Friday, September 28, 2012

Information about the New 2012 Immigration Policy- Where to Look

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On June 15, 2012, a new immigration policy was announced by President Obama.  This policy states that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not deport certain young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act.  They must meet strict requirements in order to be granted this relief.   If it is granted, the individual will be able to legally stay in the United States for two years and can apply for employment authorization.   At the end of two years, it may be renewed.

*This is just a policy, not a law just a policy decision, so it may be changed in the future.

There are some strict requirements that must be met in order to successfully apply.  A list of them may be found on the website of the National Immigration Law Center. 

WARNING:  Be very careful when applying for this relief.   There are strict requirements relating to having a criminal background. Even a misdemeanor may be “significant”.  Also, you should NOT travel outside the United States if you plan to apply for this relief.   

Be careful that you completely understand the policy and that you are relying on good information before applying.  If you get advice, make sure you are talking with a qualified immigration attorney or representative of an accredited an reputable legal service provider. There are legal service organizations or legal aid associations that are helping people file for a reduced cost, or for no cost.

The website of the National Immigration Law Center has excellent information on this policy.

We have had several inquiries about where to find resources about this new policy and so we have written this blog to help our readers find information that they need.   Although our firm is currently not accepting these types of cases, we want to pass along this information and ask our readers to please be careful of immigration scams. Check out the link above at the National Immigration Law Center to get more information.


Monday, September 17, 2012

You Can't Build a Reputation on What You're Going to Do

Keeping up with the day-to-day problems and tasks of running a small business can be exhausting, even when everything is going well.  Add in a few problems, some family obligations, a health limitation or two, and things can feel overwhelming.

It can be too easy to just think of putting one foot in front of the other, which can keep you from seeing the “big picture”. For instance, there may be a few changes that you could afford to make now, that would save you lots of time and money in the future. Only  you just can’t slow down long enough to make the changes you need.

Here are a few tips to help you budget your time and money which can pay big dividends in the future:

1.       Don’t be a Lone Ranger -  Too many small business people tough it out and go it alone, when it really isn’t necessary.   “Networking” is big these days, but don’t forget that networking isn’t only about getting new clients or patients!  Network for support as well.  Are you good at setting up an in-office system for paying bills but hate online marketing?  Find another business owner and set aside a few hours to help each other out.

2.       Get your professionals lined up in advance – Don’t wait until you have an emergency to have contact information for professionals such as a business attorney, bookkeeper, CPA or I.T  to help you out.  If you have some of these professionals among your contacts or in your networking groups, talk with them about what services they provide for small businesses like yours, and keep their contact information in a safe, accessible place that you will be able to remember when you need it.   Some attorneys  offer a short consult for a small fee that business clients can schedule in order to get to know the attorney and get advice about day-to-day operations and future dreams and plans.

3.       Don’t keep reinventing the wheel -  If you don’t have time to make a “procedure manual” for your business, at least keep a digital or paper file that you add to.   This will prevent two things from happening; 1) having to dig through old emails and rack your brain to figure out when you saw this situation before and how you solved it and 2)  this gives your employees a place to go  for guidance, instead of coming to you each time the same situation occurs.

Henry Ford said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do”.  He was correct.  But all too often we, as small business owners, expect too much of ourselves.  The key is to find a way to take small steps and make steady progress, rather than become overwhelmed and make no progress. 

So take a look at those items on your “to do” list that have been getting pushed back for the last 18 months.  What can you do to break them into small parts?

Kalish Law Office:  Business attorneys The Woodlands Texas

"Passionate, Professional and Personal. Since 1984."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Help With Business Licenses and Permits

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Business Licenses and Permits

When starting a new business, it is very important to be sure that you have the proper licenses and permits. 

This can be confusing territory to navigate if you haven’t done it before.  

Here are some ways that you can be sure that you are compliant:

1.        Talk to others with experience in your field

2.       Ask advice of the professionals that you are using to help you (CPA, Relator, business attorney)

3.       Check out the Small Business Association page for “Find Licenses and Permits” to start your checklist.

4.       Do other research online or at the library

5.       If you have a professional license check your licensing board or association’s website

6.       If you deal with hazardous materials, check the appropriate state and federal websites

7.       Attend available seminars created for this purpose from the SBA, Texas Workforce Commission, or your professional licensing board or professional association.

Be aware that there are many requirements that are particular to each situation and profession and you may have to check several sources to be sure that you become (and stay) compliant.  Don’t take a chance on getting a fine!

Once you get the licenses and permits in order, scan the paperwork so that you have a digital copy, and add calendar notifications to tell you when they need to be renewed.

Kalish Law Texas- Business Attorneys, The Woodlands, Texas

"Passionate, Professional and Personal. We Make the Difference." Since 1984


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What is a "CASA" Volunteer?

“CASA” stands for “Court Appointed Special Advocate”.  CASA workers are volunteers who give their time in order to be a “special advocate” for abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

The CASA Association is nationwide (49 states). Volunteers undergo screening and training in order to advocate for the children.

Many people don’t realize that the CASA movement began in 1977.   A Seattle Judge conceived of the idea. 

CASA volunteers give of their time, meeting with the children  and getting to know them.  CASA workers change lives with their involvement.  As one former foster child puts in, “Everyone else in the system… did their jobs but nobody else tried to get to know me as a person.”   (Jackie’s Story, changed youth, CASA website).

The CASA volunteer is an important person in the courtroom, because he or she has a lot of useful information about the child’s desires and needs.  Judges have very little time to make important decisions which will have major impact on a child’s life.  These Judges rely on the insight of CASA volunteers to assist them in information-gathering.

Unfortunately, there are not enough CASA volunteers to go around. Many children could benefit from the careful attention of a CASA worker, but are not able to have one assigned to them.

You can learn more about CASA and volunteer opportunities at the CASA website.