Class Action & Mass Torts

QUESTION:     HOW CAN REMOTE ONLINE NOTARIZATION WORK? ANSWER:        MANY STEPS ARE REQUIRED TO ASSURE THE ACCURACY AND INTEGRITY OF THE NOTARIZATION AND SIGNING PROCESSES. How could remote online notarization go awry? During my career I have been able to prove at least two fraudulent notarizations when the rules required pen and paper signatures in the physical presence of notaries.  I probably also dealt with a few fraudulent notarizations that I suspected, but could not prove.  The most blatant fraud was the time the notary’s certificate expiration stamp indicated that the notary’s certification had expired prior to the purported date of…
QUESTION:    WHY ARE COMPANIES STILL STRUGGLING WITH ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS 20 YEARS AFTER THE LAWS SAID THEY ARE VALID? ANSWER:       PEOPLE HAVE DIFFICULTY UNLEARNING THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF RELIANCE ON HAND-WRITTEN SIGNATURES. The laws of electronic signatures and e-transactions. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-SIGN Act”) became the law of the United States on June 30, 2000. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”) was released by the Uniform Law Commission in 1999 and enacted in Arizona in 2000. The E-SIGN Act allows the use of electronic records to satisfy any statute, regulation, or rule of…
C’MON! IT’S ONLY A COMMA!!!??? A MISSING COMMA COST ONE COMPANY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS!   Oakhurst Dairy had to pay its delivery drivers five million dollars to settle a wage and hour dispute about overtime pay all because of a missing comma! O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, 851 F.3d 69 (1st Cir. 2017). What does punctuation have to do with an employment dispute? “For want of a comma, we have this case.” That is how the court started its opinion concerning a dispute between a Maine dairy company and the dairy delivery drivers. The case involved the scope of an exemption…
QUESTION:    I THOUGHT THAT ONLY THE COMPANY COULD BE PENALIZED FOR FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT VIOLATIONS?   ANSWER:       WHEN A TEXAS ROPE COMPANY GOT TIED UP WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, THE OWNER, PLANT MANAGER AND OFFICE MANAGER WENT TO JAIL!   Numerous federal laws include civil liability for individuals who fail to comply with the laws. Some federal laws even provide for individual criminal liability for company owners and managers. Don’t let the boss rope you into breaking the law! The U.S. Attorney’s office charged that High Performance Ropes of America, Inc. did not pay overtime compensation,…
QUESTION:    WE WORRY ABOUT GETTING SUED FOR FIRING PEOPLE, BUT NOW ARE WE BEING SUED FOR NOT FIRING SOMEONE? ANSWER:        NEGLIGENT HIRING, RETENTION AND SUPERVISION OF EMPLOYEES CAN COST YOUR COMPANY MONEY! Employers are conditioned by discrimination lawsuits to avoid background checks and to avoid disciplining and firing workers.  For example, so called “ban the box” statutes forbidding including questions about past criminal convictions on employment applications have caused employers to be lax in hiring standards. Wrongful termination lawsuits have made employers wary of disciplining or firing underperformers. Nevertheless, members of the public can and do sue companies…