Category Archives: Legal Advice

Best Ways to Adopt a Child

Every homeless child wants a family and a home where he can be loved and cared, and parents who can fulfill his needs. This article contributes a bit towards bringing such parents and children together by clearing the concept of child adoption.

Adoption is a process where the adoptive parents take up the responsibility of a child and nurture him till he becomes independent enough to lead his own life. It brings a lot of happiness and also certain challenges in their lives. Previously, a couple would consider it if they were unable to bear one. However, in today’s times, the ideas and views towards it have changed tremendously. Every couple may have their own reasons to go for it, but the most common reasons could be:

  • Childless couple
  • Parents who love children
  • Single parents who desire to enjoy parenthood
  • Parents who want to contribute to the society
  • Parents who have genetic diseases and thus, choose to consider it

The reasons to why children are homeless, and left for adoption can be plenty, whether it is one’s financial state, family issues, or unwanted pregnancy. Children are innocent and bring a lot of joy and happiness into our lives. Yet, they are left to face the world all by themselves. They deserve love, affection, care, family, and a home, too. They too have the right to lead a good and secure life.

The process of child adoption is slow and tends to get a little irksome. It’s quite a big deal to go for it as it brings a lot of changes in the lives of adoptive parents and the child. They have to create the same relationship bond with him/her as they would have it with their biological child. So, before getting into this, find out whether you really want to consider this option. Adopting a child is a lifetime commitment, and therefore, this decision should be taken carefully. Many interested parents abandon the process involved because of its complexities. Remember that it is time-consuming and takes up all your energy. However, to make it easy, it is advisable that you study the process and create a plan to go about it. There are many options and procedures involved in this process. Couples who are interested in it must be aware of certain types of adoption to meet their needs.

Adoption Practices

In this process, the birth parents and the adoptive parents can share their information with each other. It’s a great way for a child to know their biological parents. However, after the process is complete, both the mentioned parents can choose to stay in contact with each other.

Here, the birth and adoptive parents meet and exchange the information, which is initiated by the respective institute. Once the child grows up, he has a choice to contact his biological parents and develop a relationship with them.

This is indeed a good option for the biological parents to maintain their privacy. They can contact the couple who are interested in adoption, or choose not to remain in touch with adoptive parents at all.

In this process, the birth parents hand over their babies to an adoption agency. The parents who are willing to adopt a child do not meet the biological parents. However, the medical information is often shared with them.

There is no role of any related agency in this particular process. It takes place very rarely and happens when the biological parents and the adoptive parents know each other and make an agreement to adopt the child.

Another way is where the birth mother selects the family for a baby while she is pregnant. During this period, she might choose to bond with the family and get to know the parents better. In these cases, the birth mother is either unmarried, a single mother, or it’s an unwanted pregnancy, and thus, she chooses to put the baby for adoption.


A couple who is interested in it can always contact the orphanage or the social institutes for the same. Child adoption is a great contribution to the society, and there are certain important steps that are considered to check the eligibility of the parents.

Home and Family Check
The concerned agency will assess the house in which the child will be spending his life. During the process of this step, a social worker observes the surroundings and interacts with the family to ensure that the child grows in a safe environment. If there is anything suspicious about the family, the parents do not become eligible for the same, and the procedure is immediately stopped.

The parents have to undergo certain evaluations to check if they are capable of bringing up a child. Every family is not perfect, but certain issues might reveal that the parents are not capable of raising the child. These measures are important to prevent the children from any future harm or danger.

Training on Parenting
Though the parents are excited about getting a new child at home, they still have to be counseled and trained as they have to nurture him/her all their life. When a child is growing up, he/she will begin to learn many new things and would someday want to know about the biological parents. Therefore, the adoptive parents need to be trained and prepared prior to facing such situations with him/her.

Court Validation
After the parents clear the previous steps, they have to go through the last step of court validation. In this step, the court finalizes the adoption, wherein the biological parents have to agree on giving up the responsibility of their child completely. The child is then placed into the new home under the supervision of a social worker for around 6 months.

The cost involved in this process varies as it depends on various factors. Adopting a child within one’s country might be cheaper than going for the one internationally. In case you consider the former option, then it might cost you around USD 5,000 to USD 40,000, or it might be even more depending on the services provided by these agencies. For the latter alternative, the price may range from USD 7,000 to USD 30,000.

Adoption is a great deed as it gives a chance to children to lead a better and secure life. But, before taking a step towards it, it is essential for the parents to be familiar with all the factors related to it, and consult a lawyer for right guidance.

Ways to Deal Sadness and Loneliness After Your Divorce

Divorce is traumatic, and the broken relationship signals the loss of all your commitments and promises you had made together for your future. You may or may not have wanted it to happen, but the chain of agonizing events it triggers can be hard to deal with. When you got married, you always thought you would spend the rest of your lives together. Never once did you believe that the union would end in a bitter breakup. But life doesn’t always turn out to be a bed of roses. Divorce can be all the more painful when children are involved, for them the absence of a parent from their lives can be very hard. A negative outcome of divorce can be insecurity and the inability to put your faith in the persons you love. This means harboring a twinge of resentment in your heart, and keeps you from opening up to the people who want to help you out in your time of need. This will only plunge you deeper into depression and not help you in getting on with life.

Recovering from a separation depends on your will power and courage. If you think that this is a permanent phase and that you have no way out of it, it won’t help matters. There is no need for you to feel that the happy days of your life are all over. This is just a temporary phase, and it’s solely up to you on how long you want to make it last. The sooner you deal with your problems, the faster things will start taking a turn for the better, and you will be able to start life anew. Here are some guidelines on how to overcome the sadness after your marriage has ended.
Dealing with Sadness and Loneliness After Divorce

Do not mask your feelings. The intense anger and pain built up inside needs to be shown the way out. Cry and scream if you want to. Talk to your friends and family, confide in them. Write a diary if you want. Rid yourself of all the conflicting emotions huddled inside. Get it over with. Negative feelings bottled up inside can be mentally and physically draining.

Getting over a divorce does not happen in a flash. It can be a lengthy process. It’s not wrong to mourn the loss of your spouse. Give yourself time to compose your feelings. Have patience. Forgive yourself and your spouse. Whatever happened is water under the bridge. It’s time to pick up the pieces of your life, plan for the future, and move on.

Surround yourself with the people you love and care for. Do not sever any relationship with your friends and family. Don’t forget you will need all the support you can find to get through this turbulent phase in your life. Do not hesitate to discuss your problems with them. Plan activities with them just as you did when you were happily married. Initially, it will prove tough. But you will realize that a day spent in the company of friends can seem surprisingly wonderful, and you may even realize you did not think about your spouse or the divorce when you were with them!
Get rid of all your spouse’s personal belongings in the house and return them or just discard them. The more you see those things lying around in the house, the sadder you will feel. Rearrange the items in the house. Or even better, move into a new apartment. A change of scene can work wonders to uplift your mood and view life from a different perspective.

Pursue a hobby. Maybe it was something you never had time to do when you were married. Now that you are on your own, take it up again and immerse yourself in it. Or cultivate a hobby which will keep you busy for hours at a stretch. Join a hobby group, and find others who share the same interests as you do. An added benefit, apart from learning a new activity, is you get a chance to meet new folks and make friends!

Go back to work as usual. Spending the day with your coworkers and doing your office work may seem mundane and not appeal as much, but it’s a sure shot way to keep your brain and mind occupied elsewhere, other than the recent breakup. Your marriage has ended, doesn’t mean your job has to end too! Moreover, getting back to a routine you were used to will help in reorganizing your life, bringing back a sense of normalcy.

Join a divorce support group. Meeting people going through the same emotional turmoil will give you a chance to know more ways of overcoming the loneliness. Do not shy away from seeking professional help. Visit a therapist or mental health counselor, if you feel that the depression is taking a toll on your well-being, and pay heed to your family and friends’ suggestions. Remember they want to see you happy and are only trying to help.

A bout of depression sees people either gorging on food all the time, or not eating anything at all. To forget the pain and suffering, people unknowingly resort to substance abuse, excessive smoking and drinking. This can take a toll on your health. Think twice before you seek refuge in any such activity. Take care of yourself. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and keep up with an exercise regimen. Visit your doctor if your health is deteriorating. Pamper yourself. Buy new clothes, visit a spa or a salon, get a new hairstyle, and see the rejuvenating effect it has on your senses!

Try to get a hold of things and plan for your future, your post-divorce life. Before the divorce, perhaps your spouse was in charge of the household finances, but now since you are on your own, you have to pay the bills. Collect all important bank-related documents and get your finances back in order. Financial security is fundamental in getting your life back on track after a divorce.

If you have children, do not neglect them. They may be too young to understand the reason why a parent is missing from their lives, and you have to help them overcome this feeling of anxiety and insecurity. The negative effects of divorce on children may not be as obvious as those in an adult. As a single parent, your responsibilities towards the kids increase twofold. Be open with them, and encourage them to discuss their feelings with you.
Dealing with life after divorce is an arduous task, and how you manage your life and regain your self-esteem is subject to your mindset. Never forget that you can and you should get on with your life, for your own sake as well as for the sake of your loved ones. Structure your life such that you are back to normal again. It will take time, but the sooner you accept the situation and take matters in your hands to amend them, the sooner your life will change for the better.

Find a Pro Bono Divorce Lawyer

The prospect of divorce in itself is a messy affair for those involved. One definitely wants to get it right, as far as the legal aspects are concerned. However, paying for a divorce lawyer is not possible for everyone. Many people lose out on what they are entitled to just because they cannot afford a lawyer who can represent them well in the court of law. The enormity of the legal fees plays a major role for those searching for a lawyer.

Here is where pro bono lawyers come into the picture. A pro bono divorce lawyer is one who fights a divorce case free of cost, or if not, at least at a very nominal charge. Such a lawyer may not specialize in divorce cases, however, he may provide legal services in divorce at no or little cost to individuals or charitable organizations.

Why do Lawyers Work Pro Bono?

Pro bono is the Latin phrase which translates as ‘for the public good’ or ‘in courtesy of the people’. Under the ethical rules of the American Bar Association, every lawyer is recommended to set aside 50 hours of pro bono service every year. Some individual State Bar associations may require its lawyers to put in lesser hours of such kind of service. Besides fulfilling the ethical obligation, pro bono cases enable lawyers to gain experience in fields other than that in which they specialize. For example, a criminal law attorney can act as a pro bono divorce lawyer, which adds to his portfolio, for his own good. However, the urge to act as a pro bono lawyer can also be absolutely out of unselfish interests. Even highly experienced lawyers take up cases for free in the same area that they specialize in, in case they feel that the case is challenging and interesting. Or sometimes, it could be strictly for altruistic inclination of helping financially challenged individuals, or those who have been laid off and are unable to meet the customary legal fees. Some lawyers take up pro bono cases if they feel that taking up specific cases would be for the greater good of the community.

Does this mean that anyone and everyone can avail the services of a pro bono divorce lawyer? The answer to this question is a big NO. One needs to DESERVE a pro bono service to get it. One requires to qualify on the basis of his financial status or some other disability, to be able to avail pro bono legal services. These legalities again depend upon those stipulated by the laws of one’s residing state. The other common criteria that can entitle one for pro bono services is abuse in marriage. Be it physical, verbal, sexual, or even if it concerns one’s children, abuse of any form can help one qualify for having a pro bono lawyer fighting the case. However, one needs to present strong proof of such abuse in these cases.

Ways to Find a Pro Bono Divorce Lawyer

Finding a divorce lawyer who charges less fees can be a difficult task, as most of the lawyers fighting pro bono cases do not advertise themselves. One way to find a pro bono lawyer is to call the general practice attorneys in one’s local county and check if they are taking up pro bono cases. One can also contact the State Bar Association to find if there are pro bono divorce lawyers to take up a case. Certain firms have pro bono lawyers or have an assigned pro bono coordinator to look after such cases. Check with such organizations and legal firms to see if you meet the criteria to qualify for these legal services, for free or at a reduced cost. Ask your friends and family about lawyers who are willing to offer a pro bono service. It is always advisable to look for references of people who know such lawyers, so that you are sure, that despite working for no or lower fees, the pro bono divorce lawyer would handle your case efficiently.

It is very important to have an efficient divorce attorney. Despite all the benefits of having a lawyer fighting your case for free, employing a pro bono lawyer is not completely a rosy picture. There are pitfalls associated with it which one needs to be wary of. Many times, these lawyers do not have enough experience in handling divorce cases, as that may not be their field of expertise. It is best to do your research and talk to a couple such lawyers, if that is possible, before you are sure that you want a particular pro bono lawyer for yourself.

Consult with friends and family or those who can give references regarding the lawyer you are considering. The best help that you could do to yourself is to gather as much information about the laws regarding divorce, as you can. This ensures that you are not absolutely dependent on your divorce lawyer and left in the lurch in case things go wrong or not up to your expectations. Make peace with your past in a smooth and organized way, bereft of the hassles.

Locate the Right Divorce

If all marriages become successful, nobody would ever think of a divorce, and every couple would stay together happily always. But the bitter truth is that it doesn’t happen always. A number of couples, who take oath during marriage rituals to stay together forever, get separated for many reasons. If you are considering of leaving your partner, you should plan in advance. Here are a few tips to assist you finding the correct divorce attorney.

1. Hide from Your Partner

Many married couple mull over quitting their partners at some point. But if you think the relationship can’t be repaired, consulting a divorce lawyer and keeping it secret is a wise decision. We are telling to maintain secrecy not to give your spouse a surprise, rather to stop him from hiding assets. This is so because some partners make their bank accounts empty and hide assets to prevent division and sharing with their spouses.

2. Ask For a Free Consultation

Although many lawyers charge money for an initial consultation, there are attorneys who do it for free. In this initial consultation, you can know him/her well. Ensure he/she listens to your case carefully and give you correct guidance. The success rate of your divorce also depends on choosing the right attorney.

3. Consider Your Kids

If no children are there to bind both the couples into a tie, any renowned attorney can handle your case. But if you have kids, a family law professional must be contacted. They can not only handle the termination of your marriage but also they have experience with child custody concerns. Since many parents go for custody, and the process is hardly ever uncomplicated, a veteran divorce attorney in Orange County on your side can raise your level of confidence. Whether the case requires months or years for resolution, an experienced professional will be best preferred as he/she who is familiar with what you’re undergoing. Most family law lawyers can even do the job of counselling to help children manage with the breakup.

4. Referrals From Friends and Relatives can Help

You might have friends and relatives who have probably gone through this situation. They will almost certainly understand your predicament; you can consult with them regarding their legal experience. Keep in mind that, only because they got a favourable resolution, doesn’t denote their legal professional did an outstanding job. You should always find out how much emotional support he or she provided during the procedure. Because the dissolution of marriage can take several months or even years, emotional support must be taken into account when choosing a divorce lawyer in Orange County.

5. Estimate the Costs

Figuring out the cost for your case is important. Mostly the divorce attorney charges between $300 and $500 per hour. That being said, it is quite common for couples to pay out tens of thousands of dollars for their cases. If you don’t do enough research, you may end up with a heavy hitter who will make a big hole in your pocket.  Hence proper research is required regarding past success rate of the lawyer because you want to get what pay for.

Tip to Couples Counseling

Nowadays, with substantial increase in the divorce & break up rates in our society, couples counseling has become necessary to help partners work out relationships instead of just ending them. It is heartbreaking to see numerous people who invest time in a relationship, give up because of some challenging issues that they cannot work through. Couples counseling focuses on helping couples learn the ways to deal with their problems as well as the art to better communicate with each other. Generally most couples shy away from getting help due to pride, ignorance, or lack of finances to afford it, but the fact is that couples counseling usually offers wonderful results.

Most relationships normally start out wonderfully but over a period of time, the fire can diminish and each partner begins to get resentful, arguments occur, drift, emptiness, and a feeling of boredom ensues. It is remarkable to note that as per research, about 75% of couples that opt for counseling, feel as if their relationship has improved – odds that are substantial enough to get you to try this solution at least once.

Couples counseling is meant to give partners valuable resources & tools to make positive changes personally & together. Many times, a couple experiences dissatisfaction and therefore, decides to end the relationship instead of revealing the root cause of it. If the root cause of the issue is found and dealt with, the relationship can take a u-turn, but if no one is there to find out the prevailing problem, the relationship will surely lead to failure.

Couples counselors will help facilitate honest & open communication amongst partners. Communication is the most important element in a relationship, therefore, learning how to effectively reveal what is there in one’s mind is very essential for success. Imagine, a wife is angry because her partner does not spare enough time for her, but never communicates frankly to him about the issue,not giving him the chance to change this. Her partner may not be aware that he is neglecting her time or that he should be spending more time in her company.

Relationships require a great deal of work. Couples counselors can provide you the tools to work on your relationship. They will help you to see what is wrong as well as assist you in coming up with possible solutions. They can certainly give insights into the underlying negative patterns in your relationship thereby, encouraging change. Your counselor will act as a facilitator and guide for building a successful relationship.

So, if you are in a relationship and it is struggling, consider seeing couple counselor. Sometimes a relationship simply needs a professional to help the partners through some issues. The counselor can help you find effective ways to transform self-defeating relationship behaviors and attitudes into constructive behaviors that will definitely assist you for creating a more satisfying relationship with each other.

Tips to Start Fresh After Divorce

A painful divorce changes everything in life; it changes the way the world looks at you, it worsens your personal & professional life and ruptures your faith on love & relationships! A divorce can get even worse if you are left with a child from your unsuccessful marriage.
Emotional support from friends and family might help you and your child in coping with stress of divorce. But, when it comes to rebuilding both you and your child’s self-worth, relying on the professional support seems more beneficial. Beside professional support, it needs a few steps to follow for reinventing happiness, peace and most importantly, the life:

Help kids express feelings: A divorce can feel like the loss of a parent for a child. It is your responsibility to help your child in adjusting to the new circumstances by valuing their feelings. To do so, encourage them to open up about their thoughts. Remember, you can de-stress your children only by allowing them to express their frustration and sadness. You can inspire trust by showing that you understand.

Spend more time with kids: One of the key responsibilities, as a single parent is to spend more quality-time with your little one. A child tends to look for isolation during this stage. Never let them stay alone. Accompany your child, cook together, take him/her out for a movie, and indulge them in some recreational activities. Besides improving the child’s state-of-mind, helps in building a strong rapport between you and your child.

Give reassurance and love: Children have a remarkable ability to heal when given the support and love they need. Express love for your child through your words and actions. A warm hug, a pat on shoulder or just simple proximity has huge power to reassure your child of your love and support. When children raise concerns or negative feelings, respond truthfully. Assure your child that no matter what, you will always love him/her unconditionally now, tomorrow and forever.

Online dating tips: A good profile will go along way in finding a perfect partner. Some of the key things to be aware of are what website you decide on using, the balance of what you want to say, and sharing your interests. Remember to be honest without giving too much away. A good photograph of yourself goes along way.

Don’t neglect yourself: A divorce can be the end of a broken-marriage, but it’s not the end of your life! You still have the right to live and love. Falling in love after divorce can be little difficult. Bitter-experiences of a broken marriage will always hold you back from trusting someone. Here the importance of a relationship coaching service can be beneficial. These professionals help you in restoring your self-esteem, finding the perfect partner and leading you towards happiness. This new wisdom of life & love helps you discover a new you.


Finding a Professional Lawyer

Most people do not have a clue how to find a good lawyer when they need one. Having access to a good lawyer is rather like having a good car mechanic. They’re both hard to find but when you have, you’ll want to keep him for life.

If your legal problem is complex or involves lots of money, you might not want to attempt to handle the entire matter without a lawyer. After all, lawyers do more than dispense legal information. Because it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a good lawyer from a mediocre one, it is important that you do your research thoroughly.

Locating a good lawyer who can efficiently help with your particular problem may not be easy. Don’t expect to locate a good lawyer by simply looking in the phone book or reading an advertisement. There’s not enough information in these sources to help you make a valid judgment.

Some common reasons you should do to find a good lawyer :

1 . Determine the legal issue and what type of law may be applicable

2 . Set up a face-to-face interview. Always ask an attorney what his fees will be. So, you can avoid surprises that may show up on the attorney’s invoice later

3 . One of the best resources to find a lawyer that does the kind of law you need is through other lawyers

4 . Your lawyer should point out for you the strong and weak points of your case and give a realistic expectation of the potential outcomes.

5 . The attorney should be interested in your case and spend at least as much time listening as talking. Beware of lawyers who spend too much time selling themselves to you.

6 . Check with your family, friends and work associates. If someone had a good experience with a particular attorney, they are always more than happy to recommend that individual.

A better way of finding an attorney is to call the local bar association near your town, city or county. Ask for the names of three lawyers who specialize in the area of law you need assistance with.

One important thing to note is that it’s important that you get along with your lawyer. He may be an excellent attorney but if you find that you don’t get along with him or don’t like dealing with him, just leave it.

Go through this process until you find a lawyer you are comfortable with. A good lawyer is one who is knowledgeable about the law, determined to represent your best interests and charges reasonable fees.

Tips to Common Marriage and Uncommon Divorces

images-5What is Common Law Marriage?
A common law marriage is generally defined as one where the state provides couple’s rights and benefits of being married, even though they never obtained a marriage license or had any ceremony celebrating the marriage. Each of the states has its own requirements before it will recognize a couple as having a common law marriage. For example, in Texas, as in most of the 11 states, a couple must have made an agreement to someday get married and then cohabited after the agreement was made. They must also have held themselves out to the public as being married.

In Nevada, it does not matter how long a couple may have lived together, what their future intent is or if their friends think they are married. Nevada does not recognize common law marriage, and a divorce lawyer can’t change the law. If there is no marriage, there can be no divorce. This may create problems when a couple decides to separate, and have accumulated property together. If they have children together there are laws for child custody.

Nevada Child Custody, Visitation and Support Laws
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Section 126.036 establishes that “the liberty interest of a parent in the care, custody and management of the parent’s child is a fundamental right.” In order for a man to exercise his rights to custody and visitation, and for a mother to establish her right to child support, paternity must be established. There are several different ways this can be done under Nevada law. Once paternity has been determined, the unmarried parents have the same rights and obligations as do parents who were married to each other.

Under NRS Section 125C.003, a court may order primary physical custody of a child born out of wedlock to the mother if there is no presumption that a man is the father and the man has not acknowledged paternity. This may also happen if the father has knowledge of his paternity, but has abandoned his child.

The court will give primary custody of a child born out of wedlock to the father if the mother has abandoned the child and the father has provided the “sole care and custody of the child in her absence.”

In Nevada, whether parents are married to each other or not, a court makes its custody and visitation decisions based on what it determines is in the best interest of the child.

Property Division for Unmarried Couples
Nevada is a community property state, which means all income a legally married couple earned, and all property they accumulated during the course of their marriage, belongs equally to them both. When they divorce, the court will divide it between them. This includes real estate, automobiles, furniture, savings accounts, retirement accounts, pension funds and even the family pet.

Community property law does not apply when an unmarried but cohabiting couple separates. There are some ways courts may become involved in property division, but it will be in civil court, not in family law court as part of a property division divorce order. For example:
• Contract principles: If the couple have a contract establishing that they are joint owners of property, and they disagree about how to divide it, a civil law court will evaluate the contract and make a division based on contract principles.
• Joint tenants: If the couple purchased real estate and took ownership as joint tenants, this means that each party owns 50 percent of the property. It does not matter if one party provided more of the down payment than the other one. They own the property equally and when they separate, the property is divided between them. If it is owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, when one party dies, the other party inherits the share of the other.
• Tenants-in-common: This allows a couple to own property together but with different percentage shares. It will be divided according to each person’s share. If one party dies, that person’s share goes into their estate and is not inherited by the other party.

The Putative Spouse Doctrine
In 2004, the Nevada Supreme Court, in the case of Williams v. Williams, adopted the Putative Spouse Doctrine holding that, “Fairness and equity favor recognizing putative spouses when parties enter into a marriage ceremony in good faith and without knowledge that there is a factual or legal impediment to their marriage.” The Court held that this policy is in keeping with “Nevada’s policy in refusing to recognize common-law marriages or palimony suits.” This is because the parties obtained a marriage license and reasonably attempted to enter into a solemn marriage relationship, something missing “in common-law marriages and palimony suits.”

• The putative spouse doctrine and property division: In the Williams case, the couple had a marriage ceremony, obtained a marriage certificate and believed themselves to be husband and wife for 27 years. When they decided to divorce, they discovered for the first time that Mrs. William’s had not been divorced from her first husband at the time of the Williams’s marriage. They discovered their marriage was never valid and they were granted an annulment. Since they had a good faith believe they were married, the property they accumulated during the putative marriage was divided between them as though community property.
• The putative spouse doctrine and spousal support: The Nevada Supreme Court considered how other states apply this doctrine and held that there can be no award of spousal support in the absence of “bad faith, fraud or statutory authority.”

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.


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


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.


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,


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


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.