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In Defense of Lawyers

Posted by on 10:04 pm in Criminal Law | 0 comments

Let’s face it: lawyers get a bad rap. They are the butt of so many jokes. People call them heartless, cold, and bloodthirsty like it’s part of the job description. While I’m sure most lawyers have thick enough skin to not worry about that, perhaps we have been giving them too hard a time. While I can’t speak for all lawyers, there is something to be said in defense of the profession. The truth is that we couldn’t get along as a productive society without them. 

There are many different kinds of lawyers, including immigration lawyers, family law lawyers, personal injury lawyers, and criminal defense lawyers. It’s this last category that some people take issue with. I get it. It can be hard to understand why some lawyers would take on cases in which terrible people do terrible things. How could someone possibly defend someone who was guilty of such a terrible crime? Well, that’s the first problem. They’re not guilty yet. In some cases, the defendant is the one being treated poorly. From lazy police work to false testimony, there are more than a few ways for people to be falsely accused of terrible crimes. That happens more than any of us would like to think, because we want to have faith in our criminal justice system. Without criminal defense lawyers, the falsely accused would be making up a higher percentage of United States’ prisoners. 

Of course, I know the falsely accused are not the majority of people facing criminal charges. In many cases, those who are charged with crimes are guilty of their crimes. The trouble is, there is so much nuance to saying someone is a “criminal.” While it may be true that they broke the law, we should try to look at the honest truth of the case rather than how much the government punishes people for it. For example, most of the people who are incarcerated in the United States are guilty of drug-related offenses. Thinking about it critically, it may not be fair that someone who was found with cocaine is sentenced to jail for so long. And afterward, it can be extremely hard for them to find a job or get back into the flow of free society. People make mistakes, and even if they’re terrible mistakes, it’s a lawyer’s job to make sure that they are treated fairly under the law, whether we agree with them or not. 

Lawyers do everything in their power to help their clients, such as this firm that uses high-tech forensic science to get to the bottom of their clients’ cases. So, while we may not personally want to defend criminals who have been charged with heinous crimes, it’s a good thing that we have people who do. If we didn’t, the entire system would be thrown out of whack.

Flower Power!

Posted by on 7:25 pm in Commercial Property | 0 comments

A beautiful lawn is a way to show off pride about one’s home. Improper lawn maintenance can take a gorgeous house and make it look shabby. Taking care of a lawn is a big undertaking, especially for someone who is starting from scratch. Here are a few tips on making your lawn look as beautiful as possible.

Regularly mow the lawn. Overgrown grass looks unkempt in addition to being a pain to walk through. Not only this, but if someone has a dog and doesn’t mow very regularly, their guests might find themselves in a sticky situation. Most lawnmowers have a variety of settings for how long the grass should be.

Take some time to tinker with the length before deciding on the setting that best suits your lawn. Some lawns need to be mowed roughly once per week, while others can go a bit longer before needing a trim.

Pull out any weeds and make sure that they don’t come back. Crabgrass can quickly overrun a lawn and eradicate the healthy grass that is growing. Although dandelions are great for making wishes, they can also damage a lawn if they grow without any supervision.

In addition to pulling the weeds, destroy the seeds and roots. This can be as simple as pulling them out and crushing them or can be as intense as using an herbicide to kill off the invasive species.

Plant flowers for a pop of color! Flowers are a relatively inexpensive way to take your garden to the next level. Planting them along the sidewalk or around a fountain brightens up the most noticeable part of your house. Try to plant flowers that will thrive in your environment: there’s nothing sadder than seeing beautiful flowers wilt and die because they were not made for the climate in which they were planted.

Another fun thing about flowers is that you can pick up some mature flowers at your local home and garden store, or you can buy seeds and bring them to life yourself! A great project for people who have small children is to plant flowers; not only does it bring beauty to your yard, it teaches kids about responsibility and hard work. A few daisies or a small rosebush can make even the smallest yard look like it’s had hours of care.

However, a lot of us don’t always have the time to perform a lot of lawn maintenance. Work, school, kids, and a myriad of other engagements stretch us to our limits, and mowing the lawn at the end of a long day doesn’t fit many people’s definition of fun. That doesn’t mean you should let your lawn fall into a state of disrepair. If this sounds like you, then maybe it’s time to call in the professionals. Ware Landscaping is a landscaping company in Naperville, Illinois that can help turn your lawn into a thing of beauty and make all of your neighbors wish that their yard looks like yours.

The Necessities of Commercial Property Upkeep

Posted by on 6:20 pm in Commercial Property | 0 comments

Did you ever stop to consider everything that goes into taking care of a commercial property? There are tons of people that you need to hire so that everything can run smoothly. First of all, you’re going to want good realtors that can get your office/warehouse space filled by a company. Your property isn’t doing any good if it’s not earning an income of course. You would need to hire people for the front-desk concierge. This helps visitors figure out where they are going and also provides a front line of security for unwelcome guests. You would have to look into a cleaning service that could handle going through a commercial building every night to restock and clean up. You would also be wise to have a maintenance and repair service on call in case anything breaks down in the middle of a workday. IT guys are also important in case any office equipment breaks down and needs a technical hand. This is getting more and more important in the digital age. There is one last piece of the puzzle that I hadn’t quite thought about though. You’re going to want to hire someone to help take care of the landscaping. If you own a property that isn’t fully developed, green space may account for a large portion of your property. You’re going to want someone to keep that space looking fresh and healthy so that it’s inviting to potential renters or buyers. It will also help to ensure that you stay within any city codes that exist. I found out about an Austin landscaping company, Hamlin Tree Care, Inc, that does landscaping for commercial and residential properties alike.

One thing they can do specifically is help with tree removal. Sometimes, trees can get in the way of new development or they can grow in a way that causes problems for existing development. If you’re anything like me, you may be tempted to try and do these sorts of things yourself. Cutting a tree down seems straightforward enough if you have the right tools, but it can be a very dangerous job if you don’t have the training or expertise. Inexperienced workers can fall out of a tree or be severely injured by falling limbs. You don’t want to put yourself in that sort of situation, dealing with an injury or liability from another person’s injury on your property. Tree removal services like Hamlin Tree Care, Inc, have equipment designed for tree removal that can debranch, cut down, and remove stumps without putting any person in danger of physical harm. Services like this work much quicker than those who are not working as arborists. They can also give you a consultation on how to plan your landscaping moving forward. They have a creative eye and the experience to know what will work best for you specifically. They can make recommendations on how trees, shrubs, and grasses can fit into new developments or how they can make existing developments more attractive to potential renters and guests.

Biker story research

Posted by on 6:08 pm in Car Accidents | 0 comments

I’ve got a request for you bikers out there: I need some first-hand knowledge, and you folks are the ones to give it to me. I need bikers who know something about the nature of biker accidents, so if that’s you, please keep reading.

Here’s the situation: I’m writing a short story about a biker. The thing is, I’ve never been on a bike in my life. They scare me to death, but you know, it’s fiction, so I think I can fake most of it.

The truth is, most of the story doesn’t involve the bike. It all takes place in a hospital. The biker has been injured in a big accident, but when he’s rushed to the hospital, they discover his name isn’t what he’s claimed it is, and that he’s really a man who was assumed dead for over a decade who was also in a bike accident.

The tension in the story comes from the reader trying to guess whether the biker remembered this or not. He claims to have forgotten, you see, but it’s not clear until the end whether he really did lose his memory or if he just wanted to get away.

He’s in the hospital for a while, and his family comes, and then his second family comes, the one that thought he was dead. The families compare notes on each other and discover they’re quite similar, which makes it seem likely he just had amnesia, because why would he go to all the trouble of faking his death if he just went and found another family exactly like the first?

However, the end of the story makes it all clear. The biker bribes a nurse, who says he’s taken a turn for the worse, and then the biker heads out of the hospital and starts walking down the road.

As you can see, I’ve worked through most of the issues in the story, but my problem is, I don’t know what kind of accident would lead to injuries serious enough he would be in the hospital, but superficial enough that he could walk out on his own a few days later. I also don’t know what kind of injuries he could have that might allow people to think he might have amnesia but again, he was able to connive and escape from his first family of his own power.

My research so far hasn’t helped much. I found out a bit about motorcycle accident statistics (and that of course they are dangerous and lots of people hit them), but not enough solid information that could really fit into the story.

Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places.

If anyone of you out there has any ideas, message me and let me know. I really think this could be a great story, I just need help filling in those little gaps.

Drunk-Driving: A Preventable Cause of Accidents, Injuries and Deaths

Posted by on 5:55 pm in Car Accidents | 0 comments

It is surprising to know that between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the issue on the prohibition of alcoholic beverages was one issue hotly debated by two groups of people in America: the “dries” and the “wets.” The “dries,” pushed for the banning of alcohol, citing public morals and health as the bases of their argument, and claimed victory over the “wets” (the anti-prohibitionists). This victory was translated into law known as the “Prohibition in the United States,” and it was effective from 1920 to 1933. The Prohibition actually forbade anyone from selling, producing, transporting or importing alcoholic beverages all across the nation; this was intended to put an end to many Americans’ excessive alcohol consumption, especially during the colonial era. While this constitutional ban did not totally eliminate the presence of alcohol in the land, it, nonetheless, succeeded in keeping overall alcohol consumption low.

But that was history. Today, Americans 21 years old and above can drink freely anytime, anywhere, except in the more than 200 counties, specifically those in the Bible Belt (a number of communities in the Southern U.S.), which chose to keep the Prohibition in effect. There is actually nothing wrong with drinking, so long as it is not excessive and, most of all, if one does not drive afterwards. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD), it will take an average person about an hour to metabolize a standard drink, which can be a 12 ounce bottle of beer, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or 5 ounces of wine – all have the same amount of alcohol. 

It is both upsetting and infuriating, though, for despite the anti-drunk driving law and the harsh penalties that await offenders, plus all the continuous ads and campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, people still choose to get behind the wheel unmindful of the risk of accident they can cause due to alcohol impairment.

Impairment is the primary reason why drunk driving is prohibited. Being less sober, a person’s reflexes become slower. Besides this, impairment also affects a person’s general ability to focus on the road, judgment, perception, coordination and reaction time. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in all U.S. states is 0.08%. Thus, anyone who will be caught driving with this BAC level (or higher) can be charged with alcohol-impaired driving or DUI/DWI, driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated.

There is simply no reason to drive drunk, as strongly emphasized by the law firm Spiros Law, P.C. This firm goes on to say that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and CDC never fall short in reminding and advising people to take a cab, use public transportation or ask a friend to drive them home (leaving their vehicle securely locked instead) if they have had drinks.

Due to the obstinacy of some people, however, drunk driving remains to be a major problem. According to the Abel Law Firm, car accident attorneys in Oklahoma, accidents are therefore a common occurrence on American roadways.

It is important for people, who have suffered losses from a car accident, to know that they may be eligible to receive compensation. Depending on the circumstances, they could be repaid for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or wrongful death.


Accidents during a Cruise Ship Holiday Tour: The Issue of Jurisdiction

Posted by on 8:27 pm in Cruise Ship | 0 comments

Accidents during a Cruise Ship Holiday Tour: The Issue of Jurisdiction

Shore excursions and other inland itineraries have become additional sources of fun for cruise ship passengers and another major money-making activity for cruise lines that in almost every port of call these are offered. Some of the most common activities held during shore excursions are archaeological explorations, cultural tours, dining on land, shopping, island visits, scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, and ziplining.

Anyone who has been on a cruise vacation would be familiar with the different shore excursions offered by cruise lines and, no matter what ship it is, the advertisements regarding shore activities are the same: shore excursions are safe and totally fun.

Totally fun these may be, but only if no untoward incidents occur, such as a passenger falling into the water while transferring from the cruise ship to a tender boat (a smaller vessel which will take them to land), an accident on the tender boat or on land that will injure a passenger, a passenger getting robbed or sexually harassed by the locals, and so forth. It is sad to say, but in some of these land activities, a few passengers have had unfortunate experiences. These are those who have sustained serious injuries even while on the tender boat still, while a few others suffered emotional and/or physical trauma after being abused or attacked by those on land.

The personal injury or tort law allows individuals, who suffer injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another to file a civil lawsuit in order to claim compensatory damages. However, filing a personal injury claim due to an accident while on a cruise ship holiday tour (this includes shore excursions) is not as simple as filing for the same claim due an accident that occurs on land.

This is because, unlike a car accident lawsuit, a medical malpractice lawsuit or a premises or product liability lawsuit, which an injured victim can file in the state where the accident occurred, the maritime law, which enforces legal concerns affecting the cruise industry, contains unique issues such as jurisdiction, which means the specific court where a lawsuit involving injuries sustained while on a trip may be filed and the time frame within which such lawsuit may be filed (many major cruise lines are usually tried only in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida).

To avoid legal issues, many shore excursion contracts contain clauses that limit or waive an excursion operator’s or cruise line’s liability. The Vucci Law Group, P.A. points out, however, that, regardless of what these clauses say, these can never hinder an injured victim to file a civil lawsuit for the hope of claiming monetary compensation for whatever damages his/her injury may result to. But for better chances of being deemed worthy by the court to receive compensation, it may be advantageous for a victim if he/she were represented by a highly-qualified and experienced maritime lawyer who is familiar with cruise lines’ court tactics and who will be prepared with a strong argument that will uphold the rights and interests of the injured.

There are More Than Eight Million Incidences of Slip And Fall Accidents Every Year: If You are One of Them, it is Better if You Know Your Rights

Posted by on 4:20 pm in Slip and Fall Accidents | 0 comments

Premises liability refers to a landowner’s liability for certain types of injuries suffered by anyone on his/her property where some type of unsafe or defective condition exists. Though the leading basis of a premises liability is injury due to slip and fall accident, it also includes in its scope any type of injury that may be due to falling objects, open excavations, broken benches or chairs, electrocution, broken stairways, and so forth.

Owners, especially of public places, such as government offices, restaurants, food courts, swimming pool areas, hospitals, churches, playgrounds, malls, etc., are fully responsible to see to it that their premise is free from risks of accident at all times. Anyone who gets injured while in their premise will have the right to pursue legal action against them.

Based on records from the National Safety Council (NSC), there are more than eight million incidences of slip and fall accidents every year. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization, half of all accidental deaths in the home are due to slip and fall and though it is not the primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, it remains to be the primary cause of lost days from work and, thus, the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.

Slip and fall accidents can result to strained ligaments and muscles, a fractured wrist or elbow, a fractured hip, a broken or sprained ankle, a spinal column injury, a neck injury or a head trauma. Causes of this type of accident include wet, oily, icy or slippery floors, staircases or surfaces; uneven, loose or broken floor, floor tile, steps, or sidewalk; unsecured rugs or carpets; hidden or tangled extension wires or other forms of obstruction; lack of handrails; and, inadequate or poor lighting.

In a legal standpoint, Toronto personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, affirms that “Owners can be found negligent and responsible for the serious slip and fall injuries caused by inadequate lighting, surfaces that are excessively slippery, not removing snow or ice, or allowing dangerous conditions to exist on their property. The law relating to owners’ duties to maintain safe property, however, is extremely complex, with different rules affecting private and public entities. Limitation periods for slip and fall injury claims as well as safety standards apply differently depending on whether the owner of the property is a private person or the government. Therefore, it is extremely important that you contact a slip and fall injury lawyer right after a slip and fall accident as time limits for submitting claims can be extremely short.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Posted by on 3:39 pm in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Proving financial responsibility by carrying auto liability insurance or a state-approved bond, which will show a driver’s financial capability in compensating anyone who he/she may injure in an accident is a requirement in all 50 states in the U.S. This requirement is meant to ensure injured victims that they will receive compensation, which ought to cover cost of treatment for their injury and loss of income.

The type of auto insurance, however, differs among states. While most states require a tort-liability policy, there are a few that require a no-fault auto insurance coverage – the difference simply on how compensation may be sought.

In tort states, a victim of an accident can seek compensation from an at-fault driver’s car insurance provider; he/she also has the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the compensation paid by the insurance provider does not cover the total amount of damages suffered by the victim (any amount lacking from the payment made the car insurance firm will already have to come from the liable driver’s own pocket).

In no-fault states, however, cost of medical treatment resulting from the injuries (of both drivers) sustained in the accident will be paid by each driver’s insurance provider, regardless of whose fault the accident is. This means filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver is no longer necessary, unless the injury of the innocent victim is too severe and requires too costly medical treatment that cannot be covered fully by his/her own insurance provider.

This state requirement, of carrying auto liability insurance, particularly in tort states, should be enough assurance to anyone of the compensation that he/she may be deemed eligible by the court to receive. However, there is one very troubling major problem (related to this auto liability coverage) that the Insurance Research Council has identified – that 1 in every 8 drivers in the U.S. continues to drive freely on roads and highways despite being uninsured. Instead of catching these drivers and making sure that they purchase a policy, however, insured drivers are the ones given an additional requirement: of carrying Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of their auto liability insurance.

Due to the absence of coverage on a vehicle, Uninsured motorist coverage will cover all economic losses and damages suffered by an innocent victim. This coverage is most helpful if a person is hit by an uninsured driver, a stolen vehicle or a victim of a hit & run. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is intended to cover the amount in excess of the policy limit of the underinsured motorist.

According to Chicago car accident lawyers, while it may initially seem like there is no way for an accident victim to obtain the compensation needed in the wake of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the good news is that with legal assistance, there are several different ways in car accident-related costs can be effectively handled. Seeking assistance from a highly-skilled car accident lawyer can be the best way to obtain this compensation.

Spousal Rape: Not a Crime in the U.S. Until After 1979

Posted by on 11:12 am in Sex Crimes | 0 comments

Marital rape, also known as spousal rape, is non-consensual sex wherein the offender is the victim’s spouse. This, now considered, criminal act, which is widely experienced by women, though is also committed against me, is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Marital rape often takes place within abusive relationships; it is also chronic or repeated form of violence instead of just a one-time occurrence.

Until 1979, however, U.S. citizens held the belief that no man could ever be held guilty of raping his wife. This belief is rooted from the English common law, which is actually the source of various traditional laws in the U.S., which said that it was legally impossible for a man to be pronounced guilty of raping his wife. This is due to a woman’s implied permanent consent, which could never be retracted, once she enters into a marital union.

A spousal rape conviction after 1979, however, totally changed America’s view regarding the act of rape happening between married individuals. The conviction was based on invasion and sexual abuse while the couple was in the middle of a divorce. The importance of this conviction, however, rested on the fact that that the merits of the decision was not exclusively confined in case, but rather served as a precedence to so many other spousal rape cases and convictions from the 1980s to the 1990s. Due to these early convictions, state criminal codes’ definition of rape no longer excludes spouses as victims. Besides this, refusing intimate time with one’s husband is no longer considered ground for divorce and, probably the most importance consequence of the early court pronouncements: spousal rape is now declared illegal in every state in the U.S.

As explained by the Nashville spousal rape lawyers at Horst Law, married individuals may be charged with spousal rape if they engage in sexual penetration that is unlawful because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple has been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane and either caused serious bodily harm or was armed with a weapon.

Why Many Individuals are Wrongfully Convicted

Posted by on 1:46 pm in Drug Crimes | 0 comments

Drug-related activities, which include simple possession, possession with intent, sale of a controlled substance, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and drug conspiracy, are serious federal and state crimes and are punished with mandatory sentences, steep fines, and possibly many hours of community service, among others. (A mandatory sentence refers to the penalties a court must hand down to a person convicted of certain offense. Felony offenses, under state law, are punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one year imprisonment. Class A felonies, which are the most serious of offenses under state law, carry a mandatory minimum of 15 years jail time. Mandatory minimum sentences, however, may be increased due to certain factors, such as prior convictions or aggravating factors.)

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes more than 30,000 arrests due to drug-related crimes. Two specific arrests frequently made by state or federal arresting officers are simple possession of illegal drugs and possession with intent. As explained in the website of the law firm Brent Horst, simple possession alleges that an individual had a controlled substance for his or her own personal use (illegal or controlled substance includes cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy, which is otherwise known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Heroin, marijuana and ecstasy are Schedule I drugs or drugs with no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse; cocaine, on the other hand, is a Schedule II drug or a type of illegal drug that has high potential for abuse, the use of which can potentially lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

A worse offense than simple possession is possession with intent. This offense alleges that a person who possesses illegal drugs has intent to sell, distribute, deliver, or even manufacture the controlled substance. A simple possession charge can be elevated to possession with intent due to the amount of drugs possessed – it being too much for one person to use. Besides this, the presence of some items, like sand/mall plastic bags, containers, or scales are more likely indicative of a possessor’s intent to sell. While simple possession may only be a misdemeanor, possession with intent is always considered by state and federal authorities as a felony.

Those involved in drug crimes and other drug-related activities should be caught and punished according to the stipulations of the law. However, many law firms, like Brent Horst, for example, know that many individuals are made to suffer years of jail term despite innocence on the charges brought against them. Wrong conviction can be due to:

Systemic bias, or institutional bias, which refers to an inherent tendency to support particular outcomes (such as excluding black jurors from trials involving African Americans);

“Tunnel vision” or confirmation bias,” which involves forming an initial impression about one person’s guilt, and then tunneling or focusing on proving that person’s guilt while overlooking exculpatory information and other suspects; and,

Plea bargaining, wherein an accused would rather confess to a crime despite innocence so as to be given only a minimum sentence for her offense. While a plea bargain would save a person from a lengthy time in jail (the sentence the crime really deserves) it also forgoes the necessity