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Treating Both Genders Equally When It Comes to Child Custody

Have You Come Up With A Killer Invention? Here’s What To Expect During The Patenting Process

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have You Come Up With A Killer Invention? Here’s What To Expect During The Patenting Process

Do you have an excellent idea for an invention that people will want to buy? As any inventor knows, you have to file for a patent if you want to keep your intellectual property safe while you develop your idea. If you’ve never applied for a provisional patent before, it’s vital to know how you can avoid mistakes that might cost you in the long run. Provisional Applications Can Hold Your Place In Line Even if you aren’t ready to file for a full patent yet, you don’t have to just sit and worry about your idea being taken. Instead, you can apply for a less expensive provisional patent, which also requires less detail. By getting a provisional patent for your idea now, you can ensure that your eventual full patent application is treated as though you applied on the date of your provisional patent. This essentially holds your spot in line and keeps competing patents filed after yours from being able to steal your thunder. An Incomplete Provisional Application May Be Used Against You Competing patents pose a threat to you if your application is lacking in sufficient detail. Provisional patents take less information than full-fledged ones, but they still require elements that show you have a well-defined concept. If your provisional application is lacking drawings, specifications, or other information to show you have a real invention, patent court may award the rights to your competitor, making all of your efforts for nothing. To avoid this, consult with a patent lawyer before filing your application. This may drive the cost up slightly, but an airtight provisional patent will ensure that your future full patent is safe. Maintaining A Patent Is Going To Cost You Even if you think your idea is perfect now, you might reconsider how much you want to invest in your invention when you look at the cost of a patent application. Even if you manage all of the work yourself and don’t seek professional assistance, it can still cost hundreds in application fees to even have your idea considered. With help from a patent lawyer to ensure your papers are properly completed, that figure rises by thousands of dollars. After your patent is granted, you’ll have to pay regular maintenance fees to keep your rights. Costs vary based on the size of your company and how long you’ve held the patent, but you should expect to pay a few hundred dollars every few years. Getting a patent for your idea can be daunting, but it’s still important. If you aren’t sure where to start, consult with a patent lawyer from a firm like Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law about your options. Most lawyers will talk to you the first time for free, so it’s a good way to get an idea of what you need before your application is...

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Who Can See Your Medical Records After You Die?

Posted by on Aug 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Who Can See Your Medical Records After You Die?

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted to protect a patient’s medical privacy. For anyone to get access to your medical records, there are forms to be filled out stating who the nurse or doctor can speak to in regards to your health issues. However, what happens when you die? Does anyone have access to your medical records or do the medical files get sealed and put away? HIPAA After Death HIPAA does not only protect patients while they are alive. It also protect them after death. According to the Journal of Ahima, HIPAA will protect a patient’s medical records for 50 years after their death. After that, medical records can be accessed by family members, mostly for genealogy purposes. However, state laws may prohibit this, so you would need to contact the state in which the medical records are held to see if you can access them. Who Can Access Your Medical Records If you have appointed a personal representative to your estate, they will have legal access to your medical records after your death. If you have not appointed anyone to handle your estate, then the state where you reside will determine who best fits that role. Typically, it is a spouse, grown child or sibling, and they will get access to the medical records. Also, if you have signed a HIPAA form that gives the nurses and doctors permission to speak to certain named individuals about your health, those named individuals will also have access. For example, you have given the nurse and doctor permission to speak to your sibling about your medical treatment, but your spouse is the personal representative to your estate. After your death, your sibling will have access to your medical files, just like your spouse will. Limiting Who Has Access to Your Records Before you die, you can make provision on who cannot access the medical records after your death, even if you had given them permission while you were alive. The personal representative will legally get access no matter what. However, if you wish to not share your records with anyone you have given HIPAA permission to, you can state that desire. If you do not want certain people to access your medical records after you die, then you should carefully pick the person that will be handling your estate upon your death and those you give the access to while you are living. If you wish to keep your medical records private, then you should seek a lawyer’s counsel to make sure that your desires will be legally held up after your death. Contact a professional like Robert J Willis, Attorney at Law for more...

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4 Ways To Get In Legal Trouble When You’re Homeless

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Get In Legal Trouble When You’re Homeless

If being homeless isn’t hard enough, there are at least four ways you can run into legal problems just trying to do activities of daily living  or to rustle up some money for food and other necessities. 1. Loitering In Public Places Many urban areas across the U.S. have criminalized loitering, sleeping in public on benches, on the ground in parks sleeping in vehicles sitting in certain areas, and camping (by setting up a tent or living out of a camper/RV in an unauthorized spot). Just the fact that you are homeless and/or jobless can result in a vagrancy charge, which is called a “status crime” because it is more about your condition than what you are doing.  2. Begging Begging is also against the law in many places and can result in a misdemeanor charge. Some police have even gone undercover to catch people at it. 3. Busking Of course, many buskers (public street performers who accept contributions)  are not homeless, but some homeless people do busk to earn some money. Throughout the U.S. judges have agreed that busking is a form of speech that is protected by the First Amendment. In a (2009) case brought by the ACLU in the 9th Circuit Court, it was decided that making buskers get permits is a form of censorship, so some places like St. Louis have repealed the requirement for permits. It is possible for a busker get charged with causing a public disturbance, or for not having a permit if the locality requires one. Some buskers favor getting a permit with mild restrictions and a small fee, so they wouldn’t be in danger of being other crimes like loitering or disturbing the peace. 4. Selling Things Some people living in vehicles may be able to make crafts to sell in public areas. To stay out of trouble, you may need to apply and pay a small fee for a permit. Getting the proper permits may be a problem when you don’t have a permanent address. You may be able to overcome this by renting a post office box, or by using a commercial business service that has post office boxes and would let you use their street address for a small monthly fee. Your state may require you to collect sales tax on your business, and if you are caught not doing that, you can be in trouble with your state’s department of revenue. When looking for a place to set up, you will need to find places with high traffic but also where commerce can carried on legally or face the fines or other penalties. Other charges homeless persons frequently receive are: public intoxication, prostitution, disorderly conduct, and being a public nuisance. If you are being charged with a homelessness crime, you need to consult an attorney. At times various aspects of anti-homelessness laws and their constitutionality can be called into question because they violate your right to exist and they may violate your reasonable expectation of liberty. Misdemeanor charges can also give you a police record that can harm your employability and worsen your circumstances. An attorney will look at your case to find the best ways to fight unjust enforcement of the laws regarding your situation. Contact a local attorney, such as through Some attorneys are willing to take...

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Protect Yourself in Chapter 7 by Including Every Potential Debt You May Have

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Yourself in Chapter 7 by Including Every Potential Debt You May Have

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all unsecured debts will be discharged if the bankruptcy is approved. If you forget to include debts on your paperwork, there is still a chance that they will be considered “discharged,” however, you may have to go through legal procedures if a creditor fights you for the money. This is why it is important to include every debt you have on your bankruptcy forms when you file. What debts should you list? When you sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to file for Chapter 7, you will need to bring a copy of all debts you owe. This includes the company or person you owe, the address, and any other contact information, such as the account number. Your attorney will list every debt you bring, but the attorney will probably pull your credit report too. Your credit report will list a lot of debts you owe, and the attorney will list all of these too. The only types of debts you should not list are Car loans if you plan on keeping the cars Home loan if you plan on keeping your house Child support, spousal support, or alimony Court-ordered payments you owe Back taxes owed Student loan payments These debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7, but any other debt you have should be listed on the Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. After the forms are filed, each creditor listed will receive a notification about your bankruptcy, and this will give them the opportunity to fight the bankruptcy, if desired. Are there other debts to include? In addition to the normal debts you may have, there are several other types of debts to consider including on your bankruptcy that you may not think of. For example, if you owed a landlord rent money and haven’t heard from him in years, you should add his name to the bankruptcy. While this person may never come after you for the money, it’s better to include his name just in case. Another example is if you had been involved in a car accident years ago. If you did not have insurance and are afraid the person could end up suing you, it might be wise to add this person’s name too. You should add any debt you have and any debt you could potentially owe to anyone or any company. Doing this will protect you against any of these possible debts. If you happen to forget to add a normal type of debt to your bankruptcy, the courts may still consider it discharged. The problem with forgetting debts is that the creditors you owe could come after you for the money. The result of this is that you may have to fight them in court to get the debts dropped. Filing for bankruptcy is a great way to start over with your finances, and you should spend time gathering as much information as possible before you file. To learn more about which debts to include, talk to a bankruptcy attorney like...

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2 Big Problems You Can Prevent By Creating A Will For Your Family

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Big Problems You Can Prevent By Creating A Will For Your Family

According to the American Bar Association, approximately 55% of people in the U.S. die without having a will. If this happens to you, do you realize the problems this situation can create? If you want to eliminate the problems this can create for the loved ones you leave behind, you should consider meeting with an estate planning attorney so you can create a will. Here are two problems your loved ones will not have to deal with if you create a will. Division of assets Without a will, the state you live in will get to decide who gets your assets. If you are married, your assets will automatically go to your spouse, but this can create issues in some situations. For example, if you are currently separated from your spouse, he or she will still get 100% of your things. If you are not married, the state will most likely transfer all your assets to your children, but this too can create issues. What if you have not spoken to one of your children in 50 years? Should this child get the same amount of assets as your child that took care of you each day during your last years? With a will, you will get to state who gets your things, and no one will be able to fight about it. You will get to divide everything you own in the way you choose. Lengthy process One of the other main benefits of having a will is that your estate will be settled much faster. When there is a will in place, an attorney can review it and begin working on settling the matters. Because of this, the beneficiaries will be able to receive their assets faster. Without a will, the estate will most likely have to go through probate court. At probate court, a judge will review everything and make the necessary decisions. This process can take a very long time, which means that the beneficiaries may not receive their rightful assets for a long time. In addition to this taking time, it can also be more costly. When a court must handle the affairs of an estate, they are entitled to keeping a portion of the estate. If you want to make sure that your loved ones receive the things that you want them to have when you pass away, you must have a will. To learn more about wills and estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney...

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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: What to Look for and What to Do If You Suspect It

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: What to Look for and What to Do If You Suspect It

If you have an aging loved one who resides in a nursing home, you probably agonized over the initial decision and continually worry about their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. While nursing home neglect and abuse can happen to those with even the most involved families, there are a few things you can do to lessen the odds. Below are common types of nursing home neglect and abuse, what to look for, and what to do if neglect and abuse are suspected. Types of Abuse Abuse can come in many shapes and forms. The abuse suffered by nursing home patients can be physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial. Neglect is also a form of abuse. Physical and financial abuse are two of the easiest abuses to prove, which is why many abusers will resort to using mental, emotional, and sexual abuse to harm their victims. In all cases of abuse, the victim is helpless, and in certain cases, the victim may not even be aware it is occurring. Many abusers pick victims who are the weakest, or those with the least amount of outside family contact so as not to be caught. Signs of Abuse Even if you don’t suspect abuse, it’s important that you’re hypervigilant of any signs of abuse or neglect while visiting with your loved one. Signs can be subtle, but noticing such signs can mean the difference between life and death. The easiest signs to look for are physical, such as unexplained injuries. Physical injuries consistent with abuse include restraint marks on the wrists and ankles, as well as object-shaped bruises. Sudden changes in mood and behavior can be common signs of abuse as well, as your loved one may not know how to deal with the pain and fear they’re experiencing, so instead they lash out. These changes can include sudden mood swings and bouts of depression. If you’re concerned about your loved one, it’s a good idea to stop by at different times throughout the week. This may give you a better idea of the general care your loved one is receiving. Other signs to look for are unsanitary conditions and a loved one who is chronically over medicated for non-apparent reasons. What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse If you have suspicions of elder abuse, it’s best to deal with them immediately. For best results, contact an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect. An experienced attorney can help you to sort through the evidence you’ve collected and decide whether your fears are founded. Nursing homes must meet minimum standards of care, which is something that lawyers can use to prove abuse and neglect. The evidence your lawyer will collect will usually focus on the nursing home’s duty of care, and whether or not they’ve met that or not. As a result of your lawyer’s investigation, the nursing home could potentially lose their license, which means they’ll never be able to harm others. Your loved one could also be reimbursed for their pain and suffering, as well as resulting medical costs of the abuse and neglect.  Nursing home abuse and neglect can be tricky to prove. If you suspect abuse of your loved one, contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney like Large & Associates Attorneys immediately. They’ll...

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Child Custody: What You Should Know Before Filing A Petition

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Child Custody: What You Should Know Before Filing A Petition

If you and your child’s other parent are not married, it is essential that you obtain a legal custody order that dictates the role that each parent will play in the child’s life. This is true even if the other parent is not current active in the child’s life. This is because in the absence of a court-ordered custody agreement, both parents will have equal parental rights, even if one of the parents has been absent for many years. While obtaining a custody agreement is clearly a time sensitive issue that should be taken care of quickly as possible, you may want to put off running to the court house for at least the next few minutes. This is because there are a few facts that all parents should be aware of before filing a custody petition with the court. Custody And Support Are Two Separate Issues Many parents believe that a custody hearing will address all of the legal issues involving their children. However, these proceedings are designed to solely address custodial and visitation issues, not matters concerning child support. This is because a parent’s right to see their child and their responsibility to provide financial support for their child are two completely separate issues. Even if a parent has not made a single child support payment, they may still be entitled to visitation rights or even joint custody. Spouse Bashing Can Backfire Unfortunately, far too many people choose to use a custody case as an opportunity to put on record everything that their ex-spouse ever did wrong. Some people believe that by making the other parent look bad, they will be able to make themselves look better in the eyes of the judge. However, this approach often backfires and can actually make you look far worse in the eyes of the court. This is because a family court judge is not charged with the task of deciding whether or not your ex is a good person, they are charged with the task of determining what is in the best interest of your child. A parent who creates hostility through name calling and public accusations will rarely be what is best for the child. It can be difficult to refrain from making emotional decisions when dealing with something as close to your heart as your own children. This is why it is always best to seek out the services of a family law attorney rather than trying to represent yourself in a child custody case. After all, the last thing you want is to have an emotional outburst in court that could be used against you when making a final decision regarding the custody of your kids. Attorneys such as Jones Auger & Auger can often provide guidance and support in cases such as...

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Protect Your Rights And Finances Through Information – Questions For A Personal Injury Attorney

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to seek out the services of a personal injury attorney, you know that it can be one of the most stressful times of your life. When both your physical and financial well-being are threatened, it’s vital that you do everything that you can to protect your interests and work toward stability. Below, you’ll find a guide to some questions that you should be sure to ask your personal injury lawyer. Having the answers to these questions will not only help guarantee that you stay sufficiently informed, but should also grant you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve taken every step possible to see your case through to a successful end. Ask About Contingency Fees One of the unfortunate ironies of personal injury cases is that many people delay seeking the justice that they’re owed out of a concern for the short-term impact on their finances. If your ability to work is threatened, it’s logical that you would attempt to save money, but many of those fears are unwarranted. Most personal injury lawyers will be willing to accept cases on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney fees will be due upon receipt of your settlement, and will be based on how successful your lawyer is in reaching a profitable settlement. Ask About Outside Experts When you file a personal injury case, you’ll likely find yourself under attack from people who will claim that you’re exaggerating the severity of your injury and its impact on your day to day life. As such, it’s vital that you have as much corroboration as possible. You should ask your lawyer about the likelihood that he or she will be hiring additional physicians or other outside experts. Knowing what your lawyer’s strategic moves will be will allow you to feel more comfortable about opening up to him or her and will allow you to anticipate the twists and turns that might come from the case. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit sites like Ask About Communication When both your short-term health and your long-term financial security are threatened, every day that passes without a resolution to your case can seem like a full month on the calendar. This can lead to frustration for many people who may start to inaccurately feel like their attorney isn’t focused enough on their case. Setting up a stable and constant communication plan will allow you to guarantee that you stay informed and diffuse any potential hostility between you and your lawyer before it...

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Did You Suffer An Injury After A Slip & Fall In A Grocery Store? Learn How A Lawyer Can Help

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Slipping and falling in a grocery store can not only cause a serious injury, but it can be an embarrassing experience. If the injury was caused due to the owner neglecting to clean up a spill or fix damaged flooring materials, you may be able to sue with the help of a lawyer. Below, you will find out how a personal injury lawyer can help you sue the grocery store owner for your injury and the cost to hire one. How Can a Lawyer Help Sue a Grocery Store Owner for an Injury? Upon hiring a personal injury lawyer about the incident, you must explain how you slipped and fell in the grocery store. Don’t fabricate the story because you can end up hurting your case in the long run. Being honest about the incident can help your lawyer prepare for what the grocery store owner’s lawyer may bring up in court. You lawyer will investigate the situation by visiting the grocery store to examine the flooring materials. He or she will also find out if there are cameras in the store that may have captured the incident. It will be up to the owner to allow the lawyer to view or obtain a copy of the video footage. If the owner is at fault, getting the video can be difficult, and your attorney may need to subpoena it. The history of similar incidents from previous customers will also be investigated by your lawyer. It is a good way to show that the owner is negligent with how the grocery store is maintained. Prepare to sign a medical release form so the lawyer can get a copy of your medical records, as they are needed for you to be compensated for the injury. How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer? When you have a lawsuit against a grocery store owner that is likely to be successful, you may be able to hire a lawyer without paying an upfront fee. If the lawyer is confident in your lawsuit, he or she may work based on a contingent fee. Money will only be paid to the lawyer if you win the lawsuit. Don’t get left with the financial burden of paying for medical expenses after falling in a grocery store. You can sue for the cost of treatment, as well as the pain and suffering from the traumatic experience. A personal injury lawyer can help you get paid. For more information, contact Lerner, Piermont & Riverol, P.A. or a similar...

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Four Big Questions Social Security Disability Applicants Have After Applying

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Lots of people who file for Social Security disability payments encounter serious issues with administrators and others. These obstacles cause these people to question whether or not they will be getting money to cover their disabilities, as provided for in this federal program. Here are some of the major things that clients often ask while they are waiting for money to come in after applying for Social Security disability benefits. Lawyers can help answer these and other questions about the rights of a disabled applicant. How long does it typically take to start getting payments? It often takes two or more months to start getting money after a judgment has been made. The exact timeline relies on factors like court jurisdiction, administrative processes and more. In short: most applicants can’t count on money to start coming in right after a decision is made. What is the role of the notice of award letter? The notice of award letter is supposed to notify the applicant that they will be getting payments. However, experienced attorneys point out that in many cases, the money can come before the notice of award letter is given out. Clients are advised to keep notice of award letters and notice of decision letters to help show a paper trail for the court’s decision. Get more details on this paperwork at this Social Security Disability Benefits page. What about Backdating? One of the things that a Social Security lawyer can do is to assist the client in building a case for backdating, where an injury actually started prior to the court’s review. When a disability is successfully backdated, the government will often issue back payments in a lump sum. Take a look at resources like this one from Nolo to get more information about using an “alleged onset date” or other processes for backdating SSD claims. Was my hearing successful? Mandatory court hearings for Social Security disability applications can turn out many different ways. It’s not always evident to the client whether a hearing is likely to end up in a favorable judgment. This is where it helps to have close contact with an attorney. You can ask questions about the outcomes and results of hearings  to make sure that your family has a good chance of receiving disability payments Ask a Social Security lawyer like Espy Metcalf & Espy PC At Law about these and other issues related to successful payments for Social Security disability...

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