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The Source and Creation of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that establishes legal and operational guidelines for private pension and employee benefit plans. The law requires that plan sponsors must provide participants with specific information about plan features and funding. ERISA also establishes certain fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage the plan, which is what will be discussed in this article.
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Plumbing to Prevent Domestic Hot Water Scalds

There are two types of hazards from domestic hot water systems: scalding and thermal shock. In the last few decades, the plumbing industry has come a long way in protecting people from these hazards.

Admissible Evidence

Computer forensic techniques must ensure that data collected during electronic discovery can be used as evidence in a court of law.

Construction Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

There are so many different types of building construction performed daily throughout the world. Some constructions involve building high rise structures while others involve roadways and tunnels. Most people understand the inherent hazards and construction safety but what about the latent effects from solvent vapor and dust exposures.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The "bible" of diagnoses, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Text Revision, known as the DSM-IV-TR and published by the American Psychiatric Association is extensively used by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and most other mental health professionals in the U.S., Canada and abroad to provide a common nomenclature for diagnostic purposes and for communicating about mental disorders.

Forensic Psychological Assessment

Psychological assessment is an invaluable and inestimable tool in the understanding of individual uniqueness. A comprehensive assessment helps explain the connection between psychological functioning and behavior. To be comprehensive, an assessment needs to examine a range of psychological factors.

The Role of the Mental Health Child Custody Evaluator

Guardians ad litem originate from a practice in the English Court of Chancery when the King, under his parens patriae powers, would appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of the infant. Today, the court appoints child custody evaluators, (GALs) whenever it believes it necessary to protect the interests of a child in a judicial proceeding.

Selecting Psychological Tests and the Experts Who Testify

When deciding upon an expert one might want to consider the following questions: • Has the expert ever testified before? How many times? • How does the expert present in court? Is he well organized and is his thinking logical and easy to follow? • Is he a member of major professional organizations? • Does he employ well-known and generally accepted psychological tests?

Cross-Examination of Psychological Testing

Cross-examining mental health experts is often a difficult challenge for attorneys as they are un-familiar with the material. I will discuss the most commonly used psychological measures and key points to keep in mind when questioning experts, either in deposition or on the stand.

De nouvelles règles de procédure pour les experts judiciaires en Belgique depuis septembre 2007

Provided by: Costmasters
En Belgique, la réforme du Code judiciaire applicable à l’expertise judiciaire qui fut votée en avril 2007 est d’application depuis le 1er septembre 2007. Après septe mois de pratique, cet article met en avant les principales nouveautés de cette loi et en tire de premiers enseignements.

What’s on Your iPod?

Portable media devices put companies at risk of data theft or loss.

Parent Alienation Syndrome, what to consider.

Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in custody cases

The Attorney's Quick Guide: "The 6 Essential Elements of Pressure Ulcers You Must Find in the Medical Record."

The contents of the medical record, such as deviations from standards of care, inaccurate or incomplete documentation can make the difference in your pressure ulcer case.

Workers Compensation Insurance Premium Disputes

This year, California employers will pay nearly $15 billion for workers compensation insurance. Although premiums – the price insurers charge for coverage – have dropped by half in just four years, they remain a major expense and an occasional severe headache for many companies.

Computer Forensics Specialist Is Able to Disprove a Claim Involving Improper Use of Data

As more and more business is conducted electronically, the legal community has become aware of the need to properly archive data that might be required as evidence in litigation. Computer forensics investigation certainly plays a key role in the electronic discovery process.

An Effective Electronic Use Policy, Combined with Computer Forensics, Can Help Prevent Employee Misconduct

Organizations purchase computers and other electronic equipment to increase productivity and improve customer service — but that doesn’t mean that’s all the equipment is used for. Employees tend to assume a degree of “ownership” of the devices on their desktops, and use them to some extent for personal reasons.

An Introduction to Ultraviolet Light (UV) and Electron Beam (EB) Curable Coating Technology

Ultraviolet light (UV) and electron beam (EB) curable materials are unique solvent-free compositions that cure (harden) in a fraction of a second upon exposure to a UV or EB source. The absence of solvent eliminates the need for large baking ovens used to process conventional solvent-based coatings (paints) and inks.

Mainframe Computer to PC Conversion Issues

When you need access to computer records or databases often you need to convert that data to a format your staff can use during investigation. When dealing with source data from IBM Mainframe and Mid-Range computers, the data files can use concepts foreign to PC languages and applications. Conversion accuracy and process documentation are critical to solid evidence. Many factors should be considered.

New Computer Aided Design Tools Enhance Forensic Accident Reconstruction

The latest advancements in Computer-aided design render forensic scientists far more helpful to attorneys, with far less effort, than ever before.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Experience of Trauma (Criterion A) is Not Subjective

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric diagnosis that is overused in civil litigation. Plaintiffs inappropriately claim to suffer from PTSD despite the fact they they did not experience a life-threatening, horrific circumstance. The role of subjectivity in psychiatric diagnosis is explored and the objective criteria for PTSD are explained.

Revealing the Mysteries of the Medical Record

As an attorney, any time you or your firm handles a case where health, illness, or injury is an issue you are going to need to review medical records. Whether you are a plaintiff or defense attorney, everyone needs to analyze and understand the contents of the medical record, and face it; they can be extensive and seem like a complex mystery.

Construction Defects: What Often Goes Wrong And How the Contractor Can Avoid Defects Litigation

Provided by: MPGroup
Webster's Dictionary defines the word defect, as: 1. lack of something necessary for completeness; shortcoming 2. an imperfection; fault; blemish. To some Plaintiff Attorneys, and their Experts, the word defect has an entirely different meaning. It could mean that the work was performed with less than absolute perfection, with the "Standard" being "Absolute Perfection".

Construction Defects Can Be Avoided!

Provided by: MPGroup
In my previous article entitled "Construction Process Can Lead to Defects", I illustrated various aspects of how the construction process may well lead to defects.

Construction Process Can Lead to Defects

Provided by: MPGroup
Webster's Dictionary defines the word defect: 1. lack of something necessary for completeness; shortcoming 2. an imperfection; fault; blemish. When relative to construction claims, the word defect also equates to financial disaster when it reaches litigation.

"Safeguarding Machines with an Ergonomic Spin" Reprint

While the NSC publications provide generous guidance, two aspects they do not address fully are the application and implication of ergonomics and human factors in the design of machine safeguards.

"Matters of Interpretation" on the Issues of Confined Space & LOTO

Confined Space entry and Lockout & Tagout under OSHA are procedural standards... using procedures and practices to a significant degree. Due to this, there are always "questions" of what a certain section may mean. OSHA has offered numerous interpretations, and this article discusses some of those. This article appeared in the February 2005 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

Interlocks as Machine Safety Devices

Interlocks are often required by codes and standards, but sometimes, where there is no such requirement, the safety philosophy of the configuration needs to be examined. The following article, previously published in a safety journal, discusses some related issues.

Law and Psychiatry: Assessing Civil Competence

Provided by: Brian Crowley, M.D.
Many people think psychiatric illness routinely renders patients incompetent to make important decisions about their lives. This month’s column, by Dr. Brian Crowley of Washington, DC, attacks that myth and discusses some situations in which clinicians must address their patients’ mental capacity. William H. Reid, MD, MPH

Trauma Care: Contributions to Error

Trauma medicine can be somewhat like doing a jigsaw puzzle backwards. Outwardly, you know there are interlocking sides and flat sides. You don’t know which pieces are the top or bottom, which are the picture, or what the picture is about. To do a puzzle backwards takes a specific sequence of priority and planning.

TASER Type Devices: Guidelines to Use of Force

The TASER type device (also known as an Electro-Muscular Disruption Device or EMDD) has received considerable news coverage over the last few years and most recently involving its deployment on a University of Florida student on campus several months ago. Much discussion has been generated as to when this type of weapon should be deployed by police and law enforcement personnel, and where it falls within the Use of Force Continuum.

Sarbanes Oxley, CMS and the Hospital CEO

Provided by: High Alert, LLC
Disaster preparedness is no longer just an accreditation issue. “All Hazards” disaster planning is no longer just a requirement of qualifying for federal grants. Education is no longer a last priority. Disaster planning, preparation and education are the newest legal shield for the healthcare corporate officer.

Attention Deficit Disorder: An Untold Story in Criminal Law

Provided by: John Hochman, MD
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder affects 4% of the population, and an even higher percentage of criminal defendants. It is a valid diagnostic concept, and treatment with correct medications is usually effective in some behavioral change.

First 100 Days - Transitioning A New Managing Partner

Provided by: Patrick J. McKenna
It may not be fair, but it’s true: Your first few months as Managing Partner—the time when you are just starting to grasp the totality of your new job—may well turn out to be the most crucial in setting the stage for a tenure that hopefully should last for years.

Psychology of Justice

The Science of Eyewitness Testimony Published in the Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, October, 2007

Specific Questions Enhance an Interview not Detract from It!

Improve your hiring by becoming a master of questioning.

Extremism in Defense of Physicians is No Vice, Just Junk Science

Provided by: Ronald Citron, MD
In nearly every meritorious missed cancer case there comes a time when the defendant’s attorney, losing on the facts, considers use of The Doubling Time Defense. By that time, the Plaintiff has already shown beyond doubt that the defendant physician had a Duty to take care of the patient and that there probably was a Breach of the Standard.

“Competency” - A Real Life Catch 22

Is the defendant guilty? Is the defendant suffering from a mental health malady that prohibits him from understanding the nature of the crime? Is the defendant able to consult with a lawyer and fully understand the charges against them?

Amendment to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure—Are YOU prepared?

Provided by: Miles Technologies
Under a recent Amendment to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rules 16 & 26) ALL U.S.-based companies are required to archive ALL email, instant messenger conversations, and electronic documents for use in court if a company is ever sued.

Analyzing Failures

Failure analysis determines the root cause of failure. The information presented in the failed component allows a company to reduce the possibility of re-occurrence. This paper will discuss failure analysis in general terms.

Railroad Battle Brewing

Provided by: Fritz R. Kahn, P.C.
The proposed merger of the DM&E into the Canadian Pacific and its entry into the coal rich Powder River Basin of Wyoming is sure to be opposed by the Union Pacific and BNSF, which now alone originate coal shipments there. The dispute will need to be resolved by the Surface Transportation Board. If the transaction is approved, the rates for transporting coal are likely to be reduced, favoring the construction of coal fired electric generating stations.

Mediation for the Defaulting Homeowner

As long as home prices continued to increase at a blinding rate, there was no reason for the lenders to worry about the security for the loan they approved and funded. Now, in a very different market environment, they find themselves facing mass defaults on loans and very angry homeowners who say that the loan underwriters deceived them when they allowed them to purchase homes for which they were clearly unqualified.

Forensic Science - Fake Fingerprints?

Fingerprint evidence has widely been thought to be irrefutable in court. Things aren't always as they appear to be.

Following Procedure

Rules change is forcing organizations to establish processes for archiving, retrieving and handling data for evidentiary purposes.

Forensic Science - Erroneous Handwriting Opinions?

Sometimes corners are cut when utilizing forensic science to "solve" an issue at hand. This can lead to life affecting mistakes as well as expensive blunders. It is important to utilize all the tools available in order to reach a valid forensic opinion.

Forensic Science - The Good and the Bad

Like any field, forensic science has both good and bad practitioners. If analysis results are based on science, and science is exact, then how can there be opposing experts in litigations?

The Impact of Collaborative Physician Nurse Relations

The growing shortage of nurses in the United States as well as in California has been well publicized over the last few years. In response, numerous studies have been conducted to identify the causes, analyze the issues and determine solutions.

How Mental Health Experts Can Help in Cases

Do you need a mental health expert in your corner? Mental health and the justice system have been working side by side for decades. Forensic Mental Health Professionals have been called upon to evaluate and/or assist in many cases over the years.

Bi-Lingual Safety Trainers are in Demand

Provided by: HSE Solutions, Inc.
Hispanic constructions workers are increasing but in many cases without proper safety enforcement and training. There is a need for more Spanish speaking OSHA instructors and inspectors to fill the void.

Has MSHA Lost Its Will To Enforce?

Provided by: HSE Solutions, Inc.
This article deals with the lack of strong enforcement of MSHA safety regulations which may have played a role in recent mining disasters. The author has over 35 years experience in safety with 10 years as an MSHA engineer and inspector.

Institutionalization of HSE

Provided by: HSE Solutions, Inc.
Institutionalization of HSE is not widely discussed but is the highest level of achievement that HSE performance can achieve. It means that HSE has become part of the corporate culture and is the way "we do business". It has become as natural as breathing. This paper discusses how an organization can achieve this lofty level of success. It is not an easy road but when achieved is well worth the effort.


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