Bigger & Harman, APC - April 2019





DRIVER Attorneys Defending Your Right to the Road

APRIL 2019


Why We Stand With the International Justice Mission

Some of the biggest humanitarian issues on this Earth can often seem a world away. We hear about the horrors of human trafficking on the news or are asked to donate to an organization trying to bring clean water to a rural village, but most of us aren’t directly confronted with these issues here in the United States. It’s easy for these real crises that impact real human lives to be lost in abstraction. Sometimes you need to board a plane and see the problem for yourself to really understand the need for change. Friends and family of our firm have been vocal supporters of International Justice Mission (IJM). A non-governmental organization founded with the sole purpose of ending the modern slave trade, IJM works with local governments and police forces around the world to arrest slavers, free their captives, and craft policies that keep people out of slavery in the first place. Needless to say, their work saves lives. Still, we run into the problem of abstraction. For most Americans, the word “slavery” brings up images of a tragic chapter in our own nation’s history, and it’s just that — history. However, the unfortunate truth is that in countries in Africa and around the world, people are still being sold into slavery every day. I recently took a trip to Uganda and saw the organization’s efforts firsthand. This was my first time in sub-Saharan Africa, and honestly, it felt like I’d stepped onto another planet. The landscape was lush and beautiful, with rivers and lakes feeding red soil. But while nature in Uganda is rich, most of the people live very hard lives. Throughout the trip, tagging along with IJM workers, I saw many people eking out a subsistence-based existence. Some don’t even get that.

in African, land belongs to the men. So, when a farmer dies and his wife carries on tending the land, her brothers-in-law can swoop in during the harvest and take everything from her and her children. When these women are left with absolutely nothing, choices once unthinkable become the only route toward survival. I heard horror stories of mothers forced to sell themselves or one of their children into slavery so that the rest of the family wouldn’t starve. Listening to those who had faced the unspeakable trauma that followed, I felt frustrated and helpless. Working as a lawyer in a stable country, I’m used to being able to help people in ways that stick. But here, I was faced with the overwhelming sense that even if I was able to do something for these victims, it wouldn’t keep others just like them from slipping into the same fate. For any meaningful change to happen, the entire system must be reformed. That’s what IJM is working to do. While actively rescuing people in slavery is exciting, much of the organization’s work is focused on a wider scale effort to change government policies and social perceptions. It’s slow work, but slavery is a systemic problem requiring a holistic approach that roots out the problem once and for all. When leaving the capital city of Kampala, my mind kept returning to the stories I’d heard and thinking of ways we might prevent similar stories from being written again. As an individual, I may not be able to do much, but if I learned anything from IJM, it’s that collective action can be a force for change. That’s why our firm is passing on a portion of our earnings to help this vitally important charity. For every client referred to us, we will be donating $20 to support IJM’s mission in Uganda and beyond. Together, we can put an end to the global slave trade once and for all.

If you’d like to learn more about IJM and how you can help directly, visit

You see, land seizure is a major issue in Uganda and contributes directly to the slave trade. Traditionally

–Mark Bigger

(661) 859-1177 | 1

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Considering the stress of combat, it’s no wonder military dogs tend to be tough breeds known for their size and strength. German shepherds, boxers, and various bully breeds are well-acquainted with the battlefield. But in World War II, the most famous military dog weighed only 4 pounds and stood a mere 7 inches tall. Smoky the Yorkshire Terrier wasn’t exactly what most people associated with Shakespeare’s “let slip the dogs of war,” but her small size is part of what made her such a hero. YORKIE DOODLE DANDY Smoky the World War II Canine Hero

In addition to saving lives on the battlefield, Smoky is also considered to be the first recorded therapy dog. She learned a number of tricks to cheer up troops and would visit injured soldiers at the hospital in New Guinea. After World War II, Smoky and Wynne visited veteran hospitals across the United States. “Corporal” Smoky lived for another 10 years after the war before dying on Feb. 21, 1957, at approximately 14 years old. Wynne would go on to write a memoir about his time with Smoky titled “Yorkie Doodle Dandy.” Almost 50 years after her death, a life-sized bronze statue of Smoky was erected at her final resting place in Lakewood, Ohio. Her statue is dedicated to the bravery of all war dogs, and it is a reminder that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

In 1944, after being discovered beside a foxhole in the jungles of New Guinea, Smoky met Corporal William A. Wynne, an American soldier from Cleveland, Ohio. The two quickly became inseparable, and she stayed by Wynne’s side the entire time he was stationed in the South Pacific. Smoky is credited with going on 12 combat missions, surviving 150 air raids, parachuting 30 feet, and earning eight battle stars. Smoky’s sensitive hearing allowed her to alert Wynne and other soldiers of incoming air raids.

Smoky’s most famous act of heroism occurred when she went where no man could go at an air base at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. The engineers needed help, so Wynne tied a strand of telephone wire to her collar and Smoky ran through a 70-foot-long pipe in a matter of minutes. Without Smoky, it would have taken three days to lay the wire. Her work kept over 250 ground crewmen and 40 fighter and reconnaissance planes out of danger from enemy bombings.

We have big news this month! In our effort to better serve CDL holders, we’ve expanded to cover the I-80 corridor from Truckee to Sacramento! If you run into trouble making the run east or west, we can help. Here’s a list of courts we’ve added along the route to get you the legal representation you need, where you need it! Defending Tickets From Truckee to Sacramento NEW COURTS

• Truckee (Nevada County)

• Roseville (Placer County)

• South Lake Tahoe and Placerville (El Dorado County)

• Sacramento (Sacramento County)

• Woodland (Yolo County)

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It’s a California Vehicle Code almost every trucker in the state is familiar with: CVC 22348 (c), commonly called “failure to use designated lanes.” This is the traffic law that keeps big rigs, buses, tow trucks, and just about every other vehicle with more than two axles trapped in the right lane, regardless of what the driver deems to be safe. This vehicle code is the source of a lot of stress among CDL holders for a number of reasons.


It’s a common enough situation. You’re staying in your designated lane at the state-mandated limit of 55 and you near a merge. Then, for some reason, a Subaru with a family of five decides to hang out to your immediate left. Does the other driver not know the speed limit for class C drivers is 65? Are they trying to spite you? Do they not see the upcoming freeway entrance with the line of cars trying to merge into your lane? It’s high stress situations like these that can lead to third lane violations or speeding tickets. Now, you’d be right to point out that the Subaru is in the wrong here; it’s illegal to move slower than normal traffic in the left lane precisely because of situations like this. But you’d be hard pressed to find a law enforcement officer who would pull over a sluggish class C driver rather than a speeding truck. You see this all the time in downhill stretches in places near Truckee or the Grapevine. Truck after truck will get pulled over for daring to touch 62 while cars fly on by at 80–90 mph in the left lane. Limiting the lanes and speeds truck drivers have available to them makes the roads less safe. As a Wisconsin University study showed, driving the speed limit or slower in a passing lane proved to be more dangerous on average than speeding. By taking away a trucker’s ability to switch lanes and/or speed up, they are far less likely to be able to respond to dangerous situations. Unfortunately, legislatures and law enforcement remain fixated on speed control as the be-all and end-all of traffic safety. If you or a friend in the industry have been ticketed for defying the slow lane, consult a CDL traffic lawyer. Our team specializes in representing professional drivers and excels at resolving speeding tickets and designated lane violations. UNEQUAL ENFORCEMENT SAFETY





(661) 859-1177 | 3


Toll-Free (661) 859-1177 Se Habla Español


1701 Westwind Drive Suite 203 Bakersfield, CA 93301


Why We Stand With International Justice Mission ...................... PAGE 1

Never Judge a Dog by Her Size ................ PAGE 2

Ticketed on the Truckee-Sacramento Run? We’ve Got You Covered .................... PAGE 2

An Ode to Third Lane Violations ............... PAGE 3

3 Travel Myths Debunked ............................ PAGE 4

Have a ticket in California? Give us a call, and we’ll help you out! Regardless of the location, we can point you in the right direction free of charge!

Traveling has many social and educational benefits, but some people have hesitations that prevent them from jetting off on new adventures. Below are three debunked travel myths to give you some ease as you plan your summer vacation! MYTH: VACATIONS ARE EXPENSIVE. FACT: You can travel anywhere on a budget. Tracking flights to score the best deal, setting spending limits, and packing meals are a few ways to save money. Hostels and Airbnbs are great alternatives to spendy hotel stays. Additionally, you don’t have to cross the country to have a great trip. Every state has museums, unique roadside attractions, historical sites, and a booming nightlife. When you know your price limits and what you want to do, traveling can be a fun and inexpensive venture. MYTH: TRAVELING IS DANGEROUS. FACT: If you’re smart about what you do and where you go, traveling can be safe. Go with your gut and only stay somewhere that is approved by travel guides. Visit places you feel comfortable in, and do your research by reading travel blogs, websites, and books to find places that have been vetted by others. Traveling in groups can also be a great way to lower your risk of danger. As long as you plan ahead, you will have a safe trip. PARIS ON A BUDGET? 3 Travel Myths You Should Stop Believing

MYTH: JET LAG IS CAUSED BY A LACK OF SLEEP. FACT: While jet lag can make you sleepy, it’s actually caused by a disruption in your circadian rhythm. Our bodies are cyclical, and the circadian rhythm is set by both a natural need for your body to reset and outside forces, such as your job, time zone, and diet. Travel can disrupt this rhythm and routine, which leaves you lethargic during and after your vacation. Sticking to water before and during your flights and staying physically active during and after traveling are great ways to fight jet lag and get back into your normal rhythm. Don’t let these travel myths keep you from seeing the world. Set a budget, go with your gut, and prepare for a shifting rhythm to make your next adventure the best one yet.

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