The Inevitability of Legal Complexities Upon Death

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

The thing about death is that it is as inevitable as taxes – and just as much of the worst of humanity that the latter can inspire, the same can be said to that of the former. Where some family members may be grieving the death of a loved one, there might be some present who might find now to be the most opportune moment to get away with the worldly possessions left behind by the recently deceased.

Financially speaking, families everywhere can be deeply affected by a death and require whatever is left behind in order to get back to some semblance of normalcy. And because greed and avarice are things that exist in this world, these are often the cause for cases of theft, improper withdrawals, and management.

A circumstance such as this is often up to the brim with stress and highly-strung individuals as this kind of situation often provokes emotionally charged arguments and accusations. According to the website of the legal team with Peck Ritchey, LLC, this can be increasingly complex and difficult to deal with without professional help. Every case is different and the path ahead, should litigation take place or should anyone contest the will on any grounds, is hardly ever straightforward.

Some people might take advantage of the chaos or even add wood to the fire, as it were, and individuals who are not as informed of the legal proceedings can be easily hoodwinked. It can be more than difficult to deal with this on your own, especially if you can’t make heads or tails of the situation as there are so many factors to consider. That is why it is advisable for you to acquire the professional services of someone who knows what they’re doing.

A stressful and unfortunate reality, the only thing that you need to worry about is trying to get your life back together despite the loss of a beloved family member – and allow for the legal team you acquire to help you, advise you, and be with you every step of the way.

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Buyers Beware: Receiving Stolen Goods is a Crime in Texas

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Crimes | 3 comments

Did you know that if you bought something that you believe it stolen, you can be held just as criminally liable as the one who stole the item? When an individual knowingly receives stolen property, this is considered theft under the laws of Texas. You don’t have to be the one to directly take the property from the owner to be liable under circumstances when you know or should have known that the property was stolen.

For example, if you are in the automobile buy-and-sell business and someone tries to sell you a car at a ridiculously low price but could not present you with a pink slip (certificate of title), claiming that it had been lost. At that point, you must have known or suspected that the car was stolen. The proper thing to do is to verify whether this is true or not by checking if the car has been reported stolen. Even if there are not alerts on the vehicle, you will still not be covered when the police comes calling because the owner may not have known that the car had been stolen. As a business owner who is aware of the importance of the pink slip, you should not buy the car at all because you won’t be able to sell it without the pink slip and you will have to report the purchase to the county tax assessor within 20 days. Failure to do so is an admission of guilt.

A key element in proving theft via receiving stolen goods is knowledge that the goods had been stolen or “hot.” In the above example, the knowledge is assumed considering the nature of the defendant’s business. In other circumstances, however, it may not be immediately apparent as an Austin criminal defense lawyer will point out.

If you are charged with receiving stolen goods, you need to prove that you had no knowledge that the item was stolen at the time of the purchase. This is not at all easy but it can be done with the right strategy. The item will still be confiscated (presuming ownership can be proven) and you will not get your money back, but at least you will avoid a conviction with the help of competent legal representation.

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The Truth about White Collar Crimes in Texas

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Courts | 0 comments

The absconding clerk, the insider trader, the nerdy hacker…these are representations of a type of criminal that specializes in activities that either breaches security or trust to ultimately benefit in some way, most often than not financially. These are considered white collar crimes because they are perpetrated by people with control or authority, and seldom involve any physical contact or violence. Nonetheless, such criminals are just as likely to ruin lives as a gun-toting bank robber, which is why the punishments are often quite severe. To be convicted for a white collar crime can have profound consequences.

This is especially true for a job that requires the employer and clients have a certain degree of confidence and trust in the person doing it, i.e. bank teller. According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, in a lot of cases white collar crime is some form of fraud: wire, tax, healthcare, securities, business, accounting, bank or investment. New kids on the block are computer crimes and identity theft, which are already crimes but may also be used as a means to commit other crimes i.e. hacking databases to obtain credit card information.

White collar crimes are dangerous because they are carried out in secret, so the damage is extensive before it is found out. This is also why it can be difficult to trace the crime back to the perpetrator, especially now and for computer-related crimes, and once traced, difficult to prove. It also happens that mistakes are made that can lead to the wrong person being charged with a crime and, if the case is not handled properly, convicted.

If you are charged with a white collar crime, the worst thing you can do is to try to explain. Say nothing and find a skilled criminal defense attorney to sort things out for you.

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Court Reporters

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in Courts | 2 comments

There are instances, in a court proceeding, when a particular person is called upon to read back a part of what had been said during the earlier part of an ongoing case or the exact words used during a deposition, or for other purposes vital to the case. This person is called a court reporter – one of the very important roles in a litigation case as he/she is the one responsible in recording everything that is said during the trial and in making an official written transcript of all that transpires, in perfect accuracy. To earn a license and so become a Certified Court Reporter (CCR), one has to undergo rigorous training, pass a series of tests and participate in continuing education courses.

A court reporter is required to be able to transcribe at least 225 words per minute on a stenotype, a machine that resembles a typewriter and is used to record speech in syllables or phonetic codes. There are three types of court reporters: the stenographer, who uses a stenotype machine; the voice writers, who speak into a mask that is equipped with a recorder and voice silencer; and, the electronic reporter, who makes use audio recording tools while simultaneously taking notes. Regardless of the type, though, one major thing is required – the skill to transcribe all things correctly and exactly as they happen in court, for even a single mistake can possibly alter the whole course of the case. It is the job of a court reporter to transcribe everything said in a court hearing, a deposition, a conference held inside a judges’ chamber and in other official proceedings.

Many private law firms have also seen the importance of hiring and maintaining the services of court reporters to record their own cases, as well as organize valuable documents related to all the cases the firms have handled. Besides transcribing and record organization, a professional court reporter also provides video services, records retrieval, process service and investigations and many other concerns that will make records keeping, retrieval and sharing so much easier, faster and orderly.

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Preventing Workplace Injuries

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Injuries at Work | 1 comment

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), a federal law that was passed in 1970, obliges all employers in both public and private firms to make sure that their workplace is free of any form of recognized hazards for the ensured safety and health of all their employees. A year after it was established, it paved the way for the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked to strictly enforce the values created under OSH Act.

A number of the goals that OSHA is specifically charged with are:

  • Implement the Act’s standards
  • Ensure safety and health in all working environments
  • Encourage and assist all states in assuring occupational safety and health
  • Provide for the evaluation, analysis, development, and approval of programs on workplace safety and health
  • Create training programs that will help increase the number and competency of occupational safety and health workers
  • Monitor job-related injuries and illnesses

Despite the laws, many employees still get injured or ill in the workplace due to poor maintenance or carelessness of people in the office (sometimes even of the victims themselves). According to the US Department of Labor, the most common causes of workplace injuries are overexertion, slipping/tripping, falling from heights, bodily reaction, falling objects, bumping against or being struck by an object, job-related road accident, getting entangled in a machine, repetitive motion and, violent acts.

On its website, the LaMarca Law Group, explain how injuries can greatly affect one’s present and future life, as well as professional growth in the company where one has chosen to enjoy work. Injuries can debilitate not only a person’s physical capabilities, but his/her chances for great professional opportunities too.

To substantially reduce the high number of workplace injuries, many companies, beginning in 1990, have turned to functional employment testing firms to help them recruit the right persons for specific job positions that needed filling. A functional or pre-employment testing firm gauges job applicants’ skills and strengths in relation to the jobs they are applying for and determines if they are really the right persons to be employed. By making sure that applicants possess the required maturity and emotional, mental and physical fitness required by the job, employers will also know the applicants’ apparent maximum functional capacity, which will help guarantee their protection against possible job-related injuries.

By accurately matching candidates’ strengths, skills, and physical and mental capabilities to the right job, pre-employment testing firms have also helped in creating a much healthier and safer working environment, as well as significantly reduce office injuries and cost in compensation claims, which is one of the biggest concerns of many companies.

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