Menu
X

Category Archives: Laws

image
10 months 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.

image
10 months 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.

image

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.

image
10 months 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!

image
10 months ago Laws

How to Report Sexual Assault to Law Enforcement

It can happen at any time. You could be walking home from work. Or enjoying yourself at a party when danger strikes.

Perhaps the perpetrator breaks into your home. Or the attack occurs at the hands of your babysitter.

Whatever the situation a sexual assault is not your fault. But there are steps you can take after an assault; since the law is on your side.

Below you will find tips on how to report sexual assault.

Here’s How to Report Sexual Assault

No one knows when a sexual assault will occur. But it’s important to remember this helpful information about reporting the incident. By taking action afterward, the chances of catching the perpetrator increase. Plus collecting evidence strengthens your case.

Call for Help

When you’ve been sexually assaulted please call the police. By contacting 911 you’re starting the process of healing.

When speaking with police dispatch be sure to give the address or surroundings.

Try to give a physical description of the attacker, if you can. Try to remember the perpetrator’s clothes and significant smells. Tell them if the perpetrator left on foot or by a car. Or did the perp have any weapons?

Let them know if you have injuries so they can send an ambulance.

Seek Medical Attention

Receiving treatment for injuries of a sexual assault is crucial. Throughout a sexual assault forensic examination or “rape kit”, the evidence collection occurs. Sexually transmitted disease screenings get performed during your medical visit.

Medication to prevent STD’s and pregnancy is available if administered after the assault. But the availability of the medication depends on your state.

How Long Do You Have to File a Police Report?

With any crime, time is of the essence. Evidence deteriorates, witnesses are unavailable, or time runs out. Every state implements laws that restrict the time on taking legal action for a committed crime. But there may not be a time limit for reporting the crime. Check with your state for more information.

Statute of Limitations Varies

The statute of limitations is the period in which a person can start legal actions. Once a statute of limitations expires the case can’t be prosecuted.

To increase the likelihood of your case getting prosecuted, report the charges as soon as possible.

Child Victim Cases

Child victim cases differ from adult cases. When the victim is a child, there may be no statute of limitations. Or the statute of limitations may not start until the victim turns 18 years old or the crime gets reported.

Deterioration of Evidence

When evidence gets collected from the victim, it gets sealed and preserved. Yet, how well the DNA sample gets preserved, impacts how long it lasts. If a sample endures exposure to the sun, heat, or water, it degrades faster according to Livescience.com.

Thus making it inadmissible in a case. So seeking justice for the crime should start right away.

Should You Press Charges?

Deciding to press charges against a perpetrator isn’t easy. A victim should weigh the pros and cons of pursuing legal action.

Before a person decides to press charges, it’s good to know the statistics.
According to Rainn.org, “Out of every 1000 instances of rape, only 13 cases get referred to a prosecutor, and only 7 cases will lead to a felony conviction.”

Does this mean a person shouldn’t seek justice for their assault? Of course not. However, a victim must go into the process with this information.

A victim should consider the outcome if the state presses charges.

The State Isn’t Moving Forward with the Charges

There is no guarantee a guilty verdict will occur if a case gets prosecuted. Sometimes there’s difficulty proving a case, because of minimal evidence, an unidentifiable perpetrator or other issues. For these reasons, the state can decide to not press charges.

The State Is Moving Forward with the Charges

If the state believes there is enough evidence to pursue a conviction, they can press charges. But the victim must understand what awaits her or him.
Sexual assault cases can get resolved through a plea bargain or go to trial.

A plea bargain occurs when the prosecutor and the perpetrator’s lawyer agree the perpetrator will plead guilty to the charges. In exchange for the guilty plea, there’s often a lighter sentence. By agreeing to a plea bargain, deal the victim doesn’t need to testify.

If the case goes to trial, prepare to testify. Your attorney will help you prep for sitting on the witness stand. But understand you will discuss details of the assault which can make you feel uncomfortable.

Consider getting therapy to cope and heal from your traumatic experience. Having a strong support system in place is crucial while dealing with the aftermath of a crime.

For information on victim protection laws for your state, please visit the Office for Victims of Crime website.

Speak with Legal Counsel

Victims should consult with the prosecutor. The prosecutor knows the steps of a criminal defense case. He or she will explain the laws, discuss the evidence, and answer any further questions the victim asks.

If you or someone you know gets accused of a sexual assault, speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney is key. A criminal defense lawyer will use their expertise to fight for you.

Are You Ready?

Learning the steps of how to report sexual assault is important. Whether you or a loved one has been assaulted, knowing how to help the victim shows support.

If you need legal representation, please use our free directory to search for an attorney in your area.

image
10 months 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.

image
10 months 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.

image
10 months 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? and what is litigation?

what is litigation

Litigation Lawyers

What is Litigation?

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 and all are about what is litigation.

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, what is litigation, and 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 for what is litigation.

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 –  what is litigation and the 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 what is litigation and 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.

image
11 months ago Laws

Owens Corning Clearing Up Most of Its Asbestos Cases

Asbestos has been harming people for decades. Every year thousands fall ill or die due to too much asbestos exposure. Companies liked to use it because of its versatility, however, it is extremely harmful to people. Most companies stopped using the mineral and paid settlements to thousands of consumers who became ill. As more research has been done more cases have been filed with the Owens Corning asbestos trust.

Owens Corning which is based in Toledo, OH was the last holdout. In other words, they had refused to pay out any settlements to their victims. But, recently they’ve decided to settle almost 200,000 cases. Owens Corning builds products and is most well known for the pink fiberglass insulation which is used to insulate homes and other buildings. 

That adds up to about 90 percent of Owens Corning’s’ pending cases. The settlement will total 1.2 billion dollars.  However, the plaintiffs are exactly getting rich off of it. After the lawyers get paid each person who had a claim settled will only get an average of 4,600 dollars. There are over 50 law firms involved in the suit so that’s where the majority of the money is going. Owens Corning stock is currently at about $36 per share. 

The company last sold its asbestos addled Kaylo piping in 1972. However, there are still new cases coming to light and lawyers expect that trend to continue. Attorneys who have plaintiffs who didn’t take the settlement say Owens Corning will face many years of litigation.

According to Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, who works at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, nearly 300,000 people will have lost their lives to asbestos-related symptoms by the year 2030. That’s almost 100 years after the very first asbestos case was found. The Mount Sinai School of Medicine is the top authority when it comes to asbestos and the related sicknesses it produces.  

Between the years 1958 and 1972, the company sold 135 million dollars worth of Kaylo pipe. According to their chief executive, Glen Hiner the company will likely pay out $5 billion in claims before it’s all said and done. Hineer states that his company made maybe 1 percent of its products using asbestos.

According to the lawyers of the plaintiffs, Kaylo was the main cause of the dust at construction sites which causes mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an extremely deadly form of cancer. The dust also causes asbestosis and lung cancer. This prevents the lungs from taking oxygen into the bloodstream and releasing carbon dioxide.  

The editor for Asbestos Litigation Reporter from Wayne, PA Thomas Hennessey says that juries were harder on Owens Corning because for so many years they refused to settle any claims. Hiner says they changed their policy in January and are now allowing settlements to happen.

image

The most important US supreme court rulings affecting 2019

The year has been a long one, and just like with any year, has been marked with some incredibly serious decisions and rulings made by the supreme court. These decisions will be affecting the US in many ways in the coming years, defining how the politics within the country are conducted and whether certain industries still get to exist in the near future within the country. We will not be discussing the effects of the legislation in detail, as we believe that would warrant a much deeper and longer discussion with a whole lot of detail to consider, which might turn out the be a little out of the scope of this article. Instead, we are going to conduct a brief overview and a quick summary of what effect the ruling might be having on the US in the near future and what has been either avoided or caused by the ruling. The goal of the article is to create a quick cheat sheet that would allow you to remain aware of the important happenings in the legal world of the United States.

Labor Unions

For the past forty years, labour unions were able to require nonunion members to pay fees to the public sector union, well up until the 2018 supreme court ruling that they did not have to do so. This precedent has overturned the past 40 years of what has been accepted, as a result of it being viewed as unconstitutional by the supreme court. The immediate results of the ruling were the loss of about 98% of all contributing members by the unions in the affected states, something that has been thought of as a decisive loss by all unions, as they considered how they might be losing the power they had held previously in the public sector, and protecting their constitutes.

Sports Betting

In 2018, the supreme court also decided in favour of allowing the Sports betting industry and websites to continue operating within the country, resulting in it being legal to wager in most of the states within the country. This paves the way for the changing attitudes towards industries related to wagering, which is something that has been highly anticipated by companies within the country for many years. If wagering is not banned by the Supreme court, there might be a chance for the gambling ban to be lifted, federally, across the majority of US states, and thus those who want to play roulette online in the US might be given the chance to do so. Although what might happen, in this case, is a far cry from what is actually happening right now, and so far, the only thing known for sure is that the states get to decide whether wagering will be legal within them or not.

Travel Ban

The travel ban was one of the most controversial decisions made by the current US president. What has seemingly been even more controversial is the fact that the decision was upheld by the US supreme court as constitutional. This has resulted in the fact that a number of citizens from specific countries are now unable to travel to and from certain Muslim countries around the world. The topic remains a subject of heated debates across partisan lines, but it seems that the Supreme Cout’s decision has put a pin in the matter, for now. What happens in the near future regarding this decision by the president and by the supreme court remains to be seen.

Partisan Gerrymandering

Partisan gerrymandering allows senators and ruling parties of states to draw voting lines across their states which would benefit them more. It has been blamed for the victory that the Republicans have enjoyed in several states, while many have stated that such victories would not have been possible if not for gerrymandering. The supreme court had two rulings to make in 2018, one regarding a voting lines issue in Republican Wisconsin and one in democratic Maryland. The court sent the Wisconsin issue back to state level while taking the time to vote the Maryland voting lines to be constitutional. There are those who think that this is precedent that will allow gerrymandering to continue and result in many states still being lost to Republicans in the future, causing similar cases to be brought in front of the court in the near future.

Newsletter
Location

© Copyright 2019 Halt Law Directory | Connecting Attorneys with Clients in Need. All rights reserved.