Call Today 714-907-1881
Declues, Burkett & Thompson, APC
Effective Representation To Meet Your Needs

Huntington Beach Law Blog

New Mexico using satellites to track wildfires in real-time

Many Californians have seen images of wildfires from every possible angle, including from outer space. While it makes for exciting pictures with tragic implications regarding deaths of humans and wildlife as well as damage to land and property, New Mexico has turned to satellites to track fires and allocate resources in real-time.

According to Insurance Journal, New Mexico’s State Forestry Division now gets real-time alerts from a satellite tracking system created by a local start-up in Santa Fe. Integrating satellites, AI, image recognition, and modeling using supercomputers, the new program detects temperature increases using data that is updated every few minutes. The program then sends text messages to staff at the State Forestry with the location pinpointed on a detailed map.

PG&E admits to involuntary manslaughter

The Camp Fire burned through the Sierra Nevada hills with unprecedented fury for two weeks in late 2018. The cause of the state’s deadliest fire to date was determined to be faulty electrical equipment owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The embattled and bankrupt utility faces civil suits regarding damages caused by this fire. Still, it now pleads guilty of 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for deaths caused by the fire and one felony count of unlawfully causing the fire. The second count addresses severe injuries to a firefighter and others as well as the destruction of multiple structures.

The settlements

A letter of indemnity may help prevent a lawsuit

Entering into an agreement with another party is something that many business owners do. They may have contracts with other businesses, employees, clients or customers. When you enter into those contracts, you undoubtedly have every intention of upholding your end of the deal to the best of your and your company's ability.

Of course, a situation could arise in which you cannot keep your end of the bargain for a business-related agreement. It may be due to factors outside of your control, such as a vendor being out of a specific product or item you intended to use. As a result, you may end up in breach of the contract you created. What can you do?

Pregnancy discrimination and California paid family leave

Pregnancy is a time of celebration and hope for many expectant mothers (and their partners). However, pregnancy is also stressful for many people, whether couples face financial uncertainty or women experience health problems during the course of their pregnancy. Unfortunately, some people experience discrimination during this important time in their lives.

Owners and managers need to remember that this is both bad business and illegal to discriminate against pregnant women. Still, it continues to surface in workplaces all over the U.S.

PG&E fined $2.1 billion

It’s hard to imagine that a $1.7 billion settlement was considered lenient. But such was the case in California when power regulators previously agreed to that number in December of 2019 as the amount of compensation owed by the now-bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for its part in igniting the wildfires that year.

Several consumer groups complained about the amount, so the California Public Utilities Commission reevaluated the case. Ultimately, it added another $500 million to the settlement for the destruction caused by fires resulting from the outdated electrical grid and negligence. This harsher punishment also includes $200 million earmarked for the state’s general fund.

LA schools board election is a hot topic in 2020

The school board for the Los Angeles Unified school district has four of its seats up for grabs in a pivotal election in 2020. The other three seats are uncontested, but veteran watchers believe that two of the four races are extremely competitive. The state’s largest school district with 600,000 students hosts a primary on March 3, where 50% vote can win the seat outright. If no candidate breaks that threshold, there would be a runoff in November. The new board will convene in December

Charter school issue fuels campaign

Are you trying to come up with the perfect business idea?

These days, it may seem like everyone is starting a business. You may know friends or family members who have online accounts trying to sell handmade items or who try to earn some money with a blog. While these endeavors can certainly prove lucrative under the right circumstances, you wonder whether it could be right for you.

The idea of starting your own business has been on your mind for some time, but because so many small businesses do not find the success that owners desired, you may wonder whether the effort is even worth it. Of course, each entrepreneur's journey is different, and you may have a one-in-a-million idea.

State Supreme Court rules on PAGA-only actions

California is often an outlier in favor of the employee when it comes to employment law and employee rights. One example is the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a law from 2004 that enables a plaintiff of a PAGA-only claim to sue their employer on the state’s behalf to get unpaid wages. The unions backed the idea because it was a way to hold employers more accountable to labor codes. As recently as last year, this meant that employees netted $88 million from California businesses, including $10.7 million to 99,000 current and former Walmart cashiers.

PAGA enabled aggrieved employees to bring a representative action on behalf of all company employees and then keep 25% for themselves as well as cover the cost of attorney’s fees. The rest of the settlement goes to the state. The notable exception is that all “unpaid” wages would go directly to the employees. Moreover, previous PAGA claims could not be waived, nor could the employees be compelled to arbitrate their claims.

California to create insurance for cannabis business

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara wrote a new white paper that provides a framework for insurance regulators and how they should address the legal cannabis market. It deals with the medical marijuana sector as well as the recreational market. The goal is to regulate insurance for the cannabis industry in California as well as markets in other states.

California, which is the largest cannabis market in the country, currently has seven providers offering comprehensive coverage to the cannabis market. This is up for just one in 2017 when the state made it legal for insurers to sell cannabis business insurance.

Keeping that unpaid internship compliant with FLSA

Internships have been around in one shape or another for ages. The arrangement these days ideally involves enabling the intern to learn through doing rather than from a textbook. It also allows businesses to scout young new talent that they wish to hire at a later date.

The federal government rolled out new rules in 2018 for businesses that offered unpaid internships. These are more friendly towards employers and easier to measure than past standards for avoiding non-compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Since California does not have its own guidelines for internships, it uses federal rules.

Contact the Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy