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Spring Training Is Here Spectators Beware!

Chandler, AZ – It’s that time of year again in Arizona when baseball fans around the country come to the Valley to enjoy the warm weather, clear skies and America’s Pastime.  With a wide variety of teams and facilities throughout the Phoenix Metro area, the Cactus League has become a baseball fan’s oasis.

Spring training baseball allows for close fan interaction with players and more importantly an intimate setting for fans to view their favorite Major League players from a vantage point most seldom get the chance to enjoy.  The close seating and intimate setting of Spring Training baseball, however does increase the danger of personal injuries from objects leaving the field of play.

It is well settled law in most jurisdictions under the so called “Baseball Rule” that baseball stadium owners are insulated from and have limited liability for injuries caused by objects leaving the field of play.  In Arizona, the “Baseball Rule” has been added to the statutory scheme under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-554.

Under A.R.S § 12-554 a baseball stadium owner is not liable to injured spectators for injuries caused by objects used by players which leave the field.  The moratorium on liability is broad in nature and may only be overcome if the owner, “does not provide protective seating reasonably sufficient to satisfy expected requests” or “intentionally injures a spectator”.  Under the statutory language there are two main issues, 1) who is an “owner” and “spectator”; and 2) what protection is reasonably sufficient to satisfy requests.

The first of these questions, who is an owner, is easily answered trough the language of the statute. In Section F(2), an owner is defined as, “ a person, city, town, county, special district, limited liability company, school district, community college district, college or university that is in lawful possession and control of a baseball team or facility in which baseball games are played. Owner includes an employee or agent of the owner.” A.R.S §12-554 F(2). Essentially the statue is drafted to include the commonly understood definition of owner, but also extend to those persons employed by the owner of the facility as well.

A spectator for purposes of the statue includes, “person who is present at a baseball game for the purpose of observing the game, whether or not the person pays an admission fee or is compensated to observe the game. A.R.S §12-554 F(4).  Additionally, the statute applies to all persons attending the game with the intent of watching action on the field.   There is some room for argument in the definition of a spectator regarding presence and “observing” the game.  There is scarce case law on the issue of what exactly qualifies as “observing the game,” however in reality the vast majority of individuals would be attending the game as a spectator to observe the game, so most individuals will fall under the statute’s reach, but there are always exceptional cases.

The second question pertaining to the reasonableness of protection is the most seminal or important in terms of identifying if liability exists. Essentially the court in Bellezzo v. State of Arizona, 174 Ariz. 548., held similarly with the majority rule that, “the owner must screen the most dangerous section of the field–the area behind home plate–and the screening that is provided must be sufficient for those spectators who may be reasonably anticipated to desire protected seats on an ordinary occasion.” Bellezzo, 174 Ariz. 548 at 552.  The court concluded and agreed with the majority that the areas to be protected and therefore which must provide reasonable protection are those areas around home plate.  The court did not extend the necessity of protection to other sections of the field or stands further stating, “We decline to make proprietors of baseball stadiums insurers against the ordinary risk a spectator seated in an unscreened area of the baseball stadium may be struck by a ball. Rather, we impose upon them the usual duty to act with reasonable care to protect against foreseeable, unreasonable risks. Id. At 554.  The court in Bellezzo has made it the responsibility of owners of baseball facility to provide reasonable, screened protection for the areas around home plate, but does not extend such responsibility to areas outside the sections near home plate.

 

So, what does this mean if you are a spectator at a Spring Training game?  Three conclusions can be made:

 

1) If you ARE NOT seated behind the home plate section of the field, HEADS UP!  You are likely not going to succeed in a suit against the owner of the baseball facility to recover for your injuries if struck by an object leaving the field of play;

 

2) If you ARE seated behind the home plate portion of the ballpark and are injured by an object, then it must be investigated to determine if there was some unreasonable condition with the netting, lack of netting or unreasonable maintenance of the netting which lead to your injury, in order to have a potentially successful case; and

 

3) Regardless of your seating position, if there is an intentional act on the part of an employee of the stadium owner and an object leaves the field of play injuring you, the Baseball Rule does not apply; however the employee must have the Intent to Injure when causing the object to leave the field of play, a mere ballplayer tossing a ball into the stands as a souvenir will likely not give rise to a successful case.

Growing Legal Considerations Facing Small Businesses in the Phoenix Metro Area

Small Businesses across the country face increasing legal challenges because of quickly and ever transforming economic and technical environments.  Owners and operators have a growing slate of issues to consider and decisions to make so that risks are reduced and eliminated.

The Internet and Social Media present new and special concerns with customers and competitors involving privacy, content propriety, copy-write infringements, communications, and reputation matters.  This topic also involves issues relative to employees and their use of social media sites, email, cell phones and computers.

Employment claims of all kinds are on the rise and even many long established small businesses find themselves in the position to respond to such charges for the first time.  Some of these charges include libel, workers compensation, sexual and age discrimination, wrongful termination and race discrimination.

Privacy and Security matters with customer information and computer data pose additional challenges to businesses in that passwords and security information must be constantly monitored.  Privacy matters involving employees is also a growing legal issue especially with respect to drug use and divulgence of health conditions.

Andrew P. Boorse, Attorney at Law with small business experience can assist small businesses with all of these pertinent legal matters, and more.

 

Hiring a Lawyer for your Phoenix Area Small Business

If you are a business owner, there will come a time when you need the services of a lawyer.  It makes more sense to develop a relationship with an attorney that you trust, connect with, and who will help you and your business grow, BEFORE you find yourself in the middle of a real legal crisis.  Begin your attorney search when you need council for GENERAL matters because it will give you the opportunity to access lawyers in a low stress situation.  Andrew P. Boorse is a Chandler Attorney specializing in Small Business legal services.

General Matters for Legal Guidance

Organizational Structure – how to establish your business, i.e., S Corporation, LLC, Not for  Profit, etc.  Also includes proper registration with state and federal I.D. numbers for  taxes and transactions.

Contracts – creation and review of documents with vendors, landlords, customers and  employees.

Risk Management & Insurance – assistance with risk assessments for liability and review of  policies, exclusions and addendums.

Real Estate – negotiations, transactional paperwork, easements, and leases can become very complex, depending on the other parties involved.

Internet, Social Media and Technology – privacy statements, terms of use, employee use   matters, data collection issues, and capture of financial information.

Intellectual Property – lawyers can assist with copyright and trademark protection with company products and creative property.

Employment Law – help with establishing or reviewing proper hiring and employment policies     can be provided by small business attorneys.  Additionally, an attorney can provide council to help avoid workers compensation problems and state and local EEOC matters.

How to Evaluate an Attorney

Experience – finding a lawyer who has worked in and with businesses is a critical factor in choosing an attorney for your own business.

Interpersonal Skills – look for the basics; great eye contact, active listening skills, uninterrupted attention, a firm hand shake, and a personality that suits you and your business.

Communication – consider the attorney’s initial response to your call, the timeliness of completing requests and subsequent follow up encounters, especially keeping you  informed of progress with a project.

Firm Size – decide if you are more comfortable dealing directly with an attorney –probably a smaller firm, or accepting of working through a staff of paralegals and secretaries.

 

 

Andrew P. Boorse understands small businesses, and has first-hand experience dealing with the spectrum of challenges and needs facing small businesses.   Attorney Boorse is dedicated to providing legal services to the Phoenix Metro Small Business Community.

 

 

 

 

Arizona Laywer Changes Paradigm for Practice

A New Law Practice Paradigm for the Phoenix Metro Area better serves individuals and businesses.

Chandler, AZ – A.P.Boorse, PLLC, offers Arizona individuals and businesses a new way to do business with lawyers.  Today’s hectic life pace prompted Attorney Boorse to launch his signature “At Your Service” approach to legal services –  where and when the client needs them.  The firm offers a different level of service by working on the customer’s schedule and location, rather than a come to the lawyer approach.

Coming from a small business background, attorney Andrew Boorse understands that owners and operators do not work banker hours, and rarely less than 40 hours per week, but rather have very limited time to take away from the day to day business operations.  This also applies to individuals with legal service needs who work full time, but have urgent problems.  Boorse is readily available to clients at their convenience, and at their location, all made possible through computer and mobile technology.

A.P. Boorse, PLLC, is headquartered in Chandler, AZ, and has a satellite office in far North Scottsdale.  Attorney Boorse serves individuals and businesses in Maricopa County, AZ

Starting And Running A Small Business In Maricopa County, AZ

Chandler, AZ -Businesses of all sizes need legal guidance at some point and attorneys can actually add value to small businesses because beginning your business properly can help avoid problems and headaches down the road. Protect your business and yourself by getting experienced and trusted advice from a legal professional.  Following are a few basic instances where businesses benefit from hiring an attorney.

Business Structure – a lawyer can assist you in correctly establishing your new business, or making changes to your existing business structure is important for legal issues relating to government compliance, taxes and growth.  Corporation, Not for Profit, LLC, S Corporation, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, etc.  Take the time to find the right strategy for you and your business.

Company Products and Services –  an attorney can help you to protect your company intellectual property and assist with non-compete agreements for certain employees or contractors.

Employment Law – establishing employment policies and procedures for hiring. training. counseling and termination is an essential area for you to obtain legal guidance.  Properly navigating government oversight with respect to state and federal statutes for unemployment compensation, workers compensation, sexual harassment, etc.  is important.

Internet/Electronic Device Considerations – legal assistance will reduce your risks and liabilities with respect to the internet for your company website, facebook page, twitter account and others by crafting the proper privacy statements, waivers and liability protection.  Reducing your risks with respect to proper customer and employee contact and use of electronic communications is a challenging and ever changing legal matter.

In General – rent and real estate agreements and transactions can be confusing and overwhelming tasks to handle on your own, especially when you are overseeing day to day business operations.  Personal legal paperwork and matters such as wills, trusts and probate also take your valuable time.

The legal firm of A.P. BOORSE PLLC, located in Chandler, AZ is prepared to give you the trusted and experienced legal advice and guidance that you need to accomplish your business and personal goals.  Protect yourself and your business today – use a professional attorney.  A.P. BOORSE PLLC, serves the needs of businesses and individuals in Maricopa County – from Gilbert to Cave Creek and everything in between.