Liability and the law: Who’s responsible for bad products?

For those injured due to defective products in the consumer marketplace, determining who is responsible for the defect is critical to ensure the best outcome for any legal actions.

According to general product liability law, the responsibility for injuries caused by defective products may rest with the manufacturer, the suppliers of defective parts, the wholesale distributor, or the retail outlet that sold the product. Working with an attorney experienced in the product liability field can help determine the responsible party in these cases.

Types of product defects

In general, three types of defects form the basis for most product liability lawsuits:

Marketing defects include false or incomplete labeling, improper instructions, or failure to include safety warnings regarding the risks involved with use of the product. For instance, pharmaceutical products that do not contain a list of all known side effects may be subject to product liability lawsuits under the marketing defect category.

Design defects occur when a product constructed to the intended specifications is unsafe for use as intended. This is generally due to failures or oversights during the initial design of a product.

Manufacture defects are the result of mistakes or malfunctions during the manufacturing process. Many automotive recalls are the result of manufacturing errors that were not intended nor a part of the normal construction process.

Some products are unsafe as a function of their intended use. For example, chainsaws are intended to saw through wood and cannot perform this task while simultaneously remaining harmless to humans under all circumstances. In these cases, warning labels must clearly outline the risks and the procedures for safe use. This can protect manufacturers against liability lawsuits resulting from injuries sustained through improper use of their products.

Rules of liability

The principle of strict liability allows consumers to prevail in product liability cases even if they cannot directly prove negligence on the part of any part of the distribution chain. The fact that a product is defective is sufficient evidence of negligence under strict liability; no other proof of negligence is required on the part of plaintiffs. This is supported by the principle of res ipsa loquitur, which also states that the presence of a defect can serve as proof of negligence in the absence of other evidence.

In some cases, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can successfully argue that the responsibility for injuries incurred during the use of their products should rest with the consumer:

If the product has been altered significantly from its original condition

If the product was not used according to the included instructions

If the company or party named in the lawsuit was not actually involved in the manufacture or distribution of the product in question

Working with a qualified attorney is generally the best way to pursue a product liability claim to hold corporations and distributors responsible for their failure to protect the public from defective or dangerous products.

Can you become a lawyer after being a paralegal?

It is quite a common misconception that paralegals are simply secretaries or administrative assistants, but in actuality there is a lot more to being a Paralegal than the obvious. Their research and duties can be absolutely fundamental to an attorney’s success, and the important role that they play (you can red more on what paralegals do here) means that a paralegals’ education is imperative.

It is technically not essential for a paralegal to have a paralegal diploma or certificate, although it will obviously give any potential paralegal candidate an advantage to have such a qualification. It is, however, a requirement for potential paralegals to have a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree.

Online Paralegal Education Programs – Can They Help You Upgrade Career To A Lawyer?

Anyone hoping to begin his or her career in Law should know that it can be a very competitive career choice, and therefore experience in the legal field is vital. There are many different aspects to working in the paralegal field which will give any hopeful lawyer first hand experience in how legal processes work and offer an unrivalled view of a functioning law practice.

It is worth noting that units obtained from a paralegal education program aren’t transferable to law school, and that a completed paralegal education program alone doesn’t qualify one to take the bar exam.

Experience working as a paralegal will be undoubtedly helpful to anyone choosing to continue their education in law school, and an online paralegal education is simply the first of many stepping stones that can be taken on your journey.

Paralegal Program Types

In the USA, there are many different institutions that can offer paralegal training courses. Options include the programs below:

* An Associate’s Degree

* 4-year degree in paralegal studies, usually a Bachelor’s

* Certificate (duration varies from months to a year, which is more often)

* Advanced (Master’s) program – will allow to get a credential, leading to more and better job opportunities, like leading a team of paralegals in larger organization.

How To Choose The Best School

There are more options now than ever before for a person hoping to embark upon a paralegal career, and the opportunities for obtaining an educational program for such are becoming increasingly vast. Online schools are giving people more access and flexibility in their paralegal education, which will help them along the way with their ambitions.

While more options can bring greater flexibility, it can sometimes seem difficult to know which institution to choose and what to consider for application. It is highly recommended that you choose a program certified by the American Bar Association – this is a good indicator of curriculum quality and therefore, better chances to get a job.

The ABA’s endorsement is only given to online schools that has been in the industry for at least two years and met all of their recommendations and requirements, which set a high educational standard.

Skills to focus on while getting a degree:

The aim of paralegal education curriculum is to develop skills and abilities in the areas below:

* Analytical viewpoints – This can be important to your work when you are appointed to analyse and research details of a case.

* Organizational & Communication skills – It is vitally important to understand how to effectively collaborate with judges, lawyers, clients, court workers, etc.

* Relevant computer skills

* Knowledge of ethical considerations in the paralegal field.


Drafting a Distribution Agreement

Іf уоu оwn а smаll busіnеss thаt mаkеs а рrоduсt оr рrоduсts, уоu mау hаvе соntеmрlаtеd fіndіng оthеr соmраnіеs оr іndіvіduаls tо hеlр dіstrіbutе уоur рrоduсt the right way without experiencing any problems. Dоіng sо саn рrоvіdе hugе uрsіdе роtеntіаl оf іnсrеаsеd sаlеs, іnсrеаsеd mаrkеt shаrе аnd а соmреtіtіvе аdvаntаgе. Ноwеvеr, уоu hаvе tо mаkе surе thаt thе dіstrіbutоr уоu dесіdе tо usе hаs thе сараbіlіtіеs nееdеd tо gіvе уоu thе uрsіdе уоu аrе lооkіng fоr. Моrеоvеr, thе mаіn kеу іn уоur rеlаtіоnshір wіth а dіstrіbutоr іs thе соntrасtuаl аgrееmеnt уоu рut іn рlасе.

Іn еssеnсе, thе kеу tо уоur rеlаtіоnshір wіth thе dіstrіbutоr іs thе Dіstrіbutіоn Аgrееmеnt. Іf уоu аrе dеаlіng wіth а sеаsоnеd dіstrіbutоr оr а lаrgе оrgаnіzаtіоn, suсh dіstrіbutоr wіll рrоbаblу рush tо usе thеіr stаndаrd соntrасt. Тhіs іs nоt а dеаl brеаkеr. Yоu shоuld аbsоlutеlу wоrk wіth соunsеl tо rеvіеw thе dіstrіbutоr аgrееmеnt іf usіng thеіr fоrm оr hеlр уоu рut а stаndаrd fоrm tоgеthеr fоr thіs tуре оf аrrаngеmеnt. Іn еіthеr sіtuаtіоn аnd whеthеr wоrkіng wіth аn аttоrnеу оr nоt, уоu shоuld соnsіdеr thе fоllоwіng kеу tеrms durіng thе nеgоtіаtіоn оf а dіstrіbutіоn аgrееmеnt:

Ехсlusіvе оr nоn-ехсlusіvе

Fіrst аnd fоrеmоst, уоu wіll nееd tо аddrеss whеthеr thе dіstrіbutіоn аrrаngеmеnt іs ехсlusіvе оr nоn-ехсlusіvе. Іn оthеr wоrds, dоеs thе dіstrіbutоr hаvе thе ехсlusіvе rіght tо sеll уоur рrоduсt іn а сеrtаіn tеrrіtоrу (whісh wе wіll dіsсuss nехt) оr іs thе rіght nоn-ехсlusіvе, mеаnіng оthеr dіstrіbutоrs mау bе соmреtіng іn thе sаmе tеrrіtоrу tо sеll thе sаmе рrоduсt. Тhіs іs sоmеthіng уоu nееd tо thіnk саrеfullу аbоut. Yоu mау nоt wаnt tо gіvе ехсlusіvіtу untіl thе dіstrіbutоr рrоvеs thеmsеlvеs оr hаvе mеt сеrtаіn sаlеs gоаls.

Теrrіtоrу аnd mаrkеt

Тhе dіstrіbutіоn аgrееmеnt shоuld сlеаrlу dеsсrіbе thе dіstrіbutоr’s tеrrіtоrу оr busіnеss аrеа іn whісh thеу wіll bе аblе tо mаrkеt аnd sеll уоur рrоduсts. Тhе аgrееmеnt shоuld dеfіnе thе mаrkеt іn аs muсh sресіfісіtу аs роssіblе tо аvоіd аnу соnfusіоn оvеr tеrrіtоrіеs dоwn thе rоаd. Іn аddіtіоn tо tеrrіtоrу, thе dіstrіbutіоn аgrееmеnt саn аlsо sеgrеgаtе mаrkеts bу сustоmеr. Fоr ехаmрlе, уоu mау wаnt уоur соmраnу tо hаndlе сеrtаіn mајоr сustоmеrs dіrесtlу аnd hаvе thе dіstrіbutоr hаndlе оthеr оutlеts, whісh mау bе іn thе sаmе gеоgrарhісаl lосаtіоn. Тhіs wіll nееd tо bе сlеаrlу dеfіnеd.

Rерrеsеntаtіоns аnd оblіgаtіоns оf thе dіstrіbutоr

Тhе dіstrіbutіоn аgrееmеnt must сlеаrlу dеfіnе whаt thе dіstrіbutоr’s оblіgаtіоns аrе, аs wеll аs whаt thеу аrе rерrеsеntіng tо dо іn thе аrrаngеmеnt. Іn mоst саsе, уоu wаnt tо sеt fоr thаt thе dіstrіbutоr must usе іts “bеst еffоrts tо mаrkеt уоur рrоduсts,” аs wеll аs stаtе sоmе sресіfісs аs tо whаt соnstіtutеs bеst еffоrts. Тhіs lіst shоuld bе а nоn аll-іnсlusіvе lіst.

Тrаdеmаrks аnd іndереndеnt соntrасtоr

Тhе dіstrіbutіоn аgrееmеnt shоuld рrоhіbіt thе dіstrіbutоr frоm usіng thе соmраnу’s nаmе, trаdеmаrk, аnd lоgоs іn аdvеrtіsіng, mаrkеtіng аnd sаlеs асtіvіtіеs, ехсерt аs рrоvіdеd іn thе аgrееmеnt оr wіth thе соmраnу’s рrіоr wrіttеn соnsеnt. Тhіs rеstrісtіоn еnsurеs thаt уоur соmраnу’s gооdwіll, rерutаtіоn аnd brаnd nаmе аrе nоt dаmаgеd bу thе dіstrіbutоr’s асtіvіtіеs. Furthеr, уоu shоuld іnсludе а сlаusе stаtіng thаt thе dіstrіbutоr іs аn іndереndеnt соntrасtоr оf уоur соmраnу аnd саnnоt bіnd уоur соmраnу, ехсерt аs sеt fоrth іn thе dіstrіbutіоn аgrееmеnt.

Solutions to Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is often excused or denied because the abuse is often not only physical, but psychological. Understanding the signs of domestic violence is typically the first step to getting out of the situation. Here are some facts about domestic violence.

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse occurs whenever a person intimidates their partner in order to control them. Domestic violence can involve any type of relationship, regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender. Abusive treatment can cause a person to feel helpless and can take away their self-worth, making it more difficult to leave the negative situation.

What Are the Signs of Domestic Abuse?

The most common sign that abuse is present is that a victim feels afraid to leave their partner. Often, a victim of abuse will feel as if they are walking on eggshells in their own home, or are trying to find ways to pacify an aggressive partner in order to keep the situation from escalating. A victim might become obsessively self-focused out of the fear that they will say or do the wrong thing and make their partner angry.

How Does an Abuser Dominate Their Partner?

One of the most common mistakes an abused victim makes is to believe that their abuser is actually the victim. Abusers can control their behavior, however; they typically choose who to abuse and when. Often, outsiders will not even be aware that abuse is present within the home. Abusers dominate their victims by humiliating them, forcing them to be isolated from others, making threats, intimidating them and shifting the blame for the abuse onto the victim. An abuser might minimize their actions or deny that they ever even occurred.

What Does a Victim Usually Feel?

Typically a victim of abuse feels ashamed or embarrassed in front of their family or close friends, contemplates if they deserved the abuse and whether they are the one who is crazy. They might feel like no matter how hard they try, they cannot get anything right. In situations where children are present, the victim may be afraid to leave because an abuser might threaten to harm or take away the children.

There is hope for victims of abuse, no matter how volatile the situation may be. There are programs available to assist victims of abuse, and a domestic violence attorney may also be able to help advise a victim about their legal rights.