The discovery of new shale gas regions at various locations in the U.S. plus the advancement in drilling technologies have led the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to confidently state that the decline in the volume of natural gas produced from existing shale regions can, and will be, offset by new ones. Even the International Energy Agency (IEA) was candid enough to say that the increase in natural gas production may end US’ reliance on foreign oil over the next twenty years.

Shale gas pertains to natural gas trapped within fine-grained sedimentary rocks or shale formations. These sedimentary rocks are abundant sources of natural gas and petroleum. According to the EIA, the top six regions in the US that produce all of the nation’s domestic natural gas needs, as well as about 90% more growth in oil production are the:

  • Eagle Ford shale in Southern Texas;
  • Bakken shale region, which extends from North Dakota and Montana;
  • Niobrara, which stretches across parts Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and South Dakota;
  • Haynesville in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas;
  • Permian in Western Texas; and,
  • Marcellus, one of the most extensive shale regions in the US and probably the second largest in the world. This shale area across Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Private individuals, whose properties will most likely be affected by the still widening drilling activities in the top six regions, are all frequently confronted by the same question: Will they be selling their property, selling mineral rights or will they just be leasing these?

Offers from companies willing to buy mineral rights can reach millions of dollars. When an offer is made, this means cash up front. A property owner may, however, choose to sell only his or her mineral rights and not the whole property (this is allowed in states where separate ownership of real estate and mineral rights is recognized).

 

 


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The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), a global maritime safety treaty, has issued the “Safe Return to Port” regulation on all types of ships; this mandate was passed in order to guarantee the safe return of all ship passengers back to port even after an accident at sea. Besides the safe return to port mandate, SOLA has also required that all new cruise ships ought to be equipped with self-sufficient, international standard clinics and other emergency facilities.

Though there may be no questions about facilities, it is not the same with regard to how skilled and trained cruise ship staff and medical personnel are, and how strictly the SOLAS mandates are being observed. Because, with the frequency and severity of disasters, the crimes committed on board while on cruise, viral outbreak, unsanitary conditions, and injury to (and sometimes death of) passengers, the mandates appear to be very far from being fully observed.

Pirates, smashing into an iceberg, hitting an underground rock, sea storms and rogue waves – these are not the only reported causes of passenger injuries. Though the cruise ship industry should be prepared to address all these possibilities, it should not overlook addressing the major contributory factor behind every accident and dangerous situation – negligence of ship crew and personnel in maintaining the ship and their incompetence in reacting well during emergency situations.

After one cruise ship was stranded out at sea for five days due to fire (this actually turned what was supposed to be a grand, exotic and exciting adventure into a nightmarish experience to more than 4,000 passengers), had one towline snapping as it was being tugged to port, crashed into another boat and ended with a 20-foot gash on its side after getting unmoored while undergoing repairs, and had to be evacuated by repair workers after nearby fuel barges exploded, many ask just how many power failures, fires, or other untoward incidents a cruise ship averagely undergoes during its lifetime.

According to the firm the Vucci Law Group, while a cruise ship vacation can really be a perfectly exciting experience, the dangers passengers can face, in the event of an accident, can also be truly frightening, as passengers have limited space and corners to run to for safety. Thus, in the event of an accident, it is very important that the victim contacts a cruise ship accident lawyer immediately. This is because the preparations, the documents that need to be submitted, and the procedures that need to be observed regarding a legal act against a cruise ship are complicated and can only be done at a specific court in a specific state and within a specific time.


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An accident is a always traumatic experience for anyone, and there is no telling what extent of damage there will be, as well as what physical injuries a victim will sustain and how serious these injuries will be. Such will be greatly affected by the types of vehicles involved in the accident and the speed of these vehicles before collision. Thus, a bigger and faster moving vehicle will definitely cause greater property damage and more serious injuries in the victim.

Besides the physical injuries, however, a victim is sure to suffer financial difficulties too since injuries will require medical treatment, the cost of which depends on the severity of the injury. And if the victim will not be capable of rendering work during recovery period, that means lost wages, putting him/her and his/her family in a more stressful situation.

Often, car accidents occur due to the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top four causes of accidents are drunk-driving, speeding, driver error (like failure to use signal lights or failure to buckle-up) and driving distractions, such as texting while driving, which is the leading type of distraction among young drivers in the US.

The causes of accidents mentioned above are all driver mistakes; thus, they are all preventable as they are all under the control of the driver. But there are also other causes of accidents that fall outside of a driver’s control and, since these are not obvious to the driver, the risk of accident is increased and the extent of damage and severity of injuries, possibly greater.

These other causes of accidents are defective car parts or poorly manufactured vehicular parts, like a defective braking system, airbag, child seat, seat belt and/or headlight or signal lights; then there is also the possibility of tire tread depth that falls short of government standard. These defects can be due to something that the manufacturer failed to do or something that the manufacturer did, but which is not supposed to be part of the manufacturing process.

Car defects are quite harder to prove. Despite the driver’s statement that a particular part failed to function properly, evidences that will prove the veracity of the driver’s words will be required. If proven, however, then the manufacturer of the defective car part will have a lot to answer for, including compensating the victim for his/her present and future accident-caused financial concerns, besides recalling the defective part so as not to put other lives in danger. Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer, like the law firm Ali Mokaram, for example, may help in proving manufacturer fault, as well as in helping an injured victim seek the compensation he/she may be allowed under the law.


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“Insider trading” is a term most investors associate with illegal conduct; however, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the term may be used to refer to both legal and illegal conduct. Its legal version refers to officers, directors, and employees and other corporate insiders buying and selling stock in their own companies (trading activities conducted by corporate insiders in their own securities must be reported to the SEC).

Illegal insider trading, on the other hand, refers “to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include ‘tipping’ such information, securities trading by the person ‘tipped,’ and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information.”

Insider trading cases include cases against:

Corporate officers, directors, and employees who, after learning of substantial and confidential corporate developments, trade their corporation’s securities;

“Tippees” of corporate officers, directors, and employees, which include bBusiness associates, friends, and family members, who trade the securities after getting to know of such corporate developments;

Employees of printing firms, banking, brokerage and law who were given information on such corporate developments to provide services to the corporation whose securities they are supposed to trade;

Government employees, who learns of such information by virtue of their employment in the government; and,

All others who misuse, and take advantage of, confidential information from their employers.

Detection and prosecution of insider trading violations is one of SEC’s enforcement priorities mainly because it damages the confidence and belief of investors have in the objectivity and integrity of the securities market.

To monitor illegal insider trading, the SEC looks at the trading volumes of stocks. Increase in volume of stocks usually occur after information or material news is issued to the public; however, if volumes rise dramatically despite there being no public issuance of information, then the SEC will consider this as a warning flag and so investigate to determine who may be responsible for the unusual trading and whether it was illegal.

As explained by Houston securities litigation lawyers, the actions of a dishonest insider, investment adviser or stockbroker can be enough to cause irreparable harm to your investments, your financial security, and your future. As devastating as it can be when your investments take a hit, it is important to remember that investors are protected under a range of state and federal trade laws. As such, there is a good chance you will be able to take legal action against whoever is found to be responsible for the illegal or unethical actions that culminated in your losses.


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French drug manufacturer Sanofi Aventis has been under fire as of late in relation to its chemotherapy drug Taxotere. The company has been the subject of lawsuits from breast cancer patients for not warning them of a serious side effect of the drug—permanent alopecia. Although hair loss is one of the common side effects of chemotherapy, taxotere has reportedly resulted to permanent hair loss.

The serious side effects of taxotere had not been known until December 2015 when the FDA has issued a warning on its label for its possible adverse reactions. Before that time, taxotere was the most popular drug used in chemotherapy. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, approximately 10 – 15% of women who used taxotere during treatment reported no hair growth for as long as ten years after stopping treatment.

Sanofi Aventis made around $1.4 billion per year for selling Taxotere. However, it was made at the expense of cancer patients who depended on the drug for survival and a possible chance of prolonging their life. Most of the lawsuits centered around Sanofi’s failure to determine the safety of Taxotere and its failure to warn patients of the risks associated with Taxotere. The plaintiffs also claimed that Sanofi misled them by saying that their hair will grow back but it did not. According to the plaintiffs, if they had known of the risks, they would have used other drugs for their treatment.

Taxotere can have serious consequences on a cancer patient. It could affect them emotionally and financially as well. If not for the drug, the patient would still have been earning much for their family. The good news is that there is still hope and those who have suffered may be able to recover damages and make the responsible parties liable for what they have done.

Taxotere lawsuits are covered by statute of limitations depending on the state so you must file the case within the time frame for filing a lawsuit.


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