November 9, 2020
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old woman from Louisville, Kentucky, was shot to death by police shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020, in the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The police had a no-knock warrant and entered with a battering ram to search for evidence of drug dealing; none was found. A Kentucky grand jury indicted former detective of the Louisville Police Department, Brett Hankison, on charges of reckless endangerment for his role in the raid. No charges were filed against Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the two officers who fired shots inside the apartment. This has spurred a nationwide discussion of the use of no-knock warrants—and reforms that might prevent unnecessary death and injury in the future. (more…)
October 5, 2020
Carol Stream police Sgt. Brian Cluever pulls over a motorist in
Carol Stream on Dec. 7, 2017. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)
With the legalization of medicinal marijuana in 33 states (plus D.C.) and 11 states (plus D.C.) where recreational marijuana is legal, it has become necessary for police to be able to evaluate individuals based on suspicion of impaired driving due to drug use. A Drug recognition expert or drug recognition evaluator (DRE) is a police officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.
The Los Angeles Police Department originated the program in the early 1970s, when LAPD officers noticed that many of the individuals arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) had very low or zero alcohol concentrations. The officers reasonably suspected that the arrestees were under the influence of drugs but lacked the knowledge and skills to support their suspicions. In response, two LAPD sergeants collaborated with various medical doctors, research psychologists, and other medical professionals to develop a simple, standardized procedure for recognizing drug influence and impairment. Their efforts culminated in the development of a multi-step protocol and the first DRE program. The LAPD formally recognized the program in 1979.
The LAPD DRE program attracted NHTSA’s attention in the early 1980s. The two agencies collaborated to develop a standardized DRE protocol, which led to the development of the DEC Program. During the ensuing years, NHTSA and various other agencies and research groups examined the DEC Program. Their studies demonstrated that a properly trained DRE can successfully identify drug impairment and accurately determine the category of drugs causing such impairment.
How Do Police Determine Whether a Driver Is Under the Influence?
August 3, 2020
Yes, knowing that you need an appropriately qualified expert is the first step in properly investigating the merits of your case, and connecting with the right expert is an investment that pays off starting with record review, all the way through to trial. Let Saponaro, Inc. assist you from the beginning, so you avoid these common mistakes.
July 6, 2020
Law enforcement is an integral part of our communities. They ensure justice for over 8 million crimes a year and are responsible for 10 million arrests per year. Respect for police has been waning in recent years as methods of enforcement are increasingly called into question. The perception of police as overzealous and abusive has eroded public trust and confidence.
In the last decade, 85,000 police officers have been investigated. Reporters from USA TODAY and the nonprofit invisible Institute spent more than a year compiling records of police misconduct throughout the United States.
The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies. (more…)
May 27, 2020
As we continue to wind through the coronavirus, the most obvious cases of infection have centered around our nursing homes. There is no doubt that nursing homes and similar group living facilities are in a difficult position. USA TODAY reports that a minimum of 2300 long-term care facilities in 37 states have reported positive cases of COVID-19 and that over 3000 residents had died. Because the infection spreads rapidly and is not always symptomatic, nursing homes that exercise reasonable care may still experience an outbreak. USA TODAY also reports that before the pandemic, 75% of nursing homes had been cited for failing to properly monitor and control infection in the past three years.
Elderly and immuno-compromised individuals are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and whether the facility that they reside in is responsible for their infection requires a thorough investigation. (more…)
April 20, 2020
Changing times mean new opportunities. Not only are attorneys being asked to work in new ways, but clients are going to ask new questions that you should be prepared to answer. The following is a guide to finding your way during the pandemic.
What clients need:
The search term “getting a will” has risen sharply since March 8th according to Google Trends. Many people in uncertain times look to put a plan in place in case of illness or death. This trending search indicates many Americans are getting their proverbial houses in order. It is also a good time to discuss with clients the need for power of attorney should they become incapacitated.
Interpretation of changing federal and state benefit laws (more…)
March 26, 2020
Expanding your practice can come with many hurdles. We can help you grow by taking the workload off your desk and allowing you to focus on the practice of law. Outsourcing leads to higher efficiency and productivity, with the ability to meet deadlines and to start new projects quickly and at lower operational costs. These advantages help level the playing field by giving smaller firms and solo practitioners the same economy of scale in regard to efficiency and expertise, without an increased payroll.
Saponaro, Inc. has developed a menu of services to assist in all aspects of litigation support including our:
February 18, 2020
We can simplify your Certificate/Affidavit of Merit process
Our Comprehensive Case Evaluation service is a simple and cost effective approach to meet your State requirements in the preparation of a Certificate/Affidavit of Merit
What Must the a Certificate/Affidavit of Merit cover?
The specific language requirements of the affidavit vary from state to state. But generally speaking, the a Certificate/Affidavit of Merit must state three things:
- the expert signing the affidavit qualifies as an expert in the same medical field or healthcare profession in which the defendant health care provider practices
- the expert has reviewed your case, and
- the expert is of the opinion that your case has merit — meaning that the defendant’s conduct has deviated from the accepted standards of care under the circumstances.
January 23, 2020
Urgent care centers first opened in the 1970s. Now, more than 10,000 urgent care centers provide a variety of medical services to consumers in every part of the United States.
As the number of urgent care centers has increased in the U.S., so has the number of medical malpractice lawsuits brought against these facilities. A majority of these claims allege an urgent care center made an incorrect diagnosis or failed to diagnose a serious medical condition.
Unfortunately, errors made in outpatient settings are considered to be as common, if not more prevalent, than errors made in hospital settings. Yet it’s hard to find data on the numbers of these errors.
As a point of reference, it’s important to note that in 2016, medical errors in hospital settings were the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.
The typical long wait and high costs associated with visiting a hospital emergency room have enticed many people to visit urgent care centers for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, urgent care centers do not have access to the same diagnostic or critical care equipment found in hospital emergency rooms, which can lead to serious consequences for the patient. (more…)
January 2, 2020
Understaffing is the most common issue in nursing homes that can lead to abuse and neglect. Overworked and under supervised staff pose a greater risk to patients. Inadequate attention and frustration lead to mistakes and neglect.
This is a serious issue that plagues over 90% of nursing homes. Studies have proven that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are at a greater risk of malnutrition, weight loss, bedsores, dehydration, infections, and pneumonia. Families of elderly patients are increasingly noticing this problem and are starting to hold nursing homes responsible for the abuses that occur as a result. (more…)
To resolve this issue there is a need for higher minimum nurse staffing standards for U.S. nursing homes based on multiple research studies showing a positive relationship between nursing home quality and staffing and the benefits of implementing higher minimum staffing standards. Studies have identified the minimum staffing levels necessary to provide care consistent with the federal regulations, but many U.S. facilities have dangerously low staffing. Secondly, the barriers to staffing reform are economic concerns about costs and a focus on financial incentives. The enforcement of existing staffing standards has been weak, and strong nursing home industry political opposition has limited efforts to establish higher standards. Researchers should study the ways to improve staffing standards and new payment, regulatory, and political strategies to improve nursing home staffing and quality. (more…)