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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California April2004
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Keep the addresses secret

Your cover story last month pointed out some of the very real dangers attorneys who have worked in criminal law (as well as other areas of the law) face. One obvious, simple and tremendously helpful step the bar could take to help safeguard its members is to stop forcing them to publish their address and location for all to see on the bar's website. Please consider this a formal request.

Roger Ivey
Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Lousy lawyering skills

I read with interest your article on Gerald Curry as my wife used to work in the same office as Gerry. What happened to him proved that it (or worse) could happen to any of us. I was, therefore, somewhat disgusted at the remarks of Larry Lawson, who seems to think it a compliment to his lawyering skills that acid or brake fluid has been thrown on his car six or seven times. In his words: "It means I really nailed him."

Mr. Lawson was referring to the husband in a divorce case where he is acting for the wife. Is it just me or did this strike other lawyers as a particularly crass statement? Should divorce lawyers be looking to "nail" anybody, or simply be seeking to get a fair deal for their client. If the test of a good divorce lawyer is whether or not he/she has "nailed" the other spouse, then we should all take to wearing protective clothing and keep a tree between us and anybody who is a victim of our good lawyering.

Douglas Turner

Good legislation

In his recent letter (March), John H. Sullivan, who is identified as "President, Civil Justice Association of California," labels SB 796, introduced by Sen. Joe Dunn, as a "bounty hunter law." Sullivan completely misrepresents and falsely characterizes the function and intent of this law. His comments indicate that he believes in "civil justice" for businesses, but not for their employees.

In fact, SB 796, (Labor Code §2698 et seq.) represents a much-needed attempt to reduce violations by employers of important protections afforded to employees under the Wage & Hour Act and other Labor Code provisions by allowing enforcement of the code and regulations of the Industrial Welfare Commission by employees as private attorneys general. Seventy-five percent of any civil penalties awarded in such an action goes to the State of California, and 25 percent goes to the plaintiff/ employee as an incentive to seek enforcement.

Most California employers comply with employment laws, but some, including large corporations which employ thousands in our state, "thumb their noses" at employment rules and intentionally violate them to improve the "bottom line." No employer who complies with Labor Code provisions and IWC regulations has anything to fear from SB 796.

Hats off to Sen. Joe Dunn for the message he has sent to California employers who seek higher profits by breaking the law and exploiting their employees.

Steven S. Kane
San Diego

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