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Attorney

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do?

A lawyer plays an important role in any real estate transaction, especially in a house purchase. Although not required during a real estate transaction, a lawyer can simplify the legal aspects of such transaction.
When you purchase a house, you will be required to enter into a legally binding contract with the seller of the property. The contract may affect your rights and impose certain legal obligations on you. This is where the real estate lawyer plays an important role. The real estate lawyer can explain your rights and obligations under the contract. This can help you to avoid problems that could cost you money and time.
The role of a lawyer in such a transaction depends on you. It can be as broad as you want it to be. Generally in a real estate transaction, the lawyer will review and/or prepare your agreement with the property’s agent, your purchase agreement and closing documents. He will also review the abstract of title, insurance, or other evidence of title to make sure that title to the property is clear and can be transferred. He will confirm that there are no covenants, easements, liens, etc. registered against the house. He will prepare and register all the legal documents.
A lawyer can make sure that the transaction is being conducted in the proper way and that you as the purchaser will get right title. In any property transaction, the necessary documents must be properly executed and delivered and the sale proceeds properly paid out and accounted for at closing. A real estate lawyer will take care of all this. If the transaction does not materialize, your lawyer can advise you as to your rights and remedies.
With a lawyer on your side, you can be sure that he will protect your interests and he will resolve any legal problem that may arise during the transaction. He can make sure that you do not enter into any transaction which might cause legal trouble for you. Your lawyer can immediately analyze the legal position of any decision you take during the transaction. He can advise you on the anticipated result of any litigation including expenses that may arise out of the transaction.
Real estate transactions are governed by a wide body of laws – federal, provincial and local. Your lawyer will make sure that your transaction complies with all the applicable laws. The lawyer’s role in a property transaction is to make sure that you as the client are well informed and protected through the transaction.
There are no special qualifications for becoming a real estate lawyer. Like all lawyers, they must have a JD degree from an American Bar Association accredited law school and must have cleared the state bar exam. Before a lawyer can practice in a state, he must pass the state bar exam.…

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General Article

A Serious Punishment for Identity Theft

A Serious Punishment for Identity Theft

Identity theft is a very common and serious criminal act. The rates of this crime are increasing all the time, and therefore it’s an important subject to discuss. A person’s financial situation can be ruined as a result of identity theft. Arguably the most devastating part is that often the victim had no idea that it was happening to them. Thieves can commit this crime in multiple ways. One such way is by digging through the trash in order to acquire personal information

The information criminals need to steal your identity includes your name, date of birth, and address. When they are able to get what they need, they can begin applying for credit cards and open accounts so they can accumulate debt under your name. Knowing that your identity is stolen is difficult to know right away, and most don’t know it’s happening until damage has already been done.

Is Punishment Harsh Enough?

In the past, criminals would essentially get a slap on the wrist and be free to commit the crime once again. The penalty has become more harsh, as now they can face 25 years in prison for such charges. Perhaps now some will think twice before stealing a person’s identity.

Prevention

However, a thief can’t be charged with committing a crime until they have been caught. People must be find an identity thief by knowing what to keep an eye out for. Signs that you are a victim of identity theft include transactions on your bank statement and credit account that are not supposed to be there. Always pay careful attention to what you are throwing away, as this is one of the most important tips to preventing theft.…

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Harvard Law School

The Differences Between Product and Premises Liability

All Philadelphia residents have certain rights when it comes to injury through either products or property. These rights are protected not only by Philadelphia codes, but by the laws and regulations of the state of Pennsylvania. If you have sustained an injury either by a faulty or inadequately labeled product, or by a piece of property which was not maintained properly, you could be entitled to monetary compensation. This compensation is to cover the costs of medical treatments, both past and future, as well as any other losses that were a direct result of your injury. Before you file a claim, you must first find a Philadelphia liability attorney to help you build your case.
When a manufacturer produces a product, they are required to adhere to certain regulations that the government sets. These regulations are put in place as a safety measure to make sure that any product a consumer purchases is safe to be used, and if it is possible to be harmed by the product, then it should contain a warning label stating the hazard. However, even with these regulations in place, many consumers have found that a product they have purchased did not live up to the promise of the manufacturer, in which case, the manufacturer is liable for the damages that result from their product.
While injury due to an ill-designed or badly made product can occur, you are at just as much risk to be injured while on someone’s premises, which is known as Philadelphia premises liability. Take for example, you are at the park with your child who becomes injured because the play equipment was unsafe. If the park is owned by the city, then the local government is at fault for not maintaining a public area-especially one in which small children could be seriously harmed or killed. This is equally the case with business and private properties. Failure to post signs cautioning visitors of hazards, improperly lit areas such as parking lots and entrances, as well as many other careless acts could cause the property owner to become liable for an injury sustained on the premises.
When you suffer at the hands of careless company owners or single persons in the community, your Philadelphia attorney is there to help. Find an attorney that you are comfortable with because you will spend a good bit of time with them while your case proceeds. You are sure to feel better when you find the liability attorney that treats you like family and takes care of you like their own.…

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Lawyer

Tips for Maximizing Your Settlement in a Personal Injury Case

In the aftermath of a personal injury, it’s easy to stay focused on recovering physically to the exclusion of taking steps to recover financially. While this is a natural and reasonable response to getting hurt, it can become an expense mistake in the long run, and one that may be difficult to fix. What follows are some straightforward tips to maximizing your settlement in a personal injury case; the list is not comprehensive and is not meant to substitute for speaking to a licensed legal professional about your case, but they can give you a good starting point.
Retain Counsel Early in the Process – While your primary focus after you have been injured will, and should, be healing, finding a lawyer early in the process can make a significant difference. The negligent party will likely hire a lawyer quickly, and it is important to protect your rights from the outset. Particularly if the opposing lawyer works for an insurance company, he or she may present themselves to you as trying to expediently help you. In reality, the goal is to lock you into a set of facts and get you to agree to a settlement before all the facts have even been examined. It is important to remember that no matter how they present themselves, they do not have your best interest in mind because you are not their client.
Control the Flow of Information – This corollary to the above tip is most easily accomplished by your lawyer and should begin as soon after the accident as possible. This will include details like what information is shared with your insurance company, the opposing party’s insurance company and lawyers, potentially the police investigating the accident, and anyone else looking for details on what happened. While the facts of a case are set by what happened, the way in which they are constructed and presented can be influenced by a skilled attorney. In order to maximize your settlement, do your best to allow your lawyer to do this.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer – When selecting the attorney to represent you in your personal injury case, it is important to pick a lawyer who has experience with the specific type of injury from which you suffered. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the legal elements of each injury may differ depending on the full set of circumstances surrounding the case – did it involve a car, a faulty product, premises liability? Second, the medical evidence involved may be or become quite complex. Only through experience can a lawyer really understand this level of technical evidence and effectively intertwine it with the other facts of your case.
Research Attorneys Before Hiring One – Another significant advantage of hiring an experienced lawyer is that it will influence the settlement negotiation. While any competent lawyer should be able to adequately handle your case, one with a strong reputation will impact the opposing side’s interest in settling. When conducting your investigation of the attorneys you are considering, look to see how many cases they have been involved in, how many of them involved your type of injury, how many they won, and what the average settlement was that they secured. Some of this may be difficult to find and may need to be asked in an interview process. It is also important to ask each lawyer how they see the facts of your case – what should your expectations be given the facts.
Choose a Lawyer With Whom You Are Comfortable – Personal injury cases involve the sharing of a great deal of personal, and often embarrassing information. If the lawyer who is representing you does not put you at ease, you will be less likely to be as helpful as needed to obtain the maximum settlement. Furthermore, if for any reason your case does not proceed as expected, having a lawyer you trust will help you find peace that the best outcome possible was reached, even if not the one you wanted. In the long-run, having this security is invaluable.…

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General Article

Credit Card-Not-Present Fraud – A Safety Guide For Merchants

Credit Card-Not-Present Fraud – A Safety Guide For Merchants

Merchants who accept credit card-not-present transactions are at a higher risk of receiving a fraudulent sale than a card present merchant. Criminals do not have to identify themselves or physically present a credit card to be swiped. Online purchases, phone orders, and catalog sales are examples of when a credit or debit card would be keyed-in, not swiped. These card-not-present merchants must take special precautions to ensure they will not be the next victims of credit card fraud. Here are some things to look for when accepting card-not-present (CNP) transactions.

First Time Shopper

Ecommerce merchants, phone order merchants, and catalog sales merchants should always be wary of first time customers. Criminals are always looking for new victims to scam. Ensure that you are using the AVS, or address verification system, and the card security code (CVV2) to reduce your chances of getting stiffed.

Unusual Orders

If you receive an order that is larger than normal, or an order that includes a lot of the same item: be suspicious. Using the same card for multiple orders in a short amount of time should also cause an alert. Criminals succeed at credit card fraud by ordering big and fast before a card can be shut down. Criminals also intend to re-sale their stolen goods. The bigger inventory they have, the better chances they have on the street.

Big Ticket Items

Criminals love to use stolen or counterfeit credit cards to obtain big-ticket items. Big- ticket items will have the largest resale value and make them the most profit.

Rushed Orders

Any time a customer requests “rushed” or overnight delivery take notice. Criminals need to have their stolen goods delivered fast before the card is alerted to authorities and shut down.

International Shipping

International orders are a big red flag because AVS cannot validate addresses outside of the United States. Canada and the United Kingdom are an exception.

Unusual Shipping

Be on the look out for transactions placed on multiple cards with one shipping address. Or, multiple shipping addresses for transactions placed on one card. Unusual shipping could indicate a ring of counterfeit activity.

Similar Account Numbers

Criminals can create counterfeit credit cards using illegal software. Many times these programs create account numbers that are closely related. Take the time to look closely at account numbers and note similarities.

Single IP Address

If you receive transactions from multiple cards from a single IP (Internet Protocol) address, take a closer look. Criminals with stolen or counterfeit credit cards will often “run” them through the same computer.

Free Email Accounts

Fraudsters utilize free email accounts to use in the check out process because there are no records or audit trails leading back to their identity. There is no billing relationship or verification of the person who has opened the email account.

Card-not-present fraud is popular among credit card criminals because their identity is anonymous and they do not physically have to present a credit card to be swiped. The best things a CNP merchant can do to protect themselves is be aware of suspicious orders, utilize the AVS, and always ask for the CVV2 security code. If you are in doubt, you can always ask for an alternative payment.…

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General Article

We Think, Therefore We Commit Crimes

We Think, Therefore We Commit Crimes

People think, therefore they commit actions of choice. Criminals think, therefore they commit crimes. This is not a very complicated notion, or is it a new concept. What becomes complicated are the processes and actions that follow, coupled with academic attempts to explain the subsequent acts. In very broad general terms, criminal behavior can be formatted and analyzed from the assessment of crime scene, but not to a point of perfection. Assessment, profiling or whatever you want to call it, is no more and no less just another tool for law enforcement. Just like lifting fingerprints, interviewing witnesses, or gathering other physical evidence, criminal behavior assessment is basically guesswork. Human behavior is not subject to strict codification or precise parameters by which exact measures can be deduced. Probabilities can be asserted along a continuum, whereby we can understand the thinking processes of criminals to the junction of potential prediction, but not absolute prediction. This is predicated, of course, on the assumption that certain elements exist within the known environment by which such predictions can be based. It is frequently suggested that criminals form pre-crime thoughts in an effort to individually and collectively carry out their criminal behavior intentions. Interdicting at this point in time would be unique and advantageous from a law enforcement perspective.

Motivations or personal agendas so to speak, set the stage for intentional selection for results that are either good or evil. Evil is the darkness of the human mind that fosters all manner of opposition to the positive and productive aspects of life. It is life negation in contrast to life affirmation. Conscious or subconscious thoughts take relevance and manifest themselves into real levels of expression with a significant probability of repetition. Thinking processes are the foundation of potential criminal behavior. People can be inspired by their thoughts for doing both good and evil. The pursuit of certain thoughts is grounds for criminal activity. People are a dichotomous expression of being on the one hand selfish, self-indulgent and self-centered in nature, yet also law-abiding, decent and considerate on the other. From an investigative standpoint, one can never underestimate the depravity of human beings. Human nature is not to be trusted to an absolute sense in all situations, under all varieties of conditions. Yet, everyone is still ultimately accountable and responsible for his or her actions, regardless of station or position in a given socio-economic context. Of course, some would use their status to place themselves above the lawful necessity of accountability and responsibility. And, as a result of one thinking that he or she can make choices contrary to accepted legal policy or social acceptance, criminal behavior becomes probable.

Criminal actions are probable due to personal decision-making. Such actions devolve toward personal choices associated with power and control issues. Criminals basically commit crimes because that is what they want to do. A person’s code of morality is influenced by philosophical fallacies of belief. This affects the thinking process. People basically do stupid things. The depravity of behavior is most likely unfathomable to most people. Criminals think before they act. The thoughts are there long before the event takes place. Thinking becomes the basis to rationalize the behavior and ultimately blame the behavior on someone or something else. So, crime analysis is probably more descriptive of the actions.

The formulation of criminal plans (thinking processes) begins with the thought of doing the acts upon which one desires. Plans to do harm are not sudden and impulsive. They occur over a distinct period of time in the brain, or “mind”, of the thinker. And, there is a high probability that since we are biologically oriented individual, our sexual drives and desires may influence our decision-making (choice we make) in terms of the crimes we commit and additions we create.

The thought processes emerge in some behavioral aspect, such as physically, verbally, and nonverbally, as well as symbolic behavior. Outward behavior is indicative of the inner thoughts of the person. Interpersonal communication is one of the keys to dealing with aspects of criminal behavior. People in general use various forms of communication to suggest their feelings, value system, lifestyle, attitude and thoughts. From tattoos to bumper stickers, to physical gestures and slogans, people, and in particular criminals, reveal indications of one sort or another as to their inclinations. Physical being is an expression of presence and that presence translates into wants and presumed needs. Whether by word, symbol or deed, the inner thoughts surface and become the outer actions of mind over matter so to speak. And, sometimes these outer actions become anti-social in nature. There is a deliberate desire to do the thing contemplated, whether the thoughts are short-term or long-term in transformation. Thinking is doing, acting, believing and experiencing. Various acts …

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General Article

Why Do We Lawyers Defend Sex Offenders?

Why Do We Lawyers Defend Sex Offenders?

As a New Jersey criminal attorney who defends people accused of Megan’s Law offenses such as child molestation, Internet predation, child endangerment, wrongful sexual touching, child pornography, luring and aggravated sexual assault upon a child, I am frequently asked, “How can you represent somebody who did such a thing?” The answer is that I enjoy it.

To begin, it is important to remember that criminal lawyers endorse neither the crime nor the alleged criminal. Our job is to examine, and then challenge or discredit, potentially incriminating evidence produced by the state against our client. This is the only way to ensure that the police and the courts give everyone the full protection of our legal system. We prevent them from convicting defendants until after the state has proven guilt beyond a doubt.

Our sexual offense clients are flesh-and-blood people to us, not mere names in a newspaper article or faceless monsters. They may be anyone. Male or female. A pillar of the community or a scofflaw drifter. A first-time defendant or a repeat offender. Some earn millions of dollars, others are unemployable. But they are all people who are very afraid, and rightfully so. We understand that. Our sexual offense clients are not just numbers and statistics any more than their alleged victims are. They are someone’s child, parent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, best friend or neighbor. Each is entitled to the protection of the Constitution. In Megan’s Law cases, even that protection needs protection.

The vigorous defense of an alleged child abuser, internet predator, or child pornographer not only protects the defendant’s Constitutional rights, it protects the Constitution itself. Experienced defense lawyers look for defects in the government’s case violating a person’s rights and allowing unreliable evidence into the case. Did the defendant have an attorney at all critical stages? Were all searches and investigations legally performed? Was the arrest Constitutional? Was a confession voluntary and informed? Was there entrapment? These protections are not loopholes through which guilty defendants might slip. They are fundamental protections built into our justice system that help ensure the fairness of a prosecution and the validity of a verdict.

People accused of child sex abuse are in particular need of these protections. Despite the Constitution’s declaration that they are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, in reality they are presumed by almost everyone to be guilty, even before the evidence is known. Friends stop calling. Family members keep their distance. Employers downsize them. Customers go elsewhere. Once a person is charged with a sex crime, his life will never be the same, even if no evidence is ever produced. No other crimes are like this.

Representing alleged sex offenders is a defense attorney’s special challenge. A Megan’s Law defendant may have committed reprehensible acts. Perhaps he didn’t. The prosecution will work hard to prove that he did. The defense will scrutinize and analyze that proof. We will present it in the light most favorable to our client. We will voice his every defense. But defense lawyers do not judge defendants. Juries do that. We just ensure that the Constitution continues to work… Our pleasure.…