On May 7, 2016, Joshua Brown made history. The Canton, Ohio, resident became the first person to die in a self-driving car.Brown, 40, had turned on Autopilot, the autonomous driving system of his Tesla Model S, and set the cruise control at 74 miles per hour. As his car raced down a highway west of Williston, Florida, a tractor-trailer came out of an intersecting road.Tesla’s Autopilot is a technological marvel. It controls the car, using radar and cameras to scan the road. It keeps the car within lanes on highways. It brakes, accelerates and passes other vehicles automatically.According to one of Tesla’s public statements, the camera on Brown’s car failed to recognize the tractor-trailer crossing the highway against a bright sky. As a result, the car did not brake, nor did it issue any warning to Brown. The car crashed into the trailer, killing Brown.The automobile’s self-driving system was not at fault, according to an investigation conducted by the National … [Read more...] about Who’s to blame when self-driving cars crash?
A Massachusetts lawyer has been suspended for four months for failing to restrain his overzealous client and allowing her wrongful termination cases to become “mired in discovery” for more than three years.Lawyer Edson Rafferty charged $700,000 for the discovery work, according to the opinion by Justice Francis Spina of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.One of the client’s cases eventually settled for $40,000 and the other was dismissed, both concluding after the client hired a different lawyer.Spina approved the four-month suspension and said the $700,000 fee should be submitted to arbitration, if requested by the estate of the now deceased client. The Legal Profession Blog noted the Jan. 28 opinion.Rafferty’s client in the discipline case was a professional woman “with disposable income and a zealous interest in litigating,” Spina said, citing a hearing committee report. Rafferty “allowed the client to dictate a misguided strategy … [Read more...] about Lawyer Suspended for Excessive Discovery; Client Had Money and a ‘Zealous Interest in Litigating’
Denied permission by a Pennsylvania municipality to use a LED sign in front of its law office, Quatrini Rafferty is threatening to sue.That’s because a gas station across the street was granted an exception by the Greensburg Historical and Architectural Review Board and is allowed to use a lighted sign to advertise its prices, reports the Tribune-Review.Co-founder Vincent Quatrini asked the city council on Monday to overturn the review board’s ban. “If you turn me down, I will have to go to court,” he said. “And we will go to court. And I want to tell you, I’m persistent.”Meanwhile, the $25,000 law firm sign remains in place but its LED features are turned off. … [Read more...] about Law firm calls LED sign ban unfair, says gas station got preferential treatment
A magisterial district judge in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has been indicted for alleged money laundering as a result of an FBI sting operation.Judge John Waltman was charged along with two others in an indictment (PDF) unsealed on Friday, report the Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.) and a press release. Waltman is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Judicial Conduct Board has filed a petition for Waltman’s interim suspension, according to another press release (PDF).Waltman was charged along with Robert Hoopes, a lawyer who is director of public safety for Lower Southampton Township, and Bernard Rafferty, a county deputy constable in Bucks County who runs a consulting firm.The three defendants are accused of taking $80,000 in money laundering fees to handle three money-laundering transactions. Undercover agents had claimed the money came from health-care fraud and illegal drug trafficking.The indictment claims Rafferty’s consulting … [Read more...] about Judge is charged with money laundering in FBI sting operation
The judge who sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail is hardworking, unassuming and not given to grandstanding for the cameras.Lawyers who argue cases in front of Judge Michael Sauer told the Los Angeles Times he wouldn’t change his judgment to make an example out of a celebrity.“He’s not the kind of guy who likes the limelight,” said lawyer Mark Rafferty. He’s a hardworking judge and has been for a long time. He’s not worried about what other people think, good or bad.”Sauer says he’s surprised at all of the attention. “I don’t care to be the DUI judge to the stars,” he told the newspaper. “I’m amazed about the amount of talk about this case. I’m amazed at the amount of publicity.” … [Read more...] about Paris Hilton Judge Amazed at Publicity