Legal Insights

  • Why Attorneys Should Rethink Their Practice Areas Pages in 2018

    If you’re at a social gathering and someone from outside the legal world asks what you do, you can usually get away with “I’m an attorney.” They might ask what kind of law you practice, if you work at a big or small firm, and a few other icebreakers regarding your job, but that’s about as far as a conversation will go before their eyes glaze over.  The exact opposite scenario occurs when someone needs to hire an attorney. Scrolling through dozens of websites, many of which loo...
  • Is an Employer Required to Pay for Training?

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers in the United States are required to pay their non-exempt employees for all hours worked. But what does that mean? Does it include time spent in meetings, seminars, or training?  The determination of whether the employer is required to pay for time an employee spends in seminars, training or meetings is based on four factors: 1. The employer requires the employee to attend the training;2. The training is related to the performance of...
  • Protecting Against a Will Contest

    You create a will because you want to have control over what happens to your property and other assets after you die, and to provide for your spouse, children, and other heirs. But executing a will doesn’t necessarily prevent your heirs – or others who have been excluded from your will – from contesting the will in court.  Will contests can arise when an heir believes they have not received their rightful share, where you have decided to disinherit someone who was an heir under a ...
  • What is Parental Alienation and What Can You Do About It?

    Parental alienation occurs when one parent intentionally attempts to damage a child’s relationship with the other parent or manipulate the child to reject, fear, or express hostility toward the other parent. Parental alienation most often occurs when the parents separate or divorce, although it can occasionally occur when parents are still together. Actions that can be considered parental alienation include: - Badmouthing the other parent to the child- Listening in or monitoring phone or ...
  • Why Attorneys Need to Guest Blog

    For the last decade, there has been a consistent stream of rumors about the death of guest blogging as a tactic for attorneys looking to increase their online presence, drive traffic to their website, and increase search traffic. These rumors came from all sides, ranging from the marketing agencies focused on selling you a complete website redesign, to the public relations firm trying to convince you that their services were the only way to go, all the way up to the former head of Google’s...
  • What happens when you have a judgment against you?

    Judgments are obtained when a creditor or other injured or aggrieved party brings a lawsuit against you and either: 1) you fail to answer or appear in the case, resulting in a default, or 2) you respond to the suit but lose in court. What are your options if you have a judgment against you? If a default judgment is issued against you, you may be able to have the judgment vacated or set aside. In order to vacate a judgment against you in most states, you must show that you were not properly...
  • Questions to Ask When Negotiating A Commercial Lease Agreement

    Commercial leases are very different from residential leases. They are not governed by the same laws, and are not as tightly controlled. Commercial lease agreements are typically drafted by the landlord and include terms favorable to the landlord, but there is usually more room for negotiation with a commercial lease than with a residential lease. For example, you may be able to negotiate a longer-term agreement for special rates, for the landlord to build out the space to your specification...
  • Modifying or Enforcing Spousal Maintenance

    Sometimes, the circumstances that existed at the time of a divorce and initial award of spousal support change after the divorce has been finalized. These changes can impact the paying spouse’s ability or willingness to make regular support payments. Below are some tips for dealing with those issues when they arise. Enforcement of an existing spousal support order or agreement If the paying spouse refuses to pay spousal support pursuant to a divorce agreement or spousal maintenance ord...
  • You’ve Gotten a Judgment – How Do You Collect?

    When you win a judgment, whether at trial or as a result of the opposing party’s failure to respond to a lawsuit, there is no guarantee that the opposing party will voluntarily pay the judgment or that you will be able to collect. In some cases, the person you got the judgment against—now called the judgment debtor—will have insurance coverage to cover the lawsuit or will have assets available to pay. Other times, the judgment debtor may refuse to pay the judgment or may not have suff...
  • What You Need to Know About No-Fault Insurance

    Several states in the U.S. are what is known as “no-fault” states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. In those states, regardless of who is at fault, your own insurance company pays you for most types of personal injuries and damages that result from an automobile accident, up to the limits of your no-fault insurance policy. Because your own insurance company pays you directly for in...
  • Understanding Spousal Support or Maintenance

    Spousal support or maintenance (which can also be called alimony in some states) is money paid from one spouse to another after a divorce to help support the non-paying spouse. It can be awarded by the court in a divorce action or can be part of a divorce or separation agreement between the spouses. The purpose of these payments is specifically to provide an income for a non-wage-earning spouse or a lower-income spouse to balance economic inequities that may arise as a result of a divorce.&n...
  • What to Do After a Car Accident

    If you’ve been in a car accident, first and foremost, you should obtain medical help for you or anyone else who is injured in the accident. But even if there are no apparent injuries at the scene, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself in case of a future lawsuit. At the scene of the accident First, even if the accident is minor, but especially if there is damage to any of the vehicles involved, or to adjacent property (trees, poles, buildings, etc.), you should cal...
  • Why Small Businesses Need Written Contracts

    Do I really need a written contract? Don’t make the mistake of operating your business without appropriate written contracts. By law, some contracts must be in writing to be enforceable, including, in most cases, contracts for the purchase of real estate. In other words, if you have an agreement with another business and they fail to perform their obligations, you cannot take them to court to recover damages or force the other party to comply if your agreement is not in writing.  E...
  • What is the Difference Between Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts?

    Trusts are tools that can be used as part of your estate planning process to help you minimize taxes and maximize the amount of your estate left to your heirs. There are different kinds of trusts, and it is important to know the differences between them, how and why they are used, and the tax consequences of each.  There are many different types of trusts, but they all fall into two broad categories, revocable and irrevocable trusts. What is a trust? Before deciding which type of tr...
  • How To Know if You Should Declare Bankruptcy

    The decision to declare bankruptcy isn’t one to be taken lightly. It can be a way to get out from under crushing debt so you can move on and get a fresh start financially, but it can also have negative long-term consequences. Not all bankruptcies are the same, and bankruptcy isn’t right for everyone.  Any one or a combination of the following factors could make you a good candidate to file for bankruptcy: - You are underwater on a mortgage and are concerned about foreclosure or los...
  • How Much Can I Expect to Get for My Car Accident Claim?

    If you are injured in a car accident, there are several types of damages that you may be able to recover depending on the circumstances, who is responsible for causing the incident, and other factors. Most claims are resolved before a lawsuit is filed, and those claims that result in lawsuits are often settled out of court before trial. Here is an overview of the types of damages you may receive as a result of a car accident settlement or verdict. Property Damage Receiving payment for v...
  • Preparing For and Recovering on a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

    Your home is likely your largest and most valuable asset, so it makes sense to want to protect it with homeowner’s insurance, but you also want to make sure you are getting the most for your homeowner’s insurance dollars—especially when it comes to making and recovering on a claim. Below are some basics on homeowner’s insurance and recovering on a homeowner’s insurance claim. What Kind of Coverage and How Much? The coverage on your home should be sufficient to allow you to rebu...
  • What Happens When A Beneficiary Can’t Manage Their Social Security Benefits?

    Social Security or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits help many senior citizens and persons with disabilities pay their bills and manage their own care. But if the person receiving those benefits (the “beneficiary”) is a minor, becomes incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to manage their own payments, the benefits can be disrupted. The Social Security Administration has strict rules about who can manage Social Security and SSI payments. Even a Durable Power of Attorney executed...
  • Residential Rentals: Who Must Maintain?

    Renting a home eliminates some of the headaches or home ownership, like property taxes, but it comes with its own challenges. For example, as a renter, you may be restricted in the changes that you can make to the home or apartment, including restrictions on changing paint colors or affixing things to the wall. And when something goes wrong or needs to be repaired or replaced, it can be confusing to figure out who is responsible for fixing it. Whose responsibility is it? The landlord is g...
  • Protect Your Small Business with Buy-Sell Agreements and Life Insurance

    Small business partners are often so focused on running their day to day operations and acquiring new business that they forget to plan for the future. But having a succession plan is the key to a healthy long-term future for any small business, and is invaluable in the event that one of the partners wants to leave the business, becomes incapacitated, or dies.  Two elements of a succession plan that can help protect the future of the business and the remaining partners are buy-sell agre...