How Lawyers Can Help Neighbors Understand Tree Laws and Live in Harmony

Most neighbors love living together in harmony. It has been said it is impossible to choose your neighbors. Disputes can arise from anything such as tree maintenance and removal. Homeowners can also easily find themselves in trouble with authorities due to trees. These disputes and problems can, however, be avoided through understanding the tree laws. Lawyers can help not just in resolving tree-related disputes between neighbors. They can also help them understand the city’s tree laws for homeowners to prevent problems.

While living close to neighbors, one of the issues you have to contend with is what to do with the trees. Some neighbors are very strict about their trees. They do not want any person near their trees. They give the trees as much attention as they would any other asset they own. For this reason, you can promote neighborliness by ensuring that you do nothing untoward happens with the neighbor’s trees.

Unfortunately, something beyond your control might happen. For instance, the neighbor’s trees could grow and extend over to your side of the property. Your kids could climb the neighbor’s tree and damage it. Lawyers can help in such matters.

Educate You on What Law Says

As your lawyer would tell you, the law expects you to compensate any neighbor whose tree you deliberately or accidentally cut, remove, or harm. In some instances, the neighbor has the legal rights to sue you. They sue to give the courts a chance of enforcing the neighbor’s rights. From the outset, therefore, it is to your advantage to get a good lawyer who can explain all these matters to you and help you live harmoniously with your neighbors.

Educate You on Tree Damages

Tree laws clearly specify what qualifies as damage to the tree.

Normally, you will be right to assume that damage only refers to chopping down the neighbor’s trees. However, the damage is not limited to that definition alone. It also refers to anything you do to affect the tree’s health. For example, you have the right to trim the branches of any tree that hang over the property line. This seemingly simple act and right thing to do could cause serious injuries to the tree. In this case, the neighbor will hold you liable for the damage you caused.

You may also deem it necessary to use one or two chemicals to eradicate unwanted roots and plants in your garden. Sadly, the chemical could run all the way to the neighbor’s property, seep deep into the ground, and kill one of the trees. Once more, the law will hold you liable to compensate the neighbor for harming the trees. Therefore, hiring a lawyer can help you understand what you can or cannot do on the trees or even near them.

However, as your lawyer will tell you, the law expects the neighbor to prove your culpability before suing for damages. Otherwise, the two of you could simply meet and talk the issue over without anybody having to rush to the courts to sue for damages. All the same, you cannot understand any of these unless your lawyer explains them to you properly. Do not hesitate to contact Tree Removal Denver over any tree law that you do not understand.

Running a Law Office Efficiently and Safely – Ergonomic and Productivity Considerations

An Efficient and Ergonomic Law Office Setup

“Time is money”.  This might be one of the oldest sayings in the world, and of course, it’s absolutely true. The waste of time and productivity costs a company, firm or corporation thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per year across the country. Even putting aside the slackers, mid-afternoon lag or lull, there’s still a lot to be said for monitored and enhanced performance. Sure, some legal offices may run a tight ship through a ‘command and conquer’ strategy, but the resulting high turnover of staff or high dissatisfaction when workers are polled, would suggest that ‘the flogging will continue until morale improves’ isn’t the best way to ensure great outcomes for everyone; that isn’t just yet another feel-good saying with no gravitas behind it.

Furthermore, there is a lot to be said about the equipment and workstation setup for workers in the office.  Combining the most efficient environment with the best organizational processes and workflow, you can come out of it with a successful long term strategy for organization growth, productivity and employee happiness.

Performance Monitoring Tools

Performance managing/monitoring tools aren’t just a way to gauge who’s doing what – showing up where the weak links are; it’s more than that. Software shows where capacity is stretched, and how pre-planning is best utilized in order to maximize workplace efficiency. Tax time would be a great example of this need: in knowing ahead of time what the probable increase in workload will be, legal offices can schedule additional resources to cope with demand. Perhaps that includes an upgrade of I.T. services to ensure the system doesn’t crash under the strain of everyone accessing their IRS information simultaneously – i.e. in a last-minute rush. By bringing in resources ahead of time to be the solution before it’s a problem, a legal company will save more than just ‘face’ in dealing with their clients.

A cloud server such as SD WAN which is enterprise networking, tailors solutions to fit your requirements, not insist that you conform to what’s there, because ‘that’s how it goes’. No, it doesn’t. SD-WAN improves IT agility, performance and efficiency. With SD-WAN you can intuitively manage networks based on parameters relevant to your business – apps, users, locations, performance and security. So there’s no one size fits all mentality, here.

Stay on top of application performance with regularly scheduled assessments with application analytics and diagnostics. Establish baselines for application performance and end-user experience. Rapidly diagnose, troubleshoot, and isolate root causes before problems become severe. Make proactive performance management decisions based on real data, not reactive choices as a result of user complaints. These are just some of the uses of optimized software in a legal office.

An all-in-one HR application can greatly assist with tracking employees timing, time off, HR management of files, third party integration, HR and ACA compliance, streamlining hiring, onboarding, and a fully-integrated payroll for instance, which updates itself as changes are made automatically.

Ergonomic Equipment for Efficiency

Following the meteoric rise of computers in the workplace in the 80’s and 90’s, there came a wave of workers complaining of injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and other repetitive stress injuries.  This was because the original computer, keyboard, mouse, and desk was not designed with ergonomics in mind.  Hours on end in front of a “poorly” designed workstation left workers with serious problems, often requiring therapy or even surgery to fix.

As lawyers we should know about workers compensation consideration, as well as potential law suits that can arise from workplace injuries.  Therefore it should be doubly in our best interests to make sure the working environment is perfectly set up to insure an ergonomic, comfortable work day for everyone at the office.

Here are the important equipment considerations to keep in mind:

Computer Workstation

Ergonomic Workstation

Probably the most important consideration for computer workers is the use of an ergonomic workstation, which includes ergonomic mouse and keyboard, office chair, and possibly a footrest and other accessories.

For the keyboard, there are a few schools of thought.  Firstly, the wrist should have a support pad made of some type of soft, but firm, foam or similar material.  These sometimes come separately from the keyboard.  These avoids the pressure from the desk on the lower portion of the wrist, which is a *huge* cause of carpal tunnel and other problems.  Furthermore the rigid rectangular design of a keyboard is another vestige of the original design, which didn’t take into account the use of these things for so many hours at a time.  Many keyboards now use a split design (see picture about) that allows each hand to have a more comfortable bend to it.

Ergonomic Mouse
An ergonomic mouse uses a vertical grip instead of horizontal.

For the mouse, the consideration is mostly the vertical alignment.  The original computer mouse was designed to essentially be a container for a track wheel and a button to click, and not much more.  Early designers did not anticipate that workers would be using them 8+ hours a day.  New designs have rotated the mouse to have a “handshake” style alignment of the wrist, which alleviates pressure and avoid issues related to carpal tunnel syndrome.  Other considerations for a good ergonomic mouse are the sensitivity and responsiveness.

Personal Routines to Encourage in Employees

On the personal front, set up a To-Do priority list the night before, and adhere to it as much as possible during the day. Tick them off as you go, and reschedule those wish weren’t done in – or need more – time to complete. Avoid procrastination. Do the ‘ugliest’ task/s first and then you will have them out of the way, rather than bugging you for the remainder of the day. Minimize phone calls to a block session, either early on in your day or later in the afternoon. Sure, some incoming calls must be answered, but leave the remainder for your secretary to handle. Telephone interruptions are one of the most notorious ways to fall behind schedule, and lead to greater loss of productivity overall. If it happens to you, cut that one off at the pass, pronto.

The Why and How of Selecting A Criminal Lawyer

Being accused of a crime can mean a small fine or short jail term, or it can be a matter of life and death for the defendant. It can also negatively impact the social life of a person. The seriousness of the accusations and the prescribed punishments if found guilty make the services of criminal defense lawyers invaluable.

Criminal defense lawyers are legal professionals whose work is to represent defendants who are accused of crimes in court. They have gone through years of training and understand the intricacies of criminal defense. They help their clients by investigating cases, interviewing witnesses, researching laws, building a defense strategy, negotiating plea bargains, filing and arguing motions and appeals, and represent the client in different hearings. Because of the possible consequences that could arise from the cases filed in court, it is important to find the best criminal lawyer. Here are things that you should consider.

Basic Qualifications

This encompasses experience, education and licensing. A criminal defense lawyer must have completed law school and obtained a degree. On top of that s/he must have passed the state’s bar exam, which a requirement for lawyers to practice law. The state’s certification procedures, which the lawyer must have gone through provides third party verification and validation of the lawyer’s qualification. Ask for evidence of the lawyer’s experience and your state’s authorization for the lawyer to practice.

The nature of experience that the lawyer possesses is also important. If you have been charged with white collar crimes, you should pick a lawyer who has handled such cases before. Similarly, if you are accused of committing a capital crime, a lawyer who has experience in handling a similar case would be a better pick. Try to find out how many of the cases s/he has actually worn.

Reputation

As you check the lawyer’s experience, don’t forget to scrutinize their reputation as well. Ask for references and follow up on it. It is even better if you can find information about the lawyer from your state bar and colleagues. These will provide useful information on the lawyer’s work and character.

Cost

This is an important factor to consider as you look for a lawyer, especially if you don’t have a lot of money at your disposal. You need one with the best qualifications to defend you yet whom you can afford to pay. The price each lawyer charges vary based on a number of factors detailed in costaide.com/criminal-defense-lawyer-cost. You must, therefore, ask about the lawyer’s terms of payment. Find out how much they charge in attorney fees and retainers and what his/her payment plan is.

Other qualities

During your first call and consultation meeting, it is important to give the basic details of the case and asks relevant questions. During this session, you should also look out desirable qualities and those that you don’t feel comfortable with. A good criminal defense lawyer should communicate with you well, show aggressiveness, confidence and show concern for your case and the outcome. Integrity is also important and should feature in your selection criteria.

The criminal defense lawyer you hire can make or break your case. You, therefore, must do you due diligence, select the best lawyer you can find and one you’re comfortable with then do as s/he instructs in order to improve your chances of winning.

Secure Your Law Office the Best Security Guard Company

Your law office is probably equipped with costly devices and appliances. You have probably invested in state-of-the-art computers, bought ergonomic equipment and appliances to ensure your staffs’ comfort. Most importantly, your law office houses sensitive documents of cases being handled and your firm’s operations. It is imperative that you keep these secure from unauthorized access, vandalism, theft, natural disasters, and fire. This is why you need to invest in security systems and contract a Security Guard Company.

Install security systems

There different types of security systems to choose from, depending on your budget. You can install scanners at the door to guard against weapons being carried into the office. Alarm systems, which use different types of sensors, will alert you and your security firm in the event of an intrusion. For protection against fire, install heat and smoke detectors. These will sound a warning in case a fire starts so that actions such as evacuation can take place and efforts can be made to put it out early. Surveillance cameras are also an important part of any security system. These are used for monitoring so that intrusion and suspicious behaviors can detect sooner. They also provide useful evidence for identification, arrest, and prosecution of perpetrators.

Control access to your office and sensitive areas within it. Secure your most important assets behind doors with high-quality, tamper-proof locks, biometric access systems, or access card system that will ensure only those authorized can gain access. For some devices being taken out of the office, you can install device location and tracking systems to make a recovery easier.

Use the best security guard company

While the automated security systems provide great security, the services of fit and skilled permanent security guards is still invaluable. They provide monitoring services and are first responders to intrusions, and if you have highly skilled guards in place, they can successfully stop an intrusion or hold determined intruders off until backup arrives. It is therefore important to vet the security company or individual security guards well.

You need to know the length and nature of their experience, their customer service skills, and their areas of weaknesses among other things. The best security company will have thoroughly vetted its guards’ personal qualities and skills before they send them over. If however, you vet the individual guards, you also need information such as how they handle confrontations, the reasons that drove them to that job and their goals. The guards should also be insured, bonded and well trained.

For the highest level of security that meets your specific needs, you will probably need to use a combination of several of these systems together with having a skilled security guard.

For instance, you might need to combine tamper-proof locks, alarm systems, camera surveillance and permanent security guards. You should use offsite backup for your sensitive electronic data.

Of course, the specific ones you choose will depend on factors such as your budget, the size of the office, and its location. If the office is on the top floor of a building whose management provides adequate security measures, you may need to invest less than if the office was a stand-alone building requiring more layers of security. The important thing is that your security needs are met.

Increasing your law firm clientele online

The internet has made it easy for people looking for information, products, and services, including legal services. A firm seeking to grow its clientele can therefore not afford to avoid having an online presence; especially since multiple companies are investing in websites and maintaining a social media presence. However, with so many websites belonging to different firms providing similar or related services and information, it is important to make sure that your law firm is visible whenever individuals search for legal services. Law firms must take advantage of digital marketing strategies to reach prospective clients through the now commonly used digital media and be able to monitor client sentiments. Here are ways a law firm can ensure visibility online.

Search Engine Optimization

Commonly referred to simply as SEO, this is a strategy that helps rank web sites highly above competitor sites. This is important because a large number of people seeking information and services will do so through common search engines. These search engines algorithms search the web and list the content it finds relating to the search terms used. The website content is usually ranked according to various criteria. A compelling enough reason to invest in SEO is that most individuals typically look through the first page and occasionally the first few pages of the search engine results. It is from the information they gather at this stage that they are likely to follow up with a call. Therefore, to ensure that you are visible to these prospective clients, invest in SEO.

Social Media

Social media provides a powerful networking platform owing to the large number of individuals maintaining social networking accounts and looking for information, services and having varying conversations on it. Your law firm should have active accounts on the popular social networking sites that allow you share information in different media. Through these accounts, you can share relevant information and advertise your services as well as engage in conversations that will showcase your legal expertise. These also provide an opportunity for your firm to monitor trends and customer sentiments.

Blog or/and publish

Blogs are a great way to display your expertise and so is publishing relevant content online. You can have a blog of your own that is optimized for visibility or post an excellent article as a guest on popular blogs and forums. You can also publish a variety of content including e-books and magazines.

Other strategies that law firms can use to be more visible and reach a wider clientele include holding webinars and online conferences discussing relevant legal issues, using email and other online advertising strategies. These strategies contribute to a firm’s performance and growth, but other aspects of the business must be optimized as well.

Despite the marketing efforts, a firm’s clientele will not grow if the quality of service lags behind. The firm should, therefore, focus on becoming visible as well as providing the best service; keeping in mind that attracting new customers and failing to deliver the expected quality of service can hurt your firm’s reputation and affect its growth. Maintaining the customers and ensuring they are satisfied is one of the best marketing strategies any firm can adopt.

Legal Issues with “Credit Repair” Companies in Georgia

Having a bad credit record can affect you adversely as it might become very difficult for you to secure new credit, which is why many offers for purported “credit repair” companies are now becoming very popular.  While a good credit score is important for many people, which makes it very important for you to do things that will help in repairing your credit rating, you will have to be careful not to violate any laws or statutes when attempting to mend your credit.

Legal Issues with Credit Repair

"Credit repair" is a popular trend, but be careful not to violate any laws.
“Credit repair” is a popular trend, but be careful not to violate any laws.

For this you will need to know the legal issues surrounding credit repair in Georgia, since there are a large number of credit repair companies that might offer you illegal methods and advice for repairing your credit rating. According to law, you can only take the help of banks and lenders that has been insured by FDIC as well as nonprofit organizations for offering you credit repair advice.

That being said, the best credit repair services are legitimate institutions that are looking to legally improve credit and financial ratings for its customers.  In certain situations, you can even seek the assistance of attorney, real estate broker and registered financial advisor for advising you regarding this matter. Credit repair is very important since bad credit score can be very stressful for you as you might lose a huge amount of money to bad credit score.

The reason for this is because when you have bad credit score, you will have to pay higher insurance premiums and higher loan interest rates that might be added to a large amount of money over the years. It’s important to note here that if you only have a few errors on your credit report, get them fixed now.  This will avoid a more drawn out process of credit repair, since a few bad apples can be removed without resorting to other methods. Furthermore, you should never hire a credit repair company without proper research because failing to do so can lead to penalties and legal ramifications.

Georgia Specific Laws (Updated 2017)

Under Georgia Law, it is a misdemeanor and illegal to operate credit repair service which utilizes another persons Social Security number, since no one can erase or remove the correct information from the credit reports entirely. There might be many attractive credit repair offers but you need to beware of the companies that might offer you new credit with the use of anyone else social security number as it is an offense. Avoid companies that ask you to pay for their credit repair services upfront and do not disclose your legal rights as you might now know what you need to do for repairing your credit rating.

Legal issues surrounding credit repair in Georgia includes prohibition to misrepresent your social security number as included in the social security act. It is also considered as a federal crime that you use the identification of any other individual with dishonest intent under the assumption deterrence and identity theft act. Hence you can make false statements on credit application as it is a federal crime and you cannot obtain employer identification number from internal revenue service as it is a crime for which you can be prosecuted by federal government for carrying on these crimes relating to the credit repair services.

 

 

 

 

What is Income Protection Insurance and Who Needs It

If one is unable to work due to illness or accident and they are a policyholder of the income protection insurance, then they are entitled to a settlement. What this insurance does is make sure that if one is unable to work for a period of time, their day to day needs of their and their families are not neglected before they are allowed to get back to work. Of course, this can be a lengthy period, and therefore this will ensure that one is well looked after when they are not in their jobs.

income protection insuranceAlthough this policy is limited to a certain number of countries, it is a great thing and benefits a lot of people who may have been hospitalized due to an accident or illness and in this event were not able to provide for their families as they were the breadwinners of that family. It is a great way of guaranteeing that everything remains in order no matter the circumstance of involuntary unemployment that one is in. There will always be a package that will safeguard the family and even yourself while you are in that hospital bed recuperating and waiting to get back to work.

How it relates to other forms of insurance (life/auto/unemployment)?

Income protection insurance is not all that similar to other forms of insurance.  The closest income protection insurance uk comparison in the US is that of unemployment insurance.  When it comes to other forms, like term life insurance, this means that in the event of the demise of the policy holder the beneficiary gets to have the compensation package. This means that the family that he or she leaves behind will not have to endure any form of suffering due to the loss of that family member. This money will be able to help them pick up the pieces and see where to go from there. At least it will be able to keep things going for a period before something better can be gotten. This can be compared to how the income policy insurance enables that there is no life coming to a halt because the sole breadwinner of the family is no longer there. Although with term life insurance, they are not coming back, the income policy is there to cover for the period that they are incapacitated and can not work, therefore.

More Details on Life Insurance

When it comes to whole life insurance, there is not much that of a difference in the term life with regards to the income policy insurance. This is because the same conditions apply for the income policy and to while life which means that the fact that some people that are being left behind are well taken care of is what is important. Although income policy insurance is under health insurance, it is not different from most of the life insurance policies that are available. It is just that it covers that holder for a particular period until they are back on their feet to continue working again. It is also only available in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa which offer benefits to the policy holders and in the UK it ha been there since the year 1880.

Understanding Employee Law and The Benefits Of Employee Advocates In Our Society

In today’s society, it is very important for both the employer and employee to know and understand the importance as well as the benefits of employee law in our society. Employee/labor law is intended to guarantee a safe and fair working environment for the employee. This law is not applicable to the employee alone but also to the employer.

Employee Law

Employee law outlines how the employer should treat his/her employees within the workplace. But unfortunately, most employees are not aware of the rules and regulations of the employee. This has greatly affected most employees and has lead to a lot of confusion between the workers and the employers. There are numerous aspects that cover and protects the employees which mean that they are allowed to take any legal action in case they’re treated unfairly by their employers.

The Importance Of Having An Employee Advocate

Employee advocates help to protect and defend employees from violations of Labor laws in the US and abroad.

An employee who clearly understands the employment law will no have a difficult time to take the necessary actions in case he/she feels that they are being robbed or bullied in their workplace. Despite the fact that you can handle most employee matters on your own, it is always advisable to contact an employee advocate (otherwise known as an employment lawyer) to help you with the critical issues that will need some legal expertise. Only a qualified employee advocate can guide you through this.

A lawyer will make it easier for you when making critical or difficult decisions about your workplace and your employer. He/she will be able to assist you in taking the legal steps before suing your employer if he has done any illegal action, or before quitting a particular job. A qualified employee advocate will not only advise you on whether to quit the job or not, but will also guide you through the steps to take to reduce the risk of minimizing a lawsuit. Below are some of the situations where you need to look for an employee advocate to assist you.

  • If the employee is concerned about the employer’s potential for vandalism or violence
  • If he/she has a complain about any illegal activity taking place
  • In case the employee has revealed that she is either pregnant, disabled or practices a certain religion and feels like he/she is not treated accordingly.
  • If the employee denies the acts being accused of by the employer; this can also happen even after the employee has fired him/her.

The Employee Working Hours Regulations

The employee law and regulations also state that employer is allowed to make the employees work below 48 hours per week, unless if the employee agrees on a signed paper to opt out the working hour regulation. The document should be an agreement between the employee and the employer. Also note that the pain/unpaid holidays, lunch breaks or voluntary unpaid overtime are not included as working hours. In case you don’t know where or how to sign the working hour document, kindly contact your advocate for assistance

It is therefore very important for every worker to know all their rights in order to avoid being treated unfairly by their employers or other co-workers while working. For further assistance about the employee laws and advocates, feel free to contact any authorized employee advocate around your area.

Tax Law and Bookkeeping Practices for Tax Season

tax-law-graphicUnder the tax law governing most all countries, including the United States, UK and Australia, you are required to keep records that relates to income tax, employment payment, GST, superannuation, fuel Tax credits and business payments. This is because a strong book keeping system will help you keep accurate records for different purposes. Booking practices entails business activities such as analyzing business activities, attracting variety of investors, lodging and tax payment, seeking finance so to meet your reporting requirements. Below are some of the book keeping practices you should try in order to stop stress, wastage of time and money.

Keep Proper Records

You need to organized and keep your tax receipts intact. By doing so you will be able, to prevent any problem that may arise at the course of auditing. It is healthy to store your files electronically. Use computer software. Also, balance your records daily and cash receipts so to monitor ongoing and incoming incomes.

Prepare Income Tax Return

Whether you are running a sole proprietorship, corporate or partnership, it is advisable to file an income return tax and pay income taxes. This is because having good accurate and good records you will be preventing any losses that you may incur.

Back up your Data

It is a healthy book keeping practice that you need to be considered. This is because tragedies such as hard drive failure or power surge may occur and you may end up losing many data. Backup your data through online services or external hard drives or thumb drive. It is necessary to backup your data so to prevent stress and time wastage.

Use Different Bank Accounts for Business and Personal Expenses

It is advisable to not to mix personal expenses with business expenses. This is because setting up separate accounts and budgets will help you have a clear understanding of your expenses. For instance you will know how much money is coming and going out. Using separate accounts will help you also reconciled with your books monthly thus ensuring no entries are missing.

Technology is Your Friend

Keep track of your records by the use the sophisticated computer software’s. Great software programs will help you manage as well as track your expenses and income, and these are coming to include cloud bookkeeping services, which place the data in separate, redundant servers, so as not to worry about data loss. You will be able to see accurately what you have and what you donor has. This is because booking keeping software’s is much better than homemade spreadsheets. Track anything and everything that is related to tax by saving receipts. Use web-based software allows you to update your books from any location.

Utilize High Quality Bookkeeping and Accounting Tools

Keeping bookkeeping forms on hand will save you time and money.

Booking keeping practices will help your bills on time as well as keep your business going at the right direction. Always be consistent by setting aside specific time of day or month so to organize income on your accounting program. Always stick to your schedule and never allow things to stack up. Booking keeping will help you save money, time. It is a great tool for taking your business to the next level.

 

 

Battling With Neighbors Over Tree Removal and Property Damage Laws

Suburbs require trees. Trees are a source of shelter and food for birdlife. They are known to improve air quality that we breathe. In addition, they have significant aesthetic value to the landscapes and towns that we live in. On the flip side, trees disrupt walls, block drains, disrupt foundations, cast long shadows, hide the view and occasionally fall down.  Because of this they are often the source of disputes and even lawsuits between neighbors.

Here we will cover some of the basics of property laws and property damage laws that can impact disputes between neighbors.

The Law

The law states that landowners have the right to the enjoyment and ordinary use of their land. However, this right extends to the neighbors of the landowner. It is also important to note that no one may unreasonably interfere with other individuals’ enjoyment and use of their land. This implies that a landowner is responsible for ensuring that his or her trees do not cause discomfort or problems for others.

If problems Arise

tree-damage
Tree damage across property lines is a common source of disputes between home owners. It’s important to know your stance by law.

In the event that the tree belonging to your neighbor is causing problems, it is advisable to first try talking to them. The reason behind this is that they may even be unaware of your plight. Consequently, give them an opportunity to fix things and seek a solution (like perhaps hiring a tree service company to handle any issues). that will make everyone content. After all a solution that is mutually agreeable is a way better option when compared to a costly, bitter and lengthy legal battle.

Cutting a Tree in Accordance with Law

In the event that the branches or roots of your neighbor’s tree encroach on your land, you can cut back the roots and branches to the boundary line. In law, it is referred to as abatement. In case you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, you can get an order from a district court that permits the trimming of the tree or even its removal.

If a tree is not causing any loss of enjoyment or harm, then abatement is the only option available to the landowner. However, if this option is not chosen then not much should be done to abate the nuisance. This should not result in unnecessary damage and the landowner ought not to trespass on the neighbor’s property. Similarly, the landowner should not create problems of any kind for the neighbor. He or she must not spray the tree with herbicide or poison its roots, this is because the consequences are likely to spread beyond your property line. If the property owner is cutting out part of the roots of a tree, caution should be exercised not undermine the stability of the ground surrounding it or the tree itself.

Fruit and cuttings belong to the owner of the tree. These should be returned to their property without causing any sort of damage or asking for their removal.

A tree planted on the boundary is co-owned by both property owners. If the neighbor declines to have the dispute resolved then an order application can be made to a district court to permit trimming or its removal.

Who pays?

If costs were incurred during cutting back of the branches and roots on your section of the boundary, there is a high probability that these costs cannot be claimed back from the owner of the tree. In the case that the tree of your neighbor has damaged your drains or its branch has fallen on your house, they have to pay.

Conclusion

The above write-up is an insightful peek into battling with neighbors over tree removal and property damage laws. Trees and neighbors are often overlooked but an in-depth understanding can help avoid problems.

Rental Laws in Georgia for Tenants and Homeowners

landlord-tenantRental laws are designed to ensure that both tenants and homeowners understand some of the legal questions and issues that may arise from time to time. Rental laws in Georgia for tenants and homeowners are not any different. Though the laws may differ from what you may find in another state the bottom line is that the laws are there to guide both parties without involving a lawyer. Below we look at the main rental laws in Georgia.

Rent

There is no statute that proscribes the amount that landlords should charge as rent for single and multi-unit residential properties. There is also no statute on notices for rent increase, time when rent is due, and the grace period for rent payment allowed.

Security Deposit

The state of Georgia allows homeowners to ask for a security deposit. The law, however, does not specify the amount the landlord can ask as security deposit. This deposit should be placed in an escrow account and landlord has to give a written note to the tenants with the escrow account details. Homeowners and families that own 10 or less units are exempted from this requirement as long as the management of the units is not left to third parties.

The landlord is not required to put the deposit in an account that bears some interest. The landlord is also not required to pay any interest on security deposit.

The landlord is allowed to deduct the deposit in certain situations. These include;

– When the tenant has not paid rent or is late in doing the same

– When the tenant has accumulated utility charges and pet fees

– When a tenant abandons the property

– When tenants contract third parties to carry out cleaning and repair works

– When the tenant causes actual damage to the property. This, however, only applies if the landlord did something to mitigate the damage on property.

After the tenant moves, the landlord is required by law to return the deposit within 30 days.

Other Fees

Landlords are allowed to charge other fees for their properties. These fees include application fees and pet fees. Any non- refundable fees should not be part of the security deposit.  There are also potential fees for credit checks, background checks and other checks at the discretion of the landlord. For examples of non credit check apartments, you can check out this reputable no credit check apartment company.

Disclosures

A landlord is required to disclose if there is a person required to act on their behalf. The landlord should also disclose all existing damages to the property. All this should be part of the lease agreement.

Tenancy Termination

To terminate a lease with no end or a month to month lease the landlord is required to give the tenant a 60 days’ notice while the tenant must give the landlord a 30 days’ notice. For a lease with a fixed end date neither party is required to give a notice. There is not statute on how a week to week lease termination should be handled.

In the case of nonpayment of rent and other fees the landlord can terminate the lease without any notice. To avoid being evicted, the tenant must pay the required fees within 7 days.

This is just an outline of the rental laws in Georgia for tenants and homeowners. You can find more information online if you have more questions about any of the above or more areas. Just be confident because the state has put certain measures to protect you from harassment and ensure that both landlords and tenants hold up to their end of the bargain at the end of the day.

Divorce Law Information from State to State

Just like marriage, divorce is a state-level issue. So Georgia has its own divorce laws that may differ from the laws of other states. One difference is how long it can take. In California, as a California divorce attorney would tell you, it takes at least six months to get a divorce in the Golden State. In Georgia, in theory, the it can be done more quickly. If your divorce is as simple as possible and “uncontested,” that is, both sides come to an agreement on the division of assets and arrangement for custody of all children on their own, then you can be granted a divorce 30 days after filing. Of course, most divorces take much longer. And if you have to go to trial to work out the terms of your settlement, it could take years.

Divorce laws vary from State to State, be sure to know the differences.
Divorce laws vary from State to State, be sure to know the differences.

Another thing to consider is whether you will be pursuing a “fault” or “no-fault” divorce, as Georgia is one of a minority of states to offer both. To file a “no-fault” divorce one spouse must simply assert that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” It does not require the cooperation of the other spouse.

A “fault” divorce can be pursued when one spouse destroyed the marriage, whether by adultery, desertion, imprisonment, cruelty, drug addiction, or mental illness (determined by a court of competent jurisdiction), among other grounds.

Fault divorces are more complicated and come with more caveats, which is why no-fault divorces are far more common. For example, adultery, desertion, cruel treatment or intoxication are invalidated as grounds for divorce if any of the above were “occasioned by the collusion of the parties,” consented to by the complaining party, committed by both parties, or condoned by the complaining party after the fact. With all that muck to wade through, most people simply decide to say the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and leave it at that.

Sometimes, a “fault” divorce is worth pursuing if the complainant wants to make sure that the respondent be ineligible for alimony payments for dissolving the marriage by adultery or desertion. Otherwise alimony is determined by several factors, including the standard of living, the duration of the marriage, the age and condition of both parties, both parties’ financial resources, the time required for one party to get trained or educated to become employable, the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, and anything else anyone can argue to be relevant.

Annulment is another option for Georgians who are in marriages which have produced no children and aren’t expecting any and whose marriage is voidable. A marriage may be voidable for any of the following reasons: 1, The spouses are close relatives; 2, at least one of the spouses was mentally unfit to enter into a contract; 3, at least one spouse was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage; 4, one of the spouses was forced into the marriage; 5, one of the pouses was “fraudulently induced” to enter the marriage; or 6, bigamy. In Georgia, an annulment is granted only to the innocent party.

 

 

 

 

A Look Back on Divorce Law

A divorce is never an easy thing to go through, but it used to be a lot worse. Until relatively recently, the person seeking a divorce had to argue that the spouse was at “fault” either by way of adultery, abandonment, cruel treatment, or mental illness. And any of those causes could be nullified by the condoning or conniving or recrimination of the petitioning spouse.

As all divorce lawyers in California could no doubt tell you, the Golden State became the first in the union to allow no-fault divorces in 1969, which don’t please everyone (presumably the spouse who is precipitously and unceremoniously divorced) but certainly make the process a lot simpler. A no-fault divorce allowed the dissolution of a marriage without accusing one of the parties with adultery or a similar transgression.

divorce-decreeEventually other states followed California’s lead. At this point, all 50 states and the District of Columbia allow no-fault divorce. In fact, only 33 states still allow for fault divorces, Georgia being one of them. That means that in 17 states and the District of Columbia, the petitioner can’t legally cast blame on the respondent even if he or she is filing in response to adultery, cruelty, or abandonment.

In the early decades of the United States, women’s status as second-class legal entities (or in some cases, non-entities) made it difficult to walk away from a divorce with any of the shared assets. Obviously, that gave wives a strong disincentive to seek divorce no matter what state their marriage was in.

The first major attempts to remedy the situation were the Married Women’s Property Acts passed by individual states beginning in 1839, which allowed women possess real and personal property, sign contracts, file lawsuits, and inherit independently. Despite the legislation, women still found themselves at a financial disadvantage in divorce proceedings, and divorce did not become terribly common until much later.

Statistically, women initiated more than two-thirds of all divorce cases in the United States. In 2002, 29% of first marriages among women aged 15-44 were disrupted (by divorce, annulment, or separation) within 10 years. You may have heard that half of all marriages end in divorce. That claim is based on the ratio of marriages to divorces in any given year, which is around 2:1. A 2012 estimate from PolitiFact put the probably of a marriage ending in divorce (however long the marriage lasts) at 40%-50%.

Divorce rates vary according to several factors including ethnicity, the importance of religion in the marriage, family histories of divorce, the timing of the birth of the first child, and the presence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Education level also plays a significant role. A 2012 study revealed that having at least a bachelor’s degree can greatly increase the chances of your marriage lasting at least 20 years. Income can affect divorce rates, but only for men. That is to say, men who earn high incomes are less likely to get divorced than men who earn low incomes. A woman’s income has no observable affect on her likelihood of divorce, but it does affect her likelihood of getting married in the first place.

Advice for Personal Injury Law Procedures

When you suffer a personal injury – which can be physical, mental, or emotional – make sure to get as much documentation of the injury as you can, and contact witnesses if there are any. If you think you may have a personal injury claim, but aren’t sure how great your case is, a personal injury lawyer can help. Make sure to choose one who works on a “no win, no fee” policy. They’ll have the incentive to fight for you, and they won’t be tempted to take on an unwinnable case.

The first thing to know when considering filing a personal injury claim in Georgia is the statue of limitations. You’ve got two years from the date of your injury to file your claim. If you’re filing against a city or county government, you’ve only got six months.

personal-injury-lawPersonal injury is not quite as simple as it looks. In Georgia, if you file a personal injury claim, you can expect that the defendant will respond with his or her own claim to try to mitigate their liability. That’s because Georgia has a modified comparative fault rule, meaning the court can determine that both parties bear some responsibility for the injury, and whatever percentage of fault is assigned to the injured party take a proportional bite out of the settlement. And if the injured party is determined to be at least 50-percent at fault, he or she won’t collect anything.

Also know punitive damages for a personal injury are capped at $250,000 in Georgia. Up to that limit you can claim for medical expenses like ambulance rides, emergency room care, hospitalization, surgeries, and prescription drugs as well as resultant income loss. You can also claim for damage to your physical and emotional well-being.

When it comes down to it, you’re likely going to want to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can see all the angles of your claim and advise as to the best course of action. Litigation costs money – even if it’s the lawyer’s – and a risk-benefit analyis needs to be undertaken. How much time and money is the case going to take? How much money can you claim? How likely are you to win? Will the other party be able to argue you were at least partially at fauly? Only a professional can weigh these factors and decide when it’s best to pursue a personal injury claim and when it’s not.

A professional will also be able to help you potentially settle without every having to sue in the first place, which can be a lot quicker and a lot less painful. A typical out-of-court settlement can be reached in eight months to a year. A lawsuit can take appreciably longer. But it’s become proverbial to observe that the wheels of justice turn slowly. Sometimes you’re lucky if they’re turning at all – let alone toward some place you’re actually looking to go.

Medical Malpractice in Georgia and Elsewhere

legal-scalesWhen filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s important to not the statute of limitations – or in the other words limited time after the alleged malpractice one has to file. The statute of limitations on medical malpractice varies by state and type of malpractice

In Georgia, there are two main categories of malpractice, an injury and a failure to diagnose. You have two years from the date of the injury to file a malpractice claim for it. If you have claim from a failure to diagnose, that two-year time period begins at the date you became aware of the problem.

It’s possible in some cases that the statute of limitations can be even shorter, as with malpractice cases involving municipalities. In those situations you may have a year or less to file. But even if you think the statute of limitations may have passed for your claim, it’s important consult with attorneys for medical malpractice cases, who know the ins and outs of medical malpractice law and may be able to present you with a range of options you didn’t know you had.

In any case, you’ll want to work with an attorney who operates on a “no win, no fee” basis. It gives them an extra incentive to fight for you, and it frees you up to take a risk you might not otherwise have been able to afford.

In judging whether you have a good case, you have to think about the cost/benefit of filing. An attorney  might spend a $100,000 and several years to settle a malpractice case. If the length and cost of the legal battle adds up to more than you’re seeking in damages, it’s just not wise to pursue it. Unfortunately, that means many legitimate cases worth several thousands of dollars are just not worth pursuing – for the lawyer or the client. Still, it might be best for a lawyer to decide this question, so don’t let that necessarily stop you from taking the first step.

The other element is liability. The attorney has to be confident not only that the actions of the caregiver fell below the professional standard of care, but that those actions resulted in an injury that would have otherwise been avoided. If the lawyer doesn’t think the case meets those criteria, he or she won’t likely represent you. That might be disappointing, but it’s better to be turned away by a lawyer than to have your time wasted and your hopes wrongly raised. This aspect is crucial. Most malpractice cases are drawn out arguments over this very issue, and the defendant’s attorneys will be doing everything they can to mount an argument that the negligence of the defendant isn’t responsible for the injuries the plaintiff suffers from – that they are the result instead of the underlying medical condition.

If your case is rejected by one lawyer, but you strongly disagree, feel free to seek the advice of another one. You never know, you may find an attorney who can present an angle on your malpractice case which puts the odds in your favor.