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6 days ago Laws , Safety

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Cybersecurity Laws in the U.S.

It’s difficult to keep up with all of the cybersecurity threats to your business. As news comes out daily about privacy and security breaches, legislators try to keep up.

There are a number of cybersecurity laws and regulations that you need to be aware of as a small business owner. You don’t want to be like one of the major companies hit with fines or lawsuits because you didn’t comply and were attacked.

What are the cybersecurity laws that you need to comply with?

Read on to find out the laws, regulations, and how you can protect your business.

Cybersecurity Laws and Regulations

The important thing to understand is that there isn’t one unified policy that governs cybersecurity. There are laws at the federal level. There are also laws passed by individual states, which can make it incredibly confusing.

On top of that, your particular industry may have specific regulations governing data privacy and international laws that impact how you collect and store data.

Main Street Cybersecurity Act

This is an act that was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in August 2018. The law doesn’t have any specific guidelines or regulations to comply with.

It’s only meant to give small business owners the tools and information they need to prevent and handle cybersecurity attacks.

Other Federal Laws to Know

For the most part, federal laws don’t have any real requirements to abide by. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 is a voluntary program to enhance cybersecurity systems.

Other laws don’t impact small businesses, but federal agencies. For example, the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015 requires the federal government’s health information exchange to notify people whose information was exposed.

If you are a contractor with a federal agency, you are going to have to comply with that agency’s data policies. You also have to meet the General Services Administration’s data regulations in order to work with the federal government.

State Laws

Since the federal government doesn’t have any hard requirements to manage security breaches, it’s largely up to states to pass legislation. Two states that have done so are California and New York.

California Consumer Privacy Act

California passed one of the most strict laws in the nation governing cybersecurity and data privacy. This law is due to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The state will offer a six-month grace period for companies to get into compliance.

Expect full enforcement on July 1, 2020.

What does this law require small business owners to do? Before you panic, it really doesn’t impact small business owners. It is only for larger tech companies that have over $25 million in revenue. About half of all revenue must come from personal data sales, which is usually advertising.

It’s loosely based on Europe’s GDPR regulations, which is designed to give consumers more control over their personal data floating around online.

Get Ahead of the Game

The good thing about California’s law is that it’s forcing other states and the federal government to address data privacy in their own jurisdictions.

The best thing you can do is put systems in place to comply with GDPR. That’s the General Data Protection Regulation put not effect by the European Union in May 2018.

What this does is give consumers the right to know what type of data is collected, how it’s used, and how it’s stored. They also have the right to ask for that data and have it removed.

You’re very likely to see similar stat regulations to protect consumers in other states and possibly the federal government. It would be wise to put systems in place to comply with GDPR now so you can be well ahead of similar regulations passed elsewhere.

Protecting Your Business from Cyberattacks

Even if you abide by all of these rules and regulations, you can still get hit with a cyberattack. Businesses have had to cease operations within six months of an attack.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your business.

Get Insurance

If you’re responsible for a treasure trove of data or you have a small business, cybersecurity insurance is a must for your business. Your general liability policy is unlikely to cover such an attack or loss of business because general policies tend to cover only physical property damage.

Cybersecurity policies range in scope and coverage. You can view here to find out more specifics about these policies and what they can cover.

Hire Hackers

Believe it or not, you can hire hackers to break into your systems. This will help you identify where security breaches are. These people are known as ethical hackers. They know the tips and tricks that hackers use to breach the most secure systems.

Have a Plan

You have to act with the assumption that a security breach will happen. As you can see from the various regulations and laws, you have to have a way to discover and report the breach.

Your plan and systems should be designed to protect your data, detect breaches, and act accordingly. You need to have a documented policy in place.

You should also document all of the steps taken to detect and secure any breaches. The documentation will help protect your business later on should there be any legal issues.

Stay on Top of Cybersecurity Laws

The world of cybersecurity is a confusing one. Not just from a technical perspective, but from a legal perspective as well.

You need to know the various cybersecurity laws or be subject to fines. You can’t say that you didn’t know and hope that holds up.

It’s ultimately your responsibility to know the federal, state, and international regulations that are passed and updated. It’s difficult to do because you already have so much on your plate as a small business owner.

If you need legal help, check out the directory to find an attorney who understands cybersecurity laws. That will ensure that your business is protected from a legal standpoint.

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6 days ago Laws

GPS Tracking Device Legality

GPS tracking is an affordable and easy way to monitor a vehicle, asset, or person. With minimal applications and efforts, you can find out the location of a person. GPS tracking is an excellent option for parents, business owners, and couples to track the place and activity of their children, employees, and spouse, respectively. But before using these devices and technology, it is essential to understand the legality of GPS tracking

Is It Legal to Track Your Car?

Yes, it is. Many cars come with GPS that allows drivers to access maps and take help with driving directions. According to the law, a GPS device can be mounted on a vehicle if it is not obstructing the view of the driver. The GPS device can be installed in the lower corner of either the passenger side windshield or the driver’s side windshield. 

Can Police Use GPS Devices to Track Your Car?

It depends on the situation. According to the law, government tracking has started being analyzed, which is far behind the current developments and technologies. This late development puts the law on the back seat. According to the law, the police can use a tracking device on a person’s car only under the “Fourth Amendment,” i.e., the police have to issue a search warrant before putting a tracking device on someone’s car for “search” purposes.

If the search warrant is approved, the police can affix a tracking device on the exterior side of the car, e.g. under the bumper or body.  However, this rule was further split into three sub-rules, which made the application of this rule difficult. In various states, the police have been using the rules differently to drive different conclusions, creating confusion in the implementation of the law. The main areas of difficulty are:

  • Privacy: According to numerous arguments, this type of case needs the dismissal of warrantless surveillance evidence from the court that is obtained by other means like video cameras. These arguments articulate to the idea of the Fourth Amendment of protecting a person’s expectation of privacy. And the court feels that this type of surveillance is an invasion of someone’s privacy. 
  • Non-Ownership: Another challenge on which courts are split is the application of law on the passengers of the vehicle. In one case, the warrants need a probable cause that is not available concerning the passengers. Moreover, a warrant consists of details regarding “what” and “who,” and thus, passengers are not mentioned in the warrant. On the other hand, courts might reason that as the traffic stops, the passengers are also subject to the observations. 

Court Cases have Changed the GPS Laws

Since the introduction of GPS tracking, many court cases and lawsuits have been registered that address the ethical and legal use of these devices. In many cases, the legality of the police using these devices to breach someone’s privacy has also been addressed. Additionally, concern by people over civilians using them to track their employees and children has also been expressed. 

Considering these issues, the government in 2012 declared that the law enforcement agents could not install a GPS device on a person’s car based on suspicion unless a warrant is obtained. 

Is it Legal to Track another Person’s Vehicle?

GPS tracking of another person’s vehicle for private use is questionable, and is legal under specific conditions. In general, it is legal to track another person’s car or vehicle if:

  • The person who is attaching the GPS owns the car.
  • The GPS device is placed on the exterior of the car, for example, underneath the bumper. 
  • The car is visible or accessible to the public place when the device is affixed on it.
  • The information obtained by the tracking can also be obtained if the vehicle is followed.
  • The vehicle is not at another person’s property when the GPS device is affixed.

However, using GPS tracking devices on other people’s vehicles is illegal if:

  • The installation of the tracking device requires breaking into the car. 
  • The tracking device needs to be hardwired into the car.
  • The tracking device is attached at a location where the owner of the vehicle expects privacy, like the garage or behind hedges.

Should You Take Legal Advice Before Using Tracking Devices?

GPS trackers are a new technology, and their legality may vary in different states. Moreover, even the courts are on splits about how to effectively use the technology without breaching people’s privacy. Although you can Learn More about GPS legality from various trusted sources, it is better to seek legal advice if you have some legal issues. A reasonable attorney can help you with the GPS laws of your state and what options do you have. An attorney can be advantageous if you feel the police or some other people are illegally tracking your vehicle.

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6 days ago Laws

Legislation for opening an online shop: what do you need to know?

E-commerce is one of the most developed branches in the world, breaking sales records from year to year. With the growth scenario presented, the importance of regulating this market emerges, leading to the creation of a series of regulations that shape e-commerce laws.

For online retailers as a whole, this is challenging, because it creates authority in new markets and at the same time sticks to existing legal mechanisms, there are tasks that require effort. A good way to start dealing with this is to plan with all the legal needs that need to be met.

For example, did you know that e-commerce such as www.thewatchcompany.com/ has its own laws and explains some of the procedures that your store has had to implement since opening? Or, what does it take to have correct initial legal precautions? What should you be careful about selling on the internet? What are the main problems that must be resolved by the court?

However, there are steps that must be followed to ensure that your business is well protected. In the next topic, we will discuss a few of them and invite you to read to get to know them.

Guide how to build a successful e-commerce

Niche Definition

Before talking about starting a business, you should have thought about what niche you will be working on, that is, in what area you will act, to continue project preparation. Think of a physical shop. Nobody opens a trade without knowing what to sell in it. In e-commerce it should be no different. You have to start your planning by determining what products will be, whether they can be sold, whether there is a market for them, whether there is competition or not, etc. That is, someone must do a business feasibility analysis. There are companies that specialize in doing this kind of analysis. It is often worth investing and knowing your business opportunity is successful and how it peaks. In legal terms, certain niches are more complex than others. Health goods are a good example. The market definition through the study of complementary laws and will also serve as a basis for the performance of your business.

The basic structure of e-commerce

After the first step, you need to start thinking about your e-commerce structure. Here, the following points must be noted:
   – e-commerce platform to be used;
   – contract with the supplier;
   – consumer contract;
   – payment method;
   – customer service.
In the case of e-commerce laws, the right choice of these items represents greater legal calm in everyday operations. For example, it is the contract with the consumer that will govern certain buying relationships and function the same as a personally signed contract.
It is therefore appropriate to have a well-designed contract, if possible with the supervision of a specialist in the field, to ensure that this obligation is fulfilled to the best of its ability.
In short, more than having a contract, it must be functional. While not having one that requires non-compliance with the law, making it available without proper quality can also result in legal problems, especially related to the lack of clarity of information and legal certainty for e-commerce itself.

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6 days ago Laws

E-commerce Law: Understanding the Main Points

E-commerce law is intended to establish the rights and obligations of the parties involved and requires virtual businesses to maintain practices that increase transaction transparency and security. And every online store in many countries must follow the rules in force.

So, understand the main points of law to prevent your business from problems and even damage.

Price display

Of course, in every online store product prices are displayed and even highlighted. You can check www.watchshopping.com/ and see how its products are neatly arranged with detailed information. But anything other than those charged for goods that are part of the price must be indicated. One of the biggest examples is the number of shipments, which need to be informed before checkout. For this, the ideal is to store a shipping calculator on each product page and close to the price. If there are other additional values, such as for installation or assembly, these values ​​must appear in the item description or next to the price.

Identification number and company name on the site

Maybe only at the bottom of the layout, but your store identification number and business name will appear on every e-commerce page: the start, each product, and the end of the sale. Physical address, if any. If there is a physical store unit, your address must be indicated somewhere in the e-commerce layout. If there are branches, only the matrix can appear in the main layout, but a mechanism or catalog that shows the addresses of other units must be created and be on the site to allow visitors to know all business addresses.

Special offer rules and conditions of purchase

Often customers must comply with several rules to take advantage of special offers or conditions, such as:
– minimum or maximum purchase amount;
– minimum value for free shipping;
– areas that may have free shipping;
– minimum purchase amount to get a discount.
Whatever the limitations or rules, they must be seen explicitly so that visitors are told about the criteria they must meet to benefit from promotions and special conditions.

Presence

E-commerce laws usually require online stores to provide 24-hour service to their customers in several ways, even if it’s automatic – such as a robot chat system or FAQ section. When customers make requests, such as exchanges or returns, they must immediately have confirmation that the company has accepted them. Meanwhile, e-commerce has a maximum of five working days to respond and begin the procedure to complete it. In any communication media used, language must be clear and objective so that clients can easily understand how the procedures are and what criteria they must meet.

Correction of customer data

Typing errors, for example, can occur before checkout at the consumer registration stage. And to prevent them from surviving and causing problems for buyers, the possibility to fix them before checkout must be offered by an online store. Likewise, links to customer areas must be clearly visible on the site layout, and in them the data must be easily corrected for registered customers.

Purchase Agreement

Every sale made at an online store results in a purchase and sale agreement, which must be given in full to the buyer somewhere on the site or can be sent via email. Also, at checkout, a summary of the main points of the contract must be presented, along with a button for customers to confirm their receipt before purchase. The contract must contain store and buyer rights and duties, as well as specific aspects of the transaction – such as special conditions and criteria for the transaction involved.

In some countries, E-commerce laws give customers the right to buy repentance until the 7th day after receiving their product. And when the rights are exercised, the buyer cannot have a fee in the process, even sending the goods back to the store. Any costs arising from canceling a purchase must be borne by the online store, which must return the full amount paid by the customer. If payment via credit card, e-commerce must immediately contact the administrator and their payment method to reverse the bill.

Hopefully this information can provide useful insights for you who want to open an online store.

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1 week ago Laws

An Overview of the Federal Whistleblower Act

Unless you’ve been in hiding or have broken cable, you’ve recently been bombarded with the news of a federal whistleblower.

You’ve probably heard the term before. And while the term is part of headlines and news stories galore of late, you might not know exactly what it means.

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) is commonly heard of. But perhaps the intricacies are not all understood.

Read on to learn all about the federal whistleblower act, what it means and how it offers protection.

What Is the Whistleblower Protection Act?

The WPA is a law written to protect federal government employees, specifically those who are a part of the executive branch. It offers protection for them to come forward and report wrongdoings including illegal or improper activities within the government.

History of the Whistleblower Act

The protection of whistleblowers can trace its history all the way back to 1777. Only 7 months following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first whistleblower protections were created by the First Continental Congress.

Ten military men came forward to report wrongdoing by a powerful Naval leader.

During the Civil War when the government was being defrauded by many companies and private businessmen. They encouraged people to come forward by offering whistleblower protections in the False Claims Act of 1863.

While the law evolved since the Civil War, Congress created the Civil Service Reform Act in 1978.

Then again in 1989, more revisions were made by creating the Whistleblower Protection Act. The WPA says its purpose is to “strengthen and improve protection for the rights of federal employees, to prevent reprisals, and to help eliminate wrongdoing within the Government.”

The changes made to the WPA in 1989 made more protections for the whistleblower and how they can make a report.

Then in 2012 Congress further acted to protect the identity and reporting steps for whistleblowers. They created the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA).

Reasons a Whistleblower Might Come Forward

The Whistleblower Act was created as protection. It provides cover for an employee who sees or knows some egregious and wants to report it without being penalized for coming forward.

There are many reasons a whistleblower might want to come forward. Some of these reasons include:

  • There is a violation involving a law, rule or some kind of regulation.
  • Grossly wasted funds
  • Gross mismanagement
  • There is a danger to public safety, health or well-being of citizens.
  • There is an abuse of power

The Whistleblower Act offers protection to the person coming forward with any of these claims that no retaliation will be taken on them for reporting.

Office of Special Counsel’s Role

In addition to hearing about the whistleblower and whistleblower protections on the news of late, you probably have also heard of the Office of Special Counsel.

This independent office is charged with hearing whistleblower complaints and reviewing them before reporting to Congress or other relevant agencies. They do not investigate them, however.

By law, the Inspector General has only 14 days to decide from his review if the claim made by the whistleblower seems credible. They must disclose it within 14 days.

How is the Office of Special Counsel  (OSC) connected to the WPEA? Part of the revisions in the act made by Congress includes giving the Office of Special Counsel the authority to represent whistleblowers who come forward.

Who Is Protected By Federal Whistleblower Act?

The WPA protects federal employees to disclose information and offers them protection so the don’t experience any retaliation. The group of employees protected includes:

  • Current federal employees
  • Former federal employees
  • Applicants for federal employment

There is a group of employees who are not covered. They include:

  • Employees of federal contractors
  • Members of the military
  • Employees of the U.S. Postal Service

Until recently, members of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were not offered protection under the WPA. That changed in with revisions to the WPA in 2014.

How to File a Whistleblower Complaint

There are regulated steps that a potential whistleblower should follow. They need to provide information to the appropriate officials and agencies to begin the process.

A whistleblower should get themselves legal representation, too. While they are afforded protections under the law, providing testimony and information may be required.

As is evidenced by the current news cycle, a whistleblower is protected but may also still face a mountain of scrutiny and questions.

If you have some information you wish to disclose as a whistleblower, consider a whistleblower attorney. This should be a person who specialized in guiding the whistleblower through the sometimes stressful and arduous process.

Depending on your situation and claim, there are a variety of agencies that you can file your claim with.

For example, what if you are a worker experiencing unsafe or unhealthy working conditions? If you are worried about the retaliation of your employer, you can file your complaint with the US Department of Labor.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has its own whistleblower division. It allows for those with claims to come forward with issues that related to financial transactions, big and small.

Whistleblowers And Retaliation

The scope of the whistleblower law allows individuals who witness or recognize some form of wrongdoing to come forward. Often employees are afraid to do this because they worry they will experience negative repercussions for speaking up.

This is the intent of the law. To protect against those negative consequences from coming forward. It allows for the safety to speak up without being unfairly punished by an employer.

What should you do if you are a whistleblower who has made a claim? If you have made a claim and then experience said retaliations, you should go to the Office of the Special Counsel.

Federal Whistleblower Claims and Protections

The laws for federal whistleblowers have evolved over time. But one thing has remained true. The intention to encourage employees to feel confident to come forward. They should feel safe to speak up against wrongdoing without suffering negative consequences.

The current and most well-known whistleblower’s identity is still being protected. The consequences of coming forward should not be negative. The person might go down as a name in the history books, yet they shouldn’t suffer from it on the job.

For more information on the laws protecting employees, keep browsing our blog today.

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1 week ago Laws

Ways to Check Whether a Car Has Been Loaned

Vehicle registration plates are not only a combination of numbers printed on a white metal plate. There are lots of situations when you need to find out the car owner. For example, you may need this when purchasing a car, when buying it from a private person, and the price is suspiciously low. Someone scratched your car parked in the yard, and all you had was a recording from the DVR with the intruder number. Once again, information concerning the owner of the car is required. The most unpleasant thing is when you get in an accident, and a guilty person is hiding. Here it is just essential to find the owner of the car by VIN decoder, and you have the right to do this.

This is an information parameter containing important information about a modern vehicle, about the conditions for its official registration, as well as about the owner. For this reason, the question of how a license plate owner lookup often arises. With the right approach, this can be done easily and quickly.

The Essence and Purpose of Registration Plates 

Modern car plates have their own structure, as well as a special digital indicators’ order. The numbers are set and registered strictly at the official level and carry a certain information load. The assignment of an individual number for each car is a prerequisite without which it is impossible to operate the vehicle. Often car numbers are used to find out the car owner’s name. This is necessary in case of a particular unexpected situation, as well as when buying a car.

Using the registration plate number, you can quickly find out all the necessary information, that is, find the car owner by state number as quickly as possible. First of all, it is worth getting familiar with the main legitimate situations when this or that information regarding the driver may be obtained. In some cases, it can be obtained through databases, that is, at the official level, solve the problem of how to find out to whom the car belongs to by VIN-code.

Loaned CarData Retrieval Options 

From time to time, some are required to quickly find out the necessary information regarding a vehicle owner. There are several methods for solving such an issue; the most popular methods of obtaining information are:

  • specialized servers, searching by VIN decoder; 
  • searching among friends;
  • private detective services.

In this regard, it is much more convenient to use FAX-VIN online services. All you need is access to the Internet. You will find the necessary data in a short time by yourself just entering the registration plate number in the search line. This is a free service intended to decrypt VIN, car manufacturer, model, year of release, etc. If all the data has been entered correctly, then the automatic service will display the desired result within a few minutes.

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2 weeks ago Laws

Do I Have a Defense Base Act Claim?

Is your employer a government contractor? Did you suffer an injury while working overseas?

If you answered yes to those questions, you may be eligible to file a DBA claim.

The Defense Base Act (DBA) requires government contractors to offer workers’ claim benefits to any employee while working overseas. If the injury causes the death of an employee, the survivors of the deceased are also eligible to receive these benefits.

Want to learn if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the DBA? We’ve got you covered. Here are the 3 questions you should ask yourself to learn if you’re eligible to file a DBA claim today.

1. Does Your Injury Fall Under the Defense Base Act Employment Activities?

You may think DBA claims stem from any injury while working for a government contractor. However, the law states injuries must occur during certain employment activities.

This regulation covers injuries or death caused by injuries during the following employment activities.

  • You work for a private government contractor in U.S. military stations, U.S. territories or land used for these purposes.
  • You operate under contracts overseas approved and funded under the Foreign Assistance Act.
  • You provide welfare or similar services overseas for the Armed Forces under an American employer.
  • You work on public contracts with a government agency related to national defense or war activities.

If your injury didn’t happen under these conditions, you may not be eligible to file a DBA claim. Yet, you should consider consulting a Defense Base Act Lawyer to learn more about how this law works and your eligibility to file a case.

2. Did You Report Your Injury Right Away?

Reporting your injury as soon as you learn about it is one of the basic requirements to file a DBA claim.

Once you suffer an injury, you should inform your supervisor immediately.

Besides reporting the incident in person, it’s important to get it in writing by sending an e-mail or fax. Make sure to keep a copy of this communication to use it later on in your claim.

3. Did Your Injury Require Medical Care?

While you may not want to visit a doctor, it’s vital to obtain medical care. Your doctor will tell you more about the seriousness of your injury, treatment, and side effects of the incident.

A medical professional will also document the state of your injury and prognosis.

After you file your claim, you may use your medical record as evidence in your case.

The Bottom Line

Understanding how the Defense Base Act works is the first step to file a claim.

Yet, it’s important to meet the basic requirements to obtain the best outcome in your case. Remember that your eligibility depends on your employment activity falling under the DBA.

Were you working overseas when you suffered the injury?

If so, did you report it to your supervisor? Remember that you may report your injury in person.

However, it’s preferable to notify it in writing by e-mail or fax so you can reference it later on. Before filing a claim, you must gather all evidence of the incident such as medical records, witnesses, among other information.

While you may be able to file the claim yourself, you should consider consulting an attorney. An expert in DBA claims will guide you every step of the way and help you obtain the best payout in your case.

Did you find this article interesting? Check out the rest of our site for more insightful articles that may help you!

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Burden of Proof in Civil Cases: Understanding Personal Injury Lawsuits

Despite what we see on tv, only 4%-5% of personal injury cases in America ever make it to trial. The rest are settled out of court.

However, in order to reach a settlement, the plaintiff must understand that the burden of proof in civil cases rests entirely on them. If you’ve been injured and someone else is at fault, you’ll need to provide a standard of proof in personal injury lawsuits in order to receive any money.

If you’re wondering about the burden of proof in personal injury and how to build a strong defense, keep reading. We’re going to share with you everything you need to know to get the compensation you deserve.

What the Burden of Proof in Civil Cases Means

The burden of proof in personal injury lawsuits falls to the injured party. It’s their responsibility to convince an insurance adjuster, judge or jury that the person or business being sued is solely responsible for causing the injuries.

The standard of proof in personal injury lawsuits refers to how convincing the argument must be to convince the judge, jury or insurance adjuster into believing it’s true.

Standard Burden of Proof Must Be Higher than 50%

While criminal cases must prove the case is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” in a civil personal injury claim, the burden of proof is thankfully much lower. The burden of proof in tort law is to make a convincing argument that the civil injury claim is “more likely than not” true.

What that means is that the evidence being presented by the injured party is true by at least 51%. Meanwhile, the defendant does not have to prove that his or her version of events is true at all.

Nor do they have to convince a judge or jury that there is an alternative version of events.

Affirmative Defense

The only exception to this rule is when a defendant tries to prove an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense is when the defendant provides and proves additional facts that can defeat the plaintiff’s claim.

And they only need to provide enough proof that the defendant’s claim is most likely true than not.

How to Gather Evidence to Prove Your Case

The most important element in learning how to build a strong defense is to gather the proper evidence to support your claim. It’s always helpful to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you determine which information and evidence will help you win.

As in the case of truck accident law, the more information you have with an attorney who handles those types of cases, the more prepared you are to present sound evidence to the judge or jury.

When to Start Gathering Evidence

As soon as you’re injured, you should begin gathering evidence. If you can, have photographs and video taken at the scene. Pictures don’t lie and they are a great way to sway a judge or jury quickly.

You should also gather the names, addresses, and contact numbers of any witnesses to your injury. You’ll want to follow up with them to get their statements as soon as you’re able.

Get Copies From the Police and Doctors

Next, order a copy of the police report. You should also request copies of all medical records and bills pertaining to your injury.

Later on, you can order a copy of the police report and request copies of all your medical records and bills.

The Discovery Process

While the evidence mentioned above is often enough standard of proof in personal injury lawsuits for a small claims court, you’ll be required to participate in the discovery process for any lawsuits filed in a higher court.

While you can file and pursue a case in small claims court on your own, you should definitely hire a personal injury attorney to help you with the discovery process.

Information Your Lawyer Will Collect for Your Case

The lawyer will use requests for admission, subpoenas, and interrogatories to gather information which will be used as evidence such as:

  • Driving and arrest records
  • Asset checks
  • Insurance policy limits
  • Proof of other sources of insurance money
  • Phone records from the defendant
  • Surveillance films from businesses

Your attorney will then find a way to present this information to a jury in a way that’s easy to understand.

What You Must Prove in a Prima Facie Injury Case

Prima facie is Latin for “on its face” meaning you just have to prove that you have good reason to claim the defendant is at fault for your injuries. However, you’ll be required to prove that the defendant:

  • Was directly responsible for causing your injuries through their negligent act
  • Deliberately did something wrong or failed to act in a way that any reasonable person would do
  • Had a duty of care to prevent harm to other individuals
  • Was in breach of their duty of care

But it’s not enough to prove that the defendant was at fault.

Providing Proof of Real and Measurable Damages

You must also prove that you suffered damages that are both real and measurable such as:

  • A loss of wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Have out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Medical bills

It will be the weight of your evidence that convinces a judge or jury to rule in your favor.

Why You Need an Attorney

If your case is worth enough that you need to pursue it in a higher court, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer to receive the best outcome. Not only are trial lawyers well-versed in this particular area of the law, but it will take hours for them to prepare for your trial.

A good personal injury attorney knows where to find the strengths and weaknesses of your case. And they can also understand and utilize the evidence the defense is planning to offer through discovery.

If there is any evidence that the defense puts forth that may eliminate or refute your claim, the attorney can work to strengthen any favorable evidence. And they also know how to convince a jury and judge to rule in your favor.

Find a Good Lawyer Today

Now that you understand how and why the burden of proof in civil cases lies with the injured party, it’s time to find a good lawyer.

Not only can they help you get the money you deserve, but they will also make sure it happens before the statute of limitations runs out. Search our directory to find a qualified personal injury attorney near you.

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2 weeks ago Laws

Benefits of Working as a Freelance Writer for Lawyers

Nowadays, freelance writers for lawyers are making a considerable amount of money. Freelancing not only provide you money it also gives you flexibility, ease, and relaxation. They always have work in their writing table, and they can do it according to their will. No one can force a freelancer writer for a law firm to sit on a chair and do work. Online writers are free to write in any part of the day. 

They don’t get disturbed during writing like an office-based employee. It is up to a freelancer either he/she wants to answer anyone or not. But in office you’re strictly bound to follow the rules as they ask they use skype or email to communicate. Employees have to check and answer each message they received. 

Here we have gathered some more important benefits of being a freelance writer for a Lawyer.

1. Freelancing Give You Experience

The first benefit I have noticed being a freelance writer for a Law Firm is it gives you experience which you require for jobs. New writers face many challenges as everyone ask them about their experience in writing. Freelancing helps them to fulfill this requirement of the writing jobs.

2. Flexible Routine 

In online writing jobs, you don’t have hectic work routine you can work when you feel fresh. No one would ask you to sit and complete your work in a fixed time. You can work whenever you want, you can take a break when you get bored, you can eat, sleep, spend time with friends and family. In short freelancer for lawyers has no rules and regulations. 

3. Income in Your Hands

The next advantage of being an online writer is your unlimited earning. You can make money according to your desire. It is up to you how much work you complete in a day. You are not bound for working hours you can write for two hours or ten hours. 

If you decide to write academic essays, research papers, or assignments then trust me you’ll get traffic. Students always keep in search of online paper writer because they don’t get enough time to produce a quality work, and sometimes they failed to submit before the deadline. 

Apart from academic writing different companies always looking for freelancers to write content for their products. They know an expert or professional writer can create content which make their services and products known among people.

4. You Can Save Money on Fares 

The other advantage of working from home is that you don’t need to pay for the bus. As a freelance writer you don’t need to go to the office, it helps you to save your money on fares. Also you don’t need to buy new dresses to follow the dress code of your office. 

5. Freedom of Work 

Freelance writers for lawyers have freedom of doing work they can accomplish their task even after continuous work or by taking small breaks during their work. These breaks give them energy and fresh ideas to create a good piece of writing. They also have work flexibility either they write two or ten articles a day.

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2 weeks ago Laws

7 Ways To Improve Your Legal Writing Skills

Legal writing: concept, features

Legal writing is a process used to create legal documents. The rules of legal writing were initially developed exclusively in practice. The understanding of what constitutes legal writing formed gradually as the process became more complicated. The main purpose of studying legal writing is for future lawyers to gain skills of performing legal work. 

The methods used when creating documents is called legal technique. It makes it possible to bring the theory of law closer to practice. This process involves acquiring practical skills in performing legal work and deciding on a practical bias in legal education. Legal technique is one of the most important components of correcting and preventing possible legal errors. Of course, it does not explain why some officials make mistakes when performing the same work, while others, having a higher level of professionalism in their work, do not. All hopes should not be laid on legal technique; all shortcomings in the practical activities of a lawyer should not be explained solely by ignorance. Knowledge of legal technique makes it possible to improve the quality of legal work. 

Of course, students who study law may not yet possess proper legal technique, and their legal writing may not be of acceptable quality. I am talking not only about documents, but about academic papers as well. Such students can get essay help from essay writers on an essay writing service like EssayShark

Legal document: concept, classification

The legal document is a collective concept. The theory of state, constitutional, and financial law mainly refers to regulatory legal acts: laws, decrees and orders of the president, decrees and orders of the government, orders, instructions, and rules of ministries, agencies, services, and other departments. Civil labor law mainly refers to contracts: sales, leases, loans, labor, marriage contracts, and other types of documents – wills, letters of attorney, etc. Complaints and statements of claim are used in the course of criminal, arbitration, administrative, civil proceedings, protocols, and other decisions. Applied sciences are also characterized by a rather large array of legal documents. 

An analysis of the characteristics of different legal documents allows us to conclude that such characteristics are not always suitable for all types of legal documents. Legal encyclopedias do not contain a term such as “legal document.” It is replaced by the concept of “legal act.” In legal sciences, one cannot operate with such a broad concept as a “document,” since not all documents are legal. A legal document is a special type of document. With the help of legal documents, decisions and actions of various bodies, officials, and citizens are drawn up. The adjective “legal” gives the word “document” an additional meaning – that is, in relation to legal norms. The word “document” is derived from the Latin word documentum, meaning in ancient Rome everything that can serve as an example, lesson, or evidence. If we combine the terms given in different dictionaries and encyclopedias to this concept, then a document can be understood as a medium with information recorded on it, which is intended for transmission in time and in space. In a narrower interpretation, a document is a business paper that legally confirms a certain fact or a certain right. 

Many lawyers and legal scholars proceed from the fact that a document is a material object with information confirming the rights to something. But it is wrong to define a document only as written evidence, which is issued or certified by the competent authorities in the manner prescribed by law. All of the above formulations have in common the reduction of a concept to a material medium (paper) and a method of documentation (written source). However, thanks to modern technologies in the field of informatization, a large number of documents appear in electronic form. In computer science, a document means a material object containing information in a fixed form, having circulation in information systems. Often the definition of a document is fixed in regulatory acts and state standards. 

Some scientists criticize the legal definitions of the term “document” in the laws. The originality of the document as an object is as follows: a document is always the result of purposeful human activity. A document fixes an element or specific information about something, or both. Fixation takes place in various ways through the use of special knowledge, skills, abilities, and technical means. The object is fixed on some material medium.

Currently, various approaches are used in defining a legal document. According to one approach, the primary one in the definition of a document is a material information medium. In accordance with another definition, the primary information itself is the information recorded on a material medium. The situation is more complicated with electronic documents. If the approach is to recognize the information medium as the main (basic) one, then the documents cannot be attributed as the documents in which the material medium is not inextricably linked with the information recorded on it. Thus, the information in electronic documents cannot exist separately from the material medium. 

Styles of legal writing

A lawyer’s speech has two forms: oral and written. Let’s talk about the second form. One of the reasons why ordinary people ask lawyers for help in drafting documents is the inability to independently draw up a legal document. The stylistic basis of such writing-clad speeches is composed of three functional styles.

  1. Formal style. This style is mainly intended for writing official letters to counterparties. It also includes the writing and preparation of letters of complaint, statements of claim, and complaints/statements to various bodies. This style remains with us throughout life: from birth (issuing a birth certificate) to death (issuing a death certificate). Thus, we can conclude that the formal style is intended to serve the sphere of personal and legal relations.
  2. Scientific style. This style is used to write and defend scientific dissertations, monographic studies, and scientific articles. This area requires the most accurate expression of thought. Conclusions drawn in this style are logically inferred from knowledge and form new knowledge.
  3. Publicistic style. This style includes lecture courses, teaching aids, notes, and reviews. Compared to the other styles, emotionality will prevail here.

We can distinguish the following forms of language used in these styles: 

  • Language of texts of sources of law.
  • Applied legal language.
  • Scientific legal language.

The speech of the lawyer, whether it is written or oral, will always act as an instrument of the person’s influence on the person or persons to whom it is addressed. Also, a lawyer’s speech is often filled with terms. In the legal literature, legal terms are usually divided into three types:

  • Commonly used terms, that is, those that are used in everyday speech and understandable to everyone.
  • Special legal terms (for example, “employment contract,” “service contract,” and “cause of action”). Such terms have special legal content and mainly serve to denote legal concepts.
  • Technical terms. These terms reflect the area of special knowledge (for example, “conducting an examination of technical solutions”).

What is important for all texts written by lawyers? It is important that the text is literally selling something. And here we are talking not only about the direct sale of legal services, but primarily about the fact that any written text should attract the counterparty, judge, or ordinary citizen, that is, the people to whom this text is addressed.

7 ways to improve your legal writing skills

When you start writing, it turns out that it is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. Creating clear, understandable, and effective legal writing involves hard work to find the right words. The lack of clarity in a legal letter is often explained precisely by an inattentive attitude to the selection of words, or the careless handling of them. 

1. Know your audience

You should know whether you are writing for ordinary people or for those who work in the legal sphere. For example, if you are writing for ordinary people, keep in mind that they are already tired of reading complex texts concerning laws, treaties, and official letters. Complicated things need to be explained in simple language. 

2. Take special care with the organization of the text

Legal writing will not work without proper organization. You should add some visual clues to guide the reader in your writing. Use topic sentences, headings, and subheadings to make the text easier to read. Each paragraph should present one separate idea or topic. In general, add readability to your legal writing. 

3. Avoid legal jargon

Reading legal writing without holding a dictionary is becoming more and more difficult. Lawyers often use legal jargon, foreign words, as well as Latin in their vocabulary. Try to avoid using these terms because an ordinary person may not understand you. Once again, your legal writing should be as understandable as possible. 

4. Be concise

Good legal writing is easy to read, concise, and, most importantly, clear. One way to adhere to this rule is to stick to the norms and rules of the English language. Remember that any mistake in legal writing, on an intuitive level, prevents people from reading the written text. Also, don’t be shy to highlight the important things in bold, italics, or with an underline. It is important to remember that one thought should be contained in one paragraph. Therefore, the text must be formatted, divided into paragraphs, and have headings highlighted.

5. Use the “right” words

There are general requirements for using the “right” words in the preparation of legal writing, in addition to what has already been said, as there are a number of peculiarities that are characteristic only of legal texts. This specificity is due to the fact that legal writing should be extremely clear and concise and should exclude the slightest interpretation of uncertainty. 

6. Avoid passive voice

It is not recommended to use passive voice in legal writing. Active voice can clarify your message more clearly. 

7. Proofread and edit

Needless to say that you should have excellent knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and style, as well as pay close attention to detail and find mistakes easily. If you can’t do it yourself, ask someone else who is more knowledgeable to proofread your writing. 

The right recipe

The text is a kind of essay, and the essence of this essay should be understandable and clear to the person reading it. It must be remembered that this person does not always have a legal education

Let’s use a life example. You want to cook some kind of meal, for example, a pie. You open the cookbook and begin to read: “Take flour, milk, salt, sugar, and eggs, and mix everything and roll the resulting mixture with a special utensil. Add the filling and place in the oven.” Is it understandable? Is the result of making a pie clear? Is there a clear desire to make a pie after reading? It seems like after looking at a recipe, the desire to cook something disappears altogether. It’s a good sign, however, if you read this recipe to the end. This type of text often causes internal discomfort. 

So the same thing happens with legal documents. If a document prepared by a lawyer is easy to read, then you can be 80% sure that this document will be read to the end. The written speech of the lawyer is prepared according to a plan, and a certain outline is required. An outline needs a bottom line. The bottom line is the legislative norms written in simple language so that they can be conveyed to the reader. 

In legal writing, as in every essay, there should be an introduction and an inference (usually this is an inference in the form of a specifically expressed desire, of course, in the legal field: “pay off the debt,” for example). Only in this way will your legal writing be great. 

If you follow our advice, you will be more successful in your legal writing

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