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What We Can Learn from the 1918 Pandemic

TASA ID: 1056

The social impact of the Spanish Flu and Covid-19 are eerily similar. There are many things we can learn from the 1918 Pandemic’s impact on society, the economy and employee behaviors. Similar to Covid-19, businesses and schools were forced to close, social distancing was the new norm, economies took a terrible blow and production was slowed. One of the most important lessons we have learned from the Spanish Flu is that we cannot ease our guard too quickly. In the summer of 1918, we thought we had conquered the pandemic; however, it lasted through the spring of 1919 because we underestimated its resistance.

Why Use of Force Videos in Court Cases Don’t Tell the Whole Story

TASA ID: 321

As a former law enforcement officer, a security expert and an expert witness, I have seen countless videos of police using force on a suspect or perpetrator. In today’s world, the use of cameras by the police and by the public in taping an incident, while creating a picture of how the incident went down, do not always tell the entire story or even show the events as they actually happened. The assumption is that if a video shows a police officer using force on someone, it explains the entire scenario. That is not always true! The video can only capture an event and it does not take into account the human elements of fear and other specific details that must be considered. As attorneys, knowing how these human elements play into the use of force by the police in any given situation is imperative when trying a case that involves a use of force video of the police.

Image/Reputation Damage From Media News Reports:

Is it Legally Actionable?

TASA ID: 2156

So the operative question here is: “when media exposure of a negative event or activity harms the image or reputation of a person or entity, is it actionable in terms of a lawsuit?”  The answer is, “yes and no.”  I’ve served as an expert witness in numerous cases relating to media reports that caused damage, representing both the plaintiff’s (those claiming harm) and the defendant’s (those that took the actions that resulted in the media reports).  Let’s be clear about one thing first, the media is not the culprit and cannot be the targets of lawsuits if their reports were accurate as to the facts and there was no judgements made in the reports as to guilt or innocence.  One might quibble about the extent of the coverage provided or whether it was fair or balanced but the media has a right to report the news as long as it is fair and accurate.

Professional Malpractice or Failure to Perform:

When Communications Go Awry

TASA ID: 2156

In the communications field, there are numerous types of professions and service providers that are utilized to communicate for numerous purposes to various types of target audiences.  Such purposes could involve: disseminating information; creating or generating awareness; creating, building, developing or repairing an image, reputation or brand; generating ongoing visibility; promotion or marketing of a product or service; or communicating in crisis situations to disseminate vital information and/or correct negative impressions or incorrect information.  The most prominent type of service professionals that are contracted for these purposes are in the fields of public relations; advertising and marketing.  

Harmful Media Exposure:

Beware Of the Hidden Sources of Damage

TASA ID: 2156

When it comes to the positive perception of someone or something, there is a saying that is at once ominous and very true: “It can take years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it.”  There are an infinite variety of ways that a negative perception can be generated through various forms of harmful communications.  One of the most common – and impactful and damaging – is through the mass media.  It’s not supposed to be that way nor should it be.  
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