Author Archives: Stephenson

Bankruptcy

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.

bankruptcysignage

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

Published / by Stephenson

flagswaving

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.

Ethics

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

Published / by Stephenson

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

federalbuilding

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

Published / by Stephenson

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!

Defamation

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

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

Slander
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.

Should the Voting Age Be Lowered

Published / by Stephenson

There is nothing I agree with more than lowering the voting age. I have been feeling like the voting age should be lowered for years now. Restricting the voting age to 18 is outdated, and limiting us as a country.

I think that the voting age should be lowered to 16. I am assuming that some people are hesitant to lower the voting age, because of how impressionable they think teenagers are. I suppose that that is slightly. Maybe some people think that minors will only vote based off of how their parents vote and what their parents believe. Maybe some people think that minors do not understand the significance or impact of voting. Whatever it is, I do not agree.

Now, more than ever, kids and teens alike are all about developing their own opinions and standing up for what they believe in. To be honest, I hear more adults discuss more outdated reasons of why they support particular candidates than teenagers do. Lowering the age to 16 will invite a whole new world of creative thoughts and opinions. It’s the younger ones who will be affected by the decisions we make now in the long run. Why not allow them the opportunity to affect and shape their futures?

Furthermore, I feel that lowering the voting age to 16 will greatly increase the number of voters. Imagine what would happen if schools had voting polls available at the schools, and all of the eligible students would be able to vote right at the school. Or if that could not happen, the schools could take field trips to the voting polls.

This would not only increase the number of voters, but it would encourage a younger audience to get more involved into politics. What is the point of teaching students the history and importance of voting, if they are not actually given the opportunity to vote and see it in action. At the age of 16, teenagers are driving automobiles that weigh thousands of pounds. How are they not able to make a decision and vote? They are, and they should be able to do so.

I fully support the voting age being lowered, and I hope that I can be a part of making that happen. What do you all think? Do you think that the voting age should be lowered? If you do not think that the voting age should be lowered, why not? Please share your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Should Minors Have a Curfew

Published / by Stephenson

SYes, yes, and double yes. When I think back at the tragedies that occurred amongst my peers when I was a teenager, they typically had to do with them being out late when they should have been at home. My heart breaks just thinking about those stories, because they could have been easily prevented. I feel that a lot of teen deaths could be prevented if minors had a curfew, and I feel as though there should be a law that requires minors to have a curfew.

My main question is, “Why not?” I can only see more good than harm coming from this. Where do these kids and teenagers have to go at 11:00 pm? I can see this as limiting their rights in some way, but I do not know if they are at the maturity level to handle being out that late.

Adults experience some of the worst accidents and violent encounters when they are out doing stuff late at night. Why wouldn’t a minor? I have seen minors who finally get their license, racing at midnight on what they think is an empty road. How many news stories are there where young teens were drinking and driving late at night, and got into a horrible car accident? I am not saying that children and teens are not competent beings. I do not feel that way at all; that is why I want to lower the voting age. However, I think most people, adults and children alike, tend to feel freer at nighttime, and they also tend to get into a lot more trouble at nighttime.

That being said, I don’t think that the curfew should be ridiculous, and I think that the curfew should be extended on the weekends. I also feel that minors around the age of 17 (and maybe 16) should have a later curfew.

Everything in life is about giving and taking. A legal curfew for minors can be a protective measure, without completely debilitating them of enjoying an evening out with their friends. Do you think a law should be made that gives minors a curfew? Leave a comment down below!

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.

How To File for Workers Compensation

Published / by Stephenson

A significant number of employees suffer permanent or long-term injuries at the workplace. Such injuries limit their ability to earn a living as it was before. Luckily, such individuals can file for permanent disability benefits that can help cushion them against financial losses resulting from staying out of their jobs for considerable time. Workers’ compensation typically covers the injured employees’ medical bills and other expenses.

Who is Eligible for Compensation?

In this case, eligibility is typically determined by the report that a workers’ compensation doctor will file. In the course of your treatment, the medic will ascertain whether your condition can allow you to go back or not. Once you reach a maximum medical improvement point, the medical practitioner will undertake an examination to establish whether the injuries that you suffer have left you with permanent limitations that may prevent you from resuming your job. Thereafter, you will be assigned a disability rating. This is an index representing the extent of the permanent limitation that you have suffered.

Sometimes, the doctor may opt to give a whole-person impairment rating. This is normally the case in instances where the injury involves your neck, internal organs, head, and back. If you are a mine worker for instance and you end up suffering a lung critical lung disease, you are eligible to receive a whole person impairment rating of up to 40%.

Calculating Disability Benefits and How Personal Injury Lawyers Help

Typically, calculating permanent and long-term disability benefits involves a lot of intricacies. This varies according to the state that you are in because each states employs a different method when determining how much disability benefits is to be paid to injured workers. The main determinant of how much you will receive is the extent to which you were injured. This implies either partial or total disability.

picture of a man hurt at work

Permanent total disability is that which prevents you from ever getting involved in meaningful employment in your life. Those who are deemed to have sustained permanently and totally disabled are those with debilitating and serious injuries such as the loss of limbs, or eyesight. If you suffer this kind of disability, you will receive payments for the rest of your life. On the other hand, permanent partial disability implies scheduled and unscheduled disabilities, which are not as dangerous as permanent total disabilities.

If you are injured at your place of work, it is advisable that you get in touch with a disability lawyer who will help you understand all the workers’ compensation rules that relate to your case. Besides this, he/she will represent you in court when or when negotiating for a higher compensation. You definitely need a lawyer who will handle the case on your behalf while you focus on your treatment and recovery. Since lawyers have a better understanding of workers’ compensation laws, you stand a better chance of getting slightly more compensation by hiring one.