Category Archives: Law

Why Is Alternative Dispute Resolution a Better Way to Resolve Disputes?

Two couples fighitng with a judge in the middleMany people will find themselves entangled in a dispute at least once in their lifetime. Most of the time, the involved parties can agree on resolutions. But, in a worst-case scenario, one of the parties might take the whole thing to court. This is where it gets ugly, and not to mention, expensive. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a less expensive and more private alternative than litigation. Arbitration and mediation services provide the individuals involved in a civil dispute a way to settle their issues without having to go to court.

Mediation Versus Arbitration

The two forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration. These two functions pretty much the same way — they try to resolve the issue outside of the court system. The two only differ slightly.

Mediation allows both parties to talk to each other in a neutral environment with a mediator (usually a lawyer) present to try and resolve their dispute and see if they can agree. Mediation cannot ensure the resolution of the dispute as the mediator does not have any power to enforce one. The only thing a mediator can do is try to give impartial advice on the matter.

The two parties must agree on a settlement for it to be successful. However, if one or both sides no longer want to continue with the mediation process, they can terminate it anytime.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is more formal than mediation. An arbitrator has the power to decide on a resolution based on the evidence and other information provided by the disputing parties. Although the arbitration process takes place outside of the court system, the decision made by the arbitrator is enforceable by law. It is legally binding.

Arbitration usually takes place when mediation fails. Some employers clearly state in the contract that the company can only resolve disputes through arbitration. Unlike with mediation, you cannot stop the arbitration process once started.

Benefits of ADR

ADR is a very popular way to resolve disputes because it’s not only less expensive than a full-blown litigation; it is also more private. The results of mediation or arbitration are strictly kept confidential by the mediator or arbitrator. A court battle can get ugly and might take a long time to resolve. ADR aims to resolve disputes as fast and as amicably as possible.

A Look Into the Child Custody Laws and Processes in Colorado

Child Custody and Visitation written on a paper and a book.Child custody laws in Colorado are complex. Much like everywhere else in the country, though, “the best interest of the child” takes precedence over everything else. In other words, the court determines which type of custody (joint or sole) makes most sense for the child, putting their needs on the top of the list of considerations.

Whether going through legal separation or divorce, establishing your child custody rights can be time-consuming, as well as physically and emotionally exhausting. Lewis & Matthews, P.C. notes that it’s best to hire a highly qualified and experienced family law attorney in Denver, CO. Armed with the counseling and support of such a professional, you have better chances of securing a favorable outcome.

The process of establishing parenting time and responsibilities

There are two main parts of child custody: parenting time (physical custody) and parenting responsibilities (legal custody). Physical custody refers to the amount of time you spend with your child, while legal custody pertains to the parent who should make the decisions that directly affect a child’s health and welfare.

During a child custody case, the Colorado court will give you (and your spouse) the opportunity to present evidence proving you can provide for your children, and that you are at an equal or better position to make the right decisions for them. The court will listen to you and your spouse and will grant you the corresponding level of custody based on how solidly you build your case.

Factors taken into consideration

The court considers many factors when determining the best and most suitable arrangements for a child. Your wishes play a major role here, so does your spouse’s and your child’s. The relationships your child has with you and your spouse also influence the outcome of your case. Each parent’s physical and mental well-being, and more importantly, whether abuse or neglect has already occurred, will also affect the results.

Lawyer Types: Understanding the Branches of Law

Gavel, Handcuffs, and Money on the TableAll attorneys go to law schools and learn the basic aspects of the legal profession. They learn all the branches of law initially and later specialize in the areas of their choice. They practice in their chosen field and after some time, become experts in it.

In general, there are two main branches of law, further subdivided into subgroups. Here are some of them.

Criminal Law vs. Civil Cases

In criminal cases, the accused usually face a jury and judge. The federal and state government has a stake in the result of these cases, and the government tries most public crimes. The prosecutor should prove beyond doubt that the accused committed an offense.

If the defendants do not have enough resources, the government will appoint a public defender in a criminal case. If the accused is proven guilty, he or she will face a jail term. In a civil case, the government will not appoint a lawyer even if you cannot afford one.

You should hire a business attorney in Denver if your case relates to your business. Civil cases do not warrant any jail term and usually involves only a fine if you lose the case.

In civil matters, the victim should initiate the proceedings, but in criminal proceedings, the prosecutor does not need the victim’s assistance for the case to move forward.

Types of Civil Law Lawyers

Civil law has several branches, so while any civil lawyer can represent your case, it is better to narrow down to an attorney who is familiar with your type of circumstances The common types include family, tax, business and real estate laws.

A family law attorney deals with child custody cases, divorces, civil unions, domestic relationship, paternity cases, matters related to marriage, and juvenile adjudication.

Corporate law is more complex. Business lawyers represent companies and do what is best for them. They deal with bankruptcy, intellectual property, employment, securities, finances, mergers, and acquisitions. Tax specialists handle both, state and federal state tax laws for companies and individuals. They can represent their client during an IRS audit.

Real estate lawyers handle legal problems in matters related to real estate and property.

It is important to understand the different branches of law so that you can look for the right lawyer to represent your case.

Why You Need to Hire a Traffic Accident Lawyer

Police CarWhen you're involved in a car accident and have sustained injuries, you shouldn’t think twice about hiring a lawyer. You need a legal expert to help protect your rights. This way, insurance companies will not run roughshod over you.

The following are some of the areas where your traffic accident lawyer in Townsville can help:

Paying for Your Medical Bills

If you got severe injuries from the crash, your medical injuries can pile up fast, depending on the length of treatment you need. Your lawyer can make sure that all your medical expenses are covered, including your subsequent visits to your doctor for a check-up. All you have to do is focus on recuperating from your injuries.

Reimbursement for Lost Salaries and Wages

Due to your injuries, you missed a few days of work. You were not earning wages the entire time you were confined in the hospital. Depending on the length of time you were not able to work, the amount can be significant. A good lawyer will not only make sure that your hospital bills are covered. They will also see to it that you get compensation for the time you were not able to work.

Payment for Your Time

Many people who get involved in a car accident are worried about the amount of time that the mishap will cost them. Time is money. Attending to accident-related tasks like making medical appointments, car repairs, paperwork, and other similar tedious tasks can take up your time. Your attorney will ensure that you will get compensation for all the time you lost.

Figuring in a serious car accident can be tough. Handling everything on your own can be stressful, considering that you may not be in the right frame of mind to make sound decisions. Your current physical condition may also prevent you from taking care of accident-related matters. By delegating everything to your lawyer, you can devote all your efforts to recovering from the accident.

What to Do in a Car Accident

A Car AccidentThere are more than 6 million auto accidents in the country every year.  Fortunately, in the majority of the cases, damages to the car and property are more common. But in one in three accidents, personal injury also occurs to the drivers, occupants and pedestrians.

Even if you do not drive your car or SUV very often or you have never been involved in a road accident, it is always possible that you might get involved in one. It is best to be aware of the procedure to be followed, after a car accident. This will help you be better prepared to protect your passengers and yourself. You will also be aware of what you should do when faced with unfair claims. It is best to consult a car accident attorney in Springfield, Illinois or elsewhere.

Stop and make the area safe

The moment you are involved in an accident, you must stop. Do not leave the scene of the accident. The next thing to do is to ensure that you are not injured and that no one else is injured either. Make the scene of the accident safe.

To avoid any other collisions which can be more dangerous, place warning lights or flares around the vehicles that are stationary. If the area is a very busy highway, move to one side and stand as far as possible from fast moving vehicles. Call the police and if there are serious injuries, call the ambulance and fire services too. You will require a police report to claim insurance.

Take photos and make records

When the police arrive, tell them accurately what happened. Do not speculate and make assumptions, just be honest. Get yourself medically examined even if there are no obvious injuries, as some internal injuries will manifest later.

If there are any third party witnesses, request them to wait for the police. Take photographs of your damaged vehicle, of other damaged vehicles, and of your injuries too. This will help you dispute any spurious claims through insurance.

If the police do not arrive, exchange contact details and insurance details with all the parties involved in the accident. Seek legal help and keep a record of all the related paperwork. Finally get yourself medically examined by a trusted physician.

Tenant Law 101: What You Should Know

Rental agreement form being signedIt is always good to know your rights as an immigrant and as a tenant. This knowledge will help you handle matters efficiently, if and when your landlord harasses you or if you face eviction. Knowing your rights as a tenant will teach you how to fight back.

It is best to consult a lawyer or immigration attorney here in Utah, if in any doubt about your rights as an immigrant and tenant. Generally, tenancy laws apply to both citizens and immigrants alike, but there are issues when it comes to undocumented US visitors. If you are documented, then you are covered.

However, many believe that the law is in favor of homeowners and landlords. But this is not true. Read on to know more.

Proper notice

Landlords cannot evict you without giving you a proper notice and court order. The property owner should file a proper notice with the court like a lawsuit and have the court order served on you correctly by the proper authority. They should not just hang it on your door.

This is improper delivery and in such cases, the landlord can have their case thrown out. As a tenant, if you are not sure about the legality of the delivery, consult your lawyer.

Revenge eviction

A few property owners can be vengeful. It is possible that you have been asking your landlord to fix a noisy refrigerator or a leaky faucet and they have not done it for months. Suddenly, you might get an eviction notice, out of nowhere.

In colloquial language, this turn of events is popular as eviction due to revenge. The proprietor has decided to evict you instead of fixing the problem. There are many local laws that can prevent this; so, check with your attorney if you are in doubt.

As a tenant, you should answer all the legal notices you receive without fail. The notices you receive will not disappear on their own. Consult your attorney and reply to each of the legal notices.

Things You Need to Settle before You Move to the U.S.

American FlagIt can be exciting, the idea of moving into the United States. Soon you'll be working at one of the world's best companies, or you'll be reunited with family members who are living there. With all the excitement, however, you might forget to settle some important things, such as the following: 

Your Family Green Card 

If you're migrating to Utah after your immediate family member has requested for your green card, make sure everything has been settled and there are no problems with your entry into the United States. You may need to show some documents to prove your relation to the U.S. citizen, so be ready with copies. If you're the Utahn resident petitioning for the family green card for your relatives, however, you need to be in direct communication with an immigration lawyer in your area. 

Your Bills and Address Change 

There is nothing more frustrating than paying for bills you didn't use, or losing important documents that had been sent to the wrong address. Make sure these are taken care of by contacting your utility companies and updating your account information to reflect the new address. It's also time to memorize that new address, so you won't have difficulties filling up documents when you reach your new location. 

Your Debts 

A national body has records of your debts and outstanding loans. These may accumulate high interests if left unpaid for a long time. More importantly, you may have problems with successfully getting U.S citizenship if your record shows you as a delinquent taxpayer. Settle all outstanding balance as soon as you can. 

Moving to a new location can be a fresh start. Give yourself a well-earned clean slate by resolving any issues you have in the place you're leaving behind. 

Top 3 Reasons Hiring a Family Lawyer Is a Good Idea

Family Lawyer With His Clients Disputes can occur in any family due to a variety of reasons. It could be because of divorce, annulment, and may even extend to cases of child abuse. In these situations, court cases are opened and dealt with. Most families choose to go “unrepresented”, meaning they choose to represent themselves in proceedings. The reasons differ from family to family, but the most common one is they simply couldn’t afford a lawyer.

With the state of court affairs in Townsville, QLD, however, family lawyers have become increasingly important. In case you are still deciding whether to hire a lawyer or not, this guide will help you make the right decision.

They Know What They are Doing

Some cases do not necessarily require legal representation, but it definitely pays to have an experienced legal counsel by your side when dealing with family matters. O'Shea & Dyer Solicitors notes that lawyers know the ins and outs of the legal system; they know your legal rights and obligations, and they can help you navigate through all of the hoops that you are about to go through.

They Can Handle the Bureaucracy

Paperwork tends to bury most people and dealing with court cases requires paperwork. Lawyers, fortunately, are experts when it comes to documentation, especially the ones that are required during hearings.

One more advantage is that, since lawyers work in courthouses too often, they get to know judges and the specific ways these judges want documents to be drafted. It is not a guarantee, but it could mean the difference between losing and winning.

It Is Actually More Expensive Without a Lawyer

Not hiring a lawyer because you cannot afford one is a poor excuse because you will be shouldering much bigger expenses when the case does not go in your favour. Court fees and other costs must be paid by the losing party and this could easily set you back thousands of dollars. Additionally, preparing for a case is a time-consuming job, which might not fit too much in your schedule if you have an actual full-time job.

It may be tempting to save some money by choosing to represent yourself in court. No law states that this is illegal, but with all the risks involved, you will be better off with professional help.

Important Things to Know Before Signing Divorce Papers

Couple fighting with their kidWhen the news of  Brangelina’s divorce broke out last year, everyone was surprised and saddened. From George Clooney, one of the couple’s closest friends, to that beefy butcher who cuts your meat at the local deli, everyone weighed in on the issue. Many questions arose, as well. Does Jennifer Aniston feel vindicated? Will Brad and Angie stay friends? What will happen to the kids?

For the time being, the mainstream media has been talking about the topic of divorce. As for average people like us, it's a way to confront one fact: Divorce happens, and it must be talked about.

The Crucial Questions

If your marriage is in a crisis right now, the word divorce may have circled your head once or twice. It's best that you take note of important questions before making a decision.

  • Is divorce truly what you want or does a part of you still wish to work with your chosen life partner?
  • Have you both accepted your role in whatever marital issues you are facing and tried to make amends?
  • Is the challenge you're facing highly demanding as a couple and you think you could benefit from coaching or is your marriage beyond salvation?

Divorce with Kids

Choosing to divorce your partner is not all there is to it, especially when you have children. The whole setup could turn your children’s lives upside down. For example, they might need to live somewhere else or go to a different school.

If they had recently suffered a loss — for instance, the death of a pet — then dropping the issue to them can hurt even more. On your part, there are custody agreements to be made as well as arrangements with your child support attorney in Colorado Springs. Consult them before anything else to avoid making matters worse.

If anything, better assess your situation so you can better decide on which step to take next. Divorce can be demanding not only for you, but for your children as well.

Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce: What Type Of Divorce Do You Need?

Couple arguing over some documents

Couple arguing over some documents

Most cases of divorce involve couples that used to be happy and in love. The breakdown of a relationship may come about due to a variety of reasons; sometimes, it just happens, and there is no use trying to patch up something that is too broken to undergo a fixing bout.

There may be different reasons for divorce, but there are generally two types: fault and no-fault. Divorce lawyers in Albuquerque such as the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer may explain them to you further, but here is a short discussion.

Fault

When a spouse files for a fault divorce, there is typically some wrongdoing. Some of the most common reasons people file a fault divorce include their spouse’s adultery. Unless the spouse forgives the cheating, it is valid grounds for divorce. If a person is in jail or prison, the spouse may also file a fault divorce.

Abuse is another common ground for a fault divorce. It may be physical or sexual abuse, psychological and verbal mistreatment, or even abandonment. If a judge thinks there is reason to believe your life or well-being is under threat, you may also file for a divorce.

No-Fault

A no-fault divorce is one in which neither spouse accuses the other of wrongdoing. While a fault divorce may take months or even years to resolve, a no-fault divorce typically takes a shorter time as neither spouse has any accusation that needs verifying.

Especially if the couple agrees as far as child custody arrangements and property and asset division are concerned, a divorce may find resolution after 30 days.

If you are filing a fault divorce based on your spouse’s cheating or abuse, know that forgiving the cheating or the abuse may cause a court rejection of your divorce. It is also important that you file with your lawyer and not with your spouse, so the court does not raise any doubt over your intent.