Thursday, October 17, 2013

Can Facebook Get You Fired?

I wonder if some of you who are reading this post found your way to this site through a link on my Facebook page. If so, thanks for checking it out! There is no doubt that Facebook and other social media outlets play an important role in the lives of professionals of all types, from attorneys to landscapers to retail owners to even the President of the United States.
Of course, Facebook is just as prominent in its ability to reconnect you with old friends and share countless photos of your kids and get into political arguments that have no chance of being anything other than frustrating.
But what happens when your professional world and personal world collide on your computer screen? Where are the boundaries? What are the possible consequences if these lines are blurred?
For the purposes of this blog post, I am thinking about the situation in which a high school teacher wants to have a Facebook account to stay connected with friends and family. While this teacher likely wouldn’t “friend” any of her students, it is difficult to keep all details online completely private.
So, what is a teacher to do? Can you deny the rights of an entire profession to stay away from a social network that boasts millions of participants? No. Most schools set up parameters for the use of Facebook by its staff as part of a general code of conduct. That’s fair. But what if the lines are not always clear. What is something inappropriate is assumed by a parent or a principal based on your Facebook postings?
Or let’s move beyond teachers and think more generally. Can an employee use Facebook to blow off steam about an unpopular boss? What about simply keeping a comfortable distance from co-workers and just not having to know every detail of one another’s lives?
The influence of social media is just now taking shape in examples of legal precedence, as technology is always forcing us to ask new questions. But you may already have found yourself the victim of termination or other negative consequences at work due to your use of social media, and you believe what you are facing is unfair.
We have attorneys in Austin, Houston and San Antonio who specialize in wrongful termination and workplace discrimination who are ready to help you if you feel as if you have been mistreated in your employment for any reason, not just your use of social media. Please call our office today and let’s discuss what we can do to help.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Maybe Funny on TV . . . Definitely Not in Real Life

If you've ever seen a live vaudeville show or even one of its television counterparts such as a Bob Hope special or The Carol Burnett Show, you know that the old "banana peel on the floor" gag is a sure-fire winner. An unsuspecting fellow takes a spill due to the slippery fruit and laughs ensue. But if you've ever been a victim of a slip and fall accident, you know better than most that the last thing you need in that moment is a laugh track. Sudden slips or trips can result in serious back and neck pain, arm or leg injuries and a variety of other medical issues that may linger for years.

You may have fallen recently and just chalked it up to clumsiness or bad luck. But there may be others to blame and accountability is needed!

Maybe you tripped over a curb outside your local drug store because it was crumbling or uneven and you broke your wrist in the fall.

It could be that your favorite grocery store had a leak in the frozen foods section and no signs posting the obvious danger of a wet floor and your lower back still hurts from your encounter with that puddle.

Have you ever walked across a parking lot in January to get into the shopping mall and thought to yourself how dangerous those unsalted ice patches could be? You aren't the only one.

Businesses are responsible for keeping their property safe for clients and customers, both inside and out. If you have been injured due to someone else's lack of due diligence regarding basic upkeep and maintenance, there is merit to your understandable desire for compensation. Have you been hurt due to someone else's negligence? Please talk to one of our personal injury attorneys in Austin, Houston or San Antonio today and we'll get started in working for the outcome you deserve.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

TV Attorneys -- Which One is the Best?

With the new season of television programming unveiling itself for the fall, there are, as always, several new shows that are introducing us to some new fictional attorneys. And, some other fictional attorneys who we have followed for years have returned for more legal maneuvering on the small screen. The legal profession has been a popular focus for television producers since the medium was invented.

So, here is the question for the day. If you need to be represented in the courtroom, which TV lawyer do you want sitting next to you?

Would it be Clair Huxtable? She broke gender and racial barriers in the 1980s on The Cosby Show as a successful attorney who took a no-nonsense, confident approach in front of a judge and often used her legal mind to solve conflicts at home as well.

Maybe you prefer the classic character of Perry Mason, memorably played by Raymond Burr in a popular series of the same name that ran for nearly a decade starting more than a half century ago. If you wanted to get someone on the stand to confess his guilt, Mason was your guy.

There is the more unorthodox and irreverent approach taken by Denny Crane on Boston Legal. While his tactics were always likely to offend someone, his winning record trumped his lack of political correctness for many who needed a victory.

The list of TV attorneys goes on and on -- shows like L.A. Law, The Good Wife, Suits, JAG, Law and Order in its multiple forms and many others offer us lawyers on the screen.

Who is your choice? Share your favorite TV lawyer and why that character tops your list!

If you need a real-life attorney to assist you with legal needs ranging from personal injury to divorce issues to defending your professional license, please call the Austin, Houston or San Antonio office of Bertolino LLP today and we will get to work for you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DUI Charges for Former Browns QB

So the Houston Texans snatched another defeat out of the arms of victory this weekend and the once undisputed kings of the collegiate football fields of Texas are wondering what happened and talking about the search for a new coach. Perhaps it is best to turn our attention away from sports in our home state for now and look to the north. In Ohio, a former football star has found himself in trouble entirely unrelated to any effort on the field.

Ex-NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar of the Cleveland Browns was arrested early Sunday morning after a stop by police due to speeding led to his arrest after it the strong odor of alcohol was found to be emanating from his vehicle. He now faces DUI charges. Fortunately, he did not have any passengers in his car and no other cars came into contact with his reckless decision to get behind the wheel.

Kosar has been vocal about how the the rough game and the head injuries he sustained over the years continue to plague him. Due to the repeated trauma to his brain, Kosar shares that sometimes he slurs his words. Will this be an issue when the time comes for Kosar to stand before a judge and state his innocence or guilt? Time will tell. Regardless of any connection, this incident serves as a solemn reminder that all too often our sports heroes will prove themselves to be quite human and not immune from the addictions and illnesses and poor decisions that our society must face.

If you have been injured by someone who decided to drive a car on our roads after having several cocktails, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering and the person responsible should be deterred from making that same choice again. The personal injury attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. If you have been hurt due to another's careless act while driving, please contact our Austin, Houston or San Antonio office today and let us get to work for you.