Friday, October 30, 2009

Wrongful Death Attorney - When You Need Professional Legal Representation

If you have a loved one who was killed on account of the actions of another person, you need to immediately contact a wrongful death attorney to protect your rights. The insurance company is going to hire an adjuster to minimize their liability. You need this specialized type of personal injury attorney to help you gather and preserve evidence as well as recover all type of damages that you have coming.

Most importantly, a wrongful death attorney knows the law and can keep you from missing important deadlines that could bar your right to recover. With your family's future on the line, don't you think you need to take five minutes to read this short article?

Beware Of Unfair Insurance Tactics

Most people fail to realize that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. It is his job to convince you to settle your claim for as little as possible. As a result, many adjusters use various tactics to minimize damages and delay settlement of the claim until the last possible moment. This is because insurance adjusters know, that over time, key evidence can be lost and important deadlines may pass without you taking the necessary action to preserve your claim for compensation.

Even while the insurance company is working to delay your claim, they are diligently working to preserve evidence that favors their version of events. So, you can see that legal counsel can help you preserve key evidence and present your claim in a timely fashion.

Protect And Preserve Key Evidence

After a loved one is killed, the average victim is more worried about burying their loved one and caring for their grieving family than preserving evidence in a wrongful death claim. But, you can bet that while you are at the funeral home, the responsible party and his insurance company are busy gathering and preserving evidence to mount an aggressive defense against you.

You need to engage a an attorney soon after the accident so that you can gather and preserve the evidence that supports your claims for damages. But, you also need to know and understand all of the types of compensatory and exemplary damages that are available to you in order to understand the types and quantity of evidence that you need to preserve. However, you can gather all of the evidence available and it will do you no good unless you file your claim within the appropriate time period.

Avoid Missing Important Deadlines

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is typically two (2) years. However, in some states the statute of limitations can be as short as one year.

Only a qualified personal injury lawyer (specializing in death claims) is going to be able to tell you how long you have to file your claim. Insurance companies will often use delay tactics hoping that, because of your ignorance of the law, you will miss the statute of limitations.

You Should Not Represent Yourself In A Death Claim

Now do you understand why I am so adamant that you find a lawyer to handle your claim? Most people are ignorant of the complicated factors involved in litigating a death action. You need to be wary of unscrupulous insurance adjusters who use various tactics to minimize or eliminate their liability.

Instead, find a lawyer who will gather and preserve the evidence necessary to recover all of the damages that you have coming to you. The time is now to find a wrongful death attorney before the statute of limitations runs and your claim is barred forever. So, now that you understand the importance of hiring a wrongful death attorney, you can see that you have to take decisive action now to protect your rights and the rights of your family.

Douglas E. Manning, Esq. is an attorney and author who writes on the topic of wrongful death. Manning advises his reader to engage the services of a competent wrongful death attorney to protect and preserve their rights after the loss of a loved one. A wrongful death lawyer will fight to protect your rights and those of your family.

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Cigarettes and Fire Danger

Most smokers have been warned about the negative health effects associated with smoking cigarettes. However, cigarettes pose an additional danger that every smoker should acknowledge. Cigarettes are fire hazards, and are the leading cause of house fire deaths in the United States. There were 1,660 injuries and 800 deaths from fires originally started by cigarettes in 2005. If you are a smoker, you should be aware of the fire dangers associated with cigarettes and take precautionary steps to protect your own safety and that of others.

How do cigarette fires begin?

Usually, fires caused by cigarettes start when a smoldering cigarette falls from an ashtray onto the carpet or a piece of furniture. The cigarette may remain smoldering for a long period of time before the furniture actually catches fire. By that time, the smoker may have left the room, and therefore the fire goes undetected until it is too late. Fires can also start when a motorist throws a cigarette out a car window and sparks fly into a dry ditch or someone's yard, or if a smoker throws a cigarette butt onto the ground and does not fully extinguish it.

Fire Victims

Many victims who die in fires or suffer fire injuries are young children who are unaware of fire safety and evacuation procedures. Often young children will hide under beds or in closets in the event of a fire and do not understand that they need to leave the building. Fire victims often die of smoke inhalation rather than from burn injuries, and the inhalation of dangerous fumes can begin to occur even before the victim is aware of the fire.

Fire Prevention

Remember some common sense guidelines to prevent fires caused by cigarettes and fire-related injuries.

* Always make sure your cigarette is properly extinguished.
* If you smoke indoors, always fully extinguish your cigarette in an ash tray, and never position ashtrays near or on top of flammable materials.
* Don't throw your cigarette butts out the window of your vehicle, off the side of a building, or off of a stoop or porch. The smoldering cigarette may land on or may release sparks onto a flammable source.
* Utilize cigarette disposal containers outside commercial buildings and ashtrays at restaurants.
* Talk to children about fire prevention, safety, and evacuation. Point out safe evacuation routes and explain why children should never hide in the event of a fire.

To learn more about fire prevention and the legal issues surrounding fires, visit the website of NYC personal injury lawyers Orlow, Orlow & Orlow, P.C.

Joseph Devine
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Speeding Ticket Pleas - When Pleading Not Guilty to a Speeding Ticket Works

Whenever you get a speeding ticket or any traffic ticket, you have a couple of options on how to plead. Carefully consider your plea before making it.

What types of pleas can one make?

Guilty - A plea of guilty is saying that you in fact are guilty of the speeding ticket or violation and are subject to the fines and penalties.

Guilty with an explanation - This plea is used when you tell a judge that you did in fact speed, but you have a good reason for doing so. Essentially, you are giving an excuse as to why you are speeding, but it's really no different than a guilty plea. In rare circumstances the judge might reduce your violation considering your excuse.

NoloContender or No Contest - For a speeding ticket you aren't saying whether you did it or whether you didn't. Most of the time this will involve paying the fines as if you were guilty.

Not Guilty - This is used when you are wanting to fight the ticket. Pleading not guilty to a speeding ticket doesn't have to mean that you are innocent. It means that you don't feel you are guilty according to the wording of the law. This could be a challenge on how you were pulled over. For example the radar gun might not have been calibrated recently enough to make it acceptable in court. This could be a challenge to some circumstance that make you an exception or a variety of other reasons.

It's important to know the local laws so that you can find one way of proving how you didn't violate a certain point of that violation. That's all it takes to get your ticket thrown out.

Don't feel bad about defending yourself from a certain aspect of the law as it isn't treacherous or deceptive as it's your right to do so.

Do you want to beat your speeding ticket and avoid fines?

Click here and visit to learn strategies and methods to fight a ticket in court.

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Seat Belt, Cell Phone and Speed Limit Laws Enforced Against Drivers in Oaxaca

Driving in Oaxaca, Mexico, became a little more difficult in September / October, 2009. That's when federal, state and municipal governments actually began enforcing the law, at least in the City of Oaxaca and in parts of the central valleys. Until then rules of the road for driving in Oaxaca were on the books, but not enforced; or if enforced at all it was on a very sporadic basis.

As of autumn, 2009, the authorities have been out in full force in a concerted campaign to stop those suspected of driving without seat belts in use, using a cellular phone, and speeding. It's not as though enforcement is a bad thing, only that as a driver you have virtually no recourse in terms of disputing the alleged infraction.

Oaxaca still has a Napoleonic, inquisitorial penal system, and while change is in progress in terms of oral trials for the most serious of criminal offences, it's unlikely that drivers will ever be given the right to dispute highway traffic offences through the courts - at least not in this writer's lifetime.

The range in penalties so far seen is from being given a ticket, to having your plates removed, to having your vehicle towed. No doubt those with more serious infractions uncovered are being whisked off to jail. And since there's no such thing as "probable cause," the police can pop the truck and the glove box, as they wish, and try to uncover all manner of illegal material. So just watch out if you're inclined to smoke up and take along your grass, pot, boo, mota, hierba or weed with you.

The enforcement of seat belt and cell phone laws is indeed admirable, regardless of whether or not a bribe can be paid. But it's the use of radar guns to determine whether or not you're speeding, which is troubling, for two reasons:

1) The speed limit signs are simply absurd. For example, en route to the Sunday market town of Tlacolula, there are signs randomly indicating 40, 30 and then 60 - and not miles per hour. We're talking kilometers per hour. This is a major highway leading from the City of Oaxaca to the coast. And naturally one of the speed traps recently seen is just outside of Tlacolula along this stretch of roadway. Leaving the city and descending the Cerro del Fortín just beyond the Auditorio Guelaguetza, there are newly erected signs indicating 40 kph. At least here the limit is consistently displayed, unreasonably low as it is. And yes, the speed traps are there from time to time, with up to nine police officers awaiting you.

If you ask a Oaxacan what the speed limit is, he will on balance have no idea, for two reasons: the signage, as indicated, in many cases makes no sense; and perhaps key to the analysis, is the fact that drivers are now licensed without a requirement of passing a written or on-road test, since such testing does not exist. So there is no way that drivers will reasonably, of their own accord, go out and try to ascertain the limit.

2) In the US and in Canada, there are a couple of pretty good radar defences to which those facing conviction can avail themselves. Since in Oaxaca one does not have the right to dispute an alleged infraction in court before a judge, with evidence in chief, cross-examination, submissions and the rest, those defences are not available. You cannot question the officer using the radar gun regarding his training regarding competence to use the equipment, whether or not the equipment has been tested before his shift to determine its reliability, or based on
any other doubt you may have or wish to pursue.

The best advice is buckle up, don't use the cell phone while driving, try to find some speed limit signs, and drive accordingly - no matter how much those behind you are honking. And if you are in fact stopped, try to direct the officer's attention to the motorcycles whizzing by you, drivers without helmets, and on the phone and smoking - at the same time.

Alvin Starkman has a Masters in anthropology and law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Now a resident of Oaxaca, Alvin writes, takes tours to the sights, and owns Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast (, a unique Oaxaca bed and breakfast experience, providing Oaxaca accommodations which combine the comfort and service of Oaxaca hotels with the personal touch of quaint country inn style lodging.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are You a Target For a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

While it is true that we cannot control the world around us, certain actions increase the likelihood of a problem. For example, there is a greater probability of having an auto accident if you are talking on a cell phone, trying to eat fast food, selecting a CD to play, doing your makeup or reading something while driving. A medical practice is no different.

A doctor's clinical protocols may be flawless but his doctor/patient relationship can have the same affect as being distracted while driving. Numerous studies have shown that bedside manner can dramatically increase or decrease risk. Patients are less likely to sue a doctor that they like. It's that simple. The good news is that some small efforts can go along way to lessening the likelihood of getting sued. Here are 5 areas that can work in your practice.


The first step is to assure that doctor and staff treat all patients sincerely and honestly, expressing empathy, caring and hope with their patients. Take time to listen to them. Allow them to express their fears and concerns, and then address them as appropriate. The goal is to get every patient to feel as if their success is the practice's utmost concern.

Doctors who, on the other hand, appear to be impatient and impersonal do not evoke good feelings from the patient. If something goes awry, the patient is much quicker to contact a lawyer for redress. Remember, the personal touch is a doctor's best defense against a claim.


Solid patient education is a must. False hopes and unrealistic expectations in the mind of the patient often lead to problems. Just presenting an informed consent for signature does not preclude taking the time to discuss the anticipated benefits, possible complications and alternative procedures. Patients want an accurate assessment of their condition and treatment. If a patient is surprised at an unanticipated outcome, regardless of whether there was any fault on the part of the doctor, he/she may be quick to place blame and look for a lawyer.


This is not likely the first time you have heard this and it will not be the last, but good documentation is your best friend if you are sued. Failure to document testing, diagnosis, treatment and doctor/patient discussions on a timely and accurate basis can make a lawsuit more likely and more difficult to defend. Such risk increases exponentially if the patient is transferred to the care of another physician or specialist who may rely on your medical records.


Communication with a patient, staff and peers is critical. Effective communication with patients is the basis of creating the feelings of empathy and effective education. When a physician has a doubt about the treatment of a patient, a specialist should be contacted to assist with the case or, at the very least, provide advice. Once a second or third doctor is brought into the picture, the establishment of proper channels of communication is paramount. Make sure that everyone understands each other's preferred method of communication and set times for joint review. It is also a good idea to have a referral form that delineates who is responsible for what phases of the treatment, follow-up and prescribing of medication and all of this needs to be communicated to staff as well so that they are prepared to carry out the doctor's orders.


A practice's staff is its front line. Patients will generally deal with staff before and after they meet with the physician so the staff can either improve or erode progress the doctor makes in creating a good doctor/patient relationship. Patients paint their emotional attitude about the doctor with a broad brush that includes the entire operation. If they don't like staff or feel that the staff is not caring, they will again be much more likely to institute a claim against the physician.

A staff's moral comes through to patients very quickly so it is important to create an environment in which the staff enjoys working. Employees who are happy to come to work and help patients will improve a patient's experience immensely.

The best preventative action that any physician or group can undertake is to make a firm commitment to customer satisfaction within the practice. From the receptionists to nurses to back-office clerical staff, everyone must be empathetically focused on the welfare of the patients.

A culture of caring needs to be developed and nurtured from the top down.

J Michael Rosenthal, ARM - President and CEO, RGI Insurance Services Mike Rosenthal is an Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and CEO of RGI Insurance Services. which offers medical malpractice, commercial, life, disability and health insurance services

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Clinical Investigators Meetings and Rational to Use an Investigator Meeting Planner

Pharmaceutical companies spend approximately 10 years and 1 billion dollar per drug to before it is launch to the market. A phase III clinical trial must be conducted for every new drug application to FDA for approval before a pharmaceutical company is able to market this drug to the public. The purpose of the clinical trial is to ensure the safety and efficacy of the new test product . The data collected is analyzed and a clinical study report is submitted to FDA who will the approve or reject the NDA submission.

Every clinical trials will have a Investigators Meeting prior to the first patient enrolled.

A clinical investigators meeting main purpose is to ensure the study is conducted according to regulatory and ethical guidelines and the sites implement the study according to the protocol. As most phase III trials are global involving more than a hundred of principal investigators and thousands of patients, ensuring consistency and compliance to the protocol procedures are critical to the success and validity of the clinical trial data. Safety guidelines needs to be adhere to in the protocol to ensure the safety of the patients in the trial.

Clinical Trials Investigators Meeting is one strategy at the start up phase of the study to ensure that everyone on the study team understands the protocol and related procedures. The protocol presentation is perhaps the most critical element because any section of the study that is not clear or believe to impact on patient enrollment will be discussed with follow up action plans. As most clinical investigators would be familiar with the study during this junction from the feasibility and pre study visit, the protocol, section focus more on discussing critical issues impacting the study conduct and a forum for all Clinical Investigators to get together and discuss all points of view and expertise.

In addition to protocol training Clinical Investigators will be trained about the administration and handling of the new test product. Strict adherence on drug dispensing, prescribing, compliance and drug accountability procedure are discussed in detail the clinical investigator meeting. Detail discussion about potential side effects and permissible concomitant treatment are discussed in the protocol. Procedures for defining a serious adverse events and intervention as outline in the clinical trial investigator meeting.. Clearly define roles and responsibility of the clinical investigators are also outline during this meeting.

Clinical investigators meeting is also an opportunity for all sites around the world to meet and build relationships. The physicians involved in the clinical trial need to work together as a team. . This meeting is the kickoff that motivates all parties and unites them in their effort to validate the new drug product for human consumption that is believed to be more effective and safer for mankind. . It is an expensive time consuming and essential start up activity in the effort to earn FDA approval of the new drug application. As these meetings often are complex to organize and handle, most pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies sponsoring the clinical trials will engage an Investigators Meeting Planner to ensure the meeting is a success.

Investigators Meeting Planner is a company that specializes in organizing Clinical Trial Investigators Meeting world wide. Its founders have been a Clinical Trial Practitioners for over 25 years and have attended and organized numerous investigators meeting.

For more information about Clinical Investigator Meeting Planner, please contact us as or visit us at

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Is the Expiration Date of My Thai Fiancee's K1 Visa?

United States Immigration is a lengthy process and obtaining a K1 visa can be time consuming. There is a light at the end of the tunnel as thousands of K1 visas are issued each year. With that in mind, once the visa is actually issued, there are many questions about how long the K1 visa will remain valid and the restrictions imposed upon a foreign fiancee.

The process of acquiring a K1 visa is somewhat time consuming and can cause frustration for the the American Petitioner and Thai Beneficiary. In many cases, a couple will wait five or six months before being granted preliminary approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Once approved, the petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center, the NVC forwards the case file to the American Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand for Consular adjudication. For many, this process can be aggravating. In many cases, the wait ultimately results in the issuance of a valid K1 fiancee visa.

Upon the visa's ultimate issuance, a number of United States Citizen fiances grow apprehensive regarding the information and dates written on the actual travel document. Of great concern is the notation on the visa which states: "K1 Petition expires on: Month, Day, Year." Many American Citizens mistakenly believe that this is the end of the visa's validity. In reality, the visa is good for traveling to the United States until the expiration date noted on the visa. As a general rule, K1 fiance visas are distributed with a validity of six months. Although, they could be issued with more or less validity as it is technically at the discretion of the Consular Officer adjudicating the case at the United States Embassy in Bangkok.

The visa's actual date of expiration can be the catalyst for perplexity also. The K1 visa is valid for six months after issuance. With that in mind, one should be aware that upon arrival in the USA and gaining lawful admission through the port of entry, the bearer of a K1 visa will only remain in lawful status for ninety days. That being said, the foreign fiancee is entitled to marry their American fiance and apply for adjustment of status. Upon approval, the Thai applicant will be granted a Green Card. Many people, after receiving the K1 visa, are confused by these differing dates. The important thing to bear in mind about the K1 visa is that it can be utilized within 6 months of its issuance and it provides 90 days of lawful status to the bearer upon entry. If the couple does not marry within 90 days, then the Thai fiancee will need to depart the USA before the visa's expiration.

This article is provided courtesy or Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Contact Integrity Legal at 1-877-231-7533 or email To learn more please see:

Reason For Hiring A Miami Personal Injury Lawyer

We are all aware that Miami is a great city. It is a well know tourist spot from people around the world. And it is true that the city of Miami has a lot to offer to its residence and tourist people.

Though there is lot of good things that has been said about Miami, it does not mean that there are no accidents that happen in the city. Accidents may happen anytime and anywhere, and Miami is not exempted when it comes to this. Accidents may happen also in Miami. But the good thing about the Miami is that Miami personal injury lawyers are one of the most responsive people in the city.

If accidents happen and it is due to the negligence of another person, then it is known as personal injury. And in case of the personal injury, Miami personal injury lawyer are the one held responsible in representing the victim. If you are the victim, you cannot represent yourself against the injurer. For this you are in need to hire a lawyer. But when hiring a lawyer that will represent you, kee4p in mind to hire someone that is experienced in handling such case, has the right knowledge about the tort law, the right skills loyal to their clients. Lawyer usually represents their clients in order to claim what is due for them.

There are different kind of personal injury like product malfunction, malpractice of profession, vehicular accidents, slip and fall, workplace accidents and a lot more. The damages that a victim may experience depend on the impact of the accidents. Damages may range into temporary or permanent damages. The liability of the injurer will depend on the damages that the victim sustains. This is the reason why there is a need for the victim to hire a Miami personal injury lawyer. Through the help of the lawyer, the victim can get the right compensation. But of course it is important that the lawyer has to establish the accident is due to the negligence of another person or an institution.

But in most cases, lawyers advise their clients of out of court settlements. It is highly recommended to have the out of court settlement due to the high cost of litigation. If ever there will be an out of court settlements, victim still need the guidance of the lawyer in order to get what is due for them.

If you are going to hire a lawyer, you can ask for your family or e friend's recommendation. This will help you save time in knowing all the important things about the lawyer. You can also use the internet in searching for the right lawyer to hire. There are online websites of lawyers. You just have to read about the testimonies of their past client to know more about the lMiami personal injury lawyer.

Eliza Maledevic Ayson

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Makes A Personal Injury Case

Many people do not really think about personal injury until they are injured. This is when one may begin to wonder what makes a personal injury case. There are many injuries that fall under the category of a personal injury that often require the assistance of an personal injury attorney to resolve.

If a person is injured in an accident that causes bodily harm it is considered personal injury. In some cases a person injured in a car accident may have no recourse but to file a personal injury suit to recover the costs for medical care and time off work. There are also instances where injuries are long term and will require expensive medical treatment for several years. Without recovering the costs for this treatment in the settlement an individual must pay for this treatment from their own funds.

Individuals who slip at work often do not think that they have been injured enough to seek the advice of an attorney. However many injuries that are sustained in a slip or fall on a hard floor cause damage that does not appear for several days. Many companies have medical staff that represent them.

It is important to note that these medical personnel, while concerned for the injured party, are working in the company's best interest and may ask that a waiver be signed without considering the long term medical issues that may result from the injury.

Although most people are required to sign numerous forms prior to medical or dental treatment there are instances of personal injury which require an attorney. The forms that are signed by a patient does not relieve the medical group from liability for medical malpractice or negligence.

Many times an injury resulting from a medical treatment is left unaddressed because people think that they have no right to seek recovery. By speaking to a personal injury attorney about the incident an individual may find that they are well within their rights to seek a settlement to address the injury and treatment for the damage resulting from the negligent act.

As technology and the use of computers has become more commonplace, more and more people are suffering from injuries resulting from repetitive strain. Many of these individuals require surgery to correct the damage to tendons and muscles. Most people do not address these injuries as personal injury even though long term treatment for this type in injury is usually required. By seeking the aid of a personal injury attorney who specializes in workplace injury one may be able to insure that they will have the resources available for treatment even if they no longer are employed at that company.

A personal injury can be very challenging. Before you do anything, go to Hyland and Padilla to get more information about personal injury attorney Durham. Visit us today!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Understanding the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, or MSPA, was signed into law in 1983, and replaced the older Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act. As the name implies, it serves to provide certain guarantees and protections for migrant and seasonal agriculture laborers. Because migrant laborers are less likely to be able to organize and fight for their own rights, the MSPA provides basic rights for these workers and prevents employers from taking advantage of them. The bulk of the act outlines such rights, and stipulations protecting these rights.

The most important stipulations of the MSPA include:

* The employer must offer free and full disclosure of all the terms and conditions of the employment if asked by the seasonal employees. This is to prevent a bait-and-switch situation, taking advantage of the employees by changing the conditions of employment after the fact.
* Posting information about worker protection at the job site.
* Consistently pay the workers any owed wages when they are due, and provide a written, itemized statement detailing the earnings and deductions.
* If the employer provides housing for the employees, the housing must be in good shape and meet all federal and state safety regulations. Although the employer may not be required to provide housing, if he or she does, it must comply with all standards.
* The same goes for any vehicles provided as transportation for the employees. All such vehicles must meet both federal and state safety standards. Additionally, the employer must pay insurance on the vehicles, and the drivers must have the appropriate licenses.
* The employer must meet any terms agreed upon with the workers.
* The employer must keep all payroll records for any and all employees for at least three years.

It is important to note, though, that these stipulations apply only to actual employees, not to independent contractors. People working as agricultural workers can have multiple employers at any given time, and each employer has the same responsibility to follower the terms and conditions of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Although these employers do not have to double up on services provided, failure to jointly provide the protections guaranteed by the MSPA mean that both can be held accountable. Because the MSPA is a federal law, failure to comply with it is a serious offense.

For more information about business and employment law, visit
Joseph Devine

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Douglas Colt - an Alumnus of Georgetown University

On May 2000, Douglas Colt graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC. Georgetown Law was the first law school that was established in the United States by a Jesuit institution of higher learning. Douglas Colt received a Juris Doctor which is considered to be the first professional graduate degree and is a professional doctorate in law. In addition, he was also the cum laude when he graduated from the said university.

Having an impressive GPA of a 10.8/12, Douglas Colt was part of the top 10% of his class. Moreover, he was the editor of "The Georgetown Law Journal" which is the Law Review flagship of Georgetown University. It publishes articles on timely issues by professors and practitioners as well as producing the Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, solicits reviews of recent books, coordinates symposia on important topics, and produces thoughtful student notes.

From 1997-1998 as well as from 1998-1999, Douglas Colt constantly received honors and was on the dean's list. He was also a part of certain activities such as Mock Trials which are contrived or imitation trials in which students try to test theories and experiment with one another in order to learn and enhance certain skills. Furthermore, he was also an active member of an a cappella group in Georgetown University called the Moral Hazard. This was a group that was specifically formed for students who had a passion for singing such as himself.

Washington University is a nonsectarian, private research institute which is situated in Saint Louis, Missouri. Douglas Colt graduated from this fine university on May 1997 where he received a degree in Bachelor of Arts with honors - majoring in Economics and Political Science. In addition, Douglas Colt also boasts of a grade point average of 3.55/4.

Given his GPA, it is not surprising that Douglas Colt obtained several honors as well as doing extremely well at Washington University. His accomplishments in this institution include receiving the Todd Lewis Friedman Prize for Best Graduate in Political Science. The Friedman Prize is awarded yearly for outstanding work in comparative or international politics. Moreover, Douglas Colt was also awarded the Sally E. Strain Scholarship Recipient as well as being on the dean's list from 1994-1997.

Apart from his academics, he was also a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honorary Society. This group is the only honor society for college and university students of government in the United States. Another group that Douglas Colt was a part of is the Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society which is a National Leadership Honor Society. Furthermore, he was awarded the Senator of the Year and in 1995 he was the Scholarship Banquet Keynote Speaker.

Being such an active student, Douglas Colt was the Washington University Student Union Senator. In addition, he was also the Entertainment Council Chairman of the university as well as being the Campus Programming Council Chairman. To add to that, he was also part of the Washington University Campus Volunteer which is an active student organization that provides a broad range of programs to meet the needs of the students.

You ca have more information when you read Douglas Colt Biography and his life as title profession of Attorney Douglas Colt

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Biggest Patent Myth Debunked

There are many good articles about patents, so I just want to address what I think is the biggest misconception I've heard from entrepreneurs. It is:

Once I get a patent, nobody else can sell my product.

Would that the world were so simple. A lot of entrepreneurs have unrealistic expectations surrounding patents.

One fine day I was looking through a catalog that had my patented product featured on page 12. On page 18 there was an identical knock-off of my product that was selling for half the price. How could they do it? I had a patent for Pete's sake.

The company that had knocked off my product was called, let's say Company X. I called them and asked what they were doing. They replied that they had engineered their product to have one difference with our patent application specs. We said that we didn't think it was a sufficient difference, and that we would likely sue them. We also said that we'd tell the catalogs that they had infringed on our patent, and that the catalogs should stop selling the knock-off due to potential legal concerns. At that point Company X told us that they would sue us for making false accusations!

We consulted with several intellectual property attorneys. Even though they were "contingency based," they all wanted significant deposits. The bottom line was that Bandwagon had cleverly engineered around a design issue. We'd likely eventually prevail in court, but like most things, it wasn't about right and wrong, it was about what made sense.

And that wouldn't have been the end of the legal costs. There isn't a magic Patent Fairy who magically stops all infringing products when they arrive in port. First you have to know when they're arriving, and then be present to have a hearing in that jurisdiction to stop them from being imported.

Then of course we had to consider the ramifications of a lawsuit that we'd bring against another company in a major catalog, with whom it was critical for us to maintain a good relationship.

After considering all the costs, hassles, and potential damage to our distributor relationships, we decided not to sue. Instead, we went back to the catalog, and told them that since we had just reduced our costs, we could pass along a lower price, and asked if they'd help us out, since we were the original. They agreed to drop the other product.

In the end, it didn't matter that we had a patent. Indeed, we learned that Company X's strategy was to find cool products, research the patents, then take advantage of any design modifications that companies had done in the two years since they filed for the patent, and then design their own knock-off to exploit the difference! So in our case, having a patent granted actually created a competitor.

Does having a patent help? Most of the time, absolutely. And being able to tout "patent pending" in your marketing materials always helps. But simply getting the patent doesn't mean your new address is Easy Street.

Paul Hynek is a Wharton MBA, and creator of EZ Numbers:, software that enables entrepreneurs to create their own custom pro formas in hours.

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Protecting Your Invention When Using a Chinese Supplier


You want to find a Chinese supplier because you need the price advantage that China offers, but you are worried that the supplier you will work with will start selling your invention to other people or that others will start producing and selling your invention. Basically, someone might start competing against you with your own invention.

What you need is a strategy that will do the following:

- select a supplier that is more likely to be trustworthy
- motivate the supplier to stay trustworthy and
- remove any opportunity for the supplier that would come from being untrustworthy.

The strategy

A trustworthy supplier

In our experience, when an idea is stolen it is typically stolen by a trading company and not a factory. The reason for this is that factory owners are typically more interested in keeping their factory busy, and they are less focussed on marketing issues. In addition, factories are less likely to have competent English speakers to properly pursue the foreign market.

Therefore, it makes sense to find a factory instead of a trading company. However, not all factories are the same. Not only that, you still need to ensure that you have a competent factory as well as trustworthy.

The ideal factory is one of a medium size. Smaller factories will often lack the skill and competence to provide you with reliable supply without the need for constant attention and management. Larger factories are more likely to have experience selling to foreign markets, and thus they have the potential to sell your invention without your knowledge to competitive retailers or distributors. A medium sized factory provides you with the right balance between skill and isolation from competitive western retailers and distributors.

There is one issue of contention over the ideal factory regardless of size. That is their current product range: do you look for a factory that has experience making a product similar to yours or one that is completely new to the industry? In the first case, you will have a factory with a greater degree of expertise and connections with other possible distributor; however, they are also in the best position to take advantage of selling your product behind your back. In the second case, you will have a more trustworthy supplier; however, you will need to be correct and specific about what is to be made and you will also need to find all distribution avenues. The answer to this question must be congruent with the other elements of the strategy and fit with what you feel comfortable with.

Motivating trustworthiness

There are two basic ways that you can encourage a factory owner to be trustworthy: solid and reliable orders, and a good relationship with them.

The best approach is solid orders. If you provide a steady number of orders then a factory owner can keep is employees busy, and his factory will be profitable. This is what a factory owner likes so he will be content and more trustworthy. Therefore, be certain that you have a solid business plan and that you are as certain as you can be on expected sales.

A good relationship can also help. However, this really can only help if you are keeping the factory busy. If your involvement with a factory is more hassle than it is worth, then you will likely damage a good relationship and there is little you can do to improve it. However, if you maintain a steady stream of orders, then maintain contact with the factory owner and working on your relationship can further encourage trustworthiness.

Remove opportunities

Sometimes it might be difficult to find a perfect supplier. And just because you have the perfect supplier doesn't mean that another company can't still buy one of your products and reproduce it. Therefore, it is often good back up to make it is as difficult as possible for your invention to be sold without you being involved.

Patent protection is one obvious tool. When people here that a product it patented, they will think twice about copying it. The trouble is that patents can be costly, they only cover one country or region at a time and they can require considerable legal might to enforce. Therefore, sometimes patents are not ideal.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are a tool worth using when you want to take the trade secret path. You can ask your supplier to keep all of your designs secret. This will not prevent others from reverse engineering your invention, but it might help slow them down. To take this path you will need to make sure that you provide complete and detailed designs so that you can claim that they are entirely yours.

Splitting suppliers means that no one person can easily use the established production resources to produce your invention independently. Of course, this requires more management effort on your part and it is not a guarantee (others can still reverse engineer your invention). However, it does offer an extra hurdle to anyone thinking about stealing your idea.

Owning production tools allows you to quickly (but not necessarily easily) move them from one supplier to another. Therefore, if one of your suppliers is selling your invention to others without your consent or with compensating you, then you can move production to another supplier. This makes opportunities to sell your invention without your knowledge seem much less attractive.

Exclusive distribution agreements with major distributors are a commercial technique to keep others out. If others can't get good distribution channels for the product, then there is little point in producing it. If you can structure the deal with distributors in the right way, then they might also be prepared to use their financial resources to help enforce patent protection to ensure that they are the only distributors in their market. Thus, such an approach can have a double benefit.

The strategy in practice

Using the above strategy will offer you greater protection. However, you need to decide upon the subtleties of your own strategy. Will you use patents; will you split suppliers; and can you gain an exclusive distribution agreement? These are just some questions you need to consider before you finalize your strategy.

For example, if your invention is a deviation on an established product that you might decide that you need a large well established factory already makes such a product to ensure expertise and quality. Thus, you will not split suppliers. Because such a supplier will have the advantage in being well connected with other suppliers and distributors, you might decide to first take out a patent and make an agreement with a strong distributor.

You will also need to consider the tactics. That is: how will you execute each part of your strategy? Will you frequently travel to China to liaise with your suppliers and look for evidence of others copying your design or will you find a third party to work with? Either option is fine, but it is important that you think about this first.

Finally, don't forget that you can turn your threats into opportunities. Always consider asking your suppliers if they know of any other markets or distribution networks that you could sell to. Just because they know of the opportunity doesn't mean that they know how to take advantage of it. But you probably will. Now that's a partnership and a good relationship for making money!

The GYSMC team is a multi-national group of experienced product development engineers that are dedicated to helping people get their products and inventions made in China. Take a look for more information if you want to get something made. China is probably the place to do it and we can help.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Summary of Popular US Visa Categories

Here, we will discuss different Visa Types issued by USCIS.

Every foreign national, seeking to enter the United States for different reasons must obtain a US Visa, before entering States. Depending upon the different needs of foreign nationals US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer different types of Visa.

Normally we can categorize different Visa types into two popular categories:

1. Nonimmigrant Visa (For temporary stay in US)
2. Immigrant Visa (For permanent stay in US)

Depending upon particular requirements of foreign nationals and their purpose of visit to United States, US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer following types of Visa:

1. B-1 Business Visa - US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer B-1 Business Visa to foreign nationals working for any foreign company. Foreign citizens willing to visit the United States for business purposes (it should not involve receiving salary or payment) are eligible to apply for a B-1 Business Visa.

2. B-2 Tourist Visa - Foreign national who wish to visit States for touring purposes, spending vacations or for medical treatment are eligible to apply for B-2 Tourist Visa. Citizens of countries qualifying for Visa Waiver Program also need B-2 Tourist Visa, if they plan to stay in United States for more than 90 days.

3. H-1B Work Visa - This type of Visa helps college educated professionals with special skills (like Doctors, Engineers, Scientists) to enter United States, in order to make valuable contribution in American development. However, there is one constraint, a maximum of 65,000 H-1B Visas can be issued in one year. Professionals with H-1B Visa can stay in United States for a maximum of three years. However, it can be extended if required, but the maximum period of stay cannot exceed more than six years. One advantage with H-1B Visa holders is that, they can apply for Permanent Immigrant Status (Green Card), if their company is ready to sponsor.

4. H-2B Work Visa - H-2B Visa is a different type of work Visa which is issued to skilled and unskilled workers (for non-agricultural jobs). Every year a maximum of 66,000 H-2B Visas are issued. Those foreign nationals are eligible for H-2B work Visas who are eager to come to United States for a temporary or seasonal job (non-agricultural) offered by US employer.

5. C-1 Transit Visa - Foreign nationals who need to enter US in order to transit to another country need C-1 Transit Visa. People with C-1 Transit Visa are allowed to travel (for a maximum of 29 days) in United States when their destination is another country. However, people holding B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa doesn't need Transit Visa. Citizens from countries eligible for Visa Waiver Program also don't need a Transit Visa.

6. F-1 Student Visa - USCIS offers F-1 Student Visa to foreign Students willing to undergo higher studies in United States. Foreign students seeking F-1 Students Visa must have a valid educational purpose for coming to United States. However, only students participating in full time educational programs are eligible to apply for F-1 Student Visa, this type of Visa is not for part time students. Students with F-1 Visa can stay in United States till the end of their educational session. F-1 Visa is multi-entry Visa, and they are free to enter United States many times (before end of their study period). They are also allowed to travel freely anywhere in USA. They are also allowed to do practical trainings during their study period to gain work experience. In many cases, students obtaining a bachelor or master's degree are sponsored by their employer for an H-1B Work Visa. This is the most important advantage attached with F-1 Students Visa.

7. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa - As the name suggests, J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for individuals participating in exchange visitor programs organized by Education and Cultural Institutions or Business Houses. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa helps industrial trainees, students, teachers, research assistants, scholars, and people on cultural missions who are participating in a program of studies, training, research, or a cultural enrichment program designed for such individuals by the United States Department of State, through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

There are several other Visa Types targeting specific needs of people. You will get detailed information about them in next edition of our Newsletter.

Green Card Lottery Online Application Services. Enter US Green Card Lottery program online to win a US visa with USAFIS. For more information please visit us at:

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First Hand Information Regarding US Immigration

United States provide wonderful opportunities for studies and work. Due to availability of the best academic and professional education facility, it is dream of students from all over the world to study in United States. Apart from study, United States also provides excellent opportunities to work. United States is leading in all fields of development. Be it Engineering, Manufacturing, Agriculture or Finance, US offer the best opportunities for deserving professionals to grow in their respective fields.

Living in US is also a pleasure. The country is among one of the best countries to live and work. The rights available to common public, incomparable security and living standards of Americans are a matter of envy for residents of other countries.

Due to the excellent facilities for higher studies and wonderful job prospects after that, people from all over the world tends to become US resident to enjoy the best facilities to study, live and work in United States.

What You Need to Come United States

Being a foreign citizen (resident of a country other than America), you need special permission to come to US Depending upon the nature of your visit to US (Travel, Study, Work, or Immigrate) you need to get proper authorization (Nonimmigrant/Immigrant Visa) from US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What is Visa?

To visit any foreign country, people need to obtain Visa from Embassy or Consulates of visiting country. Visa is an official document offered by the agency handling all Immigration and Citizenship issues for a country. This document permits a foreign national to enter into the issuing country. Depending upon the purpose of visit, Visa types can vary.

Green Card Lottery

US Government has provided foreign nationals with the easiest way to get American Green Card, i.e. Green Card lottery. The US Green Card lottery is well known by the name of Diversity (DV) lottery. DV lottery can also be called as USA visa lottery. DV lottery makes visa available to approximately 50,000 immigrants through the lottery. This visa allows them and their families to stay and work in US on the permanent basis.

This is an official US Government program approved by US congress. With the participation in DV lottery program, your chances to live and work in US get increased, as every year almost 50,000 people and their families win the lottery and become permanent US residents.

Green Card Lottery Online Application Services. Enter US Green Card Lottery program online to win a US visa with USAFIS. For more information please visit us at:

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Credit Report Freeze (Credit Lock) - What You Can Do to Avoid ID Theft

A credit report freeze, sometimes called a "credit lock" is a large piece of the puzzle when trying to protect your financial identity. The majority of identity theft here in the United States has been perpetuated through the use of sophisticated online data stealing techniques but also, the postal mailbox is still a threat to unsuspecting consumers.

If protecting your financial identity is of primary concern, a credit freeze is suggested and can be done with little or no money. This is where your diligence in a few key areas will have a great impact on your identity. Here is a footprint for you to follow so you can put your mind at ease as it relates to your financial identity.

Freeze Your Credit Identity. To get information on how to perform a credit freeze, simply read the information as it pertains to your state and contact the three large credit report bureaus as instructed.

Understand the process of unfreezing. If you are like the majority of Americans, you only need to have a credit report run at few intervals in your life. Purchasing a car, getting a mortgage are done fairly infrequently. There are have been testimonials of people who have their credit "unfrozen" in less than two days and others, three weeks. Request information from the reporting bureaus of how long this process will take when anticipating credit needs.

Shred all extraneous financial papers. As soon as you are through with your credit card statements, bank statements and the like, shred them. If you think you may need a statement in a couple of years for some remote reason, remember the bank has that information on microfiche. If you enjoy keeping statements, file them away as soon as they enter he house.

Review all bank and credit card statements. If there are any irregularities, report them to the appropriate institution at once. Consumers have certain financial rights which will protect a person if they act immediately on theft issues.

A credit report freeze will prevent institutions from having access to your personal files and people will not be able to open up credit card accounts using your name and social security. Even though other parts of your identity may be stolen, your financial records will be relatively safe.

A credit report freeze will not stop an illegal immigrant from using your name and social security number in a hospital or a criminal from giving your name and address to the police but, with a bit of research, personal identity theft can be minimized by getting a very inexpensive umbrella product which will help you in the event your personal identification is misused.

Resources such as Securenet will help you in the event your personal identity is stolen or taken without your authorization. Being prepared for life's untimely events will reduce the chance of you and your family becoming victimized.

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The Four Steps of the Red Flags Rule

It has been said that the best defensive plan is an offensive one. The saying is true for any situation in which information is available to stop problems before they start, especially in the business world. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it would be applying the same proactive principal to the widespread problem of identity theft and business fraud. By implementing mandatory standards of fraud security, the FTC's Red Flags Rule hopes to protect both businesses and consumers nationwide and fight back against hackers and identity thieves.

However, as with any attempt at mass standardization, the compliance rules has been turbulent to introduce. The date by which all affected businesses are expected to comply has been moved twice since the rule was announced. Many businesses claim that the language of the rule has made them confused as to how to achieve compliance, or if their industry will be affected. The FTC has since increased its awareness programs, breaking Red Flags compliance down into four easy steps.

In this article, we will discuss the four steps of Red Flags Rule compliance, and how each is an opportunity for your business to take a proactive role in the fight against business fraud.

Step One: Identify Red Flags

Every business industry has it own unique set of potential red flags, or indicators of potential business fraud. Before you can implement a successful program to detect and prevent red flags, it's essential to first identify suspicious activity unique to your corner of the business world. The FTC provides a series of categories to consider when building a list of relevant red flags, but also urges business owners in this stage to pay special attention to the details of the accounts they manage on a daily basis. What sort of accounts your business deals with-how they are accessed, managed and changed-will play an important role in helping you decide how you will focus on attempts at fraud on your business.

Step Two: Detecting Red Flags

Relevant red flags may exist in two places: new customers and existing customers. It's important to have procedures in place to identify both new and current fraudsters in a way that is not disruptive to your daily business. Comprehensive identity verification and identity authentication systems, when paired with reliable data sources, can be essential tools in helping your business detect fraud. But, there is no universal detection system that will work for everyone. Depending on your industry and the sensitivity of your accounts, you may wish to pull consumer data from multiple sources or invest in an authentication or verification service that covers several different means of making sure your customers are who they say they are. It all depends on what works best for your business.

Step Three: Mitigate Red Flags

If you encounter a red flag, it's important that your business and employees are aware of what steps must be taken to properly mitigate the threat and reduce the opportunity for it to happen again. The appropriate response may depend entirely on the situation, the nature of your business and the nature of your red flags detection program. The FTC offers a set of guidelines for dealing with red flags and fraud encounters, but as the business owner or operator, the situation is truly in your control. It's up to you to determine the best course of action to protect your business, your employees and your customers.

Step Four: Maintain Currency

The methods with which identity thieves and fraudsters attack businesses change on a daily basis. It's essential for all Red Flags compliant businesses to keep their fraud prevention systems up to date with current industry knowledge in order to keep their prevention programs sharp. While a reliable data provider will stay up to date with consumer information, it's up to you and your business to identify which methods are most effective and which should be evaluated or updated for maximum impact on your unique operation.

The Red Flags Rule is simple in and of itself. By following these four easy steps to compliance, you'll be building a system that will effectively prepare you and your employees to prevent, mitigate and report fraud in your daily business. Your system will reach beyond the walls of your business and impact your business partners and customers alike. By being proactive, you'll be doing your part to keep transactions honest and customers confident in their decisions to bring their business to you.

Electronic Verification Systems, an industry leader with more than 10 years of data provision and fraud prevention services experience specializes in integrating identity verification and authentication procedures into established business security structures. We can help you detect and prevent identity fraud, making our solutions ideal for those seeking to become Red Flags compliant.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Overtime & Breaks - What Employees Are Entitled To

When in line with the requirements California law, these cost-saving measures are perfectly acceptable, if often difficult for individual employees. Sometimes, however, in their effort to save money, employers institute polices that unfairly rob employees of wages and rights owed to them. Unfortunately, employees are too often unaware of their rights under California law.

Overtime Pay

Most people who have worked jobs that pay hourly wages are familiar with the concept of overtime pay: for any time worked over eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, hourly employees are generally entitled to one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay. Sometimes, however, employers will take actions to deny employees overtime pay, such as forcing the employees to work off of the clock or forcing them to sign incorrect time cards. These sorts of violations are often obvious, and employees who are denied overtime pay through these (or other) methods are entitled to their full wages owed plus, in some circumstances, court costs and attorneys' fees.

There are also other, less obvious situations in which employers incorrectly deny overtime pay to their employees. In California and elsewhere, employees can be divided into two categories: exempt and non-exempt. The determination of whether a particular employee is exempt or non-exempt is established by what job the employee does, how he or she is paid and how much pay he or she receives. Many (but not all) salaried employees are considered exempt, while most (but not all) hourly employees are non-exempt.

Problems arise when employers misclassify non-exempt workers as exempt. For example, California has an exception for certain "white collar" employees - including executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Employees in these positions are not entitled to overtime pay. Some employers, intentionally or otherwise, will misclassify an employee or group of employees as exempt, and thereby save money by not paying these employees overtime. Unfortunately, the overtime pay laws can be confusing. If you believe you may have been improperly denied overtime pay, an experienced employment law attorney should be able to help you determine your rights and options.

Mandatory Meal Breaks

The distinction between exempt and non-exempt is also important in other contexts. California law specifically sets forth certain breaks that must be provided to non-exempt employees. For instance, non-exempt employees who work shifts of five hours or more must receive a 30-minute meal period during their shift. If the shift is 10 hours or longer, the employee is entitled to two 30-minute meal breaks. During these meal breaks, the employee generally must be entirely free from work duties; in fact, hourly employees are usually required to "clock out" during meal breaks. While employers must, with few exceptions, make these meal breaks available to qualifying employees, the employees do have the right to forego meal breaks during shifts of less than six hours.

Penalties for Denied Meal Breaks

What happens if an employer does not allow their non-exempt employees to take meal breaks as mandated? Generally, for every day that an employer fails to provide a required meal break, the employee may be entitled to one hour of pay at their regular wage. If the employee is allowed a meal break but not free from work duties, the meal is considered on-duty and, in most cases, the employer must also reimburse the employee for the meal break, again at the employee's regular wage. In fact, even if the employee is relieved of all job duties during a meal break, but still required to remain on the job site, the employer may have an obligation under California law to compensate the employee for his or her break time.

There are a few limited situations in which California law allows on-duty meal periods. If the nature of an employee's work is such that he or she cannot reasonably be relieved of all duties during meal breaks, the employee and the employer may agree to on-duty meal periods. For example, a sole barista in a coffee shop or a security guard working alone at a remote site may not be able to totally relinquish work duties for 30 minutes at a time. In these circumstances, however, the agreement as to on-duty meal breaks must be made in writing, and the employee must have the right to revoke the agreement at any time.

Mandatory Rest Breaks

Along with meal breaks, California law also requires employers to provide non-exempt employees with regular rest breaks. For every four hours of work in a shift, employees are entitled to a 10 minute rest break. Employees are free to waive any or all rest breaks, but employers must not coerce employees into doing so. Also, rest breaks should be provided in the middle of each four hour period, or as near as possible. As with meal breaks, employees who are denied rest breaks are generally entitled to one hour of pay at their regular wage for each day they were denied one or more rest break. Unlike meal breaks, however, rest periods should be taken on-the-clock and should be counted as time worked. Because of this, employees may be required to remain on the employers' premises during rest breaks.

These are only a few of the situations in which you may have been improperly denied wages or workplace rights by your employer. For more information on California wage and hour laws, contact an experienced employment law attorney.
Arthur Navarette at Navarette Law Firm. Lawyer in employment law with expertise in harassment, discrimination and employee rights law. If we do not win, you do not pay. Over 30 years combined experience.

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Employment Discrimination - 5 Tips For Effectively Presenting a Claim

Discrimination in the workplace is a serious problem for today's workers. Unlawful employment discrimination creates a work environment in which the workers suffering discrimination are faced with an unpleasant and possibly illegal work situation. At its worst, the workers who are subjected to such illegal actions may lose their jobs and even become unemployable.

The only "good news" is that workers subjected to employment discrimination can protect themselves because such discrimination often is illegal. If an employee or job applicant thinks that he or she has been subjected to job discrimination, here are five tips that the worker should employ to make sure that his or her discrimination claim is given proper attention.

1. The worker needs to know and understand the employer's rules and procedures that apply when employment discrimination or harassment is alleged.

If the worker wants his or her claims to be taken seriously by the employer, the worker has to properly bring an employment discrimination or harassment claim to the employer's attention. If the worker follows the company's rules, then he or she is in a better position to insist that the employer follow those same rules -- including timetables for resolving the claims -- as well.

2. Make sure that the employer knows about any existing or potential employment discrimination.

An employer can't take action until it knows about a worker's discrimination claims.

3. Keep a record of claims and the steps taken to resolve the problems.

An employer is unlikely to believe that there has been employment discrimination in its business unless it is confronted by believable claims with adequate proof. Accordingly, the worker must keep a detailed record of the alleged incidents. These records should include the names of the parties involved, when the alleged incidents took place, the names of any witnesses, and where the incidents took place. The employee or job applicant should also keep a detailed record of his or her actions taken to resolve the problems, including the details of conversations with company representatives.

By taking these steps, the worker can show that he or she is taking this problem seriously and expects the company to reply in kind.

4. If the worker has preserved any evidence of the alleged harassment or discrimination, he or she should keep it. Such evidence might include offensive objects or pictures.

Evidence such as this will be helpful in authenticating and resolving the claims.

5. Consider asking for the help of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal agency that deals with employment discrimination, or the state equal employment agency.

It may be a good idea for an employee or job applicant to take their claims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if they don't think that the employer will pay proper attention to their complaint. The EEOC will then either investigate the claims itself, or ask the appropriate state agency to investigate. A worker can get EEOC help without obtaining an attorney, so he or she will not be faced with attorney fees at this stage. An employer may be willing to compromise with the worker if the EEOC concludes that the employer may have harassed or discriminated against the worker. However, if it does not appear that there will be a settlement, then the worker should retain an attorney to help with administrative hearings or judicial proceedings. An attorney will help the worker to get through administrative or judicial proceedings.

If worker follows these tips, he or she will have presented their claim in the best way possible and will have done their best to make sure that justice is done.

To learn more about federal, state and local laws that protect you against workplace discrimination, get my free report "Employment Discrimination" by clicking here.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Powers of Attorney Important Steps of Estate Planning

Without a power of attorney when you need one could create a big problem. What is a power of attorney?
Let's look at the legal description and definition.

A power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney in common law systems or mandate in civil law systems is an authorization to act on someone else's behalf in a legal or business matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, granter or donor (of the power), and the one authorized to act is the agent, the attorney-in-fact, or in many Common Law jurisdictions, simply the attorney.

What does all of that legal mumbo jumbo mean? Let's say you had an auto accident and were in a coma, you can't make a decision for yourself, who makes those decisions for you? Who has the legal right to make a decision about your health, finances or end stages of life.

A health care power of attorney or a financial power of attorney would allow for someone you appoint to make those decisions for you. It could be your spouse if married, it could be your parents or a sibling or possibly a good friend. You decide, the power of attorney allows for someone to make those decisions for you.

There are 3 important powers of attorney called the "Guardian Trio."

1. Power of attorney for finances.
2. Power of attorney for Health care.
3. Living Will's.

Each power of attorney allows for someone "You" appoint legally to act in your behalf if you were unable to act because you were unable to.

Make sure you find a good Elder Law Attorney to execute a comprehensive power of attorney for you when it comes to your estate planning.

These are documents everyone should have.

Sumiko Watanabe is an author that writes on topics of interest.

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Choosing the Right Disability Lawyer

You've probably seen the statistics about those who use a lawyer and those who don't. So it's likely that if you have a case, you'll get compensation and be approved for your disability claim if you have a good disability lawyer. If you work alone, your chances go way down. That's a no brainer. Using disability attorneys will bring you a much greater chance at success. That's why you should consider hiring a disability attorney. So, with that, how do you choose the best disability attorney for your case?

There are a lot of dodgy lawyers out there that prey on people in time of distress. It's why lawyers often are burdened with a bad reputation. But even though there are many law firms and disability attorneys looking for just money, there are also lots of them that actually want to help you win your disability claim and get you the money you deserve.

If you are choosing a disability attorney, you'll want to choose one that will help you present a winning case that is in line with each regulation and rule from the Social Security Administration. Often, this is easier said than done.

Lawyers often start the process for creating a claim by gathering evidence to support you, and bringing together people who can testify and support your claim. Disability attorneys usually will talk to your doctors and physicians. After talking to your doctor, your disability attorney will put together a document that is in accordance with your particular case, and said before, is in compliance with the Social Security Administration.

If your claim still gets denied after doing all this work, a good disability attorney will take further action. This action will be done through a hearing with a judge, or a slightly less formal hearing, known as an ALJ hearing. People that would be there for a second hearing would be assistants, you and your attorney, and any other experts that your attorney invites. Good disability attorneys will also call on witnesses, if necessary. Make sure you choose a disability attorney that has all the qualifications to explain the intricacies of your case in detail, and also explain to you all the conditions and procedure.

The disability attorney will ask you questions during the hearing, and he or she will likely go over that beforehand to prepare you so you will know what to expect.

When choosing a disability attorneys, no matter where you may be, make sure to go with one that is willing to work with you from beginning to end, and doesn't cut one corner. A good attorney will keep you informed of every detail. This way, you will have a pretty accurate idea about what will happen with your case. Good disability attorneys will be able to determine if the benefits you receive are what you deserve.

If you need help with your disability case, make sure to look at all the disability attorneys out there. Make sure to find one who is willing to work for you, with you, and is determined to win your case, not just determined to make a buck.

Greg Corrigan is an extremely talented author with a great deal of experience with Disability Attorney law and practice.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How to Determine If You Comply With the FTC's New Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Guide

Effective December 1, 2009, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be adopting revised guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. These regulations, 16 CFR Part 255, could drastically affect the legality of any endorsement and testimonial you may use. As one who publishes endorsements or testimonials to advertise your product or service, provides an endorsement or testimonial for free or for a fee, or otherwise utilizes endorsements or testimonials, this particular regulation has far-reaching implications.

So how do you know if Part 255 affects you? Multiple facts and issues must be reviewed and considered in order to determine the applicability of Part 255 and compliance therewith, including:

1. Determining whether the information provided on your website, in your advertisement, or elsewhere qualifies as an endorsement, as defined by Part 255;
2. Determining whether the endorsement is made by a consumer, expert, or other organization and how that affects the analysis;
3. Identifying the basis for the opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the endorser;
4. Identifying representations which may be deceptive, or without substantiation;
5. Advising as to the best way to present the endorsement or advertisement;
6. Identifying any material connections, as defined in the guide;
7. Preparing necessary disclaimer and disclosure information for use in connection with the endorsement or advertisement.

In addition, it is important to recognize that this guide pertains to consumer endorsements, expert endorsements, and endorsements by organizations. Consumer endorsements require different precautions depending upon, among other items, whether the goods or services were provided by the advertiser free of charge or commissioned solely by the consumer providing the endorsement or testimonial. Likewise, endorsements made by an expert, and sometimes an organization, may have to be substantiated with supporting information and/or studies and, at times, based upon an ongoing bona fide use of the product or service. Therefore, it is critical that the above matters be analyzed and considered prior to using an endorsement or testimonial in any advertisement.

Today, endorsements are fairly common on web sites, blogs, and other web properties. Bloggers, who may be subject to different disclosure requirements than traditional media reviewers, must ensure that the proper disclosures are made should the information provided qualify as an endorsement. These content providers, not to mention the advertisers who may be sponsoring them, must pay particular attention to Part 255's requirements.

While an experienced internet lawyer can provide you with information regarding this new guide, it is important that you recognize what this means for your business. You would be well-served to contact an attorney about the application of Part 255 to your business, blog, product, or endorsement.

Brian A. Hall is an attorney and partner at Traverse Legal, PLC, a law firm specializing in internet law and intellectual property matters as well as complex litigation. His law firm routinely blogs about compliance issues facing bloggers, including FTC Enforcement Guidelines Under Part 255, and handles e-commerce representation.

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What is Cyber Security?

It seems that almost everything now relies in internet and computers - entertainment, communication, transportation medicine, shopping, etc. How much of your life is dependent on internet? How much of your information is stored on your or someone else's computer? With such a high dependency on computers, neglecting the increase in Cyber crime is extremely harmful.

Cyber security actually protects your personal information by responding, detecting and preventing the attacks. Cyber security is actually introduced to decrease cyber crimes. All banking institutions and businesses today run their business online. Hackers can hack your computer system and misuse your personal information and pictures. Various other dangers associated with cyber crimes are entry of virus into your system, altering your files, change of passwords, stealing credit card information and make unauthorized purchases.

Today, there are several universities and colleges that are offering Cyber degrees. In associated degree program you can learn about cyber forensics, data encryption, network security, etc. In the associate degree program a student is taught to use the recent technology and ensure that digital information communication is carried in an appropriate manner that is secured from surveillance or attack by expert hackers and malevolent computer users. Organizations and businesses will have ascending requirement for cyber professionals in future to protect their company's records and private information.

A degree in this field will provide you with an opportunity to work as a computer support technician, systems administrator, network administrator or similar position. People with associate security degrees may enjoy following career opportunities and annual incomes:

Network Administrator: $58,190

Support Specialist: $40,430

Systems Administrator: $58,190

The career opportunities for cyber security profession is expected to increase in the coming few years. The demand for systems administrators and network administrators will grow at a rapid rate.

The typical coursework for the Associate Cyber Security Degree includes Cyber forensics, Computer hardware, Cyber security, working with Computers and Internet, applied mathematics and software support. In the degree course program a student is expected to learn about antivirus software, encryptions, firewalls, and other similar techniques to ensure the safety of data communications as per your company's guidelines.

Want to make my career in Cyber Security? Find best Criminal Justice Programs in Cyber Security at Here you will find all information about Criminal Justice Schools, degree, programs & more other information.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Point System For Traffic Tickets

Getting numerous Las Vegas Traffic Tickets can cause you to lose you license and your insurance to increase. You need to know how to deal with the Las Vegas NV Traffic Court bureaucracy.

In Nevada you are assessed points when you get traffic tickets. For example, when you speed 1-10 over you have one point on your driving records. But, if you are convicted of reckless driving you will get eight points on your driving record.

The State of Nevada will notify you, via mail, when you have three points on your record. But, please know that if you get 12 points, in a year, your license will be automatically suspended for six months. Also, your insurance rates will likely rise substantially or the insurer may even cancel your policy.

So, What do you do?

1. Try to fight the ticket yourself. Not recommended. You will need proof that you did not speed or run that stop sign. Just saying "You did not do it?" will not work. Nine times out of 10 a judge will take the word of the police officer over your word. However, if you lose you will most likely be assessed the full fine and be given points.

2. Hire a lawyer. This may work if you have a good defense. But, lawyers will charge you upwards of $200+ hour. If you do win you will end up paying more in defense that the ticket would have originally cost.

3. Do traffic school. This is a viable option. But, you will have to spend 5+ hours in a class and if you miss it you will still get the points on your record.

4. Hire a lawyer to fix your ticket. This is the best option as a lawyer can likely get you a better deal that you would yourself. A good traffic attorney knows the Judges an/or District Attorneys and can get your fine reduced and no points. Also, you do not have to go to court. So, you will not have to take time out of work.

The information you obtain at this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own particular situation.

The Author, Jon Martin, Esq. is an experienced traffic attorney who has fixed hundreds of Las Vegas Traffic Tickets. Don't go alone to the Las Vegas NV Traffic Court. Please visit for information on how I can fix your ticket and in most cases I will get you no points and a reduced fine.

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Criminal Law - Bail and Arraignments

If a person is arrested for a criminal misdemeanor in Rhode Island (RI) there are several potential scenarios. The police could hold the accused and bring him to Court for an arraignment in District Court in the morning. The police also could call a justice of the peace / Bail Commissioner who could arraign the accused at the police station and release the person. The bail commissioner could also set bail in order for the person to be released.

It is usually not advisable for a person to give a statement to the police without a Rhode Island (RI) Criminal Lawyer / attorney. However, there are exceptions to every rule!

The accused who is arraigned by the justice of the peace must still attend a more formal arraignment in District Court after he / she is released from police custody.

The formal arraignment is the court hearing where a criminal defendant either pleads not guilty, or nolo contendere to the criminal charges. Nolo contendere means the person is admitting to the charges but is not contesting them. A defendant should never plead guilty. A nolo contendere plea is not a conviction unless there is a suspended sentence, fine or jail time. The scope of this article does not pertain to expungement law or a detailed explanation of the different pleas and sentences that can be imposed.

It is usually a very bad idea for a person to plea nolo contendere without an attorney at the arraignment. However, there are exceptions to this rule especially if the person will be held as a probation or bail violator. It is usually very strongly advisable that the defendant says not guilty and retains a Rhode Island criminal lawyer. If the accused cannot afford a private criminal attorney they should go to the Rhode Island Public Defender's office.

If the accused pleads nolo at the arraignment they will be sentenced to a filing, probation , suspended sentence or jail time. Usually, the accused will work out a plea agreement with the police officer prior to pleading nolo contendere.

At the arraignment in District Court, the person will typically be released on bail after the person pleads not guilty. An accused should hire a Rhode Island criminal attorney to represent him/ her at an arraignment. For minor misdemeanor offenses, bail is usually personal recognizance which means the person does not have to come up with any actual funds. A defendant released on personal recognizance, has to promise that they will attend court for future hearings and / or trial. Personal recognizance is designated as an amount of funds. The accused does not actually pay any money! However, If the person fails to attend court in the future the accused will owe that amount of money to the State of Rhode Island.

If the Rhode Island (RI ) District Court judge orders cash bail then the accused must pay that amount in cash to be released. If it is cash bail than the defendant cannot post property.

If the person is repeat criminal offender, the allegations are particularly bad, the person has a history of not attending court or for other reasons, then the court could set bail with surety. This means that the person only has to pay 10 percent of that amount or post property valued at full amount. If a person can not come up with ten percent then they can hire a bail bondsman who will post that amount for a fee. a Bail bondsman's fee is usually reasonable. If the person attends all Court dates then they will get that money back at the end of the case.

If the person arrested was out on bail for a previous offense, is on probation, is in the midst of a one year filing, suspended sentence or deferred sentence than the judge can hold the person as a"violator" pending a hearing. The judge can refuse to set bail and hold a person as a violator at the aci for ten business days which could be up to 14 days.

There will be a hearing 10 days later in which the person will be accused of violating probation or bail and also stand trial on the new charges. The scope of this article does not include an in depth analysis of bail / filing / probation violation hearings.

It is important that this criminal law article be used for informational purposes only and not as a substitute for seeking legal advice from a Rhode Island lawyer.

A misdemeanor is any offense punishable by up to one year in Jail. Typical misdemeanors are: driving under the influence of alcohol / drunk driving (dui / dwi), shoplifting, domestic assault, Second (2nd) offense refusal to take the breathalyzer, driving on a suspended license, writing bad checks, domestic vandalism, simple assault and battery, domestic disorderly, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, etc. There are different rules that apply to driving with suspended licenses and this article does not fully address those provisions.

Legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer/ attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

David Slepkow is a Rhode Island lawyer concentrating in criminal law, DUI / DWI, breathalyzer refusals, restraining orders/ no contact orders, divorce, family law, child custody / support / visitation and personal injury.

If you have any questions or need legal help please call David Slepkow at 401-437-1100 or visit his website: Rhode Island Lawyers/Attorneys

David Slepkow offers free initial consultations and accepts all major credit cards. For more useful information concerning Rhode Island (RI) criminal law.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Copyright Law and Society

With this message I have created a copyright. Should this post become as popular as say a Beatle's song I could sue for royalties from everyone who forwards it. The copyright on the post lasts 75 years and if I register the copyright it will last as long as 100 years. Even what is in the copyright and what is not is questionable as I can later derive work from this post and extend the copyright.

While Congress is spending millions studying the Drug War, Health Care, the Deficit and a myriad of other issues, the impact of an obsolete copyright law is far greater on society. On the corporate level there is a push to extend copyright, neglecting that most of what we see today on TV or the movies is derived work from historical authors like Shakespeare who then derived much of his work from Greek plays. On the left there are people like Thom Hartman who want to see copyright laws repealed guaranteeing Disney and other movie produces will never make another movie.

Currently, Google is under a legal injunction preventing them from just scanning books that may still be in copyright. There is a better way to sort the current mess. Public domain works have become like the Guttenberg Project and with open source software a valuable resource. With the internet available to the world public domain works spread communication and education. There are many ideas and valuable history wrapped up in out of print works. The Internet exploits these works adding value to society

How much other obscure information becomes valuable when exposed on-line? Like Google the Guttenberg Project cannot put on line thousands of obscure and out of print books because of out of touch copyright laws. In the past a publisher - say of Schumpeter's Business Cycles -- had a motivation not to reprint an out of print book. They had to cover the cost of a minimum printing and this meant warehousing, distribution and promotion costs. Thus many, many books lie fallow, keeping library shelves full and supporting out of print book dealers.

With every change in technology there are winners and losers. Economics generally sorts things out, however government and laws play an important part in making economic value. Without copyright laws the publishing industry would come to a screeching halt. Already the music industry is caught in a bind over internet distribution. Yet there are some simple solutions to this problem.

1. Lower the length of copyright on non-registered works to three to five years. A short time frame would further expand the value of the Internet as a resource.
2. Make registered works re-register every five to seven years.
3. Raise the registration fee to a level that would support an enforcement fund.
4. Define clear penalties for infringement that are high enough to be enforceable but not draconian.
5. Automatically flow the funds from enforced royalties to the registered copyright holder.
6. Allow re-registration of copyrights to enter open bidding with the funds from a high bidder going to the previous copyright holder.
7. Failure to re-register a copyright pushes the work into the public domain.

In effect the holders of registered copyrights would be paying a tax for enforcement just as banks pay FDIC insurance on deposits. As with domain names, all registered copyrights can now be on line. A cottage industry would spring up around bidding for expiring copyrights giving the owner extra bidding power. Fees collected as well as fines support rational enforcement. Fines could be split between copyright holder and the enforcement agency. In bidding for expired copyrights the enforcement agency would get a portion of the bid allowing for legitimate bidding and higher fees on properties with greater potential enforcement costs.

The same could be done with software where in-registration a copy of the code is archived with the licensing agency. On expiration the code would be released on-line allowing users access for bug fixes and modifications again making possible derived works and increasing the economy. When a product is no longer available for sale or supported and has embedded software that software becomes publicly available.

On both sides the consumer and creator are protected. Unregistered works become publicly available much sooner and valuable works of creation take on greater and greater value as they become part of the culture. As things expire each has a chance at increased exposure. Out of print works become easily and readily available adding to the wealth and knowledge of society.

Eric Von Baranov is the Founder & CEO of the Kondratyev Theory Letter (The Letter). Started in 1974, The Letter follows the 50+ year economic long wave theory as originally developed by the 1920s Russian economist Nicolai Kondratieff. Adherence to this cycle provides Eric with insight on a wide range of topics, including economics, politics, culture and technology. Eric has been published by Minyanville and the Psychic Investigator. He sponsors an online conference at Please note that a new and improved web site is currently under development.

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