When You’re Religious, and You’re a Lawyer


Three Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Company’s Legal Issues

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Handling your legal matters properly can be the difference between your business thriving and hitting costly snags. The points below will assist you in figuring out things you can do regularly to protect your company’s legal interests, in addition to steps for working with a corporate lawyer who can help.  Keep Thorough And Well Organized Files Since so many legal matters revolve around proof and documentation, you need to continuously organize your company’s most important information. To do this, you need to take a multi-pronged approach toward storing physical and digital files and developing a system for organizing them. For instance, if you own a business that specializes in re-selling, you will need to retain copies of things like receipts, re-sellers licenses in various states, tax exempt certificates and wholesaler’s information. This way, should there be any discrepancies, you’ll have your files stored to quickly resolve these issues. As a word of advice, develop a physical file system where you retain physical copies, scan or otherwise digitize copies and store those files on your hard drive and in the cloud and also send copies to your lawyer for their records. Going this route covers your bases and ensures you and your lawyer are on the same page.  Decide The Capacity By Which You Are Hiring An Attorney There is no one right or wrong business attorney-client arrangement, so assess the scope of your business and decide on what works best. One business might only need a lawyer’s time and resources for contract signings and negotiations, while another business might want an attorney on retainer and in the loop on a day-to-day basis. Because these relationships potentially change as your business changes, you need a corporate lawyer that you have a quality rapport with. Regardless of what agreement you come to, definitely set aside a budget for lawyer fees, which can vary tremendously. For instance, one lawyer might charge by the hour, while another might take a 33 to 40% contingency fee.  Hire A Lawyer To Help Decide On Proper Business Filings Perhaps the most important thing a corporate lawyer can do for you is help you navigate the potentially confusing process of designating your business type as your company evolves. For instance, if you are looking to incorporate, each state has different laws, requirements and filing fees, so a corporate lawyer would be able to assist you in this regard. Your attorney can also help you decide on various business classifications to establish, whether you would like to go from a sole proprietorship or partnership to a Limited Liability Company, or if you would like to re-structure as a corporation or S-Corporation. A knowledgable attorney will let you know the tax implications and new obligations that come with each decision.  Consider these points of information so that your company is always in good hands from a legal perspective. For more information, contact a firm such as George M Cappello,...

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Why Is It So Difficult To Be Approved For Social Security Disability On The First Attempt?

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The Social Security Disability Insurance application process is notoriously long, arduous, and full of uncertainties, but many people don’t know exactly why this is the case. Anyone who claims to be permanently disabled and unable to work full-time as a result can apply for benefits; however, The United States Social Security Administration provides only general application guidelines. Retaining a Social Security disability attorney can help you to navigate the process and be better prepared for your hearing, which will improve your chances of being approved for benefits the first time you apply. Proving When And How You Became Permanently Disabled While there are many disabled persons in the United States, not all are severely and permanently disabled. When applying for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration is focused primarily on three things: when you claim to have become permanently disabled, the precise nature of your disability, and whether or not you will ever be able to return to work. When submitting your application for disability benefits, you should answer all questions truthfully, never exaggerate the nature of your ailments or impairments, and always provide as much medical evidence as possible. Medical records, accident reports, temporary disability claims documentation, and doctors’ reports are the best types of supporting evidence that you can provide your disability attorney with so that your claim can swiftly move forward. Documenting Your Inability To Retain Gainful Employment The Social Security Administration reviews all applications for disability on a case-by-case basis, which means that two applications with similar circumstances can reach two very different outcomes. This is because even the smallest nuances, such as education or job history, can lead The Social Security Administration to come to come to different decisions. Your Social Security disability attorney should be able to explain the nature and extent of your disability, as well as how it precludes you from working in a full-time position Your entire work history will be reviewed, so providing details on when your disability first began to interfere with your career is extremely beneficial to your case. Be prepared to explain what steps you took to find alternative employment as well as what medical treatments might have possibly helped to improve your disability. In the end, many disability claims are disproved simply because The Social Security Administration believes that the applicants in those cases will be able to work full-time, even if it is in a different capacity. If you have concerns about your case, hiring a Social Security disability lawyer (such as those found at Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law) may give you the confidence you need to present the full picture to The Social Security Administration. No claim for benefits is guaranteed to be approved, but working with a disability attorney will certainly give you an advantage over going in...

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Can You Sue For The Exposure To A Deadly Disease Even If You Don’t Get Sick?

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If you’re exposed to a potentially devastating or deadly disease, can you sue even if you don’t get sick? The answer is complicated and could depend a lot on the circumstances of your case. This is what you should understand about pursuing a claim for exposure to a disease. You need to show injuries and losses related to the exposure. You can generally expect the defense to argue that without any actual infection, there’s no sufficient basis for a lawsuit. Any response is likely to ask how you can claim to be injured if you aren’t infected and what possible monetary losses could you have suffered. These are two important questions because most exposure lawsuits allege that the exposure was caused by someone’s negligence. In order to make a successful personal injury claim against someone for negligence, you have to prove that you suffered both injuries and monetary losses as a result. It takes a careful legal argument to make your case. Despite the potential hurdles, lawsuits over the negligent exposure to a disease aren’t uncommon. For example, a Las Vegas hospital is facing lawsuits over the exposure of patients to tuberculosis—although not everyone who was exposed has tested positive. In another case, patients of a Seattle hospital are suing over their exposure to hepatitis and HIV by a drug-addicted surgical tech. In order to meet the requirements of a negligence lawsuit, there are several things that can be considered part of the injuries for which you deserve compensation: How long do you have to continue being tested for the disease? For example, it can take 3 months before your body develops enough antibodies to HIV to be tested.  Did the knowledge that you were potentially infected significantly interrupt your life? For example, if you were exposed to hepatitis, were you able to continue working or participating in your normal activities while you were waiting to find out if you were infected? Did you suffer pain during testing? Blood tests and other tests that show infection, like spinal taps, can cause you significant pain that deserves compensation. Did you suffer psychologically as a result of your exposure? If you sought counseling or became clinically depressed during the time that you knew you might be infected, that’s something that could also be considered an injury. The cost of your therapy and any medications are also financial losses.  Take some time to consider these different possibilities while you consider whether or not you want to pursue your case. If you’re unsure about whether or not you can proceed, talk with a personal injury attorney about your...

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What You Need to Know About Proving a Defect after an Automobile Accident

Posted by on 6:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Proving a Defect after an Automobile Accident

Not all accidents are caused by a driver’s behavior. Some are due to faults in a car, and in some cases, the car’s manufacturer will be found liable for the accident. However, you will need to prove this after the car accident. Here are the steps to take to do that. Preserve the Evidence You need to keep the evidence to help prove that there was a fault. This is why it is so important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will be able to ensure all evidence is preserved to check for a potential fault. If there are a group of drivers with the same car experiencing the same fault, other cars from the same manufacturer from the same manufacturing period may be used to check for this fault. Determine the Type of Defect There are three types of defects that can occur, and what kind of defect was present will need to be determined. A design defect is when the design of the vehicle is flawed enough to cause injury. A manufacturing defect is created after the design work is done and would mean the vehicle was put together incorrectly. A warning defect is when someone involved in manufacturing or designing knows about the defect but has failed to inform the public. Prove the Defect Caused the Accident The next stage is to prove that the accident was caused by the actual defect. While the car may not have been fit for purpose, the driver’s distracted driving may have actually caused the accident. This would mean the liability is still with the driver despite the vehicle being defective. The driver will also need to prove that the defect was a manufacturing defect and not a problem the driver caused by having work done to the vehicle. The driver would also need to prove that he or she didn’t know there was a defect before driving. If the driver knowingly drove with a defect, that could lead to the driver being found guilty of dangerous or negligent driving rather than the manufacturer being found liable for the accident. A driver needs to ensure his or her car is roadworthy and safe at the time of driving. The NHTSA states that 2009 saw about 30,000 people die in traffic accidents. Not all of these accidents were due to defects in a car, but some may have been. You will need to prove that the defect caused the accident and that you didn’t know about it at the time of...

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False Imprisonment And Kidnapping: How Minor Domestic Incidents Are Turned Into Felonies

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It’s easier than you probably realize to end up with a felony domestic violence charge—something that may not seem like a big deal at the time may end up escalating what would have been a relatively minor misdemeanor charge for a simple assault into a felony conviction that costs you several years behind bars. This is what you should know about how kidnapping and false imprisonment charges can elevate a minor domestic issue into a major legal one. How do false imprisonment and kidnapping charges come about in domestic violence cases? False imprisonment occurs when someone’s personal liberty is unlawfully violated. It’s a fairly broad term that’s applied to a lot of situations. Kidnapping is very similar to false imprisonment, although it usually requires the kidnapper to transport the victim from one place to another by force. While you may think that nothing you did could possibly be considered either false imprisonment or kidnapping, consider several potential scenarios: You tell your boyfriend, “If you walk out that door, I’ll kill you.” You block the doorway from one room to another and insist that your girlfriend listens to what you have to say. Your husband starts to leave and you stand in his way and shove him back inside the house. Your wife wants to leave and you hide her keys and driver’s license in an attempt to get her to stay. All of these actions, done in the heat of the moment of a stressful situation or argument, interfere with another person’s liberty. Similarly, you can end up crossing the line into kidnapping very easily: You force your girlfriend to go to a hotel with you, just intending to talk to her. You throw the car keys at your boyfriend and tell him to drive you somewhere. When he protests, you tell him that if he says anything else that you’ll stab him. You’re in a yelling match with your spouse while driving and you don’t stay on the expected road, purposefully taking a detour that leaves your spouse lost and confused. While some of these things may be foolish or thoughtless, the people who do them probably don’t expect to be handed a felony sentence after a moment of poor judgment. How can an attorney help with these charges in a domestic violence case? It’s important to remember that “domestic violence” isn’t actually a charge. It’s a term to describe violent or abusive behavior between people who know each other. The laws in many states use “domestic violence” as an enhancer—a special consideration that makes the same crime more serious simply because it was done between people that do know each other. Because of this, there’s often a little flexibility in how the prosecutor decides to charge you. If your charges have been unreasonably enhanced because of something like stepping in front of someone as they tried to leave the building, your attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to lower the charges again. Your attorney may also be able to present the facts of your case early enough to the prosecutor to convince him or her that the incident was minor and unusual for you. He or she may be willing to reduce the charges in exchange for your agreement to attend counseling or anger management courses.  For more...

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Tips For Dealing With The Debt Of Someone Who Has Passed Away

Posted by on 2:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Dealing With The Debt Of Someone Who Has Passed Away

If you are the executor of a will, you are going to need to make sure that you work with your probate attorney to deal with any debts that the deceased might have had when he or she died. This can be a frustrating process because it will chip away at how much the overall estate is worth and could lead to creditors bothering you. Here are some tips for resolving your loved one’s debts as quickly and efficiently as possible. 1. Identify All of the Debts Your first step is to get a full list of all of the debts that your loved one carried before he or she passed away. You can advertise in the local paper to find any creditors who need to be paid or go through opened bills to get an idea about what debts your loved one owed. Next, you will need to identify which types of debt are solely the responsibility of your loved one. These will need to be paid directly out of the estate and are relatively easy to work with, assuming that the funds are there. You will also need to see if there are any debts that are jointly held, meaning your loved one and another person held the debts together. You will need to speak with the other person on each debt to see if you can pay off half the current debt with the estate and leave the other person to pay the rest, or whatever sort of arrangement is mutually agreeable. Finally, you will need to find any debts that have a guarantor. If there are any debts that have a guarantor, that person is liable for the debt and you simply need to inform him or her that your loved one has passed away. 2. Call the Creditors Next, make sure that you call the creditors to tell them that your loved one has died and that you are going through the estate. This will reduce the number of calls you get asking for money. 3. Use Insurance and Then Pay Off Debts Finally, check to see if your loved one had any insurance for any of the debts. If he or she did, use that insurance to pay off those debts. Then, contact your probate attorney to help figure out which debts have priority with regards to getting paid off. You will need to pay off the debts until they are all paid or until the estate is gone in priority order. Heirs don’t get anything until the debts have been paid off. Consider selling assets to finish paying off the debts. For more information, talk to a probate attorney that specializes in...

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Double Dipping: How To Keep Your Social Security Disability Benefits And Earn Income

Posted by on 9:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Double Dipping: How To Keep Your Social Security Disability Benefits And Earn Income

If you are earning Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or SSDI, it’s directly related to your inability to work at your job. Your benefit amount will depend on how much much money you have earned in your lifetime and several other factors, but the Social Security Administration (SSD) provides you with an excellent method of viewing your estimated benefits. While the monthly benefit will come in handy, you may be wondering how you can survive on this benefit amount alone. Your ability to add to the monthly benefit amount by earning income depends on several factors, so read on for more information. Substantial Gainful Activity The SSA refers to the work that you were doing before you became disabled as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and to continue to receive benefits you must not earn over a certain amount of money or do similar work. The SSA reasons, and rightly so, that if you can do the same or similar work and earn more than that certain amount of money, then you do not need to collect SSDI benefits. Presently, the maximum you can earn is $1,130 ($1,820 for the blind), but this amount can change from year to year since it’s based on the cost of living. It’s worth noting that you must abide by both of the SGA guidelines to avoid losing your benefits. Even if your income fell below the $1,130 a month limit, if your earnings came from a job where you were essentially doing the very same work that you claimed to be unable to do, (that which qualified you for benefits in the first place,) you could lose your benefits. If you are able to find employment that keeps your income under the limits, you may still earn that income if you don’t do SGA. For example, if your disability limits your ability to stand and walk, you may be able to find a more sedentary job, such as a desk job, that will comply with SGA. The Trial Work Period The SSA also has a program that allows you to make an unlimited amount of income for a limited amount of time. For a rolling nine-month period, where the months do not have to consecutive, you may earn any amount you like and still continue to be eligible for your regular monthly benefit amount. It should be noted that: You must report all income earned to the SSA, whether you exceed the SGA limit or not. You can only participate in the Trial Work Period for a five-year window. If you are experiencing problems getting your Social Security benefits approved, contact an attorney (such as Paul F Guthrie) as soon as possible. Remember, these benefits are yours; you have earned them, you deserve them and you need them, so get some professional legal help in getting...

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Hold That Lawsuit: How To Be Compensated For Your Personal Injury Without Suing

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Taking a case to court is both time-consuming and expensive, but there are a few methods you can use to be compensated for your personal injury without having to actually file a lawsuit. To learn more, read on. Make a Demand While it sounds a little harsh, it is actually a well-respected and often-used legal procedure. The demand letter lets the at-fault party know all about your injury and lets them know that if you aren’t compensated, you will file suit. More than that, it lists your reasons behind your demand, allowing the other party to understand what they could be encountering if they were taken to court. The most valuable benefit of a good, convincing demand letter is the potential for a fair settlement offer as a result. Examples of good demand letters abound, but be sure to include the following: A summary of the accident and why you feel the other party is at fault. Witnesses and other evidence, such as accident reports and video footage. A summary of your medical treatments and the costs so far. Finally, the demand, which is the amount of money you are asking to settle the case out of court, right now. Be sure to make this figure a little higher to leave some room for negotiating. File a Claim If you’ve been injured at a place of business, be sure to take action as soon as possible with the store management. Most businesses do have insurance coverage for customer injuries, and you will likely need to fill out an accident report. Since courts cost money for both sides, the store may offer to not only pay for your medical expenses, but your pain and suffering as well. Workers’ Comp If you’ve been injured at work, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance will likely cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. If your injury is serious and permanent, you may be offered a lump sum settlement, which is normally only offered when it is unlikely that you will ever work again. You should understand, however, that to get compensation for your pain and suffering you may need to file a personal injury suit. You may not consider the need for a personal injury lawyer if you have no intention of actually filing suit, but these legal professionals can be invaluable when it comes to writing a compelling demand letter, or using their negotiation skills to get you top dollar for your injuries. It should be comforting to know that your attorney, like one from LeBaron & Jensen, P.C., will stand ready to file a lawsuit if that becomes necessary to get you the compensation that you need and...

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Learn What To Do If You Are Attacked By Your Neighbor’s Dog

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Being attacked by a dog can be a very traumatic experience. When you are attacked by a neighbor’s dog, it is important to make sure that you properly handle the situation. Many people make the mistake of trusting that their neighbors will pay for the medical bills that are incurred from the injuries, but that is not always the case. The following guide walks you through the process you should follow in order to properly handle a dog attack. Go to the Doctor The first thing you need to do after being attacked by a dog is to go to a doctor. You need to have your injuries documented and may need to get a rabies shot, if the dog is not up to date on their rabies shot. The doctor will make sure that you do not have any major injuries and will give you stitches as needed. He or she will also create a report that annotates all of the injuries you incurred during the attack so that you can present them to your neighbor and a court if needed later on down the road. Get a Police Report Contact the police department to have an officer document the incident. He or she will get a statement from you, the owner of the dog, as well as any witnesses that saw the attack. These statements can be very important if you have to sue the dog owner to pay for your medical bills because it will establish what happened on the day of the event. Get a Prior History Report Contact the local animal control office to find out if the dog has a history of being violent. If there have been any other attacks reported, you can get a printout from the animal control office that you can then take with you to court to show that the dog has a history of attacking people. Contact a Lawyer Next, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Schey Piller Alspaugh & Wong Pc. Contact the lawyer to find out if there is anything else you need to do to prepare for a possible court case. He or she will give you recommendations for talking to the neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance company, if the neighbor has homeowners insurance, as well as help you know what to expect if the case does go to court. Contact Your Neighbor Finally, you need to contact your neighbor. Provide him or her with copies of your medical bills and give them an opportunity to pay for the bills. If he or she says that they are not going to pay for the bills because they do not feel their dog is at fault, take your case straight to court. Give your neighbor a reasonable amount of time to come up with the money to pay for your medical expenses. If he or she has not started to pay for the bills within a month or two, you should have your lawyer proceed with a lawsuit. There are some states that have a statute of limitation when it comes to how long you have to file a lawsuit for a dog attack. You want to be sure you file the lawsuit before the statute of limitation is reached and...

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Why You Should Work For An Uncontested Divorce

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Divorce is never free from stress, but if you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, choosing an uncontested divorce will take much of the pain away from the process. Approximately 95% of all American divorces are uncontested because that method makes it easier on everyone involved. If you and your spouse can cooperate, things will go more smoothly. More Privacy When you and your spouse sit down and negotiate your own divorce, most of the terms remain private. Unlike divorces that end up being fought in court, uncontested divorces allow you to file only your negotiation statements. As a result, you do not have to let the general public know many of the private financial and relationship details of your life together. What is private stays private, which can help you get along better after the divorce. When “outsiders” have access to your information, they may feel free to share their opinions and stir up hard feelings.  Less Legal Fees For many families, the basic cost of living consumes both paychecks. Simply dividing into two households is a serious financial strain. If you and your spouse end up fighting each other in court, the additional cost can be devastating. Uncontested divorce forms can eliminate most legal fees. You will not need a lawyer if you are able to calmly negotiate all aspects of your divorce. You can keep the money and apply it to your increased household expenses. Better for Children Children definitely benefit from uncontested divorces. As long as you both can agree to fair financial and visitation rights, the kids will be in a better position to adapt to the new situation. If they see that their parents still respect each other and can communicate without anger, they will feel less anxious and potentially avoid the problems many children of divorce face. Studies show that children of divorce often have more behavioral problems than their peers and experience more academic problems. A less contentious divorce should help them cope better or at least not exacerbate their issues.  If you have made the decision to divorce, choosing an uncontested legal action is often the best decision for everyone. Of course, you and your spouse will need to have an amicable relationship in order to make an uncontested divorce work; but if you can manage to cooperate, the dissolution of your marriage should be less expensive and painful than battling things out in...

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