Legal Insights

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Who is Responsible?

    When someone is injured as a result of a slip and fall accident-whether it happens on private property, such as a neighbor's home, or public property, such as a public park-the property owner may be legally responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. Was the property owner negligent? Usually, slip and fall cases are determined based on a theory of negligence. Negligence is a legal theory which, broadly speaking, says that people are required to act with care. People who act carel...
  • Making A Citizen's Arrest

    Under certain circumstances and situations, private individuals have the power to make an arrest without a warrant. These types of arrests are known as "citizen's arrests" and occur when private citizens either detain criminals themselves or direct police officers to detain a criminal. Though legal, citizens are largely discouraged from making these types of arrests and to leave law enforcement to the professionals; therefore, laws in almost all states afford less protection to private citi...
  • Does Your Small Business Have a Succession Plan?

    You’ve worked hard to establish and build your small business. But what happens to your business if something happens to you? Who will take over if you become incapacitated or die? Don’t make the all-too-common mistake small business owners make by failing to plan for the succession of your business. Why You Need a Succession Plan If you want your business to continue on after you, you need to plan for the continuation of the business with a succession plan. Planning can help ensure t...
  • Driving Under the Influence: Chemical Tests and Officer Observations

    Every state has laws against driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And while each state’s rules can vary in the amount of alcohol or other controlled substance in your system that qualifies as impaired and the penalties imposed, there are some basics that apply universally across all state borders.    Every state in the U.S. has what are known as “implied consent” laws. This means that by driving a vehicle, you automatically consent to a chemical test if the...
  • 7 Employee Handbook Mistakes to Avoid

    Employee Handbooks can be useful tools for employers and employees alike (see our article, Do You Need an Employee Handbook?), but if not prepared properly, an employee handbook sometimes do more harm than good, since poorly drafted handbooks can create additional, unintended obligations on the part of the employer that the employer doesn’t know it needs to satisfy.  Not Customizing  Your employee handbook should reflect your company’s unique culture, circumstances, and work...
  • The Basics of Reverse Mortgage

    In recent years there has been an influx of online and television commercials advertising reverse mortgages. These advertisements are generally geared towards senior citizens. A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner who is at least 62 years old to use the equity in their home to obtain a loan that does not have to be repaid until the homeowner moves, sells their home, or dies. Reverse mortgages may be a good option for seniors when selling the home may not be profitable or there is a need for ...
  • What To Do If You Miss A Mortgage Payment

    Tough financial times can happen to anyone, anytime. Even during financially difficult times, one of the last things you want to do is miss a mortgage payment. While not the end of the world, especially if you quickly become current on your payments, missing mortgage payments can have long-term impacts on your credit, homeownership, and your overall financial health. Before you miss a mortgage payment, here are some things to keep in mind.  Loan Modification A mortgage loan modific...
  • What to Do if Your Credit Card or Personal Information is Compromised

    Extra pounds and large credit card bills aren’t the only post-holiday headaches you may experience this year. The volume of holiday transactions and the popularity of online purchasing often leads to a rise in credit card and other personal information theft. If your personal information has been compromised, take steps to protect your information and your legal rights. Cancel Cards and Report Unauthorized Charges Federal laws, including the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Truth in Lend...
  • I’m Being Kept from My Grandchildren: What Are My Legal Rights?

    When families break apart, whether through death, divorce, or other factors, such as substance abuse, it can be painful for everyone involved. As a grandparent, you may feel that you have been left standing on the sidelines, with little control over what happens, including the ability to spend time with your grandchildren. But if you are being prevented from seeing your grandchildren, you may have some legal recourse through the court system. What Are “Grandparents’ Rights?” Just as...
  • The Basics of Estate Administration

    When a person dies, all of the decedent’s possessions, including real estate, cars, money, stocks, personal belongings, etc. (the “estate”) must be collected, managed, and distributed. Estate administration is the process of managing the estate, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs of the estate. Below are the basics on estate administration, including what it means to be an executor of an estate, and how a person’s assets are distributed...
  • What Is Included in a Residential Lease Agreement

    Whether you are renting a small apartment or a single family home, it is a good idea to ensure that you have a written lease agreement in place to memorialize the obligations and responsibilities of both you and your landlord. Sometimes, such as when renting in an apartment complex or from a large commercial landlord, the terms of the lease agreement will be non-negotiable. If you want to rent the apartment, you will be stuck with the lease the way the landlord has prepared it. But other tim...
  • Proving Causation and Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case

    To prove a case of medical malpractice against a doctor or medical facility, first, you will have to prove that the medical provider was negligent (see our related post, Establishing Medical Malpractice). But you will also have to show that the malpractice caused your illness or injury and that you suffered harm (damages) as a result. This post explores these last two elements. Malpractice causation Just because a doctor or medical facility was negligent does not necessarily mean that you ...
  • Living Wills & Advance Health Care Directives

    With advances in modern medicine and science, people today are living longer than ever. Despite these advances, the likelihood of experiencing health-related challenges increase with age, and many people are not able to express their wishes for their own care as they approach the end of their lives. In those cases, someone must make medical-related decisions for the incapacitated person. Living wills and advance health care directives allow you to express your medical-related wishes in the ...
  • How to Generate New Business with Webcasts

    Whether you are going out on your own or have an established practice, it’s always important to concentrate efforts on finding and developing new business. From content marketing to social media to email, there are many different ways to reach potential new clients, each varying in effort, cost, and value. Today, we would like to share a high-effort, high-value marketing tactic to consider for your legal marketing playbook: webcasts.  Why Webcast? While it’s likely you’ve attende...
  • Auto Repair Gone Wrong

      To be a car owner will almost inevitably mean you will need auto repairs at some point. Although a necessity, auto repairs are an expensive part of car ownership, and finding an honest, fair, and affordable mechanic or auto body shop can be a daunting task. When you bring your car to an mechanic for repairs, you enter into a contractual relationship. If your mechanic violates the terms of your agreement, they may be liable for damages. It is difficult for some consumers to identify m...
  • Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

    At its most basic, a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement signed before two people are married setting out how the assets of the parties will be divided in the event of a divorce. Each state has its own laws governing the division of property in the event of a divorce. By signing a prenuptial agreement, the parties agree to a different division of property than the law alone would provide. What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cover? When the parties end a marriage, the court lo...
  • Checklist for Starting a Law Practice (Part 2)

    Starting your own law practice can seem daunting. What follows serves as part two of a two-part “checklist” that can serve as a basic guide for launching your own practice. In Part 1, we covered certain tasks, including identifying practice areas, selecting an organizational structure, managing finances, and developing clients. In Part 2, we cover additional tasks, including implementing systems and procedures, incorporating technology, selecting office space, hiring staff, and marketi...
  • Checklist for Starting a Law Practice (Part 1)

    Starting your own law practice can be overwhelming. What follows serves as a two-part “checklist” that can serve as a basic guide for striking out on your own. In Part 1, we’ll cover identifying practice areas, selecting an organizational structure, managing finances, and developing clients. Identify Practice Areas First, you’ll want to identify the areas of law you want to focus on, and in doing so, should consider your strengths and weaknesses, so you pick the best fit. The sk...
  • What to Do If You’re Facing Deportation

    Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen can be deported or removed from the U.S. regardless of their green card or permanent residence status. An immigrant’s right to be in the U.S. is conditioned on certain rules and avoiding certain types of legal violations. It is an immigrant’s worst nightmare to receive a notice to appear in removal proceedings, potentially facing deportation. While this matter can be very intimidating, it’s important that you don’t ignore or run from the proceedings...
  • Domestic Adoption: Requirements to Adopt in the United States

    For many, the choice to add to their family is a joyous and exciting time. For various reasons, adoption may be the best choice available for families who would like to have children. Adoption is a process in which an individual, in most cases a child, becomes a permanent and legal member of another family. Specific eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but in most cases, eligibility is determined based on several factors. Most people are eligible to adopt, regardless of thei...