Monday, December 11, 2017

Women and Divorce

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

By Janine A. Barbera Esq. of Law Offices of Barbera & McElhone P.C. – Miller Place, NY

It has been said that Divorce is worse than Death. Death of a spouse is a painful wound that begins to heal after the funeral. A Divorce however, will take months or years to reach closure. Eventually these wounds will heal as well but the mourning period of the death of a marriage can linger on for many years thereafter.

Why is divorce different for women? Whether it was she or her spouse that initiated it, guilt will be a womanÂ?s initial emotion. Our traditional role as keeper of the household will force her to question everything she did or didnÂ?t do in the marriage and tend to blame herself for the failure of the relationship. The next emotion she will face is anger. Women tend to get angry only after they have finished feeling guilty. A womanÂ?s anger must be used constructively therefore; a counselor or trained psychologist is often the best person to consult with prior to or in conjunction with obtaining an attorney.

Continuing in their role as caregiver women will consider what is best for the children before she will think of what is best for her. In seeking out the best interests of her children, women think as mothers first and women second. Therefore it is imperative that women seeking divorce hire an advocate who understands her duel needs and looks out for all of her interests as woman and mother.

Divorce is a painful process but it must be remembered that it is also part of the game of life. All players have roles and perceptions are everything. A good attorney will be able to advise her client as to how the game is played and what she needs to do to insure a favorable outcome. A good attorney is an excellent negotiator and a strong advocate for her client. Good attorneys do not make their living litigating every case, but succeed instead by bringing cases to fair conclusions as expeditiously as possible.

In choosing an attorney a woman must feel completely comfortable with the attorney. She must have a sense of simpatico that cannot always be put in words and most importantly feel complete trust. The outcome of a divorce is usually a life-altering event. The agreement reached will rule for years and in the event there are children continue to bind the couple for many years thereafter. Interviewing potential attorneys is an important first step in the process. A good attorney will not shy away from tough questions nor will they guarantee success. As with all important decisions check the appropriate agencies such as the local Bar Association, and question the attorney about his or her accessibility. Finally make sure the attorney you are hiring is the attorney you will see in court. Many larger firms have associates who handle the case after the retainer is paid to the name partner. Ask to meet any attorney who may handle your case.

What To Do If You Are Arrested

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

If ever you find yourself in a situation where a law officer takes you into custody then you must realize that you have been arrested. It is important for every citizen to know what it means to be arrested and what their rights are.

If you are arrested, the officer concerned will take you to a police station, jail, or any other detention facility. Then you will be permitted to contact your attorney. They will in accordance with the law be obliged to tell you why you have been arrested.

Always ensure that your attorney is present when they photograph, you or take fingerprints of you, and if you are going to be produced before a magistrate for the official filing of charges. Be aware that you may be asked to participate in a line up, asked to give a sample of your handwriting, or provide samples of hair, blood, or urine.

If questioned you have a legal right to remain silent as anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. It is important for you to consult with your attorney before answering any questions and if you cannot afford an attorney the court will provide you with one.

When you are taken into custody the police will take your money and possessions like a watch, bracelet, or chain from you for safekeeping. You will receive a copy of the inventory and all things will be returned on your release.

Depending on the reason for arrest you may or may not be released on bail. Release on bail means your depositing cash or bail bond in court as a security against your release along with an assurance that you will appear in court when summoned. If you have a good standing in the community then the magistrate may reduce the bail or even waive it.

The thing to do is to stay clam, do not panic, and be polite and respectful towards the police officers and magistrates. Answer questions to the point. Try and remember what the arresting officers looked like, their badge numbers, license plate details and so on. Write things down as soon as you get a moment. You will benefit if there are bystanders watching. So encourage people to be present. Never act defiant or threaten about filing complaints.

Never issue statements in the belief that if you cooperate they will let you go. Always ensure that you think before you speak and that too in the presence of your attorney. In case you are arrested in a foreign country ask to contact your consulate or embassy immediately. Never sign any forms or documents until they are vetted by a competent attorney.

Never resist arrest even if you are innocent. Immediately provide your name, address, telephone number, immediate family contact details and the name of your employer. These will be essential to get bail.

Keep your wits about you and things will go well.

What is a trademark anyways?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

We’re not necessarily talking about Elvis’ trademark sideburns or Catherine Hepburn’s trademark voice, but that’s not too far from the path.

They’re everywhere you look, and yet do you really know what they are? Trademarks are a strange animal and it’s necessary that you get to know them if you have business endeavors of any kind. Whether you’re making your own trademark or using other trademarks, there’s a whole lot to learn.

The definition of trademark is a pretty simple one. It’s only later that the topic gets complicated. Basically, a trademark is just a sign of some kind that distinguishes a company from all the rest. Trademarks sit under the umbrella of “intellectual property.” A trademark can come in many different forms. Maybe it’s am image or a a turn of phrase. Paris Hilton was recently poked fun at for trademarking the phrase “that’s hot.” Indeed, there’s a lot of controversy over what can and should be trademarked.

Are you thinking about buying some intellectual property? If you do, you will be able to take people to court if they use your trademark without permission. It’s important that your company has a signature and unless it’s protected, it’s useless and can be used by just about anyone. A trademark might seem a simple concept enough, but if you overlook the issue, it could cost you a lot down the road.

When talking about trademarks, you’re bound to get into some murky water. For instance, some marks, logos, phrases, images, etc, become trademarks over time, if by chance they simply grow to become synonymous with a particular product or service. When we think of trademarks in this way, it’s pretty apparent that a trademark is not a narrow concept at all. Anything that conspicuously distinguishes something from something else, in a sense, can technically be a trademark.

What about those little circles with the “TM” and “R” in them? What do they mean? The “TM” refers to trademark and the “R” refers to a registered trademark. While they serve as gentle reminders that the trademark is protected by law, they aren’t necessary. There are both unregistered and registered trademarks out there, the latter obviously carrying more weight in a court of law. Most of the trademarks you see on TV and in magazines are registered.

Just as with physical property, intellectual property – when handled in court – is dealt with based on its jurisdiction.

There are five basic kinds of trademarks: distinctive, arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive, and generic. On the other hand, there are some symbols that can never be used in trademarks, like national flags. It’s also important to note that national and international trademark law vary, so especially if you are conducing business overseas, you should be aware of that.

A trademark can open your company up to all kinds of business and separate it from the pack, but if it’s not formed carefully, it may misrepresent and misdirect your company. So choose your trademark intelligently and make sure you understand the law backing it up so that you can put it to good work.

What Is A Judgment Lien?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

A judgment lien is a court ordered lien that is placed against the home or property when the homeowner simply fails to pay a debt. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when the homeowner has a judgment lien against his or her home and wants to sell it, the judgment lien has to be paid in full before the home or property can be sold. Judgment liens can be placed against the property for a variety of reasons such as unpaid credit card bills, utility bills, department store bills, landscaping or home improvement bills, and just about any bill that the homeowner has failed to pay in a reasonable amount of time. Any bill that can cause one to end up in court can result in a judgment lien.

A judgment lien is different than a trust, in that the judgment lien holder cannot foreclose on the home or the property as trust holder can. Judgment lien holders can demand payment, but ultimately they must wait for the homeowner to sell the property before they can expect to be paid the money that they are owed according to the judgment. Luckily for the judgment lien holder, the court will typically assign an interest rate to these liens so that the lien holder is compensated for their waiting as the interest will continue to accrue until the debt is paid in full. Because the majority of people will live in their home for quite some time, the interest can make a judgment lien grow, and grow, and grow over the years so that it is quite large. Imagine what a lien of just $3,000 would grow to over the years if the interest rate were 15% annually and that would be an even bigger amount if the debt were $5,000 or $10,000!

Of course, judgment liens require court action. A creditor will take the homeowner to court where the judge will determine if the homeowner does in fact owe the creditor any money. If the court decides that the creditor is owed the money, and the homeowner will not or cannot make payment, the judge will order that a judgment lien be placed against the property. The judgment lien will then be entered into land records offices for the city or county so that the home cannot be sold without repayment of the debt. Once the lien is filed with the land records office, the judgment lien is said to be attached to the property, meaning that it cannot legally be sold without paying off that lien. If the judgment lien is not listed at the land records office, then it means that the debt or lien is not legally attached to the property and does not need to be paid off to sell the home.

A home or property can have numerous liens against it, which may present a problem when the home is to be sold. Fortunately, the law says that liens will be paid off in the order that they were attached to the property, meaning the first lien will be paid first, the second will be paid second, and so on. This is a law that was basically developed for when a home is foreclosed on. If a foreclosed home is auctioned it will first pay off the first lien, then the second, and the third until there is no money left to pay the debts that are still attached or associated with the home. Of course, all trusts against the house, such as mortgages and home equity loans, would be paid off before the judgment liens, so it’s not uncommon for these liens to simply go unpaid because there is no money remaining to pay these debts after the trusts are paid. If there is not enough money to pay for all of the judgment liens and trusts on the home or property, they are then wiped out and can no longer be collected on. Of course, the auction will usually attempt to pay for all of these debts, and they are paid for until there is no money. The reason for this is that the new owner will not be able to get any home equity loans or second mortgages with judgment liens already on the home. If there is money left over after everything is paid off, the remaining amount would go to the foreclosed homeowner as all debts are paid.

You can look for judgment liens at the land records office, though you will typically not find them listed with trusts. Investors or homeowners looking to sell their home will have to look into both trusts and judgments, as they are listed in different areas. Investors can often be caught off guard when they realize how much debt is attached to the home, and sellers are often startled at old judgment liens that they had forgotten about and don’t want to afford to pay off in order to sell their home. It’s a good idea to go over all of this information before one bids on a home or attempts to sell it or put it on the market.

Judgment liens are not something that anyone wants put against their home, but they are common enough. There comes a time for many people when they simply cannot pay a bill, and a judgment lien is ordered. Making a continued effort to pay down the debt is a great idea so that you don’t acquire large interest fees in addition to the initial dollar amount of the lien. The homeowner does not have to wait until the home is sold to pay off the lien, instead they can be paid off as soon as possible. The judgment lien is simply put in place so that the home cannot be sold without the debt being paid, and when you look at it from the creditors point of view, this is a great tool to ensure that you’ll eventually be paid the amount you are owed in addition to an interest fee that will pay you for waiting.

Trademark Registration in India

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

A trademark refers to any word , symbol or letters or a combination of these that is used to mark the product so as to distinguish it from the product of another producer. The trademark is useful to make the public aware of the producer or the source of the product. Trademarks play a significant role in product marketing and thus there are certain rules laid down for the registration of trademarks. Every country or nation has a set of rules governing the registration of trademarks. India also has laid down a set of laws governing the registration of trademarks. For trademarks registeration in India the owner has to file an application in writing with the Registrar of Trade Marks in the required format.

Different states of India have their own particular offices wherein one can file the application for trademark registration . For instance for trademarks registration in Chennai , one has to file the application as per the prescribed format and make the payment of the fees either by cash, bank draft , money order or postal order favouring “Deputy Registrar of Trade marks”, Chennai. For any other information related to the registration of trademarks in Chennai the Deputy Registrar of Trademarks at the Trade Marks Registry in Rajaji Bhavan , Chennai may be contacted.

How to file trademark application in India
The Trade Marks Act, 1999 governs all the matters related to trademarks and holds good throughout India. By registering a particular trademark the person gets exclusive rights for its use. Although it is not compulsory by law to register a trademark , registering the trademark provides legal protection to it.

The trademark offices in India are situated at five places namely , Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkota, Delhi and Chennai. For the registration of a trademark, the application must be filed in Form TM-1 in any of the five offices of the Trademarks Registry within whose jurisdiction the business office would fall. A fee of Rs. 2500/- must accompany the application form. The application is then processed to check if the trademark is unique and not one that is already registered. If found valid then the next step would involve the publishing of the trademark in the Trade Marks Journal allowing others a chance to raise objection, if any. If it is found that there is no objection from anybody then it is registered as a valid trademark and a certificate is duly issued. In case of any objection and the application rejected by the authority the applicant has a chance for appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

The general term for which a trademark is registered is for 10 years after which it has to be renewed . One can renew it for another 10 years after the expiry of the first 10 years. In case a registered trademark is not renewed then it is deleted from the register of trademarks.

Registering a trademark although not compulsory as per the law , is beneficial due to the legal protection that it offers.

Tips to Hire a Good Personal Injury Attorney

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

Wondering what to do when you have been in an accident, a slip and fall, or a workplace injury? If you have already spoken with in insurance provider for your insurer, it may be time to consider a personal injury attorney.

The danger in running right out and hiring a personal injury attorney immediately after injury is that you will have to pay for their services out of whatever payout you ultimately get. So, it is typically wise to first speak with the relevant insurance provider and only then turn to legal alternatives. While speaking to the insurance company will in many situations resolve the issue completely, there may be some situations in which the insurance company either denies your claim entirely or decides to compensate you in a matter that is from your perspective insufficient. In such situations, the premium that you pay out to a personal injury attorney will come back to you in settlement damages many times over.

Now, once you are convinced that you need a personal injury attorney, you have to put forth the effort of first finding the right person for your case. Here are a few tips on selecting the right attorney for you:

There are a number of online databases of local and regional personal injury attorneys. While most of these are pay per listing or free submission, some actually do provide reviewing services. Even here, however, be wary of putting too much stock in a website’s recommendation as this information can be easily manipulated.

Using this online database and your local yellow pages as a sort of general list, it then becomes imperative to narrow this list by looking at the credentials of a particular attorney. Probably the best way to do this is to call your local legal aid clinic, which is free. While these individuals are not in the business of providing recommendations, the bar in a particular city for personal injury usually consists of about fifty to one hundred attorneys, so amongst attorneys word gets around pretty quickly as to who is good and who is not.

Another good resource is your city bar association. Your city bar will keep more general information about who has not been sanctioned by courts for malpractice and typically keeps a short list of recommended attorneys. But again, take this list with a grain of salt as there are manipulations going on behind the scenes here as well. Often a better tack is just to have a list of three or four attorneys you are considering and then call the bar association to hear their thoughts on each one.

Referrals can be good if you know someone in the legal community. But if not, the best you will get out of a referral is a sort of ‘he/she isn’t incompetent.’ Because let’s face it, most clients have no idea whether the settlement they received was in actuality the best they could have.

The final test should always be to meet with the attorney. In such a meeting you can discuss the payment method (contingency or flat-fee), but more importantly you want to try to assess if this individual seems competent. Note things like, what law school he/she attended? Did they pass the bar on their first try? How long have they been practicing personal injury in your state? Will they let you speak with some of their most recent clients? All of these factors taken together should give you a general impression of whether your personal injury attorney is competent, if not good.

The Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

The Bill of Rights exist in many different countries today to protect the people who are within the territorial boundary of the countries’ government from unlawful actions that may deprive a person’s right to live, security, and other necessities needed to survive. Originating from the British’s Bill of Rights, which was literally a bill that was proposed and passed by Parliament in 1689 to protect the basic rights of the people. To effectively have the Bill of Rights into play it must be constantly be enforced by the government that it is trying to restrict.

The concept of the Bill of Rights is very popular with the population of countries that hold such a law in their constitution. Such one country is the United States of America in which the United States Bill of Rights protects the residents of the country from its own government from Federal to the local. The United States Bill of Rights was originally a series of amendments brought before the Congress in which ten of the amendments were put into effect in 1791.

The First Amendment which states the freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government is the most popular amendment that is in effect today. Though it may have some restrictions like as long as it does not create an imminent threat to the subject and those within the proximity or unless under warfare, the first amendment is in effect. An example is like shouting the word “fire” as a joke in a crowded area as it can create a widespread panic causing casualties or maybe during wartime some things just should be said or written.

The Second Amendment is in which gives the resident of the United States of America the right to bear arms. An amendment which is criticized today by those who promote gun safety as those who just promote the right to own a firearm have been known to legally abuse this law. As the law was originally in state for the protection of a resident and his or her family from outside forces that would cause harm to them or for hunting, groups such as the NRA use the amendment to be able to own automatic weapons which are mainly used for warfare and not for such measures as it was originally put into use for.

The Third Amendment protects the residents of United States of being forced to quarter troops in their own property in peacetime or even in wartime unless done in a process which is acceptable under the given circumstances.

The Fourth Amendment protects the resident from unlawful search and seizures in which they cannot be searched without just cause and or without a warrant, and if there is a warrant, the warrant only allows the items stated within the warrant to be seized within the location the warrant gives permission to search and nothing else unless the item in question is in plain sight and unlawful in other words illegal under the current law.

The Fifth Amendment gives the resident due process in which it prevents self-incrimination, double jeopardy, and eminent domain by the government. Where a person cannot convict themselves, be tried for more than once for the same crime, and have the government unlawfully take away property owned by an individual.

The Non-Profit ByLaw Legal Form

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

So, you have a non-profit organization and you need a bylaw legal form and don’t know where to turn. Well relax, you are not the first one in this situation and you are not alone. Yes you have a problem but thanks to the Internet there is an easy solution to your problem. And this solution is much easier than you would ever think.

The answer for your non-profit bylaw legal form is the Internet.

The Internet you ask? Well yeah, the Internet!

Sure you could go out and hire a lawyer but that is an expensive option. Especially for a non-profit organization. Why would you want to spend the hundreds of dollars to fill out a simple for like the bylaw legal form when you can simply have it done yourself?

Here’s all you have to do. Simply get online and use any search engine and type in the words “Bylaw Legal Forms” Note: The use of capitalization does not matter as any search engine worth its salt will not limit its search on the web for documents and web pages to fulfill your search to Internet sites which can help you out.

You will be surprised how many pages are out there and available for your use. Now all you have to do is find a bylaw legal form which will be suitable for your non-profit organization and save it to your hard drive. Many of these legal advice sites will have a download option which will save the form directly or you can simply copy and paste the information into any word processor.

Next you modify the bylaw form to suit your needs. That is to simply add a paragraph or delete one from the standard bylaw form which do not apply to your situation. And then of course you will need to fill out your own personal information to personalize the bylaw form.

Next you just need to print out the form and to make it official there should then be a vote or review by your non-profit organization’s board of directors or officers and then a signing of the document.

And that’s it! Your non-profit bylaw form is complete. If you want to go the extra step you can then get the form notarized which is not very expensive at all. Especially when you compare the cost of a public notary to that of an attorney. The hundreds of dollars you will save can be put to much better use I am sure.

So there you go. Some general advice and information on a non-profit bylaw legal form. See? I told you that it would be easier than you thought.

The Death Penalty, Is it Good Or Bad?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

I am and always have been the pro death penalty, however, even though I am pro death penalty, I probably would not be willing to pull the switch or push the button. I do not think that this makes me a hypocrit. Please bear with me while I explain.

As I stated, I am pro death penalty. I am not, however, pro death penalty as an act of revenge or retribution. I believe that in certain instances it does act as a deterrent to crime and can save lives. I realize that some people have no respect for life, not even their own, and would commit violent acts no matter what the penalty. I also realize that some people get caught up in the heat of passion and don’t think about the consequences of their actions. There are people, however, that do care about themselves even if they don’t care about others and the only thing that stops them from commiting certain crimes is the idea that they might, if caught, be executed. They may not have a conscience, they may not care about the harm they do others, they may not believe in or care about an afterlife but, they do care about their own skin and they want to protect themselves from harm. Many of these people don’t care if they go to prison but they do want to live. Many of them while in prison would murder other prisoners or guards but don’t because they don’t want to turn their life sentence into a death sentence. If the death penalty saves even one or two innocent lives, I believe that it is worth having.

On the other hand, I am not omnipotent, I don’t know everything. I realize that some, or even many, innocent people may have been executed by mistake. However, I believe that many more innocent lives have been saved than lost because of the death penalty.

I also know that the death penalty can be more expensive and cost the taxpayers more than incarcerating someone for life. However, if it saves innocent lives, it is worth the extra cost. Additionally, if the death penalty process was streamlined the cost would be far less.

Having stated the foregoing, I still probably would not be willing to pull the switch or press the button. Luckily for me there are others that for some reason, either out of a sense of duty or for some other reason, are able to and will do the deed.

My problem stems from uncertainty. Is there a God (I hope so.), and if there is a God, did he send down the Ten Commandments? If God did, what did God mean by “thou shalt not commit murder” (Note: It is not “thou shalt not kill” it is “thou shalt not commit murder”, check with a theologian.)? Is it murder to execute a murderer or is it carrying out God’s will by protecting other people. Would I loose my soul and an afterlife by executing a murderer. I would be willing to loose my soul in order to protect my love ones by killing someone who threatened them, or to go to war in order to protect my family and country but I might be too selfish to be willing to loose my soul by carrying out a legal execution. I just thought of something, could this selfishness cost me my soul? Oh boy, one more thing to ponder. I either don’t have enough faith or I have too much faith. I can’t be sure which it is, but I assume that it is not enough faith, because, if I truly believed in a just God, I would be able to trust in him and leave it in his hands.

Finally, I say I probably would not be willing to push the button. I say probably because you never know what you would do when it comes right down to it. I don’t think I’d have the guts, however, if there was no one else to do it, who knows?

Stress at Work in the UK

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

Stress at Work in the UK

At Claims Master Group we understand the unhappiness, depression ill health and stress which can be brought on by bad working conditions & unfair working practices. In many cases, there are good grounds for claiming compensation for stress at work

For example:

Unrealistic service levels or deadlines at work causing stress and depression

The rise in sexual discrimination can lead to stress and depression at work

An unclean work environment stress and depression at work

The fear of continual racist abuse causing stress and depression at work

Not allowing necessary breaks from work can often cause stress and depression at work

Employees who become depressed at work through stress, they deserve to claim compensation

What is stress?

HSE defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. Pressure is part and parcel of all work and helps to keep us motivated . But excessive pressure can lead to stress which undermines performance, is costly to employers and can make people ill.

Why do we need to tackle stress?

· about half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress at a level they believe is making them ill;

· up to 5 million people in the UK feel “very” or “extremely” stressed by their work; and

· a total of 12.8 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2004/5.

Employers should look at:

· developing appropriate and effective policy

· organising a risk assessment and benchmarking exercise

· developing appropriate training for managers and staff

· developing support structures and services as needed

Bullying at work can be grounds for compensation

There are many more causes of employee stress and depression at work.

However there is some good news. You could be entitled to reasonable compensation if you are suffering stress and depression at work or have been forced to resign from work because of undue stress which has led to depression.

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If you need advice or would just like to speak to someone, please don’t hesitate to give Claims Master Group a call on 08000 71 22 71.

The Personal Injury, Accident Claim, No Win No Fee, Stress at work in the UK specialists.

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