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If you are behind on bills or credit card payments, you might get a call from a debt collector. Unfortunately, debt collection harassment and abuse are fairly common. In response to complaints of unethical communication methods and manipulative tactics used by debt collectors, Congress passed The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is intended to protect consumers from debt collection harassment and outlines specific guidelines that debt collectors must adhere to. If you are contacted by a debt collector, it is important to know your rights. What Can a Debt Collector Legally Do? Debt collectors work for creditors…
When the Supreme Court heard argument recently in Torres v. Madrid, the Justices considered a wide range of interpretive approaches that might help them interpret the meaning of a Fourth Amendment seizure.[1] In a heated discussion of stare decisis, the Justices debated how closely they should hew to their prior decision in California v. Hodari D.,[2] which seemed to hold that officers seize a suspect at the moment they apply physical force to him, whether they successfully subdue him or not. The Justices then debated both the import and meaning of founding-era cases that involved seizures through physical…
Delivering a great experience to every client every time you interact with them is important. You want to treat them so they feel like they’re your priority even though they know you have many other clients and matters you’re working on. To do this you need to be conscious of the experience you’re providing no matter the type of communication. It’s easier to do this in person than on the phone or through email or text because of the immediate feedback you receive from observing what your client is saying and their body language. When communication is in writing, it’s…
I have spoken to or reviewed records for thousands of patients over the years I have been representing people injured by medical malpractice.  I have also read a lot of articles about the incidence of medical malpractice.  I can say with confidence that in any hospital stay of three days or more, the patient will be the victim of at least one instance of medical malpractice.  Fortunately, most of these instances will cause little harm but the fact of that much malpractice should be of concern to all of us. It is not hard to understand why there is so…
Britney Spears has not been able to make a single legal decision on her own since she was 27. This is because the singer was placed under a legal Conservatorship after her public breakdown in 2008 (if you recall the shaved head stunt and the umbrella hits to the paparazzi). Now, 12 years later, Spears is going to battle against her father, Jamie Spears, to remove him from his role as sole conservator of her estate. This case has not been shy of the public eye, like anything in the pop princess’s life. Many of her fans have been spreading …
There are many situations in which injury or wrongful deaths occur at work or at home.  This brief article focuses on how a lawyer analyzes fault on the part of the manufacturer or contractor in accident scenarios.  Many consumer or industrial products and settings can be dangerous, not due to fault of the consumer operator, but for lack of accident prevention in the design or planning of the product or operation.  These principles of accident prevention apply where there is potential exposure of the consumer or worker to hazardous conditions or features of a product or operation. A list of…
For many creators in the USA, defending their copyrights against violators on the internet is frustrating, especially from sites abroad. However, a USA appellate court ruled against copyright violators from Russia. Certainly, some countries do not defend copyrights or other forms of intellectual property as the USA does. So this may be an encouraging news for creators. On June 26, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion on the case UGM Recordings, Inc. v. Kurbanov. In this ruling, the Court held a Russian based internet site subject to personal Jurisdiction in the…
This post reviews a wonderful new book, the “new edition” of America’s Peacemakers:  The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights by Bertram Levine and Grande Lum, published by the University of Missouri Press.  Levine, who died in 2006, published the first edition covering events up to 1990 in Part I.  Lum discusses events since then, in Part II.  Here’s a flyer for the book with a code for a 40% discount. Levine was an associate director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS).  Grande was the CRS Director from 2012-2016 and is familiar to many of…
In my experience as an Arizona estate planning attorney, I have seen clients choose their Agents, Successor Trustees or Personal Representatives for a variety of reasons — including the wrong ones. It’s only natural to select a beloved friend or family member who genuinely wants and expects to receive such an assignment, if only to avoid hurting their feelings. However, your estate plan (and its execution after your death) should be based on what you want for your beneficiaries, not on what a potential  Successor Trustee or Personal Representative might want. The selection of this important individual(s) should be based…
A plaintiff who brings suit may be subject to a physical or mental examination ordered by the court if the plaintiff’s physical or mental condition is at issue in the case, pursuant to Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 35.  These examinations often occur if there is an unresolved injury, i.e., loss of movement or a traumatic brain injury. In these examinations, an expert hired by the defendant’s insurance company will examine the plaintiff.  Rule 35 permits attendance by a representative of the plaintiff unless attendance would compromise the exam. The examination may be recorded by the least intrusive means…
Other than being placed in the “waiting room” (a virtual time-out) by your teacher for not paying attention or goofing off during class, did you think you could be suspended or expelled for something? It happened to a 9-year-old fourth grade student in Louisiana in September, 2020. Like many of you, Ka Mauri Harrison was in his bedroom taking a test online. He shares his bedroom with an older brother. At some point, his brother came into the room. When a gun fell to the floor, Ka got up from his seat, picked up the gun and placed it by…
The divisiveness in our country because of partisan politics is disappointing on many levels. People demean others they know and don’t know on social media and anywhere else they can leave comments. People physically attack others at protests and even drive cars into crowds. This really is unbelievable if you think about it. In many ways, our country is coming apart at the seams. I know people’s positions on political issues are shaped by their core beliefs. No one is going to change another’s core beliefs through an online comment, an in person confrontation, or even a courteous conversation. What…
We are pleased to welcome Prof. Ryan C. Black and Prof. Ryan J. Owens for this guest post. Ryan C. Black is Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University.  Ryan J. Owens is the George C. and Carmella P. Edwards Professor of American Politics and the Director of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership, both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Recently, we published a study that examined the influence of former Supreme Court law clerks when they return to the High Court to argue cases. We sought to examine two questions: Do former clerks influence their justices?…
On Wednesday September 23rd, 2020, The Department of Justice sent draft legislation to Congress to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Among the items they are attempting to reform is a “Case-Specific Carve-Out” that would require platforms to take content down that is unlawful – including content deemed defamatory in court. In the past, Section 230 has granted immunity to online platforms and Internet providers from responsibility for the content posted on their sites – making the user the sole publisher of the content and not the platform. However, as the Internet has grown and flourished since Section…
On October 2, the filing fees USCIS charges for many of its applications and petitions will change. The rule change published on August 3, 2020 also removes certain fee exemptions and changes fee waiver requirements. Furthermore, the premium processing time limit is being extended. Filing an application, petition, or request postmarked on or after October 2, 2020 requires the correct new fee or USCIS will reject it. For employers who sponsor workers, the fees are increasing. For example, the fee to sponsor an employee’s L visa is increasing 75 percent. Before the rule change, USCIS charged $460; the new fee…
She’s on the short list for the Supreme Court position, and she’s very, VERY solid on the Second Amendment! She dissented in Kanter v. Barr, where the Seventh Circuit rejected an as-applied Second Amendment challenge, brought by a person who had been convicted of a nonviolent felony (mail fraud). “History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. Founding-era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons. Nor…