Monthly Archives: June 2016

Finding a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer

images-4It is important that the charged individual understands that he or she is still innocent until proven guilty. Given that a criminal conviction can result in the loss of freedom and other significant consequences, the courts use the highest burden of proof: proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is also important to choose the best possible criminal lawyer to defend against accusations and charges. The legal representative should fit the person he or she is representing, and the specific knowledge of the case should be shared between parties.

Considerations

There are several considerations that a person should weigh when determining which lawyer to select. Some considerations include:

Experience

Criminal defendants usually want someone who is experienced in their particular area of law. A person charged with a drug crime, DUI, assault or other specific criminal defense may want to look for a lawyer who has successfully handled cases of this nature.

Case Load

While a defendant may want to hire someone who seems to be an expert in the area of the law, this can sometimes be a drawback. Some criminal defense lawyers and DUI lawyers seek out as many clients as possible. However, this may adversely affect the effectiveness of their cases with so many clients taking up all their time and energy. Finding legal representation that takes the time to know his or her client is vital for many cases. The more complex or complicated the case, the more time may be required. Background checks, examination of details, analysis of findings and witness testimonial may all deplete what remaining time is left in these cases. A lawyer that may afford the time, effort and attention to a defendant’s case is essential for a positive outcome with the case or through trial in court.

Trial Experience

For many clients, it is important that their lawyer has had trial experience. If he or she is perceived as someone who will only get a plea bargain, the prosecutor may be aware of this reputation and may not make a good deal because he or she knows the case will be resolved before trial.

Referrals

When looking for the perfect lawyer, it is wise to consult friends, family, associates, other lawyers and even acquaintances for opinions and statistics about law firms or specific lawyers. Often searching online may provide further details about businesses containing a myriad of legal counsel. It is refining the search that takes time and effort. Though a blank search may heed results, examining law firm specific websites often brings answers to questions. Notes should be written about who is most liked,

Consultation

Once a list of prospective lawyers has been compiled, the defendant can set up a consultation to meet with the lawyer. He or she should prepare a list of questions to ask the lawyer, including questions regarding the lawyer’s rate of pay, the amount of experience the lawyer has with the particular type of case involved, the general process involved in the case and the legal strategy that the lawyer may recommend.

During this consultation, the defendant should pay attention to the answers. However, this is also a process in which the
defendant can consider how the lawyer speaks to him or her and the impression that he or she has on the defendant. If the first law firm is not a fit, the defendant may wish to contact other lawyers to set up a consultation.

Indications of what to look for when meeting the legal representative may include how interested they are in the case, how concerned they are in the well-being of the client and how well they communicate who they are and what they are about. If the lawyer takes up the bulk of the consultation regaling tales of their great adventures, they are most likely not the person to take the case. The consultation is to determine how much a match the lawyer is to the case and the client, not just how good they are in the courtroom. Trust is one of the top things to look for with the lawyer.

Finalizing a Decision

No two lawyers are exactly the same, and not all legal representatives have the same qualifications. Once a consultation has been completed, it is essential to narrow down which individual has a better understanding of the case specifics and the defending party. After research, examination, consultation and finalization of all information, a match should be available from the remaining lawyers available.

Tips on Clearing the Mist for Good

To effectively address the need, a new Code of Conduct on privacy for mobile health applications has been introduced, aiming to provide specific and accessible guidance on how EU data protection legislation should be applied by mHealth mobile developers. On 7 June 2016, the Code of Conduct was formally submitted for comments to Article 29 Data Protection Working Group. Once approved, app developer

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s will be able to sign the Code on a voluntary basis and thereby commit to following its rules.

The Code has been drafted to be understandable to non-legal experts such as SMEs and individual developers. Guidance on EU data protection rules is particularly important as app developers design the software which runs on smartphones and therefore decide the extent to which the app will access and process different categories of personal data in the device and/or through remote computing resources. As a result, by following the Code’s provisions and guidelines, app developers will be assisted in making responsible and informed choices which comply with European data protection law.

Personal data includes information on the user (such as their name, address, or contact information), device identifiers, location data and other information regarding an identified or identifiable natural person. Moreover, health data concerns personal data which relates to the physical or mental health of an individual, including the provision of health care services, which reveal information about his or her health status. The Code also maintains that health data includes personal data that has a clear and close link to the health status description of a person. Raw sensor data, for instance, can be used in itself or in combination with other data to draw a conclusion about the actual health of someone.

There are several examples through which an app developer may easily understand whether her app project processes or does not process health data. In particular, the Code points out an important distinction (which we have already highlighted in one of our previous articles) between lifestyle data and data concerning health. It explains that the first category includes data on an individual’s habits and behavior that does not inherently relate to that individual’s health. However, one must note that if the data is used to measure or predict health risks (e.g. risk to injury or heart attacks) and stored in order to analyze and evaluate the user’s health, then the app does process health data.

Furthermore, the Code provides a series of practical guidelines for app developers, such as individuals and companies and private and public sector organizations. These guidelines ensure compliance to EU data protection laws. One of the most important, is obtaining user consent. The Code points out that app developers must obtain, prior to the app’s installation, the users’ free, specific and informed consent in order to process their data for the purposes described by app developers. On health data, the consent must be explicit while it is not sufficient that they don’t protest after having been informed of the intended use of their data. Furthermore, it is particularly important that app developers are able to demonstrate that users have provided their consent as explained above.

Another important principle which must be respected in the design phase of the apps is to only collect and process health data for specific and legitimate purposes. In particular, such purposes must be clearly defined before any data processing takes place and must be linked with the functionality of the app. If the personal data is to be used for a purpose other than the one described, it must be completely anonymized before re-use in order to avoid any possible identification of an individual. Otherwise, obtaining again the users’ free, informed and explicit consent is required.

How to Stop Trademark Infringement

What are the Elements of a Trademark Infringement Claim?

When a competing business is using an established trademark or a confusingly similar one, that business is engaging in unlawful trademark infringement. Because branding is such an important part of a business’ identity to consumers, the law provides a venue for trademark owners to seek recourse against infringers. A trademark owner who believes its trademark is being infringed may file a civil lawsuit in either state court or federal court for trademark infringement, depending on the circumstances. In most cases, trademark owners choose to file federal infringement cases. To support a trademark infringement claim in court, the trademark owner must prove:

1) that it owns a valid mark;

2) that it has priority (its rights in the mark(s) are “senior” to the defendant’s rights); and

3) that the defendant’s mark is likely to cause confusion in the minds of consumers about the source or sponsorship of the goods or services offered under the parties’ marks.

When a plaintiff owns a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, there is a legal presumption of the validity and ownership of the mark, as well as of the exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration, which simplifies the owner’s burden of proof in infringement cases.

What Factors do Courts Consider in Determining Whether Infringement has Occurred?

Courts will typically consider evidence addressing various factors to determine whether there is a likelihood of confusion among consumers. The key factors considered in most cases are:

1) the degree of similarity between the marks at issue; and

2) whether the parties’ goods and/or services are sufficiently related that consumers are likely to assume (mistakenly) that they come from a common source.

Other factors courts may consider include: a) how and where the parties’ goods or services are advertised, marketed, and sold; b) the purchasing conditions; c) the range of prospective purchasers of the goods or services; d) whether there is any evidence of actual confusion caused by the allegedly infringing mark; e) the defendant’s intent in adopting its mark; and f) the strength of the plaintiff’s mark.

Remedies for Trademark Infringement

If the trademark owner is able to prove infringement, available remedies include the following:

1) a court order (injunction) that the defendant stop using the accused mark;

2) an order requiring the destruction or forfeiture of infringing items;

3) monetary relief, including defendant’s profits, any damages sustained by the plaintiff, and the costs of the action; and

4) in rare cases, an order that the defendant, pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees.

If you believe someone is infringing your trademark, an experienced and dedicated trademark attorney has the tools to stop this unlawful behavior.

What are Importance of Prenuptial Agreements

uWith most of the marital assets in his ex-wife’s name, Harry Macklowe was forced to sell prime Manhattan real estate to pay off his debt. The couple is now clashing over control of a one-billion-dollar art collection. Towson divorce lawyers ask how could a couple with so many assets neglect to protect themselves with a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are invaluable for protecting the livelihood of both spouses entering marriage, especially in cases wherein the stakes – or assets – are high. Divorce is rife with emotion – even when both parties agree it is the best option. When feelings are running high, and ex-spouses react out of anger and pain, pre-nuptial agreements can help dissolve assets equitably.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract made by a couple before they marry, addressing the division of their assets and other financial concerns should the marriage end. The foresight a prenup provides can eliminate long and painful litigation if the marriage does not work out. Prenuptial agreements are private contracts drafted by attorneys, enforceable in court.

For couples who maintain a variety of valuable assets, the divorce process may be more complicated than usual. High asset divorce attorneys need to dig deep to determine if assets existed before the marriage or were acquired afterwards. Alimony will be determined based upon what each spouse contributed to the partnership. Even though one spouse may have brought in more income, the other may have contributed and supported the other by being an exceptional homemaker.

When high asset divorces involve a great deal of expensive properties, vehicles, and other assets, the costs involved in maintaining those should be considered. Spouses that lobby for vacation homes, for example, should be prepared to pay mortgage, tax, and maintenance fees on them. Divorcing couples need to be realistic on how their lifestyle might change after their marriage ends.

The key to a satisfactory outcome in a high asset divorce is how you approach it. Acting out of anger and resentment can alienate your ex-spouse and drag the process out longer than necessary. Having a prenuptial agreement in place makes the process less complicated.