether or not hiring a specialized business attorney would be able to assist them in making the best choices for their business. An outstanding example of a situation that business attorneys would be useful in advising their clients is when the clients are contemplating about reorganizing their business.

Decisions like determining whether a corporation or an LLC is more suitable for a business is an issue that business attorneys can assist in. After making a decision, it’s important for a business attorney to be present to help with the distribution of stock options for founders, determining which state the corporation is based out of, and determining the details of the rights of the intellectual property. Business lawyers provide valuable services for any company that wants to register their products or services through the copyright and trademark processes of that specific state. Also, it is recommended to have a business lawyer present during any signing or writing of contracts to ensure satisfaction amongst the parties.

It is important for business owners to be aware of particular zoning and safety laws in California. Our San Deigo business lawyers are hired to take care of all the negotiations and legal complexities for commercial real estate. Also, business attorneys are hired to teach business owners about any occupational safety and hazard laws that their company needs to be informed about to avoid any legal trouble. Companies run the risk of being sued, and damaging their profit margins and reputations, if they do not adequately protect themselves by consulting an attorney about the regulations they must abide by.

Another type of attorney that businesses are recommended to consult with to protect themselves from legal trouble are employment attorneys. The role of an employment attorney is to safeguard businesses from being sued over discrepancies in the hiring and firing processes. Liabilities that are important to discuss with an attorney are discrimination laws, employee classifications (like whether an independent contractor or employee is most fitting for the job), or any lawsuits that may arise from harassment or unsafe working conditions.


Also, it is important to have an employment attorney review any and all documents relating to their employees to assure that no policies or contracts violate any state or federal laws. Along with having a reliable and trustworthy accountant, businesses must consider having a competent and fair attorney that can help with any legal issues that may take place to ensure the success of that business.

Thinking of Building Your Dream Home?

Ah, Spring is here and so is the start of the major home building season!  If you have been thinking of building your dream custom home, now is the time to begin.  Most real estate markets around the country have improved drastically from the lows of a few years ago.  If you haven’t already purchased the land where you want to build your dream home, now is a good time to begin looking.

If you already have a home that you need to sell before building your dream home, now is the time to get it listed for sale as Spring and Summer are the peak real estate seasons.  If you are selling your home, be sure to fix any issues that may need fixing and spruce up the exterior and interior as much as possible.  Remember, any prospective home buyer has to be able to immediately see themselves living in your home.  If the yard is unkept or the interior is in a shambles, then the buyer is going to be turned off and move on to the next home.

Once you sell your home and find the property where you want to build your new home, you will need to find a lender that provides home construction loans.  Not all lenders provide home construction loans, so you may need to shop around for the best programs that meet your needs.  The good news is that lending rates are still very low, so you should be able to get a great rate on your new home.

Finding the right home plans is the obvious next step in making your dream home a reality.  There are many sites online that provide custom home plans, and you can always work with a local architect to have your dream home designed from scratch.  The important thing is that you get your home plans created the way you want your home to now and in the future if you plan on being in your new home for many years.

Contacting a custom home builder is one of the most critical decisions because you want to make sure you work with an experienced home builder that you feel comfortable working with.  Building a home can cause a lot of stress because of all the decisions that have to be made and a good contractor will be able to minimize stress because they understand the process and will be able to smooth out a lot of issues based upon experience.


What Type of Laws Do California Employers Face?

Are you facing employment issues at your working? Lawmakers create these laws to protect California’s workers so that they can work in a productive and safe environment.

If you have been harassed, insulted, or profiled by an employer,? If so then it’s imperative that you contact our San Deigo employment attorneys immediately. If you are an employer, it’s business and economic sense to invest the time to talk with our San Diego business attorneys to avoid violations of state and federal employment laws.

Below are some of the laws directly affecting the employment relationship in California:

One or More Employees:

  • County, State and Federal Wage and Hour Laws including minimum wage and overtime laws
  • State Anti-Harassment Prohibitions (FEHA) and Prohibited Retaliation Pursuant to the Labor Code
  • State Workers’ Compensation
  • State Unemployment Compensation
  • Federal Immigration Laws
  • State and Federal Child Labor Laws
  • Federal and State Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA)
  • State Disability Insurance
  • State Paid Family Leave

Two or More Employees:

  • State Cal-COBRA (2-19 employees)

Five or More Employees:

  • State Anti-Discrimination Laws
  • State Pregnancy Disability Leave

Fifteen or More Employees:

  • Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Twenty or More Employees:

  • Federal COBRA
  • Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

Twenty-Five or More Employees:

  • State Illiteracy Accommodation Law
  • State and Federal Drug-Free Workplace Laws
  • Federal HMO Act
  • State Time Off for Children, Domestic Abuse or Sexual Assault Time Off, & Time Off for Rehab.

Fifty or More Employees:

  • State and Federal Family Leave Acts (FMLA)
  • Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Seventy-Five or More Employees:

  • State WARN Act

One Hundred or More Employees:

  • Federal WARN Act

If you operate a small business in California its important to ensure you and your business are legally protected.  Consulting with a small business attorney is the best option when it comes to knowing if you are legally protected.

Thinking of Starting a New Business?

Many people have the dream of starting their own business, but may not know exactly how to go about it.  All the experts will tell you that you should start a business doing something you are passionate about.  Many successful businesses have been started from a hobby or idea that the founder is passionate about.

Starting a new business can be scary because there are a lot of risks involved.  To reduce the risk of starting a new business, you should consider starting the business while you still have full-time employment if possible.  Being able to maintain a consistent income can reduce the risk of not know if your business will generate enough revenue to support you and your family.

One of the first things to consider when starting a new business is what type of business entity to choose.  Do you need to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a corporation, or run the business as a sole proprietor?  Selecting the proper business entity is very important and you should take the time and talk with an experienced business formation attorney to ensure you understand all of your options and select the best one for your specific needs.

There are a lot of things you will need to manage when starting your new business and depending on your type of business, entity and other factors, the complexity could become overwhelming.  Utilizing the services of a small business lawyer will help ensure you and your business are protected from legal issues down the road.

Here are some services that business lawyers can help with:

  • Registration of Fictitious Name with Required Published Notices
  • Application for Business License
  • Draft and File Statement of Information
  • Assist in Applying for Federal Employer ID
  • Register with State Employment Development Department (EDD)
  • Dispute Resolution Services
  • On-demand Corporate or General Counsel Services
  • Draft Demand Letter and Follow-up
  • Respond to Demand Letter and Follow-up
  • Draft Contracts
  • Annual Review of Legal Needs (A popular service for first-time clients)
  • Review Current Employee Policies and make recommendations
  • Draft Employee Policies and Procedures
  • Draft employee or independent contractor agreement
  • Review contracts and make recommendations
  • Draft Employee Stock Option/Benefit Plan
  • Employment termination and release agreement
  • Draft Use or Licensing contract
  • Negotiation of contract
  • Draft Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements
  • Draft Purchase Agreement
  • Draft Partnership agreement
  • Draft Operating agreement
  • Draft Website Privacy Policy
  • Draft Website User Agreement/Term of Service
  • Election to be treated as an S Corporation or Partnership

Contact San Diego Business Lawyers Gehres Law Group for more information about their affordable business services.

Newport Beach Police Arrest Two Men After Short Pursuit Ended In Huntington Beach

Newport Beach Police were involved in a high-speed pursuit that occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway late Sunday, which led to a car accident in the Orange County area.  Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella stated that the chase started when a Newport Beach officer attempted to pull over a speeding car with no headlights around 11 p.m. near Walnut Street.  The driver of the gray Chevrolet sedan was identified as 39-year-old Louis Holt of Los Angeles.  Apparently, when the officer tried to pull Holt over, he slowed down but did not stop until he was three miles from the Huntington Beach entrance bridge.  As the officer approached the Chevrolet he could see that the car was running, but there was no key in the ignition.  When Holt was ordered to get out of the car, he sped away even with pleas from a female passenger in the backseat of the car asking him to stop.

Police pursued Holt as he was traveling at speeds more than 100 mph down Pacific Coast Highway before colliding with a light pole on First Street.  Once the car came to a final stop, Holt and 26-year-old driver-side passenger Forrest Green of Los Angeles fled on foot but were quickly tackled by Huntington Beach Police officers.  Officers also suspected that the vehicle Holt was driving was stolen.

Upon being detained, Holt stated that he was injured and was transported to a local medical center before he was arrested on charges of suspicion of driving while high on drugs, resisting arrest, kidnapping (since he took the woman in the backseat on the pursuit with her consent), and possession of a methamphetamine pipe.  The driver-side passenger Forrest Green was charged with suspicion of resisting arrest and for an outstanding warrant.

Police concluded that the car was not stolen and belonged to one of the passengers after they conducted a full investigation.  Luckily, there were no fatalities this time, but it is vital that if you are injured or involved in an automotive accident in Newport Beach to contact the authorities and a car accident lawyer in Newport Beach immediately.  Unfortunately, auto accident

Unfortunately, auto accidents occur somewhere in Orange County on a daily basis.  California has implemented personal injury laws to protect victims injured in accidents because of the negligence of others.  If you are injured in an O.C. accident, be sure to contact the best Orange County accident lawyer you can to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Fatal Accident In Skagit County Injures Two and Leaves Three Dead

Washington Highway Patrol received reports of a car accident early Friday morning on Highway 20 near Sedro-Woolley.  The accident occurred around 5 a.m. close to the Hamilton Cemetery Road East, when a 1998 Audi A4 was traveling Eastbound on Highway 20 crossed the center line and struck a Ford Fusion carrying 65-year-old Fredrick Brand of Concrete, head-on, killing him immediately.

Washington State Patrol Tropper Mark Francis stated that two other young female passengers were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  They were identified as 23-year-old Nicole Washington of Sedro-Woolley and 21-year-old Megan Brown of Bellingham.

The driver of the Audi was identified as 19-year-old Alfredo Navarro of Mount Vernon, and his driver side passenger, 22-year-old Quinnton Baxtor of Burlington, were both transported via airlift to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for severe injuries they had sustained in the accident.

Highway Patrol is investigating the scene of the accident trying to figure out what cause the deadly accident.  Some believe that alcohol could have played a major factor.  WHP closed off Highway 20 for hours while the investigation was underway.

After being transported to Harborview Medical Center, Alfredo was to be arrested but was able to be checked out of the hospital by his parents.  Police stated that because of how severe Navarro’s injuries were, there did think he would be released.  Washington Highway Patrol had placed a $1,000,000 warrant after Navarro had checked out, and they were unable to contact him.  After Navarro’s blood work had been processed, prosecutors stated that because he was high on marijuana and had a very high blood-alcohol content level, he was responsible for the accident that took place that morning.

Authorities stated that this wasn’t Navarro’s first run in with the law.  In 2012, he was arrested for DUI and eluding police.  He is now facing criminal charges of three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States.  If you or a loved on have been injured in a DUI-related accident, contact our Dellino Law Group in Seattle.