Sunday, August 21, 2016

LEGAL 911--- WHEN should you Contact a Lawyer?

So, you have a legal problem... maybe.  But maybe you can handle it yourself. Or maybe it won't get too serious... or maybe it will go away.

How do you decide when to see an attorney?

Of course, the decision varies from person to person and case to case. But here are some situations that should cause you to seek help right away.

  1.  You have been served with a lawsuit.   If you have been served, don't wait around. You will need to answer that lawsuit by a certain day and time, in the proper way, or you could lose the case.  The WHEN and WHERE of how to answer it in State District Court, County Court, Justice Court (Small claims) , or Federal Court? How did you receive service?  In some cases, you can even be served by mail. 
  2. You have received an administrative complaint.  Whether it is local, state or federal government, administrative complaints still should not be ignored. (Examples; homeowner's association, IRS, Workforce Commission, your local city government, a professional regulatory board in your state.)
  3. You are aware of a serious pending issue that can affect your job or ability to make a living.  These are not lawsuits yet but can quickly get out of hand.  (Example, you get reputable information that you are being accused of some type of workplace misconduct; you get a letter that you are being unfairly ousted from a professional group that provides you with most of your clients; you find out that your employee is copying your confidential files and client lists and setting up her own business.)
  4. There is an immediate threat to an individual's health or safety, or a threat of property destruction.   This is something that is on the verge of becoming a full-out emergency.   At any time, it could go either way.  (Examples:  Your neighbor is flooding your property by mishandling his landscaping and water supply; child protective services is investigating your ex-spouse regarding the welfare of your child;  your child is visiting your ex-spouse across the state and you find out that she is being left alone without supervision; someone is threatening you with bodily harm). 
  5. You have been asked to sign important documents and you don't fully understand the documents or the situation.   If you don't understand it, don't sign it until you do.  This is especially important when it relates to long-term contracts, contracts for the purchase or sale of real estate, and any document that asks you to sign away your rights or commit to providing your money or time.  (Examples: Termination of your Parental Rights, Settlement for a sum of money in exchange for not pursing a legal claim, contract for purchase or sale of a business, signing of a severance package from your employer.)
Don't wait until it is too late.  Words that you do not want to hear your attorney say.... "I'm sorry. If you had only come to me sooner..." 

Civil Attorneys, Family Law, Business Law, Real Estate Law, Probate
"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Divorce Cases that Cross State Lines

Two people are about to divorce.   Where do they file the case? Well, that's easy, in the county where they both are living, right? 

Well, not always....

When two people are married, and living together and have been living there for awhile, yes, they do file in that county.   But some cases are not so clear.  

  1. He lives in one county, she lives in another. This has been going on for over 6 months. 
  2. He lives in one state, she lives in another. 
  3. The couple just moved from one state to another and have not established residency. 
  4. One or both spouses regularly live in two locations, and it is unclear which is the primary residence. 
  5. The divorce case was already filed, and is now on hold, in another county or state. Now they want to proceed.
  6. They live in two separate locations and each one files independently of the other. Which case proceeds to conclusion?
These cases are not as rare as you would think.  And, depending on the facts of the case, there may be more than one option on where to file the divorce. 

In the least complicated of the above cases, it may be just a matter of timing. Assuming that each of the two people filed and each of them chose a correct location, then it may just be a matter of who filed first.   Other cases require legal research, and possibly a court hearing to decide. In the most complicated cases, two judges from two different courts may need to speak with each other at length to make the legal determination. 

If you are in a complicated situation and are divorcing, or considering divorce, or your divorce was filed and is on "hold" somewhere other than where you now live, contact a family law attorney to help you understand what your options are and how to proceed.  

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
Se habla español

Monday, August 8, 2016

Texas Employers, Here are Some FREE Resources to Help you Run your Business!

The Texas Workforce Commission's Office of the Commissioner Representing Employers ("TWC") has an employer hotline to answer employer questions about basic legal issues related to hiring, work-separation, and other employment and post-employment issues.  The number is 800-832-9394.

There are also free resources available online.  Check out the publication, "Especially for Texas Employers" that is available. This manual contains tips, information about the law, policy and procedure, and forms for use by Texas Employers.  You can receive the print version by attending one of the seminars put on for Texas Employers in various locations around the state. There is a charge for attending the day-long seminar.

Would you like to have help understanding salary vs. hourly pay?  How about understanding how Unemployment claims work?   Would you like to know if the wages/salary that your company pays is competitive for your industry and geographic location? How about what to do if you are the subject of an audit?   What if someone files a workers compensation claim? All of this information and more is available from the TWC.

These important resources can help you create or define your company's procedures.  When your employees know exactly what is expected of them morale will be higher and goals can be met.

Having an employee who under performs is one of the most frustrating experiences that an employer can have.  Even worse is having an employee who flouts procedure and policy and dares you to discharge them. This can become a nightmare when it is interfering with customer satisfaction and the employer isn't sure of the best way to handle the situation.  The TWC's Commission Representing Employers is there to help.

If you currently have business issues or are confused, consider reviewing the information available. This information can help you understand the law.  Even if you have a business attorney helping you with a specific difficult situation it is always a good idea to improve your overall procedures and prevent future problems.

Kalish Law Office - The Woodlands, Texas 
"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.