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Author: Michael Ehline - Law Firm Infor

Helping Wounded and EAS Marines Get Jobs and Training

Near and Dear to the Former Marine

Returning to civilian life after military service is a hard process. It’s twice as hard if you saw combat. Every day, hundreds of military vets make this leap. Often they feel alone. Fortunately, with the help of the military, organizations, and kind souls, this process becomes a bit easier.

Michael Ehline (left) looks on to the class of vets and active duty personnel with Joseph Low (right)

That was the scene down in Camp Pendleton in July. 84 Marines and Sailors attended the Veterans Transition Support “No Cost Transition Program” at the Wounded Warrior Battalion. Among the activities was a 10 hour OSHA Safety Course.

Russell Levy, head of the Veterans Transition Support program, set it up for the vets. The program continues, including another OSHA Safety course in August, October, and November. Furthermore, there are also other educational programs. These include a LEAN Continuous Improvement Cert, Warehouse Safety Plans, OSHA Record Keeping, VA Home Loan Benefits, and more.

Former Marine and current LA area injury attorney Michael Ehline was one of the guest speakers. Ehline spoke about how education makes a major difference both in and out of military service. In addition, he tied in the work ethic of the Service with other professions.

Many veterans enter various fields. These include factory work, contracting, and white collar jobs like accounting and law. That’s what Ehline did, reading the law before passing the bar. Ehline joined another Marine veteran attorney, Joseph Low, in the discussion.

There are many moving parts to the transition back to civilian life. These include the possibility of medical claims revolving around the time in the service. These often carry with the vet well beyond their time of service. Keeping detailed medical records and being in touch with officials offsets some of these issues.

“It was a great honor to help my comrades in arms,” Ehline said after the event. “They are not alone. We will fight with them.”

For more information about Ehline Law, please contact our office. We are veteran owned and specialize in aiding vets of all ages. Feel free to call us toll free at 888-400-9721.

Best of the Attorney and Hollywood Season

Hollywood Weekly Magazine
Attorney of the Year Awards. Hollywood Weekly

Saturday, December 3rd’s Christmas Party for Hollywood Weekly was a blast. Bringing together many of the finest and ritziest citizens of Southern California and beyond it was a chance to wine, dine, and socialize. While the event was a great chance to catch up and rub elbows it was also a chance to understand some of the bigger spirits of the season.

Awards Given to Movers and Shakers.

Awards were given to several key individuals that help the greater Los Angeles area go round. These include individuals that tirelessly dedicate themselves towards a variety of goals. Some revolve around Hollywood and the film industry, which are certainly worthy goals.

Others focus in on community philanthropy and service. So the event based in Santa Monica, CA was just down the street from the Ehline offices on 201 Wilshire, which made it convenient for many local attendees to say the least. Santa Monica is famous for Cheech and Chong movies, traffic accidents and celebrities.

Michael Ehline was happy to attend the event. And this time it focused on independent films, celebrating the arts, and supporting supporters of Hollywood Weekly.

Giving Back.

It’s this second category that is particularly interesting. In some ways, it would appear that volunteerism is dying in America, especially in larger cities. However, Hollywood Weekly did an excellent job expressing the richness of community spirit existing in Southern California.

There is perhaps no better example of that than local son Michael Ehline. Ehline joined the Marine Corps as a young man and discharged following injury. As a disabled former Marine, he had to make a decision how to serve the area that reared him. He took on multiple jobs before reading the law to pass the bar. Through the same manner as Abraham Lincoln, Ehline became a respected fighter for the little guy.

“It’s not about me,” he said, “It’s about how to protect people that can’t do so themselves.”

As a result, Ehline has fought and won for accident victims against reckless and drunk drivers, corporations that cut corners, and faceless government agencies. You name them, Ehline Law has taken them on– and won.

Ehline won the 2016 Attorney of the Year Award by Hollywood Weekly. A prestigious award on one of the magazine’s most important days of the year. Ehline is humbled by the experience, hoping that it shows how others can also get involved in local service. As a result, Ehline will return to his practice next week with a renewed mission to help the people of Los Angeles.

Carlsbad School Child Abuse Appeal Rejected

Sovereign Immunity Did Not Work for CUSD

In cases against the government, sovereign immunity makes the king or the “sovereign” immune. After the American Revolution, our people retained the English Common Law. Especially relevant were that exceptions were made for American Common Law matters.

Thus, where English Law conflicts with our interpretation of Natural Rights and Natural Law, it is ignored. Furthermore, writings about this tradition are in ancient texts, such as the Magna Charta.

The Revolution recognized the concept that the government is NOT above the law. Therefore, statutory schemes evolved to assure that public servants could not hide. No longer could a public servant cower behind sovereign immunity. Thus, if they engage in conduct that violates rights of individuals they are accountable. Thus, in California, the Tort Claims Act evolved to assist victims in being able to sue the government.

Only Six Months to Sue the School District?

As a result, these laws are outside the standard procedural and substantive rules. Therefore, these are not procedures you or I would use to sue each other. A victim has only six (6) months to bring a claim against a public servant. The same rules apply for suing a government agency from the date of the discovery of the damages or injury.

However, there are maxims of law and exceptions to these rules. One example is that when a potential defendant is in a superior position to the victims. The victim is lulled into a false sense of security. Therefore, parents took no actions within the prescribed period. A court can extend the statute. The agency sued can also grant a waiver.

No Waivers Were Granted

Absent a waiver, this robust defense. This argument is in answers, demurrers, or motions for summary adjudication. This defense is very solid on appeal and can be renewed anytime. Below is a recent example of this type of situation. The facts relate that the judges in a state appellate court case have ruled against a call by the CUSD. The school district argued two third-grader families missed the deadline for their claim. They said the application should occur within six months of the incident.

The Court Rejected Carlsbad’s Arguments

The appellate court dismissed the appeal that the claims were not valid. It upheld a $1.8 million dollar jury award against the school district. The suit was for failure to keep a sexual predator away from third-grade students. The school claimed it was late. Hearing the appeal, was the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

That court ruled the argument had no basis. Particularly pertinent is that they said district officials asked families to remain quiet. People in a heightened position of authority asked parents to keep quiet. They told parents to “sleep on their rights.” At least it appears the appellate court made a finding of fact in this regard.

The School Lulled Parents into a False Sense of Security?

Noteworthy here is that administrators told the children’s parents they should remain silent. So the school was not allowed about to benefit. The statute did not shield the molestation. They said they wanted to avoid jeopardizing the criminal investigation. They asserted this could hurt the prosecution of teacher Raymond Firth.

The judges additionally alluded to the fact district officials told parents to stay quiet. Thus, rather than sue, the parents relied upon the warnings of the school. The school asserted suing could affect the prosecution of Firth. Hence, the judge stated that was a “powerful influence on the parent’s actions.”

Therefore, this was a disappointment to Carlsbad District attorney Daniel Shinoff. Shinoff said no child should ever be the victim of a teacher. Consequently, the school district feels wrong for the incidents. Termination of Firth should have been a long time ago according to plaintiff’s lawyers. They say the school district did not provide adequate supervision.

There were many complaints about his behavior with other students. Los Angeles attorney David Ring represented the victims. He stated it took a long time to get justice. The events occurred in 2007. As a pleasing result, the children and parents can put this behind them.

In 2012 the civil court jury unanimously arrived at a verdict against Firth and the district. This case could have come to a conclusion with 9 out of the 12 jury members. Firth handles part of the $4.5 million dollar judgment.

The families said they do not expect the teacher will have the ability to pay. The appeals panel ordered the school district to pay for the families’ legal costs. Costs awards were separate from the jury award.

The Insurance Company Made the Decision to Appeal, not the School

Rick Grove is the Carlsbad Unified School assistant superintendent for personnel services. Because of legal issues, he was unable to comment much on the case. Most noteworthy is that most of the individuals involved in the case left the school district. He also stated he was unable to comment on the legal issues on appeal. Thus, Grove said the San Diego County Office of Education was paying most of the costs. It operates in joint power authority funding most legal fees by member districts.

A spokeswoman stated the decision to appeal wasn’t by the joint powers authority. It was by an insurance company. Firth age 44 was a third-grade teacher at Pacific Rim Elementary School. The teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery as a result. Thus, in 2010 he went away for three years and eight months in prison after sentencing.

Firth is now free. Consequently, he must register as a lifetime sex offender. In conclusion, it seems “low-class” of the school to ask parents to back off till the criminal case was over. What is your opinion?


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Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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