Published / by Stephenson

Bankruptcy is a type of legal proceeding put in place to help individuals or organizations that are unable to pay their debts. In a way, they offer the debtor a fresh start. When you are in a position of financial instability, you can file for bankruptcy voluntarily or the creditors (those you owe) may take matters into their own hands and file it for you.

Types of bankruptcy

Under the American constitution, there are several types of bankruptcy. The most common ones are:

  • 1. Chapter 7 bankruptcy

This is the most common type of bankruptcy. It involves the appointment of a trustee who sells your non-exempt property and uses the money to pay off your creditors.

  • 2. Chapter 13 bankruptcy

In this case, you and your creditors come up with a plan which involves you repaying a portion of your debt in three to five years. The rest of your debt is then forgiven. If you, however, default on your repayments, your creditors reserve the right to claim repayment of the whole amount owed. This type of bankruptcy is usually popular among those who don’t want to lose any of their property. To be allowed to file for this type of bankruptcy, your debt must not exceed a specified amount.

  • 3. Chapter 11 bankruptcy

While the above-mentioned types of bankruptcy are especially suited for individuals, the chapter 11 bankruptcy is suited for businesses. Also known as reorganization bankruptcy, this allows businesses to continue with their everyday functions as they reorganize their assets to enable them to pay their debts.

  • 4. Chapter 9 bankruptcy

This is available only for municipalities and involves reorganization of assets.


How to file for bankruptcy

If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, the first thing you will have to do is organize and compile all your financial records. You will also be required to attend some credit counseling before you are allowed to file a petition for bankruptcy.
You should also consider getting a bankruptcy lawyer to help you fully understand what is going on.

Other options

If you feel like filing for bankruptcy is not the way for you, there are other options. You can decide to go for debt settlement or debt consolidation. Debt settlement involves negotiations which lead to the debtor paying less than what is owed.
On the other hand, debt consolidation involves combining all your debts from several creditors and taking out a single loan to repay them all.

Reasons Why Lawyers Make Good Politicians

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What do Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama have in common? They both served as sitting presidents of the United States of America. But there is more. Besides being leaders of the free world, these politicians studied Law in College. The list is longer than these two, making the all-time conclusion that maybe, just maybe, being a lawyer is likely to make a prospective politician than a non-lawyer. Here is why:

Public speaking skills

Politicians are often expected to be smooth-talkers whose words should move a crowd. With the whole world looking and opinions polls counting every two seconds, politicians are better off delivering impressive speeches, be it in debates or a presser. It so happens that lawyers have the experience of addressing masses of people in court. Lawyers also interact with people from all walks of title, giving them that common touch. Effective public speaking is, therefore, a great given to them when they decide to pursue political interests.

The art of persuasion

A lawyer spends most of his time at work convincing people to listen to his point of view and embrace it. It could be the judge or a jury. A good lawyer always thrives on presenting well-reasoned arguments that will make him win. These arguments hone the skill of persuasion, which is highly needed by politicians. At the time before elections, the ambitious politician needs to persuade the voter to vote him/her. After elections, the art of persuasion helps in debates especially to pull other members of the house to his/her side when discussing critical bills.

Analytical skills

Barristers spend a lot of time analyzing complex situations and resolving them. The ability to find a range of solutions for a problem and the knack for detail makes lawyers very flexible politicians. Most lawyers are also able to perform under pressure, a characteristic that every politician should have.

Knowledge of Legislation

Based on their background, lawyers have a lot more prior know-how as to how legislative processes work. Politicians cannot run away from legislation. Studying law gives a politician an upper hand in understandings how laws are made and how they ought to be applied.


Law is quite the principled profession. Since progressive politics is built on ethics, most lawyers make a good fit as far as this factor is considered. Not all lawyers are ethical-there are some bad fruits in there- but a good percentage of them have a good understanding of the ethical values to adhere to.

5 Characteristics of Successful Law Firms

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Going by the number of TV shows based on law firms and their lawyer magic, law firms are here to stay. Then comes the question: Just how much money do lawyers in prestigious firms make? Are the figures as exaggerated as they sound? Well, lawyers in prestigious firms do receive hefty paychecks. Most of the time, these lawyers actually put in the time and work to earn as much as they do.
For a young law firm, it may seem an uphill task to scale the heights that the high and mighty in the legal world have reached. Here are some of the things to do to rise that ladder faster:

Keep the customer close

Just like in business, the customer is the most important person. To build a lasting relationship, the firm has to establish a certain level of trust with its clientele. Satisfied customers are more likely to refer new clients to your firm and grow the base.

Focus on the strengths

The most successful law firms have specialized in their area of expertise. When the lawyers in the firm have zeroed in on a particular legal practice(s), then they are likely to deliver services at an excellent score level. To be good in a particular field, the law firm might consider encouraging its practitioners to read more and attend relevant seminars on the same.

Build a Strong online presence


Most Americans today go online to seek for the least of solutions. The taxi business has Uber; the Health Sector has numerous apps and websites. To attract new customers, law firms must also adapt to these changes and set up an interactive website to market themselves. A good website builds credibility and gives a potential customer the confidence to approach them with their needs.

Outside-the-Office Networking

To broaden the scope of language and be more believable when representing their clients, lawyers must develop an interest in their clients’ activities and have a first-hand experience of what they do. For example, lawyers in a firm representing the Yankees must have an idea what American football is all about. Interacting with people in outreach activities and being actively involved in the community creates a good reputation.

Get a sturdy support staff

Having a reliable staff that will attend to financial operations, I.T support, as well as other professional duties is very crucial. By supporting the firm’s running, much of the workload for the attorneys is cut to a level where they can offer quality services as is needed.

When Did Spanking Kids Become a Crime

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I am shocked to learn that it is a crime in some states to spank your child. There are levels to what form of spanking would be considered a crime, but it is considered a crime nonetheless. What has led us to become so sensitive that we feel that parents spanking their own children deserves a fine or jail or prison time?

It’s funny, because my parents introduced me to the belt when I was a child, and not once did I think of it as abuse. Seriously. In fact, I contribute that belt to molding me into the person that I am today (no pun intended). When I think about it, I learned some of my biggest lessons because of that belt. Everything that I received a spanking for, I never did again. And if I did, the next spanking would set me straight.

Obviously, a parent should not abuse their child. I just didn’t know that spanking was considered abuse. I have seen so many comments under videos about parents spanking their kids, that stated how abusive the parent was being, and how the parent should be arrested for what they did. Seriously? It’s the parents who do not do those things who have little serial killers running around (that’s just a joke people – sort of).

If you do not want to spank your kids, that’s perfectly fine. I am sure that there are plenty of people who did not spank their children, and their children grew up just fine. However, I do believe that some kids need spankings to get the point across, and if a parent feels the need to do that, people need to let them do that, and leave them alone. I do feel that some items that children get spanked with can be a bit extreme depending on what it is. Overall, I feel that spanking your child should be a choice, and I feel that it can actually do more good than harm in the long run. As long as if you are not beating and abusing the child, I do not see what all of the fuss is about.

What do you think? Do you think that parents should be fined and/or sentenced to prison for spanking their child?

Marine Nude Picture Scandal

Published / by Stephenson

three marines working together

If you have not heard of the very disturbing nude picture scandal that recently came out, I will fill you in on what I have learned. Apparently, there was a secret Facebook page created by marines, for marines. The secret page contained provocative pictures of female marines. From what I understand, the pictures were either clandestinely taken of the woman, or they were given to Marine men, but were posted on the Facebook page without women’s consent.

I don’t even know how to feel. I guess I can start by stating that I know that that horrible scandal is not a proper reflection of every male in the Marines. I am sure that a lot of them are just as disgusted with the marines who were a part of this scandal as the rest of us are. I am not writing this to talk down on the Marines.

That being said, I am utterly repulsed by the maries who were a part of this. The Facebook page had 30,000 members – all of them were current marines and former marines. I don’t understand. These men are supposed to be leaders. They signed up for the military to protect our country. The signed up for the military to protect our rights, our privacy, and our freedom. How could they violate the very rights that they have sacrificed so much for? To make matters worse, they violated the rights and privacy of their own fellow marines.

Maybe they did not sign up for the marines to be role models; it’s fine if they didn’t. I am not saying that marines or anyone in the military has to wear a halo on their heads. But you are representing our country. You are in a sense, helping to keep our country together. How are you helping lead our country when you are doing things that help tear us down? It was probably all in fun to them. I am sure they assumed that since it was a private page, that it was not a big deal. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Regardless of them being marines, that is someone’s daughter, or sister, or mother. You don’t do that. Have some respect for them, and have some respect for yourself.

I just hope that they are punished for this. I just can’t understand what would make them think that it is ok to violate someone’s privacy like that. Why would you want to support such a disgusting page? All I can do is pray for them. There are so many good marines out there, perhaps they will follow their lead, instead of the lead of some twisted Facebook users. What are your thoughts on this scandal? Leave your comments down below!


Published / by Stephenson

Defamation is when a person claims actions taken by another has ruined or damaged their reputation. Defamation is not a criminal law offence. Instead defamation falls under the category of civil law. As defamation is categorized under civil law, when a defamation case is filed the aggrieved party is seeking financial compensation for damages to their reputation. Defamation law strikes the balance between the right to freedom of speech for all and the need to ensure people can protect their reputations arising from false and harmful comments.

Defamation can occur in both written and spoken form

If defamation occurs in writing, such as in a newspaper, it is called libel.

If defamation occurs when spoken, such as during a speech, it is called slander.

Proof Of Defamation
Suing someone for defamation is when a person takes legal action to protect his or her reputation. In order to prove that a person has been defamed, proof has to be established. The statement that caused the defamation case can be written, spoken or images such as a cartoon or photograph. The defaming statement needs to show proof of:

• Must be published
• False information
• Injurious results
• The Statement Was Unprivileged

The Statement Was Published
In order to show proof of defamation the statement must have been published. This means that a third party must have been present or have heard, seen or read the defaming statement.

The Statement Held False Information
The information in a defaming statement must be false. Even if the statement is considered horrible or mean, it is only defamation when it is false. If a person writes a bad review about a new book, it is not necessarily defamation as the statement can not necessarily be proved to be wrong.

There Were Injurious Results
A statement that defamed an individual must have caused injurious results to that person’s reputation. This can include losing employment, having the press harass them and being shunned by friends or associates.

The Statement Was Unprivileged
In order for a defamation case to be filed the statement must be unprivileged. In some environments statements are protected by law from being considered defamation and are considered privileged. For example, the statement that a witness makes during a court case is considered a privileged statement. This is also true of government ministers and lawmakers.

Human Rights Lawyers

Published / by Stephenson

Human rights lawyers generally deal with litigation associated with torture and abuse. As their name suggests, they deal with all litigation associated with violation of human rights. Most people who pursue this career path have a passion for protecting people’s civil rights.

Becoming a human rights lawyer
To be a human rights law, you first need to complete an undergraduate degree in law. Pursuing courses in human rights history, gender injustice and immigration law is an added advantage. However, there is no undergraduate degree offered that is called human rights law.

You will just have to become a lawyer then specialize in human rights cases. After graduating, experience in an established law firm can help gain experience. Participation in school law clinics, internships and being affiliated with human rights organizations also fosters exposure.

Pursuing a master’s degree in human rights can increase your employ-ability in this highly competitive field.

lawyer in front of building

Skills needed
To be successful in this career path you will need impeccable interviewing skills. This helps you during the interviewing of potential witnesses and victims. The ability to read emotions and gauge people’s reactions will be useful.

Communication skills will also be useful in dealing with clients and media outlets. Human rights lawyers also need to be thoroughly organized in order to be able to effectively manage their cases.

An analytic and creative mind is also an added advantage in this line of work. Perseverance is key as it takes time before someone makes a name for themselves in this industry.
Career prospects and salaries

This field is highly competitive because it has less job openings as compared to other branches of law. This is probably because organizations and law firms dealing with this field are few. It is however lucrative.

An entry level human rights lawyer can earn up to $50,000 per year. This value can shoot up to $90.000 or more upon experience. Though it is tough to break through the competition, it is highly rewarding.

Other possibilities
People who pursue this path are considered to have a deep desire to serve and derive enjoyment from protecting others. If one has a passion in human rights but does not have a law degree, a position as a mediator, arbitrator or conciliator can prove just s rewarding.
At the end of the day, all human rights lawyers, mediators, arbitrators and conciliators simply serve as conflict resolver.

The Legality of Marijuana in the United States

Published / by Stephenson

legal books on a table

The legality of marijuana in the United States has been under fierce debate for decades. Countless political and cultural movements have made efforts to either legalize or criminalize marijuana, and its status as a schedule I controlled substance has impacted the nation for decades. How did Marijuana become classified in the way it is today, and what is the likely future of the drug?

In 1970, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of drug schedules which categorized drugs into separate categories. Schedule I drugs are considered the most harmful of them all, and constitute drugs with high risk and no counterbalancing benefits; Marijuana is categorized as a schedule I drug.

While marijuana’s classification as a schedule I drug has endured fiery debate from the start, the enforcement of statutes outlawing and punishing its use has a mixed history. In recent years, particularly under former President Barack Obama, the federal government has largely stepped back from policing marijuana, instead opting to allow states to decide for themselves how to implement marijuana laws.

Individual states gradually began to decriminalize marijuana as early as the 1970’s, though medicinal cannabis wasn’t legalized until 1996. The states of Colorado and Washington famously legalized marijuana for recreational use for the first time in U.S. history in 2012, unleashing an avalanche of legal change across the nation.

Currently, recreational usage of marijuana is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia. Medicinal marijuana is currently legal in 12 states, and most states have some form of marijuana legalized or decriminalized, with the exception of Kansas, Idaho and South Dakota.

Many states have pending legal or political initiatives to either decriminalize, fully legalize, or medically legalize marijuana. Public support for marijuana’s legalization has grown rapidly in recent decades, with a majority of Americans now supporting it.

The classification of marijuana as a schedule I drug has had a significant impact on U.S. history; millions of arrests have taken place for the possession, distribution, and use of marijuana over the past few decades. Social and legal activist have claimed that marijuana laws often fall along distinctly racial lines, and unfairly lead to greater incarceration rates among minorities.

The full legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana appears to be continuously gaining support in the United States, though current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, head of the U.S. Justice Department, has signaled his intention to resist legalization efforts. Nonetheless, despite its broad support among the American public, the legalization of marijuana was not a particularly large issue in the 2016 presidential election.
What are your thoughts on the legalization of marijuana? How has it affected you? Leave a comment below!

Evaluating How the Criminal Justice System Works

Published / by Stephenson

The criminal justice system is basically made up of 3 major institutions that process each case from inception to trial and punishment. Cases are set in motion when law enforcement officers investigate a criminal offence and gather evidence that can be used to pin down the presumed perpetrator. Thereafter, the case is forwarded to the court system, which analyzes the evidence presented before it to establish whether the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

If the defendant is found to be guilty of the alleged crime, a jail term will be prescribed depending on the seriousness of the crime that he/she committed. The corrections system uses several means to punish offenders including probation and incarceration. The correction system similarly aims at rehabilitating those who go through it.

At each stage of the criminal justice process, there are various constitutional protections that have been implemented to guarantee to protection of the rights of the convicted and accused persons. These protections are important since they make it possible for the criminal justice system to carry out investigations and prosecute the accused persons while upholding their fundamental human rights.

1. Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System

The police are an important pillar of the criminal justice system. The constitution protects those who are accused from police abuse and brutality. The Miranda advisement for instance, prohibits law enforcement officers from carrying out unreasonable arrests and searches. In as much as arrested people are aware of pertinent issues such as the right to remain silent, it is the duty of the arresting officers to remind them about these rights before questioning them.

the criminal justice system hard at work

On unreasonable searches and arrests, the Miranda advisement prevents law enforcement officers from arresting a suspect or searching his/her home without a valid warrant. Nonetheless, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, a suspect can be arrested without a warrant in the event that there is a hot pursuit, or the alteration of evidence.

3. The Court System and Bail

Just like it is the case with arresting a suspect, dozens of restrictions pertaining the trial of cases also exist. This includes the right to confront the defendant’s accusers, right to counsel, right against implicating one’s self, and the right to trial by a jury. The role of these safeguards is to ensure that the accused have a fair trial. Besides this, the defendants have the right to choose an attorney of their choice without being restricted by the court.

Before going to trial, the accused may have the chance to post bail. This is what is used to help people get out of jail before any pending trial or sentencing. In the US Constitution, the 8th Amendment explicitly details that bail bonds should not be excessively expensive. There are a few reasons for this, including negating the government’s ability to collect money from a defendant, nor should bail be used to punish a person suspected of committing a crime.

3. Corrections

The role of jails is to punish and rehabilitate criminals. However, this must be done in a human way since they are also protected by fundamental human rights. More often than less, jail terms or probation is used. Offenders who are sentenced to probation are typically those who have committed minor misdemeanors. However, more serious felonies are likely to attract jail terms.

Hope you enjoyed this! If you have any thoughts or comments please let me know.

Should Prostitution Be Legal

Published / by Stephenson

I have had this conversation with multiple people recently, and it created very interesting and heated debates. I have multiple feelings about this particular topic. However, to answer the overall question of this article, no, I do not think that prostitution should be legal.

When you look at it from a personal rights perspective, I can see why one would think that prostitution should be legal. If two consenting adults want to engage in the act of prostitution, why is that anyone’s business? I can definitely see the logic behind that point. That being said, it’s not the act of prostitution that is the issue, it is the results.

My issue with prostitution is the mental and physical side effects that it leaves. First of all, a lot of women who engage in prostitution started doing so before they were even legal adults. They were minors trying to make a living for themselves. It is illegal for grown men to have and solicit sex from minors. The mental and emotional side-effects can be daunting. A lot of them tend to grow up with a distorted view of the world and continue thinking that this is the best way for them to make money when times get rough. I am not judging anyone, I am just saying that allowing prostitution opens the doors for a lot of minors, a lot of runaways included, to enter that world at too young of an age.

legalize prostitution banner

There is also the issue of diseases. This leads to the physical detriments of prostitution. Sexually transmitted diseases are an unfortunate consequence for many prostitutes. So many of their clients treat them like objects and disregard their health. And, sadly, a lot of prostitutes seem to disregard their own health. Prostitution does not promote safe sex. A lot of these women and men do not use protection and knowingly sleep with someone fully aware that they are carrying an STD. All of these STD’s are being passed around to innocent spouses, girlfriends and boyfriends, to other prostitutes and clients, etc.

I read an article that stated that aids could be decreased by half if prostitution were legal. Apparently, a lot of prostitutes do not practice safe sex because they are in a rush to avoid trouble with the law, and they do not want condoms to be used as evidence. The article also stated that prostitutes are reluctant to go to health clinics, because they do not get the proper care that they need due to the stigmatism of their nature of work. This article really opened my eyes to a different perspective. If decrease is true, I could why a lot of people support the idea of legalizing prostitution. That being said, I still feel as though prostitution should illegal. I believe that it will still cause the spread of STD’s, and I still think it is mentally and physically damaging.

At the end of the day, our bodies are our personal property, and it is our choice to decide what we do with them. However, if we see someone doing something damaging to their bodies (mind and body alike), I think it is our mission as people to help and to do something about it. A lot of the time, we are so blinded by our own needs and desires, that we need another perspective on our actions. It may be our bodies, but that doesn’t mean that we know everything that is right for them. What do you all think? Should prostitution be legalized? Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts.