From Barley and Guinness (with some help from our dog mom, Jeanne) As we prepare for the Christmas time events, we who have pets must try to remember that this can be a dangerous time for our pets. Trees, lights and decorations can be a temptation to our four-legged friends. While putting up a tree over the years, I've learned not to put too many decorations on the bottom of the tree as tails and claws can easily knock them off. If ornaments are broken and eaten, they can cause great harm to pets! Poinsettias and chocolate are very poisonous to our pets as well! If they eat a leaf or get into the candy bowl, dogs and cats can become very ill (sometimes even resulting in death) if proper treatment is not given immediately. I know from our dogs Barley and Guinness that they will try to get their paws on anything and everything they can! Our dogs' adventurous appetites can cause great problems this time of year.
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Insomnia sucks. Well, for the most part it does but lying awake and contemplating life and all its nuances does have its advantages. Last night, as I turned off the TV, hell bent on not allowing myself to watch yet another consecutive episode of Duck Dynasty, I thought about my life. I've been doing that a lot lately. Things I'd change. Things I would do differently. Things I'm so thankful for. As I lay there, I thought about the things I wish I could tell my younger self and things that I hope that I can teach my own children. I made a list. And for those who know me, they know that when I have important stuff to say it often comes out as a list (just so you don't miss anything, ya know?) So here it is. My advice to the younger me and the real-life younger me's that I've been entrusted to raise as good, kind, productive human beings. Drum roll please...
Pappy rarely left the Wheeling area. Other than when he was in the army, he only traveled outside of the Wheeling area to visit my aunt and cousins in Arizona or pick them up from the Pittsburgh airport when they would come to visit. During one of his last visits to Arizona, they took a brief trip to Las Vegas and, while there, visited Caesars Palace which had live camels on display that day. To put it mildly, the live camels amazed him. Well, the following Christmas my mother found a four-foot tall stuffed camel at a local hobby shop while Christmas shopping. That camel was my grandfather's Christmas gift that year and became my grandfather's favorite gift ever not only because of its meaning to his heritage, but because of the joy he experienced playing with his grandchildren and that silly camel. My cousins, Krista and Kellie, now each the mother of two, were little and named the camel Carmen. We have no idea where they came up with that name, but Pappy was not going to change it. I can remember the joy on his face while they dressed her up and played with her.
For years West Virginia has embraced two contradictory concepts. On one hand, West Virginia law has always given special status and protection to those who are invited onto someone else's property. In fact, a property owner has a legal duty to maintain his property in a reasonably safe condition for the protection of any invitees.
While oil and natural gas operations reaching and producing from the Marcellus and Utica Shales may be relatively new, oil and gas operations have been conducted in the Ohio Valley for many generations. Our grandparents and great-grandparents often signed leases for the oil and gas underlying their property many years ago. What do those old leases mean to you today, now that you and your generation owns the property? As you can imagine, those old oil and gas leases provided monetary terms that are much less than the monies being paid under newer deep well oil and gas leases. They typically provided for 12.5% royalty payments as opposed to the 18-20+% royalty rates that many are producers are agreeing to pay today. Those old leases typically reached only shallow sandstone deposits because the technology simply did not exist to reach the deeper shale plays. How has the horizontal drilling revolution affected your rights under those old shallow well leases? What are your rights with regard to those old leases? Is production still occurring from those old wells? What should you do if an oil and gas operator approaches you about signing a ratification or amended agreement? These are all issues of concern that you should be aware of.
Around this time of year, you see commercials, signs and billboards that say "Keep Christ in Christmas." After all, the whole reason for the season is Jesus, the Son of God, coming to earth to save the sinner - each of us - from our sins, offering the only way of salvation, and giving the greatest love story ever told. The reason He came was His love for you and me. Unfortunately, Christmas has become so unbelievably commercialized that most of our society has forgotten this. Stores now compete to offer the best Black Friday sales on Thursday and Christmas trees are on display in August beside backpacks and back-to-school specials. Is this really how far we have strayed from the purpose of this time of celebration?
As the year approaches an end, I think back on some of the lawyers from other firms who I have had an opportunity to work with in a co-counsel capacity. It is always very humbling when another firm asks you to work with it to represent their client. This year was particularly special though as I think about some of the great relationships and friendships that I have formed over the past year or two.
Surely by now most, if not all, of us finally understand the dangers of social media. Not long ago Bordas & Bordas attorney Michelle Marinacci wrote an informative blog about how employers have used Facebook posts to justify employee firings. More and more stories keep popping up which showing poor social media decision making. A Facebook photograph recently cost one Virginia attorney his job, hundreds of thousands of dollars and his law license . The picture, however, was not of the attorney, it was of one of his clients. The client was the surviving husband of a woman who was killed in a tragic automobile accident involving a truck owned and operated by a concrete company. Following his wife's death, the man retained an attorney and presented a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit. Sometime after his wife's death, and during the pendency of the lawsuit, the man was photographed at a party wearing a shirt bearing the phrase "I Love Hot Moms!" Of course, the picture was posted to Facebook. An attorney working for the concrete company was ultimately able to view the man's Facebook page when the man himself sent a message to the attorney. Not surprisingly, the attorney then followed up with formal discovery requests to be provided with copies of information and posts from the man's Facebook page. To prove that bad decisions are not limited to clients, the attorney representing the family of the deceased woman immediately advised his staff to have their client "clean up" his Facebook page to avoid such evidence from showing up at trial. The client subsequently erased several pictures from his page.-- article about the case
You can imagine all of the preparations that would have to be made if the President visited your hometown. Naturally, the President would require the best accommodations including a plush hotel, food, and all of the amenities. Transportation would have to be provided. Security would obviously be a major concern. So would crowd control. Why? Because where the President goes, so does his entourage, the press and, of course, thousands upon thousands of onlookers. But the situation was very different 2,000 years ago.
Catch this week's edition of the regionally beloved Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. Jamie Bordas and guest Chris Regan discuss important cases on worker safety decided by West Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals this last term. Find out if the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" defense worked out for one employer and whether or not employers can blame their own employees for on-the-job injuries, even where the employer knew that the employee had been subjected to an unsafe condition.