Monday, March 30, 2015

Help! My Loved One Died and I Lost the Original Will!

Losing a loved one is already upsetting.  Finding out that their will is nowhere to be found can make things seem overwhelming.
If this has happened to you, there are some things that can be done.
First, find a copy of the will.  A copy of the will may be able to be probated.  This will require you to prove to the judge that the copy is legitimate.  Witnesses will be needed to come to court, to sign documentation, or possibly have a deposition.
If you cannot find a copy of the will, you should start by contacting the attorney or law office where the will was drafted to see if a copy exists.  The deceased person may also have given copies to close family members, named executors, or other beneficiaries.
If you’re unable to find any copy, unable to get any needed witnesses, or unable to prove that the copy is legitimate to the satisfaction of the court, there are other options under the Texas Estates Code that would allow transfer of property without a will.  Whether or not these other options will be financially feasible or will suit your needs is something that you will need to discuss with a probate attorney.

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
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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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