How to Amp Up Your Law Firm’s Profitability

One of the big questions that is on the minds of most businessmen and professionals in the world is how to increase their business. More often than not, this sort of question focuses primarily on increasing profit within the business itself. As an answer to this question, the business may resort to cutting costs in certain parts of the company where they can afford it or they may implement strategic methods of attracting customers and revenue among others. Of course, the smartest approach would generally be to kill two (or more) birds with one stone on the matter.

Sometimes, a matter of improving your business can lie within a universal solution. Technological advancements have been the easiest answer for the past several years in regard to drawing more business for many industries. And for your law firm, the answer is no different. Using practice management software to consolidate your business more effectively may well be the key that you’ve been searching for, both in order to cut down on certain costs as well as drawing in more clients to help your firm thrive in a rapidly-changing business climate.

As a law firm, you are obligated to stay in compliance with legal and ethical standards and it is a high priority for your firm. This sort of accountability also creates an atmosphere of trust around potential clients and even has the capacity to reinforce trust in an existing professional relationship. Managing the funds most efficiently could help overall satisfaction and potentially return clients in the future. Show that they can trust you as a law firm to manage their trust account and they may very well be encouraged to trust you with even more precious matters further down the road.

What is a better way to make clients feel comfortable with entering into an agreement with you? Many laymen might say providing a favorable settlement or court case. A more reasonable expectation might be the ability to maintain their privacy and keep confidentiality. In a world with an ever-expanding global network and individual privacy sometimes feeling like a rare commodity, assuring a client that their information is being handled with the utmost care can work quite heavily in a firm’s favor. Using high-end encryption programs within practice management software like Zola Suite, this demand has become much easier for your law firm to provide to your clients. Packages include 256-bit bank-level encryption for all electronic correspondence, which is a fancy way of being able to tell your clients that their privacy is as secure as most government or bank files. And while it may or may not necessarily be the favorable settlement or court date guarantee they might be seeking, giving your clients a little peace of mind while you work on their case may well afford you some returning business should they need it.

Looking at the Legal Definition of Probate

Probate is a word that can bring up many different mental images, but the general meaning of this word is very different when comparing it to the popular legal definition. Even among the various legal terms available, it’s worth noting that even several similar sounding terms are going to have quite different meanings. Legally speaking, probate refers to any law having to do with a legal will or executing the process of divvying up an estate after the owner’s death. What does this all include?

Probate & Wills
The most important aspect to a probate case is proving not only that a will actually was the true last wishes of whoever made it, but also that the will is legally viable and follows all the specific rules of state and federal law in order to be properly executed. This is part of the reason why having a lawyer look over your will is so important: to make sure it is actually acceptable according to court standards.

In many cases, a video tape or a written form with signature isn’t enough to guarantee that a deceased individual’s belongings are split the way that he/she wants them to be. The only way to make absolutely sure that the list wishes are followed is to make sure an experienced probate lawyer draws up the papers and helps to execute them.

While having some nonlegal documents is generally better than having nothing at all, there’s a reason probate law exists, and that isn’t even going into the fact that there is an entire court system dedicated to focusing specifically on any disagreements that come up with these very specific and important cases. Many people want to avoid probate so their loved ones can inherit their assets in a quick and timely fashion. This reinforces why having a probate attorney help draft up your living will can help your family from more legal responsibility in the future.

What Exactly Is The Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor?

When a person is arrested, and they are charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor, they might be confused as to what the difference actually is. Most people know that being charged with a misdemeanor is not quite as bad as a felony, but understanding that difference is sometimes not easy to discern. These are two classifications of crimes that are committed in most states, both of which are worse than petty offenses. Let’s look at the difference between felonies and misdemeanors so that you understand the difference.

What Are Misdemeanors?

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you can be fined a certain amount of money, and you may do jail time, typically less than 12 months. Your time in jail would be at the county jail, and would certainly not be at a federal correctional institution like a prison. It is unlikely that the issue will go to trial, and you are not afforded a public defender because these issues are easily resolved by the judge. Felonies, on the other hand, carry more weight in regard to how much you can be fined and where you will spend time in jail if that is what the judge recommends.

What Is A Felony?

A felony is much more serious than a misdemeanor. In most states, it is up to a prosecutor to pursue an indictment of some sort, usually before a grand jury. They are punishable, just like misdemeanors, with time behind bars and also monetary penalties. Your time in jail will actually be in a prison if you are convicted of a felony, and you will be given the right to a public defender. Other penalties associated with becoming a felon include an inability to possess firearms, and also being prevented from certain jobs such as teaching or going into the military.

The exact amount of time that you will spend in jail or prison, and the amount of money that you will be fined, differ in every state. The severity of these penalties determined by the judge. Now that you know the difference, if you are ever convicted of either of these, you will have a general idea of what to expect. They are simply representative of the level of the crime that has been committed, each with their own penalties which are determined by each state.

Difference Between Murder And Manslaughter

The terms “murder” and “manslaughter” tend to get thrown around often, and people can confuse them.

It is best to understand what each term means before putting them to use in real life. Plus, those who are listening to the media might want to keep up as well because of how often these terms are used to define crimes committed in any part of the world.

Here is the difference between the two terms.

What Is Murder?

Let’s start with murder.

This is a term used to describe an act committed on purpose. It is done with intent to harm, injure, and kill.

However, there are two types of murder that fit into this category. These types are first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

First-degree murder is an act committed on purpose after a plan is set into place. This could be something as simple as following a police officer who arrested you and killing them.

Second-degree murder is an act committed on purpose but done in the heat of the moment. This can be something similar to shooting into a crowd and killing someone.

What Is Manslaughter?

So, what is manslaughter then? This is an act that is committed by accident.

For example, a person who is driving on the road ends up hitting someone and killing them. While you didn’t want to kill anyone, your actions end up being the reason for their death. DUIs tend to fall under this label as well.

It is important to note the difference because intention does matter. Murder tends to have a far worse legal consequence than manslaughter depending on the charges. This is why it is best to recognize these terms and use them in the right form.

The legal system pays attention to this while charges are being laid due to the difference in consequences.

What To Do If You Get A DWI

In this article, we will talk about what you should do if you ever get pulled over and happen to get a DWI. Getting a DWI can be a very expensive ordeal, along with lots of negative downfalls. Some of the negative things that can happen when you get a DWI include losing your license and jail time. Once you get pulled over they will arrest you if you seem to be over the legal limit. One of the great things we have in this country is that we have the right to a DUI attorney if needed.

We suggest having an attorney present if you have to undergo this process of getting a DWI. Once you have been to court, usually they will have a reset and you will go at a later date. The reason for this is so that you can talk with your attorney and figure out your best course of action. The next thing to do is to save up some money, as this is because the fines you will face are sometimes quite expensive.

Once you and you attorney agree on what course to take, it’s time to go back to court and inform the judge of what plea you choose. They will either charge you, or they can pursue a lesser or greater charge if they please. Remember, you should dress in business attire and be ready to speak loudly and clearly while you are in court. This will show the court that you take the issue seriously and that you are there to resolve the problem at hand.

In conclusion, we do not recommend drinking and driving, it can lead to serious car accidents and even wrongful death. However, this may happen to you and if it does, using these tips will help you to get through the process in an easier fashion.

5 Tips For Successfully Dealing With Credit Card Debt

Economic uncertainty often lends itself to people trying to make ends meet by opening up new lines of credit. Unfortunately, many people end up way over their heads and eventually owe more money than they can reasonably pay back. It’s important to learn how to manage credit card debt, and here are five solid tips:

1. It’s important to understand your spending by taking notes where your money is going. Many people are often shocked by the magnitude of what they owe, but that’s why it’s important to come up with a spending budget. Your budget shouldn’t surpass what you make each month.

2. Stick to your budget and don’t allow yourself to frivolously spend your money. The problem is that many times, all people see is a piece of plastic. Try using cash next time you go shopping and you’ll automatically spend less.

3. Try negotiating a lower interest rate for your credit cards. A polite phone call and a request are all that may be required of you to get better rates. Your credit score does play a role in your interest rates, but it never hurts to ask.

4. Come up with a payoff strategy for your cards. You can start by paying off the card with the lowest minimum balance or choosing to use the one with the highest limit to pay off other remaining balances.

5. Set goals for your spending in order to avoid racking up debt. By knowing where you need your money and what you can spend on miscellaneous things helps rein in debt.

Getting out of credit card debt requires quite a bit of due diligence on your part. Make sure you come up with a game plan and don’t max out your credit limit.

What to Do After Sustaining a Neck Injury After a Car Accident

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you want to do something about your injury right away. Neck injuries, or whiplash trauma, is reported in a large amount of car collisions where an injury has been sustained. If your neck hurts after an accident, what should you do?

After the accident, you should go and see your doctor right away. This is to get an assessment on the injury you are aware of, as well as to check for any problems you may not have detected already. Once a physician knows what is going on with your body, he or she can move forward with treatment that can help you.

Once you have established with a physician what your medical issues may be, it’s time to call your health insurance company. See what will be covered, and what will not be covered by your policy. If you have any co-pays you will need to cover, or if your insurance simply will not cover the medical treatment you need, you may want to talk to an attorney regarding compensation for your medical bills and treatment. This can be very helpful if you cannot afford to pay out of pocket in order to get better.

In conclusion, a car accident is never planned for, or welcomed, but if you have been in a collision, and have suffered an injury to your neck, there are steps you can take to get on the road to recovery. Make sure that you see a health professional in order to get proper medical assessment, and speak to your health insurance provider to see if your treatment is able to be paid for at no cost to you. An attorney can also help you, if he or she is needed. These steps will help you be on the path to recovery in no time.

Homicide 101- The Legal Definition

Homicide refers to the act of one human being taking the life of another. They can either be lawful or unlawful depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a police officer takes the life of a suspect, the act is justifiable. The same goes if a person takes the life of another in self-defense. If you aren’t sure if it’s lawful or unlawful, contact a criminal defense lawyer.

What’s First Or Second Degree Murder?
Murder is the intentional killing of another individual which is classified as unlawful and often committed with malice. It can either be first or second-degree murder depending on the situation. First-degree murder refers to killing an individual in a premeditated or deliberate act. Basically, the killer already decided and planned to kill the other individual.

Take an instance where a spouse plans to poison her partner and she proceeds to the store to buy rat poison for the act. Categorically, she would be tried for first-degree murder. Second-degree murder, on the other hand, refers to a situation where a person’s life is taken because of another action. There is also felony murder where a person takes the life of another individual during the commission of a felony.

For instance, if an arsonist starts a fire and a firefighter ends up losing his or her life in the attempt to put out the fire, the arsonist will be tried for felony murder. Keep in mind that various states have different laws of murder. Therefore, a second-degree murder can be classified as a first-degree murder in a different state depending on the circumstances.

What’s The Punishment?

Various states have mandatory minimum requirements for punishment. However, the punishment for first-degree murder is higher than that of the second degree. Defendants accused of first-degree murder are also eligible for the death penalty, depending on the state the murder is committed. Other states have the maximum penalty of life without any chance of parole.

The Legal Definition Of Adoption

Adoption is the process by which an adult becomes the official guardian to a child thereby incurring all the parental responsibilities. Once the process is completed, a legal relationship between the child and the adult is initiated. Here, the child becomes the legal heir to the adoptive parent and any existing rights with the biological parents are terminated.

Adoptions can be categorized into open or closed. With the open adoption, the birth mother is given the right to choose the adoptive parents. Here, the birth mother might also maintain some contact or visitation rights. During a closed adoption, the birth mother gives up all the parental rights and the state is given the authority to choose the adoptive parents for the child.

Parents looking to adopt can either choose to use an agency or direct contact with the biological parents. There are public agencies run by the state as well as private ones which facilitate the adoption process. With the state run agencies, the natural parents have relinquished all their parental rights to the child thus facilitating the adoption process.

There are statutes that determine who might adopt a child. Some states might disqualify single or unmarried individuals from adopting a child. People with mental or physical disabilities are also ineligible since they might not provide the adopted child with the care they need. Before an individual can adopt, the state presents the court with a report stating the individual is qualified to adopt.

These reports are quite detailed including the social history, criminal background, moral fitness, financial status as well as the physical or mental fitness. The court can either accept or reject the agency’s recommendation by basing the decision on the child’s welfare and best interests. There are some states that have lifted the sexual orientation clause when it comes to adopting children thus allowing the LGBT community to adopt.

Looking At The Legal Definition Of Divorce in Austin

Most people are fully aware of the emotional impact of a divorce. However, a lot of people aren’t sure about the legal definition of divorce.

In a nutshell, a divorce is a court decree that terminates an existing contract. Once a divorce is final, a legal marriage will be dissolved.

With that said, there is a lot more to divorce than that basic definition. Here are a few more things that you may want to know:

The Different Reasons For Divorce

When people file for divorce, they have to list the reason they are seeking a divorce. In many cases, people list “irreconcilable differences.” This means that the couple has issues that they are unable to resolve.

However, other options are available to couples. Couples may file for divorce because of infidelity. If one party has deceived the other, they may file for divorce claiming fraud. The options available to couples vary based on the state that they are in. If you are not sure what to file, you can contact a divorce lawyer.

The Different Types Of Divorce

Some people take their divorce to trial. This is especially common in contentious divorces.

However, a large number of divorces are resolved through mediation. While the divorce itself will be ended through the courts, the couple may not have to spend much time in court at all.

The Impact Of Divorce

The impact of a divorce will vary based on the state the divorce was in, the length of the marriage, and whether or not the couple had children. A divorce may also be impacted by a prenuptial agreement.

Now that you have better understanding of the legal definition of divorce, you will be able to make decisions regarding your own future. Whether you are considering a divorce or helping out a friend, it’s nice to have all of the essential information.