Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prevent Dog Bites

Dogs earned their title of “Man’s Best Friend” because of their loyal and loving nature, but it’s important to remember that dogs are powerful animals that can cause serious injuries. The CDC reports that approximately 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites each year, and nearly half of these victims are children.

There are few things kids love more than dogs, and because children are naturally curious and trusting, they often do not realize when dogs are showing signs of agitation or aggression.  Because of this, it is important to never leave your kids alone with a dog, even your own pet. There are also a number of safety tips you can teach your children to help avoid dog attacks.

Read our tips below to learn how to protect your children, what to do if you come across an aggressive dog, and how to prevent your dog from attacking others.

Dog Safety Tips to Teach Your Children

  • Never approach dogs you do not know
  • Never play with a dog unless you are with an adult
  • Never scream or run away from a dog
  • Avoid making direct eye contact with a dog
  • Never approach a dog that is growling or seems scared
  • Never pet a dog without first asking the owner for permission
  • Do not pet a dog unless it has seen and sniffed you first
  • Always be gentle when touching dogs
  • Never tease dogs, instead treat them nicely
  • If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, keep your arms at your sides and stay still
  • If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and stay still
  • If you see a dog wandering around or acting strange, tell an adult
  • Do not touch or bother a dog that is eating, sleeping, or taking care of puppies
  • If a dog bites you, tell an adult right away

What to Do When You Think a Dog May Attack

  • Stay quiet and stay where you are
  • Put your hands at your side, avoid eye contact with the dog, and don’t move
  • If the dog knocks you down or you fall, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and stay still
  • If the dog attacks, try to put your purse, backpack, jacket, bike, or anything else you have between yourself and the dog
  • When the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until the dog is out of sight.

Prevent Your Dog from Attacking

  • Never leave your children alone with your dog. Kids don’t always understand that pulling a dog’s tail or ears, poking or climbing on a dog, or trying to take a dog’s food or toy can make it agitated and aggressive.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Getting your dog fixed can help reduce its natural aggression.
  • Properly train your dog. No matter the breed or size of your dog, it is very important that it learns proper submissive behaviors and that any bad or aggressive behaviors are correctly addressed. If you are unable to train your dog yourself, hire a reputable trainer.
  • Don’t play aggressive games. Playing tug-of-war or wrestling with your dog can inadvertently teach aggressive behaviors and make the dog more protective of its toys.
  • Socialize your dog. It is important for dogs to spend time around other dogs and people from a young age so that they can get used to different situations. If the dog acts aggressively or exhibits bad behavior around other animals or people, correct the behavior right away.
  • Keep your dog’s personality in mind. No one knows your dog better than you. If your dog gets anxious around children, don’t take it to parks, don’t walk past schools, and don’t leave it in the front yard where kids could stick their hands through the fence.  If your dog is aggressive toward other people or panics around new people, leave it at home when you go to crowded places.
De Castroverde Law Group is a Las Vegas-based law firm that helps accident victims seek justice and recover fair compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, get in touch with our team to learn about your options. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meet Our New Attorney: Jennifer Gastelum

De Castroverde Law Group is committed to providing the Las Vegas community with outstanding representation, and we wouldn’t be able to do that without our top-notch attorneys. We pride ourselves on having a team of knowledgeable, experienced, and effective lawyers, and we are excited to announce a new addition to our firm: Attorney Jennifer Gastelum.

Jennifer is a first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico before she was born. From a young age she understood the importance of getting a good education and she worked hard to achieve her goals. Jennifer’s family moved to Las Vegas in 1996 and she attended Rancho High School. Her scholastic achievements earned her two Career Day Latin Chamber of Commerce Scholarships and the Millennium Scholarship upon her graduation from high school.

Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and graduated cum laude. She then began studying law at the Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas, and in 2011 was recognized as Student of the Year for her work with Boyd’s Community Service Program. As part of the program, Jennifer used her fluency in Spanish to teach divorce and custody classes for underprivileged litigants.

While earning her law degree Jennifer also participated in Boyd’s Legal Education Assistance to Prisoners by teaching legal education classes for Nevada inmates. She gained further legal experience by clerking for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s domestic violence unit, supporting victims of domestic violence in family law disputes. Jennifer also completed externships at the Clark County Public Defender’s Office and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. During her final semester at the Boyd School of Law, Jennifer took part in Boyd’s Family Justice Clinic by representing underprivileged family law litigants.

Jennifer received a CALI award for earning the highest grade in her legal writing and analysis course, and graduated in the top third of her class in 2013. After earning her law degree, Jennifer was licensed to practice law by the Nevada State Bar and the Arizona State Bar.

Jennifer provides outstanding legal counsel to both English and Spanish speaking clients in the areas of criminal defense, family, and personal injury law, and we are proud to have her join De Castroverde Law Group. To learn more about Jennifer and the rest of our excellent attorneys, visit our Firm Overview page

Friday, July 11, 2014

What is Prescription Fraud?

As prescription medication addiction grows more prevalent each year, law enforcement agencies throughout the country are cracking down on all types of prescription drug abuse and fraud. 

Prescription fraud occurs when a person uses unlawful means to take, obtain, or attempt to take or obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance. (NRS 453.391) While most people begin taking prescription medications at the direction of a doctor for a specific medical purpose, many of these drugs are highly addictive.

Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include:
  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Demerol
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
When their doctors stop writing prescriptions, the patients that have become addicted to these drugs must turn to illegal methods to obtain more medication.

Common Types of Prescription Fraud

One of the most common methods of illegally obtaining prescriptions is doctor shopping. Doctor shopping involves visiting numerous doctors at various offices and clinics to get more prescriptions. The patient visits the offices seeking treatment for a condition, but fails to tell each doctor that they have already received prescriptions from other physicians.

In addition to doctor shopping, prescription fraud includes:
  • Stealing a physician’s pad and forging prescriptions
  • Altering a legitimate prescription to increase the quantity
  • Obtaining drugs by using a family member’s or friend’s prescription
  • Illegally buying prescription drugs online
  • Using computer programs to create fake prescriptions
Prescription fraud is a category C felony in the state of Nevada, so don’t wait to get strong defense if you have been charged! Check out the Prescription Fraud page on our website for more information or contact our attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your case.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jocelyn Cortez Named to 2014 Nevada Rising Stars℠ List

We are excited to announce that Jocelyn Cortez, one of our experienced attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group, has been selected for the 2014 Nevada Super Lawyers® Rising Stars list. She is among just 2.5% of attorneys in the state of Nevada to be included in this prestigious list.

Rising Stars specifically honors up-and-coming attorneys who have earned a high level of professional success and recognition among their professional peers. Only lawyers who are age 40 or younger or who have 10 years or less of practice experience can be considered for the list, according to the Super Lawyers® website. Attorney Cortez handles immigration cases at our Las Vegas firm and has proven herself to be an effective legal advocate.

The Rising Stars list is published by Super Lawyers® Magazine, which also publishes the Super Lawyers® list. Rising Stars uses the same selection process as Super Lawyers®, except for the age and experience limitations. The selection process includes peer nomination, independent research and review by Super Lawyers® Magazine, and peer evaluations.

For Attorney Cortez, immigration law is a legal field that hits close to home. When she was five months old, her family left El Salvador and started a new life in the U.S.—specifically in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is fluent in Spanish and has been interviewed about immigration issues on Univision’s national radio show “Zona Politica” several times.  

Attorney Cortez has been recognized as a leading lawyer on multiple occasions. She has earned a 9.0 Superb rating from Avvo and was featured in the 2013 Women in Law edition of Attorneys at Law Magazine.

If you need assistance with an immigration matter, get strong legal support by calling our law firm. Contact De Castroverde Law Group to speak with a dedicated legal representative who can help you meet your legal needs!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Booking a Hotel? Remember These Safety Tips!

When you go on vacation, you’re focused on relaxing, spending time with friends and family, and having fun. Most likely, the last thing on your mind is worrying about whether you will be safe at your hotel. It is important, however to take precaution to protect yourself and your family from harm.  

While enjoying your vacation, there are simple steps you can take to prevent accidents and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Read some of our helpful tips below!

Booking Your Hotel

  • Make sure your hotel uses modern electronic door locks. These security systems make it more difficult for rooms to be broken into because the security code automatically changes for each new guest.
  • Don’t book a room on the ground floor. Rooms on higher floors are less likely to be broken into from the outside.
  • Choose a hotel that uses surveillance cameras in hallways and public areas and has security guards on the premises.
  • Make sure your room has smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher.
  • When you check in, ask for two hotel business cards. Keep one in the room by your phone and one on your person at all times. That way you will know the address and name of your location if you must call for help in an emergency.

Staying Safe in Your Room

  • Take a few minutes to look over your hotel’s emergency evacuation routes as soon as you arrive.
  • Whenever you are in the room, make sure that you use all the locks provided.
  • Keep the door and any windows or sliding doors securely locked at night and when you leave.
  • If you must leave your child alone in the room for any period of time or if your older children are staying in a room by themselves, instruct them to always keep the door locked and to only open it for you.
  • If someone unexpectedly knocks on your door claiming to be a hotel employee or a repair man sent by the hotel, keep your door locked and call the front desk. The front desk can send a security guard up to check on you or verify that a repair man actually does need to access your room.

Other Precautions

  • When leaving and entering the hotel after dark, be sure to use the main entrance.
  • Avoid going to the parking lot or parking garage alone, especially at night.
  • Women should avoid using the elevator alone, and should exit as soon as possible if another passenger seems suspicious or makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • If the hotel has a pool, be careful when walking near entrances and exits used by swimmers. The staff should keep the floor dry at all times, but the ground may be slippery.
  • Accompany your children to the pool and supervise them in the water, even if there is a hotel lifeguard. (Read our Swimming Safety Tips)
  • Never tell strangers what floor you are staying on or your room number.
Although hotels have a duty to keep their patrons safe, sometimes the negligence of their staff or security guards can result in injury and harm to guests. If you were injured because of negligence at your hotel, talk to our attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group. Our Las Vegas law firm is dedicated to helping victims obtain the justice they deserve. Visit the personal injury section on our website for more information.