Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Original Story: latimes.com

A bridge undergoing demolition collapsed Monday night in Cincinnati, killing a construction worker and injuring a semi truck driver who was traveling on a busy interstate that runs through the city’s core.

The bridge that collapsed onto Interstate 75 was part of the old northbound off ramp to Hopple Street, the Cincinnati Fire Department said on Twitter. A Milwaukee car accident lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

The collapse occurred around 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Around midnight Eastern time, authorities said they were devising a plan to remove the body of the worker, which "will be a long operation," the Fire Department tweeted. Authorities said they would use air bags to lift part of the structure off the victim. A Tulsa construction lawyer represents clients in construction litigation cases.

“Our teams are surveying the situation and will stay here conducting the necessary investigations into how this occurred,” City Manager Harry Black told reporters early Tuesday morning. “We will work with the state Department of Transportation as this thing unfolds. We’re just trying to stabilize the situation.”

The victim who was killed has not been identified.

Photos shared on social media showed a large section of the bridge fallen and at least one semi truck smashed by debris. A Mt. Clemens construction accident lawyer represents clients in a variety of construction site accident cases.

The stability of the nation’s bridge system has been a concern of the U.S. Department of Transportation for much of the last decade.

In 2007, 13 people were killed and 145 were injured when a bridge on Interstate 35 in Minneapolis collapsed. And in 2013, a bridge in Washington state that ran along Interstate 5 collapsed into the Skagit River. No one was killed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Original Story: nytimes.com

BOSTON — Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the defendant in the Boston Marathon bombings, on Tuesday asked for a one-month suspension in the trial, citing the parallels between the Boston bombings and last week’s terrorist attacks in France.

A delay “would allow some time for the extraordinary prejudice flowing from these events — and the comparison of those events to those at issue in this case — to diminish,” the lawyers wrote in a motion that included references to recent news reports of sleeper cells in France and the firebombing of a German newspaper. A Westchester County Criminal Defense Lawyer is following this story closely.

The attacks in Paris began on the third of three days of jury selection in Boston last week. About 1,350 prospective jurors in the Tsarnaev case filled out screening questionnaires; Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. of Federal District Court had planned to start the questioning of individual jurors on Thursday.

The request for a delay is not the defense team’s first; it had asked at least twice before for a delay, saying it was overwhelmed by the huge number of documents from the government. It also sought to move the trial out of Boston, saying Mr. Tsarnaev could not get a fair trial here. All such requests were denied, and jury selection began Jan. 5.

The defense motion on Tuesday cited numerous news media accounts that drew comparisons between the initial terrorist attack in Paris that killed 12 people and the 2013 marathon bombings, which killed three and wounded more than 260. A Westchester County criminal defense attorney has experience representing clients in criminal accusations.

“The supposed parallels included the fact that the suspects were brothers, that they reportedly were influenced by the lectures and writings of Anwar al-Awlaki, that they were ‘homegrown’ terrorists, and that they attacked civilians in a Western city,” the defense wrote.

Representative William Keating, Democrat of Massachusetts, was quoted by USA Today as saying: “I’m watching what’s happening in Paris, and I’m thinking of Watertown,” a reference to lockdowns of suburban neighborhoods during sprawling manhunts to find the suspects.

“These parallels so widely expressed cannot be lost on potential jurors,” the defense wrote.

“Even before the Paris attacks,” the defense added, “there was no modern precedent of which we are aware for attempting to seat an impartial jury in a community that had been so recently, so grievously, and so widely affected by a single series of crimes. Now, at the very moment that this attempt is to be made, the Boston bombings are being newly placed at the center of a grim global drama.”

Monday, January 5, 2015


Original Story: detroitnews.com

Nothing better symbolizes the dangers of cracking the federal regulatory door than the Clean Water Act. Initially passed to limit discharges into "navigable waters," two government agencies are preparing to expand the act's reach once again in a way that would put nearly every drop of water in the United States under federal control. A San Antonio Water Rights Lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency want to redefine "waters of the United States" subject to regulation to include nearly every pond, wetland, ditch, drain and dry and pothole in the country. Virtually no body of water, no matter how small, would be out of reach.

This is not what Congress intended when it passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. At that time, the scope of the law was intentionally limited to align with Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce. Its power extended only to waterways that could be used as commercial channels of navigation that cross state lines. An Austin Water Rights Lawyer assists water districts, municipalities, industry, and landowners in all aspects of water law.

That was an appropriate delineation of power, and did not intrude in a major way on the rights of the states to manage their own resources.

But the Corps and EPA have steadily stretched the definition well beyond what lawmakers intended, and have done so despite being slapped down by the courts.

In 2001, the Supreme Court in SWANCC vs. Army Corps of Engineers, forbade the agencies from regulating "isolated water bodies," meaning those that were not connected to interstate waterways.

Rather than comply with the court's interpretation, the agencies pushed ahead, deciding that any water that could possibly find its way into a navigable waterway was fair game for regulation, including culverts and agricultural drainage ditches. That placed much of the nation's farms under the Clean Water Act's thumb, and set up Rapanos vs. United States in 2006, involving a Midland area farmer. A Houston Water Rights Lawyer represent clients in issues that arise in water rights litigation, mediation, arbitration, and in trial.

John Rapanos grew corn on fields that were surrounded by century-old drainage ditches and criss-crossed with tiles, a clear indication that the property was never intended to be a wetland. Still, the EPA pounced on him when he filled in a low spot on his farm that held standing water for a few weeks during the wet season.

Rapanos was threatened with prison and nearly bankrupted before prevailing in the Supreme Court, which ruled the agencies could not automatically regulate wetlands just because they have a hydrological downstream connection to navigable waters.

Even that second ruling hasn't deterred the EPA and Corps. In clear defiance of the Court and Congress, they are now preparing rules that would give them potential authority over all tributaries, even the smallest of streams, and almost all standing water.

In the end of year spending bill, Congress inserted exemptions to the regulations for certain farming practices, but stops short of overturning the rules. The new Congress must step in and bring the agencies in compliance with both the law and the court rulings.

The Clean Water Act specifically promises to "recognize, preserve and protect the primary responsibilities of the states" to regulate and protect the water contained within their borders.

Federal agencies charged with carrying out the law are trampling on that promise and must be checked.