November 24th, 2008

Procedure Question: Domestic Call

Hello, and thanks in advance.

I'm working on a realistic novel, modern-day, set partly in the outlaying suburbs of Central Virginia (I'm thinking suburbs of Richmond). I'd like to give a realistic resolution to the following situation.

About 3:00 AM on a Saturday night in spring, neighbors report a loud exchange of outside yelling between a neighboring man, mid-40s, and his 15-year-old daughter (with added noise coming from the family dog, barking). The family has no previous history of disruption, and is in fact well thought-of by most neighbors. The daughter, however, is considered odd; if questioned, neighbors would admit that she's exceedingly quiet, often unkempt and possibly retarded. 

Any officers responding to the call would find that the daughter has fled, the dog is agitated, and the mother and father are visibly upset but otherwise polite. The father appears to have been drinking heavily. They report that the girl has been out all night, and came home verbally abusive and almost naked. The mother is concerned that her girl has been raped. The father suspects she has been out with someone, and possibly raped by that person... or by several persons. She is not, that they know of, involved with anyone.  

Officers find the girl several blocks away, running but unharmed. She's skittish, but otherwise utterly quiet. She does not speak in any way, although she growls and snarls like a dog when anyone gets close. Her manner is almost feral, but she displays no signs of overt abuse or retardation. The girl does not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and consents visibly to assertions of authority. She's wearing nothing except for a dirty T-shirt (her own) and a pair of glasses. The girl bears several fresh bites and scratches, and many older ones as well. If performed, a rape examination would reveal that she has been sexually active within the last few hours, but the marks seem more like rough-sex marks than assault contusions or self-defensive injuries. She does not answer questions, but remains stubbornly, defiantly silent. 

The girl's parents ask that she be returned to them. There are no apparent signs of family abuse, and if/when the girl is returned to her parents, she appears angry but does not seem to fear them. No person involved has any previous criminal record beyond perhaps a parking or speeding ticket.  

How would responding officers handle this situation? Would she be taken to the station? Examined? Held in custody? How long, and under what conditions? When would she most likely be released? What further investigations or counseling might be required by the police? 

Again, thank you for any help you can provide. 
 
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Weather in LA on December 7, 1941

What was the weather like in the LA Area (specifically Malibu) on December 7, 1941?

I thought I could find a front page of the LA Times or something from that day, but apparently I can't, not with the search terms I've been using.

I did get this from the LA Times archive: "At 5 o'clock a.m. the barometer registered 30.07; at 5 p.m., 30.06. Thermometer for the corresponding hours showed 57 deg. and 76 deg. Relative humidity, 5 a.m., 40 per cent; 5 p.m., 21 per cent. Wind, 5 a.m., northeast; velocity, 5 miles; 5 p.m., southwest; velocity, 4 miles." But I don't speak meteorological, so I don't know how to translate that to "It was sunny" or "it was cold" or "a drift of cloud shimmered faintly on the western horizon" ...

(Actually I would prefer to have real weather for five places: northeast Vermont; Boston; southeastern West Virginia; Malibu; and San Francisco. I've been extrapolating from typical early December weather for each of those, but the real weather would be so much better.)

Searched: Google: Los Angeles weather December 7 1941; Los Angeles Times front page December 7 1941 (text and image); searched LA Times archive for "weather" on that date

Insurance Law specifics; death/casualty, procedure.

Setting: Modern-day, large law firm in Dallas, Texas.

Attempted research: google and wiki (I clicked through a billion pages), search terms including: insurance law, insurance law firm, insurance law precedents, insurance law famous cases, insurance trial, law firm, insurance casualty, and all insurance and law related tags in the comm.

My story is set in a law firm, and my main character is fresh out of law school. He's working in the insurance specialty, although it wasn't his intended specialty, so I can afford some confusion (and probably lack of competency). So far it's worked for me to be vague and give him paperwork and tedious tasks, but I realized I need one big case for he and the partner in insurance to work on.

I'm probably going to make it an injury/death claim, and I need to know how as much as I can discover about how they would go about dealing with it. The firm is representing the insurance company, not the victim/family. What do they do to gear up? I already figured they'd look at medical reports, any police reports, patient history/yet more medical reports, and probably take a bunch of depositions. Am I missing something?

Now, as for the actual trial. I assume the partner would take the case, so would the more junior associate would stick to helping with research and the day to day stuff? How much of the workload would he actually have? How would the trial proceed? Would the junior associate be involved in the courtroom at all?

Any information on cases that involved insurance cases involving death (specifically accidental) would be welcome. I feel like I'm being really vague, but I'm woefully uninformed re: the law, and no amount of googling will fix that, hahaha. Also, if anyone has a magic cure to make this LESS BORING, feel free to give it to me. :>
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