Monday, May 31, 2010

Lawyers in juvenile court to be laid off

Up to three dozen county defense lawyers who work in the child welfare courts will be laid off in the wake of a decision by the state to contract the work out to a newly formed nonprofit group.

The decision by the Administrative Office of the Courts ends nearly two decades in which the Public Defender’s Office handled the work of representing children who have been neglected and abused, and their parents.

The AOC is the state agency that administers the operation of the courts, and funds the Juvenile Dependency Court system around the state. This year, the AOC sought bids on handling the estimated 4,000 to 5,000 cases per year in San Diego County.

Selecting an outside nonprofit to do the work may be a desire by the court system, struggling under budget cutbacks, to provide services for less money. The bids and contract are not yet public, so how much money is being saved, if any, can’t be determined.

While the Public Defender’s Office submitted a bid, the AOC announced May 21 that it intended to award the contract to the Dependency Legal Group of San Diego. That organization is headed by Candi Mayes, a former public defender who worked for the county in the dependency courts for eight years.

Mayes resigned in March to set up the nonprofit and bid on the contract, she said.

News of the AOC decision rippled through the Public Defender’s Office last week. About five years ago, the contract also was put out to bid by the AOC, but at that time the Public Defender’s Office was the winner, leading some to think that the office would prevail again this year.

The budget for staffing the dependency courts is $9.5 million this year, funded through the state. Mayes declined to say what her bid was, and the final contract amount is still to be negotiated.

Mayes said she hoped many of the lawyers losing their jobs would apply to Dependency Legal Group once the contract is finalized, but she could not say how many she would be hiring. Without the contract, the county payroll will be reduced by 36 positions. In a memo to the Civil Service Commission last week, Public Defender Henry Coker wrote it was not possible to simply shift the dependency attorneys over to criminal cases, and supplant younger attorneys in a practice called “bumping” that is allowed under civil service rules.

In an interview last week, Coker declined to comment extensively on the impacts of losing the contract, saying that it was a personnel matter that could not be discussed.

He said that the office’s efforts will be focused on making as smooth a transition as possible. The new contract goes into effect July 1.

Why the AOC chose a private group instead of the public law office is not yet known. Philip Carrizosa, a spokesman for the agency, said because the final contract negotiations are not yet complete, he could not comment on details of the bid.

Coker said he also did not know why the office’s bid failed this time around.

Several counties around the state contract with private lawyers to handle dependency cases. Robert Fellmeth, a children’s advocate and professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, endorsed the idea.

Fellmeth said while the lawyers who work for the county now are excellent, they struggle with caseloads that often exceed more than 200 per attorney. The state court system has set a caseload maximum of 188 for dependency lawyers.

Fellmeth said having children represented by a group that is independent of the county government could be beneficial. When the county’s child welfare system removes a child from the care of their parents, lawyers from the county counsel’s office represent social workers in court. That means both sides, while acting independently, are employed by the same government under the current arrangement.

By Greg Moran, Union-tribune Staff Writer

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Rwandans deny access to jailed St. Paul attorney

A member of a lawyers' group calling for his release said Peter Erlinder may get a court date today.

The attorneys who were allowed to visit with jailed St. Paul attorney Peter Erlinder on Saturday in Rwanda were denied access to him Sunday, his daughter said.

Calling it a troubling development, Sarah Erlinder, an Arizona attorney, said the lawyers were barred from seeing her father a day after they had been granted a visit. Apparently, a Rwandan jail official "yelled" at jail employees who granted attorneys access on Saturday.

It seems that official could not be reached Saturday, Sarah Erlinder said, and could not block the visit. However, she said, the jail official was reachable Sunday -- and not very happy.

Sarah Erlinder said the attorneys who visited her father -- one American and one Rwandan -- reported that he appeared to be in good health and in good spirits. That was a relief, she said, "because then we could concentrate on the larger issue of getting him out."

It is not clear if access to her father will continue to be blocked, she said.

Alison Turner, a board member of the International Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, said Sunday that Erlinder may get his first hearing on Monday.

Erlinder, 62, is in Rwanda to help defend presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire against charges of promoting genocidal ideology. He was arrested by the Rwandan police Friday. Ingabire is running against Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the Aug 9 elections. More than 500,000 people died during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

By James Walsh


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Big Tobacco's Many Days in Court

U.S. cigarette makers, led by Altria Group (MO) and Reynolds American (RAI), have racked up a dismal record in Florida courts, where smokers and their families won 14 of the last 15 trials and were awarded more than $200 million in damages. But plenty of battles remain. That's because there are still more than 9,000 claims left to be tried.

The industry's string of 14 losses, followed by one victory on May 19, are among the first cases to be heard on behalf of sick and dead smokers since the Florida Supreme Court threw out a huge class action aiming to represent 700,000 smokers in 2006. The suit claimed tobacco companies misled smokers about the addictive nature of smoking and its impact on health. The state high court, which in the same ruling gave Big Tobacco a victory by striking down a $145 billion punitive damage verdict against the industry, said individuals in the disallowed class could instead sue on their own. That set off a rush of lawsuits that has left a cloud over tobacco companies' finances, although few expect the individual judgments to approach the class action's $145 billion.

"Collectively, these cases are the single greatest litigation threat facing the industry," says Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst David Adelman.

Lawyers for Florida smokers say they hope the early verdicts will spur tobacco companies to settle remaining claims. Defense lawyers, however, argue the losing streak shows that the ground rules applied in the trials make it impossible for the companies to get a fair hearing.

About 5,000 smokers' claims are filed in Florida state courts, where the industry has won 3 verdicts and lost 15 since February 2009. Some 4,400 more are pending in federal courts in Florida.

The cases stem from a class action filed in 1994 and litigated for 12 years in the Florida court system. That case was brought by Howard Engle, a Miami pediatrician who died last year at age 89.

As part of its 2006 decision ending the case, the state Supreme Court gave members of the disallowed class a year to file individual claims and said they can use some of the jury findings of a 2000 trial in their cases. Among those findings are that tobacco companies sold defective products, concealed dangers of smoking, and acted negligently.

The federal cases are on hold while the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta considers a challenge to the application of the 2000 jury findings. The epicenter of the post-Engle litigation, for now, is the Fort Lauderdale courtroom of Circuit Judge Jeffrey E. Streitfeld. A 19-year veteran of the Florida bench, Streitfeld has tried eight smoking cases to verdict in the past two years, more than any other judge in the country.

Under a two-stage trial plan used by Streitfeld, jurors are first asked to decide whether the plaintiff was a member of the disallowed Engle class—that is, whether the smoker's illness was caused by addiction to smoking. If the jurors find the plaintiff to be in that group, they move to the next phase to consider whether the tobacco companies are at fault and, if so, what damages they should pay. During the second phase, Streitfeld reads jurors the factual findings upheld by the court in the Engle case.

Tobacco industry lawyers claim that this arrangement means smokers no longer have to prove that specific wrongdoing by cigarette companies actually caused their injuries. They say that violates Florida law and the companies' right to a fair trial. "It is a due process violation of the most basic sort," says Murray Garnick, senior vice-president and associate general counsel for Altria.

Edward Sweda, senior staff attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability Project, an antismoking group, says he thinks the Florida trial procedures are fair, and that the 9,000-plus people bringing claims now are a fraction of the estimated 700,000 Engle class plaintiffs.

Both sides agree it could take decades for the cases to wind their way through Florida's legal system. Streitfeld says the 350 cases pending in his court alone may take more than 20 years to try. That's unwelcome news for many plaintiffs. Said Streitfeld in an interview: "There's no way all these cases can be reasonably tried in our lifetimes."

The bottom line: More than a decade after state governments and tobacco companies reached a master settlement, private suits are being litigated.

By Bob Van Voris

Source: BusinessWeek

States Vying to Win More Banks' Trust

You might say United Western Bancorp in Denver is going out of its way to set up a trust company.

Though all of its branches and most of its customers are in Colorado, the $2.5 billion-asset company has applied for a trust charter two states and hundreds of miles away—in South Dakota.

Its reason: "South Dakota law is very favorable to trust companies," says Paul Maxwell, chairman and chief executive of United Western's trust company.

That's an understatement. With low capital requirements, no state income tax and a slew of new business-friendly laws, the Mount Rushmore State beckons trust companies like its famous monument beckons RVs.

Last year, South Dakota overtook Delaware as the state with the most trust companies—41 as of April 1, compared with Delaware's 37—according to, a trust industry blog affiliated with Advisors Institutional Services, both of Marshfield, Mass. (In terms of trust assets, Delaware, home to the trust businesses of companies like Citicorp, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, still ranks No. 1.)

And South Dakota is not alone in its efforts to become a trust haven.

For the past several years, states have been rolling out the red carpet for what they expect to be dramatic growth in the trust industry as baby boomers accumulate more wealth.

They are lowering capital requirements for trust businesses and changing their legal codes for the benefit of trust customers. The changes help provide protection against creditors and allow trust assets to be passed down for several generations, not just one.

For banks and others that want to form trust companies relaxed restrictions mean they can shop for the states that fit their needs best. For instance, laws shielding trust companies from frivolous lawsuits were a big reason United Western chose South Dakota, says Maxwell.

Trusts are legal instruments that hold assets and specify their beneficiaries. They are used for everything from protecting money from creditors to caring for disabled children. They are particularly attractive to those who plan to transfer wealth after their deaths.

In the past, many baby boomers saw trusts as part of the stodgy culture of old money, says Les Revzon, principal of the Revzon Consulting Group, a consulting firm in Marshfield, Mass. "But now they have a huge amount of wealth, trusts are starting to make more sense," he says.

Most trust companies choose state charters because they generally have much lower capital requirements than what's typically required by the main federal trust regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. And states are widely perceived as being more lenient regulators.

From banks' perspective, there's very little downside to having a trust business chartered in another state. Clients and trust officers don't have to travel to the charter state to do business, and most states have reciprocal agreements to honor each other's trust rules.

South Dakota has long had one of the lowest capital requirements in the nation for firms looking to start trust firms, at $200,000, and it continues to tweak its rules. Most recently, it passed a law that limits trustees' liability in certain cases where insurance policies within trusts go bad.

Nevada recently cleared the way for trustees to appoint investment advisers to manage assets within a trust. That means trust companies there have a selling point for clients who want to get their adviser involved.

In March, Kentucky became the latest state to permit trust assets to be passed down in perpetuity.

Even Alaska has been sweetening its trust environment; a recent revision to its trust code makes it easier for a member of a divorcing couple to shield assets from a spouse.

For states, more trust assets mean more tax and fee revenue—and that's important at a time when many are strapped for cash.

In South Dakota, state-chartered trust companies had $53 billion of assets under management at the end of 2009, up 61 percent from just three years earlier. The state's division of banking last year brought in a record $262,651 in combined examination and supervision fees from hosting trust companies.

Still, loosening restrictions too much could encourage investment advisors to set up trust shops even if they have little or no experience managing trust assets.

That's why South Dakota has a provision in its trust statute that allows regulators to raise capital requirements on existing trust companies if an examination shows the need, says Bret Afdahl, division counsel for South Dakota's Division of Banking.

And it's why Nevada last year passed a law raising its capital requirements for trust companies from $300,000—one of the lowest in the nation—to $1 million.

By US Banker


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Your Personal Lawyer For A Railway Disaster

In every well-developed country, a train is the most popular mode of public transportation from a short distance to thousands of kilometers track. In this generation, the speed of some trains could compete with that of an airplane. Actually, there is a train that could travel two hundred and twenty miles per hour. Many people prefer to travel by this mode of transportation instead of traveling with a plane. The reason for this is it is more enjoyable and most people are afraid of plane accident. However, there is no such thing as risk-less in traveling whether you are riding with an airplane, helicopter, ship, car or even train.

In a recent study, there is an average of three thousand train accidents takes place every year that result the lost of lives of many citizens. This is a manifestation that traveling via train is not an exemption to risk and danger.

Reasons Of A Train Accident

There are lots of reasons of train accidents. One of the possible causes is the human negligence's which has a control over the operation of the train and the railways. Because of technology, modern trains are being operated by means of computer and other mechanical devices which disables a human hand to have a manual operation on the vehicle. But then, human is still in control and plays an important role in the operation of computer-operated train. In the past, the usual cause of any train accidents was bridge collapse due to the overloading and the like. You might be also familiar that a traditional train was run by steam engines so it was prone to explosion due to the pressures in the chambers.

Frequently, the main cause of train accidents is the derailment of trains. It is an accident that a train gets off the rail track while it is running. This will result to the crash of chain of cars! The derailment of train could be also caused by technical flaws, over-speeding and wheel damages. Well, there is also an instance that an accident is caused by a sabotage act by the other party.

What Can A Train Accident Lawyer Help You As A Victim

A lawyer is a professional who could help you in your helpless situation after the train accident. As a victim, you are entitled to proper claims and compensation for your medical bills and personal pain you are suffering. Your train accident lawyer is equipped with skills and expertise who could fight for your right in getting the right amount you deserved!

Selection Of A Lawyer

I know that every victim wants to get an efficient lawyer to defend a claim. Well, here are some characteristics of an ideal lawyer.

1.A good lawyer is attentive and open to your opinions.

2.He is doing an initiative to gather reports and evidences that may be a strong point to your side.

3.He explains clearly the range of possible claims you'll receive.

4.He is also willing to stand at your side as a moral supporter.

5.He will not charge you an amount upon the first consultation.

Karen Thompson has an outstanding 10 year service as a state lawyer in California. She helps a lot of people who needs legal assistance particularly those who can't afford to hire an attorney. She finds her happiness helping others and in sharing to people what she knows through writing articles.


How to Use a Property Records Check to Help You Sell Or Buy a House!

It's always exciting when you're hunting for a house or condo, but it has the ability to be fairly on the stressful side. Sadly, it's not as easy as picking out a home and handing over a check. In this article we're showing you how it's wise to utilize a property background search to assist you in your home buying process.

Determining how much to spend on a home is usually the first decision. Naturally you also need to determine a location that you want to live in. You have to pick the number of bedrooms you want. How large of a backyard do you wish. The list goes on!

The home shopping can start when you've chosen the crucial factors. It begins to get thrilling when you find a home or two that you love. Now it's critical that you do your investigating and look more into the home you are considering.

A property background search allows you to uncover a lot of info about any house you are considering. Using this type of property search is one of the best ways to get find extra details about any home you're interested in.

It's awesome to see the amount of info you'll reveal with a property background search. This includes info on the current and former owners, property tax information, neighbor details and much more.

If there is a lien on the house, you can have the house taken away from you, even if you weren't aware of it when you bought the house. As you can imagine it's the very last thing you want, and simply by using a property background search can give you the security you need to not worry about it.

The information you retrieve from a property search will also give you a huge advantage when negotiating the price you pay. This info could potentially save you loads of cash.

Using a property records check is a snap because of the internet. There are now internet sites that offer immediate access to these records. When you use a property background check site, you simply punch in the address and you are then given access to the information. You are charged a small charge to run a check, but it is inexpensive. You can even find internet sites that will only bill you one-time for limitless lookups so you can research many houses.

Buying a house is an exhilarating event for anyone. A property records search will give you the piece of mind of knowing all the important details about the home you choose to purchase.

Click Here to try out a sample property records check and get the full scoop on any property you're curious about!

By Grant Dougan


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feds: Virginia has no grounds to block health care reform law

Indicating that Congress is well within its right to require individuals to secure private health insurance under new federal law, attorneys for the Obama Administration are asking a federal judge to dismiss a suit filed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

With President Barack Obama completing his signature on health reform law in March, Virginia’s Republican Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The suit names Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, as the defendant and is one of several federal lawsuits to challenge health reform law.

Virginia, however, was first to file its suit, outside of a multi-state suit filed in Florida on behalf of 20 other states.

As part of his argument, Cuccinelli claimed the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell would rebuff the federal government from requiring individuals to secure private health insurance.

In its court filing of May 24, lawyers for the Obama Administration say “a state cannot, however, manufacture its own standing to challenge a federal law by the simple expedient of passing a statute purporting to nullify it.

“Otherwise, a state could import almost any political or policy dispute into federal court by enacting its side of the argument into state law,” said the filing, signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tony West, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ian Heath Gershengorn and U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.

Regarding the individual mandate to secure private insurance, or face a penalty starting in 2014, the federal attorneys said the provision applies only to individuals and not the state government.

“Because Virginia itself neither has sustained a direct or concrete injury, nor is in immediate danger of such an injury, it does not have standing to sue,” the filing states.

Spreading risk, saving money

The Obama Administration claims that Congress is well within its power under the Commerce Clause, as the body “understood that virtually everyone at some point will need medical services, which cost money,” the lawyers state.

Congress estimated that Americans spent $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009 as 45 million Americans are uninsured, mostly because they cannot afford coverage, the filing states. However, these individual still require medical care – to the tune of $43 billion in 2008 – which is passed on to the health care market.

To aid this problem, Congress enacted many initiatives in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the attorneys claim, including health insurance exchanges, also set for 2014, and the individual mandate.

“The ‘minimum coverage provision’ that Virginia challenges…is a linchpin of Congress’ reform plan,” the attorneys wrote, adding that those who can afford care spread risk across a larger pool.

In concluding its motion to dismiss, lawyers for the Obama Administration say it is outside of the federal court’s purview, but if it did, the individual mandate “falls within Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, as well as power to lay taxes and make expenditures for the general welfare.”

In a statement to the Washington Post, Cuccinelli defended his suit, indicating that a person who chooses not to purchase health insurance is not engaged in commerce.

“If Congress has the power to force Americans to buy health insurance, then there’s nothing to stop Congress from forcing us to buy any product,” he told the Post.

By Keith L. Martin,

Source: Insurance & Financial Advisor

Plaintiff's lawyers set oil spill seminar

A Tuesday seminar of lawyers, other experts will tell South Floridians how to prepare for potential spill losses.

Oil from BP's monumental spill in the Gulf of Mexico has yet to touch Florida shores, but a gaggle of plaintiffs' lawyers are already coming to Miami Beach to brief property owners and businesses on how to prepare for potential losses from the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.

A joint venture of 10 law firms -- dubbed Gulf Oil Disaster Recovery Group -- is hosting a seminar at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach.

The seminar ``is informational, and of course, if people want to consult with us afterward, we'll be available,'' said Stuart H. Smith, an attorney with the New Orleans law firm of Smith Stag, who has handled major environmental cases against oil companies.

Smith, who lives in Miami Beach and New Orleans, helped organize the cooperating law firms, which includes Krupnick Campbell Malone in Fort Lauderdale and firms from various states, including Texas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Alabama. Kent Harrison Robbins in Miami Beach also is associated with the effort.

The alliance of lawyers has held similar seminars in Destin and Panama City, and plans one this week in New Orleans.

The outreach to potential victims comes as plaintiffs' lawyers around the country are pressing hard to grab a piece of the litigation action against BP, which runs the leaking well.

``Every law firm in the country is buying up'' websites related to oil spill litigation, said Smith, whose website is

Under Florida Bar rules, attorneys can hold seminars, but they cannot directly solicit clients to sign up for cases, said Joy Bruner, an ethics attorney with the Florida Bar.

``Our goal is for people to get competent information that can protect their interests, especially with a megacorporation that has the best representation in the world to defend it,'' said Fort Lauderdale attorney Robert J. McKee, of Krupnick Campbell Malone. ``This is information about the necessity to prepare yourself -- whether you're a fisherman, a business or a hotelier -- for if and when the oil washes up onto the beaches.''

McKee said business and property owners should act now to document what their properties look like, so they can demonstrate any damage from the spill later on. People should keep records of any economic impact, such as lost business or reduced reservations, said Smith.

``If someone calls and cancels a reservation, fax them a letter saying, `We're very sorry you're not coming,' and put a copy in your file,'' Smith said. ``That way, when you sit down at the table with Mr. BP, we have the evidence. In these cases, the plaintiff always has the burden of proof.''

The session at the Ritz-Carlton, at One Lincoln Road, will include presentations by a toxicologist, an oceanographer and a sociologist. The sociologist, who studied the Exxon Valdez disaster, will describe how a community deals with the effects of a major environmental disaster. A certified public accountant will give tips on how to document the spill's impact on businesses.

``A lot of sports fishermen may not realize that a lot of sports species spawn in the Louisiana area that's affected,'' Smith said. ``We expect fisheries from the Gulf all the way to Iceland to be affected.''

McKee said the attorney consortium has extensive skills in environmental tort law and already represents the United Commercial Fishermen's Association in Louisiana, hotel owners in Destin, and the local government of Gulf County in the Panhandle.

By Martha Brannigan

Source: The Miami Herald

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How To Become A Lawyer

You may find yourself wondering how to become a lawyer. Whether you are just heading off to college or in the middle of your life. Becoming a lawyer is one of the most well paid career paths available. But it is actually not an easy task to get into this profession. Anybody who is interested in getting into law profession needs to fulfill several requirements.

Keep in mind though that to become a lawyer takes years of dedicated effort and some potentially large spend. The eventual salaries are part compensation for this huge effort up-front and the phenomenally long hours many lawyers are expected to work after they've qualified.

To become a lawyer involves a lengthy education process usually consisting of law school after obtaining a four-year degree.

The law school is probably the most important element because that's where the training and all the technical aspects will be garnered. Therefore, it is highly important that the law school you attend is the best it possibly can be given your qualifications and financial circumstance.

Lawyers in various areas of law specialization such as :

Justify Full1 . Criminal law

2 . Corporate law

3 . Divorce and family law

4 . Patent law

There are a large number of specializations to choose from. Note that to specialize in patent law, your law school may demand that you hold an initial college degree in a science based subject.

Qualifications To Become A Lawyer

1 . You'll need to do well in high school. Good grades and skills in English will be highly desirable.

2 . You'll need to complete a full 4-year bachelors' degree course. Your GPA must be excellent as competition for places at the better law schools is fierce.

3 . You'll need to take the LSAT. It may be highly advisable to do an LSAT preparatory course in advance of sitting the actual test.

4 . You'll then need to apply to a number of law schools of your choice. Choosing a law school is something of an art form.

5 . You'll then study for a minimum of three years to graduate from law school.

6 . Once you've graduated, you'll need to prepare for and eventually sit the bar exam for your own State.

7 . Finally, after all this, you'll be subject to a fitness examination. This isn't to test your time over 100 yards but to check up on what sort of a person you are.

As for earnings, some types of lawyers have far greater earnings than others. A corporate lawyer, especially if represents one of the top or mid-sized publicly quoted companies can demand huge yearly salaries. They also usually get share options in the company, which sometimes is a lot more than their salary.

A criminal lawyer on the other hand would usually work for the state. Their earnings are usually far lower than corporate lawyers, unless of course they are involved in high profile cases representing wealthy clients.

Get advice from others to help yourself determine if you should become a lawyer. Many times others see characteristics in us that we don't see. It could be that someone would offer constructive criticism to you that would actually be helpful in analyzing whether or not you should become a lawyer.

More info about lawyer here, How To Be A Lawyer

By Mohd Izahan


What To Do When Injured Due To A Liquid Spill


Hi. i was attending a nightclub after havin approximately 5 drinks, they letme upstairs into the nightclub area as i approached the smokers section islipped in a puddle on the floor and broke my wrist, arm and elbow.

Because of the lack of care to clean there facilities i was unable to takecare of my 5 week old daughter. do u think i have a case ?


Stephany, with your injuries being as severe as they are, you shoulddefinitely look into making a claim. But, there are many factors which needto be considered to determine whether you'll have a successful claim. Forstarters, your email does not indicate in what state you live. I am apersonal injury lawyer in Florida specializing in car accident claims, slipand fall claims, and workers compensation claims. If your claim occurred inFlorida, my suggestion is to give me a call toll-free at (866) 556-5529 todiscuss your claim in detail. Laws vary from state to state, so the law forslip and falls in Florida may be quite different than the laws where you live.

You most likely have a claim for payment of your medical bills, and, a claimfor your injury and pain and suffering. Claims in Florida are evaluatedbased upon the degree of liability that exists against the property owner,the specific nature of the injury, the amount and type of medical care andbills that you have had, and that you may continue to require in the future,and the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced in the past, andfuture. Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity can also berecovered in Florida.

Keep in mind, at least in Florida, just because a person falls at abusiness, it does not automatically mean the property owner or manager isresponsible for injuries which result from the fall. You have to be able toprove that the business owner knew or should have known of the dangerouscondition that caused the fall. Generally, a business owner only owes twoduties to persons lawfully on the property - maintain the property in areasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerousconditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.

Water on the floor of a nightclub, or any other business, is generally asign of negligence. But, you still have to show that the nightclub knew, orshould have known, that the water was on the floor for a sufficient periodof time for the club to clean it up, or at least warn people in the clubabout the water. For instance, if you were dancing on the dance floor, andanother person at the club spilled the liquid on the dance floor just a fewminutes before you slipped in it, the Club would not have known about thewet floor, nor had a chance to clean it up or warn you and the other peopleat the club of the wet floor.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. a slip and fall. The attorney can adviseyou what the law is in your area for slip and fall accidents such as yours.There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify theinsurance company for the club, find out what types of insurance coveragesare available, including whether any medical payments coverage exists.You'll want to check to see whether there have been claims similar to yoursthat occurred at the location. You also want to check to see if the clubhas surveillance cameras that may have captured your fall.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claimson a contingent basis,i.e. the attorneys fee is a percentage of any moneythey recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation todiscuss whether you have a viable case. You have nothing to lose to at leastspeak to an accident injury lawyer to see whether you have a claim, and alsoget a better idea of the value of your claim. Keep in mind that there arealso statutes of limitations which may apply and preclude you from bringinga claim if you wait too long.

South Florida Attorney Joseph M. Maus and Associates has been helping victims of injuries and accidents for close to 17 years. The firm prides itself on having the resources and experience of the largest state-wide law firms, yet providing individualized attention to each and every client.

By Joseph M. Maus


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

For governor: Two lawyers from Allegheny County

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato gives his victory speech at IBEW Local Union No. 5 on the South Side after winning the Democratic nomination for governor yesterday.

Pennsylvania's race for governor will be a faceoff between two Allegheny County lawyers who promised to bring budget discipline to Harrisburg after fulfilling their front-runner perceptions with comfortable nomination victories.

Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett easily turned aside a challenge from Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, while Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato outdistanced three rivals for the Democratic nomination including his Allegheny County neighbor, Auditor General Jack Wagner, state Sen. Anthony Williams, whose regional appeal and abundant late spending added some suspense to the final weeks of the Democratic contest, and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel.

Mr. Onorato praised each of his rivals as he accepted his nomination Tuesday night in his South Side headquarters.

"I am the Harrisburg outsider in this race,'' he proclaimed, promising to balance the state's ailing budget and change the "toxic Harrisburg culture.''

From his election night headquarters Downtown, Mr. Corbett said that "Tonight, we start a new journey to begin to take Pennsylvania back.''

Echoing the small government pledge of his campaign, he told the crowd, "I'm taking tax increases off the table."

And like his new opponent, he promised to confront the culture of the Capitol, saying he would remind the governing establishment that "it's your money, not theirs."

Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, the endorsed candidate of the state Republican Party, prevailed in the GOP's crowded race for lieutenant governor. In a potential upset, State Rep. H. Scott Conklin was leading a close battle with Jonathan Saidel, the former Philadelphia city controller, who had been endorsed by the Democratic Party's state committee.

Their victories set the stage for a general election debate on the future of a state facing a confluence of crisis-level financial challenges from schools to pensions to transportation. At the same time, both gubernatorial candidates have shown a willingness to nationalize the issues of the general election. Mr. Corbett denounced the policies of both the Obama and Rendell administration last night. The Republican has also courted conservative support with his decision to join fellow state attorneys general -- several of whom are also running for higher office -- in challenging the constitutionality of the Obama administration's health care plan.

At one election eve rally, Mr. Onorato said he was eager to join that conversation, vowing to put Mr. Corbett on the defensive for opposing the measure's consumer protections.

Both candidates come to the general election with established public records and demonstrated vote-getting and fundraising abilities.

Mr. Corbett, 60, won a comfortable re-election victory in 2008 in the Democratic tide that swamped many other GOP candidacies. Mr. Onorato, 49, raced to the top of southwestern Pennsylvania politics with stints as a city councilman and the county controller before ousting Jim Roddey from the county's top job. Despite a tough budget situation and chronic controversy over property tax assessments, he consolidated his political position so solidly that he won re-election without opposition.

Despite their successful track records, however, neither could claim to be a household name in the state. In the final Quinnipiac University survey before the primary, Mr. Onorato was well ahead of his Democratic rivals, but even after his campaign had spent millions in television advertising, more than half of the state's voters said they didn't know enough about him to express either of favorable or unfavorable opinion of him. Mr. Corbett was a similarly blank slate to more than a third of the state's voters.

The matchup is at least superficially similar to the last time that both parties nominated Allegheny County residents for governor. In 1978, Dick Thornburgh, another GOP prosecutor, faced Pete Flaherty, another relatively conservative Democrat who attained popularity as a local government chief executive.

In a Quinnipiac survey released on May 13, Mr. Corbett led 43 percent to 37 percent, the narrowest margin of the trial heats between the two that the Quinnipiac researchers have been conducting for the last several months. Both candidates did well with their partisan bases, but Mr. Corbett had a significant advantage, 42 percent to 29 percent among independents.

Mr. Onorato was comfortably ahead in the heavily Democratic county where both make their homes. But Mr. Corbett had an advantage in the vote-rich suburban counties that surround Philadelphia. Those communities, once GOP bedrock, have been drifting into the Democratic column in statewide and presidential elections.

If Mr. Corbett could reassert the once reliable Republican advantage in those suburbs, it would vastly complicate Mr. Onorato's path to Harrisburg.

Based on the popularity he established as mayor of Philadelphia, Gov. Ed Rendell capitalized on and accelerated the southeast's Democratic shift. Mr. Onorato's campaign has demonstrated its appreciation for the importance of those communities from the moment he declared for the race with a cross-state tour that began in Philadelphia rather than the more traditional choice of his own hometown.

Mr. Corbett has won headlines with a string of prosecutions of Harrisburg improprieties. That attention will continue as more high-profile trials get under way. But the shift to a general election will brighten the spotlight on Mr. Corbett's policy positions as well. He was the consensus choice of the GOP's hierarchy.

Mr. Rohrer, a Harrisburg budget hawk, sought to tap into the political energy of the Tea Party movement, portraying himself as the more authentic conservative in the race. But Mr. Corbett protected his right flank, courting Tea Party support himself and signing the no-new-tax pledge promoted by Grover Norquist, the national conservative activist.

In late returns, Mr. Corbett was well ahead of Mr. Rohrer in all but three counties. The only one in which Mr. Rohrer led by a substantial margin was in his Berks County home.

Mr. Onorato went into the Democratic competition with the best-prepared, best-funded campaign, and while his less than overwhelming statewide name recognition remains vulnerability, he never looked back. The executive had a modest lead in early polling of the race, and that advantage soared once his television advertising debuted.

For weeks, he had no real competition in the overwhelmingly important airwaves until Mr. Williams broke the mold of state spending and fundraising. A handful of hedge fund managers from the Philadelphia region poured millions of dollars into the Williams campaign, allowing him to attack the front-runner while promoting his unconventional -- for a Democrat -- school choice proposals.

In the end, however, Mr. Williams spending bought him only a third-place finish, carrying only his Philadelphia base.

Mr. Wagner was the Democratic runner-up, leading in only three smaller counties, while Mr. Hoeffel trailed the field, finishing first only in his Montgomery County home.

In their Allegheny County base, Mr. Onorato ran ahead of Mr. Wagner, 52 percent to 37 percent -- a long delayed payback for Mr. Wagner's defeat of Mr. Onorato in a 1994 state senate race, the only election that Mr. Onorato has ever lost.

By James O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Law Firm Is Big Donor to Attorney General Hopeful

Weitz & Luxenberg already has one heavyweight in Albany. Now it appears the firm would like a second.

Weitz & Luxenberg, which is based in Manhattan, is one of the nation’s largest personal injury law firms. It counts Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as among its members, a source of suspicion for critics of Mr. Silver, who has been a loyal ally of trial lawyers.

Now the firm is pouring money into the campaign of Kathleen M. Rice, the Nassau County district attorney, who is seen as the leading Democratic contender to succeed Andrew M. Cuomo as attorney general.

Five of Weitz’s lawyers, including its two founding partners, contributed $236,698 to the Rice campaign in the last year. In the most recent filing period, Weitz lawyers accounted for nearly 12 percent of the more than $1.4 million in contributions Ms. Rice reported.

And top lawyers at three firms that frequently work with Weitz — two of which are based in other states — also donated heavily. Factoring in these donations, the Weitz-connected contributions made up roughly 20 percent of the Rice campaign’s donations in the most recent filing period, which covers December and the first half of January.

Last spring, Ms. Rice hired Justin Weitz, the son of Perry Weitz, the top partner at Weitz & Luxenberg, to work as an assistant district attorney. Noting Justin Weitz’s qualifications, Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Ms. Rice, said, “The office didn’t believe he should be barred from such public service just because a member of his family is involved in politics.”

The Rice campaign dismissed any suggestions that the contributions were unusual, emphasizing that several of the law firm’s donors, including Mr. Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, the managing partner, were Long Island residents who had long known Ms. Rice.

Her campaign also noted that the two men have a long history as Democratic donors, though state and federal records show they have never provided a similar share of another candidate’s fund-raising.

“Their financial support over the years has been the logical byproduct of their awareness of her strong record,” Mr. Phillips said. “Candidates often rely on financial support from those who are most familiar with the work they have done.”

“The campaign has not engaged — and will not engage — in policy discussions with the firm,” Mr. Phillips added.

Mr. Luxenberg, in an interview, also stressed the geographical connections. “She’s a Nassau County D.A. I live in Nassau County,” he said. “Perry Weitz was originally in Nassau County. We’ve given money to her going back many, many years. It’s not a recent occurrence.”

“I don’t hope to get anything out of it,” he added.

Cozying up to the attorney general makes sense in the calculus of New York politics because the position has been a steppingstone for governors, who can back all manner of legislation beneficial to trial lawyers. But good relations with the attorney general’s office can also be useful for litigation lawyers, who can use the information gathered by prosecutors to press their own lawsuits.

Separate suits by the New York attorney general against two pharmaceutical companies, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, over drugs they manufactured have aided the work of litigation lawyers pursuing cases against the firms.

Law firms are also sometimes hired by attorneys general, particularly those with smaller budgets, to help on cases, although this is less common in New York. Weitz & Luxenberg says it has never done any work for the state attorney general.

“New York has long taken a policy for a while, going back, not to give out these litigations,” Mr. Luxenberg said. “It’s a huge benefit for other states. I’m not suggesting in the past we haven’t encouraged attorney generals to use law firms to help them.”

Mr. Phillips said Ms. Rice “has no plans” to use Weitz should she be elected, “nor have they asked for such work.”

Jon Pierce, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Lawsuit Reform, an advocacy group supported by business leaders and doctors’ groups, criticized Weitz & Luxenberg’s donations to the Rice campaign. “This is another example of the trial lawyers in New York State trying to increase their already significant influence in Albany,” Mr. Pierce said.

Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, a government watchdog, said the contributions underscored the weaknesses of New York’s campaign finance laws, which put high limits on individual contributions. Perry Weitz alone donated more than $91,000 in the last year to the Rice campaign.

“Regardless of what Weitz is up to, it shows another gaping loophole in the already Swiss-cheese-like campaign contribution limits,” Mr. Horner said.

Three firms that frequently work with Weitz also contributed to Ms. Rice. Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd, a firm based in East Alton, Ill., donated $46,599 last December, and its lead partner, John Simmons, donated $3,400. Kenneth Bailey of Bailey Perrin Bailey, a Texas firm, donated $46,000, while Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss, which is based in New York, donated $30,000.

The Simmons firm had no comment. The two other firms did not return calls for comment.

Weitz & Luxenberg has been a controversial player in Albany since the firm hired Mr. Silver in 2002, in part because exactly what Mr. Silver does for the firm is a mystery. New York disclosure laws do not require Mr. Silver to reveal his clients or say how much he is paid. He has said he represents individuals in personal injury cases, but his name has not appeared in any court records for years.

Mr. Silver’s support of trial lawyers — he has repeatedly blocked efforts to change the tort system — and his status as one of the most powerful politicians in the state have benefited the law firm that employs him. In 2008 Mr. Silver appointed Mr. Luxenberg to a screening committee that recommends judicial nominees to the governor.

Still, while Mr. Silver’s firm may be backing Ms. Rice, Mr. Silver is supporting a rival candidate for attorney general, Richard L. Brodsky, an Assembly colleague and a Democrat who represents Westchester County.

When asked why his firm wanted to see Ms. Rice elected, Mr. Silver reiterated that Mr. Weitz and Ms. Rice know each other and that Mr. Weitz’s son works in her office. “They don’t do what I tell them to do, politically,” Mr. Silver said.



Monday, May 17, 2010

Mystery of lawyer's killing rivets D.C.

The paramedics summoned to a town house in the posh Dupont Circle neighborhood on a steamy night in August 2006 had seen their share of crime scenes, but the room where Robert Wone, 32, lay dead was different.

Despite three stab wounds in his chest, there was barely any blood. His body lay atop a neatly turned-down guest bed, and there were no signs of struggle or forced entry.

The three men who shared the house claimed ignorance about what had happened and blamed an intruder.

The case got stranger from there.

A knife in the room didn't match the wounds. The autopsy pointed to signs Wone was restrained and incapacitated before he was killed.

The housemates — Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward — were romantically linked, a self-described family. The victim, by all accounts, was straight and happily married.

Police found bondage paraphernalia in the house, and prosecutors later theorized Wone was injected with a paralytic drug and sexually assaulted before he was stabbed.

More than two years and a couple of investigative errors later, the housemates were charged, not with murder, but with obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence. Wone's killing remains unsolved, but prosecutors believe at least one of the housemates knows who did it. The hope is an obstruction conviction might persuade them to share what they know.

Case begins Monday

D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz will begin hearing the case Monday. The defendants have opted not to have their case heard by a jury, a surprising decision announced just before jury selection was to begin last week.

The mystery of Wone's death has riveted much of Washington, D.C.

"We used to describe it as a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces don't fit," said Doug Johnson, one of four bloggers who have chronicled the case for the past 18 months at "Now, it seems more like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are changing shape."

Unusual relationship

The upscale setting and the housemates' unconventional relationship have added to the fascination.

The defendants, who include an attorney and a marketing executive, have hired some of the city's most prominent defense lawyers. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder worked at the same law firm as Wone and represented his widow, Katherine, in the aftermath of the killing.

It was about 10:30 p.m. Aug. 2, 2006, when Wone arrived at the three-story brick town house on Swann Street, a quiet lane lined by towering ginkgo trees.

He had recently started a job as general counsel for Radio Free Asia and wanted to introduce himself to the people who worked the night shift there. Not wanting to make a late trip back to his Oakton, Va., home, he asked Price, a fellow lawyer and old friend from their student days at the College of William & Mary, if he could spend the night.

Less than an hour and a half after arriving, Wone was stabbed. Zaborsky reported it in a 911 call at 11:49 p.m.

Paramedics found the housemates quiet and aloof, according to a police affidavit. Zaborsky had told the 911 dispatcher they were putting pressure on Wone's wounds, but the paramedics found nobody touching Wone, who "appeared to have been dead for some period of time," according to the affidavit.

One of Wone's stab wounds was big enough to "fit your finger into," one of the paramedics told police, yet there was hardly any blood on the body or in the second-floor guest room.

Wone's wallet, Movado watch and BlackBerry were on a night table. On the first floor, a flat-screen TV and other electronics were undisturbed.

Police were skeptical of the housemates' account. Price and Zaborsky reported hearing short screams or grunts and running from their bedroom to the guest room to find Wone stabbed and alone. Ward said he came out later when he heard the commotion. None heard anybody running through the hall or on the stairs.

Price and Zaborsky said that shortly before the screams, they heard an exterior door's automatic chime and assumed it was a basement tenant arriving home.

Spoke to police

After the killing, the three housemates answered questions from the police into the next morning. They contend their cooperation wasn't entirely voluntary and have sought to have the statements thrown out because they weren't informed of their rights.

"Any decent person would want to help," Ward testified at a recent hearing. "Robert Wone was our friend. Kathy Wone was our friend. Even if they hadn't been our friends, I would have wanted to help. But that doesn't mean that I had a choice that night."

The mystery of Wone's death is not just who killed him, but how. That he was fatally stabbed is clear. But how to explain the absence of defensive wounds, and cuts so clean Wone would have had to be lying perfectly still as he was attacked?

Prosecutors argue the apparent lack of movement indicates Wone was incapacitated before he was stabbed. Investigators tested Wone's blood for the presence of paralytic drugs, but found nothing. Nor were there any markings on his body that would indicate he'd been restrained.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner had hoped to introduce evidence of padded restraints found in Ward's room — which would have been less likely to cause bruising — but Leibovitz forbade it as too prejudicial without enough to tie it to the crime.

The defense plans to outline its version of why Wone was unable to fight back. The attorneys have said they will call a cardiac surgeon to testify that a single cut to the aorta could instantly incapacitate someone. Such a scenario would be consistent with a quick attack by a stealthy intruder with no signs of a struggle.

Prosecutors have acknowledged that police incorrectly used a chemical in examining the crime scene, leading them to detect traces of blood in the room where there may not have been any.

Another glitch: Investigators failed to copy the data from Wone's BlackBerry before it was returned to his employer and "recycled."

A detective saw two apparently unsent e-mails on the device from 11:05 p.m. and 11:07 p.m. If Wone wrote those messages, it gives credence to the quick-attack theory. If someone else wrote them, they could be part of a cover-up.

Either way, it's one piece of the puzzle that's gone for good.

By Sarah Karush, The Associated Press

Source: Seattle Times Newspaper

Lawyers Picked for Toyota Suit

After weeks of wrangling, a federal judge Friday named veterans of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and Firestone tire lawsuits to lead the plaintiffs' case against Toyota Motor Corp. in the massive litigation over alleged sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

Steven Berman, of Hagens Berman LLP in Seattle, and Elizabeth Cabraser, of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP in San Francisco, will take the lead roles, according to an order issued by U.S. District Judge James V. Selna.

Mr. Berman represented plaintiffs against Exxon Mobil Corp. in the Alaska oil spill and recently settled a $200 million case against Charles Schwab Corp. alleging the firm deceived investors by misrepresenting risks in certain funds. Ms. Cabraser has wrung settlements out of corporations including Ford Motor Corp. when it had problems with Firestone tires on its vehicles.

The attorneys will be the public face of the hundreds of plaintiffs who have filed more than 70 federal lawsuits against the Japanese auto maker, blaming sudden-acceleration for causing deaths, injuries and a loss of resale value in cars and trucks. They also will take the biggest cut of what's been estimated to reach as much as $500 million in legal fees.

Toyota declined to comment. Atlanta attorney Cari Dawson of Alston+Bird LLP and San Jose lawyer Vincent Galvin of Bowman and Brooke LLP will take the lead defending Toyota.

Ms. Cabraser, who will take on the personal injury claims, said she was "impressed by the care, attention and thoughtfulness the court is giving to the case management process."

Mr. Berman, who will be in charge of the economic claims, praised the legal team the judge had assembled. California attorneys Frank Pitre and Marc Seltzer will serve as his co-counsels. Mark Robinson, who battled Ford when its Pintos were exploding in the 1970s, will serve as Ms. Cabraser's co-counsel. About a dozen other attorneys will have lead roles on various committees.

Dozens of attorneys for weeks had wrestled with one another over whom they would recommend to the judge to take the lead. In the end, the judge somewhat limited the numbers of lawyers serving on various committees for evidence gathering and other matters.

More than 70 plaintiffs' attorneys made their case before the judge in person at a hearing Thursday, offering up their years of experience handling major torts and cooperative spirit as reasons why he should pick them.

Mr. Berman said the next task will be consolidating all the suits into one case, which he estimated would take about 60 days.

By Dionne Searcey,


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Plaintiffs' lawyers in Navajo case seek $7 million

Plaintiffs' attorneys in a federal lawsuit that resulted in a proposed $33 million settlement for Utah's Navajo Indians are asking for $7 million in legal fees and court costs — an amount that apparently has caught some by surprise.

Four lawyers are seeking payment for work during the past two decades on the case, which alleges state mismanagement of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund. While the attorneys' bill is equivalent to 21 percent of the proposed award, they note the normal rate for such contingency cases is 33 percent.

"We haven't been paid for 18 years," said attorney Brian Barnard of Salt Lake City. "I, personally, have not heard any complaints."

The bills are itemized so plaintiffs can see exactly all the time and expenses involved since 1991, Barnard said.

Barnard and attorneys John Pace, Parker Nielson and Alan Taradash mailed notices to 11,000 Navajo beneficiaries to explain the settlement and legal bills. Meetings will be held in coming weeks to answer plaintiffs' questions, Barnard said.

Mark Maryboy, a Navajo and former San Juan County commissioner, said his original understanding dating back to 1991 was that the legal work would be pro bono. But when the settlement agreement was reached in January, Utah Navajos were told legal fees and costs would equal $5 million.

"I was OK with the $5 million," Maryboy said. "As far as the $7 million, I really don't understand. I would have to ask some questions."

The settlement and legal fees must be approved by U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell. A hearing on the matter is set for June 29.

The lawsuit alleges Utah failed to properly manage an oil-and-gas royalty trust set up by Congress in 1933 to provide for Navajos living in Utah's San Juan County.

The fund took in royalties from oil production on Navajo lands. Utah was left in charge of managing disbursements and investments.

Utah Navajos collected 37.5 percent of the royalty, with the remaining 62.5 percent going to the tribe, headquarterd at Window Rock, Ariz.

By Associated Press

Source: Deseret News

Judge selects lawyers in Toyota litigation

A federal judge in Santa Ana appointed four attorneys Friday to oversee hundreds of lawsuits accusing Toyota Motor Corp. of selling dangerous vehicles.

U.S. District Judge James Selna made the ruling as part of the process in managing the massive litigation involving lawsuits filed across the country and consolidated in a single proceeding under him.

Two plaintiffs' lawyers, Mark P. Robinson Jr. of Newport Beach and Elizabeth Cabraser of San Francisco, were named to lead the consolidated case accusing the Japanese automaker of negligence that caused wrongful deaths and injuries.

Two other lawyers, Steve Berman of Seattle and Marc M. Seltzer of Los Angeles were named to direct lawsuits alleging that mechanical defects have diminished the value of the cars.

Dozens of plaintiff's lawyers appeared before Selna on Thursday to request the coveted — and potentially lucrative — lead attorney positions.

More than 320 lawsuits have been filed in federal and state court since Toyota began recalling millions of vehicles because of defects that could cause cars to suddenly accelerate, a problem blamed for more than 100 deaths across the country.

The majority of those lawsuits have been consolidated before Selna. Other lawsuits, such as one involving the Aug. 28 deaths of off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and his family, remain in state courts across the country.

By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times

Source: Los Angeles Times

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The reasons you need to hire a construction lawyer

All sorts of construction projects need to abide by certain rules and regulations. These constructions laws affect all parties concerned with such a project – owners, developers, financial lenders, architects, engineers, planners, designers, contractors, sub-contractors and so on. You require the help of a proficient construction lawyer to handle the legal aspect of this kind of project with ease and efficiency.

The responsibilities of a construction lawyer are manifold. This is why they are indispensable in case you have taken up a particular building or renovation project. Whether it's a small scale private residential one or a huge industrial or commercial venture, the legalities associated with it are best dealt by someone who has knowledge of the applicable laws and experience in the field.

What exactly does the construction lawyer do? At all stages of the project, be it land acquisition or organizing the finances, you need to be able to tackle certain legalities. An experienced lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past has an in-depth knowledge of the laws that you need to adhere to. He also knows the right procedure and time for filing the papers.

The documentation involved in such a project are numerous and varied. These include building contracts, tenders, liens, drafts, claims, and many others. Your lawyer helps you prepare these legal documents according to the laws and rectify any errors and omissions. These professionals have adequate understanding of what could prove to be problematic in the long run and advices you accordingly.

Any sort of dispute originating in any stage of a construction venture is also tackled by the lawyer. He uses methods of arbitration or negotiation in the first stage. If the dispute reaches a court of law, the lawyer knows the right way to approach the case. He acts as your legal counsel and represents the case from his client's point of view. He knows what points to highlight to turn the case in your favor.

The disputes may arise from financial issues involved in the construction or because of any defects in the building. This is why these lawyers need to have knowledge about the engineering details of a building as well. These types of cases often require presentations using charts, models, photographs, and such other materials. A competent lawyer would be able to prepare these with ease.

Another important area where a construction lawyer in Chicago could come of help is in case of an accident at a construction site. If there is a claim for compensation from the victim's side, your lawyer could work on your behalf to sort out the situation. By now, you sure have a good idea about the importance of hiring a specialized lawyer if you are venturing into the field of construction.

Base your search on knowledge, experience and acumen and you could find a suitable lawyer to work for you.

David Johnson is an expert on construction laws and related legal services. He is known for his writings on topics like Chicago Construction Lawyer. He recommends for more.

By David Johnson


Finding the Best Divorce Lawyers

Divorce can be a stressful and overwhelming time on its own for anyone, especially when concerning taking on the burdens of both emotional and circumstantial changes. Just when couples need to cope with the fact that things are changing, then there's also the concern of trying to find the best divorce lawyers on top of things in order to help ensure the best possible future for the long road ahead.

With divorce cases, it is important to be as prepared as possible ahead of time, making sure that things flow as smoothly as one can hope for. By seeking out the right divorce attorney, one can better prepare themselves for the long road ahead, since it is the main role of the attorney to know and understand your rights and that of the law, help to maintain any important documentation regarding your divorce, and many other issues that are involved with divorce proceedings that many may not have the time for.

For issues such as child custody, division of debts and sorting of property, all of these can become not only delicate situations, but also complex cases. It is important to make sure that the proper precautions and steps are taken in order to gain the best results. By obtaining a attorney that you are both comfortable sharing personal and necessary information with, as well as someone who will catch on to important legal loopholes or factors that could impact the cases results, you can help to prevent things from taking a turn against you.

When dealing with lawyers or law firms, it is often advisable to locate one who specializes in the area of divorce, as they may be able to have the proper foresight regarding such matters than someone who, perhaps, is more general in terms of law or specializes in other areas more so than others. It is also a good rule of thumb to consider finding an attorney who specializes in specific areas of divorce, itself, such as with child custody or property issues.

By meeting directly with the lawyer that will be representing you be for agreeing to take the firm on, you can help determine whether or not they're the right fit for your needs. Always make sure to ask questions before making a decision on which attorney to go with. This can help you gauge both experience and overall knowledge, as well as learning how they communicate with their clients. Again, since begin comfortable with a lawyer is important, speaking to them beforehand can also allow one to know if they'll be comfortable enough to share sensitive information with that individual.

When seeking out the best divorce lawyers, try to find out how much things will cost you well in advance in order to avoid any financial surprises, whether it's by requesting some form of estimated price quotes or asking to be notified as to how much services will cost before they happen. Things such as payment plans or payments required in advance are also good points to find out.

Want To Know More? Click here for FREE tips on how to find the best divorce lawyers for your budget. Local divorce lawyers can preserve your financial and custody interests in a professional manner.

By Loralee Weston


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

K-Mart Bankruptcy and Revival

Even the biggest of corporations can fail , only to rise again, stronger than ever before. That is the lesson that the K-Mart saga of bankruptcy and revival teaches us.
Started in 1962 by Sebastian S. Kresge, one-time supplier to Frank Woolworth who founded the Woolworth chain of discount stores, K-Mart grew rapidly /speedily /swiftly /rapidly@#$ n the 1970s, and quickly established itself as the third-largest retailer in the country behind Wal-Mart and Target. However, the companies fortunes began to change in the late 1980s with a series of poor management decisions which drastically pulled down sales.
Some of these decisions were non-adoption of computer technology and failure to create a distinct brand image. While its competitors benefited from the advances in computing, K-Mart languished in the analog age. Moreover, unlike Wal-Mart that competed on price and Target whose USP was style, K-Mart failed to develop a niche among customers. These poor strategic decisions continued into the early 2000s when its then-chairman and CEO Chuck Conaway reduced advertisement spending in 2001, thereby alienating customers.
However, what broke the camels back was the financial mismanagement of Conway and then-president Mark Schwartz. Conway had earlier come on board after his successful stint at CVS Corporation and had negotiated a $5 million loan as joining incentive. In 2002, in a scandal reminiscent of Enron a year earlier, the pair of Conway and Schwartz were accused of misappropriating company funds for their personal expenses.
Instead of disclosing millions in income and revenues, the two were allegedly spending the company's money on different kinds of luxuries such as boats, houses and airplanes. On 22 January 2002, Conway addressed K-Marts employees and accepted "full blame" for the financial disaster. The same day, the company filed for bankruptcy, which still stands as the biggest ever for a retailer. Conway was forced to resign but subsequently recalled and asked to repay the money he had taken from the company.
Now started K-Marts amazing turnaround. The company which had gone through a long period of sloth while its competitors grew, now made several changes during the Chapter 11 restructuring process. It renegotiated leases, closed more than 300 stores and laid off around 34,000 workers to trim costs. Billionaire investor Edward Lampert bought K-Mart bonds during its bankruptcy, from which it soon emerged on 6 May 2003 as the K-Mart Holdings Corporation. The company started trading on the NASDAQ under the "KMRT symbol and Lampert gained management control of the company.
The wheel came full circle when K-Mart Holdings Corporation under Lampert announced its intention to purchase Sears, Roebuck and Company for $12.3 billion in November 2004. Under the terms of the merger, the new entity no carries the name Sears Holdings Corp and trades on the NASDAQ under the "SHLD" symbol. In addition, both K-Mart and Sears also operate stores under their respective brands. As per the latest filing, the conglomerate, with 337,000 employees, had a net income of $53 million on revenues of $46.8 billion in 2009.

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Common DUI Penalties

In Tennessee driving under the influence has become a very common reason for which people gets arrested. It is such an offense that people don't commit willingly. Still it has become one of the most known reasons for court appearance. If someone is convicted for driving under the influence he or she can expect many common DUI penalties.
Most of the penalties are not handed down by the judge. Many of the DUI penalties are written into Tennessee law. The person who arrests you can also act according to the law. If you drive frequently you must be aware of the consequences, driving under the influence can lead to.
Being caught for the first time can result in fine. First-time DUIs can also lead to license suspension. In most cases your license will be taken away when you are arrested by the officer. You will have to pay thousands of dollars as fine. A huge amount will be charged for giving back your license. Many states also have jail sentences for the first-time conviction. However for the first time you are going to be out on probation which is undoubtedly better than jail time. Harsher fines are there for people who repeat the offense. Repeat offenders can expect higher fines, jail times and longer license suspension. If you make the same mistake again and again you may loose your driving license for such careless acts.
Besides the levied fines there are other financial DUI penalties. These financial penalties not even include the fees that you need to pay in order to get back your license. When you get the license back you will have to reinstate your insurance and the sad news is that you can notice a high increase in your premiums. For example the amount can increase from $100 to $500 per month depending upon the policy of your insurance company. Other things that will be consider is the state you live in as well as the number of DUI charges filed against you. Some of the insurance company may even think of absolutely dropping your coverage. In that case you will have to find out an insurance company that offers coverage for high-risk drivers but it will charge high premiums. Now let's come to another point which is equally serious but often overlooked by drunk drivers. Most of the employers prefer to do a background check of the employees. If record shows that you have several DUI penalties there us no way your employer is going to be pleased. This reduces your chance of being hired. If you are working somewhere you will hardly be able to carry out the usual duties without the license. Finally if your job needs driving your company may fire you.
DUI Penalties in Tennessee is quite strict and the worst thing is that it can have negative influences on your personal life. You will no longer have the right to visit the bars or pubs at night. You can't take your kids out without a driver. If you are a divorcee your ex-wife may take you to the court and reduce or even remove your parental rights. So the best thing to do is to avoid driving under the influence.

David Johnson is a DUI attorney who writes on various topics like Tennessee DUI penalties, DUI lawyer in Tennessee etc. He recommends that you have a look at for details about DUI law.

By David Johnson


Monday, May 10, 2010

Who can avail the Facility of Reverse Phone Lookup?

In today''s advancing technology, there are many services that were earlier unknown, and are becoming popular now. One such service is the Reverse Phone Lookup. But what are its uses and what are its advantages? How can it be used?

Reverse Phone Lookup is looking up for the name, address, and other details of a person from his phone number. You can now know who is calling you, or if someone is harassing you through calls, then you can trace out that person. You can also search for your old friends with whom you have lost touch through this service. Earlier, if you had to find any information about a person, you needed his name and some other basic details. But now you can find out everything about him through this service.

This specialized service is very useful in those numbers that are not listed in the official phonebooks or the white pages. To avail this specialized service you have to purchase access to the service provider. The service provider in turn purchases the data from the subscriber databases of the various phone companies and the mobile operators. The provider then combines all the data that it receives from all the above stated numerous Sources of the information, and hence are in the position to provide to the user with the capability to explore through the huge database that contains almost all the phone numbers of USA. The database consists of all the landline numbers, the private numbers, the unlisted numbers, and also the cell-phone numbers.

The Reverse Phone Lookup Services have to sign agreements with all the phone companies, and are bound by them that prohibit the service provider from providing the information free of charge, basically to prevent stalking and misuse of the facility and also for the privacy reasons. Hence, to avail the service, the user has to pay through valid credit cards or PayPal accounts. But, if you are not in the mood to use the paid service, don''t be despair, as there are some alternatives to this. Though you may not get complete information, you would atleast be able to get the basic details of the owner of the phone number. You have the option of searching for the number in the publically available phonebooks, white-pages or use the services of the search engines like the Google or Yahoo. But if the number you are looking for is an unlisted number then your search would be fruitless as the unlisted numbers are not available publically.

Now the question arises as how to use the Reverse Phone Lookup?

It is very easy to use the service. You just have to type in the phone number you are searching for in their online form. Each service provider provides some basic information like, whether the number you are searching for is a landline number or cellular, where is the number registered (the city and the state), and also if the provider has any additional details about the number. But remember, that you can get the details of the name of the phone owners only when you are a paid subscriber. The Reverse Phone Lookup service is a completely legal service and the details are admissible in the courts, but remember that you cannot use the service for unlawful activities or telemarketing.
About the Author

Try our reverse phone lookup and quick phone search to find any landline , mobile or unlisted phone number instantly.

by wmhaven1


They told you they were a Judgment Enforcement Agency?

There are several web sites calling themselves as a national judgment enforcement agency.

There is nothing wrong with having a web site with a name resembling "Judgment Enforcement Agency". However,it is important to understand that most web sites that say or imply this, are not actually national judgment enforcement agencies.

Both lawyers and collection agencies, can enforce judgments for you. Post judgment lawyers get paid by the hour. Judgment enforcers get paid only for success. Judgment enforcers must become the legal owner of your Judgment, before they enforce your judgment for you.

Judgment enforcers have to buy your judgment - and become the new owner. Judgment enforcers must be assigned (transfer ownership of) your judgment in its entirety. Such an assignment must be notarized and endorsed by the Court.

Some States are requiring, or trying to require judgment enforcers to become collection agencies.

Even when a (non-lawyer) judgment enforcer has a team or office with more than one person, in most States and situations, only one person can sign Court documents, appear in Court, and be the legal enforcer of a judgment. In most States, a corporation, LLC, or partnership cannot represent itself in civil Court.

In most States and situations, judgment enforcers have to appear in Court as a person, not a company. Even sole judgment enforcers are not really alone. Most do a lot of outsourcing with marketing, private investigators, process servers, other judgment enforcers, and lawyers.

If one calls themselves a collection agency or a judgment enforcement agency, they must abide by all local and State laws regulating a collection agency in every location they work in.

Some States require everyone owning or working at the collection agency to meet strict State requirements, such as bonding and background checks, and have (and maintain) a certain amount of financial net worth.

Anyone meeting the local and State requirements can be a collection or a judgment enforcement agency without being an attorney. Ironically, most States exempt lawyers from having to become a collection agency.

State laws sometimes control judgment enforcement agencies even when an attorney runs them. As an example, Florida requires an attorney to become a collection agency if the majority of the firm's caseload involves collections. Interestingly, attorneys and law firms have recently been sued by state Attorney Generals for FDCPA violations, and infractions.

So, if a web site or a person tells you that they are a Judgment Enforcement Agency, ask them if they, and all their advertised agents meet all State and local laws.
About the Author

Mark D. Shapiro - - Judgment Enforcement Catalyst. V: 888-831-4350, Fax: 206-267-9857. - is a must-read for anyone involved with Judgments.

by Mark Shapiro


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tips On Hostile Work Environment Law

You may not realize it but employees have rights too. Oh, you know about the Anti-Discrimination Law, you say. That poster has been up at every job you have held since you were sixteen. Not so fast, that is not the only law protecting employees. What do you know about hostile work environment law? This is the part most employees know little about. Large companies leave it out of their employee training. As with any law, there are basic rules you need to follow in order for the law to apply to you.

Now there is a product available that will teach you all you need to know about hostile work environment law. You will learn the secrets of protecting yourself from unfair discipline and termination. You don't have to live in fear anymore. You will know what you have to do in order to protect your job. As a side benefit you will learn how to shorten your work day, or even leave your job gracefully with a severance check in hand should you feel the need to leave. You will also learn some basics such as how to determine whether you are in a hostile workplace or whether it is just you having a series of bad days. You may want to observe your coworkers. Are they having similar issues? That would be a big clue. It is highly improbable for a large number of people to have a bad day on the same day every time.

This product is available at Undercover Lawyer. The site offers a digital basic version and a full course e-book. Currently you can also get the following:

* 20 minute telephone consultation with the Undercover Lawyer * Screen EXEtractor software which allows you to hide what is on your screen with a single key stroke * help finding an employment lawyer in your state

Maria S. writes, "I didn't think I had the courage to fight the fight and stick to it. It's all because I listened to Curt that I found my protected class and stood my ground." Armed with the right knowledge, you have a much better chance of improving your situation. In the best case scenario, all you need is a little guidance in how to deal with a difficult boss. Should you need more than that, now is a good time to start documenting any confrontations at work where hostile work environment law may come into play. The more documentation you have, the more likely you are to win your case.

If you are dealing with issues concerning hostile work environment law you owe it to yourself to check out "Work Laws Exposed". It costs less than a personal consultation with a lawyer and is bound to teach you something helpful. Even if you find you need to hire an attorney to guide you through your situation, at least you will know the basics and what to expect. The price of this e-book is less than that of your average college text book.
About the Author

For more information on work laws and your rights as an employee, come and visit our site at and get your life back.

by Laurie Ann Whitting


Is My Home Equity Loan Invalid

Home equity is the present market worth of your home minus all debts incurred towards it. 1 big advantage of investing in real estate is that the property price expands steeply over time. If you've got an pricey homestead and you could have paid most of the mortgage, you very well may want to obtain some benefit from the present worth in the property by taking an additional loan against it. Mostly people opt for this financial product for repairing their residence, or pay other bills like medical expenses, or educational expenses. However, a home equity loan creates a lien towards your homestead, and reduces the actual home equity.

Being a Texan brings you some particular advantages in this respect. Traditionally Texas laws are written with sole intention of protecting you and your homestead. Consequently, prior to 1997, there was no existence of home loan in Texas. Mainly because, home equity loans are closed kind and of secured nature. "The debt is thus secured towards the collateral - within the event that the borrower defaults, the creditor takes possession of the asset utilized as collateral and may well sell it to satisfy the debt by regaining the dollar amount originally lent to the borrower."

Even so, finally the Texas estate laws were amended to permit household equity loans with provision with the strongest consumer protections inside the United States. To make sure the validity of the home loan, you need to understand these provisions:

*Total quantity of debt against your house need to not exceed 80% of its fair marketplace value. For instance, if your house is worth $70,000 and you might have a mortgage of $30,000. It is possible to get a home loan of at most $26,000.

*You can acquire one home loan at a time against your home.

*You can take 1 home equity loan per year.

*Part of the farmstead which is taxed as 'agricultural land' or 'open land' need to not be utilised for acquiring a home equity loan.

*You ought to not acquire a mortgage from an unlicensed person, unless he is providing 'seller-financing or related to you within the second degree'.

*Your lender will charge you closing fees, apart from the interest for that loan, but it ought to not exceed 3% on the principal amount of the loan.

*You are free to use the fund for any lawful purpose.

*The home equity loan need to be secured only on your homestead, no other asset need to be mortgaged for this purpose.

*The loan may perhaps be closed only at the permanent office of a lender, a title business, or an attorney's office.

*The mortgage cannot close until 12 days after you've made application for that mortgage and received a particular notice of the borrower's rights.

*Before the day prior to closing, you must receive a final itemized disclosure on the actual fees, points, interest, costs, and charges which will be charged.

*After the mortgage closes, you'll have three additional days to change your mind and cancel the transaction without having any penalty or charge. The mortgage proceeds need to not be delivered prior to this.

*The lender is not permitted to conduct a private foreclosure; all home equity loan foreclosures need to be ordered by a court.

A little thought on the above-mentioned provision will reveal that, these laws are written keeping you, the homeowner in mind. Still you'll find unscrupulous lenders who try to discover the loopholes and trap you into a foreclosure. Consequently, it's wise to think and ask for advice prior to acquiring a home loan. If you ever consider a home loan to pay your credit card bill or other such unsecured loans, you are converting your unsecured mortgage to a secured mortgage. Property becoming your most important asset, you have to take utmost care.
About the Author

Joe Willis Provides Information on San Antonio Real Estate Law in the State of Texas. He is well versed in many areas including foreclosure law, commercial law, and real property law. He has worked in the field for over ten years and enjoys helping others.

by Joe Willis


Friday, May 7, 2010

Leach attorneys want judge to reprimand Texas Tech

Attorneys for former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach want a judge to reprimand the university, claiming in a court filing Thursday that the school withheld information they asked for in preparing for a lawsuit over his firing.

Leach's attorneys allege in their filing that the Lubbock school intentionally withheld an e-mail — dated the day Leach was fired — that they claim should have been turned over because it fell within the scope of numerous subpoenas to the school.

The e-mail was obtained by Leach's attorneys late Wednesday from a third party — Hunt Oil Company. Another regent works for an affiliate of the company, court documents state.

In the e-mail, former university regent Windy Sitton claimed Leach's firing had been in the works since the coach's contract negotiations in early 2009, when Sitton was still on the board.

"Everyone sees through this injustice to Mike Leach and Texas Tech," Sitton wrote in the e-mail to the board's vice chairman. "This whole thing smells."

Sitton, in an affidavit drawn up by her attorney Thursday, said her e-mail to board vice chairman Jerry Turner was "based entirely" on what Leach had told her and that she was speculating when she wrote that his firing had been in Tech's plans since his contract talks.

"I was never told by anyone in the Texas Tech administration or anyone on the Board of Regents that they wanted an excuse to fire Mike after he signed the new contract," Sitton's affidavit states. "I have no personal knowledge of the University's version of the circumstances. ... but the two contradictory versions have made me realize that I should not have formed or stated any of the opinions in my e-mail."

Turner did not immediately return a phone call to The Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.

At a hearing in January, state District Judge William C. Sowder warned Tech to comply with all requests for information from Leach's attorneys including e-mails and text messages.

Leach was fired Dec. 30, two days after being suspended following a claim from receiver Adam James' family that the coach mistreated the player after he got a concussion.

James, the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James, has said his coach twice ordered him to stand for hours while confined in a dark place during practice.

Leach, now living in Key West, Fla., has denied mistreating Adam James and has said he suspects an $800,000 bonus he was to receive Dec. 31 was the reason he got fired when he did.

The motion for sanctions against Tech asks the judge to make the university produce all other e-mails it might have withheld, tell why it withheld Sitton's e-mail and pay Leach $2,500 in attorney fees.

University attorney Dan Perkins — responding Thursday to an e-mail from one of Leach's attorneys, Paul Dobrowski — wrote that "at no time did the school intentionally withhold any document" and that Sitton's e-mail was not provided because school officials were "unable to find any request to which it was responsive."

Leach's attorneys said Sitton's e-mail shows that Tech's conduct was "egregious." They said university officials practiced misconduct because the e-mail clearly shows they were talking about dismissing Leach months before the incident with the player.

If a state entity is shown to be acting with misconduct, it waives its right to a sovereign immunity defense, the lawyers said.

The university's lawyers claim Leach cannot sue because Texas Tech is a state entity that can only be sued with permission from the state Legislature or a waiver based on a defendant's conduct.

By Betsy Blaney, Associated Press

Source: Dallas Morning News

Lawyers for ethics committee in Vegas about Ensign

Attorneys for the Senate Ethics Committee were in Las Vegas questioning executives from Nevada companies and others about U.S. Sen. John Ensign's efforts to find work for his former mistress's husband, a Las Vegas television station reported Thursday.

Cynthia Hampton entered a hotel with her husband's attorney, Dan Albregts, and did not leave for two hours Monday, according to KLAS-TV.

Albregts declined to comment Thursday evening when reached by an Associated Press reporter.

Republican strategist Sig Rogich and his chief assistant Chris Cole say they were asked by attorneys at the same hotel about Ensign's attempts to have them hire his former aide, Doug Hampton.

The station used hidden cameras to document potential interviewees going to and leaving the hotel. A reporter also sought comment from an ethics staffer who declined.

The FBI and Senate Ethics Committee are investigating whether Ensign tried to limit political damage from the affair he had with Cynthia Hampton by conspiring to help Doug Hampton find work as a lobbyist. That might have violated lobbying restrictions.

A federal grand jury previously issued subpoenas to a Republican campaign committee and companies in Nevada related to the probe.

Federal criminal law prohibits congressional aides from lobbying ex-bosses or other office colleagues for one year after they have left their jobs.

Ensign acknowledged the relationship with Cynthia Hampton last June. He helped Doug Hampton gain employment with a lobbying firm. His parents provided the Hamptons with a $96,000 payment they described as a gift.

Ensign is married. The affair ended in 2008.

The affair and its legal fallout have ended talk that Ensign might try for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and forced him to resign as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Information from: KLAS-TV,

By The Associated Press

Source: Google News

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Want Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy information is good to know, especially if you are considering bankruptcy for your business. Or, if you are planning to file chapter 7, you should understand the basics.

Also called straight bankruptcy, chapter 7 is about the liquidation proceeding. It involves the debtor who is expected to turn over all non-exempted properties to the bankruptcy trustee, who will convert them to cash for debt payment to all creditors.

After its accomplishment, the debtor receives a notice of discharge of all dischargeable debts, within four months. In most cases, if the debtor does not have assets to lose, chapter 7 provides the debtor a "fresh start".

The chapter 7 bankruptcy information is all about giving a debtor a fresh start by wiping out his debts. To be honest, the guidelines that underline the reasons for you to file chapter 7 are not easy to accomplish. In order for you to qualify, you need to pass the chapter 7 Means test.

A Chapter 7 Means Test is a requirement, if you want to file for bankruptcy relief. You need to fill-out the official bankruptcy form 22A or the statement of current monthly income and calculations. On this form, you must provide information that would help determine your means to pay off debts.

You are required to provide your income and expenses details on that form. To support your income claims, you must give personal records. There is also some information that needs to be supported by requesting records from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Services or IRS.

Understanding chapter 7 bankruptcy information will help you understand that the first stage of the means test is designed to determine whether your monthly average income in the past six months is below the median income for your State. If you can prove that it is, then you can file Chapter 7.

The second step is about not having a below-median income for your State. According to the bankruptcy law, you can still file for chapter 7 provided that your lawyer can make the calculation. He is also well-versed on the allowed expenses that can be used in the calculation.

The State Median Income is determined by your family size and the number of persons earning income within your family. The income varies per State. Check out with your local government to know about yours. You can also use the internet to download such information.

Knowing about bankruptcy law will also make you understand that you have to take an approved Credit Counseling Course within six months before you file chapter 7. There are few ways to do this.

You can ask your bankruptcy lawyer to help you sign up for the course. The internet is also an excellent source of information on accredited credit counselors. In some cases, such courses can be taken through the internet.

For Chapter 7 bankruptcy information, come to . Pick the most appropriate debt liquidation steps. For business rehabilitation, choose chapter 11 or 13. Go to Chapter 7, and discover our services that can help you out of debts. Find help with our bankruptcy law experts.

By Rudy Silva