Christopher B. Dolan

Tesla stands by its branding of the driver assistance package as an “autopilot.” (Courtesy photo)

Tesla’s ‘autopilot’ crash is further proof of technology flaws

This week’s question comes from Marianne K. in Pacific Heights, who asks:…

Tesla stands by its branding of the driver assistance package as an “autopilot.” (Courtesy photo)

Who is liable for a defective product?

This week’s question comes from Robert W. in Pinole, who writes: Q:…

(Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/TNS)

Robo-car death a classic example of profit vs. safety

On Sunday night in Tempe, Ariz., a woman pushing her bike across…

(Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/TNS)
As fans demand to be closer to the action at baseball games, the likelihood of injury increases. (Stan Olszewski/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)

If you’re in the stands, keep your eye on the ball

This week’s question coincides with baseball season, which is the perfect time…

As fans demand to be closer to the action at baseball games, the likelihood of injury increases. (Stan Olszewski/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco police recovered 57 firearms from a Cow Hollow home in September 2016. (Courtesy SFPD)

State gun laws reinforce law enforcement efforts

This week’s question comes from an East Bay reader who wishes to…

San Francisco police recovered 57 firearms from a Cow Hollow home in September 2016. (Courtesy SFPD)
California law requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate employees who want to express milk for their baby and to make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a room in close proximity to the employee’s work area. (Courtesy photo)

Lactation in the workplace

This week’s question comes from Ana in San Francisco, who writes: Q:…

California law requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate employees who want to express milk for their baby and to make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a room in close proximity to the employee’s work area. (Courtesy photo)
Students protest against gun violence outside of the White House on Feb. 19, 2018 in Washington, D.C., just days after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a south Florida high school. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

California among states with toughest gun-control laws

This week’s question comes from Priscilla in Hayes Valley, who writes: Q:…

Students protest against gun violence outside of the White House on Feb. 19, 2018 in Washington, D.C., just days after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a south Florida high school. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
In some cases, when something that cannot generally occur in the absence of negligence happens, there is a doctrine under the law called “res ipsa loquitur,” Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” (Courtesy photo)

When negligence ‘speaks for itself’

This week’s question comes from Dawn E. in the Mission District, who…

In some cases, when something that cannot generally occur in the absence of negligence happens, there is a doctrine under the law called “res ipsa loquitur,” Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” (Courtesy photo)
“Debt bondage,” the practice of demanding labor as a means of repayment for real or alleged debt without reasonably applying a victim’s wages toward the payment of the debt, is a form of human trafficking. (Courtesy photo)

Human trafficking can take many forms

This week’s question comes from Joe in San Francisco, who writes: Q:…

“Debt bondage,” the practice of demanding labor as a means of repayment for real or alleged debt without reasonably applying a victim’s wages toward the payment of the debt, is a form of human trafficking. (Courtesy photo)
In 2012, laundry detergent makers introduced miniature, brightly colored packets that children are confusing with candy and swallowing. (Courtesy photo)

Laundry pods pose serious health risk to kids

This week’s question was first asked in May 2016 by Susan in…

In 2012, laundry detergent makers introduced miniature, brightly colored packets that children are confusing with candy and swallowing. (Courtesy photo)
The New Parent Leave Act extends the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act to smaller employers. (Courtesy photo)

New Parent Leave Act provides employees with job-protected leave

This week’s question comes from Samantha in Oakland, who writes: Q: “Since…

The New Parent Leave Act extends the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act to smaller employers. (Courtesy photo)
If a landlord fails to provide a tenant within 21 days the required written accounting of the portion of the security deposit to be retained, the landlord must return the entire deposit to the tenant. (Courtesy photo)

Tenant tips for collecting a security deposit

This week’s question comes from Maria in Fairfield, who asks: Q: “My…

If a landlord fails to provide a tenant within 21 days the required written accounting of the portion of the security deposit to be retained, the landlord must return the entire deposit to the tenant. (Courtesy photo)
Reasonable accommodations for disabled employees include time off work, the elimination of non-essential job functions and other modifications. (Courtesy photo)

What is a ‘reasonable’ workplace accommodation?

This week’s question comes from Janet M. in South San Francisco, who…

Reasonable accommodations for disabled employees include time off work, the elimination of non-essential job functions and other modifications. (Courtesy photo)
The Bureau of Cannabis Control is a new division within the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulates cannabis businesses in California. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

California laws for owning and operating a cannabis business

This week’s question comes from Robin D. in San Francisco, who asks:…

The Bureau of Cannabis Control is a new division within the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulates cannabis businesses in California. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
California law has strict legal prohibitions against inappropriate behavior during therapy. (Courtesy photo)

Patients hurt by abuse of power

This week’s question comes from Harriette in Marin, who asks: Q: “I…

California law has strict legal prohibitions against inappropriate behavior during therapy. (Courtesy photo)
If a plaintiff dies during the process of bringing legal action against another, the “survival statutes” prevent the extinction of the cause of action of the injured person and provide for its enforcement by or against the representative of the deceased. (Courtesy photo)

Survival actions and wrongful death scenarios

This week’s question comes from Mike B., who asks: Q: “What happens…

If a plaintiff dies during the process of bringing legal action against another, the “survival statutes” prevent the extinction of the cause of action of the injured person and provide for its enforcement by or against the representative of the deceased. (Courtesy photo)
With probable cause, a storekeeper may detain a shoplifting suspect for a reasonable amount of time to conduct an investigation in a reasonable manner. (Courtesy photo)

The thin line between lawful detention and false imprisonment

This week’s question comes from Lionel T. in South San Francisco, who…

With probable cause, a storekeeper may detain a shoplifting suspect for a reasonable amount of time to conduct an investigation in a reasonable manner. (Courtesy photo)
California Civil Code makes it illegal to sell a gift certificate that contains an expiration date. (Courtesy photo)

California law protects gift card users

This week’s question was first published in 2013, and comes from Kim…

California Civil Code makes it illegal to sell a gift certificate that contains an expiration date. (Courtesy photo)
Questions about salary history can perpetuate the pay gap between men and women. (Courtesy photo)

Employers soon prohibited from asking about wage history

This week’s question comes from Sharon in Santa Rosa, who writes: Q:…

Questions about salary history can perpetuate the pay gap between men and women. (Courtesy photo)
A proposed amendment to California Vehicle Code would require that the registered owner of an autonomous vehicle take responsibility for ensuring the latest manufacture updates are installed in the vehicle. (Courtesy graphic)

Manufacturers should stand behind automated vehicle technology

This week’s column is the second in my series on current and…

A proposed amendment to California Vehicle Code would require that the registered owner of an autonomous vehicle take responsibility for ensuring the latest manufacture updates are installed in the vehicle. (Courtesy graphic)