NFL Player Protests and the Constitution

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pdaphoto/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pdaphoto/

NFL Football photo by Parker Anderson

The hottest topic in our country right now involves NFL (National Football League) Players kneeling during the United States National Anthem. Colin Kaepernick began kneeling as a protest against police brutality in America. Now other players and entire teams (including the Pittsburg Steelers and Dallas Cowboys) are protesting racial inequality and injustice that still exists in our country today. Opponents to the protests consider kneeling to be disrespectful to the military, first responders, and the United States as a whole. President Donald Trump has added fuel to the fire by suggesting that NFL Owners should fire players who protest. While the country appears to be divided on this political issue, it presents an interesting question for some NFL Team Owners: Can NFL Team Owners fire players for protesting the national anthem?

It is well established that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the rights of free speech, and the right to peacefully assemble. However the First Amendment applies towards the United States government, not private organizations like the NFL. The current debate does not involve any state action, so it is highly unlikely that the First Amendment would preclude any NFL Owner decisions.

The most likely way for NFL Players to defend themselves for protesting would be in their NFL employment contract. If players had contracts that protected their right to free speech within the scope of employment, then they would likely be able to protest the national anthem among other free speech actions. Currently the player’s collective bargaining agreement put together by the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) gives vast power to the NFL Owners. NFL owners are allowed to fine or discipline players for any actions that diminish public respect for the game. These terms make it highly unlikely that players have any defense for being fired for their actions.

The latest debate regarding NFL Protests brings about significant constitutional, employment, contractual, and civil legal matters. If you or someone you know is facing civil legal issues please contact the Bruner Law Firm. The Bruner Law Firm has served thousands of clients throughout Northwest Florida for over 30 years. The Bruner Law Firm has lawyers who specialize in recovering damages for victims of car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, and trucking accidents. If you need a personal injury attorney in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City, Niceville, Navarre, or Crestview please contact the Bruner Law Firm. With offices located in Fort Walton Beach and Panama City, Florida the team of lawyers and legal specialists at the Bruner Law Firm are ready to help!


Florida – When passing another car on the right is permitted.

Ordinarily one would assume that it almost always impermissible to pass someone in the right lane. As we all know from driver’s ed, the left lane is for passing! However, there are specific circumstances in Florida when passing on the right is legally kosher.

Florida Statute § 316.084 “When overtaking on the right is permitted.”
(1)The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass on the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
(a)When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
(b)Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving traffic in each direction;
(c)Upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.
(2)The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
(3)A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 108, ch. 99-248.

It is important to note that conditions A, B, or C must be fulfilled and that the driver must also overtake and pass “only under conditions permitted such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.” Obviously, this statute becomes an issue when wrecks occur due to the failure of motorists to exercise due care when driving on the Florida roads. If you are dealing with an insurance claim or lawsuit involving a car wreck, our firm would be more than happy to try and assist you with these matters. We handle cases in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Mary Esther, Panama City, and others. Please contact our firm via phone for a free consult.


Will text messages become a will?

In the UK, the Law Commission has recently proposed revised rules that would permit a deathbed text message to serve as a legally enforceable will. The proposed rule changes would allow not only text messages sent from an iPad or phone, but also voicemails, and even emails to serve a will that would be enforced by British courts. The rule changes are meant to bring the “outdated” law of wills into the modern era because they are failing to protect the vulnerable. Currently, around 40% of people die without making a will. This proposal aims to clear up much of that by making it easier for people to direct the legal affairs were they to meet an unfortunate end.

It is important to note, that in Florida, no such rule has been proposed, and the formalities for a valid will are very strictly enforced. Rules vary significantly among states and it is highly advisable that one seek consultation from a licensed Florida Bar member before attempting to draft such a document. To reach an attorney licensed to assist in drafting a will, the Florida Bar Referral Service can be reached via telephone at 1-800-342-8011.


Who will pay my medical bills after an automobile accident?

If you have been in a wreck in Florida and were treated for your injuries, either with a doctor of some sort or at an emergency room, you may have started receiving that inevitably ugly pile of bills that often accompanies a trip to a healthcare provider. In Florida, the bills could be possibly be paid through something known and “PIP Insurance” aka Personal Injury Protection / “No-fault” benefits. In Florida, PIP is generally going to be the first pool of funds responsible for paying medical bills subsequent to a motor vehicle accident. This isn’t always the case (i.e. Workers’ Compensation can be primary to PIP when you’re injured in a motor vehicle and on the job) but generally, if you’re a named insured (or resident relative) on a Florida Auto Insurance Policy, it is a good first starting ground for getting rid of these bills.

Additionally, bills may be satisfied or paid in part through health insurance—whether it is Medicaid, Medicare, tricare, or Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Since PIP generally only pays 80% of the medical expenses, health insurance may help by picking up the other 20%. If “Medpay” is available (Medical payments insurance made irrespective of fault) this coverage may also pay for the other 20% of unpaid bills or cover the expenses outright.

It is important to mention that any health insurer will likely have a right to be repaid by the at-fault party in the event they pay for medical expenses caused by a wrongful act. This is sometimes known as a “Right of Subrogation.” Depending on the language of the health insurance plan (or if it is government provided health insurance—statutes) this right of subrogation may be a legally valid and enforceable lien on any proceeds obtained pursuant to a settlement or suit against a tortfeasor. If this all sounds a little messsy—that’s because it is—and also, why it is important to seek advice from a licensed and qualified attorney when you have been involved in any of the situations mentioned above. At out law firm, we not only provide a free consultation, we also provide pro bono (“Free”) representation for clients for various legal situations that they may be unable to afford. If you’re still unsure about any of the medical bills you have received and feel burdened by the task of getting them resolved, feel free to give us call, we’d love to help!


Ohio Suing Pharmaceutical Companies For Causing Opioid Epidemic

Photo taken by Jamie from Flickr

This Wednesday the State of Ohio filed suit against five big Pharmaceutical Firms alleging that they undersold the risks of potent opioid drugs. Drugs like OxyContin and Percocet are used to reduce pain symptoms in patients, but have led to mass addiction. Attorney General Mike DeWine stated, “We believe the evidence will also show that these companies got thousands and thousands of Ohioans, our friends, our family members, our co-workers, our kids, addicted to opioid pain medications. These drug manufacturers knew what they were doing was wrong, but they continued to do it anyway.”

The State of Ohio claims that big Pharmaceutical companies have caused patients to become addicted since they have not adequately described the risks associated with taking the drugs. DeWine stated, “We believe that the evidence will show that these pharmaceutical companies purposely misled doctors about the dangers connected with pain meds that they produced, and that they did so for the purpose of increasing sales.”

Patients often form physical and psychological dependencies to opioids like OxyContin and Percocet. Once patients are no longer able to obtain the prescribed drugs, they often turn to the street for opioids and sometimes heroin. Big pharmaceutical companies minimizing the risk of addiction in order to increase sales leads to a slippery slope. Some are even comparing these unethical marketing strategies to that of the tobacco companies during the 1990’s.

Have you or someone you know been harmed by addiction to legally prescribed opioid drugs? Have you been wondering how to deal with a problem with prescription pain pills? Were you given adequate knowledge and warnings about the risks related to using legally prescribed opiates? If so you should immediately contact an attorney to seek relief for the potential damages that you have incurred. The Bruner Law Firm has represented thousands of clients in Northwest Florida against major corporations in lawsuits related to personal injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured please contact The Bruner Law Firm by phone (850-243-2222), or visit our office in Fort Walton Beach 0r Panama City. It makes sense to talk to Vince.


Casey Anthony’s revealing interview with the Associated Press

Casey Anthony, the notorious woman charged with killing her child several years ago, has given an exclusive first-time interview with the associated press. In the interview, Casey states that she is sleeping well and that if her daughter was still alive, she would be “…listening to classic rock, playing sports” and putting up with no nonsense. To read more please visit the following URL:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-1st-time-casey-anthony-speaks-about-case


Cycling and Bicycle Accident Lawsuits

At the Bruner Law Firm, we are prepared to handle cases involving cycling/bicycle accidents. Oftentimes, these cases are fatal and can even result in death. We feel strongly that many of the motorists in our area do not approach cyclists with the care and caution that the law requires. As avid cyclists ourselves, we feel there are numerous legislative and municipal improvements that could be made in our geographic area that would help ensure better safety for all. Although cyclists are generally permitted to drive on roadways, they must exercise the same care as a walking pedestrian if they take to the sidewalks (where legally permitted to do so.) Tinted windows can make it especially troublesome for cyclists and runners as they are not able to make eye contact with a driver, and thus, unable to make a determination whether they have been seen. Tints also make it difficult for the drivers of such vehicles to communicate through facial expressions and other forms of nonverbal communication. It has often been stated that such nonverbal cues make up the bulk of what we are trying to say anyways.

If you, your husband, or you child has been injured on a bicycle, please contact our firm for a free consultation. Although we don’t accept most cases that contact our firm, we can at least get you pointed in the right direction for pursuing any possible claim you may have.


Trump to consider appointing new Justice for Supreme Court

Judge Neil Gorsuch of Colorado—known for upholding religious rights in battles against Obamacare—has become the odds favorite for replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia. This would restore the balance of “power” on the court, shifting the makeup to four conservatives, four liberals, and one middle/swing vote in Justice Kennedy. Gorsuch currently sits on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Gorsuch is seen by most as an easier confirmation due to his cool manner and clear legal writing. One way or another, Trump is expected to make his pick earlier next week.


American Museum of Tort Law

The American Museum of Tort Law has just celebrated its first year anniversary. The Museum is the child of renowned consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who started the project to give Americans a look a the truth and history behind many famous torts lawsuits. Amongst the chief cases exhibited are the famous Ford Pinto, Liebeck v. McDonald’s (the “Hot Coffee Case”), and various Tobacco lawsuits/Engle Progeny. The museum has received donations and funding from various consumer advocate groups. Nader has described the running theme as keeping the powerful accountable. The museum can be visited most days from 10:30am to 5:00pm and is located at 654 Main St, Winstead, CT 06098.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/american-museum-of-tort-law-winsted


Motorcyclist dead following Miami accident

One person recently succumbed to his injuries in Miami, Florida after he was involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle, a report of Miami Patch stated on January 11.

According to reports of the January 10 incident, the victim, identified as Darius Leroy Roberts, 23, was ejected from the motorcycle he was driving on State Road 989 in the vicinity of Old Clutter Road after having a collision with a sedan vehicle. Information coming from the Florida Highway Patrol revealed that the sedan involved was making a left turn when the motorcyclist struck the sedan’s windshield. Roberts was transported to a medical facility where he succumbed to his injuries. The 52-year-old sedan driver, identified as Beverly April, was injured in the mishap. April’s three passengers, including a child and a teenager, were unharmed, reports said.

The Fort Walton wrongful death attorneys of Bruner Law Firm express their sincere condolences to those who have been affected by the recent tragedy.


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Bruner Law Firm represents clients throughout Florida’s Emerald Coast including Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Mary Esther, Niceville, Freeport, Defuniak Springs, Crestview, Shalimar, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Laurel Hill, Bonifay, Chipley, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Valparaiso, Miramar Beach, Okaloosa County, Walton County, Santa Rosa County, Escambia County, Bay County, and Holmes County.

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