Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer

Legal Issues Blog

Possible link between brain injury, violent behavior found


A blow to the head can cause a wide range of long-term effects, including memory problems, chronic headaches, sensitivity to light and mood swings. But can a brain injury change your behaviors or personality?

A growing body of research suggests that brain trauma is a major factor in violent crime. In other words, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) like a brain tumor, can change a person from law-abiding into a thief, someone who gets into fistfights -- even, perhaps, a murderer.

Car crashes through 2nd-story window in California


Few people imagine being involved in a car accident while they are sitting in their living room. The road is where the vast majority of auto wrecks happen, of course. But no building close to the street is safe from reckless motorists. And if you or your love ones are in the wrong part of the house when the car crashes through the wall, someone could get seriously hurt.

Scary crash into a building

What isn't protected by employment discrimination law?

In California, state and federal law protects workers from discrimination based on several factors, including:

  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy status

However, it is important to note that most employers still have broad powers to hire and fire their workers as they see fit. Reasons can range from poor productivity to chronic tardiness to simple personality conflicts with co-workers or management. The vast majority of employees are “at-will” workers, which means they do not have an employment contract and their employer can terminate them at any time for nearly any (legally permitted) reason.

California lawmaker sexual harassment crisis: is training adequate?


The movement by women across the country who are coming forward with their stories of workplace sexual harassment has reached the California State Capitol. In October, a letter signed by nearly 150 women was released that said sexual harassment is at toxic levels in the Legislature. Since then, two assemblymen have resigned after several women accused them of harassment, and a state senator is facing similar claims of inappropriate behavior with female staff members.

As the nation reckons at last with how pervasive and destructive sexual harassment is in this country, it is clear that things have to change. The courage of victims naming their harassers is just the beginning. Litigation against companies that protect executives and managers who harass their subordinates will be an important part of making all workplaces a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

Gwilliam Firms makes $10k contribution to Law Library

The law Firm of Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer made a $10,000 contribution today to the Alameda County Law Library to help raise the necessary $50,000 in funding to reinstate evening and weekend hours at the Law Library.


(L to R) Gary Gwilliam, Esq.; Honorable Vernon K. Nakahara, Law Library Board Member; Mark Estes, Director Alameda County Law Library and Steven J. Brewer, Esq.

"We believe in the access to justice mission of the Law Library and hope our contribution will help encourage other Alameda County Law Firms to also contribute towards the $50,000 needed to reinstate evening and weekend hours at the Law Library." said Steven J. Brewer, Esq. of Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer.

What are the benefits of motorcyclists splitting lanes?


Only when every driver is courteous, cautious and alert are California's streets and highways reasonably safe. Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to tell that everybody is on the same "team" when it comes to traffic safety.

A big example is the long-running feud between motorcycle riders and people driving cars and trucks. It seems like whenever there is a collision between a motorcycle and a four-wheeled vehicle, two camps emerge: those who blame the rider and those who say the driver was at fault. Many of these terrible crashes occur when a rider is attempting to split lanes.

Legal protections against pregnancy discrimination in California


If you are having a baby, congratulations! Pregnancy is an experience like no other. While you plan for a new baby, we hope that you do not have to deal with pregnancy discrimination at work.

Unfortunately, many supervisors, managers and executives across California discriminate against their female employees because they are pregnant or sought their rightful maternity leave after giving birth. No woman's career should suffer because of pregnancy, but it happens. Women get fired, demoted, or denied job opportunities they otherwise deserve simply because they are having a baby.

Employment discrimination law in California: your rights


Nearly every day, people across California lose their jobs for reasons that have little, if anything, to do with their job performance. From an employment law perspective, the trick is figuring out if your boss broke the law when they fired you, or just acted like a jerk.

California surgeon accused of leaving in the middle of surgery

When it comes to a major operation, you have the right to expect the closest possible attention from your surgical team. Delicate surgery requires total concentration and years of training. After all, your life may be literally in your surgeon’s hands.

Earlier this year, a California surgeon was on trial for medical malpractice after allegedly abandoning the operating room in the middle of a heart operation and forcing his surgical assistant to finish the job. The patient ended up nearly dying on the operating table. As it is, he is permanently comatose.

Another fire in Oakland shines light on property issues


There's a saying that says if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Unfortunately, this was not the sentiment applied to one apartment building in Oakland, California which served as "transitional" housing for 100 people in the city. A recent fire broke out early in the morning, destroying the belongings of the occupants, and killing at least 3 people. Other residents managed to escape through fire escapes, and firefighters helped at least another 15 people get out.

Ignored Regulations Lead to Lost Lives and Injuries

The tragedy was plenty big, but it could have been worse. Many of the standard protections against fire and general safety were not in place in the building. Individual apartments did not have smoke detectors, and the building was not equipped with fire extinguishers, sprinklers, or alarms. It was also reported that before the fire there were several complaints of severe pest infestations in the building.

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