Legal Disputes of the Future

August 4, 2018

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Who owns food? Who pays for this accident? Who owns my face? Who owns the Arctic? Who owns the Pacific Ocean? Who owns the sky? These sound like some ridiculous questions at first glance but let’s take a second look at the future through the Great Karnak’s trusty crystal ball.

Who owns food?

Let’s start with this one, since it has, more or less, already taken place. A small landowner in Nebraska named Bill parks his tractor in the shed after a long day of work in the fields. He wipes sixteen hours worth of sweat off his brow while he opens his mail. All bills. Two men in dark suits approach him at the front door and hand him a subpoena. The farmer opens the subpoena, quite surprised to learn he’s being sued by a major U.S. corporation for copyright infringement. It’s a huge settlement they’re after – in the millions. He doesn’t have one tenth of what they’re asking in damages. Since he sits on a tractor most days, he hasn’t got the faintest notion how he could be named in a suit for copyright infringement. He’s certain they’ve got a case of mistaken identity and places the document at the bottom of a pile of correspondence, making a mental note to consult his lawyer about what to do with the nuisance suit.

Rest assured, it’s no mistake. The large U.S. corporation spent millions in developing a strand of DNA for corn that is resistant to a pesticide they also own. When you buy their corn seeds and use their pesticide for your crops, you’ll get excellent results. They copyright the strand of corn DNA they worked to develop. To protect the investment in DNA research they hire over seventy-five corporate lawyers to aggressively prosecute copyright ‘thieves’. They have to establish a legal precedent that attracts a lot of publicity; they intend to branch out into other food stuffs, such as eggs that last longer on the shelf, wheat that produces heavier grain, chickens that add weight quickly, beef that responds to their brand of steroids in cattle foods. The list is endless, and it’s all going to be done by protecting copyrighted DNA strands.

Bill consults his country lawyer about the suit, explaining that he has stolen nothing in his life from anyone. The lawyer does a bit of researching and discovers he’s opposed on the brief by some of the best legal minds in history, paid for by a Dow Jones multinational. He first explains to the multinational that his client doesn’t know how the patented corn seed got into his fields. Possibly the seed cleaning company that strips seeds off Bill’s corn for next year’s crop has intermingled patented seeds with his. He tries to offer a settlement but this is not what the corporation wants. They want a trial. They wish to establish for the record that they’re prepared to sue if anyone grows their corn without paying them for the seeds.

Bill and the country lawyer lose the case which costs him more than he can pay in damages and legal costs. He appeals. The appeal also loses right up to the Supreme Court since copyright law is sacrosanct in the U.S. Intellectual property, in this case a section of DNA, is property protected by the highest court in the land. Bill’s house, farm and equipment are sold at auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds given to a multinational worth more than a quarter trillion in market cap. The proceeds don’t cover the cost of one of the lawyers for one year, but they’ve earned an important victory – they own food.

Who pays for this accident?

Late June, 2016. A new electric car with one occupant is proceeding along a Florida highway within the speed limit. Up ahead, a tractor trailer crossing the pavement at an intersection blocks the way. The driver, who has the vehicle on ‘auto-pilot’ is reading work-related files and doesn’t see the upcoming collision; he trusts his car will react properly and put on the brakes, as advertized. The software or hardware on the car malfunctions, the result is that the car smashes at full speed into the trailer blocking the road, disintegrating the car and killing its occupant.

Within hours of learning of the crash, the vehicle manufacturer issues a statement: ‘Neither the auto-pilot nor the driver saw the tractor trailer in the blinding sun’, trying to diminish responsibility by including the driver’s inattention to the road. A sharp lawyer advises the family of the deceased to sue, since, by definition, he was not the driver; the car company’s software was driving. The driver of the tractor trailer is found blameless because it was possible to avoid the accident, just as every other vehicle did in this situation.

The impending lawsuit sends shivers down the corporate world’s spine. Will they be forced to halt production of their cars? Offer compensation in the billions as GM or Ford experienced? Will it affect future car sales? Will there be expensive recalls? Their very survival hangs in the balance on the outcome of this legal battle. The car company uses as its indemnity the disclaimer every software user accepts before they can switch on the ‘auto-pilot’. Use at your own risk, they say, just like all software. If a calculator gives you the wrong answer, is the calculator manufacturer to blame if you make a wrong bid on a billion dollar tower construction and lose your shirt because of it? No, it’s the user’s responsibility to check all calculations.

Not so fast, says the family’s lawyer. I present to you as evidence sales material from the car company showing people in these cars on ‘auto-pilot’ busily reading files related to work, texting on their phones, eating sandwiches and coffee, streaming movies. The company has promoted the auto-pilot as reliable, in fact more reliable than humans. The manufacturer, in order to sell the product, has accepted the responsibility for the safety of its passengers, or users, by heavily implying that users can relax while the software guides them safely to their destinations. It’s the car company that killed their client, no one else, by encouraging the car buyers to trust the software to the extent that they don’t have to pay attention to the road ahead. Why else would you buy it?

Insurance companies are prepared to fund the legal challenge to a successful outcome. They want a clear definition of who’s at fault before they begin underwriting any more policies. Driverless car manufacturers are rushing headlong into the intersection of Lawyer and Technology Streets with their eyes closed. Keep watching this space, you’ll never see a bigger smash-up.

Who owns my face?

Brad Pratt is a famous movie star. His wife Angie Groaner is too. They’re fed up to the teeth with being filmed by paparazzi. Brad is filmed in public toilets. Angie is filmed at the doctor’s office. What gets them most upset is they’re captured on film with their kids. They don’t have a moment to themselves, not even after they move from the U.S. to the outskirts of London, England. Every time they walk past a newsstand they look the other way so they don’t have to read headlines about themselves in stories they didn’t sanction. Angie especially deplores the stories depicting her children as alien babies. Paparazzi invade their lives every waking, sometimes not waking, moment.

That’s the price of fame say the news organizations. Bullpoop, says Brad, and I’m going to come up with a way to stop it. Unbeknownst to the so-called ‘news’ media, Brad and Angie consult with the best legal minds and come up with a solution: trademark their faces.

A trademark is the copyright of an image related to the conduct of business, and since Brad and Angie’s faces are their business (worth millions), they’re well within their rights to trademark their mugs. They take a 360° view of their faces and deposit them with all the necessary paperwork at every major trademark registration office throughout the world.

They can’t wait for their first lawsuit to prove the concept. Soon, a tabloid prints the story, ‘Brad and Angie Have Alien Twins’. The photographer and Celebrity Ogler are served with an invitation to attend court in every country in which they publish.

The photog is a nobody with a camera. He’s paid up to a quarter of a million dollars for candid shots depicting Brad on the toilet or Angie in a dress shop changing room. He explains that Celebrity Ogler paid him to take these pictures on a spec basis. The more revealing and damaging the photo, the more they get paid, so anything goes, regardless of the rules of common courtesy or decency.

The publisher, Celebrity Ogler, claims that the two famous people made their millions by being in the public eye, and if it weren’t for news and tabloids, the couple would be living in anonymity. They benefited from free publicity for their rise to stardom and now it’s simply inconvenient to them. They also argue in most countries, it’s their constitutional right to publish news stories related to anyone, regardless of their position in society. What if they were guilty of murder, could we be prevented from displaying their pictures on newspapers?

Pratt and Groaner’s legal team argues that their trademark, central to their business of making films, has been used without their permission and that both the photographer and the publisher have profited using someone else’s copyrighted image. These magazines are not reporting ‘news’; they rely on sales of their tabloids based on the already established popularity of their subjects. Now that they have trademarked their faces, the defendants have profited off someone else’s popularity and their image.

The court rules in favor of the plaintiffs. They’re awarded damages and any further use of their trademarked images can only be done by permission. It will be a very long time before Pratt and Groaner give permission for strangers to take their picture. A new business for trade-marking faces is spawned.

Who owns the Arctic?

In the 1850’s a British expedition to find the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean goes missing for over a hundred years. Fast forward one hundred and fifty years. Due to global warming the ice pack has melted and it is now possible to sail year round through the Arctic Ocean.

Oil is discovered outside the new economic exclusion zone and Canada protests the invasion of oil drilling wells from the U.S., taking the case to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. Canada claims sovereignty of the Artic to the North Pole. The U.S. says, ‘See you in court. No one can own an international waterway.’

Who owns the Pacific Ocean?

In a mirror image incident in the Pacific Ocean in international waters off China, barges filled with earth drop millions of tons of rocks and slurry to create a small land mass. The Chinese fill enough of the ocean to create a tiny island in the Pacific large enough to plant their flag. They then declare an economic exclusion zone of two hundred miles in all directions and begin drilling for oil.

The American navy sails through the disputed waters. Certain of the rightness of their cause, China begins sending belligerent diplomatic notes of protest to the United States and the United Nations. The U.S. does not recognize their sovereignty in an international waterway by the artificial creation of a land mass. The Chinese are ready to start a war and take pot shots at the U.S. navy in what used to be international waters. Tensions come to a boil before the case can be heard in international courts. The Chinese threaten to begin a war with the U.S. over the issue.

The U.S. responds by entering trade agreements with India and setting up manufacturing facilities for a wide range of consumer items, directly competing with cheap Chinese labor. Twenty years after the shift to India, the U.S. and its allies block all further Chinese imports.

Who owns the sky?

Fred and Harriet are having dinner in their isolated country home. They’re having Fred’s favorite recipe – Mulligatawny soup. An object crashes through the roof and kills the couple outright. Upon investigation, the object belongs to Grooble, a technology firm developing driverless cars. One of their satellites, while repositioning itself to a new orbit, received an incorrect set of coordinates from the controller and crashed back to earth, landing on hapless Fred and Harriet, and the soup tureen. The pieces of wreckage found clearly indicate the ownership of the fallen satellite. Fred and Harriet’s heirs file suit.

The ownership of a piece of land includes the space above and below it, with no defined limit. If you wish to build above the land five hundred stories high there can be no legal objection to it. The plaintiffs argue that their property rights are infringed at any altitude and Grooble was encroaching on the couple’s right to ownership of their property, even though the satellite might have been hovering six thousand miles above them. Since the satellite owners accept the premise that the hardware might malfunction for any number of reasons and come crashing back to earth, they knowingly encroached on property they do not own.

The Grooble Corporation argues that international agreements have determined space (defined as 62.5 miles altitude) to be outside the purview of local property laws. The heirs of the property owners claim that once the satellite re-entered the atmosphere, it was no longer subject to the laws that govern space and are therefore seeking damages afforded them by local property rights, the same as they would if an airplane dropped on their house.

Looking back we find it hard to believe some of the cases that were heard to defend people’s rights and property. The Scopes trial of the Twenties comes to mind, which defended an educator’s right to discuss evolution. A divisive question for its time, a mere ninety years later, it’s almost irrelevant, replaced by the new issues that arise with the advent of technological discovery. The conflicts these new challenges create will burn brightly in their time, setting one against the other in tumult and violent upheaval until, just like all issues, the unveiling of new eras and new civilizations will make them pass into irrelevance. But is mankind now changing too quickly to adapt to new situations? For instance, will we pollute and kill all marine life in the oceans before we can develop legal frameworks to stop it? Will a country poison the atmosphere for the rest of the world? Will nations figure out a solution to global warming before it’s too late? Will DNA continue to be copyrighted preventing food from being grown by private citizens in times of starvation? Will space be cluttered with so much debris as to make it unusable? Legal disputes of the future are extremely difficult to predict but their outcomes greatly impact our societies.

Learn The Effectiveness Of Employing Adept Lawyers

August 4, 2018

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Legislature, marriage decrees, legitimate education rules, guidelines of doing business and infinite other reasons are responsible in creating a definite legal functionality of every other region and Nation. Entire universe comprised with sophisticated human beings are enveloped with certain set of lawful measures. Purpose of which is, to amalgamate life with systematic methodologies and delivering assurance that the world around us remains truthful and honest.

Attached with such diversified objectives, it is quite clear and evidential that the laws, Acts and bylaws would also be extensively wide by every means. No wonder, requirement to adhere-by the same has to be helped and aided by professional experts. Their immense knowledge and experience comes with a guarantee that any sorts of legal hassles or need to take some lawful measures at some stage or the other gets executed in a most constructive way.

Behavioral pattern of the social institutions has to be evaluated and administered in a constructive and resilient way so that, the dignity of regions remains intact. Moreover, in the course of such maintenance it can’t be forgotten that laws and its decrees differs from one nation to the other. In this context, to seek for pillared support from adept lawyers and attorneys is a must. With their responsible job role, any sorts of legal hassles can be dealt with dynamic and favorable best results.

People of this age and time are intelligent enough to belief in something that has got its appropriate approval. That is the reason why, above mentioned acclamations needs an authentic and truthful consent. Henceforth there can’t be any other reference other than the discovery and implementations of FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For a longer time period defaulters was suffering with unsupportable mental trauma and depressing situations brought by collection agencies of respective creditors. Problematic circumstances at employment places were also common for them. This in turn has enforced the essential need to develop an effective and justified Act mentioned above. This in a way has assured that both registered creditors and their debtors can obtain a respectful and courteous mode of debt settlement in a faster and transparent way.

Above mentioned domain is not the one and only field where the effective role of these gem legal assistants can be found. Their role is also observed at:

  • Medical collections
  • Commercial collections
  • Civil Rights
  • Company formation
  • Subrogation
  • Adaptations
  • Family laws, etc.

There are numerous candidates suffering with some reason or the other under these aforesaid platforms. These entire widened and complicated provinces can be finely set-free from any sorts of hassles. If the guidance and assistance gets fetched from adroit lawyers or attorneys in this respect, outcome is assured to be effective and at the same time resourceful.

Even a true follower of laws and bylaws are found to be victimized for some reason or the other. For them and several others, these lawyers are of magnum assistance. Working in similar filed over the ages, these legal service providers are well accustomed about the strategic steps that should be taken to serve respective clients with best possible results. Eventually a person in need gets assisted with a constructive and at the same time respectful outcome.

The Origins of Modern Day Bankruptcy Law

August 4, 2018

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Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides:

“The Congress shall have Power To… establish… uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States… ”

This authority granted under the United States Constitution enabled the Congress of the United States to establish Bankruptcy Courts and establish uniform Bankruptcy Laws.

The origin of United States Bankruptcy laws dates back to sixteenth century English Law. Famously, Debtor’s prison was the norm at that time. In fact, in 1705, the English Parliament drafted a Bill making the bankrupt’s refusal to cooperate a capital offense.

Society utilized a system of coercion to incentivize borrowers to repay their debts. But coercing debtors to be honest and cooperate with divergent creditor interests proved a failure, instead incentivizing fraud amongst debtors seeking avoidance of harsh penalty.

Attitudes eventually changed overtime upon practical realization punishment and imprisonment of debtors was of little benefit to creditors, and upon understanding better results would occur for both Debtor and Creditor in protecting Debtor’s assets and income streams to maximize payoff of creditors’ claims.

Thus, beginning in the eighteenth century, bankruptcy laws began evolving, recognizing the social benefit in protecting debtors and their assets, permitting debt discharge as a reward for debtor cooperation assisting towards reducing claims of creditors. Modern day bankruptcy was born.

The United States Constitution granted Congress power to establish uniform federal bankruptcy laws in 1789 and the first Bankruptcy Act adopted by congress was enacted in 1800. Initially, the emphasis was creditor relief over debtor protection. Debtor voluntary bankruptcy filings were not permitted. The early statutory schematic was an offspring of the early bankruptcy laws of England, where harsh penalties and punishment of debtors who sought to avoid financial responsibilities was the primary premise behind this legislation.

But the a philosophical debate began over whether bankruptcy laws should be designed to protect the debtor or the creditor, eventually enabling modern society to recognize the symbiotic relationship between debtor and creditor and the need to protect debtors to maximize payout for creditors. The passage of the Bankruptcy Act of 1841 offered debtors greater protections and permitted voluntary filings for relief; and the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 established bankruptcy courts and provided for bankruptcy trustees providing an even playing field for debtors to protect their assets and income from ad hoc creditor collection action, enabling preservation and enhancement of the debtors estate assets so creditors could receive a higher repayment.

Public sentiment also began evolving towards debtors. Beginning in the eighteenth century changing attitudes inspired development of the concept of debt discharge where Courts nullified debts as a reward for debtor cooperation in trying to reduce them. The public viewpoint also realized most circumstances befell upon debtors were beyond the debtor’s control – unexpected dramatic market movements, illnesses, crop failures, etc. Public sentiment began viewing the debtor’s plight with greater sympathy, as well as recognizing imprisonment and punishment was useless to the unsatisfied creditor. Thus, it was recognized encouraging resolution of monetary obligations through a forum of bankruptcy protection worked towards the greater good of society.

Societal benefit is also achieved enabling debtors overburdened with debt to achieve a fresh start. The Bankruptcy Code enables Debtors to retain basic economic needs protecting homesteads, tools of the trade, and other basic essentials, while at the same time permitting discharge of indebtedness.

Permitted a fresh economic start, debtors can re-enter the workforce with a strong economic footing strengthened through lifting of burdensome debt caused by past economic failure.

5 Things to Consider While Building a Remote Legal Team

August 4, 2018

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The immense growth of online productivity tools and the emergence of virtual office culture are breaking down the traditional geographical barriers. The latest technological advancements allow businesses to become distributed and operate efficiently from anywhere in the world. Moreover, when an existing in-house team is overburdened, building a remote team always becomes a suitable option for most businesses. Setting up and managing remote teams, however, entails multiple challenges. If you’ve been planning to build a remote legal team, it is always important to consider a few factors to ensure that your remote legal team functions optimally.

Here are 5 things to consider while building a remote legal team:

1. Comprehend Legal Issues

While hiring a remote team, it is always better to actually comprehend the job you intend to hire someone for. When you need lawyers for intellectual property, it is important to determine the kind of risks you will be exposed to in the IP space. Similarly, if you are into content business, you might decide to build a remote team with in-depth experience in copyright laws.

2. Draft Accurate Work Description

Once you have comprehended your specific requirements, it is always important to craft an accurate work description. While creating a job description, make sure that you include the details of the expected work. For better understanding, it is always advisable to provide a more elaborate description about the culture and vibe of your company. Last but not the least, specify the must-have requirements for candidates such as expected skills and the level of required experience. Apart from simply attracting candidates, an accurate work description also helps prospective candidates decide quickly whether your company is the ideal one that they wish to work for.

3. Select Candidates with Soft Skills

Identifying a great lawyer goes much beyond finding someone with proper technical expertise. In virtual teams, lawyers need to perform as a part of a team and under pressure at that. While interviewing prospective lawyers, consider how collaborative the lawyers are and how they function in high-stake situations. Also, ensure whether a candidate has immense judgment skills or not.

4. Ensure Consistent Communication

The moment you have the right team, it is important to facilitate consistent and effective communication. Facilitating constant communication is the biggest challenge faced by managers who build a virtual team. It is important to remember that each team member may be highly productive but when there is no productive communication, business efficiency may be hampered. For choosing the right communication, it is important to choose the perfect software. Once you select the perfect tools, make sure that you conduct regular virtual meetings to track the status and progress of the team.

5. Establish Team Culture

When you are hiring virtual lawyers, it is important that the team members share the vision and mission of the company. Only when you share your business goals will your team members feel that they are a part of the business growth and this is definitely an important motivating factor in virtual teams.

It can take time to put your virtual legal team together and get all the team members on the same page. A few strategies can, however, help you build a more effective virtual team and boost customer experience in a great way. The good news is that once an effective virtual legal team is established and managed well, you can get all the services at a fraction of the actual cost.

How to Find Good Legal Services Abroad

August 4, 2018

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Advancement in technology has made it quick and easy to set up businesses abroad. Whether the business functions out of a brick-and- mortar office or a virtual one, doing business on an international level has become the norm. Conducting business in a foreign country entails familiarity with the host country’s laws. The legal intricacies of international trading could be quite challenging, and without the right legal guidance, a business owner may well end up paying penalties and fines, and saddled with legal hitches. What does it take to find good legal services abroad?

Areas of Specialization

One of the travails of establishments operating in a foreign country is finding good legal services. Lawyers usually specialize in one particular type of law, or other related areas. A lawyer may generally work on immigration cases, while another one may be a tax specialist. Note that there are lawyers who only render advice to their clients, and not represent them to actual court litigation.

General areas of legal practice include: personal injury, criminal law, tax, employment and family law. It is best to choose a lawyer that specializes in one’s legal concern and one that has a firm foundation in the laws of the host country.

Different Types of Lawyer

Foreign Legal Consultants may be classified as lawyers working for international law firms based in foreign countries. These attorneys may advise clients regarding the requirements and conditions of the host country’s law, but they may or may not be licensed to practice law in the country where they are based. If court representation is needed, a licensed lawyer in the country where he works is required.

Solicitors and Barristers are specialized lawyers who may be practicing in foreign countries. Solicitors generally do not represent clients in court, but advise them, and may put together legal cases for barristers to take to court.

Notaries usually do the functions of attorneys, but depending on the country they practice, their job description may vary. Notaries may draft transfers of property titles and wills. In some countries, notaries are Ministry of Justice appointees and may act as administrators in estate settlements.

Where to Find a Lawyer

Searching for a lawyer in a foreign country is no longer too tasking. Overseas embassies and consulates of most countries have listings of local lawyers who have expressed their willingness to assist citizens of another country. For example, an American in Thailand may go to the U.S. embassy and he will be furnished with a copy of local lawyers willing to assist a U.S. citizen.

There are international bar associations with local chapters that could help foreigners with their legal problems. Most of these associations and similar organizations have standing agreements with accredited members in other countries.

Law firms maintain websites. This should make it doubly easy for anyone needing legal counsel to find a qualified lawyer through this mode.

Law schools have credible law professors who may be practicing or may know a practicing lawyer in his circle. If the legal advice and drafts are needed, senior law students could handle these requirements.

Surely local contacts could refer qualified lawyers to meet one’s legal requisites.

Considerations When Selecting a Lawyer

Before settling for an attorney, there are several points to consider.

First, it is to your benefit to ask the lawyer in consideration his qualifications and experience. You may ask the lawyer’s strategy and plan in representing you. It is not impolite to ask how much his retainer fees are.

Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding your case. As your lawyer, he is expected to explain every plan and activity in a manner that you can understand.

Be very careful when turning over documents and money. Make sure that your lawyer understands and can tackle your legal concerns in a manner that is satisfactory to you. See to it that the lawyer-client confidentiality clause in the foreign country meets your expectations.

6 Winning Asset Management Strategies That You Need to Apply Now

August 4, 2018

legal

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Did you ever come across a beggar who was sued by a multinational company with a stocky lawsuit? We are sure you dint! After all, lawsuits are not consistent to those who have limited assets and simultaneously, it becomes a matter of concern for those who have hefty pockets. So if you fall in the league and have some substantial assets in your credit then wait- knowing these winning asset management strategies is recommended to you. Consider all the major money moves and implement them in your professional understandings.

1. Know your insurance:

Insurance can be your first line of defense against any form of legal obligation and litigation. If you are dealing with complex assets, then make sure to increase the limits of your liabilities. For instance, if you are receiving $5 million from a broker then ask your insurance manager to give you $5 million liability policy.

2. Recheck your decision to invest your savings in a joint account:

The state wise law might differ in this case, but it is recommended to keep your assets separate if you have a joint account with your spouse or a business partner. If you want to share the ownership of windfall with your spouse, then you can discussion your special case with a recommended asset protection attorney.

3. Beware from renters:

If you are planning to invest your income in a rental property, then make sure to create an LLC or a separate business entity to protect your assets. In case you are not doing this, you are indirectly giving unwanted advantage to your tenants who can then sue your rental property in any disgruntle situation.

4. Turn your informal partnerships to legal business:

The risk of informal partnership is someone similar to that of having a joint account. If you are a part of an informal partnership, then you are taking the responsibility and liability of your partner’s mistake too. Protect yourself with a legal and formal partnership and define your limitations.

5. Create a shield to your assets:

Whether you are running a small business or it is just a part-time engagement, take steps to turn it to a formal business entity so that you can protect it against any legal lawsuit. Legal experience can be a daunting experience… it can change your life like never before.

6. Understand the meaning of corporations:

You can divide corporations in two broad categories- 1) S corporations and 2) C corporations which are taxed differently and have different restrictions as far as ownership is concerned. Corporations are the best and the most excellent ways of protecting your assets. There are a few exceptions here which can land you in trouble, for instance, failure of paying payroll to the IRS, not separating your corporation from your personal assets, and so on.

Tips to Hire a Private Investigator

August 4, 2018

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If you need to hire a private detective to spy on your cheating spouse or some other family member who you are responsible for, make sure you consider the tips given below.

License

It’s very important to opt for a licensed detective. In fact, hiring an unlicensed one may lead to a negative outcome. You can check with the authorities to find out if the professional you want to hire is licensed. Another way is to ask the agency to show you their license.

Background and experience

You may want to be cautious when choosing a detective who is flashy, flamboyant, persistent or pushy. Good providers don’t make exaggerated claims regarding their experience or background. Actually, they try to impress their clients to get the deal. Most of these providers have poor business ethics and questionable backgrounds. Staying away from this is a great idea.

Don’t rely on TV ads

It’s not a good idea to hire a private detective based on the ads you see on TV. In the same way, hiring one who works as a “lonely wolf” is not recommended at all. Besides, you should never make the mistake of choosing one who operates illegally. You may get into serious trouble because of them.

Actually, real detectives carefully listen to their clients and be committed when doing their work.

What you need to do is do your homework and choose a professional who is reliable, experienced and licensed. They should have a clear background as well.

Pricing

You get what you pay for. When hiring a good private detective, price should not be your only factor for selection. An inexperienced, unprofessional or unlicensed detective may bargain with you or may offer discounted services. Know that they are not reliable and you should look for someone else.

Staff

Do you know if the investigator has enough time to handle your case? The agency should have the require staff and support to take your case. Typically, most detective agencies have several investigators and other staff members in order to take on multiple projects and handle them very well.

If the agency is too busy, make sure you look for another agency that has the time to handle your case.

Fake promises

Good investigators don’t make promises about the result of their investigation. They just try their level best to provide you the information you need. So, if the service provider makes this type of promises, leave the office and look for some other provider.

Other expenses

Before you choose an investigator, make sure you know what you getting for your payment. Most agencies work by the hour. In most cases, other expenses like mileage fees also apply.

In addition, investigative agencies work with other entities to handle a case, such as insurance companies and lawyers. So, their fees may also need to be paid.

Contract

You may have to sign a contract with the agency before they start working. So, you should keep this in mind.

Lastly, it’s important to ensure that the agency follows the law. You don’t want to get into trouble just because the investigator used unlawful methods to work on your case.

Tips For Lemon Car Cases

August 4, 2018

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When a car fails to meets its warranty parameters and either does not function or poses a serious safety problem, we usually deal with what’s called a “lemon”. Being the unlucky owner of a lemon is certainly a pill hard to swallow. Luckily, each state has specially designed consumer laws. Ask the local DMV about lemon laws in your state. You surely want to get your money back or to have it replaced with a fully functional one. Check the following tips for lemon car cases:

1. Act as fast as possible. Take immediate action as soon as things become suspicious. As soon as you’ve brought your vehicle in for a reasonable amount of repairs and the problems are still present, start the lemon law process. Check the state laws about the conditions for classifying a car as lemon: number of repair attempts, mileage, number of days in which the vehicle was not operable.

2. Make sure that repair attempts are dated. Make sure that all of your work orders, repair orders, and receipts are correctly dated. Keeping accurate and orderly paperwork is extremely important to making the lemon law process as quick and smooth as possible. Having detailed paperwork of repair attempts and other
interactions you’ve had with your dealership will significantly speed up the process.

3. Note which repair shops worked on your vehicle. Keep track of the names of the mechanics who checked and repaired your car. Knowing who was making repairs or important decisions about your vehicle is another crucial piece of information in making the lemon law process go as smoothly and as fast as possible.

4. Make sure that the issues you have with your car can be reproduced. If your mechanic is unable to duplicate the issue your car is experiencing, and thus no repair is made, ask the mechanic or manager to take a test drive with you in order to show them the problem. If you’re able to duplicate the issue, make sure to note that in the repair order.

5. Hire a specialized lemon law attorney. Lemon law is a specialized area of expertise and you should hire an attorney familiar with it. You should read reviews and recommendations, then make a list with top ranking lawyers. Contact a lawyer and clearly explain your case. A good attorney will help you recover money faster or have your faulty car replaced.

Technology in the Legal Sector

August 4, 2018

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It is safe to say that we are firmly into 2018 now, and the first month of this year has been filled with brand new technology that is set to change the way we live our day to day lives. Not only has it changed the way that we live our lives but it has changed many different sectors of business.

As technology progresses at this pace, we should probably look at what this means for the legal sector. Firms all over the world are adopting and investing in new technology to effectively compete with the other competition out there. Not only do they need to use this technology to compete with other firms, but clients are wanting more and more engagement with technology in all of the sectors of business. In this respect, the legal sector is quite far behind but they are catching up rapidly.

According to SEO experts, voice searches are expected to take over. With Siri and Alexa already setting the bar very high, and voice searching are expected to account for 50% of online searches by the year 2020. You may be wondering how this can affect the legal sector. Because a quarter of all voice searches are for local information, it is likely that people will be searching for information on local lawyers. This means that law firms will have to make sure that their websites and online presence are adapted to be found in this way. Law firms will already be used to optimizing their page for traditional searches, SEO for voice will be slightly different. It is worth finding out what the difference is and how you can get prepared.

Law firms should also expect to get used to the idea of automated technology. The Law Society has predicted that this type of technology will take over 67,000 jobs in the legal sector by the year 2038. Although many people are worried that this means they’ll lose their jobs, they need to remember the positives to this. Machines can take on a lot of the legal work that often slows law firm employees down and therefore make them more efficient and better able to take on important work. Service automation will help increase productivity and will help law firms be able to take on more and more work, without any extra strain on their employees. This means that you should expect a rise in the number of cases that law firms take on, as well as how much they do in advisory capacities.

Virtual and augmented reality are fast becoming commonplace in a lot of other sectors, but it is one piece of technology that law firms don’t seem to have adopted just yet. This could all be set to change, however, with the law sector finally coming on board with this technology. It is expected that virtual and augmented reality will be used to help with client recruitment and engagement. It is also expected that law firms can use these types of technology to help with staff recruitment and training. It means that training sessions can be delivered via AR or VR and won’t take the employee away from the office for as long as if they were going away to train. This will help lower costs and make sure that people are being trained fully and effectively.

SEO is changing all the time, and 2018 will see further changes yet in this piece of technology. Artificial intelligence or AI means that they can answer users search queries from just the first few words. This is known as predictive search and already exists but in 2018 it is expected that this technology will become more advanced and better able to guess what the user wanted to search for. This means that law firms may be cut out of the competition before the user has even had a chance to search for them.

Steps of Inheritance Probate

August 4, 2018

legal

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We all have to go, sooner or later. And many of us choose to leave more than memories to the loved ones. This is why making a will and specifying the inheritors has become of utmost importance. If you care about your spouse and children, make sure that their future is secured long after you are gone. Before receiving any money and access to estate, the beneficiaries will have to wait for the probate process to finish and the inheritance distributed. There are several steps for any typical probate.

The first thing to do is to make an inventory of the decedent’s assets and documents. Locate and carefully place Last Will and Testament, funeral instructions, and/or a Revocable Living Trust. Furthermore, you must find documents relevant to the decedent’s financial situation (bank and brokerage statements, stock and bond certificates, life insurance policies, corporate records, car and boat titles).

Also, check if there are any debts to be paid before accessing the assets. Verify utility bills, credit card bills, mortgages, personal loans, medical bills and the funeral bill. The Personal Representative will have to decide which debts are legitimate and must be paid.

Next, get appointed as Personal Representative of the probate estate or accept appointment as Successor Trustee. It is important to determine who will handle the assets during the probate process. If probate is needed then a Personal Representative will need to be appointed by the probate court. Determining the executor is a delicate matter and the choice must be done keeping in mind numerous factors, including the deceased wishes and the representative’s eligibility.

After naming the executor (or personal representative), the hard part begins.

The whole fortune must be evaluated. Again, this is a very sensitive and complicated process, since it involves calculating the value of the assets at the date of death. As you can imagine, this has a deep impact when calculating money in foreign currency or oversea properties. Also, now it is determined if the estate or trust will be subject to state estate taxes, state inheritance taxes, and/or federal estate taxes. Then, the executor will need to pay the decedent’s final bills and the expenses of administering the estate or trust.

Furthermore, the executor will also file all applicable estate tax returns and/or inheritance tax returns, the decedent’s final income tax return(s) and initial and final estate or trust income tax returns. And it must do that as fast as possible, in order to avoid penalties.