National Safety Month and Risk Factors for Young Drivers

The National Safety Council seeks to help save lives and prevent injuries at work, at home, and on the road. Each June, the National Safety Council recognizes National Safety Month. This year, the non-profit organization has coordinated a campaign for the month of June centered around the question, “What do you live for?” Take a few moments to reflect and answer the question for yourself.


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What is it that keeps you going? Is it your family? A career? A hobby? Now, think about daily interactions with potential risk factors that could cause injury. These risk factors may come into place at home, in the workplace, in your vehicle, or in your community. There are often simple steps that can be taken to address risk factors and prevent injuries at home, in the workplace, and on the roads.

Let’s say that you chose your family to answer the question of what you live for. If you are the parent of a teenager or even a preteen, this is the perfect time to begin conversations about the risks involved with driving. The National Safety Council gathers research and data regarding risk factors and what causes accidental injury and death while behind the wheel. According to their data, “Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school. Many of these crashes will be simple fender-benders, but too many others will claim precious young lives. Parental involvement can significantly reduce teens’ crash risk.”

Injury Prevention

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Simply knowing the facts, taking proactive steps toward accident prevention, and having open conversations with young drivers can help reduce and prevent injuries and deaths. In an effort to help guide conversations with your young driver, take a look at the transportation checklist provided by the National Safety Council.

At Brownstein & Nguyen, we want to help you and your loved ones be safe and avoid injuries. However, should you or a loved one become injured in metro Atlanta, Georgia or elsewhere, we are here to help.

Avoiding Red Flags in Business Law Contracts

Any type of business law contract or arrangement can have red flags and points that should be properly addressed in the contract. In many instances, an experienced business law attorney would advise their client not to sign a contract unless important provisions are carefully worded. It is too easy for a layperson to fall victim to vague or inequitable contract language.Red Flag in Business

Freedom of Operation

Most companies have at least a non-disclosure section within their contracts, which is okay. However, some companies or individuals also attempt put restrictions on the party’s freedom to operate or earn a living. This can include a clause that prohibits the assignment or transfer of the contract, a non-solicitation clause, and non-compete clauses. While these and other types of operational limitation clauses can be acceptable depending on the circumstances, they should be reviewed and tailored with extreme care to avoid becoming overly restrictive. One’s exit strategy from a business relationship can be impeded or even crippled by contractual clauses such as these.

Scope of Liability

There should always be a limit to the liability a party can be held accountable for. If one party breaks a contract, the other may claim direct, consequential and sometimes other damages. Without effectively worded language limiting liability for a breach, a party’s exposure might be unlimited in scope, even if there was a different intent. This could mean the difference between possible bankruptcy for one party and a reasonable resolution where both parties are able to continue on with their respective businesses.

Intellectual Property Transfer

Including a clause in a contract that allows a developing party’s personnel to utilize knowledge gained from a particular engagement or operation is often standard. In turn, this allows a developer to continue providing custom work to other clients without harming a customer’s proprietary information or code or information developed specifically for them. Failing to include appropriate language regarding ownership of developed intellectual property can lead to treacherous legal waters down the road.

Another problem can occur when one party signs an exclusive license for the benefit of another party, which prohibits developing similar proprietary products for other customers. When an artist or creative professional contractually agrees that theirs is work for hire or they sign away all of their intellectual property rights, even an unrelated problem with the company they sold their rights to could create significant financial hardship. Including a residual rights clause is fundamental when it comes to drafting effective intellectual property agreements.

For more questions regarding business law contracts, scope of liability, intellectual property and freedom of operation, contact the business law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen. Attorney Jay Brownstein has years of experience assisting with the drafting of various business agreements and handling a wide range of business disputes.

Takata Airbag Recall in Atlanta

Living in the Atlanta metro area means summers of heat and humidity are a fact of life. Atlantans adjust to life with these discomforts, however. After all, modern conveniences including air conditioning in our homes, workplaces and automobiles help make life much more comfortable.

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Fortunately, in modern day Atlanta most automobile owners bear through the commute and traffic conditions in comfort with air conditioning. However, they may be completely unaware that the humidity and a crucial safety feature in their vehicles – airbags – may be putting them and their passengers in danger.

Recent news stories indicate that the Takata airbag recall has reached historic proportions. In an effort to save lives, since 1998 federal law has required airbags to be installed in all vehicles sold in the United States. Yet, this very safety feature, intended to keep drivers and passengers safe, is putting many people at risk.

Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata is a major supplier of airbags for numerous makes & models of vehicles sold in the United States and around the world. These airbags have been identified as being extremely dangerous because the inflators can explode when the airbag is deployed in a crash, puncturing the bag and preventing it from properly restraining vehicle occupants. In addition, shards of metal from the exploding gas canister may be projected at passengers or drivers, turning the very device that was meant to protect into a potentially lethal threat.

To date, exploding inflators in Takata airbags have been the cause of six deaths and hundreds of injuries. These deaths have all occurred in vehicles manufactured by Honda, and it appears that this extremely dangerous situation is more pronounced in geographic areas with high humidity. Other vehicles affected by the recall including certain models and years manufactured by Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Infiniti, Lexus, Saab, Chrysler, Dodge, Pontiac and BMW.

It is essential that all automobile owners research their specific make and model to determine what type of airbags are in their car. Visit to input a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and determine if your vehicle is included in the recall.

If your vehicle is affected by the Takata airbag recall, time is of the essence. Take the vehicle to a dealership as soon as possible so the airbags can be replaced with safer alternatives.

If there are questions regarding legal rights and the Takata airbag recall, do not hesitate to contact Atlanta personal injury law firm Brownstein & Nguyen.

Lack of Proper Care In Assisted Living Facilities

With many families relying on two incomes, it can be almost impossible to manage the health care needs of an elderly parent living in your household. Having to put a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living care facility can be a heart-wrenching, albeit necessary, decision for many families.Nursing Home Care

Once your loved one is under nursing home care, though, how can you be assured they are receiving the appropriate care and not being neglected or abused?

A Growing Problem

Failure to provide proper long term care or rehabilitation care or to catch health issues before they develop into serious conditions has become a growing problem in the elder care system. Another concern is medical errors — for example, wrongly dispensed medications that go unreported. By the time many of these issues become known, it may already be too late to save your loved one. Irreparable harm may have been done, causing an irreversible decline in physical condition.

Often, these issues can be traced back to a lack of medical training among staff members. Because it’s impossible for family members to monitor care around the clock, problems may go undetected for too long. The elderly, whether from fear of retribution or deteriorating health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, are often unable to act on their own behalf and speak out against poor care and/or abuse.

How You Can Help

You can improve your loved one’s outcome by making sure they are being placed in an assisted living facility or nursing home that adheres to proper standards of patient care and employee training requirements. Be sure to watch for signs of neglect or abuse when you visit. If something doesn’t seem right, be an advocate for your loved one and immediately speak to administration about your concerns. Do not hesitate to demand swift action to correct any issue affecting care.

If you have any questions pertaining to medical malpractice or nursing home abuse in Atlanta, reach out to Brownstein & Nguyen. With over 25 years of experience representing patients and fighting for quality care, our medical malpractice lawyers are ready and able to help. Call us at (770) 458-9060 or fill out the contact form on the right hand side of this page for assistance.


Employment Visa Sponsorship

The H1B employment visa system is very important for skilled workers. This immigrant visa classification allows a non-U.S. citizen to work in the United States on a temporary basis. Employers wanting to hire highly skilled workers in engineering, computer programming, and other science fields from outside the United States often apply for an H1B visa on behalf of prospective employees. This visa category also applies to workers with non-scientific specialized knowledge and skills.

Spouse Visa AtlantaRequirements of an H1B Visa

There are several requirements identified by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency in order for an H1B employment visa to be obtained. These requirements include a bachelor’s degree (or higher) that is equivalent to the minumum requirements for a specific job, and a Labor Condition Application (LCA) must be provided by the employer.

Application Process for an H1B Visa

The application process for an H1B visa is quite extensive. For quality assurance and assistance through the process, a qualified immigration lawyer is often quite helpful in assisting both the employer and employee. Atlanta immigration attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen have over 25 years of experience representing clients in immigration and visa cases.

Spouses of H1B Visa Holders

Previously, spouses and minor children of an H1B employee were permitted to live in and study in the United States with an H-4 status, but they were not able to work. A recent change will allow some spouses of H1B visas to now seek employment. For further information, clarification, and assistance in obtaining an H1B visa or the changes associated with H-4 work status for spouses of H1B visa holders, contact the law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen in Atlanta by clicking here or by filling out the contact form in the right hand column.

Distracted Driving in Atlanta

Many people believe that using a hands-free dash mounted device or earpiece while driving is safer than using a traditional hand-held cell phone. In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) has found that “[e]ighty percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone.” However, during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month the National Safety Council is undertaking a public education campaign to share research proving the brain is still distracted from driving while engaged in a hands-free conversation.Distracted Driving Accident

This is definitely something that everyone needs to be aware of. In 2013, over 3,100 individuals were killed in distracted driving crashes. In addition to fatalities, numerous critical and serious injuries associated with distracted driving occur each year. Common injuries from such crashes include broken bones, spinal injuries, and back and neck pain as a result of whiplash.

Commit to Safe Driving

The NSC suggests that all drivers commit to stepping beyond making the commitment to drive hands-free, and instead commit to driving cell phone free. The NSC #callskill campaign covers three important points for drivers to keep in mind when committing to refrain from cell phone and device use while driving:

  1. Eyes on the road

  2. Hands on the wheel

  3. Mind on driving

Unfortunately, because distracted driving is the cause of so many fatalities and serious injuries it is possible that you or someone you know may have been involved in a distracted driving accident, or might be at some point in the future. Atlanta personal injury attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in representing automobile and truck accident cases in the Atlanta area. With over 20 years of personal injury representation, the reviews and testimonials of Brownstein & Nguyen speak for themselves. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen at (770) 458-9060 for a free review of your case.

What You Need to Know About Executive Action Changes to DACA and DAPA

President Obama announced executive actions implementing important changes to U.S. immigration laws on November 20, 2014. These changes include the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the establishment of DAPA – Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. More announcements concerning these changes are expected in February 2015 for DACA and May 2015 for DAPA.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

United States Capitol

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The executive actions include an expansion of the existing DACA program that was established in June 2012. Under the expanded program, the Department of Homeland Security will expand DACA eligibility for people who came into the U.S. as children, commonly referred to as DREAMers.

The expanded pool gives eligibility to those individuals who entered the United States on or before January 1, 2010, were under 16 years of age at the time of entry, and have remained continuously within the country since then. Initially, DACA required that applicants be under the age of thirty-one years at the application time, but under the revised program there is no age limit. Unlike the initial program which offered a two year deferred action, the expanded DACA program grants a three year deferred action to eligible persons. This means first-time DACA applicants, as well as those renewing their status, will be granted a three-year deferred action as well as a work authorization.

DACA targets approximately 300,000 individuals who are potentially eligible for the program. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start receiving and acting on new DACA applications 90 days after the President’s announcement, or sometime in February 2015.

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will establish a new program targeting the parents of U.S. citizens who do not have legal status (the parents). The DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, program will grant deferred action to eligible parents of United States citizens or parents of lawful permanent residents (LPRs). This will cover children born on or before November 20, 2014.

Individuals eligible for the DAPA program must demonstrate that they have been living within the U.S. since before 2010 and have remained continuously in the country since that date, including on November 20, 2014 and through the date of their application. The DAPA program will grant successful applicants deferred action for a period of three years, just like the expanded DACA program.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes there is an immigrant population of over four million people who are eligible for this program. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting DAPA applications about 180 days from the President’s November announcement, or sometime in May 2015.

Do you believe you are eligible for either the DACA or the DAPA program? If so, it is important to start gathering the necessary documents required for the respective program so that you will be ready when the time comes. You will need required documents to establish your:

  1. Identity
  2. Relationship to a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or a U.S. citizen
  3. Continuous stay within the country for the last five or more years.

In addition to these documents, keep in mind that an experienced immigration lawyer on your side is extremely important. The requirements and procedures for DACA and DAPA are complicated, and having proper legal guidance could mean the difference between a successful application and rejection. Atlanta immigration attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in immigration law, and have a proven track record of making a difference for those treading their way through the U.S. immigration system and paperwork. Contact them today for assistance with your immigration needs in the Atlanta area.

Retaliation Against Whistleblowing

Whistleblowers are often hesitant to report misconduct witnessed in the workplace.  This hesitancy can be evidenced in a national chamber of commerce report that delineates the percentages of whistleblowers who report being retaliated against.

Whistleblower Protection

WhistleblowingOSHA oversees the administration of many of the U.S. laws established to promote whistleblowing in the workplace and to protect employees who come forward to report criminal conduct, fraud, violations of laws or regulations and other wrongdoing by employers. The standard process in many situations requires a witness to timely file complaint forms with their employer and certain federal agencies.  The complaint process can be long and involved, and unfortunately there have been many instances of retaliation against a work place whistleblower. For more information on starting the process of reporting a claim involving your current employer or company, take a look at This website provides a lot of helpful information and has links to useful resources to help you better understand the process of filing a whistleblower claim with the government. It is important to remember, however, that an employee should always seek the advice of a qualified whistleblower lawyer before beginning the claim process.

Information to Be Aware of

Filing a formal complaint against your employer is not something to be taken lightly. Once the official complaint process has begun, it is permanently filed and cannot be retracted. Because of this, one should consider the following facts before initiating any whistleblowing complaint:

  • Forty-five percent of U.S. workers have observed some form of fraud or misconduct in the workplace. Most whistleblower cases involve a type of fraud that has been observed or witnessed first-hand.
  • Sixty-five percent of individuals who witnessed wrongdoing in the workplace reported the misconduct. OSHA’s protection program mentioned earlier in this article is usually the starting point for most whistleblowers who wish to start the process of filing a work place complaint.
  • Most employees who failed to report wrongdoing at work indicated they did so out of fear of retaliation. Reports indicate that retaliation against whistleblowers is more prevalent today than ever before. That is why numerous federal laws affording whistleblower protection exist to enable employees who learn of misconduct or possible fraud to come forward and report.

Today’s commerce statistics indicate that management-level employees are more likely to be the subject of whistleblower retaliation than non-management employees. This could be due to management’s higher level of access and knowledge about a company’s financial and legal affairs.

Legal avenues are in place to prevent and combat retaliation against whistleblowers, including the OSHA complaint process. Brownstein & Nguyen are Atlanta attorneys experienced in whistleblowing and employment law situations. Contact the law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen to learn more about reporting fraud and wrongdoing in the workplace and how to protect yourself from retaliation in whistleblowing situations.

What is Whistleblowing?

Type define: whistleblower in a browser’s address bar and Google returns the definition of “a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity.” A graph indicates the increased prevalence of the term, which shows:

Prevalence of use of Whistleblower in the media

Prevalence of use of whistleblower in the media. Graph via Google

Clearly, the use of the term “whistleblower” has grown tremendously in recent years as more individuals have come forward to expose criminal conduct and wrongdoing by their employers. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 has played a role by offering necessary legal protections for those who come forward. There is even a list of known whistleblowers published on Wikipedia. All of this shows that individuals are willing to step forward and speak up when they observe unlawful or improper activities in the workplace.

Whether you work for a private employer or a government agency, there are laws in place to protect you should you decide to blow the whistle on your employer. Visit to read more on the Whistleblower Protection Programs. This OSHA FactSheet is also a helpful resource in identifying your rights as a whistleblower. Additionally, the National Whistleblowers Center offers support as a non-profit, non-partisan organization with the stated mission of promoting “Honesty without fear.”

If you are aware of criminal conduct or fraud by a healthcare provider, employer or government contractor, then it is important that you know your rights as a whistleblower. We encourage you to call our Atlanta law offices for support and guidance in a whistleblowing situation. Jay Brownstein has over 25 years of experience in complex legal, business and employment matters, and is able to expertly guide individuals faced with delicate whistleblowing decisions and serious implications. Call us today at 770-458-9060 for a consultation.

Hanging by a Moment


One freedom the Escalante children enjoy is the ability to play soccer in the park.

Yesser, Marialinda, and Yuri Escalante love life in the United States! From success in school, to playing a pick-up game of soccer at the local park, these three Guatemalan children want to live life to the fullest while they can. After all, they are hanging on by a moment, holding onto hope that they will be allowed to legally stay in the United States. They are currently awaiting a Feb. 17, 2015 hearing in the U.S. Immigration Court in Cleveland, Ohio.

While only time can tell what the outcome for the Escalante family will be, at least they know they have a fighting chance. According to the Transaction Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, 47% of unaccompanied minors represented by a lawyer during immigration proceedings have been allowed to stay in the United States. In contrast, only 10% of unaccompanied minors without a lawyer have been granted the right to stay. The Escalante family has hope thanks to the legal help they are getting through the Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio.

The legal process of gaining asylum, work permits, and other visas to legally stay in the United States can be overwhelming. While navigating the immigration system can sometimes seem like an impossible hurdle, freedom from extreme poverty, political oppression and physical peril like that faced by the Escalante family in Guatemala make the fight worthwhile. While the Escalante children have legal representation, not all unaccompanied minors are as fortunate.

In Atlanta, immigration lawyers Brownstein & Nguyen have helped countless individuals over the years with their immigration needs. If you or a family member are pursuing a green card, fiance or fiancee visa, or a visa for a spouse or minor child, contact our legal team for help. Our years of experience and knowledge have helped guide clients successfully through the immigration process.