Where Can You Get Legal Aid?

People who cannot afford a lawyer need to know that they can always count on community legal clinics and public interest lawyers that provide free legal services or “legal aid”. Although there are many such legal professionals throughout the country, there is still a shortage of lawyers who provide free legal services.
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For the most part, this shortage is brought on by the legal aid services themselves. Most of the time, they have a limit on how many clients they take by imposing an income ceiling, and limiting the type of legal services they provide. In other words, the free legal clinics do not provide full legal services.
Most of the time their legal services are limited to the following: immigration status, discrimination, domestic violence, eviction, deprivation of government-provided benefits.

The limit on the legal services provided stems from the combined fear of having too many clients and not having enough resources to properly fund each case.

Although most legal aid services extend legal help to individuals, there are those that provide legal counsel to small non-profit organizations that do not have in-house counsel.

Where do legal aid services get their funding? They usually get it from different sources, including private donors, the federal government, charities, and state governments and local governments.

What specific services do legal aid clinics provide? They usually do not litigate or go to court but are actively involved in counseling, appearing in administrative hearings, and participating in informal negotiations. Sometimes, however, in the case of severe cases of injustice involving a large number of victims can prompt a legal clinic to go ahead with a large-scale impact litigation. Some of these organizations are also known to participate in activities that pushing for legal reform as well as education.

We said before that legal clinics get their funding from different. Well, there are actually those that get theirs exclusively from the LSC or the legal government. However, with strict government regulations that include careful timekeeping and a prohibition on class actions and class action work, many legal aid organizations prefer not to have it, even though the legal needs of low-income people are grossly under-met. It is estimated that even with the combined force of all the legal aid offices in the country combined, only about 20% of the legal needs of people with low income are met.

This problem actually leaves people in the lower middle class who are too rich for legal and too poor for a paid attorney with nothing in the way of legal help.  There have been proposals to require all US lawyers to provide pro bono work, but this has been successfully fought off by many state bar associations.

If you live in no man’s land or belong to the lower middle class, you will need to research hard to find a lawyer who will take on your case for free or for a greatly reduced fee. There are lawyers, however, who offer contingent or conditional fee in cases where there is a large potential for payout and a high chance of winning.

Business Law: The Terms You Need To Know

horizontalNo matter what type of business you are in, knowing the laws that govern the business world is crucial. While the laws are readily available to read, sometimes the terms used in the documents are not so easy to understand. It is crucial, though, to comprehend the laws to keep your business and personal assets protected. The best thing to do as a business owner, though, is to hire a lawyer that can keep you up to date on the laws and use their knowledge to help keep your business in compliance.

As you consider the business laws that pertain to your industry, it can be helpful to know some of the most common business law terms. Read on to learn more.

Lawyer-This is one of the most important terms that you should know when it comes to business law terms. A reputable lawyer can help keep your business safe and in compliance with the law. They can help make sure you have the proper licenses and other items you need to run your company. Basically, a lawyer is a legal professional.

Trademark, Copyright, Patent, Infringement Law-This group of laws protects the intellectual properties of people like artists, musicians, and authors. It protects their works from being stolen. Not only that, but it protects products and services offered by businesses. These laws are there to protect businesses from being infringed upon.

Employment Law-The way a business hires and recruits people to work for them is encompassed in this group of laws. It protects potential employees from being discriminated against due to their race or religion, sex, age, or national origin. It also ensures that fair wages are paid, along with overtime page, fair working hours, and the right to be a part of a union.

Tax Law-This is a group of laws that governs the taxes paid. Unless you or someone in your business has a thorough understanding of the tax system, it is a good idea to hire a tax attorney or an accountant.

Property Law-These laws encompass the physical property of the business. It includes the owning, leasing, or renting of property.

Business Ethics-Rules and customs that govern the fair and legal practices concerning how companies conduct business.

Intent-A behavior that has the probability of causing consequences or having the desire to cause certain consequences.

Negligence-Failing to use reasonable care and subsequently causing harm.

Recklessness-Having conscious disregard of a known risk of their behavior.

Strict Liability-Actions that cause harm without fault

In conclusion, these business law terms are only a few of the many that you may hear while dealing with the running of a small or large business. If you are not familiar with these terms, take time to learn them, or possibly consider placing a business lawyer on retainer as they can help make sure your business is legal and fair. Having knowledge of the business laws that pertain to your business are crucial to keeping yourself and your assets safe.

Attorney Referral Service: What Are The Benefits?

justice

Legal aid is needed for a multitude of situations. When you find yourself in need of assistance in this area, it can be quite helpful to use an attorney referral service to help you. There are many benefits to utilizing this service. When you find yourself looking for legal representation, consider these benefits of using a lawyer referral service.

First of all, it can be helpful to know exactly what an attorney referral service is. Basically, it is a service that refers potential clients to the legal representation that they desire. When you don’t have a specific lawyer in mind that you want to talk with, calling this type of referral service is a good start. The representative will talk with you and then do their best to match you with the lawyer they think best fits your needs. Once you are matched, you can either set up an initial meeting with the attorney or you may be able to speak with them over the phone.

Now that you have an idea of how a referral service can help you, here are the benefits. When you use them, it is an easy way to find the best lawyer for your needs. This means you don’t have to spend time searching, asking, and contemplating which attorney you want to use. Also, since the service has the knowledge and experience to match you with the best possible option, you are less likely to waste your time with what may be a great lawyer, but one that may not be the best for your case. Another benefit of using an attorney referral service is that you know that the lawyer you are matched up meets certain expectations. Referral services have high standards and will only match you with those who are the best of the best. Just because someone has a law degree, it does not make them a good lawyer. Referral services know this and that’s why they want to share information with you from only the best attorneys.

As you can see, choosing to use an attorney referral service offers many benefits. They can help you find the best lawyer for your specific situation and not only that, but the lawyer the service matches you with is assured to reach certain high standards set by the service. If you find yourself in need of an attorney, don’t hesitate to contact a referral service.

Tips on Seeking Online Legal Advice

online legal advice

Lawyers can be expensive; they often charge high that ordinary people couldn’t afford to get their services. One way to get the help that you need is by seeking legal advice online. Oftentimes you can get free tips from legal websites that can guide you in making smarter decisions about events or situations in your life. However, it is important to be careful about where you get your advice since not every resource can be trusted.

Additionally, it is important to remember that most of the legal advice that you read online is designed to be used at your own risk. The companies that publish these websites most likely have disclaimers stating that they are not responsible for how you use the information and that they are not providing legal advice. They include these disclaimers so they don’t get sued if anything goes wrong.

 

Do Your Research 

Anytime you’re dealing with a legal situation that may impact your future, it is important to carefully research any website that you plan to use to help you understand your legal standing. Make sure to only use websites that have a good reputation. You can often find reviews from other people to help you determine which legal websites are the best.

 

Go with Online Lawyers

While free advice is great, you may also want to consider going with a paid service. Online lawyers are usually much cheaper than those that you meet with in person, but the former cans till provide sound legal advice. Most importantly, because you’re paying them, there’s a better chance of getting accurate information than if you are just reading it off of a website.

 

When in Doubt, Hire a Lawyer

If you’re dealing with a serious situation that could dramatically impact your future, it is probably a better option to hire a lawyer instead of just seeking legal advice online. After all, the last thing you want is to wind up facing time in prison or suffering other serious consequences just because you didn’t hire a lawyer.

If you’re being charged with a crime and can’t afford a lawyer, you may qualify for a public defender. You can contact the courthouse in your area to find out whether or not you qualify and the steps you need to take to get a lawyer assigned to your case.

Looking for free legal advice online can be a good way to get a basic understanding of any legal issues you may be facing. As long as you use common sense and stick with trusted sources, you may be able to learn more about your situation and find a way out of it.

Different Laws in Each State Concerning Divorce Property Settlement

divorce

Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful times in anyone’s life, especially when it involves the children and splitting up assets. But for the purposes of this article we are going to discuss property settlement.

As you are probably aware by now, most of the properties acquired after marriage become shared properties, and the divorce court will settle that issue. Anything acquired by the husband prior to the marriage can be considered exclusively his, same goes with the properties acquired by the wife.

 

Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution

Depending on what state you live will determine how property is spilt up upon divorce. There are two main systems for splitting up marital property: community property and equitable distribution. There are states that use equitable property distribution, but since most of the larger states use community property, most of the population falls under this category.

States that have community property allow for marital property to be divided evenly.  In states with equitable distribution, the spouse who earns the most keeps the larger share; a stay-at-home parent, in this case, would get much less than the earning spouse. In order to learn more about what you are entitled to in this situation if you are the lower earning spouse, speak with a divorce lawyer to better understand your rights in that state.

 

Debts, Taxes, Benefits and Inheritance

Among other issues that need to be settled are debts. In some cases, there are debts that belong to only one person, and because of that, the court may decide that the debts be handled or settled only by that person.  Most often, however, in typical household expenses and debt, the courts will divide that evenly. State debts that were acquired by one spouse but benefited the marriage as whole, such as student loan, the debt may be split between the two. You need to check with state laws to determine how that works.

 

You have the situation with taxes and how it affects each other in a divorce settlement. There are also retirement funds to be split up as well as other estate planning tools. One spouse may need to be compensated if he doesn’t have any retirement benefits listed in his name. These will all be decided by the court under the laws of that particular state. Inheritance is looked at in a different way and normally, it is not part of the divorce settlement. This is property that is exempt and will not be divided between spouses.

 

Prenuptial Agreement

Martial property is a big issue and for this reason, parties prefer having a prenuptial agreement. This is usually the case when one spouse has a lot of assets before marriage and wants to hold onto them should there be a separation or divorce in the future.

 

Properties Acquired During Marriage

Property acquired during marriage is subject to state laws during divorce and will be left up to the judge to determine how much equity there is. Usually it is best to work out agreement outside the courts to divide the property and not leave it up to a judge to decide.  In many cases, it is advised that the spouses amicably agree on how to split the properties to avoid hassles.

There is a lot to understand when it comes to divorce settlement, and it is always best if two parties can work out most of the details without involving the courts. This is especially true if children are involved and also if there are many assets acquired during the course of the marriage.

Hopefully, everything works out for the best, but in divorce cases stress cannot really be avoided. Just try to get through it as quickly as possible.

Legal Rights and Compensation You’re Entitled to After a Car Accident

Car accident

Entitlements to a car accident are tough to impart without knowing the details and the state you’re in. Every state has different laws on automobile accidents.

Few things universal among states on car accidents:

1. File Your Claim within a Year or Two from the Accident

There are limitations to time intervals after the accident. You might need to pay:

  • Hospital bills.
  • Repairs on your car.

Whatever the reason, file your claim as soon as possible.

2. The Other Person is at Fault

You’re only entitled to compensation from the other person’s insurance if he was at fault. This does not mean you won’t get money to pay bills, and repairs if it wasn’t your fault. It does mean your insurance company will have to pay for them. Ponder:

  • This could raise your rates.
  • You may take out a law suit against the person you had a wreck with.

Again, you’ll only be able to do this if the other party was at fault.

3. Compensation may be just Enough to Cover Damages

Compensation will most likely be just enough to cover the damage done to your vehicle, and other accident-related bills.

4. Verify Lawyer Reviews Before Hiring

Of course, this will depend on the lawyer you hire. Some are good at getting pain and suffering money from automobile accidents. Verify lawyer reviews before hiring.

5. Lawyer Fees May Exceed Your Claim

It’s possible:

  • Lawyer fees will be more than you’ll be rewarded.
  • A lawyer won’t take your case if there’s no profit in it.

Be sure you discuss these with your lawyer before proceeding.

6. Be Cautious of Lawyers Who Offer Free Consultation

  • He isn’t doing well in his career.
  • He hasn’t won most cases.

7.  Busy Lawyers are the Only Ones Worth Hiring

A lawyer confident to charge you for a conversation will be confident in court.

We hope this advice is helpful. Remember, most laws on automobile accidents differ greatly from state to state. Whether the fault was yours or the other person’s, and you both have insurance, you’re entitled to something. More research should be done if you want to know your entitlements in your area.

 

Learn the Difference Between Business and Corporate Law

Lawyer

Corporate law (company or corporation law) is the study of how law interacts with various business entities, such as employees, creditors and consumers. Part of a broader statement called company law (business associations); this may include partnerships and trusts, which are limited by guarantees.

Business law on the other hand, refers to a scope of laws that govern taxes, employment, contracts and commercial transactions. All areas covered by business law have a strong impact on companies and their respective industries.

Forming a Business

To form and run a company requires money and time investments. Any business owner or company executive would be wise to seek corporate lawyer’s advice to help them navigate potential legal issues.

A business attorney can greatly influence the way a corporation or business conducts its day-to-day operations. Engage a corporate or business law firm for a wide range of legal issues, which can be delegated to them. The law firm can help a company deal with such issues as:

  1. Acquisitions
  2. Dealing with the IRS
  3. Investment advice
  4. Acquiring new companies
  5. Merging with other companies
  6. Labour laws
  7. Negotiating important contracts
  8. Arguing a case in a courtroom, when necessary.

Types of Business Entities

A business can be structured in multiple ways. For a new company, consult a corporate attorney to help you:

  • Navigate potential legal pitfalls.
  • Save costly mistakes that could affect your bottom line.

Conversely, if a well-established company seeks restructuring, a business or corporate attorney can offer advice and help the CEO/CFO make an informed decision.

Types of Legal Entities

Sole Proprietorship:

The simplest among entities, it allows a person to conduct business in his own persona. The company and individual are viewed legally as one and the same. While certainly the quickest way to begin business, little legal protection is offered and the sole proprietor could be at risk with costly legal actions.

Partnership:

Like with sole proprietors, partnership does not offer in-depth legal protection, but does establish that the business is owned by more than one person. There are two distinct types of partnerships:

  • General
  • Limited

To distinguish these partnership intricacies is beyond the scope of this document. A business or corporate attorney can help individuals make the correct choice.

CAUTION: Realize that a partnership, unlike a corporation discussed below, does not protect individual partners from liability.

Corporation:

While it is fairly easy to form a corporation without legal advice, it is not recommended, since corporate structuring can be quite complex. A corporation establishes a separate business entity providing legal protection for principal shareholders. Basically, there are two types of corporation, each presenting unique opportunities and restrictions. They are:

  • C – corporations
  • S – corporations

The differences between these two are beyond the scope of this document, and vary from state to state. Details should be discussed with a qualified business or corporate law firm.

Limited Liability Company:

A limited liability company offers legal protection. However tax returns are filed differently. With an LLC, the owner:

  • Can report gains and losses on their personal income tax returns.
  • Need not file for separate company tax documents.

While owners are protected from liability, LLCs are not available nationwide. To know their availability in your locale, discuss with a qualified attorney, or search from the Internet.

Choose to move forward with an attorney. This will save you time and money from costly mistakes down the road.

The Duties of a Corporate Lawyer

A corporate lawyer could be hired by a company to represent that company in all things that pertain to that company’s legal affairs. A corporate lawyer is responsible for overseeing all legal documents and activities that involve the company in legal situations, including:

  • All mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Employment agreements
  • Trade agreements
  • Property purchases
  • Anything else that would affect the company from a legal standpoint

One of the reasons that a corporation hires a lawyer is largely due to the litigious society in which we live.

Prevents Adverse Legal Occurrences

Much of the work that a corporate lawyer handles is the prevention of adverse legal occurrences, so that the company does not have to get involved in such situations at all, in order to spare the company the time and expense of preparing legal defenses and the like.

Analyzes Business Agreements

A corporate lawyer gets into potential business agreements with suppliers, other partnerships in marketing that might ensure acquisition of land as far as zoning ordinances in local, county, and statewide.

Defends the Company

If the corporation were to be sued for any reason, the corporate lawyer would prepare a defense position, or supervise the hiring of good defense lawyers for the occasion. If the company wants to bring suit against any party, the same thing will apply.

Gives Legal Advice

Having an in-house corporate lawyer gives upper management an immediate legal opinion, which could give the company an advantage in certain negotiations and business situations. For example, if a new product line is being considered for another state, the lawyer for the company can be sent to scout out any legal problems, which might include the discovery of local statutes that could be unfavorable to the company.

Examines Patents, Trademarks, and Other Intellectual Properties

The corporation must also be well-versed in corporate tax law and how various business organizations and company strategies would affect the company. Another area that would fall under the scrutiny of the company lawyer would be patents, trademarks, and other intellectual properties.

Negotiates With Other Lawyers

It is also true that corporate lawyers are more collaborative than lawyers in other fields, as they communicate with other lawyers to broker deals for marketing agreements, and they can police each other to ensure that all of these types of agreements are being met.

Drafts Agreements

Much of the time that is spent by corporate lawyers is involved in negotiations, and as this is a paperwork environment, there is also much time spent in drafting agreements. The hours can be long in that regard, but the rewards are far-reaching and they affect a broad range of people and events.

Without an in-house lawyer, most corporations would be at a great disadvantage and would be more vulnerable to legal problems and issues from day to day.

How to Find a Good Family Lawyer

Family Lawyer talking to a couple

Family law is a branch of law covering legal issues affecting household and domestic dealings. Since this is a sensitive area, you need to employ a good family lawyer. A competent family lawyer will make sure that your case proceeds smoothly. However, finding a good family lawyer can prove difficult. The following are some of the methods you can employ to get a competent family lawyer:

Referrals

Lawyers are members of the State’s Bar Association. The State’s Bar Association in every state provide referrals when called upon. Contact your local State Bar Association to receive referrals to good family lawyers within your locality. The State’s Bar Association provides this service for free. Using the recommendations from the State Bar Association is one of the best ways to look for a competent lawyer.

Internet

The Internet can be an invaluable tool in your search for a competent family lawyer. You can use any of the many services specializing in lawyer searches.

The websites that conduct the searches set up lists of lawyers as well as their field of specialization and residence. Some websites may offer unequaled service by requesting you to provide details of your legal case.

Based on the details that you offer, several different lawyers will send their quotes to you to help you make a decision. Using these websites is both cost-effective and time-saving when searching for good family lawyers.

Social Media

Using social media is highly correlated to using the Internet as discussed above. However, using social media involves the use of social media websites for professionals such as LinkedIn to find competent lawyers.

LinkedIn is a social media website designed for use by professionals, and people are increasingly using it to find competent professionals including lawyers. The best thing about using it is that you get to view the lawyer’s profile, including the past and current workplaces, clients, as well as qualifications.

Using social media is also good since you get to compare the profiles of different lawyers and choose the one you believe to be best. In addition, lawyers on social media websites such as LinkedIn also provide contact details such as phone numbers making it easy to reach them.

Advertisements

Different legal firms and individual lawyers regularly use advertisements to market their services. To begin your search, you can start in your local newspaper as well as local yellow pages listings for legal firms and attorneys specializing in family law.

The American Bar Association has greatly improved standards of legal advertising. This means that it is now increasingly easy and fast to find a family lawyer that will suit your case and overall needs.

Friends, Family, and Colleagues

Friends, family members, and colleagues can provide excellent referrals to good attorneys. The advantage of going this route is the fact that you are dealing with a person who has had contact with the lawyer.

Referrals from friends, family members, and colleagues are probably the best you can find since you get to receive objective feedback from them regarding their experience with the lawyer. It is also highly unlikely that someone close to you would refer you to an incompetent lawyer.

Even if your friends, family members, or colleagues only refer you to lawyers that do not specialize in family law, you can request these lawyers for referrals.

In conclusion, this article has been a discussion about the various methods you can employ to find a good family lawyer. You can use referrals from your local State Bar Association, the Internet, social media, recommendations from friends, colleagues, family, as well as advertisements. Use any or all of these methods and you will be sure to find a competent lawyer.

Advantages of Retaining a Small Law Firm

Advantages of Retaining a Small Law Firm

Depending on your type of work, you may need a lawyer on retainer. However, with the different law firms in the country, it’s hard to locate the best firm to hire. You may want to know more about the advantages of retaining a smaller law firm.

1. Direct Contact with a Lawyer

Large firms will not allow you to speak with your lawyer.  With smaller firms, you can:

  • Communicate directly with your lawyer.
  • Get straight answers for your concerns.

Without this, you could struggle to get the answers you need and could make an ill informed decision.

2. Lower Costs

Larger firms are all about the money. With money aspects on their minds, they often forget their true calling on taking care of clients. However, with smaller firms they tend to:

  • Be a bit more lenient on their billing;
  • Do not charge as much either.

Costs of working with a law firm are more affordable.

3. Handle Problems More Thoroughly

This means you will have:

  • The right research to handle your problems;
  • Research done at an acceptable level to what you need.

This way, problems will no longer hang over your business for a long time. Also, your issues are properly answered.

Hiring a lawyer is never fun, but you need to do this at times or even keep a lawyer on retainer. Learn more about these advantages so you’ll get the best law firm on the market and personalised service as well.