If you are contemplating legal action, your first big decision is likely which lawyer is right for you. How do you find a good Houston lawyer?
Talk to friends and family. Chances are good that someone you know has used a lawyer or knows someone who has. Ask friends and family who they used and about their experience. Were they satisfied with the service they were provided? Ask for specifics about why they did – or did not- feel their lawyer provided good service. Find out if the lawyer returned telephone calls or emails in a timely manner, whether the case was pursued and completed in a reasonable time, whether the lawyer listened to requests and concerns, whether the person was kept informed about the status of his or her case, whether fees charged were fair and bills detailed enough to know what legal work was completed on the case.
Referral Services. There are a number of referral services in Texas. The State Bar of Texas provides a list of referral services around the state. Referral services require lawyers to register and generally require lawyer members to carry malpractice insurance. In the Austin and central Texas area, contact the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas. Referral services often also set a limit on the fee charged for an initial consultation. The Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas requires its member lawyers to provide a 30 minute consultation for $20.
Courthouse. Go watch lawyers in action. In family law matters, divorce, child visitation, child support, etc., you can find hearings going on at the Travis County Civil Courthouse on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Except in rare circumstances, court proceedings are open to the public. Locate a hearing to watch by asking at the information desk or check the directory of courtrooms and investigate until you find a hearing to watch. You may enter and leave a courtroom while proceedings are ongoing, but remember to be respectful and quiet. Turn off cell phones and pagers and do not bring food or drinks into the courtroom. It also advisable to not bring your children. Some of the issues in these cases may not be appropriate for children, who likely should be in school in any event, and children may have a difficult time sitting still and quiet during proceedings.
Once you find a hearing to watch, what do you look for? Real life legal proceedings are almost never as exciting and suspenseful as they are tv, but you will be able to gather important information about a lawyer by watching him or her in court. Is the lawyer conducting him or herself in a professional manner? Remember that your lawyer will be an extension of you – representing you and your interests. I submit that a professional, courteous and zealous advocate is more effective than one who is rude and unprofessional. Is the representative prepared? Every attorney has a different way to conduct hearings, but notice whether he or she appears to have documents organized, asks good questions and seems to have a plan. Observe the delviery style to see if it persuasive to you and compatible with your personality and desires. Watch long enough to get a sense about the attroeneys and move to another hearing. If you find an adviser you would like to speak with, ask for his or her contact information during a break or write down the name and call later.
Interview potential Houston lawyers. Many offer an initial consultation free or for a small fee. You may only have 30 minutes for an initial consultation so prepare before you go. If there are any orders in place, bring those with you to the consultation. Be prepared to open the consultation with a concise description of your situation and outcome you seek. Make a list of questions and concerns so you don’t forget to raise them during the meeting.
Ask about legal fees – does the attorney charge by the hour or provide services for a flat fee? Will you need to provide an upfront retainer or deposit. If so, how much? What happens to that retainer or deposit at the end of the case? Will it be returned to you? How often will you be billed? What types of expenses will you be charged for? Does the lawyer accept credit cards or offer a payment plan? What happens if you get behind on your bill?
Ask about lawyer accessibility and communications – does the professional have a policy about the length of time it takes to return calls or respond to emails? Does the adviser use email in his or her practice at all? Will you be able to reach the lawyer via cell phone? How will the adviser keep you informed about the status of your case? I give my client’s my cell phone number for use during business hours and make every effort to return calls or reply to emails same day, or the next day. Sometimes that means I call clients at 7pm or respond to an email at 10pm but I have never had a client unhappy to be contacted after hours.
Ask about the process and timing – based on your circumstances, what does the lawyer advise be done and what is the process? How long will it take. It is important to have a realistic understanding of how long the process will take. Unfortunately, legal proceedings sometimes take months, or longer, to resolve depending on the issues.
Ask about experience and qualifications – does the attorney have experience with your type of case? How long has the lawyer been practicing? Does the lawyer have any specialized training or certification?
Don’t feel pressured to hire the attorney during the initial consultation. Take a few days to think about the meeting, and interview other attorneys. Once you decide on an attorney you will set up another appointment to sign a representation agreement and take care of any retainer or deposit requirements. The representation agreement is the contract between you and your attorney. Read it carefully and ask the lawyer to explain anything you do not understand.
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Like the definite article, the indefinite article has four forms when it is used in Spanish. The indefinite article has a singular and plural masculine form (un and unos), as well as a singular and plural feminine form (una and unas). The indefinite article is also similar to the definite article in that it agrees in number and gender with the noun that it is modifying. The indefinite article, while similar to the definite article in certain ways, is very different in its purpose, as we will see.
In order to gain a better understanding of the indefinite article, it is important to consider when and how it is used. It is almost always used when someone wants to say a or an. For example, if you wanted to say a car, you would say un carro. Notice that carro is masculine, and thus, the masculine form, un, is used to indicate "A" car. The indefinite article is also used when modifying a noun of nationality, profession, or religion. An example of this usage would be saying Dr. Rodrigo is an ugly doctor, or El doctor Rodrigo es un médico feo. Lastly, it is used in the plural form when one is talking about an uncertain or indefinite quantity of something. For example, you would use it when saying I have some photos, or Tengo unas fotos.
There are many times when the indefinite article may seem appropriate, but it is best to leave it out of the sentence structure. When using cien or mil, you should not use the indefinite form. For example, cien dólares, or 100 dollars. It is also not used when using the words cierto and tal, or certain and such. Examples of this form would be cierto hombre, or a certain man. Often times, learners of Spanish as a second language often place indefinite articles in front of the word otro or otra. However, that is incorrect, as those are two more examples of when it should not be used. Another interesting time when it is not used is when there is an unmodified noun of nationality or profession. While we used the indefinite article when describing Dr. Rodrigo as the ugly doctor, we do not use it if we were to say Mi hermano es abogado, or My brother is a lawyer. Finally, it is not used when asking a question in a negation like manner when using the verb tener, or to have. For example, if you were to ask "You don't have a dollar?" or "No tienes dólar?, you would not use the indefinite article.
Lastly, there is a case when neither the definite nor indefinite article would work in a sentence. In those cases, it is essential to instead use the neuter article, which is lo. The neuter article lo is often used with the masculine singular form of an adjective, which is being used as a noun. For example, to say something is interesting, you would say "lo interesante." Another case when lo is used is when there is an adjective or adverb and the word que, which would take the meaning how. For example, if you wanted to say I know how difficult it is, you would say, Sé lo difícil que es. With that being said, you have now learned when you should use the indefinite article, and when you shouldn't. You've also learned about the uses of the neuter article, lo. Please make sure you read my lesson on definite articles as well.
A Brief Look at Personal Injuries in the US
1. Offer. An offer can be oral or written as long as it is not required to be written by law. It is the definite expression or an overt action which begins the contract. It is simply what is offered to another for the return of that person's promise to act. It cannot be ambiguous or unclear. It must be spelled out in terms that are specific and certain, such as the identity and nature of the object which is being offered and under what conditions and/ or terms it is offered.
2. Acceptance. As a general proposition of law, the acceptance of the offer made by one party by the other party is what creates the contract. This acceptance, as a general rule, cannot be withdrawn, nor can it vary the terms of the offer, or alter it, or modify it. To do so makes the acceptance a counter-offer. Though this proposition may vary from state to state, the general rule is that there are no conditional acceptances by law. In fact, by making a conditional acceptance, the offeree is rejecting the offer. However the offerer, at his choosing, by act or word which shows acceptance of the counter-offer, can be bound by the conditions tendered by the offeree.
6. Object of the Contract. A contract is not enforceable if its object is considered to be illegal or against public policy. In many jurisdictions contracts predicated upon lotteries, dog races, horse races, or other forms of gambling would be considered illegal contracts. Yet in some states these types of contracts are valid. Federal and some state laws make contracts in restraint of trade, price-fixing and monopolies illegal. Therefore, a contract which violates those statutes would be illegal and unenforceable. This is true for drugs and prostitution or any other activity if considered criminal.
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What separates blue-collar crimes from white-collar crimes? The answer lies mostly in societal positions and ranks. Blue-collar crimes are associated with individuals from lower class society, where as the white-collar crimes are committed by those with a higher standing in society.
A lot of the distinction comes from the range of opportunities presented to the would-be criminal. Every potential criminal is limited by their opportunities in the end - the ease with which a crime can be committed; some have access to a lot more resources that are not theirs but can be taken advantage of. These white-collar criminals have it differently than their blue counterparts. For somebody with no access to huge resources of money and stocks, the crime is automatically rated and categorized with the blue-collar types. In these cases, violence and other cunning is employed where lack of immediate access to funds and such is not available.
Stealing inventory from a workplace and other crimes of similar nature are unlikely to be reported.For the blue-collar guys, though, their crimes are much more likely to be reported as violence is more commonplace, and the distress to victims is obvious and measurable. Corporate crime has victims, but the effect is not always recognized, and this is why it's hard to regulate and truly see the full extent of. In these situations, skill and cunning instead of force is usually preferred, and it gives those in higher societal standing an unfair advantage of being able to commit crimes and get away with it, when the poor person who steals for very different reasons (to eat, to pay rent, etc.) is committing the same or a similar crime for hugely different reasons. This is where the grey area exists.
Police are always being assigned in more numbers to the blue-collar areas of cities to stamp out violence and other crimes, but watchdogs for corporate offices and facilities have very limited involvement and rely on insiders to dish out dirt on companies in exchange for small rewards. This again makes it hard for the same observation to take place, and creates an environment that preys on the less fortunate while ignoring those who steal not to live, but to increase their already-comfortable lifestyles. Until this trend is addressed, the statistics will be skewed and many illegal activities will continue to go on unreported and unaddressed. Is this really what we want in this day and age?
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In your Personal Injury Claim, your witness statement is a document that will be used as your evidence-in-chief.
Your witness statement will effectively tell your version of events, and give you the opportunity to have your say in Court without having to go through the events again in the witness box.
However, there is more to a witness statement than a written note of everything that has happened. It is a formal, structured document that must adhere to certain standards to be valid.
If your case goes to Court, then you will be questioned on your witness statement by the other side and asked to expand on certain issues. This will be done in the witness box, before a judge, so that the Judge can hear your comments and build their understanding of your claim.
It is important that your witness statement is highly detailed as it will serve as an opportunity for you to go through the entirety of your claim in a single document. Anything not included will be given less weight or influence should your claim go to Court.
What Needs To Go Into Every Witness Statement?
Every single witness statement should:
- Be headed with the title of the proceedings;
- State the full name and address of the witness;
- Give the witness's occupation state the absence of occupation;
- Be typed if possible, and printed on single side A4 paper;
- Be divided into numbered paragraphs;
- End with a signed and dated Statement of Truth.
The Language in your Witness Statement
Your witness statement should 'tell the story' of your accident and recovery and the effect this has had on your life and those around you.
If the person who provided care and assistance to you is willing, it would be helpful if they did a supporting witness statement, detailing the care and support they provided to you. They should give as much detail as possible, regarding what jobs/tasks they carried out, how often this was done and how long it took them.
Financial Losses & Loss of Earnings
Under this section, you need to provide details regarding how much time you had to take off work and whether you received sick pay for this time. If your sick pay was less than your regular take home wage, you need to be specific about how much income you lost.
You should also use this heading to discuss how much money you had to spend on medicines, aids and other items that you would not have bought but for your accident.
You should provide evidence for any claim you make about finical losses; evidence can include copies of your wage slips, or receipts/invoices for items. These can be attached to your witness statement as exhibits.
Effect on Your Lifestyle
Under this heading, you should provide details regarding your injury's impact on your way of life. Did it stop you from pursuing your hobbies, going on holiday, spending time with your kids/grandkids? Did it impact on your relationship with your family, friends or significant other? Did it impact on your sex life? You need to seriously consider the effect your injury has had on you and include as much detail as possible.
You should now have an understanding of what a witness statement is, what it is designed to accomplish and how to put one together.
Defining Negligence: Four Components
If you feel you are suffering from hearing damage because of your job, you are advised to contact special consultants immediately even if you are not sure if you should claim. Most workers in bottling plants, ship repair and engineering working environments are most prone to deafness. You should not assume that it is because of aging process.
Common hearing disorders
1. Temporary hearing loss
3. Acoustic trauma
4. Permanent hearing losses.
The Solicitors advises its clients that although compensation will not mend damaged hearing, it will make life easier and improve the quality of life. The firm will guide the claimant through the process and let the victim know how good the chances of being compensated are. Right after the incident a claimant should get in touch with an industrial deafness claims solicitor.
The amount of compensation one can receive depends on:
1. Liability for causing the loss
2. How much this claim is worth
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