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Understanding Mineral Rights

Posted by on 3:55 pm in Mineral Rights | 0 comments

Despite being millions in numbers, a great majority of mineral rights owners have little understanding of how their rights work and what they can do to benefit from them. According to Investopedia, mineral rights refer to the rights that the landowner has to earn “a portion of the profits of any minerals that can be drawn out from the property”. It is an umbrella term used to describe the number of ways an owner can profit from the natural resources extracted from the ground. This also means the landowner has the authority to sell mineral rights or just profit from it. Depending on what the landowner’s needs or desires, the extracted minerals can be sold, leased, or developed.

Mineral extraction can be very complicated and costly, which is why many mineral rights owners just permit oil companies or mineral companies to do the extraction, and in return just be paid in royalty income from the company’s revenue. As the United States’ oil and gas industry started to grow, mineral rights have been separated into two individual rights – the mineral rights (royalty rights) and surface right. The separation often causes confusion, and can lead to loss of profit for the landowner. It is therefore advised to talk with mineral brokers in order to understand how these two separate rights can affect your profits.

Furthermore, mineral rights owners should be aware of the taxes that come with owning mineral rights. As with many other assets, mineral rights come with tax liabilities can become burdensome depending on how the minerals are being handled. Aside from the Federal tax obligations, mineral rights can be taxed on a state and/or county level. In order to mitigate the impact of these taxes, there are options such as Depletion Allowance and 1031 Exchanges. Talk with someone who knows about mineral rights and the laws that pertain to it to avoid legal issues in the future.

Dealing with Elder Abuse

Posted by on 9:15 pm in Elderly | 0 comments

It can be one of the hardest situations to be in – to be unable to care for someone who has cared for you for most of your life. However, sometimes these things simply cannot be helped and sometimes, external care is required. Your lifestyle may not be one that is suited to give the care that an elderly person might require.
When people reach a certain age, they are often delicate and fragile like parchment where there was once youth and strength. And unlike the fragility of children, this is the finale of their lives – and most older people only want peace and happiness after having had gone through the tumultuous adventure that was the most of their life.

That is why it is important, sometimes, to acquire the services of a caregiver. Someone who chooses this route in life must be specially trained and very patient, due to the nature of their wards. They must have sufficient knowledge of their patient’s medical history and needs, as well as be capable in times of emergency. Caregivers also often act as company and well-needed friendship for elderly folk in this time of their lives when loneliness can often be rampant.

Imagine then the betrayal to know that your loved ones were not properly cared for by the people you hired and entrusted? This is not only unforgivable but also eligible for legal action. According to the website of Peck Bloom LLC, some of the instances that are classified as elder abuse can involve theft or undue influence. Behavior of this nature is completely unacceptable as that is exploiting and abusing someone who is not in the position to care for themselves, let alone stand up for their own rights. It is difficult to deal with but deeds such as this must be addressed in a court of law in order to bring the offending party to justice.

Morcellator Attorneys Look into FDA Approval

Posted by on 9:11 pm in Pharmaceutical Defects | 0 comments

The US Food and Drug Administration, according to Wikipedia, is a federal agency that protects and promotes public health by regulating and supervising the development, manufacture, sale, marketing, and consumption of:

  • animal foods and feed
  • biopharmaceuticals
  • blood transfusions
  • cosmetics
  • dietary supplements
  • electromagnetic radiation emitting devices
  • food
  • medical devices
  • pharmaceutical drugs and medications
  • tobacco products
  • vaccines
  • veterinary products

In theory, that should make any product mentioned above safe for prescribed use if they are granted FDA approval. However, there is no such thing as a perfect system, and morcellator attorneys have paid special attention to how power morcellators obtained FDA approval if they are as dangerous to women’s health as current data indicate them to be.

The first power morcellator to receive FDA approval was manufactured by Cook Urological in 1991 using a 510(k) review (Premarket Notification). The FDA doesn’t actually approve medical devices, but merely clears them for sale in the US. In the case of morcellators, the FDA did not require clinical studies regarding the safety of the device nor asked questions about its potential for harm, including the spread of cancer in at-risk patients. Cook discontinued its morcellator device in 2001, but subsequent applications for FDA approval referred to the data from the first morcellators that indicated low incidence of uterine cancer.

Research indicates that the spread of cancer in morcellated patients was shortly after their surgery, so those who are not notified that they have developed uterine cancer within a short period of time had probably dodged the bullet. But what is for certain is that FDA approval is not a guarantee that you will be safe from harm, at least with medical devices in general and power morcellators in particular. If you have developed cancer after a procedure using a morcellator, you may be eligible for compensation. Consult with a morcellator lawyer in your state for more information.

Disagreements with Insurance Companies after Injuries

Posted by on 5:09 pm in Insurance, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Insurance companies cover a number of personal injury cases, including but not limited to medical malpractice, defective products, car accidents, and even premises liability. The insurance company will be the one to pay for the legal fees and amount of damages as directed by the court jury or after a settlement agreement. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, insurance companies will pay the claimant for compensation if the claimant can present evidence that the insurance company’s policy holder is responsible for the accident and injury of the claimant. Although a personal injury claim can be handled without hiring a lawyer, it would be more advantageous to have a legal representative to ensure that the case will end positively.

When a person decides to purchase liability insurance, it always comes with a policy limit. This means that the insurance company has a designated maximum amount of money that they will provide as insurance. However, if the damages exceed the maximum amount of compensation that the insurance company can provide, the claimant still collect damages that top the insurance policy limits. The three main options are: (1) recovering the damages via an umbrella insurance policy, (2) filing a lawsuit against other defendants in the case and (3) attempting to acquire directly from the defendant. The website of Pohl & Berk, LLP states that the suitable method to recover damages will depend on factors such as what would be most suitable for the claimant and the details of the specific case.

Umbrella policies are often common among corporations and other large business entities, although there are some private individuals that have them as well. It is important to research about the defendants’ possible multiple insurance policies or insurance companies to see if this can be applied to your specific personal injury claim. As for filing against multiple defendants, it can be applicable if there are at least two different parties involved in the accident that caused the damages. Lastly, if you choose to file directly against the defendant, this will be possible through a court order by the judge for wage garnishment or a lien on the properties owned by the defendant, all depending on whether he or she has money or assets to provide your payment. If not, then the excess amount of damages not covered by the insurance policy will not be collectible.

Injuries in Railway Accidents

Posted by on 5:29 pm in Train Accidents | 0 comments

Trains are one of the most secured types of transportation, but when they get involved in an accident the results can often be catastrophic. An accident of such proportion could affect not only the victim physically, but also can also cause emotional trauma and financial hardships. According to the website of Ravid & Associates P.C., many victims of train accidents develop PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) following their train accident, and others have experienced their lives changed. Although money is not the main reason for filing a personal injury claim, victims have the right for compensation that can provide relief for payment necessary for medical treatment, support services, as well as other needed expenses that would help recover the victim’s quality of life in a positive way.

When you have considered filing a personal injury claim after being injured in a train accident, the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says that to have a valid legal right for compensation you have to first establish the “grounds” that made the other party responsible for the damages you have suffered. You have to be able to present strong evidence of the train company or third party involved that their negligent or careless action was the direct cause of the accident and your injuries. It is therefore important to hire a lawyer because personal injury claims for train accidents are often complex and involve a number of factors and parties. Additionally, train accidents are often high-profile claims, and you need an experienced lawyer who can represent your plight effectively.

As reported by the Federal Railway Agency, the major or leading cause of train accidents is human error. There are many ways a train operator can commit an error while operating, among them stress or physical strain, sleepiness, inexperience, and many others can lead to errors in judgment that could provoke a train derailment of crash with another vehicle or a person. Railway tracks defects can also lead to train accidents, as well as mechanical defects and poor maintenance and disobeying railroad signs and signals. For compensation, you have to show the court that the injry you suffered from the train accident was in no way your fault but due to other people’s negligence.

Unadvertised Depakote Side Effects Give Rise to Lawsuits

Posted by on 7:48 pm in Pharmaceutical Defects | 0 comments

A 10-year study comprised of 550 women taking anti-epileptic medications, particularly Depakote, has determined that it should not be prescribed as the first anti-seizure drug of choice for those of child-bearing age. As stated in Medscape, about one million women of childbearing age in the United States endure some type of a seizure disorder, with more or less 20, 000 of these women bearing children in a regular year. Because many of these women are not aware of their pregnancies until after the first trimester (the most vulnerable and vital time of the pregnancy), these pregnancies have higher risks of developing birth defects, miscarriages, prenatal death, and frequent seizures for the mothers. Many of the women who have birthed babies with birth defects caused by Depakote agree that the risk of seizure surpasses the benefits that the anti-epileptic medication provides.

On December 2013, after a number of Depakote lawsuits from mothers and patients who suffered the side effects of Depakote, a United States Magistrate Judge have ordered the manufacturer of Depakote (Abbott Laboratories) to present the “long overdue” documents of Depakote lawsuits that claims of birth defects. According to research, babies who are borne from mothers who have taken anti-epileptic medications like Depakote have twice as much risk of developing birth defects than those who have not. It is not just the babies who are at risk from the side effects of Depakote: the website of Williams Kherkher further states that mothers can also be putting their own health at risk. Possible side effects for mothers are more seizures, high prospect of depression, and the additional problems of changing medications, to complications from C-section births.

As of 2012, numerous Depakote lawsuits from both state and federal levels have already forced Abbott Laboratories for more than a billion dollars for payment of penalties. Aside from the complications that Depakote can cause to pregnant mothers, the manufacturers are also facing lawsuits due to illegally marketing Depakote, after it have been discovered that the anti-epileptic drug has been marketed in various nursing homes as a sedative to curb aggression and agitation in patient suffering from dementia and after being marketed as an antipsychotic drug for treatment of schizophrenia despite having no clinical evidence of its effectiveness on the said conditions.

The Process of a Contested Divorce

Posted by on 9:56 am in Divorce and Family | 0 comments

A contested divorce is one where one or both spouses cannot reach an agreement on their divorce concerns, which often result to court hearings where the judge will be the one to decide for them. A contested divorce is perhaps the most difficult type of divorce, because both spouses have arguments regarding important matters of the divorce. Just as the name suggests, a contested divorce is where one or both spouses dispute certain or all aspects o the divorce. This would make the divorce proceedings longer and more costly, with greater stress and additional legal fees.

The process of a contested divorce is longer and would have more steps than that of an uncontested divorce. Because of the complications that come with divorce and family law, it is crucial to have a lawyer by your side to help you with the legalities. The attorneys at Marshall & Taylor recommend a family lawyer who specializes in divorce proceedings or a divorce mediator arbitrate, because contested divorce often leads to court. There are generally eight steps involved when it comes to a contested divorce. The first one is meeting with your lawyer who will gather all the necessary information and documents regarding the divorce (including but not limited to marital assets, children in the marriage, etc.) to decide what your are entitled to and to determine the petition to file in court. Next is serving the divorce petition to your spouse: by mail, in person, or by a deputy sheriff.

The third step is to wait for your spouse to respond to the petition, usually within 30 days or depending on your state divorce laws. If no response has been received from your spouse within the state’s specified limit, then he/she will be considered in default, or if there is a response the divorce will proceed to discovery and settlement. At these stages both spouses will have the chance to get detailed information from each other’s marital assets, incomes, child custody, etc. it is at this time that the court seeks both spouses to come into a settlement through mediation, otherwise, the next step would be going to trial.

On the trial stage, both spouses will have time to present their side of the case and, depending on the complexities of your case, the final order will be decided by the judge. You and your spouse will have a chance to file a post-trial motion from relief from final judgment to be filed at the trial court. If the court denies the post-trial motions, then an appeal can be filed in the appeals court for the court to decide whether to reverse the decision or to deny the appeal.

Past Crimes Affecting Future Immigration

Posted by on 2:09 pm in Criminal Law, Immigration Law | 0 comments

Theft is the crime of taking another person’s property, or exercising control over another person’s property without consent. This often involves a criminal intent of robbing the person of their rights and benefits of ownership, despite of whether the meant to be permanent or otherwise. According to the website of Arenson & Maas, PLC, theft is generally a state level crime that is prosecuted according to the laws of the state where it was done, although there are certain types of theft that the federal government has criminalized.

Even if you possess a valid US visa or is already considered a lawful permanent resident, (or a green card holder), if you are a noncitizen of the US and have committed and been convicted of theft, you have a very high risk of being deported from the country. Because a theft charge can have a serious effect on your immigration or resident status, finding a lawyer should be the first thing you do after you have been arrested and charged. An Austin immigration lawyer would help explain your rights, and provide you needed advice on how to effectively negotiate with the prosecutor in order to prevent the theft charges from affecting your immigration status.

United States immigration laws have a long and general list of crimes that can account as basis for denial of visas and deportation of convicted persons. The problem with the list is that it speaks in general term, and could provide a gray area where whether the conviction according to the state law matches the federal law needed for deportation. In order to help determine this, there are (generally) three questions that should be considered: (1) if the theft was against moral turpitude, (2) if it was considered an aggravated felony and (3) if it was considered a crime separate from those listed in the US immigration deportability list.

Aside from deportation, there are other penalties for committing crimes while being a noncitizen of the United States. Because of the complex laws that are involved in US immigration , state and federal laws, it is very important to have an immigration lawyer as well as a criminal lawyer to help you sort out your charges and prevent being deported. It is worth noting that noncitizens who have been convicted to a felony in the United States do not have any right to contest a deportation order. Furthermore, they will be banned from returning to the country.

Seeking Bankruptcy as a Business

Posted by on 1:33 pm in Business and Finances | 0 comments

Bankruptcy will have a different effect on a business depending on the chapter of bankruptcy that they file and they type of business organization they are. A business bankruptcy depends on how the federal bankruptcy code designate and it will also affect how the business will end up. The first thing a business should do is to file a bankruptcy petition along with filing for bankruptcy schedules that would lay out the incomes and expenses, statement of financial affairs, assets and liabilities, and executor contracts and leases that the company has.

It is after the company has filed for a bankruptcy petition that the automatic stay will be carried out, preventing the creditors from collecting debts from the company. It will be the responsibility of the local bankruptcy trustee (appointed by the US Trustee Program) to administer the case, and oversee the payments to all the creditors of the business. According to the website of Hong Law, PLC, businesses who are considering filing for bankruptcy should first understand that factors such as the amount and types of debts they have, how personally liable they are for the debts, and if they want the business to continue or not would affect how the bankruptcy will end.

Business set as sole proprietorship can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, prompting the bankruptcy trustee to gather all the owner’s property in order to sell all the non-exempt properties. This would be used by the trustee to pay all the creditors, and all the remaining debts will be discharged by the bankruptcy court after the bankruptcy process has been concluded. Should the sole proprietor choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she will have the chance to keep the company and will have monthly payments to the creditors through the bankruptcy trustee.

Business law can be complicated even for a person who does business, which is why the website of Arenson & Maas, PLC says to consult and hire a lawyer who specializes in business law in order to get their debts in order. Partnerships, LLCs, or corporations are types of business that operate separately from their owners and are therefore not qualified for personal bankruptcy. If they choose to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they are not presented the option of being discharged from their debts and the business will be ordered to shut down. For a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in exchange for the automatic stay the company will be required to disclose their financial situation through a written statement, and present a plan of reorganization to the court. This would allow creditors to make informed decisions regarding the company’s reorganization, are required of their approval of the disclosure statement. It is only after this that the bankruptcy court will conduct a hearing to confirm the reorganization plan, and should they accept it, would appoint a company debtor or trustee to run the business that would generate money to pay back the creditors.