Monday, March 23, 2015

Dismissal With or Without Prejudice

If you have been involved in a lawsuit, you may have heard the terms "dismissed without prejudice" or "dismissed with prejudice."

If a case is dismissed "without prejudice" that means that the case is being dismissed now, but that it may be refiled in the future. (note: there may still be time limits set by law that prohibit this refiling after a certain amount of time has gone by so be sure to check that for your individual type of case).

A case that is dismissed "with prejudice" will not be allowed a refiling. (note: if the problem is ongoing or returns, a new case may be able to be filed for something that happens after the date of dismissal, or a separate action that is similar to but not the same as the original one may be appropriate).

If you have a decision to make about dismissal of a case, your attorney can explain these differences to you, and how your situation will be affected now and in the future.

Although the basic meaning of these two terms sounds simple, applying them to certain situations is not simple at all, and requires a complete understanding of the facts and law relating to the case.

Kalish Law Office - Business Law- Family Law - Probate Law- The Woodlands, Texas 

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Can Employers Legally Prohibit Their Employees from Complaining on Social Media?

Many employers nowadays have a social media policy for their employees.  But they may not know that the National Labor Relations Act protects "concerted" speech & activity by their employees.   This means that employees can talk about their work environment including talking about other employees, their boss, or how much they make.
This provision in the National Labor Relations Act applies to non-unionized work places as well as unionized ones.
Employers have a legitimate right to protect trade secrets and confidential information of the company and its clients.  However employees do not have the right to restrict all workplace related speech by their employees.
Employees can abuse the privilege by posting comments that are violent, slanderous or otherwise unlawful. 
From the article "Office Talk" by Michael Melder and Justin Jeter- Texas State Bar Journal February 2015, page 178

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We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

How to Get a Certified Copy of your Divorce Decree

Once you are divorced you will want to get a certified copy of your divorce Decree.  Your Attorney may do that for you or help you understand how to do that.  But even so, you may be anxious to get one quickly or you may need additional copies later on. It can be very helpful to know how to get the Decree for yourself. 

You will have a choice between a certified or non-certified copy of the Decree. A certified copy is one that is stamped and legally certified by the District Clerk's office.  You will need a certified copy if you are changing your name, changing benefits on insurance, putting the Decree on file with your child's school, using it at your bank, or for any other "official" reason.  Therefore it's good to have at least one certified copy. 

If you are able, have the case number and date or approximate date of your divorce available. (If you don't know, the district clerk will be able to help you find this information, or it may be available online for your Texas county).

Next, contact the district clerk of the county in which you received your divorce. Look online first - you may be able to order your decree online. If you are in a hurry you may wish to go in person to the district clerk's office. You also can request your Decree by mail and enclose the proper fee. 

Once you have your Decree, make sure that you keep a certified copy in a safe place because you may need it again in the future. 

Texas counties have information online on their district clerk websites to guide people who are looking to get copies of official documents.

Kalish Law Office - Family Law - The Woodlands, Texas 

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Confidentiality and Attorney-Client Privilege

Information which is shared by a client with his or her attorney is confidential. 

For that reason, an attorney may insist that only the client  be present during conferences and preparation.  The presence of a third party that is not a client will waive the attorney client privilege. This means that the friend or family member who came along to provide emotional support could end up getting subpoenaed and forced to testify as to what s/he heard, even if it is not in the best interest of the client.

Although everyone knows that an attorney is not allowed to share the clients information without the client's specific consent, many people don't realize that the presence of the third party in a confidential setting can interfere with attorney-client privilege. 

Attorney- client privilege is an important legal principle that must be guarded carefully. 

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Should I Rush to File my Divorce First?

If you are about to become divorced you may be concerned about getting to the courthouse first to file the petition.  Many people have the impression that if they don’t file first they will have a more difficult time getting temporary possession of the home, or obtaining favorable terms relating to property or children.  However that is generally not the case.

Here are the ways in which being the Petitioner matter:

Selection of the county for the proceedings (venue) In most cases, where to file is obvious.  But in some situations, there may be a choice.  A divorce may be filed in the county where either spouse is a resident (must meet the residence requirements), or where the last marital residence was.  An example: the couple lived together in county A, then one of them moved to county B and established residence, there would be a choice of where to file since the divorce can be filed in either county A or in county B.  So, one of the spouses may want to hurry and file first in order to make sure that the courthouse in which the divorce is filed will be geographically convenient to them.

Payment of initial filing fee Whoever files first also pays the initial filing fee.

Setting the tone of the initial proceedings Whoever files first sets the tone of the proceedings at least temporarily.  The first filer (petitioner), will decide whether to file a fault or no fault divorce.  However, this can change, because pleadings can be amended and changed by either party. 

Going first if there is a trial:  If there is a trial, the Petitioner will get to go first in the courtroom.  Although the majority of cases do not go to final trial, this fact can have an impact on trial strategy.

Overall, if you don’t make it to the courthouse first, you should not worry.  You will still have the opportunity to file an answer, file other court documents, negotiate, attend mediation, and have your day in court if settlement does not happen.  

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Annulment of a Marriage Between Two Adults in Texas

Our last blog post dealt with marriage of underage parties and requirements to annul those marriages.

This post will deal with marriages between two adults that may qualify for annulment.

Many people would like to have an annulment rather than the divorce because it can be quicker.  In order to have an annulment, you must prove that the marriage should never have been. "Should never have been" means from a legal perspective, not just an emotional one.

Some examples of the marriages that may qualify for annulment are the following:

Intoxication.  When of the parties was so intoxicated that they could not legally consent to being married.

Mental Incapacity.  In order to consent to marriage, each party must have the mental capacity to do so.

Impotence of either party.  If one of the parties is unable to participate in normal marital relations and the other party did not know this prior to the marriage this may qualify for an annulment.

Married Within the Waiting Period.  One party was divorced from a third party within the 30 days prior to the marriage and the other party did not know about it.

Duress.  One party forces another to get married or threatens them.

Fraud.  A party hides something very essential and the other party does not learn about it until after the marriage.

The following are two types of marriage that will be declared void in an annulment proceeding.

Relatives.  If two people got married who were too closely related this may qualify for an annulment.

Bigamy.  If one of the parties is still married to someone else at the time of the wedding. (however, if they continue to live together as spouses after the divorce and the "innocent spouse" has knowledge of the previous marriage they can be considered married and an annulment sought later will be denied.)

In all of the above cases, it is important to act quickly, in some situations within 30 days of the marriage.

Kalish Law Office - Family Law - The Woodlands, Texas 

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference." For Over Thirty Years.
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Best of The Woodlands 2015 Voting is Going on Now!

If you live, work or socialize in The Woodlands, don't miss your chance to vote in 2015 Best of The Woodlands! 

(Hint: We are listed under "Professional Services" where you will have a chance to vote for your favorite "Attorney, Lawyer, and Legal Services".)

Voting goes on for the month of February.

Thank you!

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