Legal Insights

  • Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

    No matter how many books or movies deal with the subject of death, nothing can really prepare you for the passing of a loved one. No matter how important someone may have been to you, you can only sue for wrongful death if you are an immediate family member of the decedent or if you were financially dependent upon them.Spouses, children, and parents may sue for wrongful death and so may dependent blood relatives and dependent adoptive siblings. Life partners, close friends, and other relativ...
  • Are All Felonies Federal Crimes?

    A felony can be either committed at the federal level or state level, and it is possible to commit a crime that is considered both. A felony is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit to another person or property. If convicted of a felony, you will face jail time, heavy fines, and a few permanent restrictions of freedom. Federal felonies are defined by the government as having punishments that last at least a year. Almost all over “lesser” crimes, which include temporary puni...
  • What Is Considered Personal Use of Drugs?

    Federal and state laws prohibit the possession and sale of illegal controlled substances such as cocaine, “club” drugs, heroin, LSD, marijuana, and methamphetamine. You can also be charged if you are in possession of accessories used for making or consuming drugs, such as pipes or rolling papers.  The Controlled Substances Act  Signed in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, this federal statute regulates the manufacturing and distribution of controlled substances such as narcoti...
  • 3 Myths About Personal Injury Cases

    When someone suffers a personal injury, they will have a lot of questions about what comes next. They will wonder how much the medical bills will cost, how they will make up for any lost wages, and how long the injury will last, among other concerns. A personal injury case is the answer to many of those questions because it can provide you with the compensation you need to take care of any medical expenses and to recoup lost wages.Since personal injury cases are so important, you will want a...
  • Do I have to be a certain age to file for bankruptcy?

    When you first start to consider the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, many thoughts go through your mind. You may start by feeling scared, almost lost in a maze that doesn’t seem to have an ending. You may feel uncertain as to how to proceed because you are sure no one else that you know has ever done it and therefore there is no one that you can talk to in confidence about your critical financial situation. And if you through your age into the mix, you may truly start feeling terrifi...
  • What Is Criminal Negligence?

    Most people know what criminal intent is from movies and television. The majority of crimes committed are intentional, with one actor intentionally using force or coercion against someone and/or their will. Recklessness, however, is a different reason for a crime having been committed. In criminal negligence cases, there was a known understanding that the plaintiff was in the care of the defendant, and was also aware of the substantial amount of harm that could come to the person. To prove c...
  • How to Use LinkedIn to Get More Referrals

    Most lawyers have a profile on LinkedIn, but how many know how to use LinkedIn to generate more referrals for their practice? Create a Complete and Accurate LinkedIn Profile The first step in getting referrals through LinkedIn is your profile. Your LinkedIn profile is more than just an online resume. Use an up-to-date, professional photograph on your LinkedIn profile. Include both your practice areas as well as some indication that you are lawyer in your LinkedIn headline.  Make sur...
  • All About Security Deposits

    A security deposit is money the tenant gives the landlord at the beginning of the lease term to reduce the landlord’s risk that the tenant will not cover some of the tenant’s obligations under the lease agreement. Most residential landlords will require tenants to put down a security deposit when the lease agreement is signed.   Each state has its own laws governing residential real estate agreements and security deposits, but in general, a security deposit may be taken by the landl...
  • Transferring Assets to a Minor: UTMA or Trust?

    There are many circumstances under which minors might acquire or inherit property before they become adults. But what is the best way to transfer that property to a minor? Two options include using the UTMA and creating a trust. The UTMA The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) is a model law created by legal scholars that permits you to name a custodian to manage property that you leave to a minor. Almost every state in the United States has adopted some form of the UTMA. Under the UT...
  • Special Rules for Suing a Municipality

    Did you know that if you have a claim against a municipality (a governmental entity, such as a city, state, town, or village), there are special rules that apply? And if you don’t follow those rules, you may jeopardize your ability to bring a lawsuit or to be compensated for your injuries or damages, regardless of how badly injured you are or how egregious the behavior of the municipality is. Let’s go through some of the rules that might apply if you have been injured or damaged by a sta...
  • Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders

    Orders of protection and restraining orders are both orders issued by a court against a person who has been accused of stalking, harassing, or threatening violence against another person as a means to keep the other party away from the alleged victim. Sometimes they can also be issued as a preventative measure before any act has taken place. An order of protection is a kind of restraining order issued either by a criminal court or by a family court and is most often issued to protect victims...
  • Understanding Attorney’s Fees

    How attorneys charge their clients can be confusing, especially if you have never had any contact with the legal system before. Although all attorneys are required by the rules of professional conduct to charge “reasonable” fees, these fees can vary widely by geographical area or the type of legal matter, as well as the complexity of the matter, the experience of the attorney, and other factors. Sometimes the choice of how to charge fees is left to the lawyer, but in other cases, the man...
  • Social Security Disability: SSDI vs. SSI

    The Social Security Administration oversees two types of federal disability benefits, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Both programs set standards for how an individual is determined to be disabled and provide some income replacement for those individuals, but each program has different rules for eligibility.  To qualify for either SSDI or SSI, you must be considered totally disabled. You cannot receive benefits...
  • Will I Be Released After My Arraignment?

    The arraignment is the first court hearing that occurs after an arrest, when the defendant is advised of the charges against him or her and enters his or her initial plea. (You can read more about what happens at an arraignment here).   If you have been arrested, after the plea is entered at your arraignment, the court must decide whether you will remain in custody or be released until the next scheduled court hearing, and if release is granted, whether there will be conditions placed o...
  • Are “Private” Social Media Posts Discoverable in Litigation?

    Many people are aware that anything they post publicly to a social media account is “fair game” in litigation because the information can be easily obtained and is readily available on the internet. But what most believe is that even information that they think is “private,” including posts whose visibility is limited only to specific audiences, or “private” messages sent through social media channels, cannot be the subject of discovery. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Pu...
  • What Happens at an Arraignment?

    What is an Arraignment? The arraignment is the first court hearing that occurs after an arrest, when the defendant is advised of the charges against him or her and enters his or her initial plea.  Arraignments may be conducted differently depending upon the state where the arrest is made. For example, in some states, an arraignment hearing can be held for any charge that could carry jail or prison time, while in other states, an arraignment is only held if the defendant is being charge...
  • Easements 101

    An easement is a legal right to enter into or use real property (or a portion of it) for a specific purpose. Easements do not create ownership or possessory rights in the property, but merely a right to use or enter onto the property.In real estate law, any interest in land is known as an “estate.” The property over which the easement is being granted is called the “servient estate,” because the rights of the property owner are encumbered or restricted by the easement, which cannot l...
  • What Is a Civil Union or Domestic Partnership and How Does It Differ from Marriage?

    Civil unions and domestic partnerships are legal relationships between two people who are not married, but they are not recognized in all states. In most cases, civil unions or domestic partnerships became legally recognized largely for same-sex couples who were unable to legally marry. Over time, many states evolved from recognizing same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships to permitting same-sex couples to marry.  Same-sex marriage became legal throughout the United States in 201...
  • Marketing Your Law Firm: Planning Your Content

    When it comes to drawing in new clients, few things have shown as much promise for attorneys as content marketing—a practice in which you provide helpful content for potential clients through blogging, visual content, video, social media and more. Unfortunately, many attorneys miss the point of content marketing, creating “content for the sake of content.” Unfortunately, this lack of direction fails to deliver the traffic, leads, or clients that an attorney expects, resulting in dead b...
  • How Notice Requirements Affect Your Slip and Fall Case

    If you get injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, one of the issues that will likely come into play in any lawsuit or settlement negotiation is the issue of notice. What Does it Mean to Have Notice in a Slip and Fall Case? To get compensated for your injuries in a slip and fall case, you usually have to prove that the property owner was negligent. That can mean that the property owner negligently created the condition that caused you to fall, the property owner ...