Legal Disputes of the Future

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

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.

6 Beneficial MRO Services

Drug testing and other services can be beneficial. When you work with a medical review officer, there are some very beneficial MRO services you can take advantage of. It’s simply a matter of finding out what services you can tap into and knowing how they will be able to help you.

Electronic Data Management

In today’s tech savvy world, it is important to be able to access data electronically. One of the top MRO services is electronic data management. It will allow you to keep all of the information in the cloud, and access it as necessary. You can eliminate the paper trail, and this enhances security at the same time.

The MRO will take care of all of the data management, and provide you with access as needed. Updates will also be made as random drug testing takes place across your workforce.

Chain of Custody

It is imperative that a chain of custody is followed every step of the way. If for any reason, the chain is broken, the results of the drug test become invalid. You don’t want this to happen because it may be of the utmost importance for what is going on. For example, if an employee injured him or herself on the job, and then tested positive, you may be pressing charges. If the chain of custody is broken, however, the results may get thrown out in court. This means that you wouldn’t be able to prove that the person was on drugs when the injured themselves.

Real-Time Updates

You have the ability to obtain real-time updates on everything that the medical review officer does for your company. This includes learning about which employees have recently undergone drug and alcohol testing, as well as what the results are. If anyone tests positive, you can receive an alert. It will make it easier to find out what is going on with the program.

Translator Services

There may be instances when you have employees that do not speak English. When they are going through the drug and/or alcohol testing program, translations need to be made. This will allow the person to know what their rights are, and how to conduct themselves. Further, if they were to test positive, you want to make sure that they understand what it means and what help is going to be provided to them.

Expert Testimony

Particularly when you are seeking legal action for someone testing positive, you may need a medical review officer to provide expert testimony. They may go into the court, or provide telephone litigation support. Either way, it’s a service that you can tap into as it is necessary.

Consultations

You can also rely on the medical review officer to provide a consultation, which can help you implement a program, help with prescription abuse, monitoring, and much more.

What Can You Do While Your Attorney Handles Your Case

1. Be patient

While you may be tempted to call and check on the progress of your injury case in while you are recovering, it is best to just be patient and focus on your own healing. Your lawyer is handling the tracking of your medical bills, correspondence with the insurance company, and preparing for your final case. Remember that no amount can be awarded for your case until you are fully recovered. Your attorney will not know the cost of getting you better until you are better. Rushing your case can result in a settlement that is less than what you deserve for your pain and injuries.

2. Keep a journal

As your case progresses, it will be very important for your attorney to be able to present you to the insurance company as a relatable human being. It will be helpful to represent your hobbies, interests, and priorities in your real life, to show you as a well-rounded individual, and not just a claim number on a file. One way to do this very effectively is by keeping a journal. While you are injured, keep a journal of events in your life, specifically events you might miss due to your injury or the resulting pain. Even if you record very little, perhaps just once a week, take a few moments to write down a few notes of any special events, work, or social occasions that you may have been unable to attend. Also keep a record of your pain levels, and any activities that increase your discomfort. Write down what times of day your pain or injury feels worse. Also record any appointments or treatments that you attend, and how they make you feel. These details will add up to a fair representation of the general damages of your case, or the effects that are observed behind the scenes on a personal level. These journal entries, in addition to personal photos of you, can help with creating a more personal human element when negotiating your case.

3. Don’t post on social media

Many clients may be surprised to learn that posting certain things on social media can really be detrimental to their case. Some posts are helpful to showing you have a real life and relationships, just as keeping a journal can be. But some posts can unwittingly cause a lot of harm to your credibility. For example, a client that is injured in a car crash might be receiving chiropractic and physical therapy treatments. If she is beginning to feel a bit better, she will try to live her life as normal as possible. Imagine this client goes to the gym one night for a yoga class and posts a photo of that on social media. The insurance company could find that photo when researching the client and then determine or assume that any pain or injury existing after that photo at the gym was caused by the yoga class, and not the car crash. The insurance company could argue that injured people don’t go to the gym, and that the client is unreasonable or dishonest in their representation of their injuries. This could result in refusal to pay any medical bills after the photo was posted. For these reasons, be mindful of what you post to social media after you hire your attorney. Also, consider setting your account settings to private as an added wise measure of safety.

4. Follow your doctor’s orders

One of the most important things you can do while your attorney handles your case is simple but can make or break your case in the long run. It is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions very carefully. By following all instructions that the doctor gives you for treatment and testing, you will show that are cooperating with the process and you are making it a priority to get well as quickly as possible. If your doctor orders imaging or another test, and you don’t follow through with having it done, you will appear negligent to your case. You want to keep a great relationship with your doctor and show that you are cooperating, as it will be reflected in your medical records that the insurance company sees later.

A very big part of maintaining the positive relationship with your doctor is to keep all of your appointments. If you are missing appointments, you are showing your doctor a lack of respect for his busy schedule. Too many missed appointments can lead to your doctor dropping you as a patient, which will leave you at square one and having to find a new doctor. Your doctor is an integral piece to a successful personal injury case outcome for you.

5. Mitigate your losses

Mitigating your losses means managing your treatments and habits leading to recovery in the most reasonable way. You want to make decisions about work, activity, bills, and even just daily life in a way that would make sense to a reasonable adult. The insurance company wants to see that you are taking care of yourself and making good choices that don’t prolong your injury or incur more costs. If you are concerned about deciding whether to work with your injury, just follow your doctor’s instructions about work and activity limitations. Being cautious with your health and follow the doctor’s orders will show you are doing your best to mitigate your losses. These things will show that you are credible and honest. You can be trusted to be responsible with getting better as quickly and safely as possible.

3 Ways to Search for the Best Whistleblower Lawyer

Whistleblower lawyers are the one, who exposes wrongdoing in the health care industry and bring unlawful activity to the attention of the court and the government.

Whistleblower lawyers who expose crime of an individual that is deemed to be illegal within the healthcare industry. They strive hard to bring false allegation to the light of the government/court. Whistleblower lawyers work under the False Claims Act (FCA) in order to punish those people, who deceived the system. The FCA allows individuals to file a lawsuit against criminals who have some in many ways swindled the government. The legal lawyers discover fraudulent activities against the government and blow a whistle on the perpetrators.

A whistleblower determines the interest of an innocent and protects him/her from being falsely accused. The lawyer exposes the violation of statutes, rules, and regulations that appear to be a threat to the financial health. If you are looking for the best whistleblower lawyer, then here are a few tips, which you should consider while choosing a whistleblower lawyer/agency:

Experience: A lawyer who has acute knowledge and expertise in handling the lawsuits related to whistleblowing. Whistleblower lawyers should have experience in handling Qui Tam Cases in the past. There are numerous online legal firms, it is advised that one should not rely on those firms who do not have specific lawyers for handling qui tam lawsuits or fail to mention that their lawyers have won civil cases. Before hiring any potential whistleblower lawyer, check whether they have won any qui tam cases in the past.

Analytical skills: A legal lawyer should have a proper skill set or analytical skills that can help them to investigate the accuracy of the case. There are online law firms that claim that their specialized lawyers handle lawsuit related to FCA, which any ordinary lawyer can also handle. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to ensure that the lawyer can handle any typical case with confidence. The lawyer should effectively communicate and must possess personal qualities to litigate the case very well.

Guidance on the risk: A good whistleblower lawyer counsel/advise an individual in different legal considerations and save from false allegations. The lawyer would share transparency in the case and help avoid any type of pitfalls. Whistleblowing is a stressful activity. It can create a problem for the lawyer and put livelihood, reputation, and personal relationships into risk. The lawyer who stands for truth and justice had can face familial discord.

What to Know When Searching For Public Records

In the beginning, before the gods created the internet, public records were located in the basements of courthouses, recorders’ offices, city halls and the halls of administration. News Flash: Those records are still there! Those records are either in their original form, converted to microfiche or on a computer disc.

Today many public records are online. However, most of the old records are not online. Many agencies do not have the financial resources or individual help to copy records by hand and place those records online. There are companies that will conduct on-site court research. A simple Google search will find those companies.

Private investigators and independent court researchers also conduct hands-on public records searches. Private investigators usually charge by the hour and court researchers usually charge by the assignment.

The National Archives is a great resource for obtaining court records, on and off-line. Generally, federal court records less than 15 years old are not held by the National Archives and are still in the possession of individual courts. To obtain access to those records, researchers must contact the appropriate federal court.

It is a known fact that not all public records are free. Online companies that provide access to public records information have to pay their webmasters, graphic designers and web hosting companies to maintain their sites. So obviously, they have to charge a fee for the public records information.

Public records for an individual may vary from site to site. That’s why it’s important to use more than one resource when verifying records. There’s an old saying, “The accuracy of online records is only as good as those who input the information.” Humans do make mistakes and one database could have someone’s birth date as one day and another database can have the birth date as a different day or even a different year. The database can even have the name spelled wrong or have names of supposed relatives listed that turn out not to be related. This is why it’s important to be diligent and use more than one source when searching for public records.

Finally, public records cannot be removed from the internet; hence that’s why they are public. There are consumers that ask to have their address or phone number removed from a database. The problem is that once the address or phone number go public, hundreds or even thousands of websites pick up that information. So remember not to publish your unlisted phone number or cell number in a blog or website unless you want that information to be available to everyone online.

How to Stop Harassment From Creditors

Creditors can take action to recover their money if you have unpaid debts and this intent is not illegal by itself. However, if the steps taken to recover the debt amount to harassment or cause you trauma, then you have the right to put an end to it.

What is harassment by creditors?

Sending reminders for their dues, calling you for the purpose of recovering the debt during working hours or even taking court action are technically not illegal. Creditors have the right to recover their money owed.

However, if creditors’ behavior includes the following actions, it could be seen as harassment, which you have the right to put a stop to:

– Contacting you any odd hour of the day, including early morning and late night
– Not informing you that your debt has been transferred to a collection agency
– Threatening you, either verbally or physically
– Not acknowledging it if you deny the debt; persisting with their collection practices
– Suggesting or pressuring you to get another loan or sell your existing assets to meet your dues
– Showing you false documents that look like court orders or legal papers to pressure you
– Telling you that your debt liability is a criminal offense or implying that your assets can be taken away from you as part of legal action against you
– Giving you the impression that legal action has been taken against you already
– Informing others about your debt directly or asking them to pass on the message for you
– Contacting you on social networking sites like Facebook

As a consumer, what can you do?

You need to start keeping a record of the calls or contacts made. As a consumer, you have rights that protect you from this harassment. However, ideally, you need to get in touch with a legal professional to help you understand what would work for your case against the creditors’ behavior and how best to stop the harassment immediately.

A legal professional can guide you on how to start building your case while also helping educate you on how best to deal with creditors until the harassment is brought to a full stop.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) puts down certain behaviors by debt collectors that are not acceptable. If collectors indulge in these, legal action can be taken against them:

– Collectors cannot harass or abuse the consumer
– Make repeated calls or use obscene or profane language
– Make threats of violence
– Make public the names of people who have debts unpaid
– Make calls but not identify themselves

The FDCPA allows for certain practices such as:

– Contacting friends or relatives or neighbors of a debtor to learn only about how to contact the debtor
– During this call, they cannot reveal the purpose of the call nor their own identity
– They can call the debtor after 9 p.m., provided they have agreed to it previously
– Violations of the FDCPA can cause lawsuits to be filed and the consumer can win damages, including monetary damage.

Similarly, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA also has guidelines on what constitutes legal debt collection practices. The TCPA also regulates the use of calls through automated equipment or what is also termed as robocalling. The TCPA prohibits calling debtors unless there is written consent from them. Violations to the TCPA can attract as much as $500 in monetary damages per incident. In case the violation is found to be willful, this can increase as much as by three times.

The Advantages Of Working With Bail Bonds Agent

Being accused for a crime can surely be stressful. Apart from spending time defending yourself, there comes a time that you also need to be sent to jail to repay for your crimes. But, this can be avoided by paying a bail bond.

A bail bond is a method used by the defendant to gain freedom while waiting for a trial upon criminal charges. Luckily, the bail is be given back to the defendant due to several reasons. For one, bails can be given back if the accused is handed a “” not guilty” verdict. Or perhaps, if the case is dropped before the formal trial. Sadly, there are also instances when defendants cannot easily get back the bail bond which can surely affect their finances. Because of this, it is best to work with bail bonds agents. With these professionals, individuals can obtain amazing advantages. Below are some of the following.

Provide you with reliable financial solutions

First and foremost, when working with a bail bonds agent, individuals can attain reliable financial solutions. When being accused, the court will immediately require the defendant to pay a bail in order for them to be free during the proceedings. However, coming up with enough money for the bail can be difficult most especially if you do not have saved finances. Fortunately, the bail bonds agents can help you find reliable financial options. There are also times that these agents can provide you with such solution to ensure that your lifestyle will not be affected by the case.

Help you understand the legal system

By working with an agent, individuals can also easily understand the legal system. Dealing with legal charges can be difficult. It gets even worse if you need to handle different situations in court especially when getting back your bail. With the help of agents, they can provide you with sufficient information about the legal proceedings which will allow you to understand the process, making it easier and more efficient.

Offer you with effective assistance

Finally, almost all bail bonds agents can provide you with effective assistance. This is possible since these professionals have the right traits to assist their client from being honest as well as trustworthy. Apart from that, these agents protect their clients to avoid other problems to arise which can affect their case and their bails.

It’s Time We Answered the Call for First Responders

We ask a lot of first responders. When we dial 911 after a loud crash wakes us from a sound sleep, we want the police to be there in seconds, ready to keep the bad guys at bay. When smoke chokes back our words as wildfires threaten our homes, we expect firefighters to battle heat and fatigue while they keep our families safe.

A Small Fix, a Huge Difference

Yet, when they’ve needed us, the law has let them down. Thankfully, Colorado lawmakers made things right this year.

Until recently, under Colorado law, first responders were unable to apply for workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder suffered while on the job. The statute specifically states that for an employee to qualify for a claim of mental stress, it has to “be generally outside of a worker’s usual experience.” But when your job involves dealing with traumatic events on a day-to-day basis, it hardly seems reasonable that you’re unable to even ask for – let alone receive – any help in dealing with that trauma.

It’s not enough we ask so much from these everyday heroes, but we also expect them to stand tall and keep their problems to themselves as they go about their life-saving business.

Colorado House Bill 1229 emerged this year as a long-overdue remedy. It further clarifies the language in Colorado’s workers’ compensation law that allows first responders to seek claims involving a “psychologically traumatic event” while on the job, if that worker suffered PTSD after the event, as diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional.

Safeguards Remain

In short, this legislation shifts the focus from the employee’s occupation to the actual catastrophic exposure when determining. At the same time, the bill doesn’t “open the floodgates” to a storm of frivolous workers’ comp claims. It’s simply a common sense solution to an unfair consequence from the current law.

The bill, introduced March 6, made its appearance after this year’s legislative session was already more than half over. Committee hearings wrapped quickly, which included testimony from shareholder Nick D. Fogel. That, along with its bipartisan sponsorship, helped the bill clear the Colorado House less than three weeks later on an overwhelming 52-11 vote. The Senate passed the bill by April 19 before sending it along to the governor just before the end of the legislative session.

5 Easy Steps To Obtain a Grant of Probate

When disposing of an estate, you will sometimes need to obtain a document called a Grant of Probate, or, depending on the situation Letters of Administration. If needed, this document is an official statement to asset and debt holders, informing them that you are the executor in charge of distributing the assets and paying off the debts. It allows them to communicate with you, safe in the knowledge that they are resolving the estate with the designated representative.

You will need to apply for, and obtain a Grant if the value of the deceased’s estate exceeds £5,000.00 or if there is property, such as a house, to dispose of. Banks, building societies and other asset holders can, at their discretion, ask to see a Grant regardless of the value of the asset they hold.

That being said, you are unlikely to need a grant if the estate is passing to a surviving spouse, or if the assets are held in joint names and are passing to the joint owner.

Once you have established whether or not you need to obtain a Grant, you will need to follow the below steps to successfully obtain the Grant.

Step One

Your first step will be to work out the value of the estate. In the simplest terms, you will do this by adding together the estate’s assets and subtracting the estate’s debts.

The asset holders will inform you of the value of each of the assets at the time of death. You need to enter these figures into the Inheritance Tax form, and this will calculate the value of the estate.

You must do this even if the Estate is below the Inheritance Tax Threshold.

Step Two

Complete an Inheritance Tax form either IHT205 or IHT400.

To know which form you need to fill out you need to understand the differences between the forms. Form IHT205 is the form that you need to fill out if there is no inheritance tax to be paid, either because the estate is too low in value or because the estate is an exempted estate.

The IHT400 is the form that is filled out when there is inheritance tax to be paid. However, there will be some situations where there is no inheritance tax to be paid, and the IHT400 will still be the form you need to fill out so you need to be careful and assess the estate in detail. if you are unsure then start filling in IHT205 and it will guide you to form IHT400 if it is needed.

If you think that there is no inheritance tax due on the estate then you should start filling out IHT205, you may soon find however that you will need to change to form IHT400.

Step Three

Complete a probatePA1 application form.

To complete this form, you will need to know the basic details of the person who has died, e.g.: their first name & surname, date of birth, date of death, and marital status. You will also need to know some more specific information e.g.: did the deceased own any assets under another name, was the deceased adopted.

You will have to fill in questions about the Will if one exists. As well as any information on any foreign held assets e.g.: did the deceased own a holiday home abroad.

Section five of this form discusses the relatives of the deceased. Section six is a section where you provide your details.

Section seven is where you provide details of any inheritance tax owed by the estate. You can get these figures from the inheritance tax forms completed at Step Two.

Section eight applies to those who are applying on behalf of someone who has been nominated as an executor but has lost capacity. You will need to provide details of the person you are applying on behalf of.

Section nine is a helpful checklist that allows you to make sure that you have completed all of the forms and enclosed all of the necessary documents. Following this checklist means that your application is far more likely to be accepted.

Step Four

Swear an oath. You can obtain an oath from the probate registry or draft one yourself, although if you choose this, then you need to be careful as an oath will only be valid in certain formats.

Swearing the oath will not take long, you will need to swear it in front of a solicitor or a local probate office, and this will cost approximately £5.00.

Step Five

Send your application to the probate registry.

You should include:

  • The probate application form PA1,
  • The Inheritance Tax form, an official copy of the death certificate,
  • The Oath,
  • The original will and three copies – and any codicils,
  • The application fee of £215 – a cheque made payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (there’s no fee if the estate is under £5,000.00).