Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hiring a Professional, Skilled and Trustworthy Criminal Defense Lawyer is Your Best Defense Option

It is highly recommended that the best time to get the best defense opportunities when facing criminal charges are during the early stages of the case, most especially when the charges are just about to be filed. For instances, just after your arrest, you have the best chances and opportunities for an immediate resolution as long as you are aware of your rights and the legal remedies that are still available to you to protect your rights. If you consult a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney during these stages of the case, then you are assured that you have someone who knows his business of protecting your legal rights and the means to work out an early resolution or outright dismissal of charges.

In instances where there are gross miscues and lapses in the handling of your case, your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can expertly work an early resolution or dismissal of any criminal charges filed against you. This is accomplished by your legal counsel by conferring with the state prosecutor before any formal charges are even filed in court. Your criminal defense attorney shall cite the lapses or points of contentions which may warrant for the non-filing and dismissal of charges against you. The service of a good professional at pre-filing of case is very critical as things become more difficult after formal charges have already been filed in court. Once formal charges are filed, a new lawyer may be authorized to handle your case and prosecutors would normally prefer to see how the case can play out in a full blown court proceeding. In this particular instance, a quick resolution may not be possible.

If you are represented by a trustworthy, capable professional, you may still have a better option even if the charges have already been authorized. Your legal counsel can confer with the state prosecutor for a possible plea bargain. You are then allowed to enter a guilty plea on a lesser offense in exchange for the dropping of charges for a more serious criminal offense. In some instances, your legal counsel may even enter into agreement with the state prosecutor with regard to the recommended sentence that the prosecutor is going to make in court.

Your criminal defense attorney may also try to explore the possibility of mitigating the legal actions of the prosecutor in instances where you provide material evidence and information leading to the resolution of another more critical case. In extreme cases, your legal counsel may even work out a favorable plea bargain or when you have significantly helped in a criminal investigation the prosecutor may even agree to drop all criminal charges against you.

Even in cases which plea bargain is not allowed, an expert criminal lawyer may still have the chance to work out a plea bargain. There may be supervening reasons which can still warrant a plea bargain even in cases where it is not allow under normal circumstances. An expert and highly knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can see through even the slightest opportunity in order to provide you with the best defense when faced by serious criminal charges.

Chuck R. Stewart has been researching a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer to see if he would do a good job on one of his co-workers cases. He was very impressed with the quality of work provided by the Las Vegas criminal defense attorney he spent time with.

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Evidence's Role in Arson Investigations

It's hard for the investigators to indentify the arsonist after an incendiary fire. However, it always happens, and what should we do?

The investigators should observe the scene as soon as possible, especially for those fires in the commercial buildings. The observations and investigations during the fire play a very important role in finding out the answer. The investigator should follow the clues in the scene and the major characteristics should be recorded.

The following steps should be observed while conducting an arson investigation.

If you notice the location and direction of the flames, you could locate the source of the fire quickly. It's the first step for the investigator to locate the fire point. The wind direction and construction materials affect the fire direction. If there are two or more separate blazes in the scene, it means there are at least one fire spot.

The height and color of flames show something about the fire, and an experienced fire investigator will read some information about the fire from these two factors. Flame color change from red to yellow at different situations. The caloric value of certain substances causes them to emit a unique color during combustion. In the same way, the smoke color matters too. Fire brings about a vapor which includes minute particles of the fuel being burned. The color of this vapor, usually called smoke, can show us the nature of the burning fuel. Thick and black smoke indicates a heavy carbon fuel such as gasoline. These materials are easy for arsonist to find out on the market.

The smell at the scene can also provide evidences. Gasoline and diesel fuel smell differently. The investigator should also know the scent given off by other popular promoters such as tar or paint.

Identify and interview witnesses at the fire scene are important. You should ask the witnesses at the scene as possible because they may provide you with valuable information about the fire.

Smith Frogaman - EzineArticles Expert Author
Click to find more about Self Personal Investigation.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Miranda Warnings

When someone is in police custody and being questioned about a crime that has taken place, the police must give Miranda warnings. The right to remain silent is included in the Miranda warnings to protect a suspect from self-incrimination. You have probably heard this warning before on TV or in the movies.

Anyone who finds himself in this situation should remain silent because, as the Miranda warning states, anything you say can and will be used against you.

If you have started talking and suddenly remember your right to remain silent, stop! It is worth stressing that it is always best to exercise your right to remain silent from the start of your time in police custody. However, you can still exercise it if you happen to remember your right during the questioning. Exercising this right in Illinois, or any state, does not require any specific language. Just say that you are doing so or simply say nothing. The police must stop questioning.

"Good cop/Bad cop" doesn't just happen in the movies and it is not always dramatic. For example, if you are questioned about shoplifting, the "good cop" might tell you it is routine and try to convince you to talk. Remain silent. You have the right to remain silent and should exercise it, no matter how informal the situation may seem.

Don't forget your right regarding written statements. Your signature "speaks" for you and whatever you sign - a confession or even a simple statement - can and will be used against you.

You may have done nothing wrong and your words may seem harmless but once you have said them - verbally or in a written statement - they can still be twisted and later used against you.

After you are released from police custody, don't talk to anyone, including family members, friends or co-workers. By talking to anyone, you have instantly involved that person and he or she can all be called as a witness against you. That said, you do have attorney-client privilege with a lawyer and can speak freely with them.

If you find yourself being questioned in police custody, remain calm and simply ask to have your attorney present.

For more information on criminal laws we suggest you visit

Michael Helfand has been an Illinois attorney since 1997 and is founder of the leading resource for Illinois lawyer referrals and legal guidance.

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3 Problems With Your Next Background Check

It's no secret that background checks are now a major part of everyday society. Whenever someone applies for a job or a loan, rents an apartment, or even gets an insurance quote, chances are they will undergo a background screening. Although many people are aware of the screening, they may not be aware of what is turning up.

First, we all assume that if we've never had any brushes with the law that we won't have a criminal background. Unfortunately with modern background screening practices, this is not always the case. More and more background checks are being placed in the hands of internet databases that often contain incomplete or entirely inaccurate information. If your name is similar to someone with a criminal record, there is a chance that their history will be confused with yours. Make sure to get a copy of any checks run on your history to ensure that your background has not been compromised.

Another complication may arise with those who previously had a criminal record but have had their charges expunged through the courts. Getting your record expunged is not the same as getting it cleared from commercial databases. People may be repeatedly turned down for employment and not realize that it is due to the fact that their "erased" charges are still showing up on commercial screens.

Lastly, most people who have received a citation and paid it without ever being arrested or entering a court room will assume that they don't have a record. However, several misdemeanors require only a citation as a consequence. Paying the fine rather than going to court is an admission of guilt and therefore you will have essentially "pled guilty" to the crime and it will appear on your record accordingly.

Before your next job interview or loan application you take a moment to look into what is actually showing up on your background. As with credit checks, making an effort to educate yourself could prove to be the difference in your future.

You may reprint this article free of charge in your newsletter, magazine, or on your website, provided that the article is unedited, and that the copyright, author's bio, and contact information below appears with each article. Articles appearing on the web must provide a hyperlink to the author's web site,

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Minnesota DUI DWI Laws - A Layman's Guide

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI) can have serious consequences - not only for the victims, but often for the perpetrators of the crimes. Penalties can be as light as a minimum probation period and as much is seven years in prison with a fine of up to $14,000.

It is therefore essential to acquaint yourself the basics of Minnesota's DUI/DWI laws and penalties to ensure that you not only know your rights, but stay on the right side of the law. What Is a DUI/DWI Crime?

The law states that it is unlawful, and therefore a crime, for any person to be in control of a motor vehicle while impaired within the state of Minnesota, be it on land or on water. Impairment is defined as any one or a combination of the following:

1. Driving or being in control of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. It is important to note that there are two separate limits of blood alcohol concentration (measured as grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood, 210L of breath or 67ml of urine) that apply here:
2. Drivers of non-commercial, private, vehicles may not exceed the 0.08 blood alcohol concentration limit.
3. Those individuals who operate (control or drive) commercial vehicles are restricted to 0.04.
4. Driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance as listed in schedule I & II.
5. Driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while purposely being under the influence of a substance that affects any bodily system and/or function that could impair driving ability.

Do take note that tests for these substances are performed by analyzing breath, blood and/or urine. It is also unlawful to refuse any of these tests as consent is implicitly granted when operating, controlling or driving a motor vehicle within the boundaries of Minnesota.


After being convicted of a DUI/DWI crime in the state of Minnesota, the individual in question may be sentenced according to a classification of his or her crime. These classifications are defined by law and are often determined by accompanying aggravating factors. Said aggravating factors may include the following:

* a previous conviction for the same offense within the last ten years immediately preceding the current offense.
* having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 for up to two hours after the offense.
* having a child below the age of sixteen within the same vehicle at the same time when the offense was committed and if that child is more than 36 months younger than the offender.

The classification system works as follows:

Fourth-Degree Driving While Impaired

Description: A fourth-degree DWI offense is considered as a misdemeanor.

Penalties: Criminal penalties for a misdemeanor include a maximum jail sentence of 90 days and/or a $1,000 fine. However seeing as misdemeanors are often considered low-level crimes, the penalty may only include a period of probation and a fine.

Third-Degree Driving While Impaired

Description: Should an individual be found guilty of DWI with the accompaniment of one aggravating factor or if he or she should refuse to submit to a chemical test, it is considered a third-degree DWI offense and also a gross misdemeanor.

Penalties: For a second offense or a refusal to submit to a chemical test without any accompanying aggravating factors, the minimum penalties include a minimum period of 30 days incarceration, of which at least two should be served at a local correctional facility or eight hours community service for each day less than the minimum 30-day incarceration period. Do note that the minimum sentence may be waived by a court of law should specific conditions allow, however a sentence proportional to the crime (influenced by previous criminal convictions and moving traffic violations) will be imposed.

In addition, a court may sentence an offender to participation in an electronic alcohol monitoring program for a minimum of 30 consecutive days per year of the probationary period in the event of a stayed sentence and only if the necessary equipment is available to the court. The offender will also be liable for the costs of his or her participation in the electronic monitoring program up to an amount he or she can afford.

Second-Degree Driving While Impaired

Description:A second-degree DWI classification is defined as a DWI offense with two or more accompanying aggravating factors or a refusal to submit to a chemical test with a single accompanying aggravating factor.

Penalties: Should the offense be the second committed within ten years of a previous qualified DWI conviction, then the same penalties as above may apply. However, should it be a third DWI conviction within ten years of the first being committed or the crime of refusing to submit to a chemical test with one accompanying aggravating factor, then penalties that may apply include a minimum of 90 days incarceration of which at least 30 have to be served consecutively and/or an intense program of supervision following a period of incarceration. The court may also sentence an offender to not more than 60 days of home detention or participation in an intensive probation program. In addition, an offender may be ordered to participate in an electronic alcohol monitoring program as described under (Third-Degree Driving While Impaired).

First-Degree Driving While Impaired

Description: If a person commits a DWI offense within ten years of the first of three prior qualified DWI offenses or has previously been convicted of a first-degree driving while impaired offense or directly causes the death or at least injury to another person as a result of driving while impaired, then he or she is guilty of first-degree DWI.

Penalties: The penalties here include a maximum 7-year incarceration period and/or a maximum $14,000 fine. Factors that may influence the courts decision on sentencing depend on the amount of previous DWI convictions committed within ten years immediately preceding the current offense as well as other criminal and moving traffic violations.

**Do note that it would be unwise to use the information above as part of any legal procedure. Accurate and up to date information can be obtained from the appropriate authorities in the state of Minnesota**
Leo de Jager is an expert freelance content writer. His area of expertise is writing optimized content for search engines and people.
Visit his website The Quiet Writer.

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What You Need to Remember When You Get Caught For a DUI

They say people never learn. That is why despite the constant reminders from a lot of concerned groups to not drive after drinking, still a good number of drivers find themselves facing the DUI legal nightmare. Some may have thought that a few drinks (well, you also need to define "few") will not cause too much trouble. Of course, they thought wrong. Facing a DUI charge is a battle you would not want to find yourself in.

DUI is a serious crime in several countries. Depending on the local laws, someone who has been convicted of this offense can face penalties that range from community service, impound of vehicle, loss of driver's license, international travel restriction to job loss and jail time. It does not even end there. When you have served your penalty and have made the decision to drive again, you find that your insurance rate has increased and that you need to report to a certain government body every so often as part of your probation terms.

Cases vary, of course, depending on the severity of your offense and how well your defense was. Laws change every single time and we don't bother with most of them until we saw the need to. This is when Cincinnati DUI lawyers can help. One of the greatest mistakes anyone can do in his lifetime is not calling a Cincinnati DUI lawyer when facing a DUI charge. The law is complicated. Let's leave it to the people who understand it much better than we do.

Another big mistake is to hire DUI lawyers based on the fees that they collect. If you want to make sure you get the best defense, you need to get the best suited professional. Most lawyers charge within what is reasonable based on the complexity of the case and the experience they can offer. You need a lawyer, so make sure you get one who can really help you.

While it may help to check your options before choosing a DUI lawyer for yourself, keep in mind that the phone directory is not the best resource. Seeking the help of a few friends who can recommend efficient and experienced DUI lawyers can be a good strategy. Do not, however, try to talk to several lawyers to ask for advice and decide to handle the case on your own. Also, do not share information to other people other than your most trusted friends. Anything that you say can be taken against you.

One sure way for you not to undergo the stress of this legal battle is not to drink and drive. If you think that you really need to have a sip or two, you can always bring with you a breath analyzer alcohol test and check your alcohol level before starting the engine. This will tell you if you had more than enough; deciding how much is too much on the basis of a blushing face simply won't do. Taking this extra step of alcohol testing will not only be safe for you and other drivers and pedestrians you may come across, but it will also help you avoid any DUI charge.

Chuck R Stewart recently worked with a Cincinnati DUI Lawyer while conducting research for a new article. He learned quite a bit about the merits of hiring a great attorney when he spent a day with a small group of Cincinnati DUI Lawyers while reviewing their practices.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why Forming an LLC is a Good Idea

If you are experienced in running your business, you understand the importance of getting the correct corporate form in place. You should seek to have a structure that will not only aid long term expansion but also protect your assets. The good news - there are a lot of potential forms your business can take.

You should consider, if you have a small business, forming an LLC. Think about setting up an LLC if you have a small business. Fortunately, they are simple to create. There is little paperwork with them. Further, in many states, you won't need to file an annual report.

Also, LLC forms a business structure that can protect your personal assets. Just keep you LLC compliant and your personal property is protected.

With an LLC, you can safe guard your business name.Also, LLCs allow unlimited owners. This will help give your business growth room. Also, owners don't need to have US citizenship.

In addition, an LLC doesn't require meetings. It also needs little paperwork. And you can flow your profit and loss to your personal taxes.

Keep in mind that setting up an LLC has fees and paperwork. Also, you need to make sure you are following all city and state laws. Thus, only consider an LLC if you have a clear business plan.

Overall, an LLC is great for small business. So you should at least consider one if you are serious about your business. Remember, it can save you time and money, both of which you can invest in your business!

David is the creator of, a site dedicated to helping you with forming an LLC

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Choosing a Business Structure LLC Vs C-Corp Vs S-Corp

As promised, here is the follow-up question submitted by Jon who is debating the merits of selecting an LLC or a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation, as well as wondering where to setup such an organization.

In general, I would lean to forming an LLC because it's very easy to setup, you can do it yourself, and the fees for setting it up (not counting California) are pretty inexpensive. You gain the limited liability that you need, and you get pass through accounting for profits and losses without the "double taxation" you have with a C-Corporation.

Sounds great, right? Well in most cases, it is, and this is is why you see so many businesses setup as LLCs today. My first business was an S-Corp, which offered many of the same benefits, but this was before LLCs even existed. Since then, all of my businesses have started as LLCs. As they grew, they changed to C-Corporations for reasons I'll explain below.

Jon writes:

First off, I guess for what type of entity to setup the main issue I had originally was whether to be an S corp or LLC. It seems those 2 would be the best ways to go for my buddy as far as protecting his personal assets and the pass through taxation. LLC seems a bit more flexible than S corp, but the LLC has to pay SE taxes, where I think the S corp either doesn't (or gets to deduct them). Both LLC and S corp avoid the double taxation that a C corp would bring on, right?

LLCs vs. S-Corporations

S-Corporations are subject to many of the same record keeping and procedural requirements as C-Corporations, which is probably something you don't want to mess around with. Likewise, there are also limitations on how you share profits and losses among the shareholders. You probably don't want to mess with that, and LLCs allow you to avoid all that paperwork, and to split profits and losses however your LLC Operating Agreement dictates, regardless of actual shares held.

There are situations where you would want an S-Corp over an LLC, but those are somewhat rare and I've never seen a recent startup need to setup that way. Here again, an attorney might have good advice, but I'll say with pretty high confidence that an LLC is the way to go over an S-Corp for a startup.

Now LLC vs. C-Corporation is a different matter, and might warrant some consideration...

LLCs vs. C-Corporations

The most obvious problem with C-Corporations is that they do not offer the pass through accounting that LLCs (or S-Corps) do, meaning that the Corporation will pay tax on any profits it has, the owner will be paid with a salary just like any other employee, on which they will pay taxes, and if you make profit distributions (by means of dividends), the shareholders will be taxed on that as well. I could easily climb on my soapbox and complain how taxation of dividends is double taxation on the exact same income, and how it leads corporations to make decisions that are not in the best interest of shareholders, and how it encourages gigantic, multi-national, and anti-competitive business evolution rather than profitable, innovative, smaller entities... but THAT is for another day (and probably another blog entirely!)

But, suffice it to say that the tax code is not friendly to the C-Corporation that wants to operate and then provide profits to the shareholders. If those shareholders also work there, then are three different points of taxation. LLCs look like they have only one, but in reality there is a secret second point of taxation because you have to pay self-employment tax in addition to income tax. Don't you love how the government tries really hard to discourage people from working for themselves in the tax code, while paying lip service to how small business drives the economy? Ah, there I go again...

Anyway, paying self employment tax is still (most likely) cheaper than the C-Corp tax, because when you are paid as an employee, the C-Corp will need to make an employment tax withholding on your salary which is essentially the same as the self employment tax. One difference is that with the C-Corp, you might well hold profits in the corporation rather than pay them out, so if you were going to be highly profitable, you might be better served to hold profits there (and avoiding, for a while, the extra taxation) while paying yourself a minimal salary.

Now in a company that's going to experience a period of losses as things ramp up, the LLC has advantages to the owner-operator. LLCs will pass those losses along, and those loses can offset other income the individual might have. In a C-corp, the corporation will carry those losses (for credit against future profits), but the owner-operator, who is an employee, does not get to take those losses. They will have W-2 income and will be taxed accordingly, just as they would if they were an employee at McDonalds or anyplace else.

So ready to jump right in as an LLC? Not so fast -- there are a few more considerations...

The biggest limitation of LLCs, in my experience, is the very limited nature of how you deal with the ownership structure. LLCs do not have shareholders and shares of stock, they have "members" and "units" (nomenclature that is sure to make any fan of 9th grade humor to laugh uncontrollably). On the surface, it may seem that these are just different names for the same thing, but that's not the case.

In an LLC, one member is the same as another member. Everyone is working under the same operating agreement, and if I have 100 units, and you have 100 units, there is no difference between us. An investor, the owner, other employees who have been given ownership -- all these people hold exactly the same type of equity, the unit, and there is no difference between them. There is only one kind of unit in an LLC, and that's that.

C-Corporations are very different. C-Corporations can issue different classes of stock, so an investor might have preferred stock, employees and owners common stock. Those classes can be subdivided further so a investor today might get "Series A Preferred Stock" with certain rights and privileges, and a later investors get "Series B Preferred Stock" with different rights, etc. You might setup a stock option plan for employees to give them ownership in exchange for their work and loyalty to the company, while the owners have common stock, perhaps with a founders stock agreement as described in an earlier question. Vendors might get warrants in exchange for providing discounted services.

In short, there is a lot more flexibility here. Also, there are tax implications. Because an LLC has one kind of unit, the tax is very simple, and perhaps, not very helpful. If an investor puts in money at $10 / unit, and you then give away 100 units to an employee because you want to give them ownership, then you've just subjected that employee to a tax hit. The IRS will say that you "gave" the employee $1000 worth of stuff ($10 * 100 units), and they'll owe income tax, at ordinary income levels, on that gain. So now your good intentions just cost your employee $300+ in taxes. They probably won't like that. So they can either shell out $1000 for the units (fair market value), or you can give them cash along with the units (which they'll also have to pay tax on), so that they can use that cash to pay for the tax on the units you gave them. Especially when you talk about bringing in management team members, who might demand big pieces of ownership, you quickly can have yourself a real mess.

In the C-Corp, you are probably going to create a stock option plan, and use that to give ownership to employees. So long as the option price is equal to the fair market value of the underlying class of stock - at the time the option was granted - there is not taxable event. The expectation is that the company will grow, and by the time the employee vests the stock, it will be worth a lot more than it was when it was granted. The employee will then have to pay tax on the gain if and when they exercise those options, but normally they don't exercise until they intend to cash in those options, and so they are simply paying tax on actual cash they just received, and everyone is happy. It's short term capital gain and not long term capital gain, but when you sell to Google for a cool billion, everyone will be pleased.

A fine point in this is to understand that, in a C-Corporation, all classes of stock are not created equal, and therefore, are not priced the same. Just because an investor buys preferred shares at $10/share does not at all mean that your common shares are also worth $10/share or that your base option price is therefore $10/share. The preferred shares have all kinds of things that make them more valuable, and no knowledgeable person would pay $10 for common when the same $10 gets them a whole lot more with preferred. The board of directors will set the price of common, noted in the minutes, with an explanation of why it's so much less than the preferred shares. It's not uncommon for this discount to be 90% (or more) in a new startup, so a $10 preferred price might mean $1 (or less) for common shares and thus option exercise price.


What's it all mean? Well, here's what I do: When I setup a new company, either on my own or with partners, we setup an LLC. At the point that we need to start dolling out stock options in order to hire more people, or that we need to bring in outside investors, we convert to a C-Corporation. When you're talking investors and employee option pools, C-Corporations are the way to go. If it's just you and some partners trying to make a few bucks, go with the LLC.

If you are only going to raise a little money and never any more, then you can do that with an LLC, but be careful: the last thing you need is a big group of investors, who put money in at all different times in the company's life, with no real distinction or flexibility in how those shares/units work.

Here are a few links to legal information regarding the various structures:

Founder of four companies and an industry trade-group before he turned 29, Jeff Ready defines the word "entrepreneur."

Aureate Media developed a unique ad-serving infrastructure and set of technologies that allowed companies to put advertising directly into computer games and other software applications. Internet Venture Capital firm CMGI invested more than $5 million in the company before Ready re-launched Aureate Media as Radiate, Inc. From there, Ready grew Radiate to become one of the largest internet properties, generating over $20 million a year in sales and reaching with more than 30 million people per month through its technology.

In 2001, Radiate was acquired by a privately-held software firm in Seattle, Washington. After this successful cash exit, Ready started Corvigo, his latest venture, serving as it's president and CEO. Developed the first artificial intelligence and self-learning system for stopping junk email (or "spam"), called Intent-Based Filtering (IBF) technology. Starting Corvigo during the economic doldrums of 2002 (January), Ready led the company to success by doubling revenues every quarter, tightly managing cash-flow, and growing to profitability without raising outside capital. Then, poised for explosive growth with a proven business model behind him, Sequoia Capital, one of the top venture capital firms in the world, chose Corvigo as its only investment in the crowded anti-spam space in 2003.

Ready has been interviewed and quoted in the New York Times, Forbes, Business Week, NPR, Business 2.0, U.S. News and World Report and countless other publications. He was nominated as MIT Technology Review's Top Innovators of 2004 and Corvigo was nominated to Red Herring's Top 100 companies of 2004. He's won the Blue Chip Award from the US Chamber of Commerce, the Ziff Davis Best Technology award, the Rose-Hulman Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and has patented multiple technologies. He sits on board of several technology companies, and is a regular advisor to startups.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is an LLC the Right Move For Your Small Business?

A relatively new form of business structure is gaining popularity among small business owners: the limited liability company or LLC.

Not long ago, a business owner had only two choices, remain a sole proprietor or incorporate. But the relatively new LLC classification may be the perfect solution to someone operating a small business but who does not require the more formal structure of a corporation. LLCs are available in all fifty states, something that was not true just ten years ago.

Because LLCs are seen as easier to form and more flexible than a corporation, many small businesses are opting for this way of structuring their small business. It's a good option for someone who is starting a business that is unlikely to ever go public because it offers many of the same legal protections of a corporation but without some of the complicated tax laws associated with them. But like anything you do in business, there are advantages and disadvantages that you must be aware of before making this move.

Some of the advantages are:

-If your business holds property, an LLC may be the better choice at tax time. In a corporation, any profits from increases in real estate value are double taxed. For example, the corporation as well as the officers and shareholders of the corporation face a tax if the property is sold. In an LLC, the tax is paid once by the company owners, and not by the company itself.

-Forming an LLC gives you many of the same legal protections as a corporation. For example, if your company gets sued, the owner's personal assets are protected. If you have a company or plan to start a business, it's always a good idea for your legal protection to make your business a separate legal entity

-This business structure was allowed so that small businesses would be able to have the legal protection of a corporation without the restrictions, formalities, and liabilities associated with incorporating.

-Because an LLC is less formal, the company is not required to hold board meetings or record meeting minutes making it easier to operate.

Some disadvantages:

-Every state's LLC laws vary slightly, so if your business works in several different states, you need to know that state's regulations for LLCs.

-Corporate laws are endless, making it easier for attorneys to defend a client that is incorporated. LLC laws are far less prevalent, making it more difficult for attorneys.

-In most states, when the owner of an LLC dies, the LLC ends as well. In a corporation, the business entity continues on until it s formally dissolved.

Even though forming an LLC is less complicated and requires less paperwork, it is a good idea to get professional help with this. LLC applications must be submitted to your state's Secretary of State, and some states require business owners to submit an operating agreement which defines profit sharing, ownership and ownership transfer.

Roberto Neuberger is President and CEO of which has over 8 years experience forming over 39,000 corporations, LLC'S and non-profits.

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Are You Ripe For a Rip Off - Or Are Your Personal Assets Protected From a Lawsuit?


A Limited Liability Company is a legal business company that provides limited liability protection to its owners. A limited liability company (also known as LLC) is created when proper articles of organization (or the equivalent under the laws of a particular state) are filed with the proper state authority, and all fees are paid. An LLC is very similar in structure to a corporation, except that the liability of the owners is limited -- hence the name. An LLC is a combination of some features of the corporation, some of the sole proprietorship and some of the partnership.

The LLC is a relatively new innovation in the United States, intended as a way to help small businesses gain many of the benefits enjoyed by corporations, while allowing them to retain their small business model of ownership.


In an LLC business is done in the name of the company, not in the name of members individually. For small businesses which are owned by one person, the tax benefits of being a sole proprietorship outweigh the liability-reducing benefits of incorporation. By becoming a limited liability company, however, small businesses retain many of the perks of being unincorporated, while reducing their liability. The limitations of liability are, of course, very important and are the primary reason most small businesses choose to become an LLC.

Personal Liability

The essential advantage of a limited liability company is that it provides pass-through treatment without taxation at the entity level while at the same time shielding members from personal liability. The profits of the company are taxed personally at the individual level and not at the company level. Unless they personally guarantee them, the members are not liable for the contractual debts and obligations of the limited liability company.

Being a business owner, you are more likely to be sued then you would be otherwise, so you can use an LLC to shield your personal assets from a lawsuit against your company. Members of an LLC cannot be held personally liable for the debts of the company. So just like a corporation you as an owner can use an LLC as a form of protection for your personal assets. Anyone starting a new business must separate their personal assets and life from their business ventures. A limited liability company is personal protection in its purest form.

Financing Your New Business

Once you have set up your LLC, you will want to immediately begin building your business credit profile so that you can obtain credit under your new business name, get business lines of credit, and begin applying for business credit cards. Remember, for asset protection you must keep your business separate from your personal. That includes your business credit profile.


An LLC is a separate legal entity having the power to conduct business, acquire, hold and dispose of property, and sue or be sued in its own name. A limited liability company is superior to other business entities for tax reasons alone. In short, we can say that a limited liability company is simple to form and easy to run. What most people gain that form an LLC is flexibility. The protection you receive by setting up a limited liability company is worth the little paperwork and time involved to set it all up.

To learn how to get business credit, you can purchase the new e-Book by Susan Carter. This document contains step by step instructions on how to build your business profile so that you will have access to funds you can use for day to day operating expenses. You don't want to use your personal credit to finance your business because this exposures you and takes away the protection that is being offered by your LLC.

When you purchase my new eBook you will get a 21 page Free Credit Restoration Guide that contains 13 specific letters that clearly state the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) rules. Begin to use the laws that are already there to protect you and to clean up your personal credit if you have issues. This is a limited time offer, so don't wait.

ACT NOW !!! Go to my website

Get your business "creditworthy" and get the funds you need NOW.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When Copying From the Internet Violates Copyright

The concept of copyright is one that has given rise to as many of the big legal battles of the last decade as any other. With the advent of the Internet as a major tool in people's work, life and studying habits, the amount of intellectual property that is travelling around the information superhighway is quite simply stellar. It may just be that we have never before seen a time when the rules of copyright were regarded less by the general public - as songs, music videos, book excerpts, television shows and films are traded on the Internet with varying degrees of impunity. How likely a copyright infringer is to be shut down depends on a number of factors.

One such factor is the size and influence of the individual or organization that holds the copyright on a piece of work. If you redistribute a television show that has mass popularity by placing it on a website, the station who hold the rights to the show or the production house that made it can quickly apply for an injunction to prevent you from continuing to gain from what they perceive as their work. If, however, you were to place concert footage of a little known singer-songwriter online, there is little likelihood that legal action will be taken. Apart from the fact that it may be viewed as good publicity, the difficulty of compiling a lawsuit makes it often too difficult for a smaller commercial entity to get anything substantive done.

Likewise in the case where some musical groups decided to take on what they viewed as the negative impact of peer-to-peer downloading software. This practice entails one individual putting some musical tracks on a mirroring site to allow others to download it into their own collections. When done in bulk, it is probably the most profound example of simultaneous file transfer, and something that showcases one of the major reasons for people having the Internet. However, when popular download site Napster made a number of tracks by the band Metallica available for download, the rockers were quick to complain and take out an injunction demanding that Napster stop hosting Metallica songs for broadcast.

The argument is that, having heard and even downloaded the tracks into one's own collection, you will not spend the money on purchasing any of them. This has been disputed, however, with many people leaving positive reviews and those whose opinions are taken seriously potentially influencing a number of people to go and spend money.

Copyright is different from trademarking in that a trademark protects specific words, short phrases and designs for use in commercial settings, whereas copyright protects the actual ideas and the work that goes into making them reality. While a trademark violation can interfere with a company's marketing strategy, a copyright violation is different in that it interferes with an individual's work. One is a matter of intellectual property, the other a case of identity theft. It is for these reasons among others that a "blog" post is always time- and date-stamped demonstrating when it was written, giving it its own form of copyright.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. is a complete online resource that compares the legal services offered by various online companies. Find the best company for your copyright needs at

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Identifying Types of Intellectual Property That Are Appropriate For Your Business

Regardless of the marketplace or the size of your company, a well-designed Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy can strengthen your business. When creating an IP Strategy, consider the various types of intellectual property that are a logical "fit" for your company and business objectives. Here are four general types of IP and a discussion of business activities that are related to each type.

1. Patent Protection. If your business is involved with creating new products or services, patents may be useful in protecting and leveraging those innovations. Regardless of a company's industry, there may be business methods and other processes that are patentable.
2. Trademarks. Trademarks are appropriate for businesses that have, or are developing, strong brands or identities. Those companies should take steps to identify and protect those IP assets, such as company logos, names and other corporate identifiers.
3. Copyrights. Copyrights are important to consider for any business that creates original works, such as product manuals, audio recordings, video presentations, software, or related items. Use of a copyright notice is simple and informs others that the created work is protected by copyright.
4. Trade Secrets. Trade secrets are appropriate for businesses that maintain confidential information, such as customer lists, product formulations, manufacturing processes, or advertising strategies. Companies with valuable trade secrets should take appropriate actions to protect those trade secrets and other confidential information.

Example - Multiple Categories. Many businesses can benefit from identifying, protecting and leveraging multiple types of Intellectual Property. For example, consider a company that creates software applications for a particular market. This company may file patent applications related to its innovative software to protect its core technology. The company also takes steps to protect its product names, company logos, and company name through trademark applications. Copyright notices are included in all software code, user manuals, training videos and related material. The company also takes the necessary steps to preserve its trade secrets and confidential information, such as customer lists and future software development strategies.

A successful Intellectual Property Strategy focuses on the types of IP assets that are most appropriate for the company. Consider your current and future business activities when setting IP goals for your company.

For additional help with your IP Strategy, I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to my 10 page White Paper "Seven Steps to Accelerate your Business with a Successful IP Strategy" by visiting

From Steve Sponseller - Intellectual Property Strategist

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Criminal Background Check - Be Sure You're Not Dating a Married Person & Other Uses For This Service

The first thing that comes to a persons mind when you hear the words "criminal background check" is that someone committed a crime. The truth is that there are many different reasons why a person would want to run a criminal records search that they may have never thought of. Below are a few of the reasons that you could use a criminal search to your advantage.

Let us say that you just started dating someone new. Now most of the time the fact that they may already be married will never cross your mind, but the truth is that it happens more than you think. With all the online dating services that are available today, many married people will use them to carry on extra marital affairs. It's always better to know up front rather than find out later.

Another reason that this service will come in handy is if you are thinking about moving into a new neighborhood. If you are going to live somewhere, then you will want to know that you are safe. There is nothing worse than finding out you live next to a violent criminal. Your kids have the right to be safe in their own home and so do you.

Daycare facilities are another reason that you should think about using a criminal background check. You want to make sure that your kids are not being taken care of by someone with a criminal past.

These are only a handful of reasons that you could use this service to help you out. The search is 100% confidential and the information is gathered from the same data base that is used by the police. This way you can be sure the data you get is accurate.

The bottom line is when it comes to you and your family's safety, you can never be to careful. After using various services to check up on people, here is my #1 recommended service for criminal background checks.

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Costs of Hiring the Business Law Attorney

Everyone who has already hired a business law attorney will tell you that legal services are not cheap. So, before hiring a lawyer, you should ask yourself how much you are willing to pay for the services. When you are searching for legal services, you should always ask potential attorneys to explain their fees and billing practice fully. Do not hesitate to ask detailed questions and never feel embarrassed. A lawyer's readiness to discuss the fees is an important indicator of how he or she treats the clients. If you have a basic knowledge about how lawyers generally charge for their services, it may help you to negotiate the best deal when you need to hire one.

A best business attorney may suggest hourly fees, flat fees or even contingency fees. But the exact price of these fees structures is determined by several factors. The cost of a lawyer is influenced by the amount of effort and time required for your case, whether you live in an urban or rural area, by the outcome of the case, by the experience of the lawyer and by the processing costs. All these elements will impact the total cost of a lawyer.

# The hourly rates are the most common arrangement. On an hourly fee basis, a business law attorney gets paid an agreed-upon hourly sum for the hours that he puts in a client's case until it is resolved. The hourly rate depends on the lawyer's experience, operating expenses and the location of the practice. When it comes to your business' protection, you should keep in mind that it is more effective to hire a lawyer with a lot of experience and expertise.

# When dealing with the business law matters such as wills and simple bankruptcy filings, most attorneys typically charge a flat fee. However, the flat fee might not include other legal expenses such as the filing fees.

# You can be charged on a contingency fee basis in certain types of cases. It means that the business law attorney will take any fee from you, but will get a percentage of the settlement money.

As for the expenses and court costs, there are no averages and it is hardly possible to give an accurate estimation. You should carefully discuss everything with your business litigation attorney and anticipate any miscellaneous costs so that you can estimate those costs up front and avoid further confusions. Be prepared to check court costs, filing costs, delivery charges etc.

Regardless of the type of your payment agreement with your attorney, you should get a fee agreement in writing. If a business law attorney is unwilling to offer a fee agreement in writing, do not choose that lawyer.

Thinking of hiring a business law attorney? The cost of hiring a best business attorney or business litigation attorney may be high, but compared to the services offered related to business law, they are really not expensive. To know more about this subject visit Legal Info-online.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Understanding Trademark Infringement and Google Keyword Advertising

Keyword Advertising is a multibillion-dollar business for Google and other search engines. There has been a lot of debate over the last several years about the appropriateness of using someone else's trademark as a keyword trigger or in the text of any particular ad displayed through the Google AdWords program. Google shows text-based advertisements based on search terms entered by end users. In addition to the organic search results, Google displays advertisements, created and paid for by advertisers, which links to the advertiser's web site.

AdWords is a Google program through which advertisers purchase terms (keywords). When an advertiser uses the Google Search Engine, which includes a keyword trigger, the advertiser's ad appears with the link to the advertisers predetermined web site. Advertisers pay Google based on the number of times Internet users click on the advertisement. For example, Company Y, a company engaged in the business of motorcycle repair, can cause Google to display its advertisement and link whenever a user of the Google Search Engine searches for the term "motorcycle repair." Company Y can also cause its ad and link to appear whenever a user searches for the term "Company X", who may be a competitor of Company Y in the motorcycle repair business. Thus, whenever a searcher interested in purchasing motorcycle repair services from company X launches a search of the term X (Company X's trademark), an advertisement and link would appear on the searcher's screen inviting the searcher to the motorcycle repair services of X's competitor, Company Y. If the searcher clicks on Company Y's link, Company Y's web site would open on the searcher's screen and the searcher might be able to purchase Company Y's motorcycle repair services.

Google also employs a keyword suggestion tool that recommends keywords for advertisers to consider. The program is designed to improve effectiveness of advertising by helping advertisers identify keywords related to their areas of commerce. Thus, consistent with the example above, if Company Y used Google's keyword suggestion tool, the tool might suggest to Company Y to purchase not only the term "motorcycle repair" but also the term "X", its competitors brand and trademark.

The AdWords' advertisements are generally associated with a label that says, "sponsored links." Google has been involved in a variety of litigation involving its allowance of competitors to use each other's trademarks as keyword triggers and in the text of advertisements. Google's objective, clearly, is to sell more keywords to advertisers so it can make more money. Trademark holders sometimes sue Google for allowing the practice, but more often the competitor who bids on the trademark-protected keyword.

This is a fairly new and complicated area of law, which will typically require analysis and attorney advice. The issue of whether or not a particular keyword trigger and contextual ad violates a third party trademark, the third party trademark is always one that is fact specific. Two key issues involve whether or not the keyword trigger amounts to "use in commerce" of a third party trademark as that term is defined under the Lanham Act, the trademark statute. The second is whether or not consumers would likely be confused by the advertisement displayed and the landing page of the advertising link.

For more information you can contact Mr. Schaefer at and review the following articles concerning this issue. Use of Trademarks within Keywords and Metatags: An Emerging Area of the Law and Purchasing a Keyword that is the Trademark of Another for Online Advertisements Held to be Use in Commerce and Trademark Infringement.

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What is a Trademark - Really?

Every one of us is familiar with trademarks, even if that is not the name by which we know them. As often as not these days, when someone refers to a trademark the words they use are along the lines of "branding" and "logo". The trademark is the recognizable impression, or symbol, of a private enterprise (whether a company or an individual) which identifies them for whom they are, and allows their products to be easily recognizable. Most people will be familiar with the basic concept of a trademark, having seen the letters TM appearing above a logo on a product, or the ® symbol which appears next to a registered trademark.

Although the basic use of a trademark is something which is taken as read in everyday consumer circles, there is a need to have it registered legally for the purposes of intellectual property protection. Everybody recognizes some of the more familiar trademarks - we will not mention any by name here as they are familiar enough. But if someone were to attempt to copy the product or the service of a trademarked company while using a logo similar or identical to theirs, then the company with the registered trade mark would be legally entitled to pursue their rival in court with a cease and desist order, as well as potentially being able to claim some of the proceeds of the offending business.

Trademark infringement need not necessarily be deliberate in order to be pursued successfully through the courts. A reasonable example of this may be where a company which has as its name a familiar surname or Christian name. The company which has registered this as a trademark may successfully sue for infringement someone who has that surname or Christian name and is trading under it in the same business area. Although the offence may be entirely accidental and innocent, the company which holds the registered trademark has a case to say that their business could be negatively affected by any arising confusion, and as they were the first to register the name as a trademark, they hold the rights to it as a commercial entity.

It is fair to say, though, that in a case of accidental infringement, the damages in any lawsuit will be lower than if there was a specific intention to deceive customers. The overarching importance of trademarks is that they prevent someone from deciding to go into a certain field of business using an already familiar name. If one were to open a restaurant and give it the name of an established, well reputed chain of restaurants (or even one particularly well-known one), then it could potentially benefit from the association that will result in people's minds. Trading on someone else's reputation could be seen as a form of identity theft, and will naturally be subject to appropriate penalties. The harshness or otherwise of that penalty will vary depending on the circumstances.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. is a complete online resource that compares the legal services offered by various online companies. If you need help with a registered trademark, find the best company for you at

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

7 Tips to Make Your Company's Information Security Plan More Manageable

If you operate a financial services business, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you may be subject to the FTC's Safeguard Rule (the Rule). Compliance with the Rule requires you to have an information security plan that stipulates how your business protects the sensitive customer information you handle.

For many businesses, writing a compliant information security plan is relatively easy. The challenge lies in implementing the policy and avoiding the consequences of non-compliance.

There are many approaches to handling data security compliance. The following are seven simple tips to help make the task of implementing your information security plan more manageable:

1. Don't be a data hog. Business clutter does not only occupy undue amounts of space; it complicates the task of tracking and protecting information. Eliminating clutter will help you organize to protect sensitive information.

2. Collect only what you need. Be purposeful in your request for customer's personal information. In short, if you have no business use for the information, don't collect it.

3. Dispose of sensitive information properly. The FTC's Disposal Rule requires companies to adopt disposal practices that prevent the unauthorized access to or use of information in credit reports. Simply dumping paperwork containing sensitive personal information is not an option. Shred, burn, or pulverize papers to keep them from prying eyes. If you plan to donate old computers, laptops, and other data storage devices, use appropriate wipe utility programs to clean them out to prevent subsequent retrieval by unauthorized persons.

4. Involve your employees. This falls under the heading of creating a culture of security in your company. Creating the company's information security policy is the responsibility of management. Making security a part of everyday business requires full participation by employees.

5. Limit access. This means investing in state-of-the-art security software and programs that make sensitive data sites "hacker proof". It also means limiting access only to employees who need restricted data to perform assigned business duties. If your business stores sensitive information in drawers and filing cabinets, secure them with locks.

6. Know your contractors. These days, outsourcing is unavoidable in the course of doing business. However, each external source has potential implication for your information security plan. Before you outsource your web hosting, IT service, payroll, call center operations, and other business needs, verify the security practices of the vendors - that includes the contractor you engage to shred your company's paperwork.

7. Have a damage control plan. Given the complexities of today's business environment, your company may not always be able to prevent information security breach. In the event of a breach, damage control becomes critical. You may be required to notify customers, law enforcement agencies, credit bureaus, and other businesses affected by the breach. Having an action plan in place will facilitate your management of a security breach.

Protecting customers' personal information is a legal requirement. Information security makes good business sense. Implementing simple low-tech tips, such as the ones suggested in this article, will help your compliance with the law. It will also help in consolidating the trust between you and your customers.

Rachel Agheyisi is an economist with over 25 years of business research, writing, and corporate consulting experience. She is the Executive Director of Report Content Writer, a company that specializes in writing white papers and case studies used by IT companies for generating leads in the biotech, financial services, and health care industries.
Email me at on how I help you develop content-rich white papers and case studies.

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Complying With Federal Standards For the Containment of Hazardous Fuels and Chemicals

There are several state and federal agencies, the EPA, OSHA, and the UFC (Uniform Fire Code) which have been designed to protect people and the environment from spills and leaks of hazardous materials. For instance, the EPA's Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended by the Clean Water Act, was developed to prevent the discharge of oils and oil related products from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shore lines. Because of the numerous federal and state regulations, it is easy to become tangled in a confusing maze of rules.

A savvy way to learn how to comply with these regulations is to deal with them in small doses. Start out by determining what regulations will apply.

Evaluate Your Work Environment.

* What type of hazardous chemicals, fuels, oil or hazardous wastes are you dealing with?
* What is the average quantity on hand?
* What is the maximum amount that will ever be on the work site?

You have to plan to handle the maximum. The regulations require that you plan a containment system that has sufficient capacity to contain 10% of the volume of the containers or of the largest container, whichever is greater. Containers that do not hold free liquid do not need to be considered.

Determine What Regulations Affect the Hazardous Materials at the Work Site

For instance, don't get tangled in oil regulations when you are dealing with corrosive chemicals. Transfer stations need different methods of controlling leaks and spills. Determine the requirements for safely storing, containing, using, transferring, or handling these hazardous materials.

Get Expert Help for Necessary Supplies

Determine the amount and type of containment berms, spill pallets, and other spill containment equipment that will be needed.

Obtain All Needed Spill Containment Supplies

Implement An Employee Training Program In Their Use

Develop A Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC Plan)

* This act took effect in 1974 and was strengthened in 2002. There are numerous federal regulations of the EPA, the DOT, the UFC, which affect storage methods, spill prevention, and spill cleanup. They all require employee training in Best Management Practices (BMP) in :
* Spill Prevention Measures
* Required Equipment for Spill Prevention and Control
* Spill Cleanup Methods
* Emergency Procedures
* The Use Of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
* Proper Methods of Disposal of Hazardous Materials
* Good Housekeeping Practices
* Required Maintenance On Spill Prevention Equipment and Supplies
* Proper Record Keeping

The volume of regulatory material can be overwhelming. Complete an evaluation first and then start logically to sift out the requirements that apply to your work environment. is a wealth of information about safety in the workplace. Visit us to learn more about Contianmnet Berms.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Is a Landlord Tenant Lawyer Worth Your Money and Time?

The services of a landlord tenant lawyer are crucial whether you are a new landlord or have been renting out your properties for years. The simple fact is that you will need legal advice on landlord tenant issues at some point in time. Whether the matter is trivial or urgent, getting the right legal advice is vital.

While you may be reluctant to shell out cash to hire a lawyer, doing so may actually save you more money in the long run. Your lawyer can help make sure that you comply with all relevant landlord laws and safety regulations to avoid stiff fines and penalties. He can also help you draw up contracts and lease agreements to protect your legal rights.

What are the Issues that a Landlord Tenant Lawyer Can Help You with?

A lawyer can help you out at all the stages of renting a property, from screening tenants to an eviction should one become necessary. For example you may think that screening tenants is a simple matter but you should know that you could be slapped with a discrimination lawsuit if you run afoul of anti-discrimination laws.

While you can certainly use a standard lease agreement, it's much better to make sure it is tailored to your own situation. At the very least, your lawyer should review the agreement to make sure it's not missing any critical provisions that could provide you with protection in the case of property damage, late rent and so on.

If you do have tenants that cause problems, a good landlord tenant lawyer can also help you collect late rent, recover money for damage caused by tenants and even evict a tenant if necessary.

If your tenants turn nasty and decide to sue you for counter-claims, you will definitely want have an experienced lawyer by side to defend against any counter-claims, no matter how baseless those claims may have.

Choosing the Right Landlord Tenant Lawyer for Your Rental Property

Now that you what a landlord tenant lawyer can do for you, just how do you go about choosing one? Fortunately there are several resources that can point you in the right direction.

First contact your real estate agent or mortgage professional for their recommendation. These professionals can often provide a reference to an experienced attorney. You can also contact the lawyer association in your county or state for a referral. Make sure there is no past or pending disciplinary action on the lawyer's record.

If you have a family or general practice attorney, chances are he or she can provide a referral as well. If all else fails, you can look in the yellow pages, but this is a bit like a stab in the dark so leave it as a last resort.

Even if you find a big name firm, this does not guarantee that the lawyer is competent, though it will probably guarantee you will end up paying high fees!

Once you have a referral, call around for a quick phone screening. Find out how many years of experience the attorney has, and choose someone who's been practising real estate law for a minimum of 3 to 5 years. Find out about his fee structure and billing rates; also ask what tasks are billed hourly and which ones are billed on flat rate.

Finally make sure the landlord tenant lawyer you choose is attentive and willing to work with you. An experienced lawyer knows how to tailor their services to meet your needs. Think of your lawyer as an assistant in your rental business. Choose wisely and the advice you receive will be well worth the money you spend.

Teo Zhenjie has been showing landlords how to manage their tenants and rental property effectively on Propertydo - To learn more important tips on landlord tenant lawyer, visit his website today for step-by-step real estate guides, free resources and forms.

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New RESPA Rules - Help For Borrowers Shopping For Loans

On or before January 1, 2010, the residential real estate financing industry will be making some huge changes. The Federal Government has adopted new rules for the implementation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). RESPA is a HUD consumer protection statute designed to help homebuyers be better shoppers in the home buying process. The changes, some of which are already in effect, are the biggest reforms to RESPA in more than 30 years.

The "Final Rule" was adopted on November 17, 2008, and parts of it went into effect on January 16, 2009. However, the most noticeable changes for the consumer will not be required until January 1, 2010, when all residential lenders and mortgage brokers will be required to use a new Good Faith Estimate ("GFE") that clearly discloses loan terms and closing costs. Settlement agents will be using a new settlement statement for all residential loan closings. The statement will mirror the GFE and disclose any variances from the original figures. Lenders may start using the new GFE prior to the January 1 deadline. If the new GFE is used by the lender, the new settlement statement must also be used by the settlement agent.

While GFEs have been around for years, the new GFE is a whole new ballgame. Will it help the consumer? HUD projects that the new rules will save consumers an average of $700 at the closing table!

The main differences between the new and old GFEs are (1) standardization of the form, (2) grouping of fees, and (3) tolerance for variations from the GFE amounts at settlement. The following is an overview of these differences:

1. THE FORM: The new GFE has been formatted by HUD. It is a three page standardized document that gives loan terms and an estimate of settlement charges. The consumer should easily be able to compare GFEs from various lenders when shopping for loans.

2. THE FEES: On the new GFE, certain fees have been grouped together. This allows the consumer to see a total cost for each category, rather than a random list of fees.

A. The "Origination Charge" is the total of all fees incurred for originating the loan. This would include old cost breakdowns, such as "underwriting fees" "loan handling fees" "commitment fees" and "document preparation fees" which were payable to the Lender or Broker.

B. "Required Services Selected by the Lender", such as appraisals, credit reports, and flood certifications and tax service fees are grouped, but each charge is listed separately.

C. "Title Services" includes the settlement agent's charges for lender's title insurance, the settlement fee, title searches, title examinations, commitments, and ALL other charges payable to the settlement agent. There is a separate line item for Owner's title insurance, since this is an optional purchase.

D. "Required Services that You Can Shop For", which includes surveys, home warranties, pest reports, etc.
(For "Title Services" and "Required Services that You Can Shop For", the borrower can shop for and choose his own providers but the fees will not be controlled by the RESPA tolerances from the GFE as described below.)

In addition to these groupings, there are separate line items for "Government Recording Charges", "Transfer Taxes", "Initial Escrow Deposit", "Daily Interest" and "Homeowner's Insurance".

3. THE TOLERANCES: The new rules mandate that the final charges on the settlement statement can vary from those on the GFE only as follows:

For the Origination Charge and Transfer Taxes: Zero Tolerance. The GFE and settlement statement must match exactly.

For Required Services selected by the Lender, Title Services, Owner Title Insurance, Required Services That You Can Shop For (if you use companies identified by the lender) and Government recording charges: There is a tolerance for a 10% increase for the total of these charges.

For the Initial Escrow Deposit, Daily Interest and Homeowner's Insurance: There is an unlimited tolerance for increases from the GFE.

Other items with unlimited tolerances for increases from the GFE include any Service provider selected by the Borrower rather than the Lender. There is no restriction on decreases.

The new settlement statement mirrors the GFE, with similar line items and groupings. On a new third page, there is a comparison of the original GFE figures and the settlement statement figures, with an explanation of the tolerances. There is also a summary of the loan, including amount, term, rates, initial monthly payment, prepayment penalties and other loan terms.

With these changes, the consumer can be a better shopper. He can truly compare the cost of loan products offered by various lenders, and he is protected from any unexpected additions at closing. There will also be more straightforward disclosures of prices by settlement companies, since most charges will be grouped into one amount. The consumer can easily compare the total "Title Services" charges for his loan from several title companies.

There are still many questions about the implementation and enforcement of the New Rules. Hopefully the consumer benefits will meet HUD's expectations.

The above information is provided for informational purposes only. The information should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Szabo, Zelnick & Erickson, P.C. law firm or establish an attorney-client relationship with any of its attorneys. An attorney-client relationship with our firm is only created by signing a written agreement with our firm.

Cathy Christiansen is the lead attorney for the real estate and estate planning sections of Szabo, Zelnick, & Erickson, P.C., in Woodbridge, Virginia ( She has practiced law for 15 years and represents clients in residential and commercial real estate matters and wills, trusts, and estate planning. For ten years before becoming an attorney, Cathy worked as a settlement agent and title examiner in Northern Virginia. She can be reached at

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wrongful Death Cases Are Civil Lawsuits

A wrongful death by definition is a death that happens due to the negligence, recklessness or inaction of an organization or a person. The leading cause of wrongful death is medical malpractice, with accidents on the job, car crashes and defective products vying for second place.

No matter what caused the death, a family is grieving the loss of a loved one and wondering how to carry on with their lives and handle the sudden cessation of that person's wages, etc. In the U.S., immediate family members are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most instances, that means parents, spouses, children, or a child's guardian acting on the child's behalf.

These types of lawsuits are seeking compensation from the courts for medical and funeral expenses, emotional distress of the loss of the loved one, lost income or inheritance, and loss of companionship (among other things). Depending on what state you are filing in, you will find the laws to be different. This is the reason you will need a wrongful death attorney to apprise you of your rights and how to file in your state.

Each state also has a statute of limitations that often varies as to when the time expires for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney will tell you when you need to file your suit. Generally speaking, it is within one to three years from the time of the loved one's death.

However, just because there is some time running to file a suit, don't wait. A wrongful death lawyer must act quickly to get the evidence to prove that the defendant's actions (or inaction) were the cause of death. It is also up to the attorney to show that family members are suffering and ask for adequate compensation on their behalf.

Tim Anderson works with Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert, visit

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Injured and Need a Super Hero?

If you have been injured in some sort of car accident or accident at work, then you are going to need the aid of a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys specialize in dealing with one on one injury cases. They will help deal with insurance companies and represent you in a way that will ensure you get what you deserve not what the insurance company want to give you.

If you have piles of medical bills and more keep coming then you need to speak to an attorney and let him fight on your behalf to get some financial assistance from the other parties insurance company.

Here are some tips for you to consider when looking for the right personal injury attorney to represent you.

Money Vs Experience - Most attorneys will be willing to work on a % fee. So if they don't get you any money they don't earn anything. Be careful not to just pick an attorney based solely on the % he is charging.

Personal Feeling - If you don't like the attorney or feel he is brushing you off then you may want to talk to different attorneys.

Time - Most states have time limits on how long after an accident you can claim for damages. Take this into account along with the fact that doing anything concerning legal paperwork takes time as well and make sure that you do not wait until the last possible minute to discuss your case with an attorney.

Don't Sign anything that the opposing insurance company give you until you have spoken to an attorney.

Remember - Insurance companies have to answer to share holders, the less they pay out for claims the happier they are.

Personal Injury Attorneys want to help you get what you deserve, don't be afraid to call and make an appointment to discuss your case. Usually the initial consultation is done at no cost so you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The Justice Firm are St Georges leading Personal Injury Attorneys and offer a free initial consultation. If you have been injured and need help then visit the website today and arrange an appointment.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Shortcut to a Lucrative Career in Patent Law Awaits You

Through the process of patenting his invention can be confusing and difficult - especially if you're embarking on the invention and the patent process. However, you can avoid any unexpected conflicts over the right and follow closely the steps - and by hiring a lawyer patent law. By using the help of a patent attorney and adhere to the correct number of patent actions, we can successfully market your invention.

Before choosing to hire a patent agent to patent an invention, you must first conduct an investigation. Take a look at his invention on the market today. For example, if you have opted to create a new kind of cell phone, one must examine the current marketing trends and buying cell phones.

* Why are cell phones so popular? - Comfort, rating

* Who is using mobile phones? - Almost everyone from young children to the elderly

* What characteristics people seek when choosing a mobile phone? - This may change depending on the demographics. Older people are probably looking for a simple, easy to use phone that is accessible, while young audiences and young people are looking for additional features that provide comfort and entertainment

* What makes some phones only? Why are some phones more popular than others? - Some cell phones offer additional components and special abilities

* Why do some people buy more cell phones than others? What kinds of features are popular? When buying trends at its highest point? - Compare and contrast the capabilities of their invention a popular products

Consider the number of competitors, which companies are most successful in the market, the way in which the patented products are similar to yours that sold, how much and who is buying them. After collecting this information, you can compare your product to businesses to compete and see how it compares its invention. You will be able to list all the qualities that his invention is similar and the features that make your invention stand apart from competitors' products. This will give you a general idea of what the selling price of your invention must be - and how to effectively market and promote their product.

After ensuring that your product is worth goods in a capital market, may decide to sell his invention to a large company that creates issues like yours or hire your own lawyer patent and market your product yourself. Your patent attorney will experiment with situations like yours and knows exactly how to handle your case patent services. Some companies, such as the Inventors Network, Inc. provides quality services and patent-free initial consultations.

Services of the patent process can be slow and costly. Therefore, it is ideal to have a patent attorney constantly look over your paperwork patent law and patent infringement of any forms you are required to sign. It is essential that patients remain in this process. Do not hesitate to ask your patent attorney to clarify any question that may seem confusing to you.

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Want a Patent Very Fast? Contact a Patent Attorney

A patent attorney can provide you with the right guidance in case you are planning to get your precious idea patented. After all, you deserve the exclusive rights on your invention because invention is not a piece of cake. It involves a lot of experimentation, testing and strenuous hard work before you finally arrive at a successful result. You may have incurred many developmental costs in the process. Hence, you definitely do not want to expose your valuable idea to the risk of being stolen and misused by others. You can overcome this risk by getting your idea registered through a proper online patent lawyer.

Whether Your Idea Needs A Patent

It is true that the patent law provides protection to the valuable ideas of the inventors. However, it is wrong to think that every idea can be patented. There are certain limitations. You have to prove that your idea is exceptional and it has not been created by anyone else before. If your concept is similar or appears to be a repetition of an already existing idea, then you will be denied of a patent.

A patent attorney will be useful in such circumstances. He will make a complete study of your idea and go through the illustrations and drawings thoroughly. He will conduct a search in order to confirm the novelty of your concept and then only take up the case to apply for a patent. Be specific in choosing the right person to advocate your case as these lawyers differ in the field of specialization. For example, a software patent lawyer can deal with your case effectively if your idea is related to the field of software.

Apart from the above factors, you have to consider whether your concept is marketable or not. It is pointless to incur further costs if your idea is not going to make any money.

Steps To Get A Patent

Applying for a patent and acquiring it is a lengthy process. You can apply on your own, but you might have to face a lot of inconvenience. You have to argue your case and prove the worthiness of your concept, which you may find difficult. It would be a wise idea to hand this process over to an expert patent attorney. An experienced lawyer will fetch you a one without much loss of time and money. Following are steps involved in this process:

* Search: Before applying, the first and foremost step is to conduct a search regarding the originality of your idea. This can either be done by you or by a registered patent attorney appointed by you.
* Application: Once you confirm the exclusivity of your concept, the next step is to apply for a patent. Different types of applications are available for different types of registrations. You can choose the option that suits your idea best.
* Obtaining A Patent: The last step is to pay the required government filing fees as well as the lawyer's fee and then receive the patent.

Generally, the process involved consumes a lot of time and it may take almost three years to get an idea patented. This is due to the heavy stack of applications at the concerned office. However, a patent attorney will make use of his expertise and save your time and energy from this dreary process.

Are you searching for a patent attorney? Take a look at how an online patent attorney can serve you and how to seek the guidance of a registered patent lawyer in making your decision. Visit Legal Info Online, for more details.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Jaywalking and Intersection Crossings

Many of us may have heard the term "jaywalking", while on the other hand, many of us may not have heard of it. Well, Jaywalking is a term use to describe walking in a street in a careless manner, as well as crossing a road when it is illegal to do so.

In several countries, as well as from Province to Province, or State to State, it is illegal to be a partaker of jaywalking and if a pedestrian is caught in the act, he or she can be fined. Therefore, in order to prevent pedestrians from crossing major and minor roads in a careless manner, designated points are marked for pedestrians to use in order to cross the road in a safe manner. So, to this end, there are pedestrian crossings at many intersections.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Intersection Crossings

I have heard many people saying that they prefer not to use the designated crossing at intersections because they find them very dangerous. As strange as this should sound, it is not strange at all. Indeed, in recent times children and adults have been hit by a vehicle while crossing at a crossing, which includes those at intersections.

Some of the reasons put forth concerning how dangerous crossing at an intersection is, are, red light runners, turning vehicles and quick changing crossing signals. While all these reasons may be valid, accidents can be reduced if we keep our eyes on the traffic before stepping onto the street as well as while crossing it.

On the other hand, an intersection crossing gives the assurance that we will be able to cross the road without having to "fight" with a steady flow of traffic. This is so important especially when crossing with children. Additionally, if for any reason, a vehicle should hit you while walking on the crossing and charges are brought against the driver, you have the advantage because it's assumed you were using the road in a responsible manner. On the other hand, Jaywalking does not provide these assurances.

However, in many countries its government has been working to make the streets safer for both drivers and pedestrians. One such resent project is the pedestrian scramble in Toronto.

So, legal or not, it is always prudent to be careful when using the roads.

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Massachusetts Breathalyzer Refusals

If you refuse the breathalyzer in Massachusetts, the police department will immediately suspended your license in Massachusetts or your privilege to operate a motor vehicle if you have an out of state license. You can challenge this license suspension.

It is important to contact an attorney immediately because you only have fifteen days from the date of the arrest to challenge the license suspension. This fifteen day period includes weekends and legal holidays. The process for challenging the suspension begins by appearing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston to request a hearing regarding your refusal to submit to a chemical test. The hearings are held only in Boston regardless of where the offense occurred.

Because the hearings are done on a walk in basis, often the RMV will request a continuance to obtain a copy of the police report and report of refusal that must be prepared by the arresting officer. This report of refusal that the police must send to the RMV provides the legal authority for the Registry to suspend your license. The report of refusal must contain the following information to provide a basis for the license suspension:

First, the report must be made under the pains and penalties of perjury and set forth the grounds for the officer's belief that the person arrested had been operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol; second, the report must state that such person refused to submit to a chemical test upon request by the officer. Third, the report must identity an officer who witnessed the refusal, which requires that an officer other than the officer requesting the chemical test state that the motorist refused the breathalyzer test.

Although motorists are often unsuccessful at the Registry obtaining a license reinstatement, the motorist is permitted to appeal the suspension to the district court, where the judge is going to review the record to ensure that the RMV complied with the law in issuing the suspension. It is at the district court that a motorist may be able to obtain reinstatement on the grounds that the RMV or police department failed to comply with Massachusetts law in issuing the license suspension.

You may be able to get your suspension for refusing the chemical test in Massachusetts vacated. It is important to call an attorney immediately as the fifteen day time period is strictly enforced.

Michael A. DelSignore is a Massachusetts and Rhode Island lawyer/attorney practicing OUI/DUI/DWI defense, breathalyzer refusals and criminal defense. Michael A. DelSignore is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Please go to for more information or call him at 508-455-4755.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Medical Malpractice Risks Associated With Breast Implants

Over 355,671 women had cosmetic breast surgery in 2008 according a report recently released by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Breast surgery is now the most common type of cosmetic surgery performed. Unfortunately, not all women have a successful result which may form the basis of a medical malpractice action.
The number one reason women chose to have breast implants is to feel better about themselves and boost their self-image. Reconstruction of breast material lost due to mastectomy or genetic deformities also falls into this category. Regardless of the personal basis for a breast implant, all breast implant surgeries are considered cosmetic.

Women most likely to choose breast implants have certain characteristics: a slender build; under the height of 5'4"; and below the age of 40 (86%).

The four influential purposes for breast implants are:

· Primary reconstruction to replace breast tissue destroyed by cancer, trauma or severe breast abnormality
· Revision-reconstruction to correct or improve a prior reconstruction surgery
· Primary augmentation to enlarge the breast size
· Revision-augmentation to correct or improve a prior augmentation surgery

Of the three types of breast implants currently on the market, saline and silicone implants are most frequently chosen, while breast implants of alternate material are rarely used. There are options where the incision for the breast implants is located. A transaxillary incision is under the arm, a periareolar incision is around the nipple and an inframammary incision is along the fold underneath the breast. The transaxillary and inframammary incisions are less concealed than the periareolar, but considered to have a higher likelihood of successful breast feeding. In addition, breast implants can be placed either on top of the muscle or underneath.

Breast implants have a history dating back to 1895, albeit not always with desirable results. Unfortunately, that trend continues today. There are dangers associated with breast implants. A list of the common risks includes:

- Infection
- Wound healing delay
- Hematoma
- Bleeding
- Excessive scarring
- Capsular contracture
- Calcium deposits
- Asymmetry
- Visible wrinkling
- Breast tissue thinning
- Disruption of the natural flat surface between the breasts
- Neuroma
- Nipple sensation changes
- Breast sensation changes
- Deflation
- Rupture
- Leakage
- Swelling
- Burning
- Tenderness
- Increased difficulty in detecting breast cancer
- Additional surgeries to replace or remove breast implants
- Anesthesia reaction

Some of the above perils may be the result of the plastic surgeon inserting too large an implant into the breast capsule, damaging the skin's outer layers or his or her inexperience. Breast implant medical errors can leave a women suffering years of pain, emotional trauma and repeated surgeries to attempt to reverse the medical error. Some women never recover a "normal" appearance and are left with horrendous scarring.

If you have concerns about your breast implant surgery, it is advisable to seek an experienced medical malpractice attorney's opinion as soon as possible.

Attorney Richard Hastings, for the past two and one half decades, has been helping injured clients and families collect millions of dollars in losses ranging from motor vehicle accidents to wrongful death, to medical malpractice. He is the founder of Selectcounsel, LLC, a free service that helps you find one of the best lawyers in your area and is the author of the books "How To Find A Great Lawyer" and "Understanding And Improving The Value Of Your Personal Injury Case."

Please visit to see how they can find you one of the best lawyers in your area for your serious injury or medical malpractice case.

Selectcounsel, LLC is a FREE national service that helps people with serious personal injury and medical malpractice cases find one of the best lawyers in their area to represent them. The lawyers we recommend are independently rated by attorneys and judges as being among the very best in their field of practice. Visit us at to see how we can help you find one of the best lawyers for your case.

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