Uber Is Not Criminally Liable for 2018 Fatal Self-Driving Accident

Last year a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona. At the time of the crash, the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode. Although capable of driving on its own, the Uber still requires a backup driver inside the vehicle to intervene when the autonomous system fails to navigate complex driving situations. In this case, the driver was looking down at his phone. By the time he looked up and could have intervened, it was too late. Police say this accident was “entirely avoidable.” The Yavapai County Attorney recently released a letter made public stating there was "no basis"...

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AAA Looking to Standardize Vehicle Safety Technology

When it comes to vehicle safety, technology offerings should be crystal clear so that the driver is fully aware of the capabilities. Right now, there is no widely accepted name for the safety technologies featured in vehicles currently on the market. In a recent study, AAA looked at 34 car brands and found that their advanced driver assistance systems vary greatly and in some cases could overpromise features for customers. Features like “autopilot” or “ProPilot Assist” suggest more autonomous driving than they can actually deliver. In fact, according to the study, 40% of Americans expect such features as “autopilot” to offer...

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Trimble/Pulsar Informatics Driver Fatigue Technology

The trucking industry has battled driver fatigue for years. But now, thanks to a partnership between Trimble Transportation and Pulsar Informatics, a new fatigue-monitoring and risk-management system is available to combat this problem. Pulsar Informatics is known for their work monitoring sleep patterns and fatigue for astronauts and pilots. Their industry-leading fatigue monitoring solutions were developed with funding from the FMCSA, NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as other prominent government organizations. Their partnership with Trimble Transportation will now allow them to share their expertise with the transportation industry, creating a safety dashboard designed to identify driver sleep and...

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Increased Pedestrian Deaths – NTSB Calls for Safety Measures

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by way of its Pedestrian Safety Special Investigation Report, since 2009 the deaths of pedestrians in traffic accidents in the United States has increased 46%. Take a moment and let this statistic sink in. NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt may have described this problem best when he stated, “pedestrian safety is a universal issue – we are all pedestrians." The factors for this statistic are unclear, as the information does not provide a cause for the spike in deaths. However, some researchers believe an improving economy could be a factor because it allows for...

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ABA Updates Rules on Lawyer Advertising & Refferals

Over the years, attorney marketing has made its way into the digital world, encompassing social media, review websites and more. These “newer” platforms have made it a confusing era when it comes to deciding what is ethical or not for attorney marketing and referral business. In August, the American Bar Association (ABA) held its Annual Meeting in Chicago. During the meeting, proposals were submitted in regards to attorney advertising and business solicitation. Following the meeting, the ABA House of Delegates voted to adopt proposed changes to its model rules of professional responsibility, which state bar associations use as guidance. Regarding attorney marketing,...

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High Temps Are High Risk for Recalled Takata Airbags

The Takata airbag recall has been making waves across the country for months as millions of vehicles, built from 2003-2013, have been affected in one of the largest vehicle recalls in history. Now, the company is making headlines again by stating the hot and humid weather has auto experts worried these recalled Takata airbags will explode. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 1.7 million vehicles on the road in Texas with recalled Takata airbags. This puts millions of people at risk every single day. In an effort to get these recalled airbags off the street, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep,...

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The Heated Debate on Geo-Fencing

All Things Considered on NPR recently discussed geofencing on the show, bringing up this heated digital marketing topic all over again. More specifically, the use of the technology with legal marketing and angering many by using the phrase “digital ambulance chasers.“ According to the Oxford Dictionary, Geofencing is “the use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.” It’s a technology popularly used by law enforcement to track individuals with ankle monitors under house arrest. But in recent years marketing companies have been...

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The Ethics of the Referral Fee for Personal Injury Cases in Texas

This article has been created using content from Sonia Rodriguez’s speech to the Bexar County Women’s Bar Association pertaining to referral fees in Texas. In the past year, 93.2% of the cases within Cowen | Rodriguez | Peacock law firm are from referral attorneys. With so many of our cases involving a referral fee, understanding and abiding by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.04 is paramount. In 2004 the State Bar of Texas moved to study the issue of “referral fees,” and the State Bar’s Referral Fee Task Force conducted an in-depth study from bar members. The Task Force Concluded...

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Traumatic Brain Injury Cases

On April 19th, attorney Mary Wilson presented to the Hidalgo County Bar Association on TBI (traumatic brain injury) cases. In her presentation, she provided an update on recent TBI statistics and shared an excellent overview on diagnostic criteria, neuroimaging, the effects of TBI, and experts in TBI litigation. The following is a summary based on a portion of this presentation. TBI is defined as an insult to the brain from an external mechanical force which may cause brain dysfunction and associated neurological and cognitive impairments. Leading causes of TBI are motor vehicle crashes, falls, being struck by objects, assaults, and explosive...

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ABA: Raising or Lowering The Bar

The American Bar Association is Currently Offering Its First Employee Buyout. According to Law.com, employees with at least 20 years of service whose age and years of service combined equal at least 75 — will receive 15 months of their base pay if they choose to leave. Eligible employees have until March 2nd to make their decision, although the exact number of eligible employees was not disclosed. The buyout comes at a critical time for the ABA. The association posted a $7.7 million operating deficit in 2017 and cut almost $11 million from its general operations budget for 2018. They have stated...

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