Photo of Michael G. Donahue

As the popularity and participation in water based recreation increases, the designers, builders and owners of water structures must recognize the potential that the public may intentionally or unintentionally encounter their structures during recreational activities. A review of the current dam safety permitting regulations reveals that most do not require planners, designers or owners to address the potential hazards created by the structure to recreational users of the waterway and surrounding areas. Also, most often absent from these regulations is any requirement that designers and owners create and implement a safety program to reduce the risk to recreational users.
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Many members of the general public find themselves closer than ever to seemingly safe and suitable reservoirs and other waterways for recreational activities. As the population density of the United States continues to rise, previously remote waterways and hydraulic structures are now easy to access and are neighbors to residential communities. Reservoirs, waterways and other areas near dams are popular locations for recreational activities. Further, new hydraulic structures which change the character of the waterway may appear to create new opportunities for recreation
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Recreational activities in rivers, streams and lakes are enjoyed by millions of Americans every year. Paddle sports and other water based recreational activities have dramatically increased in popularity over the past twenty years. The American Canoe Association reports that 202 million paddle trips occurred during 2012. It is estimated that at least fifty million Americans have experienced canoeing, kayaking and other paddle sports. Of these, at least four million people consider themselves avid paddlers. In addition, specific activities have surged substantially in popularity. For example, kayaking has experienced an exponential growth since the 1990s. It is expected that participation in kayaking, canoeing and boating will continue to increase. The barriers of entry to these sports have fallen. Kayaks, canoes and other craft are becoming less expensive and commonly available through “super” sporting good stores.
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Recently, the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics addressed whether a lawyer who represents plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can be required to personally guarantee a client’s failure to repay an asserted reimbursement interest out of the personal injury recovery obtained with the services of the attorney to the client’s health plan. See https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/notices/2013/n130927c.pdf. In Advisory Opinion 727, the Committee found that a lawyer may not agree to personally guarantee a client’s repayment of monies to a plan, however, a lawyer may agree to satisfy a valid lien out of funds in the lawyer’s possession.
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The American Suzuki Motor Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection in November, 2012 and stated that it would stop selling cars in the United States. The Chapter 11 restructuring petition was filed in United States Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, California. The plan allows the company to restructure so it can continue to sell Suzuki motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and marine outboard engines. Suzuki has been selling cars in the United States since 1985; the Samurai Sports Utility and the Swift Compact were its best known vehicles.
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Passenger bus crashes are unfortunately the cause of many injuries on New Jersey roadways. Generally speaking, they involve more complex issues than your typical car accident. These issues may include questions about the conditions of the bus, federal safety standards, the driver’s proper licensing to operate the bus, the driver’s competence or fault, or substance abuse issues. Further, many times there are other questions involved such as ownership and operation issues.
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