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23 mins ago Laws

7 strangest real laws about romance and intimacy in the USA

Nowadays, sexuality is still a taboo subject in many parts around the world. This subject is often followed by a number of social norms, religious restrictions, and moral taboos. However, surprising as it may be, in the USA, it is often also followed by a multitude of strange laws. 

While some laws forbid common issues that may have consequences on the sexual health and wellbeing of a partner, other laws can be incredibly difficult to understand and agree with. The existence of sexual rights is certainly an important part of human rights. They not only encompass certain aspects of reproductive health, but they also aim to ensure the opportunity of a pleasurable and safe sexual experience for both partners involved. 

Sexual rights encompass important laws and regulations that aim to protect all sexually active partners from harm or dangerous behaviors during their sexual experiences. They ensure access to sex education, protect individuals from sexual-related violence, and eliminate stigma or discrimination due to one’s gender identity and expression. 

However, although sexual laws and rights have huge importance for sexual health and safety, some laws regarding romance and intimacy in the USA are simply strange and bizarre. Moreover, they can get you in a lot of trouble from paying huge fines to imprisonment. Here are the 7 most bizarre real laws about intimacy and romance that exist in certain states in the USA: 

1. Premarital sex is illegal in certain states 

Premarital intercourse is controversial and can lead to discrimination in many different areas of the world. Due to religious beliefs, social norms or moral taboos, in many cultures both partners can be judged by the society they live in if they have sexual intercourse before saying “I do”. However, while discrimination and being judged by your peers is something you can deal with a lot easier, breaking the law can take things to a whole new level. 

In states such as Massachusetts, Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, and Utah having premarital sex is against the law. This law is perceived as a way to improve the codes of conduct by reminding people about the values and beliefs of the society they live in. 

7 strangest real laws about romance and intimacy in the USA2. Advertising birth control through the mail is illegal in Massachusetts 

Birth control has huge importance for safe, pleasurable, and healthy sexual experiences. Its main purposes are to help women prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancies but also to protect both partners from sexually transmitted diseases. 

However, the law in Massachusetts may not have the same opinion about the importance of birth control since there is a law that considers printing and distributing birth control-related information through mail illegal. Moreover, the punishment for disobeying the law is a fine of $1000 or even being sent to prison for three years. 

3. Kissing a sleeping woman is prohibited in Colorado 

We all know the famous Disney movie Sleeping Beauty and how Prince Charming brings the princess back to life with the true-love kiss. Well, if you are a man in Colorado and fantasize about waking your loved one with a kiss, you should think twice. 

It seems that in Colorado, the romance from Sleeping Beauty is far from happening unless you want to disobey the law. This law in Colorado says that it is prohibited by the law for a man to kiss a woman if she is sleeping. 

4. Adultery is punishable in Arkansas 

Adultery can be a real emotional trauma for the cheated partner which can have many consequences in their love life in the future. Many people blame adultery and, in most societies, it is considered to be against the moral norms. However, it seems that in Arkansas, there is more that could punish you for being unfaithful than your peers or your cheated partner. Here, you could actually be punished with a fine of $20 to $100. 

5. Homosexuality is censored in sex education in Louisiana 

If sexuality is still a taboo subject, homosexuality is a thousand times more controversial worldwide. In many parts all over the world, especially in developed countries and those which are not incredibly religious, homosexuality has started to be if not fully accepted, at least tolerated. 

However, it seems that laws in Louisiana still don’t deal well with such a controversial topic and also refuses to allow kids to get educated about it. In Louisiana, there is a law that states that homosexuality is forbidden to be included in sex education in schools or high schools.  

Despite the efforts of the LGBT community to promote the importance of sexual education for healthy and safe sexual intercourse experiences, this ridiculous law is against it. 

6. Sexual intercourse while having bad breath is against the law in Minnesota 

You would think that when the spark gets lighted and you only want to follow your partner to the bedroom there is nothing else more important that you should do. Well, you may want to reconsider that and brush your teeth first if you are a man from Minnesota. 

It seems that in Minnesota, having sexual intercourse with your wife while having a bad breath smell of garlic or onion is against the law. The law against the bad breath explains that women have the right to ask their partners to brush their teeth and men must do so if they are requested to. 

7 strangest real laws about romance and intimacy in the USA7. Men might be imprisoned for proposing and not following through 

The laws in Mississippi and South Carolina have a very bad opinion about men who propose to unmarried women but fail to feign the promise of matrimony.  It seems that this law in these two states makes sense in the context of many women being desperate about finding their Price Charming and failing to think rationally. Thus, the law considers a marriage proposal that isn’t followed through an offense that men can be imprisoned for. 

In developing countries, women and girls are often in full control of their bodies and their sexuality and decision to become mothers. However, in other parts of the world, religious beliefs and moral taboos dictate how sexuality should be for men and women. Yet, while sometimes culture and religion encompass the beliefs and values of our societies, laws should rarely interfere with one’s sexuality unless it aims to protect and encourage safe sexual experiences.

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Common accidents to happen around Teaneck NJ

Teaneck, New Jersey, is a fantastic place to live. With its glorious country parks, lively shopping scene and ever-evolving job market, there’s something for everyone. Unfortunately, though, as in all suburbs in America, there is always potential for accidents around the area. Below are the most common accidents to happen in and around Teaneck.

Car accidents

Car accidents are common across the world, with an estimated 54 million people worldwide sustaining injuries from traffic collisions in 2013 alone. Not all car accents are life-changing, but most will leave physical or psychological damage that may take years to recover from.

Car accidents can be very scary to experience, and frustrating if you were not responsible for the collision. If you have been involved in a collision in Teaneck, you may experience psychological trauma following your accident, making it difficult for you to drive again, and leading to mental illnesses such as anxiety and PTSD.

Slips and falls

We’re only human, which means sometimes we find ourselves tripping over our own feet, or slipping on seemingly nothing. We do, however, have an expectation that when we’re out and about in Teaneck NJ, the roads, sidewalks, public buildings and facilities are safe to use and won’t increase the risk of a slip or trip accident.

Suffering an injury from slipping or falling can easily put your life on hold. You may need to take time off work, and the injury may prevent you from carrying out the activities you used to enjoy. At worst, an injury can be life-changing, leading you to alter the way you live to be able to cope with the damage caused. If you feel your injury could have been avoided, or was at the fault of another person, it can be especially frustrating to come to terms with.

Workplace accidents

Employers are legally obliged to provide safe and low-risk workplaces for staff, no matter what the environment. Each workplace will also have its own regulations to abide to, which may vary in complexity, depending on the task at hand. However, accidents can still happen, and this might be through the fault of the employee or the employer themselves.

The potential for workplace accidents applies to Teaneck just as it does anywhere else in the States. With the right rules in place, and safety updated and up-to-scratch, the risk of an accident or injury should be very low, but that’s not to say mistakes can’t still be made. Workplace accidents vary in nature, but an accident of any sort should be looked into to determine who is at fault. If you have suffered a workplace accident in Teaneck, you may feel wronged by your employer, if you believe your accident could have been avoided.  

How to seek help if you need it

If you have been involved in an accident in Teaneck that wasn’t resolved, it is important that you seek help and information, whether that be through Teaneck’s government law site, or personal legal assistance. Accidents are never nice to experience, and if it’s only fair that the best possible outcome is achieved in situations of wrongdoing.

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33 mins ago Law Firms , Law School , Laws

Is It Time To Start Your Own Legal Practice? Great Tips To Get You Started.

You’ve paid your dues at your current law firm. You’re ready for bigger and better opportunities. The next logical step is to establish a legal practice.

Being a top lawyer is one thing, but starting a law firm from scratch is a whole other beast. If you aren’t business savvy, your firm won’t survive its first year.

Lawyers are natural problem solvers. Ready to apply your skills to the business world? Follow these tips to grow your law firm from the ground up.

Pick Your Practice Areas

The first step to starting a legal practice is to narrow down your practice areas. You may have experience in multiple areas. Here are a few ways to find the right legal niches.

  • Assess the needs of your community
  • Align your practice areas with local laws
  • Consider niche practices areas
  • Consider the clients you want to work with
  • Research legal concerns of top industries in your community
  • Research legal needs that aren’t being addressed
  • Scope out your potential competition

Market research is the best way to narrow down your practice areas. Your research may reveal that your community has a real need for an investment loss lawyer or accident law firm.

However, don’t focus on too many practice areas either. Start with just one or two niches.

Get Your House in Order

Remember, a law firm is a business. You need a business plan, city permit, office location, equipment, supplies, employees, and financing.

If you want to get a bank loan for your firm, you’ll need to create a comprehensive business plan just like any small business owner. Estimate how much financing you’ll need for all your essentials, including employees. This is where your knowledge of business law comes in handy!

Next, pick an accessible location for potential clients. Look for commercial spaces in office parks, downtown, and populated areas with shops and services.

Once you have a location, hire in-house staff for your firm. In addition to more lawyers, you’ll need an office manager, paralegal, and legal assistant. You may want to consider hiring interns from local law schools.

You want to get as much done as possible before your big opening. Work with your team to establish a workflow that sustains productivity at the lowest cost.

Clients are putting their legal concerns in your hands. You don’t want to leave any room for mistakes.

Build Your Client Referral Network

You have a location, capital, and a hired team of professionals. Your next step is to get clients. Before you implement a marketing strategy, look within your network for opportunities.

Who do you know that could benefit from your legal services? Building a referral network is a critical step and another reason why it’s important to make contacts in law school, internships, and law firms.

Add lawyers from different practice areas to your network. They can refer their clients to your practice. For example, a small business lawyer may have a client that also needs an investment loss lawyer.

Don’t forget to talk to close friends and family members about referrals. Friends of friends are also potential clients.

Build a Website for Your Legal Practice

With a few clients ready to go, it’s time to build your website. Decades ago, a law firm website wasn’t necessary for running a legal practice. Times have certainly changed.

A website is no longer optional, especially for law firms. This is the self-diagnosis age. Everyone is hopping online to diagnose everything from health problems to legal woes.

Your website could be so much more than just a page with your contact information. It has the potential to be a goldmine of information. That’s why having a website is one of the most potent forms of legal marketing.

Your law firm website should have the following elements:

  • Phone number, address, and email
  • A pop-up chatbox
  • A legal blog packed with facts
  • Legal service pages
  • About page
  • Credentials and licenses to practice
  • Client testimonials

You can have all the bells and whistles, but if your website takes forever to load, you’re going to lose potential clients. Make sure you have an adequate web host and make necessary adjustments to improve site speed.

Choose a Winning Legal Marketing Strategy

Your spiffy, new website is ready to go. Next, you’ll need to take on the competition online. Your next step is to craft a winning marketing strategy that attracts and converts leads.

To start, offer free consultations. Freebies are a juicy incentive for potential clients. Plus, free consultations are an excellent way for people to get to know you.

Include your free consultation offer in all your marketing campaigns, whether it’s social media or pay-per-click. Free offers are the ultimate call-to-action.

You’ll want to focus on marketing channels that are appropriate for law firms. Think about consumer behavior. How do potential clients find law firms?

Remember how people use search engines for legal help? They certainly aren’t using Instagram to find lawyers. You need a robust PPC campaign that advertises your law firm in search results.

There are several PPC services available, but Google Adwords is the most popular for a good reason. You can also try Bing ads.

These PPC services allow you to bid on relevant keywords, so your law firm is visible to your target demographic. To save money, look for low competition keywords with medium to high search volume.

Another effective strategy is local marketing. Your law firm is a local business. If potential clients can’t find you online, that’s a problem.

After publishing your website, you should create a Google business listing. Your business listing will also appear in Google maps. Clients will be able to call your office directly with the click of a button and get directions to your location.

Take full advantage of Google’s free marketing tools! This is a must for local legal marketing.

Launch Your Firm on the Right Foot

You’re a talented lawyer. Now you have the business acumen to open a firm your community needs. Follow these tips to launch your legal practice on the right foot!

Don’t forget; you’re a problem solver. Stay updated on the latest tips, trends, and solutions for growing law firms.

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36 mins ago Laws

Know the Law: What Are the Common Search Warrant Exceptions?

The principles of law behind search and seizure provide a clear example of the virtue of an adversarial justice system. The question of whether you side with law enforcement or privacy on this issue sees more nuance than other discussions.

One of the reasons for this nuance comes from an application of philosophical ‘veil of ignorance’. You don’t know which side you are likely to end up on, so you want search warrant exceptions to be reasonable but also limited.

Reasonableness isn’t just a legal principle in this case. Reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics provide a reflection of public trust. The general public feels that 95% of traffic stops are justified but only 40% feel the same about other street stops.

Read on to learn more about the exceptions to our 4th Amendment protections allowed in search and seizure law.

Search Warrant Exceptions

The illustration of the difference between street stops and traffic stops reveals a lot. Notably, the public understands something about their right to privacy. The right to privacy is the principle concern fo the 4th Amendment.

The expectations of a police interaction while in a car are far higher than when on foot. This comes from understanding the number of restrictions already placed on owning and operating a vehicle.

The government’s interest in pursuing criminal activity has to be tempered by expectations of privacy.

Consent

The most obvious exception to the warrant clause is consent. If an officer asks if they can search you, or your property, and you consent, the search is good.

This provides expedience to search processes. It also prevents the individual from being detained while a warrant is obtained.

Cooperation with law enforcement would take a serious blow if they had to request paperwork before each interaction. Consent cannot be coerced and evidence of coercion is grounds for a Bivens action.

Consent is also limited. You can consent to a search of one room in a house, such as a public space, but restrict access to a specific room.

To search a room you have restricted consent from, police will either need a warrant or another exception.

Exigent Circumstances

The most likely exception to the previous restriction is for exigent circumstances. If you allow a search of every room except one, the police are likely to suspect there is a reason for that restriction.

Probable cause provides the reasonableness basis for most search warrants. However, if probable cause comes with suspicious actions it may lead to a variety of exigent circumstances.

Police do not need a warrant to search if they believe imminent activities will occur if action is not taken.

Imminent Danger

When an officer believes another person is in imminent danger, they are compelled to take action. Screams for help would be a case in point.

Smoke or fumes that come out of premises could also spur an officer to reasonably assume lives are in danger.

Protective Sweep

When an officer feels that danger is posed to themselves or fellow police, they can perform a protective sweep. This search for weapons, armed individuals, and other obvious dangers allows a warrantless search.

Imminent Destruction

If an officer suspects that evidence of a crime will be destroyed if they don’t take action, an exception can be made.

The reasonableness on evidence destruction is a place where 4th Amendment cases have built some interesting precedents.

Imminent Escape

Finally, if an officer is lead to believe that a suspect is going to escape, they must take action. An internal room without a secondary point of entry needs a warrant unless one of the previous imminent clauses were in play.

Incident to Arrest

Making an arrest gives officers cause to search individuals and their immediate surroundings. The searchers fall into the same category of a protective sweep, being searches for weapons or sources of harm.

For an arrest in a vehicle, for example, a search of the passenger compartment is considered immediate surrounding. An area of the back seat isn’t reachable by the person. Searching that under incident of arrest falls into unlawful search and seizure territory.

Pursuit

Officers can perform search and seizure without a warrant during hot pursuits. A hot pursuit consists of a suspected fleeing the scene of a crime or fleeing in the commission of a crime. Any location that a suspect ducks into or crosses through can be searched.

These searches would be for dropped evidence or potential danger. Danger to residents in these properties also falls under imminent danger.

It’s easy to see how hot pursuit covers a variety of exceptions.

Plain View

Finally, the doctrine of plain view covers any object that can be seen. This doesn’t mean the entire object has to be visible, only enough for it to be obvious what it is.

Open fields constitute an interesting exception in some cases. State laws override in some places. An open field is not considered to be a visible location if objects in the field require electronic surveillance to be visible.

This isn’t the only criteria but reflects an example of how an open field isn’t always in ‘plain view’.

Abandoned property also allows warrantless searches. The specific definition of abandoned property still faces contests in some places. For example, if the land itself is monitored and in plans for development, then a building on that property, though abandoned, is not always grounds for a warrantless search.

Bivens Action

A Bivens action is a positive defense against unlawful search and seizure. In it, you prove that a 4th Amendment violation occurred. If proven, the federal officials are still provided immunity for their actions, but the agency they work for is not. Such an agency is then open to lawsuits for damages.

Learn More

That covers the search warrant exceptions broadly. No understanding of the law is ever complete. If you have specific questions, it’s always best to hire an attorney in your state to go over minutia.

Check out the rest of our site for more articles on law and legal questions.

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2 days ago Law School , Laws

Looking to Become a Lawyer?

As an attorney, you will be the chief advocate for a person or entity during a legal matter. Working as a lawyer can be a fulfilling experience, and there are many different types of clients that you can represent. However, it is important that you understand the process of getting your license to practice law and the rules that you must follow as a practicing attorney. 

How Do You Get Into Law School?

The first step to becoming a lawyer is to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Your score will determine whether you are eligible to enter law school or whether a specific school will admit you. As the results of the LSAT can have a profound impact on your future, it is a good idea to enroll in an LSAT prep class.

What Comes After Law School?

Two things must happen after you get into law school before you can get your law license. First, you must graduate from the program that you have enrolled in. Once you have graduated, you can then apply to take the bar exam, and the bar exam generally takes place over the course of several days. 

Find Your Niche

You will likely learn that the legal field is quite competitive. Therefore, it is important that you find a niche and work to establish yourself as a top attorney within that area. For instance, you may choose to help low income individuals who are charged with drug possession or other minor offenses. 

You could also choose to specialize in DUI cases or represent companies in workers’ compensation fraud cases. Ideally, you will market your services online, on television and by submitting articles to trade publications. You can also enhance your brand by taking part in local events such as holiday parades or charity fundraisers. 

Make Sure to Conform to Ethics Rules

There are many different types of ethics rules that an attorney will have to abide by. You may learn about these rules during your LSAT prep class or during your time in law school. For instance, an attorney cannot guarantee any sort of outcome in a case. If an attorney doesn’t think that he or she can help a client, it is generally expected that the client will be referred to someone who can. Those who break ethics rules could be disbarred or face other penalties.

Let Your Track Record Speak for Itself

While some prospective clients may be impressed by the awards on your desk or hanging on your wall, that won’t help them win their case. Instead, they are more concerned about your ability to deliver in court or during other stages of the legal process. Therefore, be sure to worry more about developing a track record of success as opposed to racking up frivolous awards that may or may not mean anything.

Although it can be a challenge to get your law degree and establish yourself in the field, it is generally worth it. As an attorney, you can help to shape the future of your community in a positive way. At the same time, you have the ability to make a comfortable living doing something that you enjoy.

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3 Things Business Owners Need to Know About Digital Accessibility Laws

People with disabilities have the right to access websites, mobile sites, and other forms of information technology, according to Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

Unfortunately, not every business or organization complies with the accessibility standards outlined in Section 508. Many entities don’t include the support features needed to eliminate the bottlenecks that individuals with disability experience when using technology.

But, failure to adhere to Section 508 guidelines can have dire consequences; both financially and legally. And organizations outside the United States aren’t off the hook, either. 

The World Wide Web Consortium’s implementation of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 & 2.1), have also been adopted by many countries and international organizations around the globe.

Bearing this in mind, business owners, website owners and government funded organizations need to get on board with accessibility; not only because accessibility lawsuits are on the rise, but also because it’s the right thing to do. 

Overview of Section 508

Places of public accommodation must consider people with disabilities when developing, procuring, maintaining, and using ICT. The resources should be accessible to every citizen, whether employees of such entities or not.

Employees with disabilities should be able to work on devices such as computers, telephones, and office equipment. Public entities should ease access to online resources such as courses and other information to people with disabilities.

There must also be fairness when citizens apply for jobs and competitive opportunities. Whether with a disability or not, a person looking for information about a program should access it like everybody else. The same applies when filling online forms.

Section 508 defines ICT as any system or equipment used to create, access, duplicate, or convert information and data. Some of them include computers, phones, televisions, DVD players, copiers, intranet sites, PDFs, webinars, and many more.

Key Takeaways

  • ICT resources in commercial and public entities must be available to people with disabilities conveniently
  • ICT includes systems that create, access, duplicate, or convert  information and data
  • Online platforms such as websites are part of places of public accommodation

If you are in charge of a public or commercial organization, Section 508 compliance standards are your business. Here are some accessibility issues you should know.

1. Rules of Section 508 Compliance Standards

Public entities and commercial establishments must avail information and programs available electronically to users with disabilities. Employees should be able to perform technological functions without feeling disadvantaged.

Job applicants with disabilities should also compete with other candidates for opportunities equitably. Therefore, places of public accommodation should ease access to programs and the application process for all.

Section 508 also insists on fairness for all employees, and people with disabilities should enjoy equal privileges and benefits as other workers. Public agencies, therefore, should provide the necessary electronic devices and software for people of all abilities to access information.

2. Content for Public Websites

Owners of sites that offer services and information to the public must keep accessibility to people with disabilities in mind. 

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility offers this advice, “Accessibility is not an optional requirement for your websites, apps and kiosks. It is a federal law. Non-compliance to ADA’s regulations leaves your company liable to user driven lawsuits.

But, more than the need to reduce liability, it is the right thing to do. More than 1 Billion persons with disabilities are not your customers because they cannot consume the content on your website. These include, but are not limited to those with physical, vision and hearing challenges, and military veterans.”

The United States Access Board released the Revised 508 Standards in 2018. The roadmap enhances ICT accessibility and usability to individuals with disabilities. 

Content in websites must be:

Perceivable

Website users should perceive all information, content, and interfaces without difficulty. These include people with hearing and vision impairment as well as cognitive disorders.

Understandable

Users of all abilities should understand the content offered on the site. You must present the information in a user-readable format.

Operable

User interfaces must be easy to operate for everyone, regardless of their abilities. For this reason, incorporating support features like assistive technology and keyboard-only navigation is essential.

Robust

Electronic material presented to website users must meet the current standards. It should be adaptable to keep pace with accessibility developments like innovations in assistive technologies.

The 2018 refresh shifts the focus from products to functions. The standards for devices like laptops and smartphones that serve similar purposes are now combined. In this case you expect the regulations for a task like browsing the internet to be comparable.

3. Testing for Section 508 Compliance

A full audit by an experienced internet accessibility agency can detect most of the compliance issues within a website. It involves an in-depth examination of the site by an expert as well as with automatic scans.

In this process it is essential to invite an individual with a disability to interact with the website using assistive tools. Their experience should inform if you’ve met the accessibility requirements or you need to work on the site further. Learn more about accessibility testing here.

Final Word

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is a sophisticated part of the law that affects website management. It provides some of the most prevalent accessibility regulations in the United States, and website owners should take note. 

Managers of business and public websites should implement Section 508 standards to avoid user-driven lawsuits, and more importantly, to enhance fairness in access to information

Failure to conform to accessibility requirements can land your business in legal hot water, and cost your business precious time and money.

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4 days ago Laws

5 Questions to Ask an Attorney Before Hiring in 2019

The right lawyer is often the difference between being found guilty or innocent. In civil cases, a bad lawyer can keep you from winning a settlement that you deserve.

That’s why it’s crucial you pick the best lawyer you can afford. But how can you tell in a consultation whether or not this attorney will be any good?

Luckily, there are a few specific questions you can ask them. The answers will give you a better idea of who they are and what to expect from them.

Do you need to hire a lawyer this year? We have outlined the major questions to ask an attorney before hiring them in 2019!

1. How Often Do You Work on Cases Similar to Mine?

Every attorney has a specialty. You want to be sure that the lawyer you hire has expertise in your type of case.

You wouldn’t want someone who usually works as a car accident lawyer representing you in your divorce case!

What’s the correct answer to this question? They should say that the vast majority of their cases are like yours. Even better, it could be the only kind of case they deal with.

2. How Will You Bill Me?

Hiring a lawyer can get really expensive, really quickly. Before you ever hire a lawyer, you need to be 100% clear on how they’ll bill you.

They could bill you all upfront or by the hour. Either way, don’t take that number at face value. Follow up this question by asking if there is a possibility for additional fees.

3. Do You Have Any Specialized Training?

There are all sorts of additional training lawyers can get to make them better equipped to try certain cases.

For example, a lawyer can get a Board Certification in DUI law. They don’t need it to try a DUI case. But wouldn’t you rather a lawyer who received that additional training?

4. How Available Will You Be to Me?

Some lawyers are very responsive and willing to hold your hand through this process. Others might be working a full caseload and can’t call you back the same day.

Need someone who will be readily available to you? Make sure upfront that they have the time to prioritize your communication.

5. Will You Be the Person Working on My Case?

It’s pretty common that the lawyer you meet during your consultation won’t be the person working your case.

This isn’t always a bad thing, even if they hand your case off to a junior associate. The more experienced lawyers are likely keeping tabs on the work they’re doing.

If the answer is “no” to this question, they aren’t necessarily hiding anything. Just ask if you can meet the person who will work on your case. It’s only a deal-breaker if they say no to this request.

These are the 5 Questions to Ask an Attorney

Now that you know the 5 questions to ask an attorney, you can have a productive consultation with them. If they don’t have the right answers, don’t be afraid to move on.

Did you enjoy this article and want to read more like it? Then check back to our blog often for updated content!

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1 week ago Laws

Know Your Options: What Is a Public Adjuster and What Do They Do?

Dealing with insurance companies can be a massive headache. You don’t want to file a claim because you don’t want your insurance premiums to go up between 15% and 20%.

Yet, you may have to because you could be paying a lot out of pocket that insurance would cover. Filing and waiting for the claim to be approved could be an excruciating process. Claims are often denied for what may seem like no good reason.

That’s where a public adjuster can help. Do you want to learn what a public adjuster is and how they can help you recover an insurance claim?

Read on to find out.

The Types of Insurance Adjusters

Before we get into what a public adjuster is, it helps to know the various types of insurance adjusters. This will help you understand where a public adjuster fits into the grand world of insurance claims.

Company Adjuster: This is an adjuster who works on behalf of the insurance company. They are an employee of the company and receive a salary and benefits for their work.

Independent Adjuster: An independent adjuster also works on behalf of the insurance company. Instead of being an employee, they’re hired as an independent contractor.

In both of these cases, the adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company to verify the accuracy of your claim. They determine how much the insurance company should pay for your losses.

What Is a Public Adjuster?

A public adjuster also analyzes the accuracy of insurance claims. The big difference is that a public adjuster works for you, not the insurance company.

You’re the one that hires the public adjuster, not the insurance company. Therefore, a public adjuster is going to have your best interests in mind when reviewing a claim.

A public adjuster isn’t just some guy off the streets who hangs a shingle and says they’re a public adjuster. They have to go through rigorous licensing and certification procedures, which vary by state.

A public adjuster has a couple of advantages. The first is that they have a lot of experience in dealing with insurance companies. If you’re dealing with a property claim, they may have construction experience and can negotiate with contractors on your behalf.

That can get you a better settlement from your insurance company.

When You Need a Public Adjuster

Most people don’t use a public adjuster when dealing with insurance claims because they feel that they’re getting what they need from their insurance company. They see an adjuster as a benefit and they don’t need to spend money on a public adjuster.

There are certain situations where a public adjuster can be a lifesaver. Here are some instances when you need to hire a public adjuster.

Save Time and Energy

If you’re too busy to deal with the insurance company or you would feel better hiring someone else to handle insurance for you, a public adjuster would be a good option.

Let’s face it, you’re not an expert in insurance claims. The peace of mind of working with an expert would be a big benefit to having a public adjuster.

You Have Large Losses

If you’re in a catastrophic situation, you’ll want to make sure that the insurance company comes through on their end. Sometimes, they will dispute things to protect their own interests.

A public adjuster would work for you, and they’ll fight to make sure that your claim gets paid.

You Disagree with the Insurance Adjuster

There are many reasons why an insurance claim would be denied. You may not have updated your insurance policy, or you don’t have sufficient documentation. It’s your responsibility to prove to insurance companies that you suffered a loss that they should cover.

An insurance agent would be able to help you so much in this situation. You would need to hire a public adjuster to review the claim and assess whether or not the insurance company was right in denying your claim.

How to Hire a Public Adjuster

If you know you need a public adjuster, how do you go about hiring one? Follow these tips.

Free Evaluation

Some adjusters, like this adjuster in Florida, offer a free evaluation of your situation. They’ll come out and assess your situation and tell you what you really want to know about your claim. You really have nothing to lose.

Licensed & Experienced

Most states require that public adjusters are licensed to operate. You want to make sure that the public adjuster that you work with has an active license in good standing. You can check with your state insurance board to look up their insurance license number.

You also want to make sure that they have experience working with insurance companies with a similar situation as yours.

How They Work with Clients

You want to be clear as to how they work with their clients. You want to walk away with a clear understanding of what they’ll do and what your responsibilities are. You also need to understand how they communicate with their clients.

Public Adjusters Can Help You Deal with Insurance

One of the worst things about insurance is getting what’s rightfully yours when you file a claim. It’s your responsibility to prove to insurance companies that you have a claim, even though you pay your insurance premiums on time every month.

When you have a large claim or you’re having difficulties with the Insurance Adjuster’s claims, you want to hire a public adjuster.

A public adjuster has your best interests in mind. They work with you to navigate the complex world of insurance adjustment claims so you can get what you deserve and rebuild your home or business.

Without them, you may be left with very little to build on or you would have to get an attorney involved in the situation.

Take a look at the directory to find the right lawyer for your situation.

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2 weeks ago Laws

A guide to a notice of intended prosecution

It happens to more people than you think. You’re going about your daily business, open the mail and find you’ve been sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution. It’s enough to make your stomach drop and a terrible panic rise. What is this is relation to? How did I get this? Can I contest it? What happens now? 

Well firstly, don’t panic. Read on for a simple guide and everything you need to know about your next steps, and what to do if you receive a notice of intended prosecution

What is it?

A notice of intended prosecution is sent to people when there is an allegation of a motoring offence such as speeding. You might also receive one if you have been nominated as the driver in question at the time of the alleged offence. 

What is it asking of me?

This notice of intended prosecution (NIP) is usually sent with a requirement for the recipient to provide details of the driver at the time the offence allegedly occurred. This gives 28 days within which to complete, sign and return the form provided with the requirement to the police.

Completing your NIP

As you have to do this within 28 days specified, it’s always best to get proof of postage, should your response go missing in the mail. If you do not return the completed form within 28 days or do not respond at all then you may be prosecuted. On conviction, the offence of failing to provide details of the driver carries 6 penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000.00

If you return the form stating that you weren’t the driver and nominate someone else, then that person will receive a NIP and requirement for details of the driver. 

I have confirmed I was driving. What happens now?

If you confirm that you were the driver at the time of the alleged offence then there are three courses of action that the police can take:

  1. You will be offered an educational course. Which once completed, will result in no points on your licence. 
  2. Offer a Fixed Penalty. This will be 3 points on your licence as well as a fine of £100.00. 
  3. Send the case to court. Where you will be required to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Paperwork will be issued to you. 

What if I don’t agree with this NIP?

Always remember that responding to the NIP is not an admission of guilt. You simply have a legal requirement to respond within the given time frame. Should the case progress, you will have a chance to defend the matter and give more information. If you believe that allegation is incorrect, or you don’t know who was driving, you still need to respond.

Seek legal help

If you’re unsure or need more information, get in touch with a legal firm as soon as possible.

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3 weeks ago Laws

What Is Litigation? Here’s How to Come to a Legal Agreement

If you and another party with to come to some sort of a legal agreement or settlement, then you know that you’ll likely need to file a lawsuit at some point in your proceedings.

But what about everything that happens before and after that?

While many people think that litigation and a lawsuit are synonymous, the proper way to define litigation is any kind of legal action that occurs before, during, and after the lawsuit itself.

In a nutshell, litigation begins the moment when an attorney is hired.

Now that you know the basic litigation definition, read on to learn more of the specifics – and to learn when litigation should be used.

The First Step in Pre-Lawsuit Litigation

Usually, litigation is proceeded by some attempt between the two parties to negotiate – to reach a settlement without taking the matter to trial.

Though some people may see reaching a settlement as an “easy way out,” the reality is that it’s often the best option for all parties involved. Everyone saves on legal fees, the person suing receives at least some compensation, and all are spared the emotional burden of an extended case.

If the offer you receive is reasonable and if everyone feels they’ve had time to investigate the ins and outs of the case, and if there is genuinely a way to compromise, negotiation is the way to go.

This often happens in cases of agreeable divorce, smaller lawsuits, and in cases where it’s clear one side has a serious advantage over the other.

The Trial Process

Sometimes, litigation is meant to proceed to the courtroom for a trial.

This is rare, but if the trial is likely to be a precedent for potential future legal action, if you’re trying to protect intellectual property, or if you simply need a jury decision, it may be wise to go to trial.

The same goes if it’s your goal to put a competitor out of business, want to learn more about how to protect a real estate investment, or if you’re dealing with public policy.

After The Trial

Once you have a verdict – no matter how happy you are with the outcome – litigations are still in process.

Usually, this part of the litigation process deals with how any monetary compensation will be paid out. In some cases, further negotiation may take place, or the claim may be rejected.

It also refers to all the paperwork that needs to be filed to mark the case as officially closed.

Litigation: Your Legal Agreement From Start to Finish

We hope that this post has helped you to better understand the true definition of litigation.

Remember that your trial does not always begin and end in the courtroom. In fact, whenever possible, the right move is usually to settle out of court.

Want to learn more about how to reach a fair negotiation? Still convinced your case needs to go to trial? Need tips on how to find the best attorney for your case?

Keep checking back in with the blog to make sure you’re always in the know when it comes to all things law and order.

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