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Welcome to Fire Law – where we discuss the most important legal issues facing the American fire service!!! Join your host, Curt Varone, as we consider the often bizarre, at times humorous, but always challenging issues!
 
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In this edition of Fire Law Vlog, Curt and Bill Maccarone discuss a recent decision out of Texas holding that firefighters at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport assigned to EMS do not qualify for the 207k exemption. Why is that a big deal? Because without the 207k exemption they are entitled to overtime after 40 hours per week, not 212 hours i…
 
In this episode, Curt and Attorney Kali Henderson discuss the suit she just filed on behalf of four Southfield firefighters who were disciplined by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Oakland County Medical Control Authority, after a patient was declared dead, released to a funeral home, and found to be alive hours later by…
 
In this episode, Curt discusses fire service disciplinary challenges with Assist Chief Nicol Juratovac. Nicol, an EFO grad with a law degree, is a 23-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department. Listen as they discuss fire departments who weaponize their disciplinary process, and well as the issue of double jeopardy for disciplinary matters.…
 
In this episode, Curt follows up a podcast from last month with attorney Kevin Fairlie to address some questions that listeners submitted about the challenges associated with fire departments who bill Medicare and Medicaid for EMS transports. Kevin’s law practice concentrates on health care related topics, but a recent spate of federal investigatio…
 
In today’s episode, Curt talks with attorney Kevin Fairlie about the challenges facing fire departments who bill for EMS transports. Kevin’s law practice concentrates on health care related topics, but a recent spate of federal investigations across the country into fire department EMS billing practices has led him to represent numerous fire depart…
 
In today’s episode, Curt discusses the results of a survey of legal proceedings in fire departments with firefighter-attorney Bill Maccarone. The raw data from the survey is provided on Fire law Blog. My recommendation is that you view the data while listening to the podcast, as during the podcast we do not mention all of the actual numbers. If you…
 
In this episode, Curt and Tucson attorney Jeff Jacobson discuss the case of Tucson Firefighter-Paramedic Carrie Clark. On April 12, 2019 a federal court jury awarded Clark $3.8 million for gender discrimination and retaliation, and violations of the Nursing Mothers Act (which is a part of the Fair Labor Standards Act) and FLSA retaliation. Jeff was…
 
In this episode, Curt and Linda Willing discuss the cultural and legal challenges associated with hazing, pranks and bullying in the fire service. Linda is a retired fire officer from the Boulder (CO) Fire Department, and is now a noted author, columnist and lecturer. She is the author of On the Line: Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories, and is a…
 
In this episode, Curt and attorney Brian Bregman discuss the complicated legal issues associated with disciplinary investigations where the accused firefighters are potentially subject to criminal liability – and may have a 5th Amendment Right to remain silent. Brian represented one of two Prince George’s County volunteer firefighters who were rece…
 
In this episode, Curt and attorney Matt Dolan discuss the leadership challenge of dealing with the toxic employee. Approximately 60 percent of fire service litigation are HR-types of suits, and many of those lawsuits involve the 1% who make everyone’s lives more difficult: the toxic employee. Curt and Matt will be presenting a program on Fire Servi…
 
Are fire officers eligible for overtime? Does rank matter? In this episode Curt and Bill Maccarone discuss overtime issues associated with fire officers. Many fire departments consider some or all of their officers to be exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA under the “white collar” exemption. Court cases between 1985 and 2003 were all …
 
In this episode, Curt and Bill Maccarone continue their discussion about FLSA overtime issues in the fire service with an introduction to the so-called white-collar exemptions that allow employees classified as executives, administrative or professionals to be exempt from minimum wage and maximum hours requirements. Also discussed is the small fire…
 
In this episode, Curt talks with Oakland attorney Leslie Levy about the $2.3 million verdict she won on behalf of former Vallejo firefighter Todd Milan. Milan was terminated from the Vallejo Fire Department in November, 2012. His problems began on September 29, 2011 at the scene of a mobile home fire that claimed the life of a disabled man. Milan c…
 
In this episode of Fire Law, Curt and Florida firefighter-attorney Mike Clelland discuss Mike’s recent victory for an Orlando firefighter who was seeking a cancer-related disability pension. Mike, a 26 year fire service veteran and former state legislator, now practices with the law firm of Morgan & Morgan.…
 
In this episode of Fire Law, Curt interviews Ginger Adams Otis, the author of Firefight: The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York's Bravest. Ginger is a writer at the NY Daily News and previously worked at the NY Post. She started covering NY City Hall and the FDNY when she worked for The Chief-Leader. She's been a radio and print freelancer f…
 
In this edition of Fire Law, Curt discusses the controversial settlement of an FDNY discrimination suit with Attorney Peter J. Gleason, himself a retired FDNY firefighter. Peter represented FDNY firefighter Kevin Simpkins who was awarded a disability pension earlier this year. The settlement made for sensational headlines. Consider the following fr…
 
In this episode, Curt explores the connection between the law relating to duty to act and real life in a discussion with Fire Commissioner Dave Phillips, from the Washingtonville Fire District in New York. Commissioner Phillips suffered a heart attack and was brought back to life through the valiant efforts of his son, an FDNY firefighter, and a lo…
 
In this episode of Fire Law, attorney Jim Magazine discusses the five lawsuits he has filed over neck injuries to firefighters from the Cairns 1044 Helmet. The product liability suits were filed in Florida state court against MSA, the parent company for Cairns. The suits claim the helmets are defectively designed.…
 
Rialto, California firefighter Nick DeLia brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action in US District Court against the City of Rialto, the City of Rialto Fire Department, and several city officials after he was ordered to go into his personal residence and bring two rolls of fiberglass insulation out, in violation of the 4th Amendment. The case went to the U…
 
In this podcast District of Columbia Battalion Chief Richard Sterne explains the circumstances surrounding his demotion by Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe for not finding two officers guilty of charges at a disciplinary hearing. Curt Varone and DC Attorney Jim Pressler review the facts, the law and the politics behind the scene in the Nation’s Capitol.…
 
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