Legal Insights

  • The Basics of Medical Malpractice

    Having to undergo a medical procedure or receive medical treatment can be a nerve-racking experience, and there is always an expectation that the doctors, nurses, staff, and facilities involved will render the appropriate care. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical practitioner deviates from the appropriate standard of care in treating a patient, which causes injury or damages to the patient. There is, however, a lot more to a viable medical malpractice claim than simply a mistake on t...
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Managing Punishment & Penalties

    It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle impaired by drugs or alcohol. The name of the specific offense may vary from state to state, but typically it is driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). The ramifications, consequences, and penalties are serious. Pleading guilty to or a conviction for driving impaired can lead to jail time, fines, license suspension, steep monetary penalties, and driver education and rehabilitation programs. Knowing what to do a...
  • Will Versus Living Trust: Understanding Estate Planning Options

    Estate planning is an important process that should be taken seriously. Estate planning ensures that your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes upon your death, and can also address other important decisions, like who is going to care for your minor. Despite the importance of estate planning, over 70% of American adults do not have an estate plan. When estate planning, it is important to know the difference between the different legal documents that are available to ...
  • What to Do If You Are Audited By the IRS

    For the average taxpayer, the chances of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service are not very high; however, if you receive an audit letter from the IRS, it should be taken very seriously. Below are the basics of IRS audits and some tips to prepare for them. What is an IRS audit? According to the IRS, an audit is “a review/examination of an organization’s or individual’s accounts and financial information to ensure information is being reported correctly, according to the tax law...
  • What Is An Exempt Employee and How Does Exemption Affect Pay?

    The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and be given overtime pay at one and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over forty hours in a workweek. But employees that are considered executive, administrative, or professional employees, as well as some outside sales and computer employees, are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards ...
  • Trees and Neighbors: Who is Responsible?

    Homeowners often confront a number of legal issues associated with home ownership, and a common one includes the maintenance of, and responsibility for, trees. When an issue arises with a neighbor’s tree, such as a tree falling on to your property or roots damaging your foundation, your best bet is to speak with the neighbor to determine whether you can come to some agreement about how to handle the situation. But if a compromise is impossible or the neighbor refuses to take responsibili...
  • Attorney Marketing: Effectively Using AdWords

    If you have a law practice, you’re always looking for new ways to reach potential clients, gain an edge on your competition, and see your hard work pay off. Part of this strategy undoubtedly includes increasing your online visibility and presence. Search Engine Advertising: A Common Way for Attorneys to Get Found Online One of the most common tactics that attorneys use to raise awareness regarding their practice is advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. The idea is simple, ...
  • Workers’ Compensation Basics

    According to the Hartford Insurance Company’s analysis of claims data, there is a fifty percent chance that a small business will experience a workplace injury claim in the next ten years. That is to say that workplace injuries can occur in any type of business, at any time. Just because your business is not an inherently dangerous one does not mean that your employees cannot and will not get hurt on the job. The Hartford study revealed that the most common injuries in small business are...
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Obtaining and Maintaining 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

    Most nonprofit organizations are established for charitable purposes pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. After you have incorporated your nonprofit organization, obtaining federal tax-exempt status is a critical next step in forming a nonprofit organization. Obtaining tax-exempt status comes with significant benefits, including paying no federal, state or local income tax, receiving donations, qualifying for special grants and government funding, and potentially enti...
  • Advertising Your Business Using Endorsements and Testimonials

    Endorsements and testimonials can be some of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools for any small business; these tools provide “impartial” third party support for a product or service by actual consumers who have used the product or done business with the company.  Studies have shown that consumers not only read reviews and testimonials before they buy, but they often rely on them. As a result, they can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line. But they ca...
  • The Basics of Forming a Nonprofit Organization

    Identifying a need in the community, and starting a nonprofit organization with the hopes of addressing that need is an inspiring experience. Starting, building, and sustaining a nonprofit organization, however, is no easy task, typically requiring years of commitment and dedication, not only to your organization, but also, to the cause it serves. Before starting a nonprofit, it is important to know the steps involved in the process, as outlined below. What is a Nonprofit Organization? Mos...
  • Resolving Disputes with Bad Contractors

    Building a new home or remodeling an existing home can be an excellent experience and profitable investment when done properly. All construction projects experience some hiccups, but they can be a nightmare if you hire the wrong contractor. While delays and unforeseen expenses are to be somewhat expected, shoddy and defective work are not. The best way to protect yourself when taking on a construction project is to choose your contractor carefully, and enter into an unambiguous written co...
  • The Basics of International Adoption

    The decision to expand your family is a joyous and exciting one, and adoption is a great option to do just that. Increasingly, families from the U.S. are adopting children, and with the dwindling number of children available for adoption in the U.S., more and more families in the U.S. are adopting children from other countries. The process for adopting internationally varies greatly depending on the country where the child lives, the state in which the prospective adoptive parent(s) live, ...
  • A Law Firm’s Guide to Choosing a Law Practice Management Software

    Every practicing attorney has been frustrated with all the time wasted on non-legal tasks, such as scheduling, managing calendar entries, and other, time-consuming, administrative tasks. Enter law today’s practice management software.    According to a recent Above the Law article, author Robert Ambrogi took a look at ten reasons practice management software is important--a few notable reasons include significant reductions to salaries and overhead (more than $40,000 for the ave...
  • Business Bankruptcy – Which Type is Right for Your Business?

    If your small business is overwhelmed by debt, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy you choose will depend on the type of business, the business structure, the amount of your business debt, the assets owned by the business, and whether you would like to continue running the business after filing bankruptcy. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the assets of the business are sold by the bankruptcy trustee to pay down the debts owed by the business...
  • Creating a Viable Business Plan

    A business plan is an important step to take when starting a business, and essentially describes what your business plans to do and how it plans to do it. A well-written business plan serves not only as a blueprint for your company’s future operations, but is vital in acquiring financing and/or capital.  Below are some tips for preparing a viable business plan. What Makes a Business Plan Viable? A business plan accounts for commercial needs and financial realities in relation to your...
  • Legal Issues When Buying a Home—Part 2

    Your home will likely be the largest purchase of your lifetime, and you’ll want to ensure you’re legally protected throughout the process. Part 1 of this series covered obtaining your mortgage, making an offer, and entering into the contract of sale. Part 2 touches on the final steps in your home-buying experience: inspecting the property, going through a title search, and attending the closing. Inspecting the Property Once the offer has been accepted by the seller (or the contract h...
  • Legal Issues When Buying a Home—Part 1

    There is a lot to consider when buying a home, including purchase price, neighborhood, mortgage and interest rates, closing costs, homeowner’s insurance, and more. As a homebuyer, you should also be aware of the legal issues that may arise. This two-part series will take you through the home-buying process, educating you on the legal issues that you will encounter along the way. Obtaining a Mortgage Although you can’t obtain a mortgage before you’ve found a home to buy, you can cont...
  • Prenuptial Agreements: To Sign or Not to Sign?

    A difficult decision engaged couples will have to make is whether or not to sign a prenuptial agreement. Any individual who brings significant assets into a marriage can benefit from a prenuptial agreement; however beginning a marriage with divorce in mind can lay the foundation for a relationship with a lack of trust. The fact of the matter is that marriage is not only a romantic endeavor, but also a business partnership, and a prenuptial agreement can be useful to protect each spouse’s f...
  • Buying a New or Used Car: Lemon Laws & Car Buyer Protections

    A lot of research and planning goes into finding the perfect car. Whether new or used, it feels good when you find the car that meets all of your needs and fits into your budget. But what happens if you purchase a lemon? Here are some things to consider when buying a new and used car, and what to do if your car turns out to be a lemon. New Cars A “lemon” is any new vehicle that has a substantial problem that isn’t fixed within a reasonable number of attempts, or that has had a cer...