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More Onvious Police Abuses of the Bill of RIghts
The Hultquist Law Firm Files Suit Against Trump Administration
Indiana's Access to Public Records Act
LABOR PAINS : CAN BEING OVERWORKED GIVE BIRTH TO DEPRESSION?
Fraudulent Product Review Problems

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Items of Interest

More Onvious Police Abuses of the Bill of RIghts

Cops kill man after traffic stop.  Cops then go to funeral home in an attempt to unlock the dead man's cell phone with the dead man's fingerprints.  (They were unseccesful).  Clearly, at least in the suburbs of Tampa, Florida, it is 1984 all over again.  Does a dead man have a right to assert a 4th amendment argument about this alleged unreasonable search and seizure?  Does his estate?  The answer to both of those questions is probably not.  However, is it not troubling that officers/operatives from the very agency that killed this man gained acces to his body at a funeral home (without his family's permissionj) in an attempt to unlock his cell phone (something the U.S. Supreme Court has said would require a warrant.  See the U.S. Supreme Court case of Riley v. California,134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014).  If this obvious attempt to obsruct justice isn't curtailed by the judicial branch, freedom as we know it will soon vanish!  What are your thoughts?  You can leave them here, drop Kerry Hultquist an email at KMH@TheHultquistLawFirm.com or on Facebook.com/TheHultquistLawFirm.

The Hultquist Law Firm Files Suit Against Trump Administration

Not long after being nominated by President Trump to serve as the nation's newest Secretary of the US Department of Health & Human Services, The Hultquist Law Firm intends to file suit against Secretary Tom Price,  The suit will be filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana - Hammond Division and will challenge the Secretary's decision to exclude the firm's client from participation in all federal health care programs.  According to the administration, a health care worker subject to an exclusion cannot, with extremely limited exceptions, work in any capacity in a US hospital.  Kerry Hultquist will argue that the Administration failed to follow its own rules which it promulgated into the federal regulations and will also argue that the administrative review components in which an exclusion may be challenged violates the Due Process Clause of the Constitution's 5th Amendment because the Administrative Law Judges who hear the cases are severely limited in what they can do and because they have sloped the playing field in the administration's favor to such a degree that the process can in no way be considered fair.  

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below, leave your contact info on our "Contact Us" page or drop us a line at Facebook.com/TheHultquistLawFirm

Indiana's Access to Public Records Act

      Not long ago, The Hultquist Law Firm, along with co-counsel, Dr. Robert J. Girod, were successful in our efforts to inspect and copy a document the Town Council President of the Town of Andrews, Indiana introduced during a March 2013 Town Council meeting wherein he described the document as "proof of the Town Marshal's insubordination."  At the close of the meeting, Town Marshal Juilerat was demoted to Deputy Marshal.  
      Girod and The Hultquist Law Firm immediately got to work by requesting a copy of the document pursuant to a Town ordinance and a state statute.  The Town's attorney refused to provide us with the document we sought.  As such, filed a formal Complaint with Indiana's Public Access Counselor who ruled in opinion 13-Inf-39 that the document should have been handed over to us.  Despite that firm victory in our favor, the Town and its counsel continued to refuse to provide us with the document.  As such, we filed suit in the Huntington Circuit Court.  Though it took some time, and there are some other oddities that emerged, in the final analysis, Judge Hakes ruled 100% in the Plaintiff's favor. Next week we will be submitting our Motion for Attorneys Fees and Litigation Expenses, which are specifically awarded if the prevailing party first sought the opinion of the Public Access Counselor but was still unable to copy and inspect the subject document.  Of particular note in this case, because the Town and its attorneys and insurers fought hard against the release of the document for a period of almost five (5) years, Plaintiff's attorney's fees will approach, and may even exceed, $100,000.00.
     So, if you believe that you are entitled to copy and inspect a public document but some public office or person has refused to provide you with access, contact The Hultquist  Law Firm.  We can help and have a proven track record of doing so!  Drop us a line here, call, or check us out on Facebook.com/TheHultquistLawFirm

LABOR PAINS : CAN BEING OVERWORKED GIVE BIRTH TO DEPRESSION?

By : Dr. Ethan Bickelhaupt, Director of MentalHealth, Parkdale Center, Chesterton, Indiana

In the age of millennials, conceptually standard 9 to 5’s are almost considered archaic thanks to the increasing number of young entrepreneurs, bloggers, tech wizards, budding media moguls and social media (savvy) savants. In today’s workplace, time clocks are almost irrelevant as round-the-clock work is typically standard, almost required, in order to meet the demand of the current competitive marketplace. All of this in an attempt to further meet the demand of massive global consumerism. While seemingly faux pas in its plight, irony has a way of making itself evident in that many of those working such feverish hours are finding enjoyment in it. Part of it may be that in some vocational venues, today’s “office” isn’t much of an office at all. Workers today are given the freedom to work when they want, how they want as long as they meet their deadlines. In one place of employment you might find a gym, full on cafeteria, an arcade, even a daycare, all perks put in place to encourage “creativity” and allow an atmosphere conducive to developing “effective workers”. Sure seems like the ideal job to have, but even when surrounded by such frills and freedom, is there a point where you working a job transitions into a job working you, even while taking pleasure in it? 

Rumor has it that within today’s highly competitive workforce lies a group of individuals whose drive and determination, while seemingly noble, have led to the unfortunate, treacherous path of workaholism. Yes, as one of addiction’s many deplorable minions, vocational extremism has been known to rear its ugly head from time to time among those who, for one reason or another, find it necessary to tirelessly put in more hours than is required from their respective place of employment. And while being diligent and dedicated to one’s work is an admirable trait, there is nothing beneficial to being overworked to the point of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. There is a danger to workaholism that can lead to depression and in some cases contribute to other forms of addiction. It goes without saying, that being a workaholic isn’t limited to those who simply “enjoy what they do”. For many, like those struggling with other addictions, it can be used simply as a way to escape what some may feel is an unhappy life, even if for a brief moment. And like those addicted to other vices, while seemingly beneficial to their immediate needs and desires, a price is being paid that no amount of overtime can match. 

According to an article in The Fix, like drug and alcohol addiction, “work addiction could be a way of escaping from other issues” and “a new study out of Norway has found that workaholics are more likely than non-workaholics to suffer from anxiety and depression, among other psychiatric disorders.”  Researchers in the article have also found that “Taking work to the extreme may be a sign of deeper psychological or emotional issues.”  Finally, the article cited a study from the British Medical Journal (January 2015) which reported that those who work more than 48 hours per week are more likely to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol.” (https://www.thefix.com/workaholics-have-higher-rates-anxiety-and-depression). These reports suggest that at the very least, there is some merit in trying to determine whether or not one befits the title of a workaholic and that if they find they are one, determine the root cause of the issue so that it may be addressed accordingly. Having the appropriate knowledge can help to quickly obtain the proper response and treatment. And that is something worth working for. 

Like this article? Check out some of our other blogs to find more topics that appeal to you! Also, let us know how we can be a part of your journey to self discovery, awareness and overall quality of life. Visit us at parkdalecenter.com we’d love to hear your story and maybe be a part of it! For more details on this study please visit: https://www.thefix.com/workaholics-have-higher-rates-anxiety-and-depression  

Fraudulent Product Review Problems

The online mega-retailer, Amazon.com, recently launched a flurry of lawsuits in Washington state court against people who post fraudulent product reviews on Amazon.  Companies that list products for sale on these cites will often pay the posters to post gleaming reviews of their products.  Amazon's approach, while not an unheard of practice, is adding a new wrinkle to what was already a fairly novel practice.  In the past, retailers like Amazon, and, in fact, Amazon itself, sought to reduce the number of fraudulent reviews appearing on their sites by suing the technology companies that helped facilitate the posting of fraudulent reviews.  This time around, Amazon is changing tactics.  Amazon is directly suing the individuals who actually write and post the reviews.  In the recently filed suits, Amazon alleges that individuals would write five-star reviews about products they never even tried, and plotted with product makers to subvert Amazon's safeguards that are meant to bolster confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the website's reviews.  Amazon is suing for unspecified damages and an order forcing the users to stop writing fake reviews.  

Amazon has expended great resources to thwart the planting of fake reviews - a practice sometimes called "astroturfing," a reference to the synthetic grass used on sports fields.  Companies like Amazon employ computer algorithms and teams of investigators who scour reviews and delete suspicious entries.  Often, only people who have paid for a product or service and been verified can post reviews.  This tactic has has far reaching consequences for the law, in general, and for the law regulating e-commerce and free speech, in particular.

The first issue that struck me when I learned of Amazon's new practice was to question the notion that a corporation could actually alter the freedom of speech guarantees contained in the 1st Amendment to the federal Constitution.  Unless you are testifying under oath or giving a statement to a federal law enforcement official (along with some other, limited examples not worthy of discussion here) you have the legal right to lie.  (You might recall that a federal court recently held that Fox News is entitled to lie during its broadcasts.  The court held that the lies are protected by the Constitution's 1st Amendment guaranteeing the right to freedom of speech.  The 1st Amendment provides equal protection (no pun intended) to untruthful statements as it does to truthful statements.  While lying via the means of posting untruthful product reviews online, or in other forms or examples, may be questionable from a moral or ethical standpoint, it otherwise has no bearing on a person's Constitutionally protected free speech guarantees found in the 1st Amendment.  

So, you might ask yourself or, preferably, your attorney, just how on Earth does Amazon expect to successfully prevail in the lawsuits which were filed in Washington state?  If people are legally permitted to lie then what serves as the basis of  a valid theory of recovery against the fraudulent posters?   There do not appear to be any sort of "tort" or "tort-like" acts or omissions that would give rise to liability on the part of the posters.  It is a confusing scenario. The answer, I suspect, is that the posters do have contractual relationships with Amazon, the violation of which could give rise to legitimate claims against the posters for violating Amazon's terms of service.  As has been the case since sometime around the drafting of the Magna Carta, parties (both individuals and entities) are generally free to enter into contractual relationships with other individuals or entities that define each parties' rights and responsibilities and govern what occurs should one or both parties breach the terms of the contract.  For now, it remains to be seen whether the recent suits filed by Amazon will prove to be valid means for imposing liability on the fraudulent posters and whether other "alternative" theories of recovery against the posters exist, and whether attorneys for other online retailers, like Amazon, can earn their overpaid keep by developing still newer, more novel theories of recovery.  

If you have something you would like to add to this story, have questions regarding the types of issues discussed herein or require any other form of legal assistance, services or advice, drop us a line here, or sign up on the "Contact Us" page, email Kerry Hultquist, the firm's Lead Counsel at KMH@TheHultquistLawFirm.com, or check us out on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHultquistLawFirm.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Kerry M. Hultquist, Lead Counsel
The Hultquist Law Firm