Fox 5 Las Vegas recently reported that a 12 year old Oklahoma girl shot an intruder who forced his way into her home (the full article is available here).  The girl, who was home alone at the time of the incident, telephoned her mother at work claiming that a stranger was knocking at their front door.  After the girl refused to open the door, the man went to the back of the house and kicked in the door-forcing his way into the residence.  The girl’s mother told her to get the family gun and hide in the closet, which she did.  According to the article, the girl fired through the closet door as the intruder was turning the nob.  The bullet struck the intruder and sent him running from the residence. Shortly thereafter local police arrived at the scene and arrested 32 year old Stacey Jones.  Mr. Jones was arrested in 2007 for allegedly abducting a 17 year old girl with a history of mental disability. This story provides an excellent example of when the use of deadly force against an intruder is authorized and why the girl in this case should not face charges for shooting the intruder.

Cases like the girl from Oklahoma, and the recent case involving the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin have brought the so-called Florida “Stand Your Ground Law” and others like it to nationwide attention and instigated a debate on the use of deadly force in self defense.  In short, “deadly force” is defined as force that has the capacity of inflicting serious bodily injury or death upon another human being.  Firearms and knives obviously have the capacity to cause serious injury or death, consequently using either of them to defend yourself from an attacker is considered the use of deadly force against another person (attempting to list all the weapons and objects that could be considered capable of deadly force would take up an entire novel). Despite variations among the states, the general rule is that use of deadly force against another is authorized when a person is in “reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm.”  Therefore, if a person is in reasonable fear that they (or someone else) is in imminent danger of being killed or seriously injured due to the actions of an aggressor who has the capability and the apparent intent to kill or seriously injure, then the individual may use deadly force to stop the aggressor.  This is broadly known as the law of self defense.

To provide a very basic example, if an aggressor is approaching their intended victim with a raised bat stating “I’m going to kill you”, a reasonable person would understand this to be a threat that death or great bodily harm was imminent, therefore using deadly force in this situation would almost certainly be appropriate.  However if a person threatens to kill you over a the phone, even if you reasonably believe the person intends to do so, your fear would not give you the right to drive over to their house and shoot them because the threat would not be imminent.  In addition to the fear of imminent death or great bodily harm, some states require that the  victim attempt to retreat, if possible, from the aggressor prior to using deadly force.  Other states, such as Florida and Texas, have no such requirement; these states are informally known as “no retreat” states.

While the use of deadly force should always be a last resort, Nevada law does provide fairly broad protections for people to defend themselves.  For example, Nevada has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation allowing for both open and concealed carry of firearms.  Although, concealed carrying of firearms in Nevada requires a permit and is subject to a variety of limitations. Additionally, Nevada law does not require a victim to retreat from an unprovoked attack. Further, Nevada statute NRS 41.095  provides for the legal presumption that it is reasonable for a person who is lawfully in their home to use deadly force against an intruder or person attempting to break in.  The state of Oklahoma has a similar law, therefore the girl in our story above was well within her rights to use deadly force against the intruder.  However, in spite of Nevada laws meant to protect the rights of citizens to defend themselves, there are often gray areas where Nevadans can face prosecution for the use of deadly force in self defense.  For example, determining whether a person was in reasonable fear of imminent death or bodily harm can largely be a matter of opinion.  Further, the decision on whether to pursue charges against a person claiming self defense is often left up to the local District Attorney who can be subject to immense political pressure to do so (as in the Trayvon Martin case).  Persons claiming self defense can also find themselves in serious trouble if it is unclear as to who the initial aggressor was or in situations where the victim knew the aggressor as in domestic violence situations.

Nevadans who use deadly force in self defense should cooperate with law enforcement, but should not answer questions without first seeking the advice of a competent criminal defense attorney.  If you are facing criminal charges relating to the use of deadly force in self defense, or any other criminal charges, you should contact an attorney immediately.  The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to defend Nevadans facing criminal charges in either state or federal court. We serve clients from all socioeconomic levels of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and we are willing to negotiate  payment plans if necessary on a case by case basis.  Unlike some law firms, Connor & Connor Pllc is able to accept payment by credit or debit card.  All funds will be placed in our client trust account until earned by the attorney working the case.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

According to  Las Vegas Action 13 News, the United States Food and Drug Administration has released a list of Las Vegas area medical practices that received potentially dangerous products from the  pharmacy linked to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.  According to the article (available here), the following medical practices received medications that were produced by the pharmacy during the recall period:

  • The Cosmetic Surgery Center of Las Vegas
  • Shepherd Eye Surgicenter
  • The Weiland Group
  • Valley Hospital
  • Valley Hospital Medical Center

So far over twenty people have died and dozens more have been sickened as a result of being exposed to fungal meningitis, which has been linked to the New England Compounding Center’s Framingham, Massachusetts facility.  The drugs which have been linked to the outbreak were a form of injectable steroid that is used to treat pain, including low back pain and joint discomfort.  Symptoms of fungal meningitis include fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and altered mental status.  If you were treated at any of the above Las Vegas facilities and have any of the above symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.

While it is undisputed that most doctors and pharmaceutical companies intend to help their patients to the best of their abilities, occasionally doctors and pharmaceutical companies make mistakes and innocent people suffer injuries as a result.  Every year thousands of people are maimed or killed as a result of negligent medical care or dangerous medical products.  If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a negligent medical professional or by a dangerous medical product you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  You could be entitled to past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and possibly even punitive damages (punitive damages are a monetary award levied against the at fault party intended to punish the party and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future).

Health care providers take in massive amounts of money every year and have the resources to fight claims made by victims of their negligence.  If you have been injured by a health care provider or a dangerous medical product you need competent and tenacious legal representation to fight for your rights. The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are licensed to practice law before all Nevada state and federal courts. We served clients from all socioeconomic segments of our community and we will fight to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a bad product, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation. You may contact the firm through email at info@connorpllc.com or by phone at (702)430-4614 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

Banana Boat Sunscreen has recalled its UltraMist sunscreen product after reports that five individuals throughout the United States and Canada have caught fire after applying the sunscreen. There are nearly two dozen formulations of the sunscreen that are being pulled off the shelves and Banana Boat is  instructing people to not use the UltraMist products.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, more than 20 million units of the sunscreen have been sold. According to USA Today, approximately a half-million bottles of sunscreen have been recalled. Thus, there is still a possibility that more people could be injured by this product. The error appears to be with the spray valve with over applies the product. Thus, after applying the product takes longer to dry and if the user comes into contact with a flame or a spark while the product is still wet, the product will ignite and the person will catch fire.

This is a voluntary recall by Banana Boat. Banana Boat has informed the Food and Drug Administration of this voluntary recall.

If you have any Banana Boat UltraMist product, please stop using it as the potential danger is severe. If you have any questions, the manufacturer can be reached at 1-800-SAFESUN FREE.

If you have been injured by the Banana Boat sunscreen or another bad product you may be entitled to compensation. Please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc today.

The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are licensed to practice law before all Nevada state and federal courts. We served clients from all socioeconomic segments of our community and we will fight to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a bad product, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation. You may contact the firm through email at info@connorpllc.com or by phone at (702)430-4614 or visitwww.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

The case involving the alleged killing of a rare  bird by two U.C. Berkeley Law students at the Las Vegas Flamingo  has made national and even international news during the course of the last week.    Ironically, one of the alleged perpetrators, Justin Teixeira, graduated from UCLA with a degree in environmental studies.  It was also reported that Mr. Teixeira conducted an internship in theEnvironmental Division of the Department of Justice (the U.S. Department tasked with protecting wildlife).  A follow-up report byAbove the Law,  states that there has been a largely mixed reaction from  the accuseds’ fellow law students at U.C. Berkeley School of Law (the full article is available here).  Turning to online blogs such as the U.C. Berkeley School of Law related blog Nuts and Boalts, some students have expressed outrage at the alleged actions of the two students, while others have offered support.  No matter what, one thing that people seem to agree on is that both mens’ legal careers have been placed in jeopardy.

Even after attending a well regarded law school such as U.C. Berkeley, which was ranked at the seventh in the nation on the U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings, finding gainful employment is extremely difficult for recent law grads.  Any blemish on the record of an applicant can almost guarantee being passed over for employment.  In the buyers market that presently exists for most legal employers, a criminal conviction (especially one that made national news) can be a nonstarter.  Further, both of the accused may have trouble passing most state bar associations character and fitness requirements prior to taking the bar exam.  In a nutshell, even if both men finish their law degrees, neither may ever become licensed to practice law.  Of course, both men are considered innocent until proven guilty and we wish them the best of luck as this matter proceeds through the Nevada justice system.

This case serves as an example that criminal charges (especially convictions) can lead to difficulties beyond the courtroom.  Criminal charges can destroy your reputation and criminal convictions can lead to problems such as attaining student loans, serving in the military, from owning a firearm or from acquiring gainful employment.  Hiring competent defense attorneys can give people facing criminal charges their best chance at avoiding a conviction.  The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to defend people facing criminal charges in Nevada.  Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all Nevada state and federal courts.  We serve clients from all socioeconomic levels of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and we are willing to negotiate a payment plan if necessary.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

Two University of California, Berkeley School of Law students stand accused of killing a rare bird at the Flamingo Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  According to Above the Law the two students, Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, were charged with felony cruelty to animals after decapitating a rare Helmeted Guinea Fowl inside the Flamingo’s wildlife habitat.  However the Las Vegas Sunreported that the Clark County District Attorney’s office has not yet filed formal charges against the men.  Nevertheless, the Las Vegas Sun reported that each man has a return date scheduled on February 11, 2013 in Las Vegas Justice Court (the full Las Vegas Sun article is available here).  The Las Vegas Sun also reported a third man was seen on the security video, but his identity remains unknown at this time.  Action 13 News in Las Vegas  reported that the two men chased the bird, severed its head and were seen laughing while throwing the bird’s body around.  Hotel security detained the men and called Las Vegas Police around 9:30 a.m.  The Las Vegas Sun reported that both men immediately requested lawyers upon being questioned by detectives.  According to Above the Law, both men hired local counsel and were bailed out by family members.    As always both men are considered innocent until proven guilty.

While the alleged actions of the two men are disturbing they serve to underscore how a night on the Las Vegas strip can quickly get out of hand.  Every year thousands of young people come to Las Vegas for a good time.  It is no secret that many of the people who come to Las Vegas tend to overindulge in alcohol and cast aside their inhibitions.  Generally a good weekend in Las Vegas results in little more than a hangover and some good memories (or lack thereof), but occasionally people find themselves in trouble with Nevada law enforcement.  While Nevada laws may differ from those of other states, out of state residents who come here are entitled to the same legal rights as Nevada residents.  Notably the two men accused in this situation invoked their right to have an attorney present while being questioned by law enforcement.  Having an attorney present while being questioned by law enforcement is always a good idea, especially when  you are in a state whose laws you might not be familiar with.

If you are charged with a crime in Nevada, the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to defend your rights.  Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all Nevada state and federal courts.  We serve clients from all socioeconomic levels of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and we are willing to negotiate a payment plan if necessary.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

As we previously blogged, a meningitis outbreak has occurred in this country. This is a serious national health concern that may affect local citizens in Nevada.

As reported this morning, a lawsuit has been filed related to the nearly 14,000 people could have been given pain injections tainted with meningitis. The outbreak of meningitis began last month with most of the victims appearing in Tennessee.  There have been 14 deaths related to this outbreak and the number of infected people is quickly increasing. As reported by Reuters, 32 people were reported infected on Wednesday and 169 on Thursday.

This outbreak is a national concern. Senator Richard Blumenthal has called for an investigation into the company who provided the injections. In fact, the senator is calling for a criminal investigation into the New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts, the company purportedly responsible for the injections. The New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts has issued a recall of all of its products on October 6, 2012. The company has also suspended its operating license and is cooperating with investigators.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the tainted injections were shipped to 23 states. 11 states have confirmed cases of meningitis (IdahoFlorida, IndianaMarylandMichiganMinnesotaNew JerseyNorth CarolinaOhio,Tennessee, and Virginia). There have been deaths in six states. The medical community and federal government are still attempting to contact approximately 2000 people who received tainted injections and need to be tested immediately. Most of the patients received the injections for back pain, but now it is being discovered that these injections were also used for joint pain injections to places such as the knee or ankle.

Dr. Todd Weber of the CDC stated “We are not out of the woods yet[.]” At least 50 vials of the 17,000 that were produced have already been confirmed as infected. Furthermore, people can begin displaying symptoms within two weeks, but it may take several months.

It appears that the compounding pharmacy that provided this medication was violating state laws. Compounding pharmaciestypically provide products that are not commercially available. According to the Massachusetts Department of Health, the New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts violated state law by doing large scale production of the steroids which are tainted.

A woman in Minnesota filed a lawsuit yesterday in relation to the outbreak. She received an injection and is now experiencing meningitis-like symptoms.

If you potentially received a tainted injection or some other drug that has caused you to suffer, please contact the attorneys atConnor & Connor Pllc. 

The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are licensed to practice law before all Nevada state and federal courts. We served clients from all socioeconomic segments of our community and we will fight to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a bad drug, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation. You may contact the firm through email at info@connorpllc.com or by phone at (702)430-4614 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 
According to Current TV, federal agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have sharply increased their efforts at shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries.  Despite the fact that many states, including Nevada, have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government still outlaws the use of marijuana for any reason.  Some states such as California and Colorado allow for patients to acquire their marijuana through legal dispensaries, however these dispensaries have recently come under attack by federal agents.

Despite the fact that medical marijuana is provided for by the Constitution of Nevada, a medical marijuana patient could still face charges under federal law. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of marijuana you need competent legal representation.  The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to defend your rights.  Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all Nevada state and federal courts.  We serve clients from all socioeconomic levels of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure that your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and we are willing to negotiate a payment plan if necessary.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.
 

The pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis is believed to have sent its products to over 23 states including Nevada. The outbreak which has been linked to steroid injections has sickened over one hundred and killed at least eleven people.  According to NBC News, the steroids started being distributed on May 21, 2012, which is earlier than previously expected (the full article is available here, http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/08/14297235-fungal-meningitis-deaths-now-at-11-119-cases-confirmed?chromedomain=dailynightly).  According to the Centers for Disease Control, fatalities have occurred in nine states and that 13,000 people may have been exposed to the disease.  The drug linked to the illnesses is methylprednisolone acetate, which is common used to treat patients for lower back pain.  The drug is often given to the elderly or victims of motor vehicle accidents.  The drugs have been traced to the New England Compounding Center, which is a single compounding pharmacy.  NBC News reports that the pharmacy has closed voluntarily, relinquished its state license and recalled all of its products.  According to the article, the drugs were distributed without preservatives that are meant to prevent fungi and bacteria from growing.  Patients who have been sickened by the outbreak suffer from flu like symptoms which often do not appear until several weeks after an injection.  Fortunately this form of outbreak is extremely rare and is not contagious.  Nevertheless, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the following symptoms have been reported among those infected with fungal meningitis:

  • fever
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sensitivity to light
  • altered mental status

If you have recently received a steroid injection and suffer from any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

While occurrences such as this are relatively rare, from time to time people are sickened and injured by their medications.  Often times these injuries and illnesses could have been avoided if the pharmaceutical companies had exercised reasonable care before exposing the public to their products.  If you or a loved on has been injured by a bad drug you could be entitled to compensation.  Nevada residents who have been injured as a result of bad drugs need the advice of a competent attorney.  The attorneys atConnor & Connor Pllc are licensed to practice law before all Nevada sate and federal courts.  We serve clients from all socioeconomic segments of our community and we will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation for your injuries.  If you or a loved one has been injured by a bad drug, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

According to Fox Five Las Vegas,  Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson  is considering pressing charges against Las Vegas Police Officer, Jesus Arevalo (the full article is available here).  Officer Arevalo shot and killed Stanley Gibson, a U.S. Army Veteran of the Gulf War, ten months ago following a traffic stop.  According to Wolfson, Officer Arevalo shot Mr. Gibson in the back of the head seven times with his AR-15 rifle.    The article notes that an internal investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.  However, the article also points to the fact that no internal investigation has ever found an officer guilty of wrongdoing following a shooting.  The Las Vegas Police Protective Association  (LVPPA) is standing by Officer Arevalo and is adamant that he will be cleared when a video of the incident is shown to the public.  Ironically, the LVPPA’s general counsel is former Clark County District Attorney, David Roger (see LVPPA’s website here).  Consequently, this case could put the former DA  (who resigned his position last year) up against the current DA.

Nobody doubts that law enforcement officers have one of the most difficult jobs in our community.  They are often the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency and routinely risk their lives for the sake of others.  Nevertheless, each year law enforcement officers shoot and kill dozens of citizens following routine traffic stops and domestic disputes.  While many of these shootings are deemed justifiable, some of the killings simply cannot be justified based upon the circumstances.  Part of the reason for these incidents is the greater interaction between law enforcement and citizens.  Law enforcement agencies in America have morphed from what were once small community oriented agencies into what are essentially paramilitary organizations equipped with military grade weapons and aircraft.  The increasing size and sophistication  of law enforcement agencies coupled with the war on drugs (and the war on terror) has caused police/citizen confrontations to skyrocket.  During the past few decades law enforcement control has creeped in to virtually every aspect of our lives.  Irrespective of the societal changes of the past century, the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right due process of law before being denied the right to life, liberty or property.  Unjustified officer shootings are the ultimate denial of our rights by the state.

In addition to the death of the individual, unjustified killings by law enforcement can give rise to criminal penalties for the officers involved and civil liabilities from lawsuits brought on behalf of the victims.  Victims of law enforcement misconduct need competent legal representation.  If you have been charged with a crime or if you or a loved one has been a victim of police misconduct, the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc are ready to fight for your rights.  Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all Nevada state and federal courts.  We serve clients from all socioeconomic segments of our community and we will fight the charges with everything in our power to make sure that your rights are protected.  Our rates are reasonable and the firm is willing to negotiate a payment plan if necessary.  If you are facing criminal charges, contact one of the attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc as soon as possible for a free consultation.  You may contact the firm at info@connorpllc.com, (702) 430-4614, (702) 749-5992 or visit www.connorpllc.com. You may also visit the firm’s page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ConnorConnorPllc.

 

Very often in Las Vegas, it is reported that a pedestrian was struck by a car. Some factors that contribute to this could be that there are a high number of pedestrians that travel on some busy intersections and streets in the city. Furthermore, Las Vegas is open and running 24 hours a day. Thus, there are a large number of workers that get off at odd hours and are walking home on dark streets.
Many pedestrian injuries have been  reported including one recently about a young girl who was killed while walking in a crosswalk.  Also, a fatal motorcycle accident also resulted in a pedestrian injury.  There have been discussions by Las Vegas citizens about making the streets safer including editorials in the newspaper. Also, a task force that was run jointly by local law enforcement and the FBI was created by the city in an attempt to create safer streets. And while these attempts may have made the streets a little safer, unfortunately, many accidents and pedestrian deaths are still occurring.

It is clear that further action is needed to make the streets of Las Vegas safe for pedestrians and motorist alike. However, in the mean time it is important to protect yourself. If you are a pedestrian, please be very aware of your surroundings and try to stay in well-lit areas. Also, try to avoid crossing high speed highways.

If you unfortunately have already been injured in an accident, you need to know your rights. Pedestrians that are injured in traffic accidents might have legal claims against the drivers which would help cover medical expenses and lost wages. If you have been injured, please contact Connor & Connor PLLC today for a free initial consultation. Please call 702.430.4614 or email info@connorpllc.com to set up a free consultation.