Do I have a Slip and Fall claim?

What You Need to Know if You’re Injured on Someone Else’s Property

One minute you’re testing the firmness of an avocado in the produce section of your neighborhood grocery store, the next moment you’re laying on your back on the ground with a searing pain in your shoulder, wondering what just happened.  You look down at your feet and see the culprit, a puddle of water turned the tile floor into a secret slip-n-slide.

Injuries from this kind of accident, a special type of Arizona personal injury case known as “slip and fall” often entitle the injured person to recover compensation from the grocery store or its insurance company where it occurred, but it’s not quite automatic.

Once you’ve established that a condition on someone’s property caused your injury, the next step to determine if you have a slip and fall claim is finding out if the property owner or one of its employees acted negligently.  This is how a personal injury case in Arizona would generally start.

Negligence means that the grocery store or one of its employees didn’t take the steps to protect the customer from an injury that a reasonable person in their position would have. The most obvious example would be if a store manager spilled her drink on the floor, saw the liquid puddle up in front of the avocados and did nothing to clean it up for an extended period of time.

Not all examples are so obvious though.  What if the manager spilled her drink, notified an employee so they could clean it up, and then the customer was injured as the employee was bringing a mop and a caution sign?  It may depend on how long the employee took to do that. What if the spill was caused by another customer, rather than a store employee? The answer may lie in whether and when a store employee was made aware of the spill, or whether they should have discovered it sooner.

Determining negligence in slip and fall cases is not always an easy thing to do. If you find yourself wondering what you and the avocado you accidentally flung across the aisle as you fell ever did to deserve this, it’s best to consult an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out if you have a slip and fall claim.

Don’t be deterred if you didn’t actually “slip” or “fall.” Any accident case that arises from an accident on land, in someone’s house or in a retail establishment falls under the Arizona personal injury umbrella of “slip and fall.”  So whether you cut yourself on the sharp edge of poorly maintained bar stool, you were beamed by a can of paint falling off a high shelf of home improvement store, or you fell into the hole your neighbor forgot to tell you about during a barbeque, it’s always a good idea to talk to an attorney to find out if they or their insurers are required to pay for your “slip and fall” injuries.

Who Can Reform the Criminal Justice System?

Consider the following people:

  • The President of the United States
  • The Pope
  • The Attorney General of the United States
  • The Head of the FBI or CIA
  • The Speaker of the House
  • The Senate Majority Leader
  • Any of the 50 State Governors
  • Any of the 50 State Attorney Generals
  • The Head of the NAACP or the ACLU
  • The Dean of any Law School
  • The State or Federal Head of Prisons
  • The Head of the Democratic or Republican Party
  • Your Local Mayor
  • Your Local City Council President
  • The Editor in Chief of Your Local Paper
  • A Major Tech CEO
  • Chief of Police.

So what do all of these people have in common?

Answer: Not a single one of them is the most important person to reform the criminal justice system.

Sure, these people are influential. They can all DABBLE in the justice system and/or influence it in one way or another. However, there is one person who has a much larger impact on the criminal justice system than you may realize. This person has so much power that’s it’s almost unbelievable.

Who is it?

Your local prosecutor.

In most areas, they’re referred to as District Attorneys or DAs for short. Some states even call them the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Other states call them the State’s Attorney. Essentially, it’s all the same position; this person is the elected prosecutor for your city or county, depending on where you live.

No single position has more power to drastically alter the criminal justice system than your locally elected prosecutor.

In understanding that, here are a few things that are being done with respect to this space:

National DA Database

 Assembling a national DAs database will not only help you identify your local District Attorney, but it will also allow people to assess their positions on a myriad of issues, as well as provide you with important dates and voting information.

New Candidates

 In addition to creating an accessible database, there will be help in recruiting exciting new candidates for local DA races. There will be a nationwide awareness campaign to help encourage attorneys focused on reform to enter the race to modify the justice system.

Direct Campaign Work

Finally, there will be a significant amount of work done on these candidates’ campaigns to ensure that they are elected. Unsurprisingly, this is where most of the real work is. Since DA races are often an afterthought in the U.S., people will be working hard to bring the prosecutorial races into the light.

As it stands, the United States has more than 2,400 elected prosecutors. These people are truly the gatekeepers of the justice system, and there will be an impactful and positive change happening with respect to our prosecutors very soon.

Police ‘Testilying’ Continues to be a Problem


It’s a sad truth, but it’s also reality.

The phenomenon is known as ‘testilying’ behind closed doors. It refers to when police officers take the truth and stretch it out a bit.

Consider the case of Kimberly Thomas, a Bronx native who was accused of placing a Ruger 9-millimeter handgun in a laundry bag directly in front of an officer during a shooting investigation. While this ultimately proved to be false (as a result of video surveillance), Officer Nector Martinez had no issue lying in court. Had it not been for the video footage, Thomas would have unjustly ended up in prison.

Or take the case of Samuel Lee, a Los Angeles Police Officer whose body cam footage shows him picking a baggie of drugs off the ground, putting it inside suspect Ronald Shield’s wallet, then handing the wallet to another officer while indicating the drugs were found inside the wallet.

These are not isolated incidents.

According to The New York Times, “on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. The Times identified these cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges.”

These cases, for example, included false testimony regarding gun whereabouts, breaking/entering into apartments, searches, and witnessing various crimes, drug deals, and arrests.

For those who haven’t had run-ins with the law, the claim that officers would lie on the stand seems counterintuitive. What could possibly be their motive? For many officers, the motivation behind lying is very evident: “to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops” (NYT).

For many officers, these constitutional protections just seem like overly-technical barriers to them “getting the bad guys.” Underestimating their own proneness to human error, officers then often feel justified in bending the truth to get the outcome they think is right.

This mindset may be particularly problematic for someone if they ever get caught on the radar of a particular officer, who may have a “gut” instinct that the person is engaging in criminal behavior, but is unable to prove it through lawful investigation techniques.  This could explain the apparent planting of drugs by Officer Lee.

Shameful, right?

It’s no question that with more police officers ‘testilying’, innocent people are unjustly thrown into jail. On the flip side, as judges view officers as less credible, guilty people will be acquitted when they shouldn’t be.

Yes, you bet we are in a predicament.

Sure, we’ve caught a handful of police officers providing false testimony in a court of law, but it seems naïve to think we’ve even come close to uncovering the amount of times officers have ‘testilied’ without being discovered.

Still “the cases identified by The Times reveal an entrenched perjury problem several decades in the making that shows little sign of fading.”

Luckily, we are in an age of technology where the heavy presence of things like cameras and cell phones will greatly reduce the amount of times officers lie in court. Ultimately, it’s harder for cop to lie nowadays. It seems increasingly rare that there are enforcement encounters (in today’s day and age) where there isn’t instant video footage of the action. Nonetheless, even if a camera exposes a lie, it doesn’t always undo the wreckage that ensued prior to the lie coming to light.  There are still plenty of agencies that don’t use body cameras and there’s plenty of lies without any strong evidence to challenge them.

Let’s hope that this changes in the near future.

Cannabis in Arizona Legal for Tourists with Medical Marijuana Cards

The Arizona Court of Appeals has recently ruled it legal for people visiting from other states or countries to possess and use medical marijuana.

A recent panel voted that an issued card under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act is equivalent to a physician recommendation for cannabis under California’s Compassionate Use Act.

The Reason

This all stems from a 2016 case in which Standley Kemmish Jr., a California native who had been issued a medical marijuana card, was pulled over and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Unsurprisingly, Kemmish maintained that he was allowed to possess the drug under Arizona’s medical marijuana law due to the fact that he has a physician’s recommendation for the cannabis.

Prosecutors largely disagreed, asserting that the doctor’s note was in no way equivalent to possessing a medical marijuana patient card (issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services).

The appellate court’s panel relied on Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act (voter-approved). This allows “visiting qualifying patients” to have the same immunity as people with medical marijuana cards issue by the state of Arizona.

The court noted:”[w]hether another state’s medical marijuana law requires an identification card, a physician’s letter, or some other documentation is immaterial, so long as the documentation is sufficient under the law of the issuing state.”

Nonetheless, medical marijuana users who are visiting from other states are still not allowed to purchase cannabis from dispensaries located in Arizona.

The Why

As a result of conditions like cancer and chronic pain, voters in Arizona approved the medical marijuana program in 2010. The effects of the program didn’t gain notable momentum until 2012 when dispensaries began to pop up around the state.

Not only that, consider the following fact, courtesy of herb.co:

“Studies have shown that the time-period following the legalization of medical cannabis has shown an almost five percent decrease in the total suicide rate. Even better, males aged 20-29 displayed an eleven percent decrease in suicide, meaning that cannabis can help youth recover from suicidal tendencies and mindsets.”

With the presence of dispensaries, the drug has become much more accessible for people who are issued medical marijuana cards. This is for good reason, as the discovered benefits seem to be increasing as more research is done. Research into the impact of marijuana are clearly trending toward the conclusion that it is a welcome remedy for many people suffering a variety of medical conditions.

Just over 150,000 people actively participate in the program. Last year, for example, over one million ounces of marijuana were purchased (equivalent to roughly 87,000 pounds).

The program is bound to grow even more over the coming years as medical marijuana rules continue to change.

Scam Stemming from Gila County Sheriff’s Office

It’s unfortunate, but it happened.

Charlie Beier, a dentist in Payson, fell for the scam. After all, the male scammer had most of Beier’s contact and personal information.


“You may say that this will never happen to you, but I was shocked at how real this all seemed,” said Beier.

Beier couldn’t believe how easily he was scammed. However, he soon realized that this type of scam has been rampant, especially because the scam appears to be very realistic.

It all started with a voicemail on March 9th when Beier received a message from a Gila County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Beier came home and listened to a very official sounding Chief Deputy Carl Saunders. It noted that he had an outstanding warrant because he failed to appear in court for jury duty. He soon learned more about what his crime entailed.

Beier was fined twice: once for failure to appear for jury summons and the other for contempt of court. Both fines totaled $5,100.

Ultimately, Beier had two options. He could either stay on the line with him while he drove to the Sheriff’s Office for fingerprinting, or he could pay 10% of the fines at a kiosk at the Globe office of the Gila County Sheriff’s Department.

Beier felt pressure, noting that the deputy informed Beier that he had to stay on the phone in order to avoid facing further consequences. Ultimately, keeping Beier on the line was essential to keeping the scam from falling apart.

Beier was instructed to purchase a Green DOT MoneyPak card at either Walgreens or Giant. Since 10% of $5,100 is $510, the deputy informed Beier that the additional $10 will be waived. This, of course, was another indication of the whole thing being a scam.

That’s when Beier finally figured out he was being conned and decided to drive to the police station to see if there were any warrants out for his arrest.

It turns out, of course, that he was clean.

Soon after, the scammer was off the phone. Beier was told that the police department doesn’t just call people to tell them they have a warrant out for their arrest. Furthermore, funds are never exchanged over the phone.

Although Beier may face some ridicule, he felt it necessary to inform others about his situation. This is a very realistic scam on which people need to be educated.

Sure, he may have lost $5.95 and a bit of dignity, but he saved a lot more than that.

In order to avoid this scam, Gila County’s Sheriff suggests that you say you’re personal friends with the sheriff and that you will get back to him (the scammer) right away. That will surely drive the scammer away immediately. If you want to find out whether you actually do have a warrant, it’s always safest to have an attorney look into it so that you can respond to the situation in the best possible way.

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