Bankruptcy Saved my Family — Can it Save Yours?

A Guide To Preparing For Your First Appointment With A Patent Attorney

If you have recently developed a new invention or have made major alterations to an existing product that changed its primary function or use, it is important for you to protect it by claiming it as your own as soon as possible. In order to do so, it is a good idea to speak with a patent attorney and start the process. However, there are several tasks that you can complete prior to meeting with that lawyer for the first time that will allow you to make the best use of your time.  

Know What You Need Your Attorney To Do For You

One key aspect to consider when choosing a patent lawyer is the work that you expect them to do for you. For instance, patent law is very complex and it is fairly common for lawyers to officially or unofficially specialize in specific aspects of patent law. Therefore, it is often a good idea to work directly with a patent lawyer who has experience with inventions similar to your own.  

Investopedia has reported that, as part of their education and training, a patent lawyer may have obtained an undergraduate degree in a technical topic. By determining the type of degree your lawyer earned prior to law school, it is likely to be easier to choose the right person to represent your needs.

Make Sure That You Know Everything About Your Invention And Similar Patented Items

Since you will probably be paying a patent lawyer by the hour, you should be as knowledgeable about your creation as possible. If necessary, take notes on its construction, use, presentation, etc. so that you can answer any questions about it that the attorney may ask. It will also be helpful to take notes on the conversations that take place with your attorney, and if permitted, recording your visits can be especially useful.    

In addition, since so many new ideas are actually improvements on existing items, this is a good time to research previously patented items that resemble your invention. Remember to take evidence of your search to your first appointment with the lawyer. Providing that evidence to the attorney may be able to diminish the amount of research that will be required by the attorney or his staff, which in turn can limit your out-of-pocket expenses. 

In conclusion, patenting your invention is the only way to protect your intellectual property. As a result, it is crucial to discuss your creation with a patent attorney as soon as possible to minimize the risk of someone stealing your concept. However, you should prepare for your visit by completing the steps that are discussed above. Contact a firm like Lingbeck Law Office to learn more.

Learn More

Were You Cited for Running a Stop Sign? Three Defenses a Traffic Lawyer Can Use to Help Get the Ticket Dropped

You have the right to fight any type of traffic ticket. Fighting a traffic ticket can help prevent you from having to pay a hefty fine and possibly having your insurance rate increase. However, if you have received a ticket, you may be wondering what defenses a traffic lawyer can use to help get you out of the ticket. Here are a few defenses a traffic lawyer can use if you were cited for running a stop sign.

Disputing the Officer’s Account

One of the ways that a stop-sign violation can be disputed is by disputing the officer’s account of your running the stop sign. Unless an officer has dash-cam footage that shows that you ran the stop sign, the matter often comes down to your word against theirs. You can tip the scales in your favor by having witnesses who state you did not run the stop sign. This may be a passenger in your car or a pedestrian who was walking by and saw the whole thing unfold. If a traffic lawyer can obtain statements from other witnesses, you may be able to get out of the ticket.

Stating You Stopped Further Back

You have to stop behind the stop sign or the white line painted on the ground. However, some people may stop further back than others. Unfortunately, when stop-sign stings are done, police officers are often hidden down side streets. If you stop further back, the officer hiding down a side street may not have the line of vision needed to see that you stopped and therefore may write you a ticket. A traffic lawyer can take pictures of the line of vision the officer had and prove that the officer would not have been able to see that you stopped further back from the line, thus helping to get the ticket dismissed.

Showing the Stop Sign Was Hidden

The last defense that can be used to get you out of a stop sign ticket is showing that the stop sign was hidden or obscured. In some instances, a tree or bush may be blocking the stop sign or may have it hidden so that you can’t see it until the last second, making it unsafe to suddenly stop. In other cases, the sign may have been vandalized and twisted so that you can’t read it. Regardless, if you can take pictures of the obscured sign, a traffic lawyer can present them to a court and show that you did not know to stop there.

Traffic tickets can be costly, and they affect your driving record. If you feel you were unfairly given a ticket, a traffic lawyer can fight your ticket, helping to prevent the ticket from going on your driving record and from your having to pay the hefty fine.

Learn More

Four Situations When You Need The Help Of A Real Estate Attorney

Most of the time when you buy or sell a home, there is no reason to involve an attorney, but there are several situations where you would be foolish not to consult with one. Real estate laws can be complex, and you can’t expect to understand all of them. The following are four situations where you should have the assistance of a real estate lawyer.

When a business is involved

Although there are circumstances when an attorney may be needed by an individual buying from or selling to an individual, if there are businesses involved, you need to speak to a lawyer. The laws governing corporations are different than individuals in significant ways, so any contract that you are given should be looked at by an attorney before you sign it. This will assure that the property title is transferred properly, and any clauses in the contract can be explained, especially ones you were not aware of.

When transferring title without a sale

There are many reasons this type of transfer takes place. It may be because there has been a death in the family and the transfer of the deed is an inheritance. Another reason may be to transfer a property title to a living trust. Perhaps the property is simply a donation to a charitable organization. Whatever the specific reason for doing this is, an attorney should be consulted. There can be tax implications for one or both parties, and there are often rules regarding this type of non-cash transfer.

When the property has a lien on it

This applies to buying any real estate whether it is from an individual or a business. If you desire to buy any property that has a lien on it, you should always contact a real estate attorney. Never mind what the seller is telling you, nor should you give any weight to the opinion of the real estate agent. An attorney can evaluate the lien and explain to you exactly what this means to the buyer of the property.

Buying property on leased land

If you want to buy a building or a home on leased land, it is imperative that you have an attorney look at the contract for the lease. Will the lease automatically apply to the new owner of the building, or will you have to renegotiate the lease? Whatever the case may be, it is important that you understand the legal ramifications of the land lease before you buy the building.

Regardless of how much experience you have in buying or selling real estate, the need for a real estate lawyer cannot be overstated. With the exception of a few routine real estate transactions, you will always be better off having a real estate attorney look at the contract.

Learn More

Been In A Car Accident? Two Signs That You Need A Personal Injury Attorney

Being involved in a car accident can be a very traumatic experience.  Aside from the physical injuries that you may have sustained, there may also be some underlying emotional issues as well, especially if you find yourself reluctant to get back into a car because of the fear that the event generated.  Although you may think that you can handle the situation alone, there are certain indicators which point to the need for an attorney.  Use this information to learn more about the signs that it’s time to get a personal injury attorney on your side.

The Insurance Company Is Low-balling You

One of the first signs that you need an attorney is when the insurance company starts to low-ball you.  Low-balling is essentially when the insurer offers you the bare minimum just to get you to settle.

Understand that the insurance company may assume that you have pressing expenses that you need to take care of right awa.  Whether it’s your household bills or medical expenses, they often want to catch you while you’re in a somewhat desperate situation so that you can accept their offer and move on.

In order to determine if you’re being lowballed, ask for an itemized list of the settlement offer.  Once you have the list, look for a column that says, “Medical Expenses,” and see what it says.  Also, look for “Loss of Future Earning Potential.”  This column is very relevant if your injuries were so severe that you can no longer perform your job.  Just by quickly comparing your existing medical bills with the amounts listed can let you know whether you’re receiving an adequate sum of money.  If there is a big discrepancy, bring in a lawyer.

The Other Party Has A Lawyer

If the offending party that caused you pain has an attorney, it’s an absolute must that you get one as well.  They may have gotten a lawyer in attempts to overturn the finding that they were at fault.  If this happens, not only could you be left out in the cold, but you could be on the hook for their legal expenses.  

Knowing when to enlist the services of a lawyer is the key to getting rightful compensation for your injuries.  Your lawyer will go to bat for you, freeing you up to recuperate and get well.  If any of these signs crops up contact a personal injury attorney like Erickson Law Office.

Learn More

3 Tips That Will Help Ease the Emotional Side of Getting a Divorce

If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, here are three tips that should help ease the emotional tool of getting a divorce.

#1 Make Sure That Your Marriage Is Really Over

Before you start divorce proceedings, make sure that your marriage is really over. You should not start divorce proceedings if you just had an argument with your spouse and decided that, instead of working on things, you would pursue a divorce while you were still angry. It’s not a good idea to start divorce proceedings if you really still want to put work into your marriage.

Once you start divorce proceedings, the relationship with your spouse will change, and the legal proceedings will be hanging over any attempts that you make to stay together. Additionally, it can cost you financially if you start divorce proceedings and then decide to give them up. 

#2 Build a Support System for Yourself

If you are sure that you want to move forward with a divorce, and you are no longer interested in sustaining your marriage with your spouse, you need to build a support system for yourself.

To start with, you are going to need to find a divorce attorney who can help you with the legal aspects of getting divorced. You are going to want to talk with a tax attorney if you have complex investments or holdings with your spouse. If you attend a church, you’ll want to find someone who can offer you spiritual support. You’ll want to build a group of friends who can help you with the transition as well.

#3 Get Emotional Assistance

You should also get a therapist on your divorce transition team. Divorcing, for whatever reason and for however long you and your spouse have been together, is not just a legal proceeding. Getting divorced is a highly emotional process.

You are not just separating your belongings and your bank account, you are also separating yourself from the emotional support, comfort, and companionship that your spouse provided. You are separating yourself from the future that you built with your spouse.

You are going to need to deal with the array of emotions that comes with this process. A therapist can help you work through these emotions and can provide you with a place where you can share your feelings and gain perspective. 

Make sure that you are really done with your relationship with your spouse before you start divorce proceedings. If you do start them, surround yourself with both legal and emotional support to help you through the process. 

Learn More

Estimating And Understanding Your Rights As A Grandparent In Alaska

As a grandparent in Alaska, you may be able to access court-ordered visits with your grandchildren under the age of 18 only in very select circumstances. For instance, you can ask the courts to intercede on your behalf if the parents of the child in question are filing for a divorce or legal separation. In addition, if the child is being placed for adoption or if the parents of the child have passed away, you may be able to get visitation with your grandchildren. The details of your case and the specific issues you need to address in court can impact not only the results you can expect, but the total estimate of time and expenses that you will accrue. Therefore, when you need to protect your access to and time with one or more of your grandchildren under the age of 18 in the state of Alaska, it is crucial to be aware of the information listed below.

You Will Need To Have Previously Had Or Attempted To Have A Relationship With The Children

One of the requirements that the courts in Alaska expect from you is that you should have or be able to prove that you have tried to establish a relationship with your grandchildren. Therefore, you should establish through photos, witnesses to your relationship with the children, and financial records, if applicable, that you have an existing relationship. You will also need to show that not having visitation with you will be detrimental in some way to the children.

If you have previously tried to establish a relationship and been denied access to the minor children, you should obtain evidence of those attempts. For example, if neighbors saw you being turned away at the home where the children live, you may be able to get them to testify to your efforts. If it was necessary to fly or take a train to their home, you should save those records as they could be important in court.

Adoption Will Frequently Sever Your Rights To Visitation

The state of Alaska places a big emphasis on the views and opinions of the parents when determining what will be best for minor children. That means that most of the time, if a child is voluntarily placed for adoption by the biological parents, you will lose your rights to see him or her.

The exception to that guideline is if it is put into writing in the adoption decree. As a result, it is a good idea to have your attorney ask for visitation as part of the adoption that is being arranged. Failing to do so in a timely manner can result in a complete termination of your rights as a grandparent.

In conclusion, preserving your rights to visitation with your grandchildren in Alaska can be challenging and time-sensitive. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider the facts listed above when your access to those children has recently been limited or eliminated and speak with an attorney. By doing so, it is often easier to determine an approximate estimate of the amount of time and money your case will require.    

Learn More

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit? Be Careful about What You Post on Social Media

If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, chances are that you are going to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This will help pay for all of your medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. The responsible party will be trying to find a way to get out of paying up for the damages, and may resort to some new methods to do so. One of which is going through all social media accounts you have to prove that your injuries are not serious. Here are some tips for how you should use social media when injured.

Make Your Accounts Private

If you have public accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, you should immediately make them private accounts. It will prevent others looking back at the posts that you have made, and possibly looking into your character.

Don’t Accept Friend Requests from Unknown People

Making the accounts private will not prevent family and friends from viewing your history. If you receive a friend request from someone you do not know, do not accept it. This could be someone trying to gain access to what you have posted on your social media account.

Don’t Post Updates

With so much on the line in a personal injury lawsuit, don’t take the risk by posting updates to social media. Even if you think the post is private, just assume that anything you post online will be public record. Avoid giving updates on doctor appointments, pain you are experiencing, or things related to your injury.

Be Aware of Posted Photos by Friends and Family

If your friends have public profiles, anything they tag you in will be available for others to view. You should let friends and family know that you don’t want them posting a picture of you, especially if it is you doing something that could be considered a physical activity. Others may be tempted to post a simple picture saying how well you are recovering, which could be inaccurate and hurt your case.

While it may be tempting to use social media, be aware of the consequences it can have on your injury case. You do not want a tweet to update friends and family be what leads to your case being dismissed. Give updates in person, where there is no record of what you said that could be used in court against you. 

Learn More