As social networking sites, such as Facebook, become a commonplace in our interactions between one another, their effect on judicial proceedings become increasingly prevalent. Over 500 million people worldwide login to Facebook each day with a misguided feeling of privacy. Facebook provides an avenue for attorneys to dive into a litigant’s personal life and state of mind.
Facebook has had an effect on cases in all areas of the law. Family law attorneys have utilized pictures and posts from a parent to show a trip with a child to Disney World while the parent was restrained from taking the child out of the state. One family law attorney asserts that Facebook plays a role in at least 20% of cases. This is due to the site’s ability to allow one to draw inferences concerning a user’s behavior, activity, and attitude.
Personal injury cases have also been affected by Facebook. A Seattle man involved in an accident filed suit against the driver who caused the accident claiming serious neck and back injury that would require extensive medical treatment. The defendant’s insurer hired a tech savvy lawyer who was able to gather, via Facebook, videos and pictures of the plaintiff snowboarding after the accident. Needless to say, the settlement offer was adjusted in light of the discovery.
For more information, contact Attorney Mike FontaineGeneral | No comment
The most recent trend in litigation is to avoid it. That’s right, just say “no” to litigation. If you anticipate or are currently involved in a divorce, business dispute, personal injury case, neighborhood or condominium argument, landlord and tenant disagreement, or almost any form of dispute imaginable, you should consider alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). The two (2) primary forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration.
The mediation process involves an agreement to choose a mediator to help the parties resolve whatever conflict they are experiencing. A mediator generally does not give advice (legal or otherwise) but instead focuses on assisting the parties in understanding the key elements of their dispute and resolving them in a mutually satisfactory manner.
The arbitration process involves an agreement to choose an arbitrator or arbitrators who will hear each party’s side of the conflict. He or she will then decide the conflict in favor of one party or maybe somewhere in the middle.
The advantages of mediation and arbitration can be great when compared to litigation. In fact, advantages are so great every department of the New Hampshire Court system offers or mandates some form of mediation.
Some of the advantages of mediation and arbitration are as follows:General | No comment
Yes, if you want to ensure your intentions are carried out. If you die “intestate” (without a will), your state’s laws will determine the disposition of your assets. Your actual wishes may not be carried out even if family and friends are aware of your desires and set out to accomplish them.
There are some basic things a Will should cover. One is the selection of an Executor/Executrix. This is the person you choose to administer your estate and carry out your wishes. You should always select at least one alternate person in case the first person cannot do it. The person selected would become legally responsible for handling your affairs after you die. He or she will gather and distribute your assets and take care of any other requirements, such as paying any outstanding bills, filing tax returns and making tax payments.
Another important step is to make sure that all your assets have specific disposition instructions. A properly drafted Will can save money and lots of headaches for your heirs, and may prevent disputes that would otherwise arise. Further, if you have children who have not reached the age of majority, you can appoint a guardian of your minor children should you and your spouse die. You should designate at least one alternate in case your first choice is unable to fulfill the role. See my upcoming blog entry on “How to Select a Guardian”.
Attorney Peters practices in the area of estate planning and can be reached at email@example.com or (603) 883-0797 extension 523.General | No comment