Houston

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.

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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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Negligence Attorney

Every employee finds themselves in one situation or another where they require employment law services. Whether it is discrimination at work, bullying and harassment, maternity and paternity issues, compromise agreements, dismissal, redundancy, whistle blowing, etc, these solicitors provide the legal expertise to help you protect your interests.

In every employment contract, there are a large number of details that are sometimes hard to understand especially for a layman. This is why most employment law services will suggest and indeed, contraindicate, one signing off on a contract before they have consulted an employment law solicitor. This is especially the case when one is getting into a long term employment contract. It is important that as one does so, they are fully aware of all the finer details enshrouded in the contract.

Employment law services cater adequately to negotiations and as such, retain qualified staff that are experienced and trained in negotiating. Because this is the most critical part of the process, ensure you retain only the best counsel. Once the negotiation proceedings are under way, you will have an opportunity to articulate your grievance to your employer and attempt at a bipartisan settlement. More often than not, most employers will gun for a settlement at this point as it represents the fastest, cheapest and most convenient way of settling the matter, for all parties involved.

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Employment and labor laws in the United Kingdom have undergone radical changes in the past two decades. These changes were necessitated by several macro trends such as increasing influx of immigrant labor, need for regulatory compliance with directives issued by the European Union, and radical shift in labor unions' acceptability of labor court rulings on matters related to labor grievances.

UK Employment Laws that govern compensation of employed personnel include National Minimum Wage Act, ratified by the parliament in 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations Act. These employment acts are updated on an annual basis and specify the minimum wage for all labor classes under an employment contract. The employment contract between a worker and his employer need not be a formal document; oral employment contracts and implied employment contracts also come under the ambit of these legislations.

Workers who work in night shifts have to right to demand free health assessments, paid for by the employer. UK Employment Law carries a provision allowing companies to lay-off workers in case there is closure of business completely or specifically at the employee's work site. Redundancy is also allowed if the employer can prove that there is a declining need for workers engaged in a specific trade. Workers have the right to demand a redundancy payment if they have served continuously for at least 24 months. The redundancy payment is not taxable.

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Personal Injury Compensation Levels

70/30 physical custody schedule is a schedule often chosen by parents or the court. With a 70/30 schedule, your child will spend 70% of their time with one parent and 30% of their time with another. This schedule allows for your child to spend the majority of time with one parent but still be a significant part of the other parents life.

Below are two existing time schedules for you to consider if 70/30 custody works best for your situation:

Every Third Week

This schedule works by having your child live for two weeks at one parents home and then one week at the second parents home. A great benefit of this schedule is your child still spends time living with each parent for longer time periods.

This schedule can be harder because only one parent has the weekends. Sometime the parent who has the child during the week, often feels like they do all the hard work while the other parent gets to play. However, this schedule is great if it works for all parties involved especially if one parent works on the weekends or travels frequently.

The 70/30 physical custody schedule is a great option and there are other choices out there of time schedules. The important thing for you is to research all your options so you can make the best choice for your child.

Life After Amputation

Compensation For Car Accident

The case of McLean v Rainbow Homeloans Ltd [2006], involved an employee who was employed as a mortgage advisor. He had commenced employment on 14 April 2004, and had had his employment terminated on 1 April 2005.

The employee asserted that during the period of his employment, he had regularly worked for between 55 and 60 hours per week. He claimed that the employer had then asked him to work at the weekends, in addition to the hours that he had been working already. The employee refused that request, at which point on 23 March 2005, he received a letter from his employer which he interpreted as giving notice that his employment was to be terminated.

The employee brought proceedings before the employment tribunal. The tribunal held that it had no jurisdiction to hear the employee's claim. It cited the reason for this decision being that the employee had not claimed that he had been dismissed for attempting to assert a statutory right under the Working Time Regulations 1998 SI 1998/1833 ("the Regulations"). The tribunal said that in those circumstances, his claim for unfair dismissal could proceed no further on the basis that he had not accrued the requisite qualifying period of service under s.108(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 ("the Act").

It was decided that the employee's claim would be remitted to the tribunal for re-consideration.

If you require further information please contact us at enquiries@rtcoopers.com or Visit http://www.rtcoopers.com/practice_employment.php

© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

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Workers' compensation laws are designed to ensure medical coverage for employees and limit liability to employers for on the injuries. Every country in the western world has industrial compensation laws. Also known as workers' comp or workman's comp, this system provides, at a minimum, medical treatment and time loss benefits for employees who are injured in the course of their employment.

Industrial insurance laws vary from state to state. Most states permit private insurance companies to sell workers' compensation insurance to employers. However, some states have a public compensation system or a hybrid private and public system. State and federal laws vary, but typically when an employee is injured on the job, he or she files a claim with the employers' industrial compensation insurer or the state agency that administers industrial insurance claims.

There are different workers' compensation laws for different types of occupations, injuries or employers. Federal government employees, military service members, and those employed in longshore, harbor work, seamen, coalmining, fishing, fish processing, nuclear energy, and railroad occupations all have separate industrial compensation laws. Some occupations, such as agricultural workers, may be excluded from industrial insurance laws.


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