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Posted by on 12-12-16 in Child Abuse | 0 comments

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Unpaid Wages: Filing a Claim in Texas

Posted by on 10-10-16 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The state of Texas recognizes the right of every individual to fair labor practices. As such, the right of Texas employees to receive fair wages is protected by interlocking state and federal laws. On top of the Fair Labor Standards Act that secures regulations on minimum wage and overtime pay across the United States, the state also enforces the Texas Payday Law governing the process of how employees can recover and secure their unpaid wages.
Regardless of one’s state of residence, filing a wage claim can often be an arduous process. It’s crucial to enlist the assistance of an FLSA lawyer at the very start of the process. An experienced labor law professional will be able to provide insight on the legalities behind wage claims and help aggrieved employees set up the requirements they need in order to build a strong case. The Texas Workforce Commission requires claimants to submit a detailed account of the wage violation in question, including any information in support of the case. A lawyer with experience in FLSA and related litigation will be able to coach claimants in the compilation of evidence like pay records, check stubs, and time logs.
If you are considering undergoing the process of claiming unpaid wages, begin by reaching out to a Texas employment law attorney and get their help in sorting out the details of your case. You’ll need to be clear with the details before filling out the wage claim form. Your claim should be submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days of the date of when the missing wages were due to be paid. The entire process might last for a while, and it often includes a lengthy investigation where both you and your employer are asked to give additional information. If a claim is unsuccessful, you will have a chance to file an appeal through a written request submitted in 21 days.

Residency Requirements in Filing for Divorce in Texas

Posted by on 10-10-16 in Divorce | 0 comments

In the state of Texas, a spouse intending to file a petition for divorce may do so either through “fault” grounds or “no fault” grounds. In “no-fault” divorce, a spouse petitioning for divorce simply has to indicate “insupportability” as the reason why he/she is seeking divorce. All other reasons he/she will cite will be immaterial as Texas courts already recognize “insupportability” as a legal basis for granting divorce to those who seek it. Insupportability, as explaind by Kirker Davis, LLP, is discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Despite allowing petitioners to file for divorce under the “no fault” ground, Texas is originally a “fault” state, which means that in the past, there has to be a valid reason before a court could grant a spouse the divorce that he/she seeks.

Valid grounds for divorce include: adultery; cruelty; conviction of felony with the convicted party having been imprisoned for at least one year; abandonment for at least one year; the spouses having lived apart for three years; and, confinement in a mental institution for three years with the mental disorder having little or no hope of recovery.

Prior to deciding whether to file a”fault” or “no fault” divorce, however, the spouse intending to file a petition should first make certain that he/she meets the Texas’ residency requirements, otherwise, his/her petition will not be recognized by a Texas court, due to absence of jurisdictional rights to hear the case. This will result to the case eventually getting dismissed – a clear waste of time, effort and, probably, money.

Texas residency requirements state that: (i) either the petitioner or the respondent has lived in the state of Texas for at least six-months prior to the filing of the petition; (ii) either the petitioner or the respondent has resided in the county for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the petition; (iii) if one spouse already resides in another state or country, while the other has been residing in Texas for at least six months, then the former may file a petition for divorce in the county where his/her partner resides; and, (iv) a member of the U.S. armed forces, who is not a resident of Texas may still file a petition for divorce in this state but only if he/she has been stationed at one or more military installations in this state for the last six months and at a military installation in a county of this state for the last 90 days.

Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on 7-07-16 in Workers' Compensation | 0 comments

Each type of working environment presents it own brand or risk of accident-causing injuries to employees. Risk of accident, however, which cause severe injuries or even death, is always higher in construction sites than in any other workplace.

Some of the causes of dangers construction workers are exposed to everyday, include hazardous substances, sharp and heavy tools, heavy duty vehicles and machineries, great heights, hazards from ladders and scaffolds, electrical wirings and excavations and trenches. All these, plus the carelessness of some workers and their failure to strictly comply with job safety laws, result to accidents, which are actually preventable.

During the early part until the mid of the twentieth century, workers who get injured on the job had to file a civil or tort suit against his or her employer and prove that the cause the injury was the employer’s negligence. This was for the purpose of claiming compensation for all damages the injured worker suffered from. In1949, as the Workers’ Compensation program was enacted in all states, injured workers were finally provided with a solution to the financial problem they also might suffer from in the event of an injury.

Workers’ Compensation program, also known as Workman’s Compensation Insurance or Workman’s Comp., is enforced and controlled by the states. This insurance type of program varies among states in terms of who may be allowed to provide insurance, the types of injuries or illnesses that can be considered compensable, and the benefits claimants can receive.

Workers’ Comp is designed to provide financial benefits to workers who get injured on the job or who develop a work-related illness. Benefits include cash payments, to partially replace lost wages, and medical treatment. Financial benefits are immediately given to qualified claimants regardless of who was at fault for the injury or illness.

Many claimants, however, according to the law firm Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, experience great difficulties in getting these benefits offered under the Workers’ Comp program. This is because many applications are rejected due even to very minor mistakes.

Receiving the benefits offered under the Workers’ Comp program is very important for injured workers. It can be to their advantage if they would seek the assistance of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers to easily have their application approved.

Drunk-Driving: A Continuing Serious Traffic Violation

Posted by on 3-03-16 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012, an estimated 29.1  million people admitted to having driven their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol – this is in spite of the continuous educational programs, ads and warnings on drivers from the federal, state and local government agencies and various private concerned groups. Immediately the year after, 1,171,935 drivers were arrested due to intoxicated driving or driving under the influence (DUI).

It may be some form of luck if one compares the number of people who drive while impaired with the number of fatal accidents due to alcohol-impairment in 2013 and 2014. Looking at the data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in 2013 was 10,076, while, in 2014, the number went down to 9,967.

What makes drunk-driving accidents totally upsetting and infuriating is the fact that these accidents could have been easily avoided had people only complied with the anti-drunk driving law. While this law has set the limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at 0.08% (may be reached after about 4 alcoholic drinks within an hour, according to the CDC), many studies have proven that, at 0.02% (about 2 alcoholic drinks), a person’s ability to perform two tasks at the same time may already be reduced; other effects include decline in visual functions and some loss of judgment. This means that any driver who registers a 0.08% (or higher) BAC level after he or she is pulled over by a traffic enforcer will be considered alcohol-impaired and charged with DUI or DWI. (According to the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, it will take about an hour for an average person to metabolize a standard drink. A standard drink can mean a 12-ounce bottle of beer, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or 5 ounces of wine – all contain the same amount of alcohol).

Alcohol weakens a driver’s mental capacity and motor skills. Specifically, it affects a driver’s perception, judgment, coordination, reaction time, and overall ability in keeping his or her focus on the road. With weakened or impaired control over his or her skills, risks of accident and injury increase; this is basically the reason why drunk driving is considered a major traffic offense.

The millions of arrests and thousands of fatal accidents every year only show how obstinate or careless so many drivers are and, despite the considerable resources that have been dedicated to keeping intoxicated drivers off the road, the website of the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg law firm says that, impaired driving remains to be a serious problem in the US.

Different Forms of Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on 10-10-15 in Medical Malpractice | 0 comments

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella phrase used to recognize several long-term paralyses, a problem that affects the handle of activity resulting from injury throughout the growth of mental performance. Cerebral palsy usually advances in kids between the ages 2 and it is called a non-progressive disorder. This means that the harm worsen or inside the brain does not advance whilst the child matures. However, the observable symptoms of cerebral palsy do change to the brain injury, due primarily over time, which will be serious childhood disability’s leading cause.

According to Driscoll Firm website, you can find different forms of cerebral palsy with regards to the areas of the mind that’s affected. Doctors who specialize in cerebral palsy method the problem in lights that are diverse, therefore it could not be easy to genuinely ascertain the type of cerebral palsy a young child has. One of many techniques medical experts label the forms of cerebral palsy is through severity’s condition’s level. Its profile is seldom pleasant, although the condition doesn’t get any worse.

Cerebral palsy could be categorized through its degree of severity, it being delicate, critical, moderate, and no CP. These tend to be wide explanations that require to have unique requirements. A child might have moderate cerebral palsy when her or his daily pursuits are not restricted and if he or she doesn’t involve support when going. Reasonable cerebral palsy is seen in people who involve versatile technology in addition to medications and braces to greatly help accomplish jobs that were every day. Kids with significant cerebral palsy have to be in a wheelchair and exhibit major problems in accomplishing everyday duties. Ensures that though indications of cerebral palsy are not past, the problem was motivated to be received following the brain has fully developed and will, therefore, be classified as caused by additional outside situations or painful head injuries.

Currently, cerebral palsy still desires studies and further research as a way to absolutely establish the causes as well as know how it may be handled. Although there are lots of others delivery incidents are among the most typical considered reason for cerebral palsy. Extra ailments may confuse the advancement and improvement of the kid, which makes it a critical situation despite cerebral palsy solely being a neurological disorder.

Wrongful Death: The Types of Damages that Need to Be Compensated

Posted by on 6-06-15 in Court | 0 comments

The lawsuit filed by the family members of a person who dies as a result of someone else’s negligent act or wrongdoing is called wrongful death. According to the website of a Tennessee personal injury lawyer at Pohl & Berk, the main purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to seek compensation for the losses or damages suffered, and to be suffered, by the family of the deceased, such as funeral expenses, lost companionship and lost wages.

Damages are classified under three categories: economic, non-economic and punitive. States, however, differ when it comes to the specific items found in each category.

Economic damages, for instance, include all the expenses incurred by the family as a result of the death of their loved one but, more so, all the financial contributions that the deceased would have made to his or her family had he or she did not die. These damages include: cost of medical treatment and funeral service; financial value of all the goods and services that the deceased would have provided for his or her family; loss of the victim’s wages and other earnings; loss of possible inheritance; and loss of possible medical coverage for family members, and the deceased’s pension plan and other benefits.

Non-economic damages are the non-material losses that the family of the deceased would suffer, such as: the family’s loss of love and companionship from the deceased; loss of care, guidance, protection and nurturing from the deceased; a spouse’s loss of consortium with his or her deceased spouse; and, the family’s suffering, pain and mental anguish.

The third category, punitive damages, actually serves as punishment to make the defendant realize his or her wrong act as well as to deter him or her from repeating it. While some states award compensatory damages with punitive damages, many others do not even make available these damages in wrongful death lawsuits. This absence, however, is usually off-set by the awarding of treble damages (or triple damages) which increases the amount of actual damages to three times; awarding of treble damages is made at the discretion of the court, which bases its judgment on legally acceptable reasons.

Negligent acts that cause wrongful death can be committed by anyone. It can be a manufacturer who produces a low quality construction ladder that causes a worker to suffer a fatal fall; a car driven by a distracted driver who hits and kills a pedestrian; a doctor who prescribes a drug that increases the risk of heart attack, and so forth.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding a wrongful death case, there are those that are really so hard to prove, such as one resulting from medical malpractice or pharmaceutical negligence. Besides all the evidences required for a strong case, there is also a statute of limitation which need to be observed. Eventually also, the victim may need to face an insurance firm, which will do all things within its means, to save itself from paying compensation claims amounting to millions of dollars.

Some lawyers, after hearing a family’s case, may guarantee a sure win and even give an estimate of how much compensation the family may be entitled to receive. If this happens, it is important that the family immediately cuts communication with that lawyer and look for another: lawyers are not allowed to give clients any guarantee regarding their case since the outcome of lawsuits simply cannot be predicted.

Important Facts about Internet Sex Crimes in Texas

Posted by on 3-03-15 in Court | 0 comments

There is a lot of stigma surrounding the sensitive nature of internet sex crimes. As such, anyone who is facing a charge for any of these crimes can end up facing devastating consequences. Not only are these individuals subject to harsh punishment mandated by Texas law, they could also end up experiencing significant obstacles in terms of their livelihood and reputation.

Individuals convicted with an internet sex crime can continue to suffer such long-term consequences even after they’ve finished serving their sentences. For one, Texas law requires that those convicted of sex crimes involving minors should remain listed as registered sex offender for a specific amount of time after the end of their sentence. This registry, which is part of Texas public records, can easily be accessed by the general public. With stakes this high, it’s easy to see why an internet sex crime charge is impossible to take lightly and ignore.

This isn’t to say that Internet sex crimes aren’t serious felonies that should be prevented as much as possible. The trauma experienced by victims of such sensitive crimes can’t be diminished just because it took place through the Internet. Despite this, as investigated by the Texas Observer, it’s also important to note that there is extreme bias against individuals charged with sex crimes. A Houston criminal defense lawyer will be aware of how even when the law mandates that every person is innocent until proven guilty, there are moments when biases become integrated in the legal process.

The following are the most common cases of Internet sex crimes in Texas:

  • Possession of child pornography
  • Distribution of child pornography
  • Possession or distribution of other sexually explicit materials considered illegal by law
  • Lewd online behavior

If you are facing charges based on any of these scenarios, it’s best to seek out legal advice immediately. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to learn which options you can take.

Religious Discrimination within the Workplace

Posted by on 2-02-15 in Employment Law | 0 comments

The United States prides itself on the many freedoms its citizens enjoy. Among these many freedoms is the freedom of religion. In the workplace, unfortunately, many employees feel like their freedom of religion is violated when employers or coworkers harass them or treat them differently because of their religious affiliations.

It is illegal to base an aspect of employment on a person’s religious associations, including hiring, firing, promoting, pay, or assigning work tasks. It is also illegal to bar any individual from wearing religious garb or practicing personal grooming habits in compliance with their religion.

Employers are required to provide a reasonably accommodating religious environment to their employees. Common forms of this would be a flexible schedule, job reassignments, or small changes in work policy.

Harassment is one of the most common forms of religious discrimination. The law does not prohibit isolated instances of teasing or other verbal harassment. It is when these incidents become more hostile or frequent that an employer should step in to protect their employee from a discriminatory work environment.

Examples of of workplace discrimination based on religion would be social workers refusing to counsel homosexuals, pharmacies refusing to provide birth control to women, or school districts firing unmarried women that have become pregnant.

According to the law offices of Cary Kane, religious discrimination within the workplace can cause serious emotional trauma and financial strain on an individual. Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue that too many Americans face.

If you believe that you are being discriminated against in the workplace for your religious beliefs or your association to a religious body, contact an attorney in your area to discuss your legal options.

The Importance of a Court Reporter

Posted by on 2-02-15 in Court | 0 comments

A court reporter, or stenographer, is responsible for documenting the court proceedings word for word during a trial, deposition, or any other legal proceeding. These highly trained professionals are responsible for the impartial, accurate proceedings during a judicial process. Transcripts must be verbatim for official records since the documents may be used in later hearings or proceedings if the court decision is appealed. Most stenographers still use stenotype machines that use a form of shorthand in order to more quickly type out transcripts.

Before a trial begins, many attorneys choose to utilize deposition records during the discovery period. A good court reporter is capable of using the latest technology and providing access to real-time voice-to-text translation. This skill allows for the judge and participating legal officials to have immediate access to the judicial process while also allowing the deaf and hard-of-hearing to partake in the legal proceedings.

According to the Stratos Legal website, it is critical that a stenographer exhibit peak professionalism when documenting a legal proceeding. There are more than 50,000 court reporters in the United States, and the growing occupation is crucial to the involved United States judicial system and responsible for keeping records organized and accessible. Most court reporters are employees of the state or local government while other are employed from home or a central office. Up to 70% of court reporters also provide captioning for real-time translation on television or at public events for the deaf and hearing impaired.

If you are undergoing a trial or are in need of a real-time transcript to document a proceeding, it is important that you trust your stenographer to be professional and experienced. Often it is worthwhile to seek a professional court reporter to oversee your case.