These Washington, D.C. roommates living in Mount Pleasant often use Airbnb to rent out their house while they are away. This time, they returned home to a disaster. Their house guest had thrown a raging party, trashed the place, and stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of clothing, jewelry, and laptop computers. Read the full story, including a statement from Airbnb about the incident, here… http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/270368290-story
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel E. Bowser quietly approved legislation making the District the seventh jurisdiction in the United States to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives legally. The legislation is modeled after the nation’s first physician-assisted suicide law, enacted in Oregon. Voters have approved similar laws in Washington state and Colorado, as have as the legislatures of Vermont and California. The practice is considered legal in Montana because of a court ruling. The DC law will allow doctors to prescribe fatal medication to patients with less than six months to live. Patients must make two requests over a period of two weeks and ingest the drugs themselves. It is unclear whether the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress will exercise its power to overturn the new law. Read more here:
The long-debated proposal to increase family leave benefits is moving closer to a vote by the DC Council. The proposed legislation, which appears to have the support of a majority of Council members, would require employers to provide 11 weeks of paid family leave for parents to care for newborn or adopted children and 8 weeks to care for parents or grandparents. Full- and part-time employees would be able to receive up to 90 percent of their pay, limited to $1,000 per week. The program would be funded by a 0.62 percent increase in payroll taxes, and would be considered the most generous family leave law in the country. A full report from The Washington Post can be found at:
George F. Will, in the Washington Post, writes a thoughtful piece about some of the ethical and legal aspects of a person's right to end his or her life highlighting, of course, Brittany Maynard's choice last year to move to Oregon to be relieved of the suffering caused by terminal brain cancer. The article includes a particularly insightful quote by one advocate of giving people more freedom to manage death: "I am doing everything I can to extend my life. Nobody should have the right to prolong my death." The full article can be found at: The Washington Post - Click Here
Johnson Law Group business clients often ask us about the advantages anddisadvantages of hiring employees versus hiring contractors, and what each approach entails. This can be a complicated decision to make. Recently, California decided that Uber drivers are employees, not contractors. If upheld, this decision could have major consequences for the Uber business model. Read more by clicking on the following link:
Three states have laws on the books that provide a right to die, including Vermont, Washington and Oregon, with a recent case making the news in Vermont. See http://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2015/02/10/johnson-woman-believed-to-be-first-vermonter-to-use-end-of-life-law?utm_source=Seven+Days+Email+Newsletters&utm_campaign=68fba810e0-Daily_7_Tuesday_0210152_10_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_24eb556688-68fba810e0-296169889.
This is an issue that Johnson Law Group clients are increasingly concerned about as they undertake planning for life transitions. Nationally, the issue has taken on greater prominence after Brittany Maynard's well-publicized decision last year to move to Oregon and end her life due to an inoperable brain tumor. Diane Rehm, the NPR host, also has focused on the issue, after having suffered through her husband's difficult death from Parkinson's Disease. Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/npr-host-diane-rehm-emerges-as-a-key-force-in-the-right-to-die-debate/2015/02/14/12b72230-ad50-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html
The importance of thoughtful estate planning can't be over-emphasized. Even the estate Robin Williams, which likely benefited from the expenditure of considerable resources, is not immune to the pitfalls of failing to think through all estate contingencies. Read more by clicking on the link below.
We recently penned an article in collaboration with Angela Beckham for the February 2015 newsletter of a prominent "older-person" support organization that had identified a range of legal and other challenges facing single people as they age. Read the entire piece at the link provided below.
The District government continues to struggle with balancing housing, economic development and aesthetic concerns in its attempt to regulate "pop-up" housing construction. Read more in the Washington Post... http://wapo.st/15QYerX
In the aftermath of the tragedy that unfolded in France, David Brooks has a recent interesting piece in The New York Times that makes the point that while law can protect fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, it is a somewhat rigid mechanism. Brooks argues that social mannerisms can be more flexible in managing the tension between tolerance for offensive speech and maintaining some level of social decency. Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/opinion/david-brooks-i-am-not-charlie-hebdo.html?_r=1