Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do we have enough educated people in America to staff our bureaucracies?

About two weeks ago, a man ran a traffic light (apparently after brake failure) and crashed into my Honda Pilot.  This is the third time in three decades of driving with the same insurance company that I have been in an accident that was not my fault.  What has changed is that the claims "team" is slow and needs to be prodded (and now wants me to do their job online).  Upon my instruction, they ordered my car to be taken from the wrecker's yard to my preferred body shop, but did not inform the body shop of the claim number and what needed to be done.  If I had not gone to the body shop last Thursday to pull some things out of the car, then the body shop would not have known the situation and been able to get to work.

This minor inconvenience caused by an insurance company illustrates a bigger problem: We do not have enough educated, organized, and meticulous people to staff the thousands of bureaucracies needed for compliance with our myriad laws.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can you go to jail for removing asbestos improperly?

Yes, if you knowingly fail to comply with the law regarding asbestos removal.  In this case, a landowner and his property manager were sentenced to jail for conspiracy as well as violations of other laws:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Conservation of what ought to be conserved...

I have always been fascinated by water and would prefer to play in a wet ditch than go to an amusement park.  When I was young, I remember craning my neck to see creeks and rivers when crossing highway bridges (and I still do so).  Here in northern Alabama, red clay is very common, and Alabama's waters in those days were often red because of construction, strip mining, agriculture, etc.

Reuse of Environmentally-Impaired Property

Early in my legal career, I examined two huge closing binders of several hundred pages each for the sale of the Atlantic Steel property north of Georgia Tech in Atlanta to Atlantic Station, LLC.  The old steel mill had the usual slag piles and chemical spills but is now redeveloped for mixed use: banking, offices, institutions, retail, restaurants, high-rise condos, town houses, and affordable housing.  What the site has in common with many other environmentally-impaired properties is that it required a complex public-private partnership for redevelopment.