Archive for November 7, 2014

Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney

Even in average circumstances, choosing an dwi attorney can be a difficult task. It’s even more so when you or a loved one has been injured. Personal injury attorneys have a wide variety of reasons for practicing. On one end of the spectrum, some are considered to be ambulance chasers. However, on the other end of the spectrum, they are considered a savior in your time of need.
To begin with, you should get in touch with the American Bar Association for a list of personal injury attorneys in your immediate area to locate an Attorney. You can visit their website for this information. Additionally, their website will offer you other very valuable legal resources that will help to prepare you for your journey.

Personal Injury

Next, talk to friends and family and see if they know of a good personal injury attorney. Getting advice from friends and family is extremely valuable because you’re able to find out the outcome of their case, and they can let you know how the attorney acted during the case. They can tell you whether he/she is quick to return phone calls, whether or not he/she was friendly, whether or not the attorney competently handled the case, and so much more. This is information you can’t get by simply cold-calling the attorney.

Chances are, you already have some sort of contact with an injury lawyer. Maybe you’ve had other legal issues in the past, or maybe there’s an attorney in your family or circle of friends. Whatever the case, ask them for a referral. Attorneys have friends who are attorneys, and will be able to give you a recommendation from a legal perspective, sending you to someone that they feel can handle your case.

Once you have a list of potential personal injury attorneys, it’s time to start making consultation appointments. In some cases, you may be able to get a free consultation, in other cases, you will have to pay for it. When you meet with an attorney, you will need to explain your case and then ask whether or not they have had experience with a case like yours. You will also want to ask what they think your chances of winning are and how much it is going to cost. If there is anything they can’t answer right there, ask them to get back with you at their earliest convenience.

Find out about all fees upfront. There’s nothing worse than hiring an attorney only to find out halfway through that you’re going to have to pay exorbitant fees. In most cases, personal injury attorneys allow you to pay them out of the settlement, if they feel you’re likely to get one. Make sure to get the fee agreement in writing and review it fully before you sign it.

Consider whether or not you’ll be able to get along with the attorney before hiring him/her. You’re going to be spending lots of time with them, so you need to be able to get along. A very small percentage of these cases actually enter the courtroom- the majority of them are settled out of court.

Ask for regular updates on your case, but be patient. Don’t call them every single day for an update. There are other cases going on besides yours and they can only do so much. If you slipped and fell at a store, he/she will have to wait until the store does their own investigation of the incident.

If the case is a total disaster and you feel like the attorney is completely incompetent, it’s time to fire him/her and find someone else who can better handle the case. Of course, this should be your last resort, but you should know that it is an option that is available to you.

Recent Changes in the Pardoning System

Every president has played a role in pardoning certain criminals who are currently in jail. In April, the Obama administration stated that it was working toward an “expedited process” for criminals who fall under certain criteria. These criteria include the following:

– Those who do not have a significant criminal history
– Criminals who do not have connections to large scale criminal groups or gangs
– Those who do not have a history of violence, before and during their current jail time.
– Those who have been in jail for at least a decade of their term
– Those who are noticed for their good behavior while in jail
– Those who, if they were charged for the same crime today, would have gotten a lesser sentence.

Prior to this, many professionals found it interesting that the arrangement did not talk about “first time guilty parties,” however rather concentrates on those without a “noteworthy criminal history.” They are very different, and are open to interpretation on all ends. That wording, while offering adaptability in the decision making, is sure to bring about issues when it comes to applying it. Those who read the wording may also note that the sympathy toward peaceful conduct before going to jail and “great behavior” in jail, meaning that they see the need to emphasize non-violent crimes. In the midst of all of this, a few people have started to question if “no history” excludes anybody with clemency or who have had their criminal history expunged (for example, those who were charged with crimes when they were minors and then got their records removed).

Of course, this brings up a number of different questions as well. How fast will the applications go through? Will people have to wait a long period of time still, or will the expedition process make it so that their application only takes a few weeks to get completed if they fit into those categories? What other issues could come up as a result of the whole thing? Could people get through that don’t have any right to get through at all? As time goes on, we will have to see how this gets applied and if the courts will have to step in for any part of the proclamation. There will, of course, likely be people who are opposed to these changes, but that’s how it works with any law that deals with pardons.

Pardoning System

Do Courts Have a Right to Your Phone Records?

A federal claims court will reexamine a prior decision in which a three judge board held that police require a warrant to acquire records from cell phone organizations that show where a suspect has been. Therefore, the eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, situated in Atlanta, will rehear the case with a full group of judges partaking, instead of only three.

Is This Really as Big of a Problem as it Seems?

In June, the claims court decided that the legislature damaged the protection rights of a man who was sentenced after robbing several stores in early 2010. It was the first time a claims court ordered a warrant for cell phone area records, which are becoming more subject to government demands. Cell phone providers had to deal with more than 1 million state, federal, and local government and law enforcement demands for private records in 2012.
The general director for Verizon said in a letter to Congress that the quantity of solicitations to the organization multiplied in the previous five years. Because of this, they are concerned that this is a pattern that has all the earmarks of being a part of the cell phone business as a whole. AT&T alone got over 100,000 requests for client records for the first half of 2014.

Details Specific to The Case

In the case that we’re talking about here, prosecutors introduced cell phone records that set the man in question and his accomplices close to the scene of the burglaries. The proof included records of the phone towers to which their telephones were joined when they received and placed calls, as indicated by court archives.Phone Records

Prosecutors got a court request for the records, obliging them to demonstrate that the records were significant and that they were absolutely necessary for a progressing examination. However the eleventh Circuit decided that they needed to meet a higher standard: reasonable justification, or a logical conviction that an individual committed the crime in question. The Justice Department asked the full court to rehear the case. In choosing to rehear the case, the eleventh Circuit wiped out the June decision, signifying that there is no longer an unequivocal warrant prerequisite in the states of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, which are the three states within that circuit.

So do the courts have the right to your phone records, or is that an invasion of privacy? It’s likely this case will continue to go up the chain of appeals courts, so we may see it go to the Supreme Court eventually.