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3 Reasons You Need A Lawyer When Developing Your Estate Plan

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons You Need A Lawyer When Developing Your Estate Plan

Can you truly say you have it what it takes to draft your own estate plan? For most of you, you probably can’t. There is a lot more to an estate plan than listing your assets and deciding who gets them once you pass. Things can get a lot more complicated. Here are three reasons that you should consider hiring an attorney to handle your end-of-life plans: 1. A Lawyer Can Help You Accurately Craft and Customize a Will. While it is true that you can find basic templates online that will help you fill out a will for yourself, the truth of the matter is that you need to consider that your heir’s future is on the line with the content within your will. As a general rule, your life, family and assets are not going to fit very neatly into one of those mass-produced templates. When you need to alter a certain provision in one of those form wills, you run the risk of that provision and possibly even the entire will being invalidated. Therefore, it is better to have an attorney by your side who can help you draft a will accurately from scratch and make any necessary changes throughout your life. 2. An Attorney Can Help Ensure That Your Family Avoids the Probate Process. Probate. It’s an ugly word, and most people do not want to think about their family having to go through the lengthy, expensive process after they die. Luckily, there are ways to avoid it. Some common ways include gifting assets, making use of death beneficiaries (payable on death accounts), and joint property ownership. Another option is a trust. Like wills, there are templates available for trusts. But, again, it is better to leave the drafting up to an experienced attorney to ensure the trust and the rest of your estate plan isn’t throw out the window because you crossed a ‘T’ when you should have dotted an ‘I’. 3. A Lawyer Will Know When You Need to Update Your Existing Estate Plan. While your estate plan from a couple of months ago was airtight, it may not be worded appropriately for the new laws that just came out. Estate planning laws are constantly updating, and this isn’t something that you’ll likely being staying abreast on. Luckily, your estate planning attorney is and can inform you of any changes that need to be made to your existing plan. Plus, if you purchase a new piece of property or have a baby, you may not be thinking about your estate plan, but your attorney will. In instances when you might overlook the important of updating your estate plan, your attorney will keep you on track. For more information, contact Flaccus Law or a similar...

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Tips for Hiring Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Hiring Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Going to court unprepared can give you a rude awakening, especially if you are facing criminal charges. You’ll need to be sure to put some time and energy into hiring a credible criminal defense lawyer so that you are able to develop a strategy that will help you to either walk with an acquittal or receive a lesser sentence via a plea bargain. When you’re going through the process of hiring a professional, highly reputable criminal defense lawyer whose business you trust, consider these guidelines.  Hire a Specialist  The lawyer that you hired to defend you in a criminal case should be as equipped for the job as possible. For best results, hire someone whose specialty is to defend against your particular type of charge. If you are facing a larceny charge, for example, hire someone who deals with financial crimes. Likewise, if you are facing a driving under the influence charge, you should hire a DUI lawyer. These areas of law are very nuanced and have consistent changes that your lawyer needs to be aware of. So your best chance of success is hiring the type of lawyer that specializes in the type of charge you are facing. Know Whether You’re Getting an Individual or a Team An often-overlooked step to take is to understand exactly who you will be dealing with. In some cases, you are hiring an individual lawyer, but in many other cases, you are hiring a team of lawyers. It is best to hire a law firm with a solid team so they can put their heads together for the best defense. This way, you get more attention on your needs and a better chance of success. Verify Board Certifications Checking on a lawyer’s board certification first will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to finding a capable attorney. Each state has a recognized board and you should only hire a lawyer who is a member. This way, you know you’re getting the highest quality attorney to represent you with your case. Get All Financial Obligations in Writing To avoid getting hit with financial charges that you were not aware of, make sure that all facets of your case are hammered out in a contract. By knowing what legal fees you are on the hook for, you’ll be able to plan accordingly, whether that means setting aside some extra money or getting put on a payment plan. You want to hire the best lawyer possible, so make sure that you don’t let any financial issues trip you up. Keep this information in mind and use it to get the best defense for your criminal charges. Speak with a criminal defense lawyer like Thomas A Corletta for more advice and...

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3 Reasons A Judge Would Grant A Fault Divorce

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons A Judge Would Grant A Fault Divorce

If you are filing for a divorce, chances are that you are filing a no-fault divorce. This means that one person in particular did not cause the end of the marriage. Instead, both spouses for their own reasons decided that they no longer wanted to be married to each other. However, in some cases you may have grounds to a fault divorce, meaning that one spouse did something that caused that made the marriage unsalvageable. Here are three reasons you could ask for a fault divorce. 1. Infidelity One of the most common reasons that people ask for a fault divorce is that one spouse was unfaithful. If your spouse has had an affair, especially if they have had multiple affairs and they are showing a habit of cheating, you might be able to have ground for a fault divorce. If you are going to ask for a fault divorce based on infidelity, you will have to have proof. Your spouse will probably deny it, since it could hurt them legally if they were found guilty. This is why you need to have some sort of documentation through phone records, emails, texts messages, videos and so forth. Otherwise, the affairs will only been seen as circumstantial. 2. Incarceration If your spouse has been charged with a crime that will cause them to be in prison for a long time, you may be able to ask for a divorce simply because they cannot be a present spouse if they are in jail. In many cases, the spouse cannot even contest it. They have no right, since their being away from the marriage is beyond their control. If your spouse has been incarcerated, this is something you should consider, especially if their incarceration is for a long time. 3. Abuse If there has been a history of abuse in the home, then there is a good chance that you could be granted a fault divorce. No court is going to expect you to stay in a marriage that is dangerous to you and/or your children. In fact, they would probably encourage you to protect yourself and remove yourself, and your children, from the situation. If you are planning on proving abuse, you need to have proof. Call the police after a dispute, go to the doctor the next day, take a picture, or do anything else that you can to prove that abuse actually happened. And be sure to hire a professional lawyer, like those at the Law Offices of Gordon Liebmann, to help you through the divorce process. These are three reasons that a judge would grant a fault...

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What Documents Do You Need for a Medical Malpractice Case?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Documents Do You Need for a Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law that states a medical professional was negligent and that negligence led to an injury, loss, or more severe illness on the part of a patient. If you believe your illness or injury was worsened due to neglect from a surgeon, doctor, nurse, or member of hospital staff, you might be able to sue them for damages. Here are some documents and records you need to have for this type of case. Financial Statements One of the first collections of documents you will need is your financial statements. Part of a medical malpractice case is showing that you have suffered financially due to your illness or injury at the hands of a medical professional. This might be lost wages due to the consequences of the negligence, the struggle to pay for medical bills, or the costs of paying for psychological help if it was a traumatic experience. Start gathering financial statements that show what type of hit your bank account has had as a result of this incident. If you have had any documents from your employer stating your job is at risk due to having to miss a large amount of work, that should also be included. Medical Records One of the most important documents required for a medical malpractice case is a copy of your medical records. Your records should show a timelines of getting treatment or surgery at a doctor’s office, dentist’s office, hospital, or other medical office, as well as what occurred after the negligence. This might be a surgery that went wrong that then required a stint in the hospital and more surgeries. You may have gone into the hospital and had a wrong diagnosis, which led to your illness worsening. The records should ideally show the medical staff that helped you, from doctor visits and consultation with a surgeon to the nurse checking your vitals in the ER. Mental Health Documents If due to the illness or injury you have needed mental help, you also need to include documentation for that. For example, if your aesthetician was not paying close enough attention to your vitals and you woke up during surgery, you might have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder due to this incident. If you needed to see a counselor or therapist, you should have record of that—not only of the visits, but the amount you paid for these visits, whether covered by insurance or not, and any prescriptions you needed to take. If you have to take work off to visit a therapist, include documentation of that as well. Contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm such as Walz Law Office  to get started on your...

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3 Factors You Must Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Factors You Must Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have been the victim of some sort of accident, you might be wondering if you should file a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are filed everyday, but that doesn’t mean all of them are merited. Instead, it is important that, before you file a lawsuit, that you can prove that there actually was negligence and that you are owed money for your troubles. Here are a couple factors that must be present for a personal injury lawsuit of negligence. 1. The Defendant Had A Duty To The Plaintiff Before you can file a personal injury lawsuit, you have to prove that the defendant, the person you are planning on suing, had some sort of duty to you. This means that there had to be some sort of relationship where you trusted the defendant to act a certain way.  For example, if a person were shoveling gravel on public property and hit a passerby with the shovel, a judge would most likely determine that the person with the shovel had a duty to be sure no one was a around them. However, if the person were on their own private property, and they accidentally struck a person with the shovel who was trespassing, the judge may find that the defendant had no duty to the individual. 2. The Plaintiff Had To Be Innocent In The Accident In order to have a good personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff should not be at fault for the accident; this is called proximate cause. For example, if you are filing a lawsuit against an individual for hitting you with a shovel on public property, it needs to be proven that you did what you could to prevent the accident. If the area was labeled to stay away, if you could easily see that there was a person working, or if a reasonable person would have moved, you may not have grounds for suing the individual, since you are partly to blame. 3. The Plaintiff Has To Have Injuries Say that there was an accident where you can prove that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff and that the plaintiff was not at fault, the plaintiff still needs to have injuries. In order to file a lawsuit, there has to be damages. This means that there needs to be some sort of monetary way to determine how much emotional, and physical suffering was inflicted because of the accident. If there were no injuries, then there is no reason to file a lawsuit. These are just three things that you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.  For professional legal help, contact an office such as Law Office Of John J...

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Four Wrong Reasons For Changing Visitation Rights

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Wrong Reasons For Changing Visitation Rights

Few things are as complicated as child custody and visitation schedules. You need to balance the requirements of the courts, your personal plans, and also consider the best interests of the child. Thus, it’s not wise to change the schedule when you already have a working formula or has gotten used to the court order. You should only make a change if it necessary and furthers the interests of the child. Some of the wrong reasons for changing a schedule include: 1. You Have Different Parenting Styles Suppose you are a laid back dad or mom who isn’t too concerned about whether your children finish their art project before they can go outside to play. Suppose that the other parent is a strict overachiever who has a timetable for everything – from play time to nap time. Does this mean that you can change the custody or visitation schedule so that the children can benefit from your “superior parenting style?” The emphatic answer here is no because different parenting styles exist; and it’s not east to definitively confirm that yours is the best that everybody should follow. You used to make it work while you were together; you should also do your best to make it work now that you are separated. As long as the child is safe, then you shouldn’t worry too much. Only get concerned when his or her well-being is concerned, for example if the other parent abuses him or her in the name of discipline. 2. Your Child is Fed Up with the Other Parent So you want to change the visitation schedules because your son or daughter says she would rather spend the weekends with you? That would not be a wise move to make; the child isn’t in charge of the visitation. Sure, your child’s views are important because they help you understand what is going on in his or her life, but they don’t get to choose what to do and what to avoid. If the child wants a change, talk to him or her about his or her reasons. After that, sit down with the other aren’t and come up with the best solution. In fact, you shouldn’t get caught in your child’s generalized complaints about the other parent. Only get involved if the problem is real and serious, for example, if he or she left the child (who is young) alone at home. 3. Your Relatives Want the Child Just because the child’s grandparents want to live with the child doesn’t mean that you have to reduce your former spouse’s visitation schedule. Sure, your well-meaning parents may the sort of people who believe that you can’t raise a child while living apart from your husband or wife, but the decision isn’t theirs to make. If you change the rules of the game, your former partner has the right to sue you for violation of court orders. Since your state’s laws may accommodate the grandparents’ (or other relatives, for that matter) wishes, you should stick to the schedule stipulated in the visitation schedule. To learn more, contact a law firm like Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service...

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Examples Of Technicalities DUI Lawyers Can Use

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Examples Of Technicalities DUI Lawyers Can Use

A person who has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the first time may decide to accept the consequences instead of fighting the charge. The situation is more serious for someone who has multiple DUI offenses or who has caused an accident after drinking. Sometimes a criminal defense attorney can plea bargain with the prosecution for a lesser sentence or reduced charges, but that’s not always possible. In fact, in some states, it’s prohibited by law. That means a lawyer starts looking for technicalities that could result in the charges being dropped or the case dismissed. Examples of Technicalities Blood Test Reliability. A lawyer may question the reliability of the breath and blood tests used to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The lawyer may want to learn: how frequently the testing equipment is inspected, maintained and calibrated the occupation of the worker who drew the blood, because a medical assistant or police officer may be viewed as less qualified than a certified phlebotomist or a registered nurse whether any of the client’s blood was stored so an independent test can be performed whether an alcohol-based swab was used before the blood draw, as this can interfere with results Law Enforcement Actions. Police officers must have a specific reason to pull somebody over; they can’t simply suspect that the person is intoxicated. If you were not pulled over for a traffic violation or erratic driving, or you were not stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, your lawyer can use that in your defense.  In addition, if there was no search warrant requiring a blood draw and you did not consent, that may be another point of contention. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that citizens generally are protected from forced blood draws because of privacy issues. However, police officers are allowed to order a blood test without a warrant if they cannot get that warrant quickly enough for the BAC reading to be accurate. For instance, a small jurisdiction may not be fully staffed during certain hours or days of the week, and obtaining a warrant promptly may be difficult. The officers would have to show the court they did not have enough time.  Prosecutors Not Responding to Requests for Evidence. Known as discovery requests, requests for evidence must be provided by the prosecution. If the prosecution doesn’t fully respond without a certain time frame, a judge may dismiss the case.  Contact an Attorney Contact an attorney who handles DUI cases at Law Office of Michael Marinaro & Associates and explain your situation. If you decide to hire this lawyer, he or she will begin providing aggressive legal representation to help you maintain your...

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What You Need To Know About Your Personal Injury Deposition

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Your Personal Injury Deposition

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be considering seeking compensation for your injuries. Personal injury attorneys are experts in getting you the settlement that you deserve, and making contact with an attorney should be accomplished as soon as possible after your accident. Once you decide to proceed with a personal injury claim, your case will be scheduled for trial and you and your attorney will begin to prepare to go to court. Before going to trial however, there must be a deposition.  A deposition is a part of your case referred to as “discovery.” Read on for 7 important facts you need to know about depositions. 1.  A deposition allows both sides to question you and the witnesses to the accident. Oftentimes, a settlement offer is made as a result of the information gathered at the deposition, which means that there will be no need for a trial. 2.  You must be completely honest at the deposition, since you will be under oath when questioned and can be charged with perjury for lying under oath. 3.  Spend some time before the deposition preparing by refreshing your memory of events and looking over police reports and your medical records. If you have been using a journal, re-read the entries from the beginning. 4.  Depositions are not as formally structured as court, and lawyers can generally ask whatever they want with no need for a judge’s permission. As in court, an attorney may voice an objection to certain questions, and the objection is noted in the record. 5.  Be forthright with your attorney about the accident and any information about your past, especially any legal issues. Don’t allow your attorney to be caught off-guard at the deposition. 6.  Depositions can be a trial-run of a court proceeding, so a careful evaluation of your experience will be valuable for you and your personal injury lawyer as you prepare for trial. 7.  You may need to force some witnesses to appear at the deposition by using a subpoena. Just as in court, a subpoena is a legal instrument to compel someone’s appearance at a legal proceeding. While not exactly the same as court, depositions are extremely important and the testimony you and others give while deposed will become part of your case. Preparation for the disposition is vital, and your attorney will be by your side helping you to prepare as you testify and move toward a successful personal injury...

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Car Accidents And Lawsuits: 3 Surprising Things That You Must Do To Increase Your Chances Of Winning

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Car Accidents And Lawsuits: 3 Surprising Things That You Must Do To Increase Your Chances Of Winning

A car accident is a terrifying and mind-rattling experience. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for people to be unable to think clearly after an accident, which may cause them to make mistakes or forget things that can help them with their case later on. If you’ve been injured in an accident and want to seek damages for your injuries, there are several things you must do immediately following an accident to increase your chances of winning.  Write Down and Document Everything You might not remember key details several days after an accident, so it’s important to write down everything you can think of right after the accident. Things to document include: Location of the accident Time of the accident List of drivers and passengers involved How the accident played out Weather conditions Names of ambulance company and fire departments on scene There are several reasons why this information is important. The defense will research and obtain documentation directly in an effort to find gaps and inaccuracies in your story. So you have to be sure that you remember things correctly. Also, you must be able to spot inaccuracies on police reports so you can dispute them.  See a Doctor Immediately for Evaluation While it’s true that many injuries don’t show up for hours or days after an accident, you still have the right to be compensated for them. However, if you don’t go to the hospital initially after the accident and make an appointment several days later after pain manifests, the defense might use this to show that you weren’t severely injured at the time of the accident. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor immediately, even if you’re not in pain.  Call Your Attorney before Calling Your Insurance Company Your insurance company is on your side, but you shouldn’t talk to them before talking to your attorney. During the course of the conversation with your insurance company, you will be asked a sequence of questions and your answers might hurt your case later on. For example, if they ask about previous back injuries and you tell them that you have back problems, you might be unable to collect on any back injuries sustained in the accident.  The defense has one goal in mind and that is to win the case and/or limit the amount of damages they have to pay. They are always on the lookout for information that might put a kink in your case. Don’t give them the opportunity. Make sure you do everything you possibly can after an accident to win your case. Contact a local attorney, like Monohan & Blankenship, with any...

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Your Online Rant Or Verbal Venting Can Lead To Criminal Charges If You Make A Threat

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Online Rant Or Verbal Venting Can Lead To Criminal Charges If You Make A Threat

There’s a line between “expressing your anger and frustration” and making a criminal threat. Make the threat big enough and you could even be charged with terrorism. In the wake of 9/11, school shootings, and riots against the police, it’s more important than ever to learn where your right to free speech ends and your ability to get into serious trouble begins. The First Amendment Doesn’t Give You A Free Pass To Say Anything That You Want The First Amendment protects your right to express your opinions – even if they’re angry, unpleasant, or outright ugly. However, if you start making threats – or you encourage other people to commit acts of violence – your speech is no longer protected.  If you say something threatening that’s obviously a joke or hyperbole, it’s still considered free speech. Only something that could be considered a “true threat” falls outside of the realm of protected speech and becomes criminal in nature.  The Rules About What’s Considered A “True Threat” Aren’t Really All That Clear There’s still an unclear standard by which the courts have to judge whether or not a threat is considered a true threat. Currently, the courts have used what is considered to be an objective standard, which asks whether or not a reasonable person would perceive the threat to be genuine. In other words, “Does it sound like a real threat?” For example, if you joke on your social media page that anybody who disturbs you before your first cup of coffee is risking life and limb, nobody is likely to take you seriously – hopefully. However, you can’t necessarily count on the reasonableness of everyone who reads your page, even if you add a “lol” or “jk” – internet slang for “laughing out loud” and “just kidding” after your post.  The Supreme Court has recently heard arguments that in order for something to be a true threat it would have to also meet a subjective standard, as well as the objective standard, would have to be met. The court would have to prove not only that the threat sounded real but that it was intended to be real. However, the court hasn’t made it’s ruling yet, which means that courts are still free to use the objective standard only. Your state laws can affect exactly what determines a terroristic threat and what doesn’t. Generally speaking, if you’re about to make a statement – online or off – that includes a threat to commit violence and the threat could possibly be taken seriously by any specific person, you might want to rethink it. If it’s too late and you’ve already spoken or posted something online that’s being taken seriously, contact an attorney right away for assistance. To learn more, contact a website like...

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