Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New York Personal Injury Lawsuit Cases - What You Should Ask

Finding the right injury lawyer for your case is very important and can mean the difference between winning and losing. During your first meeting with any attorney, ask the following questions to help you decide if he or she is the right personal injury lawyer for your case.

1. How long have you been practicing personal injury law?

With so much at stake, the last thing you want to do is hire a novice.

2. How many cases similar to my own have you taken to trial or settlement?

A seasoned injury attorney will have handled many cases like yours to trial and/or settlement. The number of cases an attorney has taken says something about his or her skill and success rate.

3. Are personal injury cases like mine the main focus of your practice?

The personal injury attorney you hire should have a history of focusing on the subject matter involved in your claim. Though general practice attorneys are good for many things.

4. Will you use other attorneys or paralegals on my case?

If the attorney you are talking to has a legal staff working for him or her, it is important that you meet them and decide if they are an asset to your case.

5. Whenever you're unable to answer the phone, how soon can I expect you to return my call?

A good lawyer should return your call no later than 24 hours. Whatever the return call policy of your chosen lawyer, have it written into your retainer agreement to ensure compliance.

6. Will you take the time to help me understand all of the court procedures, legal concepts, fee arrangements, billing practices, retainer agreements, and payment of costs?

Even though an attorney is busy with many things, he or she should always take the time to answer a clients questions.

7. What methods or strategies will you use in handling my case?

A seasoned New York personal injury lawyer should have an organized process for "working-up" cases like yours. The amount of detail that goes into the attorneys process is an indicator of his or her organization skills and knowledge of the laws pertinent to your case.

Get more information on a NYC Personal Injury Lawyer


Us Tourist Visa Thailand: Issues Involved In A Fiancee's Application

The process of obtaining a US visa for a loved one can be confusing. This article delves into the process of obtaining a US B-2 tourist visa from Thailand.

There are many people of all nationalities and backgrounds who submit applications for American tourist visas at the United States Embassy in the Kingdom of Thailand. Although such applications are rather common, they are becoming increasingly subject to denial pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Citizenship and Nationality Act. This rule requires Consular Officers to make a presumption that the tourist visa applicant is actually an undisclosed immigrant unless the visa applicant can show strong evidence that contradicts and thereby rebuts this presumption. Section 214(b) therefore creates a "strong ties" vs. "weak ties" analysis which necessitates that the applicant show "strong ties" to their country of origin, or another country outside of the United States of America, and also "weak ties" to the US. This can be a very problematic provision especially for those Americans who wish to bring a Thai significant other back to the US for a temporary stay.

The existence of an American Citizen boyfriend or girlfriend can be very detrimental for a Thai National's B-2 visa application (or any non-immigrant visa application for that matter including the F-1 visa, J-1 visa, B-1 visa, etc). The detriment arises from the fact that the applicant has a relationship with an American and therefore could be construed to have a "strong tie" to the USA. There are some Thai-American couples who try to avoid this issue by simply "not mentioning" the existence of a romantic relationship with a US Citizen. This is not a good idea, in this author's opinion, because any dishonesty, even dishonesty by omission, is unethical and could be viewed by the Embassy and/or Consulate as an attempt to defraud the US government. For an American Citizen, a finding of fraud and misrepresentation could lead to penalties, but such a finding could have a highly negative impact upon the applicant's chances of ever obtaining a US visa in the future as fraud and misrepresentation is considered a legal grounds of inadmissibility to the USA that would likely only be remedied upon the approval of an I-601 waiver.

Although, the DS-156 form that is utilized in applying for an American tourist visa does not pose the question: "do you have an American boyfriend/girlfriend?" Instead the forms asks:

"Are Any of The Following Persons in The U.S., or Do They Have U.S. Legal Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship? Mark YES or NO and indicate that person's status in the U.S. (i.e., U.S. legal permanent resident, U.S. citizen, visiting, studying, working, etc.)"

The form then allows the applicant to note family relationships, including "fiance/fiancee." The reason for this discussion is due to the fact that the remainder of the form's questions can be answered relatively easily. For example, one can say with near certainty if they have a US Citizen husband or wife, but "fiance" is another, more opaque, concept. Defining the term "fiance" can be problematic as romantic relationships, before marriage, are fairly fluid from a legal perspective. In this author's opinion, if the applicant has a romantic relationship with an American Citizen, then this fact should be disclosed to the Consular Officer either in writing or at the visa interview, but if there is any inkling that marriage and adjustment of status may be a possibility, then it may be better to forgo an attempt at a tourist visa, as this is not really the proper travel document, and submit a petition for a K1 visa.

Whatever the factual situation, the existence of a "fiance/fiancee" ought to be disclosed as a failure to do so would likely be construed as a misrepresentation of a material fact if, in fact, the couple plans to eventually get married.

Ben Hart is an attorney from the United States and Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Contact Integrity Legal at 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, or See them on the web at: K1 Visa Thailand or K1 visa process.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Divorce: 5 Ways Your Testamony Can Best Help

If you are called as a witness in a divorce case, you have probably chosen sides. After all, your friend, relative or employer is the one who asked for your help, it is only natural for you to feel loyalty to that person.

If you are a brother, sister, mother or father, your whole family could be effected by the court's decision. If you are a teacher or day care provider, you may feel closer to the parent you know better. Regardless of why you are being called on to describe your contact with the family, the following tips will serve you well.

1. Tell the truth. You may feel inclined to color your testimony to help the person who called you. Hopefully, what you say will do that. However, if you exaggerate or lie, it is likely that opposing counsel will spot inconsistencies in what you say, and will ask you clarifying questions in cross-examination that can make it look like you weren't being totally honest in the first place. If that happens, the judge is less likely to take your statements seriously.

2. Don't get angry. That can be difficult. We lawyers are trained to ask questions in the most annoying way possible. We are trying to protect our client's interests, and the less credibility the opposition's witnesses have, the better off we are. If we can get a rise out of someone, or make them seem hostile, we have a better chance of showing the judge that what they say shouldn't be given much weight. After all, if they are telling the truth, they wouldn't have any reason to get defensive, would they?

3. Make sure you answer the question you are asked. Sometimes, you may think the judge needs information you have, and that the lawyers aren't going to ask for it. This may be so, but the lawyer may have good reason not to solicit that particular fact.

The judge may not be sympathetic to what you could say, and the lawyer doesn't want to annoy him. The other facts that have been brought out may make the bit you want to add unhelpful to the case. Even if it is something the lawyer wants to put into evidence, there may be other things that have to be established first.

If you blurt something out at the wrong time, it could damage the case. Some steps have to be taken before some things can be considered by the court. If the judge sustains the other side's objection to what you said, it will be harder for the lawyer to use it later, and that could cause a lot of damage.

4. If you don't understand the question, ask for clarification. Explain that you don't understand what information is being sought if you don't know. Don't play dumb. However, if what you are asked doesn't make sense, it may have been poorly expressed.

Lawyers can be in a situation where they know what information they want, but they just aren't sure how to get it. Things change during a trial, and the testimony that seemed necessary in preparation may not be so important as the case develops. Conversely, things may come up that the lawyer didn't consider beforehand, and she may suddenly realize that a piece of information may be useful.

Unfortunately, that kind of question may arise so suddenly that it doesn't come out right. The moral here is that you should always understand what you are answering, and you should never hesitate to ask for more information before you respond if you need it.

5. In some cases, the lawyers request what is called a "separation of witnesses". This is done so one person can't change their testimony based on what he heard another person say on the witness stand. After you have testified, you may be able to stay and see the rest of the case. Whether no separation was requested, or you are allowed to stay and watch the Proceedings after you have spoken, there is a tip that will keep you from being yelled at, removed from the courtroom, or in extreme situations sent to jail for contempt of court.

Don't shake your head. Don't laugh. Don't heckle the witness, even if you do think the performance is bogus. Don't try to provide answers to the witness. In short, pretend you are a fly on the wall, and don't say a word unless the judge or one of the attorneys asks you to.

If you're getting divorced, you would like to know what to expect, right? Lucille Uttermohlen has been a family law attorney for 27 years. She'll tell you all about the divorce process at and will answer any questions you have at


Banqueting Chairs How For Seating Guests In Comfort

Banqueting chairs is the title given for seating that is suitable for banquets, catered events, short term rental seating, church and restaurant chairs and other similar usage. Chairs should be comfortable enough that guests won\'t feel like squirming through the entire event. They must also stand up to the wear and tear of frequent use with a wide range in the degree of activities.

Rental chairs are often very generic. They can be made of molded plastic so that they can easily be stacked. Other stackable chairs are somewhat customized and may have padded cushions in various colors. Where size is a consideration, the chairs that can be stacked may prove to be the best option. If your group or organization finds itself renting chairs frequently, a purchase may be an economical venture.

Hotels and resorts that function as conference centers have multiple meeting rooms in most instances. They will store chairs that can be easily set up and taken down, depending upon the nature of intended use. Conference center chairs tend to be customized to some extent so that they match the decor of the hotel in color and style. Regardless of the style, the chairs usually feature fabrics that can easily be cleaned and maintained.

Chairs useful for group seating are generally purchased in darker colors so that any soil or spills will be less likely to destroy the usefulness. Upholstered chairs may be dark in color or in patterned designs so that soil and wear is not so obvious. A room with seating in upholstered chairs is likely to have less ambient noise that plastic or metal chairs.

Top quality seating with upholstered seats are sometimes recovered when the signs of wear become too obvious. Chair legs are another feature of the chairs that must be considered. Without wheels or glider pads on the base of chair legs, they can result in floor or carpet wear. On the other hand, being unable to move a chair up to or away from a table can be frustrating for guests.

The frame of the chair can be available in almost any size, color, material or design. Wood frames are popular in upscale designs that feature upholstery. Wooden chairs without the benefit of padding or upholstery may be less comfortable than padded styles, but reflect excellent taste and design sense.

Chair legs might be made of metal. This type of chair is suitable for heavy wear locations. They can be easily cleaned, but are somewhat heavier than chairs made of plastic. Chairs in an outdoor location must be made of materials that are unlikely to rust or be otherwise damaged by dampness or sun.

Banqueting chairs that are rented must be more utilitarian in most instances. These pieces of furniture not only have the usage during a banquet or other gathering, they have the wear and tear of getting them to and from the banquet site. For those responsible for setting up and tearing down banquet facilities, lightweight and easily cleaned furniture is preferred.

Learn more about how easy you can make your upcoming special occasion unforgettable using a beautiful banqueting chair. Find a complete selection of banqueting chairs to choose from that will add a distinct and signature look to your special occasion.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Great Online Tool to Find Obituary Records

Obituaries are often considered a vital part in someone's search to find the background of someone they're inquiring about. While it is not necessarily a requirement that a person have an obituary written for them when they pass away, it is very customary and typically covers similar content as the death record. Unfortunately, trying to find a person's obituary record is like trying to find a needle in the haystack. But with the right information, you can easily find out more information than you ever thought possible...

Two parts of a typical obituary are the biographic data of the person themselves. This part is where you can learn about what the person's profession was, what their hobbies were, who their friends were, their accomplishments, and many more things about the person you simply wouldn't learn from a visit to the local probate office. You may even find out something about another person or place which leads you to follow up in tracking that person down as well.

A death record is similar, but different in many ways. To begin, a death record is an official record of the person's death. It is what a family member will use to prove the person is, in fact, dead, in addition to many other uses. It will contain such information as the person's full legal name, their date and place of birth, their final address, who their surviving kin were on the moment of their death. Much of this information can be used to further find a person whom you may be interested in performing a follow-up search in order to get the full picture.

Up until now, these records have existed in very different places. The death records are usually kept by the local courthouse and are kept on file so that anybody can come in and request access to the files and finish up the research. There is no full federal organization or place that keeps all of the national death records, so if you were to search throughout the US, you'd have to visit every locality you were interested in before considering it a thorough search.

The obituary records can be typically found in the local newspaper. However, which paper that the obituary was printed in is typically the biggest sticking point that researchers come across when looking to simply find more information on a person's life and their death. Luckily, there is a solution that exists and you can actually search both death and obituary records all at once, and naturally as well!

Run your records check for free here => Online Record Search.

You're guaranteed to find what you're looking for, no matter how much you know or don't know about them. Search Billions of government records such as birth and death, marriage, divorce, property, county, phone, and millions more.

Article Source:

Injured Or Disabled? Need SSD Benefits? How an Attorney Can Help

If you can't work any longer because of a medical condition or impairment -- physical or mental -- you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.

You can go it alone, and apply for benefits on your own. But should you?

In a word, no.

Being eligible for benefits is one thing. Obtaining those benefits is quite another. And having an attorney in your corner can mean the difference between a secure financial future... or not.

It's said that up to two-thirds of applications are initially denied. While the process can be completed without a lawyer, having an attorney can dramatically improve your chances of obtaining benefits. Statistics indicate that claimants who have legal representation are more likely to win benefits that those who do not.

Should your case be denied, you'll either have to re-file or file an appeal. An appeal typically will involve a Social Security Disability hearing before an administrative law judge. And would you go to any other kind of legal hearing without representation?

How can having a lawyer for my (SSD) help? Here are a several ways:

• SSD cases are complex and time-consuming and can be overwhelming. They involve not only the question of eligibility but also medical records, work and medical histories, plus strict deadlines and hundreds of pages of regulations and court opinions. Applicants can find the process confusing, and one mistake or missed deadline can mean denial. Given the complexity of these cases, an experienced attorney means experienced help navigating the system.

• The government will not protect your rights as an attorney will.

• An attorney helps at all stages of the process, from advice on the best way to apply, to hearings, through appeals.

• A lawyer can determine if you are eligible for SSD or SSI benefits.

• A lawyer will handle all the paperwork, including requesting, collecting and assembling the necessary medical records.

• An attorney will deal with your doctor or medical provider, to obtain the information necessary to prove your disability.

• With thorough knowledge of the process and rules governing SSD/SSI, an attorney will cull through the evidence and present your case in the light most favorable to you.

• An attorney will speak to the Social Security Administration (also known as the SSA) on your behalf.

• An attorney will prepare you for any hearings and speak to the Social Security Administration on your behalf.

• A lawyer will meet all deadlines and ensure that all documents and forms are submitted on time and in the proper form.

• A lawyer will represent you and speak on your behalf in any legal hearings and proceedings. He will cross-examine medical experts and any other witnesses or personnel called by the judge.

• An attorney will appeal an unfavorable decision from the Social Security Administration, including examining the denial and any contributing factors, plus addressing the cause of the denial and providing the information that will be needed for the appeal.

And there's no upfront fee to pay, important for those who have no paycheck coming in. The Social Security Administration pays the attorney from an applicants' retroactive benefits. The fee is 25 percent of the benefits, up to $6,000. Be wary of an attorney who does not offer a free consultation in a Social Security Disability (or SSI) case; most lawyers who concentrate in these cases provide free consultations to explore eligibility as a matter of common practice.

An attorney can help even BEFORE you start the process. Call a lawyer before you apply. Your chances of success increase dramatically.

About the author: Neil H. Good is an attorney whose practice (in the Chicago area and Las Vegas) concentrates on Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits cases. He knows you should not go into this complicated process alone and shouldn't trust your case to just any attorney; you need an experienced advocate in your corner.

You have full permission to reprint this article provided this box is kept unchanged.

Article Source:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Disturbing Trend in Michigan - Disability Claims Approved and Then Abruptly Taken Away Within a Year

There is a very disturbing trend going on in Michigan in which persons approved for a long-term disability claim out of the blue six months later gets their benefits cancelled by the insurance company. You can just imagine the havoc that causes in that person's life.

The reason is that the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was rigged by Congress and further rigged by the Courts to be strongly biased against in favor of the insurance company paying Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits to an individual.

Insurance companies sell group policies that some courts have ruled provide little or no coverage. Congress approved ERISA to "protect" employees' pensions but in doing so unwittingly gave disability insurance companies a free pass to play the game on a field that is not level.

That practice has been challenged by a lawsuit against insurance giant UnumProvident (Unum) charging that the insurance carrier devised a scheme to illegally deny or terminate the long-term disability claims of thousands of people in violation of ERISA. The lawsuit charges that Unum cut costs by terminating claims by:

· providing financial incentives to in-house physicians who would rubber-stamp previously made business decisions

· authorizing more senior in-house doctors to change the written reports of other "uncooperative" in-house doctors in order to justify a claim denial or termination

· stopping payments to policy holders without any explanation given for termination

In recent settlements Unum has agreed to reconsider some 200,000 denied disability claims. The company is facing a potential $145 million fine in Maine alone. And this is only one insurance company; there are others engaged in the same kind of deceptive practices.

The fact that insurance companies without good reason are terminating LTD claims previously approved is one more attack made to rob well-intentioned, honest citizens of the benefits they have coming. I find this to be absolutely horrible. It is bad enough that insurance companies, without good cause, will routinely deny disability claims when first submitted and force applicants to appeal or resubmit claims. This is a long-standing ruse of LTD insurance companies, and it's wrong!

Disabled workers how are denied benefits must appeal not once but twice to the insurance company, a process that takes at least six months and requires patients to track down all their medical records and submit every document that they might later want to use in a lawsuit. After a second denial, the insurer might send a case for an "independent" medical review by a doctor chosen by the insurance company.

ERISA law, augmented by federal court rulings, does allow workers denied benefits to seek a limited bench trial - a mere review of the administrative record, no new evidence, no witnesses, no jury. But federal law only allows the plaintiff to sue for the original benefits. There are no payments for damages or pain and suffering.

One study of 576 lawsuits filed in federal court against the seven largest disability insurers (MetLife, Unum, Prudential Financial Inc., CIGNA Corporation, Standard Insurance Co. and Aetna Inc.) found that insurance companies:

· Regularly deny or terminate benefits to individuals even after they determined to be disabled by the federal government and approved for Social Security Disability payments.

· Hire contract doctors who routinely reject the opinion of treating physicians without ever having seen the patients.

· Provide incentives to employees to deny and terminate claims, typing performance evaluations to meeting money-saving goals.

· Force plaintiffs to wait two years and eight months on average form the time they are disabled to the time their cases are resolved.

· Face no peril for repeatedly denying or terminating legitimate claims because federal law does not allow for any damages.

Many of the denials or terminations involve long-lasting illnesses that are hard to prove, such as chronic pain, back problems, closed head injuries or fibromyalgia. But some claims involve heart disease, blindness, migraines, or cancer - diseases which are easier to establish.

The rush to denial by insurance companies also is a practice followed for government benefits such as SSD and SSI: Social Security denies almost 70 percent of its initial disability claims while 60 percent of those who appeal eventually win.

Because the deck is stacked against disability claimants form day one, and all through the process, there is no question in my mind that the injured person early on in the process should contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury litigation, especially in the fields of long term disability and/or workman's comp. An applicant living in Michigan who is denied LTD, SSD, SSI or workman's comp needs an attorney from Michigan because of how Michigan No Fault Law and other Michigan laws impact these areas.

The permanently injured person soon learns that the only ones looking after their best interests are themselves and their attorney.
By Terry Cochran

About the author:
Terry Cochran, senior partner in Cochran, Foley & Associates, P.C., a Michigan law firm specializing in personal liability, medical malpractice, and SSD/SSI appeals. Cochran does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases his practice upon representing individuals and families. 800-322-5543.

Article Source:

Shuffling the Deck of the CARD Act

In yet another modification to the third (and possibly final) phase of the CARD Act, the FED is again modifying the rules that become effective in August of this year. Well, if you are interested in reading the entire proposed modifications, they are available for download at the White Space Recourse Center. If you would like the nutshell version, please keep reading. Either way, if you are moved to voice your opinion on the changes, just send an e-mail to with the subject line "Docket No. R-1384.'' But hurry, all comments are due on or before April 14.

On March 15, 2010, the FED posted proposed modifications to the provisions of the CARD Act that will become effective in August 2010 and want your input. Our blog has a brief and to the point summary, but if you love reading regulatory documents, we have the relevant section of Federal Register available for download as a PDF. Happy reading.

Penalties would have to be "reasonable." We lawyers love the term reasonable. It can mean just about anything depending on your point of view. Charging a $29 late fee for a $15 payment that is a day late might seem completely reasonable to the likes of Bernie Madoff. It would likely be seen as less reasonable to the person whose payment was delayed a day. Under the new regulation, the punishment would have to fit the crime. In other words, card issuers could not impose penalties that exceed the dollar amount of the infraction. So in the example above, the fee could not exceed $15.00.

In addition, card issuers can only charge a customer one time for one violation (sounds pretty reasonable to me). So if you are late paying your bill, the company couldn't keep charging you a late fee for that one incident. Paying not to pay: Some credit card companies were going to charge you for failing to use their cards. Under the proposed regulation, card issuers could not charge you for inactivity. So if you keep your card in your wallet, you can still keep your money there too.

Increasing Rates: Under the new legislation, card companies could not arbitrarily raise your interest rate. The issuer would have to cite specific reasons for raising your interest rate. Further, if your rate increased after January 1, 2010, the company would have to evaluate your account from time to time. If the reason your rate was increased were no longer an issue the company would have to reduce the rate. Stay tuned. I am sure we have not heard the last of the proposed changes to the CARD Act. After all, August is still five months away. What has been your experience with the CARD Act to date? Let us know by leaving a comment.

John Rothstein, Esq.,
Speaker, Compliance and Communications Strategy Consultant

Stay up-to-date with today's strategic customer communication issues and legal compliance marketing news. Follow my updates on Twitter or visit the White Space Blog for effective marketing tips. Please head over to Compliance Central for all the latest news and compliance tips on Reg Z, The CARD Act and more. I am an attorney, speaker and self-diagnosed communications fanatic. I am also the President of White Space Marketing, Inc., a strategic marketing communications and legal compliance consulting firm. Being a lawyer, public speaker, former commercial printer and communications expert, I love sharing what I have learned with clients, audiences and readers. Please contact me if you would like to have me speak at your next event or if I can help with your business strategy. For more information on White Space or this content, head over to our Blog. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it was helpful.

Article Source:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Commercial Leases - Restrictions on Assignment

Commercial leases typically include restraints on transferability, namely that a tenant may not assign the lease without the consent of the Landlord. After California's Supreme Court implied a requirement of reasonableness into lease assignment consent provisions (where none had existed before), California's Legislature enacted a statutory scheme relating to the assignment and subleasing of commercial space.

Evolution of the Law

A majority of jurisdictions, including California, long held that where a lease contains an approval clause (a clause stating that the lease cannot be assigned without the prior consent of the landlord), the landlord could refuse to approve a proposed assignee, even if that refusal was arbitrary and the proposed tenant was perfectly suitable.

With time, many jurisdictions trended toward a reasonableness standard, namely that there must be some commercially reasonable objection to the assignment. California's Supreme Court, in an opinion entitled Kendall v. Ernest Pestana, Inc. (1985) 40 Cal.3d 488, adopted the reasonableness standard, finding that an unreasonable refusal to assign constituted an unreasonable restraint on alienation.

The court held that the trier of fact may properly consider the following factors in determining reasonableness: financial responsibility of the proposed assignee, suitability of the use for the particular property, legality of the proposed use, need for alteration of the premises, and the nature of the occupancy, i.e., office, factory, clinic, etc. However, the court determined that a denial solely on the basis of personal taste, convenience or sensibility was not commercially reasonable. Nor was it reasonable to deny consent in order that the landlord may charge a higher rent than originally contracted for.

Justice Lucas, in a dissenting opinion, noted that the lease in the Kendall case did not require a reasonableness standard. Nor had the Legislature enacted such a requirement. Justice Lucas found it improper for the court to imply a requirement of reasonableness when the Legislature had in fact specifically refused to do so and the parties had not contracted for it. "Absent such legislative direction, the parties should be free to contract as they see fit." 40 Cal.3d at 508.

The Legislature's Statutory Scheme

In response to the Kendall case, the California Legislature weighed in on the debate with a comprehensive statutory scheme governing assignments of commercial leases.

In general, without an express limitation, a tenant's interest in a commercial lease is freely transferable. Civ.C. §1995.210. The common law, later codified by statute, also states that any ambiguity in a restriction on transfer of a tenant's interest in a lease shall be construed in favor of transferability. Civ.C. §1995.220. On the other hand, if the parties contractually agree, a party may absolutely prohibit transfer. Civ.C. §1995.230.

Consent of the Landlord

A commonly used provision in leases requires that the landlord's consent is required in order to transfer the tenant's interest. The Legislature also addressed this issue by finding that a restriction on a lease may require the landlord's consent subject to any express standard or condition for giving or withholding consent, including, but not limited to, either (a) the landlord's consent may not be unreasonably withheld, or (b) the landlord's consent may be withheld subject to express standards or conditions. Whether the consent was unreasonably withheld is a question of fact to be determined based on established case law. For example, as noted in the Kendall case, bases for good faith reasonable objection include "inability to fulfill terms of the lease, financial irresponsibility or instability, suitability of premises for intended use, or intended unlawful or undesirable use of premises." 40 Cal.3d at 497.

In the event that the lease does not set forth any standards for giving or withholding consent, the restriction shall be construed to include an implied standard that the landlord's consent may not be unreasonably withheld. In the event that a landlord rejects an assignment, a tenant may make a written request for a statement of reasons for withholding consent. In the event that a landlord fails or refuses to respond, the court may find the assignment reasonable simply based on the landlord's failure to respond. In the event that a landlord provides reasons, it is a question of fact as to whether those reasons were reasonable. Civ.C. §1995.260.

Although the Kendall case stated that as a matter of law (versus a question of fact) a denial of consent solely on the basis of personal taste, convenience, or sensibility, and denial of consent in order that the landlord may charge a higher rent than originally contracted for, are not commercially reasonable (40 Cal.3d at 501), the Legislature rejected this absolute approach and instead made resolution of the issue a question of fact to be determined by the circumstances of the particular case. The comments to the statute specifically state that "in some circumstances, it may be commercially reasonable for the landlord to require, as a condition for consenting to an assignment, that the premium received by the tenant for the assignment be paid to the landlord. (Referring to John Hogan Enterprises, Inc. v. Kellogg (1986) 187 Cal.App.3d 589).

Appreciation in Rents

A common reason (often unstated) for a Landlord's refusal to consent to an assignment of a lease is the desire to capture the appreciation in rent that has occurred since the lease was entered into. When the Supreme Court decided Kendall, it held that, in a lease in which the issue was not addressed, denying consent solely in order that the landlord may charge a higher rent than originally contracted for was an arbitrary reason which failed the test of good faith and reasonableness. 40 Cal.3d at 501. The court held open the possibility that the parties could contract for an allocation of increased rents, and the Legislature later codified the principal in Civ.C. §1995.240, stating that a restriction in a lease may include a provision "that the landlord is entitled to some or all of any consideration the tenant receives from a transferee, in excess of the rent under the lease." However, if not specifically addressed in the lease, this section does not create a presumption that a demand for the increased rent, absent a contractual right to such an increase, is either reasonable or unreasonable. Whether such a demand is reasonable or not would be a question of fact and subject to the existing case law.

A landlord seeking to deny a tenant's request to assign the lease should consult with an attorney who can apply the law to the specific facts in drafting a statement of reasons for the tenant pursuant to Civ.C. §1995.260. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Laine T. Wagenseller is an attorney in Los Angeles and the founder of Wagenseller Law Firm. He specializes in Commercial Litigation attorney Los Angeles, including Los Angeles Commercial Leasing Attorney.

Article Source:

Land Trusts in California

In California, general trust law is found in the Probate Code §§15000-19403. There is no specific land trust statute in California, unlike Illinois land trust law, (765 ILCS 405/410/415/420), Massachusetts business trust (MBT) law (M.G.L.c.182, §2), and Virginia land trust law (Va. Code Sec. 55-17.1).

So, land trusts created in California for California property are based on general trust law in the aforesaid California Probate Code. But an out-of-state land trust may be formed that would hold title through the trustee of a California property, to take advantage of more beneficial statute and case law of another state. Indeed, the Virginia Supreme Court in Air Power, Inc v. Thompson, 244 Va. 534, 422 S.E. 2nd 786 (1992), has confirmed that Va. Code Sec. 55-17.1 gives the trustee of a land trust both legal and equitable power of the real property, which protects the privacy of the beneficiaries.

Indeed, since California does not have a specific land trust statute, there is no legislative history nor developed case law on it in this state, only California general trust law and case law. But a general trust law may have some advantages over a specific land trust statute with more requirements. Indeed, Illinois land trust statute (75 ILCS 435) requires that holders of power of direction owe fiduciary duties to holders of beneficial interests. California general trust law does not have a similar requirement.

In any event, the avoidance of probate over a real property in a land trust trumps all difficulties in its creation.

I. California Genereal Trust Law:

A. Creation Of Trust:

California Probate § 15000 states that "(t)his division (Division 9 of the Probate Code) shall be known and may be cited as the Trust Law." And § 15001(a) states that "(e)xcept as otherwise provided by statute: This division applies to all trusts regardless of whether that were created before, on, or after July 1, 1987."

Among other methods of creating trust, a trust may be created by: "(b) (a) transfer of property by the owner during the owner's lifetime to another person as trustee," under § 15200(b) of the California Probate Code. And "a trust is created only if there is trust property," under § 15202 thereof.

"A trust may be created for any purpose that is not illegal or against public policy," under § 15203 thereof. A land trust is not for an illegal purpose, nor is it against public policy in California, although it is not widely used in this state.

And "a trust, other than a charitable trust, is created only if there is a beneficiary," under § 15205 thereof.

B. Trust Of Real Property And Personal Property:

So as not to violate the Statute of Frauds, which requires a written instrument to be enforceable, §15206 states that "a trust is relation to real property is not valid unless evidenced by one of the following methods: (b) By a written instrument conveying the trust properly signed by the settlor, or by the settlor's agent if authorized in writing to do so."

And under § 15207 (a) thereof, "(t)he existence and terms of an oral trust of personal property may be established only by clear and convincing evidence." Under § 1528 thereof, "consideration is not required to create a trust...."

Lastly, "a trust created pursuant to this chapter (1, part 2, Division 9 of the Probate Code) which relates to real property may be recorded in the office of the county recorder in the county where all or a portion of the real property is located," under § 15210 thereof.

II. Mechanics Of A Land Trust:

A. Advantages And Benefits:

(1.) Privacy:

One of the much-heralded advantages of a land trust is that a grant deed-in-trust of a trust property in the name of a different trustee (private or institutional) may be recorded with the County Recorder, but the land trust agreement that states the names of the truster/settlor/investor and the beneficiaries is not recorded.

Thus, the creator/grantor of the land trust: the trustor/settlor who invests in real property can keep his/her/its name, as well as the names of the beneficiaries out of the County Recorder's and County Assessor's books, and to a certain extent hide the investment from public view.

But a judgment creditor of a trustor/settlor or of a beneficiary can subject the latter to answer written interrogatories on his/her/its assets, or to debtor's examination under oath in court to determine assets, and not merely rely on County Recorder and Assessor asset searches.

The land trust agreement may also use a name for the land trust different from the name of the trustor/settlor who created it. This is another asset protection benefit. And if the beneficiary thereof is also the same trustor/settlor, the latter may designate his/her living trust or wholly-owned limited liability company as the beneficiary to hopefully avoid gift tax issues.

(2.) Avoidance Of Probate:

Moreover, just like successor trustees may be designated in the land trust agreement, successor beneficiaries may also be selected to avoid disruptions in distribution of trust assets at termination of the trust, outside of probate proceedings.

A land trust may be created as revocable (terms of the agreement may be changed) or irrevocable (cannot be changed), but the latter requires the filing of separate tax returns and is taxed at a higher rate than the trustor/settlor's individual tax rate, unless considered a simple trust in which all incomes created are taxed to beneficiaries. For federal income tax implications, if the grantor/trustor is also the beneficiary, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classifies it as a grantor trust that has tax consequences that flow directly to the trustor's Form 1040 and state return.

(B.)Disadvantages And Pitfalls:

(1.) Separtate Agreement For Each Property:

In order to preserve the privacy of the investment or transaction and the asset protection benefits of the land trust, only one real estate property can be listed as held in it. Thus, a different land trust agreement is created for each property. This could be cumbersome, although the same trustor/settlor, trustee, and beneficiary can be named in each agreement.

(a) Simpler Alternatives:

Simpler alternatives are to purchase investment or rental properties through a limited partnership (LP) or a limited liability company (LLC), or transfer such properties to a more flexible living trust that does not require the filing of separate tax returns, or transfer the ownership interests of an LLC (not title of the property) to a living trust.

An LLC may also create a land trust by conveying title of a property to the trustee, and designate itself (LLC) as the beneficiary for privacy of ownership. Sometimes less is more; for indeed, creditors can see through and have recourse against avoidance of execution of judgment on properties through asset protection schemes. And transfers of ownerships of properties may result in tax assessments.

Atty Roman P. Mosqueda is a graduate from Michigan Law School with both an SJD and LLM. Visit for more information about his offices located all over Southern California.

Article Source:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Car Accident Compensation Money - How Much Money Should I Get From a Wrongful Death Case?

Are you trying to get car accident compensation money? In this article we will talk about the question "How much money should I get from a wrongful death case?"

Your day didn't start out as a nightmare, you were excited about the activities that you had planned with your loved one. There were so many great things on your mind but suddenly something went very wrong. You weren't sure what was happening but you found yourself being flung about inside your car. You just had a moment but you looked over just in time to see your loved one and touch their hand. This would be the last contact that you had with them while they were still alive. At this moment you are not thinking about car accident compensation money. This subject is far from your mind.

After the accident you need to think about this subject because you do have to go on living and they would want you to be well taken care of. They would want you to be taken care of just as good as if they were there. Let's go on to talk about the question "How much money should I get from a wrongful death case?"

Varies State To State

While the settlement values vary from case to case you are entitled to compensation. No matter what anyone tells you should make sure that you consultant an auto accident attorney that will know what your next steps should be. Here are some of the compensations that you may be able to ask for:

* Medical and Funeral Expenses
* Wages Lost
* Loss of Benefits
* Loss of Inheritance
* Pain and Suffering
* Loss of Care
* Punitive Damages

These are some things that you may get your car accident compensation money. Make sure you get a FREE consultation with an auto accident attorney and they will be able to more accurately answer your question "How much money should I get from a wrongful death case?"

Ready To Get The Money You Deserve?

Click the link:

Article Source:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Colorado Furor Over Internet Software Tax Bill

The Colorado legislature has many high technology companies and consumers up in arms over the passage of HB 10-1192, which in effect imposes a sales and use tax on downloaded software in the state of Colorado. This may have some impact on Colorado companies that sell healthcare software over the internet to consumers in Colorado.

The bill taxes downloads of "standardized software," which the bill defines as "computer software, including prewritten upgrades, that is not designed or developed to the specifications of a specific purchaser: or Computer software designed and developed to the specifications of a specific purchaser but then sold to another purchaser."

The legislation has been met with load outcries of alarm from the Colorado technology community and those actively engaged in economic development in the state. The original bill has been modified with an expansive legislative declaration that the bill is 'not intended to alter, other than the designation of standardized software as tangible personal property, the tax treatment of what is known in the industry as "digital goods", "application service providers", software as a service" or "cloud computing"'.

This bill was designed to reach the "Turbo Tax" crowd. The idea is to eliminate the perceived inequality in tax application when software is sold in shops from where it is sold over the internet and downloaded. It is one of a series of bills where the legislature is reaching to tax on line product sales. Although the bill is self described as the repeal of an "exemption" in truth there was no "exemption." There was no tax in the past because the tax is on "tangible personal property" and software is an intangible, except when it sold on DVD. The legislative solution is to change the definition of "tangible" to include what is "intangible." Just redefine "white" as "black." Problem solved. "Down" is the new "up." Is this a wonderful country or what? This may be an example of that wonderful definition of statutory law as "common sense as amended by the legislature.

Article Source:

Jury Duty is a Civic Obligation

We all have obligations for different things during our lifetime. Whether it be providing for our family, including education of the children, or doing a civic duty helping the disadvantaged. In the democracy that we live in the jury system is a fair way to give all parties the chance to be heard, and finally judged by a panel of citizens drawn from all walks of life.

Recently I was called for jury service. This was the third time I have been called so I knew what to expect.

The first thing that strikes you when you arrive at the Court House is the security that you are subjected to. Some thing that would be unheard of not so many years ago. { What a different world we live in. ] The other thing that is very noticeable is the diverse group of people that are there for all different reasons. They could be the accused, witnesses, jurors, clerks, social workers, general public and of course the only winners of the day, Lawyers.

Those who have been called for jury service assemble at 9am on Monday morning. There are 120 called for duty that week. Of course some trails last for weeks and others only a day or two.

The first day I was not selected for a jury but had to stay until 2pm in case there was going to be a late trial starting. Nothing eventuated so I was allowed to go home, but to return the next day.

The next day I fronted at 9am. and had to wait until 10am before the clerk arrived to ballot those who would serve as jurors for trails starting that day.

This time I was selected. We were taken to no 6 court room, and waited for the court clerk to call our names and to take our seat in the jury box. My name was called and I was just about to put my FRAME on the seat when I was challenged by the defence lawyer. So home I go until the next day.

Day 3 9am. check in and the same procedure, called and challenged. Perhaps we oldies are thought to be losing our marbles. any way by this time it is about midday and I was informed that I was excused and did not have to return.

This was the third time that I have been called for jury service over the last 10 years, but on each occasion I have never taken part in a jury trail.

A very strong part of our democracy system is being able to be heard and judged by our peers. It is our duty to help and maintain what so many over the years have fought for. Even though it means sacrificing days off work, it is our duty.

Because i am retired and am a member of a very successful internet marketing business, days away from my business would have been a challenge to catch up on lost time.

My business is Little like a jury, if I go off the track, my peers are there to help and guide.

My name is John Fleming and I live in New Zealand.
I am retired and recently have found internet marketing.It was all foreign to me but I am learning and having fun at the same time.
I know that with the changing world the internet is going to be an even more powerful tool for marketing. A successful entrepreneur can earn a lucrative income and a lifestyle to go with it.
I have found that by joining the right company for me and having the marketing gurus to help me grow my business everything falls into place so easy.

Learn more click.

Article Source:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Consequences of Medical Malpractice

There are few people who would disagree with the assertion that the degree of professional responsibility held by physicians, surgeons, and others in the healthcare field is virtually unparalleled by that found in any others. When people are sick or injured, they depend wholly upon the counsel, professional opinion, and treatment that their doctors have to offer. In the event that these parties fail to attain the reasonably expected standard of care, a patient may suffer severe adverse health effects which require additional treatment and may in some instances prove fatal. These instances may constitute medical malpractice, and depending upon the circumstances, you may wish to consider filing a civil lawsuit to secure financial compensation for your injuries.

The current structure of the American healthcare system lends itself to these preventable tragedies because there are so many different procedures and workers involved in the administration of care for a single patient. With each link in the chain of communication, there is the possibility that a mistake can be made. Determining that you have been the victim of medical malpractice as opposed to merely suffering the side effects of a particular treatment option can require a careful investigation as hospital officials are unlikely to offer much transparency with regard to their own records unless forced to do so.

Effects and Examples of Medical Malpractice

The potential consequences of substandard care and medical mistakes are shaped by the nature of the patient's existing health concerns and the kind and severity of the error that was made. The following list represents some of the possible adverse health effects that a patient might suffer as the victim of medical malpractice:

* Elevated risk of post-surgical infections
* Excessive blood loss
* Brain damage
* Loss of sensation or motor function
* Sensorial impairments
* Drug complications

There is no question that there are substantial pressures associated with most aspects of healthcare, given the high cost of mistakes. But physicians and other healthcare professionals have a duty to accomplish their appointed responsibilities in spite of those demands. The following are some examples of medical malpractice that are representative of the dangers patients may face:

* Wrong patient surgery
* Wrong site surgery
* Foreign objects left in the body
* Improper suturing
* Pharmaceutical errors
* Mishandled surgical instruments
* Failure to diagnose
* Delayed diagnosis
* Patient abandonment
* Improper treatment

For the Help You Need

In the confusing and difficult aftermath of becoming the victim of medical malpractice, it can be hard to know where to turn. Contact the Houston medical malpractice lawyers of Williams Kherkher.
Joseph Devine

Article Source:

Misdiagnosis of Epilepsy

Despite the seemingly endless number of high-tech diagnostic tests available to modern medical professionals, diagnosing a patient's condition is still far from a fool-proof process. While doctors usually get it right, sometimes patients are told they suffer from one disease or condition when their symptoms actually have an altogether different cause. In the best case scenario, this is a temporary inconvenience for the patient, causing them to receive the unnecessary treatment, but not leading to any long term suffering. In other cases, though, a misdiagnosis can be much more serious. If a physician's negligence is responsible for a serious misdiagnosis, the patient may consider legal action as a legitimate way to receive compensation for monetary loss and suffering.

When an individual is diagnosed with epilepsy, it can seriously affect their life in many ways. The drugs prescribed to treat epilepsy and suppress seizures can have unpleasant side effects and be very expensive, especially if the person does not have good medical insurance. Furthermore, there still exist unfair social stigmas surrounding epileptics and their condition, especially when the individual is a child. If a person is incorrectly diagnosed as having epilepsy, they will suffer all of these unpleasant consequences for no reason. In addition, the true cause of their symptoms will remain untreated.

Many people who are misdiagnosed with epilepsy actually suffer from a condition known called syncope. Syncope is a quickly passing loss of consciousness that is caused by the blood flow to the brain being disrupted (which may itself be caused by a variety of different medical conditions). This disruption can cause the victim to suffer from muscle jerking and fainting or blacking out that may be mistaken for epileptic seizures during diagnosis. While syncope can be successfully treated in most instances, if it is misdiagnosed as epilepsy, there may be serious consequences for the patient.

Some studies have shown that as many as 30% of patients that are told they have epilepsy may actually suffer from some other condition. The true cause of their symptoms can lie in many other conditions, such as cardiac arrhythmia, basilar artery migraine, narcolepsy, stroke, or syncope, as discussed above. If a doctor is too hasty in their diagnosis, these conditions can be ignored and develop into serious and painful issues for patients.

For more information about negligent misdiagnosis and other forms of medical malpractice, visit the website of Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys Lowenthal & Abrams, P.C.

Article Source:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dangers of DIY Wills

It can often be tempting to save a few pounds and indeed sometimes that saving can pay off. In all areas of life and business there will always be bargains and claims of being cheaper or easier. It is simply the society we live in.

With some of the bargains being genuinely good offers and working well there are also those bargains that do not live up to expectations sometimes costing us a lot more in the future.

We all know this because at some time we have all bought something that seemed cheap only to realise that it ended up costing us a lot more.

This is a very similar situation with Wills. Many people are lured into cheap deals on Internet web sites offering "Online Wills" or DIY will kits available from stationary shops or even supermarkets!

Many people also think that Solicitors lose money if people make their own Wills - however nothing could be further from the truth!

Sometimes DIY Will kits or Will forms will do the job but more often than not they are ambiguous, not executed properly, and do not adequately protect the assets for the loved ones who are left.

As you can imagine problems associated with DIY Wills take a lot longer to sort out and eat up the estate with legal fees and solicitors charges compared to the deceased having used the services of a professional estate planner in the first place.

Planning your estate and ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of is up there with breathing in terms of importance. Doing it the professional way ensures that your family are secure and their needs are provided for.

Making a Will any other way could leave you more money in the short term but unfortunately that is all it can do.

James Winsoar and Michael Edwards are National Team Leaders with the Will Writers Network. For more details visit

Article Source:

Plan Ahead in Michigan - Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts and Wills

It's often not until someone close to us passes away or we are ourselves facing a terminal illness, that we start seriously thinking about what will happen to our assets when we die. This can be a scary thought, especially if we are not up to date with the laws in your state. Every state has unique laws regarding estate, probate, and will.

In most states it is advisable to consult an attorney specializing in estate, probate, and wills in your area. If you or your loved one reside in Michigan, attorneys specializing in estate planning, probate, trusts and wills, can help you by offering a unique, personalized financial strategy and enabling you to get all your affairs in order. Financial planning integrates all the financial areas in your life - for now and for later.

Michigan Probate Forms

There are several purposes behind a will. In Michigan there are several probate forms for use in estate planning and helping avoid the probate process. Here are the forms with a short description:

* The Application or Petition for Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (Testate/Intestate) - typically the petitioner nominates themselves to be appointed the Personal Representative of the estate (if they are over 18 years old). Certain qualified persons have priority for appointment as Personal Representative.
* Testimony of Interested Persons,
* Supplemental Testimony of Interested Persons Testate Estate - this form is only filed when the decedent left a will and some of the devisees named in the will are not heirs.
* Acceptance of Appointment
* Letters of Authority for Personal Representative

There are two possible places to file these forms - probate court or the family division of the circuit court. Once the forms to start the probate process are filed, the court issues an Order of Formal Proceedings following a hearing, if necessary.

Estate Planning in Michigan

In Wayne County Michigan (Detroit) any estate greater than $19000 goes into probate. During probate creditors are allowed to make claims against the estate. If you are one of those that care about your loved ones future financial security then you'll realize the need for personalized financial planning and estate planning services to:

1. Preserve your assets
2. To ensure they are distributed according to your wishes
3. To enable your family to be financially secure
4. To reduce stress for your family
5. To ensure that your assets go to your family rather than in paying probate fees or taxes

Making a will, a living trust, power of attorney and an estate plan really is the best way of taking care of your family financially once you have gone.

Estate planning involves health care directives like a ''living will'' in case you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. Safeguarding your legal and financial well being requires choosing an experienced estate planning attorney so that you have all the options available explained to you accurately and in a proper way.


One method of estate planning is a properly funded Trust that allows your estate to be transferred without probate. With no court involvement, the family suffers no financial loss from probate expenses. If the need for guardianship arises, it can get very expensive. Expensive probate guardianship proceedings can be eliminated or minimized by a trust and accompanying estate planning documents.


Making a last will and testament is another method of estate planning but the entire estate involved must be probated for a will to have legal effect. Still, this might be a better choice in Michigan because Michigan has a simplified probate process for small estates (under $100,000). You need a will for any property that doesn't make it into your Trust and you can use it to name a personal representative. Your personal representative, also known as ''executor'', is the party responsible who ensures that the provisions in your will are carried out after your death.

Find a Professional

Wills, probate, trusts, estate and financial planning in Michigan may seem complex, but if you want to have control over what happens to your assets when you pass on, then making a proper financial and estate plan in conjunction with an experienced probate attorney, will simplify everything for you, and more importantly - simplify things for your family.

Tracy Rice writes article for The site is devoted to providing families with the help and resources they need in the days and weeks after a loved one's death. The law can be tricky please don't hesitate to find appropriate legal help in these emotional and trying times.

Please follow this link for Legal Help with Probate Estate and Trust Administration in Michigan.

Article Source:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How to Fight For Unpaid Overtime

If you work overtime, you should get paid for it. Don't let other people tell you otherwise. The law gives you valuable rights. You should never be denied overtime compensation wrongfully. However, if you have overtime payment problems with your employers, consider the following tips that can help.

• Read and understand the law of overtime compensation. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee is entitled for overtime compensation at the rate of 1.5 times the regular rate, if he works more than forty hours per week.

• Some employees are not entitled for overtime. For instance, if you are an executive, administrative, or computer employees, you may be an exempt employee. Only non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime compensation.

• Have all the facts in writing before you sue. When you go to court, written documents like payroll records, employment policies, time sheets are important evidences for the court. It will help you a long way.

• The labor law is constantly changing. It may be a good idea to consult a lawyer, if you have questions about overtime compensation. Sometimes it may be a good idea to get a lawyer to help you on your case.

• Department of Labor is another place that you can consult. Instead of going to trial, you can also fill out a complaint form. If you have a case, an investigator will review your allegations. They will also talk to your employer to assist you.

• Finally, you can always file a complaint in state court for unpaid overtime payment.

About Author:
Kum Martin is an online leading expert in the medical industry. She also offers top quality tips like:
Wrongful Termination Lawyer, Florida Worker Compensation

Article Source:

What is the Statute of Limitations in a FELA Case? Three Year Time Limit to Recover Damages

The Federal Employees Limitations Act was passed by Congress back in 1908 as a response to a growing number of railroad deaths. Before FELA was established, railroad workers and their surviving families were not able to sue the railroad companies for negligence. Railroad workers were subjected to losing their lives and their limbs while on the job because working on a railroad was such a dangerous occupation. Back in the 1800's, the courts ruled that an employee could not recover damages from an employer if an injury occurred on the job. FELA statute of limitations is three years.

Knowing that the FELA statute of limitations is three years is simple enough. This means that this is the time period in which the injured worker has to file a lawsuit to begin recovering damages from the company. What is not so simple is determining exactly when the injured worker's injury began. Sometimes it is obvious such as when one traumatic event occurs or in the event of death. But other times a work-related injury can occur over time and the injured worker may not know when the injury started or be aware that the injury is work related.

If a medical doctor diagnoses a hearing loss as being caused by on the job noise exposure then the FELA statute of limitations does not begin on the date that the hearing loss was diagnosed by the medical doctor. The beginning of the statute of limitations can begin if other workers in the same job at the same company have job-related hearing loss. Human resource records will be subpoenaed so that the courts can determine if there is a history of the same occupational injuries at a company. It can be difficult to file suit under the FELA statute because first it must be determined when the statute of limitations began.

The FELA statute of limitations is said to have begun whenever a worker knew or should have known that the injury existed and that workplace exposure was a cause. This is where the company's human resource records will be scrutinized. If someone is filing a suit under the FELA act, then the first thing that has to be determined is what the date of the injury was or when the injury occurred. If an injured worker knew that the injury was occurring but did not seek treatment, this does not extend the statute of limitations.

With over 100 years of combined experience the railroad injury lawyers at Schechter McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. understand every inch of railroad acts, regulations and laws. We will make the law work for you. At SMSH our experience and results cannot be matched. Please call 1-800-949-6671 today for your free consultation with an experienced FELA attorney.

Article Source:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software

The investment made in Intellectual Property (IP) management software can work wonders in helping IP departments gain visibility, lower administrative costs, improve accuracy, and increase productivity. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of Intellectual Property management systems purchased are never fully implemented or don't deliver the utility the customer hoped for.

Here are the five most common mistakes made when selecting Intellectual Property management software:

Mistake #5: Not Knowing What You Really Need in IP Management Software

Before diving right into choosing a solution, take the time to understand what you really need. For starters, determine whether you require a fully integrated Intellectual Property Asset Management software, Patent Docketing software,or IP Matter Management software.

Often, this depends on the issues you are trying to solve or the opportunities you are trying to capture, as well as the size and structure of your department. For example, if you don't file many patent applications or trademarks, you should first get that data organized in a centralized repository. Your core team should be able to access and generate reports from them.

If your IP portfolio is getting large enough for you to manage, and you think that providing access to inventor community and law firms can reduce administrative costs, you should look at a robust Intellectual Property management system. This type of system will allow you to streamline your processes and improve productivity at a lower cost and with fewer resources.

Before diving into the selection process, ask "What are our top five needs?" If these key needs are not identified, it may be difficult to distinguish between vendors. Many vendors claim to do many things. The vendor's strengths must match the company's key needs.

Mistake #4: Not Recognizing the Uniqueness of Your Business

Every IP department is unique. Without configuration capabilities within the software, you are more susceptible to failure during software implementation.

While initial license and maintenance fees can sometimes appear lower, these hard coded solutions will often result in increased costs due to extensive customization requirements, upgrades, ongoing maintenance, and longer system deployment timeframes. Essentially, you may end up reducing and delaying your overall return on investment.

Avoid choosing a software that limits your team's capabilities and your department's growth. Your software should enhance your business, not hinder it.

By choosing an Intellectual Property management software solution that can adapt to your business processes, you will get better user acceptance, improved efficiencies, reduced costs, and faster ROI.

Mistake #3: Not including Key Users in the Selection Process

Surprisingly, many IP department still select computer systems without soliciting meaningful input from key users. At the beginning of your selection project, form a selection team with representatives from all affected teams such as patents, trademarks, docketing, licensing, compliance and billing. The active participation of key stakeholders will not only help ensure all bases are covered, it will also result in a better decision and fewer complaints after implementation.

If possible, you should also include a representative from your IT department. The IT Liaison can help you in identifying any issues related to deployment, data migration, integration and security.

Mistake #2: Evaluating Too Many Vendors:

Avoid vendors that offer a deal that is "too good to be true". You may find yourself missing the essential tools you need to conduct your business after implementation. Many of these bargain systems also provide very rigid solutions, making it difficult for you to meet the unique needs of your inventors, patent committees, and law firms. Also, You may need to reinvest additional money toward upgrading, or in some cases replacing, your system later-thereby reducing or eliminating all together any savings that you might have originally experienced.

Choose no more than four vendors at the start of your search. If more than four are chosen, it often becomes difficult to remember who does what. If none of the first vendors will meet 80 percent of the key needs, dismiss these and begin investigating several more.

Mistake # 1: Not Investing in Intellectual Property Management Software for the Long-Term

When choosing Intellectual Property management software, be realistic about your expectations and perceptions of cost. You're making an investment to improve or enhance your processes. So, while hard dollars spent are important, the key is choosing the right Intellectual Property management software. Choose the right partner who will provide you with a fast and effective implementation, high ROI (Return On Investment), and low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) after implementation.

Use your intuition and good business judgment when comparing provider costs. Look for applications that support your ability to achieve your department's long term primary strategic goals and work within your budget. Hasty decisions in favor of the lowest cost IP management software provider or solution now may leave you plagued later with hidden costs, and delay or eliminate any ROI for your business.

Several progressive legal departments have realized better and more predicable processes, improved productivity, and better control over law firms with Lecorpio's IP management software. Lecorpio IP Asset management solution includes invention disclosure management, patent management (including docketing), trademark management, domain management, open source management, licensing management, contract management, standards management, IP transactions management, and spend management.

Learn more about Lecorpio's IP Asset Management solution or IP Management Software-related products and more.

Jerry Lamigo

Article Source:

Top 5 Tips For Effective Intellectual Asset Management System Evaluation

The market for Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Software is a fragmented with many smaller organizations providing a wealth of features and functionality. This makes it difficult for corporate IP departments to choose the best software for their needs.

A number of our customers started their selection process looking at over 30 Intellectual Asset Management Software vendors. Each vendor claimed to have the most comprehensive solution. The selection process was long (sometimes over 2-3 years), frustrating and confusing.

Here are the top five tips that will help you reduce the number of vendors for your evaluation and to separate the wheat from the chaff:

5. Usability

Without this, nothing else matters. If your users will not adopt and use your selection, it's a waste of time and effort. You should look beyond the glitz and try to understand how your users will accept the new IAM system. In short, the user interface should be simple and intuitive for the first time user.

4. Accessibility

If the software is not accessible via standard web browsers such as IE, Firefox, Safari or Chrome, discard it immediately. To make your IAM system deployment successful, you need strong adoption from your inventor community. In many organizations, inventors use different types of computers, operating systems and browsers.

Your Intellectual Asset Management application should support such variations seamlessly.

3. Configuration

Ask you vendor to demonstrate how to add a new field of your choice. Most vendors who claim to have the most configurable application will hesitate to do this. If your selected software does not have tools to do these basic tasks, you got yourself locked into the vendor's roadmap.

2. Searching and Reporting

How good is IAM software if it can't provide good searching and reporting tools? It is frustrating to many users that they can't easily get to the data that they entered a few months ago. Ask vendors to demo their searching capabilities and make sure the searching and reporting tools are part of the basic system and do not require PHD degrees in rocket science.

1. Integration

If you have been previously involved in the deployment of IAM software, you already know it. The world of "docketing in a black box" is over for corporate legal departments. It is critical that your software can be easily integrated with other systems inside your organizations such as HR, accounts payable, active directory, etc.

Lecorpio Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) solution has been designed for strong user adoption, is accessible on all browsers and provide robust configuration capabilities. Please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consulting session to help you better plan for a successful IAM software project.

Jerry Lamigo,

Article Source:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to Get a 17 Month Extension to Your F1 Visa to Allow You to Work in the US For Longer

In April 2008 a directive came from the Department of Homeland Security allowing certain students to apply for up to a 17 month extension of their OPT period bringing up to a maximum of 29 months being allowed to work under this status. This temporary interim ruling was designed to provide a permanent solution to what is known as the H-1B visa "cap-gap".

The foreign students that are eligible for this are those that have graduated in areas designated as important to the US economy with lots of open position but a constant shortfall among US citizen graduates. This includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as designated by the USCIS.

It should be noted that for approval that your OPT approval must be based on one of these types of degrees. That means if you have an undergraduate degree in one of these areas and a master's degree in something else but your OPT program is approved based on your Master's degree say in education, then you are not eligible for the extension.

It is also mandatory that your employer be enrolled in the free US Government E-Verify program and that you apply for this extension prior to the expiry of your current OPT period.

What is the Process for the STEM OPT 17 month Extension & Costs?

* Again the foreign student must file Form I-765 with USCIS which again costs $340. Additionally you must include with filing your Form I-20 endorsed by the DSO at your school and then a copy of your degree in one of the designated STEM fields of study. This is effectively an amendment to your original form I-765 filing as well as for inclusion of your Employers E-Verify information.

* According to the USCIS If there is a delay in the 17 month extension processing of the application by the USCIS and the student filed the STEM extension ahead of time, there is an up to 180 extension of employment authorization.

CJ makes US Immigration easy to understand so foreigners can get their F1 visa successfully. We show you all the steps from finding a job or a college, getting a US visa and then how to adjust to life easily in the US.

Article Source:

E3 Visa Support and Help Contacts With Your Visa Application and US Consulate Interview

There are two information lines you can call within Australia according to the US Consulate to help with your E3 visa questions according to the US Embassy.

One is a paid 1-902-941-641 number which is charged at $1.15 per minute which either has pre-recorded information that is no different to the information you can find on the US consulate website. This aspect of the phone line is rather basic as the information given is fairly obvious for the most part or explicitly mentioned on the website and visapoint site about your application process, services and interview. This part is available 24 hours a day.

However within this you also have an option to be connected to a live consultant available between 8:00am and 7:00pm, Monday to Friday Australian Eastern Time. This now costs $3 per minute. If you are needing to call the US consulate this is definitely the more helpful part as you can ask your specific question particular if you have complex issues like administrative processing, visa reciprocity fees, etc. that are not articulated fully on the site.

The second information line is a 1-800-687-844 number which is essentially the same live consultant service as the above 1-902 number but no pre-recorded information. Thus it is only available in those hours listed above. However here you have to give credit card information and you are charged a flat $12 for the call.

You should note they never really get specific on those calls so will not delve into the personal details of your case. They are more informational and procedural and they don't deviate from that so don't waste your money if that is your intention as you will only come away more frustrated.

Finally you should be aware that if you are refused a visa under either the 221(g) Administrative Processing provision or the 214(b) non-satisfaction of home country ties or visa condition violations, that you do not then immediately subsequently attempt to enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program as you will most likely be refused entry at the US border and be sent home.

CJ makes US Immigration easy to understand so foreigners can work in the US is his US Immigration Service. We show you all the steps from finding a job, getting a US visa and then how to adjust to life easily in the US.

Article Source:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How Identity Theft Restoration Works

Identity theft is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, but it is important to remember that identity theft restoration is something that is not impossible to achieve and so your current situation will not remain as it is for ever. In many cases, however, restoring your identity and your life back to the way it was before is something that can take a lot of time to accomplish. The effects of identity theft will obviously differ from person to person depending on the degree of theft but in any case it is a difficult thing to go through for anyone.

When you do find that your identity has been stolen, the key is to act as quickly as possible. The quicker you are able to catch the situation before it goes too far, the less damage is likely to be done. In many cases, you will only find out about the theft months after it has actually occurred and therefore you will need to try to sort things out as soon as you possibly can.

The first thing that you need to make sure of is that you are able to get hold of proof that the theft has occurred. Once you have this, you need to make sure that you go straight to your local police department and file a report. You will also need to talk to any credit agency of bank that has been involved in the situation as well.

The entire process can be very involved and can end up taking a lot of time. For many people it can be months or years before anything is fully finalized and you find yourself back to where you were before. Because of this time spent, it can all add up emotionally and the stress can often be unbearable.

There are a lot of different restoration companies that you are able to take advantage of, but most will differ from the protection companies. It is possible to find a company that will offer both protection and restoration after the crime and so these are the types of companies you should look for.

Most banks and credit companies that you are involved with will typically have restoration services that will allow you to be able to get your account balance back to the way it was before the theft occurred. They may also be able to assist in the restoration of your credit which may have been destroyed by a criminal.

Which ever way you look at it, Identity theft restoration is a time consuming and challenging process. The old adage of an ounce of prevention holds true. The best course of action is always going to be to prevent identity theft from occurring in the first place.

Identity Theft is on the Rise

The Better Business Bureau states that over 10 million American's fall victim to identity theft every year. You can minimize your chances of becoming a victim by taking action. Visit today and learn more identity fraud protection tips.

Article Source:

Identity Theft - How to Protect Your Number 1 Asset

Or had someone open an account in your name without your knowledge? As a professional, your identity is one of the most important assets you have. And with more than 9 million victims of identity theft happening annually, identity theft protection is becoming very important for affluent professionals.

So, how do you go about protecting your identity? Here are some tips:

1. Make sure nobody is standing right behind you when you're using an ATM machine. Keep your hands over your touchpad to protect your passcode and your body in front of the screen. Cell phone cameras are everywhere and someone my try to photograph your card info.

2. Pay your bills online using only a secure site if that service is available.

3. Don't give out your credit card number on the Internet unless it is encrypted on a secure site.

4. Take a look at your credit reports from the top three credit reporting companies at least once a year. Review it to ensure that your identity is not being used to establish lines of credit you did not personally authorize. All three major reporting companies are now required to provide a free credit report to consumers each year.

5. Remove your name from direct mail lists for credit card offers. Doing this will opt you out of mailings for 5 years. You may also permanently opt out. If you take that option, you will be mailed a Notice of Election to Opt Out form to complete and send back. You may contact them at:

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

6. Make sure that no one is listening if you have to give out personal or financial information over a telephone in a public place.

7. Examine all of your bank and credit card statements each month for mistakes or unfamiliar charges that might be the sign of an identity thief at work.

8. Cancel all credit cards that you have not used in the last six months. Open credit is a prime target if an identity thief spies it in your credit report. Keeping open unused credit lines isn't as favorable to your credit score as having high limits and low balances on lines that you use.

9. Shred all preapproved credit card offers, utility bills, financial statements, invoices, etc. before throwing them away.

10. Use direct deposit whenever you can instead of checks. Checks can get lost and private information about you can be gleaned from them.

11. Keep track of when you normally receive statements and bills in the mail. If one is late, inquire.

12. Keep important documents and financial records in a locked safe or filing cabinet at home.

13. Never give private information online or over the phone to someone who calls you asking for updates or confirmations regarding purported accounts you may have. Contact the institution directly if you have any questions.

14. Attempt to memorize your passwords. Storing them can be disastrous. A list of them can fall into the wrong hands.

15. Treat your Social Security number as a confidential piece of information. Keep your card locked up at home, don't carry it around with you.

16. Use good security on your home computer and networks. If you dispose of a computer, remove the hard drive completely.

It is a good idea to explore the use of an identity theft protection service. These services will provide fraud monitoring for credit cards, public records, social security, loans, etc. They will also provide a copy of your credit report from all three of the major credit reporting agencies each year as well as mail list removal in some cases. The limits of insurance or guarantee coverage will often total up to $1 million to cover you for losses that may be incurred due to your identity being stolen and used to incur debt and expenses. Three good services to consider are Trusted ID, LifeLock and Identity Guard. Just go online to get more information about these services and decide if one is right for you.

In the information age, your identity will become increasingly important in the marketing and promotion of your services. With more exposure on the internet, protecting that identity from unauthorized use will become critical. Take steps now to secure the safety of your identity.

And if you feel that you are far too beholden to your creditors, maybe it's time to do something about it. Christopher Music has helped many professionals gain control over their finances and achieve financial freedom -- or at least move steadily in that direction. For more information on how you too can loosen your creditors' grip on your pocketbook, visit Christopher's website at

Wealth Advisory Associates, LLC is a Florida Registered Investment Advisory Firm and only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or notice filed, or excluded or exempted from registration requirements.

Article Source:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Alert! Your Personal Information May Be at Risk!

Identity theft is when an individual uses your personal information (i.e. address, phone number, social security number, credit card number) to commit fraud or crimes. Approximately 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year. While some cases are resolved easily, others may take hundreds of dollars and hours of time to correct. In many cases, a person doesn't know their identity has been stolen until they receive a call from a debt collector, or are denied a loan due to bad credit. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for a crime they didn't commit. The best way for you to defend yourself from these criminals is to be aware of how they work and take appropriate precautions.

Identity thefts use a number of strategies to get your personal information. Here are a few:

Skimming involves stealing your credit card information without stealing the actual card. Your information is taken at the point of sale using a portable electronic device hooked to a card reader. A dishonest customer service representative may hold a skimmer in their hand and swipe your card when you are not paying attention.

Phishing is a type of email or pop-up designed to steal your personal information. Scammers work hard at making these emails look like official notes by including actual logos from real organizations and companies. Don't reply to an email or pop-up that asks for personal or financial information or follow any links they provide you.

Pretexting is when an individual uses false pretenses to obtain your personal information. These people claim to represent different companies (i.e. government, banks, internet providers) and then try to extract personal information from you by asking a few seemingly harmless questions. Pretexters may use your information themselves or sell it to another scammer.

Identity thieves may use your information for a variety of things: open a new credit card, open a new bank account and write bad checks, rent an apartment, get a driver's license with your information and their picture, take out a loan in your name, get a job using your social security number, or even give your information to the police during an arrest.

In order to battle these cunning scam artists, you need to monitor your accounts and bank statements closely and often. Check your credit report regularly. Unfortunately, you may find out after the damage has already been done.

The Secure Net solution for protecting your entire family is at This also includes roadside assistance and an FBI approved child identification kit.

Article Source:

Create a List of Red Flags Today and Avoid Identity Theft

As part of your facility's or practice's compliance with the FTCs Red Flag Rules, which are slated to take effect in June 2010, you need to come up with a list of "red flags" that represent risk factors for identity theft in health care.

Duane Abbey, whose recent audio conference, "Achieve Red Flag Compliance," gave medical professionals a hold on this new federal compliance requirement said, "To do this, use a risk assessment process, review prior experiences, and investigate the Federal Register.

First, assess these common risk factors of health care for identity theft: the types of accounts that have been established by the patients with you; verification of patient's identity by the insurance company; and the steps you take when opening an account for a patient.

Review prior experiences that your facility or practice might have had regarding identity theft issues. Look at the details whether you got paid or not, or if you had to make any adjustments in medical records regarding such issues.

Abbey cited few examples related to issues that could be red flags for identity thefts, from the Federal Register Supplement A to Appendix J:

* Alerts, warnings or notifications from a consumer reporting agency
* Suspicious personal identifying information and documents
* Suspicious activity related to, the covered account
* Notice from customers, law enforcement authorities, victims of identity theft or others.
* Mail sent to your patient is returned repeatedly as undeliverable, even though transactions continue to take place on his or her account

Abbey also provided some examples of red flags specific to healthcare providers:

* Thoroughly check insurance documents compared to drivers licenses and your records for address differences
* Check for mismatch between the individual and his photograph.
* Ensure that the address mentioned is true and it exists.
* Make sure you have a working and existing telephone number for patients.
* Check for medical record inconsistencies: sometimes there may be differences between the records you maintained and what the patients reports.
* Make sure that the patients have a legitimate insurance card.
* If your patient claims that he received a notice of an insurance payment for services that were not provided to him. Pay attention to it.

HIT News is a free weekly healthcare newswire, it provides information about health care IT technology and offers advanced Learning Opportunities about FTCs Red Flag Rules .

Article Source: